Love Wins Every Time!

No matter what we face.  No matter how we feel.  No matter how terrible the storm is.  Love wins every time!  There is just something about love that can break down every barrier, every lie, every storm and obstacle that comes to our lives.  When love comes on the scene, we can think clearly again.  I remember a man that would always talk about seeing others through rose-colored glasses and that has come to my mind so many times throughout the years.  When we look at people through a lens of love, we can't harbor any ill feelings toward them.  We can't hate them or despise them because love won't allow it.

Our perception can be blurred when we lose sight of love; when the cares of this life take over and distractions come to prevent us from seeing the truth.  Satan is the mastermind of distraction.  He is the most skilled weaver of all the webs that entangle us in his lies.  His number one objective is to stop us from looking through those love lenses - he wants to blur your vision with deception.

Though Satan may accomplish so much of these in our lives and cause confusion and battles - he can't stand up to love!  If we could only grasp the true power of love - that is that God Himself is love and that it was He who showed us that love on the cross as he cried out:

Luke 23:34
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Oh the love that Christ showed to those who would have him killed!  He saw past their deeds and saw that they were just puppets for Satan - He had love for them that they could be forgiven despite what they had allowed Satan to use them for.  Just the fact that Christ died on that cross for the entire world is the key to this - LOVE is our strongest weapon in fighting Satan.  Intellect and logic won't win every battle - but love wins every time!

If we all practiced using this weapon, we would be able to subdue the enemy in our lives and with each other.  It is time to slip on those glasses and look at people in a new light, a light of love!

Speaking Faith & Fighting to Keep It

I remember back when we started to get all our medical bills and how I spoke defeat.  I spoke it to a friend, I spoke it to my parents and my own family.  A day or two later, I was very convicted and thought of the following verse came to my mind:

Luke 18:8
"...when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

I want God to find faith in me!  So, I called my parents and my friend back and apologized to them for my faithless talk.  I told my husband and daughter that I was sorry for the doom and gloom I forecasted and then I said that we are going to speak FAITH over these medical bills.

And that is when God started moving.  In just a few weeks, the faith spoke down $8,000.  But it didn't stop there, I started speaking faith in other parts of my life and it wasn't long before Satan got upset!  See, Satan doesn't like it when Christians start claiming their promises.  He doesn't like it when we start speaking faith and believing and conquering mountains.  He will bring all the forces of hell out against you when you do this and try and knock you back down into a pit of despair but I can tell you that anything worth having in God is worth fighting for!!

I prayed a prayer specifically a few weeks ago and didn't voice it to anyone.  My prayer was that God would bring money to our door.  I thought I would open the door one day and money would be sitting there.  I spoke faith.

Monday, God kept dealing with heart to do something for someone.  I mean it wouldn't leave me alone!  I kept saying to myself I was too busy but finally at 8pm at night, I realized it was God........and I did what he said to do!!  I didn't think much of it but I knew it was God's leading.

Late Monday night I had been dealt a blow that kept me awake and feeling like God wasn't even there.  I thought maybe I wasn't even His child because I mess up so many times saying and doing the wrong things and causing problems to people I care about.  I thought I should just give up entirely and I asked God to show me that I was still His child and that our family was worth something to God.  Satan made me feel absolutely useless to everyone around me and that our family was just something to laugh at - I mean what were we doing for God?  Nothing.

I got a knock on the door yesterday and someone left us a card.  I opened the card up and there was a large amount of cash and immediately I knew God had brought it to our door!! Literally brought the money that I had prayed for!!  The card was a thank you to our family from someone we barely even knew but had been watching our lives as neighbors who don't even go to church.  They said that people like us are rare these days and they are so thankful we are in this world and they just wanted to give us some money to show their gratitude.  They went on to say how great our family was........Oh God, how sorry I was to believe the devil's lies that our family was nothing, that I'm only a person that causes problems and we are useless to anyone.  I realized that there are souls living around us that have watched our lives and they SEE our walk with God, even when you think no one is looking, no one notices.........God sends a reminder that though you may not be doing great things that people recognize you for, though you may not have anything before your name - you are still doing something for God by just living a Christian life.  You are the light in your neighborhood, you are the light in your home and you can shine bright to a lost, dark and lonely world and they can see God everyday by looking at your life.

