Saturday, November 14, 2015

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 - Word(s) of the Year...............Be Prepared

 
 
As January 2015 gets rolling, I've been trying to think of MY "word" for 2015.   Yes, it has taken me almost two weeks to figure it out but low and behold I have it!   
 
Have you ever planned a trip, party or event on just a spur of the moment?   If you did it without preparation I need you to hit me up and let me know how to do it.
 
This past year, my hubby and I took a trip to Tennessee and he talked me into NOT planning our hotels, events, etc.   I was just like Moses......A BASKET CASE!!!!!
 
 
Yes the trip was eventful but I had to let go of my OCD and just wing it.  I've got great memories and enjoyed all the unplanned moments that I knew would surely happen. 
 
Lesson learned.....I WILL NOT DO THAT AGAIN.   I am very much a planner and organizer and I like to have my itinerary in hand when I leave the house....even to the grocery store.
 
Whether in my daily living or planning a trip, I know that I should always be prepared.  In the Bible, God equips us with several items that we should always put on at the beginning of each day. 
 
  
Helmet of Salvation
helmet of salvation

 
spiritual armor
Helmet of Salvation
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."--- Ephesians 6:17

"For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head." --- Isaiah 59:17

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
--- I Thessalonians 5:8
The Bottom Line

The helmet of salvation guards our minds, for the battle against the enemy is in the mind. The helmet of salvation also assures us of two things:
  • We will have eternal life in heaven.
  • God has a special plan for us.


 
 
 
Breastplate of Righteousness
breastplate of righteousness
Breastplate of Righteousness
"Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness."--- Ephesians 6:14

"For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head." --- Isaiah 59:17

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
--- I Thessalonians 5:8
The Bottom Line

Whenever the enemy tries to bring up your past to accuse you, the breastplate of righteousness is your trusty defense. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in you, then God receives you as His son or daughter no matter what the devil says. "For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21). The righteousness of Christ in you is what matters — not your shortcomings and failures.

This does not mean that your heavenly Father is indifferent to your sin or regards it lightly. Rather, as a loving father corrects his child, so the Lord corrects you (see Hebrews 12:5-11). At times His chastening may seem stern and unfair, but He is working to mold you into the likeness of Christ. He desires that "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11) be produced in your life.

In Isaiah 59, the Lord put on righteousness as a breastplate and went out to fight evil and corruption. "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke" (Isaiah 59:16-17).

The Lord shares His righteousness with His children, for they, too, must encounter evil and corruption. The world we live in is full of sin and spiritual darkness. People all around us are in desperate need of the light and life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, "let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation" (I Thessalonians 5:8). We are to let the light of Christ shine to those around us and follow the Lord's leading in doing "good works" (see Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14). Such works may involve standing firm against injustice (Leviticus 19:15), meeting the needs of the poor and fatherless (Psalm 82:3-4), and defending the helpless (Proverbs 31:8-9). These are all practical manifestations of the Lord's righteousness.

   
Sword of the Spirit
sword of the spirit
Sword of the Spirit
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." --- Hebrews 4:12
The Bottom Line

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God breathed from our spirits and released from our mouths, mingled with and energized by the breath or Spirit of God, causing it to be filled with His divine life and ability.

The written Word (graphe) was given by the inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:21). The Living Word (logos) is Jesus. (John 1:1-3, Luke 1:35, Hebrews 4:12) Jesus said in John 6:63 "the words that I speak (rhema) unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." By speaking the Word, your words become energized (zoe). (Hebrews 4:12).

John writes in Revelation 1:16: "And He (Jesus) had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." Thus Jesus, who is the Word (logos) according to John 1:1, speaks (rhema) forth His Word which is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12); His Word shall not return unto Him void, but it shall accomplish that which He pleases according to Isaiah 55:11. Therefore by speaking and praying the Word of God (our sword of the spirit), strongholds are broken down in the heavenlies.

Just as Jesus the living Word (logos) defeated Satan at Calvary, the spoken word (rhema) now enforces that victory. Remember, it is not the Sword of the Spirit until you speak it!

  
Shield of Faith
shield of faith
Shield of Faith
"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."--- Ephesians 6:16

"For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head." --- Isaiah 59:17

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." --- I Thessalonians 5:8
The Bottom Line

In Romans 10:17 Paul writes: "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Thus we increase our faith by reading the Bible. Faith works in love (Galatians 5:6) and "perfect love casteth out all fear." (I John 1:18 ). Therefore, Faith (Forsaking All In Trusting Him) casts out fear (False Evidence Appearing Real). Thus if you want to live a life without fear you need to read, study, and meditate on the Word of God.
 


