Friday, August 30, 2013

Health Post #1

This is something fun that we can all do! Get two containers and get marbles or pebble rocks and every time you lose a pound you drop it in the the "Pound Lost!" How fun is this!? :) If you don't have two containers or the pebble rocks/marbles you can go to the Dollar Store and get them for $1!!!

Corn and Pasta Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing


  • 4 ounces gemelli pasta
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 2 small ears fresh corn
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, preferably mixed heirloom, halved
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp in the microwave, and crumbled

Directions

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain and run under cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic clove on a cutting board; sprinkle with salt. Using the blade of a chef's knife, press down onto garlic, smashing it to make a paste. Add the garlic paste to a large bowl with the sour cream, buttermilk, cider vinegar and scallion; season with salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing until smooth and reserve.
Cut the kernels from the corn (breaking sheets of kernels into about 2-inch pieces, if desired). Add the corn, tomatoes, onion and arugula to bowl with dressing; gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with the bacon.
Copyright 2010 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved
Nutritional analysis per serving
Calories 148; Total Fat 3g (Sat Fat 1.5g, Mono Fat 0.4g, Poly Fat 0.3g) ; Protein 6g; Carb 25g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 9.5mg; Sodium 159mg

I would love to hear your guys take on how you liked this salad! :) 

Too Much Power

Jesus on his part did entrust himself to them, because he knew all people. (John 2:24, esv)


We aren't without our fights. Why so complicated? Let's take one big important stab at it. We'd like to suggest that we give relationships too much power by having unrealistic and unnecessary expectations. Here are some expectations that we have seen break down friendships:
  • Expecting a girlfriend to be exclusive with you
  • Expecting a girlfriend to be available night and day
  • Expecting a girlfriend to always agree with you
  • Expecting her to say what you want her to say
  • Expecting her to do what you want to do
  • Expecting you will never hurt each other
In John2:24 we see Jesus did not become overly dependent on people. He was free to be in relationships without constant favor or approval. Jesus knew people are sinful. They're capable of hurting each other, disagreeing and, well, making life complicated. We can make those complications easier to navigate by not expecting so much of girlfriends and by not insisting upon constant favor and approval from them. 

The Bible also says that "a friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17niv)...even when a friend hurts you, when she disagrees, when she doesn't say what you want her to say. You can build healthy expectations by committing to this: love your friend no matter what.

Action Plan
Do you have any relationships where you expect too much? Which ones? How can you live in a place where you don't become overly dependent on a friend's favor?




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lose it with Me!

I am on a mission!!  Join me!  People are 3x's more successful in losing weight when they have friends joining them!  Lets be accountability partners!

1.  Sign up on www.myfitnesspal.com
2.  Friend request me, and I'll add you back as my friend.  
3.  I'll make daily entries for fitness and health.  I would love to have feedback in the "comments"!  Having feedback on fitness and food helps everyone!  So post healthy living ideas! 

I got this formula from Dr. Oz that I would like to share with you.  It will help you figure out how many calories you are currently consuming, to how many you will need to eliminate from your daily intake to meet your goal.

#1.  Take your current weight and times it by 12.  This figure is your daily caloric intake.  If you ate this amount of calories every day, you will maintain your current weight.  If you eat more, you will gain and if you eat less, you will lose weight.

#2.  Decide how many calories you want to consume, example 1200 daily calories.  (Fitness Pal will give you a total also, you can use that or create your own.)

#3.  Take your original daily caloric intake and subtract your new daily calorie goal (#1-#2).  This figure will be how many calories you are reducing each day from your regular eating habits.  KEY NOTE:  It takes 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat.  

#4.  Now take that final figure from #3 x 7.  This will calculate how many total reduced calories per week from your regular food consumption.

#5.  Take this figure from #4 divide by 3500.  This will show you how many pounds per week you will lose based on the total number of reduced calories.

#6.  By taking the figure from #5 x 4 (weeks) it will calculate your total pounds lost for the average month.

#7.  You can take it a step further and calculate how long it will take you to achieve your results.  Take the total number of pounds that is your goal to lose and divide it by the figure from #6 and it will tell you how long it will take you to meet your weight loss goal!!!

                  EXAMPLE:  Current weight 165 / Goal weight 140 / (GOAL IS TO LOSE 25 lbs)

                          Current weight:  165
                                                   165 x 12 = 1980 total calories per day to maintain weight
                                                   1200  daily caloric goal
                                                   1980 - 1200 = 780 reduced daily calories
                                                   780 x 7 = 5460 total calories that I will reduce each week
                                                   5460 divided by 3500 = 1.56 lbs per week lost
                                                   1.56 x 4 = 6.24 lost per month
                                                   25 (goal lbs) divided 6.24 = 4 months it will take to reach your goal.

