welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

Preach it Linus!

Just watched one of our favorite Christmas shows, A Charlie Brown Christmas......for the third time in about a week. I am guessing, based on my age, I have seen it about 167 times (and that is a conservative number, don't even think about any age jokes or I will have to whack you with my cane.....hmmmm, but that would not be very Christian-like.....especially at this time of year.)


Our Peanuts Christmas set is also included in the Top 10 things to grab in case of a fire.

My question tonight is.......am I beyond a "sap" because I still get weepy during this scene......every time I watch it?







Merry Merry Christmas everyone.....

xox
*~Michelle~*

Matthew 18:20 (a testimony)

One of my favorite Scriptures is Matthew 18:20:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The Message version is pretty cool too:

"......When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."

So now I'd like to share a little testimony with y'all regarding the power of prayer with others;

One of the things I struggle with is that I tend to be a worrier. It's just part of my nature, I guess. I am sure that part of it is due to control freak tendencies that I have such a hard time "letting go/letting God". The stress and worry have been causing me to have sleep issues over the past few weeks. I haven't slept more than an hour or two at a time and my brain would not shut off with worry/fear. Sleep deprivation can also start to affect your way of thinking and before you know it....you become consumed with worry and then the irrational thoughts start creeping in.

The bondage of worry and fear is an emotional disease that will eventually affect your physical health as well. Stress also causes anxiety which then brings about physical ailments......which then turns into more stress/panic attacks.....you see.....it's the vicious circle. I have felt physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. My weary/tired mind was running rampart with distraught and illogical fears. I have left myself open to the enemy who is always waiting in the shadows for this perfect opportunity, when you are most vulnerable to start believing his lies. He then slips in and takes over. This is his playing field....getting control over you with fear and worry. Reminding you of your past failures, torturing you with guilt and leaving you feeling hopeless for the future.

When I get into these "dark places" I find it difficult to focus. Then I tend to do the worst thing possible, I distance myself as I feel I am a prisoner of my own mind and do not want to be around anyone. The longer you are in these valleys......the more you tailspin. This downward spiral was going on a couple weeks and I was losing hope.

Well a few days ago, I had popped on Facebook and saw that someone had posted a link to Michael Perkins blog. I haven't been visiting my faith-filled friends lately, but I just happened to click on over and check it out. It was one of his signature hand written posts, and although it was just a few words.....they were powerful and had the most amazing effect on me. It was titled Rush Over Me and it was inspired by Ezekiel 37. (def. check it out!).


I had goosebumps as I read one part in particular, "as you rushed over me, worry spilled to the floor....fear shattered as it hit the ground....." .as if it had been written just for me. You see.....one of my coping defenses is taking long showers to escape as I try to visualize being "cleansed/healed".

Now I knew the basis of Ezekiel 37 was about God giving Ezekiel a vision, setting him a valley and speaking to the dry bones. But I needed to grab my Bible and read it again.....I read it slowly making sure each word was absorbed in my tired brain and more importantly.....my heart.

That's when it happened. I immediately knew this was my time to speak to *my* dry bones within. Declaring this self-destructive CRAP was over! And I kid you not.....I started to feel something within was being transformed immediately.....the pressure behind my eyes from my never-ending headaches started to lesson before I set the Bible down.

I texted and talked to a few close friends and just asked them to join me in prayer. I knew that my lack of sleep was largely responsible for the weaken state of mind I was in. I knew that I needed proper rest to launch myself out of this mess so the only thing I asked for them to pray for, was one night of uninterrupted sleep.

Then I started to prayed feverishly....I prayed for healing of my mind. I reminded myself that when Jesus lived here on earth, he healed thousands of people during His time of ministry. He healed people debilitated in body and mind. I prayed for Jesus's peace to come over me. I prayed to know and accept that there are some things I cannot change (my past mistakes, things out of my control, etc)......and to have a clear mind to move ahead to be the person that God wants me to be.

I jumped in my car and cranked some awesome music for a few hours and screamed/sang my lungs out as my way of speaking to my dry bones.

Then I came home, took a hot bath....a couple of Tylenol PMs.....I said my final prayer for peace.

So guess what happened?!?

I slept until 12:15 the next day! (I have not done that in over 19 years......thankfully my husband was praying right along with me and just let me sleep in!) I cannot explain the renewed feeling in my mind and body that I experienced...it was just amazing!

So I declare this today.

God answered prayers INSANELY.

I know that many of you all have offered up prayers in my name as well over the past few weeks......and I cannot thank you enough. Know that God is listening to each and every one of you...as I have, once again.....been the recipient of answered prayers.

I still have a way to go with my restoration......but I cannot explain how great it feels to be back on track!

So thanks again.....and if I can pray for you in anyway, it would be a privilege to be part of the army of Believers carrying out your requests/needs...

.......please let me know.

Peace be with you.....

*~Michelle~*

The Jesse Tree.......



'tis the Season.......we begin again!

***I know I have been scarce in the blogging world......(as my friend Shark Bait put it one time.......I've been trying to spend less time talking about Him and more time with Him).....but wanted to invite you to my other blog that is devoted to our family's Christmas devotion, The Jesse Tree. Please join us in our journey through the Old Testament...leading us to God's ultimate Plan of Salvation.



Feel free to grab this button and share with others as well!




I hope this finds you all smiling and well......I'll be back soon enough....and until then, let's embrace and enJOY every day of this time of year!

Peace, love and stay barefoot~
*~Michelle~*

Matthew 25:40



If you can't feed a hundred people.....
........ then just feed one.”
~Mother Teresa


Today I popped over my "always keeping it real" friend Bill (cycleguy)'s blog... and he is discussing the issue of being overwhelmed with the needs of this world. He shares " it is hard to see that so much needs done and not feel overwhelmed. God has not asked us to take on every task out there. But He has asked us to be involved."

I say YEA and AMEN. We need to be involved.

And yes......it is easy to get overwhelmed and flabbergasted (is that really a word!?!) when you see how desperate the situation is in many countries due to natural disasters, crooked governments, and poverty/disease. But we cannot allow this to keep us from doing something.....anything....that can truly make a difference.

One of my Jesus lovin' friends, Jennifer from Getting Down with Jesus has beautiful insight on how effective we can be just by everyone doing one thing. She calls it Contagious Giving.

"......how each ONE thing we do multiplies into the whole BUNCH that we collectively offer up to the Lord. One plus one plus one .."

This week is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry with Samaritan's Purse. We love doing this every year......and encourage you and your family to join in this year.

