Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And We All Said "Amen"

Kevin and I had the opportunity to attend Joel Osteen’s service on Friday night and all I can say is WOW! There is something to be said about thousands of people filling up an arena and worshipping God. It truly humbled me. It was great to be among different ethnicities and religious backgrounds for one common goal, to worship God. Joel’s message was powerful and at the end encouraged others to receive salvation. In fact, he was crystal clear about receiving salvation.

I have heard a lot of negative things about Joel’s “style” of preaching in the media because he preaches about hope and God’s love more than he preaches about condemnation and hell. In my humble opinion, I believe more people have received salvation this way because, unlike so many preachers today, Joel doesn't judge first and then hope you will listen to him. I have heard so many times that the reason people won't even take time to listen to the word is because they feel like the church is too busy judging or pointing fingers at them then embracing them for who they are and then teaching them the word. Our goal should be to bring more people to Christ, (which is what Joel has and is doing) not to sit around and criticize a man who has brought thousands to know Christ, just because he doesn't preach in a fashion we see fit.

I don’t know about you BUT I would prefer to hear a message that God is GOOD and that if we put our faith first, He will meet our needs. I want to hear that He is the great I AM and that I can receive the gift of salvation and that all things in my past are forgiven. These aren’t empty promises or false teachings as some would believe (they are in the scripture), but words and lessons that are more likely to influence a non-believer than a message of condemnation.

At the end of Joel’s message (after the invitation to accept Christ), he tells folks to get in a bible based church in their community. I definitely believe this is key. I think Joel’s broadcast mission is to provide the appetizer, so to speak, and get people hungry for the rest. We will never know how many lives have been changed by Joel, but one thing I do know is that God has a plan for each of us and if we stay in faith, He will reveal it to us. It is up to us to live up to His plan. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

But For the Grace of God Go I

This subject really bothers me. People who judge other people. I guess because it is something I have dealt with all of my life. You see because I did not follow a certain path, someone close to me told lies and made up stories about me to make themselves feel better and to this day will not admit that they lied (even though they claim to be a “Christian”). So what is the solution? I basically have prayed about it my entire life and have suppressed my feelings. I go about my business but when I see someone else judging another human being, it really makes me angry.

My thoughts are we all need to observe our oneness with humanity…instead of viewing ourselves as the best, the enlightened, the spiritual, the entitled, etc…when we realize that we are JUST like everyone else with the same sin tendencies as everyone else with the same needs/insecurities/drives as everyone else we can have more kindness and compassion. When we put ourselves up on a pedestal and look down on others, we are deceiving ourselves. There but for the grace of God go I….

Honestly, who are WE to judge others? Some will say, well it is just strangers that I judge, but honestly, the ones we are closest to and love the most, we judge the most. If we would only stop for a second to put ourselves in their shoes… How do we know what they have been through? Where they have been? Think of how different your group of friends could be or how different your family could be if the only words from your mouth to them were edifying and uplifting…only allowing thoughts of grace or forgiveness to come into your mind and out of your mouth as you speak about them or to them. I know that all of you have probably experienced deep hurts in your life (I know I have) and they often come from someone close to you but it is possible to judge the situation apart from the person involved. It is hard, but you can.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Starved for Color

So I finally figured out what my problem is….. :-) I sent an e-mail to my beautiful Mother-in-law “whining” about “the cold, the snow, the wind and the brutal temps” and she replies back “HEH, HEH, HEH.” If you have ever heard her laugh, you will TOTALLY get this post! :-) Plus she sends me the above pictures……and basically told me to quit “whining.” She is a Canadian and totally has the right to complain about the cold brutal temps! :)

So my problem is…… I feel starved for color. I believe warmth and color is the essence of life. The thing I like best about winter is the anticipation of knowing it ends and the warmth and green will soon return. I love Springtime, Summer and Fall but have a hard time during the winter months. It lacks color! :-)

I don’t think I am alone with my issues… because I believe a lot of you too feel like you have been trapped inside for months with no chance of parole. To get back to my color dilemna, we all know that when it is cold, cloudy, or gloomy, that we would prefer to curl up in bed or on the couch with a good book. That is because we crave sunlight (color). Think about it. In the Spring and Summer, when the days are longer, we are outside, doing things, and soaking up the sun. And our moods are usually a whole lot brighter. We laugh more, we don’t stress as much about certain things, we are adventurous and do things we have never tried before.

But, sadly in the wintertime, it is a whole new ballgame. We come home from work, too tired to move, just wanting to crawl into bed and read, or watch TV, or just plain fall asleep. Well, I know that I act that way, so I am presuming that most of you do , too. We need that sunshine to get us going.

So my plan is to get more “color” in my life…… which in turn will give me more energy during these months when I can't get outside. I plan on lightening up the house and putting on some good fun music. You know, the kind of music that makes you feel good and silly inside. Whatever it takes to get the blood flowing again and helps bring back some color and a sense of contentment until Spring finally arrives
Happy Valentine's Day! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who Am I to Judge?

My Sister-in-Law sent this to me today and I wanted to share it with you..... Really makes you think!

There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is, or at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection. Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up. Before you make this mistake, take a closer look.

A woman who has endured the most unusual life is someone of wisdom, someone who has been chosen by God to go through things that have made her stronger. Think of all the great women in the Bible: Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, the woman with an issue of blood, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a prostitute, a very uneasy woman. But by the time Jesus was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man, but by the time God was done with her, she had married one of the wealthiest men in the land. Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, "What's up with her?" ask yourself, "What's up with me?" That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, etc. That woman could be ME.

Women are the carriers of life, not the channels of death. Let's build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi. Encourage, love, forgive and forget.

May the peace and love of Christ be upon you!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Are you thinking I wish my life was easier, can’t lose weight or I’ll never change? A few people I know have that attitude and it blows my mind. I want to tell them welcome to the human race. Sometimes we all feel a bit down and think negative thoughts and wish our lives could be better. Or wish we were laying on the beach (like in the picture above). The thing we must realize is that we must retrain our bodies and minds to think differently, which in turn will make us act, speak and live differently. :-)

Through my fitness journey, I have learnt that despite the times where I was discouraged, second guessing my decision and fighting to stay positive, and tempted to settle for less than the best, I dug deep, and fought hard to stay persistent and positive, and it was worth the wait and then some.

So start with a realistic plan, persevere through the tough times, stay positive and fuel the passion in all you do, and soon enough you will reach your goals! Whatever you do, do not quit, sell yourself short, give in or give up - you are so worth it!