Posted in Uncategorized

Pray for Virginia Beach

Hours ago, a gunman(a current city employee) entered the Virginia Beach Municipal Center and opened fire, killing 11 people, injuring 6.  I’m sitting here watching the news in horror.

It’s crazy, you never think something like this will happen so close to home. (I live maybe 20 minutes away.) And as the news unfolds I am heartbroken knowing some families have had the lives altered forever.

We live in such a wicked world. Mass shootings have (unfortunately) become the norm. I hate it. It just breaks my heart.

Honestly? I’m at a loss for words.  I wanted to post this so that you all could be praying for Virginia Beach.

Posted in Faith, fear, Jesus, mental disorders, peace, phobias, worry

Fearless Faith

Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

Disclaimer: Satan is REALLY not wanting me to post this. WordPress keeps crashing on me and it’s getting me frustrated. However…I will persevere. I WILL get this post out.  

 

Satan knows and uses my anxiety to try to bring me down. He knows I’m a chronic worrier(which I’m trying to work on.)For as long as I can remember I’ve been on medication for my anxiety/depression/bipolar disorder. Yet I still suffer from panic attacks and will sometimes fall into a deep depression. Medicine doesn’t cure the issues I have (in fact I was placed on a new medication today) but it helps keep my emotions at bay. Thank God I’m currently stable but there was a time I wasn’t. The anxiety would pile up and then the panic attacks came like clockwork.

But thank God we have Someone on our side. Someone to root us on and Someone who will love us unconditionally and through His perfect love drives out all fears!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.~~~2 Timothy 1:7

We need to look to Christ when doubts start flying. When that anxiety kicks in and pushes you towards a full-blown panic attack.  When Satan whispers in your ear that “you’re not good enough.” Look to Christ!!! He will give you what you truly need!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

 

 

Posted in books

I Love to Read….Do You?

books on bookshelves
Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

It is no secret that I love to read. I’ve been reading all my life and came out of Kindergarten reading on a 2nd grade level. (I had the best teacher….my grandmother! She was my kindergarten teacher. But don’t for one second think I got special treatment. Nope, none. Nada. Well, actually, maybe on the occasion that the boys were bothering me. I was the only girl in a class of 5 so when they were bothering me my grandmother let me switch to another table.)

But I digress. LOL

Naturally, I’ve hit reading slumps from time to time but oh, when I pick up that book that makes me want to read,read, read….it’s exciting!

I just finished reading a book called Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. It was recommended to me by a coworker. (Oh yeah, I work in a bookstore…..it just adds to the madness of my love of books!) Anyway, she recommended Edenbrooke to me and I checked it out from the library and man! Y’all…I will be buying this book to add to my collection. Here is the synopsis:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

My friends all know that my absolute favorite author is Karen Kingsbury, the queen of Christian fiction! She has written soooo many books that I’ve lost count. My favorite series of hers is definitely the Baxter series which starts with the book Redemption closely followed by the Angels Walking series.

Reading is a way for me to unwind from the stressors of life. To engage in another world for a little while. Karen Kingsbury has a wonderful way of drawing the reader in. I have been known to finish one of her books in 1 day. Yep, 1 day.

How about you? Do you love to read? What are some of your favorite books?

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Sleeping In…..No More

I used to be able to sleep in until at least 9:00, 9:30. But as of lately, I’m waking up between 6 and 7. Guess my body just doesn’t need the extra hours of sleep. (Although my brain says otherwise)

But hey, it’s quiet in the house and I am able to get my devotions done without interruption. It’s God and me time. 🙂 I love it! I’m currently studying 1 Corinthians. I have the YouVersion app and I’m in the plan, “The Bible Project: Paul’s Letters. It’s a 60 day plan that covers all of Paul’s letters. It’s really good!


I’m going to be 36 next Wednesday! I’m really struggling with this because now I am going to be closer to my 40s than I am 30s. AAHHHH!!! I know, I know…..age is just a number, right?  Well, can that number go back to 21? LOL.

For my birthday this year, I started a fundraiser on Facebook to raise money for Mental Health America. As someone who suffers from mental illness (bipolar disorder) I struggle with the stigma that comes along with it. I want to bring awareness to this and hope to raise some money to help with the cause.


