Names of God

Pray and add yours… A         Adonai, Awe Inspiring, Always, All-knowing, All-powerful, All-seeing, Abba, Anointed one, Ancient of Days B         Beautiful, Baby Jesus, Blessing, Blessed, Best friend, Buddy C         Compassionate, Conqueror, Creator, Counselor D         Delight in the Lord, Daddy, Dear One E         El Shaddai, Endures Forever, Emmanuel F         Forgiving, Friend, Forever, Faith, Father, Friend of sinners, Fear-inspiring G         Great, Grace, Goodness, God, Gracious, Glorious, Guide, Good Shepherd, Giver of good Gifts, God who sees me H         Holy, Humble, Holy Spirit, Healer, Hope, Heavenly, Helper, Heir to the Promise, Hid from our Eyes, Heavenly Healer I          Immutable, I am, Immortal, Invisible, Inaccessible, J          Jehovah Jirah, Jesus, Justice, Joseph’s son, Judging K         King of Kings, Keeper of this life L         Lover, Lion, Lamb, Light, Life, Lover of my Soul M        Majestic, Mountain Moving, Maker, Merciful N         Never Ending, Name of the Lord, (Like) None other O         Omnipotent, Omniscient, Only One P         Powerful, Promise-keeper, Provider Q         Quick to Forgive R         Redeemer, Righteous, Refuge, Responsive S         Savior, Slow to Anger, Strong, Sovereign, Sacrifice, Sanctifier, Standard-keeper, Shepherd T         Truth, Tower, Transforming, Tursted Friend U         Unchanging V         Vulnerable Baby W        Worthy to be Praised, The Word, Worship, Wrathful, Wise X         X-tremely good, Y         Yahweh Z         Zion...

A Message Of Healing

As a speaker at this year’s retreat, I brought a message of healing; healing based on the Mark 5 woman, the woman with an ‘issue’.  After all, we all have issues, right?! We are all in need of being healed from something. The message for me was both personal and timely as I had once again been dealing with an ongoing health issue. The focus of my message was concentrating on what we are continually HEARING and what we are continually SPEAKING.  We went very slowly through Mark 5, placing our feet into the footsteps of this familiar woman. Together, we observed how she kept hearing and hearing about Jesus…to the point where she became convinced He could heal her. As a result, she then began to say over and over and over, “If only I get the chance to see Him I will take hold of him and I WILL get my healing!” Her hope (a confident expectation of a good outcome) became so enlarged that when Jesus DID show up in her neck of the woods, she made her move. Her hope urged her to do something! And so we went with her through the suffocating crowd and watched as she boldly reached out with all her might and took hold of Jesus! And we watched in amazement as His power reached out and took hold of her in return! We overheard Jesus speak to her, assuring her that she had not stolen anything from Him, but that He had given the gift of healing to her freely. It was if He wanted her, and us, to...

Finding Prosperity

I went to Cuba in May 2012 on a missions trip with a group of people from church. I truly found prosperity in one of the poorest and most oppressed countries I have ever been in. I went “to help and give.” Little did I know that I was the one who was going to receive the most! I learned about LOVE and True Prosperity. You don’t have to have all the commodities, gadgets, extras, and money to buy and do whatever you want in order to be truly happy. These people taught me that having a grateful and thankful heart is more valuable than money. I learned about making the best out of every situation. Wearing a smile because I am alive and Christ is soon coming for me. I am in awe to be property of such an amazing Father and His Kingdom. I learned in Cuba that even though I have all the things I have here, I really didn’t have what I truly needed. I needed to love more, thank God more, praise God more, live for HIM more. Thank you God for teaching me true...

Timeline: My Daughter's Pro-Life Full Circle Moment

The front door creaked as we walked inside and switched on the lights. I surveyed the modest room:  A few chairs, some potted plants, an end table or two and a coffee table stacked with magazines. It was cozy, warm and inviting, and I was eager to get to work. My aunt Sandra was the director at the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Titusville, Florida. My adolescent mind did not understand her responsibilities and the role she played in helping women; however, I knew it was important work and I wanted to help. She tasked me with various chores such as vacuuming the waiting area, straightening the magazines, dusting, and organizing the brochures.  As I browsed, my eyes fixated on a graphic picture of a fetus who had been aborted. The image haunted me. A young woman came into the center. My aunt led her to a back room and spoke softly with her. I heard the muffled sounds of a videotape playing. The young woman was in need of a pregnancy test, and it would take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. While waiting for the test, Sandra encouraged her to watch the video about the importance of life. I wanted to know more.  By the end of the day I picked up some brochures and collected data on unwanted pregnancy, abortion, and adoption. I also added to my collection two plastic babies representing fetuses at 12 weeks. I armed myself with information to share with others in my circle. I left that day feeling satisfied that I not only helped maintain the center, but I had become a...

Choosing Wrong Forks. And Second Chances.

Uncomfortable, angry or crying onAna’s shoulder is how I spent the Fork retreat. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. The retreat was really called “Friendship Feast.” But I can never remember it that way. Forks were everywhere—giant posters, speakers’ messages about feeding yourself the right spiritual food. There was even an envelope you were supposed to open if you felt negative at any point, which contained encouraging wisdom and a plastic fork. Were they reading my mind, or what? The particular thing I was struggling with at that time was overeating. I knew God had been asking me to eat healthy and lose weight and was just not able to do it. I even realized I was turning to food for comfort instead of trusting in the Lord to be my joy and strength. I’d been feeling really dry for a long time, as if I was living in a desert. I was a Christian but couldn’t feel any joy in my life anymore. Now all these forks everywhere. Could choosing the right spiritual food really be connected, for me, to how I ate? Just a few weeks before that retreat, I woke up sick of myself being stuck in overeating; so sick I admitted the whole problem to a godly woman at church, told her I was powerless to control it and needed her to pray for me. I prayed and told God I was done, could not do it—He’d have to do it and I did not even know what to do about it or how. That awful point was actually the beginning...

