Souly His is where my heart is. It is about me, and my journey to discover where He wants me to be. Here I will share devotions that touch me, ideas that inspire me, studies that enlighten me, and everything else between here and there...where ever there is. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Veganism and Christianity

Or, how becoming Vegan has made me a more effective Christian...

If you ever want to have a good conversational debate…no, maybe more like get someone’s attention to what your saying…or no, not even that even, more like find a way to have someone tell you that what you are doing is crazy. Yeah, that’s it; if you ever want to find a way to have someone tell you that what you are doing is crazy, then just tell them you’ve become vegan. I would assume you would get pretty much the same response if you told them you were just thinking about becoming vegan, but they would be doing it thinking they still had a chance to save you from the horrible fate you are about to subject yourself to! At least that’s been my experience.

For the month of November, I decided to try veganism. Not the best month to start, I agree, but thanksgiving turned out to not be my biggest challenge, the reaction people had to my decision was. When I was looking for information before making my decision, I happened upon a blog which advised knowing the reason you are becoming vegan, before starting. If you don’t take this all important step, your chances for success are slim. Another site, recommended finding support through others, either in the form of online groups or groups in the local area. Wow, it was only a diet change here; did I really need a support group for this?

25 days in, and many opinions later, I have done a lot of reflecting, that is, between episodes of being just plain irritable from the reaction of others. I have reflected on how best to handle having something I’ve embraced, be so rejected by others. I admit, I can be sensitive, you just don’t always see it on the outside. I’m not a wave maker. I don’t like when others are upset, especially if it has to do with me, and I certainly am not one to completely buck the crowd. But in this area I thought I would, since I can do without meat anyway and my research showed so many health benefits.

So in my reflective funk I thought about how it’s easier to tell people I am a Christian who is fully committed to Christ, than it is to tell them I’m vegan. Well, the resulting response is easier to take anyway. But seriously, I feel that by being vegan and continually needing to defend my new eating style, I am also becoming a better witness to Christ, by being less sensitive to a negative reaction and better able to defend my position, which may be completely different than yours. People didn’t accept Christ, but He never stopped doing the work he was sent here to do. And He has begun a good work in me; may I never be too worried about my own feelings to be able to complete it. Even if, for me, it takes becoming a vegan, to strengthen that area of sensitivity in my life.

Got to run now, my tofu is ready!

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in [me] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6 (NAS)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Food Delights

Ok, admittedly today’s post is not the most spiritual of all posts, unless you think of food in a spiritual, or dare I say, heavenly way.

Last week at the health food store, while looking for my extra virgin coconut oil, I found raw coconut butter and couldn’t resist the buy. I love coconut and figured I would could think of something to do with it. While Google’ing ways to use this new confection, I happened upon Chocolate Covered Katie and this post “Use #1,000 for Coconut Butter.” Reality is, she loves it as much as I have discovered I do, and her 1000 ways are pretty much to top anything with it and make it taste better :) I'm certain if the Isrealites would have had this to top their mana with they wouldn't have had to beg God for other things to eat (ok, maybe not, but it's a consideration).

My first discovery (after eating it right out of the jar that is) inspired by CCK’s numerous ways to eat oatmeal, was to top oatmeal with it, then sprinkle it with cocoa powder, turbinado sugar and top it all with coconut milk. I was in heaven and couldn’t wait for breakfast the next day.

So, why am I telling you all this? Am I now going to start writing about recipes and new healthy food discoveries? Or did I just feel an overwhelming urge to share with you the wonders of Artisana Coconut butter? Well, while I think everyone should try some of this amazing product (coconut is SO good for you), the real reason is CCK’s give away today. A jar of this amazing stuff, plus a bunch of samples of some other good stuff :)

So, if you’ve never visited my blog before, or if today’s post isn’t quite what you were looking for, I invite you to go to some of my older posts where I talk about things like God and sin and relationships (not necessarily in that order).

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4). I hope I win!!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Start Over

This is totally borrowed, but worth sharing...