Like prior years.....I let the kids decide who we will be buying for. You have a choice if you would like to send your box to a boy or girl.....and also the age range. Nev chose to make up a package for a girl in her own age group, figuring she would know firsthand what she would like.

At first she wanted to get computer games and I needed to remind her that most of these children do not have electricity, never-mind a computer. So we set out to buy art supplies, stuffed animals, a really cute little Etch-a-Sketch. We also grabbed a bunch of toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and tissues as I explained that these were luxuries as well.

My heart swelled as I watched my little girl carefully packing the items and explaining how this little girl could use the pocketbook to put her hair accessories in and sleep with the little stuffed goat she was excited to find. (teddy bears are over-rated according to my little goat-raising farm gal).


The cool thing that we found out this year with this project is that you can make your $7 donation (to cover shipping) online directly on their site and you are able to print out a bar-code label to attach to your box. Then you can actually track the destination of your gift, along with information about Operation Christmas Child in that country. How cool is that?


What a simple way for you to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to even just one of His children.

So whatcha waiting for!?!?! Visit the Operation Christmas Child site, check out all the info then have fun filling up a shoebox with simple items such as toiletries, small toys, and school supplies! I encourage you to include your children as well. What a beautiful way to teach them and others about the importance of taking care of the less fortunate. Knowing you are making a difference in a child's life is a priceless gift to give this Season.



The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' ~Matthew 25:40



Peace and love~

*~Michelle~*

Are you putting your faith into action?

Time for me to have and share a pep-rally......


"we gotta stop asking for relief.......and start showing some belief"



Ouch.Guilty as charged.

So, Benjamin Franklin once said "God helps those who help themselves".

Now although the majority of what we learn in the Bible about God helping the helpless..... I do believe that we, as Christians can fall into the trap of inactivity. We are taught that God will provide according to His timing, but this should not stop us from getting off our keesters (to keep this a PG-rated blog) and believing His Promise, trusting His Word and putting our faith into action.

Sometimes being a Christian isn’t always easy. Sometimes we have to roll-up our sleeves and do the challenging work of following Christ, and stay obedient to God’s Word..... even when we don’t want to or it seems to difficult.

This also applies to our daily living. For example... like many of us....financially, things are stretched super tight around here. My part-time job of doing hairdressing is not cutting it.

(no pun intended, but can I get a ba-dum-dum *cymbal??)

*crickets chirping*


OK, lame.....anyway.

I trust and believe that God will always provide for us.....as He has always done. Even when the numbers do not jive.....supernaturally, we end up having just enough money each week, even if our balance is 2.97 right before the next direct deposit is coming in.

But I am growing tired of treading water.....feeling the waters rise, bobbing up to the surface for a few days....only to feel pulled under when the next bill shows up or an unexpected repair comes about. Bottom line......I am looking for an additional job. So I can pray and ask God to help me find one and while it is in His power to do so, it is highly unlikely that God will cause employers to come looking for me. I must get up and out, hit the pavement.... and look for one. I will set out trusting that there will be a job for me. I will not give up, I trust God.....but it is going to require alot of effort on my part as well.

In our lives, we will come across winding paths of uncertainties, setbacks and signs that read, “Road Closed.” However, these are not dead ends, but merely detours as we move toward our destined purpose. We need to keep the faith, take these potholes in stride, and move ahead boldly. We cannot let challenges discourage us.

The New Living Translation of Romans 12:11-12 tells us " Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying."

This message can also be applied to our spiritual connection with Christ. Sometimes I feel so distant and I long to feel Christ beside me (even though I know He is always there.....) That same passage in the New International Version reads "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."

The word "fervor" literally means "to be hot, boil or glow." There is metaphor of boiling water and our spiritual life. The idea is that there must always be a stirring up or a heating up in our spiritual life as we pray and serve. We need to keep it that way. In order to keep water boiling we have to keep it on a flame. We need to constantly work and tend to that fire. That takes effort.....it takes action on our part.



I'll wrap it up with this story, you've probably heard it before, but I'll share it anyway.....

It's the one about the preacher in the flood. The water was up to the top of the church steps when a National Guard truck came by. "Get in, Preacher! The water's rising."

And the preacher said, "No. I trust in the Lord."

The water rose and flooded the church. The preacher climbed up on the roof. Two boys came by in a John boat.

"Get in, Preacher! The water's rising."

And the preacher said, "No. I trust in the Lord."

The water rose higher, and the preacher climbed up on the steeple. A helicopter came by and dropped a sling.

"Grab the sling, Preacher! The water's rising."

And the preacher said, "No. I trust in the Lord."

The water rose even higher, and the preacher drowned. In heaven, he said, "Lord, I had such trust in you. Why did you let me drown?"

And the Lord said, "Dummy! I sent you a deuce-and-a-half, a john boat and a helicopter!!"


The meaning of this is that the Lord helps us by giving us the means to help ourselves. And He expects us to do that.


So I ask myself.....and possibly you can ask yourself.....Do you feel that God is ignoring your prayers/requests? Or could it be that He is stalling so that we will stop acting helpless and put our faith into action?


Peace~

*~Michelle~*

Word of God Speak


(*please pause my music player)



"I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay........"






Word of God Speak {Mercy Me}

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say


Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice


I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay


****************************

As I remain in His place, I hope this find you all smiling and well.......

*~Michelle~*

Growing Pains

So a couple of days ago I had my "AHHHHHHH" moment of peace and comfort. And now I am experiencing that "AH-HAHHHHHHHHHHHH" kinda moment of discovery/enlightenment.

As I continue to try to dig deeper in my Walk........I have been setting aside my "first" moments in the early morning to read. And as I've told you all before......I am not a "good" reader. But if I find something that hooks me from the beginning.....I can stay focused enough to dive in. And my desire to know God more is what helps me to do so.

(I just finished Plan B by Pete Wilson which was AWESOME, btw!)

Anyway.... a while ago.....I found myself in the WOW factor awe mode.....and now I find myself in a new, somewhat uncomfortable place.

So I will keep it raw and honest here.........as I try to do always.

I guess I never really really really got "Christ died for our sins" the way it has been being brought to Light recently. Of course, I know what it says on the surface.......but something clicked in my head (and pierced my heart) when it was revealed to me this way:

We all have moments in our life that we are not proud of. Some more than others (shamefully raising my hand). So think about some of the events in your life that really make you cringe when you look back...some of those dishonorable events that although you might have already asked and received forgiveness (or possibly have not), they still are not moments that you like to re-live or remember. Now picture them being video-taped YouTube-style and broadcasted for all the world to see. How about posting it on your blog or Facebook for all your friends and family?

