Sunset

Sunset

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

An Empty Cup???





A cup...is a container that holds something.

This cup is full.
When you look in an empty cup you can see what's inside.

Have you looked in your cup when you finished drinking and/or eating something in it?

What do you see?  Residue, particles, sometimes even staining.

Let's say, for a minute, that we're a cup and we get used and worn out again and again never reaching the bottom.

Sometimes reaching the bottom is good.  If it's empty than it can be cleaned.  Otherwise you have a container that has been filled up and almost emptied out numerous times without being cleaned.  Eww!

If you had a choice would you want to use a cup that's never been cleaned before or do you want to use one that's dirty?  The residue has built up, sides of it are caked with food, it's been out in the sun...can we say "food poisoning"?!

Anything in the cup will become tainted and unusable!

The only way for the problem to be solved is the cup needs to be washed and scrubbed.
Still imagining your the cup, how does it feel getting washed and scrubbed?  Does it feel good?

Probably not!

Sometimes it takes a lot of elbow grease washing dishes.

If the bottom never gets emptied you can't clean it...period!

Jesus knows us and He knows what's in our core!  He knows that we need to be emptied before getting cleaned and becoming able to use.
Residues from our lives are hurts, pains, sufferings, grief, anger, fear, desire.

If these areas aren't healed we're incapable of giving without tainting others.  

Our issues can affect others, even when we don't realize it.

When our cup is emptied it's the point when you don't have anything else to give.  No more in the tank.  Completely on E-M-P-T-Y!

Have you ever had a situation that went from bad to worse?  No matter what you do, and try with ALL your might to fight it, it doesn't work.  Like a current that can't be fought.  All you can do is go with it.

Sometimes God asks us to give up what we love the most.  People, dreams, desires, hopes, plans, hobbies we enjoy, foods we like, etc.  The list can go on and on.

Abraham was going to offer up his son Isaac, who was his greatest treasure, because God asked him to do it.

Jesus died and was buried for 3 days before rising again.

When we are baptized the old self is buried and is removed from you.  You are left new!

It's agonizing when your cup is getting empty.  It's a scary feeling because you see there isn't anything else that you can do.  You need a miracle!  Instead, your cup gets emptier and emptier.  Still crying out "Lord, please do something.  Help me stop this from happening."

Then you get angry pleading with Him, "Why are You doing this?  Why can't this work out?"

You feel and see something and/or someone not work out.  

You tried, and tried, and tried...no matter what you did, it's gone!

Your cup is empty...

BUT

Now it's God's turn!  Maybe your dream isn't gone.  It's hibernating.  When you give your best and what you love the most to Jesus, He will say "Rise" to your dream, and it will be stronger and better than ever!

Whatever your grieving about don't despair.  It's only being cleaned and made new.
May this message Be a Blessing in your lives and mine!

In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It Starts With One!!!

One!




For three little words it's pretty big!

One change
One life

One dream

One hope

One vision

One step

One person...

(Genesis 1:1 NIV) In the beginning...

It all starts with one.  What is your one???





May this message Be a Blessing in your lives and mine!

In Jesus Name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On The Road Again!!!

We've been working on a new website for us, and tonight I saw how it's progressing...looking good and heading in the right direction! :-)

If anyone told me what my life would look like 20 years ago I wouldn't believe him/her.

It reminds me of being on a road.  When you're on a road what do you see?


A few blocks ahead and maybe a mile or two?

What about our roads or let's say paths?

Some of them are stretched out for miles.

Others are dark and foreboding.

Would you go in there if you didn't know what is on the other end?  Only some would go.  Would you???

From the moment we're created our paths begin.

Thankfully, we've been given Lots of room for error and me, ha-ha, let's just say God's given me chances, LOTS of them!

Instead of me being the little girl who always listens to her daddy, No!  I had to do things MY Way! 

Have you ever taken a road trip before?  When you looked at the map and/or GPS system which path did you choose?  Did you decide to take the one with less traffic or the one with the least mileage?

