Amelia- Her first year!

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One yr ago to date I brought a sad, terrified, withdrawn, unhealthy dog home with me.  48- 72 hrs prior she’d been rescued from one of the most horrific puppy mill busts in Tx. Left in the hands of someone paid to take care of them, 63 dogs were found in a 90° building, standing in pools of green stagnant water to keep cool,  filthy & coated in mud & feces.  They had actually resorted to eating each others feces for ultimate survival.

From that hell hole she was taken to the HSNT Fort Worth Shelter. I had posted on FB about being ready to adopt a dog & I particularly wanted a small Yorkie. Melissa Kitchen, Patron Animal Saint of Trinity Loft(PASOTL), sent me the link on Thurs about the bust & then went with me on Fri to find my Yorkie. After realizing my Nav was taking me to the wrong shelter, we course corrected & made it to FW.  Even though I had called  earlier, the shelter staff said they weren’t completely ready  & were still bringing dogs out. We looked the shelter over. No Yorkie!  Melissa had gone before me & said there may be something I like! Of course I had to talk to every dog in every cage, so by the time I got to the last room, last cage…….there she was. Cowered down & turning completely away from me,  I found the only Yorkie there! Our wrong directions was actually the perfect time delay necessary in allowing them time to bring her out!  I wanted to hold her, but she was petrified. We took her out & she smelled so bad I almost couldn’t hold her. She was the one!! We put her down for me to complete adoption paperwork & were amazed at her curiosity. It was like watching a blind person receive sight. She took in every second, especially the outdoors view.  I knew immediately what to name her. She needed a strong, determined name representing how she has survived & would still overcome many challenges. From that moment she was chipped & in the next couple of days, spayed.   She then would be released to me!!  What a whirlwind she must have felt like being in. Caged, abandoned, rescued, transported, chipped & all these people!!

On the drive home, Melissa read the instructions they gave me about owning a puppy mill dog. In tears we discussed what torment these animals were subjected to. They wouldn’t be familiar with grass, sunlight or kind human interaction. This broke my heart & I knew she had to be shown grace, mercy, patience, but most of all love!

On Monday 6.1.12 I picked her up. Groggy from surgery, I put her in the front seat & headed to Dallas. The first thing I had to do was scrub her! The shelter was overwhelmed with the number of dogs they received & they only had time to do the tests necessary to adopt dogs out. Her skin was horrible & I seriously thought I was going to use the entire pack of Q-tips on her ears.  Her mouth was equally as disgusting! Yuck!! She was emotionally & physically exhausted so once clean,  I just left her alone. She slept on a nice, soft, comfy bed without moving for almost 24°.

Her journey has been amazing! I’ve been there for many first time experiences. Grass, soft bedding, natural organic & even raw food diets.  She was seriously convinced the leash would kill her, but quickly realized it was her ticket to long outdoor walks! Living in a loft meant getting used to the elevator. I began noticing her obsessive behavior while waiting for it! She memorized the sound of the dings & knew the doors were about to open!  She developed a routine & immediately adapted to her environment! She made instant friends!! Tuxedo & Jasper were her wrestling buds, BJ was her sprinter, who’s human, Wendy, brought her back upstairs one day because she got on the elevator all by herself!! Leo was the lovey, who lived next door & always wanted to give her kisses! Star was bigger, but super sweet & Porterhouse was the sweetheart who’s human, Chris, helped chase her around the entire parking lot late one night  bc she got off leash. They were precious  & I enjoyed watching their interaction every day.

The most difficult challenge  I’ve faced was her digestive system. It took 9 months to regulate! I think their extreme survival skills caused her to develop something! Her diet is strict! She only eats Organix Small Bites by Castor & Pollux.  No human food except for occasional spoon of eggs & her 1 slice of bacon every evening. She loves bacon!!    She takes chondrointin  chews every day bc she has popping hips due to hip dysplasia. I think she has arthritis like me!!

When we moved from our Dallas Design District loft to a house, she spent several weeks exploring every room, nook & cranny bc the house was over double the size of the loft!! I’ve learned she is afraid the dark when put outside by herself,  loathes rain & snow! She never experienced change of seasons so these were new for her. June bugs were weird little creatures that she quickly determined weren’t necessary to befriend!

The human interaction & trust factor is ongoing. While she won’t let me pick her up, she freely gives me kisses & is at the side of my bed very early every morning  encouraging me to get up!! I wanted a snuggle bunny, but that will take more time!! Unless she’s Aced! That’s another adventure Lilli & I experimented with!!

