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My Freshly Brewed Life: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's In The Bible Giveaway - Ends Tomorrow Night at 10:00pm

Just a reminder that the What's in the Bible Giveaway will end tomorrow night (Thursday, April 1st) at 10:00 pm.  Don't miss your chance to get one of these fabulous DVDs for free!  To find out more about What's in the Bible, visit the WITB website here.

Good luck!


Monday, March 29, 2010

What's In The Bible Blog Tour - Product Review & Giveaway!

Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour

I was so excited to be chosen to participate in the What's In The Bible Blog Tour on behalf of the Tyndale Blog Network.  As a mom whose children grew up watching Veggie Tales, I was so excited when I heard that the creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer, was launching a new product.  I just knew I was going to love it.  And I do!  What's In The Bible is a series of 13 DVDs that is designed to walk kids and families through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  *Two fortunate readers will each win one Award Certificate for a free copy of one of the first two DVDs in the series. Enter at the end of this post.

What's In The Bible uses music, song and puppetry to bring the Bible to life.  My children came and sat with me the second time I watched it and they did not want to leave.  They were completely captivated by the music, the humor and we all learned things -- I even learned some Hebrew!  These DVDs are very well done and I cannot think of a better way to introduce children to the Bible and keep them interested than through the use of these DVDs.  They would make a great resource in a Sunday School classroom as well.  Visit What's In the Bible for more information about this wonderful series of DVDs.

Now for the Giveaway!  Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with two "Product Award Certificates" to give away on my blog.  Two winners will receive one award certificate for either In the Beginning or Let My People Go which can be redeemed at their local Christian stores or, if they live outside the USA, sent directly to Tyndale.  To enter, leave a comment on this post by 10:00 pm Thursday (4/1).  I will be using the Random Number Generator to pick the winners!  Please be sure to include your email address if you do not have a blog.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the preview DVD free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Captivating Bible Study - Week Two (Hiding)

In this week's study, we went much deeper into the core of who we are as women, not the woman that God created, but the woman that we assume that we are.  We are defined by are actions, attitudes, relationships, hurts, quick fixes, yet we cannot seem to come into the full understanding that we are so much more than that!  Tonight we watched the corresponding video which taught on the fall of Eve and how women still align themselves with "fallen Eve" instead of the how God sees her....magnificant and breathtaking! Following is an excerpt from Captivating which shares the author's thoughts on how God looks upon His creation of woman:
She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman.  In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve.  She is the Master's finishing touch.  How we wish this were an illustrated book, and we could show you now some painting or sculpture that captures this, like the stunning Greek sculpture of the goddess Nike of Samothrace, the winged beauty, just alighting on the prow of a great ship, her beautiful form revealed through the thin veils that sweep around her.  Eve is....breathtaking.
Tonight we also discussed our "hiding" places.  We watched a clip from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  It was the part where Toula sees Gus for the first time in the restaurant, and after speaking with him for just a few moments, she attempts to hide behind the cash register while he is leaving, so he doesn't see her.  We can assume that she was afraid that if she were forced to look into his eyes at that moment, that he would not like what he saw.

What is it that makes us want to hide our true selves at times? Why do we believe the lies that if people only could see the "real" person behind all of the masks and faceds, that they would not like what they see?  I gently guided the ladies into a discussion of the different ways in which we hide our true selves.  The responses were varied:
Control/Manipulation - A lot of the women admitted that they resort to control and/or manipulation when they feel frustrated or threatened.  Many of us shared how we tend to want to control our children, expecting them to "do" things for us to make us feel in control and somehow better about ourselves.  We want to appear powerful so we do not have to admit that in and of ourselves we are powerless (without Christ, that is).  It's hard to admit, but if I am not careful, I am one who can tend to be controlling with those I love the most.
Indulgences - Some of the ladies shared that when they feel threatened or hurt, they escape or retreat into momentary indulgences, such as over eating, excessive shopping, losing herself in the TV set, daydreaming about her past, and what was once so good to her, or longing for the future. I can honestly say I've been here, in all of them, at least once in my life.  I still struggle in this area.
Closet Time - One lady was brave enough to admit that when she is hurt in her relationship, she will hide in her closet -- a real closet.  To her, it is a safe place where no one can find her.  I can't say that I've retreated in a closet before, but I do remember a day when I curled up in a ball in the corner of my bedroom and couldn't move in what seemed life forever.  I was totally overwhelmed with feelings and emotions that I didn't at the time know how to handle.
Some things to reflect on, huh?