I hope you all have a great day!!

Posted in writers block, writing

“Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho…

….it’s off to work I go.”

Well, not for another hour but since I have time I thought I’d write a blog post.

I haven’t been doing much writing lately. Oh, I’ve been writing on here but I haven’t been working on any other projects. Everything has been sitting on the back burner as I try to figure out what to write.

I’ve been distracted as of late. I have been spending too much time on social media. Plus, I come home from work exhausted and not wanting to write. (Stupid fibromyalgia and brain fog)

When I was in the 4th grade we were asked to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. My little 9 year old self immediately put pencil to paper and wrote. Then it dawned on me. I wanted to be a writer! (I sure wish I had kept that essay.)

Writing was so much fun for me as I grew up. In high school, I started writing poetry and even had a couple of them published in anthologies, which my mom of course bought and they are now sitting in our living room.

But soon, my writing sort of hit a plateau. Writing just wasn’t fun for me anymore. And I didn’t understand why.

Of course, it was around this time that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was 17. Then about 5 years later I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I hated life, you guys. I hated it so much. I started writing again but it was dark stuff. Stuff I’d never share with anyone. In fact, I believe I’ve thrown it away.

I found Jesus through all of this and while I still struggle with my rollercoaster of emotions, I know that Jesus is with me and will get me through it all. I feel as God has called me to write. It’s been a passion of mine since I was 9 years old. I may have lost my way along the years but I know that if I turn my concerns over to Him, He will get me through this. 🙂

How do you write through the frustrations of writer’s block?

 

 

 

Posted in book review, books, christian living

Soul Detox, Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth

Some quotes:

As we see ourselves through the lens of our experiences, beliefs and perspectives, we all have our blind spots.

No matter how objective we hope to be, our viewpoint is always distorted to some–sometimes large–degree.

The longer we view ourselves through a distorted                                                           lens, the more likely we are to believe a distorted truth.

Groeschel really has a great way of grabbing the reader’s attention. I’ve already been underlining like crazy.

In a subsection entitled, “Flattery Will Get You Somewhere” Groeschel goes on to tell us that since we can only see ourselves from only one perspective it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of ourselves.

He’s totally right! Sometimes, well almost all the time, it takes other people to see what we can’t see in ourselves. We are in such denial that we have a problem that eventually we begin to believe the lie.

So why can’t we see these toxins in our own lives? Groeschel points us to the Bible where David writes in Psalm 36:2-3 that “in their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.” We fail to notice because we become so good at self deception.

close up of white syringe

Basically, we manufacture our own poison and administer regular doses to ourselves.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

WOW!! That quote really spoke to me. We get so caught up in the struggles and stressors of life and fail to pay attention to that small little white lie that we say won’t hurt anyone. Then the lie becomes bigger and bigger and soon we aren’t even under the realization that something is wrong. We believe we are fine. It’s the other people who are wrong. “I don’t have a problem, it’s you with the problem.”

We deny, suppress or minimize what is true. By default, we assert, adorn and elevate what is false. When we finally see the truth, we think the truth is a lie.

Groeschel presents another question to the reader: “how do we begin identifying our self told lies and replacing them with the truth?” According to Groeschel, we do a very thorough internal self examination. Spiritual toxins will “infuse your thinking as you wade through our culture.” We must examine our life and eliminate these toxins.

  • Examine your life for toxic behaviors–anything that distracts you from your eternal mission
  • Look within  for toxic emotions–any deep feelings that lead you away from God and not toward Him.
  • Take a long look at unhealthy consumptions–the media you consume, the web sites you visit, the people you spend the most time with.

I know that with me, social media definitely takes up a large chunk of my time. It’s something I’m trying to work on. I went on a media fast a few years ago. It’s probably time for another one.

I also struggle with my emotions sometimes. I allow Satan to use my weaknesses and have been known to fall into a deep depression. Being bipolar, sometimes I have a hard time with my emotions. Luckily, I’m on a medication that has me stable currently. If I sense a shift in emotions or if I begin to feel uneasy I try to focus my attention on the good things in life and what God has blessed me with.

