Sunday, December 28, 2014

Melaque Beach

Adventure awaits, and away we joyfully go! A recommended hotel by mi amiga from church. Just 4.5 km to the north of Barra off highway 80 in Jalisco are the tri-villages of Melaque, San Patricio and Villa Obregon.  Playa Melaque shares Bahia de Navidad, a popular spot for swimming.  Population is 12,000 and there are many great places to eat and sleep. Hotel Puesta Del Sol is my choice. Drive the toll road 540 to 110 and get there from Chapla in 4 hours. Simply call and make your reservation MEXICO PHONE: 315-555-5797

Friday, December 26, 2014

Smoking Hot

One year ago today, January 2, 2015 Mike and Barb arrived in Mexico. What a fantastic adventure it has been to move to a new culture, community, country and church!!! Today we celebrate our first year in Mexico with a BBQ in our lushly green patio. Mike was surprised and delighted by his 2014 Christmas gift. A stainless steel grill that is fed fuel from our gas supply tank on the roof! Our Char Broil TRU Infrared gas grill heats up to a smoking hot 700 degrees. Infared energy is comprised of those frequencies beyond visible light. Traditional grills heat with hot air which drys out meats. The Infared energy strikes the food and causes the
molecules to vibrate, and cook meats quickly. Infared is the technology that fine restaurants have used for years. As per directions, we seasoned our grill grates, like a cast iron skillet, this optimized our grills performance. Brushing the meat and grates with peanut oil, we sizzled up a couple of thick pork chops in just 6 minutes!! We enjoyed juicy delicious chops lightly topped with a brush of apple-cinnamon jam, served with garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, and a fresh avacadoe. 2015 will be especially tasty and wonder filled as we now have all our construction projects completed. In 2014 we installed a water purifier system, new wiring, a fireplace, a screened in patio, got the waterfall working, landscaped the front and back patio areas, painted interior and exterior, purchased a new car and established ourselves with a local doctor and dentist as Permanent Residents in Jalisco, Mexico.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A GREAT RECOVERY

This is authentically polished Gold for readers who enjoy great fiction. A tale that transports us is what we hope and long for. In the pages of "To Refine like Silver" Jane Austen's stern Mr. William Darcy of Pemberly was quickly evaluated and teased by Elizabeth Bennett upon there initial introduction by her uncle Mr. Gardiner. "Whoever this man was, he was trying desperately not to show his emotions." Mr Darcy was impressed by Elizabeth's sparkle and her smile but he was not accostomed to being teased as women usually showered him with flattery. Lizzie was different from any other woman he had ever encountered and he instantly wanted to get to know this vibrant woman. He gallantly accepts the invitation to dine with Miss Bennett and Mr. Gardiner, with his sister Georgiana. "Please, Georgie. As your brother and guadian, I insist that you accompany me tonight.  I am not blind to your pain and sorrow." It was difficult for Georgie to attempt to smile or make conversation as shame filled tears leaked from her eyes. Elizabeth Bennett showed compassion for the melancholy state of Georgiana. Elizabeth suffered a similar sadness, and she eventually shares her victory in overcoming due to the love of God, her father and Jane. Elizabeth is compelled to help Georgiana do the same. A friendship is forged. With Mr. Bennet's background as a clergyman, it is clear in the writing of this book that Elizabeth's faith is profoundly important. Elizabeth was delivered from her depression by trusting in God and relying on His word and obediently forgiving others. Most Austen authors neglect the historically accurate fact that Jane Austen's father was a minister. Her world, her writings, and her fanciful measurements of Pride and Prejudice were indeed spiritually conceived. There are many positive messages found in "To Refine Like Silver". The title alone is God inspired. The spiritual illuminations are accentuated in most of Elizabeth's conversations. Nothing overtly religious, yet impactful to the readers of fiction. The pages turn quickly as it is a refreshingly sensative account of recovering hope.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JOY and Contentment

Taste the Word of God, and like a carbohydrate, it will increase your spiritual appetite. Only God's word can satisfy the souls hunger for truth. Add the Word to your diet and find yourself content and satisfied. Listen and delight your soul by listening and watching the beauty of this walk and talk with God.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elegant Dining

LaMision is a special place that you will want to return to, again, and again with friends. The food is excellent and the ambiance is elegant. The best thing about LaMision is the quality they maintain at fair prices. It was an occasion to celebrate with very dear female friends and LaMision did not disappoint! Being girls, we love to have a reason to dress up and on December 2, 2014 the six of us enjoyed a fabulous atmosphere while being attended to like queens. The duck salad was delicious, the steaks were superb, the prime rib was mouth watering, and the wine was smooth. Michael and Esperanza Ritchie seated us at a lovely upper level table that enabled us to giggle and chat for hours without being interrupted. The servants at LaMision all dote on you as if you are family. LaMision has a mission to feed the hungry around Lakeside so all profits are used to accomplish a great need in our community. If you dine at LaMision on a Sunday after church and mention to the waiter that you are a Christian, you will receive a 10% discount. It is more blessed to give than to receive so treat your friends to a fine dining experience and tip generously with confidence. It is located in West Ajiic off the Carretera. Turn LEFT at the huge HOTEL DANZA sign on the Carretera. Address Rio Bravo #7. Plenty of parking. Click the link on the right and read a wonderful review with pictures of the food.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tame Thy Tongue