She’s  passive aggressive towards Lilli, but not so much Kaelleb. She’s never minded Bryce or Russell, but Summer isn’t as popular! A walk causes an immediate attitude adjustment & the word T- R- E- A- T makes her come home if she’s exploring the neighborhood too long! She goes to Cosmepawlogy for  grooming faithfully & loves to ride in the car. She eats her morning food only if she’s in the same room within close proximity to me.

This year has been about introducing her to a culture of humans who truly love & take care of their animals. Assimilating her to weather changes,  day vs night, cats & bugs, & of those 2…..she likes neither!

Puppy mill rescues are extremely challenging, but the intrinsic satisfaction of knowing anything & everything you do for them is greatly appreciated far outweighs any challenge.

As I write this, she is outside in her yard enjoying what she so deserves……FREEDOM!!

Amelia Murphy is a survivor & here’s to the next phase of our journey together! Find your pet at a shelter or rescue facility & begin enjoying what love they can bring!

Blessings,

g

Before you judge…….

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In reading this article, it hits very close to home.  I  grew up with a sister who experienced a mental breakdown in 1975. She was in the 11th. grade & I was in the 10th.  She was “slow” & had failed a couple of times.   The “system” was not perfect. Instead of special education classes, she was judged as being slow, taken advantage of by the guys & yet, she was my best friend.  After the nervous breakdown occurred, we experienced violent behavior patterns on & off for years. She was passive aggressive primarily towards my father. My mother was her idol & what mom said was gospel. She would fight anyone over mom & did many times. I remember having to wear a certain hairstyle for quite a while because during a fight, she pulled a patch of my hair out the size of a silver dollar. I was not the fighting kind & hated fighting because I didn’t like the pain of it!  Yes I was a chicken, but……there are other ways to resolve conflict other than fighting!  She almost killed my dad once because he wanted to cut down a certain tree in the yard & my mom didn’t want to.  She attacked him from behind while he was using the power saw & all I thought about was seeing both of them sliced to shreds.  You hear how extremely strong people are when they are mentally compromised & I can say from experience, this is the truth.  For many years, we lived in fear.  When she was controlled medically, things went well.  You knew immediately when those medication levels were off.

She was admitted many, many times to the local state psychiatric hospital. She endured shock therapy, drugs, work therapy, etc. It wasn’t until my mother admitted her to a habilitation center did she improve.  Therapy was based not only on medication, but  behavior & rewarded as such.  It was an answer to prayer.

I attempted to let her live with me in 1995 after my mom died. This was a grave mistake. I was a single mom working 3 jobs & the stress of adding another adult with a decreased mentality was a challenge I shouldn’t have embraced. She has slight obsessive compulsive disorder so  if 1 scoop of clothes detergent worked, she would use several. Instead of 1 cap of Murphy’s oil soap to mop the hardwood floors, half a bottle worked better. I had a schedule of activities, but it wasn’t structured enough for her.  She got off her meds & became violent again. When a situation escalated, I knew to call the cops, but they fused to intervene. When I asked for their names & badge numbers they listened. I calmly explained I had been through this familiar cycle since 1975 & when she caused harm to myself or my son, I would be sure to include them in the law suit against the City Police Department. They accompanied her to the local psychiatric hospital, who had no beds. A very angry, volatile  sister came home with me. I made an emergency appointment with a psychiatric doctor I worked with on a regular basis at local hospital.  He was a God send. The saddest sight was to see the cops come for her after the appointment & ask me if she needed hand cuffs. In her right mind stage, you wouldn’t find a more loving, giving human. I explained she would be no harm to them & please don’t cuff her. They accompanied her to a psychiatric hospital elsewhere in the state that had a bed. Meds were adjusted & she went back into a group home environment.

I personally know the agony families face who have a challenged loved one. I guided her in public of what to say, what not to say, how to act etc., to prevent judgmental attitudes. Finally I’ll never forget when I finally realized I had to let her be her. If people judged, it was their problem. I love her dearly, want the best for her & seriously know she lives a great life. She now resides in a supervised independent living environment & is doing well. She has taken on the role of being passive to me. She has learned technology, has a cell phone, computer, game systems etc.

She has recently met her son for the first time in 36 years. She got pregnant & married when I was 17. She had a baby boy, who was immediately adopted by my brother. Until recently he never knew his crazy aunt was his  mother & his mom/dad were actually his aunt/uncle. I can’t say I agreed with that decision, but my mom & family thought it was best for her then. While she is glad to have met him & reconnect with my brother, she continues to insist I come visit her. Passivity!