Have you ever been hurt so much that you wanted to prove yourself to everyone?  I did, for a long time because deep inside I wasn't whole.  Something was missing.

When I was a child and we had family gatherings the men hung out in one room discussing politics, sports, and money, and in the other one all the women talked about children, exchanged casserole recipes and sewing projects.  Mostly, at these events, I was the one babysitting.  Every chance I had I'd sneak in the room with the men.  At least I wasn't hearing about baby food, sewing, or another version of green bean casserole for the fourteenth millionth time!  It was something different and I liked it.

Please don't misunderstand my previous statements.  I love children, I'm a parent, love cooking, and am in awe at people who can stitch, knit, and sew.   Only thing I could ever do was sew a button! :-)  


What things have affected your life?  What gave you the perseverance to start/and or finish something?

It sounds simple doesn't it?  Making a startFinishing a project.  Going in a new direction.

But it isn't...

What do you believe about yourself?  If you were asked to write a description about yourself what would be your answer?

Do you like yourself?  Are you able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog gone it people like me"?

These seem like simple questions, but...they're not!

They're the core of who you are.  The way you see yourself reveals much.  It's like an onion that is getting peeled layer by layer.  The more you peel ,the closer you are to the, or let's say, your core!


Well, here I am on the road again.  As those words are being typed my mind hears Willie Nelson singing.  Also, the song "Life is a Highway" is ringing in my head too. :-)

More and more I'm beginning to understand that life is not about being perfect on the road.  It's about staying on it.

You're going to mess up, need detours, and sometimes take the wrong exit, but it doesn't matter.  As long as you stay on the road!

(Proverbs 22:6 KJV) "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
 
May this message be a Blessing in your lives and mine.

In Jesus Name, Amen!



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Time To Get Back On The Horse

As you know it has been a looooonnnngggg time since we've posted anything.

What can we say...Life!

A couple weeks ago my aunt died.  Before that Nathan's mother passed away.

Taking a while to get back in the swing of things





As we've seen lately there's been a lot of things to knock us off our game, so to say, and change the direction in our lives...




What happened!?  Why did it turn out this way???!!!

 Storms happen, and sometimes they're without warning.

That's when we need to flex our muscles of faith not trying to reason why this happened, but to stand firm now where you are.

If you start to question, analyze, and overanalyze you can go crazy trying to figure out the answer.  Sometimes the best answer that you can give someone is I don't know.

That's a very powerful statement.  Did you know it's okay if you don't have the answers?  Sometimes no one will around you.

I believe very strongly that God cries when we do.  He feels our pain, and isn't just sitting by watching us going "Awww, I wish there was something I can do...Oh well, what's next on the agenda."

That would mean that Jesus is heartless, and I know He isn't.

Anything that has happened has been a cause and effect of some kind.  I'm not just saying people's actions.  I only meant that science statement we heard in school, "for every action there's a reaction."  In nature too...

What do we do when these things happen?  What would Rocky Balboa do when he got knocked down?
He got back up and so should us!

It's time for us to dust off our clothes and get back on the horse.

This round might not have been great.  It doesn't mean that it's the last one though.  Time for a comeback!

I'm getting back on.  Will you?

May this message Be a Blessing in Your Lives and Mine!

In Jesus Name, Amen!











Wednesday, August 2, 2017

But I Don't Want To!!!

Ever have days like this?

You just don't want to do it.  Period!

Today is one of those days for me.

A lot has happened and instead of taking care of things I need to do I'm tempted to have a tantrum with myself and say, "No!"

Doing anything requires work and discipline. Two words that sound like swear words for our flesh.  If our flesh had it's way we'd do nothing all the time.

Have you ever sensed God wanting you to do and/or say something?  The moment you hear it in your heart you can feel your body twitching and wanting to say no or I don't want to.

