Sunday, December 31, 2017
We started our last day of 2017 at the best place, Bethel. There is no other place I would rather be. Bro. Davis preached direction for 2018. I plan to share it tomorrow along with how we will be doing a 21 day of fasting and prayer as a church. Last night I mentioned, I usually have direction. I do believe this next year will be a year of breakthroughs in many areas. When church ended, I went to the store to pick up our New Years Eve Dinner. I was going to pick up a chicken to roast in the oven and I realized that Lamb was actually cheaper. As I picked it up, I could hear clear as day, a whisper in my ear. We are entering a time of feasting and when Pastor said it was a time of Breakthroughs, that included my family. I put the lamb in my grocery cart and under my breath gave thanks to the Lord for his promises. This past year was so rough that I am holding on to this promise with blind faith. I know that in the physical, next week, we will be fasting. However, I believe it will be the catalyst for an abundance of milk and honey in our life. 2017 I say goodbye to you and I must have hope and trust that 2018 will be so much more the better. Regardless, God has been my constant and no matter what happens, he will still be my solid rock that I stand upon. God is good.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
I know that life has it's seasons. I also understand that just because the numbers of a year changes, doesn't mean that the life season you are in is completed. 2016 and 2017 were rough. Both of my mom's had major health setbacks. I almost lost both of them. My health took me for a wild ride as well. This past year we have lost so many loved ones that I find myself tired of crying. Good things happened this year as well. I know not to focus on the negatives. I declared that 2017 would be a year of miracles. Well, I can tell you that in our home we have been walking the walk of faith and have watched God miraculously make a way every single day for us. It's been a tough and trying year. It's been a season on strengthening in our lives. I have to be honest and say that I hope and pray in 2018 that we have a year of breakthroughs. Normally around this time, I have a word or an idea of what the new year will hold. We have one more day left and I am still not sure what it will bring. I do know that God is with us. I do know that regardless of what takes place, there will be good days and bad days. I just hope in 2018 there are more good days than bad days. In everything, I give thanks and place my trust in Christ alone. God is good.
Friday, December 29, 2017
I live in NY. I am surrounded by people in all walks of life. Some are extremely financially sound while others it's a daily grind to make an extra dollar. They are Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters and a Friend to someone. Every morning there is some type of routine. None perfect, even if they think they are, they are not. Seeking to have it all. Can you really have it all? I guess it depends on what your all is. I think in life it's ok to want things. It's ok to work towards things. It's ok to enjoy things. I just don't think it's ok for the things to be what you live for. Things are meaningless when you die. You can't take things with you. Your legacy lives on. What you did while you are alive lives on. Showing kindness to others lives on. Doing good for others lives on. Being unkind lives on too. I think having it all is ok...it just depends on what your all is. I would love to have all the fruit of the spirit active in my life. This is something I am working towards. I would love to have a deep walk with God. I am working towards this too. I would love to know that my marriage is sound and thankfully, it is. I have been blessed with a very sweet and kind little boy. My nephew is doing great while he lives with us. These are part of having it all..these are good things. I try to live a Christ centered life. I don't always make it, but I do try. I'm not the wealthiest by means of my bank account, but I'm rich in my home life and church life. When my life ends, whenever that may be, I hope people will see that my all was a good all. To have made a positive impact on others. That the love of Christ shone through me. That my husband and son can say they were deeply loved by me. Who knows, maybe one day I will have more money then I know what to do with. Maybe, my life will be a one day at a time sweet Jesus. Regardless, up to this day, the Lord has been good and as far as I am concerned, I have it all. I have all that God has for me at this moment. I have God in my life. I have peace, love and joy. I am blessed. God is good.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Christmas Eve it was time for the seafood feast. We fried the shrimp and fish. Chilled shrimp was ready to eat. Fettuccini arrived warm for the plate. On Christmas Eve the door is always open and all are welcome to join the feast. Once your belly is full and you are ready for more, delicious sweet treats await. This year, we had a surprise. A boy known as Blue to us all, gave our hearts a happy surprise. He was home from the Navy and came to give hugs and shouts of joy filled the air. As the evening went on, our home filled with friends and loved ones. The sound of children's laughter filled the air. Cousins crowded around their stockings to see what they would find there. An evening of peace, feasting and memory making. It was a blessed Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Presents were opened and evidence was appeared that Santa had been there. A roast beast made it's yearly display and another food feast made it's array. Once again, the house was filled with friends and loved ones. I give thanks for Christmas Day, for it was a day of grace. Soon it was time to say our goodbyes and to home we returned. Our trunk filled with gifts and our hearts full of the Hope of Christmas. God is good.