Friday, May 30, 2008


Okay, you all know the drill by now, but in case you don't, Robin at takes a cool picture, like the one below, and for a fun Friday challenge, she asks us to write about it in a caption, phrase, poem, title, what have you, in 40 words or less. What does this picture say to you? Oh yeah, you can play along too. Just click on her link and look for the green and black icon like the one above. Here's what I have to say about it...

Nothing but net! Wanna bet!

From this perspective, it would be easier for me to reach the sky.

But I can try.

Me trying to hoop is like putting the post of the goal

Through a small, nylon, net hole.

Okay kids, now your turn. I enjoyed this Friday's challenge once again!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008



You want to drink tea. You gotta have the right stuff. I know you're probably thinking "What more do I need besides a cup, a tea pot, tea, and hot water?" Well, the steps to making great tea can be simplified, but to get the best infusion possible for the type of tea you're drinking and the strength you want it, you need the right teaware. Let's talk options and stuff you just have to have.

For drinking black tea, it's as easy as any old cup (although I prefer pretty and petite for any infusion I drink), boiling hot water; you're done. That's if you're going to steep in your cup. If you steep in a pot on the other hand, you have several great options. I like to steep in a pot unless I'm on the go and must steep in a tea bag and cup. Even then, I use loose tea and my own re-usable or disposable bags that I fill myself. Loose leaf, unless you just don't have a choice or you find loose leaf in a pre-sealed bag in a box, is better than just your standard tea bags filled with dustings of tea of any kind. You will know and can taste the difference. Trust me!

Anyway, there are the Chinese Yixing pots. Great for green teas and maybe Oolongs.

Yixing County, northwest of Shanghai, has been producing pottery with its famous "purple sand" clay, or zisha, since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279). But Yixing's fame (pronounced "ee-shing") really begins during the early Ming Dynasty (1279-1644) when local potters invented the teapot for steeping loose leaf tea.
Although most Yixing teapots are extremely small and crafted into unique shapes, meant for the Chinese tea ceremony, ours are simple, medium-sized teapots suitable for every day brewing.
Yixing teapots develop a rich patina with continued use, so don't use soap to clean. Just rinse out and air dry. (The information in black from

I don't use the above pots, but they are nice and I'd like to have one. You also have the Japanese Tetsubin. Japanese usually drink green tea exclusively, so these are great for greens and whites. The Yixing can definitely be used for white too.

Japanese cast iron teapots, or tetsubin teapots, evoke the ancient past. Cast iron teapots became popular in Japan in the 17th century when the practice of steeping tea leaves (instead of matcha tea powder) became popular. (The information in black from

This next one, the Kyusu, is a Japanese pot, and it is my favorite. It is the one I use every time I steep. It holds heat well (and I'm sure the ones above do too), it's easy to handle, it comes in different sizes, and it leaves you with your choice of tea's taste every steep. It gets better over time and is easy to rinse and clean. I was heartbroken when I broke my first one, and I had to immediately order a new one. Great steeping pots, unless you live near great specialty shops, are hard to find and may have to be ordered. Kyusus are great for greens and whites.

Traditional Japanese teapots are known for their unique side handle. A metal mesh screen inside the spout keeps the leaves out of your cup. The brown kyusu is a Banko pottery ware from Yokkaichi, near Nagoya. The red ware kyusu is from the famed pottery city of Tokoname, south of Nagoya. (The information in black from

For black, herbal, or oolong tea drinkers who want to steep in the pot, there is the standard ceramic or porcelain or china tea pot. In this case, I'll show you a picture of the Chatsford English tea pots, although you can buy a ceramic tea pot from just about anywhere. Black tea and herbal tisanes are consumed more often in America and Europe than green, white, or oolong, so the pots are more readily available. Even Wal-Mart will carry cute little tea pots that will work well for black tea or herbal. There are really elaborate, ornate English tea pots and sets that are wonderful to collect, display, and use.

The English really invented the art of black tea, and these English teapots are classics. This Chatsford lead-free, glazed ceramic teapot does not drip and its large, polypropylene mesh infuser basket allows the tea leaves to fully expand and release their flavor. (Chatsford teapots are manufactured in Thailand by The London Teapot Co. of London, England) (This information supplied by

You can use any tea cup you'd like, to pour your tea in from the infuser pot, but I prefer, if I'm drinking Japanese green (which I am more often than not), to use a smaller, shorter cup than a wider English style tea cup. The Japanese only drink small amounts of tea at a time, and if you pour your tea into a larger wider -mouthed cup, your tea cools too quickly for you to enjoy it. For black tea, I use my smaller cups or the wider English style cups. You can get your cups just about anywhere, but again, if you want authentic Japanese or Chinese cups, you will probably have to order them. There are many stores online that carry any style and type of tea cup you could ever want. Do compare prices.

Other items, like personal tea bags for when you're on-the-go, scoops or measuring spoons, sugar bowls, milk pitchers (the English do not use cream or half-n-half like we think; they use milk, but whatever you prefer is what you should have), water kettles for boiling water (you can buy electric ones or just use the one you already have at home and buy an inexpensive thermometer for your green and white teas), tea canisters, and timers are essential items needed for the optimal tea time. You can collect these things over time and purchase most of them quite inexpensively. Most if not all of these things are readily available in your local stores. In the end, you want to make sure you have a nice collection of necessities and you'll be ready for a great 'cuppa.'

What are you waiting for? Put the kettle on, get your "stuff" out, and have some tea why don't ya.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MOMMY (Caregiver/Mentor) MONDAYS (#14)

I'm back from my son's week long events for graduation. His graduation was very nice, although the work going into the whole week was very tiring. I'm glad to be back home and the chance to get back to my normal routine. It's funny how we can get tired of what seems to be a monotonous daily routine until we have to go somewhere and do things that put us out of the routine, and then we start to cherish that routine. We start to love what God calls us to do for ourselves and our families everyday. I think we love what we do anyway, but we really appreciate it and our homes when we're away for a long time.
If I can get the pictures off of my son's camera, I'll send pictures of his brother's graduation and you can see how proud we are of him and how handsome he is:) !!
I'm realizing more and more how much time I need to spend with my children while they're young. I looked at my son the whole time and I couldn't believe he was 18 years old. I couldn't believe he was actually graduating from high school. I couldn't believe that he was not my little boy any more. There are some things that I feel like are gone, never to return, that I'm actually grieving over to some degree, although, I am glad that God brought him to this point and he has accomplished what he has. I am wanting him to go on to do exactly what God wants him to do, but a mother misses certain things. I don't want him to be anywhere but where he should be, so I must grieve in my little way, and move on. I'm ready and willing to do that. I need God's help with it at certain junctures though. He has been faithful to me.
Lately, I've noticed that the kids, even my 15 year old son, are still willing to go anywhere with Mommy. I love it!!! I will cherish every single moment. I want to do as much with them now as I can, while I can. It has been so rewarding, and I hope they know it. I will remind them regularly of how much being with them means to me. I want them to pass this on to their children. I want my children and their children and their children to have a great sense of family. I really thank God for the privilege of being a mother and having time to do things with them.
Well, tomorrow will be TO THE TUNE OF TEA TUESDAY, and I hope I have something interesting to tell about all things tea. I love it so much, and I want everyone to find some kind of tea they can love and appreciate. There's so much out there, that there must be a kind for everyone. Anyway, until tomorrow, I bid you farewell. Have a great Memorial Day and a great time with family or someone you love, or who loves you!!