Groeschel warns us that “the closer you get to uncovering a toxic killer in your life, the harder the enemy will fight to keep his grip.”

He’s right! Satan is always on the offense, looking to bring us down in any way he can.

When you clearly identify what is slowly killing you, you can take the toxic influences to Jesus for cleansing, purifying and healing.

There comes a time when we must come clean with these toxic behaviors. Because once we do, once we surrender it all to Christ, we will be set free! God’s truth sets us free!!

 

 

 

Posted in book review, books, christian living

Our Responsibility

sky sunset person silhouette
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hey guys! I hope your Saturday is going well!

I just wanted to share a couple of quotes from the introduction to the book, Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel that really got my attention.

Everything that we allow into our minds, hearts and lives-everything that we spend out time and money on-has an impact on how we grow, or don’t grow, spiritually.

It is OUR responsibility to discern what we let into our lives and what we keep out.

No one can do it for us. We must realize that what we say, or do can definitely have an impact on our lives. And no one can change us. Only the Lord can do that. We must surrender everything to the Lord and allow Him to be at the center of our lives.  With Him at the center, we will have an easier time discerning what is right and what is wrong.

Soul Detox is broken into 3 parts: Toxic Behaviors, Toxic Emotions and Toxic Influences.

I am starting Chapter One today: Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth.

Groeschel really has a way with words. I love reading his books and I’ve occasionally caught a few of his sermons online.


I hope and pray you all have a great Saturday!

 

Posted in book review, christian living, christianity, church

Soul Detox

I’m getting ready to start reading (again) Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel. I read this book awhile back but feel the need to reread it. Perhaps God is going to show me something I may have missed last time. I don’t know about you but  He tends to do that with me. 🙂

A quick summary of the book:

As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth.

Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.

By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God’s holiness.

I have quite a few books by Craig Groeschel. If you haven’t heard of him I definitely recommend that you check him out. He is the senior pastor of Life.Church.

New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, an innovative and pace setting church meeting in multiple locations around the United States and globally online, which also created the popular and free YouVersion Bible app. He is the author of several books, including Divine Direction, Liking Jesus, Fight, The Christian Atheist, and It. Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma. Visit http://www.craiggroeschel.com

Are you familiar with the Bible App, YouVersion? I use it every day and love the many devotionals you can find on this app. YouVersion was created by Life.Church.

As I venture back into this book, I will definitely keep you updated on what I’m learning at what the Lord is trying to teach me through this book. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in bible verses

Guard Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

silhouette photo of man leaning on heart shaped tree
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You”

” Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Our hearts are vulnerable. It is so easy to fall prey to the different desires the world tries to instill in us. But we must be careful. Satan will try to use anything to deter us away from God. Satan is pretty sneaky at using ploys to drag us away. 

In 1 Peter 5:8, it tells us to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The world is full of distractions that Satan will try to use to his advantage. We must be on the look out and be fully alert as to not fall into Satan’s trap. Satan knows our weaknesses and will not hesitate to use them against us. 

Stand firm in your faith. 

Guard your hearts. 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

My Flesh and Heart May Fail…

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Is it really only Monday??? Wow, this has been a long day. It was super crazy at work today because it was the first day of summer classes for TCC (Tidewater Community College). The phone was relentless, ringing off the hook. Sure it made the time go by but unfortunately for me when things get crazy like they did today I tend to get really flustered and feel totally overwhelmed!

I was sooo beyond relieved when 3:30 came around! Sometimes I wonder if I can handle this. Between my physical and mental disabilities I struggle quite a bit. I’m not trying to make excuses. It’s just the way it is! After being denied disability last year I had to face facts: I would have to force myself to go back to work. I knew it would be a struggle but I wasn’t expecting to feel this bad.

In my devotions I’ve been studying the book of Romans. In chapter 8 I came across this verse:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us

Romans 8:18

I know that in this world we are going to have suffering. Things are going to happen that just don’t make sense. Trials will arise. But as Paul writes, one day we will see glory. Those who have surrendered their lives to God will come face to face with the Lord and it will be paradise! Read what it says in 1 Peter:

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

Isn’t that amazing?

(by the way, I’m not sure I like this new editor layout. It’s definitely going to take getting used to. )