Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hello Everybody!
It's been a LONG time ... and of course "it's a STORY!"
I'm working on learning on to connect all my social networking sites, so I WILL return to this blog very soon.  Specifically, I will learn how to connect it to my FB page at ...

I'll keep you posted.
God has been good ... great ... and yes ... it's another STORY!

Blessings to all of you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When will HE hear me?

I have been asking Him to heal my broken heart for over a year now. Nothing seems to change. People tell me it's because I am THINKING too much, and that is what is keeping the pain in my heart. Well, I ask, how do I stop myself from thinking? OH I KNOW! Change the subject in my head ... at least that's what I would tell someone to do if they asked me that question.

So NOW I ask, "Who is in control of my heart anyway?" Doesn't God have the ability to change a man's heart in any direction He so desires for whatever purpose HE so deems appropriate and just? Why is HE allowing me to suffer as I have for so long? Other than I won't physically die from this heartbreak, what is HE trying to teach me?

I also can't help but wonder about that other person ... what about him? Then I remember ... he is not my issue ... he is HIS.

Last night when I took the dogs out before bed, I looked up into the sky, raised my hands, and cried aloud, "Lord, hear my cry." And then I prayed ... Again but this time outdoors ... And I know something has changed in my heart.

Is it the hands-up-into-the-sky, or is it just "time"?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A new acquaintance told me about a prayer of his about his own "willingness." I thought to myself, "Willingness? My goodness, all my prayers of late have been about willingness. How odd he should tell me about this."

HOWEVER ... nothing is odd about how God works in our lives and here's why:

The light bulb lit up in my head, and finally I realize why I have felt so stuck for so many months. MY prayers about willingness have been about someone ELSE'S heart, and not mine. "Oh Lord, create in HIM a willing heart." "Oh Lord, change HIS heart. Make HIM willing." OMGoodness! I have totally missed the mark. My prayers will change immediately: "Lord, change MY heart and make ME willing to accept YOUR will and not mine."

While I know that all fall short, I am most humbled and frustrated with myself for not seeing this sooner than today. I SHOULD know better!

“The Lord will guide you continually …” (Isaiah 58:11)

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:4,7)

Thank you, Jesus! I finally have hope that was missing for a while.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peace At Last!

When we stay focused on God's promises, we can find peace in our souls in spite of the chaos in our lives and hearts. It'a a beautiful thing to know His peace which surpasses all understanding.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something To Ponder

One of my colleagues is having a rough time in her classroom this year. Yesterday I told her I thought of her on the way to work as I was listening to KNIS Pilgrim Radio. I said, "I hope what you believe in will offer you enough support and encouragement to see this through." With tears in her eyes, she hugged me and said, "I really don't know."

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Christos Anesti

"Christos Anesti ek nekron; Thanato thanaton patisas, Kai tis en tis mnimasi; Zo-in kharisamenos."
"Christ is risen from the dead and by His death, trampling upon death; and to those in the tombs bestowing life."

I have attached a link. Do yourself a favor and turn your speakers on as you listen to this Greek Easter hymn. Then close your eyes, pretend you are in the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who rose from the dead for YOU and ME, and be blessed!

Description of Great And Holy Pascha
Mary Magdalene, and the other women who were present at the burial of our Saviour on Friday evening, returned from Golgotha to the city and prepared fragrant spices and myrrh, so that they might anoint the body of Jesus. On the morrow, because of the law which forbids work on the day of the Sabbath, they rested for the whole day. But at early dawn on the Sunday that followed, almost thirty-six hours since the death of the Life-giving Redeemer, they came to the sepulchre with the spices to anoint His body. While they were considering the difficulty of rolling away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, there was a fearful earthquake; and an Angel, whose countenance shone like lightning and whose garment was white as snow, rolled away the stone and sat upon it. The guards that were there became as dead from fear and took to flight. The women, however, went into the sepulchre, but did not find the Lord's body. Instead, they saw two other Angels in the form of youths clothed in white, who told them that the Saviour was risen, and they sent forth the women, who ran to proclaim to the disciples these gladsome tidings. Then Peter and John arrived, having learned from Mary Magdalene what had come to pass, and when they entered the tomb, they found only the winding sheets. Therefore, they returned again to the city with joy, as heralds now of the supernatural Resurrection of Christ, Who in truth was seen alive by the disciples on this day on five occasions.