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Today was Christmas Day in our home. For the first time, RJ did not wake us up at 4 in the morning. RJ did wake us up excited that Santa and Christmas had arrived. Since this was Pearl's second Christmas, she was just as excited because she wanted to see what was in her stocking too. We opened our gifts and enjoyed an early dinner of Christmas Goose. Everyone got something they were not expecting and seeing the delight on their faces as a lot of fun for me. We gave RJ a very special gift this year. He is a big fan of Impact Junkie and really looks up to the director of the program. We contacted them to see if they could make an RJ sized version of Bro. Harding's backpack he uses on his trips. To our delight this was a possibility. RJ's face when he opened his gift was priceless. He didn't think it would be possible for him to have his very own Impact Junkie backpack. Of course, he was also happy when his dad gave him a Hess Truck too. RJ is getting older and we felt it was time to explain to him the spirit and meaning of Christmas. He already knows that we are celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus. We also, have Santa in our home and we explained to him who the real person is that Santa Clause came from. It's his turn now to be Santa to others, to give a gift without expecting nothing in return. To give a gift without the person knowing it came from you. He was given a Santa Hat with his name engraved on it. He took it pretty well and understood. Santa will still come every year to our home. RJ just gets to be Santa too for someone else. It's been a very sweet Christmas Day today in our home. We are thankful for a day of rest and peace. God is good.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Presently, RJ is on his school Holiday Break. We have been spending our time just being together. Since we spend Christmas in NJ with family we are getting ready for an early Christmas in our home. I'm thankful that we can go away and know that a friend keeps an eye on our home. Tomorrow, we will bake cookies and a birthday cake for Jesus. The Santa topic has been coming up a lot. RJ is beginning to doubt so we are explaining to him where Santa came from and who Saint Nicholas really was. He already knows the true meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus. He also knows that giving is what this is really all about. This year he didn't ask for much for himself, instead he asked for gifts for others. RJ is a very good boy and we are blessed. Tomorrow will be our Christmas Eve. It's been busy this December, but it's a good busy. This year has been a rough one in many ways and I will be glad to see a new year come to us. God is good.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
This past weekend, Bob, RJ and I drove a U-Haul truck filled with coats and toys to Haysi, Va. It takes around 12 hours each way. We started out from NY Thursday afternoon and arrived in Haysi at around 1 in the morning on Friday. We deeply appreciate Breaks Interstate Park for their kindness in donating a room for us. We were thankful for a warm room and comfortable bed to get some sleep before we were to be at Sandlick Elementary later that morning. Due to the generosity of RJ's school, Portledge, we were able to give coats to pretty much all of the children who were in the most need of a coat. We had plenty of gifts for them as well. Some of those who work for our company, Superior Fabrication, came to help unload the U-Haul. It was a nice treat when the Mayor, Larry Yates, stopped by to lend a helping hand. We deeply appreciate U-Haul's generosity in donating the truck for the trip. We literally drove there, slept for a few hours and later in the morning, gave the coats and gifts to the children. From there we said our goodbyes and headed back down the mountain and home to NY. We arrived home this morning around 4am. Our bodies are very tired, but our hearts are full. I enjoyed seeing the teachers and the staff at Sandlick Elementary. They truly care about their students and the families. I know a lot of other organizations gave this year and it makes my heart smile when I hear this. We brought RJ with us this year and he worked hard as the elf guiding the children to their gifts and making sure those in the most need received a coat. We find great joy in giving. It his heartbreaking at times. Many of the children were so excited to have a coat. Most of them were telling us that they were going to sleep in their coat because it made them feel warm and it was very cold outside. They were more excited over a coat than a toy. It's humbling and heartbreaking. The momma in me wants to rescue all of them. I know most of them come from loving homes. They just happen to live in an area that is going through some very hard times. I can say we could sense hope in the air. New things are coming to the Appalachian Mountains. Coal mining won't always be around and thankfully, there are other options that are coming their way. I love the Appalachian Mountains, it's a special place. I'm thankful we were able to bring joy to the hearts of the children and a sparkle to their eyes. We even had two large doll houses that we randomly picked names for each house. One of the recipients whispered in my ear that she loved the doll house, but would rather have a coat, because she really needed it. I whispered back to her that she can have both. She was so happy that she kept hugging me. She had made a necklace out of yarn earlier in the day. It was hanging around her neck. The necklace had a tiny bell attached. She hugged me tight and gave me her little bell necklace. It's a gift I will treasure for the rest of my life. Appreciate what you have. Give to others. This Christmas Season, do something kind for someone else. You will find that in this action, there is a pure joy that fills your heart. It truly is much better to give than to receive. God is good.