NOTE:  Clearly you can play around with what is a healthy daily caloric intake for yourself.  The above example is just that, an example.  If you have any questions, or want me to help you figure it out, let me know.  :)
                                                  

My Fitness Pal is so awesome!  It tracks your daily food, exercise, water, weight, weight loss and I'm sure so much more!  I'm learning it daily too, so if you're real familiar with it, please share!!!
                             
                 

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant. (Galatians 1:10)





Marilyn Monroe was nearly thirty at the height of her sex-symbol status. Marketers used her image to sell makeup, clothing, and perfume. Woman wanted to BE like her. Today we have a multitude of sex symbols to pattern ourselves after.

The extreme celebrity culture we live in creates a strange sort of twist with technology like Facebook and Twitter at our fingertips. As we use technology to reflect our celebrity of choice, we can actually become one. And the person worshiping us? Ourselves! Don't think that sounds right?

  • How often do you check your Facebook page?
  • How often do you check Twitter?
  • How often do you post a picture of just you? Same pose. Different place.
Each of these check-ins/posts can be an adrenaline drip as we seek to be watched, loved, and worshiped by others...and ourselves. It's not a lot different from the wicked queen in Snow White who checked in with the mirror every day, asking "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" She didn't like it when the mirror said to Snow White. And sometimes we don't like it when friend's posts get all the attention. (Have you ever posted something just to be a competitive or passive aggressive with another girl?)

God's Word says we're not supposed to be seeking the approval of people, but of God. If we use our Facebook account to share what's up in our lives, connect with friends, encourage others, and even share Christ, it is a good use of technology. But when we cross the line into obsessively checking to see what people have written in response to our posts or continually posting pictures of ourselves, it's probably time to take a break.


Action Plane
Get on your Facebook page right now and erase anything you've posted in the past week that might qualify as excessive, obsessive, or a search for approval. It will be a good exercise in moderating your future posts.

*This post and action plan goes for Instagram also*

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aslan and You

I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four said to me, "Stop weeping! Look, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David's throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:4-5)

C.S. Lewis helps us to see this duality of Jesus' character through his creation of Aslan the lion in The Chronicles of Narnia. Who hasn't read the books or watched the movies without wishing we could roll and tumble, run and chase, and generally have the time of our lives with a real live Aslan? Aslan, at once beautiful and fearsome, is the only character to appear in all seven of the Narnia books. Lewis has not intended to include this character, but he received a strong vision of Aslan in a dream. Lewis said Aslan was the lion and the lamb embodied in one character.

Think about it: a lion is seen as a symbol of strength and force. A warrior who can slay a lion (or a shepherd such as David, who could kill one with his bare hands) is a stud. But here's the thing about Jesus the Lion...he won his victory not through exerting brute strength or overthrowing a system, but by laying down his life as the spotless Lamb of God. His sacrifice was his victory.


Action Step
Offer up a time of prayer to Jesus, the spotless Lamb who took away your sins. Next, praise the Lion of the tribe of Judah who rose again to defeat death and the grave.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let Me off the Merry-Go-Round

Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like stars forever. But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase. (Daniel 12:3-4)
In such a volatile world, how can you possibly prepare for your future?

First, study the Bible. Regardless of where and if you go to school or what you choose as a major, the promises of blessing from knowing and following God's Word are incomparable. Many Bible scholars believe this verse in Daniel actually refers to Bible study: the eyes of scholars will move furtively over the text of God's Word, and our understanding of its precepts will increase like crazy as the time of Jesus' returns near.

Second, pray about taking a chill pill when it comes to overloading on the academics. Maybe you believe that if you don't get into the perfect high school, take every AP class offered, and spend every walking moment working, no decent college will want you. There is such a thing as spinning your wheels, working for accolades that fade as fast as spring flowers, and finding yourself bitter about the rat race. God is good, and life is good. Be sure you have enough time to say so with conviction!


Action Step
Reset your weekly Sabbath if you've happened to let it slip.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Problem with Disconnect

[Jesus] told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)

It's never been easier than today to obey Jesus' command to "go into all the world." Social networking sites and smartphones put us in instantaneous communication with all seven continents...it truly is the World Wide Web. Discussions about faith...related issues have increases with social networking, yet according to The Barna Group 7 percent of Americans report any change in spiritual status over the past five years. We are talking more about Jesus, but it's having little to no impact.

As much as we talk or tweet about Jesus, we need to remember we fight a barrage of bad news items on those Internet feeds. People see and hear and read...and say, "No, thank you. Not if that's Jesus." You and I know Jesus...the real Jesus...but sometimes even we forget he isn't an American, he's not of an economic class, he doesn't affiliate with with any political party, and his way are not our ways. Somehow we need to understand him in the same way we hope to present him, and it may begin with admitting we haven't arrived yet. The Good News remain the same! Keep talking! Keep tweeting! But by all means, keep getting to know Jesus.


