Monday, December 24, 2012

What Do You Want for Christmas?

"What we really hunger for will not be found under the tree on Christmas morning. We hunger for meaning, for joy, for hope in the face of despair. We hunger to know that we can be forgiven and start anew after things we regret. We hunger for a love that will not let us go and for a life and triumph in the face of death. These come through a baby born in a stable, laid to sleep in a feeding trough, visited by night-shift shepherds. He is for us the bread of life. And we must come to the stable to satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts." ~ Adam Hamilton

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Thoughts

Today our Pastor talked about preparation for Advent leading to Christmas. My husband said that Christmas preparation brings happiness and that is what life is all about being happy. I it's not all about being happy because there will always be things in our life that bring sadness or pain, BUT we can always walk in joy despite our situation. Then I took it to the next level...We should be living now (every day, not just in December as we prepare for Christmas) in JOY as we anticipate the second advent of Jesus. Our conversation continued, but to sum it all up...

We as Christians should be living everyday in joyful anticipation for the second coming of Jesus. Our whole life is an advent season. Live in Joy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Actions Speak Loudest

"Don't just say you care, show it: Visit a shut-in. Sponsor a needy child. Assist a caretaker. Volunteer. Sit with a visitor. Demonstrate love. Reach out. Develop new interests. Don’t assume. Follow through on your promises. Be an encourager. Don’t hide behind excuses." ~ M. Ellen

Monday, September 10, 2012

National Day of Encouragement

September 12th is the National Day of Encouragement. Look for ways you can live out Galatians 6:9-10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11, not just on Wednesday, but every day...

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. ~ Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV 1984)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV 1984)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everything Has a Price

For any of you who tend to be obsessive (I mean detail-oriented) like me... My Fitness Pal ~ might help you better coordinate your food intake and exercise. (Several of you are already using it and for you this is just me being accountable.) Before I started using My Fitness Pal...I basically lied to myself about how much food I was consuming (I eat lots of really healthy stuff). I conveniently forgot that I ate samples at the grocery store and that a friend offered me cheese/guacamole/hummus and whole grain crackers, and I thought if 2 TBSP of natural peanut butter is good then more is better, and let's not even discuss NUTS, etc...

My Fitness Pal is helping me plan my meals AND snacks AND stay within the calorie limit my body requires to function well. One day I ate THREE servings of crunchy Cheetos (my favorite) and punished myself by eating only fruits and veggies for dinner to stay within my calorie limit. I thought I did all right until a friend (Thank you, Cammie!) asked me if I met my protein requirement for the day... The site calculates that information and I discovered that only ate half of the protein needed because I chose (CHOSE) to eat one of my favorite snacks to excess. It is all about choices and what I am willing to pay. Not necessarily in the cost of the food, but in the cost of my fitness levels, energy, and pain management. My health care providers told me that I need to stay on the lower side of my weight range because my back pain intensifies with weight gain. I must count the cost and decide whether I can "afford" that delicacy or not...some days if I exercise a lot I may be able to, but others probably not.

12 “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:12-13a (NIV 1984)

I know about health and nutrition. This site isn't teaching me anything I didn't already know, but it is helping me to see in black and white what I am putting into my body and causing me to think about it more. I'm making better decisions and choosing food that will fuel my body for the day and not just make my taste buds happy for a few moments. It is definitely a challenge. I'm not strong at this point and could easily run (not walk) back to the Cheetos, but one day at a time I'm learning to make positive choices for health and wellness. If you see me looking at a bag of Cheetos, do something hand me an apple :)

Care to join me?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are You An Alien?

My nine year old son seems to think his three year old sister is an alien. Last week he took a green marker and wrote "I am an alien." on top of her foot. My family had a good laugh over the latest episode of childhood mischief, but it caused me to think about the fact that we should all aspire to be aliens. 1 Peter 2:11-12 urges us as Christians to live as aliens in this world. We need to let go of earthly desires and aspirations and base everything on eternity. Our treasures can't be stored here because they can be destroyed easily, but whatever is stored in heaven won't spoil or fade.

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. ~ 1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV 1984)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Save Christian Pastor Nadarkhani from an Iranian Death Sentence

Iranian authorities have illegally imprisoned and sentenced Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to death for becoming a Christian. The ACLJ has launched a global effort to save the life of Pastor Youcef, working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom. Now, efforts are at a critical stage. A resolution has been introduced in Congress condemning Iran for violating human and religious rights and calling on Iran to release Pastor Youcef immediately. Urge every Member of Congress to help save this man’s life. Sign the ACLJ’s petition urging our elected officials in Congress to support this important resolution. Petition to Free Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani To: Every Member of Congress Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been charged, convicted and sentenced to death for apostasy – becoming a Christian. When Iranian officials demanded that he recant his faith in Jesus Christ or die, he responded, “I cannot.” He has been illegally imprisoned and separated from his wife and two boys since 2009. We are fighting to save his life and win his freedom. It's time to turn up the pressure on Iran. Support the Congressional Resolution introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts demanding the immediate release of Pastor Youcef. Sign the electronic petition to free Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani here. For an update on this story as of 2-28-12 go here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Missing Teen

A close friend of mine asked that this runaway poster be shared.

She said: I am urging my friends to repost this. This is not a hoax. Corinne is the neighbor of a friend of mine. You may not have seen her, but one of your face book friends or their friends may have seen her. Keep passing this along. SOMEBODY must know where she is.

** Update** As of Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 12:35 Pacific Standard time.....they found her. She is at home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Stone

A friend shared this via email and thought the message was worth sharing here...

Two friends were walking
through the desert.
During some point of the
journey, they had an
argument; and one friend
slapped the other one
in the face.

The one who got slapped
was hurt, but without
saying anything,
wrote in the sand ,

Today my best friend
slapped me in the face .

They kept on walking,
until they found an oasis,
where they decided
to take a bath.

The one who had been
slapped got stuck in the
mire and started drowning,
but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from
the near drowning,
he wrote
on a stone:

'Today my best friend
saved my life.'

The friend who had slapped
and saved his best friend
asked him, 'after i hurt you,
you wrote in the sand and now,
you write on a stone, why?'

The friend replied,
'when someone hurts us
we should write it down
in sand, where winds of
forgiveness can erase it away.

But, when someone does something good for us,
we must engrave it in stone
where no wind
can ever erase it'

Learn to write
your hurts in
the sand and to
carve your
benefits in stone.

~ author unknown