Our Lord, then, was crucified, died, and was buried on Friday, before the setting of the sun, which was the first of His "three days" in the grave; observing the mystical Sabbath, that "seventh day" in which it is said that the Lord "rested from all His works" (Gen. 2:2-3), He passed all of Saturday in the grave; and He arose "while it was yet dark, very early in the morning" on Sunday, the third day, which, according to the Hebrew reckoning, began after sunset on Saturday.

As we celebrate today this joyous Resurrection, we greet and embrace one another in Christ, thereby demonstrating our Saviour's victory over death and corruption, and the destruction of our ancient enmity with God, and His reconciliation toward us, and our inheritance of life everlasting. The feast itself is called Pascha, which is derived from the Hebrew word which means "passover"; because Christ, Who suffered and arose, has made us to pass over from the curse of Adam and slavery to the devil and death unto our primal freedom and blessedness. In addition, this day of this particular week, which is the first of all the rest, is dedicated to the honour of the Lord; in honour and remembrance of the Resurrection, the Apostles transferred to this day the rest from labour that was formerly assigned to the Sabbath of the ancient Law.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Orthodox Easter

This is Greek Orthodox Easter Week, and I wish I had thought about BLOGGING about it before today! I did find this website that (IMHO) adequately elaborates on this holiday, and so enjoy:

Kali Anastasi!
Kalo Pascha!

And tomorrow ....

In the meantime, I'm going to prep my lamb for the grill!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts To Ponder On Good Friday

Crucifixion Of Jesus by Spencer Williams
Spencer Williams Gallery
1610 Licking Spring Way
Sevierville TN 37876

A medical doctor provides a physical description:

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought iron nail through the wrist deep into the wood. 

Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. 

The cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is press backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. 

The victim is now crucified.

As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain- the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. 

Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them deep relentless, throbbing pain. 

With these cramps come the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.

Spasmodically, he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint wrenching cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against rough timber. 

Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. 

It is now almost over-the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level-the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues-the tortured lungs are making frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues.

Finally, he can allow his body to die... and the Bible records with the simple words, "... and they crucified Him" (Mark 15:24). 


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beginning My Study On Apostles

I am studying about apostles these days because the Holy Spirit recently reminded me that the first 12 Apostles spread the word of the Gospel by the spoken word (preaching, teaching, and evangelizing) and by the written message (the books of the letters in the Bible ... John, Peter, and James for example). Jesus commanded the first 12 to be fishers of men meaning to spread the Word ... to teach others about Jesus Christ and the gift of forgiveness and salvation He has offered to the world.

I do believe this message was given to me because most recently, a word-of-faith believer implied to me that he is better than I because his ministry of preaching/evangelizing the Gospel touches more people than my ministry of Treasure Jesus. This, he tells me, will earn him a greater place in the Kingdom than I will earn. Interestingly, this man is from Corinth ... the same Corinth that Paul went to visit to correct the believers about their false teachings. Hmmmm ...! The false teaching presented in this post is the misunderstanding of works vs. grace.

In the Books of the New Testament, the Apostles teach us that our good deeds will not earn our salvation. It was Jesus who said in John 6:29 that the only WORK which man must do to be saved is to believe in Him: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” In reading this chapter a bit further, in verse 47, He said, " Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life." Very simple!

TBC (to be continued) without a doubt because of the passion He has put in my heart for this subject!

Ephesians 2: 8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Message

WOW! A friend of mine was scheduled to come visit me from out of town this weekend, and his trip was cancelled for many reasons. Remembering my recent prayer about cleaning out my heart, I am not devestated by this change of plans and instead feel quite refreshed. I have wondered if this is yet another response to my prayer; and this morning received the following email from a dear friend which has confirmed it is indeed an answer to prayer.

