Saturday, January 30, 2010

Project Life

(I could not rotate that picture:)

It had been on my mind as of late, "I just want to capture these moments and not forget them ever." God heard my desire and answered through this: Project Life.

The project itself entails chronically your family's life through photo and journaling for the next 365 days. Our album will go from Jan 1, 2010-Dec 31, 2010, God willing, but you can start it any day. It's so versatile. You can assign each member a week of taking pictures and then have them do the journaling (capture your little ones handwriting:).

You have the option of a physical kit or a digital kit that you can later have printed. I prefer the physical kits just because you can add things to your album like your child's drawing or some other small memorabilia.

I got mine completely free using my swagbucks. You can sign up here:
Search & Win
(Please note, this is my referral link. If you prefer to sign up not using my as a referral you can do so here, but I do thank you in advance for the referral:)

(Another note on swagbucks: I would strongly recommend downloading the toolbar so as to not be exposed to some of their ads)

(Last note on sb: In case you aren't familiar with sb, it is a search engine that generates swagbucks that you can trade in for things such as amazon gift cards)

I am looking forward to looking at all the Lord has done throughout this year on New Years day of 2011. Possibly a new family tradition!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Visited my in-laws and wow the love the Lord has deposited in me for them...Lord keep them and draw them to You
2. My tween's aunt gave her some cute boots and so did her grandma...Thank You Lord!
3. We've been blessed to have Mami home for a few days...You are her rest and her Healer, O Lord!
4. Enjoyed a beautiful service here at home with the family. We prayed, interceded, worshipped, and learned from the Word. God is just sooo good...truly there are no words!
5. Got to declutter and cook once serve four times (and maybe some leftovers:) in peace and strengthened...Thank You Jesus!
6. My tot took her first ever Spelling test and got a 100%. She was so happy and made sure to let me know that she wanted Papi to know about this one:)
7. Got an unexpected date night with Hubby b/c we both had to go to church to work (it counts as a date right?)
8. Was able to order Hubby two pairs of shoes for 15% off and free shipping (we got them by Tuesday:)
9. I also was able to order and receive my Project Life kit by Tuesday completely free using my swags!!!!
10. Also, able to order fleece jackets with 15% off and free shipping (due to a card Sis gave me and I found in the Brother Box...cleaning pays off:)
11. Sis gave us a ride to Tuesday prayer and we always have a great time laughing:)
12. My BIL left me a thoughtful message...Praise the Lord!
13. Sis gave me such a sweet gift (you spoil me:)
14. Dropped of our 2nd Quarterly in the mail with my niece (she's great company:)
15. Had a wonderful conversation with a SIC (between us we must have more than 20,000 words each!)
16. Was able to return ink cartridges that I wasn't using and got a full refund plus a gift card
17. Received a gift card just for emailing a company a question?!
18. Made a batch of carrot waffles (they were a hit!!! as strange as it may sound)
19. Tonight's Word was so good! I came hungry and left full with a lot to meditate on
20. God is definitely glorifying Himself in homeschooling and taking us in a new direction

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever."
2 Chronicles 20:21

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 4

God Bless Everyone!

Have you already read Chapter 4? I read it twice already!

During my first read, I was so excited. I mean really what's not to get excited about? We're talking about God's glory!

But as I sat there on my sofa on Monday while the girls slept, the rain and wind beating at my windows, Holy Spirit spoke to me, "That nice you're excited, now what area in your life don't you see Jesus (God's glory)?"

And that's the point. Yes, His glory is wonderful for He is wonderful. But instead of just getting excited (uh hum...emotional) about it, let's identify why and where aren't we seeing it in our lives. I love it that Holy Spirit is the anchor of my soul (Hebrews 6:19) and doesn't let me drift where emotions would want to take me,keep me, and bind me.

So our homework this week is to answer Holy Spirit's question,

"What area in your life aren't you seeing God's glory?"

Now this doesn't mean that God is not in that area or hasn't been working, but remember this is about breaking free. He's taking us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

So our homework is not only to identify the area(s) but we will be praying for one another as well. My desire is for each of us to take some exclusive time to pray for one another and not just present it at prayer during dinner:) So some alone time with the Lord interceding ladies.

You can leave your answer in the comments or the linky and that way we'll know what to pray for.

So I will go first in answering.

1. Homeschooling
I have definitely seen God's glory in homeschooling. But I want more. As an ex-teacher, I can have a limited view of what education should look like and I don't want to limit Holy Spirit. I also have certain expectations that lead me to compare myself at my tween's age and I know that doesn't please the Lord. I want to flexible and moldable without any expectations other than God is going to glorify Himself in their lives. So any strongholds in my mind, any pride on my part, I want it out in the name of Jesus!

2. Rushing
The Lord is ministering me on not using the words hurry up or words with similar meanings. On the contrary, He wants me to declare that there is no rush, we are waiting on the Lord. So I can't tell the girls hurry to eat, finish an assignment, get ready to leave to church even if we're running late, nothing. Nope, I have to reassure them there is time and even if there isn't, it's not worth our peace in Christ. So I don't want to be bound to my watch, time, or a rushed mentality.