When I hear about a child acting out in school, I have to ask what is truly going on? I quickly question the home environment, current diagnosis, lifestyle changes such as divorce, death, etc. We are quick to judge the child has bad behavior, but need to seriously search the root. If the root is just being spoiled, that is another scenario!!

I watched as my parents denied my sisters problem. Had they intervened sooner, I would like to believe things would have been different. This breakdown created a horrible wedge between my parents, division, partiality & dysfunction. Many people said I was the reason she had problems because I was the social butterfly, smart, intelligent, & daddy’s girl. Her diagnosis was slightly mild mental retardation due to anoxia at birth or oxygen deprivation. Bi-polar, manic-depressive, etc. are other terms we’ve heard. Denial delays treatment & resolve.

We can judge what recently happened in Connecticut, as well as, other acts of violence. Several times I caught myself wanting to pray for Adam’s mother out of empathy,  but remembered……he killed her.

Pray for the families who have lost loved ones. Please read this article, pray for people in your neighborhood, schools, churches, & friends who bear the burden of a “special” child.
And please, please judge not!

Blessings,
g

I support Hobby Lobby

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I’m re-posting a letter below  from what I believe is an amazing company, Hobby Lobby.  I’ve shopped at Hobby Lobby for more years than I would like to admit to!  I admire their values & pray for their victory in this ridiculous government matter.

The main thing to consider is that this is just the beginning!

Blessings to this phenomenal company,

g

******************************************************************************

A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO

By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our
children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

ImageWe’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby
has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the
week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government
fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of
convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American business should have to make. The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your
fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.

Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.

Sincerely,
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

We are America

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Measurements…

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There are many ways to measure success.  Materialistic measures are most visibly noticed.  We’ve seen, however, this is not an accurate measurement. Unless you know that the person is debt free, pays cash for said materialistic pleasures, lives a complimentary lifestyle portraying character & integrity……this measurement is merely a mirage. 

Reading has become one of my favorite pastimes & early in my TEAM LIFE System Book of the Month years, a great book came down that, to date, I normally have in my trunk.  The book? Critical Choices, authored by Dan Castro  – a fellow Texan.  This book  portrays choices men & women made against all odds.  Many of  their choices & creations we continue to enjoy.  We travel in airplanes that are not supposed to exist & they just landed on Mars!! We drive Eco-friendly,  flex-fueled or electric cars that were laughed at! Many enjoy gadgets preposterous to most cultures & etc. Hotels are built into the atmosphere, or out of ice.   Talk about successful accomplishments!  Another book of the month that depicts how people pushed through tremendous odds is Dance Until It Rains by author Vic Johnson.  As you read, each chapter personally resonates  within you .  

A more common measurement many of us endure on a regular basis are naysayers or critics.  I gauge business ventures on leadership & only surround myself with the best of the best.  Why should I consider the number of critics as a measurement?  Hope.  Yes, that’s right, hope.  A critic surfaces when you challenge their belief & will be your best cheerleader.  They have to be right regardless of  what you can prove. It’s all about them! In the moment, their fury & their hurtful or unnecessary words never sound cheerful or welcome.  In the end, when you win, not only did hope in yourself prevail, but there is hope for them.  Our worst critics may be family, friends, acquaintances or people you’ve just met. We all have them & lets face it….they’ve been around for eons.  Jesus could do nothing in His own home town.  He mentioned to the disciples to shake the dust off their feet & walk away from certain circumstances.  There is also a scripture that warns us not to give that which is holy to dogs or cast our pearls before swine.  People didn’t receive or respect Jesus. They are not always going to receive or respect us regardless if we offer Christianity or business opportunities.  Don’t take it personal, but continue to walk in what you feel is worthwhile.  Attacks generally don’t happen to people who aren’t attempting to make a difference.  Kudos to you! 

I like this quote concerning criticism: 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

There are a few amazing books I would suggest for you to adopt for personal victories;  Resolved: 13 Resolutions for life by Orrin Woodward, Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, & The Compassionate Samurai by the late Brian Klemmer.  I truly believe once you obtain a personal victory & silence inner criticism, limiting beliefs, or self sabotage, you can endure any external sources.  

People may never exhibit the courage to do what you do.  Even if it’s just barely tolerance in the beginning, love them anyway.   Measure your success, not so much in the number of critics you accrue, but the number you offer hope to in the end.  

Blessings, 

To escape criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing”   –Elbert Hubbard

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Winning-vs-finishing

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In light of the Olympics taking place right now in London, our morning devotions were centered around a very familiar passage of scripture.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

-1Tim 4:7

ImageMany times the end result focuses on whether or not we win or lose.  Olympians train for years in hopes to receive a gold medal. They are not celebrating a piece of gold valued around $10,000.  They celebrate what years of preparation has done in them as individuals, for their team & their country. They would never trade that for anything!

