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I.Pray. | A Wife’s Testimony


Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

when we don’t feel safe where do we go?

The shadow of the almighty

Go …

This is the testimony of the wife and mother of two who are seriously afflicted with life threatening illnesses. Honestly I am writing this in preparation of the teaching/testimony I have to give tomorrow morning at my church’s Women’s Fellowship Breakfast. And it’s not been the greatest of months for me.

I don’t think people, even those closest, notice that things are as bad as they are or can be, some days. They see me weathering the storm at church or bible studies or family gatherings and they either express that I am so strong or they just ask how my husband is. And for some, I can see that they hope my answer is quick and doesn’t require much from them. That sounds harsh, but it is not meant to be. I am well aware that they don’t know what to say or do and frankly there is nothing they can say or do. They just don’t know that that is okay.

And some days I notice that I need to talk, and some days that means me talking to God. Because, he’s the only one who can do anything about all of this …

STOP … This post took way more than 5 minutes and edits. After all it’s the draft of a testimony presentation on a really hard subject.

My testimony.

I am the wife of a wonderful man, who is battling cancer and the mother of a hurting man, who is battling heroin addiction; and I do this simultaneously and not always well.

I am simply doing the next right thing on a moment to moment basis, sometimes. Definitely the last month.

My husband has been through 2 different, months long, rounds of chemo. Taking up what is slowly becoming 2 years.

The first round to eradicate a mass that had infiltrated and completely blocked his left lung; which was found to have rendered the lung nonfunctional. He didn’t even feel it not working until he caught an upper respiratory illness, which started this season in our lives. From September 2013 to February 2014 he had chemo and radiation every two weeks. The mass decreased with each CAT scan and he came to the end of this round with full use of the lung! Success! Right?

Not according to the doctors. Because a VERY little piece of the cancer had “escaped” to the liver. With this the treatments were rendered a failure.

REALLY?! But … he has full use of the lung! Really. According to their protocol.

NOT our GOD though!

So in June, after a biopsy,  he went back into chemo; radiation was not an option for the liver. So from March to September 2014 my husband endured some very hard chemo treatments.

All the time he only got ill twice with nausea and once with something he caught. He lost his hair twice and suffered most from fatigue and feelings of weakness; oh and frustration driven moodiness!

He came out of the last round of chemo and the CAT scan showed that the “original” spot(s) were smaller, but that other lesions had developed.

Another fail, according to the doctors and the protocols.

And all the while this man of mine was vibrantly himself except for a few naps here and there.

So now he’s [we are] setting up for a clinical trial.

And with all this our youngest son is having a daily battle with heroin and he fell.

So that’s the story … what’s my testimony? I still don’t know how to put that into words.

I’m having trouble telling my story because I don’t feel as if I’m doing anything extraordinary. I’m just flexing with the new needs of my wife-hood and motherhood. Like I said, I try to do the next right thing and sometimes I fail miserably.

I started out with the boy being an addict. Something we’ve been dealing with for the last couple of years. At first it was just drug use, then it turned into what it is today; full on addiction to one of the worst drugs on the street. I learned to deal in the “tough love” arena. Tough love, I think, is harder on the parent, because it feels not only as if you are doing nothing, it feels as if you are abandoning your child. The good thing is that the boy is clean and doing well, so the love isn’t so tough when cancer entered and life got a different kind of  hard.

So I’m doing this thing by rote and …

The doctors say cancer and they are acting as if they are delivering a death sentence. Cold and clinical … cancer, here’s a referral.

Head spinning, heart breaking and tears like a waterfall gushing out of control … I start this new season. I pray. I cry. I wake up in the middle of the night and pray while I lean over to see if my husband is breathing.

Before the diagnosis his breathing was a given. I didn’t think about it, like I don’t think about my own. Now all of a sudden I have death in my head! And I hear (now) …

Be careful what you hear …

This doesn’t feel like faith to me, so I pray more.

I.AM.A.MESS.

But then things take on a routine … The Hubs is doing fine, he’s feeling okay and we get into this new groove. But the groove doesn’t feel right. It feels like acceptance of something that is not of God. And I hear …

What you tolerate you accept. And I pray.

So I pray and The Hubs and I talk about it. We talk about a lot of things. Somewhere we begin to discuss the fact that he is going to refuse anymore chemo.

I.AM.A.MESS. … Again.

DO NOTHING?! What!? Can we really do nothing?! Is nothing what we should have done all along??

A.MESS.

I just need this all to stop and then the boy falls down. He’s using.

I.PRAY.

So what’s the testimony? Hey, I still don’t know if this is even a testimony! Maybe it’s a lesson on the reality of what a wife/mother does during a health struggle of a loved one.

I.Pray.

That’s what I do. I go to every appointment, I drive the boy to every court date and P.O. meeting. And I pray.

I go to God at the end of everyday. Because I don’t always hold it together well some days. In fact my comfortable day to day no longer exists.

I get depressed. I get angry (not at God); angry at doctors, protocols, cancer and heroin. I yell and I cry and sometimes I reject the encouragement of others trying to help me, when they don’t know what else to do.