 
Prayer and Supplication
prayer
Prayer and Supplication
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."--- Ephesians 6:18

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."
--- Philippians 4:6

"Pray without ceasing."
--- I Thessalonians 5:17
The Bottom Line

Strongholds in the heavenlies are broken down by prayer and supplication according to (II Corinthians 10:4).

 
Sandals of Peace
sandals of peace
  
Sandals of Peace
"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
--- Ephesians 6:14

"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" --- Romans 10:15
The Bottom Line

We need to "preach the word and be instant in season, and out of season" (II Timothy 4:2) and we must be obedient to the Lord's command in Mark 16:15 to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Yet we are sent forth "as sheep in the midst of wolves; so we must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."(Matthew 10:16).

 
Belt of Truth
belt of truth
 
weapons of spiritual warfare
Belt of Truth
 
"Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth."
--- Ephesians 6:14

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." --- I Peter 1:13
The Bottom Line

We need to "provide for honest things not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." (II Corinthians 8:21). Yes, we need to be truthful concerning all things; but we also need to stand on the "truth" of the Bible. When we face trials and tribulations, we need to "tighten" our belt while standing on truths written in the Word of God. What we know in the good times, we need to hang on to in the troublesome times. We might just end up tightening our belt a notch or two. However, the good news is that "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (whether it be doubting or giving up) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (I Corinthians 10:13)

 
Belt of Truth
belt of truth
 
weapons of spiritual warfare
Belt of Truth
 
"Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth."
--- Ephesians 6:14

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." --- I Peter 1:13
The Bottom Line

We need to "provide for honest things not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." (II Corinthians 8:21). Yes, we need to be truthful concerning all things; but we also need to stand on the "truth" of the Bible. When we face trials and tribulations, we need to "tighten" our belt while standing on truths written in the Word of God. What we know in the good times, we need to hang on to in the troublesome times. We might just end up tightening our belt a notch or two. However, the good news is that "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (whether it be doubting or giving up) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (I Corinthians 10:13)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015



As 2015 starts, I'm reminded that every day with Jesus is a new day.   Why should we wait until January 1st to start over.   Jesus is a God of second chances and I'm so blessed and thankful for a second chance.   





If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart so you can spend eternity with him in heaven, following are The ABC's of Salvation.

The A B C's of Salvation

Admit:
Confess to God that you are a sinner. Repent or turn away from your sin.

Romans 3 : 23
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Romans 6 : 23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"

I John 1 :9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins 
and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Acts 3 : 19
"Repent, then turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, 
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."

Believe:
Trust that Jesus is God's Son and that God sent Jesus to save people from their sins.

Roman's 5 : 8
"but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, 
Christ died for us.

Acts 4 : 12
Salvation is found in no else for there is other name under heaven given to men 
by which we must be saved"

John 3 : 16
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever 
believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." 

I Peter 3 : 18
For Christ died for sins once in for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit."

John 14 : 6
"Jesus answered, I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the 
Father except through me."

Commit:
Give your life to Jesus. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.
Roman's 10 : 9, 10
That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Romans 10 : 13
"For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Mathew 16 : 24
"then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." 

Luke 9 : 23
"Then He said to them all: if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself 
and take up his cross daily and follow me." 

Follow up A B C's

Ask:
Jesus into your heart
Romans 10 : 13
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Baptism:
Follow Jesus in Baptism
Romans 6 : 4, 11
"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized
into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." "In the same way, count ourselves dead to sin but alive to god in Christ Jesus."

Church:
Find a local church body of believers to join with.
Hebrews 10 : 25
":Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the day approaching."

Do What it says!
James 1 : 22
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
http://abcsalvation.org/




Wishing you a year of Blessing and Peace through Jesus Christ!


Just a few of my spiritual New Year's resolutions are:


:



May you have a Blessed 2015!


Until we meet again, May God Bless you and our great country.

"C"

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day 2014

So you might ask, What is Labor Day?

Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day 



As a frequent weekend traveler, Joel and I decided to make a trip to Katy Mills Mall for him to do some shopping at Polo Ralph Lauren.   Yes it was a successful trip and he has a new wardrobe.  For me, not so good.  I couldn't find anything that I was looking for but I was VERY successful in saving money.   I am obsessed with using a coupon for every purchase or I don't buy.  Thanks to Snip Snap (recommended by my future daughter in law, Karli Powell) and a coupon from Polo Ralph Lauren he was able to purchase 4 slacks, 5 polo shirts, one package of socks and two packages of underwear. Store price was $965.00 and with store sales and coupons we were able to purchase all for $404.00. That is a savings of $561.00.  Now I can't wait til I can make the same trip and update my wardrobe.  If you like saving money there are several i-phone apps that you can use while in the store.   Try Snip Snap, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Another great savings is our American Express that you earn points for hotel rooms for HIlton Hotels.   Well, I looked on-line at my Hilton account and discovered that I could make a room reservation at my favorite Hilton hotel in downtown Houston http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/texas/hilton-americas-houston-HOUCVHH/index.htmlfor and discovered that I had enough points for a FREE room.    Again another great savings.   Evening hors d'oeuvres were included that evening and sodas / water and trail mix were also available for watching the FSU Seminole ball game while overlooking downtown Houston.  The next morning we were treated with a "free" breakfast to include coffee, cocoa, tea, oatmeal, grits, cereals, fresh fruit, pastries, toast, etc. (too many to name).  The only expense we incurred was the parking garage for $21.65.  



A newly opened restaurant was a great treat to find inside the HIlton,   A favorite of mine and Joel's.....Pappasito's.   Yes we did eat there for two meals and both times it was AMAZING.



A few events were occurring if you wanted more to do: 

NRG Stadium http://nrgpark.com/where LSU was playing Wisconsin, just a short metro-rail ride away;

Toyota Center http://www.houstontoyotacenter.comand to see Patty LaBelle;

Minute Maid Park http://houston.astros.mlb.com/hou/ballpark/index.jsp the Astros were hosting the Texas Rangers; 

George R. Brown Convention Center http://www.houstonconventionctr.com/ was hosting a Gun Show and Comicon. 

We opted for spending time at the 12 acre Discovery Green http://www.discoverygreen.com/.  So many "free" activities for families.  A lot of walking trails, kayak rides, soccer, frisbee, reading watching children in the water parks, face drawings, visiting the ice cream truck and so much more.  

This extra large "Rubik's Cube" is an entrance to an underground parking garage under Discovery Green.

Beautiful flowers are throughout Discovery Green



Before leaving Houston to return home, we rented bicycles and rode around in downtown Houston https://houston.bcycle.com/default.aspx   Everything was great until it started raining, but we continued riding in the rain.   Great memories.

So if you are looking for a great weekend away, check out the links above and I promise you will have the time of your life making great memories of a life time.

Until next time, may God bless you and our great country,
"CJS"



P.S.   If you are looking for me after I retire from the state, this might be where I will be staying .  This beautiful condo is overlooking the 12 acre Discovery Green.  It also has an awesome  private resident entrance to the 30,000 sq. ft grocery store, Phoenicia Specialty Foods along with MKT Bar Cafe.

It is a thought!
http://www.oneparkplacehouston.com/gallery.aspx#prettyPhoto


All opinions are mine and I definitely have not been given any money for my reviews.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Things to know about me

A few things you might not know about me that I would like to share with you.

Some are good, bad, ugly and indifferent.

I have three sisters....I'm #3.....Kinda like singing from the hymn book, the third verse is always left out.  LOL

My favorite sister is my baby sister, Amy, which is the only one I claim.

I have one super niece, Camille

I have two nephews, Justin and Jonathan

I have two children, Erin and Sam

I have one grandson, Elijah.....I know....I'm not old enough to have an adorable grandson.

I have a great nephews, Brayden

I have great nieces, Carson, Ella and Lauren

I have never lived outside of the great state of TEXAS

I love Blue Bell Ice Cream...Dutch Chocolate, which is made in Texas.

I am a chocoholic

I love push mowing and I like to change up my lines in the yard.

I detest critters.....snakes, lizards and spiders.
     My daughter was drenched with a glass of iced sweet tea when she attempted to put a lizard on me.  LOL

I truly have one BFF who is Tricia.  We've been friends since 1981.

I am an Misdemeanor supervision officer for Adult Probation.

I've worked since I was 16 years old.

I am OCD

I like for everything to be alphabetized......even my pantry

I've had a total hysterectomy and gall bladder surgery.

I am addicted to Dr. Pepper, Original TEXAS drink!!





