Friday, November 5, 2010

Try this Eating during the Holidays or Anytime, Encouragement to be Active

"Body by God", it's really an amazing book.  Check it out on for only 60 cents.  For you health, incorporate your family or BFF or coworkers into being active, BUT MOST OF ALL INCORPORATE GOD!  Don't call it exercise, who likes that? REALLY!  Just call it "fun moving".  It could be some much needed family time, kill two birds with one stone.  I do this sometimes when I hit a lull and my 10 year old doesn't let me forget it either....

Don't beat yourself up - we do that enough to ourselves. (I know I do). Don't get frustrated, instead, get psych'd enough to do it, pumped up to say in your mind like it's gonna happen or Satin wins. I can't stand Satan and I don't want him to win and if he does win then he is happy that I am miserable.... It got to be a fight with he (Satan) and I over the last 2 years, actually I allowed him (Satan) to win and rob me of happiness for over 12 years!  Enough I said!  I try to everyday remember that, like I am fighting for my life here.  But when you are a child of God, the creation of our universe, guess what?  God's on MY side!  Yep, MY side!  God wants me to prevail.  Just look at God's word here... Ephesians 6:14 "14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

Make tiny adjustments (oh so tiny), these tiny adjustment in healthier food or more physical activity makes a huge difference a week, a month, a year down the road.

Just incorporate God into the equation He will totally help you for sure. I sometimes in my mind think when I am at a fast food place, or a restaurant that if Jesus was sitting right beside me, and you have to think He really does - like really He's there, because He is in our heart, but I take it a step further and think of Jesus like a kid would an "invisible friend". Would He be happy with my choices? It really works - sometimes, and I know this sounds really kooky but it helps me to remember Him and not forget Him being right beside me. I set a place or at least I set an additional fork on the table. Or ask for another set of silver ware from the wait staff. Gooby? Yes!  Works, YES! Try it.

Dear God, help _______ with her health. You want an abundant life for us and all good things come from you. I praise You for what You are already doing in her life & in mine too. I know she loves You, she is Your child. I know you love us so much that You want us to eat the wonderful things You created (not what humans created) for us. Help us to recognize that with our food choices at the very instant we make them. Help to keep us aware of Your presence even when we are about to eat. God we need Your divine intervention to help us to take craving for bad food away. I pray that You squash those type cravings. Help us to lean on You completely for ALL that we do, even eating, Lord. Thanks God for what You are. In Jesus name, Amen.

Join us January 10th, 2011 to kicking off a healthier you.  For more info join "Walk the Walk" on facebook here is the link!/group.php?gid=428457370051 

Also here is a cool link to help fight the Holiday Bulge!

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mommy Monday

Prayin thru the Laundry.....

I love to pray for my kids. I pray for their teachers, their friends, their future spouses, etc. I truly believe that praying for my kids is one of life's treasures.

Laundry is another story all together. I have an innate need to finish things...and the Laundry is NEVER "done". As soon as I put that last load of laundry away, some member of my sweet family will toss a dirty sock or a t-shirt into the laundry room....heaven forbid we have an empty laundry room! Anyone feel my pain???

The other night, as I was folding Laundry, I discovered that LAUNDRY is a wonderful prompter of prayers. (And not just "Dear Lord, how can 4 people produce 6 dirty pairs of socks in one day???") I would like to share this pattern with you and encourage you to tweak it to fit your load of laundry. I have a husband, a pre-teen son, and a daughter in K-5.

socks - "Dear Lord, guide ________'s steps.
School uniforms- not to be conformed to the world, to be set apart, also pray for teachers, learning, friends, etc.
Underclothes - sexual purity, guarding his/her heart against Satan's attacks
Sports uniforms- protection and safety during games and practice, good sportsmanship, help me to recognize and take advantage of opportunities to praise ________ for a job well done.
work clothes - protection, purity, discernment, productivity, satisfaction
church clothes- salvation, closeness to Christ, witness, etc.
My daughter has a princess night gown....."Father God, help her to know that she is a princess, Your daughter, and draw her to Yourself  and make Yourself known to her."
I've found that my family's laundry gives me ample opportunity to pray for them topically.
Laundry is still FAR from being my favorite thing to do, but I do enjoy talking to God about my family as I fold their clothes.


"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Born Again

We serve an amazing God who loves you very much. No matter your circumstances past or present, God is ready to share life with you right where you are. There is nothing you need to do to get prepared because He takes you just as you are. He does the transformation in your life. When you accept Christ as your Savior, you become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). The interests that you had before you were a Christian are not the same interests that you have after accepting Him. Have you been born again? If you have not accepted Christ, now is the time. First, you need to recognize that you need a Savior to save you. In Romans 3:23 it states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. He has provided a way to reconcile Himself with you and that is through His Son Jesus. If you will believe in Jesus, accept Him as Savior and confess to Him you need to be forgiven of your sins, He will save you.

If you have already been accepted Christ as your Savior, then share the Gospel with others. Don’t keep it to yourself. Share! Share! Share!

If you have doubts that God will save you, read the verse in Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV) which says Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

The Creator of this universe can do anything which includes hearing your prayer of repentance. Don’t limit God but rather trust Him.

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ladies Summer Bible Study

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 9
The Four R's of Spiritual Growth

This lesson is in 4 parts.....

None of us automatically grows spiritually. Each of us must choose to grow....and we must choose to continue to grow. We must never be satisfied with our current level of spiritual strength. We must always seek to become stringer, more mature, and more effective in the Lord.

2 Peter 3:18 says "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
This is now a nice statement of encouragement or support. It is a command from the Lord.

In God's Word, we find 4 keys that are prerequisites to growth, no matter how mature a person may be in the Lord. Today, we'll look at the last 2. Sorry for the delay....

Reflect on God's Work

You must gain an understanding of what God desires to do in you and ultimately what He desires to do through you.Ephesians 2:19-22 says

Put those verses in your own words.

What principle is Paul addressing here?

How do these verses demonstrate that all Christians can learn from God's involvement in the lives of other Christians?

In what ways have you been blessed by God's work in those He has places in your life and in the lives of those who have gone before?

Response to Trials

Rather than running from trials, ask the Lord why He has allowed a specific trial or test to come into your life. Look for the lesson He desires to teach you or the character trait He desires to strengthen. At the same time, ask God if the trial you are experiencing is a chastening from Him. Ask the Lord, "Is there something in my life you want me to change?"