I would like to end this post with another quote from the book, Captivating:
Given the way creation unfolds, how it builds to ever higher and higher works of art, can there be any doubt that Eve is the crown of creation?  Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree.  She is God's final touch, his piece de resistance.  She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill.  Step into a window, ladies, if you can. Better still, find some place with a view. Look out across the earth and say to yourselves, "The whole, vast world is incomplete without me.  Creation reached its zenith in me."
Leave me a comment and let me know if you did this and what it felt like!

Until next week and remember:  YOU ARE CAPTIVATING!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Random Dozen - Spring

Today we are linking up with Southlakesmom for the Random Dozen. Today's topic is Spring!

1.  What is your favorite sign of Spring?  I love to watch the flowers bloom, and I love when my Doves visit me each year to make their nests.

2.  Did you remember to spring forward on March 14?  If not, how did it impact your day?  Yes, as the entire church was counting on me to remind them to set their clocks ahead, so I had better remember!

3.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what vegetable would you plant in a garden this year?  I would plant Artichokes, although I don't know if they are in season now or in the winter....can you tell how much knowledge I have of such things?

4.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what fruit would you plant?  Avocados for sure!

5.  What is your least favorite insect?  I don't mind insects.  I believe God put them here for a reason, but I don't like to see them in my home.  I have this thing about ants, they freak me out!

6.  March 22 was World Water Day. To celebrate, here are some water questions. Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand?  Yes, mostly Alhambra or Costco brand.

7.  Have you ever been somewhere that it was not safe to drink the local water? If so, how did you handle that?  Nope

8.  How many glasses of water do you drink per day?  Not enough!

9.  March 24 is the birthday of 
Harry Houdini.  Have you ever watched a professional magic show? Share.  I've only seen magic shows on TV.  It was so long ago I couldn't remember the details.  I just remember asking "how'd they do that" throughout the entire show and my brothers telling me it wasn't real and it was all tricks.

10.  Have you ever been a participant in a professional magic show (up on stage!)?  Nope

11. March 24 is also the birthday of Steve McQueen and Clyde Barrow. Do you like Westerns or gangster movies?  If so, what is your favorite?  I don't really care for westerns or gangster movies.

12. (Really random)  What U.S. state that you've never visited would you like to visit someday?  I would love to visit New York some day.  I think it would be fun to shop there and see a Broadway show or two!

Don't forget to visit Southlakesmom and link up to the Random Dozen today!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Power Outage

Last night as I was helping my children with their homework, we experienced a power outage. When the power has gone out before, my children would be pretty frantic, looking for mom and dad, as well as for flashlights and candles.  But since it was not yet totally dark outside, they were able to see enough to find their way around.  Dad went out for a bite to eat (since he couldn't heat up his food which I saved for him ), and the kids and I settled into the living room.  I folded laundry by lantern, and my kids kept themselves occupied with a game of strategy playing Star Wars Miniatures.  As I sat there watching my children, I reflected on how much peace resided in our home at that very moment.  Even though the lights were out, we had peace.  My kids were secure in the knowledge that they were not alone (mom was there) and I was overwhelmed by the presence of God as I folded my laundry.  This laundry had been sitting on my floor all week, and during the power outage, I was overcome with supernatural strength to get it all folded and put away!

