Friday, October 31, 2008

Final thoughts on the election

This is it. My last post on the election. Soak it in :) I am, like the rest of you I'm sure, so tired of hearing about the election. Empty promises, hope filled statements that may or may not come true, and a whole bunch of mean chit chat. Is it just me or has it been like 10 years since this one started. . . ugh.

I will be casting a vote for the McCain Palin ticket because I believe in what they are all about. If you are considering not voting - VOTE. People in our history have given their lives so that women especially can have the opportunity to vote. It is our responsibility as a citizen and I believe as a Christian. God believes in doing things decently and in order and part of that is participating in local and national elections. I live forever far from where I have to vote and plan on waiting forever on Tuesday to vote, but I'm still going to do it. You do it too :)

Even though I hope I'm wrong, I don't think the McCain Palin ticket will win. Obama will get the popular vote and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't get the electoral vote as well. I don't know what the future of America looks like, but I certainly know who holds the future. I will be on my knees for this president either way. I believe we're living in end times and I would NOT want to be president anyway, but especially at a time like this.

So, we'll see! God knows who will be the next president and soon so will we. We need to praying in these final days that God's will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I saw the Lord

I am so excited to be starting this study tonight! I hate the seasons in between studies because it gets me out of fellowship. WAY happy to be starting this 8 week study tonight. I love Anne Graham Lotz. My heart could use a wake up call, so this is EXCELLENT timing! I'll let you know how it goes.


Thankful Thursday

I feel like I've moaned and groaned enough on my blog the last few weeks so I'm turning Thursday's posts from here on out into Thankful Thursdays. It will give me a chance in my own life to stop and remember to be thankful and maybe it will remind you of some things you can be thankful for too :)

So today I'm thankful for . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Jesus. How anyone makes it a single minute without him is a mystery to me. Even though I have miles to go in my Christian life, I'm so grateful He has brought me this far. I could never, ever love anyone more.

2. The steps the Senate is taking to ban partial birth abortions. I know you don't want to hear me go on another rant about abortion, but if this doesn't pass - I will. I hate abortion and the idea of it comes from nowhere but the pit of Hell. It is murder plain and simple. As a mental health professional I can tell you it NEVER NEVER NEVER leaves your thoughts and it WILL haunt you forever. Never let Satan convince you that a short term fix is his ultimate solution. It's a lie.

3. Starbucks. If you didn't know I love love love coffee then we haven't met yet. But it's more than the coffee, it's the experience. I love to walk in there and hear at least 4 people say BRENDA! It's good to be known :)

4. Brown Rice Cakes. Since my new eating system started 2 months ago I've fallen madly in love with rice cakes. You can turn them into pizza, mexican, or sweet with all fruit spread in just a matter of ingredients!

5. Sugar free pudding. I don't plan to leave this in my diet much longer considering it's packed with chemicals, but for now I like it :)

I'm sure there's much more I'm thankful for, but for today that's all. I have to save some for next Thursday and the next. What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Changed by Your Love

I wish I knew how to live fully in the love of the Lord. I wish I could fully grasp how he feels about me and what his thoughts are towards me. I think if we could really wrap our minds around that, it would truly change us.

I spend a lot of time thinking about change, wondering about change, and worrying about things that may or may not change, but very little time letting the Lord do something about any of the changes. I'm convinced good intentions have more to do with Satan than God. I don't want to have a list of prepared excuses ready for the Lord on Judgement day. When he asks why I didn't spend more time with him or why I didn't do the things he has asked of me. . . .

I don't want to think or say
"I meant to, but. . . . . ."
"I was going to, but. . . . "
"I would have, but. . . . ."
"I didn't have time"
"I was too tired"
"It just wasn't covenient for me."

I want to say
"I did it because you told me to."
"I did it when you told me to."
"I didn't complain about doing it."
"I did it even though it hurt."
"I did it even though my flesh thought it had better things to do."
"I did just as you said."

And I want that to be true in every situation. When he impresses something on my heart (and you know when it's from him!) I want to do it NOW, not spend the next week wondering if it was from him and the week after thinking I should have probably just done it already. When he says pray, I want to do it now because I KNOW I'll forget by the time I collapse in bed at night. And you know what? Would it really be that bad if he asks us to do something good for someone and it wasn't really from him, but we bless someone anyway? Yeah. . .. . . . .

Sunday afternoon one of my friends called. She said, "I just felt like God was asking me to call you, is anything wrong?" No, nothing was wrong. Was I still glad she called? Absolutely! I don't really know if God was asking her to call me or not, but it still way blessed me that she called.

I mean are we or are we not at a stage of maturity in our Christian life that we can just obey? I sometimes feel like a toddler and I make God have to say to me, "because I said so." He shouldn't have to. I should have already done it. His Word saying I need to should be enough for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh-it's so frustrating. I feel like a little kid sometimes asking 100 times "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" BECAUSE I SAID SO BRENDA!