"Hi dearest friend, got back from js family reunion Tues. night and my cousin Jan is here from Bend til tomorrow. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to get out of bed and write this to you. I know you have R__ coming in I think Thurs. It's been on my heart yesterday & today to pray for you more. I am & I will!!! I have asked the Lord to give me His heart to tell you His: I am praying for your holiness, your righteousness; you remain the bride of Christ (keep awake & keep your lamp oil full), be blameless & seeking Him in ALL things. I keep getting that R__ is not the husband God has chosen for you. "Will you wait if I your Lord have chosen your husband, even if it will not be until you are 64 1/2 or 68 1/2 or?" Lords timing is not our timing. He has SO much He wants to TELL YOU and SO much LOVE FOR YOU- you cannot even fathom a grain of it. KEEP turning your face upward and KEEP seeking His will in your life. He will never mislead you but the world & Satan always will - he's planning to tempt your weaknesses now. Run the race towards our heavenly prize, and remember there is His wonderful JOY for us in our suffering for Him!!! I LOVE YOU MY FRIEND ALWAYS, Randi"

Oh if we could all have a friend like this, and she is only a sample of the friend we have in Jesus!

Ecclesiates 4:10 "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Day At The Dog Park

I had a most pleasant surprise at the dog park today.  A gentleman who I would refer to as a "dog park regular" greeted me with a giant bear hug and warm hello.  I felt so special!  We started exchanging pleasantries, and I think I recall him being the first to mention "the Lord" in his conversation.  My ears perked as I looked him square in the face and asked, "So do you know the Lord?"  "Oh yes," he replied.  "Oh yes I do!"  And the conversation just blossomed from that point.  I have seen this man for almost 3 years at this park, and I never knew until today that he is a believer.  

I love taking my 2 dogs to the dog park as often as possible every week, and when I do it's like refreshing therapy from the day for me. I just can't be stressed about anything at that park. However, I more often than not spend my hour alone walking the human trail instead of talking with people.  Today for example, before the gentleman arrived, I just trekked the trail alone talking almost entirely to God about everything on my mind today.  Now we will all agree that's not a bad thing at all.  On the other hand, I wonder how many other people in the park would relish a God-and-Jesus topic?  Hmmm ... I am going to pray right now ...

Father God, in the name of Your Son Jesus, lay it upon my heart when You want me to be more outgoing in regard to initiating conversations with people I do not know (well) so that  I might witness Your glory and/or they might do the same so that You may be glorified.  Teach me to be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and fill my mouth with Your words so I walk away in awe at Your work in my life.  Thank you for sending Your Son to die on the cross for me, and it is in His name that I pray.  Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Simple Explanation

1. God is the Father.
2. Jesus is His Son.
3. God sends in the name of Jesus (meaning to believers upon Jesus’ request) the Holy Spirit as our Guide.  (Other synonyms for Guide include Helper, Advocate, Comforter, Teacher, Counselor, and Spirit  to name a few.)  With all due respect, I refer to the Holy Spirit as my inner voice.
4. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus who sends us the Holy Spirit.

It IS this simple.

John 3:16 … “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him (The Son of God) should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 6:29 … “…This is the work of God, that you believe in Him (Jesus) whom He (God) sent.”

John 14:16-17 … “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (the Holy Spirit), that He (the Holy Spirit) may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him (the Holy Spirit) nor knows Him (the Holy Spirit), but you know Him (the Holy Spirit), for He (the Holy Spirit) dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:26 … “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Prayer Request

Please pray for my cousin David who is returning to and re-centering himself in the Way of the Tao Te Ching.  Being a mental health practitioner, I often ask, Why do we keep doing that which doesn’t seem to reap the benefits we are seeking in the first place?

From  The book does not specifically define what the Tao is, as a matter of principle because fundamentally, Tao is indefinable, unlimited, and unnamable.  There was something undefined and complete, existing before Heaven and Earth. How still it was, how formless, standing alone and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere with no danger of being exhausted. It may be regarded as the mother of all things. Truthfully it has no name, but I call it Tao (TTC, chapter 25).

