Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Beginnings

In my quest to honor God with my body, I have been exercising every morning and it leaves me with not enough time to sit, read my bible and write a blog entry. NO. No excuses. The reality is I have been in a slump without the motivation to delve into writing. I like to have the time to really contemplate what I am reading and not just toss out whatever I can each morning. So, in an attempt to get my motivation back I am working on some topics that I want to explore more and grow from. As I go through the exploring and growing, I will share with you what I have been enlightened to, what I have learned and how I am applying it to my life. This may or may not come to you daily but as the Lord guides.
I will also be starting the new year by doing a reading through the bible in a year plan. I will post the plan here when I find one and will encourage you to follow along with the reading plan and make comments to my entries about the readings.
Lord, we thank you for the thousands of chances for new beginnings you give us when we wake to each new day. Please forgive me for letting worldly life things control my everyday actions. Help me to do everything I do for your glory whether it be in what I eat, what I say, what I do, how I act and react and every aspect of my day. I give my life to you in words but help me to live that out in my life with actions. You are the one and only God in which all things are possible. Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 345

My daughter and I went to see the new Disney movie, Frozen last weekend. It had a great message about fear and how love conquers fear. I am not going to do a spoiler on this so no worries if you haven’t gone to see it yet.
Have you ever wondered how another person can be so fearless while you are shaking in your boots? It is a part of who God made us to be. Some of us will have lots of fears and some of us will be fearless. Some of us will have problems with anger and some of us have no problem letting our anger out. Some of us will feel worthless for no reason and others will think they walk on water. God made us each in a unique way but in this uniqueness is a place for God to come in and take those troublesome parts of us and make them into something beautiful. His love will conquer our fears. His love will conquer our anger issues. His love will make you feel worthy. His love can do all this and more for the inner parts of you that only He can see.
He has helped me overcome my low-self esteem, my feelings of being unloved, my fears of what others think of me, my fears of being assertive with my feelings. He continues to work on the inner parts of me, refining me and weeding out those trouble areas in the inner garden of my soul. Don’t wait for some unknown to come and help you with “your stuff”. Don’t think you can do it all by yourself. Allow God to work within you by being in his Word. Through His Word I have learned so much but I have also taken it and applied it to my life. Let His Word become a part of who you are.

Psalm 97:11 Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 344

In all my gung-ho-ness about Paleo, I ended up reserving a grain-fed, no antibiotics or hormones kind of turkey from Natural Groceries. Did I bother to ask about the price? Nope. I went for the best of the best. So, I go on Tuesday before Thanksgiving to pick up the turkey. It is a nice 18lber…and then they ring up the price. Ouch! $120. I said, “WOW, this better be the best damn turkey ever” and the checker says it is. My second thought was what is my hubbie going to think of this? Well, the cost didn’t come up until we were actually at the table with my brother’s family diving into the food. It turned out to be the best turkey I ever had but was the $120 price really worth it? The answer came through the voice of my daughter. My husband stopped everyone talking and said our daughter had something to say. You remember the commercial about Life cereal. Mikey liked it. She liked it. Now, this is a big thing because my daughter is by far the pickiest eater ever and is especially not fond of meat. She liked it and actually had some more. That made the cost of the turkey all worth it! The cost of Christ dying on the cross is worth it to God. Every time a new person chooses to believe in Jesus, God is smiling and his heart is saying he or she is worth it. That kind of love is unfathomable. Our salvation was paid for because of he loves us that much. Will I buy another $120 turkey? Probably not. I think it is best to let it be a treasured memory of the Thanksgiving of 2014 when my daughter declared she liked the turkey. Thankfully, Jesus took on the sins of us all so his death and resurrection are a done deal. The price has been paid. You just have to accept it.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, December 2, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 343

As you know, I have been eating Paleo which in a nutshell basically means no sugar, no processed foods, no dairy, no grain and no alcohol. I did the Whole 30 Challenge and did all these No’s for a full 30 days. I decided to keep eating Paleo but of course allowing the some exceptions within reason. I am pretty sure I blew my exceptions for the next month or so in this one last weekend. In any case, I am committed to making this way of eating a permanent lifestyle choice. I was eagerly anticipating my follow-up cholesterol appointment with my doctor last Monday. I had to go on a small dose of Lipitor in the Spring because my cholesterol had gone up into bad territory. One of the main reasons for going Paleo was losing weight but I also wanted to get my cholesterol down again through my diet. I actually went down a whopping 90 points! I told my doctor I was doing Paleo and committed to it so she said I was young enough to go off the Lipitor and do another cholesterol check in three months to see how much my diet is contributing to this drop. I have my results taped to my bathroom mirror. It is my goal to keep those numbers down so I don’t have to go on medication again. I am confident that with the power of God within me I can conquer this cholesterol for good.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice breakfast
Process cauliflower in your food processor so it becomes small like rice.
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in skillet. Add cauliflower rice.
At this point you can add chopped onions and garlic or if you don't have a lot of time just season with garlic powder and salt and pepper.
Add a 1/4 cup water to skillet and let simmer.
Add pre-cooked chopped bacon, turkey bacon or Canadian bacon.
Plate the cauliflower rice.
Cook egg in same skillet to your liking and top over rice.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 342