If you've started out in pursuit of your goal
And you've really tried with your heart and your soul,
but somehow things got out of control---

When you've tried your best to do what you should
And you thought this time that you surely would,
But once again, you didn't do good---

When you've worked so hard to follow a dieters way
And you fought to win a victory each day.
But one more time you went astray---

When you've tried so hard to yourself to be true
And do the things that you know you should do,
But once again you failed to come through---

When the road to success seemed much too long
And each temptation was oh so strong
And once again you gave in to wrong---

When you've told your friends what you planned to do
And trusted them to help you through
But soon discovered it's up to you---

When you know you must be physically fit,
But your hope seems gone and you're stuck in a pit
That's not the time for you to quit---

When the week seems long and successes few
And at weigh-in time you're feeling blue,
Remember tomorrow is just for you---

To start again means a victory's been won
And starting over again means a race well run
And starting over again proves it can be done
So don't just sit there---

~Author Unknown~

Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. ~ Philippians 13:3b (NKJV)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spiritual Leadership in the Home

I have had a few recent conversations, all with other women, about spiritual leadership in the home. Apparently, many wives feel let down in this area, which must be a common thing since Sanctus Real even wrote a song about it called "Lead Me".

Most of the time I try to defend the husband and direct the wife to look at the spiritual things he DOES do. For example, is he a good spiritual example in his own devotional, or prayer life?

So this led me to wonder if perhaps, in all of the ways husbands and wives differ, if this is just another area where we are thinking, or expecting, one thing and the husband has another totally different idea.

Like showing love. Husbands feel they are showing love when they go to work and support the family. Their long hours are an expression of how much they love us. In their mind anyway. Woman tend to want the husband to stay home more and spend quality time with them, cuddling and sharing their feelings ;)

Anyway, because I can, I decided to write a survey and see if there really is a different way of thinking between husbands and wives, as far as spiritual leadership in our homes. And I'm inviting you to take it, and ask others to take it, too. Keep in mind that to have an effective survey, I need men to participate, too ;)

So here's the link: spiritual-leader-survey There are only 5 questions, so it should only take about 5-10 minutes, depending on the length of your answers. And please be candid, everything is anonymous.

Hopefully, I will have some good responses to share later and help us gain much needed insight in this area. Or...the answers will all be about the same and men will have to search their hearts in order to step it up!

Thanks for participating.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"You complete me."

Ever wonder why opposites attract?

Many remember the now famous line from the movie Jerry Mcguire, when Tom Cruise lovingly says to Renée Zellweger, "You complete me." A famous line from a movie yes, but have you considered that it might also be biblical? In Genesis 2:18 God states "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. A "helper suitable for him", it doesn't say one just like him, but instead suitable for him. One who completes him. One who will prepare the meal that he has hunted.

I don't know about you, but I would much rather let him go out and do the hunting and killing, while I stay in and sweep the cave!

Isn't it wonderful that God thought of all that when he created the first married couple?

So I challenge you to stop fighting your differences, and instead embrace them, having an attitude of gratefulness for the one God has provided to complete you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Convergence - Where Faith Meets Life

I want to announce a womens event coming up at WWCN on Saturday, September 25th (9a-2p).

My friend Nicole Wick and Crystal Renaud, Executive Director of Dirty Girls Ministries, will discuss God, sex, sin, and the power of community. If you’re in the Detroit area we would love for you to join us! More info and registration can be found HERE. (The cost is only $15, includes breakfast, lunch AND child care!!)

I would love to see every woman I know attending. Trust me, if the subject of pornagraphy doesn't affect you personally, it affects someone close to you and most likely you don't even know about it.

If you’re wondering what Convergence is, here is some info from the website:

When the deepest and most relevant issues of life become the elephant in the “church room,” people suffer in silence, feel alone, and entertain sin. Yet this was never Jesus’ plan for his people. Rather, Jesus has called Christians to journey with one another as we center our lives on Him.

Whether directly or indirectly, sexual sin has impacted your life or the life of someone you know. Drawing from their own personal testimonies, Nicole Wick and Crystal Renaud will share their stories of Christ’s victory in their lives, as well as how an environment of honesty, compassion, and love creates an atmosphere for support and healing.