Think about the shame it would bring.
Think about the guilt.
Think about the conviction.
Think about the disgrace.

Now think about how Jesus bore the collective shame of all of us. That is how Jesus felt when He hung on that Cross.

Between his hand and the wood there was a list. A long list. A list of our mistakes: our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins.
{Max Lucado~He Chose The Nails}

ouch.

Of course I "got it" for the most part up until this point......but I didn't "get it" the way I now do. When it fell on me like a load of bricks, I actually started to feel my heart race......I felt uncomfortable with those thoughts and the images in my head.

Now many of you will say.......duh, Michelle......of course this is what it meant. But again.....I will always keep it real. I never claim to know it all....or have it all together. Quite opposite, actually. I am learning day by day.....growing.

And I am experiencing growing pains with this one.

a *Message* of Hope......

OK, so I originally had Ephesians 1:7-12 NIV ready to share with you. I had read it this morning and it was one of those"AHHHHHHHHHHH" moments. Not to be confused with an "AH-HAHHHHHHHHH" moments of discovery (insert light-bulb over head).

No, this was a moment where I was once again, reassured that God's "got it all under control" and I felt a extraordinary sense of comfort surround me. Like pretty much everyone you talk to....we've been having our share of ups and downs lately....and through it all, we've been trying to do our best to turn them over to Him.

So anyway......I jumped on over to the handy dandy Bible Gateway site to copy/paste this awesome message of hope and comfort. Usually I scroll down and choose the NIV because.....well, I don't really know why now that I think about it. I guess it is easier for me to understand as sometimes the thee's, thou's and all the -th's get this already confused brain even more confused.

For some reason.......the Message version came up instead. Now I don't know much about this version and I don't dare tip toe into why one version/translation is better than the other.....I just know that this really spoke to my heart today. And I hope it might do the same for someone else who might be going through some uncertain times. I pray that it offers some hope......some Light in the middle of a dark time you might be experiencing.

Just share the Scripture will ya, Michelle!?!


Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah,
his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross,
we're a free people—
free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.

And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!

He thought of everything,
provided for everything we could possibly need,
letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.

He set it all out before us in Christ,
a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together
and summed up in him,
everything in deepest heaven,
everything on planet earth.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.
Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up,
he had his eye on us,
had designs on us for glorious living,
part of the overall purpose
he is working out in everything and everyone.

~Ephesians 1:7-12 {The Message}


I thought about going line by line and sharing how each one really impacted me or try to explain how to apply it to our everyday understanding of His Promise to us. But not only would I probably lose half of you along the way with my rambling (literally and figuratively)...

....I decided to encourage you to just read this Scripture again. Take five minutes and read it line by line.

Let it sink in.


Have a beautiful week......

*~Michelle~*

Totally Random Tuesday

*I was thinking about having a little fun and lightening things up today.....so I thought about listing random things about me. Then my ADD brain remembered that I already did this....but it was about a year ago. So I am re-posting it but tweaked a few things that might have changed or I found even more interesting to share.*

Due to another super busy week, I am finding myself feeling the need to pop back on my blog, but cannot slow down the pinballs that are pinging around my head long enough to get a profound thought together. So I decided to do something fun and easy on my brain. I saw this on someone's blog and of course, due to the arcade game in my head, cannot recall whose it was. But it basically was a meme that you listed 50 random facts about yourself that people may or may not know (or in my case, care to).

So if you have 5 minutes to blow and know ahead of time that you will never get them back.......here they are:

1. I love Jesus.
2. I am 1/2 Portuguese, 1/2 Canadian French.
3. I have four children, three boys and one girl...in that order.
4. I have one husband, who is my bestest friend.
5. I have my cosmetology license.
6. I secretly wish I had dreadlocks. (clean, small ones)
7. I am submitting an application with my best girlfriend, Lili....for The Amazing Race.
8. I hate dislike (or my new term, "find it hard to love"...) flies.
9. I feel much younger than what I am.
10. My dad was an Airborne Ranger in the Korean War.
11. I have an addictive personality.
12. God is #1 in my life.
13. My family is the closest runner-up to #12 that is possible.....
14. I am pretty laid back even though I appear to be a spaz.
15. I have never traveled west of the East Coast states.
16. I plan to change #15 soon.
17. My first job was working in a clam cake shack on a lake when I was fourteen and a half.
18. I will get to Africa in my lifetime.
19. I am the youngest of two children.....older brother.
20. I love all animals and believe they have personalities and emotions.
21. I am a tie dye artist.
22. I suffer from migraines that can kill an elephant.
23. I have white coat phobia (aversion to doctors, hospitals, etc)
24. I love to dig in the dirt. (it is much more effective and cheaper than a therapist)
25. I have a children's book in draft form with 2 inches of dust on it. (*make that 4 inches of dust)
26. My husband is an expert motocross racer, but is retired due to older bones breaking easier.
27. I am not a very good cook.
28. I love being a mom.
29. I have a problem interrupting people.
30. I need coffee in the morning.
31. I want to be a midwife when I grow up. (for now I am loving "delivering" goat babies/kids)
32. I am super competitive. (ask anyone who will still play a board game with me)
33. I am pro-life.
34. Children who are suffering from abuse or sickness breaks my heart in two.
35. I love handmade soap.....(now I make handmade goats' milk soap. YAY for me!)
36. I am in awe every time I see a beautiful sky at sunset.
37. I believe in miracles. (I have had my share just in my life alone)
38. I love fall things.....pumpkins, cornstalks, leaves changing color.
39. I don't understand football, but watch it anyway with my husband.
30. I love nachos......morning, noon, night.
31. I love to laugh.
32. I sing horrible, but love to do it regardless, whenever I can.....no matter who is within earshot.
33. I now list "goat farmer" as one of my occupations.....and am proud of it.
34. I have hideous feet.
35. I have blue eyes that appear green depending on what I am wearing.
36. I have a butterfly and John 8:32 tattooed on my back.
37. I also have a small pawprint tattooed on my leg in memory of my Rottweiler, Beethoven. I have a cross on my hip. (I now have a very cool ichthus design on my inner wrist)
38. I am wondering if anyone has gotten this far.....if so.....God bless you!
39. Eating fruit with pits makes my lips and mouth get itchy.
40. Evolution theories infuriate me.
41. I have been told that I have a New York Bronxy mafia wife accent.
42. I am not from the Bronx nor have never been affiliated with the mafia.
43. I do have a raspy voice, and often get mistaken for a teenage boy going through puberty when answering the phone.
44. I know and believe that God has a plan for me and my life....and I know it is good.
45. I cannot sit still very long.
46. I cry alot.....good cries as well as overly emotional sad ones.
47. My favorite dinner is having breakfast food.
48. My two dream cars are the '78 Camaro that I used to own, back in the day.....and any Volkswagen Bus.
49. I love yard sales and Good Will stores.
50. I am just an ordinary sinner saved by the Grace of the most extraordinary Savior.