3. Misplacing things
I struggle with being organized at times and my things being touched. When my loving husband puts things in his infamous piles for me or the girls touch my things, I get that "urrrgghh" feeling. My husband thinks I have to be ministered on this:) I really don't like when my things are touched and moved so that I don't know where there are. Believe me, this came from my upbringing. And while yes, it is a good quality not to touch other people's things without permission, I can't lose my peace over it. Secondly, I can condemn myself for misplacing things. If I can't find something, there is usually a mental battle raging. Thoughts like, "That is what happens because you're so disorganized," pop up and I have to cast them down. God corrects not condemns. So my prayer is to indeed be more organized but not obsessive and not to mind when my things are touched, moved, destroyed, broken (I am really believing for complete deliverance here:).

Please feel to let me know anything the Lord reveals to you in prayer. I want to be free!!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trusting HIM

take the plunge

God is good!

I wanted to thank you all for your comments and posts on Chapter 3. Thank you for sharing the beautiful things God has done and is doing in your lives.

We all had a common factor-trust. And in the end, that is what it boils down to-trust. I shared with Sydney something that the Lord will bring to me when I am battling to trust Him in an area. A BIC had preached on trusting God. He gave a physical demonstration of throwing ourselves and trusting that God will catch us using a father and son as examples.

When I am faced with something that seems hard for me at the time, the Lord will remind me, "Will you throw yourself and trust I will catch you?" And even when I ask the Lord, "But what if I step out of Your will and fall?" He persists, "Aren't I strong enough to pick you up even if you fall?" At His reassurance, I now trust.

And I think that is what God wants us to know as His children. He wants us to know that if we throw ourselves into His arms as an act of obedience through surrendering our will to His, He will always catch us. And even if we fall due to disobedience but look up to Him in repentance, He will always be there to lift us up.

We can trust HIM.

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chapter 3: To Know God and Believe Him

Question #3
What gives you the most problem when it comes to believing God?

Question #4
What practical steps could you take to increase your trust in God?

Was this hard for you to answer or was it just me? Or maybe it's my answer that made it difficult? Believe me, I'm not trying to make this a riddle. I will attempt to be as clear as the Holy Spirit guides me. Since He's been talking to me on it, I will only try to explain it.

So here goes.

To answer Question #3, I would have to say control. By nature I was a planner, organizer, and controller. Everything in my life was controlled by me. In the world, I really can't think of a goal that I set that I didn't accomplish. I don't say this to boast at all, but so that you can see the magnitude of the control I had on my life. There was no upsetting my plans (for there was always a plan B just in case), there was no changing my plans (since of course they had been planned perfectly), there was no unexpected (for it had already been covered), and there was no giving up on my plans (because where there is a will, there is a way). Get the picture of who I was?

I confess the Lord has done a wonderful job in ministering me in this area. But since I've been praying about this, the Lord has been showing me that whereas I thought I had reached rubber band status in regards to flexibility, I still have a cardboard status to Him. (I had to laugh as He and I discussed that:) Cardboard is better than concrete, so I rejoice.

Today, I think it's less about me trying to control what happens in my life and more about me knowing the details. I don't want to control what happens, I want to know what is going happen. (Stay with me on this one.) God has a way of telling me something without really telling me and I have the peace at the moment. But, after I start to think and think on it, I feel (key word: feel) more like uhh? I just want to know all the details God. Lay it all out for me, so I can see the big picture. But how many of you know that God doesn't work that way?

This is still a control issue, because I have to ask myself or really He asks me, "Why do you have to know all the details?"
So this takes me to Question #4
What practical steps could you take to increase your trust in God?

1. Don't think questions.
I am committed to receive whatever the Lord tells me by faith in Jesus' name with His help. If for whatever reason, I desire to talk with Him in more detail (HA!) about what He said, I will do just that--talk (pray) to Him and not think about it.

This may sound very 101, but isn't God's Word so applicable like that? I love it!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6
(NLT)

So now it's your turn. How did you answer Questions #3 and #4?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bye Bye Brother


Today, we said good-bye to our Brother box. It served us well but it was time to let go. Amen!!!!

The Brother box has been on my to do list since the end of last year and now I can enthusiastically cross it off. When we would do one my infamous "decluttering" parties, whatever I couldnt seem to find a place for at the end would get dumped in the Brother box. Therefore, the house would still be clean and I knew I had a pending cleaning appointment.

The thing is, instead of being a temporary fix, the box became almost a piece of furniture in the house. Hubby would tell me, "If you haven't looked into that box for anything, most of it must be junk to throw away." I readily defended my Brother box as a keeper of many valuables that just needed to be sorted out. WRONG!!! Hubby was right and most of it was tossed. The house once again feels 10 pounds lighter.

(I am also convinced there must a storer in the marriage and one who likes to throw things away.)