Action Plan
Don't rely on the Internet as your lifeline. Hold a real Bible in your hands, and interact with real people face-to-face. Our Facebook on-liners just aren't cutting it!

Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage

http://jamesrusselllingerfelt.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/beautiful-advice-from-a-divorced-man-after-16-years-of-marriage/

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What's in It for Me?

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (John 20:30-31)


Not every book is for every reader, which explains why the average book only sells one thousand copies. What does the Bible offer that causes billions of people to read it? Here is a short list of what you might be able to do when you read it:

  1. Meet God: If ever you would want to know what the God of the universe thinks, what he wants from you, why he created you, what he plans to do...this is a book written just for you.
  2. Be Taught: Most books offer the opinions of the author or other experts. The Bible is an instruction manual, not an op-ed piece.
  3. Take Warning: There is a right, and then there is wrong. The Bible shines a light on the differences between the two and enables you to walk on a path that is safe.
  4. Fix It: Your life is full of error. So is mine. But it's nothing that can't be corrected. The Bible is the definitive volume on making such adjustment so we no longer miss the target.
  5. Follow: "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends death" (Proverbs 14:12). The Bible illuminates the only path that will lead, in the end, to life.
  6. Get Ready: You don't know at what moment God will call you, either to work with him here on earth or to your eternal home. The Bible is a gymnasium for your soul, preparing you to be mature and training you (like an athlete) in righteousness.
  7. Meet You: Who am I? This may be the underlying philosophical question of the ages. Well, the moment you find out who he is, you find out who you are.
There is no end to the good the Bible is able to work in our lives if only we will read it! It's not a good luck charm, though. Only if we read and do what it says will we reap the benefits.


Action Plan
Get in the habit of reading your Bible every day. What is your plan to develop this habit?

Summer!

How has your summer been? What was the best part of your summer? ( comment below)

To Date or Not to Date...

Our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweights them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17)


When we go to God's Word for counsel, we find the answer in a paradigm shift. Stop looking at things the the here and now and start looking to eternal things! Obsessing on the perceived need to have someone to love us causes us to over look the fact that there is one who has loved us and made a way for us to be with him forever. It's the greatest romance ever! It's not about making things better or even bearable now; it's about being rescued from a horrible future (separated from God because of sin) and brought instead into a Kingdom fit for the bride of a King!

The question isn't, To date or not to date? The question is, What's your motivation? If the motivation comes from a violent craving, then take guys off the table until Christ is all you need. Spend some time building that eternal relationship, and you'll find he truly is all you need.



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Phone Tag

My dove is hiding behind rocks, behind an outcrop on the cliff. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely. (Song Of Songs 2:14)



Much of the Bible is one big living metaphor...a picture of Jesus and his bride. This mushy love story, much like the one described in the Bible in Song Of Songs, is one that gets to be lived out by you..pursued by your prince, wooed and swept into a lifelong convenient of marriages. 

It is not only marriage being mirrored by Jesus and the church, but your engagement, too, and even the mad chase for your attention! As you read the book of Hosea (read it as a contemporary love story in Francine Rivers's book Redeeming Love), you have to skake your head in wonder. Hosea pursued Gomer through she was an unfaithful lover who prostituted herself to others. In all our unfaithfulness, Jesus pursues us just like that! All of Scriptures is an endless pursuit. Translation: if you want the fullest of satisfaction in your own love story, you will let the guy pursue you.

The verdict is out as to whether guys like it when girls call them. Guys say they like it if they like the girl, but it's a pain when they don't. Thanks, guys. We couldn't have figured that out on our own. But it doesn't matter. A godly guy, which is the only kind you should be waiting for it you want the love story of a lifetime, is going to enjoy pursuing you. He needs to be the hunter. 

This isn't a popular stance. Should you choose to adopt it, your friends may question your decision. One prominent polition said she does not allow her girls to call boys. In a nationwide poll, 70 percent of respondents said the politician was old fashioned and outdated in her attitudes. Maybe the new "normal" is for girls to pursue, but let's talk about normal. What grade would you give the new normal dating relationship these days? The new normal emotional state of your girlfriends who are boy crazy? The new normal is broken. It doesn't work. He who began a good work in you, every type of good work, is able to carry it to completion (see Philippians 1:16)...if only you will trust and obey by letting a guy pursue you!

Action Step
For one week (minimum) refuse to initiate contact with a guy. He calls first, texts first, makes the suggestions, the plans: he takes the first step.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Honorable Dating

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)


What does it mean to honor someone in relationship? First, it would involve no "stringing along" from the get-go. Isn't it kinder to say, "I'm sorry, but I'm not interested," than to accept a prom date with a boy you know is looking for a girlfriend? Being kind is not the same thing as never hurting someone's feelings.