We do not have to fear in times of darkness.  We can be secure in the fact that our Heavenly Father is right there beside us and will never leave us nor forsake us.  Isn't it reassuring to know that we will never experience darkness.  Even though the lights may go out around us, even though the sun may go down and the darkness comes, He IS light and in HIM there is no darkness.  
...God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
There is no power outage with our Heavenly Father.  As children of God, we continually walk in the light of His presence. Even in times of darkness when we cannot see in front of us, He is always there.  
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  (Psalm 18:28) 
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1) 
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105) 
Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:12)
 He is fully charged, always ready to go, and His light will never go out!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Simplifying For Sanity (Closet)

I am linking up with Lynnette Kraft today and simplifying for sanity.  So, I've been at this for two weeks now and it really makes me feel good to be cleaning and de-cluttering. So this week (actually, today) I tackled my hall closet.  To some, it may not have been all that bad and it really wasn't.  But the constant clutter of disorganized gift bags, games and other junk made it something I disliked very much going into.  Here are some "before" pictures:

So I basically took everything, except the coats and the vacuum, out of the closet.  I wiped down and disinfected the shelves and swept the base.  After I had pulled everything out, here is what I actually had in there!

I must have had 50+ gift bags for all kinds of occasions.  I am cheap when it comes to gift bags.  I recycle them, as well as the tissue paper that comes with them, or I buy them at the dollar store.  I had my last baby 6 years ago and still had bags from that occasion!  But because everything was so disorganized in the closet, it was impossible to find the right bag when I needed it.

Here is what it all looked like afterwards:
So on the top shelf are canvass bags; you know, those bags you use at the beach or day trips.  On the second shelf are just two stacks of bags. The one on the right are "all occasion" bags, and on the left side are birthday bags.  Can you believe that I pared it all down to this (actually, I have some Christmas bags too, which are in a different picture).  On the bottom shelf are a few of my kids' games.  I think I will like looking into this closet now.

I decided to keep my Christmas bags, and the few gift boxes I have, in the house in the closet.  I am afraid if I put them in the garage with all of the other Christmas stuff, I will forget that I have them.  So I put all of the Christmas gift bags inside the larger bag and put them on the top shelf of the closet.

Lastly, I have some rolls of Christmas wrap, and some tissue paper in this picture.  Sorry for the bad photo.  I do have a gift wrap box under my bed, but when I pulled it out to use it for this, it was full of Christmas and other occasion paper I forgot I had.  My goal is to buy another gift wrap box and store them both in this closet.

One more thing tackled.  Looking forward to next week!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Talkin About Thursdays - Five Things In Photos

I am joining Genny at My Cup 2 Yours for Talkin About Thursdays. Todays topic is "Five Things in Photos".  Here are five looks into my life:

My loving husband and four beautiful, amazing children

Worshipping with the International House of Prayer.
You can watch the stream for FREE now.  Go here

Peet's Coffee.  I am seriously addicted!

Painting.  I am an artist!

Spring time.  The warm weather makes me smile!

Visit Genny at My Cup 2 Yours for more Talkin About Thursdays link ups!


Captivating Bible Study - Week One (Beauty)

Last night was the first week of the Captivating Bible Study.  There were 8 ladies present and I will add 3 more next week.  These are women from all walks of life --  single, married, children, no children, divorced, young and older.  I feel very privileged to be able to walk this journey beside each of these fabulous ladies.  Even though I read this book about 4 years ago, I am in a much better place now to receive what God desires to reveal to me about myself and His vast love for me.  I am sure I am going to come away from this study changed!

Last night's lesson was all about awakening our hearts to the desires and yearnings that God put in us as women.   To find out who we as women are and how we were created.  One of the questions we discussed was about our favorite movies. Most everyone shared how they loved romantic movies as well as the adventurous -- the kind where the hero comes to save the damesel in distress.  What is it about these movies that move the heart of a woman? Why do we find ourselves sighing and crying while watching them?  I believe that these types of movies touch a very deep place in our core being which God placed deep within our hearts.  We long to be loved, romanced, to be someone's priority, to have someone save us.  Most women love to get caught up in the momentary fantasy of romantic movies.  We love the way it makes our heart feel!  And even though we ultimately know that these longings can only truly be fulfilled by our Heavenly Father, the fact is He put that desire to be fulfilled and pursued deep within our hearts.  The need to be fulfilled is a natural response to a desire God put deep within our heart.  