Our holy God expects that we tame our tongues. "Do NOT let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do NOT grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, (sarcasm) slander and every form of malice, BE KIND and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you" Ephesians 4:29:29-32 Are we wise to be reluctant in speech?  Are the quiet folks timid or mature?  Charles Baker shared his utter amazement as he over heard an untamed tongue at a soup kitchen. This chatty, proud volunteer, while serving the homeless....went on and on and on...about his vast experience in ministering to the poor in other countries. God says "I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Proverbs 8:13 We must examine our motive behind our words. Will our comment build up others...or are they intended to benefit our self importance? "In the pride of your heart ...you think you are as wise as a god..." Ezekiel 28:2-7 It was NOT easy for Ezekiel to speak this truth the the prideful king of Tyre, and then Ezekiel was reminded by God to take up a lament concerning the king, to NOT rejoice when others are self-deceived to believe they are without sin. We must THINK before we speak and wisely employ a filter between our proud mind and our ever-ready mouth. Were the words of this prideful missionary helpful, necessary, or inspiring to his hungry audience? Was he intending to bring God or himself glory? Boasting while serving is very unattractive!  God knows our hearts, and our intentions. Have you ever known a chatter box?  Have you sought their wise counsel, or do you avoid them?  A fool is a person who persists in the telling of too much unwanted detail without regard or sensitivity to the body language of those distancing themselves.  They seem to be blind to the rolling eyes and disinterest of those obviously tuned out.   Politely we endure the curse of an untamed tongue, and ponder this wisdom:  
"When words are many, sin is NOT absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19 -----The sin may very well be our NEED to speak and NOT hold our tongue.  "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 ---- Mature Christians guard their speech, they are quick to listen and slow to speak.  Charles then reminded all the men that their retired pastor LC rarely shares during bible study, but when he does speak, wise men in the room ponder deeply every word LC shares.  WHY? "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have all been made in God's likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers this should NOT be.....(What politician, pastor, friend, neighbor, lost soul, sports figure, news anchor have I cursed out loud or in my heart? ) ----Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the HUMILITY that comes from wisdom.  But if you
harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts DO NOT BOAST about it or DENY the truth. Such wisdom DOES NOT come down from heaven but is earthly, UNSPIRTITUAL, of the devil. For where you have ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first PURE; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."  James 3:9-18  We are to forgive others, and be considerate, full of mercy...as Christ is to us, and as He resides in us, and as we surrender to His omniscience, we are fully equipped to love others as we are loved.  "Brothers loved by God, we know that He has chosen you, because our gospel  came to you NOT simply with words, but also with POWER, with the HOLY SPIRIT." 1 Thessalonians  1:4-7.   We have the mind of Christ and the power and capacity to love those who annoy us, as Jesus did.  "Now about brotherly love....
we do NOT need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other....Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will NOT be dependent on anybody."  1 Thessalonians 4:9-13. God's will for us to be discerning, yet kind is a command.  God expects us to use our collective gifts to draw the lost to the Light in us...We do this effectively by smiling as we keep our hands busy, and our mouths shut. SUMMARY LESSON:  Our daily life, our humble quiet deeds are to give honor and glory to God, not attention to ourselves. "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception."  Proverbs 14:8. So says the Lord who knows the content of each heart..."The heart is deceitful above all else."  Brother James warns us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed, pure and holy before the Lord.  "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but he delights
in airing his own opinions." Proverbs 18:2. A fool usually airs their opinion without ever wondering what their audience has to say on the subject.  They feel best when heard, not in the hearing. We have all been annoyed by people who are insistent in giving their unwanted opinion.  "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning IF he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28 ~ "When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men" Psalm 68:18 "The very One who ascended higher than the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe...it was He who gave some to be evangelists, some to be pastors, some teachers...to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be BUILT UP until we ALL reach UNITY in the FAITH and in knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the WHOLE measure of the fullest of Christ." Ephesians 3:8-13

DELIGHTED to LAUGH

  1. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. PRV 31:25
  2. Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” G 17:17
  3. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” G 18:12
  4. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. JOB 8:21
  5. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance  ECC 3:4
  6. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. LUKE 6:21
7.      “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them. She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;  she cares not that her labor was in vain, for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense.

Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
she laughs at horse and rider. “Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting?  It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strengthand charges into the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword. JOB 39  ~ Just as fathers and mothers delight in the laughter of their kids, so does our Father, our Lord Jesus delight in our laughter! A cheerful dispostion

is great for your health.A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 ~ The news of gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.  Laughter and giggling at myself, or with others lifts my spirit and gives my Father pleasure.  Share an embarassing moment with someone, rejoice in what strikes you funny!  You know what I am talking about, those times when hilarity got you snorting and unable to speak without bursting into tears.  JOY comes in the morning, the evening, or anytime during the day, if you allow it!  During your next laugh fest, talk to God and give Him thanks for your funny bone!  God has a sense of humor,  He created us with the ability to laugh in situations that might cause the lost to worry or cry. WHY, because we have HOPE in the One who is unseen, and in the future He promised.  Laughter is good medicine for the soul, cuz the Holy living Word of God says so!  