Second, it means observing boundaries. But we're not just talking sexual boundaries. Purity is a heart condition...curfews, speed limits, budgets, confidential conversations...anything that will help you get used to denying the almighty you, the unrealistic and insatiable need to get anything and everything you want! Relationships are about putting other people's needs ahead of your own.

Finally, it means being real. It's not difficult to be the eye candy hanging on a cute guy's arm..the right clothes and a little bit of make-up will transform anyone into Cinderella for a night. But we honor others, girlfriends compliments we can pay others is to admit that we like them...not in a romantic, gooey sense, but for who you are. Spending time with others because you legitimately like their sense of humor, playing board games together, or learning how they think is way better using people to establish image. Choose the people you hang with for interpersonal reasons...including those who you date!

Action Step
Evaluate your relationships, girlfriends included. Are there any you are in simply to get a step up in the social realm? Gently and kindly walk away from those relationships..they do not prepare you for honorable service.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't Skimp On The Good Stuff

Don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:16-17)



God has offered everything to us. The whole bowl of candy, so to speak. Take it! This is God's will for you, that you would lack nothing, but have everything, according to his glorious riches in Jesus. As you comb through that bowl of good things today, be mindful of what you will take. Others will not lack if you take to much. He won't run out, and you won't look greedy. There is no need to walk away from the throne of God's grace empty handed!


Action Step
Make a list of everything you would like to receive from God. Keep it limited to things achievable, measurable, and biblical. Examples might be joy, a giving spirit, a new friend, health, or discipline.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Can We Have a Christmas and Easter Love?

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither our dears for today nor our worries about tomorrow...not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below...indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)



It's hard to maintain a relationship long distance.

Sometimes we try to have a love relationship like that with God. We make time for him once twice a year. Easter and Christmas. Those are the two Sundays the majority of Americans will choose to pay God the tribute of a home visit. But it's not really about church attendance or observing Lent or going to a midnight service on Christmas Eve. The question is whether or not I am going to reciprocate the relationship he wants to have with me. He wants to be, in the best possible way, all up in my business. He wants my heart...to own it. He wants to be the first and last thought of the day, my baseline for health, and my one and only first love. This isn't going to fly if I want to be with him only two times a year. 

I am thrilled some people make it to church a couple of times a year. I want them to taste and see the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Attendance measures, like a thermometer, what is already cooking in the heart. 

Action Step
On a scale of one to ten, where is your passion for Jesus? He's checking in with a ten for you.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Greatest Love Story Ever!

As of today I'm gonna be starting a devotional for each day.  In this devotional I really would love for you guys to actually take heart and do the "Action Step." 



~Greatest Love Story Ever~
May you have the power to understand...how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the Love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 3:18-19)


You are already in the middle of the greatest love story ever.  Theologian Soren Kierkegaard (We'll call him Kierk) wrote a a parable of God's love for humanity called "The King and the Humble Maiden." Kierk was concerned with free will. God loves us for certain, but will we love him in return? It's important to God that we choose him, just as it was important to know that we return his affection.

In Kierk's parable, a king is deeply in love with a humble maiden girl. If he simply commands her to be his wife, he will never know if she really loves him or if she is simply afraid of his power. And if he impresses her with the fullness of his royalty, he will always wonder if she merely loved his wealth. He decides to surrender his royal status to be a pauper himself so both will experience the fullest of all loves...one chosen by both parties.

God loved you first. He comes to you as the King of Kings and extends his offer: that you would accept his love, evidence by his death on the cross. You will offer him a home in your heart. And you will love only, forsaking all other. It's perfect love story, and it's your in the making. 


~Action Plan~
Write down your story: How you met the King.

If you want don't mind I know a bunch of us would love to hear them. If you would like to share please comment and post them.




Sunday, August 18, 2013

Follow Me on Instagram! I will follow back!


Home Sweet Home

It's been a crazy week!  I can't believe how fast the workshop has gone by.  It's CrAzY!  It's been awesome. This week I can't even began to say how God can work within people. Right when you think God can't do something or his timing is wrong, think again, his timing is the best.

I don't even know where to began on how impacting this week has been, I'll start off with the subjects we talked about in our sessions:


  1. Releasing The Vision (Connecting With Jesus)
  2. Nothing Hidden
  3. What is Coming Against You?
  4. Confession & Weapons for Overcomers/Generational Prayer (I'll post that for you)
  5. Living Shamelessly
  6. Importance Of Really Listening 
  7. Take Away the "Horribleness" Of No!
  8. Pursuing Relationship With The Opposite Sex
  9. Blessing Your Spirit
  10. How To Bring God Into Your Relationship
We also took time to hear what God had to say to us about ourselves and about our future spouse. It was awesome. I saw so many people's life change right before my eyes, plus my life. 


