So yesterday while I was at a Bible study with a few of my girl friends from church the comment was brought up about being a new believer and being little intimidated by knowing where to start when reading the Bible. It was a passing […]
Month: October 2014
I love books. I am not the person who is ALWAYS reading, I am not going to even try to lie and say that I am. BUT when I get into a book that is all that I do. Seriously, I read Harry Potter book 7 in a matter of days same with The DaVinci Code and a few others. When I get into a book that is all that I can think about. I even read while I am at the gym, at least I did with Let’s All Be Brave, I took my Kindle and sat it right in front of me while I was on the Elliptical. And when a story is over (Harry Potter, LOTR…anything) I kind of mope around for a few days with a Story Hang over and morn the loss of a new best friend almost.
For me what I do instead of finding a bunch of new books to read and trying different authors out I stick with what I know. I have a habit of re-reading the same book over and over again. I have 3 of those that I do almost every year, and if I don’t read the entire thing through I reference different sections. Those books are Twelve Stones by Barbara Carole, Starving Jesus by Craig Gross and J.R. Mohan and Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. Each of these books has made a major impact in the way I live my life as a Christian.
With Twelve Stones, Barbara Carole talks about her life growing up in a Jewish family in New Jersey. (I have read a few “Coming from Jew to Jesus” stories and for some reason LOVE THEM) She describes her life while living in Paris, moving back to the states and going through a crazy time with her husband while having a baby. The turning point of the story is when she is brought to the Lord. I believe EVERY WORD that she says no matter how far fetched it may sound. The Lord works in some crazy ways and if He is going to use a goatherd, well far be it for me to question Him and His methods. Her true life accounts bring having faith in the everything to the front of your minds because that was how she lived. It is an eye opening and mind blowing experience to say the least. I love to turn back to this book when I feel that I need to get away and yet to be re-rooted in my faith. It is a perfect reminder of Trust.
Starving Jesus on the other hand is a smack in the face. Every year for 5 years Adam and I would go to the LifeLight festival in Sioux Falls, SD and every year I was drenched in the Holy Spirit. If you have never heard of LifeLight it is pretty much Wood Stock for Christians. It was a 3 day concert event in the middle of a corn field in South Dakota, and the best way to end the summer since it was over Labor Day weekend. Well the first year that we went I was walking through the Merchandise tent and came across a table that was selling the books. I didn’t pay too much attention to the people at the table or the rest of what they were selling and looking back now I really wish I had. But something about that book really caught my eye and for $10 I thought “what’s there to loose?” This book is so in your face about how we should be living for Christ, it is almost hard to read because every time I pick it up I am convicted. God takes me to the place of breaking me down just a little in order to build me back up the way I need to be. I am ALWAYS pointed back to some scripture that just solidifies for me what I need to be doing in order to live a life that even sort of looks like Christ. The guys who wrote the book also founded the website xxxchurch.com which has been referred to as the #1 Christian porn site…yeah you read that right…They want to fight porn, from EVERY angle, they have a free program that you can set up on your computer if you have a porn addiction and it will not only NOT allow you to go to certain sites but will also notify your 3 accountability partners that you are struggling so that they can come in and help. They also raise money and go to porn shows and help buy people out of the porn industry. If you didn’t know, people get sucked into that life and then get stuck in contracts that they can’t get out of. This is just one small example of how in your face these guys are. I can’t say enough good things about this book, these men and their ministry. But you have been warned you WILL be changed.
The final book that I always turn to is Kisses from Katie. I am sure that most of you have heard of or read this book, but if you haven’t it is a must. This amazing girl hears her calling to go to Uganda and share the love of Christ with the poor, the sick and the stuck. Her main goal in all of this is to help the kids of the area to get out of the cycle that so many generations before them have been stuck in. She wants these children and their families to learn a trade (or go to school in general when it comes to the kids) so that they can find a job and make a living. So many people in that area of the world deal with such HORRIBLE poverty that they can’t feed their kids so instead they feed them mud and alcohol to make them sleep and feel full, that is just one of the smaller stories that she shares. She shares so much about having a faith and trust in God to do everything He has promised. He wants her to share the gospel and send these kids to school and make sure that they aren’t sick and so what does He do??? He provides the means to do it. More than once people tell her “there isn’t enough money how do you do it?” and her response every time??? GOD! How amazing. This story humbles me over and over again and also reminds me where to put my faith and trust. And just like with the other books I am thrown into scripture and I love it. It helps me see certain verses in a way that I may not have seen them since I don’t have all of the same experiences.
I can’t express the ways that each of these books has helped me grow as a Christian and as a person. I am taken out of my comfort zone and forced to see the world without my rose colored glasses on. And I don’t ever want them on again. Yes the world is full of beauty but there is also such heart ache and pain and so many people turn a blind eye to it. These books help me to see that I need to face those issues head on and see them the way God sees them. Whether it is the poor, the sick or the lost out of the fold I am to love them as Christ does and these books are just a small window into ways to do so.
Having the time to do the things that I love has always been hardest for me considering I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and Adam and I have had the worst string of luck financially. So finding a job that gives me the freedom to have the time to pursue my goals as well as making a living and helping provide for our family is amazing!