I am often A.MESS. And you know what?

That is not a lack of faith. It is not a crisis of faith. It is not anger at God.

It is reality. And it is normal and it is okay! Even God accepts it, after all He knew what He was asking me to do when He created me. And He knew how I would handle it.

So … I pray.

What do I pray? Well if you read this blog regularly you know I am really into praying God’s Word. Can’t go wrong praying God’s promises or what He says about things. Yes. It’s the easy way. It may even be cheating … but hey, God gave me the answers so …

I.Pray. the answers.

I’m going to post a list of scriptures I use to keep me from trying to make deals with and/or manipulate God and His will. Because if there are a few things that I REALLY believe it’s …

God’s got this.

God has a plan.

And WE WERE healed.

These are scriptures that I, and our friends, regularly pray over my husband and son. These scriptures can be used by anyone for anything, obviously! 1 John 4:4; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 118:14; Psalm 103:2; Jeremiah 30:17; Nahum 1:9 and Luke 5:17.

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O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

The Power of the Lord is present to heal you! Isn’t that wonderful?

I also rely heavily upon Psalm 91, because it contains EVERY promise God made to us! EVERY.ONE. It reassures my heart and clears my mind.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

That’s my testimony! That I know, no matter what has taken place on any day, at any appointment, that the Power of the Lord is present to heal! That’s how I do this … that no matter my level of fear or anger …I.KNOW.GOD. and I.Pray.Thanks for reading. God bless.

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Inscribed upon my Heart by God: Andrea, Writer.


Quotes

Originally uploaded by The Casual Photographer

I’m having a slow, tired, rainy day. Most of us experience these. However, mine, in the gloom of an overcast, rainy Jersey day, becomes a thing of negativity. Having slept in due to fatigue, and this Wednesday being the first day in two weeks where I was not bound to an errand based schedule, I inadvertently slipped into a depressive state.

At noon I forced myself up and moving. I am always amazed at how quickly I slip right back into my old man.

Instantly…

I begin with I’ll take a twenty-minute rest and two hours later that rest has turned into a sleep that sets me off track.

Off track in body, mind and spirit.

Yes…that is all it takes for me.

Those who have suffered with depression, and I do not participate in depressive states of being any longer!, understand that sleep is an enemy. A symptom, not a remedy!

I grabbed my cold cup of coffee from earlier…I know, some don’t understand cold coffee 🙂 I was raised to nurse a cup of coffee all day! Got dressed, folded some laundry and headed to the office feeling fatigued.

An over-sleep induced fatigue, I was not feeling well…

Depression!

I ditched a few of my e-mail devotionals as they were not speaking to me and then opened Kim Potter’s , A New Thing Ministries motivational for today, “Write it Down”. I also read part of Sarah Markley’s blog for this morning; “Sarah Who?”, but stopped because I felt it didn’t speak to me…that is until I coupled it with Kim Potter’s!

Depression makes me feel invisible, unnoticeable, unWorthy…all lies. I know these lies intimately and the masquerade as truths. Truth Imposters spoken by others….angry parents, the school yard bullies, the popular girl in class, the cute boy who laughed when you bought his attention for something it was not…LIES of invisibility and scorn.

As I lay there in my late waking, trying to motivate myself into being productive, I thought about all those productive things God has gifted me with.

ONE stands, mocking me…because I know it was a restored gift, and I cannot figure out by what (who) or how the brick wall of fear was erected!

ME…

*ANDREA, WRITER.

Sarah in her post this morning, found that being one of a zillion Sarahs on the planet caused her to always lead with her last name to identify herself. She found it demeaning that people didn’t recognize her voice or know which Sarah she was.

I think I am in a different place. I find myself demeaning myself in regard to the gift I know I have been called to use.

I believe it is the title; WRITER… How pretensious of me to believe that I am a Writer…see I couldn’t even put it in bold.

…then I think, or the Holy Spirit rises and speaks…how sinful is it that I don’t believe what God has given me…

I love to write. I am good at writing.

I’m not exactly a Story Teller, I am a Life Teller.

I share from where I am, I write from my heart, perspective and life.

I have been given an assignment to write. To write a specific book. Yet I cannot put the pen to paper, or the words on the screen.

I sit, in sadness; depression and think “maybe tomorrow”!

And then….

I just feel less than. Not able, a nothing…a nobody. NOT WORTHY!

I am choosing this, I know…

In my morning (afternoon) devotions I was given another, more personal assignment, from God.

“Write the vision down and make it plain; that YOU, ANDREA may run when you read it.” Habakkuk 2:2, adaptation.

Kim’s motivational explains that when we write these things down they become registered in the Kingdom. While God instructed that things be written, engraved or inscribed on stone, wood or metal, today we have to our avail, as well, the permanency of the internet.

We all know that once something is in cyberspace it is there for all time!