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I've been changed by your love. I can barely stand my flesh the way it is and it is WAY better than it would ever be without you. You are working a work in this life that I will never know until I go home to be with you. I want all of that change to happen right now, today, but that's not the way you work. You do heart surgery with a safety pin because you know we can't handle a total heart overhaul all at once. I just ask you today for progress in my life, that daily I would trust you more and love you more and do more of what you say. I ask you for a trusting heart, that I would believe what you say about me and trust that what you ask of me is best. I pray I wouldn't make you say Because I said so. I want to be more spiritually mature than that. I give you this moment. I believe that any place I am that you are with me is Holy and holiness requires maturity. So I committ every day to grow up a little more in you. Amen

Eyes to See

If you ever want to see all your flaws up close and personal, have a friend who's a photographer! My word! We had Christmas pictures taken last night and she kept saying, "Just a little closer." Ah - NO! They turned out well, it just made me laugh how close she kept getting to my face. I'm a big fan of the pore minimizing face wash, but I don't want anyone trying to prove that it works! :)

yes, this is my eye larger than life, but more importantly today I've been praying that God would give me spiritual eyes to see His world around me. To be aware of the universe he created, the wonder of his creation and what's going on in the people around me created in his image. I get so focused on myself and what's going on in my life today that I don't take the time to really "see" those around me.

Psalm 97:6The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

Lord, help us to see your glory today in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Let us see YOU Lord and by the time we go to bed tonight feel like we know you better than we did this morning. We relinquish control of the things we are holding that belong to you and entrust them to your care. We look forward to really seeing you face to face one day. Amen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Book Review

Falling into the face of God literally changed my life. I haven't read it recently, but my friend Jeremy just read it after he told me he was struggling with finding God in his life. I think it's fair to say that it has changed his as well. If it weren't for the bugs and the heat, I may want to spend 40 days in the Judean Desert myself! It chronicals his experience and I just think he has a unique perspective. I recommend it!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Wow, I love to read. If I was an heiress and didn't need any money I'd stay home and read at least for 10 years! Here are the books on my list this year.

HUE Pajamas

My ultimate favorite. This is the newest set that I don't have (yet!). You can see all their great clothes on


I love love love love love Philosphy products! these are a few on my list this year! The coffee flavored lip shine collection and the pure grace collection. HEAVENLY! I also suggest the amazing grace collection. All of their stuff is amazing.

Starbucks! (DUH!)

STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS!! Enough said. :)

Soap and Glory

Soap and Glory collection at Target - Clean on me soap and the wash away the day bubble bath. All their stuff is GREAT!

Christmas list for my mom

This list is for my mom who always likes a Christmas List, but you guys can see what's on my list this year in case you need some ideas of your own :)

The new lamb blanket at Bath and Body Works and the black lamb slippers to match!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Because He Lives

I have been thinking today about religion. Personally I don't get all caught up in denominations or what people call themselves. As long as you believe you have made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and have put your faith in him to save you, how you go about "practicing" your faith is of no concern to me.

If you feel at home in a cathedral - good for you. If you like like loud shouting charasmatic Sundays - also good for you. If you find Jesus in a temple, on a hillside, or in your living room with Charles Stanley - good for you too. I have at different junctures found Jesus in all those places.

It's funny living in the South for a whole bunch of reasons, but the one that I find concerning is that EVERYONE is religious in the Bible belt. I always say the south is where atheists go to church - and it's true! It's not "proper" or something to not believe in God in the South. And I think people here really do believe in God, I'm just not so sure they believe in Salvation. The verse about even the demons believe there's a God always comes to mind here for me. There's such a critical difference in believing there IS a God and believing IN God. I think Satan would like for people to believe they are one in the same.

I have been spending a lot of time in the book of John. I love to return to the place where Jesus became so real to me and for me, that's John. If I could have been anyone in the Bible it wouldn't have been Queen Esther (although I'd love a few months at the spa!), it wouldn't be Mary (I'd have freaked clear out to be pregnant with the son of God!), it wouldn't have been Daniel (I love animals, but not great big teeth so close to my head!), and it wouldn't have been Jesus (I hate to admit it, but I think I would have called on those angels to come GET ME OUT OF HERE!). No, I want to have been John.

There's something in me that so wants to be the steadfast loyal friend that was John. John had no more answers about what was going on than the rest of the disciples, but he was faithful. His attitude and countanence were not dependent on his circumstances. He trusted in Jesus before there was evidence he was trustworthy. And after Jesus ascended and the disciples were probably out of control trying to piece things together, I think John winked to sky and said to himself, "see you soon friend of mine." And I think John is and has been with his very best friend and his father for a long time already.