I don’t believe David will find that which he is searching for because 

John 14:6 (New International Version) says: 

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

And this narrative comes form Preacherwin’s Weblog because I couldn’t say it any better!

"Jesus begins and ends this passage by focusing on himself.  Friends, salvation can be found in no other person or path.  It cannot be found in philosophy, in science, in achievements, in wealth, in family, in humanism, in Buddha, in Mohammed, or in anyone or anything else.  Our world presents many options and paths—some of which even sound convincing—but the only way to the Father is through Jesus.  The only hope of a resurrection is found in the one who was resurrected.  The only hope of eternal life is in the eternal one who is the life.  And the only truth in this world is found in the person of Christ, who has revealed to us the mysteries of God’s redemptive plan." 

Jesus Christ has eternal significance.  Can you say that about whatever philosophy you follow?

Good News

I feel like a new woman today in that my heart is different.  He has created within me the desire to stay home and spend my time with Him.  For this, I am most thankful.

I did go down to UC Davis on February 20th for a consult on the brain tumor.  The physician agreed with the radiologist who read the original MRI and concluded it is most likely a benign tumor of the meningioma-type for which removal will present a greater risk than observation at this point in time (because of its location).  I can live with the inconvenience and praise the Lord for this diagnosis until ….

Next step is to pray this thing away and here’s just a few reasons why: 

  • O Lord my God, I cried unto You, and You have healed me. (Psalm 30:2)
  • Who forgives all your iniquities; who healed all your diseases?  (Psalm 103:3)
  • Worship the LORD your God and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.  (Exodus 23:24-26)
  • O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.  (Psalm 30:1-3)
  • Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.  (Matthew 9:21-23)
  • "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  (Mark 10:51-52)
  • Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."  (Luke 18:41-43)
  • When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, He healed them. (Luke 4:39-41)
  • Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  (James 5:13-16)    
  • He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  (1 Peter 2:24)    
  • Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.  (3 John 1: 2)    
I am confident in God's Word ... are you?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Myspace Layouts

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Valentine's Surprise

Just this past February I received a  Valentine's greeting from a friend I haven't heard from in a couple of years, and I meant it from my heart when I told him it was the best surprise of the day. Our friendship in the worldly sense was short-lived; however, apparently the memories have lingered in our hearts as time moves forward each and every day.  Vasili, you have been such a blessing to me, and God used you to awaken me to a renewed awareness of the role of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I pay attention now ... I am more alert than ever before, and I thank you for all you gave me through your love for Jesus Christ.

Cleaning House

"Time to clean out this old house; time to breathe in and let everything out; whatever You're doing inside of me ... it feels like chaos; this is something bigger than me; larger than life, it's something heavenly!"  (Lyrics from Whatever You're Doing by Sanctus Real.)

Sounds like my prayer, doesn't it?  It's amazing how I will hear lyrics such as this and think they were written for me.  How else could someone possibly be singing words from MY heart to my Lord and Savior?  Yes, I am still saying my prayer daily.  

God's Word tells us He knows our hearts, so surely He knows my life's heartaches ... surely He knows how life has left fragments of hurt, anger, bitterness, disappointment, and despair in my soul.  What I have come to see (or what He has shown me) in the past few days is not only how these emotions are interfering with my relationship with Him; they are also blocking my ability to find love on this earth.  WOW!  This is another life-changing revelation for me because I have usually been one to think I don't carry "baggage" with me; however, God has shown me otherwise.  Is that not KOOL or what ?!?!?  

I am so excited about this that I am beside myself with hope and anticipation for what He is going to do next in my life.  I trust Him wholeheartedly, and I can be patient as I praise Him in songs such as Whatever You're Doing.  I pray you can too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Special Message

On February 3rd, I was sitting at my work desk when a colleague came in rather quietly and said, "I feel like God is telling me to give you a message."  I put my pencil down, pushed my paperwork aside, swiveled my chair to face him directly, and listened.  "He is as interested in your heart issues as He is in your physical."  He paused for a few moments.  "Maybe God wants you to just have Him in your life right now and not another guy."