***FYI My good friend SharkBait just informed me that my list is actually 60 (I repeated the numbers 30-39.....so not only am I an ADD rambling spaz.....I am an ADD rambling spaz that apparently cannot count)***


So there you go.....a little mindless chatter for ya.

*hello? hello? Is this thing on? Anyone still with me?

Feel free to considered yourself tagged if you feel like some mindless chatter yourself.....it actually was pretty fun to think about who I am and what makes me tick.

And you know what.....I like me. :)

And I pray you like *you* too.

Have a beautiful week....


*~Michelle~*



Thoughts on Facebook?

So yesterday.....it was brought to my attention that an old classmate has made his share of comments of how he can't stand the fact that I post Scripture or my thoughts on Jesus often as my Facebook status. Normally I would be quick to get defensive, but instead, I had a big smile on my face. You see, ironically GODronically.... earlier that morning, I did my "flip open the Bible and see what God wants me to see"..... and fell upon this Scripture:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God's children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world. You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and won." ~Philippians 2:14-16

(This was the New Century Version, from one of my sons' Duct Tape Bible)


So I am guessing that God wanted to reassure me to continue to do what I do. I am not here to shove a Bible down someone's throat....or come off as the "holier than thou" Christian who sits behind the stained glass windows and judges others. In fact, I'll be the first to know and remind people that I am "the wretch" that the song refers to. I am a great testimony that God can work through anyone......no matter what your past tells you that you are. Almost like if He can turn *my* life around.....then for most everyone else, it's is a piece of cake.

My intentions for posting positive/uplifting messages on Facebook.....is not only to possibly shine a little Light to anyone who reads it as I also do not solely post Scripture or prayer.....I've been known to have my share of "you can't make this stuff up" events that happened or some random musing. But most of the time, it is something that has been placed on my heart *for me*. And as I have often referred to my desire to spread the Good News as like having the most awesome chocolate-decadence dessert.....you just cannot convey how unbelievably delicious it is. So you just want your friends to take a bite to experience it themselves.
(*hopefully God has a sweet tooth and can excuse this analogy)

I don't claim to know it all, I don't know my way around the Bible like many Christians who can recite verses or the Books of the New Testament in order. I don't claim to know which denomination is "better" than others. I don't claim to know how to live the perfect life, surely I am struggling with my own.

...I just claim to love Jesus.


Now yesterday, when I had heard about what was mentioned about me, I had run inside to grab the Bible and share with my friend what I had read earlier that day. Funny, I had the Bible still opened to that page and the verses were highlighted. (gotta love how God keeps me organized and prepared as I would have never found that verse so quickly). Anyway.....I ended up leaving it by the fire-pit overnight and this morning......well, "dew happens" and those tissue paper pages needed to dry out.

So I decided to grab a book off of my shelf just to have something positive to start my day with. I grabbed this book, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, that my brother-in-law had given me years ago. As you know, I am not a "good" reader so I limit myself to about 5-6 pages at a time because usually my brain cannot download any more than that.

And normally I would by pass any Preface or Foreword because......well......"not-so-good" readers tend to do that. Today, I took it up a notch and dove right into that Preface.

......and I am glad I did.

Check this out.....my brain is still processing it a bit....and not sure if I am going to be able to "handle" reading this whole book.. I am guessing he is referring to people calling themselves/using the general term "being a Christian"? ACK....see?? I guess I will have to go back and re-read it....but this jumped out at me.

......It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in......

......When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still In the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.



I hope and pray that I can lead even one person into that Hallway.....

How about you? What are your thoughts about Facebook in general? If you have a FB account, do you "use" your status as an opportunity to spread the Good News? Do you think it turns people off if/when you talk about your faith? More importantly, do you care about that?

*On a side note, this classmate and I have the "agree to disagree" understanding.....he is a good person who just has different views/opinions on the subject of Jesus. Of course I couldn't keep myself from razzing/reminding him that at our next high school reunion/get-together, I'll be sure to wear my "Jesus Loves You" tee just for him. ;)

and on one more side note......I found this and had to share:



Have a great weekend, my friends~

*~Michelle~*

Proverbs 19:17 (repost)

It has been almost a year from when I originally shared/posted this story.......a story that definitely caused some reconstruction in my heart. I am re-posting it as I join in with the folks over at Bridget Chumbley's place where the carnival topic is "brokenness".


(*this is a longer than usual post from me.....I babble and ramble as I usually do.......but I promise I deliver a good message if you stay with me)


"He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done."

~Proverbs 19:17

So at first glance....this almost can contradict one thing I was always told "do not give to receive". But as I am digging deeper in my walk with Jesus....receiving doesn't necessarily mean in the tangible materialistic way that the world has us programmed to think. No, our God rewards us in so many more wonderful ways that far outlasts any money, treasure or possession. Yes......ways that you cannot put a price on such as peace and joy.

It is no mystery that money cannot buy things such as happiness and real peace......(sure, it can help when the electric company is calling for their money or the oil tank is low)....but just turn on the TV or flip through the latest edition of People magazine and see how miserable and lost many superstars are, who have all the money at their disposal. I wouldn't trade my shack on a Rock for their castles built on sand ever! (and for the record, I don't live in a shack....I live in a cute and cozy 1800 sq ft. contemporary ranch that yes, can get a little tight with the six of us and it might not be full of lavish furnishings and expensive collectibles....but it's full of comfortable furniture, hand-made art due to years of creative little hands.....and busting out the seams/walls with love.)

So getting back to being kind to the poor.....I'd like to share something that Josh and I experienced over the past weekend.

We saw an ad on Craigslist for some barn/fencing supplies. Not sure if you've ever priced livestock feeders, hardware and gates before, but finding them used at a good price is a score! So I gave the lady a call and made arrangements for Josh and I to go over her place the following day. (because surely I am not stupid or brave enough to go answer an ad ALONE that talks about someone needing some cash as they are getting out of the horse business, barn is starting to fall apart, etc. To me, that might indicate that there is a lot of space up in the abandoned hay loft for a body to be found, no?)

So we headed out first thing Saturday morning. We were on a time crunch, so I told Josh that when I originally called on the ad, the woman, Franny (not her real name of course) sounded a little rough....I just assumed I woke her up or maybe she was a little under the weather. But I gave him the heads up because it seems that we always run into some nice, but quirky people in our travels who love to talk and talk and talk. And it seems that God has my path cross with people who always want to talk about what is going on in their life to me. I guess I must have something on my forehead that says...."tell me what you are going through."