~GENERATIONAL PRAYER~

I place the cross of Jesus in my family bloodline
And I serve all ties with his ungodly part of my natural heritage that has manifested.
(Name The Things The Lord Has Shown You That Have Come Against You)

I claim the power of the cross all generations back and all generations forward to break the power of all demonic spirits assigned to me to perpetuate this in my family line.

By the power of the cross, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command these demonic spirits and lies:

Out of my life
Out of my thoughts
Out of my relationships
Away from my potential marriage/marriage
Away from my potential children/children
Out of my/our destiny & calling
And completely out of my future

I Seal This In My Spirit In The NAME OF JESUS! 
(check out my last post, Journey To Breakthrough for 1-2-3 Skidoo)

What we say, we are speaking truth and life. When we call on the name of Jesus we are speaking truth. The devil has to flee when you speak the name of Jesus. Maintain your belief.





These amazing people are my family! :) To of them are from the United Kingdom & France!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Journey To The Breakthrough!

As many of you guys know, I have been at Bethel Church in Redding, California since Sunday.  It truly has been amazing, I have seen people healed from so many different things.  It truly reminds you how powerful and outstanding God's love really is on us.

This week I really felt like the word "Smitten" is such a huge meaning full word, the Lord had that on my heart.  Lady's or Gentleman (not sure if any guys are reading my blog) I have gone through some stuff that I kept to myself for a year and two months, stuff that I haven't told ANYONE, in my family (small group) I shared whats been on my heart and what I have been dealing with.  I want you guys to know that:

  1. It's not healthy to keep things in and not share with people what your going through.
  2. Being vulnerable is okay!
After telling my family whats been going on, I can't even began to describe how amazing I felt.  I was smiling and felt happy and not this shame all over me. I was caring shame from a past relationship that I never told anybody about (NOT SEX)(I will keep it confidential for now for the sake of the other person).  But for once I was smiling with a true smile not one of those fake got it all together smile (you know that smile, everyone does it from now & then). I really felt like I hit my breakthrough that I truly and been praying for. 

 I want you guys to know that whatever you guys are going through if its depression, shame, fear, anger, feeling inadequate.......I want you guys to realize that we have a HUGE amazing SOVEREIGN God that we serve.  He is Smitten over us, "Struck, as with a hard blow. Very much in love." Wow, huh?  Can you even grasp that?  I was in tears today when God put that word on my heart.  It's true God is Smitten with us, so much in love with us that he died on the cross for our sins.  When we are going through something or we have a weight of stuff we just need to kneel down at the cross and give our weight over to him.  

Confessing is HUGE! The devil has to flee when you put words behind a declaration! Here is one that I have that we are using in the workshop: (1-2-3 Skidoo)

I nail (Whatever you are going through) to the cross.  I break all agreements I've made with (Whatever your going through) known or unknown and I repent of joining with (Whatever your going through).  I ask You, Father, to send (Whatever your going through) away from me! In JESUS NAME!


So this should be food for thought and maybe something your going through you could use this.  I'll post more tomorrow but since it is midnight and I need to be up by 6AM (YES AM) I need to get some sleep for another 12 hour day. :) <3 I hope and pray this post is for somebody, if not I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. I want to say thank you for those that have been reading my blog, I have 1,025 viewers reading my blog.  If you are not a "follower" it is very easy to become one, just click on the "Join Site" that is all you have to do. But again thanks for reading my blog, you guys are all a blessing to me! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Road Trippin It

Do you ever just want to road trip it someplace?  Go places that is a revelation to you and the people around you.  This week I am so happy and thankful to be in Redding, California.  I'm going to a singles workshop here at Bethel Church.  Here's a little scoop on what I will be going through this week:

Single Life Workshop (SLW) is training singles in becoming a healthy individual and having healthy relationships. It has been transformational for many who have participated, helping them to get unstuck and positioned for marriage.
Your participation in this workshop will enable you to:
  • Confront deep rooted issues that may prevent you from relationship
  • Gain freedom in relationships and vulnerability
  • Learn to do relationships well, whether in friendship, dating or preparing for marriage
  • Learn how to love yourself so you may allow others to love you
  • Practice sharing and being vulnerable within the safety of a small group
  • Develop real relationships within the workshop
  • Discuss how to pursue and engage the opposite sex in relationship
  • Complete homework assignments that challenge and activate the sessions
  • Cultivate healthy boundaries and learn the truth about "no"
  • Learn the truth about sexuality and purity
  • Have a good time while living in community and learning to trust others
Yesterday, I left with a friend (ladies...no ideas) at around 7/7:30AM (IN THE MORNING!!!) to head to Bethel.  It was great car ride, the drive to Redding, CA is about 6 hours away.  It went by really fast.  