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Over the past few year RJ's school has done a clothing/toy drive for the children in the Appalachian Mountains. The particular area we go to is a very special place to our family. It started with RJ wanting to bring Christmas to one child. This turned into a mitten tree so that the children will not have cold hands. Today, it is a full blown coat and toy drive that brings much joy to everyone involved. Due to the volume of items that are donated, U-Haul generously donates one of their trucks for us to deliver the items. We are very appreciative of this. Tomorrow, we will load the U-Haul truck and drive to Haysi, Va. Its a long and beautiful drive. I am looking forward to seeing my beloved mountains again. I can't wait to hug the children and watch their faces light up as the Hope of Christmas is brought to them. A place that it seems the world has forgotten will see that they are in fact loved a great deal by a wonderful place in NY called Portledge School. We are thankful for our sweet boy who has such a big and tender heart. This season is to be about giving. It truly is a joy to give. God is good.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Tonight was the 5th and 6th grade concert at RJ's school. RJ was very excited about the concert. We thought every did great. RJ looked like he was going to cry and we asked him later why. He told us that they made about 20 mistakes. He was upset because he wanted it to be perfect. We explained to him that when performing before a live audience, no one knows if you make a mistake. Just enjoy yourself and when you make mistake, keep on going and finish the song. RJ has perfect pitch, so I am sure he heard all the mistakes. These things bother him. Regardless, they all did a good job and we were happy just to be there to see our boy. They are all growing up quickly. Tonight was a peaceful night and I'm grateful for it. We had another bomb go off in NYC today. By God's grace it didn't do what it was supposed to do and there were no deaths. Hold your loved ones close to you. Cherish them, you don't know what tomorrow holds. God is good.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Yesterday, we had a good amount of snowfall. We had a good time playing in the fresh snow. Thankfully, it was not enough to cancel The Lamb Of God concert taking place. Due to the extreme interest, we only had tickets for the Saturday Evening concert. Our family from NJ were going to come and join us, but due to the weather, they were not able to come. My husband volunteered as an usher, while RJ and I scored front row seats. My nephew Ross is in the play this year as well as my brother in law Tim. The concert has a drama interwoven through out. The singing was magnificent and the actors did a great job. Most of all you could feel that Jesus was there. He is the reason for this season. I'm thankful and appreciate all the time and effort that is put into this production. I'm once again amazed at the talent that is in our church. It really is a good concert and I would say as good as something you would see on Broadway. Actually, I say it's better, because the peace of God is there. The concert is free and I'm glad it's this way. If they charged, families would not be able to come. The best story every told is about a baby born in a manger who grew up to be the Savior of the world. I'm so thankful this is not just a story, but truth for me and you. God is good.
Friday, December 08, 2017
This past Thursday Night, Bro. Joe Ferragamo taught a lesson on "Necessity Of Forgiveness". His main text was taken from Mathew 18:23. It's natural for it to be difficult sometimes for us to forgive others. There is a strong attitude in the world today of being unforgiving. People want an eye for an eye. You hurt me, I hurt you. Many times you can hear someone say they don't get mad, they get even. When you have unforgiveness towards a brother or sister, it hinders your relationship. This takes a foothold on your life. It's necessary to forgive if you call yourself a Christian. We read in the Bible about a King and his servant. The servant owed the king a great debt. The king decided to forgive the servant. Later a fellow servant came to the forgiven servant and was not able to pay their debt. The forgiven servant did not respond with mercy. When the king heard of this, he was very angry. We owe God and unpayable debt. If he forgives us of our sins, we must be willing to forgive others. Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Forgiveness is a act of pure grace, it restores relationships. It's not always easy to do and we need God's help at times to give forgiveness. When we are offended and do not want to forgive, we must realize that one day we will offend someone and want forgiveness. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. When you forgive you set yourself free. Holing a grudge, doesn't hurt the person, it hurts you. Forgiveness is willing to give up the desire to fulfill the score. You let it go. Give it to God and let him take care of it. We need to seek mercy and not justice. It's a choice that we make, to forgive or to hold a grudge. Sometimes deep hurts can overcome us and we have a wounded spirit. Many times this is done by someone you have a great deal of respect for or it's someone you love. This is something that is hard to bear. You can't handle this without God's help. You will know you have forgiven the person when you can say their name without being upset. You can pray for them and mean it. You no longer want them to pay for what they did to you. There are four steps to forgiveness. In prayer talk to God about the person and situation. Ask God to help you to forgive. Then ask God to forgive the person of what they did to you. Third, forgive yourself, let it go. God already forgave you. Last, release any resentment you hold against God. He allows things to happen. Trust God and remember he does work all things together for the good. We have a choice, we can forgive or not forgive. The choice you makes has consequences. One can lead to peace or literally physical distress in your body. When you forgive others, God forgives you. When you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. We will all need to be forgiven of something some day. Forgive it sets you free. God is good.