Besides saying bye bye to Brother, today I prepared two bake zitis and two french fry casseroles. It was soooo easy and fast. I thought it would have taken longer but because the veggies were already cut up, it was basically cooking the ground turkey and assembling the rest. So for this upcoming week, cooking will be light. Thank You Jesus!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Count Your Blessings

I really do love CYB. I look forward to sharing a glimpse of what God has done and is doing in our lives. I love the fact that when I'm done posting one, I start working on another, because that's just how GREAT our God is. I also love that you share your blessings with me, the fact that we get to meet up on Fridays and rejoice with one another.

So now on to this week's blessings.

1. I went over to surprise Sis because we were going shopping. And I thank the Lord that we did. First, she and I laugh sooo much (literally tears come out of my eyes and I can't even speak). She's really fun to be with. Praise the Lord! I marvel at what the Lord has done in our lives as sisters. This one had me laughing for a while:



Can you guess what she's wearing???
Yes, those are cozies with Timberlands:)

2. At our shopping trip, we scored some realllly gooood deals. Once again I laughed so hard at checkout, the lady in front of me looked at me as if I was the weirdest sight her eyes had ever seen.
3. When I got home from shopping trip, I didn't have to cook!!!!!!! Cooking once, serving multiple times is paying off...HA!
4. Pastor graciously gave us some of these

and they were delicious with coffee!

5. Went out with the family to do the grocery shopping and then headed over to Michael's (didn't get anything since they didn't have what I was in the market for...I'll keep that a little secret for now)
6. They didn't have any taquitos (in case you don't know, I REALLY like taquitos, they are my favorite snack food, especially late at night when we get home from church) and although I was puzzled by this (the whole BJ's didn't have ANY taquitos) this may have been the incident to push Hubby out of BJ's...Romans 8:28!!!!
7. FIC celebrated the dedication of their beautiful son to the Lord on Sunday:)
8. Hubby had a day off and enjoyed some time with girls @ the park

9. I did my runs on Monday and was done...HA! (I got my taquitos at BJs:), so I don't know about giving up my membership just yet:)
10. Sis made dinner for us all over at Mami's....Praise the Lord
11. Mami is keeping up with the Scripture Memorization which encourages me...Continue to fill her Lord and deposit even more hunger and thirst for You!
12. Getting a free International Delight 16oz creamer for my coffee whose consumption I have greatly decreased
13. Tuesday's prayer service was so beautiful...I loved being able to stand before the presence of the Lord and confess my weakness and declare He is Strong!
14. On Wednesday night, Hubby and I enjoyed intercession prayer together for God's glory!
15. Mami celebrated her Earthday on Thursday...May His face always shine upon her!
16. I have been seeing God's hand molding and shaping me and breaking me free which I am eternally grateful for
17. I have been thinking about how blessed we are in our church to have God fearing and God loving teachers. I know that my daughter is learning so much in Sunday school and I thank the Lord for that.
18. Hubby has Friday off with us...two days this week...Yippeee!
19. Kiki looked toooo cute today...I love that she's looking at me while her mama is carrying her and laughing
20. SIC brought a picture of her husband (I think he's a month or just about) and their baby looks almost identical (but I didn't need to see the picture to know that, we prayed for the baby to look like his daddy and he does because our God listens and answers according to His will)

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1 Chronicles 16:31

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BF Homework

I wasn't going to post this until Saturday, but I figured if I am having the Holy Spirit really dig deep within me to answer these questions, you would too. Hence, the extra heads up. For Monday, be prepared to answer questions #3 and #4 from Breaking Free's discussion questions in the back of the book. Hubby and I were discussing them yesterday and he answered them, then the Holy Spirit revealed it was something completely different. I answered them but still feel there is something deeper. So now that you you know, you have the weekend to get in some alone time with God and have Him seek and search your heart on it. Looking forward to seeing what Holy Spirit will reveal.


Question #3
What gives you the most problem when it comes to believing God?

Question #4
What practical steps could you take to increase your trust in God?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reconciliation

Forgive

The word reconciliation has two prefixes I would like to consider:

re-again, back
con-with, together

Usually when we think of reconciliation, we have a "let's pick up where we left off" mentality. But I want to challenge you today to consider that God might have a different perspective on reconciliation in specific circumstances.

Let us consider Jacob and Esau.

After having been sent to Paddan Aram (Genesis 28:1-5) by his father Isaac and living there for over 20 years, God commands Jacob to return to the land of his fathers and relatives (Genesis 31:3). Don't you just love that God is so specific. God here tells Jacob to return to a specific location not a relationship. Would he have to make peace with Esau along the way? Yes. Would he live with Esau and reconnect as brothers. No.

When I read this, a few days ago, I actually thought it somewhat "sad" for lack of a better word. Here were two brothers, twins, and they would not share in each other's lives. God had a plan for each of the them that didn't include the other. God's will is perfect.

We are called to forgive and ask for forgiveness, to live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on us if possible (Romans 12:18). But reconciliation (again together, back with) may not be the Lord's will.