Today I walked with one of the girls staying at a house with us to Starbucks and came back to the house and chilled.  It's been really nice.  The weather...lets just say it needs to be fall, I'm kinda done with this summer heat!  Here's some pictures that I took yesterday:


At around 5pm today I "officially" start the workshop.  There will be about 220 singles at the workshop this week.  So cool, huh?  I can't wait to see what God is going to do in us.  When I get home tonight I will post and tell you how tonight goes! Ttyl (lol I never use these short cuts) :) <3


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Day

I felt like a girl with out her iced coffee in the morning, shaky, gitty, neves on a trying pan being fried, and no brain! I think that about sums it up with out coffee in the morning. Today, I started my first college class, American Sign Language! I LOVED IT! 
(That's me right before class)

It's crazy that I am now a college freshmen! I'm shocked, I don't know about you but if your a college student or still in high school it's pretty amazing how time flys by so stinken fast. One minute your a freshmen in high school then your being asked to Prom your Junior year, then it's your Senior year and your graduating, then your officially a college student! AMAZINGLY fast yet amazing time in your life! My only advice to you gals is to live life to the fullest and put God number one in everything you do. You will be shocked on what he will do in your life, you will see blessing flow in and out of you and around you. ❤

Monday, August 5, 2013

Christian Courtship



I saw this story online about this couple, I had repost it for you guys! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

I am an advocate for Christian Courtships….so I want to share a true story. This is a tale of a guy named Rasheen and a girl named Desiree* (note* = couple’s identity has been changed to protect the innocent…..okay, not really). Here’s how the story goes: Boy meets girl at crowded party. Girl smiles and cackles the night away while staring into boy’s brown eyes. Girl falls instantaneously in love….and they ride off into the moonlight, living happily ever after with 2.5 kids and a dog.
Beautiful story right? Well, it’s not quite reality. Okay, here’s how the story really went. First off, my real name is Desiree and yes, I am absolutely smitten about a guy named Rasheen, but it definitely has been a long journey to say the least. For starters, I did meet Rasheen at a mutual friend’s house during a theme costume party. I was wearing 80’s gear complete with leg-warmers and a colorful, stripped off-the-shoulder shirt. And Rasheen did march in wearing a Jackson 5 afro. We talked, chatted and yes I did gaze into his big, brown eyes, but instead of riding off into the sunset, we spent several months getting to know each other and eventually started a Christian courtship. A What? Courtship. What’s that you ask? Why does it matter? I’m glad you asked. Well, let me break it down to you like this.
When Rasheen and I met, I was really at a great place in life (finally). I was enjoying my life as a single person, serving the Lord faithfully in my church and just overall content with my season of life. I used my time as a single person to go on Mission Trips in Africa and Guyana to help the underserved and I was also a mentor to high school students. Now, you may be reading this a rolling your eyes or be feeling queasy at the thought of yet another “goody two shoes” who found her Boaz while in the vineyard (Ruth 4:13). Well, let me just say that has not always been this way and it was a journey to say the least. Hence THE LOVE JOURNEY. So, let me tell you my story:
I’ve gone through my share of bad relationships: First there was “The manipulator” who had a great personality, but had an excuse for everything and could talk his way of anything. And then I fell head over heels for “The liar” who could just not keep it real.. And then there was “The player” who was dating 3 other people at the same time as me (and denying it when caught!). And let’s not forget “The non-committer” who “just wasn’t ready for a relationship” (don’t you hate when someone says that?). I had tried it all and I was tired of it all. I was tired, frustrated and upset because it always ended in disappointment.
I wanted more from a relationship and I desired a more fulfilling relationship with dating. So at some point after all the foolishness, I made a little pact with God that I wouldn’t be on the dating scene – entertaining advances from anyone who I couldn’t honesty see myself marrying. This meant I spent many Friday nights alone in my apartment, but I purposed to wait on His timing, rather than just date for fun. I focused on growing personally and trying to bloom right where I was planted…..and then just when I wasn’t looking, from stage right, in walks Rasheen into my life. This man has a heart of gold, a giving spirit and a kilowatt smile to top it all off. After meeting Rasheen, I wish I could say that it just flowed like a page out of your favorite love story, but that wasn’t quite that easy.
Rasheen and I spent the 5 months becoming friends– spending time getting to know one another and learning each other. We were grooving and I was liking him more and more. Things were going pretty well, until one day I got a phone call explaining that he didn’t think he was ready for a commitment and he asked me the infamous “dagger in the heart” question, “Can we just be friends?” I was like “WHAT?” My jaw sort of dropped and even though I tried to play it cool and keep my composure, I could feel myself unraveling at the seams. As he continued to speak, my mind drifted and I was intermittently thinking of all the things I could tell him to retaliate – because truthfully, I was hurt and upset. In Rasheen, I had imagined the potential for a relationship that was enduring and lasting. I hoped for something more than just another “boo” and as the relationship ended, I felt like my dreams were sort of dashed. I was crushed, but I picked up the pieces and went to God. I had decided to chalk the relationship up as an “L” and to erase Rasheen from my memory. But in God’s presence…..I discovered something different. I encountered an unexpected peace about our split and I actually received a new assignment. Rather than mope and be bitter, I felt God was charging me to pray for Rasheen. Now, I have to admit – at first, I was totally resistant. And I mean totally, absolutely resistant to praying for this guy who had just up and ended our friendship, but as God began to reveal His purposes to me – He showed me that it was all a part of His larger plan.
In hindsight, God showed me that there were lots of things about me that wouldn’t be healthy to bringing into a relationship and He highlighted things I needed to work on. Talk about a major blower to the ego. You know how you want to blame things on the other person….but then you realize it’s you? Ouch! Rather than be bitter, I got better and I embraced the prayer agenda God gave me for Rasheen’s personal growth and development. And I forgave Rasheen in my heart. All of this took place in May 2006. Though I was expecting this man to come to his senses and show up on my doorstep riding a white stallion to carry me into the sunset, Rasheen and I didn’t speak again for another 8 months after that. Yet in still, I remained diligent in praying for him…..And I came to know that God will truly, truly do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think.