This was more than a message ... it was a life-changing revelation for me!  Here's why:

On January 11th, one of my physicians phoned me with the results of a recent MRI of my brain done because I was having symptoms of vertigo, nausea, and dizziness.  The doctor told me the report indicated that I have a brain tumor in my cerebellum which is most likely slow-growing and benign, and my only decision at this point is to decide whether I want to go to Stanford or UC Davis for a consultation and/or treatment.  WOW!  I wasn't expecting that.  

I was thankful to have a new friend visiting me that evening, and after I told him what transpired in my phone conversation, Greg gently said, "It's just a brain tumor.  I will help you deal with it." I was thankful to have someone to process this information with me that night and when Greg left, I switched my focus to prayer.  

In the next few days, I followed up with making the necessary arrangements to go to UC Davis, and my appointment was scheduled for February 20th.  I wasn't ready to tell anybody in my life about this even upon my boss' suggestion in case any symptoms should occur at work.  I simply tended to the business of this situation until I heard that all-familiar voice loud and clear say to me, "Yiota, if you don't tell anyone, you are robbing people of the privilege of praying for you. You will not be able to glorify Me if others don't know about your BT.  Let people know, help you, and be a testimony of your love for Me."  Yes, this was my second WOW!

And so it was ... I began to share about my BT.  I was humbled by the loving and caring responses of family, friends, and colleagues.  I was filled with a renewed love for my Lord and Saviour, and the joy with which He filled my heart is unmeasurable and indescribable.  As the days and weeks passed, I continued to take care of business with the mentality that I will prepare for the worst and hope and pray for the best.  I didn't want any of us to be caught blindsided should my BT be a bad BT!  

In the meantime, I have struggled with heartache of the romantic type for quite some time ... more like years and years  I have been wanting a boyfriend for so long it's more or less my mantra now.  I've been told I discard men like some women discard shoes, although I will tell you I keep my shoes forever.  I am very discriminatory when it comes to men, and the moment I learn a man does not love the Lord at least as much as I do, he gets dismissed.  It's not at all a tough thing for me to do because Jesus comes first!  

When Terry told me that God cares about my heart, initially I could not comprehend how that applied to my life on that particular day until February 16th.   When I awoke and opened my eyes to find my beloved dogs next to me and my cat on top of me, I felt a stirring inside my soul.  I didn't have time to ponder it at that moment because it was a work day, and I didn't awaken in enough time to do so.  As I plodded through the morning, however, I felt something different ... I felt "light-hearted" and very happy even more so than usual.  I had gotten in the habit of rereading Terry's message to me, and this morning when I did so, the big bulb lit up in my head! My goodness ... the reason I was feeling so happy was because heartache was being lifted!  WOW #3!  

On this day, I added "Heavenly Father, please remove anything or anybody from my heart that does not belong there ... that is not of You"  into my prayers.  God is a mighty and awesome God for all things, and I will tell you that for this simple prayer request, a mighty and awesome change has occurred in my heart that can be described simply as a heart of contentment, peace, and joy.  I could not ask for more, and this is WOW again!   This testimony doesn't end here.

The reason I am writing this post today is because earlier I recognized another WOW.  At the time God revealed to me (through my colleague) that He wants me to be happy with Him alone, (for a couple of weeks in January) I was seeking encouragement from a nonbeliever who was readily available when I should have only been buddying up in prayer with the Lord Himself without other worldly influences regardless of the genuineness of the friendship.   I had doubts about Greg's perspectives as well as the basis of the friendship, and while I chose to not pursue questioning it more actively, I have questioned myself about why not !?!?!?  Today God made it most clear in a passing thought that it was a friendship based on false pretenses that He wanted removed from my heart intentionally.  WOW!