Self-control over what comes out of your mouth is SUPER challenging for me. It is most especially difficult when in a stressful situation. The other day I actually prepared myself for the frustrations that would occur at work by focused praying and yet I found myself later that day in a surprise I need this now situation. So, I scrambled to get together a couple of spreadsheets that could be used for a test import meeting that was starting as I spoke. Really?! You couldn’t have thought of this in the morning so I could have some time to prepare them. So, off I went rushing to get these spreadsheets done and sent when in comes what we like to call the “pit bull” co-manager because she is on top of things to get them done. My frustration was coming out of my mouth but I explained that I just got the call that this was needed which she didn’t realize so she leaves me be for about another minute and comes back. I tell her I am working it and have almost got it ready and then in SO my temperament way I said, “I can’t magically pull these out of my butt”. Well, she thought it was funny, which is what I intended for it to be to get her to back off. Unfortunately, she goes into the other manager’s office where the meeting is going to take place and tells those that are in there. They all were laughing about it but the co-worker on speaker phone in our Texas office was offended by it. So, I got a talking to about my language. Ugh. I felt so wounded and defeated and honestly was feeling like God didn’t help me. So, I was cranky and depressed for the rest of the day. The good news is I got over it and had to realize that with my forgiveness from God I had to forgive myself. I ended up reading from The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell and was just awed by how God works. He gave me some wisdom on this whole self-control over my mouth thing and gave me what to do. Here is an expert on the Law of Consistency chapter:

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future. As author and speaker Brian Tracy says, “From the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to sleep at night, your habits largely control the words you say, the things you do, and the ways you react and respond.”

So, I thought to myself how can I make my responses to people become loving, gentle and kind even in the midst of impatience, frustration and stress? I already had memorized this scripture but realized it was something I had to use constantly for every action, words I say and responses and reactions I make. Scripture is the sword of the spirit. It can overcome my weakness in my self-control over my mouth but it will take patience and persistence. Growth doesn’t happen instantaneously which is where my down on God attitude came from the other day. God is patiently persisting in working on and refining me. So, I thank him for this wisdom and will work on using his word as my daily defense against the weakness within me to turn it into a strength that glorifies God.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 341

I found this analogy of the trinity a while back. What a great reminder as the sun out there every day. You could go further with the analogy in saying that the clouds are our sins blocking our view of God. That's probably why I love it when I see rays of sunshine shining through a break in the clouds. Jesus brings us hope like those rays of sunshine bring us hope that the clouds will pass and we will be warmed by the sun again.

One way Bible students have tried to explain the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is to compare the Triune God to the sun in the sky. They say that God the Father is like the sun, Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, is like the light streaming from the sun because he made the Father known to us. And then they say that the Holy Spirit is like the unseen heat generated by the sun and its light. It’s not a perfect illustration for it may give the impression that the Son and Holy Spirit are not as great as the Father (and they are), but it does a good job of emphasizing that the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit yet they are all somehow connected, in fact are one God, not three gods.

Monday, November 25, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits-Day ??? Maybe 340?

Definition of Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset; the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain, without complaint, loss of temper or irritation or the like.

As I sat praying this morning in the quiet of my basement, I gave thanks and praise to God, prayed for specific things for my husband and children and ended by praying for myself and being patient, kind, gentle and loving within the circumstances I find myself today. I small light bulb lite up in my head and I thought I can’t be these things without the Lord so I adjusted my prayer to ask for help to put on the filter of Jesus that would guide my responses to any challenging situations. I have always had a reactionary response especially to things that frustrate or make me angry but with the Lord’s help I can choose to take the filter of Jesus and use Him and his perfection to guide my responses. Stop, pray and breathe before responding. Stop, pray and breathe. Stop, pray and breathe. Stop, pray and breathe.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-I have lost count of the day!

I went to my church website and listened to the sermon from last Sunday again. We had a guest pastor preaching and there were some things said that were spoken too quickly or in such a way that I didn’t understand. But those things I did understand were so enriching that I had to listen to it again to see if I could hear the other parts. He mentioned that the bible said many are the afflictions of the righteous and the Lord delivers him from them all. The book I am reading on Expository Listening explained that discerning what we are listening to is a part of growth. If we hear someone preaching on something that he says is in the bible, we should be verifying it to be truth. So, I did my research and found the verse the pastor was referring to: Psalm 34:19. In looking over this verse and highlighting it in my bible, I underlined the words “the Lord delivers him”. I can’t think of how many health/medical issues have come up over the past decade of my life. The Lord has delivered me from them all. I wasn’t instantly healed but rather God was refining me in the process of the healing with having more patience, gaining peace in the circumstance, being kind, gentle and loving despite the hurts and pain and so many other aspects. The whole point of the sermon was the truth of our hope in Christ and how we need to focus on the blessing of Heaven awaiting us.

Psalm 34:19 A righteous man may have troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Friday, November 22, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 338

I wrote the prayer below on Day 8 last year. I said this was something we needed to pray for every day. So, I prayed it once the day I wrote it and proceeded to forget about it. I know there are other prayers I wrote that have been saved on my computer but left to collect cyber dust. I decided to make a prayer wall down in my basement where I can sit on the floor and pray and have some visuals to use to spur my prayer on. It is a creative venture so it won’t happen overnight but I am looking forward to adding to this wall as often as I get a chance. Like a song says, “whatever your will, Lord,  whatever your will, help me find it”.
 Father God, you are the ultimate authority figure for us.  Forgive me for not listening to your command, for not discerning what you want for me to do, for not loving you and others as I should. I do not have it within me to do it so I ask the Holy Spirit to open my heart today to see you and hear you, to know what your will for me is and to love you and others like there’s no tomorrow. With you all things are possible. Amen.  


Thursday, November 21, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 337

I am starting a review of the last year's blog entries to remind myself of what I said and find out how well I am doing with it. It is important to go back over your experiences in the past year and review the insights you were given. Most importantly, it is a chance to gage how well you are taking those insights and applying them to your life. This is an excerpt from day 3 when I wrote about love. I have my scrapbook page created called "like a seed" in my slideshow that is a great visual reminder of this concept of being a unique creation of God and how we need to see each of us as unique not just in terms of how we look, what we say or do but how we feel or don't feel. Think of yourself as a plant. Come on!! Use your imagination. I would like to think of myself as my favorite flower, the gardenia. I started as a gardenia seed planted in my mother's womb by God. Do I look like a gardenia bush today? How has the environment affected me? Am I full of flowers creating a beautiful scent for those around me? What can I do to trim the gardenia bush so I can flower more? See how it goes.... Give it a try.... I would love to get some responses on this one telling me what plant you have chosen and what questions you come up with about your plant.