The other question I asked the ladies was what games they enjoyed playing as a child.  We had varying answers -- I loved to play Hide and Seek and Kick The Can. In both games you hide and wait for someone to come find you.  I loved to be pursued (I still do)!  Others enjoyed playing house or dress up, games where they would care for each other or be a princess for a day. 

Near the end of the lesson we talked about beauty.  What is beauty?  Did they know that despite how they see themselves, God sees them as beautiful?  Most are still walking the journey of self acceptance.  I know that I am.

At the end of our meeting I played 3 songs.  The first one, Beautiful, by Kari Jobe, talks about God and His beauty.  I wanted to play this one first so we could put our focus on God and His beauty to prepare our hearts to hear and receive what He says about us.  Here is that song:

The next song I played was The Real Me, by Natalie Grant.  This song talks about how we often try to hide our true selves and our imperfections from others.  I know I have struggled with this one.  But God sees the real me, and He loves that real me so very much.  Here is that song:

The last song I played is called God Loves Ugly by Krista Black.  I absolutely love this song.  The very end of this song just grabs me:

Help me believe why you love me
When I know you see
You see everything
Help me believe why you love me
When I know you see
Inside and you still say I'm beautiful

You're telling me I'm beautiful
Your screaming out I'm so beautiful
And I'm finding out I'm beautiful
You're making me so beautiful
And I can see I'm beautiful
Cause you love me

I chose to share the raw, non studio version of this song because it shows the lyrics on the screen and it will help you understand the song better.  She shares a little bit beforehand, which is really good too.  Here is that song:

I hope you will take the time to listen to these songs and allow God to speak to your heart and remind you of how very beautiful you are!

Until next week,

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day - It's the Random Dozen!

Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee is doing the Random Dozen, St. Patty's style.  Come on over and join in the fun!
1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly?  I am not superstitious at all.
2. Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Which circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe?  I came to Jesus, I saw the light, and I conquered my fear over the enemy!  I couldn't think of anything else!!
3. If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at what time would I most likely find you blogging?  Somewhere between the hours of 10:00 pm and midnight, when all my little Leprechaun's are in bed.

4. Re springing forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you've ever been really early or really late for?  The year that my 2nd child was born, I was almost late to his dedication at church.  Thankfully, my husband showed up late for worship practice that morning (due to the time change) and called me.  I hurried to get ready and got there in time.
5. What are you most looking forward to concerning Spring?  Warm weather!
6. Shamrocks are the national flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick's Day and worn on the lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day?  I don't pay much attention.  I don't try to. 
7. One of Caesar's assassins, Casca, said, "But, for my own part, it was Greek to me," which of course means he didn't understand something. Probably his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is "Greek to you," something incomprehensible or indecipherable?  HTML code!  I am so thankful I don't have to do anything in there unless I am moving my gadgets around!
8. Is March behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live?  Like a gentle lamb.
9. "An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later." -Winston Churchill. If you had one extra hour per day every day, what would you do with it?  Sleep!
10. Legend says that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside from real gold or money, what material item would be in your dream pot of gold?  Some new furniture for my living room!
11. "The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very near you that you take for granted every day.  My precious daughter, although I do not believe I take her for granted.  I do rely on her heavily to help me with school pick ups, etc.  She is the only thing that is beautiful that is within my reach!
12. Just for a bit o' fun, click here and then report your Irish name. Mine is "Zoe O'Sullivan." I love it!  Caitlyn Daly!  I like it!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Simplifying For Sanity (My Master Bedroom)

I am joining in with Lynnette Kraft today in "Simplifying for Sanity". Honestly, I took the button off my sidebar in the middle of last week, because I was feeling overwhelmed and didn't know if I could follow through.  Well this morning when I woke up I figured enough was enough. The button is back on my sidebar now!  I made a promise to myself that it didn't have to be perfect.  I know there was a lot more that I could/should have done.  But this really helped me to not be so overwhelmed and make my bedroom a place I could enjoy being in again.