The Book of Jeremiah tells us that if we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him.  I pray that I/we seek Him in this way each and every day.  He wants to be with us in everything (good and not so good) in our lives simply because He loves us so much that He went to the cross for us.  I don't know how I would ever have the strength to get through life without Him.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Then all these things shall be given unto you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Amazing Grace

Lost?  Found?  Blind?  See?

When I first heard the lyrics so many years ago, I could not comprehend the meaning ... how could this happen? It was as complicated as You must be born again of the spirit.  Mumbo-jumbo was all it was to me.

I don't recall the day I heard Amazing Grace sung again for the first time as a BA Christian.  All I do remember is that I fell to my knees and sobbed very salty tears of thanksgiving because ... I finally got it!  Lord Jesus, thank you so much for dying for ME!

If you are not born again and believe that God is calling you to be chosen, just read this simple prayer from your heart to our Lord God Almighty:

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first.  Lord Jesus, I believe that You are truly the Son of God.  I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave. Lord Jesus, I invite You into my heart and receive You right now.  Forgive me of my sins, and thank You for Your forgiveness.  Thank You for a new life.  Help me to be who You want me to be and to live my life for You.  (Continue to pray by telling Him what you are thinking and feeling.)  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Then listen to Amazing Grace in the video below these posts.  

May He bless you in your walk with Him forever and ever, Amen.

BTW ... in the video ... the background is one of the world's oldest Roman amphitheaters in Pula, Croatia.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

God Answers

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The First Revelation

Yes, our lives changed that day. Oh no … I didn’t wake up the next morning and have a strikingly different life or anything remotely like that. I was still working 3 jobs and tired; still single and envious of those who weren’t; still angry about my childhood and struggling with perfectionism; and all the while fooling myself into a false state of happiness. Instead, what I notice (in retrospect) is that I developed an inherent desire to read the Bible (which I now fondly refer to as God’s Word), and for the first time ever, what I was reading made sense to me. I didn’t make much of this at the time … I just remember being at work and wanting to go home to read whenever possible instead of mixing mysef a toasted almond. My sister Elizabeth ( also experienced a similar change. She would bring her new large print Bible over to my house, and we would sit together on the sofa reading God’s Word aloud taking turns with the passages. One of the first revelations God gave me as a born-again Christian goes along with the following story.

My twin sister is mentally retarded since birth. As a little girl, I always recognized that Elizabeth was different from both me and other children I knew; even our cousins with whom we were very close as children. My daily prayer since the age of 5 was “God, please make my sister normal.” I stopped praying for this around the age of 16, at which time I sort of gave-up on God because I couldn’t see any changes. Instead, as the years past, her disability became more obvious.

I was in my early 30’s at the time of this story. One particular day as she and I were on the sofa and she was reading to me, I heard a distinct voice. “You see, she is normal and always has been.” I recall this moment in time as if it just happened a few minutes ago. My jaw dropped as my eyes glanced around the room. I heard it again, and there was no mistake in my mind as to the Source as tears of humility and gratitude poured down my cheeks. After all these years, my prayer was answered explicitly. It wasn’t Elizabeth who needed to be changed; it was me ... my perception. I didn’t have to worry about the rest of the world’s response or reaction to her any more. WOW!

And the change continued.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday, October 31, 1981

It was too overcast to bother going to the beach, and besides, I had a costume party to plan for that night.  At 1:00 the telephone rang.   It was my Mom calling to tell me that a renown Catholic priest named Father Ralph DiOrio was in St. Petersburg today, and would I go to a healing mass with her.  Feeling rather taken aback, I said yes.  You see, I had read about this service in the newspaper a few days earlier and had actually given attending a momentary thought.  I was at the house by 3:00 and Mom, my twin sister, and I climbed into my little blue Mazda RX7 and headed for the ?.  Even though I was not a total stranger to the Catholic Church because of extended family members, having been raised in the Orthodox Church, I knew not what to expect.  I was planning on being home by 6:00 so I could go out that evening.  Little did I know that 6 hours later the three of us would head for home as Born-again Christians ... praise the Lord!