God is not a higher power like the new age theories believe. God is not us and we are not God. It's definitely not enough to believe there is a God. It is necessary to put your trust in God and believe in him for his gift of salvation. After that, I believe where you find him and how you walk out your faith with him is between you and him. I think God is just big enough to meet us all as individuals and speak to us in a way that we understand and feel connected to Him. I try not to judge what God is doing in other people's lives because I know I have much to learn with my own! I do know for sure that He is God, He is infinitely good, and He is Mighty to Save!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday quote of the week - take 2

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -Churchilll.

Quote of the week

2 Chronicles 7:14 (American Standard Version)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And Breathe

I normally dread Fridays. Fridays signal the end of a normally peaceful week and the start of the uncharted chaos that is the weekend. But this week? I'm glad Friday finally made it. Weird weird weird week.

It's my job at the mental hospital to admit people and 99% of them are unknown to me. Admitting someone I know will always be hard for me and embarassing for them. It's not a best case scenerio, but sometimes it works out that way. This one this week was probably worst case scenerio and did not end well. I have admitted, did admit this week, and in the future will probably admit people I know, but I'll never get used to it.

This week I'm thankful that for now my job at the hospital is safe. I could just as easily be working at one of the outpatient offices that are set to close mid December.

I'm thankful that this week required WAY more triple venti non fat no whip no foam one pump extra hot pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks than one person needs to survive, but that the overdosing gave me opportunities to laugh with the people who work there. They crack me up and if I ever win the lottery I will quit my jobs and be a Starbucks barrista just for fun :)

I'm thankful that even though it cost a fortune my car got it's 30,000 mile tune up. At least the headlights that get cloudy are still under warrenty!

I'm thankful for so much that the Lord has done for me in and amidst craziness this week that would never fit into words on a blog so I won't try. Just know He is faithful. So, so, so faithful. He knows what He's doing and nothing takes him by surprise. Our days are stairs taking us right to Heaven's door where one day we will see Him. Have a good weekend!


God of My Days

Oh, I needed this song that I heard yesterday. I think I played it 100 times. It's my new favorite and as if God sent it just for me. I'm including the lyrics today. It's from Gateway Worship's new CD Wake Up. The whole CD is great, but for the last 24 hours I've only heard this song!

You awaken my heart, from slumbering
meet in mourning, and you speak to my grief
You're the light in my darkness, the delight of my eyes
The hope of the daybreak when the sun's slow to rise.

I trust that every moment's in Your hand.

God of my days, King of my nights
Lord of my laughter, Soverign in sorrow.
You're the Prince of my praise, the Love of my life
You never leave me, You are faithful
God of my days

You unveil my eyes, help me to see
The arms of my Father encircling me
You're a constant companion, I'm never alone
Your love is the banner, that's leading me home.

I trust that every moment's in Your hand

God of my days, King of my nights
Lord of my laughter, Soverign in sorrow
You're the Prince of my praise, the Love of my life
You never leave me, You are faithful
God of my days

My eyes are on You
My Hope is in You
My faith is in You

God of my days.

By Zach Neese

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Right Beside You

My dogs are total opposites. Odyssey is crazy. He'll leave in a second. He wants to be free and if you give him the chance he'll take off at a million miles an hour. He has never been intentionally off a leash outside. He feels an amazing responsiblity to chase cats and squirrels out of the yard and to keep his friends the frogs inside. He is infinitely loyal and every bad day I've had in the past almost 5 years has been met with a great friend laying right beside me until I felt better. He protects me ferociously even to the point than when he thought my grandmother hurt me - he bit her. Not hard, but enough for her to know that's not okay!

Ella is the total opposite. She has never left my side. She never goes outside with me on a leash because she never leaves. Ever since she was 8 weeks old she has slept with her head on my pillow and when I wake up, she's still usually still there. She gets her little feelings hurt easily and does not share at all. If Odyssey drops his bone he might as well also kiss it goodbye! She gets super whiney when she's bored and when she's done with whatever we're doing she just stops right there and lays down on her side like she's just exhausted. They both make me laugh almost every day.

When I take them for a walk I make them both be on collars and leashes because I don't want anything to happen to them. They have an oxen harness that connects both of them so they can walk side by side. Odyssey is used to being on a leash, Ella looks at me every single time like, "this is not necessary." Tonight we were walking through the neighborhood like we always do. A huge yellow lab who was super sweet, but still a crazy puppy came bounding through the yard and headed straight for us. Odyssey jumped up and down like A FRIEND A FRIEND! Ella's tail stopped wagging and fell down. Then she turned around in slow motion and LOCKED eyes with me as if to say, "are you still here?" I was amazed. There was no fear there, no concern. The one she was connected to was going crazy and a dog 4 times her size was towering above her, but she KNEW that in 4 years I have never let anything happen to her and obviously she didn't say anything but in her eyes it was like she was thinking, that's good enough for me. She knew she could trust me. She knew that if that dog laid a paw on her I'd wrestle him to the ground! Eventually they got bored sniffing each other and we went on our way.

