HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Great is the LORD…((†))


Great is the LORD

Scripture repeatedly instructs us to praise the LORD. As a people we praise God for many things and on many levels. So we praise God out of obedience?

The answer should be yes. Loving God is proved by active obedience to the instruction of His Word.

In Psalm 91, at the end, we find a love letter from God the Father, to His children. It begins in verse 14, “Because He loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.

Honoring God, reverentially fearing Him, causes God to honor us. This often happens during praise.

When I praise God with a heavy heart, I begin to experience a lightening of my burden, then within me I begin to feel joy. The joy of the Lord, which the Word reveals as our strength. I become stronger, as I obediently praise my God.

Praise is a response to the very character of God. In our praise, we, increasingly reflect God’s nature.

🙂  revealed to me during FCMCs message 8-29-2010 and through Daily Reflection and Prayer by Mark D. Roberts @ High Calling Blogs

Psalm 96:4

~ Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. (NIV)

~ For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised. (KJV)

~ For great is the LORD and very much to be praised.(Hebrew translation)

Blessings Loves …♥…


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My Quest for Flavor! a food on friday carnival post “)


 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

My Quest for Flavor

 Psalm 22:26 “The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!”Since June 2, 2010, when doctors pronounced that there were dire heart issues to contend with I have been on a quest for Whole wellness. This quest has led to some severe dietary and lifestyle changes. As if that were not difficult and frustrating enough, I had to remove salt from my diet. That was the instruction from the first cardiologist at the first hospital.Since going to Deborah there has been a bit of improvement on the seasoning side of my diet! Dr. Ambrose, a fellow cardiologist at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, told me I could have 2,000 milligrams or 2 grams of sodium a day. Just under the RDA guidelines by 4,000 milligrams. This means about 3/4 of a teaspoon of table salt, a day, give or take a granule! S, I continue to not use the salt while cooking or added at meal times.This allows me two things, as I see them, and ALLOWED, is a great thing!1. It gives me a way to find healthier salt in natural foods, like parmesan cheese, and other cheeses to flavor my meals, (in moderation of course).  

2. When I eat out or at a friend’s home, they nor I must worry about how to season a meal.  

With that said, with the help of my Chef, Cook and Foodie friends, here and abroad, thanks to FaceBook, I have found some very interesting ways to take my meals from Beige to Bright!

  

The Flavor Beige

 Thanks to Laureen, Claudia, Dorothy, Valeen and Brenda…and all my other girls, who support and encourage me too! Ladies you are the bomb!     

…Much Love to you all!      

 I went shopping just yesterday, buying an array of different foods than has been the norm in the past. My youngest, adult son, came out from putting away the last of the food complaining in a 16-year-old fashion, “…there’s nothing to eat!”. As much as some things stay the same, you would hope that a young adult would be a little less childish in this area, by 23! :D…”all you bought was meat, fruit and 2% milk! What happened to the whole milk?” 

 
His complaint was really that everything had to be cooked. There was no processed foods or “microwavables” in the house! Oh well, he has a job!  
 
I have successfully found that seasoning foods to have a salt like bite is quite easy.See what rising above the frustration can do!
 Lemon is great for a salad, fish, chicken and even a new thing I found called Citrus Rice. I also, at a birthday party for a friend last weekend, got a quick recipe for Cold Corn Salad, apparently it’s great on hot dogs? I don’t know because I no longer eat hotdogs. Didn’t really eat them before, either, but for some reason I  began a new “wanting of things” that I  didn’t want even when there were no restrictions. Anyway,  made with sweet corn, sweet red bell peppers, white or vadalia onion and Hellman’s Mayonaise Lite, cold corn salad begs for  a bit of salty, to it. What to do? What to do?
LIME! The juice of one small lime gives this salad just enough bite and the latin feel this salad begs for! Delicious. Thanks for that recipe from Jen’s step-mom, Maria.
 
Then  there is my Greek Yogurt fetish! More protein than conventional American yogurt, less salt and full of flavor this treat is a filling and delicious breakfast choice. Having tried all the varieties, Oikos, Chobani and even Yoplait’s newest version. My grocer finally stocked Fage (FA-yea) Total. This is the greek style yogurt that the Greeks stock in their fridges!
 