This is pretty embarrasing.  This is a mixture of dry cleaning and clothes I could not fit in my dresser.  Oh my gosh, is that my bra there at the top of the pile?  Yikes!  And you probably can't see the dust on my night stand, but it was there in full force!
Sorry for the fuzzy picture!  
This is again a pile of clothes that I could not fit into my dresser, as well as some odds and ends, and yes, more dust!  In the corner is a large box I've had there since Christmas to take to the Thrift Store to donate.  
This is my sitting room/prayer room/painting room.  As you can see, it is in much disarray!
Another shot of my easel and some of the paintings I or the kids have done.
This is my walk-in closet, but I had a hard time walking in it!

Okay, here is what it all looks like afterwards.  I mostly did picking up and dusting.  It was all I felt I could do and yet it made a huge difference!

Remember the piles of clothes in the corner?  I took some cleaner to the baseboard and the nightstand is freshly dusted.  Don't you just love my Starbucks and the International House of Prayer playing in the background?  Without which, I could not have accomplished much!
Here is my lovely dresser, minus the clothes!  If you are wondering about the clothing, I hung/put away what I wanted to keep, and I filled the box of donations and will be dropping that off this afternoon.  There are a few odds and ends left on the dresser, but I put them all in a basket on the corner.
My beautiful prayer room is vacuumed and picked up now.  I do have some paint on the rugs, and have not yet found anything to take it out.  And the drop cloth in the corner there is just something that stays.  I am displaying some of my favorite paintings in the room.
Another peek!
I can now walk into my closet.  I put all of my shoes away and got rid of the junk on the floor.  I do have some painted on canvasses in the corner, but my daughter likes to use those for practice.
Another look at the closet.  Tried to organize the best I could.

This has been so much fun and I feel good about what I accomplished.  Next week I would very much like to tackle my pantrys.  Do these count as closets?  If not, then I will be doing my hall closet. 

Looking forward to seeing what everyone accomplished this week!


Spring Is Here!

I love Spring. It is my favorite season.  For one, the weather is just right.  Not too hot, nor too cold.  I also love this season because it speaks to me of life. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, flowers are blooming.  Everywhere I look, life is springing up.  God uses this season to remind me that He IS doing a new thing:

See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you. (Is. 42:9)
See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Is. 43:19)

If you have been walking through a season of hardship, disappointment or sorrow, God wants to encourage your heart today and remind you that He will make a way for you out of your Winter season into the fullness of Spring:  
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. (Is. 41:18)

Will you trust God today and believe that He will bring you through? Take His hand and allow Him to gently guide you.  Your Spring time awaits and it is full of life, promise, peace, joy, love and prosperity.  I encourage you to find a place to be alone with your Heavenly Father today and allow Him to encourage your heart!

Look, the winter is past,

      and the rains are over and gone.
 12 The flowers are springing up,
      the season of singing birds has come,
      and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
 13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
      and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
   Rise up, my darling!
      Come away with me, my fair one!”

*Photo Credit:  Laura DeLeon.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Tonight I am starting a Bible Study with several ladies.  We will be going through the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldridge.  Here is the product description from Amazon:
Every little girl has dreams of being swept up into a great adventure, of being the beautiful princess. Sadly, when women grow up, they are often swept up into a life filled merely with duty and demands. Many Christian women are tired, struggling under the weight of the pressure to be a "good servant," a nurturing caregiver, or a capable home manager.
What Wild at Heart did for men, Captivating is doing for women. Setting their hearts free. This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be. By revealing the core desires every woman shares-to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure, and to unveil beauty-John and Stasi Eldredge invite women to recover their feminine hearts, created in the image of an intimate and passionate God. Further, they encourage men to discover the secret of a woman's soul and to delight in the beauty and strength women were created to offer.
I read this book about 3 years ago.  At the time, I was in a hard place in my life. I was not aware of my true identity in Christ, nor was I able to experience His love that way I was intended to feel it. Even though this book ministered to me greatly at the time, I feel like there were many deep revelations that I missed because of the condition of my heart, because I was unable to receive the truth. Over the last year I have received much inner healing, and although I am still walking that journey, I feel I am in a better place now for my heart to fully accept and receive ALL that God has for me. I have been praying about doing this study for a long time, and I felt that now was the time.  Although I will be facilitating this study, I am excited to be able to learn and grow right along side these women.