We’ll also be joined by Covenant Eyes who will be offering some Christian based solutions for internet safety, accountability, and filtering.

And this from Nicoles post...

Obviously this event is designed for women who have a history of sexual sin or abuse, or for wives who have a husband who has struggled with sexual sin. If that isn’t you, I bet you’re wondering if this conference is for you. Here is a brief list of other people that I think should attend this event:

~ Women who are involved in a church, small group, or women’s ministry, and as a result may encounter other women who need support in this area.
~ Women who are involved in youth or children’s ministry and may encounter teens or pre-teens struggling in this area
~ Women who have friend, family member, or co worker who may be struggling with a secret sexual sin personally or in their marriage
~ Women who are married
~ Women who hope to someday be married
~ Women who parent small children
~ Women who parent teen children
~ Women who parent adult children
~ Women who have internet access in their homes
~ Women who have (or whose husbands have) internet access at their jobs
~ Women who own a television (especially cable television)
~ Women who have any of the following delivered to them or their husband: Playboy, Penthouse, Victoria’s Secret catalog, Maxim, the Target Sunday circular, the JCPenny catalog, Sports Illustrated…
~ Women who have a smart phone or iPhone
~ Women who have a husband or child that owns a smart phone or iPhone

If you fit one or more of these, you should seriously consider attending Convergence. I hope to see you there!

Houston we have a problem...

Everyone is familiar with the 1st part of the 23rd Psalm “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...” it’s read at funerals mostly. But what is death? True death is a separation from God. We are promised eternal life, so what then is the “shadow of death?” Could it be sin? Sin separates us from God. Fortunately for us, God sent His son to overcome death and sin, but most of us aren’t immediately freed from the bondage as soon as we accept the Savior. We spend time in the shadows, looking desperately for God to be near us, to comfort us, to keep us from fearing life outside of our sin. Or, in other words, life as we are so accustomed.

As Christians many of us live by the rule that we are to hate the sin but love the sinner. But the reality is most of us don’t know what this looks like, because the sin makes us too uncomfortable. We’re fine with it if the sinner turns from the sin the 1st time they walk into church, but what if they don’t? Do we have the ability to walk beside them through the struggle to overcome their sin? Or what if they don’t even see it as sin, what then?

That's where the problem comes in. We go to church looking for a community of believers who will accept us, and love us, and walk with us. Even if we are still in the shadow. But the church community isn't always very good at it. Or at least I'm not always very good at it. I sometimes feel like I live in a bubble. I am unaware of many of the real life, everyday struggles that many people, Christians included, are going through. And if I become aware of them I'm not always sure of how to handle them, so I tend to shy away from the reality of them. The truth is that I have a lot of learning to do.

When I first started in marriage ministry I was told to continually educate myself on marriage matters. What if the same thing was done by all of us, in any area we were unfamiliar with? Not only would it help us guard our own hearts and minds, but also help us, help others. It's a win-win.

Convergence (see following post) is a good place to start. "Where faith meets life." Our intent is to have events throughout the year to give people the opportunity to get the help they need, or the education to help those in need.

Either way you can't lose.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I am blessed!

This past week I have been gifted with a round trip ticket to Virginia Beach to see my daughter and her family, a pair of Brooks Running shoes won at an expo while in VA Beach, and dinner with 6 very special people at an amazing Italian restaurant. I am blessed!

However, when I think about the blessings of this past week, it makes me stop and think about Gods blessings and how they relate to my Christian walk. I thank God continually for His everyday blessings. An amazing husband, a beautiful family, a job I love, a church family second to none, and the list goes on. But in all of the blessing received this week I thought about what I would do if I didn’t have all of this temporal goodness in my life. Would I still be praising Him in the storm?

James 1:12 reads “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Now there is the ultimate blessing! The rest of this is just fluff. Enjoyable fluff, yes, but still fluff.