1 Peter 4:12-13 says

When have you gone through a fiery trial that actually strengthened your character?

What trials might God be using right now to make you more like Christ?

What are we called to rejoice in when we face trials?

How can rejoicing make a trial more helpful?

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Walk The Walk Wednesday


Disclaimer, if you have any symptoms it is important to investigate them with your Dr. Just because you drink diet coke doesn't mean you have Aspartame poisoning. A thorough investigation with your Dr. regarding your symptoms can actually be something more serious going on, so it’s important to investigate that with your Dr. and be an advocate for yourself. As this article discusses, it’s just probably better to put the diet cokes away. God didn’t create it-it’s man made just like margarine and flies won’t even eat margarine. If nature reflects it, then why would it be good to ingest it? So with that being said, what you put in your body that is not from the Lord maybe an attack on your body as an outcome. Just some thoughts to think about.

This was ultra hard to write on since I love diet cokes!!!

Phenylalanine is a hidden danger to anyone consuming aspartame. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in diet drinks. Aspartame is primarily Phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is an amino acid a “building block” of protein also found largely in meat, fish, eggs, cheese, bananas, and milk. Babies at birth get tested for PKU disease. Some babies are born with the inability to break down this certain amino acid with PKU. If they cannot break down this amino acid they develop brain damage as a result and their diets must be very regulated in order to survive as many foods and drinks contain phenylalanine. Look on the back of your diet soda. In big bold letters the drink reads “CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE” or “PHENYLKETOUNURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE”. People with certain medical conditions, such as PKU, tardive dyskinesia, and Parkinson's, may be more susceptible to side effects. Although a normal dietary intake does not usually cause problems for most people, unusually high doses may cause side effects.

Side effects include:
blindness in one or both eyes
decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision
pain in one or both eyes
decreased tears
trouble with contact lenses
bulging eyes
tinnitus - ringing or buzzing sound
severe intolerance of noise
marked hearing impairment
epileptic seizures
headaches, migraines and (some severe)
dizziness, unsteadiness, both
confusion, memory loss, both
severe drowsiness and sleepiness
paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
severe slurring of speech
severe hyperactivity and restless legs
atypical facial pain
severe tremors
severe depression
personality changes
palpitations, tachycardia
shortness of breath
recent high blood pressure
diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
abdominal pain
pain when swallowing
Skin and Allergies
itching without a rash
lip and mouth reactions
aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma
Endocrine and Metabolic
loss of control of diabetes
menstrual changes
marked thinning or loss of hair
marked weight loss
gradual weight gain
aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
severe PMS
frequency of voiding and burning during urination
excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
increased susceptibility to infection
Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all
irreversible brain damage
birth defects, including mental retardation
peptic ulcers
aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
hyperactivity in children
severe depression
aggressive behavior
suicidal tendencies
Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Post-Polio Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Grave’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

For more information on how to detox from this very harmful chemical this is a wonderful website to research on your own. or a good read on this is “Sweet Poison: How The World's Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us--My Story” by Dr. Janet Starr Hull. Dr. Janet Hull's aspartame expertise is based on her professional background. She holds a Doctorate in Nutrition, a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, is an international geographer and geologist, a former university professor, firefighter and Hazardous Waste Specialist and Emergency Responder. She is a Licensed Certified Nutritionist, certified fitness professional, author and aspartame victim.

It is so important to be know what it is that we are putting in our bodies! God created so many wonderful things to eat and drink. Water is the perfect fluid for our bodies and fruit juices are full of vitamins!

Following His Lead~


"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ladies Summer Bible Study

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 9
The Four R's of Spiritual Growth

This lesson is in 4 parts.....

None of us automatically grows spiritually. Each of us must choose to grow....and we must choose to continue to grow. We must never be satisfied with our current level of spiritual strength. We must always seek to become stringer, more mature, and more effective in the Lord.

2 Peter 3:18 says "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
This is now a nice statement of encouragement or support. It is a command from the Lord.

In God's Word, we find 4 keys that are prerequisites to growth, no matter how mature a person may be in the Lord. Today, we'll look at the second one.

Receive Godly Counsel

God has placed Christian brothers and sisters in your life to encourage you, to admonish you, to teach you, and to give you godly counsel regarding God's unique purpose and plan for your life. James 1:19-20 says

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

What is involved in being "swift to hear"?

Why must we be "slow to speak"?

What role does wrath play in one's willingness to hear wise counsel?

How does wrath keep God's righteousness from being produced?

We are often quick to seek advice from friends and family whom we know will tell us what we what to hear. Often times we are not so swift to hear from someone who does not support out point of view. God sends all sorts of people into our lives to guide us and help us grow and mature spiritually. A person who reminds you of what God desires and commands is more valuable to you from an eternal perspective than one who is faithful to take your side in every situation.

Father God,
Help me to always seek godly counsel. Thank you for the people you have put in my life that are quick to remind me of Your Word. Help me to recognize them and help me to be swift to hear what you have to tell me through them. Help me to be slow to speak, Lord. Help me grow to be less concerned with what I need people to know about me and my circumstances and more concerned with what I need to know about you and what you want for me and from me.

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Ladies Summer Bible Study

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 9
The Four R's of Spiritual Growth

This lesson is in 4 parts.....

Learning: If God loves me, why do I have to suffer?
Growing: How can I learn from those who are wise??

None of us automatically grows spiritually. Each of us must choose to grow....and we must choose to continue to grow. We must never be satisfied with our current level of spiritual strength. We must always seek to become stringer, more mature, and more effective in the Lord.

2 Peter 3:18 says "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
This is now a nice statement of encouragement or support. It is a command from the Lord.

In God's Word, we find 4 keys that are prerequisites to growth, no matter how mature a person may be in the Lord. Today, we'll look at the first one.

Ready to Face Failures

Is there an area of your life where you have experienced repeated failures? Can you point to certain faults that you seem to have had all your life? God has a great desire to see you made whole and will pursue the faults and failures that fragment you and cause you to be dysfunctional, uneasy, or deeply frustrated. He will continue to move against any obstacle that stands in the way of your wholeness or intimacy with Him .

Hebrews 12:1 says Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

What is the race that has been set before you?

In what areas do you need more endurance?

What sins frequently ensnare you?

What weights are slowing you down?

What will you do this week to get rid of these things?

