Thursday, December 5, 2013

THIS Is the Rest

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

At the beginning of this chapter we gain insight into an emotional season Christ was handling.
John, his cousin, ministry-opener, and fellow kingdom-laborer, had been beheaded. Whereas with Jesus' friend, Lazerus, on his death account we get the famous, clear, emotional description, "Jesus wept."
But in verse thirteen we can read between the lines as we see Jesus trying to find solitude. I feel certain that the man, Christ Jesus, needed a place to mourn privately.

Instead of privacy, he finds himself surrounded by other people also needing to heal. Some of these people were likely also followers of John, therefore mourning their own loss. Others of them may have been seeking a better political ally than their immoral king, Herod. Still others were likely there simply because of a sincere hunger to be closer to God. Jesus left his quiet place and ministered to them in word and deed, miraculously feeding thousands.

But it seems to me that Jesus still hadn't found his personal healing or completion of mourning, because immediately after he ministered to the people he again tried to find solitude. He didn't even want his disciples around; he sent them away in a boat. And it was that selfsame boat that a storm and waves began to beat upon.

Now we find Jesus in a situation you and I may find ourselves in; days when we're drained, yet still so busy. We desperately need solitude and healing. And we responsibly try to seek it out. We may set aside a few days on our calendars, take a vacation, or go for a workout of some kind. We can see all the activity that wiped us out, and from the same state we can see what's left to do. Jesus truly understands this.

Jesus stood on that mountain, the place he had chosen to refresh himself, and was able to see the place of ministry where he'd fed the thousands. It was a situation that included mental, spiritual, and physical outpouring while already in a state of mourning. And from that same mountain he was able to see the next and immediate need of his closest friends trying to survive a storm. He could have chosen to stay on the mountain in solitude. People would have understood; John had been martyred, and he had just been the superstar, miracle worker even in his grief. But he left his place of solitude and took care of yet another need.

The question we need answered is:
"How was he able to expend himself again so immediately?"
The answer is that he did more than "get away from it all."
He secluded himself, yes. But he regenerated himself through interaction with God.
His "rest" was prayer.

You may feel drained. You may have given to your family, your job, your community, your church, ALL you can. I advise that rather than complain and fester over our responsibility to minister, or our inability to go on a vacation, that we follow Christ's example and simply take in a few hours of solitude, alone in prayer. Certainly sources such as resorts, or cruises, or shopping therapy, or whatever your sugar-stick is, have their place. These can and should be enjoyed.

But time alone with God will get us back at HIS business more quickly. And doing God's business will be where we see and experience our greatest life moments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's As Simple As That

Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Not everybody is "into kids."
I have been since I was a kid. People used to tell me I was going to have a crooked back when I grew up because I ALWAYS had a baby on my hip.
I'm aware not everybody feels this way about all children, but most of the time parents feel this pleasure from their own children. We like to see them smile. We like to fix their reason for tears. We like to see their joy when they master a puzzle. We go to great strides to repeat the satisfaction of these experiences.

We teach children to be complex, but a child's nature is to love simplicity.
Until we teach them otherwise, they prefer the box the toy came in. They prefer splashing water or sandboxes to gadgets.

Jesus revealed a very important key to getting and having God's attention;
"Pssst! Become as a child."

Your Heavenly Father is very much "into kids." Especially grown ups who love and trust him him with abandonment of sight & sound. Regardless of the seriousness or chaos going on around them, they go get "Dad" to fix it. God is as addicted to your reaction of peace and joy as you are to your children's. But be a bratty princess, or a grouchy bully, and even God can't get excited about that. The same way a well-behaved, grateful child gets all the "breaks," a grown up who comes to God as THAT kind of child gets all the breaks.

He has CHOSEN to reveal to those with the simplicity of child-like faith.

Give God your best thought, attitude, behavior and words.
He can't resist it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Nothing" To Cry About

Sometimes I cry over "nothing at all"

Stuff that is past

Pain that is gone

I mourn that it happened

Mourn even that which did not

Then dry my face because

I gave it my best shot


Everyone looks at a statement thru their own spectacles of experience.

Mine is of grit & grind. 

If I say "I cry," it's NOT a pitiful statement.

It's a statement trying to balance out wat I want to say; "Quit crying like a helpless baby! Get up & do this!"

Those types of instruction hurt when ur alrdy in pain. Therefore, I choose to point out even somebody as chipper as me cries, AND I'm still chipper. Hehe.