Over the next 10 weeks (beginning next Thursday), I will be putting up on my blog a post detailing the revelation that we receive from this study.  The purpose would be that you are encouraged and strengthened on your journey as you pursue Him with your whole heart and as He reveals the truly beautiful and captivating woman that you are.  I hope you will follow along with me and post your comments about what God is revealing to you!

This is totally random, but since I am not artsy, if anyone knows of someone who can create a button for my blog for this study, that followers can grab and put on their blogs, I would be so appreciative.

Praying you are having a blessed week!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Random Dozen - Plinko Style!

Here we are!  Sorry I couldn't play last week.  I was up to my ears in getting ready for our very first every conference at church.  It was quite the success.  I did miss participating here though.  I promise not to make my disappearing from the RD a habit.

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? Oh my!  I believe the oldest pair of shoes I own is about 5 years old.  They are a ratty old pair of slip on tennis shoes which I absolutely love.  I just cannot part with them despite the fact that they have holes in them.

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety? Oh yes!  I am proud to say that I did.  I always buy the Thin Mints and Peanut Butter ones.  Now look what you've done!  I am seriously salivating just thinking about them.

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? If not, would you like to? Nope, and I really desire too.

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager? Yes!  I was a good kid.  I am very proud of my teenage years.

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see? Three. The Blind Side, which was one of the best movies I've ever seen; Up, which was a true joy and delighted my heart; and Avatar, which was intense and most definately at the top of my list of all time favs.

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself? It's easier for me to watch others.  I tense up way too much, and they always have trouble locating my veins, so it makes the ordeal much harder and uncomfortable for me.

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why? I would have to say Monday, because it's my day off.

8. Do you miss anyone right now? I miss my grandmother, who's been with Jesus now for about 10 years; and my best friend Kristin, who moved to Arizona.  I love you Kristin!

9. Do hospitals make you queasy? Not hospitals in general, but the smell of them often does.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card. Not that you ever would, you responsible person, you. As I sit here looking at furniture I've had for over 18 years, I would have to say Ashley Furniture.

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items? It depends.  Sometimes the non brand is just as good; other times, not.

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels? Both are equally hard for me.  I don't like to look into people's eyes at all.  I hear it's a confidence thing and something I've been working on my entire life.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Seven Mountain Revelation

Have you ever had an experience with God that blew your mind?  That's what this past weekend did for me during our Seven Mountains Conference.  Our guest, Johnny Enlow, brought so much deep revelation forth from God's Word that I can't even begin to explain it all to you.  And although this is fairly new (within the last year) to me as well as many others, this is something that has existed since the beginning.  We are called and equipped to take our place on each of these mountains, those realms that often seem "unattainable" -- Government, Economy, Family, Education, Media, Arts/Celebration & Religion.  We do not need to take these places through force.  If we simply trust God and step out in obedience, and come as servants, God will do the rest. When we understand that it is GOD who does the work, and that we simply partner with Him, it brings the tops of these mountains within our reach. It is God's heart and desire that Godly men and women occupy these high places.

Although I haven't absorbed it all yet in order to share more, my Pastor did a great job of summing things up.  You can read his blog post here.  On Saturday night, we spent some time resting in the presence of the Lord, accessing Heaven, getting filled with joy and I personally was changed by His love!  I am so madly in love with Him today I just can't stop singing!