PK's

http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2014/02/katy-perrywhy-pastors-kids-go-awry.html?m=1

I read this article, mainly because I am a PK, and just thought it was worth sharing.   Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Katy Perry...Why Pastors' Kids Go Awry

Katy Perry is currently the highest profile P.K. that has gone awry.  In a recent interview, she said she is no longer a Christian and doesn't believe in heaven, hell, or "an old man sitting on a throne."

Katy represents a host of P.K.'s who have struggled with their faith.  Recent stats from Barna research says that...
  • 40% have gone through a period where they significantly questioned their faith
  • 33% are no longer active in church
  • 7% no longer consider him or herself a Christian
What causes this?  Pastors who were asked answered:
  • 28% - unrealistic expectations were placed on them
  • 18% - negative experiences in church
  • 17% - father or mother is too busy at church to spend time with them
  • 14% - faith not modeled at home
  • 9% - influence of friends or peers
What Pastors say they've done best in raising their kids:
  • 37% - introduced them to Christ and maintained a Bible-focused home
  • 21% - spent time with them and supported them
  • 12% - loved them
  • 10% - taught them good values
  • 9% - allowed them to make their own choices and be themselves
 What Pastors said they wish they had done better:
  • 42% - had spent more time with their kids
  • 8% - wish they had been more understanding
  • 5% - wish they had given them more Bible teaching
  • 19% - no regrets, wouldn't change anything
I have a special place in my heart for kids who are P.K.'s because I am one.  I grew up to serve the Lord and live for Him.  Looking back here are a few reasons...

My parents practiced what they preached.  I could argue with what they believed, but I couldn't argue with how they lived what they believed.

My dad and mom spent time with me.  My dad spent hours with me in the backyard practicing pitching with me when I was in Little League.  When I got into high school and played basketball, he was there in the stands cheering for me.  My mom poured her life into me, always there for me.

I was able to see past the negative side of ministry.  Yes, there are negative sides to ministry.  Sheep bite and people are not perfect.  At times there are politics.  The church is made up of people.  People who struggle and have weaknesses like we all do.  But I was able to see past that and see the bigger picture.

I made a personal choice to follow Christ and my faith became my own.  I came to Christ when I was a young child.  It was a very real experience which I can still remember to this day.  When I was in high school, God begin to speak to me about being a Pastor myself.

My parents had never asked me about being a pastor.  In fact, they had mentioned several times I should consider being a school teacher.  And I had personally told God I would never be a pastor.  Yes, I would be faithful to church and serve Him...but not working for a church.

But when God calls...you have to make a choice.  You can say "yes" or you can walk away from His will for your life.  After struggling for months, I made the choice to say "yes" to God's plan for my life.

I said that to say this.  At the end of the day, each person must decide for themselves if they will follow Christ or not.  Yes, godly parents do make a difference and help cultivate the soil, but they cannot make the decision for their child.

Do I blame Katy Perry's parents for the road she has chosen?  No.  She picked this path.  I could have just as easily chosen to go down a path away from God.

If your Pastor has kids in your Children's Ministry, I want to encourage you to...
  • Love them.  They are just like the other kids in your ministry.  They want to know you care about them, not because of who their father is, but because of who they are as an individual.
  • Let them be kids.  They are not perfect.  They are going to misbehave at times and make mistakes.  Don't say, "You should know better.  You are the Pastor's kid!"  This places unrealistic expectations on them. 
  • Don't mistreat their parents.  When you talk about the Pastor or cause strife in the church, you not only bring hurt to him, you hurt his kids as well.  Even if they don't know the details (hopefully their parents are protecting them from the negative side of church), they sense when there is strife and division in the church.
  • Pour into their lives.  Just because their father is the pastor, doesn't mean they don't need other people to teach them, mentor them, and speak into their lives.  Yes, my parents were my primary spiritual influence, but there were also lots of godly leaders who poured into my life over the years.  They all had a part in my decision to follow Christ.
  • Don't place unrealistic expectations on their father that causes him to be gone from home all the time.  Help protect their father's time.  They need a father at home just like other kids.  Don't contribute to them resenting the church because it took their father away all the time.
What are your thoughts about P.K.s?
If you are a P.K., share your experience growing up.
Are you a Pastor or staff member in ministry who currently has kids at home?
What are some other ways we can support and encourage P.K.'s?
What are some other reasons why you believe some P.K.'s walk away from God?