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Tonight Bro. Joe Ferragamo taught an outstanding lesson on Forgiveness. I had just finished typing the entire lesson on my blog, when it was accidently erased. I have every intention of writing it again. I think it's important and vital to have a healthy life and walk with God. I do think that tonight, I need to focus on asking for prayer. Our Youth Pastor has two people in his life that are facing life threatening situations. His dad just had a life saving heart procedure and is still in recovery. Now, his former pastor Bro. Paisley is in need of a miracle in regards to his heart. The Walkers have been going through so much heartache due to loss of loved ones over this past year and it seems like it's been non-stop for them. I would like to ask that you pray for them. Pray that God will give them strength. Also, once again, my beloved home state is on fire. People I hold dear to my heart are in danger of losing their homes from the California fires. Some have already evacuated, not knowing if their homes are going to be lost. I know it's just a building, but to lose everything and to have to start over, it's not easy. Please pray for peace and protection for those battling these fires. Lastly, this week our church will be having it's annual Christmas Concert. Six thousand people have made reservations to attend. Pray for the cast, choir members and crew. Pray that the story of Christmas will be heard and planted in every heart that attends. Pray that the snow will not cancel any of the shows. Pray that in a world going upside down, that a message of Hope will be heard and received. I will say this. During this holiday season, forgive. Love your family and cherish every moment you have with them. God is good.
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Bob and I have been married for eleven years. I'm still learning new things about him. For instance, he told us tonight a story of when he was a boy. When they were kids, he and his siblings would hang a sock out the night before Saint Nicholas Day. His mother is German and he was raised Catholic. I had never heard of this and it was nice to learn something new about Bob and other Christmas traditions. When the children woke up in the morning, their socks were filled with treats, many times a tangerine. We decided to add this tradition to our home. We are not Catholic and we do not pray to the saints. We do believe that giving is important and also it's good to know who the real Santa Clause is and where the story came from. RJ was excited to fill someone else's stocking with surprises. We want him to feel the joy in giving something special to others. More important than what you receive in your sock, is that you did something nice for someone else. "Santa" comes to our house every year. RJ is getting older and we want him to start to become the one who gives to others. There is joy in giving in secret, expecting nothing in return. Isn't that was Christ did for us? He was born as a gift to us, so that we could have eternal life. God is good.
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Today was the last regular Sunday Service for the next two weeks. Our Christmas Concert will be full swing on Friday. Today, the children did a great job singing for their Christmas Concert. I enjoyed seeing my boy as one of The Wise Men. Before they came to sing, Pastor Davis preached on," Deity In Disguise." His main text was taken from John 1:1-12. We read that Jesus is the light of the world to every man, women, boy and girl. There are three sad phrases that occur in the book of John. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehends it not. He was in the world made by him and the world knew him not. Followed by, He came to his own and his own knew him not. The God of the universe came and those around him did not know who he was. They did not know that the Emanuel, God with us had arrived. God wrapped himself in human flesh, disguised his deity and came as common man. He was born in a manger filled with hay. The King of Kings did not come as the people expected him to come. He was deity in disguise. The Holidays are upon us. We can become so frustrated with all the shopping and things that need to be done, that we miss out the real reason for this celebration. We need to find a way to make sure that we do not lose sight of who this really is about. Jesus needs to be the center of this season, he needs to be the center every day of the year. Don't be so busy that when he is near you, that you miss him. After Jesus had been born, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple. Simeon and Anna realized who Jesus really was. They rejoiced because they a had seen him. They had waited patiently and were looking for him. Everyone around them didn't even realize who they were seeing. The three Wise Men also knew who he was and worshiped him. The star was shining bright and no one even noticed. They were too busy with all the things they had to do. Have you walked past the stable and not really seen Jesus? Have you been in his presence and didn't even recognize he was right there next to you? If you don't look for him, you will never find him. He is deity in disguise. God is good.