Oh wonderful  Father, I thank You for laughter, Joy, and Peace. Thank You Lord for creating us to laugh that we can be refreshed in the midst of difficult times. (Psalm 30:5 ) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning!”  Lord my goal is to delight in You and give You great pleasure, in my obedience to LAUGH more and worry less!  If I could see myself as You see me, I certainly would lighten up and LAUGH at the days to come!  Thank You for filling us with Your Joy, and I ask that it overflows into the lives of those You bring into my space!  Lord let our laughter be an encouragement to all! In Jesus name I pray, Amen 

Friday, October 31, 2014

RUMINATE THE JOY

Are you a happy or a sad person? Where does your mind tend to go automatically?  Do you rejoice in your past victories, or do you continually mull over what you should have done? Emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety and self-hate are associated with a heightened sense of regret. People with high neuroticism – are those with the tendency to return to the negative, the bad experience.  NOT forgetting the past, and looking forward to employing lessons learned, their minds go up and down like a merry-go-round of what SHOULD have been. There is a brain map, a groove created by positive and negative memories. We must decide to interrupt the pattern of sad thinking in order to positively change our mood. People MUST choose to get off the roller coaster and walk with determination to NOT repeat their sad story, in their mind, or to other ears. People use effective strategies to regulate their emotions when calling to mind sadly negative auto-biographical childhood memories. Choosing to capture each thought and creatively re-framing it while seeking a NEW perspective is healthy. There is a blessing, a lesson from God tucked inside each experience. Choosing to NOT be a victim, we thank God for His way of building character in us.  We remember Him and all He suffered and we count our blessings. Common lessons found in hardship are:  patience, endurance, increased faith, and the SERENITY found in CONTENTMENT in this world, as it is, NOT as I would have it. It is GOOD or BAD according to our FREE CHOICE.  Letting go of the past, and expecting better things today, with HOPE for a greater eternal destiny, this choice gives troubled people peace and joy. Research finds a marked improvement for depressed people who work to challenge each negative memory.  Analysis of clinical studies revealed that both men and women who were high in extroversion (gregarious, assertive, stimulus-seeking) tended to remember more positive than negative life events. Neurotic people recall a greater proportion of bad memories and their minds are stuck in returning to the same negative memories again and again, a process called rumination. Rumination is known to be associated with depression. Depressed people maintain negative memories and as a result they feel sad. Feeling sad increases the tendency to have more negative memories. It is a vicious circle. None of the study subjects were diagnosed with depression, however, both male and female participants were likely to experience a lower mood after recalling negative autobiographical memories. Previous research has shown that being able to call up concrete, detailed memories that are positive or self-affirming can help to boost positive mood for people with a history of depression. SIMPLY PUT without extensive clinical research MEMORIZE this scripture and PRACTICE or RUMINATE on it daily. “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! ~ Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:1-9 ~ Sad people are encouraged to increase current social activity to replace old memory patterns. PLAN a happy event to RUMINATE in the future.  PRAISE God in ALL things ALWAYS, I say it again, seek God with all your heart, and you will find Him in the midst, beckoning you "Come to Me all ye who are heavy ladened and I will give you rest!" AMEN

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chapala to Puerto Vallarta

Mikey liked driving Suzie through GUAD at 5:00 AM to Nogales/Tepic on HWY 15 to miss the traffic.  All LEFT LANES through GUAD until you see the RIU hotel on the right. GET INTO RIGHT LANE.  EXIT to DETOUR 15D to Puerto Vallarta. Drive in right hand lane along 15 frontage road, past the RIU. RIGHT turn at LIGHT when GPS speaks. GET in LEFT lane, follow to the dead end, turn LEFT onto 15 D to PV.  AGAIN stay in LEFT lane towards JALA, NAYARIT.  Pass through (3) toll roads for total fees of 250 pesos one way.  Follow EXIT 15D to HWY 200 to Chapallia.  OXXO rest and bathroom stop.  Follow 200 to Compostela. Follow signs to Puerto Vallarta.  Through PV on 200, at the end of the city park, turn left, then follow road until you see LIBRAMIENTO, turn LEFT --- then RIGHT at the LIGHT, over bridge to GARZA. Life is great, retirement in Mexico makes road trips to exotic places a treat! More terrific adventures with friends coming up in November and December, we are thrilled to practice Spanish as we delight in this rich culture.
View Garza Blanca Preserve PV in a larger map

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Old Man and the Sea

Learning Spanish by watching Anthony Quinn in this classic tale with Spanish subtitles.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ONION MAGNETS

