Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Book Recommendations

I have added a new feature to my blog layout, which you can now find in the right hand side bar. Though it is not complete, it is a snapshot of some of the books I have read which I feel are worth a mention and recommendation. What books have you read that you would suggest to someone else? Leave me a comment so I can check it/them out! Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Good Purpose Does God Have For Us?

Many of the “Frequently Abused Verses” we’re considering have been maliciously ripped from their context, misappropriated, and misapplied. Their original meaning has been twisted and contorted to serve a foreign purpose and make a fraudulent point.

However, in some cases, the abuse is much more passive. That’s true of the verse before us today—Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”...

Romans 8:28 is a prime example of how careless familiarity can lead to corruption. The verse is applied to virtually every hardship, disappointment, and trial that believers encounter. It’s an all-purpose spiritual salve for every situation....

Sometimes it’s simply for our own spiritual growth that the Lord allows us to suffer through trials (James 1:2). The Spirit’s refining, sanctifying work is often painful, but the spiritual fruit it bears is well worth the struggle.
(by Jeremiah Johnson.

Read this article in its entirety at

(Photo information: Bing public domain.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Importance of Church?

We sang about this love and this mission to be part of it; we sang about our brokenness and our hope. We looked each other in the eye. We confessed our sins. We shared bread and juice and remembered that we are all tied together in this dysfunctional family that God has cobbled together.


Friday, September 25, 2015

What We Proclaim is Not Ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord

“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:1-6‬ ‭ESV)

Doing a bible study with my children each morning is so enriching in a lot of ways. First and foremost, I feel my kiddos are surrounded by the world, without my guidance, for seven hours every day now that they are in mainstream traditional public school. Last year and the year before, they were enrolled in a private school and though they faced certain challenges like peer pressure, subject material that was apart from God and did not line up with His word, etc. They still had chapel some mornings and a bible class each day. They were still in God’s word every day even though away from home. But, this year, we put on the whole armor of God each morning before I drop them off to their educational institutions.

Secondly, I am reminded of such great scripture as the one above and Zephaniah 3:17 which says,
17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Isn’t that just amazing and so beautiful? “He will exult over you with loud singing!” I wonder what God’s singing voice sounds like?
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5. ESV.)

Thirdly, God’s word is so encouraging…especially when I am struggling or when I am questioning if I am doing what is right. Whether scripture confirms or convicts me, it restores me!

Reading and discussing the word of God, each morning is such a special time I have with these precious little lambs that God has entrusted to me. It is my fervent prayer they will always hear His voice, recognize His voice, and follow the Good Shepherd, forever and ever, amen.

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me,because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(John 10:1-5, 7-18. ESV.)

(Picture Information: Bing Public Domain)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The True Vine

When God puts and idea in your mind it is so hard not to get all ecstatic about it! I have started a new project. I know…how? With what time? To be honest, I took most of the day off from school work, today, to get it started. But, today was a great day to begin because I did not have any deadlines for assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, or papers. It was a relatively mellow day consisting of mostly reading.

And, I will not be posting any of my new “project”, here, because this one will be one I would like to submit when/if I finish it. But, if it does not get picked up, then I will post it.

I have to go, for now. However, I would like to leave you with a little John MacArthur before I do. Yesterday, I ended my post with John 15:4-11. Today, I am linking to a message by John MacArthur covering John 15:1-6.

Please visit the "Grace to You" website to read this message and for more by John MacArthur.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bear Much Fruit and Prove to be My Disciples

I was reading an article, this morning, over at the “Grace to You” website and the following quote by Cameron Buettel jumped out at me. He wrote,
Paul made it clear elsewhere that our confession and faith are proven false if there is no fruit of repentance in our lives (Romans 6:1–18).
Having this understanding is very important to me because there are some who try to convince others, myself included, they claim Christ Jesus as Lord yet their actions prove differently. I have even been asked, “Who are you to say I am an unbeliever?” But, it is not I who says. I only do as I am called…in this case, to be wise.

As John MacArthur stated,
Many people acknowledge that Jesus is both the Son of God and Lord of the universe. But Paul is speaking of the deep, personal, abiding conviction that, without any reservation or qualification, will confess . . . Jesus as Lord, that is, will confess that Jesus is the believer’s own sovereign, ruling Lord, in whom alone he trusts for salvation and to whom he submits.