In Habakkuk 2:2 the definitions of the key words are these:

Write: inscribe, engrave, describe or detail in words, register, record and decree

Vision: see, perceive, prophesy – BEHOLD

Read: call out, proclaim, summon, appoint

Oooo I forgot to add this quote from Kim Potter’s blog, very important:

 “Just this morning I was reading something that confirmed this action; I want to share it with you ~ KP”

            It is from Bill Burns, he said the Lord said; I would have My people to once again be a people of faith.  My challenge to you now is to begin to walk in an absolute faith that refuses double-mindedness and negativity; a faith that refuses to allow the enemy to gain the victory over you. So rise up, you people of faith, for it is by faith that you overcome the world. It is by faith that you enter into a fullness of life in the kingdom of My Son, says the Most High.  Come forth in faith and walk in the power of it.  Demonstrate the kingdom and manifest the supernatural and the fullness of that which I am doing.  Begin to decree and to declare and to write a thing, for as it is written it is released in to the heavenlies and it shall come forth as My word and My word does not return to Me void, says the Lord. 

            As it is written it is released in to the heavenlies and it shall come forth.  I encourage you today to write your vision and make it plain – in doing so, you guarantee its release and it’s coming forth.  Remember, His word does NOT return void.

Today I will engrave in words and on my heart that I am Andrea, Writer. I will see, I will behold the gift and assignment given me by God, done; completed. I will proclaim and thank my God for the gift that He has graced me with, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanks for reading Loves.

Blessings ♥


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No Weapon Formed…what was that diagnosis???


Get Well Bouquet...

♥ Hi there! It’s been a month since I last posted! Sorry about that! There is a good, well particially good reason.

In my quest for health I got ill.

You see, when you pray for God to search you and your heart is right, he does. If He sees that you are ready to move on a change that is necessary he then honors your request. I must have been ready.

On June 1st., I attended our Ladies Bible Study. I almost did not go due to fear, no panic. I had been having increasing difficulty breathing and being in my upstairs rooms and bathrooms worsened it. We don’t have airconditioning in our home, so the 2nd floor is naturally more hot and humid, especially when showering.

I had often battled the fear that I would one day not be able to shower because of the breathing issues. Well, I am here to tell you that fear, even unspoken, will manifest itself! I was taking a shower to prepare for bible study and I got to a point when I could no longer breath adequately. I quickly rinsed off and got out and put on my robe…I called to my son, who did not hear me, and I became more frightened.

Very frightened and angry that this was occuring I began to cry and pray to calm myself. It took awhile. I dressed and returned downstairs. I called my trusty “won’t let me off the hook” friend and told her what was happening, in tears of course. I was waffling on going to bible study. However, I knew that if I gave in and stayed home that would be a dire mistake. I just knew that I knew that that particular decision was a milestone. So I called JR, and she offered to pick me up.

Bible study was positive and uplifting, as it always is. I shared with the group, briefly, what had happened when prayer request time came around and I asked for prayer. The ladies made their views clear and I promised to call my physician in the morning. I had been avoiding this for a very long time because I have no health insurance! Prayer time came and went and we went home.

My husband was aware of the situation because he was actually my first phone call. Being that he does not “believe” in doctors he does not push me to see one if I don’t pursue it. However, he does not block me either, so he told me to keep my promise and call the doc. I wanted to see him, because of the no insurance thing, but knew there was a possibility he would tell me to go to the ER.

The next morning, after a night of laying my hands on and praying that my body line up with the word of God, I felt better, much better. I kept my promise though. Just as I thought the doc told me to go to the ER, because the symptoms I described could be heart, lung or kidney related and I would have to have tests that were expensive and the ER was the best route, unfortunately. So I went.

Here is why I’ve been gone for so long…

I was admitted to the hospital for…get this!…Hypertensive Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure with Pneumonia! Quite the mouth full. Now remember how frightened I was in the shower??? While I was not happy with the diagnosis, I was also not frightened by it! So I was either in a state of grace or the peace of God, or both.

I’m starting to believe they are the same place!  🙂

I was in the hospital for the better part of  5 days, and on light activity for 2 weeks. Multiple medications and frustration left me not allowed to drive for 2 weeks. I was required to weigh myself each morning, at the same time, with the instructions to return to the hospital if I gain 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in a week. I also am to watch my fluid intake…no more than a liter a day. Oh! And NO salt, ehhhh!  Daunting and worrisome, I was happy to be home.

Each day I have lost a pound, of water weight, of course. With only a few days where I was faced with a bit of gain, however not outside of the rules. I had my 7 day follow up with my regular doc, who agrees with the instructions. With a few notes. On very hot and humid days fluid intake is necessary, so I am to be watchful but drink when thirsty. And to call Deborah Heart and Lung Center for my Cardiac follow up, as they are ability to pay! No bills.

The two weeks were long and I have had bouts of depression. Mostly due to the limitations. I have fought it with prayer, but I didn’t do any writing, blogging or any of my usual productive things. I love to write and take pictures…didn’t feel like it. I have been tired, asleep and emotional. It is frustrating at the least.

The one thing I have not forsaken was Church. Even sitting, in the beginning, the Praise and Worship and the Word have fed my spirit. As many of my readers know my church is changing Pastors and location. These things are firming up and I am excited about the newness and the forward movement! We are going to the next level as a church, while my Spiritual Parents step out into the new ministries God has for them.