Saturday, December 02, 2017
Tomorrow is the actual day of birth for my nephew Ross. However, tomorrow after church there is a full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Lamb of God performances. Ross will be in several scenes, so we decided to have his birthday dinner and cake tonight. My mom and Mother in Law as well as my nephews Noah and Joe Joe, came up to see RJ in his Children's Christmas Concert and to celebrate Ross' birthday. We have a full house and I wouldn't have it any other way. Dinner was Duck followed by Red Velvet Cake. We are sanctified proud of Ross and the young man he has grown into. We believe he will do great things. I have yet to have met a child that doesn't like Ross. He's funny, smart and loves the Lord. Even though tomorrow will be a busy day for him, we hope it's one filled with many blessings. Happy Birthday Ross. God is good.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
This Sunday is our Children's Christmas Concert at Bethel. Tonight was their dress rehearsal. This year RJ is one of the Wise Men for the play. I like to think he makes a great Wise Man, but then again, I am biased. All the children really did a great job. It's hard to believe that my boy who once played a little lamb is now one of the older kids and is playing a bigger kid part. Sunday is going to be a great day and I'm sure all the children will do well. After that the Sunday Services will be our Annual Christmas Drama-Lamb Of God. If you have not already reserved your seat, I suggest you do it soon. We already have 5,000 reservations that have been made. The first performance will be December Friday December the 8th at 8pm. To learn more click here. Let us come and celebrate the reason for this season. God is good.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
I saw a glimpse of a "news" article when I opened my web browser. It mentioned something regarding someone's last words. A thought flashed through my mind on what my last words would be if my life was coming to an end. Then I started to think about what would people say about me. What kind of impression am I leaving on those in my world? I can't impact every human being on the planet, but I can have some type of impact on those around me. I know that I can't please everyone and no matter how nice I try to be, there will always be someone who does not like me. I make the choice to not focus on trying to win the affection of those who don't want to give it. I used to, for a long time. Until one day, a very wise women told me to start loving those that love me and to stop chasing after the ones that don't. People will say what they want to say. However, I need to take a look at myself and make sure that I am being the good I want to see. I need to be kind and forgive. I need to show love. Some days I do this and some days, I'm so wrapped in my thoughts that I miss the chance to interact with others. I'm great on social media, I love to tweet, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook. But, none of those measure up to looking someone in the eye, giving them a real smile and wishing them a good day. A "like" on social media is not the same as giving a kind word to someone expecting nothing in return. When I am gone from this world, what will people say about me? Will I have touched lives in a good way or will I have spent my days pushing and fighting to be on top? It's good to give your best in life. I just think it's important to be the good in other's lives. Did you know that giving is contagious? Did you know that being kind to others, lifts your spirits? Did you know that being the good you want to see, can make your world a better place? What will people say about me? I only know that while I live and breath, I need to be the good I want to see. God is good.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Yesterday, we decided to go to Hershey Park for some fun. We were tired and decided to stay one more night in NJ and head back to NY early in the morning. We woke up as planned but instead of leaving early, we ended up praying with some family members. It was a good thing. When we arrived in NY, church was already in full swing. We arrived just in time to hear Bro. Anthony Trimble preach. I'm sad we didn't make it to hear him sing, but we did hear him preach a dynamic sermon. He has a wonderful testimony of how God healed him of Colon Cancer. I already knew he was an anointed singer, but I had never heard him preach. It was a blessing to hear him today. I wanted to run up to him and thank him for the sermon. He preached on, "Your Defining Moment". His main text was taken from Geneses 32. Bro. Trimble, first started out by sharing stories of two athletes who overcame great obstacles and became successful. We all have defining moments. Jacob's defining moment was when he was waiting for Esau. The last time he had saw his brother it was when he had sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Esau hated Jacob for this and wanted to kill him. Jacob saw the worth in what Esau was being promised and took it when Esau didn't appreciate it. If you don't value the blessing God has for you, someone else is going to take it from you. It's the same when we read about the land of great value. The owner was not aware of what they had and someone else did. They bought the land for little knowing the true worth. We all have miracles waiting for us. We are all going to go through something that will make us stop and wonder what is going on. We need to realize that the circumstances we are going through do not change who we are in Christ. You were are Prince/ Princess with God before your trial came and you are still a Prince/ Princess of God's during your trial. The situation doesn't change who you are in God. Jacob was tense, scared and nervous when he was getting ready to meet his brother. At this moment, Jacob decides to pray. He has an encounter with God that changes him forever. He told the Angel that he will not let him go until he blesses him. We must realize that no weapon formed against us will prosper. When Esau and Jacob came together, they embraced each other. There was peace between the brothers. This is a wonderful thing. However, this is not what is talked about all the time. What is talked about is Jacob's defining moment, when he wrestled with God. Joseph was thrown in the pit and eventually he became a prince. No one really talks about the happy ending. We remember what he went through to get to his blessing. Your defining moment is not when your struggle is over and you have reached your goal. Your defining moment is that you prevailed through the struggle. Your defining moment is that you didn't give up and that you are holding on. Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, you will prevail. God trusts you enough to allow you to go through this. He will get you to the other side of your situation. Prevail through the struggle, don't let the struggle overtake you. Bro. Trimble has an amazing story. You can hear his testimony here. God is good.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Today we stop to celebrate Thanksgiving. We feasted until we could eat no more. Family came and went and hugs were shared all around. After a bellyful of pie, I sat down to gather my thoughts on being thankful. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful that my mom is with us. I’m thankful for my home. The church we attend is amazing and I’m thankful for the leadership. This year has brought some major challenges, but God has made a way in every situation. The year is not over yet and I’m thankful to know the Lord. I’m also thankful for everyone who takes the time to read this blog. I may never meet some of you, and I want to let you know that I appreciate the time you take to be a part of my world. May God bless you and keep you. God is good.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tonight our church family came together for communion. Pastor taught a wonderful lesson on being thankful. I plan to share it with you tomorrow. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving with family and am believing for wonderful things. I’m thankful for tonight’s lesson. It was a good reminder to give thanks in everything. To all my readers, I appreciate you. God is good.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Today was a rough day. I don't need to go into the details, but it was a rough day. Then, at random, someone sent me a thank you. This person has no idea how HUGE that was for me today. A random act of kindness that reminded me of all the good there is in this world. This week is when we stop to give thanks for what we have. I challenge you to do something kind for someone. You have no idea how much of a rainbow you will be on their rainy day. God is good.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Today at Bethel, we had special guest singers. The Tim Chandler Band came to minister in song and in the word. It was my first time hearing them sing. I enjoyed hearing the Country Gospel music. After they sang a few songs, Bro. Chandler gave a short sermon. His main text was taken from I Corinthians 10:13. He started about by saying almost word for word what Pastor Davis preached last Sunday. We hear all the time that God will never put more on you than you can bear. This is not in the Bible. God says he will give you a way of escape. He will help you through whatever you are going through. He will deliver you. We don't always have the same experiences, but we all have the same feelings. God is a faithful God and he cares about them all. While you are in the middle of your "stuff" and it feels like God is a million miles away, He is really making a way of escape for you. God's will taking place is dependent on us being obedient to his word. He provides a way of escape, it's up to us to take it when he brings it. Make sure you don't miss your exit when you come to it. Sis. Chandler talked about going through some pretty big heartache. She had been hurt so bad that she struggled with it for a long time. Eventually, after singing at one of their services, she decided to go to the alter and pray. She opened her hands palms up and began to put all her hurt and disappointment into them. Then she turned her hands over and laid them on the alter. She left them there and walked away. God gave her tremendous peace. The situation didn't change, in fact it became worse for a while. However, God had changed her on the inside and gave her the peace she needed to go through it. We all did this today. I have some really big things going on. Some really big hurts. Some days, I have to stop many times during the day and give it to the Lord. It's not easy. However, I want to have clean hands and a pure heart. I know what it's like to allow hurt to turn into anger that eventually eats you up with bitterness. I walked the road of depression before. I do not want to go down those roads again. So, when the hurt comes, I stop and give it to Jesus. Every time, Peace comes and fills me. I hold out hope that God will work things out. I constantly love and forgive. Some days are harder than the others. I just make the choice to choose joy. God is good.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Tonight our Bible Study was taught by Bro. Joe Ferragamo. His main text was taken from Psalms 103:1-4, with the title of " God's Great Benefits". Sometimes we don't realize the great benefits we have as the children of God. Psalms 103 starts out with great praise and gratitude towards God. David gave praise from deep within because he knew of all that God had delivered him from and forgiven him of. When we do this, we are acknowledging the divine greatness of God. There is no one like him. He is worthy of the highest praise and it is to be done with all our soul. We are to not forget the benefits of a life in God. Our benefits are that he forgives us of our sins, heals our bodies, redeems our life and covers us with loving-kindness and mercy. He blesses us daily with these things. We have great benefits that God has given into our lives, simply because He loves us. Remember to always bless and praise God, no matter your circumstances. God will give you great victory. God is good.