One Foot In, One Foot Out…

Do you have one foot in “Christianity’s” door, while the other foot is hanging pretty far out?…  Do you want to live a life that is pleasing to God, but you’re just not sure if you’re ready to give up your worldly desires?

Are you afraid that life as you know it will change drastically and you will lose something precious and valuable to you if you err on the side of the Lord?

Perhaps that boyfriend or girlfriend that you enjoy spending time with.  Maybe its that special music you enjoy listening to, or going to that special party spot on Saturday night, or whatever it is you like to do in your free time that may not come into alignment with what the Bible teaches.

Well, that was my life, too.  I dabbled with becoming a Christian for many years but I wasn’t ready to give up my life as I knew it.  Sure, I went to church, prayed faithfully and believed in God, but I still wasn’t quite ready.  I was afraid of the unknown.

When I would attend church on Sunday morning, I felt so guilty because I had not long arrived home from partying with my girlfriends, or my love interest.

Specifically, I went out, drank cocktails (alcoholic beverages), danced all night and into the early morning hours, lived and sinned in the flesh.

Oh, I was having fun!… Or so I thought. Ironically, there seemed to always be some “underlying’ (present but not readily noticeable) consequence that surfaced after the fact.

(Ephesians 5:9-11, For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.)

I knew it didn’t feel right, but I did it anyway.  Then, I justified it in my mind by thinking that even though I was out partying the night before, it didn’t interfere with my Christian fellowship.  I told myself “At least I got up and went to church”. So, I figured I was ok.

I was exercising my “One Foot In and One Foot Out” way of living.  I was in transition, I guess…

I remember being afraid to give up all that fun stuff!  In actuality, it wasn’t that much “fun” because what I was really doing was looking to fill a void that would never be filled in that way. I was lonely and looking for love in all the wrong places, or whatever else it was that I was seeking and I always came up empty.

What I did not know back then was that I already had God’s love right there in front of me, and that was all I needed.

I didn’t go out every night, but when I did, there was something in my spirit that made me feel really yucky inside.  Now, I know that yucky feeling was the holy spirit working on my conscience because I was clearly not pleasing God.

That’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes now or sin sometimes because I will never be perfect.  But the difference between the person I am now and the person I was back then is that I don’t set out to do things that I know are displeasing to God.  I try not to dwell in the flesh and that keeps me grounded.

If I should fall short, I ask God for forgiveness and try to do better next time.  So I am still a work in progress (an unfinished project that is still being added to or developed).

I still like good music.  So, rather than listening to music that creates sinful temptation, I listen to “Good” music that is clean, happy, kind, free of vulgarities, yet still fun to listen to.  Some of it is Christian music and some of it is not.  I find that Praising God through music is always fun because it makes me happy.

Looking back, I really didn’t give up anything.  Instead, I gained so much more.  I have peace of mind now.  No more “on edge” consequential worries and anxiety that I had back then.

Sure, I struggle with life’s challenges, but it’s not the same because I experience spiritual fulfillment and joy that is embedded inside of me.  My joy comes from the Lord even when things aren’t going my way, there is no longer that lingering internal void within my spirit.

May your life be full of clean fun, joy, and fulfillment…

This is one of my favorite “fun” CD’s that I can actually listen to with my kids.

My favorite song is “Upside Down”

Click the image below.

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Introducing Karissa Soto…A Refreshing New Voice For The Lord!

I am honored to share this very special video with you!  You will not be disappointed!!!

Karissa Soto has been blessed with a voice that must be heard.  In part because she sings praises to God and we all need to hear praises as much as possible.  If for nothing more than just to remind ourselves to stay grounded and faithful.

Karissa’s voice captures your attention like a breath of fresh air! 

She’s a humble, well balanced, and wonderful spirit.  Her very special qualities and her love for our Lord and Savior are captured in her song by way of her body language, facial expressions,  and gestures while she plays the piano and sings simultaneously.

In her video, Karissa sings a very unique version of Defender by Rita Springer, which is tailored to fit her special “God-given” talents and style of singing!

Even with all her great qualities, she remains human and shares the same challenges, obstacles, and vulnerabilities that we all share as children of God.

I knew Karissa when she was just a little girl maybe 7 or 8 years old.  She was always humble, respectful, and rather quiet.  Even as a little girl she never failed to greet you with a smile.

I always felt as if there was something special about that little girl I knew back then.  I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  Now, after all these years of wondering, I finally know what that “something special” was.

You see, God has had his hands on that little girl, turned delightful young woman of God her entire life.  Now that she has become an adult, she has honored him as she has dedicated her life to serving God’s will and purpose for her life.

So, please take a moment to listen to her song and her self-introduction after she performs the song.  At the end of the video, Karissa shares a little bit about the person behind the song.

Thank you for taking the time to listen, I think you’ll be as delighted as I was…

 

Rita Springer Full CD. Click the image to buy.