I’m doing well. Soon, I look forward to the prize of being myself again, just a bit less salty. Oh and thinner! Did I say I’ve lost 30 pounds in about a month. People do not try this at home with out medical assistance! Of course it’s water weight, but hey, here’s hoping that my obesity is connected and as much weight as possible be removed by these means! : D

I’d like to leave you with a few scripture I have been using and have prayed before and during this. In fact a devotional from             Proverbs 31 Ministries I recieved on June 14th, while I was in a bout of depression I might add, confirmed that this diagnosis of mine and the medical treatment plan were due to the prayer I had been praying for months, for God to remove anything within my body that was not working for or fruitful for the Kingdom of God! ** JUST A SHOUT OUT HERE TO MY FATHER GOD FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS TO ME!!! ALL THE GLORY IS HIS!**

The prayer I had been, and still am, praying for months prior to this health issue was very similiar to the scripture in the devotional highlighted above.

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (Amplified)

I had spent many a prayer time asking God to remove the wicked or hurtful things in me…who knew, like the lady in the devotional it would be such a dire diagnosis?

Praying scripture is infallible! Just as the Word itself tells us God’s Word is infallible.

“But you are a shield around me O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” Psalm 3:3

David cried out to God to be his shield. That is good enough for me! God is ultimately the one who lifts our heads up away from our current circumstances. When we cry out, God answers.

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God…then call on Me when you are in trouble; I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” Psalm 50:14-15

There is great value, importance and powerfulness in our praise and worship to God.  Our praises are powerful enough to neutralize all of the adversary’s forces. Because…

“God inhabits the praises of His people.” Psalm 22:3

Are you seeking God’s presence in your crisis, as I did? Take it from me the fastest response and entrance into the presence of God is praise. Verbal, outloud declarations of His positive and faithful presence in your life!

Praise is seeking the Kingdom of God…Prayer is seeking the Kingdom of God…and afterward all these things will be given to you!

Blessings Love and Be Well!  ♥


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Fasting for Healing…What Daniel Did.


Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

I have been moving toward going on a fast. Let me be clearer. I have been hearing God tell me to fast and I have been avoiding it. Instead I wrote an article on Helium.com about the Daniel Fast, while attempting to have enough will power to begin the fast. While I have begun to change my eating habits of late, I have not gone on a true Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast is a fast geared toward healing and prevention. Actually several years ago I completed an adapted 40 day Daniel Fast. Adapted in that I drank protein drinks to sustain when I felt it necessary. Also, it wasn’t a true Daniel fast in that it was the first real fast I ever attempted for more than a day and I was not aware of all of it’s restrictions.

The Daniel Fast is what the secular world knows as the Raw Foods Fast or a Vegan Fast. Only fruits, vegetables and water, completely cleansing the body in 10 to 21 days. And most everyone knows that anything successfully changed in a 21 day period can very likely become permanent.

I researched the Daniel or Raw Foods Fast and found it quite interesting. The body requires Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats to survive. Infact the body requires these nutrients to lose weight!  My question was just what fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains contained all of these nutrients? The answers were vast:

Nutrition: The Benefits of the Daniel Fast by Andrea D. Hutchinson

  Biblically, the Daniel Fast was a refusal by Daniel, while under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, to defile himself with the rich and unhealthy diet of the royal table. The king told the head of his palace staff to get young men, from the Israelite royal and noble families, who were healthy, handsome, intelligent and well educated for leadership training in the royal court. In other words boys who were “perfect specimens”. They were to be taught and indoctrinated in the language of Babylon, and the lore of magic and fortunetelling.

The king ordered that these boys be served from the same menu as would be served at the royal table. The best foods and the finest wines of the royal court. After three years of this indoctrination they would be given positions in the king’s court.

Daniel, refused to be defiled by the rich and luxurious foods and beverages of the king’s table. Daniel believed that he was called by God to do this, to glorify Him and that it would protect him. In the end it did just that.

Determined, he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. Afraid of the king, the steward was reluctant because he believed that they would not be nourished well enough and that the king would notice. Daniel appealed to the steward, “Try us out for ten days with a simple diet of vegetables and water, then compare us with the other young men who are eating from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.” Agreeing, the steward allowed them their simple vegetable and water diet for ten days. At the end of those ten days the four young men looked better and more robust than the others. So the steward allowed them their raw food and water diet for the remainder of their training period. Daniel 1 ~ the Message Bible.

In the King James version of these scriptures David asks the steward, ” Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12

The proof at the end of the ten day fast would be the first documentation of the benefits of the Daniel Fast, also called the Raw Food or Vegan Fast. The health benefits were evident, as described in the Book of Daniel. After ten days the boys appeared healthier and were more robust, or energetic, than the boys who had indulged in the rich foods and wines of the royal table.

Daniel’s intent was to remain physically and spiritually clean for God, while he was being trained in things contrary to what they believed to be God’s will for His people at the time. Thus, fasting was a means to cleanse oneself, glorifying God.

Fasting in these modern days is utilized for the same purpose, cleaning out one’s physical system. As well as, for some, it continues to be a way to worship and glorify God. It has become popular, once again, to fast for spiritual cleansing.