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor who visited many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their families had contracted the flu and many had died. The doctor came upon this one farmer and, to his surprise, all were very healthy. When the doctor asked the farmer what he was doing that was different, the wife replied she placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home.  The doctor couldn't believe what he heard.  The doc examined the onions under the microscope.  The doctor found the flu virus in the onion.  It obviously had absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.  ANOTHER ONION experience:  Several years ago, many employees  and customers of a beauty salon were coming down with the flu. The shop owner placed several bowls,
containing onions, around in her shop.  To her surprise, none of her staff got sick.  Many have proven that setting a bowl of onions our during flu season actually kept them from getting sick. Simply cut off both ends of a white onion and place it in an empty jar, at night place the jar in the room of a sick person.  The onion will be black in the morning from absorbing the germs.  The onion will be a mess, but the patient with the flu, a cold, pneumonia will feel better. Families that placed onions and garlic  around the house saved many lives during the black plague years ago. Both onion and garlic have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.  Many times when a person has tummy upsets, or rumblings
down in the GI, people consider all that they have eaten and don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that cause the rumble!  The reason onions are so good  at preventing us from getting colds, and flu, is that onions absorb bacteria.  This is also the reason we should not eat an onion that has sat for a time after it's been cut open.  How about those onions in the salad at your local buffet?  How long have they been sitting out?  LEFT  OVER  ONIONS  ARE  POISONOUS.   A tour through Mullins Food Products, makers of mayonnaise, revealed much about food poisoning. A chemist named Ed was the wiz kid who demonstrated various dangers with regard to exposed foods. Most people worry that mayonnaise will spoil.  Ed said all commercially made mayo is completely safe.  Mayo does NOT have to be refrigerated.  No cause for alarm or harm by refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary.  The pH in mayo is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment.  The summer picnic bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, did not cause upset tummys!   ONIONS were in the potato salad!  Onions are a magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. Never eat a portion of a sliced leftover onion.  Putting onions in a zip-lock bag in the fridge does not protect you from the sliced contamination of the onion that magnetized bacteria.  Onions on hotdogs at the baseball park or at Costco can cause you tummy rumbling. Leftover onions that are cooked like crazy are okay. Dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.  It is dangerous to cut an onion and plan to cook it the next day.  The onion becomes highly poisonous, even after a single night, and creates toxic bacteria.  The bacteria may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

CREATIVE COLLABORATION

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the wonderful way You created me.  Thank You for providing me with endless opportunities to be of service and to avoid a stale life of routine boredom. Thank You for giving me courage to take risks, to think outside the box, and to experiment. Thank You for giving me timeless commands without endless rules!  Thank You Lord for inviting me to ask You "What if...I go in this direction, will You go with me?"  Thank You for allowing me to make tons of mistakes, and for Your unmerited grace. Thank You for collaborating with me, and uniquely gifting me that I may excel in life. Thank You for Your generosity of time and unlimited resources, that I in turn may be generous towards others. Thank You for the freedom I have "in You" that allows me to live set apart, and independent from world views.  Thank You for Your mercy as I experiment with words and actions.  Thank You for motivating me from within, to do good and to be accountable.  Thank You for giving me plenty of work to do, and the strength to do it well.  Thank You Lord for never forsaking me, for always going before me, and leading me in the right way. Hallelujah !!! ~ Ability is what you’re capable of doing  ~ Motivation determines what you do. ~ Attitude determines how well you do it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MEXICO 2014 Traffic Laws

Knowledge gives confidence when driving in Mexico. We are full time residents in Mexico and we have been so blessed by the people and the pace. Lakeside traffic is like taking a country drive in the states. Being informed before you get behind the wheel is mui importante. Click link and learn: CHAPALA: JALISCO 2014 Traffic Laws

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PREJUDICE stilled

Prejudice then and now is a point of view, a perspective learned, not of God, but of this world. Harrison Ford portrayed Branch, a man that witnessed racial prejudice in his youth and did nothing about it. When he was in position to make a difference, he SHOOK UP the world by introducing the first black man in Brooklyn for the Dodgers. The number 42, the first and last number to be retired in baseball history - is because of one mans passion for the sport, and because of another man's tremendous GOD GIVEN courage to SUBMERGE his anger, and be changed from his inside out, by the spirit of God, for the greater good. Branch warns Jackie "PREPARE yourself to be wickedly trampled in public. You must face verbal abuse like Jesus did, with humility and silence. You must rise above all that is hurled at you. You must maintain WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST, for His namesake, for HIS greater glory ~ and win souls by your silent witness." Jackie was coached well and he learned to harness his thoughts,
his emotions, his old ways and submitted them unto the Lord, that as a nation we would embrace ALL men as equal, to the GLORY OF GOD. A great emotional performance in REAL LIFE, and in the movie 42! "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:5-11

Thursday, September 4, 2014

STOP WORRYING

SPEAK THE TRUTH in love.  This is a command, a word from God that gives us peace, only if we obey.  Withholding frustrations, not speaking the truth will fester and cause distance in our relationship to God, our mate, our kids, or with the person whose behavior is the cause of our inability to love, forgive or rest in peace. The dis-ease, the guilt, the shame, the anger, needs to be vocalized in a way that honors the feeling nature that God gave each of us. Taking responsibility for the way we choose to feel is to honor God.  Thanking God for the difficulty and rejoicing in the opportunity to connect more deeply with His purpose, ushers in the Holy Spirit Who is ever ready to help us, to commune in us, His wisdom, His understanding, His peace, and give us the words to speak.  Taking the time to be alone with God, to write a memo, to outline exactly what is robbing us of our joy, peace and ability to forgive, this exercise is how David worked through his various struggles which turned into Psalms, his praise to God for the grace, restoration and His mercy. Prayer is crying out to God, and God wants us to be honest. To speak the truth to Him, we first must be honest with ourself. The people He places in our lives is His will and way of propsering us. God grows us into the person He created us to be by removing all people or ways we rely upon besides Him.  His holy perfect purpose is that we become more like Jesus, and less like who we were before we met Jesus.