Monday, May 19, 2008


My precious readers, there is a new poll at the bottom of the page, and I'd like for you all to participate, just for fun!! Sorry I hadn't updated and put out a new poll lately. I try to do one once a week, but the last couple of weeks have been mighty hectic, and when I posted, I forgot all about the poll. The answer to the last poll's question, "Which word means 'of persons given to using long words?" was the word sesquipedalian. I learned something new too. I never knew that word before I put the poll out. I love learning new words and their meanings!

One more thing I need you to know before I go; I will not be home to post for an entire week, starting tomorrow, so don't forget about me while I'm gone:), and I apologize for not being able to give you something fresh and new. For those of you who would like to pray whenever you think about my family and I, please do so. We welcome the prayers.

Come back to see what's new posted by this weekend, and we'll prayerfully be back in blogging or posting business!! I have a son who is graduating, and he has a week's worth of activities that I must attend to. That makes Mommy out of commission for a while. I will return as soon as possible. Thanks for your understanding. Have a wonderful week in the Lord!!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I'm participating again!! With whom and to what?

Robin at Friday's 40 Words or Less Photo Challenge. Forgot the challenge (if you want to play along)? Look at the picture below. Then, in 40 words or less, give it a caption, a poem, title, post, or whatever you want to say in 40 or less. Check out my "welcome letter" below the picture, that would be found in the room for my own 40 word challenge! (The picture is Robin's, brought in from her blog)

Welcome to the Roberts-Wright B & B where luxury is not additional; it is the norm. Your room comes equipped with all of the latest amenities and sophisticated modernity. You are in the Feathered Down Room. Two words--LOSE YOURSELF!

Now, go over to Robin's ( to see who else played along. I bet there are some good ones out there!

Robin, I had fun with this one!! I wanted to jump in the picture! Thanks for choosing that picture.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008



Has God called you to fast? Why do we fast? How can you know if He has called you to fast? Do you think fasting is a Christian requirement? Is there more than one way to fast? Can fasting make you a better Christian or cause God to hear you clearer? These are a few of many questions asked concerning fasting or that we need to ask ourselves if we've thought about this act of cleansing, consecration, meditation, and focus.

Some of these answers should be personal, like the first two, but some we need to be educated on and we need to exercise wisdom and gain a great knowledge and understanding about. Fasting is an old practice, practiced as far back as Bible days. Even Jesus fasted. That fact alone says that it can't be wrong, but there is a time, place, and way to do everything, and there should be a sure leading into doing it.

There are some amazing reasons out there for why people fast and some are not Biblical. Some people fast for weight loss reasons, some people fast because they've been told or convinced that they are not real Christians if they don't, some people fast to appear more spiritual, and some people fast because it's something to do-why not?

On the flip side of the above, there are amazing results and blessings for people who have fasted when, how, and why God said to do so. If God lead or prompted a fast, you can be sure that it's not only the right thing to do, but that He will give you the wisdom, strength, sustenance through prayer and His Word, and He will be glorified. Whether you have a mountain-top experience after a fast or feel no really big changes at all, you can be sure that you and the circumstances are not the same. Obedience to God's prompting alone glorifies Him and strengthens your faith in Him. That is change good enough.

Like in everything that means anything in life, we should get understanding about fasting. Recently, I read an article by Dr. Bill Bright (The founder of Campus Crusade for Christ) that gave a clear picture of fasting, a practical way to go into a fast, what to expect through one, his experiences with fasts, and how to come out of one. It was very interesting, insightful, and practical. I recommend anyone who is curious about fasting or feel they've heard from the Lord to go into one read this article. I have certainly benefited from his insight, wisdom, and experience, and have saved the article so that I can refer back to it when or if necessary. The link to the article is

There are hundreds of articles on the Internet about fasting, but reader beware!! There are some with really wild benefits to fasting and really false non or un-Biblical reasons. Does every fast need to be spiritual or Biblically based? That's up to you. Fasting has such benefits that it should never be taken flippantly or lightly though. There may be times for a type of fast just for internal body cleansing or to let your body have a rest from certain foods, or perhaps to kill a chronic craving for sweets, etc. by denying your body that certain thing for so long that you don't crave it anymore, or as much. This is certainly a different take on the type of fasting I'm referring to in my post, and I don't see these fasts as "wrong." You can certainly do what you choose to do as right or healthy for your body or lifestyle, but for the type we're talking about in this post, God's leading needs to be your only reason for fasting and He will be clear in letting you know. He will make everything about the ordeal clear.

Bill Bright suggests consulting a physician or not doing a fast altogether (for those with severe or chronic health problems that would make fasting dangerous or fatal). He does mention though, that for the healthy, fasting is rewarding.

I thought I'd write this post today because for Christians, we're living in a time where things are "heavy," to say the least, and/or God is calling us to a deeper relationship and fellowship with Him. He may or may not be calling you to fast to make something happen. Sometimes that "something" is just for you to re-focus your affections and attentions on Him, and guys, that's good enough reason all by itself! Our goal in fasting, meditating, or worship is to turn our total attention and affections toward Christ. We need no other reason or need not look for anything else. But, there are times, as mentioned in Mark 9:29 and Matthew 17:21, where God has chosen fasting and praying, by us, to be His method or conduit by which He causes great change from serious issues.

Wouldn't it be a privilege if He chose you? Wouldn't you love to be obedient to the call of fasting because God was getting ready to do something? Wouldn't you just love to deepen your relationship and just be silent before Him because the lack or denial of something (fasting) has given you the freedom to get there? If God has not called you to fast, DON'T. If He has, get ready for a tough and totally rewarding experience that will change your life and perhaps somebody else's. When God is involved, THINGS CHANGE!

I encourage you to read the article by Bill Bright and other reputable Christian authors with fasting experience, look for great books in the book stores and online that talk about it, and talk to others who have had great experience with obedience to fasting. When or if God calls you, you'll be ready and would have gained great understanding into this wonderful privilege of God.