The truth is no matter how old or mature we feel we're just kids in God's eyes.  And He sees and hears us having tantrums all the time about what to do, how we feel.  Maybe it's forgiving someone or blessing someone who has hurt you.

There is something that I've noticed during these times.

- I will feel peace, strength, and courage during these times
- God will provide me opportunity to do it
- It's a teaching lesson!
- After it's done I feel better

If we never get out of our comfort zones we'd never accomplish anything.
It takes work for a chef to prepare a dish.
It takes work for a relationship to grow.
It takes work running a ministry.
It takes work taking care of ourselves.
It takes work loving others.
It takes work getting up everyday.  Some days can be more challenging than others.

What I'm saying is we weren't made to only be served.  We're also supposed to serve, love, and protect too!

So, are you going to be like this:





Or this:



May this message be a Blessing in your lives and mine.

In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen!

Maria


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Refreshing Moments

Here are some photos to inspire you and lift you up today.  :-)

Some days you just need time to step away and take a few moments for yourself in this world where getting a few moments of time can be challenging.

I've been getting ready for a few things and it has amazed me how many little details it takes to get what was needed to be finished done.

Everything that we get done, or read, or watch and/or listen to is one step closer to something more significant in our lives.

Even when it doesn't feel like dusting or washing a few dishes means anything keep doing what you're doing.  You are one step closer, and each step is bringing us exactly where we need to be!

Close your eyes, take a breath, and enjoy these photos.  Let them refresh and wash the stress away. :-)





May this message be a Blessing in your lives and mine.
In Jesus Name, Amen! :-)

Maria







Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Instant Oatmeal???





Oatmeal, it's such a simple dish to make.  Or is it?

I grew up eating instant oatmeal, and strawberries and cream was my favorite flavor.  It was so easy to make.  You heat up the water, tear open the packet and pour the oatmeal in a bowl, then you'd pour the hot water in the bowl and stir...Instant oatmeal...???

Why is it so thin and soggy?  The oats are still tough and crunchy.  Oatmeal used to taste good.  What happened?

So I stopped eating it anymore until recently when I saw it in the grocery store.  Decided to try it again.  After all it's been years.  How bad could it be?  So I bought a box and brought it home.

Okay, here we go.

- fill cup with some water-check
- pour packet in bowl-check
- heat up water-check
- pour water in bowl and stir-check

Now let's taste...ugh...gross!

Oh no, not again!  Why????????????


Suddenly I had a thought, "Maybe there's something in the directions that will help me."  Hmm, the box reads:

-fill packet with water or milk to the line on the packet
-pour water or milk in oatmeal
-stir oatmeal
-heat oatmeal in the microwave

Fill packet with water or milk to the line???  What line?
Oh, that line!
Now let's try it this way...
Yay!!!
 If I lost you with my oatmeal story here's the point.

When we think we know something or assume that it needs to be this way you get this.
 A big mess!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you thought that your way was correct and no one else's opinion mattered?  Sadly I've been guilty of that, a "few" times. ha-ha

I was remembering how "it's always been done."  How many times have you heard that phrase or maybe you've even said it yourself?

When we're rigid we become hardhearted or, if you'd like another word for it, pigheaded, stubborn, bullheaded, headstrong.  Okay, I think you get the point. :-)

If I'd kept making the oatmeal my way instead of following the box's directions it wouldn't turn out...period!  No matter how many times I'd try!

Maybe if you've been trying something and getting the same results over and over again it might be time to check the directions again or try to hear what someone else is telling you in a different way.

Now, doing the same thing over and over again.  There's a word that describes this, hmm...
What's it called again?  Ah yes, insanity!

Quit behaving insanely and try to look at the issue differently.  Maybe ask God if He would tell you again what He said so you can check if you missed anything.

I had the right ingredients, but when I changed the way to prepare it...
I got this! :-)
"He who has ears, let him hear..." (Matthew 11:15)

May this message be a Blessing in your lives and mine. In Jesus name, Amen! :-)

Maria