Do you quietly lie awake at night contemplating how you would feel; IF ONLY THEY would…..?  Do your thoughts include whispers from the Lord, or the enemy?  How can you tell what voice you are listening to?  IF the impulse is to give up, to walk out or to blame someone for how you feel…then that voice is not from God.  Being honest takes courage and in our weakness is when the Holy Spirit shows up strong!  Having second thoughts, is a gift from God.  It is His tug on our heart to face the truth of how we feel and consider God’s word, His ways, His will above our own.  God’s word encourages us to confess our sin of unbelief in His power to change us. Remaining in denial and to say "Everything is fine" when it is NOT, is a LIE. Our obedience to fess up to what is bothering us, brings us closer to God, and He heals us. Getting out of denial is the first step to recovery, and the return of God’s peace.  Group support is available in every church. Talking to others who have the same issue, or a similar situation gives us the opportunity to air out our frustrations, and thereby begin to understand that you are not alone, that your feelings are valued, validated and worthy of opening up to God and others for a healing, for a solution.

A new father was distraught with thoughts of abandoning his wife and 2-year-old with Down syndrome. But after voicing his truth with others who had kids with disabilities, he found the strength to go home and face another day. IF you truly want peace, then do something, take positive steps towards God, admit your struggle, be honest, pour out your heart and then LISTEN while you read the Psalms. Following Jesus, means doing what He did.  He removed Himself from the crowds, He got alone with His Father and poured out His heart, then He walked courageously, not blaming anyone for the rejection, ridicule and trials He faced. Gain as much knowledge as you can about the saints that have journeyed before you. Next, begin to speak honest words of thanksgiving for all the good in your life. Discipline your thoughts, and force yourself to make eye contact and interact with the person who does not behave in the manner in which you desire. People are desperate to be loved “as they are” not as we would like them to be.  Jesus loves all of us “as we are”. The greatest commandment, not suggestion from God, but holy instruction is that we LOVE ourselves as we are loved, unconditionally.  Then with His love overflowing in us, we can love and forgive others as we love and forgive ourselves. Accept others, appreciate their God given differences, disabilities, and difficulties. God is the One who changes people, He will take our hardened hearts and make them soft.  He will soften our hearts towards those who are not like us.  He will
increase our faith in Him to do all things through Christ Jesus, as we call on Him to change us by filling us with the desire to be more like Jesus. The only thing keeping us from loving others as we are loved is our ignorance or resistance to accept all the love God has for us. Once we overcome our own selfish expectations for others to behave in acceptable manners, only then will we see the beauty in them that Jesus sees. Talk to God just like He is sitting in a chair beside you. Be honest with God throughout the entire process of finding His peace in the midst of any chaos, frustration or undesired outcome. Healing is a process and a journey. Experience the life-changing transformation  that comes by speaking the truth in love. The truth is life is hard, but without Jesus, it is impossible to possess joy, even when times are tough.  He never changes, but we must in order to rest in peace.  Let us settle the fact that GOD IS GOOD and that
you trust Him with your life, your situation, your frustrations.
We all makes mistakes, we all fall short, and we all struggle to accept our own imperfections. All people grow and develop character by the trials that life brings so praise God for all your character building days!  God's amazing grace is a GIFT.  From God to you through Jesus.  Jesus marvels at two things.  Great faith and a lack of faith.  Even those who walked with Jesus daily had bad days, moments of doubt, and many frustrations.  Fishing all night and catching nothing, is to work all day and not get paid. On one famous journey out to sea, a wild storm arose and the followers of Jesus woke up a sleeping Jesus and asked Him "Don't You care?"  There is NO human being  in this world that cares more than Jesus.  The disciples had personally witnessed Jesus give a blind man sight because He cared deeply. Our self-relainace, or our ways of toiling on our own without Jesus is disobedience.  Jesus tells us "Do not worrry" In other words STOP worrying.  If we remain sleepless, toiling in worry, we are
sinning. James, the brother of Jesus, doubted Jesus and his letter to us all reminds us "Confess your sin (of disbelief, lack of trust) to one another and be healed." Admit the time you spent worrying did not add a single inch to your character,or stature. REPENT, turn around, face Jesus and ask Him to forgive your unbelief, your doubt, your pride, that you "got this".  Let us make our Father happy and trust Him with all our concerns, consternatins, frustrations.  Let us lean on Him and not our understanding.  Our Father cared enough to send His son, to deliver us from the fear of death, and the disappointments that challenge our human capacity to live life on our own.  The content of our mind and heart are known by He who stilled the storm. His grace is sufficient, His grace caught the fish, and His grace provides for all our spiritual, physical and financial needs.  Everyday take up the habit of praising God for all things, the good, the bad, the hard and the easy! Thank You Jesus for Your mercy, Your patience.  Your ways are perfect and I thank you for each trial, for every lesson, and for the change of heart You accomplished in me!