Sorry this article is posted late, but as I've said before, family and priorities first. I'm just glad that I got to think on and post this article at all today. It's been full and busy around here. I hope this post has blessed you. Have a wise Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


(picture from World Hum)


Now everybody that knows me knows that I'm not as big a fan of black tea as I am green. I love my green tea, especially my J Greens, but there are some black teas I can not only tolerate and stomach, but that I actually like. There are also some recipes for chai that include black tea of course, that I really like.

I want to share with you some of my favorite black teas, that I'd like for you to try and a recipe for traditional chai (using all of those beautiful spices pictured above). I also have a recommendation for a store-bought chai that I tried this weekend, and surprisingly, for store-bought, it was really good! It will certainly do in a pinch or for unexpected guests.

We'll start backwards. Celestial Seasonings ( that pretty good, store-bought chai in a canister that I was talking about. Click on their website link here and then click on the chai tab on the left. All of the ones they have listed look really great, but the one I tried was the chai with sweet coconut. It had something else in the title on the can that I saw this weekend, and it wasn't decaf like the one listed on their website, but you guys, this was impressive. Did you know that C.S. sells coffee now too? Check it out.

Now I've got a chai recipe if you're adventuresome and brave, and you like to make your own stuff. I want to try and make one similar to the one I tasted this weekend, except with fresh spices and to my own taste. Anyway, that's later. Here's what I've got for you (BTW, you can substitute vanilla soy or rice milk in place of half-n-half (if you can't handle milk products)):

Best Traditional Indian Tea---FROM SCRATCH
I read the Indian Tea recipes on your Chai Recipes page. Quite interestingly, most of these recipes are for "busy" people. Even from the well known cook expert.
I do not want to boast, but try the following traditional recipe, which is used by hundreds of thousands of Indian housewives, who have lots of time to prepare tea. Remember, good food, especially indian food, is never cooked in hurry. Try it, and if you do not like it, do not post on the net.
First, all of these ingredient should be fresh (or as fresh as possible). You can get all these spices in Indian-american grocerry stores.
1. Brooke Bond Red label, Mamri, or Tajmahal Black tea ( You don't have to use one of these labels of Indian tea; you can use a great black tea of your choice. It just needs to be a quality Assam or Darjeeling--Note here mine) [DO NOT USE GREEN OR LEAF TEA, IT WILL RUIN THE TASTE].

2. Cloves, cinamon stick (good quality), fresh ginger (powder or prepackaged cannot be substituted), whole black pepper, cardomon pods.
3. Optional items: White khas-khas (Indian name of a spice, which is round dried seeds); and soanph (green dried, not roasted)
4. Half-and-Half milk. No other milk can be substituted (if you really want the taste of real chai) (Remember, if you can't take milk, you can use a soy or rice product--note here mine)
In a clean deep dish container, put 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup milk (Half-and-Half), 1 full teaspoon black tea and spices as follows.
1 pod cardomon, 2 pea size fresh ginger (mulched),1-2 big size whole black pepper, 1/8 to 1/6 cinnemon stick
On a hard piece of paper, crush all of them together. Immediately put this mix in dish with water and milk. Keep them on heater plate or gas range for about 15 minutes, keep stirring continuously. Add sugar to your taste. Drain on strainer and serve in a cup.
The idea is to burn water from the tea while mixing the spices into the leftover tea. You may have to experiment with the quantity of water and milk to the final quantity of tea. In my experience, 2:1 ratio works better, i.e. I use 2 cups of (milk + water) for making one cup of chai. 1 cup of water is burned in the process. This provides smooth taste of chai.
Please note: Chai making can be fun, but you cannot cut time. I have always made the best chais and never thought of time. Belive me it is time well spent.
Send me your comments. Vijay

My recommendations for black tea, if you've gotta have it like some do:

P.G. Tips Special Blend (P.G.'s are kind of the traditional English teas)
Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold
Taylors of Harrogate Afternoon Darjeeling
Barry's Tea Classic Blend

(Of course these are ones that can be easily found in the U.S. There are others, but they must be ordered and shipped or you've actually got to know someone in the country of origin or go there yourself)

I've discovered that ones like P.G. Tips and Typhoo do well with personal home blending with dried herbs and/or botanicals. My girls blend P.G. Tips or a great Darjeeling with dried fruit teas or floral botanicals that are aromatic and flavorful.

Google a British tea website to find the nearest retailer for your English or Indian black teas. Try your hand at a traditional chai and let me know how it turned out. Have a great Tuesday and remember, it's no good without tea!

Monday, May 12, 2008



All right, so you want to know what we're doing to celebrate? Well, I've thought about this, and I had a couple of ideas, but I couldn't come up with anything better than the idea given to me by a blogger named Kelly @ Go check her out when you have time (but not now people-read on!). Kelly suggested that I give my testimony as an alternative to the typical 100th post theme, which is usually to tell 100 interesting things about yourself or things you are or were interested in doing. Just that whole fresh, different approach and the opportunity to be frank and transparent was appealing to me, and prayerfully, will be helpful to you; if not helpful, at least you can be grateful to God to be who you are and not who I was. So, with no further comments from the peanut gallery, here we go: (BTW, if you don't have time, you don't have to read this all in one sitting. It'll be here, so come back to it another time!)

1. I was saved when I was a young girl (before my teens), but I can't remember the age.

2. I didn't know what being saved really meant, but I wanted to be saved. In our family and church, you just were prompted when it was "time." You didn't disagree, question, or disobey. This was the thing you do before you get older because it's "right."

3. I probably got saved at a revival with my siblings. This was usually the time for us when it was done.

4. I belonged to a very small, Christian Methodist Episcopal church in Memphis, TN. (This is no longer my chosen denomination or where God wanted me to remain)

5. Most of my church (90% or more) was comprised of my family members.

6. I realized after I got to my early teens that I hadn't learned all that Christ wanted me to know about Him. I knew that something was missing, but I didn't quite know what it was and what I was supposed to be looking for.

7. Our little church closed its doors for good by the time I was a pre-teen or teenager and I never joined another church in Memphis until after I was grown and had children. I visited places regularly, but never joined or became an official member on the role anywhere. I was still trying to figure out my relationship with God.

8. I got married for the first time when I was 21 years old, apparently looking for what I didn't have in Christ, but I didn't know it at the time.

9. I moved to Ft. Campbell,KY with my Army husband and started looking for a church to attend regularly there. I was looking to go to church because it was the right thing to do, I wanted my son to go, and I may have been in pursuit of that "missing" thing that God wanted me to discover.

10. My then-husband played piano and keyboard, so when we were in search of a church, he naturally wanted to be a part of "plugging in" somewhere, so he chose to use his gifts that way.

11. We were happy doing this at first, and I thought that we would be one, big happy family, one that would go to church regularly and live out that fairy-tale marriage. It was right to be a church-going family that wanted the best for your family, work hard, and play regularly right? Where was the personal relationship with Jesus? I didn't know I could have one at the time.