So while I am incredibly grateful for all of the blessings in my life, and the additional gifts bestowed this week, I am also thankful that no matter what, if I remain faithful, I am promised the blessing of an eternal life with Jesus.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Not About You

A couple of years ago I had a man/woman epiphany. I've shared it with many, but just in case you are one who hasn't heard it, here it is....

While women have a tendency to think about how EVERY decision is going to affect EVERYbody, men typically don't think beyond the decision or action. Case in point, wall sconces (for the men reading this, sconces are candles that hang on the wall). Women light the candles thinking they'll make the room smell good, and the flicker will be pretty, and besides who wants a sconce that just hangs there. Men see the flame and think "oh, fire" and blow them out.

Now, onto the second part of this epiphany. We (women mostly, but humans in general) take everything personally. Woman lights the candle and the man thinks she doesn't respect his responsibility to keep them safe. Man blows it out and she thinks he doesn't care enough about her to let her have things she enjoys. You get my point.

Or do you? If you do, and you're are married, this concept could be the difference between contentment and misery. I was reading through some of my marriage materials tonight and found a note I had written in a marriage counseling certification class. Simply, "Feeling misunderstood is a major influence for divorced couples." This same booklet had the following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "It is a luxury to be understood." And yet we take it personally when we feel misunderstood.

What if, when we felt misunderstood, or we have a disagreement with our spouse or others, we stop and think about the fact that it's not personal. What if it's not about us, but simply a lack of it being about us? Not every decision has evil motivation behind it. I would even bet that MOST decisions don't. We think in the moment, not necessarily how the world will be affected by our feelings, decisions or actions.

Now I realize that the women reading this are thinking, "Yeah, well he should think about me when he says something or makes a decision to do something. Anyway, if he really loved me he would." I know this, because it would have been my thought at one point. But personally, I now think that men are not wired that way, and women can fall into the same category about some things. It's a learned behavior and one that takes time.

So, here's an experiment...for the next week, whenever your spouse says or does something that makes you angry, or makes you feel misunderstood, think about how it's probably not about you. It was not a personal, malicious attack against you. It was simply a decision, comment or action done in spite of you.

The secret is to learn each other well enough to be able to naturally make decisions, or comments, or actions which don't offend or make the other feel misunderstood. But that comes with time...and we'll never be able to get there if we don't take the time to understand that it's not about us.

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know if you tried it, and how the experiment worked for you.

"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)

Does He answer? Yes! He does!

So when I pulled into work this morning one of the guys from our office was walking in and saw me. Well I stayed in my car, as usual, to have my prayer and bible reading time. When I came in about 20 minutes later he asked "what do you do out there, talk to somebody?" I answered, "yes, I talk to God". He asked me if he answers and I said "yes, He does...yes, He does..."

It brought a smile to my face (that I can't seem to get off) so I wanted to share :)

God is good. All the time!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abuntantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3:20 (NKJ)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My lesson in the clouds...

“Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” Job 2:10b

During our Night of Worship last night, our worship leader, John, shared about how he was from the south and what he has struggled with the most in moving to Michigan, is the winter. As he put it, “the long, dark, cold, miserable winter." But then he talked about spring and the beauty of the flowers coming up and the grass turning green and the weather becoming warmer with the promise of summer. It reminded me of a sunrise I saw one morning, an amazingly beautiful sunrise, with a full rainbow of color. When I saw it, I thought about how it was the clouds reflecting the colors, which made it so beautiful. Otherwise, it would have been an ordinary sunrise, not that I'm minimizing the beauty of that, but perhaps one that I wouldn't have even noticed. On that morning I thought about how we are, especially as Christ followers, we want the beauty, we just don’t necessarily want to live through the cloudy days to get there. Or as John put it, maybe we can appreciate the spring, simply because we’ve lived through the winter.