God always speaks to me in the dailyness of life and tonight was no exception. This week is not off to a good start. Yesterday I had to take an employee from the store for an emergency psych eval and stood by helplessly while they took her to the state hospital. She is mentally ill much more than we realized and will not be able to return to work after the events of yesterday. It wasn't good. Her husband (also a psych pt) called and threatened to come after me. Great. Another employee had a sobbing fit and breakdown to the point that I had to remind myself which job I was at! The owner is back from her mother's funeral and very emotionally frail of course. The guy forgot to go to the bank saturday which made 8 checks bounce- yikes! It was a stressful day. Today I walked outside just in time to see a car burst into flames. My friend Tammy said, "Satan IS after us and he brought fire!" I wish I was making this stuff up but no. It was so bizzare.

And yet, in that moment where my sweet Ella turned around and looked at me with such trust, it was like Jesus said, I'm right beside you. When the enemies of this world swirl about, I am right beside you. When you're stressed and all signs of happiness have fallen down, I'm right beside you. When you don't have the right answers or any answers for the questions, I'm right beside you. When the events of yesterday give you a splitting headache today, I'm right beside you. When you feel unsure about a lot of things, I'm right beside you.

I'm happy to be on a spiritual leash that connects me to him. I'm happy to know that when the storms of life come swirling around - He's right beside me.


Tuesday book review

These are 2 of my new favorite fiction books. They are great stories for sure, but more importantly they have changed my views on war. Karen Kingsbury is an amazing storyteller and since I've finished these one of my friends read them both too. She also loved them. I can't wait to read everything she's written although right now I have to finish the book Missy Bennett sent me. . . .looks good! I love sharing books with friends. Have a good Tuesday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The weekend

Well, with any luck this weekend might be better at work than the past 2. It has been UNBELIEVABLE and I'm just praying for a somewhat manageable 2 days. That's all I'm asking. I hope on Monday I can report that it was a good weekend! Please Lord!

I have been watching Christmas gifts go by me at the Potter's House this week and it makes me happy! I love Christmas. I already have the new Manheim Steamroller A Candlelight Christmas playing and my dogs in santa hats christmas wrap came yesterday. Cards bought, stamps on order, gift buying seriously underway already. And I've already decided No tree this year. the one I have is safely in the attic and it STRESSES me out to put it together and put it up. So, no, not this year. Everything else will be up and accounted for, but no tree this year. I'm going to put super cute scarves and fake snow on my fountain. So there. I can do that if I want to :-)

But more importantly, I want this Christmas to be meaningful. I want Jesus to really be at the heart of it. I say it every year, but I feel like with the rush of things it never happens like I hope. I want on December 26th this year to say I really celebrated the birth of my Savior. I want to feel like, to the best of my Earthly abilities, I worshipped at his manger and honored the meaning of him coming into the world. I haven't quite figured out how or what to do differently, but I am excited.

Anyway, sorry for the ramblings. I hope you all have a great weekend! I miss you guys this week, especially the ones far away. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish everyday we could share a cup of coffee and catch up. Maybe someday :)


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stop shooting the wounded

I am fed up today with a whole bunch of Christians I'm around including myself. Why is it that we feel the need to shoot the wounded? To cast judgement on someone already face to the floor defeated? In war it is considered very bad taste to shoot people AGAIN that you've already wounded. It's the same reason bombing hospitals is frowned upon - they're already injured!

I have a ton of examples from this week but here are a few.

My friend Rachella is pregnant. She's not married. The guy is no good. It was a mistake, for sure. It's also too late. In 6 months she is going to have a baby like it or not. She went to her church and explained the situation. They have decided to "let" her stay a part of the congregation. MY WORD. That was awful sweet of them! Where else does she need to be right now except in the middle of a body of believers? I can't believe they even said that. NO, I don't think she needs to be in any form of leadership - this season she needs to absorb the church and not lead it, but still.

A friend of a friend - Tonya was 3 months pregnant with her daughter. She has been horribly sick like really sick. Yesterday she miscarried. A friend said to her, "Maybe it's better since you were sick." HELLO???????? Open mouth insert foot. That did not help anything. Other people told her at least she had 2 healthy children. I'm sure she's thankful for them, but that did not lessen the pain of losing this one.

One of my friends told me last night that he's struggling with his faith. He said he feels like his prayers are hitting the celing and falling back on his head. He doesn't know if it's worth it. He thinks maybe living without the Lord IS an option. He also said he's never been more unhappy in all his life. He said he hasn't been to church in 2.5 months and no one has really noticed. He's afraid if he goes back people will think he's a phoney. In other words, he's afraid people-at church-will judge him.

A patient I saw last weekend saw a wreck back in February where she stood by helplessly and watched 2 people age 19 and 22 burn to death. They cried to her for help, but there was nothing she could do. The fire was too extensive. She has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder still from the incident. She is having a hard time at her job - at the prison. Her boss and coworkers are forever fussing at her and telling her to get over things. When they reduce her to tears - they make fun of her. Seriously?