James teaches that even demons acknowledge truth about God. In a purely factual sense, they are completely orthodox in their theology. “You believe that God is one,” he writes. “You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19). In other words, demons are monotheists. Satan and his fallen angels are also confirmed creationists, having watched God form the heavens and the earth simply by speaking them into existence. . . .

James’s point is that men can hold such demon belief, belief that is theologically correct but that does not include reception of Jesus as Lord. People may be well aware of their sin, be under deep conviction about it, and even have a great emotional sense of guilt from which they long to be delivered. But they do not repent and forsake the sin that causes the guilt, nor do they trust in the Savior who can forgive and remove the sin. Speaking about such people, the writer of Hebrews gives one of the most sobering warnings to be found in Scripture: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame” (Hebrews 6:4–6).
(John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 9–16 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994) 73.)
You can read this article in its entirety at

Yesterday, God’s word from Matthew 10 was fresh in my mind. It is one of the most sobering texts for me because I have witnessed it with my own eyes and know it to be true. It says,
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39. ESV.)
I even tell my youngest children, “You must love God more than you love me!” I should have told my oldest children the same when they were little.

John MacArthur reminds me,
True Christianity is not about adding Jesus to my life. Instead, it is about devoting myself completely to Him—submitting wholly to His will and seeking to please Him above all else. It demands dying to self and following the Master, no matter what the cost. In other words, to be a Christian is to be Christ’s slave. (John MacArthur, Slave, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010) 22.)

I shall close this post with scripture from John regarding “fruit”. It says,
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:4-11. ESV.)

(Photo Information: Bing Public Domain)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Honestly, I am More of a Star Wars Fan Than a Trekkie

Man, I have to admit I am bummed I did not win but congratulations to Adam, who did win! Yes, I entered the contest. I thought it would be fun!

And for a little extra enjoyment:

And, this prank reel I cannot embed but here's the URL. It's pretty funny.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

He Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart

Two weeks ago was an exciting day for me and today was the grand finale of a season. I am not sure if I ever adequately relayed my fervent prayers to move, here, and I doubt I successfully explained my situation. I feel that, perhaps, is a post for another day. However, to effectively show you Christ Jesus, God, and the mercy and grace in my debacle of epic proportions, I will give a little bit of background and hopefully not get lost in it.

I moved to California when I was relatively young. Three years out of high school I sought adventure. I worked oversees for nine months and when I returned, I packed all of my stuff, had it shipped west, said goodbye to family and friends, and hopped on a flight. Why is not important. The bottom line is, it was not God’s will and I made a HUGE mess of things. Further, although I met some really wonderful people in California who will always have a special place in my heart, I never should have went there. I can be honest with myself and say that, now.

I tried for seventeen years to make my move to California work out. I really did not have anyone to show me around when I first got there so I made the best of it. I knew a small group of people, with whom I had worked oversees, and met up with them from time to time. But, life is busy. We had to make money to survive the steep cost of living in California so everyone worked quite a bit. I auditioned, since my training was in ballet, tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, and acrobatics, for various theater, theme park, and cruise ship jobs but ended up working days for a real estate organization and evenings in a restaurant. I even did a little “extra” work for television. Those were in Southern California. When I moved to Northern California I did various things like teach dance classes, work in a restaurant, work as an office administrator, and substitute teacher. As I mentioned before, I met some truly great people. But, I also experienced considerable heartache and stress. Great financial stress, a significant car accident, a broken water pipe in my residence, highly negative relationships with a handful of individuals who not only lied, cheated, threatened, and stole from me but also whose words and actions were very toxic and destructive. Eventually, I reached a level of anxiety that resulted in panic attacks, chest pressure, etc.

For twelve years I prayed fervently, many times through tears, begging God to make a way for me to move back toward the east coast and my family. It did not have to be all the way back east, but I asked for at least halfway. June of 2015 my prayers were answered. God in all His amazing grace and mercy, despite my disobedience and foolishness, provided! Yet, that is not the end of the story. I have been able to reconnect with old friends who now live in the great state of Texas, as well. What’s more, the weather has been beautiful, reminds me of where I grew up, and makes me feel at “home”.

Two weeks ago, I turned in my California driver’s license for a new Texas one. It symbolized the end of a turbulent journey and stormy season. Thankfully, I have Jesus in my “boat” and He gives me strength, wisdom, courage, and peace that surpasses all understanding. Perhaps one day, if I meet you in person, I will give you the story in its entirety. For now, it is my heart’s desire to show you God in all of it. That is what is most important anyway, right? Today, I rejoice in closure. I received my official Texas driver’s license and it serves as a reminder to me how God heard and answered my prayer.