Shortly before I came to Christ, the Lord (it could only have been Him to put this desire in my heart) prompted me to call a friend whom I had hung out with a lot but an offense on my part had shattered the relationship. I obeyed and called her and asked for forgiveness. She later called me to pick up where we had left off months ago, but I already knew I was heading towards one direction and she another. The friendship (us hanging out and gossiping) would not resume. Shortly after that, I came to be reconciled to God through Christ (Romans 5:10) and pray that what He led me to do towards her leads her to the same.

We have the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). Maybe through forgiving and seeking forgiveness and living in peace we will accomplish that others are reconciled to God, even if not to ourselves.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chapter 2: The Reign of Christ

"If our liberty in Christ is going to be a reality in life, we are going to have to learn to walk in the freedom of Christ, independent of everyone else we know."


"God always cares more for our freedom than even we do.


These are two separate statements, Beth Moore makes in pages 18-20.

After reading this chapter, I was reminded of God's mercy. Wow, He's so rich in mercy. These two sentences jumped at me because they were crucial to my deliverance back then and now. Let's work our way forward though.

When the Lord first started to deal with me regarding captivity, He used a sister in Christ from my church. She would come up to me and the conversation would go something like,

SIC: How are you sister?

Me: Fine.

SIC: The Lord brought you to me the other day, although I don't really know if it was the other day since time goes by so fast, but the point is you've been on my mind and I know it's because the Lord has put you there. I'm just getting this "ughh" feeling in my spirit, so I wanted to know if everything is OK.

(Now at this point my thoughts are: God why do you have to talk about me with someone else. You could tell me. And what's this "ughh" feeling she's talking about and why is about me?)

Me: Yep, everything is OK.

SIC: Well, keep it in prayer because I've noticed in the past that the Lord usually brings a word of warning so as to prevent things in our lives, so that we can be praying and staying alert. So, if there's anything, feel free to talk to me.

Now at this point my thoughts are more like: Uh no God, here we go again some major revelation of what else is wrong with me. I don't know how many more things I have to confess.

You see at this point, I didn't have a good view of things. Sure, I wanted to be free. I would confess anything and everything the Holy Spirit would prompt me to say. However, and this was the big but for me, I was not willing to walk in freedom. The only true freedom comes through obedience of God's Word.

So although, confession and ministration were regulars in my life, submission and obedience were not. When Hubby annoyed me, I would lash out in the flesh only to repent later. I was captive to my emotions. I would call this same sister on the phone and let her know all the details about my latest fit. I was as honest as possible because I was really seeking help. After I would tell her all I had done, I would move on to what Hubby had done. She would often just say,

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

UHHHHH! I was confronted and caught. I was growing weary of doing good and wait for a harvest? No, I wanted it NOW!!!!

But that was it. She would tell me the Word and then left me to the Holy Spirit. And how I would love those moments. Even when I expected (and wanted him to) really give it to me good, He would love on me tenderly. He knew I needed a love I had never experienced-true love. He would correct me and encourage me. And still does.

I know He wants me to enjoy Him to the fullest. He cared about my freedom when I didn't. I had to be willing to look past EVERYONE to follow and obey HIM. That was then, what about now?

Well, God is so good that my Scripture Memorization #2 actually ties into this week's study so perfectly for me. Thank You Holy Spirit for guiding me to the perfect verse.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
Or am I trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10

Today, my prayer is for the Lord to continue to help me to look past EVERYONE, including and especially MYSELF, in order to walk in freedom through submission to HIM.

So what has Holy Spirit been dealing with you about? I know He's been opening my eyes to revisit some areas He and I had been to. Maybe I'll get to that in another post. This one has been long enough.


I'm adding a link up list just in case you wanted to share more regarding Chapter 2 and I didn't want to limit you just to commenting. Feel free to comment or link up or both or neither. Remember, we are free:)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Scripture Memorization #2

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
Or am I trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10

As I finished writing the verse and began looking over it, two things immediately jumped out at me.

Here Paul is asking two questions:

1. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
This made me think of what we're willing to do to "feel" loved. When we are seeking man's approval, we have an emptiness that has not been filled by Jesus Christ. It may sound cut and dry but I love that the Word is. Either you're living to win the approval of God or man's approval. Either you are content with God's love or you're not. God commands us not to have any other gods before him (Exodus 20:3). So if man's approval is more important, you may have a god before the ONE and ONLY GOD.

2. Or am I trying to please men?
Umm, this made me think about me being someone else's god! Am I trying to make a person "happy"? God deliver me from not loving the way His Word commands. Sure, I may be able to put a smile on your face by saying what you want to hear or giving you what you want, but that smile will fade and your emptiness and mine will remain and we'll both be in sin. Me for trying to be your god and you for worshipping me. Let's not. Let's instead please God and not men.

At the end, Paul makes it even clearer. I can't do both-please men and God. So I have to make a choice-be a servant of Christ or a slave to trying to please men.

I have made my choice. Have you made yours?