In life, each of us have fought good fights, although they may have seemed pretty bad at the time!  We have finished a particular course & in no way does this measure whether or not we won.  Finishing a race or course, regardless of the difficulty endured, speaks volumes of us as individuals.

We can look around & see how many people have not finished any course.  Let’s face it…..America is filled with “given-ups” not grown-ups.  Once we endure a struggle, trial or test, we look back & realize it helped define how strong we truly are.  Win or lose, not giving in or giving up is the most important trait to possess.

Keeping the faith is not as easy as it sounds.  I’ve got amazing friends who have endured traumatic experiences & have completely relinquished faith.  Not just relinquished faith in God, but faith in people/humanity, trust, Christianity,  & worst of all….themselves.  This truly grieves my heart.

I want to take a moment to congratulate you the Olympians for their extraordinary accomplishments.  Mostly I want to congratulate you for fighting when you feel like you don’t have another punch left, finishing when you feel like quitting every day, & keeping your faith in people who love you, a God who will never leave you & most of all…..the phenomenal person you are. I love the picture used in this blog. The London Bridge represents what happens when you finish your race.  You gain wisdom, sometimes born of pain, & strength.  You can bridge the gap & pass the torch to someone who is experiencing their own fight or battle.  Run, finish & keep the focus on what your victory can portray for others.

We may not always win, but we can always finish.

Blessings,

g

Miracle from the Aurora, CO incident.

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Geneva Murphy:

This totally validates the scripture that says God knits our bones while we were in our mother’s womb! Such a beautiful testimony to the creative miracle of God & how He truly knows our days.
Blessings,
g

Originally posted on celtic straits:

Shooting Victim Petra Anderson

(Updates follow article)

At Columbine, I have seen this before. But not up close.  As a church pastor in Denver, I have worked as a chaplain alongside several police and fire departments. I was privileged to counsel parents just hours after the Littleton Columbine shootings. However, in this new tragedy at the Aurora Theater Dark Night shooting, one of the victims was a 22-year-old woman from my church, Petra Anderson (pronounced Pay-tra). Petra went to the movies with two young friends who are biking across America.  You and I have been inundated with news about what happened next. A joyful movie turned into bloody, unbelievable chaos. Petra was hit four times with a shot-gun blast, three shots into her arm and one bullet which entered her brain. This a bit of Petra’s miracle story.

With awesome people from our caring and pastoral team, I spent all…

View original 2,583 more words

What Luck!

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On Friday July 13, 1984 I accepted Jesus as my Lord, Savior, & best friend. Unlike when I was 12 y/o, I’ve never looked back or compromised my conviction to serve Him. This particular time in my life was very rocky.  I had just re-married 6 months earlier, & had received some trying news.  We were facing a huge battle & during a home (cell) group meeting we surrendered our lives to God.  He was a last resort out of a desperate plea for help.  Regardless of the reason, that singular decision has carried me many, many years.   The journey brought me through building a house, having a miscarriage, having my son, getting a divorce, selling a house, surviving bankruptcy, being a victim of an internet scam, being a single parent for 18 years, etc.

As I look back, one plea for help grew into a covenant relationship that has been my ever-present help & first choice for solace.  I’m more in love with Jesus today than I’ve ever been & continue to see His hand at work in my life.  His answers are not always yes to me for certain questions, but He always reveals the reasons & they are WAY better than a yes answer could have ever been.

ImageI don’t believe in luck, coincidence, karma, or whatever.  I believe the omnipotent, omnipresent, Jehovah God is in total & complete control.  We may feel like Peter sometimes when Satan desired to sift him as wheat.  He was comforted when Jesus said, “I’ve interceded for you.”  Turbulent times create fear, anxiety & even hopelessness.  Instead of looking to the stars, leaving things to chance or trusting in man, I look to the one who created the stars, controls the universe & is extremely faithful.  He is ever-living to make intercession on your behalf.  Ask, seek & knock as He will answer, be found, & open doors for you.

In 1984 was a lucky Fri 13th. for me & continues to exceed my expectations as a child of the most high God.

Blessings,

g

P.S. Today, Friday 13, 2012,  my son & daughter in law are adopting a dog.  What a lucky day for a precious creature!  #life

Throne of truth & never changing promises

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In reading & hearing all the changes happening in our nation over the past couple of days, I tend to run for comfort, not cover!  I love the Word in that is a refuge & a very present help in time of trouble.  This scripture is often quoted out of condemnation, or used as a last resort.  It represents a duty all of us need to assume on a daily basis.