Most of the time, I am thankful that people feel comfortable enough to share what's on their heart and I know that God wants me to use this time to witness.....but if I am gonna be straight with you, sometimes I just want to buy my nachos and salsa and get home!

(this is in reference to a cashier who told me of how she just had nachos with an old friend who she hooked up with due to FaceBook. And how if she didn't take her step dad's name when she turned 18, then she would have been in contact with so many other friends on Facebook. In fact, she wouldn't have missed her 20th reunion if she had her original last name that she had in elementary school. But she hated that name because her dad walked out on her mom when she was seven....so no-one knew how to contact her.

Hmmmmm, all I said was that I needed my nacho fix while paying.

*note to self.....if in a hurry, do NOT make eye contact or speak.....just smile and say thank you while walking away)


Back to recapping the conversation on phone...

Franny told me that she was getting rid of the items due to an impending divorce and how she needs to start getting rid of stuff because she is planning on moving. But first she needs a job because she has two older children, one who has a broken pelvis due to a motocross (but he was wearing his helmet) and the daughter doesn't work because she is on drugs. She wants to keep some of the feeders because she plans on moving to another place and get horses again and maybe start breeding Mastiffs again. She used to breed Labradors because they were a sure flip for money, but her Lab died last year from a tumor they found in her uterus.

Yes. I got this all in the first three minutes and here I was only calling to get a deal on some feeders. I can not make this stuff up.


We arrived at the driveway and it had wrought iron gates with gorgeous stone columns. The gates appeared that they were rusted open and there was brush growing through the broken iron wagon wheel accents.

We drove up the dirt driveway.....it was probably about 1/6 mile before we saw the barn on our left. First thing we notice is the roof, or what was left to it....it was collapsed in some areas, and the tarps that were covering the other part were flapping violently in the wind. There were pastures on each side of us.....individual grazing areas that you could tell have been neglected over the past year(s) as fencing was down....overgrown brush everywhere.

Then we saw her.

Franny was a middle age woman with long frizzy hair who was dressed in ripped jeans, flannel shirt and had a baseball hat on. Perfectly normal for a farm gal (infact, looking at how I just described her....I kinda fit that description). But as we got closer, she looked alot older....but not in a typical natural aging way....more of a hard life "older". She appeared to have mascara/eyeliner on from the night before....slightly smudged. She held a coffee cup and cigarette in one hand and waved with the other. She started walking over to us, then bent down to grab a branch out of the way and her hat fell off. There was a line where golden streaked hair met three inches of gray and black roots. She grabbed her hat, stood up while adjusting her pants and her top button popped open on her shirt, exposing her bra a little bit. She didn't notice or care.

oh boy. I whispered to Josh......let's make this QUICK. She looks like she is still loopy from the night before.......Grab the feeders, pay her and let's get out of here.

But as I got to shaking her hand....I looked in her eyes and the only word that came to mind was broken. Although they squinted a bit with her smile as she said hello.....all I saw was sadness and emptiness in those eyes. It was then that my conviction began. A feeling of guilt, sadness and pity started to come over me.

We got to talking with Franny as we were walking along her property to look at some other gates/equipment she had available.....and found out more of her story. She told us about how her husband walked out on her and her children and left them with nothing. Apparently he was a prominent business owner who made some poor decisions with his company and was charged with some other crimes as well. She spoke about how she's been scraping by this past year and it's time to sell the farm/house and find a new place to live.

As she was talking about her hardships....and there were many, including an affair and abuse.....I started to think about how she must have been living to where she is now.

As I looked around, I could tell that this property definitely was a gorgeous 150 acre farm at one time. I imagined perfectly manicured pastures and horses grazing.... an equestrian paradise.

And to look at it now.....the dilapidated barn, rusted lifeless tractors and the overgrown pastures was a representation of Franny's life. I can imagine her to have once been dressed in high end clothing, hair and nails kept neat and walking about her property with pride and joy. The breed of horses she mentioned that they raised are a very expensive elite breed. And now she tells us that she gave them all away for free.....in fear that she would not be able to feed them over the winter.

Before we knew it, an hour had passed. Franny poured out her deepest secrets to us. At times she welled up with tears.....and at times, I did as well. We exchanged contact information and Josh told her he would see about any job openings that might be available at the casino. I gave her the number of my friend who does real estate.....not to pour salt into her wound, but to know that my friend is honest and fair and would not take advantage of her in the desperate situation she is facing. I ended the conversation by hugging her and telling her that I would be praying for her. She lifted up her eyes, now sobbing and told me that she prayed everyday too.

We left Franny feeling heartbroken. We talked all the way home about her and her hardships. Something was weighing on my heart. I just felt that although we don't have much, I wanted to help this woman some how. We talked and prayed and decided that we were going to visit her again this week and tuck a little extra money in an envelope for her. Matthew 6:1-4 reminds us to not talk about or announce what we are giving.....so forgive me for mentioning this.....(and believe me, it isn't anything to boast about)...but I wanted to talk about how we are supposed to/commanded to reach out to poor, broken and lost as Followers of Christ.

Now when we got home, I called my friend (realtor) to let her know that I passed her number along. She too had heard about the story of this family.....but also heard a different version. Her version was that the wife of this prominent business person had issues with drugs and alcohol and drove the business into the ground.

Of course, from what we saw and being completely honest.....this was not a story that could not also be true. And it very well may be.

But we are still heading over tonight.....to drop off this gift. It is not our job to judge this woman....it is our job to give/help without expecting anything more from her. In our hearts, we pray that she uses this money to put a dent in her electric bill or buy some groceries. If she chooses to use it for drugs/alcohol.....then so be it. God knows our heart and intention.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. ~Mark 2:16-17

And who are we to judge? And can I tell you something else that has been placed on my heart after meeting this woman? Who are we to think that what happened to this woman, could not someday happen to us? Not necessarily turning to drugs/alcohol if that is indeed the case......but being in this state of helplessness and desperation? Franny is just one example of the bondages that the enemy sneaks in and holds us captive. She is displaying it for all the world to see.....how many of us have our own private hells and bondages? We all have times of feeling broken and desperate, it doesn't only have to be a financial brokenness. And while we are on the subject, in this fallen and unstable world, I believe that we all are one or two mistakes, weaknesses, screw-ups, poor financial decisions, lost employment, or unexpected sickness from our worlds being turned upside down like Franny.