Whatever the reason for one’s fast, the Daniel Fast is a good fast to begin with. In general fasting cleanses the body of the toxins one has attained consuming a modern diet. Fasting removes all of those chemicals and preservatives that our body retains after we have eaten processed and pesticide laden foods. Cleansing one’s body allows one to, technically, start over with a healthier diet. Removing toxins and the remnants of chemicals that have built up in one’s system, is a definite benefit. Typically today, one enters into the Daniel Fast for two physical reasons: (1) when we are ill and require healing, or (2) the prevention of illness or disease.

The Daniel Fast, or the Raw Food Fast, does this most effectively. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables, fruits and water for a 10, 21 or 40 day period of time. The Daniel fast mimics many of the restrictions of the Lenten Fast, in that it restricts all animal related foods; meat, eggs, milk, and butter, or anything that is processed or made with animal products. As well as ‘rich’ foods such as cakes. Basically desserts of all kinds, sweets.

Again, like the Lenten fast, it restricts all refined sugars and caffeine products, as well as any additives, chemicals or dyes. It is a completely natural diet. Therefore all refined sugars; corn syrup and white sugar, as well as any artificial sweeteners and flavors are restricted. No foods that are chemically processed are allowed either.

In Proverbs 23:3 it says, “be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat”.

The ‘dainties’ in one’s diet today look good, taste and smell good, but are definitely not good for the body. The same was true in biblical times. Often our ‘dainties’ are processed to remove calories and fats (both essential to the body, by the way), and then after removal by chemical processes like hydrogenation and other equally dangerous processes, what is left is returned to the product changed irrevocably, and not for the better. Both the American Heart and Diabetes Associations recommend that these products be reduced or removed from one’s diet.

So in the Daniel fast, the ‘Pulse” Daniel refers to is described as being foods grown up, naturally, from a seed. Barnes Notes defines pulse as that which grows up from seeds, such as would be sown in a garden. It also defines pulse as a vegetable or raw.

The Daniel fast will adequately cleanse one’s body within ten days. The down fall to this fast is that you will experience hunger, longer than say in a simple juice fast, as the body does not shut down it’s digestive processes. Having to digest the vegetables and grains, the digestive process will continue to tell the brain that it is hungry. The benefits outweigh the lengthened hunger pangs, however, while one’s body becomes accustomed to the new diet.

From a nutritional aspect, many feel the Daniel or Raw Food fast to be unbalanced. They report that it does not meet the carbohydrate needs of the body and that it could cause a lack of vitamin B12 (found ONLY in animal foods such as milk and eggs). They also report, that there would be a lack of protein in this diet.

There are three types of nutrients the body requires for overall wellness. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are necessary, as well, to maintain a healthy diet regime. If one is fasting as a part of a weight loss program these three nutrients must be present to lose the weight one intends to lose. Yes, carbohydrates and fats must be present in the diet for successful weight loss. All foods, with the exception of oils and fats, contain carbohydrates and proteins.

While carbohydrates, proteins and fats are needed for wellness, these can be found in naturally grown fruits and vegetables. Meeting the criteria for the Daniel fast.

There are two main types of carbohydrates. Simple sugars that are readily found in fruit and fruit juices. Complex Carbohydrates are found in yams, potatoes and breads. Breads, even of the whole grain kind, do not normally meet this fast’s particular criteria. This is because most breads eaten today are commercially made, and it is almost impossible to purchase commercially produced breads and cakes that do not use animal products or utilize processes that do not meet the Daniel criteria. Therefore breads and pastas do not meet the Daniel fast criteria.

To meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates in one’s diet one can meet them with the fruit, juice and potatoes that are obviously allowed in this fast. Carbohydrates, for informational purposes, contain 4 calories per gram. It is recommended that we eat 45-60 calories of carbohydrates to meet the RDA. Carbohydrates equate to the sugar and water needed for a body to remain well and meet one’s energy needs. As for the RDA of Protein they recommend that one consume .36 grams of protein for every pound one weighs.

As mentioned before these, including fat, can be found within the parameters of the Daniel fast criteria. It is suggested that one combine the components from each group to make flavorful meals and to meet the RDA in each group of nutrients.

From apples to watermelons all fruits contain carbohydrates. Good choices for variation and moderate to high carb content are:

Apricots Bananas Cantaloupe

Grapefruit/juice Grapes Kiwi

Mango Orange/juice Peach

Pineapple/juice Raisins Watermelon

Fruit juices from concentrate

Sultanes (a bright, sweet fruit with a vague orange/peach flavor all at once).

Vegetables with moderate to high carb content:

Beets Sweet Potatoes

Carrots Swede (turnip family)

Parsnips Sweet Corn

Pototoes Yams

Like carbohydrates many fruits and vegetables contain proteins:

Fruits:

Brazil nuts Peaches

Figs Coconuts

Dates Pineapples

Walnuts Mandarin Oranges

Hazelnuts Avocados

Pears Watermelons

Apples Oranges

Bananas Strawberries

Tomatoes

Vegetables moderate to high in protein are many:

Asparagus Aubergine (eggplant family) Beans/Legumes

Beet Root Broccoli Cabbage

Carrot Cauliflower Celery

Chicory Cucumber Fennel

Gourd Leeks Mushrooms

Okra Onion Onion Spring

Parsnips Peas Peppers

Potatoes Pumpkin Radishes

Spinach Swede (turnip family) Sweet Corn

Tomatoes Turnips Watercress

Yams

Fruits and vegetables with fat content, while they exist, they are much smaller lists. Much of your fat, found within the fruit group, will come from nuts.