Our uniqueness creates a lot of the complexity in regards to love but if we can start to really see each person as a unique creation of God, we may be able to understand and forgive when we are not feeling the love.

Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for you are my God. Your Spirit is good: lead me in the land of uprightness.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 336

I have been pondering the word rely since Monday when I got through my day without calling on God for help. I resorted to doing it my way and I was frustrated, angry and even said something that offended someone. To make matters worse, I knew I was not being a very good example of Christian love and the fruits of the Spirit had turned sour. I was a mess and instead of taking my stress to God and dealing with it in godly ways I went home had a glass and a half of wine (that is a lot for me these days) and then proceeded to let go of self-control and ate too many chocolate almonds. I woke up the next morning feeling very sorry for my pathetic display and asked God for forgiveness and help on being better prepared to handle my day at work that is extremely challenging right now. That word “rely” popped in my head so I tried looking it up in the concordance of my bible but it wasn’t there so I did a search on line for scripture about relying on God and was led to what I needed. I gave me a good visual and for me a visual works so well. God led me to another visual too of a father walking with his daughter holding her hand and as they go down the path they encounter a big pile of sticks in the way so the daughter looks up to her father and asks what they should do. My pile of sticks is my current workplace and the challenge of dealing with another culture and a communication barrier in the middle of 5 butt-loads of work that keeps piling up. Prayerful preparation with my Daddy and the visual tools helped me get through my day with patience and gentleness and my self-control was focused on what would glorify God.  The visual brought me instant peace and a smile to my face every time. If you have encountered a pile of sticks in your path, look to our Daddy and let him help you decide the course you should take.

Jeremiah 17:5-9 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 335

Please forgive me for being missing in action. I got a flu bug and then put all my focus on completing a project for a scholarship opportunity. I am excited about the possibility of getting this scholarship. The key component to it is submitting a creative piece. I was praising God when I read about it thinking this is so right up my alley. I had already been scrapbooking my study on temperament theory which helped me learn and soak in the knowledge I was reading but little did I know that it would become a tool to use in my future counseling practice but also a means to sharing about Temperament Theory and Jesus and God willing to win the $1000 scholarship. Please take a look at the slide show on the Faithbooking Gallery page on the blog and let me know what you think. At some point all the creative pieces submitted by everyone for this scholarship will be posted on some public media where the public will be able to vote. I will let you know when and where and hope you will share this with all you know and ask them to vote for my creative piece. As always I am forever grateful to God for leading me on this journey and giving me the means to share it with you.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Monday, November 18, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 334

I have been seeing a lot more “yield” signs lately thanks to our new round-abouts in our area. It is a good message to let you know it is not about “you”. You can’t just drive into a round-about without some thought. That “yield” sign is a reminder to slow down and allow any cars already in the round-about the right of way. Our life with God is much the same way. Every day God is putting “yield” signs in our path trying to remind us to slow down and allow God to lead the way. In the week ahead, let us be looking out for those “yield” signs from God. I would love to hear from you on what kinds of “yield” signs God puts in your path in the week ahead.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, November 14, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 333

Do you ever think of God as your Father? Apparently, when Jesus taught the disciples how to pray this first part in calling God “Abba” was revolutionary. An intimate relationship with God as our Father was unheard of. Think of the most intimate relationship you have? Now, imagine that same kind of relationship with God. I can picture a father and son sitting on a pier together fishing or a girl holding her daddy’s hand as he leads her to her school. And what about a young lady who has just had her heart broken by her boyfriend and her dad just holds her in his arms as she cries. Our Father in Heaven is this kind of father. He is the one we can talk to about anything and everything. He is the one who will guide us as we move forward through life and he is the one who will wrap us in his loving arms when we are hurt and in despair. It brings tears to my eyes as I think of my wedding reception and the dance with my father. He was crying throughout the entire dance he was so filled with the emotion of love for me and how I was all grown up. Our Father in Heaven cries when we cry, laughs when we laugh, is sad when we are sad. There is nothing that compares to the love God has for us but the relationship with our earthly father or mother is a glimpse of what our relationship to God can be.

The beginning of effective prayer is the recognition that God possesses a father’s heart, a father’s love, a father’s strength and a father’s concern for the best interest of his children.

Luke 11:2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 332

I always consider “ceasing” mean not stopping but always doing. But the language the bible was actually written in and the translation can be not always what you think. Stretching ourselves beyond our selves is the key. It is about releasing the emotions and words in your heart to God in such a way that there is no matter to who hears or sees, only what is between you and God. I can’t tell you how bad I have been about the distraction of what others think when I pray or the hurriedness I often feel from my family as we do our bedtime praying. Lord, help me to let those distractions and things that are holding me back from fully expressing my heart to you go. My heart is yours and let that show in my prayers. Amen.

We are told that that “prayer was made without ceasing...” The word “ceasing” means “to stretch forth”. It is a medical term that refers to a stretched ligament or a pulled muscle. It has the idea of “going beyond the boundaries”. When applied to prayer, it is a picture of fervency. It is the picture of people pouring out their hearts in prayer before the Lord as they seek His face for their needs.

That’s the kind of praying we need to undertake. The promise of God is that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous men availeth much,James 5:16. The words “effectual fervent” refer to “energetic passionate” prayer. It is not prayer that is sluggish, lifeless, unconcerned, casual, halfhearted, blasé and apathetic; it is prayer that pours forth from a burdened heart. That kind of prayer reaches heaven and moves the hand of God.