I could go on. But I want to encourage us today to stop shooting the wounded. Stop hurting people who are already hurting. If you can't think of something helpful (preferably from the Lord) to say - then don't say anything! Sometimes the best thing we can do for people is just to be there.

We judge the rich the poor the fat the thin the smart the unintelligent the spiritual the unspiritual - as if we're perfect and know everything.

I am making a huge effort in my life to not judge people because even if I know a lot about them - I don't know everything. Only God can see the heart, but I'm going to try harder to look for it, nurture it in people, and not destroy it.


The final hour

Jesus is good good good. Just wanted to update you guys that my boss at the Potter's House did not make it to see her mom before she died. BUT, she did make it in time for the associate pastor to reassure her that just hours before her death she was coherant and accepted Jesus as her Savior. She had been extremely restless and once that decision was made she was very peaceful and appeared pain free until she died. Hallelujah! Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Postponed and reformatted

That title really makes no sense to me but I like the way it sounds. And it is in fact partially true. The posts on the holy spirit will have to be postponed. I've got to look through and study again one of my favorite books, Experiencing the Spirit and get my thoughts together before I attempt to blog with any knowledge whatsoever. So, they're coming - just not this week. Sorry :-)

This morning I was rushing out the door on my way to the gym (Do I need knocked over the head again this week? Probably), and I grabbed a new Bible (The Chronological Study Bible) I'm supposed to be "test driving". I read again the story of the loaves and fishes. I love that story. I mean I can just imagine myself holding some little kids Lunchable and Jesus asking me to feed a football stadium with 5 slices of turkey and 5 crackers. RIGHT. I can imagine my comments for him and none that pop in my head are very spiritual.

But you know, it wasn't about the food. It wasn't even really about the people being hungry. It was about God asking us to trust Him enough to give him what we have. It doesn't have to seem like enough to us in our Earthly state. It doesn't have to make sense to us because God's ways are not our ways. I may only have 5 minutes today, but do you know what a difference 5 minutes down on our face before the Lord can make? Even just a moment to stop the craziness of our lives to acknowledge that He is God and He is at work in our lives.

I've been trying to find small minutes in the day to do just that. It has been a heart wrenching day here today. Even as I'm writing my boss and friend is on her way to Memphis to hopefully make it before her mother passes away. To the best of her knowledge her mother is not saved. The uncontrollable weeping from such a deep place today I know comes from the uncertainty that her mother will soon face. It was so hard to watch and even harder to realize there's nothing we can do for her. We will pray that God's peace will comfort her and for now that is all we can ask.

Jesus, while we are in our right minds, help us to find you. While we can, help us to trust you. Before it's too late Lord, help us to secure our salvation with You. Give us the assurance that when we close our eyes here-we will open them there with You. Amen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Book Review

Quickly today I just wanted to tell you about this amazing bible that releases tomorrow! I like the ESV translation (even though I generally use NASB). It's finally available in a study bible version. We are VERY excited about this release! I think it's amazing. Brenda

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Holy Spirit

I think the Holy Spirit is a bit of a mystery. I like the way Charles Stanley gives an overview of his purpose in our lives.
The Promised Holy Spirit
JOHN 14:23-26

Jesus guaranteed His followers it would be to their benefit if He left the earth. He could then send the Holy Spirit, who plays an essential role in the life of each believer. (John 16:7) The Spirit serves as our:
Security. At salvation, we are placed in Christ and sealed in Him by the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit’s indwelling presence marks us as the Father’s children and is a pledge that we will belong to God forever. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Helper. God the Holy Spirit provides wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. (1 Corinthians 2:12) Because He is divine, He knows ways to help us that no human could figure out. He strengthens us when we are weak and prays for us when we do not know how. (Romans 8:26)
Guide. The Holy Spirit can direct us appropriately because He knows the truth of every situation, the hearts of people around us, and our own attitudes and motives. His guidance will always be right because He knows the Lord’s will for us. (1 Corinthians 2:9-11) We can trust what He says—He doesn’t speak on His own initiative but communicates only what He hears from God. (John 16:13-14)
Spiritual Power Source. The Spirit releases His power into our lives for the purpose of fruitful service and godly living. (Ephesians 3:16) This divine energy and authority is always available to us, as long as we are yielded to His control.
Fully God, He lives within us to carry out our triune God’s divine purposes.
More tomorrow - Brenda

A new record

Who but me myself and I set a brand new record for the number of admissions at the psych hospital by one person in a 24 hour period. I'd really rather set the record for the least number. It was NUTS (and I say that with all due respect to the mentally ill). :) Now I'm just trying to get through the day and go to bed early. sleepy :)
Have a good Monday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Coming soon to a blog near you

The Holy spirit. Some of you have asked me to blog about my thoughts on the holy spirit, gifts of the spirit, etc. I will do so next week in several posts. Feel free to agree or disagree. I love to discuss stuff with you guys! Talk to you then! Brenda

Friday, October 10, 2008

The end of another week

I can't believe this week is over already. It seems like just yesterday it was Sunday night and here we are about to embark on another weekend. I'm thankful the week at the store ended well after a few rocky moments earlier today. Nothing serious, but I hate when Satan brings strife on Fridays and then I have to try to figure that out on top of everything else on the weekend. A human brain can only hold so much info you know and worrying about my own stuff doesn't really fit in with helping so many other people with their stuff. Yuck. I hate misunderstandings and just general unease. I hate it.