It's my feeble attempt to minister in someone's midnight hour wo sounding like an angry, know-it-all drill a sargeant.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Of Fields And Friends

I left the tame pastures where grazing is blessed
Followed to desert acres where thirst never rests
You led me where Sorrow required a kiss
And Betrayal an embrace
I lost Friend Forgiveness
You introduced these companions
Not because you were cruel
But you knew of the dream I kept hidden in my skull
The pain they taught was the key to release
The passionate joy to progress in liberties
I followed you here because you said,
"For the joy of the prize you will open your head."
Now I know Sorrow like the back of my hand,
I can see him in passing when no one else can
I recognize Betrayal
And try to reconcile them all
Because that's when Forgiveness is free to come call.
Now the dream is alive and it's out in the open
Leading and calling like sirens in an ocean
And I see the green of grasses again
In patches just now, but like a great sea ahead
My shepherd whose led me thru valleys to grasses
Smiles at my skipping and glows at my laughing
He kept every tear
He felt every scream
And he used them to water the field of my dream

Saturday, October 26, 2013

VERSE OF THE DAY: John 11:14

VERSE OF THE DAY: John 11:14

John 11:14
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

We know that God is love. We know that when God came to earth as the man, Christ Jesus, he spoke peace & calmed a storm. We know that Jesus was so kind and approachable that children were comfortable & happy to receive a hug from him.

Sometimes, however, Jesus must take on a role of cold, hard reality. That's what we find Jesus doing in John 11:14. In this verse he was not saying, "peace be still." He was not saying, "Let the children come!" In this verse he was lowering the boom about reality, saying it "plainly."

Sometimes Jesus does this in our lives as well. He requires us to face and accept a hard fact.

But we can never become so overwhelmed with the shock and emotion caused by the reality that we lose faith in God's love for us. Regardless of the pain, God is at work for us. He will never leave or forsake us. He will walk through the difficulties of life with us.

What "realities" have you had to face?

What emotions did you feel?

Do you feel you found a way to trust God's love?

Tell God your thoughts & feelings.
Ask forgiveness for any time you may have doubted his love.
Ask for his help to think and behave as a disciple of Christ.
Tell God (and possibly yourself, and those you're accountable to) that you will strive to handle difficulties with behaviors of faith in God's love for you. 

Please, share it! 

The Verse of the Day is taken from a selection of Bible memory verses, compiled for memorization by the United Pentecostal Church International, for the Bible Quizzing program.

Denée writes & records each verse as an individual song to aid the memorization process. You can find the links to purchase the songs at Denée's website: 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Intro to Running

A Facebook friend asked for some advice on starting to jog. She said she had run for 12-15 minutes and that she had pain in her legs. Below is my reply.

Different people will have different advice. Ask around for the information that best suits your success.

1. Definitely make sure your doctor is okay with you jogging.

He/she may attempt to talk you into another form of exercise, which you can follow. But if it is their preference and not due to your actual physical issue, do the type of exercise you feel like doing. 
The concern you want to eliminate is blood clots. I don't know what TYPE of pain you may be feeling. If it's muscles, then outlasting the pain is the trick. But you should make sure your blood is flowing correctly, and you are not risking dislodging a clot.

My personal way of handling a doctor's suggestion is to appreciate his or her opinion, then do what I sense is best for my body. If they become aware of a physical reality, it's no longer a suggestion, it's instruction. While I would get other doctors' opinions and insight, I would not blow off my doctor. Our goal is longterm safety and health, not a quick fix.

2. Don't run if it hurts.

I like that you said you ran "12-15 minutes." I'm a strong advocate of time goals over distance goals. Except if you decide to do a 5k, or something similar. Then you will need to train using distance as a goal.

If, however, you are going to stick with time goals, lower the time so you are not hurting.

There is NO REASON to feel pain. I do NOT abide by the concept of "no pain, no gain." My experience with MYSELF (each person is different) is that if it's painful, I'll quit. When I started running, I did not want to merely run until I lost a certain amount of weight. I wanted running to become my lifestyle.

ME: "I pray every day, I don't wear pants. I raise my children. I run. I breathe."

I wanted it to be as natural and as integrated as breathing.

3.There is more to jogging than running.

What I mean by that, is that you can "go for a run," but walk half or most of it. Your main goal is to get your heart rate up to the place where you have heavy breathing. Once you are breathing heavily, just walk for a bit. 

Getting your heart rate up to that level actually sustains calorie and fat burning even if you sit down.

Running in intervals (walking/running/sit-ups/running/walking/running, etc.) is not only effective and easier, but it has gained national attention as being quite healthy and more efficient for your body.  