With the texture of cheese cake and a good fruit compote greek yogurt is decadence without the dietary problems!  Better yet, I found quite on accident, that the plain with a table-spoon of Polaner All Fruit is even better than some of the flavors! Right there I control the fat, calories and sugar intake in my breakfast! And I actually like the sugar-free all fruit. 🙂
 
A small modicum of control over my diet at last! ((((Yay!!!)))) for me!
 
Then there is the first suggestion I received from my friend Dorothy, from Ireland, finely minced garlic! This gem of a trick (and why I didn’t know, this I don’t know) adds a nice salt like bite to eggs, sauces and soups! Having a family recipe for Spaghetti Sauce, or gravy if you prefer, I always followed the smidge here and 2 cloves there direction, which is now just a knowing. Well,  about 3 finely minced cloves gives the salty bite, while the 2 sliced, added as well, provides the proper balance of garlic flavor, basil and oregano and you are good to go. Italian style!
 
Dorothy and Laureen also gave me the Hot Sauce suggestion, and at about the same time I was considering it. On eggs and in rice or soups just a few drops will do you! Add while cooking is the trick to avoiding the really hot sensation of using hot sause as a topical seasoning;  your eggs and soup will have the flavor you desire without the excess sodium. Finding the balance, may be a bit tricky if you don’t like spicy hot. FYI: some believe that hot sauce and hot peppers kick start one’s metabolism! Good to know if you like spicy foods.
 
  

Vibrant Flavor

 
There it is. My diet rescue! All it took was putting an end to my pity party and some experimentation in the kitchen, which I enjoy, because I like to cook. Here I thought my Joy of Cooking was over. Not so.
Brown rice and grains are my next venture.
 
Wild Rice is what I am in search of. I should say, inexpensive wild rice. At my local grocer (Shop Rite) a box, for a single meal is $8.95! Out of my range, for sure. My husband’s  response when I teared up at the grocery store was, “Wow! That wild rice must be really hard to catch!” Poor guy! At the time the humor didn’t work, but it’s funny now. 🙂  All of the processed rice that contain wild rice are incredibly high in sodium, too.
 
I really wish we had a Whole Foods store here in Central New Jersey!
 
A new friend, Brenda, brought me a grain called Teff, from Ethiopia, the tiniest grain on earth. The word “teff” is derived from the *Amharic “teffa” which translates as lost. Due to its tiny size, teff can easily be lost if dropped!
*Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia.
 
One of my dearest friends, Valeen, a former vegetarian who still strives for healthy eating, suggested Barley as a change-up for cereal and side dishes that were healthier. Made with sauted garden tomatoes, garlic, onions and mushrooms cooked into a rice or couscous consistency, topped with good shaved parmesan cheese, the barley was a hit. Next I am going to add it to fresh made soup tomorrow.

Whole Grain Goodness

 
So lunch today, I now eat 4 to six smaller meals a day, was European style. Now these Europeans are lean and healthy, at least on tv, right. 3 Wasa crackers (low cal. and low sodium), with cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, peach all fruit and a medium bunch of grapes, and a half cup of coffee. Delicioso!
 
You would be surprised at the satisfaction of flavor in this small meal. As well as how surprisingly good cheddar and peach preserves taste together, another wonderful accident!
 
So far I’ve lost 48 pounds in 4 months and still losing. I hit a  plateau, at 46 pounds, about two weeks ago, so I removed another white food from my diet; white potatoes. Dorothy says they are poison! 😀 I don’t know about that, but removing them from my diet jump started my weight loss again. I lose, on average, 1.6 pound a week now and my goal is 2 pounds a week.
 
At this rate of loss I can lose 100 pounds or more by the start of next summer, Praise God! Really, Praise God, because obedience and the Word of God have made much of this much easier to accomplish. All of my success has come from God honoring my obedience and faith in Him to finish what He began in me!
 
My next venture is the health food stores! On goes my quest!
 
Stick with me girls (and guys) we gonna be getting healthy!
 
Blessings Loves!…
 
 
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…ღ……ღ……Love Simply……ღ……ღ…


God's Thoughts

This morning I wrote a note on facebook. The note was long and explained what’s been going on lately in my life and emotions. I was finished and content with the journal like post. I felt it would help someone and as usual I would adapt it for here, Hopeannfaith’s Well, then my browser froze.