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. We received a card from one of our sponsored children...Continue to bless her Lord and her family with You for You are all we need...if you haven't sponsored a child yet prayerfully consider it
2. Went out with Hubby alone and although it felt weird being without the girls, I enjoyed having some special time alone with him
3. I forgot to mention that last week MIL gave Hubby a winter coat...God is so good b/c I actually put one in my online cart to order but the Lord didn't allow me to place the order and then went to the store and saw the coat in person and thanked God He didn't allow me to buy it...Matthew 6:33
4 My SIL came with my niece to the church...and I got some great pictures of her:)
5. Hubby and his girls played an intense game of Chutes and Ladders!
6. Went out with the girls and enjoyed spending time with my girls:) and got a free tote



7. God is so good and moving so mightedly in the family...thank You Lord for showing us Your face
8. Hubby and tot had an intercession prayer night on Saturday and the Holy Spirit was speaking!!!!
9. Started the week with a great mail (I am convinced that at least one person in the marriage gets excited about mail...that would have to be me)
10. Sis and fam gave us a ride to Tuesday prayer and we were able to rejoice remembering where the Lord has brought us from...four (ex)crazies now children of God!!!
11. God completely healed our lil' SIC and we rejoice in seeing them back in church
12. Received a heartwarming email for a SIC in Florida...we love you guys and miss you
13. The new supermarket is now taking coupons which is great b/c we got yogurts for $.17 each!!!
14. The Lord allowed me to write a long over due "thank you" to someone He is using to keep me current in the news
15. Cooking once and serving multiple times has been a real BIG blessing...what am I to do with all this extra time?...HA!
16. I enjoy my nieces and nephews tooo much...I just knew she wanted the purple bottle!
17. My SIC gave us a beautiful birth announcement of her precious son...he's getting so big
18. I was blessed to hear a dream of one of God's promises coming true!!!
19. Mami went the extra mile for me in getting her baby what she wanted:)
20. I was blessed to be in His presence during tonight's service...just rejoicing in Him and thanking Him for all that He has already done...for loving me in worst of conditions...His love is amazing

I will sing of the LORD's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
Psalm 89:1

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti

Haiti earthquake
A little while ago, I found out about the earthquake in Haiti through the internet. Pastor was just speaking on the coming of Christ on Tuesday and the signs (Matthew 24).

Please make sure to pray but also to donate for disaster relief. Some organizations you can donate to include Compassion and World Vision.

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18


Getting it Done

With one of our goals this year to reduce our grocery shopping bill(to what we don't know yet, since we weren't tracking our spending per se before, so maybe after this month we'll have a clearer idea although I think that last month we did come under $200.00, I believe), I am still working out the kinks.

Kinks
1. I don't want to go more than twice to the grocery store a week. Now this may seem like a lot but sometimes they're not stocked up so a return trip is necessary.

2. Who should do the shopping? As much as I know Hubby is more than willing to do it, I would like to lessen his to do list and take it on, or at least the majority of it. Having a 24hr Pathmark comes in handy if we have to go together.

3. Budgeting and Planning
Now two important tools I am using this year includes an excel spreadsheet to actually track our spending and a master list (you can find this under their links section on the right of the screen) to know what is a real good deal. Well, actually it's three tools. The third is my wallet.



I am using the envelope system for the groceries, misc. store shopping (CVS, Rite Aid, etc.), and Must Use Q's (coupons I want to use and don't want to forget about). If you're interested in making one yourself click here. I have found it so much easier to know how much cash I have in each envelope and store my receipts (momentarily, when I get home, they go here) and change instead of shoving it into my pockets.

4. Organization
I am actually writing down our meals instead of going by my monthly meals because sometimes plans change so I can't stick to the monthly menu. I admire those that can plan their meals weekly and shop accordingly. I am going to try but it can be hard, or maybe I just haven't gotten into the swing of it, since we are picky about our meats. I am actually in the process of trying really since I bought our veggies for the week and planned our meals around them. So we'll see how that works.

Last week on Friday, I actually cooked once and served three times. I made two lasagnas and a french fry casserole. (Note on casserole: frozen veggies have been replaced by au natural ones and I am also on the lookout for a natural cream recipe to replace the condensed soups since they contain MSG). So I cooked on Friday and it took us all the way up to Monday for lunch. I will try to do this more often but will have to be more organized about it.


I not only bought our veggies for the week but also chopped them up (the food processor actually did) and then I stored them into containers. This is one less step in cooking throughout the week:)

Are you working out any kinks in your shopping system? What do you find works or doesn't work for you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chapter 1: From Kings to Captivity

The first chapter starts of by us looking at four kings during Isaiah's time:
1. Uzziah
2. Jotham
3. Ahaz
4. Hezekiah

These are just some of my notes as I read about them:

1. Uzziah
And as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
2 Chronicles 26:5b

Success in man's eyes compared to what God considers success are so different. King Uzziah appears to be the portrait of success-a king, rich, powerful, in control, conqueror, builder, overseer of many workers, commander of many soldiers. But he was not a success in God's eyes.

