On Judging - Podcast

Should Christians never judge?  Does the Bible contradict itself on this matter?  Let's talk about judging!

My New Pantry

I've always stocked up on food but even more so since the pandemic.  We outgrew our pantry cabinet and started using my plant greenhouse wire rack and then that wasn't enough, so we used another wire rack we had in the garage as well.  I covered them with a white sheet to keep them dark and it really bothered me because 1.  it took up space in my dining room and 2. it was unsightly lol!

I eventually wanted a pantry built-in to the wall in our kitchen but didn't want to spend a lot, didn't know who to do it and I didn't want drywall dust everywhere either.  So for $60, we were able to come up with something that works and condensed the cabinet and 2 wire shelves and even the microwave cart down to just these 2... Bookcases!  Yes, I love me some bookcases and they didn't fail me this time for food storage either.  Walmart has shrunk the bookcases, so they're now about 25 inches instead of the old 31 inches for the same price of $29.  They only come out about 12 inches, whereas our cabinet and cart was about 17 inches - so we have more room to walk through the kitchen now too!

The Crisco was a pandemic buy - I haven't used it and don't plan on using it unless push comes to shove LOL!

Then, I didn't want to use the same white sheet and look tacky, so I ordered some tension rods and nice curtains from Amazon for $40 - altogether, my pantry was $105!  I could have gotten the 84-inch curtains but I didn't want to have to cut and sew them to fit, so I got the 63-inch and just deal with the part showing on the bottom.

Now, I have reclaimed my dining room space too!  We can now put the table centered back under the chandelier and have more room when we extend it with the 2 leaves when guests come over.

Don't Settle for Less than the Truth! - Podcast

This is a short podcast urging you to pray and ask God to lead you to the truth and to a church that's speaking the truth.  Don't settle for the error or the omission of true Biblical doctrine!

Part 2 - (No Longer) Fighting God's Will

You can read Part 1 here where I tell about how we finally stepped out on faith and went to the city that God told us to go to.  I will pick up the story from there.

The windows of heaven had opened the moment my husband said: "God, I will go!"  It was one miracle after another and I was getting everything I asked for or even wanted.  It was a surreal time in our lives.  From packing our Penske to our arrival in Ohio, there were continuous surprises of blessings.  

When we had to pack everything we had acquired since we were married in 2000, we didn't know HOW we were going to fit 16 years of material goods into a Penske truck.  However, God touched the heart of a preacher to show up at our house when we were loading the Penske.  The preacher said God sent him there and by the end of it, we knew beyond any doubts that had it not been for that man, we wouldn't have fit everything!  It was literally packed from top to bottom with no space to the very last mattress and sliding the door down with barely an inch left of room.  Not only did God send that man, but God even sent others that just kept showing up that my husband had worked with for 10 years.  Then, God sent women also to help me clean because I was recovering from the car accident a few months prior and couldn't do much.  I remember crying a lot just amazed at the people that showed up that loved us!  Also our last church service when our Pastor announced we were leaving, there were lines of people waiting to say goodbye to us.  The things that each of them said to us had us in total shock.  I didn't even know these people thought such good things about us.

The moment we crossed that Kentucky bridge and entered Ohio was one of the best feelings of my life!  However, we weren't prepared for what we felt when we arrived and stepped on the ground in the place God had called us.  As soon as my husband and I stepped out and had our feet on the ground, an extreme feeling of the Holy Spirit came over us.  We both looked at each other realizing the other had felt the same thing and realized we were going to see something happen here because we were literally standing on our destined ground.

Money started coming back to us that we didn't know we would get - from an oversight in the accounting for the house we bought to people just giving us cash, we recovered almost everything we spent to move as soon as we arrived!  The house was better than we thought and the neighborhood was jaw-dropping compared to living in a mobile home park for 10 years lol.  We had lakes, trails, 20 acres of woods that we were free to roam in, sidewalks, playground and field for the kids to the play.  We didn't realize all this was available to us as being residents in this neighborhood.  Then the location was absolutely the best we later found out for the commute to the city and safety.

We stayed with the church group we had been a part of for 18 years as they had a church there in this area.  The pastor was great and every message that man preached was like eating a full course dinner in God's Word!  It was so good, that I couldn't wait to go to church every single time because I was never disappointed.  The pastor had told us he had been praying for over 3 years and that God sent us in answer to his prayers.  God used that man to bring me into my gifts, which has always been there but I didn't have anyone to help me understand and walk in them until him.  He also talked about dreams and I finally was able to have someone interpret my many dreams I have and have had since I was a child.  And they were spot on!  However, I saw from the first day that something was amiss and the pastor faced enormous opposition and I had to watch it unfold to the place where the pastor resigned.

God led me to go to a revival of a local Pentecostal church.  My husband wouldn't go but I was going to obey the strong pull of the Lord and went alone.  I remember walking in and all of the sudden I was literally glowing!  During the revival that night, God spoke to me so strong I went to the altar and balled my eyes out begging God to help me.  Immediately all these hands were on me and women had surrounded me praying for me and comforting me.  I was like, what is this??  I had never had this before and the love enveloped me and I thought to myself, I've needed this all along.  After church, I was still glowing and I didn't know why but then the Pastor rushed over to me and caught me before I walked out.  He was very interested in knowing who I was and said please come back tomorrow night.  I finally convinced my husband to come with me the next night and when we walked through the doors into the sanctuary I saw the pastor look at us from the front like he'd seen a ghost.  He came up to us and started saying that we were the ones from his vision and God had sent us.  The pastor went on to say that when I came the night before I was literally glowing bright and God was all on me.  He said when I left, he turned around to all the people and said, "There's something to that woman!  I'm telling you there is something to that woman."  Then, he said when my husband and I both walked in together, God spoke to him and said, "That's them!  Those are the ones I showed you in your vision 3 years ago and those are the ones I have sent."  