Hope this helps you decide if running is for you, and how to sustain it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Psalm 31; Purposeful Recovery

No one recovers anything by ignoring the problem.

If a person lost their wealth, they would RECOVER it by getting new work, more work, investing smarter, etc.

If a person lost their health, they would RECOVER it by seeking professional medical attention, changing their diet and habits, going to rehab, etc.

If a person lost their child they would RECOVER the child by seeking outside help such as law enforcement, or detectives, or psychiatrists, etc.

Losing something is a terrible experience, but we MUST accept that RECOVERY of some kind is necessary. RECOVERY is the counter balance of loss. However extremely hurtful the loss of it was, the work of recovery will and must match the pain. Unfortunately, because of the pain, the recovery process feels more difficult than the initial loss itself. But if you deem what you lost valuable enough, you will pay the price of RECOVERY.

In the foggy-minded aftermath of great loss it is possible to not understand exactly WHAT needs to be recovered. Truly all we care about recovering is the missing main object of our affection. Whether or not that is possible to recover is not entirely in your power. However, other "things" get lost along the way; such as self-esteem, faith, tenderness, innocence, joy, etc. These are "things" of the spirit, therefore the recovery of them will require a spiritual plan of action.

I've lost much. I truly do not want to publicly say all that I've lost because I risk appearing to attempt to garner sympathies. I appreciate prayer, but I'm not all that fond of sympathy. Simply telling you I've been through the pangs, embarrassment, sorrow, and shameful feelings of divorce will give you a significant insight into some of my loss. I only relay even that much information to give you confidence in the following plan. (No "sorry for your loss" flowers please. Or consoling pats of pity.)

This "Purposeful Recovery" prayer plan is just one of the many tools I've developed and used in my own struggle to get my head above the drowning currents of confusion, depression, and bitternes. It was a long road, before I finally felt like walking the rest of the road before me. Most days I did NOT want to wake up, dress, and put forth even the menial effort of one foot in front of the other. But thanks to great training, I did. And now, I DO. 

Don't give up in the midst of your swelling, pounding waves. The storm produces feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy, confusion, and even the lack of ALL emotional feelings. This is absolutely normal. It's not enjoyable, by any means. But these emotional swings do not mean you are a bad person. What it does mean, however, is that you have work to do. Settling with all those negative inner-turmoils as an acceptable lifestyle is very destructive. Not only to yourself, but to anyone you are in contact with. (And no, Isolating yourself isn't the answer, because your lack of presence is damaging to your community of people as well.)

Get on the path to Purposeful Recovery.

Here we go. I hope taking these very deliberate steps in prayer and relationship with God will help you as much as they've helped me. You could take each deliberate prayer focus hour by hour some days, or give each point its own week of focus. 
I have done them on an hourly basis for a week, then gone to another program, then came back to these steps. However you sense these steps would be beneficial to you is how you should enact them.

Purposeful Recovery 1: SPEAK your need of God TO GOD. Saying it triggers hope and sends faith into the atmosphere.  

Purposeful Recovery 2: REITERATE your trust in God often. After you speak how you want God to be your refuge, then make yourself and your atmosphere HEAR that you are believing God IS WORKING for you. 

Purposeful Recovery 3: ACKNOWLEDGE what or who brought you pain. Bitterness is clearly not permissible in our lives. But facing facts is necessary for recovery. 

Purposeful Recovery 4: COMPLAIN to God. While it's harmful to your social standing to complain, you show your desire for relationship by TELLING God what things are causing your pain.

Purposeful Recovery 5: REQUEST what you are wanting him to do. In the previous step you describe what you don't like. Now speak what you want him to do for you!

Purposeful Recovery 6: CLAIM the blessings! If he did it before (and he did!) He will do it again FOR YOU! Claim them by SPEAKING them.

Purposeful Recovery 7: PRAISE him in a seriously braggadocios manner! Make yourself dig through your current sorrow and find every nugget of blessing he's ever given ANYONE, and thank him for it!

Purposeful Recovery 8: ENCOURAGE others, even in your own pain and distress. Tell them how God is able to help THEM! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Adaptation and Creation

Imagine the earth suddenly void of the oceans. They are so vast, our world is called "the BLUE planet." Even in all our scientific advancements, we still haven't reached anywhere near closure to what there is to discover about the oceans and all therein. Of course humanity would have to adapt to such a loss. We would need to find a new way to not merely survive, but to thrive. 