Relationships, even the most seemingly stable, are so fragile. One or both parties can get so bruised so easily and the dynamics of the relationship change sometimes forever. And then you throw in the fact that God has a time and a season for things and it gets really complicated. I have let go of several friendships over the years that I knew God was asking me to, but it's hard. And then there are some that I know are God ordained and God maintained and they are by far the most meaningful to me. They don't exhaust me, I'm always glad to hear from them or spend time with them, and they are life giving. And when I sit down and really think about it, it's pretty easy to tell the difference.

One of my friends always says, "If Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." It's so true. And you know when it's been a day of pointless appointments, interactions, and stuff when you go to bed at night and your brain won't stop spinning. I hate to lay down at night and have fear, anxiety and stress overtake my last thoughts of the day. For some reason if I can't go to bed in peace, the day has been a waste. At the end of the day I try to breathe in peace and breathe out fear, anxiety and stress at the end of every day. It works.

So, I'm about to go lay down for a few hours before the weekend takes over my life. I'm choosing not to worry about the events of today. I'm choosing not to stress over what was said and not said and what could have been said or not said. I'm going to focus instead on the good things that happened today.

-Unexpectedly, my boss at the store gave me a big hug and said, "I love you Brenda." (Thank you Lord, I needed that)
-A text message from a friend
-A very funny phone message from a friend that ended up being funny for the rest of the day
-A good conversation while taking a friend to pick up his car
-The news that my aunt is moving to St. Petersburg Florida. It will be so fun to have family a few hours away to go visit on my days off. And I'm looking forward to her coming through here on her way to Florida.
-The hope and promise of a new day and that even though I'll be at work, God is with me. Always.
I'm praying you all have a wonderful weekend and realize anew that whatever you're going through He is with you. More next week. Brenda


And Isaiah's word: There's the root of our ancestor Jesse, breaking through the earth and growing tree tall, Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope! Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! Romans 15:7b The Message

Somewhere along the way this week I totally lost my peace. I'd like to blame it on the stock market, but I have no stock in that. I'd like to say it's because I haven't really felt that great, but that's not it either, I've felt better than I have in a long time.

No I know why it is and quite frankly it's my fault and it's not God's fault. I have skimped on my time with him this week to fit in 100 other things that at the time seemed "more important." Wow, I see now it wasn't.

I've done it before, haven't you? I've had similar results, haven't you? The definiton of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Duh. (this will sufice as the quote of the week).

It's frightening to me that Satan can sneak in and steal peace so quickly. One minute it's there and the next minute it's gone. I see clearly today how important it is to KEEP on the full armor of God, not get it out of the closet in an emergency!

I know all this and so do you, but sometimes it's a good reminder that we need him - every day, every hour, every minute. We cannot survive without him.

Oh Prince of Peace, we need you. We need you to be in every fiber of our being, every millisecond of the day and every breath that we take. I ask your forgiveness Lord for putting other things ahead of you this week that eternally will not make one bit of difference. I trust you today, in your timing, to renew peace within me. Strengthen my spirit today Lord that I can do the work you have called me to do. Even with my faults which are many, you are my everything. I need you more than life. Amen

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I hate running errands. I feel like all I've done this week is go from one place to the next with every single spare minute I have (which isn't that many). And why is it that everything messes up at the same time?

The weedwacker ran out of string - trip to Lowes.
Out of gas for the lawn mower - gas station.
Oh yeah, car needs gas too - gas station again.
Was way over due for a hair appt. - cut, color, highlights and wax - 3 hours!
Needed cash - bank.
Cat food and other necessities - Target.
Stamps - Post office
Out of Mascara - Walgreens
Melted lipstick - Rite Aid
Forgot to bring water from home - Rite Aid again
Out of Kiwi - Winn Dixie
General groceries - Publix
coffee at least once a day - starbucks
Needed pants - Belks
Pants didn't fit - Belks again this time adding camisoles and shirts
One shirt too big from Belks - keeping it
Gym several times
Needed air conditioning filters - Home Depot
2 cards - Hallmark (why didn't I get them at potters house? I don't know.)
pick up prescriptions - Rite aid
Wrong shampoo for the new hair color - back to Target
3 bags of clothes - good will
Update insurance policy for next year - week day trip to Greenleaf (speaking of which I'm worth MUCH more dead than alive - that's depressing)

I realize many of these could have been combined but I'm STILL tired from the weekend of craziness and I can't think straight! So there :)

I'm praying for a semi-manageable weekend this coming weekend. Could it happen?? We'll see :)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You Remind Me

Sometimes I just feel like my head gets foggy with ridiculous non-important stuff and I can't think or see clearly. I love that in His plan the Lord left his word, I think because he knew we'd forget. He knew we would need reminded. He knew that His word and His words are our connection to him.