12. I found a very conservative church eventually, that we wanted to be a part of. I didn't find out until later that, while they were very God-loving, people-loving, God-fearing people, they were extremely legalistic.

13. I wanted to be a part of this church because I thought these people had it together; not perfect, but they were pursuing something (later I realized it was what they perceived as pursuing Godliness) I desired. I was the one missing something and they were living nice, holy lives.

14. I thought to live holy meant that you had to give up some things (not just the things that you need to give up to be transformed to the image of Christ, but things like pants, short hair, all music but Christian hymns, and much more). I was willing and ready to give things up to get this holiness I saw and to get that "missing" component I had been looking for.

15. To these (I ended up moving around in Hawaii, and landed last at a sister church of the first church we joined) church's credit, they told me who God really was (the trinity), they told me all about my salvation, they were humble people who genuinely loved the Lord, and I got to see that played out in the way they lived, talked, and did life together. I wanted that!

16. My then-husband started to feel the pressure of living a Godly life, realized that we were not on the same page, had the desire to live a double life (a lot of what he wanted to do and a little of what God wanted), and didn't seem to have anything in common with the church people anymore.

17. I kept going deeper in this church, but I'm not sure I was going much deeper in Christ. The church and its activities were doing it for me. Oh, I was doing what I thought I should be doing, and I was growing more than I ever had before, but still, something was "missing." I was glad to be active and have my children active in church though.

18. My desire was to have my children know and love Jesus earlier than I did. That desire still remains although I see Jesus through different eyes now.

19. My then-husband eventually filed for divorce because obviously we were not pursuing the same things (and Person), and he admitted that he was not willing to do what it took to "fix" things.

20. Though I wasn't perfect in the marriage, I wanted to stay to do what I could and keep my family intact, but again, he was not willing. This was divorce #1.

21. Since my relationship with the church and God seemed to be working for me at the time and was really starting to be somewhat of a comfort in the midst of all of my turmoil, I continued on with church, church stuff, teaching my children (had 2 boys by then), etc.

22. Somewhere between #21 and #24, I moved to a little town outside of Ft. Campbell (my ex had been re-stationed at F.C.), was pursued by this same husband again at some point, and out of my desire to keep or get my family back together, I married this man a second time.

23. We were re-stationed back in Hawaii (2 tours there-Yea!!). We were divorced again, for the same reasons he filed the first time, not more than a year or so after I had moved back. Divorce #2. (I was still looking for love in all of the wrong places, and valuing a relationship with someone above my relationship with Christ, but I didn't recognize that I was doing that. I thought I was doing the right thing. Somebody was getting cheated, and I don't think it was my ex!)

24. I moved to California with a friend to start a new life and continue to raise my children. I lived in northern California.

25. My friend was active duty Coast Guard and she was also a single parent. She thought, out of her graciousness and kindness, she would invite me to live with her for a while until I found a job and a new place to stay of my own-help me with a fresh start.

26. I loved northern California, and so did my children at the time. My oldest son went to a little school there so small, that it couldn't have been more than 70-80 students from K to 5th grade. It could have been even smaller than that. He only went one year. I homeschooled him after this.

27 We lived in California for almost a year. I did get a job, I applied for school, but never got a chance to go, and I took the written and physical tests to become a police officer in my small town and passed them with flying colors.

28. I attended an old, historic church in California (another conservative, legalistic one, of course, but less legalistic than the last), that had been split and practically abandoned years before I came, but the church was still struggling along with very few "leftover" people who were committed to staying. People were just "existing" at this church, but they were very humble and were trying to have programs and a sense of purpose again.

29. I really liked the people at this church because most of them seemed to like and live the old-fashioned way. One lady who went even spun her own wool, from her own sheep, that she sheared herself. This and other things I discovered were so fascinating to me!

30. Something came up, and I needed to move back to Memphis before I could apply to the cadet school to become an officer.

31. I had one of the highest scores that they had ever gotten on the written, and I passed all of the physical tests without having had prior prep or training except I couldn't seem to pass the test of scaling a flat, smooth wall. I have no idea why. It took me forever to learn how to do it, and after a week of going at it, I finally did although it wasn't pretty!!

32. I moved back to Memphis with the intent of living independently of needing my parents, and with the intent of finding a church and continuing on with that. I had learned to love church and having my kids involved in some incredible programs. "Programs"...boy that makes a church doesn't it?

33. Back in Memphis, I found another church that we would call home for a while. It was as legalistic as the first one I joined in Hawaii. I thought this was the way to live, so this was the kind of environment that I would naturally look for. Again, these were wonderful, warm, serious people about the Lord, and I'm still trying to fill in the gap of what I was missing. By now, I may have even thought that gap was filled in.

34. In between all of this time, I took classes in college (I had already gone when I graduated high school), went to beauty school very briefly, and worked really good jobs that paid me well enough to live on my own, pay my bills, and raise the children.

35. Somewhere in these years, my oldest son's father and I (different man than my first and only husband at this point) met again, wanted to pick up where we left off when I was 18 and dating him heavily (so heavily I got pregnant while in college and had my first child), and he wanted to see and claimed to want a relationship with the son he'd never seen up to this point. My son was now 8 years old.

36. I had had the above mentioned son at 19 and delivered at 20 (so I went into marriage #1 with a son already and then had a son in that marriage. I'm just bringing you up to speed. You gotta keep up. This turns into a roller coaster ride.). Never considered one second giving him up though. I thought, as hard or unsure as life was for me at that time, I already loved this unborn child, I would survive somehow, and if I did what it took to conceive him, I needed to be that purposeful and decisive about raising him.

37. I moved to my present city, dated him for a while, got pregnant with my daughter, and married him, because...well, I loved him when I was 18, he loved me very very much when I was young, I had his child and was about to have another one, I wanted to keep family together again, if at all possible, this could work.

38. Nope, I didn't ask God. I just hoped He approved because 'this could work based on what I knew about the guy back when and what I hoped for right then.' I'm still, at this point, looking for something from somewhere.

39. I never had to have a man, because I stayed by myself contently when I was single, so I figure the only reason I got back with them was a sense of having my own intact family, making sure the kids had a father (I only had children by both my husbands, after all, and I didn't sleep around with other people or have babies by other men.), and hoping that things worked out for that sense of "happily ever after."

40. I'd always wanted to be married as a young girl, and I knew I wanted lots of children. I didn't want to ever be divorced or fight like my parents. (Ha! I had superseded my own parents in #'s of divorces by then. I could have taught THEM something! So much for that idea as a girl)

41. Even though I didn't have to have a man to be content or happy with myself, I still had a hole that needed to be filled, but it wasn't being filled by them. What was happening here?