So for all those that say how hard life is, how you don't have money to buy food or pay bills - stop speaking defeat and despair and start speaking FAITH!! God is a responder and He has told us in His Word to PROVE Him - give God His and prove Him if He won't keep His promises. 

Malachi 3:10

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

My Dad Did It All

My dad was a hard-working man, a pastor of a church for 26 years and full of compassion for people.  He would work long hours, getting up before the sun and working as a general foreman of an electrical company for 10 hours everyday of the week.  He would then come home and sometimes make dinner (because my mom worked too) and then continue to work through the evening.  He tended to a football field sized garden in the evenings, mowed and did whatever else needed to be done until dusk.  Then, he would retire to his chair and fall asleep.  He also pastored a church of 120 people for 26 years and raised 3 children, which included me.

Some say that you can't pastor a church and have a family and work and grow a garden - but someone forgot to tell my dad that because he did it ALL!  I admire him for that.  I admire the fact that my dad was one of the hardest working men that I've ever known, who did what he had to do to put food on the table.  He could have came home and rested every evening but instead, he worked 13 hour days on average but always resting on Sunday - although he preached twice every Sunday.  He would get on top of his lunchbox at lunch time at the job site and preach, and no one dared told him it wasn't ok because he was the boss!  Many men rather wept and would kneel down to pray and even years later, they remember my dad and his stand for God.

He answered calls in the middle of the night from church members and went to be with many by their side to pray on them in the hospital.  He gave money to help people pay their bills and he gave a large portion of our money to the church that he loved and built from our living room.  He preached funerals and weddings and went through many hurts from friends who turned out to be enemies.  I remember those nights when I would hear my dad praying and crying from the barn up the hill by the garden.  He didn't know but I was listening and crying too.  I saw how my dad handled the hard times - prayer.  There were times we would be sick as children and I remember many times my parents laying hands on us and praying for healing and we were immediately healed.  One time I had a mercury thermometer in my mouth and it was extremely high.  My parents had no health insurance so they relied on God - while they were praying the red mercury ball went down to a normal temperature!  God healed me on the spot and it would forever show me that the prayer of faith can heal.

My dad never went to a bible college or learned how to pioneer a church, yet somehow he was successful in learning as he went.  The first night he started his church in our living room, there were 60 people in attendance.  It wasn't before long that they were able to rent a basement and then years later, they were able to buy it and build a top to it, then a fellowship hall.  My dad sacrificed for that church and the souls all because he wanted to do God's will.  He wasn't ashamed to preach against sin and run around the outside of the church and back in again still preaching!  He was always known for his firey preaching.

When I think of my dad, I think of a man that was able to do it all - a man that was a real man.  One that put God first, family second and still had time to work with hands providing our food and also to give to others.  He was never ashamed to cry when it was called for because he had such a love for people and us that he couldn't keep his care inside.  He had a license plate for years on his truck and it is something that I still remember today:

A Family That Prays Together Stays Together

Mountains Are Moving - God is Providing!

Remember how I told you how God worked miracles about our medical bills here?  Well, He is still moving those mountains!  In the past 2 weeks, unbelievable things have happened with our medical bills.  I called to pay a bill and found out that it was billed wrong and we only owed $47!  I called to pay on another bill and the lady didn't even know how it happened but the balance was only $35.90!  I told her we owed more than that but she said someone came in there and wrote the rest off.  !!!!!!  Then, we found out on another bill, they will probably be removing $720 of it!

Our bills went from $10K to $8K down to $5K.......after the past 2 weeks, we only owe.....a little over $2K!  Ok, well if you all don't shout, I will!! I know how God can take care of medical bills, He can do anything!!

There is no mountain too big that God can't move - even medical bills.  You don't need the government to bail you out - God owns it all anyway!  Depend on Him and you can't go wrong!

Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I Didn't Get Obese By Overeating

Now some of you may be saying that my title is not possible but actually it is - it is actual fact!  I've gained a lot weight four times in my life that put in the obese category and neither weight gain was caused by overeating or moving less.  It was caused by medications.

Medications can cause weight gain that is extremely difficult to remove!

In 2001, I was a healthy and fit size 4 and in the Air Force.  I then went through an extremely stressful time in the workplace and I got shingles around my side and back for 3 months.  It was on of the most painful things I've ever had!  I had to be on prednisone for those 3 months just to be able to come to work.  I gained a whopping 50 pounds in 3 months on prednisone without overeating.