I love letters, handwritten personalized words from one person to another. I don't send nearly enough letters, but doesn't it make your day when you go to the mail box and see bill, bill, junk mail, bill, LETTER! Oh, it makes me happy. I have several letters from friends framed around my office - to remind me. To remind me that on this earth, on this huge planet we call home, at certain junctions in the road a letter has come to me that maybe changed everything. Even if it was just my outlook, something changed.

The Lord has gently reminded me of a lot of things in this week. . . . .

I am His
I am not alone
His mercies are new every morning
His faithfulness is great
Nothing can separate us
Death is not the end
To be anxious for nothing
To trust him in all things
salvation really is a gift
He is the Healer
He is the Provider
He is Alpha and Omega and everything in between
He is Almighty
He is . . . . .. everything.

Each of those could be their own post, but I don't have time for that today. He has met me in amazing ways this week-like last night getting my hair cut, colored, and highlighted - who knew I could have the best conversation with my hairdresser that really encouraged my faith.

Lord Jesus, remind me. Remind me that where I am today is not where I will always be. You intend life to be a journey with the destination Heaven. I long to know you more. Remind me of your love when things seem lonely and predictable. Remind me of your peace when I jump way ahead of where I am today. Remind me of the joy you intend for all of us. Remind me of your presence. And thank you for your word, the greatest love letter ever written. I cherish that letter most of all and find it totally amazing that it speaks to us over 2000 years later as if you wrote it this morning. You are good. Remind me I can trust you. I love you-Amen


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday book review

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I am only reading this book because I wanted to read it before I watch the movie, but oh my it is WONDERFUL! I won't spoil it for you if you still want to read it, but one part struck me as so me.
The little girl in the story is catching bees that have flown into her room. A few days later she starts to feel guilty for keeping them in a mason jar and decides to let them go. She removes the lid and the bees stay there. She tells them they're free and they still stay there.
How many of us (myself included) are running circles around the bottom glass ring of a mason jar never looking up long enough to realize the lid is off? That if we would take Jesus at his word that we are truly free we might just try our wings and shoot for the moon. Oh to be free in Him. To be 100% free in him. I'm praying for that today for myself and for all of you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Prism Eating Program

Several people have asked me lately about the Prism way of life as far as eating. I am nearing 6 weeks on this plan and feel AMAZING. I certainly don't know everything about it, but I'm happy to share with you what it is and what I'm doing.

Basically it's an adapted Adkins, sugar busters, Dr. Gott kind of program, but intended for longer term use.

What you cannot eat (at all)

Refied sugar in any form
White flour
Partially hydrogenated oil
Processed foods (box, bag, etc.)

What you can eat

sugar substitutes
veggie burgers
Boca products
coffee (duh-would I be doing it otherwise?)
tea- hot or unsweetened iced
fruit juice (100% only)

For weight loss purposes caloric intake should be at or around 1200 per day. I like to spend all evening at the gym so I don't really think about the calories. After the initial 6 weeks you can start adding bread, etc. back into your diet slowly, but I have no intentions of doing that because I'm pretty sure that's mostly what makes me feel horrible. And refined sugar really has no redeeming value so I have no plans to add that back either.

I highly recommend the book the prism diet for recipes and additional info. If you have specific questions let me know and I'll try to find out for you.

Hope that helps! Brenda

Oh Monday.

Here we are at the start of another week. It was NOT NOT NOT a good weekend. No no no. I'll spare you the confidential details and only say that when my alarm went off this morning I considered running away with the circus instead. Even Starbucks has not come to my rescue of waking me up and I'm about to drown my sorrows in some very strong Guatemalan coffee. It's at least a 4 cup kind of day :)

Oh monday. . . .


Saturday, October 4, 2008


I love fall, but I think the concept of seasons in the south is hysterical. yesterday it was 48 degrees in the morning when I woke up. By the time I left work it was almost 90 degrees. So, yes for like 8 minutes every morning for the next month or so it will be fall. And then for another 2 months it will be "winter" for like 10 minutes in the morning and drop down to the almost freezing 70 degrees in the afternoon.

Maybe it's just that I grew up with actual seasons, but the wool pea coats and cashmere sweaters that are EVERYWHERE at stores in south Georgia crack me up every season. WHO IS BUYING THESE? I have never seen anyone who lives here in either a winter coat or a sweater of any kind unless it's super light and you risk sweating in it just to say you pulled out your "winter clothes."