Father God,
Help me to see the things which weigh me down and keep me from running the race you have set before me. Help me to understand what my Race is, what it is that you want to do through me and help me to enbrace that as the goal for my entire life. Help me Lord, not only to identify the sin or sins which are slowing me down, but create in me a love for you that makes my desire for sinful things pale by comparison. Lord, you know my heart and you know what I am in need of. I love you and I thank you dor loving me.

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Walk the Walk Wednesday

Gym mentality Vs. Walk the Walk Mentality

"Christians, your body is the Holy Spirit's temple, you want it to function right and be healthy."

There is little spirituality at many fitness gyms. The focus in a gym is on achieving a sexy body- often acheiving a sexy body over a healthy body. Most Christian women, women who view their bodies as the Temple of God, are uncomfortable with this "sexy" and "sexual" focus. Many Christian women want to be healthy and strong, not a object of lust.

Such was the motivation for a trend in faith-based fitness, where divine inspiration comes with perspiration. This year our Walk the Walk group will be doing “Body by God" classes. These classes are being taught at dozens of gyms and churches across the country. Prayers Get Physical: Body by God promises to be more than just the latest workout fad.

Ben Lerner, author of "Body by God," says his workout has staying power.

"The bottom line is we are called to honor God with our bodies, no matter what size, shape, or age we are." This is a commandment by God.

Body by God is not the only program of its kind. "What Would Jesus Eat," "The Prayer Diet" and "The Hallelujah Diet" are other popular titles aimed at devout Christians who want to keep body and soul together. Walk the Walk will be drawing inspiration from these books as well.

Many ladies that have confided that they do not feel at home in regular gyms:

"With most modern gyms, the focus is on wearing tight clothes. It seems as though a lot of people stare at you, that getting attention is the reason for going."

In Contrast:

"Walk the Walk is Christian fellowship. We don't compare ourselves with anybody else. We talk about our weaknesses and adress them for what they are....sin and the bondage of sin.”

We do hold ourselves accountable to each other, but only after we are accountable to our creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Walk the Walk, we know that if we lean on our own wants, desires, and temptations we take Christ out of the focus of what we are doing and why we are doing it. In Walk the Walk, we strive to focus on CHRIST 100%. Having Jesus Christ in control makes temptations, desires, and wants much more easily recognized as sin and from Satan. We are constantly learning how to battle and defeat the bondage of fatigue, obesity, over eating, or, at the risk of being offensive, the often over looked sins of slothfulness and gluttony. We are choosing to be active - to get up and move.

We believe that God wants you to start at where you are, right now, today, and move forward each second after that. He deserves our commitment.

He died on the cross for us. He gave us our bodies so that we could use them to serve Him.

Show him your love today by saying “I’ll Walk the Walk for You, Lord!”

Following His Lead~

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Ladies Summer Bible Study, Week 8

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 8
Involvement With Other Believers

Learning: Is it really important to go to church?
Growing: What difference can I make in the church??

One of the most important Spiritual Disciplines you can develope is faithful involvement in the local church. Christian television, radio, and tape ministries are certainly good things, but they are no substitute for regular attendance and involvement in the worship services, ministry outreaches, and educational programs of your church.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says:
24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching

What does it mean to "stir up love and good works"? Why do such things need to be stirred up?

Why is it necessary that other Christians be involved in that process? What role does the church play, according to these verses?

No Christian has ever been called to "go it alone" in his or her faith. We need each other.

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:4-8

Jesus made it very clear that out foremost ministry to other believers is to love them.

John 15:12: This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

As Members of the BODY OF CHRIST, we are to:
Pray for one another James 5:16
Speak well of one another James 4:11
Speak truthful and admonishing words to one another Romans 15:14
Be hospitable and giving to one another 1Peter 4:9-10
Comfort one another 1Thessalonians 5:15
Pursue the common good 1Corinthians 14:26
Bless one another 1Peter 3:8-9

Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. Luke 9:1-2 says that He gave them power and authority over all demons, and power to cure diseases. He told them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
On another occasion, Jesus sent out 70 of His disciples, again two by two and He said to them:
2 “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’
He is saying the same to us; we are to heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Good News for the Oppressed
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.[a]
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,[b]
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,[c]
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Isaiah 61:1-3

What roles of the church does Jesus describe in these verses?
Which of these roles are you involved with?
Which of these ministries have you been the recipient of?

We are never called to "go it alone" in our faith, and we are never called to "go it alone" in ministry to others. As the body of Christ, we are to work together.
1Corinthians 12:25-27 says:
so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it

Have you ever experienced pain in one small part of your body, such as a stubbed toe?
How did you react to the pain?
Why is it important for all Christians to be involved with the local church?
What happens when one part of the body is separated?

Today: I am a part of Christ's Body, and therefore I must remain connected to the other parts of His body.
Tomorrow: I will become involved in the ministries of a local church on a regular basis.


"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi. Visit our Church website at

Monday, August 2, 2010

Faithful Giving

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 7
Faithful Giving

Learning: What is the reason for tithing?
Growing: What is considered a “correct” tithe?

The basic understanding of all believers in Jesus Christ is that everything we have received in this life is a gift to us from God…every minute of every day, every ability we possess, every opportunity we are given, every child that we bear, every item of material wealth, and even our abilities to express love and have faith. God gives it to us first, and it is out of the abundance of our supply to us that we give.

Three Attributes of our giving:
• Cheerful Giving – 2 Corinthians 9:7, Luke 6:38, Matthew 10:8
• Consistent Giving – Malachi 3:8-12, Luke 11:42, Matthew 25:37-40, Mark 1:41-44
• Generous Giving – Acts 4:34-37, Romans 12:8, 2 Corinthians9:6

Our giving is a direct expression of our trust in God. It is a sign of our willingness to let go of the controls of our life and our material well being and let God direct us, use us, and bless us as HE desires.

What does Psalm 34:8-10 say that those who seek the Lord will not lack?

Is this the same as saying, “If you give to God, you will get everything you want”?

Is it the same as saying that if you give more, God will answer your prayer?

What is the difference?

Maybe the question we need to ask ourselves is not “Will God supply my needs?”

PERHAPS the question we need to ask ourselves is “Do I truly believe that God knows what I need and what is good for me?”

“Do I believe that God will not ask more of me than I can bear?”

Or, better still, “Do I truly trust what God thinks is best for me?”

Today: The Lord wants me to give back to Him some of the blessings He has given me.
Tomorrow: I will begin a regular schedule of tithing this month and will work on doing it cheerfully.
 Giving is not the price you pay for answered prayer.
 Giving is not a tool for bargaining with God.