I’d say “ain’t that just the way!”, but that is negative thinking and while I spent that last hour or so cleaning and letting the computer rest, I let God change that attitude. I was certain that the post would remain in drafts and I could retrieve and post it later. I was simply frustrated that I had to wait. I thought ‘all that work and now I have to wait. Plus I have other things to do and I need my lap top to work properly!”

I prayed and cleaned. I prayed and made a healthy omelet and had that and an apple for lunch. My eggs and omelet skill are getting better flavor wise due to the assistance of many cook, chef and foodie friends, as well as experimentation. Plus! For some reason all of a sudden I am a skilled omlet folder. See God honors diligence and obedience! 

I turned on my lap top and sat down to lunch while it loaded (I need more RAM for speed). After lunch I checked my e-mail and then went to facebook notes to retrieve, proof read and post the note. I wanted to get this done as I had some announcements that needed posting on my church’s fan page there. Writer/Church secretary at work!

The note was gone.

 The note is gone!

I literally cried in frustration. I’m tearing up just thinking about it now. Ehhhh!

Part of the note contained the theory that the way I feel is partly due to the blood pressure condition and medication. I really do not like being on this medication! Honestly, short of the medication, I am frustrated with many things in my life right now.

Transformation, as explained by my Pastor @ FCM Church service yesterday, is not an easy thing. While that is true I say it’s easier than living with a diagnosis, such as the three the doctors spoke to me, therefore, I choose the transformation!

So as  I am working toward this metamorphosis, I am battling the frustration that goes with it. I find that I truly detest these new, immediate complaints that come to my mind these days, “why me?” and  “what about me?”. I dislike this twist in me because I find it offensive. Wow, I am offending me!  😀

I cannot afford to indulge in this attitude. I refuse to fall into the family’s generational trap here, and this particular attitude feeds that trap. So far it has family members in it’s maw, well not me! I continue to refuse it!

The only solution is to allow God to change my mind. There is only one self-improvement book that can help here and that is the Word of God. When I woke this morning, not quite joyful to have my eyes open, I went to my devotions to refocus my mind on God.

My status,  from the Daily Bible Verse (dB:V) e-mail, and prayer were there to get me through until teaching devotions were in my inbox. I prayed thankfully for this day God made, even if I wasn’t rejoicing in it at the time. Then there it was: A New Thing Ministries: Open Your Eyes and Your Heart post. www.ANewThingMinistries.com.

Todays focus is things unseen, as I posted six hours ago on my page.

“(insert my name here)  is fixing her eyes not on things seen, but on things unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen is eternal. Expecting God today…Good Morning. ♥”

This is the Joyce Meyer‘s way of getting where one needs to be, “Do it Afraid”, adapted to “Do it Anyway”, which may very well belong to her, as well! NOPE!

 Just googled it!  “Do it Anyway” is Mother Theresa‘s. Not too shabby, a couple of dynamic women to follow, I’d say.

The first unseen thing God  presented was: LOVE

Did you ever notice that when you are frustrated you don’t feel love. You don’t feel  like lov-ING anyone or anything. You dont feel lov-ED by anyone. You can’t be frustrated and experience love! It’s impossible!

But God…

RENEWING THE MIND

You can allow God to replace your worldly (frustration)  thoughts with His kingdom (what God thinks about a thing) thoughts. This simply means to change your attitude, mood and thoughts to what God says you should be feeling/thinking. We kind of do those things, feeling and thinking; we call it reasoning, simultaneously, so we must train them apart, with God’s Word.

“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~ Maya Angelo

I also learned @ church, yesterday, that believing  is much more than what we preceive as believing.

To believe in God one must believe everything that God is by Faith, (the unseen).

One must be persuaded to believe that everything that God says He is, He is, (again, the unseen). 

God's Thoughts

 God is love.

Love is the foundation of all things.

Love never dies; therefore,

Have FAITH: Trust completely in God.

Have HOPE: Expect, steadfastly, in the things of God.

Love: Extravagantly, the way God loves you.

The GREATEST of these is LOVE.

~ my adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 – NIV & Message

 …ღ……ღ……ღ……ღ……ღ…

Be the MIRROR of God’s Love in someone’s life.

“A baby is born with a need to be loved, and never grows out of it.” ~ Frank A. Clark

I am off to get some more work done and rest (doctors orders! ehhh!).

Soon they will see that I have none of the things they spoke to me…they will see God’s Hand in my healing! Amen.