I have never been that person who likes to get up in the morning, put on a particular outfit and GO to work. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really love my job at the photo studio right now, it is the closest I have come to pure happiness in a job but I still don’t like listening to “the man”. About a month ago a friend of mine Norma, mentioned on Facebook about searching for a VA. I had no clue what a VA was, just saw that it was a job posting. Well being the nosy person that I am I text her and asked her what a VA was, turns out a VA is a Virtual Assistant. I ended up calling her a couple of days later after I was back from my amazing trip to NJ and learned a lot about what a VA does. It turned out to be something I was HIGHLY interested in and something I felt that I could easily learn a lot about and actually be really good at if I put my mind to it.
Things like Social Media updating (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Instagram), blog posting for clients, creating news letters, watching out for link backs, searching for places to guest blog and also reading and responding to emails. All this a more fall into the realm of what I am becoming rather knowledgeable in. I still have things to learn and have the greatest teacher in the world teaching me but at the same time this is the first thing (other than acting and photography) that I feel really passionate about and think that I can make this into a career.
Going back to not liking to get up for work and answering to someone else, this is the PERFECT thing for me. I already own my own Photography business, and yes it is still young in the process of growing (I am still new to the area) but I love the thought process of getting up and relaxing into my job. It feels great to wake up, wash my face and go to work in my own home. I like the idea of being flexible enough that if I have an audition or I have a photo shoot then I have the time to take it while still spending time at home with the puppies. The hardest thing for me is if I work all day somewhere and then come home just to leave again for a photo shoot or an audition then they are just stuck all alone in the house. Plus on top of all of this I really do enjoy social media and learning all of this for clients and it is only helping me in the long run for my own work if I continue to grow in my art. All in all I have a good feeling about starting my own business. Yes there is a lot to learn and yes it is hard work to know ALL of this and learning it all in a short amount of time but I am loving the learning process! This job isn’t just giving me experience for my future, and isn’t only giving me some finical stability, it’s giving me time, something I always feel I never have enough of. I almost always feel like the sand is going to run out, now it doesn’t. It’s a true blessing!!
Today’s devotional on She Reads Truth was entitled The Time is Now and it is. The time Christ has given us is NOW. We can’t wait for our lives to start to share the Gospel, or to teach or grow or whatever it is we are waiting on. Before I started reading my Bible this morning I came to the Lord with a confession, knowing that I had been held back lately. My confession was this, that I hadn’t been present in ANY of this study lately. My mind has been on a million other things, friends being in town, an audition I have tonight and what I could do with the millions of dollars that I will make once I am discovered at this audition…you know the mind wanders, the new job I am starting, the time I missing with Adam and on and on the list of things goes that have had my attention from the moment I wake up in the mornings. I want to be present in my life, even if Adam isn’t here to be 100% a part of it. I want to be present both in the mental space and in the physical space as well.
Matthew 26:40-41 says “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to Peter ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into the temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.‘”
I feel like Peter, so easily do I fall back asleep, so easily do I go back to fishing when there are THINGS to be done for God. I want to be present to hear what He has to say to me in the mornings and then present in the physical so that I am not afraid to leave the apartment and get things done. Other than work I almost never leave, it is so easy to fall into the safe zone and not get out of the box that I have placed myself in. How sad is that? I need to start striving for the here and now, not the in the future when. I need to get out with my camera and take pictures, get out with my pen and work on that script, get out and audition because God has given me gifts, passions and desires and I need to reach for those goals He has placed on my heart and with all of that I want to share the Gospel, these gifts aren’t random and for no reason, everything God does is for a reason and I want to take full advantage of that.
It is so awesome how what I prayed for He knew would be what we talked about today. He is the one who put the prayer on my heart, if He hadn’t I might have let yet another amazing bible study slip me by.
I am that person who LIVES for fall, I love the clothes; boots, sweaters, cute coats (which I don’t get to wear down here in AZ), the fall leaves, which brings the smell of fall and everything PUMPKIN!! I also love making my own pumpkin puree. It really couldn’t be easier or cheaper. I bought a couple of medium sized sugar pumpkins (make sure it is the sugar pumpkins not the larger ones you carve, everything I have read says that the larger ones are JUST WRONG). Cut the pumpkins in wedges, clean out the seeds; which can be cleaned and baked to have pumpkin seeds as a snack, throw your pumpkin wedges in the slow cooker with about 1/2 cup of water, set on low for about 6 hours and live your life. Once the slow cooker is done all you need to do is let the pumpkin cool some, peal the skin off and mash up with a fork, it will be so done that you don’t even need a blender. I separated mine into freezer bags with about 1.5 cups of puree each and threw them in the freezer.
On to the muffins of heaven though. I found the most amazing recipe on Sallys Baking Addiction and OH MAN were they beyond perfect. I had a guest here for the weekend and my favorite thing to do when I have guests is to cook for them. So what was the first thing I did when we got home from the airport?? I made these!!! They were the perfect thing to snack on throughout the weekend, I just put them into an air tight container and whenever we wanted
one four we just set them on a plate and put them in the microwave to heat them for a few seconds and BAM happiness on a plate anytime of the day. Using my fresh pumpkin personally made these muffins but maybe I am just a little bias. I am pretty sure these need to be a staple year round for me, I just need to stock up on mu puree first! Have a great fall day!!!!