Giving is an expression of TRUST in GOD.

I have to ask myself the question, “Do I trust Him?” If I say I do, and my giving does not reflect that, then my actions are in conflict with what I say that I believe. We have all heard the saying “actions speak louder than words” and this is definitely true in many things, giving included. God will ask us to give different things, according to what HE has chosen to bless us with. If God places in my heart the conviction that I should give something, and I “can’t”, then my actions say that I do not trust God to know what I need.

God will not ask you to give something that will not bring blessing on you in the giving. Perhaps you would have to discontinue your cable TV in order to tithe. What blessing could come from that? From discontinuing your internet service? From cooking at home rather than going out to eat? From giving up your favorite TV show in order to study a lesson to teach in Sunday School? From giving up your Sunday Afternoon nap to visit someone in the hospital?

PRAYERFULLY consider what God would have you give back to Him. Remember that this includes, but is definitely not limited to, your money.

If something crosses your mind and your reaction is “NO! I couldn’t live without that!”, then there is a great possibility that that is indeed the very thing that God wants you to let go of. Do you trust that He will bless you if you let it go? Remember that God blesses us in ways we cannot imagine. We deny ourselves those blessings when we hang on to tightly to what God has given us.

Jesus said that, when we give, what is returned will be in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over it will be put in your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

God multiplies our giving in ways we cannot understand, but surely can receive.

Father God,

I say that I am blessed beyond measure. I say that all I have comes from you. I say that all I have is yours. Still, even though I do say these things and even though I know that they are true, I am not willing to give parts of everything you have given me back to you. There are many things that I think I could not live without. I like...even love what you have blessed me with and cannot imagine giving up the good things you have given to me because it is hard for me to imagine there being things that are better for me than what I already have.

Help me Lord. Help me to step out in faith and give my tithe....when I first get paid, not after I get everything else taken care of. Help me to step out in faith and give you a tenth of my FIRST fruits, not a bit of what's left over when everything else is taken care of.

Help me Lord to step out in faith and offer generously what you have blessed me with. Help me know what it is that you want me to time? my talent? my knowledge? my abilities?

Lord, I do trust your word and Your Word tells me that you will give me what YOU know that i need and that you will give it in full abundance. Help me Lord to trust that Your way is BEST and that you do truly know what is BEST for me.

I love you Lord. Forgive my selfishness and my desire to hold on to what you have so freely given. I want to serve you. I want my life to be a testimony of Your love for your children. I want my life to be a living sacrifice to you.

Draw me near to you Lord and hold me close. Give me the courage to let go of the things I hold so tightly in my fist and the faith to believe that You will not ask me to give more than you have.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Week-end Prayer

Father God,
You alone are God! You are mighty and powerful and all knowing! You have created the mountains and the oceans! You have brought sunshine and rain to me this week. You are my Creator, My Savior, My Lord....My God!
Thank you for being with me this week. Thank you for each time I felt your prasence. Thank you for each opportunity You gave me to share Your love with someone. Thank you for friends and family who shared their time with me.
Forgive me Lord for the many times I failed this week. Forgive me for the times I passed judgement. Forgive me for sharing gossip. Forgive me reacting in anger and frustration rather than love and grace. Forgive me for not spending time with you each day. Forgive me for getting sidetracked and not staying focused on You and Your will for my life.
Help me Lord. Help me leave this week behind. Help me find rest in You this weekend. Let me start next week with worship. Help me to stay focused on You and Your will for my life. Speak to me Lord. Hold me close to Your heart.
I love you Lord, and I thank You for loving me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Born Again

Our Youth Pastor and his wife were blessed this afternoon with the arrival of their second child. Many of us were waiting with GREAT expectation for the little one to arrive and some were at the hospital when he made his grand entrance. Babies are so sweet. They are love, adoration, and innocence all wrapped up in a pink and blue blanket.

I cannot help but be reminded of Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus about being born again...

It is hard to imagine that, when we accept Christ as Savior, we are born again. Just like a newborn baby has no past and has made no mistakes or bad choices, our slate is wiped clean when we accept Jesus' gift of salvation.

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Father God,
Thank you for the reminder of the new life I have in Christ Jesus. Thank you Jesus for making it possible for me to be reconciled to the Father!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Ladies Summer Bible Study, Week 6

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 6
Looking For God In All Things

Learning: Does God speak to us in ways beside the Bible?
Growing: How can I learn to hear His voice?

Last week we talked about relationships, specifically what things are involved in GOOD relationships. One thing we touched on briefly was communication. Listening is as important in communication as is talking. It is important to make sure that you SAY what you mean, but it is even more important that you listen to the other person so that you know what THEY mean!

Listening is an integral part of communication, including our communication with God. It involves an active listening- an intent watching and waiting anticipation- for God to speak to us continually. We are to expect the Lord to speak to us and should keep our hearts and minds open to Him so that He can speak to us by any means at any time. To listen in this way is to be available to the Lord without hindrance.

When have you listened to someone "intently"?

4 ways to develop an attitude of listening

  • Wait in God’s presence 1Kings 19:11-13

  • Practice frequent praise Isaiah 25:1

  • See Christ in all things Colossians 3:1-2

  • Listen for opportunities to give a witness 1 Peter 3:15-16

Today: God DOES speak to me, but I must be willing to listen.

Tomorrow: I will practice listening in silence during my prayer times this week.

Father God,

I do want to hear what You have to tell me. Help me to listen intently for your voice as I go through my day. I know that you are with me always and that you speak to me and through me. Lord, I want to be focused on You and what You wnat to do today and always.


I hope you have a spectacular week! Remember to wait for God with the exoectation that He WILL show up!



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Remember Moses?

Today's post is from Jennifer Westerfield

Thanks Jennifer for sharing your thoughts with us!

For the past several weeks, I have not slept well. I have been waking up in a sweat and thinking to myself, “I’m too young for hot flashes”. I’ve been getting up, turning the air down, the ceiling fan up, and threatening to kick my hubby right out of the bed and onto the floor if he comes anywhere near my side of the mattress.

Now, I know the July heat in Central Mississippi is a force to be reckoned with, but THIS is just crazy!

This morning it hit me; there is a possibility that I am losing sleep and having night sweats because I have something on my mind: something that I can ignore during the day when I am awake and have lots to do. Perhaps all this is a result of me trying very hard to ignore something....or better yet, someone.