Those who allowed the sorrow of the loss of their oceanic traditions, habits, nutrition, & more to cause them to become bitter & angry, to constantly taut how much better life was when we had the beautiful salty water, with its incredible contributions to our lives, the more they would hinder EVERYONE'S ability to move forward. If children only hear how much better it "used" to be with the ocean, they may never see value in seeking what good their may be in the mountains, or in the deserts. 

In truth, even the mountains ecological system would suffer from the loss of the oceans. But somehow, someway we could find a new way to be healthy, & excel, & grow. Survival is coded into our DNA. Adaptation is just what we do. HOW we adapt is what we want to control & guide. "Controlled adaptation" is actually CREATION.

Even though God put it in our instinct to create the best we can out of mess & confusion, it's also possible for us to choose to NOT make things new. Our adaptation of choice can be to settle in the sorrow of loss, & never leave there. Others will move into the struggle to create. & they will reap the glorious benefits of "it is good!" Just as God, our Father & Creator did in the beginning.

He created. But it was without form. It was void and dark. So he began the process of creating NEW things to fix the old.

I'm not really thinking about oceanography, or ecology. I'm actually thinking about the loss of relationships & love.

The vastness & strength of love is bigger than is comprehensible. Like our oceans. The pain of its loss is as well. As it should be. While it's APPROPRIATE to appreciate the devastation of great loss. It's just not appropriate to not recover, adapt to the difference, & create new.

I don't know if God felt any sense of failure over his original creation not being "right." But I do know that he went into the process of "one step at a time." And with EVERY step of creation he said, "It is good."

So don't expect your process to be a "shazzam." Evidently, "shzazam" moments aren't the smartest. (Because, God of course is very smart about these things.) So, take a step. And rather than focus on what's NOT fixed, focus on what change you DID make. Then proclaim, "It is good!"

Rebuild relationships. Create new friendships. Never stop giving or receiving love. After all, GOD IS LOVE. He loves being shared. He is not limited by failures or fumbles. Rise up! Adapt! Create! Make new! Let God guide the process and you will thrive!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What Goes In; Parents' Inspiration

Some may say I do things to the extreme. I'd like to describe my methods as "thorough."

Ok. I'm fully aware of the reality in my tendencies. In the spirit of that knowledge let me explain that as a young mom, I took Deuteronomy 6:7, absolutely literally. It was my to do list from day one of my children's arrival on this planet.
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

I'm a singer and writer, so music was my gateway to accomplish this. While feeding and rocking my babies, I wrote and sang song after song about the oneness of God. As a Christian it is very important to me that if ANYONE is going to understand who Christ is, my own children should first and foremost. So I wrote, rocked, and sang lullabies, "All in Him... The fullness of the godhead is all in him."
I figured the world  already had in it a LOT of nonsensical lullabies ("When the bough breaks the cradle will fall?!" Really?!) My kids would learn those classics as well. But I wanted an understanding of God, an appreciation for WHO Christ is, interwoven in their earliest thoughts.
I also wrote and sang playtime songs like, "When I wake up in the morning and I get out of bed... la-la-la! Our God is one!" 

We happened to be in Europe for my son, Madison's, second birthday. We had played music and worshiped with some really exciting and motivated people in Serbia, Hungary, and before we came home we went to Rome and toured the Vatican.

My son gets hyper-activity very honestly. Energy is funneled into that child's DNA from every possible branch of the family. He's deaf in his right ear, and wears an aid on his left ear. Consequently, "loud" is also a part of his presence. He's loud and he requires everybody around him to be loud. He has bright blue eyes, laughs easily and (of course) loudly. He's not afraid to try almost anything. (Which keeps me in a constant state of intercession!) So THIS bundle of pent-up energy was being carted through the Vatican.

My daughter is 18 months older than Madio. Morgan was born "old." She knows stuff, understands stuff, teaches stuff that I didn't even know existed. She was QUITE into the Vatican! Her three and a half year old self was pointing at art, she would stand and gaze at various pieces for extended periods of time. (The CLOTHED pieces, I must say for my evil, joking friends!) She was typically "Morgan" there. Happy to be experiencing the height of sophisticated art.

Madio, on the other hand, thought he was going to DIE!

Because of all the various levels and staircases, we weren't allowed to use a stroller. And Madio could not be left for ten seconds without an adult hand in contact with his person. So he was carried. We were not allowed to take snacks or bottles for the kids either. After a couple hours of this Vatican tour, he was ITCHING to get down to play.  Every adult in our group was equally itching to PUT HIM DOWN!

His first opportunity was in this beautiful, ancient courtyard that seemed to be in the dead-center of the whole of that palatial structure. And that's where pure, epic awesomeness occurred.