This is sticking with me so I just want to share it wiht you. I know it will continue to encourage me, I hope it encourages you, my pastor said in the message yesterday: “Anytime we are not following God, we are following man.”

I’m going to follow God. Going to listen and talk to Him in my work today. ღ

 Be Blessed Loves and …ღ…Love Simply…ღ…

~A.


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{the} Ultimate Path of Non-Resistance…


 

The Narrow Gate

 

In my quest for wholeness, I realize that wellness is not the victory I am reaching for!I desire, at my core, to be whole. No crack or fissure leaving a space open for adverse energy to enter this temple. I realized this by reading tue chapter, Law of Non-Resistance  in Working With the Law by Raymond Holliwell. 

Holliwell says: “Resistance as a means of securing peace and harmony is a mistaken and misleading idea…Resistance fails because it is not in accord with harmony and order, which is the Law.”If you are not familiar with this book the Law refers to God, and God’s Law, not the Ten Commandments

Kathleen Juline, former editor of Science of Mind magazine and author, says in the introduction of Holliwell’s book: “…simply that spiritual laws are Truth principles we can learn to understand and apply and that the natural consequence of applying them a is happy, harmonious, and prosperous life.” 

Being a Christian, God has given me the maturity and authority to have come to a place in my life that I am able to filter through Him. My pastor was giving me instruction last night in regard to a new project we have put into motion. He said, “Bottomline is that this project  reflects the church (our church)  – so everything that is considered needs to be filtered through that lens (the lens of the Vision God gave our Pastor; God’s lens). Easy way to judge: If you think it’s questionable, lets err on the side of caution and not use that particular thing.” The thing my pastor is trying to convey to me is that I must remain mindful that this project is our whole church so it must reflect that voice or that representation, not any single person’s reflection. The people who will benefit from our project should not see me, they should see our church and it’s personality. That is currently my best example of God’s filter…everything measured by God’s vision. Everything filtered through God’s Word. 

This is presently how my journey is being traveled…by the path God has me on. Yet while I traverse this life, diligently working toward the Kingdom there have been obsticles, and there will be more. After all, I live on this world with all of you, I simply choose not to live in this world. It’s not as hard as one might think, though it is mindfully and prayerfully purposed each day. I hazard to say, though those who are worldly will adamently disagree, I am sure, the world outside my door is a much more difficult way to live. 

I realize today that my ultimate path of least resistance is God. I can show you in scripture why I say this. 

Philippians 3:13-15 : {Paul}  “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”Matthew 7: 13-15 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”Luke 13:24:   {Jesus} “He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”All three of these scripture on first read seem to be fraught with difficult tasks. While taking the narrow road or using the narrow gate takes difficuty and discipline of mind, after you’ve conquered the negative mindset within you, the rewards are immediate. If we truly thought it through how could choosing the path God has chosen for us be harder than doing it on our own? In Romans 12:2: God clearly instructs us not to copy the behaviors of the worldly (the wide gate/road). My warning is this “…something wicked this way comes.”The wide road simply leads to temptation, wrong thinking and sin. We cannot have the cake and ice cream of the world and attain what it is the Kingdom has for us. In the end, indulging in all the cake and ice cream of the world will make one seriously ill. I know, both on a spiritual and physical level.

I choose the narrow. There aren’t a lot of people on this path, and the ones I know are great travel companions! There is protection on this path, and security through the gates and the doors.

The path of least resistance is…

 God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The dicipline of this lifestyle is freeing in that my decisions are already made, I just look in the book and take instruction. When this is done in faith, all the scirmishes, battles and wars are fought by God and the inpercievable army He sends out on our behalf.I am able to forget my past, I don’t live there anylonger. I am able to reinvent myself through my thoughtlife and the Word, God made us in His likeness, so my very thoughts begin the creation process! I can manifest in my life anything I need or want, because of Christ’s sacrifice I can do what He did and more!So my friend Jeanette R. asked in her facebook status this morning: “Do you strive for perfection or excellence?”  My comment was: Is there a difference?I was already writing this post and now I had to think…is there a difference? I don’t know, I would have to research it, and Jeanette has’t answered me yet. She will though! And I will post her answer in my comments when she does…I then responded immediately with: “I strive for the perfect will of God for my life!” Before all of that thinking began about the difference between perfect and excellent. Like the concept of the wide and narrow gates, I have to assume there is a dicernable difference between excellence and perfection…quickly it sounds like excellence is still a “striving for” placement in the race…while perfection has us home with Father God and in the “good and faithful servant” ceremony there.So as I travel forward allowing God to make me a new Andrea by changing my mind I bid you blessings loves! ❤ I’m off down the narrow road and I can see the narrow gate from here…wanna come?