Think about it.

So with that.....I'll leave you with this.....

Proverbs 19:17 tells us that when we give to the poor (or the lost, the broken, the desperate).....we are lending to Him. And from what I know about our God.....He never leaves a debt unpaid.

Peace and love~
*~Michelle~*

R.A.O.K.

So the other day I was at the store and embarrassingly was $3.57 short. Trying to stay on a "cash diet" I purposely left my debit card/checkbook (and who uses checks anymore?!?) at home.

I was a little embarrassed, but reluctantly asked the clerk to take a couple things off of my order as I rambled on and on explained why I only had cash on me so as to keep me from overspending. She was probably about 17 years old at the most, looked like she wanted to be anywhere but behind this register. I also could tell she had a very important text to return as she kept looking into her smock pocket that was glowing from her phone screen. Obviously she could care less about the financial advice I was trying to share as she resembled a deer staring into headlights as I was talking. I think I gave her another reason to hate her job even more when I asked her to price check the dish-washing detergent, the paper plates and Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream.

Before she could get the last eye roll in.......a very nice woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked how much I was short. I told her it was less than $4 but no big deal because I really didn't need that ice cream......I started rambling mentioned I was going to start running again because of the extra few pounds I packed on over the summer. Before I could get to the part about how the all the local summer fairs' food was the culprit.....she handed me a five dollar bill and told me that she would take care of it. I thanked her but told her I really didn't want her to do that......but she insisted and told me to accept it as a gift. I was floored by her generosity. I asked her if I could have her address to return the money but she told me not to worry about it and just to pay it forward someday.

How awesome was that? Here is someone who doesn't even know me......yet graciously helped me out when I was in a pinch. (or maybe she just wanted me to stop babbling so the five bucks was worth it!) Either way.....she gave when she wasn't asked nor expected anything in return.

As I was driving home, I thought about how Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25:35-40

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


I love hearing about random acts of kindness........have you been the recipient of someone's kindness.....or can you share something you did to make someone's day a little brighter? Please share!

Have a great weekend, friends!

*~Michelle~*

The WOW factor

So I was listening to this preacher, Jeff Shreve and he was talking about the Grace of God. Then he mentioned this particular Scripture

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.~2 Corinthians 8:9

Think about this:

Rich is described as having wealth or great possessions; of great value or worth; valuable; abounding in natural resources.

So here is God sitting on His Throne in Heaven (and according to Isaiah)......His train filling the Temple with the angels singing and praising Him singing "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His Glory".

He has everything, He is rich beyond rich in all ways......yet He steps down off of His Throne and enters the world. He didn't even choose to be born in a prestigious influential family.......no, he was born in a barn. He slept in a trough. His parents were poor and came from Nazareth, a very small and insignificant town. (John 1:46 reminds us that this was probably on the wrong-side-of-tracks kinda town....."Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?")

Then, at the height of His ministry.......He is imprisoned, mocked, beaten beyond imagination, spit upon and scourged. He has stakes nailed through His hands and feet, and then has a crown of thorns smashed into his skull. He is then hoisted up between the Earth that He created and the Heavens that He reigned. He took His last breath and said "It is finished". Jesus paid our ransom to free us from sin and death.

The ransom (a price paid to achieve some one's freedom) was Paid in Full.

For me.

For you.


I don't know about you, but my stomach has been in knots when I really really started thinking about this. Not just taking for granted and knowing that "Jesus Christ died for our sins".....but really bringing me back the awe factor on what God has done for us.

I guess this message brought me in the WOW factor mode.

And I don't want to ever leave.


**I believe this message can inspire and bring hope.......so I linked it on up with all the folks over at Bridget's place . Hop on over for more great posts on this subject!

An obituary......

Hopefully I didn't alarm you with my post title.....But I got this email this morning (you might have seen it before) and it states that this is an Obituary that was printed in the London Times. I have not looked that up on Snopes.com if it really was published......but regardless....it's pretty good and it really does makes you think:

_____________________________


Today, we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his
birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered
as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of
the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and, Maybe it
was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies - (don't spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing
regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual
harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after
lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his
condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not
inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live, as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed
to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust,
by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son,
Reason.


He is survived by his four never-do-well stepbrothers: I Know My Rights,
I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and, I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.


_____________________________




Peace, love and stay barefoot~
*~Michelle~*

V is for Victory!

So if you've been visiting even just occasionally......you'll probably get the idea that I am a very visual person. I am guessing that this is one of the reasons I babble on and on sometimes all the time. I guess it's because I really want to get what is going on in my head (scary place!) and heart and get it out in words. Most of the time, WAY too many words/run-on sentences, grammatical nightmares and abuse of all forms of punctuation. Then I take you way off on some tangent. But that is another story and yes, medication has been suggested to me many times.

So today.....I will share briefly what is on my heart.....and leave you with a visual that I feel best sums it up.

Not sure who needs to hear/see this......but I know I cannot be alone on this. Being in a place where you feel like you are really breaking through some areas in your life and the Light is starting to shine again. You start to work out the kinks in those tired muscles and get back on your Walk. And just as soon as you start to pick up the pace.....the enemy throw down a roadblock......a set back. He knows where you are heading, and will do anything in his power to keep you bound in frustration, depression and bondage. He knows if he keeps you there, you will be unproductive. He tells you lies and reminds you of your short-comings/failures.

But I am here to remind you that God is the Great I Am. He is and will continue to be with you through it all. He knows the ending to this situation and will never let you down.
There is nothing in this world that He cannot do. There is no addiction He can't break, there is no heart He can't change, there is no medical report He can't contradict. He will bring peace beyond understanding. He will bring hope to the discouraged.

I encourage you friends to never give up. And pray. If you continue to press ahead, give it all over to Him.....and trust in His promise.....there will always be a Victory.



(excuse the quality, but I had to sketch what was going on in my head quickly and scan it)




But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Corinthians 15:57




Be well, my friends and celebrate the Victory~

*~Michelle~*

A thorn in my side


So we all know the parable in Matthew regarding the sower and the seeds.....

here is the recap.......

seeds land on the path......birds devour them
seeds land on rocky soil.....no depth/roots, scorched by sun
seeds land among the thorns.....thorns choked them
seeds land on fertile soil.....happy plants, happy ending.

As I am starting to break through this spiritual desert.....I found myself thinking about how I can totally relate to that third bunch of seeds scenario.

Jesus explains in Matthew 13:22 ~ "As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful"



So although I cannot relate to the "riches" part.....I totally can relate to the cares of the world choking the Word.