Several months ago, God let me know that He wants me to start a ministry for the girls in our church. Many of them belong to families who do not go to church and many of them have single moms and many of them just need someone to share the love of Christ with them. My heart’s desire is to establish a mentoring program for our girls; a ministry that encourages Christian women to build relationships with the girls so that we can lead them to Jesus and help them grow into strong godly women themselves. God placed this desire in my heart and, instead of being a good servant and following His guidance; I have been running in the opposite direction. “Why me, Lord?” is the question I keep asking. There is no way I can do this. See, I’m a big chicken. I am afraid of failing. I am afraid someone will tell me that I can’t do this, and I will believe them. I am afraid that others won’t approve. I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong.

This morning, God reminded me that all I have to do is follow His lead and He will take care of the rest. I have a new appreciation for Moses’ questioning...”Who am I?” God’s response to Moses warms my heart: “Certainly I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12)

* I have learned throughout my 31 years that I have never been alone.

* Over the past several weeks I have learned that I can’t ignore God.

* Today I have been reminded that, when I do what God has called me to do, He is certainly with me.

I am so thankful that scripture is full of people like Moses who asked “who am I?”

I am thankful that God loves me enough to whisper to my heart “Do you remember Moses?” because

* Like Moses, I can’t do much on my own


* Like Moses, there is no limit to what God can do through me.

Following Him~


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ladies Summer Bible Study, Week 5- Prayer

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study
Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley

Week 5
Getting to Know the Lord

Learning: What is the purpose of prayer?

Growing: How am I supposed to pray for myself and others?

It’s not hard to get to know someone you work with. We usually spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year with our coworkers. Over time, even with no effort, we know a good bit about these people…just because we spend so much time in their presence. With no effort at all, we know about their spouse, their kids / grand kids, what they had for dinner last night…you know, all the superficial general stuff. For the most part, we don’t share our lives with our co-workers. With the exception of a choice few, they are not our friends. Even though we spend a lot of time with them, most are not part of our lives outside work.

What is involved in forming and maintaining a healthy friendship? What sets friendship apart from other relationships?
  • Spending time together
  • Communication

Friends are people that we spend time with, share mutual experiences with, and share ideas, hopes, dreams, and beliefs with. We trust our friends more than anyone else in our lives because we have shared our life with them and we know they are trustworthy.

These same basic principles- spending time together, sharing experiences, and talking things over- are also the ingredients for developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with God.

Last week we talked about Scripture study and learned that a person must know God’s word if he/she is to develop the mind of Christ, move into obedience to God’s commandments, and become more conformed to Christ. We learn about God when we read His Word and go to church. While these are absolutely necessary to know God and grow as a Christian, there is a danger of treating God like a “co-worker” if we leave God at know a lot about Him, without Him actually being a part of our life.

We deepen our relationship with our Creator (move from “co-worker” to “friend”) when we share our life with Him. We learn about God...What He likes and does not like, wheat He wants from His people, what He has done for His people in the past, and what He promises us as his children, from Scripture and Lessons taught at church. The way we share our life with God is through prayer. Prayer is not just a good idea, it is a command.

What does Matthew 26:41 say?

Prayer is a requirement if we are to become and remain strong in the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him.

Seven Aspects of an Effective Prayer Life:

  1. Continual Prayer 1 Thess. 5:17
    We pray at all times, without ceasing, by living in an attitude of prayer.

  2. Petitioning Our Needs

  3. Praise and Thanksgiving 1 Thess. 5:16-18
    “Bookend” your prayers with praise and thanksgiving, remembering Who is in control and what He has already done in your life.
  4. An Attitude of Forgiveness Matthew 6:14-15
    It is imperative that we forgive others. Our unforgiving attitude acts as a barrier, keeping us from receiving the fullness of what God desires to give us.
  5. Praying Without Doubt James 1:6-8
    At ALL times, our prayers are to be steeped in faith to be effective.
  6. Praying For Our Leaders 1 Timothy 2:1-2
    Christianity prospers when government allows religious freedom and freedom to share the gospel.
  7. Intercession For Others Acts 4:24, 29-30
    If Peter and John needed the prayer of others, how much more so does each of us need the prayers of fellow believers in Christ?

Colossians 1:9-12 gives a beautiful example of what to pray for another Christian:

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Today: Prayer is a vital part of growing in Christ-prayer for myself and for others.
Tomorrow: I will add regular prayer to my daily schedule of Bible Reading this week.

Father God,

Help me to develop a deeper relationship with You through my prayer life. I don't want to have a superficial relationship with you. I want to share every part of my life and every part of each day with You. Thank you for loving me and for desiring to have a relationship with me. Guide me and direct me in the way I should go. Help me to always seek You in all things.

Hope you have a great week!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paul, Timothy, Titus camp

Today's Guest Blogger is Joy Griffin.
Thanks Joy for lending us your thoughts!

I sent Alex to camp yesterday. This is the first time he has been away from us for any length of time and I have spent the past few days reminding him of everything I have tried to teach him over the past 9 years. The thought of him being on his own almost makes me sick! Will he brush his teeth? Will he get enough rest? Will he remember to put on bug spray? Will he eat enough at mealtimes? Oh my goodness...will he take a bath, or follow the advice of another child who said that going swimming in the lake during recreation counts as bathing? (I really think I’m gonna be sick) Will he remember the manners I have taught him? Will he respect the camp councilors and follow their instruction?

During all of this camp prep, I have also been getting ready for my second major test in New Testament. It is all about the Pauline epistles. I have been amazed at how what I’ve been studying has applied to sending Alex off to camp. So many letters from Paul to Timothy and Titus were instructions on how to relate to the new churches and about how they themselves were supposed to handle day to day life. It is easy for me to see Paul’s writings as that of a parent to a child... instructing on proper behavior and conduct in foreign places. Just like a parent, Paul knew more than Titus and Timothy and understood the challenges they would face. He also knew that, no matter how he tried to prepare them, Timothy and Titus would be on their own. Paul labored and cried many times over the details. (I have felt like crying a few times over the past few days too!)

Paul spent time teaching and guiding missionaries so that they could spread the gospel in foreign places and work with young churches. . .I am realizing more and more that parenting is the same. As Alex’s mom, it is my job to teach and guide him so that he can share Christ with the people he comes in contact with throughout the rest of his life. While I know that camp is one of the things I can “give” my son to help him grow, I also know that there are going to be many opportunities for him to flex his decision making muscles, and I’m not sure how strong those muscles are.