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Due to the amount of polyps that had been found in my gallbladder when it was removed, my doctor felt that I needed to have an extensive MRI to see if they had spread elsewhere in my body. I went in last week for one of the worst MRI's of my life. I was not feeling well and didn't realize that I was scheduled to be in the MRI for an hour and a half. Not only was I going to have to lay completely still for this period of time, I was going to hold my breath for 13 to 20 second intervals, a lot over the hour and a half. I lasted less than an hour before I blacked out in the MRI machine. Thankfully, I was able to complete at least an hour with the knowledge that I might have to come back to finish the MRI. I left weak and hoping that I didn't have to come back for at least a year. Today, I met with my doctor and he told me that everything came back clean and clear. I have no polyps anywhere else in my body. I will have to do this MRI once a year and next time it will be when I am not feeling sick. I don't mind the inconvenience of a long MRI, if it means it saves my life. This is the only way they can see if polyps have started to grow and the only way to prevent it from turning into cancer in my body. I'm thankful for my doctors. I truly feel like I have been blessed with the best. Today could have been a day of unwanted news. I am so thankful that it was good news and I have been given a clean bill of health. I appreciate all your prayers. God is good.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Tonight our home Care Group came together and had a time of feasting and giving thanks. I invited my friends and students from China to attend. Everyone brought something to eat. Watching everyone have such a wonderful time made my heart full. Children’s laughter filled the house and mingled in with happy conversations of the adults. My home was filled with love and joy. I could feel that Jesus showed up too and he walked amongst us. My body is tired, but my heart is overflowing. God is good.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Today Pastor Davis preached an impassioned sermon on, "God Of The Impossible". His main text was taken from Jeremiah 32:27 and Luke 1:37. He started out by asking how many of us enter situations in life that seem to be impossible. We all have experienced this. Some of us are going through what seems to be impossible today. The church of the living God can not survive without the miraculous. God's church is born into the miraculous. In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. With ten words from God, nothing became something. God is not ordinary, He is the God of the impossible. We serve a big and powerful God. He takes matter and ant-matter and keeps it in balance. When God says let it be, it shall be. If God's word says it, I believe and that's enough. He came to this earth, died on a cross and rose form the dead. He ascended into Heaven and His spirit lives with us. He will return once again. Because God is not ordinary, we can not expect things in our life to be ordinary. We are not normal in comparison to how everyone around you lives. You are a child of the King. You are above normal. He tells us that he is The Lord God and there is nothing too hard for him. Your belief or lack of belief in Him, does not make a difference. You can't make something not exist simply because you don't believe in it. You can say there is not moon until the day you die. The moon will still be there. God is still God if you believe in Him or not. We must realize that there is nothing that God can not do, except lie or deny His word. When you are filled with His spirit, he goes wherever you go. When you go to sleep, He is there. He is the God of the impossible. He turned water into wine. He fed 5,000 people with 2 fishes and five loaves of bread. He caused a donkey to speak. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? No! We all have things happen to us; terminal illness, financial devastation and family problems. These are things that we can't handle on our own. They are tough situations. The saying that God won't give us more than we can handle is not in the Bible. We do read that if God allowed it to take place in our life, He will give us the grace to go through it. It's by the grace of God that we are able to smile as we go through our impossible situation. When God says something is going to happen, the devil can not stop it. We must claim and believe that if God said it, then it can happen. His word tell us that by His striped we are healed. His blood still heals all diseases. His blood covers all sins and delivers. His blood has saving power. It's so important that we speak positive into our situation. We need to learn to not speak negativity into it. When the negative thoughts and discouragement comes, we need to speak the Word of God into it. When we murmur and complain we are getting in the way of the promises of God. Doubt is the opposite of faith. We are human. We have real moments of wondering how in the world we can face the impossible situations in our life. We must speak life into it, by speaking the Word of God into it. Our God is able. Pastor Davis then asked us to all pray. He asked us to speak to the impossible situations in our life and speak faith into it. Family situations, be healed in Jesus Name. Terminal Illness, be healed in Jesus name! Financial situations, be resolved in Jesus Name! God wants you to have health, peace and a job. He will bless you with the ability to work. God will not bring a job you way that will keep you from His House or will take you away from a walk with Him. God will direct your steps. If the doctor tells you there is nothing that can be done, God says he can heal your body. If your family seems to be imploding from within, God is able to heal and restore relationships. God is able to do the impossible. God is good.
Friday, November 10, 2017
A few days ago I mentioned that it was too warm for Autumn. Well, now it's much colder than normal for November. At least how I know Novembers in NY to be. Of course RJ is hoping it brings snow. I'm looking outside at the wind and watching the temperature drop and I'm hoping the power stays on the house stays warm. Tonight, RJ has a friend over and they had a real good time playing nerf guns with Ross in the basement with the lights off. Pearl of course enjoyed it too. I'm hoping the weather will warm up just enough to be sweater weather. I like the Autumn crisp air and hope it returns soon. For now, I will bundle up and cuddle up to my honey. God is good.