42. While I wanted things to work out with their fathers, and I loved at least one of them, I wasn't completely devastated beyond repair and didn't feel like I was going to die when they wanted a divorce. I was hurt and wounded, but I always knew I would recover, and at this point, I knew that God would help me. I just wasn't making Him the center of my life.

43. Bouncing off #37 above, I soon realized that my life had changed drastically since I was 18 and knew this guy (when I was young, dumb, and full of fun!), and he realized that I had changed too.

44. He discovered that I was interested in God, in an ever-increasing way, and that we had grown so far apart over the years that we really didn't know each other after all, not any more.

45. We kept trying to make things work. He didn't recognize that he had some deep-seated issues that he had never gotten help for. So they affected him very negatively over the years that we had not seen each other. This issues affected our family in devastating ways. He decided that he didn't care enough.

46. The Lord kept drawing me closer, kept protecting me, kept filling that hole, kept loving me until I lay prostrate on the floor one day, after having wept all day and all night about my present situation, my stupidity, blindness, and ignorance in the past, and how much I just desired Him, plain and simple.

47. I begged for his forgiveness (which He had already given me at the cross), repented of lots of things, asked for guidance, made some promises to Him, asked for peace in the middle of what had become a tumultuous storm, and asked for the protection of my children until this man changed and accepted Him, or until He could give me a right way out where my hands would be clean of any further sin.

48. The Lord gave me that peace that surpasses all human understanding by the next morning. My life had changed without a doubt. I couldn't feel any more pity or pain. I had been broken, but He had delivered me. He had brought me through the storm. He had heard my cry and my call and saw my sincerity. He knew that I had recognized my utter need for Him and Him alone.

49. My husband asked for us to leave the home within a matter of weeks. I had remained peaceful with him, non-combative, non-argumentative, etc. He was trying to figure out what was going on. He had gotten to the place where it was vexing his spirit to pass by me and see me read my Bible, pray, teach the children about the Lord, etc. He hated when we went to church. He hated preachers. He hated the sheer presence of the Holy Spirit.

50. God had filled the hole! Praise God Almighty!!!

51. My three children and I left, with no knowledge of where we would go. I had no money and no job because I had stayed home with the children while he worked.

52. Although I had no money and no prospect of a place to go, I had to be one of the happiest people on earth at that moment. I was happy to be kicked out with my children in the street.

53. I was FREE after all! When I packed my stuff and pulled out of that driveway for the last time, I never even looked back in my rear view mirror.

54. God freed me from that den of hell where I had been married to and sleeping with the enemy or at least one of his henchmen.

55. I didn't have to file for a divorce (like I didn't want to be responsible for doing), I didn't have to be the one to just walk out on my husband without trying to win him over with my behavior and conversation and spirit, and I didn't have to kill him for his abuse, neglect, and abandonment that we had endured the whole time we were living there!! Yea!! God rescued me from a whole lot of things!

56. He put us out so...WE COULD LEAVE! The man told us to never come back again; that he didn't want a family. He wanted to be single because he functioned better that way (I managed to have the monopoly on marrying "strange" men). God is so clever with helping you fix your mistakes, and He does it all without helping you sin.

57. While I had been in "earth hell," and had received God's peace, He allowed me to learn incredible things about Him. I figured out how much He really loved me. I figured out that He could do a good job being my all in all.

58. I had consumed so much of God's Word while I was with this man. All I had had time to do was read, meditate, pray, read, meditate, pray. God gave me all of that time at home everyday to focus on the kids and just READ!

59. He was going to use it later. He knew I'd need it. He grew me up (spiritually) so quickly, it was unbelievable! It seemed that I had learned what it was to really live. My belief system changed while I was there, not about God, but about life, His will, His plans.

60. I learned that I had two jobs here on earth, and those were to glorify God and tell others of Him.

61. I determined to live life only as God had spelled out at this point. I determined to give my children a sense of total dependency on Christ. I wanted them to see me madly in love with Him, not a him.

62. I had already been attending a new kind of local church in my city, so at this point, I was praying about whether this is where God wanted my children and I to remain.

63. I moved in with a friend temporarily, got a job, saved up money, put my boys in school temporarily (I started homeschooling again later.), and eventually found a place of our own.

64. I moved, gave my children a much-needed peaceful home environment, and eventually got another job that kept me from working all night. I had been working third shift while living with my friend and it started to take its toll because I was working all night and looking for a home, taking the kids to school, running errands, helping with homework, and then preparing for work again all day.

65. God had proven Himself to me. He made good on His promises. I loved Him more everyday. I had never felt this way about the Lord in my whole life. I knew that I had been saved, I had been finally taught about the trinity in prior years to this, but I had a personal relationship with Christ now, and nothing else mattered. I wanted to be alone with God. I just wanted God and my babies!

66. I found a 2nd shift job that allowed me to homeschool all 3 of my children during the day and continue to teach them to be independent and responsible, so that when I went to work, they could function and do well without me.

67. God protected my babies in my absence. I had to pray with them and for them day and night. I had to pray for myself so that I wouldn't stress out worrying about them and, I could work peacefully.

68. My boys did a great job taking care of themselves, doing assigned chores, studying, and feeding themselves what I had prepared for them (on schedule I might add) or what they had learned to cook from my teaching.

69. They would pray together or seperately, go to bed on time, didn't let anybody in our house while I was gone (that came later when I wasn't working any more, but left to run an errand. Go figure!), and had themselves prepared for school the next day. My oldest would even check the windows and the doors to make sure they were locked safely in.

70. My daughter was very young so she went to a babysitter or her father's until she was a little older and her brother's were responsible enough and felt capable of watching her. (The proceedings for divorce #3 were occuring somewhere between now and #71-84 I think.)

71. My boys had learned how to fish, hunt, and shoot accurately when we lived around or visited my dad over the years, so because I owned a handgun for protection (my dad had insisted and taught me to use them also, since I lived alone and traveled alone a lot), my boys always knew where my handgun was, and they knew how to use it. They would use it if they had to. I wasn't there, so it was God and the gun as protection. That's how it was.

72. My children were discovering some neat things along the way about God also. They had seen the Christ life lived out in front of them before, but now they could see it lived out freely without someone trying to impede that at every turn. They got to discover that God was real, that He answered prayer, that He loved them tremendously, and didn't want them hurting, etc.

73. They were beginning to be more excited about Christ, fellowship with other like-minded children, and settle into some sense of normalcy. My children had been saved for a while at this point, but they could now be at peace and see God's hand directly in our lives. They learned to trust Him more.

74. My job was changing, so I needed to put my children in school.

75. I went to a local Christian school, checked them out, and told the pastor that I wanted my children, if they had to be put back in school out of homeschool, to go to a Christian school so that they would be surrounded by at least more of the mention of God and things of Him for all those hours away from me during the day.