That baby's feet barely touched the ground, when his pointer finger went up in the air, and my man-child waddled all over the Vatican courtyard singing, "la-la-la! Our God is ONE!"

I don't know if anyone else in history has ever had the opportunity to walk into the seat of the Trinitarian doctrine and proclaim, "Our God is ONE," but my baby did!

He's a teen now, and he doesn't remember the event at all. But as usual, the scripture worked. I purposefully taught it diligently from morning, throughout the day, and at bedtime. What goes in, comes out. And it sparkled out, all over the Vatican!

Plain Path For Kids, & Plain Path For Kids, Vol. 2, can be downloaded on iTunes!

Denee also makes Bible memory songs!

You can find links to download Denée's music at her website:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Leave the Unmarked Grave

Jeremiah 26:20-23 has utterly rocked my world this week. I've done a lot of really cool, amazing, wonderful things. & not because I'm "amazing," but because I most definitely seek out amazing projects to be a part of. In fact, I'm far from amazing. I'm aware of my weaknesses, shortcomings, & sins more keenly than even my harshest critics & judges are. But it's been quite the shock & setback to me that I've put myself on the line for a "project" I thought would be most greatly appreciated, & the reaction around me was quite the opposite. At first, this was easy enough to handle because I was able to convince myself that I must have been very wrong in my evaluation of the project, and rather than the project being worth my passion (because, I'm one of "those" who can't do anything normal. Lol Ive always gotta go to the extreme.) it was a failure of sound judgment on my part & I was able to believe I had involved myself in a project that was in fact not what I thought. Being dead wrong was hard to accept. But I did it.

Where I was thrown for a loop was when out of nowhere, all the crowds who were too busy, or too nonchalant, or too lazy, or lacked insight, or WHATEVER their reasons were for not standing with me in this cause, were suddenly hailing the project as "worthy" just as I had. Only, the problem was that I had been "killed" for it and lay forgotten in an unmarked grave, unable to be a part of the glory of it. The glory I had foreseen! The glory I had discerned! The glory I had invested my time, money, love, and passion into.

This is why Jeremiah 26 shook me. And thank God it did! It shook me from my mourning. Urijah (Uriah in other translations) was a mighty prophet, fearless. He echoed the prophecy of Jeremiah. He spoke truth. He was anointed of God. He was doing the right thing! But instead of a parade for standing with Jeremiah, instead of honor, his life was attacked and he was ultimately killed and thrown into an unmarked grave.

In our "praise culture" where our children grow up hearing parents rave about every tiny accomplishment, where our employers attend seminars where they're instructed in the art of a "praise sandwich," (praise, correct, praise.) Where we're taught "love" is "approval." When you are dealt Uriah's hand, it can nearly kill you. & a "living death" is worse than a physical death. When a person feels dead inside they'd prefer to actually BE dead!

Its easy to become disoriented & confused when you do something very godly, very powerfully, very "right," but your repayment is death & an attempt to blot out your memory. That was Uriah's outcome. it didnt make Uriah's behavior wrong. Even though evil TRIED to blot out his memory, we are still remembering him, valuing him, & speaking his name over two thousand years later.

So here's the lesson I've learned, and I hope it's helpful to you as well;
Don't become bitter if you find yourself in Uriah's shoes. Don't let the good that you did be consumed by the decay of death. Don't let your future good be unable to grow because you insist on mourning at a grave that's now full of rot. If you're still breathing there's something else for you to do. Don't limit your ability to be a part of more acts, of greater heights bc your stuck mourning at your unmarked grave. At that grave, lay some flowers of thanksgiving that you were a part of a good deed, then MOVE ON!

"Forgetting those things which are behind" isn't only about forgetting sinful, or embarrassing things. We must also forget about how great we did, how amazing we felt, how privileged we were to be a part of such a noble thing. If we get stuck even on good things, we're very much "stuck!" & being stuck in the past is never good. Living NOW, here, today is what's of utmost importance!

So, yeah. You did good. And yeah. It wasn't appreciated. And yep. You may feel dead because of the emotional upheaval of the whole experience. But its the deed that's dead. YOU AREN'T! So go do something else that is great and awesome!!

Bad things sometimes happen to good people. But dont let your good thing make you a bad person. You might even shed some more tears along the way. my sister died almost forty years ago, and periodically my parents will shed a few tears. But its a FEW tears. They've learned how to not allow the pain to consume & rule them. And thats your goal. You're human. Periodically you may get chocked up over the death of your deed. But you must work to get to a place where it doesn't  consume your living. My parents did not replace my sister, Gina. But they found new life in birthing and raising my brother and second sister. So be thankful you were honored to do something so great, but then leave that grave & all its pain behind and focus on the new.