Thursday, August 28, 2014

WHIMSICAL TUNES

“COUNT ON ME” by Bruno Mars
"IF you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the Sea, I’ll sail the world to find you. IF you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see, I’ll be the Light to guide you. IF you’re tossin and you’re turnin and you just can’t fall asleep – I’ll sing a psalm beside you…and IF you ever forget how much you really mean to me, I’ll remind you. “You can count on Me, like 123, I’ll be there”…..
“SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY” by John Mayers  "Even if hands are shaking, and faith is broken…even as your eyes are closing, DO it with a heart WIDE OPEN. Have NO FEAR for givin in….Have NO FEAR for givin over. You’d better know that in the end…it’s better to say too much, then NEVER say what you need to be sayin. Walkin like a one man army, fighting with the shadows in your head…living the same old moment…knowing you’d be better off instead…IF you could only say what you need to say, say what you need to say, say what you need to say."
“I'M YOURS” by Straight No Chaser
"Well You done, done me and You bet I felt it…I tried to chill but you’re too hot, I melted, I fell right through the cracks, and now I’m tryin to get back….before the cool run out, I’ll be doin my bestest and nothing goin to stop me but divine intervention! I reckon it’s again my turn to win some, or learn some. But I won’t hesitate no more, no more --- It cannot wait--- I’m yours, I’m yours, I’m yours…Lord Jesus! Hey, Hey best believe I’m yours, I’m yours. “NOW open up your mind and see like Me --- open up your plans and goodness, you’re FREE! Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love, love…Listen to the music of the moment…people dance and sing..We’re just ONE BIG FAMILY…and it’s our God-blessed right to be loved, loved, loved. So I won’t hesitate, no more, no more…it cannot wait I’m sure there’s no need to complicate…our time is short, this is my fate…”I’m yours, I’m yours….”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB

The vintage values of Jane Austen are celebrated in the movie "Jane Austen Book Club". The movie is rich in atmosphere and plot as it captures a diverse circle of people with various interests.  A male cyclist, a dog trainer, a teacher, a college student, a bereft divorcee, and a writer. It is worthy of viewing with friends who wish to gather round to discuss various literary greats.  Jane Austen was compelled to share her imaginings with the world with an anonymous pen. She had the luxury of time to stream the many delights of perhaps, a 17 year old who imagines various suitors. Jane catalogs scenes that are filled with interesting characters. Each of her six novels end without poor outcomes. Her brother was
a soldier, but war never entered any of Jane's timeless, robust tales. Austen lived within a poor country setting and she was free to create circumstances without the influence of worldly distractions. Her inspirations came from beyond the grave, they were entirely innocent, and refreshing.  Jane fancied thoughts that created a world that thrived inside a mind that was deaf to the unwanted voice of progress or economic decline. She was a daughter of a clergyman, devoted to her faith, and in the pleasures that such a joy completed. Simplicity was her style and time was her extravagance. She wrote to poke us in a direction of the gaiety that life's bounty affords us.  Like many fans enjoy the annual Austen Fest in
Bath, England ~ this movie gives all fans, women, men and/or couples the challenge to rejoice in their own impressions, differences and opinions.  Jane's style of pen eloquently emotes the high and lows of life, relationships, and love, all with an encouraging hope. Austen offers us a retreat from any grim reality or poorly spoken word. Each Austen novel centers on characters that struggle, surrender and perform badly and well within a life limited by society and propriety. They dance, they laugh, cry and gain our current attention as we relate to their situations and important life altering choices.   Enjoy the movie and some interesting insights into Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion.

Meryl Streep Voices

Too many Meryl Favorites to mention, however, here are my top choices: Momma Mia, Out of Africa,Julie & Julia, Postcards, Plenty, House of Spirits, 2014 Into the Woods, Bridge of Madison County, French Leiutenants Woman, It's Complicated, Music of the Heart, Before & After, Hope Springs, The Iron Lady. Her acting is remarkable and her films engage and endure the soul. Yes I am a fan of moving pictures, of great messages that stir the heart. Listen and be AMAZED as Meryl voices her parts. Meryl is the supreme lady, and in "Plenty" when she has had enough empty talk, she retorts as boldly as she was scolded. She becomes more than the character, she voices the culture of each country superbly. Danish, French, Italian, Irish, German, the American country singer, the sister, mother, friend, wife, and Margaret Thatcher. Clips from Out of Africa with Robert Redford listening intently to Meryl telling her stories. It is wonderful to be enjoyed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Do You Doubt Me?

Thomas doubted and he saw Jesus
Do you EVER doubt God, or think that Jesus never existed? Do you doubt that God could forgive you? The GOOD NEWS is that GRACE makes doubt OKAY! LUKE 22:34 "But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Between now and tomorrow morning when the rooster crows, you will deny me three times, declaring that you don’t even know me.” When Jesus emerged alive from the tomb...Peter had gone fishing...When Jesus approached him, Peter recognized Him.  Peter was too ashamed to look up, he was too busy counting fish...Jesus asks Peter "Do you love Me?" ...Are you even my friend? Peter responded "You know my heart, why ask me that?"  Peter was afraid to make a commitment for fear he would fail again! How about you? If you have ever doubted Christ...DO NOT QUIT...just ASK GOD to increase your faith. Go back to church and PRAISE JESUS...for the invisible wind, the indescribable beauty that surrounds you, and for the .... HOPE of being restored.  ....IF you grew up in church and then walked away, IF you suffered an illness, IF you have lost a loved one, or have waited on the Lord, and heard no small voice. IF you have prayed for healing or restoration and NO apparent answer comes...IF you have denied Jesus more than three times,  because you have never believed that the BIBLE was anything more than a collection of moral stories..watch this and FEEL hope while you RENEW your mind and build your faith in God's eternal presence and in His living Word. Be cheered and pass it on.