Are You A Worry Wart?…

I sure hope not…

Worrying had been my thing ever since I could remember.  I can go as far back as my pre-teen years.  I worried about things that I clearly had no control over, things that would add little to no value to my young life.  But I didn’t know that at the time.  Even now I tend to forget sometimes. (Matthew 6:27 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”)

Thankfully, I’ve managed to get the habitual worrying under control but once in a while so many things seem to come at me from every angle like darts and I feel like a dartboard being targeted. That’s when I find myself headed in the direction of worry again.

Just yesterday, I had to stop myself and was reminded that there is no need to worry about anything because it really will not matter a year from now.  Some things won’t even matter a week from now.

Life just has a way of happening whether you worry or not.  So stop worrying and cast your cares on the Lord. (Matthew 6:34  “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”)

It’s funny how I will have a situation in my life and when I attend Sunday church services, it feels like the Pastor is speaking to me personally.  That happened yesterday!

As I sat there and began to listen to the Sunday sermon which came from Matthew 6:25-34, I was flabbergasted because he hit the nail right on the head!!!

That was exactly what I was going through!  I thought, “How could he know that”?

Then, I must’ve tuned him out for a few seconds after it dawned on me what the message was about because I began going over the past couple of weeks of my life in my mind when his voice faded out and then, all of a sudden, my focus was once again on the sermon.  If he only knew what was going through my mind as he preached. Oh my, what a way to have God speak to you!

Boy, I sure did need some encouragement, and that’s exactly what I got!

Yes, I know, everyone thinks that the Pastor is speaking to them during Sunday services or whatever means you use for Bible teachings and words of encouragement.   What I say to that is most of us fight very similar battles every day which is why we can all relate to what is being said.  God speaks to you reassuring you through these carefully selected sermons, and the Pastor/Speaker is the avenue that he uses to get his message to you.

I remember a couple of instances in my life where I was trying to get to Sunday services and every weird thing that could possibly happen did.  It’s like something was trying to keep me from going that day.  So, out of frustration, I would say, “That’s it!  I just won’t go today!!!.  Then, that little voice in my head would lead me to go anyway.

That’s when it became real to me that God does intervene when the enemy is clearly trying to take away my joy.  I really needed to hear those sermons to remind me of God’s promises and this was his way of letting me know that he is working things out for me one way or the other.  That’s why faith is so important because you can’t see it yet.

You see, I had been praying, as I always do when I feel discouraged, for God to guide me through my minor storm and I believe this is what he wanted to remind me of today. (1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all our care upon him; for he careth for you”.)

The message from the sermon was that worry major’s on the minor things and it shows your faithlessness in God when you do worry.  Some of us tend to take the little things and make them huge areas of concerns until we see how it will turn out. All that does is make you miserable.

But some of us are just prone to worry.  He said that when the storms of life come, we shouldn’t worry because it does us no good at all. We are to just be still and stop letting our minds run all over the place.  The Pastor made an important point that “in most cases, you will find out later on that you worried for nothing.  Most of the time, everything works out anyway”.

“Don’t we feel foolish when we worry for nothing”?   Just something to think about…

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It’s simple, yet strong.  Really soothes my tummy.

Click the image to buy!

Integrity…A Very Important Asset

The word integrity stuck out like a sore thumb for me a few weeks ago due to a head-scratching moment that I had the displeasure of experiencing.

It appears that former career-related “worldly powers that be” were mislead into believing a very sophisticated untruth from a lower entity.  Do I dare try to clear the air?  Some say “Yes”, while others say “No, just let it go”.  Well, I’ll leave that up to my father, God, who is the true authority.  He knows just what to do.

Deceit is usually carried out for the purpose of sustaining one’s self in some way or another.  I often wonder how some can live in peace after so much deception.  Perhaps they can’t.

You see, even when it appears on the outside that someone has succeeded in their act of deception, they really haven’t because God knows their truth, so it’s only a matter of time before their transparency sets in.

I had been holding on to a working relationship which I had previously paused due to other responsibilities that needed my attention.

Well, I was later encouraged to rekindle the relationship by a person with a warped sense of authority and rather deep falsehood tendencies.

So, in a trusting manner, I made an attempt to do so, as was requested of me.  As it turned out, the opposition’s insincere asking was just a facade to get the opportunity to disappoint.  So, I wasted countless days going through the process of rekindling.

But you know the irony of it all was that after that door closed, another one opened up immediately.

The integrity deprived spirit that tried to cause me harm, unknowingly led me to this better situation because God intervened.

A sermon during my Sunday church service touched on this and pointed out that prayer can turn the enemy’s plan into God’s Glory. That’s exactly what happened!+

In conclusion, people can lose sight of their sense of integrity in this worldly environment that we live in.  We must do our very best to be more Christ-like on our life’s journey so that we can rest peacefully at night and feel good about who we are on the inside.

A valuable lesson learned with a pleasant twist…

This tea has a unique flavor! Click this image to buy it!

A Moment of Rest…

In my previous post, I shared my Wow!!! moment.

Well, the “Wow” factor came and went rather quickly because, after that day, my efforts were put on hold due to a minor setback.  I was all excited about my venture and then it came to a screeching halt.

This screeching halt would delay my venture for a little over a week.  I believe this was God giving my mind, body, and spirit the “moment of rest” it needed because I had become riddled with exhaustion.