In Jesus' name!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chocolate Soup Benefits

I'm a Whimmer, in other words, I do things on a whim. Sometimes I can explain why, other times I can't & I just enjoy it! Today I had a whim to make "Chocolate Soup." I've never heard of it. Never seen it. When I decided to make it I wasn't sure wat it's consistency would be, so it didn't start as "chocolate soup." It started as,

I've lost over 90 pounds in the last 5 years. One of the lifestyle habits I picked up was to NOT have junk food in my house. I eat junk food anytime I want it. But it's an inconvenience to do so. This has made me creative, to say the least, when I'm craving certain things.

I've only had two "bowls" of my Chocolate Soup, & I didn't calculate measures. If I end up doing so, I'll definitely add those measurements here. [AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST] But it was so YUMMY to me, & I knew (because, of course, I concocted every ingredient) it's actually quite healthy. So I did a little googling to see how good my good soup really was! Below are the ingredients along with links to articles about each ingredient's benefits.

My "bowl" was a small KFC, side item plastic, reusable container. The final product didn't quite fill the bowl.

I started w/a base of freshly brewed, warm Green/cranberry tea.

Benefits of green tea:

Cocoa Powder benefits: 

I added coconut oil in an attempt to thicken it a little. It did SLIGHTLY, and bc of its benefits I may leave it in. But once I figure out nutritional value of all of this, I may keep it out. 

Benefits of coconut oil: 

Benefits of white, refined sugar: NONE!! Lol

Chocolate soup
84 calories
1/2 cup of green and cranberry tea
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 Tablespoon of fat free French vanilla cream
Drizzle the top with honey
Stir, sip, enjoy! (It's rather like a "grown up" tasting hot cocoa. I eat it with a spoon BECAUSE I CAN!) lol 

Stir in each ingredient individually into the hot tea. TADA! 

Teas: 0 cal, 0 carbs, 0 g of fat
Sugar: 48 cal, 12 carbs, 0 g of fat
Coco powder: 20 cal, three carbs, .5 g of fat
Fat-free French vanilla cream: 16 cal, three carbs, 0 g of fat

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Night of HOPE

As I was preparing for bed, my mind was swirling around my experiences during my own dreaded nights of tears and sorrow. Pain brought about by events and behaviors out of my control. I've also dealt with the mourning of regret due to houses I brought down on MY OWN head. There are nights of much tears, the heavens feel shut up to you, the ground seems to hunger for you. These times of growth and rebirth are trying to one's sanity.

But I was also thinking of others' sorrows...

I was thinking of the meal I had just delivered to a teen who had lost his entire family TWICE. I don't know the story of his birth family, but his foster family had been killed in an auto accident.

I was thinking of my parents' loss of my baby sister. Clearly, my loss as well. Indeed, the whole world's loss. But as I was two years old when she died, I don't remember the mourning. But my parents will still cry, even after nearly forty years.

I've been reading the book of Jeremiah, and his persecution has been so "current" and painful to read. I don't mean to imply I am enduring persecution. I mean that such a noble, honest man of God faced persecution breaks my heart.

I was just feeling the reality that sorrow is prevelant.

So, I felt like the least I could do was to make sure that each hour a scripture was posted about "hope."

Truly, hope is of utmost importance for those in dire emotional straits. It's vital that people look for something, anything, to hope in. Hope that you won't cry. Hope that you get a better car. Hope that you find a better job. Hope that you grow your circle of friends. Hope that you learn to communicate better. Hope that you gain more wisdom. Hope that you behave better.

Hope is not a wish. Hope is not denial. Hope is absolute BELIEF that there is something better. Hope is of God, therefore bringing oneself into his presence is necessary to go from "wishing upon a star," to "hoping in The Lord." Hoping in The Lord will require some work on your part. But his grace is sufficient to fill in the gaps and make up for our weaknesses.

When you get a hope, then you begin to believe in scriptures such as, "you have not because you ask not."- Jesus. 
And, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."-Jesus
When you ask, that very act of prayer is "faith!"

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of that thing you hope for! 

Then your faith-behavior consistently repeats the steps: 
Regardless of what your eyes see, envision that hope for a brighter day. God put that seed in your spirit, so don't fear it. Enter into a place of prayer, and while His Spirit is engaging with you,  ASK IN HIS NAME!
Wash, rinse, repeat.
In other words, do it again and again!

