Yours Truly

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I started this blog several years ago as an outlet. To whomever reads my blog, I hope you are encouraged. I do my best to keep it short, so it can be a breath of fresh air.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Simon The Leper

Today in the middle of playing RJ asked if we could read about Simon the Leper before he went to bed. So, we read about Simon the Leper in the Bible. When Bob finished the story about how a women came with expensive perfume to anoint Jesus feet at Simon's' house. RJ wanted to know why his name was Simon the Leper, what did he look like.
The Bible dos not say much about Simon the Leper, but we do know he had a house full of people and Jesus was in it..therefore if he had a house and people were in it, he must have no longer been a leper. What we once were, we no longer are, but sometimes still carry the label. Yet, while we carry it, God can come and something miraculous can happen. We are redeemed, bought with a price. He took on our sins and we no longer are what we once were, when we are washed in the blood of the lamb.
God is Good!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lions Den

Tonight we read in our Bible the story about Daniel and the Lions Den. He was a man who put God first in all things and because of his good character there were others who wanted to destroy him. Yet, even when the "law" was adverse to his continuing to put God first in his life, he still stayed constant and unwavering in his dedication to God. How many times, do we falter and start to throw in the towel when opposition comes our way? I believe there will be a day when being a follower of Christ will not be tolerated. Already, you can see that glazed look people get in their eyes if you start to bring God into your conversation. I refuse to water down my devotion and love for Him. Take this whole world but give me Jesus. Daniel chose God first and even though he was thrown into a den of lions, he was not touched because God protected him. Keep God first in your life and even though the situation gets worse, God will get you through it and you will be victorious. Just as Daniel lived and was delivered of the lions den, God can and will deliver you out of your situation, as long as you keep Him first.
God is Good!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let It Go!

I would have to say that today's sermon preached by Rev. Robert Costa, was one of the most life changing sermons I have ever heard. It seems that there has been a theme for the month of January about taking back the promises of God. Today I left encouraged and strengthened to continue to believe and pray for a breakthrough for many things to happen this year. He talked about the three Heavenly dimensions and how we ask God for something and on it's way from God to us it can be delayed. He talked about how if we want someone to give something to us, we don't ask for it to be given to us from the object itself, but we ask the person holding it to "Let It Go" to us. I just sat there and all I could think about was how many times I had been told great things were going to happen and just when it looked like it was going to happen, something would block it. In prayer today I started calling these things out to be let go and put into our life. I want it all back and I believe that it will happen.
Hold on tight to your promises and when something grabs ahold of it to take it way from you, you tell it to "Let It Go!" God said it, you believe it and you will hold your promises in your hand!
God is Good!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Musical Boy

If you ask RJ if he would rather go to the Guitar Center or Toys R Us, he will not hesitate to say Guitar Center. At our local store, they know him and love it when he comes around.
We are very sure that music is going to be a big part of his life. Last week as we were getting ready for school, he got this look and pulled out his keyboard, he then proceeded to play Joy the World. I have to admit, I was floored and wished I had a camera nearby. However, he played it again for his dad after school, so I have a witness. I don't know what God has in store for RJ when it comes to music, it's very clear he has a gift in this area.
God is Good!

Friday, January 27, 2012

B is For...

Today RJ's class was learning the letter B. Each child was asked to bring to school something that started with the letter B. RJ said that he wanted to bring his yellow Bible he got when he was a baby. I told him that was a great idea..then he said: " Well, I can't bring it to school, because they don't talk about God there. At church they talk about God and I take my Bible there, but at school they don't. I'm afraid they will get mad at me and tell me I can't talk about God." I told him that it was a Quaker school and if he can't bring a Bible to a Quaker school, then something was very wrong. He finally decided to bring it to school and thankfully we were the first ones to arrive. His teacher asked him what his B thing was and he pulled our his yellow Bible and said: " This is my heart." She didn't skip a beat and asked him why it was his heart and he showed her the front of it and told her it was a Bible and she then said: " Oh, it's your heart because God is in your heart." He was so happy that she understood and she as well as the other teacher in the class told him what a great thing he had brought to class. I was so happy at how they let him share his "heart" with them and they welcomed it into the classroom. I was told that later in the day when he presented it to his class that he was so excited because it had three B's..1. Baby 2. Book 3. Bible.
I knew the day went well because when I picked him up, he came out singing and dancing : " Lord You are good, all the time, all the time you are good!"
Don't let fear of how someone might react keep you from sharing your heart, Christ Jesus. Be strong and not afraid. Not everyone will be receptive, but many will.
God is Good!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Now Faith Is