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Rearranging Your Thoughtlife…


 

How to Change Your Mind….and Your Life!

As I was spending time with God the two scriptures continued to come to mind.

Psalm 118:24   This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.(NIV)

Romans 12:1   So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.(Message)

Many practicing Christians have eventually find that the theme their Pastor is on, at any given time, is the theme of every preacher, self-help guru and even the secular world. God is cool that way, that even in what one may consider not Christian the theme of the day (season) is the same in both the heavenly and worldly realms.

The bible does say:

Matthew 5:45 But I tell you: bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, [so] that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes HIS SUN to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Seems to make sense that the seasons and messages (sermons/teachings) God sends our pastors to refresh us, He would give to the pastors equivalent secularly. He did send HIS SON so that ALL would be saved…

As my morning moved forward in its day to day routine 8 am finally rolled around and my husband was in his home office, my youngest had left more than an hour earlier for work, and the oldest, home for the day had just walked the pups. One of my beloved Dachshunds stood at my knee indicating he wanted to be picked up (oddly they do this much like a toddler does, they seem to reach up for attention and comfort). I lifted the youngest red and he cuddled to me, his affection warms my heart, and I soak that up. Well he had been barking at my husband when he was going into the office, and I was his second choice, so as I walked to the glass door of hubby’s office to show him how cute Habby (the dachie) was being I looked in and saw my husbands rough body language and facial expressions caused by my call. I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit to instant hurt and anger at this reaction.

I returned to my desk to prepare for my days work (I’m the church secretary and I get to work from home right now due to health and the church’s transitions) hurt and frustrated.

::A bit of backstory for those who just wandered in: For the last three months I have lived with a poor heart diagnosis. Mind you, I have not given in to the names of these issues, I do not own this illness, I embrace God’s promise of divine wellness. I do listen to the doctors and follow their directions so as to heal and step into my wellness, my wholeness. Therefore, my men have had to pick up more of the household slack, on days when it is very hot or something is too heavy or I am fatigued or exhibiting warning signs. ::

Now three months into this transitioning lifestyle change that they have been, in part, forced to participate in is beginning (or for some have always been) to be frustrating. For me as well.

In the same three months my Home Group leader has been teaching us from Working With The Law~11 Truth Principles for Successful Living by Raymond Holliwell. How many times have you heard “It will change your life!”? I know, right? Well dear reader…this book WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND AND YOUR LIFE! Simply because the concept is rooted in prime biblical truth. The Law is God!

Three months of teachings, three months of determined, obedient adherence to the biblical principles in God’s Word and Holliwell’s book and I have changed. We were in the book for a month when my awareness of my every thought took my fear and revealed it in serious health issues. simultaneously God spoke and I have moved speedily to wellness and have made changes in my lifestyle that has affected my family, good and not so great.

When my husband had his temper tantrum (sorry, it is what it is) and I had to walk away hurt and frustrated, and change my thoughts. The ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) began to surge toward my thoughts and I knew they had to be changed, the thoughts, immediately. I instantly begin to pray in tongues when life indicates a problem is brewing, and even when the unexpected crashes into my day to day. I would relate it to visually seeing an enemy and immediately talking to him/her, showing no fear, and not just trash talk! Rather, firm and  authoritative words, letting the enemy know right away that he/she does not have the upper hand.

This is how one must approach negative thoughts. We must talk back to that niggling voice that tells us we are less than what God says we are.

If you are a new Christian, or of another belief system, let me tell you that your creator made you to have dominion and every good thing on this earth. My Creator has a name, and all other  false rulers answer to the Creator of ALL Things. His name is I AM, God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son. For me there is no other, and what definitely gives me heart, is I know He is your God too, whether you call Him Bob or Father, He loves YOU TOO!

