Follow ’40 Days of Prayer & Fasting”

The other day I said I was fasting from blogging (and I still am except for this quick invite). If you would like to join me as I follow my church’s daily prayer and verses, ‘like’ First Baptist Church of Indialantic on Facebook, and you will see each day’s prayer posted.

My Daily Bread

This daily bread I am writing about is not whole wheat, oat, whole grain, or rye. I am speaking of God’s Word. Today my church began 40 days of fasting and prayer. Fasting consists of giving up something and replacing the time you spend on that activity with seeking the Lord through prayer and reading the Bible. I feel that God has led me to fast from blogging which saddens me in a sense because I love to share all that I learn about health and nutrition with others. But I am excited as well as I know that God will speak to me and move around me as I focus more on Him. So for the next 40 days, I will be praying for my marriage, my children, my family, my church family, my children’s schools, my friends, my country, and anything else the Lord places on my heart. And I will be delving more deeply into His Word. I pray that all my readers will continue to strive to stay active and eat clean so you can serve and love others to the best of your ability, and so you can be a shining example to others around you! I look forward to writing again on November 21st- just in time for all those holiday recipes, tips, and encouragement!

This is the Air I Breathe

God’s Grace at Ground Zero

The testimony of Sujo John is just one of many stories of God’s presence in the midst of the 9/11 tragedy. Read or watch his story at I am Second.

 

A Friend, Not a Statistic

Statistically speaking, there are approximately 400,000 deaths each year in America due to obesity. That’s about 2000 people daily that die too soon and are robbed of enjoying life to its fullest. This number is sometimes hard to grasp until it hits close to home. Tonight we will say goodbye to our friend, Ron. Last month, Ron entered the hospital with various complications mainly due to obesity, and he lost the battle this past Friday night. But he is not a statistic to us. He was a friend, a loyal youth worker, and a dedicated church member that would serve anytime, in any way. He was on the road to lose that weight- working out, beginning to change his diet, and even trying out for The Biggest Loser. But this epidemic got him before he could conquer it.

During both Bible Study and church service yesterday, God reminded me of how He is a God that is all-inclusive.  The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob is the God that extends the invitation for salvation to each and every person who has and will be born on Earth. The God who chose the Jews to be His people, is the God who chose to use Rahab, a pagan prostitute and Ruth, a Moabitess, to bring forth the Messiah, Jesus. They recognized that God was who He said He was, and they chose to worship and follow Him. God never desires anyone to be without Him. He purposely ensured that everyone had a way to Him and His kingdom- through the blood of His son, Jesus. Jesus proclaimed that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through him. (John 14:6) I often hear nonbelievers say that this “one and only way” thinking is narrow-minded. I beg to differ. There is no linear thinking or selfishness in sacrificing one’s life (as Jesus did) or sending your only son to the cross (as God the Father did) in order to pave the path to eternal life for each and every person who has rejected you (as we all have rejected God).

I know that our Hawaiian friend, Ron, is glorifying Jesus in Heaven at this moment and for every moment from here on out. He would want nothing more than for you to know the One who saved him.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Tomorrow is Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day!

Just this past Sunday, as I taught the youth Sunday School class, I spoke with them about the importance of knowing and maintaining the values we hold as believers in Christ. I was able to use Chick-Fil-A as an example of this very thing. I am thankful for companies such as Chick-Fil-A whose work ethics and moral standards will not be compromised because of outside influence. Since taking a stand for traditional marriage, the company has taken some heat and even has been barred from adding additional restaurants in Chicago. In honor of the unwavering view of this restaurant,  Gov. Mike Huckabee has announced Wednesday, August 1st as Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. Even though fast food restaurants are not a frequent stop on my family’s route around town, Chick-Fil-A is a spot we will stop for those crunch-time eats. They offer healthier options, gluten-free options, and you can find the nutritional value/content of their items in their restaurants or online on their meal calculator. Please join others across the country as we celebrate a company that honors God and gives back to countless communities throughout the US!

An Olympic Race

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Last night, I had the privilege of leading the kids at church in a cooking lesson. I had an even greater privilege in teaching them a Bible lesson. Since the Olympics lay just ahead, I taught them about running the race…the race of a follower of Jesus. As I taught from  1 Corinthians 9, I tied in the awarding of the Olympic medals with that of striving to win imperishable “medals”- the crowns that are given to a believer for the good works done in the name of Jesus. Paul writes “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win…Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim”. As a Christian, we run with one purpose in mind- sharing Jesus with others. No earthly treasure will compare to that of a heavenly crown – a crown that will be humbly laid at the feet of my Lord and Savior and that will last for eternity.

Onto the lighter side of our time together, and continuing with the Olympic theme, we cooked up some traditional English fare in honor of London, the host city. We made shepherd’s pie and individual trifles. For the shepherd’s pie, I followed Alton Brown’s recipe. In place of lamb, I used ground chicken and for the potatoes, I used red potatoes and kept the skins on them. I left the butter and half and half out of the mashed potato topping and replaced that with reduced fat sour cream. I poured a bit of broth into the pie once everything was assembled to keep it moist and flavorful.