76. I told this pastor that while I wanted that, I couldn't realistically afford tuition for 3 children out of my salary, but that I was willing to do anything it took.

77. I told him that I would sweep the parking lot for them if necessary, that I would do whatever task they gave me in exchange for tuition or to earn money to pay tuition.

78. After I interviewed with this school and the pastor saw my genuineness (and after I prayed of course, like I had learned the value of doing about everything in my life at this point), I took on a job as an assistant teacher and would sign my checks over to the school as I earned them to pay tuition.

79. I worked 2 full-time jobs at this point, one that allowed me to still be with my kids all day and keep tabs on them (and it paid tuition), and one at night that paid the bills and put food on the table.

80. I had an hour and 15 minutes between jobs to take my children home, go over homework, dole out chores, tell what would be for dinner, give out snacks, etc. I hated to do it, but I kissed my babies good-bye, and Mommy was off, missing them like crazy, but doing what this single parent had to do.

81. Somehow, God had allowed me to make every game, program, drop off at every practice, etc. that my kids were involved in. Just because I was a single parent that worked two jobs didn't mean I was going to or wanted to use that as an excuse to miss anything. I wanted to be as much a part of their lives as I could. (It was God's grace and enabling period!)

82. I got home between 12:00 and 1:00am on average every night. God gave me enough energy, after working 2 jobs to come home, wash clothes, iron my daughter's uniform and my clothes for the next day, check homework left out for me, thaw something for dinner the next day, see if I needed to clean something the kids couldn't after their own chores, do my own homework (whatever I hadn't finished earlier at my desk when I was working) from a course I was taking, read my Bible, and get myself ready for bed.

83. By the time I finished all of the above, I may have gotten or averaged about 2-3 hours a night at best. I had to get up early to get myself and the kids out for school and work.

84. This went on day after day, year after year, while I had gotten so comfortable with the fact that it was just me, Jesus, and the kids, that I didn't and wouldn't have known a prospective mate if I saw one.

85. I wasn't looking for anybody, didn't want anyboy, didn't need anybody, and had gotten comfortable with God being my literal everything. He had become my constant companion, my confidante, my priest, my protector, my provider, my husband, my children's father, my all in all!

86. What else did I need or even want?! Nothing-just Jesus.

87. I cherished my obedience to Christ, my singleness, my comfort zone I was in, my total need and dependency on Him, all of that and more.

88. God sent a husband my way, only after He was sure that I didn't need him for any reason except for His reasons. I personally thought that this was a mistake, not something of God, and just a distraction or temptation that I needed to shun.

89. For me, this was going to be easy. Just smile, be polite, and politely reject him. I wasn't against men, I just didn't need one, and I had come to the realization that no man walking on two legs on this earth could do a better job than Jesus with me and my children.

90. Well, the above fact is correct, but obviously I went from one extreme to the next. I went from living life without Christ on the center seat and allowing (although not needing) these men into my life to over-protecting myself, keeping anything that remotely looked like an interested-in-a-relationship man away from us and out of our lives. (I dated no one when I wasn't married to my children's fathers or going through a divorce and living alone.)

91. I also didn't think that I could trust my own judgement and decisions when it came to relationships and men. I didn't want to ever mess up again. I didn't want to casually date, and I certainly wasn't thinking of marriage because that could potentially (a great chance in my case) lead to divorce. I hated divorce! I didn't want my children to suffer through any more bad relationships. It was safer to just stay single. It had been working more than well up to this point. Why would God want to send me somebody?

92. I didn't want anybody to compete with God in my life. (Well duh sister me, God didn't want that either. Get some balance here chickarooney!)

93. So God sends this guy (see my Marriage Monday post for details on this one), breaks down these too-high protective walls of mine, shows me who was boss, whispers in my ear one day during class that this was His chosen person for me and I needed to submit, showed me why He was giving me this gift of a man at this point in my walk, and told me to remember whom I served and how perfect He was and that He made no mistakes.

94. HIS thoughts are higher, bigger, and better than ours evidently!

95. My husband, the one and only true one sent from God Himself, the one who seems like he's the only husband I've ever had, as if this marriage is the first and only one I've had, waited on me, waited, believed God for this promise of a wife, and prayed while I went through my questioning myself and God, while I doubted my need for him, while I doubted that I could actually give myself to anyone for any reason, while I wavered back and forth, while I did everything else and said everything to try and convince this man that this could be a potential mistake that neither of us should want to take a chance on. (Thank you God for this man. He is perfect for me! You are an awesome God and he is a wonderful man of God! Oooohooo, thank you Sweet Jesus! When I became an adult, all I'd ever wanted was a real, genuine, love-God-like-crazy, Christian husband who loved family and people's hearts or I wanted nothing at all! Look what I got!!!!)

96. My husband says that he immediately sensed and saw my heart for Christ and that attracted him so much that he knew he had to pursue this woman more and see what else she was about.

97. He watched how God had given me the ability to raise my children single, stay involved in their lives in every way, and have them behave so nicely and obediently (I didn't say what some of you see with them now; I'm talking about then, okay:). He was impressed.

98. God had allowed me to finish a 2-year Christian course and was giving me opportunities at my job, at church, at home, in Memphis, and elsewhere to use what I had learned to teach and tell people about Him or learn how to study their Bible. I was still growing in Christ by leaps and bounds. Now He would give me the opportunity to use what I had learned in a marriage, that along with the life experiences that my flesh had succumbed to and other things that God allowed.

99. God turned my bad into good, like only the God of the universe can do!

100. I still desire to love and worship Him with reckless abandonment! I pray for and hold fast to my desire to never trade my Jesus and my life-long pursuit of Him for anybody or anything. I don't have to. I am free to love, live, and die with my Jesus. I am free indeed! He makes that possible. Two of my favorite verses are 1Peter 2:9-10--We here are a peculiar people (a people for God's own possession), brought out of darkness into His marvelous light, so that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him! He has shown us mercy beyond measure and grace! We love Him! I hope you do too!!

And that, my dears, with many smaller details and events necessarily left out, is where God has brought me from. I was praising Him the whole time I was writing this because I know the triune God and what I've been through. It could not be done under any human effort and energy. I didn't mention that God chiseled away at my character and brought me through a 2-month parental interference (It's a nice, legal term for the non-custodial parent kidnapping your child with no intentions of bringing them back), gestational trophoblastic disease (a nice, medical term for a rare cancer in the uterus as a result of a molar pregnancy), a miscarriage, a hysterectomy, and the discovery that my oldest son suffers from a mental disease and will never be the same he was prior to 15 1/2 again. And this all happened while I was believing in, and/or following and serving Him! I am better, stronger, and more usable for it. Praise His Holy Name!!