God says we are His Children, adopted into the Kingdom because He first Loved US! I did not find God, although that is how I used to display it…He was never lost, I was! I have been excepted into the family of God because God, Himself called me there at 36 years of age! Now, I know that I know that I was called before that, but my free will and my existence did not allow me to hear the still small voice, or obey the whispers of God earlier than that. However, when I did submit and listen to the small voice it was no longer small…I had taken so long that it was a firm command of a Father.

In my diligence to pattern my life after the will of my Father God I had garnered the favor to have been given the ability to change my existence almost immediately. By the time the dogs were settled in for their morning nap (8:30am) and my husband had emerged from his cave no! office to go to his day job I was feeling better. He apologized and I accepted, I always do, I can’t stay mad at that guy!  🙂  and the day moved forward in positive flow.

Again, I would be less than honest if I said I wasn’t still hurting, but I did say that I was learning how to change my thoughts. Transformation is a process, it is not a thing that happens overnight, that is a blessing. “To be transformed” in the original Greek means: an ongoing process. To transform one’s mind according to the scripture Romans 12:1-2 takes lifelong diligence; it is literally a life long process of opening oneself to God’s power of renewal.

This is not the world’s view of transformation, and when viewed one can see that the world’s concept of transformation or renewal doesn’t seem to be quite the improvement that they advertise it to be. The world seems to think that changing the cover or the appearance or the name of something is transformation. To appear as if change has occurred, all the while the inner workings continue to rust and corrode until nothing works correctly any longer. The world doesn’t even know that they can change the way they feel, from bad to good, less than to worthy. They don’t know…that is why we were sent! To show them they have a different set of choices!

I know, you will hear things like, “I can’t help what I feel!” or “I can’t get in trouble for what I think!”. From experience I can honestly tell the world, to both those poor excuses (which I once believed not long ago)

YES! YOU! CAN!

Transformation is a change of mind and a change of heart, and they only being that is capable of doing this is the individual, with the assistance of God. Let’s start with a simple and biblical list to change our minds and our hearts, shall we? Scripture that even the secular world has heard and used (because God gives us all the same tools, some just have taken shop class yet!):

 Philippians 4:6-9 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.(Message)

With that in mind I encourage you to do what I myself will be doing today. Renew your mind when what comes up is not fresh and good for the thinking. Because what is not good for the thinking is not good for the body or the spirit!

We MUST take care of the BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT to gain wellness and wholeness. If we focus our thoughts on the Kingdom, the body and spirit will line up with the mind and we become perfect in God’s eyes.

Blessings Loves!


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in Christ ALL things hold together ((†))


Sleep Studies at night and God in the Morning

Last night I has a sleep study performed, because the Cardiologist @ Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Brownsmills, NJ., felt it was necessary. Why? Because, sleeplessness is a major cause of hypertension. So I was wired like a science project, plugged in and sent to bed. At 10:30 pm no less!

Blessedly the the room was very much like an old hotel/motel room, teal green carpet and drapes to prove it, with just a tv and a few lamps. Worried that once I turned off the tv I wouldn’t be able to sleep, in the very noisy silence. Did you ever notice how noisy and active silence is? Try a sleep study! I turned out the lamp and settled in for the night and God helped me out with the silence! He is always faithful! Like with the carpet and drapes my room had the old style wall mounted airconditioner and she was not quiet! Ahhhhh….

I guess I slept ok, felt like I slept the normal 5 or 6 hours, but I won’t be certain until I return to Deborah for my follow-up.

So anyway, I call home at 5:05 am, to find that the boys had not awakened to the alarm, and woke Don up to pick me up, (he had a 45 minute ride ahead of him, just enough time to meet the 6am checkout (NO) discharge time!). I’m glad I got to call home!

So the techie unwired me, explained when I would be contacted (about 3 weeks, ehhh.) and off I was to dress and leave. I walked out to a slowly illuminating sky with bright sun edging the slowly brightening clouds. Unlike the brutal mornings of July, there was a crisp chill in the air and the birds were joyfully singing in the trees, as far off, it seemed, traffic traveled up and down Trenton Road, even so early on this Saturday morning. I wondered if I was going to have to sit on the cement stoop when I saw a picnic table in a break area for employees. I walked the block to the table and sat reading Michael Cunningham’s The Hours waiting to be picked up. It was quite nice really, I enjoyed the time.