James 5:16 The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 331

I have started some study on prayer and found a website with sermons by Charles Sturgeon. I love the idea of prayer being two-sided just as is any conversation. We often pray and may find ourselves wondering if God has heard us. The truth is He is always responding but are we truly open, ready and listening.

Prayer is a telephone by which God speaks in man. His Heaven is far away but His voice sounds in our soul! Prayer is a phonograph—God speaks into our soul and then our soul speaks out, again, what the Lord has spoken! Conversation must always be two-sided. God speaks to us in this Book—we must reply to Him in prayer and praise.

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 330

The scripture the sermon was on was Matthew 21: 28-30. It is a short parable Jesus tells about a father and two sons. The father asks the first son to go work in the vineyard today and the boys first response is defiant but later he ends up going and working in the vineyard. The second son is asked the same thing and his initial response is obedient willingness but he ends up not going to the vineyard. What did I learn from the sermon and this parable? My initial thoughts on these verses were that it was about obedience but the preacher of the day, Dr Earl Palmer was given some insight from God that he shared. He didn’t focus on the obedience but rather on what motivates obedience. Our relationship with God should be one of love, respect and total trust but as Dr Palmer pointed out Jesus is very well aware of our humanness. Both of the sons had flaws that motivated their thoughts and actions. We aren’t capable of responding as I considered as the “third” son who says he will go to the vineyard and does. I can’t do it alone. Dr Palmer brought up the idea of “lag” time. This is the time in between God’s call and our response. Instead of jumping the gun and saying I will or I can’t or I won’t, I need to give my heart and soul time in prayer and meditation. Let the Holy Spirit work on my heart and give me what I need to say “I will” and mean it. How can I make prayer a consistent part of my life? I am thinking my two big goals for the coming year will be prepare and prayer so I will be praying and taking notes on how to prepare for my growth in preparing and praying.

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord , the Holy One of Israel says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 329

Sadly, since I misplaced my little pocket notebook that I took notes in on the sermon each Sunday, I seemed to have gotten to a place where it doesn’t sink in. I have found myself one too many Sundays drifting off into a little worship time nap. What is going on? My heart is not prepared to receive the message that God is giving through the sermon each Sunday. In Expository Listening, I have been reading about this very thing. Being prepared. Oh, there is that word again. Prepared. I have lived most of my life by flying by the seat of my pants so being prepared and doing it consistently is foreign territory. But preparedness is key in so many things in our lives. Not just for our bodies and minds but for our spirit.  I never thought to find out what the sermon is going to be on and read the scripture beforehand. So, I went to my church website and found the worship tab and got the scripture the sermon was going to be based around. Our church goes even further and gives you a study guide for the sermon. Ahhh. Yes! So, I spent yesterday reading the verse and looking over the study questions contemplating… I am excited to hear the sermon and what God will convey to me through the words the pastor speaks. My heart is prepared. Yeah! Of course, the other big factor will be following up and asking myself the 4 questions. See the four questions on the right side on my blog for future reference. These questions will take you through what you have learned and will glue it into your heart.

"I am eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.

 In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other." Romans 1:12 [NLT]

Friday, November 8, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 328

Last night was my second beginner’s class at Crossfit. I have been sore since my first class on Tuesday so I wasn’t totally looking forward to it but I know now that it is a must. I am too tight everywhere, have no strength but thankfully I have a lot of determination. As I sat in the spa last night after my class, hoping my muscles would relax I thought of the old saying “no pain, no gain”. It reminded me that we will go through trials and tribulations throughout our lives but it is in those challenging times when we are most acutely aware of our need for God. Growth comes through our difficulties in life. While I think we can grow during those non-challenging-life is good times, I believe that real growth comes in those times of pain. It is a good reminder to know that although the trials and tribulations of our lives are tough, we have a God who will walk right beside us and hold us in his arms when we are hurting. We will get through the difficulties with God and know Him better, understanding Him more and grow by leaps and bounds in our relationship with Him.

2Corinthians 4:8-10 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 327

I have read some books about listening but the one I am reading now is about listening to the Word of God. The book is called Expository Listening by Ken Ramey. In the first chapter, he discusses how we are by nature not good listeners. It is because of the Fall and Sin that we don’t have the ability to hear God and obey him. Thankfully, we who believe in Jesus have the power of the Holy Spirit within us who will illuminate the Word of God for us and give us understanding and the power to obey God’s Word. This all makes perfect sense because of my study on temperament and how our soul is connected to our spirit but there is a wall up called sin that needs to be broken down with the inviting of Jesus into your heart. He will take a sledge hammer and break the wall down. But those bricks of sin will keep coming back and piling up so we have to call on the Holy Spirit to clean away those bricks of sin to allow our soul to truly connect with our spirit which is the way to connect to the Spirit of God.

Here is a section from the book:

We are all born without this key component (listening) that allows us to hear God’s Word. It’s as if we have been wired with an AM receiver, but God is broadcasting on FM. Without the indwelling and illuminating presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, all we are able to pick up is static.
Lord, help us to dial into your FM channel today and all our days to come. With you all things are possible. Amen.

Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 326

I began my journey with Crossfit last evening. Squats are my new best friend. Despite my lack of flexibility, I was able to consistently maintain the correct mechanics of the 3 different kinds of squats we were taught. In the end, it is not about what we have in terms of flexibility or strength but that we put are all into it and don’t give up. Our spiritual journey is much the same way; we don’t have all we need or change instantly when we accept Jesus into our hearts. But we can choose to not give up, study, keep praying, praising and worshiping and we will find blessing not only in the end result but in the journey itself.