When we stop seeking the Lord, we no longer depend on Him but on our own strength(which in reality is nothing). Uzziah's pride led to his downfall (2 Chronicles 2:16) and it will lead to ours as well. Independence from God and dependence on ourselves equals destruction!

2. Jotham

The high places, however, were not removed; the people continue to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 2 Kings 15:35a

What you tolerate/condone, you will accept and thus practice yourself. Jotham built and rebuilt (2 Chronicles 27:3-4), but he overlooked tearing down. Let us not get so involved in building and rebuilding lest we forget that there are things that have to be torn down first. Otherwise, these things will infiltrate and destroy the foundation causing our destruction or that of our children.

3. Ahaz
His decision not to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord led to him being handed over to the enemy, being defeated and many of his people taken as prisoners, had heavy casualties inflicted on him (2 Chronicles 28:1-5). A decision to disobey God is costly to us and those around us.

4. Hezekiah
Letting your guard down will lead you to compromise. Man's praise will become more important than God's. (2 Chronicles 32:31)


And now that we have looked at the destructiveness of pride in their lives, let us look at its affect in ours.

On page 277 Question #3, we are asked:

How does pride raise its ugly head in your life?


Forgiveness.
Or better yet, the lack of forgiveness on my part, specifically towards my husband has been my biggest battle with pride. And he agrees, since I asked him to answer this question on my behalf.

Let me tell you what unforgiveness had caused in my life. During the first part of our marriage, things were hellish. We often said things in the heat of the flesh that were hurtful to one another. Because I knew I had to forgive him according to Matthew 6:15 or I wouldn't be forgiven by the Father, I would say that I forgave him. However, I had already acquired and deposited the pain deep within my heart, letting it make a home there. That is not forgiveness. So although I had the head knowledge I had to forgive, it was not a revelation. I was hurt and was not taking it to the Lord. Because I was too prideful to admit that my husband's words had actually hurt me, I was not coming before the presence of the Lord seeking healing. I was not being sincere with Him. I was holding on to the offense instead of holding onto to Jesus. And although I do not have a complete revelation on forgiveness, I do ask the Lord to help me forgive as He forgives.

As Hubby and I were discussing this pride issue, I inquired of the Lord why was unforgiveness prideful. He answered,

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

I understood. Every time I choose not to forgive God's way, I am declaring that my way is better. I entertain demonic thoughts about my husband and thus harbor hatred in my heart. This becomes a stronghold in my life. Thus I am captive.

This helps me to understand the danger of pride through unforgiveness in my life. Lord help me! I had to endure a lot of ministration due to the hurt I chose to keep in my heart. This endangered my marriage, but more importantly my salvation. I don't want to go back. After discussing this with my husband I confessed my pride and asked for his help. I asked that when he asks for forgiveness to leave it there, at the foot of the cross, and allow me to leave it there too. I don't want him to think he has to "do" something (I was infamous for wanting to see fruit worthy of repentance) to receive forgiveness. I actually asked him, "Honey, let me just say I forgive you and leave it there. Don't ask me anything or do anything. Well, kiss me on the forehead or just throw me a kiss if you're driving and leave it alone." I'm one of those that enjoys silence to talk to the Lord so that I can register things.

So I'm tackling this head on, no room for pride through unforgiveness with Holy Spirit's help in Jesus' name!

So, what did the Holy Spirit reveal to you about you? How do you answer the question:

How does pride raise its ugly head in your life?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pathmark

pathmark Pictures, Images and Photos

God is so funny that at times He brings you back to where you first began but makes it different. Ok, so what does that have to do with Pathmark?

When Hubby and I first got married, we decided to shop at Pathmark even though we had supermarkets that were closer. Why? Because it had parking whereas the other one didn't and the other one, well we didn't like the way the meat looked (which is why we're still at BJ's, we're picky about how the meat looks). So, we would go with our one child at the time and fill I think two carts full of "groceries" totaling over $300.00 and then come home and then not have food for dinner for the week. Throughout the years, we stopped going to Pathmark and the Lord has ministered us both on shopping and our eating habits. Praise the Lord!

So now that we are strategic shoppers (aka couponers), it's funny how the Lord has brought us back to Pathmark. What are some of the things that we're liking about it:

1. They take internet coupons
2. They have their own coupons in their "super saver" (thanks Michelle for letting me know) and renew and rejuvenate book (haven't looked out for this one yet)
3. They're open 24hrs (this is a BIG plus for us)
4. Big variety
5. You can also load your club card with coupons from home from their website
6. They have their own catalina's (Pathmark money). I haven't tried it yet though.

This has shown me that you have to be willing to try new things and in our case retry old things. Don't get stuck in one way of doing things; they're may be a better way or even a way of improving on your current shopping system.

It's also very important to speak to management to get to know their policy. For example, my SIL's Pathmark doubles coupons whereas mine does not. If possible, print out the stores coupon policy from their website and carry it with you. Be informed.

So although this has added another store on our list, it is making things easier for us which is weird because our initial goal was a place where we could do all of our shopping. I'm glad that most of the stores we go to are within walking distance or within a mile. Shopping has become fun!