Job knew about trouble. He had already lost everything and his wife was telling him to “curse God and die.” (2:9) Yet Job held on, I imagine with all that he had. Many who have lived through a deep, dark valley in their life have expressed that they wouldn’t go back and do it differently, because they wouldn’t want to give up the closeness they felt to God while in that valley.
This morning at bible study one shared, and all agreed, that it’s so much easier to cling to God and surrender to His will with the big, I mean really big, things, than it is in the little day to day things. But what would life be like if we clung daily to Him as He so desires us to do?

We have to remember that the reason we can surrender is because we have a God we can trust. And even though we might not be able to see what He has in store for us, we have to trust that it it's probably bigger than we can even imagine, or hope for, or dream. And we have to learn to accept the trials that come and not just the blessing, and remember that we only have the rainbow because we've had the rain.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here. The question has so many different paths of reasoning. "What am I doing here?" Or, "What am I doing here?" Or even, "What am I doing here?" While I don't necessarily know why I am here doing what I'm doing, I do know what I'm trying to do here. I'm trying to build a ministry. But God ever so gently reminds me that it is not up to me to build it, but to trust in Him. Then I go back to the sermon message a few weeks ago, where we were reminded that God probably isn't going to give us more to do, if we haven't already done what he's previously asked of us. I wanted to go back to school, but didn't feel like I should take the loans to do it. So I found a free study, with pretty much the same curriculum, but no degree. I know that I need the knowledge more than the degree, yet I haven't even completed one assignment. This type of study, where you work at your own pace, is a real stretch for me. I prefer the plans all laid out and and the due dates assigned. But I know this is something God is asking me to complete.

I also met an amazing woman with a speaking ministry a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned us perhaps speaking together. What an opportunity! Yet, I haven't followed up on it. So what am I doing here? Paul had the same problem at times, Romans 7:16 says, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

I want to let God use me to speak to others about how we can experience His grace, His strength and His courage. But so often I waste the time I should be using for that purpose, or I find I truly need the lesson for myself that day. I need to continually remind myself of Philippians 3:13 and forget[ting] what lies behind [me] (and the mistakes I've made trying to get where He wants me to be) and strain[ing] forward to what lies ahead.

I am so thankful that the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. His faithfulness is great; and His mercies begin a fresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

HIS in Service (and I can't do it on my own),

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things that make me go hmmm...?

So as I do my (almost) daily Bible reading (I try to do daily, but haven't accomplished that, yet. Discipline, I know), I have been coming across things that I never noticed before. Obviously they've always been there, but apparently I've skimmed over and missed them. I've decided to start leaving these little things that make me go hmmm...? for a couple of reasons. One, for input. Feel free to leave some. Another reason is to have a place to come back to as I go deeper and deeper in my journey. Perhaps one day I myself will have more to add to these things.

So, to start with, here are the most recent things that I've pondered as I make my way through Acts:

  • In Chapter 8 after Philip preached to, and baptized the eunuch, v39 says "Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more"... and then it goes on in v40 to say "But Philip was found at Azotus." Wow, really? Philip was beamed to Azotus?
  • In Chapter 16 Luke goes from 3rd person to 1st person right after Paul had the vision of the Macedonian man asking him to come and help (v 10-v 17). Apparently Luke joined Paul, Silas and Timothy at his point. I find it interesting that Luke is in and out of the story, yet to my knowledge he is never mentioned by anyone in all of the new testament.
So there you have it. My ponderings of the day...
Feel free to join in :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feeling called

It all started about 30 years ago when I first accepted Christ as my Savior. We went to a little Assembly of God church in Detroit. Every Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday night we were there. I learned true worship there, and I loved it. I learned that Jesus wasn't someone who was, but someone who is. And this is where the stirrings began.
I remember from that time, whenever I would hear a revival speaker or a missionary speak, I would feel like I was somehow being called into the ministry. The problem (for me anyway) is that I thought everyone had these stirrings during revival. It wasn't until a year or two ago that I found out that wasn't the case.
So me...Called...Truly called. To what you might ask? Well, I don't have that answer yet. Besides, recognizing a call is all still pretty new to me, so I'm not so certain I'm supposed to know yet. And so I prepare, without knowing exactly what I'm preparing for, but trusting that He will show me as soon as I need to know.