Don arrived on time, just 6:05 am, and we enjoyed the ride home. I asked if I could turn the heat on low and he laughed, saying that was something he didn’t think he would ever hear me say. I had to laugh too, he was right. As we drove east for home the sun was finally on the horizon. Huge and bright it made certain areas very hard to navigate for the blinding rays of unadulterated light. We both began to watch what we could see of the road ahead of us. It’s these times of working together that I realize God’s design for our lives, Don’s and mine, that is.

Although He, God, has designed and planned ALL life. I’ll explain that more in a bit, with visual aids!  😉

When the sun got so bright we couldn’t see an inch ahead of us I handed Don my sunglasses, his are lost again I guess, and convinced him for once to use the visor! I scanned  the road ahead and warned him of curves and other cars (moving and parked), as he attempted to keep his eye on the road ahead of him. From Route 70 in Brownsmills, to First Street in Pinelake Park, the sun would be a flaming ball to light our way, even though we couldn’t see. This reminds me of a facebook post I recently shared here.

There was no aggrevation (Don) or anxiety about the aggravation (me), we just worked together and got home safely, after checking Dad’s house and caring for the animals because he is at his cabin in NY this weekend.

Home safely and assaulted by our three Dachshunds, who always act as if we’ve been gone for years, we got  kissed and jumped on and when all were content everyone settled into a bright and peaceful Saturday morning. Don and the Dachies settled in for a continuation of their snooze. Then I got my yogurt and granola and began my Coffee time with God.

My devotionals seemed out of sync, which is unusual these days. It was not until I read the post of a woman, MEB, on facebook, a friend added about a year ago. MEB is an actual friend, who lives in the area, of one of my actual friends on FB, and MEB accepted my friend request for prayer for her family. The tragedy for which we had been praying rounded itself and has been absorbed by the family, who is now in a constant struggle, finally causing our friend to become quiet and unresponsive. Even showing resentment and anger at some of our scripture posts. We continued to reach out to her, encourage her and pray.

I don’t know much about what is going in her life except for her children. I do know, from her fb posts, that she is a great mother who is now basically  functioning, amazingly, as a single parent. She reached out just recently and I grasped the chance to minister to her. She has been reading my blog posts on facebook, which I had been unaware of, and they were encouraging her. I was humbled and answered a few of her questions. She once again became quiet, I don’t know whether I was too forward in my joy or that she is just quite busy with her life, but I pray and check the fb posts.

This morning, after my devotion scriptures were read,  I wandered over to facebook, and was shown favor by God and my friend,. MEB was getting God…she was responding to posts that spoke to her. I could only hope she had been able to see God in her day. Here it was, she was seeing God!  

While backtracking to last night’s posts, so I could see what all my friends were up to, I found this in MEB’s posts! I was overjoyed that she had found this!

Please watch it will amaze you!

Now I was introduced to Laminin many years ago by my children’s Youth Pastor, and I remembered this morning as the Holy Spirit rose in me while I viewed this particular video, how amazing the information really is. Christ really does, literally hold each of us together, and with this imformation how does one deny it?

God is good, Let everything that has breath praise His name!

So, with the scripture used in the video, I look down to my journal and realize that all 4 scriptures were forming my prayer for today, and everyday!

The Scriptures are : Philippians 1:9-10; Mark 12:30; Romans 8:28 and Colossians 1: 16-19. In the order I received them, in the order I wrote them in my journal and in the order I wrote this prayer. God simply made them hold together! Amazing

My Prayer:

Thank You,Father God, that my love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that I may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless, until the day of Christ. I will love the LORD my God… with all my heart, all my spirit, all my mind, and with every ounce of strength within me. I know that You, God cause ALL things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to Your purpose for them. For by You,  ALL things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; ALL things were created by You and for You. You are before ALL things, and in Christ ALL things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn among the dead, so that in ALL things He might have the supremacy. For You, God was pleased to have ALL Your  fullness dwell in Christ. Amen.

Good Morning¸¸.•*¨*•☼•*¨*•.¸¸and be blessed  loves! 🙂


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HOW TO GET THE ANTs OUT OF YOUR HEAD :)


Don't Let ANTs Have Space in Your Head!