So how is your shopping coming along? What works for you?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. This is my first full week of CYB of 2010!!!!!
2. Ended 2009 in the presence of the Lord and began 2010 in His presence
3. Lord gave specific instructions for this year...You're always there to guide us
4. Enjoyed a glorious time with Hubby and family in prayer and praise
5. Hubby and I went to sleep sooooo late on Friday night just speaking about the Word
6. Woke up on Saturday praying from my dream...Psalm 16:7
7. Hubby made a cheesecake with the girls and it was scrumptious
8. Mami and Sis & fam came over to our house for dinner
9. Mami has joined us for Scripture memorization and has enlisted family in Ecuador too! Lord continue to use her as a useful instrument in Your hands to proclaim the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!
10. Hubby and I experienced immediate answer to prayer regarding our tot...thank You Jesus our Prince of Peace
11. Starting off the coupon year GREAT...the stores were stocked so I was able to do my runs easily:)
12. Sis cooked dinner at Mami's house and it was just the girls...HA to Hubby and BIL!!!
13. BIC made me a cd with some beautiful photos...I'm holding Daniel and wearing a pin that reads, "Believe"...Aleluya!!!!!
14. Hubby went shopping armed with $6 in coupons!!!!!! and got some great deals!!!
15. We have discovered Pathmark (more on that later) and was able to stockpile on tomato sauce (got more Michelle:)
16. Visited Abuela and laughed sooo much...thank You Lord for the family You've blessed us with
17. My SIL sent me some pictures of my niece and my she is indeed edible:)
18. Started using a new money method (more on that later too) just waiting to beautify it
19. Thursday's service was simply beautiful...God continues to minister us that we must stay in His Word!!!!!
20. Holy Spirit is really ministering me with my verse to memorize as well as through the Breaking free study...thank You Holy Spirit for searching my heart

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recipe: Pasta Sauce

Here I made pasta with tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots...yummy!
This sauce is super easy and you won't go back to Ragu once you've tried it...HA!

What You'll Use:
1 spoonful of flour
1 spoonful of butter
milk
shredded cheese
salt and pepper

What You'll Do:
melt butter
add flour
add milk and stir
continue to stir (it becomes a thick consistency by now) and add milk as desired
add shredded cheese
season with salt and pepper

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Breaking Free Calendar-January

I just wanted to lay out a calendar for those participating in the Breaking Free study.

The chapters should be read by the date to discuss/write about/comment on that Monday. Make sense?

So for January 11, we'll be discussing Chapter 1:From Kings to Captivity (don't skip the preface and introduction though, very good:)

January 18-Chapter 2: The Reign of Christ (by this time we're also on Scripture #2 for the year...looking forward to see how that ties in)

January 25-Chapter 3: To Know God and Believe Him

So mark your calendars.

Remember the book is to be read alongside the Bible and not instead of. I will repeat this lots because in order to break free it will be with the Word of God! I know I have spent lots of time note taking and reading and rereading from God's Word based on the references from Chapter 1, so we'll have lots to go over this upcoming week. Are you ready?

I know that the results are based on us, not on God because He is more than capable and willing. It depends on how much we're willing to confront and be confronted with the Truth and then surrender to His will for our lives.

So let's get ready to get real and break free!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to a Journey to Freedom

After reading the introduction to Breaking Free by Beth Moore, I just sat in my living crying and praying to the Lord. I prayed that God would set us free. That we wouldn't hinder Him in any way. And it will continue to be my prayer throughout this study. Just remember, this book is to be read alongside the Bible and not instead of the Bible.

Why am I so passionate about being free? Because I know what it is to be captive.

I was in Christ but a slave to my emotions. This caused not only me to be in bondage but struck fear in the heart of my family. They didn't know what to expect. I could go from "blessed" to miserable in seconds. It was a miserable existence and indeed not the abundant life promised in Jesus Christ.

What changed?
I did. I had to become completely sick of my sin and totally committed to not going back and being captive to my emotions. Acting in the flesh is sin and I had to admit it. I sought help through confession and ministration. I asked for accountability. I wanted those around me (especially Hubby) to call me out on this and whenever I attempted to manipulate. This hurt my flesh so much. No longer could I hide behind excuses like, "He started it, look at what he does, he's not obeying the Lord." There was no mask to hide behind. I was confronted with, "Yes, he may be in the flesh, but what about you. You still have to obey the Word no matter what."

My lowest point was when I heard the Lord tell me, "You don't love me." I dared to argue with the Lord convinced I did indeed love Him. He told me, "Those that love me obey my commands." It hurt me so much and pierced my heart. But it changed me as only God's Word can. I am so grateful that God loves me enough to tell me the truth. When we know the truth, it will set us free (John 8:32)!!!!

The Lord continues to minister to me and reminds me that what I had to do to get free will keep me free. The process includes: confession, seeking outside help, firm decisions, prayer, fasting. I know that there is nothing I can do in my human strength to get free or stay free, it is all the Lord. I do also know that we have to make firm decisions in the Lord and stay committed to walking in freedom through complete surrender and total obedience to His Word through dependence on His help. Lord help us!