That, my friend, is the simple formula used by mighty men and women of God from Genesis to this very day. 

So, cry if the pain is there tonight. But don't ONLY cry. Engage with God through prayer. And find HOPE!  

Psalms 16:7 (NET)
I will praise the LORD who guides me; yes, during the night I reflect and learn.

Psalms 16:8 (KJV)
I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Psalms 16:9 (KJV)
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Psalms 31:24 (KJV)
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Psalms 31:24 (NET)
Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD!

Psalms 130:4 (NET)
But you are willing to forgive, so that you might be honored.

Psalms 130:5 (KJV)
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Psalms 147:11 (KJV)
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalms 147:11 (NET)
The LORD takes delight in his faithful followers, and in those who wait for his loyal love.

Lamentations 3:21 (NET)
But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope:  (Khet)

Lamentations 3:22 (NET)
The LORD's loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end.

Psalms 42:5 (NET)
Why are you depressed, O my soul? Why are you upset? Wait for God! For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention.

Psalms 42:6 (NET)
I am depressed, so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan, from Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Hosea 2:15 (KJV)
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Joel 3:16 (KJV)
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Romans 4:18 (KJV)
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 5:2 (KJV)
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:5 (KJV)
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Footsteps I Walk In

I'm trying to follow the example of Abraham & believe I will receive my promise even after I blew it. 

I'm trying to follow the example of Joseph & do my best job in lower than anticipated places.

I'm trying to follow the example of Miriam & b a loud enuf praiser for people to follow. 

I'm trying to follow the examples of Joshua & Caleb & claim a victory no one else can see. 

I'm trying to follow the example of Ruth & work hard in an unfamiliar place.

I'm trying to follow the example of Esther & present myself as a queen of courage tho inside I may feel like an orphan.

I'm trying to follow the example of David & b creative for God's pleasure when no one can see.

I'm trying to follow the example of Samuel & hear God's voice above the demands of ministerial duties.

More coming as I face an obstacle in life, & use these Heroes of Faith's trail as stepping stones, confidently putting my foot in their footsteps.

God LOVES an encore. If he did it once he WANTS to do it again!! I'm applauding with all my fanatical soul to get him back out on my life's stage! He amazes me over & over! I luv him!

(It'll work for YOU to! Do it.)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

When In Battle

Exodus 17:12
But Moses' hands [were] heavy; and they took a stone, and put [it] under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands...and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

1. The battle is inevitable. We can't waste our energy on desertion plans. Neither can we lose focus, or fight the wrong enemy. God allowed us to be in this battle because he has already guaranteed our victory. We must fight the battle, not the commander or his battle plan.

2. Moses' hands were "steady" till the battle was over, but only bc he took the people & props God provided. Accept help so u can still lead when the dust settles.

God is on your side!
Do not be afraid!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Places To Purchase Denee's Music

You can purchase Denee's origianl music from iTunes by clicking here: iTunes
Denee has been writing and recording music from the age of twelve. The earliest available recording is her Changes album, followed by her Plain Path for Kids albums, and her choir project, Go Away With You.

You can purchase Denee's Bible memory songs by clicking here: Bible Memory Songs
If the link has a problem, go to, or call 214-674-1312.
The United Pentecost Church International has a Bible memory program called Bible Quizzing. Denee puts each individual verse to song to help that memorization process. Over two hundred verses a year. An excellent and easy method of "hiding God's Word" in your heart!

You may enjoy this tribute to Bible memory: Lizzie and Melody's Bible Memory Songs Experience

Party-Pooper Insomniac

I don't remember inviting Geisel 2play.
I kno I didn't ask Shel!
But play they do
With cats & hats,
& sidewalks & trees
& ink wells!

And they're turning wats meant to be Grey 
(This Matter-of-facts in my head)
Into red fish & blue fish
(Tho Shel sticks with elfish
Characters drawn in black lead.)

While I luv their earlier work
The books, the art, the rhymes
Anything this late at night
Makes me think they're pranking my mind!

I think they should clean up their paints
Draw this party to an end
And let me get some sleep
Or I'll show em the door 
& where the sidewalk BEGINS!!!

Nuff said.

PS: If u have not read the works of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) or Shel Silverstein for ur own enjoyment, or that of a child... Sigh. WHAT HAVE U BEEN DOING WITH UR LIFE?!?! Read, smile, hopefully giggle, & enjoy the works of these masterful smile-inducers ASAP!!

Asia..? Anyone...?