In January 2007 – I got a call out the blue from Rasheen inquiring about how I was doing, and wondering if we could get together for coffee. I was like, “HUH? What? Come again?” I was surprised but not shocked because somewhere in me, I knew that God was orchestrating all of it. As it were, I was on a work assignment that placed me out of the state for a whole month!! So, I knew our re-connection wouldn’t be any time soon and it turns out that we didn’t get together for that coffee until March 2007.
This time around….things were soooooo much better than I could have even imagined. It was like God had been in my heart and heard my every prayer. Rasheen was an even better person than before and I had grown a great deal too over those months. I could definitely see God’s hand in the situation. So, by April 2007, Rasheen and I were in a unique place. We were “exclusively” getting to know each other but we weren’t quite an item. That meant that we weren’t necessarily free to be on the dating scene, but we weren’t yet a couple either. It was a different place for me, so I did a lot of soul searching and listening….and by July 2007….I had received a handwritten note from Rasheen saying that he was ready to take our relationship to the next level and that he wanted to be with me “officially”. WOW!! How exciting! By this time, I was very into Rasheen. But instead of just becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, we decided to do something a little different. We decided to start a Christian courtship. For us, this stemmed from 3 basic realizations:
• that we were too old to be dating for fun
• that we wanted to honor God through our relationship, and
• that we wanted to pray to ascertain God’s will concerning marriage 
Because we did not want to do business as usual and because we truly wanted to honor God, courtship was the best model for us. Courtship is simply a process to help you discern the will of God and ascertain if an individual of the opposite sex is the person that God has for you to marry. We recognized that when you enter a courtship, you are not pledging to wed someone or agreeing to be married off, but you are acknowledging a desire to do things God’s way. Courtship lays a foundation for a God-pleasing relationship.  In establishing our courtship, we committed to 3 basic things:
1) Maintaining a Commitment to Seeking God (both together and individually) to ask for direction on how to enter/ continue in your courtship. One of the most important things was that we were both committed to God and committed to seeking God’s will for our relationship. Courtships must be entered into mutually… and because we both viewed the other person as a possible candidates for marriage, the courtship was our way to seek God’s will.  We also committed to Setting boundaries and accountability in place to lay a solid foundation for our relationship. This was important because it allowed us to stay committed to our relationship goals (i.e. seeking the Lord’s will) and avoid sexual temptations.
2) We also found that Spending Time Getting to Know Each Other in a variety of settings was very helpful because courtship is often called a fact-finding period. You are getting to know that person and they are getting to know you to see God’s will.
One thing that is important to note is that Courtship is Different from Dating. The difference between courting and dating is that courtship has an end goal of seeing if this is the person you will marry. Dating on the other hand, usually has no specific, agreed upon end goal in mind. With courtship, you spend time evaluating a person through the lens of them being a potential spouse – and at the end of the courtship – you either have heard the Word of the Lord to know that this is the person that you are to marry….or you have discerned from God that this is the not the person for you and you can end this amicably. With courtship your feelings are protected a bit more because you haven’t totally put everything on the line with no idea where things could end up. Whereas with dating, you are investing time, emotional energy, and giving pieces of yourself with no defined or agreed up return on your investment. In my opinion, dating is much riskier.
It is also important to consider that there is a Blessing in Courtship. The blessing of courting is that you get to know the person through a safe lens. Because you are both seeking God throughout the process, it allows you to get to know the person with God’s insight. Also, courting is a blessing because when is done properly, it prevents you from becoming so emotionally attached that you unwilling to end the relationship if needed (i.e. you realize that this is not the person for you, but you’re in too deep to get out the relationship).
3) Finally, it is critical to note that Sexual Purity is Key Component of Courtship. Sexual purity is a critical component of courtship because it’s really hard to hear the voice of God if you are snuggled up in bed being intimate with that person. It clouds your ability to truly hear God’s plan.
So, from these key elements, God blessed Rasheen and I to get to know one another and discern the will of God. This enabled us to walk into our engagement and with a certainty that God had called us together, all while maintaining our purity. Our desire was to have a relationship that honored God and I believe Courtship was the only way for us to do that. It was definitely a blessing. I believe its one of the most effective ways to honor God in your relationship, discern if this is the person for you and protect your heart.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Did you know...Epsom Salt!