That's why I am so excited about this study. I know that ministration and liberation is a continual process and not an event at a retreat or one day deal. It is continuous until the coming of Christ because He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)!

Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus and dedicate this study and each person involved to You. It is our desire to draw closer to You. For that to happen, I understand that it is necessary for us to decrease so that You may increase. I pray Father, that You would help us in this journey. I pray that Holy Spirit would seek and search our hearts and reveal anything and everything that separates us from You. I want You to deal with us in such a way that our lives will indeed never be the same. We don't want to hinder You. I surrender my will asking just as Jesus did that Your will and not mine be done. I pray that You strengthen each of us and make us determined to get to the roots and not just make artificial and cosmetic changes. I want all the garbage out that I may love you sincerely and whole heartedly. Please help us. Help us not to give up or loose hope in the midst of the process. I rebuke all discouragement and fear from now in the name of Jesus. I declare victory for Your glory in each of our lives in Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Being Reminded

Lingering whispers
There have been times in my walk with the Lord in which I "remind" God of something that He promised. Now, I do not do this at all because He needs reminding, but because I do and the devil also needs to hear that I am standing firm on the Lord's promises.

Well, some years ago, the Lord promised Hubby and I more children. And in 2005, He blessed us with a beautiful girl. Throughout the years, we waited and have waited and are waiting. And during it all the Lord has been ministering us. Believe me when I let you know that I am SO thankful that the Lord did not give us more children at our time. So many times we can say that, "Oh thank God He saw it fit not to give it to me when I wanted/asked for it," and not really mean.

But I really do mean it. So much so that my contentment led me to somewhat cease expecting. And my expectation at seeing God's glory has been a hallmark in our relationship with God. I don't think, wonder, question whether God will glorify Himself; I know without a doubt He will. Not because I am expecting it, but because He is God and it is His nature.

So based on Tuesday's dream and prayer service, He wants to remind me that He promised us at least one more child, so I should be expecting him/her. Part of our expectation has to include intercession and spiritual warfare. And I am so grateful that my FIC has joined us in both.

Oh how beautiful You are Lord that in Your infinite mercy it pleased you to remind me I have a promise. I wait on You Lord, on Your Word, on You always remembering. Increase my faith that I may believe everything You say and stand on Your Word unwavering. Help me Lord in Jesus' name. Amen!

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:5


Friday, January 1, 2010

Scripture Memorization #1

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

I choose this verse for many reasons, then again Holy Spirit choose it because I had another one already picked out.

So what are some of the things I will be meditating on as I read and learn this verse?

1. What am I fixing my eyes on?
2. What are these temporary things that cloud my vision from seeing the eternal?
3. Do I have a temporal or eternal outlook on things?


A lot of other Scriptures come to heart as I look at this verse. And that's the point-to allow Holy Spirit to minister us. Anyone can memorize and recite Scriptures but we have a higher call-to meditate and thus obey the Word (Joshua 1:8).

So what's your verse? How has the Lord begun to minister you on this particular verse?

Note: I made this a few days ago to house my cards. I just disassembled an envelope to use as my template, cardstock, and masking tape. You can also add a velcro closure (which I didn't have) to shut it closed. Hubby even wanted one:)




Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
1. Sis invited us and Mami to a delicious dinner at her house and we enjoyed fellowship in the Lord
2. God a great deal on some toys for the boxes for Operation Christmas Child (now is the time to start collecting:)
3. Did another big clean up in the house...last one for the year!!!!!
4. Co-Pastor preached such a timely and anointed Word for God's glory...Thank You Lord for allowing him to feed Your sheep!
5. Cleaned out my coupons...I can shop a lot lighter now:)
6. I finished reading my BIC's (also my elder) book Bad Influences & the Believer and I must say it had me not only thinking on how things influence me but how I can influence others as well

7. Finally got to meet my newest niece and she is adorable...Lord bless her with Your presence all the days of her life...May she dwell in Your house forever!
8. Tuesday's prayer was AWESOME and I only use that word b/c we serve an AWESOME GOD!!!!!
9. I so enjoy being able to speak to Mami as my sister in Christ...I don't want to ever take that for granted...all the Glory is Yours my Lord!
10. My neighbor blessed me with two pairs of leggings. God is so good b/c I was in the market but didn't feel led by Him to purchase them just yet...and now I know why...You're so good!
11. I got our Breaking Free books really fast (good, so I'll have more study time), a lot sooner than I thought, but then again that's the God we serve, WAY more than I can think, ask, or imagine...thank You Jesus!!!!
12. God blessed us with such a beautiful service tonight...Bye Bye 09 and Hello 2010...Year of Victory in the name of Jesus for Your Glory!
13. Last minute savings...as the clock winds down and coupons expire...the Lord manages to squeeze in for me some last minute deals (Total 00p $0.01 before tax)...thank You Lord!