I have equipped him the best way I can to live the next week on his own without my presence.

Now it is up to him to do so.

Trusting Him,

(If church camp is this bad, I don’t know how I’ll ever survive sending him off to college! Thankfully, I have several years to prepare!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day in and Day out

Each time I sit down to the keyboard to write a post, I feel as though I should become someone else. I try to let go of kids, laundry, 40+ hour work weeks, marital joys and woes, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, sweeping and mopping floors, rushing here and there, and all the other things that make up my days and weeks and try to be someone who can offer a word from God.

Today it hit me....the majority of women appreciate a devotional, an explanation of a scripture, or a reminder of what God wants from His people. BUT while these are appreciated, there are numerous other sites with posts written by people much more educated in theology than I where any of us can go at any given time to find out what the Bible means in this or that verse.

God has put many amazing women in my life. Many of them are in our church, more are not. Of all the things I may talk about (or e-mail back and forth about) with any number of these women on any given day, rarely do we have heated debates on theology, nor do they regularly come to me with questions about specific scripture. What we do talk about are kids, marriage, laundry, housework, cooking, working outside the home....and how God wants us to live our lives in the midst of all these things.

All the things I try to separate myself from when I sit at the keyboard are the very things that the women God has put in my life come to me with day in and day out.

This ministry, being a branch of the Ladies Ministry at our church, was born out of the needs of the women in my life and in the lives of the women that serve at Pearson with me. Over and over again, women have made it clear to us that they desire to know more of God, that they want God in the details of their lives, that they want God's will for their lives.

So, while I don't have a degree in theology and I cannot give detailed analysis of every scripture, I do look for God in the details of my days and I do very much want His will for my life. God is very real to me. He shows up in the craziest places (like laundry) and speaks to me in the most amazing ways (like through my husband and kids), and He has proven Himself completely and totally worthy of my trust(even when I do not understand what he's doing). That's what I know, and that's what I'll share. I'll leave the heavy theology up to the pros...ha ha.

I hope that you will continue to visit, and that you will be refreshed and revived during your time here. More than anything, I hope that you will find God in all the crazy places during your days, from laundry baskets to traffic jams, that you will hear Him speak to your heart, and that you will discover over and over again that He is totally and completely worthy of your trust, even when you don't understand what He is doing.


Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

Father God,
Help me to see you in the regular details of my life today. Help me to seek your will in all the decisions I make. Give me words to speak that reflect Your love for those around me. Make me aware of those things I do that do not reflect your love and your ways. I love you Lord and I want to share your love with the people you have placed in my life.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day

Inscription on the Liberty Bell, Leviticus 25: 10, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof…."

Virginia Gazette, July 18, 1777
Yesterday the 4th of July, being the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America, was celebrated in this city with demonstration of joy and festivity. About noon all the armed ships and gallies in the river were drawn up before the city, dressed in the gayest manner, with the colours of the United States and streamers displayed. At one o'clock, the yards being properly manned, they began the celebration of the day by a discharge of thirteen cannon from each of the ships, and one from each of the thirteen gallies, in honour of the Thirteen United States. In the afternoon an elegant dinner was prepared for Congress, to which were invited the President and Supreme Executive Council, and Speaker of the Assembly of this State, the General Officers and Colonels of the army, and strangers of eminence, and the members of the several Continental Boards in town. The Hessian band of music taken in Trenton the 26th of December last, attended and heightened the festivity with some fine performances suited to the joyous occasion, while a corps of British deserters, taken into the service of the continent by the State of Georgia, being drawn up before the door, filled up the intervals with feux de joie. After dinner a number of toasts were drank, all breaking independence, and a generous love of liberty, and commemorating the memories of those brave and worthy patriots who gallantly exposed their lives, and fell gloriously in defence [sic] of freedom and the righteous cause of their country. Each toasts was followed by a discharge of artillery and small arms, and a suitable piece of music by the Hessian band. The glorious fourth of July was reiterated three times accompanied with triple discharges of cannon and small arms, and loud huzzas that resounded from street to street through the city. Towards evening several troops of horse, a corps of artillery, and a brigade of North Carolina forces, which was in town on its way to join the grand army, were drawn up in Second street and reviewed by Congress and the General Officers. The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated. Every thing was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal. Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen, and amen.

John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia July 3d. 1776

...But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America._____
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Cornerstone of Human Government
"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" "Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of
the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?
John Adams, July 4, 1837 when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts

On Freedom and Liberty
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed — else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Liberty Takes Root
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
George Washington, March 2, 1788, in a letter to James Madison

The Value of LibertyThe value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity.
George Washington, letter to the people of South Carolina, circa 1790

Christian Principles
The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity
John Adams, June 28, 1813, to Thomas Jefferson

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
…It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

Father God,
Thank you for the freedom that is mine being born an American. Thank you for the brave men and women that have gone before me to insure that freedom. Thank you for the ones that are serving now to insure that my children and grandchildren grow up free as well. More than this, thank you for the freedom that is mine as a child of Yours. Help me to never take these freedoms for granted, to remember that they are gifts given to me, bought with blood before I was born.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Choice

by Max Lucado

IT'S QUIET. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love . . .

No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy . . .

I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace . . .

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience . . .

I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness . . .

I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness . . .

I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness . . .

Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness . . .

Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control . . .

I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

I mentioned a few days ago that one of my friends is dealing with rejection from her husband. He told her that he simply does not want to be married to her anymore. Today I got to work and she'd sent me this. When I read it, my heart smiled because it reflects how she faces each day and how she is dealing with her husband's rejection. It blesses my heart each time I am around her because she is so humble in her walk with Christ, and because her faith shines through in this difficult time.

Father God,
Help me to remember that the way I face each day IS a choice. Help me remember that I do indeed have a choice in how I react to all things. Create in my heart a strong desire to start each day with you, to go through each day focused on you, and to reflect the love you have shown me to those you have placed around me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red, White, and Blue-berry

Here's a yummy Blueberry treat just perfect for your 4th of July get-together!

Creamy Lemon-Blueberry Dessert
Compliments of Kraft Foods

prep time 15 min
total time 5 hr 15 min
makes 24 servings

What You Need
40 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen blueberries, thawed, drained and divided
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It
HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX wafer crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and flour in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in dry pudding mix until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup berries.
BAKE 1 hour or until almost set. (Center will still be jiggly.) Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top cheesecake with COOL WHIP and remaining berries just before serving.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Healthy Living
Save 60 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving by preparing with Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers, PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream, JELL-O Lemon Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.