Does this happen to you? You hear an awesome sermon on Sunday and get all fired up. You are set out on your mission to save some souls this week and expand God's Kingdom. You feel unstoppable.....you declare to the Heavens and anyone within shouting distance that this will be a great week, nothing will bring you down. You commit to keeping your eyes and heart focused on God......you feel free as a bird.

Then Monday comes......along with that overdue bill notice. Or maybe it's going back to a negative atmosphere at the workplace. Either way, it's the rude awakening of the case of the Mondays (and the "world").

Tuesday's schedule is jammed packed with errands in the morning, meeting up with a girlfriend for lunch, two dentist appointments and tackling Mt. Rushmore of laundry all night.

Wednesday starts with a phone call from your doctor's office informing you that those tests you had done came back inconclusive, so you need to go back for a follow-up. Before you can self diagnose yourself with the Ebola virus, you forget that you have family visiting and that includes that one relative that sucks the life out of you. Fast forward to everyone turning their nose up to what you slaved on for dinner......you call it a night.

By Thursday.....you hear rumors of an impending layoff, so you start scrambling to every store at the local shopping mall filling out applications. Then, your teenagers are being.....well, teenagers......and have you running in 10 different directions all day with their wants and needs. You finally walk through the door at 9pm to find that your dog decided to vomit all over the house.


Before you know it....it's Friday. Where did the week go? You are exhausted. When did you ever even sit down and give God any attention during all of the craziness? Oh wait! You did....you do remember sending up a quick prayer, equivalent to a text message, in between that doctor's call and answering the door to that annoying visitor.

Now I won't say that all of this happened to *me* in one week.....but let's just say, it gives you an idea of some of the typical distractions......or thorns......that occur in any typical week for me. The thorns that choke out any of the seeds (or Good Word as Luke 8:11 confirms) that fall into my soil.

It is the enemy's desire to snatch those seeds. Or if that doesn't work, he will send distractions (thorns) our way so they will choke out the possibility of anything bearing fruit.

Throughout the Bible, thorns represent desolation and troubles.

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.~Genesis 3:17-18

I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.~Proverbs 24:30-31

They will sow wheat but reap thorns; they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.~Jer12:13

So yeah, I find myself often categorized in that cluster of Christians who finds themselves trapped in the thorns. The group that hears the Word (seed) but we are so drowning in the distractions, cares, issues, and pleasures of this life that the seed does not grow to maturity or completion. We try to develop our own solution for how to deal with economic, emotional and physical issues of life rather than accepting God’s solution.

I get lured and snagged in a thicket of distractions which takes my eyes off of God. I am not trusting in Him with my finances or my health. I am not seeking Him for wisdom, patience and peace. No, I am tangled up in my own cares and end up exhausted, overwhelmed.....and unproductive.

Thankfully we serve a loving and God full of grace. One that can and will yank those thorns out of our spiritual garden. He is the Master Gardener who will help us plant and cultivate the seeds of our lives. And season by season we can grow to bear fruit and be who we were destined to be.

So how about you......what causes a thorn in your side Walk?

*giggle*



Yes, I am still alive and in the middle of this.......and trying to keep a sense of humor about it all. So I couldn't resist jumping in on the laughter themed carnival over at Bridget's place.


He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
~Job 8:21


Hope you all have a great week ahead~
*~Michelle~*

System Restore

So I feel I have been reaching in my excuse bag lately for my lack of posting.....

Off the top of my head, I can definitely say it has been one and/or the combo of the following:

  • family obligations
  • preparing for and attending country fairs and livestock shows
  • the endless list of home improvements
  • enJOYing the summer as much as possible
  • visiting friends and family
  • spiritual dryness
  • and lastly.....being so frustrated with this darn computer which is bogged down with viruses that cause it to freeze up every 18 minutes or better yet......when I am in the middle of something really important. I won't lie and say it has happened while I have been into a wicked awesome blog post where I am sharing such wisdom and inspiration......(see prior teeny excuse) but I will tell you that when said crashing/freezing event happens....I have been known to have non-Christian words slip out of my mouth all while screaming at the monitor asking what I have done to deserve such punishment.


So I am pleased to let you know, that a friend has kindly given me a Windows XP install disc and I plan on transferring the bajillion files/photos/documents over to my external hard-drive over the next few days and flat-lining this badboy and starting out again with a clean slate.

How refreshing to think that I won't have 948 unread emails (mostly spam) in my Outlook Express inbox. They loom in the shadows and haunt me. I want to hit "select all" and then delete.....but what if I delete an overlooked correspondence (like the 150,000 Euros that is waiting for me to claim)

And now.....Poof. They will be gone. Yes, I'll lose that coupon code for Viagra at the wholesale price (don't ask)........and I'll never get that link for the online degree to be a medical transcriptionist.....but I will be FREE of that daunting task of going through all of those emails looking for those few correspondences that shouldn't have gone unread.

Josh will be thrilled that our "desktop" will now be clear and clutter free......it will no longer look like a jigsaw puzzle of shortcut icons and cover the photo of one of my favorite chickens. (is that bad that I don't have one of my children up there?)

I am hoping that my sound driver will be re-installed so that I can finally get my K-Love on during the day. I can also resume watching some of the great podcasts from my favorite preachers/speakers. (did I mention that I believe that a good majority of these viruses are enemy-sent?)

And like a responsible and paranoid amateur computer person, I did my research on what all this restoring will do. It was explained to me that a system restore is like a time machine for your computer, in which we will be able to restore a previous configuration from before problems began to occur.

Wow....wouldn't that be nice if we could have a system restore in our lives?

Well folks.......step right up. We can.

Think about it. When we start digging deeper with Jesus, He offers us the ultimate System Restore.

Have a corrupt file haunting you from your past and/or the baggage of worries/anxiety hanging in your inbox?

DELETE them with Philippians 3:13,14
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

You also can get a whole new operating system to tackle this thing called life. And since the operating pretty much is the backbone of the computer, you get a brand new way to send and receive information and process applications. You can make major changes and upgrade to keep up with needs that change over time.

All you have to do is RE-INSTALL Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

And let's not forget about having a brand new anti-virus software installed with this offer. Knowing that even when we encounter dangerous situations, we can and will have the protection installed to keep us safe and hopefully make the right decisions.

Just DOWNLOAD Isaiah 54:17
"No weapon forged against you will prevail......"


I am sure I could list many more but I am sensing another meltdown approaching with this computer and I will lose my mind if it crashes on me again.

So wish me luck with this scary task I am about to undertake this weekend.....I am praying that I don't get sucked into the Black Hole of cyberspace and lose everything, including my mind (which is already half gone).