Timeline: Spring 1997 – What Will I Do For The Rest Of My Life?

While a Senior in high school, my daughter Melody was faced with that age-ol’ decision, “Who do I want to be when I grow up?” She pondered nursing but was afraid she might accidentally kill someone — which made her ponder — perhaps — forensics . . . CSI Miami, anyone? Melody consulted her high school guidance counselor.  Having experienced the joy of working with small children in the church nursery, Melody decided that teaching could be an option.  She told her counselor that she had learned some American Sign Language and would like to explore that field.  When Melody left the counselor’s office, she had made the decision to pursue a career teaching children who were hearing impaired. Her counselor told her about a wonderful college in St. Augustine, Flagler College.  Before Melody graduated high school, she had been accepted into this fine institution of learning. Her grandmother Shirley (who will be at the retreat this year) asked her, “how do you know that is what you want to do?” (I really believe that Shirley “Nanny” may have had some ulterior motive in that she did not want her granddaughter to be five hours away from her — yes, they are close.) Melody had no answer. While attending “Night of Joy” (an all-day, all-night concert event at Walt Disney World Orlando featuring various top contemporary gospel artists), Melody pondered that question . . . how do I really know? How do I really know that teaching deaf children is my life’s career choice? While observing Michael W. Smith in concert, and out of the corner of her eye,...

Sacrifice Enough?

Last retreat I invited a friend of mine to come with me.  I knew she needed to be spiritually fed.  She is a mom of two beautiful children; last year the oldest was 3 and the youngest was 1 year old.  When I went to pick up my friend from her house, I could hear the screaming and crying of both children begging for her to stay home.  She was firm and consistent all the time; she wanted to go to the retreat.  She said she was determined to go because she wanted “to become a better mom, a better wife, and a better Christian.”  Would her babies’ tears be enough for her to quit her resolution? Would she be strong enough to close the door behind her leaving her precious babies crying for her?  Grandma was there to take care of them, but they didn’t care, they wanted “mommy” to stay with them as usual. My friend never before had been separated from her babies; I knew it was going to be hard for her.  I waited at the parking lot with a bottle of water on one hand and a box of tissues on the other.  For a second I thought she wasn’t coming; to my surprise she did.  She took the bottle of water silently and the box of tissues and started to cry like a baby.  I knew she was suffering; it was a huge sacrifice to go to a retreat miles away from her babies.  I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go, she nodded.     I prayed for God’s protection over...

My Truth . . .

My truth: Last year’s Time to Graduate Princess retreat was part healing and part misery for me. Fairly new to Everglades Community Church, I didn’t know many of the other princesses, and the ones I knew well enough to be comfortable with were busy putting on the retreat. My usual trick of hiding behind service to cover up my deficient small-talk skills didn’t work at this Christian function because I was there as a princess. Any offer I extended to help was rejected because princesses were to be ministered to. (Darn it, Girl Friday, are you sure you couldn’t use an assistant? Ms. Saturday, perhaps?) Making matters worse, one of my princess friends said something insensitive to me. I was hurt, but the thought of confronting her tied my insides into ginormous granny knots. The longer the day went on, the worse I felt. My kids were starting to get annoyed by all of my calls – the nerve! So when they stopped answering the phone, I overdosed on chocolate, catapulting myself into a migraine. Not a perfect princess. My graduation: Finally, I knew I had to stop wallowing in self-pity and talk to the princess who’d trampled on my toes. Through plenty of tears and a few stammers, I told her I felt she had given me the responsibility for something that was partly hers to bear. I spoke the truth in love to her. In response she told me she liked me. Not exactly what I was expecting, but on the other hand, I really don’t know what I was expecting. Later, I mustered the nerve to...

A Lesson On Teaching

In the spring of 1997 I was finishing my last semester of a bachelor of arts in linguistics at Indiana University. My studies included a research project that set out to find which instructional activities best achieved mastery of the target language in a high school foreign language class. I observed a first-year Spanish class twice a week for nine weeks to gather data for my project. The teacher, Mrs. Diaz, wasn’t much old than I, and we had similar ethnic backgrounds – one parent from Mexico, the other melting pot American. However, she was fluent in Spanish, and I still am not. Toward the end of the nine weeks I realized that it wasn’t the daily homework, carefully laid lesson plans or vocabulary drills that helped these 14 and 15-year-olds learn Spanish best. It was one of Mrs. Diaz’s classroom policies. Anytime a student blurted out something in English, she had to repeat the phrase in Spanish. In addition to the Spanish she already knew, the student could use a dictionary, her textbook, help from another student, anything. Having to apply the language in a meaningful, everyday circumstance gave the student purpose for her studies and thus helped her learn better. A novice in this area, I was shocked by my findings. Mrs. Diaz, on the other hand, either had a really good poker face or was too busy maintaining order in her classroom to reveal any surprise. These days the only students I see on a regular basis are my 12-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, and they speak even less Spanish than I do. But the principle...