{ Hey loves, just a little prologue: this is what I did to change my negative thoughts to positive thoughts today. I’ve got to thank Carol Pandola for the awesome teachings at bible study this summer. The tools she’s provided the ladies are invaluable for our growth in Christ. Have I told anyone lately that I have the GREATEST friends God could provide? Have a blessed and beautifully thought out day my loves!♥ }

A.N.T. s are cynical, gloomy and complaining thoughts that cause damage in one’s life. Many believe that mental and physical illnesses begin with negative thoughts. The bible says that “As a man thinks, so he is.”. So how far off is the concept that our thoughts can heal our bodies, or the opposite, our thoughts will make us ill. This concept that thoughts, positive and negative have a literally physical affect on the body is nothing new and scientists and physicians are rounding the corner again and considering the mind and the body as two parts of a functioning being.

Lets go one step further, though. Christianity believes (knows) we are triune beings being made up of three parts: Spirit, Body and Soul (mind).

Where religion or spirituality, science and medicine agree is that all parts must function for the whole to be well. Wholeness, wellness, can only be attained when the spirit, body and mind of a man are cared for with equal and positive life practices.

Remember what your mother always said, and there are many!

“You are what you eat.” This is true for anything at all one puts into the body, through the mouth, ears, and eyes. We figuratively and literally eat what we come into contact with.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Now mom told us this to teach us manners, or did she? What we speak, we create. Further, what we think, we create. Every act, good or bad, life or death, begins with a thought. Premeditation. Maybe, just maybe, mom knew that if we said something not nice, we were at second base on our way to a bad decision or act.

We could go on, but you see where this is going…

For some reason it is easier, seemingly more natural, for humans to think negatively. Whether it’s nature or nurture is for the professors to debate, for us the reality is we must stop the negative thinking to improve our lives, our environments and ourselves.

Ever notice how when one succeeds at improving something in a life, everything and everyone in the immediate vacinity seems to have improved.

Well, as Raymond Holliwell teaches in his work: Working with the Law~11Truth Principles for successful living, we must change our minds to change our lives.

How do we do this? One must accept, first, that one’s thoughts are real and have marked affect upon one’s life and body.

In an ezine article by Diane Strausser, MSS, LISW; adapted from the work of Dr. Daniel G. Amen’s: Seven Ways To Optimize Your Brain and Your Life, we find the concept of A.N.T.s defined.

~~~~~~

ANTs are cynical, gloomy and complaining causing depression and fatalistic attitude.

Realize that your thoughts are real:

o You have a thought

o Your brain releases chemicals

o An electrical transmission goes across your brain

o You become aware of what you’re thinking

The importance of becoming conscious and intentional is vital to your growth as a human being.

Nine categories of ANTS:

1. Always/never thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything.

2.Focusing of the negative: seeing only the bad in a situation

3. Fortune-telling: predicting the worst possible outcome

4. Mind reading: believing that you know what others are thinking even though they haven’t told you.

5. Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever checking them out.

6. Guilt beating: thinking in words like should, must, ought or have to.

7. Labeling: attaching a negative label to yourself or to someone else.

8. Personalizing: investing innocuous events with personal meaning.

9. Blaming: blaming someone else for your own problem.

Think about the ANTS at your picnic, your life. Write down some of the phrases or sentences, the messages you have given or heard that created difficulty for you. Look at the nine and choose the ones that you really need to notice. The ones that jump out at you.

The first way to catch them and correct them is to notice them and challenge them. Whenever a negative thought goes unchallenged, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it.

And, the way to kill it is to talk back to it and to counter it:

1. notice it

2. write it down

3. talk back to it

Now take the next 10 minutes to notice, write and talk back. Make two columns on your paper and write the ANT in the first column and the response in the column next to it.

~~~~~~~

To enjoy life more abundantly, like the bible tells us we can, we must change our way of thinking.

This is a personal choice each of us make, one way or the other, each day. Being accutely aware of our thoughts will most definitely have an affect on the quality of our lives, the wellness of our bodies and the richness of our spirit.

The bible clearly instructs in Philippians 4:8-9 (message):

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

We must choose an ANT free environment to enjoy God’s most excellent harmonies!

What are you thinking about today loves? 😉

 

 

resources:

Dr. Daniel G. Amen: Seven Ways To Optimize Your Brain and Your Life

Diane Strausser, MSS, LISW: ezinearticles.com/?ANTS—Automatic-Negative-Thoughts

Raymond Holliwell: Working With The Law~ 11 Truth Principles for Successful Living

Ant Photo Credit: Unknown, attained unblocked from google.