MOMMY (Mentor/Caregiver) MONDAYS (#13)

I want to tell you this Monday, what Mother's Day means to me (This in place of my normal Mommy Mondays, although Mother's Day was yesterday).

It means hearing a son who is mentally ill and whom had gone astray say to me, "Mom, I miss you. I wish I were there with you. I wish I had lots of money to buy you something big, because you deserve it. I realize every day that I'm away from you how much you really did for me when I was there. I know you love me." This said through his many tears and choked voice. The Holy Spirit through me said, "My gift is your voice. I don't need or want anything you could buy. You're still Mama's big boy. I love you and I always will." This said through "Mama tears" and a choked voice. I wanted to snap my fingers and make life right for him right then, but I could not. Hurt, pain, sadness, and joy all mixed together is what I felt. I realize that I am not in control.

It (Mother's Day) also means that I think on pure, hard, righteous things like asking the Lord to help me to love a child that is not biologically mine and is not always lovable and kind. It is desiring to understand why she is the way she is and why she treats me the way she does. It is going beyond my human capabilities, but using my desire to propel me before the throne to ask of God what I simply cannot do on my own. It's wanting to love when I don't feel like it sometimes. It's being real, and honest, and transparent about that because...God already knows anyway. The Holy Spirit in me says, "You have to love her because I do. There are no exceptions to the rule. See her the way I do. Come before my throne as many times as necessary to get this accomplished, because it must be. Do what I guide you to do no matter what it looks like to anyone else." I realize again, that I am not the One in control.

Mother's Day is doing the hard things like telling a child "no" when necessary and sticking to it. Reminding your child of the benefit of obedience and the lack of it is a bad spirit and leads to disgrace and demise. Looking your child who thinks that the world revolves around him in the eye and simply saying and meaning, "It doesn't. It won't ever. It's not about you. It's about Him (while pointing upward). It will always be about Him, and I think you're old enough now to understand that and get that through your head." It's about loving, guiding, and directing him though, outside of those "no" moments, so that "no" isn't as hard a pill to swallow when the time comes for that to be told. It's about knowing that sometimes the child will accept "no," and sometimes they won't, and that they will have to accept the consequences of reacting negatively or out of the character of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They realize that they are not in control.

Mother's day for me is about this little girl that's bringing up the rear, that you've wanted to be better than you since the day she was born. You want to shield and protect her from the negativity of the other children, in the home and out of the home, so that she isn't affected by it, and her character isn't damaged. You want her to avoid the pitfalls of the other children and just life itself. You want her to remain innocent, loving, and kind forever. You want her to respond kindly and nicely all of the time, and not go through hormonal "mess" that girls tend to around her age. You want her to be a "girly girl," prissy, dress-loving, young lady forever, and never desire the dress of the world, but stay modest. The Holy Spirit says, "Lead her and guide her like you would the rest of the kids, in Jesus, keep her before the throne, teach her His precepts day and night, at every opportunity. Remember always whose child she really is, don't make this personal-to make her different than you (better), so that she won't remind you of your former days before Christ. You've dedicated her back to me, and I want you to keep My child before Me, so that I can do with her what I please. Keep setting the Godly example in front of her that I called you to, and you will have given her what you're supposed to. I will protect her if you and she will allow me, but, outside of what I've told you to do, YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL of the outcome."

I am not in control. What a concept! And so, I go before the throne for these children, as I always do, knowing this fact, accepting it (though it's hard to accept sometimes). It is a privilege to have them, it is a privilege to pray for them, they are gifts (on loan) to me, I am a steward of the biggest job that this life can offer, I am a mother, I love my very hard job, what else can I say? This is my assignment, and while it's not everyone's, we all have something we've been assigned to do. Let's do it God's way!

Thank you Lord today, for the gift of my children, the privilege to be a steward of something that you highly value; thank you for entrusting someone as imperfect as I to love, teach, and train your perfect creations. Every day is Mother's Day to me. Every day is Mother's Day to them, whether they know it or recognize it or not. I am committed to always bring your children before You, so that You can do with them what you will. I am committed to living out a Godly life in front of them, with your guidance, conviction, and prompting, because that is the best gift and example, besides introducing them to you, that I can give them. Draw them ever close to You. Fill them with Your Holy Spirit daily. With their desire to live lives for You, honor that desire and carry them through. Fulfill, with their yielding, the promises You have set before them. They are Yours, Oh Lord, lest I forget. Anything You value, I do too. Thank You again, in Jesus' Precious Holy name. Amen.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I bet you already know this, but I just had to say it anyway!!
Who doesn't love a good "find?"
Who doesn't love to save money?
Who doesn't like both of the above together?
I love to FIND neat things and pay less than retail. I love old things,I love new things on clearance, I love the thought of treasures you may find in vintage, re-sale, and thrift shops. I love garage sales and estate sales. Do you get the picture?!! This stuff just thrills me to pieces. No, I'm not hard to please.
Yesterday, in preparation for a Mommy/Daughter tea banquet, I looked around for the little odds and ends that I needed to complete the tea table that I was hosting at church. I was tired when done, but I had a good time going from store to store shopping for the items. I found fabric napkins, nice quality ones, for $3.00 and $6.00 a pack (Tuesday Morning). I found crystal serving trays and spreaders in mint condition at a resale shop for not more than $1.00 a piece (Dogwood). I got floral decorations from a dollar store for obviously $1.00 a strand (Dollar Tree). I found a nice gold and silver, 45pc., flatware set for $20.00 and a beautiful tablecloth for $5.00 (Big Lots) (I had to end up taking the tablecloth back though, because I picked up the wrong size). I have a friend who manages a re-sale store in town who knew what I was preparing to do and so, she told me that if I weren't going to use the props I needed from her store any more after the banquet, to just borrow them for the day and then, bring them back on Monday. How cool is that?!!
I was just so blessed yesterday. Let me tell you, I definitely dedicated my shopping to the Lord and asked Him for bargains if they were meant to be had. I asked Him to let me find everything I needed for the big day, and sure enough, the Faithful One did!! I almost thought I'd failed the directors of the banquet and let the guests that would be at my table down, because I didn't feel like I really had everything and it would be "nice." Well, I didn't have the best looking table by far, but I had everything I needed on it, and I was very pleased with the color scheme. I did my best with what I had, and I had fun!! What else mattered?!! Thank you Lord for my successful day, in more than one way! You came through for me and lots of others again.
Happy shopping and saving you guys. Go "thrifting" more often. There is no telling what you'll find! Maybe more than that, ask God to help you shop. He does better than the best bargain hunter!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


*Note before reading the post*

Please forgive me readers. I've been away from my desk for a few days and this is a saved draft from a post I wanted to give you on Thursday. I've stated before and I'd like to tell you again that while I'd like to post every day, I sometimes cannot because I have things that call for my attention that are more priority, like family and church matters. I don't apologize for that, but I do apologize if you are looking for something fresh from me and I can't deliver. I want to though.