Romans 5:1-3 "So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in His promises, we can have real peace with Him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest
privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient." 
The Living Bible Romans 4:25 = "He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God, filling us with God’s goodness." (rose again to make us right with God, literally means, “was raised for our justification") 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

WORTHY by Sandi Patty

Like the woman at the well, Somehow You knew the way I fell,
into a place I did not want to be...and You reached for me,
Like the woman once condemned, You see what I have been...
and cast away the stones, I so deserved, with gentle words...
You know the secrets that I keep, The darkness underneath...
But still it is Light and Love You choose to see....

HELP me to believe...
that I am worthy,
Worthy of this mercy...
And as You breathed me into being, You knew my life would need redeeming,
LOVE was all You were believing, and heaven was singing, singing...
I am Worthy...I am worthy...I am worthy...
Worthy that You love me...
Worthy to be loved,
Worthy of this mercy,
Worthy of the cross You carried for me,
The way that you adore me, I am worthy,
Worthy that You love me,
in the eyes that speak ONLY what is GOOD in me....

Jesus came to serve man, to wash us from sin. When He encountered the woman at the well, the woman who had slept with many men, who hid in shame...their encounter encourages us that we can all be forgiven IF we just ask.  JOHN 4:" the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”  Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” Obediently I responded to a personal request that I sing in the church choir on Sunday July 28, 2014. Surprised to be asked because I am absolutely tone deaf, I sang out confidently with gusto to my Lord.  I was also the reader of scripture that day, and even though my voice trembled, the Holy Spirit delivered the worthy Word to all hearts thirsty hearts attending.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Treasure Found

Have you ever been on a treasure hunt? As part of a birthday party game, kids in the 1950's were dispatched into the neighborhood to locate a list of every day items such as; a bobby pin, a matchbook, a QTIP, safety pin, pencil, a dash of salt etc. Each child would be assigned one block to canvas. The kids were required to ASK for what they were searching for from strangers.  A time limit was set and the child who returned with the most items got the prize. Kids today gladly seek eggs hidden as treasures in the garden, or in the home. The custom of inciting the thrill of seeking a hidden treasure was practiced by Martin Luther. Easter eggs were adored for their color and surprise. The egg symbolized the tomb in which the wrapped body of Jesus Christ was laid. Men hid the eggs and the women and children went out seeking where their Savior was. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus became the delight of each child who found the egg. Jesus was NOT inside the egg, but He was inside the child who believed. The child found the
egg, and rejoiced in the truth, that Christ had risen and took up residence in them!  "The women, deep in wonder and FULL of JOY, lost no time in leaving the tomb.  They ran to tell the disciples.  Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks.  "Good morning!" He said. They fell to their knees, embraced His feet, and worshiped Him." Matthew 28:8 The Message. Each day when we awake, is it not a recurring JOY to be greeted by Jesus with a personal word?  Is Jesus a stranger to you?  He knows you, He created you, and He loves you. Have you been on a treasure hunt to find more meaning in this life? Listen to what the Spirit is saying personally to you while reading this treasured Word of God. "We continually ASK GOD to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that
you may have great endurance and patience, and giving JOYFUL thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light....The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him ALL things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; ALL things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before ALL things, and in Him all things hold together.....For God was pleased to have ALL His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross...but now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation --- IF you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do NOT move from the HOPE held out in the gospel...I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness -- the MYSTERY that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people...My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may KNOW the MYSTERY of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and DELIGHT to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." What has God told us about Himself in this inspired word found in the holy book of Colossians chapter 1 and 2 ?

1) That Jesus is the image of the invisible God
2) That Jesus is the first to be born
3) That Jesus is over ALL creation
4) In Jesus, ALL things were created
5) Jesus created ALL things invisible and visible
6) Jesus holds ALL things together (the stars, the sun, the ocean)
7) God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Jesus
8) God reconciled His created people to Himself through the blood Jesus shed on the cross
9) God did this to present you holy, without blemish, free from accusation to Himself
10) God presents to you the word of God in its fullness
11) The mystery of who God is, and why He sent Jesus is disclosed to you
12) God's goal is to encourage your heart with complete understanding of His purpose
13) That you may KNOW the mystery of God, namely Christ
14) All wisdom and knowledge is contained in Jesus
15) Jesus is absent in body, but present with you in spirit
16) God delights in your firm faith in Christ