Tonight we had a guest speaker, Reverend Bob Costa, He spoke on Faith. His basis was that the past is trust, the future is hope, faith is now....We know what our past is, that does not change, when we think of the future, we have hope for things to come. Now, we have faith that what we hope for will come to pass. I had so many things running through my mind on things that I hope for. Once again, I decided to put faith in action so that the things I hope for will happen.
What is it that you hope for? Do you allow your past to stop your faith from taking flight and bringing it to pass? When your past failures rise up, remember that when you allowed faith to combine with hope things did come to pass. Hold on to those things and breath faith into them. God has not forgotten!
God is Good!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stars and Planets

RJ has developed a fascination with the Stars and Planets in the Universe. He is constantly begging Bob to show him videos on YouTube. He even "composed" a song on the piano called stars and planets. Yesterday, as he and Bob were watching such videos, I overheard RJ saying: " OH, I just love Nebula, they are my favorite in the stars and planets and OH I JUST LOVE Earth!" I was amazed at how much he was learning from these little YouTube videos. From there,we were discussing how big and great our God is. We are such little dots compared to the vastness of our world and our world is just a small dot in comparison to the planets and stars that surround us. YET, we serve a God who calls us the apple of His eye. How awesome is that!
God is Good!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Chicken

RJ has a new joke that he likes to tell. It goes something like this. " Why did the chicken cross the road?" When the answer is why..He says: " BECAUSE, bec,bec, bec, BECAUSE!". Of course it's a joke that can get annoying, but he is so tickled while telling it that you can't help but laugh too.
God is Good!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taste and See

This past Christmas there was a huge media push via billboards and subway adds from a group that boasts itself as being free from religion. Of course I think they should have the freedom to express their views, just as I like my freedom to express mine. I saw one of their billboards recently on our way into Manhattan and I was pondering life not knowing Jesus. I felt sad for them as I am sure they feel sad for me.
Today in church we had one of those church services that are out of the box and nothing goes according to schedule. So many people were connecting with God and you could see that lives were being changed for the good. As we were were being dismissed Bro. Jonathan Walker read from Psalms Chapter 34. When he got to verse: 8 (O taste and see that the LORD is good:blessed is the man that trusteth in him.) I remembered the billboard and I realized why they push so hard to get their word out. They have never tasted and seen that the Lord is good. All around me today people were getting a taste of Heaven. God's presence was very real and He was healing the sick in body, mind, heart and soul. Freedom in Christ was being made known. As we were tasting and seeing that the Lord is good, we were being filled with the goodness of Christ. You can look at the yummy food on the table, but will never now if it's good until you taste it. I challenge you to open your life to God. Take a taste of Him and you will see that He is good and when you do, you won't be able to take just one bite, you will keep coming back for more.
God is Good!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow!


We were woken up early this morning by a very excited little boy. His exact words were :" Dad, it's the Polar Express." It was snowing outside. RJ happens to love snow and has been anticipating it since September. Thus, when we didn't have snow by Christmas, he was very disappointed. He was so excited he was running around the house shouting "yippee"! We all bundled up and went outside and he helped Bob shovel the sidewalk. From there we took him for a sled ride around the block. We ended it by having a snow fight in the backyard. Even though I am a California girl, I had to say I was excited to see the snow too. It's just not a New York winter without snow. Of course, I feel for my cousin in Alaska who has so much snow, they don't know what to do.
I'm glad we stopped today to enjoy the simpleness of snow. RJ's grin on his face while we pulled him on the sled was priceless. Life is precious and short, don't get so busy that you forget to stop and go for a sled ride.
God is Good!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Super RJ