See you on "the other side" of this adventure! :)

xox
*~Michelle~*

Short but to the point....



"God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way."

~Max Lucado


Thankfully, in my case.

The Sly Fox

Good morning friends! If you are reading this, I would first like to thank you for sticking with visiting me during my summertime borderline hiatus from being online/blogging/etc. I think if God has a suggestion box up in Heaven, I might slip a note in there about giving us a few extra hours for the days of the summer months because I could sure use them. As I mentioned before, us "New Englanders" have this pressure to jam in all joy of this sunny season with our unpredictable weather and the looming thoughts that fall is right around the corner. So we cram our schedules with cookouts/reunions.......vacations and beach days......fairs and festivals.......maybe even scraping up the extra cash to take your family to a waterpark for the day.

(On a side note, Dear Six Flaggs.....$42.50 for children under 12 years old??? Really people??? I asked Josh "How do these people sleep at night charging so much?"........His reply....."Probably on 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets". On another side note.....it was a little disturbing that he even knew about 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets)

OK, so a while back, I wrote a post regarding God's Ultimate Protection Plan..... (If you have a moment, and you missed it.....please go check it out....I'll wait.)
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Back? OK, great. Getting on to the sly fox......finally.

Well yesterday we had an experience that was a perfect example of how important it is to have your security system up and running at all times. Our security system, our 120 pound Rottie, Mufasa......needs his own security system which is an invisible fence. Well, with the lovely unpredictable New England weather......we had a surprise electrical storm sneak up on us this past weekend. Normally, when we know there is thunderstorms in the forecast, we simply shut off the fencing ahead of time. We were at a local country fair all weekend, so this time, it got zapped and blew out the transmitting unit. neat.


So between the blazing 90-100 days we've had these past couple days......and the fact that the fencing is out of commission.....I've had Moofie in the house with us. I am sure he was quite happy with my choice as I found him in this position often.

Well word must have gotten out that he off duty and was airing out every possible crevice of his body......because I heard a raucous going on outside my front window. When I stuck my head out the front door, I saw a slender red fox circling about six of my chickens in the front yard. He then proceeded to grab onto one of them by the back end but thankfully she managed to get away. I came out screaming like one of those old farm ladies with a mop in my hand instead of a loaded shotgun. Hey, cut me some slack.....it was the first thing I could grab and the mop wasn't locked up. I am guessing my high pitched screech alerted everyone else in the house as Nev came running with her bow and arrow and Ez on her heels armed with his slingshot. (ack, I am giving you quite the hillbilly visual, aren't I?)

Finally Mufasa woke up from his dream of being fanned by sexy Golden Labs feeding him slices of sirloin......(well I am guessing that part).......and came running out slobbering and barking about all the commotion. He picked up the scent of the fox and took off into the woods, but it was long gone.

We found our chicken, Pepper, and thankfully she only lost her tail feathers in that close call. Most visits by foxes don't end up this way. They are pretty quick to grab their lunch and go before you even know they where around. Usually, we just find a small pile of feathers from the struggle and play detective based on the colors/pattern of the feathers on who was the victim.

So you know I am gonna wrap this up with an analogy......only because I have been struggling with a spiritual dryness lately that I have been working on for a long time. Too long. And the enemy is like a sly fox. Reminds me of a song that I learned as a kid;

The Devil is a sly old fox,
If I could catch him
I would throw him in a box
I’d lock the door and throw away the key
For all the tricks he’s played on me.


I need an overhaul.....I need an awakening.......I need a revival. I need to be armed and refueled for the next spiritual attack....ready to handle the next family issue or financial set-back. I feel like I have had my security system out "for repairs" for a long time.....leaving me vulnerable to the enemy's attacks and lies, time and time again these past few months.

Because, like the issue of this fox returning for his next chicken dinner......it is not a matter of "if"......it's just a matter of "when".

And I want need to be ready.

Consider the sparrow......



Consider the sparrow they don’t plant or sow
But they’re fed by the Master who watches them grow

~from Consider the Lilies (Joe Hemphill)


Hello my friends......I know I have been MIA in the blogging world lately. No specific reason, just a combo of many reasons......my daughter is continuing to save the world, one goat at a time......we have been visiting friends, enjoying the weather/summer......and have been also been battling our share of trials (but keep reminding ourselves that these are just tests)

But sometimes trying to remember that these are just "tests" is a challenge. Sometimes in the middle of it all.....I will admit that I get anxious and worried. That brings out the control freak in me and then I start spinning my wheels trying to "fix" everything. But these things cannot be fixed by myself......I cannot make people do what I want them to do or make choices that I feel is best for them. I cannot magically make more money get deposited in my checking account, although that would be nice, wouldn't it?

This past weekend.......after all my attempts and scramblings, I ended up in that familiar place of weariness, frustration and helplessness. I felt physically and emotionally drained....I also have been noticing that my spiritual health is on the fritz as well. It's like I scramble and exhaust myself trying to find the answers and solutions, and then throw in a quick prayer to God at the end of the day. I am not sure if I feel my issues/problems are too insignificant for Him, that He has way more important issues to tend to....or that I am forgetting His promise that He will never leave me or forsake me. I am thinking the it is a little bit of both.

So yesterday morning.....still feeling spiritually dry.....I sat outside my front porch contemplating going to church. (how's that for brutal honesty about where I am at) As I drank my coffee, this teeny little bird flew over to the a dangling branch of my Weeping Cherry tree. The branch was right about eye level and she just sat there.....I swear......looking right at me. There was this amazing sense of peace about this little creature. She did not look concerned that the fragile branch she was perched on was going to give away, she did not look hungry or anxious of the threat of any predators (that would be one of my cats that was curled up under the tree liking his chops)

It was then that I felt God say these three powerful words to me.......

.....consider the sparrow......

It was then that I remembered what has been taught to me about the sparrow. So insignificant were these little birds that if you bought four sparrows the seller would throw in one more for free. It was this extra sparrow of which Jesus said, "and not one of them is forgotten before God." (Luke 12:6-7) He cares so much for His creations..... is so great that even this extra sparrow is noted and observed by God! So if we are taught about how He shows such concern for all the birds in our world.....how could I think he is not concerned and caring about me?And how I am far more precious to God than all the sparrows combined.

He also reminded me that He knows my troubles and understands my fears. I just need to trust Him just as this little sparrow does. She was not panicking, fluttering around......all flustered and worried. No....she was at peace....knowing that God's eye is on her at all times.

And I was pleasantly reminded that His eye is on me at all times.


And you as well.


Peace, love and stay barefoot~
*~Michelle~*

 

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