Fruits:

Avocados Olives Passion fruit

Nuts:

Chestnuts Cashews Pistachios

Peanuts Almonds Walnuts

Hazelnuts Pecan Macadamias

Brazil nuts

Vegetables:

Brussels Sprouts Okra

Parsnips (*2.3 gms) Peas

Sweet Corn Tomatoes

Watercress

As can be seen from these lists there are many choices to be had to fulfill both taste and the RDA needs in all three essential nutrient categories.

Brown Rice and oats, barley, millet, whole wheat tortillas, popcorn and rice cakes are permitted. Many feel that brown rice is difficult to make and is not flavorful. Just follow the directions on the package, without the butter, and season according to the meal you are making. All seasonings are appropriate for the Daniel fast provided they are not chemically based or within the restricted group; sugars and animal based seasonings. Vinegar, salt, pepper, herb and seasonings are allowed.

Nuts and Seeds, this is where one will get the appropriate fat content to remain well. Also cold pressed and virgin type oils from olives or nuts is appropriate to cook and season your vegetable dishes with. These include these nuts and their oils if available; Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts and others. And these seeds, too; Sesame, Sunflower, and Pumpkin.

Today people have access to foodstuffs and seasonings that were not available to Daniel in biblical times. We have imported fruits and vegetables that are plentiful.

Another suggestion, as well as having a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from, one has many different ways to get one’s foods. While a raw fast speaks to food that is grown from a seeds, the food does not have to remain raw when consumed. One can acquire your vegetables and fruits canned, dried or frozen. However, read the labels, making sure there is no sugars, animal products or chemicals used for preservatives.

Those who desire dairy products, soy milk and soy products like Tofu are permitted, as they are derived from the soy bean.

As one can see the Daniel Fast is a safe fast to choose, with great nutritional benefit. Done correctly one can cleanse the body and spirit safely. The Daniel fast, as said before will heal your body and prevent illness and disease when utilized properly.

 

One final scripture tell us of it’s biblical and medicinal benefits.

Isaiah 58:6,8

Is not this the fast that I have chosen…[that] your healing shall spring forth speedily.”

 

So having been trapped in the house by the last two blizzards at the Jersey Shore!

Weathering the Storm

 

I began to feel very heavy in body and spirit. In my solitude I pressed into God as best a depressed person can do and found that I needed to begin once again to LISTEN to God. I was no longer drinking the life giving teas that I had researched over the summer. I was drinking seltzer water instead, and not feeling well. I was not drinking enough water. And I was eating garbage. Three weeks since my husband’s surgery, a month from my grandmother’s illness and I had fallen into the trap of eating badly. I was craving sweets and just not putting into practice the things I had put into place over the last several months and I was, am still, feeling it.

My slow but sure journey to a healthy body and hopefully a healthy body weight, from this tremendous obesity, had ceased! And in such a short period of time! So I wrote the article and adapted it a bit to fit what I think is best at this time…while the fast calls for NO dairy products I am eating yogurt and cottage cheese with my fruits. In a bit I will possibly remove the dairy, I will let you know.

For now I am off with my ice water and cup of green tea…don’t ask, I always have ice water along side my hot beverages???…to research my new article: Healthy Foods that Alleviate Depression. Maybe it will be done for next Fridays FOF!

Blessings my Friends. Happy Eating!

 

 

 


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The God is Good List…Update!


Trinity in Clover

Trinity in Clover

It has been a few weeks. Things have been odd to say the least. I believe depression has even attempted to enter. No battle here, just a refusal, now, to allow myself the indulgence!

Some substantial changes are occuring around me. These are good changes, I am told, and they effect my life. Also, in things I know that God told me would be happening, and things He has firmly confirmed are still processing into the natural world are taking time.All the while I am being called to continue my faith stand. All who have been standing in faith for an extended period of time knows how this can, at times, can be difficult. Yet, we do it. So that being said here are the wonderful things God has continued to do in my life!

3 Sundays ago one of my front teeth fell out, as I have already written about! Yep, right there in service it broke and disintegrated into my hand!

On the way to the dentist God told me that a person (who wishes to remain anonymous!) would be taking care of my dental needs. Having the blessing of actually hearing God’s voice, I understood what he was telling me and from past fulfillment knew that His promises are always kep, I told my husband what I had been told.

Now, as much as this person is apart of my life and I love them, I did not understand why this would even be a consideration on their part. But I know God, so I acknowledged it and went about finding out what was going to need t be done.

Somehow I got $1200.00 in my head, and I know that that will be what is needed, even though after all is said and done I don’t know the final bill here, obviously.