RJ has not been feeling well for the past couple of days and I have been waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. Tonight, I knew we were on the road to recovery when I saw that he had tied his Nay Nay(red blanket) around his neck and announced from the kitchen that Super RJ was here to save the day. I took my cue and pretended I was falling from the stairs. I have to yell out "Ay├║dame" (Spanish for help me). When he hears this he yells : "Dun dah dun, Super RJ is coming to save the day!" He then runs to my rescue and waits for me to throw my arms around him and give him a big hug and kiss. Right after the kiss, he gently pushes me away and looks me in the eyes and says. " OK, that's enough, I have to go now." and then "flies" away.
It's pretty funny and we enjoy a good laugh.
God is Good!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forgive and Forget

Tonight's lesson by Pastor Davis was pure meat and potatoes. He taught on Forgiveness. I appreciated how he broke it down and also how he went into detail regarding the forgetting part. We do forgive, but in reality in our humanness, we can't forget. What happened, happened, but as we forgive, it gets easier to move past the pain and hurt and live a free life. It does not mean we allow ourselves to be victimized over and over. I started thinking about my own experience in this. My biological dad was not the nicest person and did some things that should never have been done. I didn't know how much I hated him until I was a senior in high school. I was being given an award on live television from the Mayor and when I saw him I rolled my eyes and had a look of disgust on my face. The poor man was innocent, but he looked exactly like my biological dad. I was given a copy of the tape and when I saw it, I realized I had a problem and I needed to be free of it. In hating him, I had put myself in a cage. It took a while, but finally in college I found him and forgave him. The moment I did this, I felt like I was an Eagle soaring high and free. The full forgiveness, took many years and a lot of healing. I don't know where he is, but I can think of him and not "feel" anything. Truly in my heart I have forgiven him. Does that mean if he showed up at my door, I would allow him to cause the same harm? NO,but I am free and can pray for him without having anger or fear inside of me.
Because I forgave, I was set free and able to move on with my life.
Forgiving is not easy and I am sure I have hurt others and not known it. I know the pain of unforgiveness, I also know the freedom that forgiveness brings.
Forgive, let go, and allow God to be the one who causes the reaping to take place. If you don't forgive, then how can you be forgiven?
He died on the cross for us, isn't that enough for you to forgive?
God' grace is amazing.
God is Good!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Early Riser

This morning when it came time for 5 am prayer, we were discussing which one would go to the church for prayer. Normally, I go on Friday, but today we were thinking I would go. As we were talking about it, RJ walks into the room and says: " Dad, it's time to pray, I need you to come into the living room and make me milky so I can pray with you." Well that decided it and I went to the church for prayer and Bob and RJ prayed in the living room. It's funny, we were taking turns to not wake him up, and he was up before us in anticipation for an early prayer time with the Lord. The Bible teaches us to train up a child in the way he should go. Since he was born, he has woken up to see his father starting the day off in prayer. We start our day in prayer and end our day in prayer. This is a part of who we are and is now a part of who RJ is. We are so thankful for this!
God is Good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Doctor Visit

Taking RJ to the doctor is not a hard thing to do since he happens to adore his Pediatrician. Since this was a sick visit, I was not sure who he was going to see and when Dr. Johnson walked in he was thrilled.
It's amazing how much RJ has changed. He did most of the talking with her and told her how he was feeling and where it hurt and didn't hurt. He is at the beginning stage of an ear infection. She gave us a prescription for an antibiotic and I am sure he will be fine. He will be able to go back to school tomorrow and he is very excited to see all his friends.
I'm thankful it was something simple and so glad that he is already showing signs of getting better.
When we arrived home there was a package waiting for him from the Tolstads, Missionaries to Uganda. What a special surprise they sent him! They are moving bicycles made out of wire. I can't even do justice to describe them. RJ was thrilled and is going to give one of them to his school. In fact he was so excited, he called the office telling his daddy to come home and see them. It was so cute!
We are so grateful for the friendship we have made with the Tolstad Family.
God is Good!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Taking Care Circle