4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
(Psalm 37:4-7. ESV.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Seek Justice, Correct Oppression

27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27. ESV.)

Most of the time, I work with children. I have taught dance classes, Sunday school, been a substitute teacher at a private school, and a court appointed child advocate. Currently, I am working to finish my bachelor’s degree so I may attend law school and become an attorney for children in the foster care system/ dependency court.

Sometimes, though, I also serve the “widow”. However, she is not always the one whose husband has physically died. At times, she is the one whose husband is “spiritually dead”. Or, she may be a wife, and mother, whose husband is abusive and/or has left her, and their children. (Side bar: I know it can go both ways. I have seen women who abuse their husband and children, too.)

Wednesday, I became very excited for a campaign I recently became aware of on Facebook. Admittedly, I am not a Facebook fan but it is one of the top social networks for marketing and is an effective tool on that level. Though Snopes points out various issues with “the black dot campaign” such as,
The black dot campaign is merely one person’s idea for helping victims of domestic violence. It is not an officially-sanctioned program; it is not taught to police officers, doctors or anyone else who may be able to help someone in an abusive relationship. While victims of domestic violence can certainly draw a black dot on their palms, they should not expect that symbol to result in aid. (Read more at
I feel it is raising awareness and maybe even offering hope to those trapped in such a relationship who feel isolated and imprisoned. Though someone would not be able to wear a black dot on their hand around their abuser, they would be able to quickly draw one on at school, work, church, or anywhere else in public where the abuser may not be present. A symbol is easier than speaking words, sometimes.

So, although there are issues, as Snopes has pointed out, at least now there is more awareness. Child abuse, spousal abuse, elderly abuse, etc. is very difficult in nature, confusing, heartbreaking, etc. Oppressors can be highly manipulative and come across as charming in public. The one on the receiving end of the maltreatment most times still loves the one that hurts them and would never want to cause them harm. Other times they are afraid. And though God’s word teaches us to not fear man it also instructs us to be wise! Try it sometime when you are being hit, punched, kicked, threatened, screamed at, belittled, terrorized, manipulated, etc. Please do not down play it or tell someone on the receiving end they should not be afraid especially if you are not speaking from experience on the matter. Not everyone responds to stress the same way. It takes a lot for an afflicted person to reach out for help for MANY being the #1 concern. PLEASE be as eager to help the “widows” as you are the children. Give her the benefit of the doubt even if you are not sure…her life, health, and wellbeing, and those of her children, might depend on it. You were sent by God to assist her, to take her to a professional regarding the matter. Just as God has provided doctors to serve those who are physically sick or injured, He has provided those who can be of service to those who live with abuse and neglect.

learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow's cause.
(Isaiah 1:17. ESV.)

A Couple Domestic Violence resources:
Family Violence Prevention
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

(Photos by Verdens Gang.)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Home Decorating Never Looked So me

I am not going to lie, I am terrible when it comes to home decorating. I can hear a piece of music and choreograph a dance production in my mind but I cannot envision a living room with furniture, rugs, and wall hangings that looks lovely. If someone placed me in an empty room and said, “Here is your canvas, have at it!” The results would be disastrous! There would be no theme, no rhyme or reason to anything other than the fact, I liked it. For eleven years we owned a house and the only thing I ever did to decorate it was have it repainted, once. That in itself was a project I started and then had to have a professional come in and finish it…or rather redo it.

However, while studying marketing, I came across a home décor site that looks promising for me! It is called and has some great ideas I can copy for my home! My favorite items, currently, are the Hall Trees. I had never heard of this website before but it has my attention, now, especially since we just moved a few months ago and we would like to replace some of the furniture we have had for a long time. Below are just a few examples. There are a multitude of ideas on the site.

Mudroom by
Hendel Homes

Doggie Foyer 2 by

Peggy Carman at Trend Interiors by
Trend Interiors

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Grilled Salmon with Orange Marinade

As a busy full time mother and full time student, I am always looking for delicious, quick, easy, recipes for a healthy dinner. Salmon, is one my kiddos will actually eat. This recipe comes from the Beachbody blog:

Grilled Salmon with Orange Marinade

"If you’re looking for an easy meat to marinade, salmon is a great go-to option. It quickly absorbs all the spices and seasonings of a sauce to create a flavor-filled dish." (Beachbody, 2015) Click here to continue with this recipe.

(Photo Information: Bing Public Domain.)


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