For the dessert, the kids sliced peaches and strawberries and used grapes to create a beautiful french vanilla yogurt trifle.

It all went well, and the meal received rave reviews! And the only one who didn’t care for the shepherd’s pie? That’s right- one of my own- Oh well!

 

 

 

 

Target Practice

I miss the mark sometimes. I aim and shoot. My arrow lands on the bull’s eye like I intended, but this bull’s eye is almost always the one labeled “SELF”. In my arrogance, I’ve changed the game by placing “ME” in the middle of the target when that small, center circle should really be “JESUS” with its encompassing ring being “OTHERS”. I’ve hit the bull’s eye, but I’ve totally missed the mark.  I am blind to the opportunities around me because the object of my affection is me.

Several months ago, God assigned me a task, and I put it off. Not sure why, but I did. I mentioned it to my girls, and Aleyah didn’t let me forget. She is a planner, a task-oriented individual so she has the makings of a great accountability partner. Last Sunday, we completed this act of service. It costs me $3 and 10 minutes. There was an immediate blessing as we simply saw the response of those whom we served. Just an hour or so later, God extended that blessing as He gave to us just what we had given away! What a lesson for my kids and for me. How many times have I (and do I) neglect to serve God and others? A simple task yielded a blessing for the recipients, my family, and for me, so I’m praying that I keep my eyes opened to what God has called me to do for others.  I’ve been reading Radical and this David Platt quote really struck me…

“What if we gave like this (referring to the widow and her mite), not because of the critical need around us, but because this kind of giving is actually what the heart of Christ in us both demands and desires ?”

My heart sank last week when a woman made a comment on how a few people who came to share God with her hadn’t bothered to help her out when she needed it. This illustrates my point of missing the mark. As a follower of Christ, I need to daily make Jesus as my focal point, my bull’s eye. There will be days that I neglect to do that as I allow  “self” to push it’s way back to the center. Jesus knew it would be a constant struggle to remove ourselves from our main focus- that’s why he commanded us to take up our cross daily. (Luke 9:23) I know there will be many more times that I am blinded to the needs around me because I’m concerned with only myself, and so I’m thankful that He is patient with me, and that He is not yet done transforming me!

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil.1:6

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy this wonderful day with your family and friends!

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
~Benjamin Franklin

May we continue to lift our country up to the Lord

Spaghetti and Slurpees – Day 3 of Cooking Class

Today we took our field trip to Publix so we could buy our ingredients for tomorrow’s meal. We voted to have grilled sandwiches of various kinds, homemade purple potato chips, and oatmeal raisin cranberry chocolate chips cookies.

When we returned home, we enjoyed whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, and we had an assortment of salad toppings so each girl was able to create a beautiful layered salad. Our dessert was my homemade slurpees which we decided to rename Italian ice since we had an Italian theme for the day. 🙂

I am looking forward to seeing their sandwich creations tomorrow. This could get interesting!

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Diagnosis: Undiagnosed

Last September, while training for my first marathon, I begin to experience redness and blurred vision in my left eye. After seeing three doctors and receiving the proper treatment, my eye healed. However, the right eye soon began to experience the same thing- but worse. Since March, I have been under the care of a specialist from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (always ranking 1 or 2 in the entire country for eye care).  Unfortunately, the right eye has not healed despite more aggressive treatments. Although I have had numerous lab tests, there is no diagnosis for what I am experiencing, and we may never know the root cause of it. So yesterday I took my third trip down south, and my doctor had to do a “sure fire” injection into my eye and also have me continue on the meds that I have been taking. Because I understand the importance of nutrition and prefer to treat my body with natural means, this process has been difficult.  I know that I have done all possible to heal my body naturally- eating the right foods, seeing a nutritionist, and more-  but I know there is a time for traditional medicine as well. And I know that my body is able to tolerate the meds and fight off infection because I have taken steps to ensure that it is strong and healthy.

Throughout these months,  I have been  on a journey with Jesus that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Having your vision affected is definitely a reminder to stay in constant prayer with the Savior,  I am not sure why He has chosen not to heal me physically, but He has taught me and reminded me of truths that would have otherwise gone unnoticed or neglected:

  • My friends and family have been faithful in prayer for me, and I am humbled by their faithfulness to lift me up, and am reminded to do the same for others.
  • His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). I have had to rely on His strength to help me to mentally, emotionally, and physically get through this.
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps 139:14) No matter what physical flaws I have, God created me and designed me for His purpose.
  • God’s beauty is not seen with human eyes. It is the Holy Spirit that resides within me that reveals His splendor and glory to me. His peace, His plan, and His faithfulness are the most beautiful aspects of His character that He has shown me through this.
  • This is not my home. One day I will have a glorified body and live with my God. Every time I hear Building 429’s “Where I Belong”, I am reminded of this truth.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:35-37