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 325

I started reading the next chapter in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell; it is about the law of consistency. I so remember hearing that word a lot in those early days of motherhood. How consistency in discipline and setting up routines for your children are the key to building a good foundation based on order and obedience. Consistency really is the grounding factor. The attitude of the heart, the good works, the thoughtful prayers, the time taken to worship and praise the Lord can be done every day. We have the power within us by the Holy Spirit to consistently work at being more and more like Jesus. Maybe just maybe by the end of our lives, our grandchildren will say she was always there for me, always loving and always generous of heart. “Always” is what we strive for when we work on consistency.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Monday, November 4, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 324

Reflecting is such a powerful tool to use for growth. I have been doing it more lately and love the insight I gain from the experiences I have. Yesterday, I realized that I am not a giving person towards my husband in the ways that he needs but in the ways that I want to do. My selfishness is getting in the way of truly meeting my husbands need for recognition. I can’t tell you how many times he has done something for me and my response is either a pathetic thank you or non-existent. He gives and gives to me and my return rate is way too minimal. Reflecting gave me a chance to really look at what I did and how he responded to see the truth of my sin. Sin is like that. It masks itself to the point you don’t recognize it as a sin but reflecting allows you to put a magnifying glass over it and see it for what it really is. Take a magnifying glass and look over your experiences today and reflect on what those experiences show you.

Okay, and to make the point stick even more the sermon at church on Sunday was about saying “Thank you”. Talk about God putting an exclamation point on the insight he brought me.

2 Timothy 1:3

 ... I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 323

I am sure that other mothers in the world have said this same thing that my mother always said, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” It is a struggle when you are in a negative non-respecting environment as I am at my job. I have to literally bite my tongue often to keep myself from jumping on the bandwagon. I am not always successful at keeping my big mouth shut but as all things it is a process of growth. I am learning to step out of the room and go to the bathroom or put my headphones on and turn on the music and of course, stop and ask God to help me. Goodness starts with getting your mouth to speak only what is good. No negativity, no gossip, no backstabbing, no criticism, no evil words. I am on a mission focus this month to let only good come out of my mouth. I will pray when my day begins: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, My Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 And when my day ends I will confess for all those words that should not have come out of my mouth and praise God for all the good words that were spoken.  I will evaluate my words every day and put a happy face for good days, a straight face for good with a slip here or there and a sad face for those bad days when nothing good is coming out. My goal will be to consistently work on getting a happy face on my calendar every day. Join me in the mission this month to let only good words flow from our lips.

Matthew 12:25-37 “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. “

Thursday, October 31, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 352

Halloween. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love to dress up and be someone else for a day. It frees you of the inhibitions and fears you normally have and allows you to be whatever you want without the fear of rejection. Today I am the Dark Queen with black lip stick and all. Have fun, be safe and enjoy the treats with self-control. Happy Halloween!

1Corinthians 15:40-44 There are bodies in the heavens, and there are bodies on earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness. 42 It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. 43 Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. 44 They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Day-321

My bible study is working on The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell. We had a good discussion on chapter 4 which is about the law of reflection. I love what he said about experience. It is not the experience that makes you grow it is the evaluation of the experience. I think for most of us have random growth moments but what if we really took the time to stop and reflect each day on what we may have learned for that day? How much more growing we could accomplish! As I drove home from work yesterday, I thought about that question, “what have I learned today?” I ended up having a great learning moment. I realized the stress I feel from work is because of my drive to be recognized and successful. The work I do is done well and I do what I can so stressing about the rest of it waiting for me the next day isn’t going to make it go away any faster. I realized God wants me to just take pause in my plowing through work to focus on Him and give it to Him. I am doing my best and the rest is for God.

Matthew 25:23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 320

I took my daughter to Boo at the Zoo this weekend. By the end of the evening, I was saddened by the actions of my daughter. While she did exercise self-control in eating the candy, her attitude had me thinking candy has become too important in her life. It was all about the candy. Can you worship candy? Yes, anything that takes your thoughts away from the Lord has become too much a priority in your life, too much an obsession, too much on your mind. So, while I have to pray my prayer for my own self-control, I need to pray with my daughter for her to turn away from the candy is everything attitude to thank you God for the blessing of these sweet treats and help me to exercise self-control and respecting the body you have given me.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 319

Reward is a strong motivating factor for some people depending on their temperament. When it comes to spiritual things like self-control, this reward motivation can be very helpful. Now, this will take some imagination. God gave us an imagination. We can utilize it to help us in serving and glorifying God through our thoughts and actions. My sweet tooth is a constant struggle as you are already aware. But through the power of the Holy Spirit and using my imagination, I am going to imagine my reward for self-control is not only being and looking healthier but that in Heaven, Jesus will come to me and say “you did it!”
2Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 318

It is very common at this time of year to struggle to maintain control of what and how much you eat. It starts with Halloween and the plethora of candy. It is everywhere! If you are a candy lover, like I am, you understand how dangerous this time of year is. They only way to get a handle on this is to prepare for this danger. Write a prayer and pray it every day. This becomes an affirmation and a positive for your mind to focus on. My prayer this week and the coming holiday weeks will be straight from scripture.

1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 317

There are times when we have no words of our own. But we always have the Word and the words of other believers. I found this article on and it reminded me of my own catalyst moment when I realized my anger was due to my own selfishness. Since that moment and realizing the sin of my selfishness, I have been free of that anger and frustration that comes from those interruptions in life. Okay, mostly free. It still is a struggle during those days when my hormones make things abnormal but I face those difficult days with more hope, more peace and more strength knowing God is with me and will lead me if I let him. I watched a co-work literally almost explode this week from the stress of the mountain of workload that got dumped on her and interruptions were setting her off. The next day she posted a sign saying no interruptions until next week trying to head them off. Our own management of these interruptions of life and the stress we are under will take us only so far because we are created to work with God and let Him take these burdens. So, I will be praying for my co-worker that she may find the peace that transcends all understanding in Jesus Christ. Read this article below and let me know your thoughts.

I love poetry: to read it, to write it, to get lost in the language and the pictures. To savor the fragment that doesn't seem big enough or long enough, and yet it captures everything.