The following Sunday this lovely person came to me and wanted to talk to me. It was Sunday morning, and I am the church secretary, so my dental issues were not a consideration for me then. Besides it had been a week, and as humans we become accustomed to things, even big things, in that amount of time, so I didn’t think she wanted to talk to me personally, I thought she had church business in mind.

She met me in my office and said hi, and asked about my tooth and the dentist. Thinking she was being polite and would get to the subject she wanted to discuss after the friendly chat, I told her I had gone and I would have to wait a bit to have the work done.

She asked if I would mind telling her how much it was going to cost. I said no that I thought the figure they had quoted was $1200.00. This figure was the figure that when I purchase the insurance my dentist provides would be the round about cost of a partical denture, which is what will eventually be what is done.

She then brought back my conversation with God a few days before, with a jolt! She smiled and said to me that that figure was exactly what God had told her. She proceeded to tell me that God had put my need on her heart and that she had spoken to her husband and they had agreed, as they usually do, to be obedient!

THIS IS A HUGE THING!!!

Just about immediately, and I believe, no I know, the lag in time always has something to do with us and not God at all, God handled my need.

In our weakness, when we are completely unable to manage our situations ourselves and admit that, God is able to work wonders and miracles.

Unfortunately the miracles and wonders that follow those of us that believe are small in comparison to Lazareth (John 11:17-46). Mainly because we have allowed ourselves to be blinded by the definitions of a world that does not believe!

God sending the exact person with the exact solution, He told me about, should be the norm in life! But in our world this is the miracle that followed me, so I tell you about it!

It is no small miracle or wonder to me! I stand in awe of a God who takes the time to solve my problems!
Like the quotes and songs ask, “Who am I that He is thinking of me” ?

I am His child! The daughter of the King! Yet, and still…He thinks and cares for me!

Other things He has done since the whole dental thing?…

My son had issues with a business situation. This should have cost him money he could not afford. Less than a day ago, a representative of the bank in question even told him his chances were slim, as his misunderstanding of the current changes were basically his problem.

Today, after prayer and reminding my son that God has all of this in hand, everything was put in order costing him nothing.

He remindes me daily to stand on His Word and not my understanding, or on what I see. He has stopped me from making my own plans. Stopped me and affirmed in me not to fix my own situations! He assures me daily that He will attend to my needs!

All the glory and honor goes to God here! He is faithful to us, all of the time.

The other changes that are in the works, the other promises God audibly told me would occur… They will come to pass! My inner battle with worry and control, while exceedingly smaller than in the past, I am handling with the Word! I will stand on what it is He told me personally and I will build that faith in me with His Word, as my humanity is refined to righteousness in God, by God!