RJ has been battling a cough for a while now. Today he was having so many coughing spells, that we are going to take him to the doctor tomorrow. I'm a bit concerned about him since he had a mild fever with it and a girl in his class has come down with pneumonia. Thus, tomorrow instead of going back to school, we are going to see what we can do to take care of my poor boy.
Tonight RJ and I were sitting on the love seat cuddling because he was not feeling so good and Bob sits down and says he doesn't feel so good either. RJ promptly got up and said. " Well, since mommy takes care of me, I'm going to take care of you." With this he went and got the honey and a spoon and fed Bob a spoonful of honey. I then asked "If I'm taking care of you and your taking care of daddy, then does that mean daddy is going to take care of me?" RJ replied "No, you take care of daddy too."
Such is the life of a mother. Either way, it was cute to see him "take care" of his daddy.
God is Good!

Friday, January 13, 2012

5 AM Prayer

For the month of January we have been having 5 am prayer at the church on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I'm not an early riser, but I find when my turn comes (Bob and I take turns since RJ is still asleep), I fall asleep with a sense of anticipation the night before. These prayer meetings are amazing and the presence of God is so strong. I always leave amazed at how fast an hour went by and filled with the peace of God. I know that eternal things have taken place and the future has been changed. Most of all I leave feeling changed, tired, but changed. There is something so special about coming together with a group and praying together. I wish we had these more often and not just in January. I'm thankful for this time and it's a great way to start the year off.
Take time out to spend time with your Lord and Savior. He is waiting for you, even in the quiet time of the day, most of the world is asleep, God never sleeps. Climb into His lap, talk with Him, you will leave refreshed and ready for whatever comes your way.
God is Good!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cyprus

Tonight we had missionaries to Cyprus in our church. I enjoyed hearing him talk about how God opens doors that no one can open. He talked about doing what God calls you to do. I appreciate Missionaries who will take a step of faith and give their lives to serve others.
God is Good!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Not Forgotten

Several Sunday's ago, the youth choir sang. I don't know the title of the song, but it had a very big impact on RJ. These words stood out to him: " I am not forgotten, I am not forgotten, I am not forgotten, He knows my name." RJ was sitting on the pew and had this strange look on his face. I wanted to cry because what the youth choir didn't know was that very morning he was telling us that God had forgotten him. He felt like God didn't even know where he was. I asked him why he felt that way and he told me that he asked God to give him a baby brother or sister for Christmas and it didn't happen, so God must have forgotten about him. We did our best to reassure him that God heard his prayers. So, while the choir was singing it was going straight to his little heart and mind.
Tonight he was walking around the house all happy and singing " I am not forgotten." over and over again. Faith and Hope has been restored in my son.
Tonight we read from Luke about how our Father will not give us a stone if we ask for bread. Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. What is it that you have been asking for? Don't give up, you are not forgotten and He will answer and when He does, He won't give you a stone.

God is Good!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Taking It All Back

Today in church, the presence of the Lord was very encouraging. The choir sangs songs that lifted you up towards heaven. Pastor Davis preached a life changing sermon about the promises of God and taking back what the devil stole from you. I sat there thinking of all that had happened in 2011 and when alter call was given, I couldn't wait to get up front and start claiming the things that have been stolen from us. I worshiped the Lord with all I had within me. I still feel weak, but I wanted God to get the best I could give him today. This year I am believing that an abundance of rain from Heaven is going to pour on my family. I will not doubt and only trust and believe that God is going to do amazing things this year. I pray by faith that before the end of 2012 we will be expecting our second child. I pray by faith that this IBS will be completely healed from my body. I pray by faith that my family who does not walk with the Lord, will be in the fullness of Him. I pray by faith that this business transaction that Bob, Tim and Nick have been working on will come to pass. I pray by faith that before this year is over, we will be in the new church building. I give thanks in advance for what is going to happen this year and I hold and PUSH (pray until something happens)toward taking back everything the devil stole in 2011. I have had enough and I come out fighting. I fight by praise and worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords- Jesus!
God is Good!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Saturday Fun