Well my peeps, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Take some time today to breathe in Jesus and allow Him to carry you away. Let Him overwhelm you with His love today in a fresh, new way!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where Is Your Area of Influence?

Have you ever sat and thought about where your area, or areas, of influence lie?  As a wife, mother, educator, etc., did you know that God has placed in you the ability to influence not only those around you, but those in high places of society?  Did you know that God has designed you for such a time as this to leave an impact, a mark, on your place in society?  It only takes one to shift a culture, and that one person could be you! Over the last year or so, I have been learning about the Seven Realms of Society, or Seven Mountains of Influence.  What are they you might ask?  Well, I am no expert, but will gladly share the information I do have. The Seven Mountains are 7 sectors of society that mold the way we think.  The culture we life in is directly affected and influenced by what takes place in the "high places" of these seven mountains.  The Seven Mountains of Influence are:
  1. Family: Where Generational Blessings or Curses are passed on to our children
  2. Education: Where either Truth or lies about God and His Creation are taught
  3. Government: Where Evil is either Restrained or Endorsed
  4. Business: Where people build for the Glory of God or the glory of man
  5. Media: Where events, news and information are interpreted and passed on to people through the lens of good or evil
  6. The Arts & Entertainment: Where Values and Virtues are either celebrated or distorted
  7. Religion: Where people worship God in "Spirit and Truth" or settle for religious rituals
God's heart is to transform society through the marketplace in each of these areas. Those who sit in high places of authority in these sectors have influence over that particular area.  Did you know that God has equipped you with a unique set of abilities and strengths to influence one or more of these mountains? This weekend our church is putting on The Seven Mountains Conference with guest speaker Johnny Enlow, author of The Seven Mountain Prophecy and The Seven Mountain Mantle.  We are excited to receive a greater revelation of these seven areas of influence and how we can impact our city and region for Christ.

Where do you feel your area(s) of influence lies?  What are you passionate about? For me, there are two areas where I feel like God is growing my passion and desire to both pray and impact: Government and Arts and Entertainment.  In the area of Government, He is giving me a greater burden to pray for our President, our Military, our City officials, etc.  This area seems so big to me, and I am not sure how little ole me could bring change, but little ole me with God, now that's another story!  And, as a painter, singer, and writer, I have been amazed at how God is already using me in these areas to impact those around me. I've only just begun to step out in these areas. I know God has big plans!

Begin to pray and ask the Lord where your area or areas of influence are.  Then, believe that He will equip you and give you strategies for impacting your city, region and our nation for His glory! I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know which of these seven areas you have a desire to be used by the Lord to bring a shift.

Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Voice of the Psalms - Book Review

I was very excited to review The Voice of the Psalms as part of the BookSneeze book review program for Thomas Nelson.  This translation has many contributors known as Friends of the Ecclesia Bible Society.  All of its contributors are artists -- musicians, writers, editors and scholars, and this is displayed through the book's beautifully illustrated cover, artistic background on every page, as well as the thick paper it is printed on.  It is a nice book to hold in your hands and read!  Overall, I liked the book.  As a person who has somewhat limited understanding of the Bible on the first read, it is always helpful to find a translation, such as The Voice, that will attempt to put the Word of God into today's language to help the reader understand the scripture.  I do question, however, whether this particular translation holds true to the original context of scripture.  For instance, throughout The Voice, the Name of the Lord has been replaced with The Eternal One.  Although I am not one to judge if this is right or wrong, it is foreign to me to speak of the Lord in this way.  My mind would immediately go back to the translations I was most comfortable with which refer to the Lord as simply that, Lord.  On a more positive note, I did find the small devotionals throughout The Voice helpful, and I appreciated the four Bible reading plans offered (Advent, Lent, comfort and guidance, and praise) which are given to further assist the reader.

I would recommend this book for those who have knowledge and understanding of the Word of God already, who will know and understand if something is being taken out of context.  For those such people, it could be a nice refreshing read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”