So here we are having someone tell us we were sent by God to them again.  He went on to tell the entire church from the pulpit many times that God sent my husband and I and we were 3 years late but nevertheless, we came.  One Sunday morning we went back to this church and God moved in an amazing way.  There was a pastor and his family that stopped in to visit that the pastor of this church didn't know.  This visiting pastor followed God's leading to stop by.  The pastor let this man get up and preach and WOW, I have never forgotten this man.  At altar call, my husband went to pray up front and after returning to my seat after prayer, I looked up to see my husband praying with hands up on his knees and he was... GLOWING!  I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but as I stared, he was literally glowing and it was all around him.  I saw the visiting pastor walk back to his seat, sit down and he looked forward and saw my husband and he jumped up, ran to my husband and helped hold his hands up.  I remember thinking, this man sees it too!!  I was excited, like what is going on here?!  After altar call and dismissal, the visiting pastor came running to my husband, grabbed his hand said, "What is your calling brother?"  My husband looking confused said, "I don't know."  The visiting pastor was really confused and looked at me like how could he not know LOL!  He drilled my husband saying things like: "You're a preacher though right?  Missionary? Pastor?"  My husband told him he is trying to figure that out.  The visiting pastor told him if you ever come to my church in *****, Ohio, you have my parsonage and everything is yours.  We were a little shocked at this but this man was absolutely ready to hand over his pulpit to my husband and his parsonage for lodging.  My husband was still glowing and he glowed all the way home that day.  That week is when God told him to leave the former group we'd been a part of for 18 years and start attending this new church and we obeyed quickly!  And what happened there is another post in Part 3!

Choose Your "Success" - Podcast

This is an admonition to women to be careful defining "success" by the world's standard that is outside of the Biblical success God gives us for women.  

I recorded this recently and now posting it.  I would like to be able to edit these podcasts and add in an intro of some sort in the future but for now, you get the raw deal.   I'm sorry to my foreign readers that you can't translate the podcast, I hope to write more in the future that you can translate.

The Current Housing Crisis

We follow Dave Ramsey's guidelines loosely, but we used to be totally 100% into his plan.  I had called Ramsey about 5 years ago asking if we should just go ahead and buy a home because we had been renting for 16 years.  We didn't have 20% down but we were completely debt-free and had our 3-month emergency fund saved.  He cut me off and didn't let me speak anymore and went on his usual rant about having 20% down or Murphy will move in the spare bedroom.

He didn't take into account that we had numerous medical bills over the years that took any money we could have saved at the time because we were following his get out of debt fast plan and went gung-ho every time we had a medical bill, so we never stopped and actually saved a down payment.  We decided to buy a home anyway and I'm glad we did!  Because today, our home is worth $120K over what we owe!  We actually have an asset and the mortgage payment is parked for 30 years, the only thing that goes up are the property taxes and homeowner's insurance.  It was the best decision we could have made because this area rents out a 3 bedroom for well above $1400 a month and that wouldn't have worked for us.

Dave Ramsey does say some things I agree with, one being make sure your housing costs are 25% or less of your monthly take-home pay.  This used to be easily done because housing prices were affordable.  However, right now we are having massive inflation and low inventory in homes for sell is causing the most ridiculous market I've ever seen!  Whatever you do, don't buy something you can't afford.  Just look at these figures that I entered on Ramsey's website calculator for families making anywhere from $40K-$70K:

Just using my area of the country, which is one of the more affordable areas, the above figures say that you can only afford a home that is $113K-$150K and guess what!?  You can't find a home that cheap in most places in the US right now unless you live in a very dangerous neighborhood!  So, I wondered, just what do you have to make to afford a normal family home in America today that is $225K under Ramsey's guidelines?

Having an income of $6,500 take-home pay, puts you making over $85,000 at least, including taxes in there.  So, there is no affordable housing right now using Ramsey's guidelines for most Americans that make less than middle-upper middle class.  Some people are buying homes based on 40% of their take-home pay and this is beyond dangerous, it is ridiculous!

You must think about what you CAN afford - since you can't afford what's out there right now, can you afford to build a new home?  Can you afford a small piece of land and a tiny home?  That may be the saving grace of many families and if that is all that you can afford, then that is all you can afford!

Don't put yourself into a situation that not only compromises your finances, but also compromises your obedience to God's Word as being a keeper-at-home!  

I've discussed this very thing with my daughter recently and we talked about how we may not always have it so good - things can change and you must put God first and obedience to His Word.  If your treasure is in Heaven, then it won't matter how many square feet you have or don't have.

I recommend everyone write your Congressman and demand affordable housing!  I have more to say on this in the future and hope to do a podcast about it.  But most importantly, PRAY - because God can open doors that are closed for others and you would be amazed because nothing is impossible with God!!  Somewhere out there is a wealthy builder who will be part of the solution and build some affordable, smaller homes and I pray that God will bless this man 1000-fold!

Image credit: My screenshots of DaveRamsey.com