Worship God in song.  ASK God to overtake your soul with courage and confidence in who you are in Him....precious in His sight. Sing these words..."Christ alone holds all things together, Jesus is always before me, on this glorious journey. His words of life and majesty, teach me truth and duty.  Holy Bible, book of love, inspired by God, it is above, all my thoughts, all my ways.  It helps me grow, and it humbles me to know...His grace never runs out, even though I raise my fist or pout! I ask God to break up the hard soil of my heart, to change my habits, Lord give me a fresh start."  Lord Jesus I thank You for all that You have done for me.  You died that I can approach Thy throne wearing a robe of righteousness. There is nothing I must do to earn your love.  There is nothing I can do, say or pay that could compare to the immeasurable love you lavish on my soul. Thank You for revealing the truth, the way and the light.  Help me to honor God with the NEW soft heart that replaced my heart of stone.  I am astounded by Your mercy, extended by Your grace, and blessed by Your endless flow of forgiveness, love and perfect sufficiency for all my needs.  I love you Lord Jesus.  AMEN

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Honest Feelings

On good days, or bad days invariably someone will ask us "How are you feeling?" Becoming aware of how we actually feel is to be honest with God. When we say "I feel great"...are we covering up the truth?  "You, therefore, have NO excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself...So when you a mere man, pass judgement on them...do you think you will escape God's judgment?...With your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself ...God will give to each person according to what he has done" Romans 2  --- Are you holding anger inside? Here are some emotions that we would be wise to identify and then confess. ANGER: Fury rises inside with each remembrance of an offense. No forgiveness or mercy offered towards those who hurt you. You feel angrier each time you repeat the tale of the offense. Nothing forgiven, nothing forgotten. Are you drunk with anger?  SHAME: The desire to hide, or lie because you FEEL defective, inferior or superior by comparison to others.  You FEEL unable to change and you cover-up your insecurity or pride.  GOOD GUILT: The desire to repair a wrong doing, or confess an apology because you FEEL responsible and remorseful for causing injury to another.  ENVY: The motivation to destroy, attack or diminish an ability or resource or possession of another because you FEEL that you could never accomplish what another has. Envy makes us restless as we strive to minimize what someone else said or did.  JEALOUSY: The desire to compete because you FEEL less valuable than...
"So then, let us NOT be like others, who are asleep, but let us be ALERT and self-controlled....Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you....Do NOT put out the Spirit's fire; do NOT treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything.  Hold on to the good....May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 For those who sleep, sleep at night...they are ignorant, they are in the dark and they grieve over unimportant things..but since we belong to the day, and as we are called sons and daughters of the Light... let us act like it, let us not grieve the Spirit by holding onto anger, unforgiveness, shame, envy, or jealousy. So how do you FEEL, really? Name it, claim it, pray about it, and get past it by immersing yourself in God's living and active Word.  Work out your salvation and actively erase all unholy thoughts that are born in darkness.   The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night and we should be READY and delightfully surprised, because our hearts are pure. We are to warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak and be patient with everyone. If we are obedient to confess our struggles with the dark, we will find the JOY of contentment and the peace of God.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trust Who?

There was a time when we TRUSTED the police, that every cop acted with absolute integrity with regard to enforcing the law.  In the 70's most Americans TRUSTED that the vote they cast would be credited accurately within the electoral system. As a people we generally TRUSTED that congressional decisions were in favor of the people.  As neighbors, because we felt SAFE, we TRUSTED one another and slept with doors unlocked, unafraid of theft or murder. Within our congregations, we TRUSTED our pastors, priests, deacons to NOT be double minded, but to intercede on our behalf with effective prayers taken personally to the throne of GRACE. We never doubted, but we TRUSTED that sound, undiluted, unadulterated doctrine was being delivered at our church pulpit. The supernaturally converted Pharisee Paul urged that Timothy command certain men NOT to teach false doctrines, NOR devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. "They promote controversies rather than God's work -- which is by faith.  The goal of this command is
love, which comes from a PURE heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." 1 Timothy 1:3-5.  So to whom shall we confide?  Who do we trust during these uncertain economic times?  What resource of TRUTH do we TRUST when each news broadcast is controlled by varying political agendas? "Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which MOST of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent." Matthew 11:20 --Jesus condemned the proud attitude of His generation.  They were cynical, skeptical and stubborn. They justified their interpretations of scripture, and they resisted change. Jesus mentioned two kinds of people in His prayer: those arrogantly "wise" in their own knowledge --- and the humble "little children" who were open to receive the TRUTH of God's Word. Matthew 11:25 --- Therefore let us be quick to listen to what the Spirit is saying as we read God's Word and be willing to confess all worry about financial matters, our burden of a long suffering illness, and our doubt that God cares for us and our concerns.  Let us be readied by the Holy spirit to forgive and release our bitter resentments for being mistreated or
disrespected. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I WILL give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and LEARN from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you WILL find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28 --- PICTURE this: you hold one arm outstretched holding a heavy brick for an hour, a day, a week, for years. You resist admitting your burden until you fall down, crushed by carrying what seems to be the weight of all the world. IMAGINE the relief when you TRUST in Jesus to take your burden.  He is able to lift your laments, and give you a peace that lasts.....Jesus does NOT lie, you can TRUST Him to keep His Word, His promises. He is able to give you rest even though your circumstances do not rapidly change.  Seek Jesus in all things, in each situation and find blessed contentment. Accept that His Word never fails, He is faithful and trustworthy.  "Commit your way to the Lord; TRUST in Him and He WILL do this: He WILL make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday Sun." Psalm 37:5-6