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
About Five months ago I went in to have my gallbladder removed. When I went in for my check up, I was informed that I have IPMN. I had no idea what the doctor was talking about. Interductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasia, is not so bad, as long as you keep an eye on it. It turns out my gallbladder was diseased and I had several polyps that thankfully were not cancerous. I was told that I would need yearly check ups just to keep an eye on it. Nothing to worry about, you find one and you cut it out. I left thankful that I was ok and went on my way to recovery. I got a phone call that I needed to go in right away to get an MRI done because there was suspicion that there may be more polyps. What?! Sigh. I trust in God. I know He is a healer, because he has healed me before. It's just not fun going through it. Wait, I'm a Christian, I'm supposed to always be upbeat and I'm supposed to never doubt and I am supposed to always ride high on faith. Let's be real here. I do trust in God. I do have great faith. I am still human and will feel all kinds of emotions. Do I think the doctors will find anything wrong? No. I believe the doctor is going to say, everything is just fine? Yes. Is it possible I can hear bad news? Yes. Will it change my faith in God? No. Do I want to have another procedure? No. I ask that you say a prayer for me that I do receive a good report. Regardless of what is found, I still trust in the Lord. God is good.
Sunday, November 05, 2017
If ever there was a timely sermon, it was today. The General Secretary for Global Missions of the UPCI, Bro. Slaydon was our guest speaker. The title of his sermon was, "Don't Let The Bad Eat The Good". His main text was from Geneses 41:20. Such a timely sermon for such a heartbreaking day in America. Another day of violence and innocent lives lost. People who love the Lord had come together to Praise the King of Kings, just like we were, and in an instant devastation followed. There is darkness in the world. It's for the church to be a bright light. We are heartbroken for the lives lost in Texas. I pray for the Lord's soon return! Bro. Salydon preached that we can become so fixated on all the wrong that is going on in the world, that we no longer can see the good that is going on in our life. There are really, really bad things going on, but there is also so much good too. We need to be careful that we don't let the bad eat up the good in our life. This is the time for the church to be the light of Christ. This is the hour where we need to shine bright. Do not let your identity be defined by the negative things happening around you. Don't take ownership of negative things said to you. People will criticize you, don't let what they say define who you are. God is powerful in our life. We believe he can heal and all kinds of things. One person says something to you that upsets you and you are crying and willing to give up. Wait...didn't you just believe that God is all powerful? Don't give people the power to ruin your day. Lift up your head, raise your hands and sing praise the Lord, regardless of what is going on. Don't let the bad eat up the good things going on in your life. Fear and doubt are the enemies of life and hope. Instead of worrying about the problems around you, celebrate the wonderful things God has done for you. We need to have a divine world view and do what God has asked us to do. God's kingdom is bigger than you and I. It's not about us. What God calls you to do, do it even if it's not what you really want to do. We can ignore sinful conduct of the world, but it doesn't make it go away. We tend to have acceptance and are afraid to stand up for what the word of God says to do. We tolerate sin and by doing so, we are doing a disservice to those who are committing the sin. You know the ACTS 2:38 truth. You are the light of Christ and yet you are afraid to share it. Don't let the bad eat out the good. The world needs you. The church needs to rise up and be the church. What and what is the greatest influence on society? Our world is in need of a light. That light is you and I. We are to overturn evil with good. Life can be overwhelming, like what happened today in Texas. We must pray like we have never prayed before. Remember you are not someone who has no future, you are not a waste, you are a child of the King. He is fighting for you. Do not let the bad things going on, eat up the good things taking place in your life. Don't lose focus. Be the light of Christ. God is good.
Thursday, November 02, 2017
As RJ and I sat down to begin working on his homework we heard a loud boom. It was loud and it shook the entire house. It sounded like a bomb had gone off. I looked out the window towards my backyard and saw huge billows of black smoke filling the sky. A truck had exploded. All I could think about was of what had just happened in Manhatten. I prepared to evacuate and locked down the entire house in case it was something worse then a simple accident. Both sides of the street were closed off and the first responsders were quick to arrive. A truck with several propane tanks had spontaneously exploded. The driver was able to escape unharmed. The fire was contained and by the grace of God, no one was hurt. I'm thankful that there was no loss of life and thankful for the protection of the Lord. When all the confusion was going on, I told RJ to grab something important to him and if we had to leave, he needs to carry it. I looked on the table to see what he had chosen and it brought tears to my eyes. His most precious possession was his Grampy's Bible. I'm so thankful for this. We waited to see what would happen next. Despite all the traffic being redirected in front of my house, we managed to make our way to church. Pastor taught an excellent lesson and I plan to share it tomorrow. God is good
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Ross stayed up through the night building RJ a Voltron costume. When we got to school, I didn't know how to put it on him correctly, so he wore his Robert Townsend outfit instead. He was a perfect duo for the Head of School, since he dressed as George Washington. Later in the evening we joined RJ's childhood best friend and with the help of a hot glue gun, we were able to get his Voltron outfit on. When the evening ended we heard the news of the horrific attack that took place in Manhatten. Please keep our city in your prayers. God is good.