A few months ago, I did a book study on Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. You all probably know her. She is Dr. Tony Evans' daughter-Tony Evans the popular pastor/conference speaker from Dallas, Texas who is broadcast around the nation (at least), from local Christian radio stations. Anyway, Priscilla is a conference speaker and author in her own right and often writes on learning to listen and respond to God with your whole heart.

Have we all thought, at some point, we've heard from God or, we want to know how to hear from God, or when, in our minds, is God really speaking? I used to always want to know if I was really hearing God or I wanted to make sure it was Him and not the enemy. Eventually, I think I got a pretty good handle on that, but doing a group study with Priscilla Shirer's book really helped teach me some new things and confirm some things I already knew. It's mighty good to know the voice of God. It's even better when we desire it. It's best when we obey it.

I want to share some thoughts of those who have figured out how God speaks, particularly to them. See if you can relate. Do you have a desire to hear God or pay attention to His voice more? Do you know how to hear from God? Can God speak to you? Why do you think He wants to? When do you think He speaks to you? Would God ask you to do something you don't want to do? Listen at these thoughts:

"I know the Lord is speaking to me when the voice I hear is always challenging, always convicting, and never allows me to be comfortable where I am. Not having a father, what an honor it is to have One who loves me so much that His greatest desire is to see me grow."--Kirk Franklin

"Things don't change when I talk to God; things change when God talks to me."--Bob Sorge

"His leading is only for those who are already committed to do as He may choose. To such it may be said: 'God is able to speak loud enough to make a willing soul hear."--Lewis Sperry Chafer

"God will speak to the hearts of those who prepare themselves to hear; and conversely, those who do not so prepare themselves will hear nothing even though the Word of God is falling upon their outer ears every Sunday."--A. W. Tozer

"If we come to Him doubting His ability to speak, we will have a difficult time listening. So we must come expectantly."--Charles Stanley

"Two important prerequisites to hearing God clearly are to have an open verical relationship with the Lord and to be submitted to His plan for our lives. If there is unconfessed sin or continued disobedience in our lives, there will be a "closed heaven" above us and a disruption in hearing from the Lord. God cannot draw near to us while we are walking away from Him through disobedience at the same time."--Jim Cymbala

The above one resonates loudly in my heart. I do not like to disobey God. I feel heavily convicted when I do. I don't want a wedge between me and my Lord, and I certainly don't ever want to stop, even for a second, hearing His voice. I need Him...PERIOD!! There are many other useful, insightful, deep, truthful quotes in this study of Priscilla's, from different friends of hers and from the Word itself. It is a life-transforming study. It's one of those few studies I've taken that I would whole-heartedly recommend to my Christian friends and others I know. LifeWay and other book stores have this book and a newer one she has out. Look for it, and consider taking the course with a group or friend. Desire to hear from God, expect Him to answer, obey His voice immediately! Have a wonderful day.

(If you can't click on this box to go to Priscilla's website, go to

Wednesday, May 7, 2008



Nevertheless, God is in control, whether people believe it or not or whether they can see that fact or not. The truth will never stop being the truth, just because someone chooses not to believe it.

I have friends and family members that feel like they've been under attack all week long. It just seemed like a common thread and conversation going throughout everyone's home and life that I've talked to in the last few days. The funny thing is, they've all had deadlines and/or projects for the Lord that they've been working on, and have felt like everything in the world has tried to thwart the plans and stop the action. Well first, let's be assured that if we're on God's timing and about His agenda, no weapon in hell shall prevail against it, so...the plan will go through! But, guess what else? 'Everything in the world IS trying to thwart the plans and stop the action.' The enemy is the prince of the powers of the air and this world, and he is throwing all he's got in his arsenal (in this world-in the seen and unseen world, but still this present age) at anything and anybody that represents God and is into Kingdom- building.

You guys, we're at the end of this present age. As far as I'm concerned, we're in the last days. And yes, I know, every generation since whenever has thought the same thing, but were they paying attention? It's like salvation, YOU CAN KNOW! And I believe if we're in the Word and watching what's continuously going on around us, we can clearly see that we're in the last days. That being the case, the enemy is giving it all he's got, and we need to be aware, stay prayerful, stay vigilant. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but all the tools and weapons necessary to do the battle that, by the way, IS ALREADY WON. Now I'm not saying take on the enemy in your own strength, your own way, etc. I believe (my personal belief, so don't shoot me here and you don't have to take it as Gospel) that we're no match for the enemy. But God...!!! He tells us to stand and assures us that we can!
I've heard that there are 3 ways to combat the wiles and tricks and attacks of the enemy or how to deal and stand when we're in spiritual warfare, and my friends, if you're a friend of God's, you will have to deal with the enemy in some shape, form, or fashion in your Christian walk. If you don't, and everything is smooth sailing all of the time, you'd better go back and do business at the throne...for assurance sake, if you know what I mean! I'm just saying!! Anyway, back to the three ways I mentioned above: I've heard (and practiced) that you must pray and pray without ceasing during these times (as we always should anyway) and pray intentionally, read God's Word, especially those verses pertaining to what we're going through, God's promises to us, and psalms of victory (God ALWAYS makes good on His promises, but everything is according to His will and His timing), and ask God if this is when you need to consider fasting. There are some matters that God may call you to fast so that you can focus completely and solely on what He is trying to communicate and work in and through you. He's so good that while you're focusing and surrendering to Him, He's working out your other problem and you're on the other side of it before you know it. He's good like that!!

In this life, you will have troubles. The enemy's agenda is to take as many to hell with him as he can, but for those of us whom he can't take, his plan and attempts are to render you useless for the Kingdom. Know your enemy, but don't dwell or focus too much there. Know your big and awesome God more! Use what you've learned in God's Word and your experience to know what you see when you see it, but focus on the promises and works of the Almighty, and He is the only Almighty!! God's plans will move forward, and He uses those whom He has created to get the plan done or carried out. Those of you in ministry and just doing God's business in general...STAND!! And when all else fails...STAND!! We're exactly where God wants us to be and we're a part of His plan. You see, He has an agenda too, and that is to do the exact opposite of what Satan is trying to do, to take as many of us who open the door that he knocks at to heaven with Him, and spend eternity together. That's the way He would have it. He also wants to give rewards to those who have been faithful. Would that be you my friend?

If you don't know Him, get to. If you do, faithful ones, may God pour out a blessing for you that you can barely contain! Stand and be faithful. Keep plodding along. Our God in heaven will be glorified. After all, what else are we here for?

Be wise this Wednesday!