Special Extra
Top dessert with white chocolate curls. Melt 1 square BAKER'S White Chocolate as directed on package. Spread into very thin layer on baking sheet. Refrigerate 10 min. or until chocolate is firm, but still pliable. To make curls, push a metal spatula firmly under chocolate to make curls. (If chocolate is too firm, let stand a few minutes at room temperature; refrigerate again if it becomes too soft.) Use toothpick to carefully place chocolate curls on waxed paper-covered tray. Refrigerate 15 min. or until firm. Use toothpick to arrange curls on dessert just before serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Closer than a brother

“I think I’ve been dumped”
“What makes you think that?”
“well, it’s a lot of things...”
“Like what?”
“Well, she hasn’t called me in 3 days and when I call her, she doesn’t have much to say. She has not sent me one text message in, like ages. I waited to see if she would send me an e-mail, comment on my Facebook...ANY_THING...and for a few days now, I got nuthin. She won’t even respond to my posts.”
“Maybe she’s just busy. Isn’t she going to summer school?”
“Yeah, I thought so too BUT she put pictures of her and some other friends on Facebook. She went with them to the lake last weekend. They didn’t even ask me to go. Didn’t even mention it. But then she put pictures on Facebook like it’s all good and stuff. Now she’s all of a sudden got nuthin to say to me. I guess she found someone she likes better than she likes me.”

Such was the beginning of a very long conversation with my sweet niece. She’s still a baby (even though she certainly thinks she is grown) and this is her first real taste of rejection. Sadly, this will not be the last time she feels left out, nor will it be the last time she feels the crushing blow of rejection. Jr. High and High School are full of lonely times. Many a teen has lamented over feeling left out and alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave those feelings behind when we graduate High School? OH! If only that were the case!

Life is full of rejection. I see it all around me.

I have a friend whose husband sat down with her a few weeks ago and said “I don’t want to be married to you any more”. Now she has moved out of the house that was their home and is feeling the full weight of rejection from the one who promised “til death do us part”.

I have another friend whose husband had an affair several years ago. They tried to work through his infidelity and make the marriage last. She just caught him stepping out on her again. This time he does not want to work things out. “I never loved you like I love her” are the words that haunt her as she lays in her half empty bed.

I had lunch with a 20 something friend a week or so ago. She lamented that she feels left out and alone because all of her friends are now married. She said that her friends do not invite her to do things with them anymore because they think she will feel out of place being the only single person in the group. "But this just makes me feel lonely cause I'm at home all by myself when I could be with them."

There are hundreds of other scenarios that leave a person feeling rejected, lonely, and otherwise left out. We've all been there. You don't get the invite to lunch with your co-workers, a group suddenly falls silent when you approach, you find out on Monday that "everyone" got together to watch the game over the weekend...or, like my little niece, there is suddenly an unusual silence on your cell, e-mail, and Facebook. Sometimes you just know when you've been "dumped".

Why does rejection hurt so much? As adults, we know that we are all different and that we have different personalities, likes, and dislikes. As adults, we know that some people have more in common and get along better than others. Unfortunately, we also know that not every person who says "I do" believes in "til death do us part". If, as adults, we KNOW that not everyone will accept us, then why are we so hurt by rejection?

I think it is because to be rejected is to be deemed unworthy. To be rejected is to be flawed. To be rejected is to be labeled "not quite good enough". To be rejected is to be tossed aside for something better.

Thankfully, Christ is "closer than a brother". Praise God that I "cannot be plucked from His hand". I find great comfort and peace in Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are feeling rejected, lonely, or otherwise left out, I hope that you will find the place where you belong for all of eternity in the arms of Christ. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He will lift you up, dust you off, and fill your heart with peace, love, joy, and contentment that no other relationship can deliver.

Do you know the sting of rejection?

Has rejection cast a shadow on your heart and robbed you of joy, peace, and contentment?

If so, reach out to the Savior, he is ever faithful.

Father God,
Thank you so much for promising to always be with me. Thank you for promising to fill my heart and my soul as no person in my life can. Help me Lord to always remember that You are for me and that through YOU, I am holy, perfect, and completely acceptable before God. Help me to remember that I am yours and that nothing can seperate me from you and your love.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Most of us are familiar with these words spoken from Jesus' lips as he taught the disciples to pray. Last night in Ladies Bible Study, we talked about how important it is to have DAILY Bible study. This portion of The Lord's Prayer crossed my mind today as I read my Bible.
I eat several times a day and my body lets me know when it needs nourishment. God designed it that way. Likewise, my soul lets me know when it needs nourishment because my Heavenly Father also put hunger pains in place to let me know when to feed my soul.
There are several general feelings that let me know that my soul is hungry. Perhaps you have felt them too.
  • Jealousy- I feel slighted that someone has something I don't
  • Lust- I see things that I want and that the want of those things is what I think about most.
  • Pride- I believe that I deserve more than I have, or that I deserve what someone else has more than they do.
  • Greed- I want more and more stuff

Notice a pattern? An underlying theme? Want. When my soul is hungry, I want. The hungrier my soul gets, the more I want. Nothing will satisfy a hungry soul except God and the best way to know more of God is to spend time studying His word.

What does soul hunger feel like to you?

What do you feed that hunger? Do you feed it with the Bread of life or with worldly things that can never satisfy?

Father God,
Help me to be aware of the first signs of hunger in my soul. You have promised that You are the bread of life and that in you I will never hunger or thirst again. Help me Lord to remain in you so that I do not find myself "wanting".

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study

Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 4-A Personal Study of the Scriptures

We are in our 4th week of this Bible Study. This week, Dr Stanley helps us see where the Bible fits into what he has taught us thus far.

A person must know God’s word if he/she is to develop the mind of Christ, move into obedience to God’s commandments, and become more conformed to Christ. While it is possible to learn what the Bible says by listening to others tell us what they have read or by reading books about the Bible, there is no replacement for opening God’s word and reading the Bible for oneself. This is an investment of your time and energy that promises to pay a huge return. The Bible is our tangible connection to our creator. It contains all of the promises that our Heavenly Father has made to us and gives us instruction on how to live. It tells the story of God’s love for us, His children.