I then worked very hard exercising and cutting my calories down to very low levels and the weight came off and I returned down to a small size again.  My infertility also disappeared and I was able to get pregnant.

During my pregnancy in 2003, I was on a lot of various medications that the side effect was weight gain.  I gained almost 60 pounds during that pregnancy.  I again, had to work very hard exercising up to 2 hours a day and eating a low calorie diet to lose the weight but I once again returned to my smaller, former size but this time with more muscle.

In 2005 after losing the weight from my pregnancy, I was very sick with liver disease that was also enlarged.  I also had many neurological problems.  I was put on a lot of medicaitons and I had reactions to a lot of them.  Once again, I gained on the medications and my weight reached the overweight category and stopped once I went off the medications.  I then worked to lose the weight again and almost had lost it all when in 2007, I ended up in the hospital for a few weeks and you can guess what happened next........

In 2007 during my hospitalization and their experimentation with many drugs, I had severe allergic reactions but they couldn't find anything I wasn't allergic to, so they sent me home with one that had minimal reactions but made me so sick.  I gained 10 pounds in one week and from then on, I went on to balloon up to the obese category.  Again, my weight gain STOPPED as soon as I went off the medications but now I was obese.

I tried to lose that weight but it was very difficult to do so, either age or constant illness deterred me.  I got pregnant in 2012 and again was on medications but none that caused weight gain, so I didn't gain much during my pregnancy with son and upon having him, lost all of the weight I gained during pregnancy by the 3rd week!

However, I was left with the weight I had before having him - which was caused by the medications in 2007 and here I am today.  I've maintained easily and even lost 13 pounds by eating 800 calories when I had to during my gallbladder illness until they removed it.  In my life when not on medications, I maintain my weight easily, which I would have always had I not been on medications.

I found out that fat cells that are stored because of medication are actually different in their composition from fat cells from just overeating.  It is a lot harder to lose the fat cells from medication than normal fat cells!  Also, when you lose fat cells that were caused by medication weight gain, you will get very sick from all the toxins that were stored in those cells!  As you burn the fat, you release the toxins, which is why a lot of people can get ill after losing weight.  That is why it is so important to lose weight slowly if you gained it from medications.  Also take milk thistle daily while losing the fat, to help the liver detoxify all that will be released.

I shared all this with you all so that you will not judge someone who is overweight or obese!  You will understand that some didn't get that way but stuffing their face and they aren't gluttons!  They also have to work harder to lose the weight and they will get sick along the way.  I'm really tired of hearing people pass judgements (even Christians) on others telling them that they must have overeaten to get so fat - well, thanks Job's friend but you are wrong!  Rather, we should have compassion on those that are obese and not assume things, we don't honestly know HOW they got that way do we?  Think about that the next time you pass assumed judgements in your mind about someone - you may just be entertaining lies in your mind.

*Just a note, I'm only 189 pounds and size 14, but I do still classify as being obese according to my doctor for my height.  I don't "look" obese because I have a lot of muscle which makes me look smaller, but still called obese because I'm not at an ideal weight for my height.  I said this lest you all think I was like 400 pounds - I'm not, but even if someone was, maybe they have been on medications for years and they really couldn't help it.  Think about that a while.

What I've Learned in 6 Years of Homeschooling

I've been homeschooling my daughter from preschool through to 4th grade and as we finish up the grammar stage of classical education, I can tell that you I've learned a LOT and wanted to share.  Maybe you are just beginning homeschooling or have a year or so under your belt, here is what I would tell you:

  1. God should always be FIRST!  - your homeschool won't work to the glory of God if you get caught up in academics and exclude Him.  Reading the Bible daily for you and your children is far more important than anything else they will learn.  If you find yourself having trouble homeschooling, look and see the place that you put God in - if He isn't first, then you need to reorganize!
  2. Reading is the most important - Teach your child to read and read well EARLY on!  My daughter was reading fluently at a 4th grade level in 1st grade following The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching ReadingIf you don't get them reading on their own, you will find you will be doing a lot of teaching and get burnt out and quit.  Most children should be reading at LEAST 1 1/2 hours a day - it doesn't just stop with phonics, your child has to read books a lot to master it.  You will also find that their English, writing and spelling improves the more they read.  I find a lot of people that have problems homeschooling, haven't taught their child to read on their own - or if they have, they didn't make their child read books everyday - you are shooting yourself in the foot here.....get them to READ!!
  3. After Bible and reading, math is next - If you can just teach 3 things, teach these.  Even if you don't get around to grammar, writing or spelling - it will be taken care of in reading.  Math is so important and one subject you should never get behind in.  Definitely don't take more than 2 weeks off from math because concepts will be lost in the early grades.  
  4. Child should be independent by 3rd grade - if you do the above 3 and are following the classical method, most children should be able to do most of their schoolwork independently.  There may still be a few things you have to teach, like writing (which only takes 10 minutes) but for the most part, you shouldn't be doing much at all.  How so?  Well, you got your child to read on their own!  You also spent 1st and 2nd grade doing narration, which means they learned how to read to understand (comprehension).  If you have problems by this grade, check to make sure God is first and your child can read on their own and does read books from 1-2 hours every day.  Even with slower children, by 4th grade if you don't see independence in most subjects - examine what is going on.
  5. Classical Education is superior - I've looked at a lot of different methods, compared with my public and private school education as well and come to the conclusion that classical education is far superior to any other.  Why?  Well, it teaches to the mind of the child.  In the grammar stages, your child is a sponge soaking up everything.  In the logic stages, they start to ask why and to find out the answers - in other words, they learn to THINK!  By the rhetoric stage, they take all the information they've absorbed and the thinking skills are able to defend their viewpoints and back up their beliefs.  They don't teach this in other methods and they sure don't teach it in public schools!
  6. Include secular beliefs and books - Don't be a Christian hermit and shelter your child from anything that doesn't have a scripture in it or reference to God.  Your children need to know what evolution is and why it is wrong!  They need to see both sides, so that they will not be tricked later on in life.  They should learn mythology, so they can understand references to it in history and the great books.  They need to understand the world with a Christian worldview - not just live in a sheltered educational box for they will not be truly educated to reach the world.
  7. Relax!!!!  - I just learned this a few years ago but I see so many others not relaxing and being burdened down by Satan's lies about homeschooling.  It isn't hard!  They just need to learn to read, write and do math and everything else is gathered really from reading!  You can go through and never do one experiment or project and learn what you need to know by just reading a book on it.  RELAX!!  There are only 4 parts of science and they repeat it every 4 years - so if you miss something the first go round, relax!  Same with history.  Don't sweat the small stuff, they will eventually get it - trust me!
  8. Love Teaching Your Child - if you don't do everything as unto God, you will hate homeschooling and your child will pick that up!  Don't let Satan have an advantage in your home - do homeschooling as you are doing it for the Lord.  Your bad attitudes will be absorbed by your child and they will lose confidence in themselves.  Change your attitude and amazingly - everything starts working again!  Praise your children more than you point out their mistakes!!
  9. Pray constantly about your homeschool - whenever you have a problem in homeschooling - stop and pray!  If your child is struggling with something - have them stop and pray!  Prayer changes things!  You either have faith when you pray or you don't.  If you don't pray for your homeschool before you begin each day, don't be surprised if you have a hard time.  You have not because you didn't ask!

Suffering Brings Change

We have an option - we can either change for the better or we can change for the worse.  We can even let others change us as we conform to their ideals or we can let God change us as we conform to His Holy Word.  Ask yourself the question, "How have I changed, is it for the better or worse?  Have my changes come about by following a person, a woman or a man to the point that I'm just a reproductive copy of their opinions OR have my changes rather come from God through allowing my trials to make me better?"

Notice that Jesus Himself displays this change that should take place in our lives within - although He was without sin and entirely perfect, He still displays what our will should be as well:

Hebrews 5:7-8

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

A lot of times our obedience can come about because of the things that we have suffered have moved us to a change within that inspires a true faithfulness to a Great God.  Suffering has a way of changing people - again, either for the better or the worse.  There are those who have lost limbs that sit around asking why and are bitter against everyone.  Then, there are those that have lost limbs that rather go on to bring about a positive message in the midst of their suffering.  We all have a CHOICE in how we will allow things to change us.

Henry's Commentary

Here he has left us an example, that we should learn by all our afflictions a humble obedience to the will of God. We need affliction, to teach us submission.


“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - Viktor E. Frankl

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” - Frederick Douglass