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

~~~~~~~~~~

Psalm 52:8-9

8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
9 I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ephesians 2: 11-19

Brought Near by His Blood

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Christ Our Peace

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

I encourage you today to look to God for the answers to those circumstances that appear impossible for you. I encourage you to look to the Word, build your faith and stand on it.

I am, personally, here to tell you that the more this becomes apart of your life, your day to day, the faster He answers you and attends to your needs.

God is good and He is faithful to finish what He has started.
Blessings!


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God’s Open Heaven in My Human Understanding


is very limited.

I read an article about how to find God. Like all intellectual Christians ( I’m assuming the author was Christian) the first comment was “God is not lost, we are…” Common rule of thumb. Yet it fit in with the theme of my week.

God, knowing where He is and where I am, and yes! where you are. Is always there. My unpleasant existance this past week, between illness, discomfort, isolation and ending in a deep two day depression was ” Me Lost”. I realize what the problem was, yet it is still so vast in my head that my humanity is struggling to put it into a understandable format. God will have to do that, and I know that He will.

Basically, even before the end of ’08, we have been walking under an ‘Open Heaven’. You have too, if heaven is open, it is open to all. 

Let me clarify an open heaven, in my understanding:

 God’s kids (ALL of Us), have received a revelation. I know my family and church, for the most part have, and from devotionals to broadcast ministries, I find that most of the kids are in the same place.

Walking under an ‘ Open Heaven’ simply relates to walking in the full blessings and promises of God. And we are. This week proves it to me. I was in a bad place and God blessed me anyway.

Depression is anger and fear turned inward! That is how the world defines it…that is what it is…depression is a condition of this world.

Depression is not faith. It is not trusting God. Therefore it is indulging in sin. Depression is an inward look at  ‘poor Andrea’. If I am looking inward, I cannot LOOK UP, nor can I be a servant of the LORD. If I am staring in the mirror of my sin, I cannot be there to serve my fellows. I am of no use to the kingdom when focused upon myself.

Yet there I was, in depression, in sin…in disobedience to my Father! Don’t know why, I believe I know how…yet it remains.

God is faithful though! LOVE NEVER FAILS!  That is to say, God’s love never fails!

As I stood on the edge of the swirling vortex of a deeper depression, God reached down and grabbed me. Standing me on firmer ground. Even as I looked up and realized what He was doing, even as I heard His voice and responded in my numbness, I gazed over my stubborn shoulder into the mezmorizing vortex that I am so familiar with, as if thinking about which choice would be the better choice.

Still,  His love for me overrode my sin and He blessed me. As if to say look, here is proof that I AM bigger than your circumstances. That since you have diligently obeyed, since even in your disobedience and self absorbtion you, my girl, have spoken my Word into your pain, I AM here to rescue you, again! And Always!

I do not deserve this type of love.

The world would have you believe that I am not responsible for my condition. That my affliction, is many years of unspeakable things inflicted upon a soul. That I have every right to feel the things that I do. That I have the right to view things the way that I do, sometimes. That when I walk among them, as if I belong, that I should be given some kind of  break, because it was not my fault, it was not my doing, I am not responsible. The world would have you, would have me…has actually had me, believe that I have a right.

Yet, I do not have a right ! I know a truth. A Truth that cannot be unknown.

That God loves me, no matter what I do or where I am. That the creator of this universe, of all that we can fathom and more Loves Me!  

So what right do I have to wallow in the world’s understanding of my condition? When I could be telling them the condition of God’s Love.

NONE.

Even as I wriggle about in this skin of mine, a home of discomfort and heaviness. I wonder how I could choose to wallow in the black hole of self indulgence over the Love of my Father God. How does, could, my human existance ever feel better than God’s love?!

The thought that I could chose anything other than God’s love is foreign and even painful. Yet, without the Word I will forget the feeling of unconditional love as if it were the aroma of lilac on a spring breeze. Just a beautiful thought for a moment in a world that is primarily at odds with love and God and joy. Without constant indulgence in the Word of God, I will choose my nature in place of my Father.

We were thrown so very far from the Truth of our Nature when sin entered. So very far from what is a fleeting memory here in our human condition.  Is it any wonder that the world cannot fathom.

Oh how I beg just to Thank God at His feet that He should allow me to know who I truly am! I am humbled by the magnitude of my truth!

What I mean to share with you today, besides the ramblings of the Daughter of the King….is this:

To walk beneath this Open Heaven with me there is only one thing you must do. It is really quite complex in it’s simplicity. Complex because at the end of the day and every moment inbetween you, I, will struggle with the thing, we will fight to understand, because it is just so unfathonable.

All we must do is:…..believe…

                                                                …just believe………….Yes! that is all…………

                                                                                                                                                                             BELIEVE…..B….E….L….I….E….V….E……believe that God love you…me…all of us.

Want something to hang onto while you float in this sea of wonder? Okay …

Mark 11:24

24 Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray  and ask for  —believe that you have received  them, and you will have them.

There you have it. The Truth of it all. Simply believe…

Blessings!


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Depression…


The last devotional I remember reading, I mean really remember, was February17th’s the Initiative against Depression! I read others, however I don’t remember them much. I may have had a moment of revelation~ but is it revelation when it is truly only a moment?

In my written journal ~ it’s supposed to be 3 pages each morning ~ yet I can only manage 1 page~ I have found that I am depressed. And in my depression, is it a surprise that I do not care?

“Arise and eat”… 1 Kings 19:5 

I believe, no, I am sure, that one week ago this morning I wrote a whole inspirational post inregard to this devotional, on my other blog. So how did I get there from here?

I spent the rest of the week in bed, sick. For me it instilled the depression I was attempting to avoid. I guess the blah feeling was the beginning of the cold I had contracted. By Thursday of last week I was in bed feeling ravaged. I only left the house for church reasons the rest of the week, until right now…

So how do I feel today?….

“I don’t want to” is the theme. I don’t want to:  be awake. go to work. talk to anyone. do anything!

Ever notice how depression is all about the “I” in things? This feels very deep and foreboding. Dark and brooding…anger? Is it anger? If it is I cannot put my finger on what exactly I might be angry about just now, or in the last week. I mean aside from everyday frustrations.

So “Arise and eat”, Chambers says to do the ordinary things, until the Spirit rises and directs me further. His devotional says things, at times, that God has clarified for the Church since Chamber’s time.

Basically the devotional says that if we were not able to be depressed there would be no “capacity” for exaltation. Right now the church is teaching us that God never intended or brings on “depression” or any negative thing. And the Word of God clearly states the same. However, there is the whole Adam and Eve thing and allowing these things to exist. We brought them to the garden and now they exist…God did not enact them, but He did create all things, all concepts…our ability to think and reason these things.

Now, I do not believe that my being depressed is in anyway beneficial, at all. If I do not find my way out of this it will only deepen. Into what I fear to even think about the possibilities. These things tend towards prevelence in my family.

So the devotional says to wait on the Holy Spirit to guide me to the common things in my life, so that I might find God in them. “Arise and eat”.

So I will get up…I will read the Word, not just my devotionals, not just my memory verses…I will choose a book and I will read it, I will “eat” it. I will find in it the ordinary things God expects of me so that I may find my way out of this vortex I have found myself in…

I will Look UP…for my help.

Looking UP...

Looking UP...

Blessings!

I know I need them, so I extend them.

May the sun warm your skin.

May a touch warm your heart.

May a word spark a memory.

May your Spirit soar to God.

Have a Wonderful Day my friends.

Blessings.