I love poetry, and in honor of National Poetry Month—and in keeping with the spirit of poetry, a shared, often oral tradition—I want to share with you a poem that has recently captured me. A poem that startled me with its haunting picture of simple generosity. Here it is:

Night Train Through Inner Mongolia

Now the child is a runny-nosed stranger

 you've finally decided to share your seat with,

 and the whole thing keeps heaving into the dark.

 The child sleeps unsweetly hunched against you,

 your side is slowly stinging, he has wet himself,

 so you do not move at all. I know you.


 You sit awake, baffling about a quirky faith,

 and do not shift until morning.

 This is why you are blessed, I think, and usually chosen.

—by Anthony Piccione, from his book The Guests at the Gate

I want to savor those last lines. They pierce me. I am challenged by this unknown passenger who would sit so silently and generously; who would give up comfort and personal space.

Am I so willing?

I find sometimes there is very little flexibility around me. Almost everywhere I go and in almost everything I do, I have an agenda, a purpose, and a mission … and I hate to be interrupted. And I'm not just talking about when I'm working, or writing, or running an errand. Of course I hate being bothered during those times. But I'm even talking about the times when I'm at leisure: taking a walk, reading in a coffee shop, fishing at a lake, reading my Bible. Even in those times when I have no pressing timetable, I'm hostile to interruption. Please leave me alone, I have no room for your need.

I bypass the beggar to avoid the confrontation, I ignore the widower on his walk around the lake as I bait my hook and turn away, I open my book and pay no heed to the child in the plane seat next to me.

What is wrong with me? When did I become so selfish? How could I be so cold to the humanity that surrounds me?

I see no such hostility in the life of Jesus. In fact, I see only a welcoming of interruption. Consider his interactions with the woman at the well—a conversation he welcomed when he was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. Or how about the centurion who stopped Jesus and begged for Jesus to heal his servant? Or the bleeding woman who touched his cloak for healing—he paused and called her out, not wanting to miss the opportunity for a deeper encounter.

I could go on.

Now, I realize that I can't stop for every person I encounter—that I can't sit and have lunch with everyone who asks me for money, or engage in a conversation with each person in the coffee shop. And I'm not Jesus, so I don't know when an interruption is an opportunity … and when it's just an interruption. But the question is: am I even willing to find out? Am I willing to let the Holy Spirit stop my schedule and interrupt my self-centeredness? Would I honestly welcome a strange and dirty child to huddle against me? Would I sit patiently if he made a mess on me?

I want to be this warm, this willing, this generous. So that I might be chosen. That God might use me to bless others.

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 316

Reality TV has a special quality to it. It’s real. I love to see the interaction between people and what is said and not said. It is really a fascinating study on people and our relationships with one another. Survivor is my long-time running favorite reality show. Last night, a tribe member that was in a 5 girl alliance made the choice of going to another girl in the alliance and suggested voting out another girl in the alliance that she was personally getting annoyed with because of all her strategy talk. Unfortunately, the girl she told went to “annoying” girl and told her. The “annoying” girl went to the girl that started this all and asked her if she talked to so and so about voting her off. The girl that started this all chose at that moment to lie. At tribal council, it was mentioned in the discussion that “trust has to be earned”. And yes, they voted out the girl that broke the trust. This morning as I was thinking on this statement I was able to see how our trust in God works in the same way as with others. Trust is earned. When we meet someone for the first time, some of us more than others will be more naturally trusting but the truth is that it will take some time and getting to know this person before a real trust is formed. This real trust, however, must be maintained. If you lie to a person like this girl did, that other person has lost their trust in you and it will take more time and effort to regain that trust. The beginnings of trusting God will come more easily for some depending on what has happened in their life and what kind of foundation if any was built with learning about God as children. But to get to that “real” trust you have to get to know God. The more you study and pray, the more time you are spending working on building up the “real” trust, the deeper that trust will go. You have to keep working on getting to the point where you really know God and with that knowing you will have a “real” deep trust in Him. The things that happen to us in this world will not shake you. You will be able to overcome all trials and tribulations because you know God is always with you, never fails you and will never forsake you. Evaluate your trust in God this week and commit to working on building up the “real” trust through prayer and study in His word. The reward of having that trust is valuable beyond measure.  

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 315

Admitting your weakness, that you need help or you can’t do it on your own is fairly common. It is the way God designed us. However, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can take this weakness and turn it into a strength that will glorify God. He made us with these potential weaknesses within our temperament so that we would turn to him and ask for help. He wants to help us in every way possible and nothing is impossible with God. I came across a person who didn’t like the idea that God would make us with weaknesses but it is only a weakness when it turns us away from God or creates barriers between us and God. He designed us to be in communion with Him. It is through our weaknesses that we are made strong with the help of the Holy Spirit. Do you have fears of failure, rejection or afraid nobody can love you? God does. He thinks you are fabulous. He thinks you are wonderful. He knows you can be a success with His guidance and wisdom. If a weakness is plaguing you, it is time to take it to God and ask for help. Let Him turn your weakness into strength.

2Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

365 Days of Sprit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 314

If you were asked what kind of plant are you and where are you growing? How would you respond? Each of us is a unique plant based on the seed that God created within our mother’s womb, probably even before that. Are you a rosebush, a pine tree, a grapevine, you name it? Will a rosebush thrive and produce beautiful roses if it is planted out in the desert? Will a pine tree survive a forest fire? Will a grapevine produce juicy grapes if it is planted where the sun doesn’t shine enough? Because each of us is unique based on who God created us to be, we need to transplant ourselves from wherever we may have ended up being planted to somewhere that will give us the nourishment we need to survive and thrive. That somewhere needs to be rooted in the Lord. A rosebush near a lake will get the water it needs. A pine tree beside a river will be protected by the river when a forest fire strikes. A grapevine near a stream with the sun shining down on it all day will produce those juicy grapes. Like a plant, we have to be transplanted in the Lord. The nourishment we receive is through His Word, worship, prayer and communion with other believers. Just as a plant needs good soil, sunshine and water, we need to live our life connecting to our nourishment through the good soil of His Word, the sunshine of worship, the water of prayer and the fertilizer that is our communion with other believers.  If we tap into all of these nourishing sources, we will thrive like never before. If you have not yet transplanted yourself into the Lord’s care, seek him in a simple prayer asking for forgiveness of your sins and let him take and plant you where you will thrive. If you are transplanted but are in need of some nourishment, you must make it a priority to nourish your soul every day in some way through His Word, prayer, worship or communion with other believers. No matter what kind of plant you are, you can survive and thrive when you are rooted in the Lord and seeking His nourishment daily.  

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Monday, October 21, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 313

I love when something is expanded upon in a way that would glorify God. My pastor did this on Sunday when he told the story about The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and proceeded to explain how the story could have been written. The basis of the story is about a boy and a tree. The boy always goes to the tree and wants something and the tree always gives it what the boy wants. This happens all throughout the boy’s life until in the end he is an old man sitting on a stump of the tree. Now, I haven’t looked further into this but I have seen that there are a few opinions about the meaning of this book. In any case, my pastor added to the story with the boy actually taking seeds from the tree each time he came and asked for something and scattered the seeds outward. In the end the boy was sitting on the stump of the tree looking out over a whole orchard of apple trees sowed by the seeds he scattered. God like this tree gives us 100% and we can take the seeds and scatter them creating blessing upon blessings or we can just sit with the tree and do nothing. At the end of my life, I like the idea of being able to see the orchard. How about you?

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'


Sunday, October 20, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 312

Are you just getting through day to day without really being awake? Being a follower of Jesus is something that is constant. We are not supposed to be Christian-like one day and that evening go out and forget who we are. Paul says as followers of Jesus we are sons/daughters of the light and sons/daughters of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. He calls us to not be like others but to live up to the calling God has given us through Jesus Christ. The word “alert” has been on my mind since reading this scripture from 1 Thessalonians. Being a Christian takes discipline. We have to learn to be in the Word, pray and keep the Lord in the forefronts of our minds daily. Without this daily discipline, we may find ourselves asleep and falling into worldly traps. Be alert and awake as evil is always waiting for an opportunity to prey upon us.

1Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 311

My world was rocked yesterday! Literally! I was sitting in my manager’s office discussing a work issue when suddenly the whole room tilted. My immediate reaction was thinking it was an earthquake. I spent the first 27 years of my life in California so it was no surprise I thought this way. I reached out and grabbed my manager’s desk in front of me and the room righted itself. It was a 2 second moment when my whole world was not right. My manager knew something was wrong and kept asking if I was okay. It took me a minute to even speak from the shock of it all. Others rushed in to help and 911 was mentioned at which I said no need to call 911. My heart was fine and I was not having any symptoms related to a heart attack or a stroke. It was definitely a case of vertigo but why? I was pampered for a while as concerned co-workers came and put on their thinking caps to trying to ascertain what might have happened. Blood sugar came up because of my Paleo whole 30 challenge so I was given treats to eat and told if it is low blood sugar that eating something sweet will do the trick in about 3 minutes. I still didn’t feel any better and my ear was starting to hurt so I called my doctor’s office and was told it sounded like maybe an inner ear infection and to have someone drive me to urgent care as my doc’s office had no openings. So, thankfully my hubbie was home from his 5 day trip to Vegas for work and my son was off school. They both drove down and my son drove my car home while we went to the urgent care. I was not surprised to hear from the doctor that my ear was fine. The cause was my TMJ. I have had more stress lately at work due to project after project loaded on me and have been feeling a tick under my right eye because of it. So, I am not surprised that my jaw muscles were flaming up and per the doctor the ear canal is extremely close. The swelling in my jaw directly affected my ear canal producing the vertigo. It has happened before but not in such a dramatic way so it all makes sense. It is definitely time to get this body really exercising to relieve the stress I am under. So Cross Fit here I come…

I am thankful to God it was nothing serious and pray he will guide me in dealing with the stress.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 310

I was intrigued by this scripture below about a seed dying to actually grow so in my typical fashion I went to Google and started searching. Here is a quick 2 minute article about the science behind seeds and how death is the beginning. And here is my 2 cents worth of insight: Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He took on that kind of torturous death for us so that we may have life but to have that life we have to nail our sins to that cross. The sinful nature within us must die for us to grow in the glory that God designed and hopes for us. Again and again I will say, putting our sins on that cross isn’t a one-time deal but a daily for the rest of our lives process. Start today with taking your sins to the cross so your seed can grow and be fruitful.

John 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 309

In the morning, I try to get in a ten minute indoor walk. Do a loop through my kitchen, living room and front office. During this walking time, I like to pray but I find that I am easily distracted by the stuff I am seeing on my walls, tables and counters. I end up thinking about other things rather than having my conversation with the Lord. So, this morning as I was going through this same thing, I chided myself for doing it again, going off to thinking about other things. So, I got myself back on track and was walking with my head down just looking at the floor in front of me. That’s when God gave me a beautiful light bulb moment! If we are truly going to focus on the Lord we have to be looking down at the footsteps He puts before us. It is like when you are out hiking in the forest, you have to keep your eye on the ground before you otherwise if you are looking ahead or looking back, you will find yourself tripping over a rock. I love the visual of the footprints in sand or snow when you are trying to step exactly in the footprints in front of you, one step at a time. Lord, thank you for this moment of clarity and giving me a visual to help that sink deep into my heart. Follow you, you ask and I will follow one step at a time in your footsteps. Lead the way Lord. Amen.

Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you always.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 308

In order for us to be fruitful, we have to understand that we have to let go of the worldly and embrace Christ every day. Not just on Sunday or the evening of your bible study but a daily “I am going to work on my relationship with the Lord”. Hmmmmmm Sounds a lot like advice people give to married couples. It takes work. God is doing his part as the Master Gardener but we have to get into our souls and pull some weeds, sow some seeds, work some fertilizer into the soil. Working means taking the focus away from ourselves and putting it on God and serving others. The work Jesus did on Earth and on that cross is our example. How can we let go of the busyness of life and embrace Jesus with all our hearts and minds? Ask yourself daily how can I be of service to (my neighbor, my co-worker, my spouse, my children, my grocery clerk, my boss, the lady behind me in line and so on)? Be in the Word and free yourself from self-thinking and live in the freedom of service that Christ calls us to.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Monday, October 14, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 307

I have found a three part sermon series on the fruit of the spirit that is very well written. The first part of the first sermon is setting straight that it is not fruits of the Spirit but fruit of the spirit. The nine character traits that are in Galatians 5:22: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are a parts of what we can have with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. And like all fruit(s) these character traits ripen and grow over time with the guiding of the Holy Spirit and our daily walk with God. Here are two statements from this first sermon that state in a clear way what that “Fruit of the Spirit” is:

Fruit of the Spirit is a physical manifestation of a Christian’s transformed life.

Fruit of the Spirit is the visible growth in Jesus Christ.

Take some time to meditate on this today and let the Holy Spirit speak to you about your character traits and how the ripening process is going.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 306


The movie After Earth with Will Smith is filled with parallels of biblical concepts. There was one of a beautiful example of how the Holy Spirit is always with us. When we are really connected to God then the power of the Holy Spirit grows within us. The movie is about a father and son who find themselves back on planet Earth which is currently hostile to human survival. The father sends the son out on a mission to save them both otherwise they will die. But the son has a communication devise on his arm and a video devise on his back that keep him in contact with his father and the father is able to see everything that could try to harm his son. The son finds himself in dangerous frightening scenarios and the father calmly talks him through them, helping him calm his fears and focus.
Over the course of the mission, the son is growing in his confidence and finds himself rebelling against the father. The son ends up doing something very dangerous and ends up without his communication devise so he can’t talk to his father and hear his father. But his father can still see all that is happening and is still talking to him like he can hear him. There was a beautiful moment when the father was talking to the son to calm his fears and the son not being able to hear the father was grounded in what the father had taught him. So when the father says , “take a knee” , the son was taking a knee. In the end it was like the power of the Holy Spirit came to fruition within the son and gave him the power to conquer his fear. The father was with him every step of the way.  Our journey of faith is like this mission: we accept Jesus into our hearts, work on building a growth foundation and connecting relationship with God and the Holy Spirit will work within us and the fruit of that relationship will be demonstrated in our character. Fostering that relationship is the key to the fruit of the Spirit growing within us.

2Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 305

I started reading some sermons regarding the fruit of the spirit and came upon this one that explained what fruit is. The link to the full sermon is below:

Because, you see, these qualities are fruit. And you can’t make fruit, can you – well, there is doubtless an Apple factory somewhere, but that’s something different. You can’t go and watch a banana being made, or the peel being put on an orange. Fruit grows. It’s the farmers and the growers who produce fruit, not factories or mills. The farmer, or the market gardener, does a great deal to protect the fruit trees, and see that they aren’t eaten by pests, or get too dry, and that the trees have been pollinated so that the fruit can grow, but basically they have to be patient, and wait for the fruit to grow and ripen.

And so do we. We can’t manufacture love, or joy, or gentleness, or the other qualities Paul mentions. But we can help them grow.

How? Well, obviously first of all by really being God’s person, not just in Church on Sundays, but allowing what we do on Sundays to affect the rest of our week. Ideally we should try to take time to be with God, even if only for a few minutes, every day. John Wesley reminds us of the “means of grace” of prayer, both private and corporate, the Holy Scriptures and Holy Communion. He points out, in his famous sermon on “The means of grace” that these things aren’t powerful in and of themselves, but only insofar as they bring us towards God. We can pray until we’re blue in the face, Wesley says – well, words to that effect, anyway – but it’s not our prayer that changes things, it’s God working in and through our prayers. And, of course, Wesley reminds us, it’s not praying or whatever that makes us a Christian – it is God’s grace alone that can do that.

Psalm 1: 1-3  Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose lead does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Friday, October 11, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 304

Here's a little godly humor to celebrate Friday! Be filled with Joy!


Left & Right...

Origin of Left & Right...


Have you wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right"

and Liberals are called the "left"?


I happened to stumble upon this Bible verse: 

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)


Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen.
Can't get any simpler than that.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 303

Yesterday was the final day of the Whole 30 challenge. I made cauliflower rice for the first time and fell in love. This morning I get on the scale to see what 30 days has done and was disappointed to see only 2lbs down. But I have to remember I actually, started 3 weeks before the challenge cutting out things and lost 5lbs in those three weeks. I am not to the goal I set myself but I do feel better and have found that I don’t need the snacks and don’t get the shakiness like I use to. I am going to keep going with this way of eating as I have found I really enjoy the freshness of the foods and the new foods I have tried. I may never eat pasta or rice again thanks to spaghetti squash and cauliflower. Who knew? I am going to persevere and keep on this race in eating healthy and let the natural course of time do its thing. It takes one meal to gain weight but takes months to lose it.  So, I am going to call on the Holy Spirit to give me patience and help me with the self-control needed to eat in a disciplined healthy way.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Cauliflower Rice Recipe:
Pulse cauliflower in food processor until small size, like rice.
Heat pan with coconut oil.
Saute chopped onion and garlic.
Add cauliflower rice and stir for about a minute.
Add a couple tablespoons of chicken broth and simmer and stir for another 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.