God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, “I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. Believe me, I’ve chosen and sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always. As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life I’ve set out for you, attentively obedient to my guidance and judgments, then I’ll back your kingly rule over Israel—make it a sure thing on a sure foundation. The same covenant guarantee I gave to David your father I’m giving to you, namely, ‘You can count on always having a descendant on Israel’s throne.’  2 Chron. 7: 12-18 Message

It has resonated in my heart & mind all day.  I am guilty of complaining about decisions made by our government yesterday.  I have talked to people first hand who have had this type of health care.  In 1987 we were temporarily staying at a campground in Poughkeepsie, NY.  My daughter was 10 & there were people from all over in that particular camp.  It wasn’t the nicest place to stay, but it was temporary for a job assignment.  One of the couples we met happened to be from Nova Scotia, Canada.  When they learned I was a nurse, we of course discussed health care between the US & Canada.  Their explanation of free medical care was enticing until they explained the “benefits.”  People didn’t have medical freedoms we do now.  Certain criteria was in place & if you didn’t fall in said criteria, you didn’t qualify.   Frequent visits to the ER for a tummy ache wasn’t considered.  The conversation became sadder & sadder as they spoke of disease processes & aging individuals.  I’ll never forget the way I reacted to that conversation.  Over the next several years it remained in the recesses of my mind as I cared for people in nursing homes, geriatric floors of the hospital, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care units & ER/ICU.  I knew many of those patients would have never received medical attention had we been involved in socialized medicine.  Seriously, it made me think differently when guilty family members chose to prolong the life of a loved one only to soothe their conscience.  I knew at that time their conscious would never survive socialized medicine.  People who presented to ER simply to receive a work excuse would never survive socialized medicine.  The million dollar work-ups, the unnecessary prescription medications, hypochondriatic episodes, & etc., would NEVER survive socialized medicine. When disease processes began to deteriorate the human body, socialized medicine would never approve medical care required to help an individual merely live regardless of the quality of life they had.

Then it began really, really hitting close to home.  What would happen to the doctors, nurses, techs, etc.? How would our pay-scale become affected?  How would our already rubber-band-thin work loads withstand such changes?  Remember…..this time frame was from 1987 – 2004. One conversation surfaced numerous times in those years.

Fast forward to 2012 just a week before we celebrate 4th. of July, or Independence Day.  That conversation is now the topic of discussion & I’ve had years to digest it.  Not sure about you, but doesn’t  this decision seem  to have been a scheme to make us doubt why we embrace the nation that fought every tyrant for freedom??  Hold fast….America is still the land of the free & the home of the brave & we are commissioned to keep it that way.  The scripture above brings comfort to my soul (mind, will & emotions).   Every promise is Yes & Amen to those in Christ.  God never changes, never sleeps, never goes against what He has promised & we can count on those promises.  His throne is a throne of truth & integrity.  In the midst of change, turmoil & division, we can run to the rock of our Salvation.

 

I know the changes at hand will not be what everyone thinks they will be.  I also know we serve a God that rescued His people out of 400 years of bondage.  He guided our forefathers granting courage, fortitude, perseverance & grace to develop our nation.  Remember…He is no respecter of persons & never changes.  He doesn’t react to our fear, our uncertainty, & definitely not our opinions.  He responds to prayers birthed from hearts of humility.  Fear not, only believe.  I encourage all of us to embrace His suggestion…..come boldly, with a heart of humility, before His throne of grace to obtain mercy & find grace in a time of need!  While expressing our anger or disappointment feels good, our nation needs us to rise up this way!

Blessings,

g

Culture Consciousness

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I love buzzwords, well… most of them.  There are some that literally force me to exercise moderate amounts of emotional intelligence.  While riding in the elevator at work, I read a poster with a very familiar scripture. Funny how I ride the elevator daily, read that poster daily & today these words were illuminated.  This is why we suggest reading scriptures, books, etc., more than once as different parts come alive each time. Studies reveal your understanding of audio recordings happens around the sixteenth time.  It’s amazing how the human mind intakes & files information.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. - Romans 12:1-2 Message

I love how this translation speaks to us about culture consciousness.  I’ve quoted this passage for years & love how the word of God is timeless regardless of the trends.  God truly is the same yesterday, today & forever as is His instructions to us.  As we attempt to fit in, become accepted, are noticed, etc., let us be reminded of what we are called to do & that is to be set apart as His chosen ones, His ambassadors.  This is the culture we should create, embrace & make appealing to the masses.

Blessings,

g