This insomniac's brain
Keeps speaking in rhyme
Melatonin has failed
Magnesium defies
Perhaps u in Asia
Could engage me in speak
Since the rest of North America
Has left me for sleep.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cracked Up

Life is not all its cracked up to be,
Then we take it out for a swing.
Around twelve we decide we know where we're going,
We crash around age sixteen.
Then we whip out some duct tape and try to repair,
We gimp through high school with a fake veneer.

We delve into higher learning
Pretending we know what we're doing
Tottering along pretty good 
Never reading signs as we should

So while smiling in mirrors we run into walls,
And when making left turns we stumble and fall.

And if we're smart we'll kneel there a while
Force our thoughts to question the smiles 
Of the other cracked lives around us
The ones who've been faking it for the same many miles.

I've seen the smart stop the insanity,
The behavior that wrecks so much.
And they've given their mess to the Master
He can fix the broken with His touch.
& He shows a new way to live
That incites peace & contentment
And when He sets us back on our path
We have Godspeed to attain fulfillment.

And like magic, life isn't cracked up!
He gives us life brand new!
And if we fall we ask The King to put us together again.
'Cause his men are amateurs with duct tape and glue.
(Ask poor Humpty!)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Because so many people love me & are concerned by my "If I can, u can" themed posts:

I'm in the will of God, therefore, I'm happy! :-)
I feel blessed beyond what I deserve!
I'm well-provided for!
I'm healthy! 
I'm surrounded by the most amazing, loving people on the planet!

I'm simply aware of how many people are hurting, feel alone in their battle, and can't see thru the haze of tear-gas the enemy has released on them. They need somebody's voice lifted up saying, "Life isn't perfect for ANYBODY! So, quit feeling like a loser, & KEEP FIGHTING!!"

But I found myself with an "Optimists' Rainbow Problem..."

People tend to imagine those who spend most of their lives on a stage, in the public eye, dressed in their best, presenting their best, as having a life without problems. And when someone "who's perfect" tries to say, "Get up! Move! Change!" It's not taken well!

I used to weigh 230 pounds. When I decided to lose the weight, gyms who were full of amazing, fit, strong, slim bodies were NOT the gyms I wanted to be a member of. I couldn't see where they'd come from, I could only see their perfect, current selves. I also didn't want to hear what anyone wearing a size 6 had to say. If, however, they showed me a pic of themselves wearing a size 16, and NOW they were a size 6... Oh yeah! I wanted to sit at their feet and hear EVERY DETAIL of how they fought their "Battle of the Bulge!"

While I DO feel like I'm living "the best life," it's not because I don't battle confusion, emotional drops, family concerns, overwhelming duties... because, WE ALL DO! 

My dad taught me, "The mark of a professional is to make what's hard look easy." I take great strides and comfort in being skilled enough to do that. Besides it putting me in the fellowship of strong, higher thinking people, it's a behavior of faith!

However, it shocked me to discover how many people think my behavior means I have nothing to worry about, that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and therefore do not have "the credentials" to encourage them.

My posts about trials, pain, darkness, etc, is simply my way to both live my lifestyle of faith-behavior while using written blurbs  to let people know that even we who are good at positive-image hafta "cowboy up," Because it rains on the just and the unjust. Perhaps if people SEE me being all boss in life, while knowing inside I'm sweating bullets; they'll trust that if I can, they can do it too! Perhaps my candidness will be like a cheerleaders megaphone and help me bring light to more people. That's my hope and intention.

So pray for me. I'm praying for u. But don't WORRY about me! Lol I'm no better-off than u, and no worse-off than u. I just wanna make sure that the people having to fight thru a haze hear a voice even when they can't see; a voice they are confident to trust;

"I'm fighting too!"
"You're not alone!"
"Follow my voice!"
"Come in THIS direction!"



Now I'm in a fiery trial
 Or a storm 
 Or a valley
Now I'm wrestling and all is dark
Now my vision is cloudy

But AFTER this I'll b amazed!
AFTER, so will u be too!
AFTER all this insanity is done...
AFTER the confusion is through...

Cuz He's actually right w/me
   Even tho I can't see Him
And He's fighting the enemy for me
   Even tho I can't find him

He's making sure that AFTER this fire I'll come out without the smell of smoke.
And AFTER this trial I'll b shown righteous by his grace alone.
And AFTER this wrestling I'll walk different because he touched me.
And AFTER the dust settles I'll eat his banquet in front of my enemies.

I can do all things thru Christ,
And u, my friend, can too!
Right now it may feel bleak...
But I'm hearing a heavenly anthem...

Hey, they're playing our victory tune!