My brother in law Joe and his wife Jennifer, their two boys Noah and Joe Joe, came up for the day. The weather was so beautiful that they along with RJ played in the backyard for hours. The boys behaved and I was able to sit on the porch and watch them run around and just be boys. It did my heart good to see RJ playing and laughing with his cousins. They showed him how to use all the different types of swings in his swing set and helped him to get out of the box in playing with his toys. In the middle of all the fun, Noah sat down next to me and we had a very nice chat. My heart soared when we began to talk about God and he started asking questions about Him. He is desiring to know God at a deeper level.
I am so thankful for the sunshine and warmth we had on a New York January day. I am thankful for a new year, for a chance to get my health back and most of all, I am so thankful for Jesus!

God is Good!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

IBS

Tonight the doctor gave me the good news confirming that I do not have cancer. The bad news was that in his words I have IBS 100%. He also told me I need to destress my life and gave me some very specific instructions. I want to get my health back on track and I'll do what he tells me to do. It's going to be a big lifestyle change in the way I eat and in other things as well.
Maybe one day, I'll be able to eat a cheeseburger again, for now, I'll be good and eat what is going to get my body back on track.

On the topic of food, I thought I would leave you with a cute RJ story. RJ loves cherries and especially loves maraschino cherries. Since maraschino cherries have sugar in them, he gets them once in a while. We were eating our dinner and he looks up at me and says " Mom, I ate all my food, can I have a red #40 Cherry?" I was laughing so hard. We do our best to keep him from eating food with Red #40 and he didn't know what the maraschino cherries were called and gave them a new name. Needless to say, he got to eat the cherry.

God is Good!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Major Change

For a while now, I have been getting very sick. I finally went to see the doctor and he referred me to a gastroenterologist. After testing, it was determined that I needed to have a colonoscopy. Colon Cancer runs in my family and even though I am 35, it was determined that I either had IBS or cancer. Thus, my new year started with the prep for a colonoscopy. Let's just say that the prep was not a fun experience and I hope I never have to do it again. The procedure itself was not so bad. The nurse was asking me where I would like to go with my son and I told her Disneyland with my family. That's the last thing I remembered saying and then I was out. When I woke up, I woke up talking about Disneyland...so very weird. The doctor said he didn't see any signs of cancer, but did a biopsy. I get the results tomorrow. Once home, I didn't do so well coming down from the anesthesia and became very sick. We almost went to the hospital, but I seemed to rally and by this morning, I was feeling a bit better. I'm still super weak and will soon know what my new way of eating is going to be. Our refrigerator is about to have a radical change of what it contains. However, I would rather have IBS, then cancer. I believe God can heal me and if He chooses not to, all things work together for the good.
God is Good!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012

Today is the first day of 2012. We spent the last day of 2011 cleaning our house and spent the last night of 2011 cleaning our spiritual house. Most of the day today, we organized and got our house completely in order. The Manners house is ready for a new year and a fresh start.
Our church will be going on a 21 day media fast and a 5 day food fast during the month of January. Also on MWF there were be 5 am prayer at the church. I LOVE it when we do this, those early morning prayers are amazing. Bob and I take turns, since RJ is still sleeping at this time and has school.
This morning we were discussing this with RJ and were figuring out how he could be a part of the fast. Of course since he is a growing boy, I'm not going to have him give up food, but he can give up candy/sugar for the 5 days. RJ loves his movie time he gets every day, so he is going to give up watching his favorite DVD and kids shows on Netflix for the next 21 days. It's going to be interesting to see how this all unfolds for him.
I anticipate that this new year is going to be a year of breakthroughs for us and a year of God's promises being fulfilled in our lives. We walk forward and cross over into our promised land.
I'm not going to make any resolutions, I don't like to make a promise that I may not be able to keep. However, I will continue to seek more of God and work at being a better wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.
God is Good!