Your study of God’s word must be:
· Personal – ask “How does this apply to me”
· Daily – we feed our bodies at least once a day and (hopefully) bathe once a day...our souls need to be fed and cleansed daily as well
· Understandable – get a Bible translation that you can easily understand
· Prayerful – always ask God to clear your mind and your heart before starting your Bible study and then ask Him to help you understand what you read

The more you read your Bible, the greater will be your understanding of God’s commandments and goals for your life. You will see more clearly how the Lord wants you to live. Specifically, you are going to gain a new or deeper understanding about the call of God on your life in these 4 areas:

· A Godly Life – the more you read your Bible, the more you are going to come face to face with real, practical changes God wants you to make in the way you think, act, and speak. Ephesians 4:25-29 and 31-32

· Eternal Purpose- the more you read your Bible, the more you will gain an eternal perspective and grow in your understanding that only those things linked to Christ truly last. Ephesians 5:17

· A Role in God’s Plan- The more you read your Bible, the more you are going to gain a vision for God’s greater purposes and plans for mankind. Matthew 28:19-20
· Victory over Satan- The more you read your Bible, the more you learn how to have victory over sin and over the enemy of our souls. Matthew 4:1-11

Resources for Bible Study… Offers several different plans including plans based on Bible knowledge (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) Offers a chronological reading plan as well as a historical reading plan offers 13 different reading plans.

You can Google something like “printable Bible reading plans” or “Bible study plans” or “Read the Bible in a year” and come up with MANY options! offers many translations, passage look up, topic look up, and commentaries

Father God,

Create in me a hunger and a thirst for Your word. Forgive me for the times that I have put off reading my Bible for things that feel more pressing or that I feel are more entertaining. Lord, I do want to know You more deeply and more intimately and I know that one way to do this is by studying scripture. Help me Lord to make this a priority so that my soul is well nourished and scrubbed clean each day. Reveal Yourself to me Lord and help me to understand what I read so that I can apply it to my life. Use Your word to mold me into the person You created me to be and, as I seek Your will for my life, let others see more and more of You in me.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

1. Lighten the Foods You Already Love
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese. And when you garnish low-fat crackers or low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices the missing calories? WTW recommends shopping for light sour cream, mayonnaise, and salad dressings; less-sugar preserves; and unsweetened frozen fruit.And lighten up by switching to water, and less of diet soda, Love low-cal drinks? Try slowly weaning off of them. AVOID ASPARTAME AND PHYNALALINE.

2. Share and Share Alike
With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it's easy to go Dutch -- with the dinner plate. "When you go out, share a meal” "When people come in together they're more apt to encourage one another." They are more likely to stick with it. I will be your support buddy. Sign up for text, emails, and join Walk the Walk Group on Facebook. Email:

3. Forget About Working Out
If the word "exercise" inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. The trick to enjoying a workout is to "never call it working out".

4. Add, Don't Subtract
Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them. Go for healthy goodies like fresh fruit and garden-crisp veggies. And be sure to select things you love, like deep-red cherries or crunchy snow peas. Then slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch, your breakfast
cereal, and your afternoon snack; add the veggies into stews and sauces, and as a complement to lean meals. Focus on these delicious additions and you just may find yourself subtracting a junk food standby simply because you're enjoying your new, healthier favorites. Adding color to your diet is a great way to get in antioxidants that fight fat cells.

5. Go Walk-About
Healthier meals, the support of a partner, and walking w
ere all key factors in weight loss.
· Do your own grocery shopping go around the entire grocery store parameter twice before you put anything in your buggy, advance up, zig zag through to spice it up, main point is to just move.
· Trade your power mower for a push version.
· Park your car at the back of the lot.
· Sweep the drive instead of using a leaf-blower.
· Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
· Take the stairs every chance you get.
· Enjoy a post-dinner stroll, join a walking club (Walk the Walk meets Saturdays at 7am) and any other times 1:1 basis.

6. Tune In, Tone Up
As part of its Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends toning up while you tune in to your favorite TV shows. There are lots of ways to do this, "dance to the music" when you tune in to programs "like American Idol or your favorite music show," or "your cardio
boxing while watching The Apprentice." Slip in a little strength training by lifting sodas instead of drinking them. "Use those cans or bottles as hand weights for bicep curls," Or do triceps dips from the edge of the couch. It doesn't matter exactly what you do, so long as you're up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor. Or just walk in place in front of the TV when shows are on. Break during commercials on mute to avoid food commercials and reflect on how good you are going feel.

7. Eating Out
It's so tempting to grab a restaurant meal for lunch. But if the maƮtre d' knows your name, you may be packing on more pounds than you realize. Realize just how many calories are coming from those high-caliber -- and high-fat -- lunches out. "Just just say no," and if you can't say no to every business lunch, try saying yes to wiser choices, like grilled chicken, roasted summer vegetables, or an appetizer as an entree. Tell the waiter you are on a diet and to not bring bread or chips and salsa to the table upfront. Tell him or her their tip depends on them holding you accountable.

8. Size Matters
Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware. "A lot of eating is psychological," While a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual cue that you already have more. Basically "you're tricking yourself into being satisfied with less," "You simply won't put as much food on a smaller plate." And don't forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. Try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby
spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you've eaten.

9. Get Involved
When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. "When I'm not busy, I eat more than I need” Answer: take a break from the magazines and TV shows that so often showcase tempting treats, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food. For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering crafts
(hint hint) on Tuesday nights, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, organize a hike, or take a class, paint your fingernails or toes. Give yourself a facial. Call a buddy. Meet regularly at Church. Come to Walk the Walk to meet with God. The key: have a life outside of weight loss.

10. Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow
Finally, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn't exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off can be easier than taking it off. That's the result reported by The National Weight Control Registry. In a study of 784 people who had all lost and kept off at least 30 pounds, nearly half -- 42% -- reported that maintaining their weight loss was easier than the loss itself.
So if you crave the results reported by these successful "losers" -- improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health -- cultivate patience. You may find your way to sweet (and nearly painless) weight loss success. Track your progress so when you know when you are creeping up the scales and DO SOMETHING about that! Be proactive.

By you becoming healthy, you will be an example for others as well as others in your family. You may be the inspiration behind them choosing to get healthy. Don’t you want this for your loved ones? God loves you so much that He gave His son Jesus for you. He loves us that much! I know we love our families, so don’t we love them enough to be positive role models and help them to develop good eating habits?

~ Courtesy of Danyelle Carroll