I believe that sometimes he plants us on our butts (buttocks) so that we can take a moment to breathe from the hustle and bustle that we put ourselves through when we’re pursuing something so attentively.  We forget to stop and rest.

I wasn’t too wild about my setback, but I realized that perhaps it wasn’t meant for me to put forth so much effort at that time.  I was keeping long hours trying to meet a deadline that I did not make.

When we want something so badly, it’s easy to misunderstand God’s will and exaggerate it until it suddenly becomes intermingled with our own will and then we lose sight of our purpose.

I say that because it felt like God had given me this blessing and then changed his mind after that “Wonderful Wow Moment”.  But I know better because God doesn’t work that way.  At least, that is my belief.  I just think that I went beyond God’s will and pushed the envelope a little too far.

So, after all that effort, I found myself right back where I started from.  Why?  I may never really know.  So, moving forward, I’ll just try to stay on a more guided path and see where it leads me.  …Another lesson learned.

Blessings to Everyone…

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Click the image to buy this special tea.

Wow!!!, Moment…

I had a “WOW” moment several days ago.

I was working on a project and was in a bit of a tiff over it because I just wasn’t sure if I should continue with it.  Was I wasting my time?

I had been praying about this for several weeks and by now I’m feeling a little mopey about the situation and was losing my motivation rather quickly.

When all of a sudden, something prompted me to go to the store right away to get what items I could because, without them, I was stumped and really could not go much further.

Reluctantly, I got up and went to the store.  I really didn’t feel like going anywhere and I had already invested a lot into this project.  But I went anyway.

As I was adding up the cost of the items, I realized I could only reasonably afford a fraction of what I needed.  Oh yes, this was going to cost me!!!

Although it wasn’t really a massive amount to some, it was based on “my” budget.

Wouldn’t you know it,  when I got there none of the items were there?  I thought to myself, “Oh my! What do I do now?”  The shelf was completely empty!!!  My initial thought was that maybe this isn’t what God wants for me, after all.

But I didn’t give up yet.  I asked the salesperson why the shelves were empty.  She said, “Oh, we clearanced these items out.”  I said, “Really?”, with a great big smile. “Somebody’s looking out for me,” I thought.

She sent me over to the bedding department.  When I got over there, I couldn’t find the items.  Almost gave up looking and something urged me to go ahead and ask someone in this department.

I waited for a few seconds and suddenly someone was free to assist me.  She told me this wasn’t her usual department but she’d be happy to help me find what I needed.  Her shift was just about over so she would be leaving the floor any minute.  Had I waited a minute longer, I would’ve missed her.

She took me over to the clearance aisle where they were. Wow!  I stood there in awe looking at what God had done for me!

After I began asking her about the prices, she told me she needed to be sure they were marked down correctly.

To my surprise, the items were even less than they were priced.  I waited as she marked down each item a second time.  This meant that the final markdown was more than half their original cost.

Even though her shift was basically over, she took her time to help me.  I knew this was God showing me his wonderful favor.  I told her that God put her there at that moment just for me.  She smiled.

I say that because most people would’ve pointed me within close proximity of the items and gone home.

My fascination wasn’t only that the items were there.  But, it was that strong urge to go when I did, the timing of everything else that followed, and the fact that they were marked down so low that I could actually get most of what I needed!

I believe that through this sweet and unexpected blessing, God was telling me that it was ok to proceed with my project.

I stood there in AWE because I couldn’t believe what had just happened!

So, sometimes it pays to move when you’re prompted!

Faith or Confusion, Which Do You Possess?…

Have you ever asked God for something and when you actually got it, you felt more confused than you were even before your prayers were answered?

Oh, how nerve-wracking it can be when you get out of God’s will after you’ve asked him to work a situation out and find yourself leaning on your own understanding anyway!  “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:6)

Then, you stop and wonder, “Is this from God, or is this a trick of the enemy to throw me off from what God really wants for me”?  You question your new found situation that is probably your blessing because it doesn’t quite fit inside the box you had envisioned for yourself.

Then you think,  “Is it my will that I’m pursuing?  Is that why the pieces don’t quite fit together?”

All kinds of questions come to mind and it is quite the challenge to figure out!

Perhaps, in my case, I did not follow his instruction and perhaps it is not for me to figure out.  Maybe I just need to “be still”, as I mentioned in a previous post and let things work themselves out.

After all, I’ve done my part.  So, now I need to wait for God to complete his works in this situation.  At least that is my belief.  “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”(James 1:4)

Yes, decisions still have to be made, but not out of confusion or fear of the unknown. Instead, they should be made under God’s direction once it is clear what that direction is.

I say we stop backpedaling on our faith and take a stance against fear, doubt, and double-mindedness and really trust God. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)

I know that in some circumstances, it’s easier said than done, but we must try.

For, if we do not try, we can easily find ourselves in a constant disoriented state of mind when we discard peace and clarity that we get from being faithful and replace it with mindless clutter that we get from worry and confusion.

May God’s Blessings Be Upon You…