1. Lawn and garden — Studies show that the magnesium and sulfur that comprise Epsom salt may help your plants grow greener, produce higher yields and have more blooms!

2. Pedicure — Combine 1/2 cup Epsom salt and warm soapy water, then soak your feet for 5 minutes to soften skin. Remove nail polish, push back cuticles, then cut and file your nails. Soak an additional 5 minutes in a warm Epsom bath for super soft feet.

3. Hair volumizer — Combine equal parts conditioner and Epsom salt. Work the mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes. The result? Hair full of va-va-voom and volume!

4. Facial scrub — This is one of my favorite Epsom salt uses. Mix 1/2 tsp of Epsom salt with your favorite cleanser; massage into skin using small circles to give your pores a deep-cleaning. Rinse your face with cool water, pat dry. This is one of the most refreshing Epsom salt uses!

5. Relax — Add two cups of Epsom salt to your very-warm bath water and soak for 15 minutes. You can purchase Epsom salt with lavender or eucalyptus for an extra-soothing bath experience. Be careful when standing up, you’ll find that you are VERY relaxed after your Epsom salt bath.

6. Sea salt texturizing hair spray — Combine 1 cup of hot water, 2 tablespoons Epsom salt, 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 1/2 tsp conditioner in a spray bottle. Spray salt mixture into hair and scrunch hair with your hand for pretty beachy-waves.

 7. Fabric softener crystals — Mix 4 cups of Epsom salt and 20 drops of essential oil to make DIY fabric softener crystals. Use 1/4 cup per load and add at beginning of wash. What a clever way to use Epsom salt, and also a way to save money!

8. Splinter removal — Soak your finger in an Epsom salt bath for easy splinter extraction.

9. Body scrub — After showering, massage handfuls of Epsom salt over wet skin to exfoliate the body. Get a spa treatment at home! Get more facial scrub recipes here.

10. Exfoliation — For exfoliation, mix 2 cups of Epsom salt with 1/4 cup of petroleum jelly and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Gently massage into dry patches for smoother skin.

11. Mosquito bites — Epsom salt can ease the symptoms of mosquito bites. Make a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 tablespoons per cup of water), then gently apply to the bite area. This is yet another one of my favorite Epsom salt uses.

12. Sore muscles and arthritis — If your muscles or joints ache, an Epsom salt bath is a great way to find relief. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your very-warm bath water, agitate the water with your hands to dissolve it then soak for 15 minutes.  

13. Tile cleaner — Mix equal parts of dish soap and Epsom salt for a super easy and effective tile cleaner. Rinse with clear water. This is one of the most frugal Epsom salt uses, a great way to save on cleaning supplies and to use a natural alternative to harsh chemical cleaners!

14. Bedtime bath for kids — Add one cup of Epsom salt to your kids’ evening bath to help them sleep more peacefully.

15. Headache relief — Evidence shows that that soaking in an Epsom salt bath can relieve headache symptoms.

16. Acne — Epsom salt has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties making it a fantastic natural treatment for acne.

17. Remove odor on hands and feet — Add 3 Tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1 quart of warm water and soak your hands or feet for 15 minutes. This will makes your skin soft, your nails shine, and also help remove foul odors.

18. Relieve constipation — Pour 8 oz. of drinking water into a glass, mix with 1 to 2 tsp. of Epsom salt and drink the mixture for immediate relief of constipation. Mixing directions are also found on most Epsom salt packages, consult your physician before trying this.

19. Sunburn relief — Dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salt in 1 cups of water and spray on minor sunburns.

20. Draw out infection — For simple infections on hands or feet, soak in a hot Epsom salt bath for 10 minutes to help clear the area. Note, some staph infections are worsened by soaking in hot water, consult your physician.

21. Cure for common cold — Did you know that Epsom salt baths can speed healing by detoxifying your body and increasing your white blood cell count? Try an Epsom salt bath the next time you feel those first symptoms of a cold.

22. Reduce swelling — Epsom salt baths can help the appearance of bruises and reduce swelling.

23. Deter slugs — Sprinkle a trail of Epsom salt around the area you want to be free of slugs.  

24. Blackhead removal — Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt, 3 drops iodine and half a cup of boiling water. Dab this solution to your blackheads with a cotton ball to help naturally extract them.

25. Insecticide — Mix Epson salt with water, add to a spray bottle and spray on plants to naturally deter insects.