I have not owned a winter coat in 5 years. I own 2 "jackets" that I have not worn in 3 years and about 45 long sleeve shirts that I wear for 3 months every year every day with a short sleeve shirt underneath. I own 1 really cute gingham flannel shirt that I save for really cold days :) That's it.

That said, there's something about those 8 minutes in the morning that make me want to buy a cute fall coat and light a fire and drink hot chocolate (I have no fireplace and I don't drink hot chocolate but a girl can dream). I like to stand outside really early before it heats up and breathe in the promise of fall and sense a change in the air. And then I like to throw my t-shirt and capri pants on for another month or so and be thankful that it never gets too cold here :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quotes of the week


'My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world.
I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it.'
-- Barrack Obama

''Life's's even tougher if you're stupid.'' -- John Wayne

The Cross

Matthew 28:5The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
I can sum up what the cross means to me in one word-relatability. Even though it is a great symbol of hope and comfort to every Christian, to me it's as if Jesus himself is saying, "I've been there."
I hope I could worship a God who hadn't been here. I hope I could see enough in his creation to know him and to trust him and to love him. I hope I could, but I don't know that for sure.
I have great empathy for those of the Old Testament. So often their only picture of God was one of wrath and anger. They were so focused on sacraficing animals and keeping track of their sins that they had no time to fall madly in love with their creator. What wonderful relief it must have been for those people who lived in between times, who got to experience the veil being torn and a relationship born.
I don't understand exactly why God's plan had to play out the way it did, and as creation it is not my job to understand, but I'm glad I live today. I'm glad I live in a country where if I wanted to spray paint my house with Jesus is Lord-I could. The metal cross that hangs on my front door is safe there. The cross I wear around my neck will not get me killed. The bible in my car, in my purse, at work-no one is upset that I have them. This week I will read Max Lucado's new book Cast of Characters at the Dr., at the gym or wherever else I may go, no one will say a word to me about it except to say, "I didn't know his new book was out." They won't be mad or offended or throw stones at me in the parking lot.
And when life doesn't turn out the way I'd hoped in big things and little things and everything in between, the cross reminds me that he's been here. He faced disappointment, discouragement, lonliness, depression, fear, and temptation. He walked these roads and looked up at the same sun and moon and stars. He wondered about his future and contemplated his past. He was homesick for Heaven-oh how I can relate.
I wish we could take short trips to heaven, but I know we'd never come back. But today I'd like to scoot on up there and have a cup of coffee with the Son of God. I've got some things I would love to discuss with him and mostly I want to hear his heart. I wish with a single touch he could say Be whole be healed be free and I'd stay that way for the rest of my life. I wish Earth didn't get in the way of the freedom I feel when I'm with him.
For now, the cross is our common ground. I'll never be worthy of his death for me, but everytime I see it I remember how blessed I am that even that horrible day, he saw me. And he saw you. And we were worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Abba's Child/Brennan Manning

*** I know my blog is on hold to honor my step-father's mother who died a few days ago, but this entry was already scheduled to post tonight and I am going to let it because my friend Carrie asked me to-next entry coming Friday*******

I know you all think I love every book I read and it's mostly true-I do. But so often while reading a book I have the heart stopping moment-oh this is from God. When you know that you know that God has placed these words from that heart into these hands, It's breathtaking if you ask me. And it hasn't happened to me in awhile. My brain has been overwhelmed lately with nothing important and I've been reading fiction to unwind my tired head.

BUT, a few nights ago I was looking on my booksheves for Brennen Manning. I don't know what it is about the man, but my soul connects to him. I suppose when I first read The Ragamuffin Gospel in college we were connected at the heart. I feel like a ragamuffin about 90% of the time. And every once in awhile, my soul just craves the words of Brennen Manning. I found 2 of his books, no those weren't what I was looking for. I panicked a little-brennen would be in my "don't let anyone borrow" bookshelves and I worried I may have broken my own rule. Then, I saw it. Abbas Child. The cover is no longer and the tear SOAKED pages have many ink stained smudges. I just looked at if for a minute thinking back to some LONG nights with this amazing book.

This is the general description from Amazon:
Is an imposter robbing you of God's love? Many Christians have bought into the lie that we are worthy of God's love only when our lives are going well. If our families are happy or our jobs are meaningful, life is a success. But when life begins to fall through the cracks and embarrassing sins threaten to reveal our less-than-perfect identity, we scramble to keep up a good front to present to the world- and God. We cower and hide until we can rearrange the mask of perfection and look good again. Sadly, it is then that we wonder why we lack intimate relationships and a passionate faith.
Yes all this time God is calling us to take the mask off and come openly to Him. God longs for us to know in the depth of our being that He loves us and accepts us as we are. When we are true selves, we can finally claim our identity as God's child-Abba's child-and experience His pleasure in who we are. Brennan Manning encourages readers to let go of the imposter lifestyle and freely accept our belovedness as a child of the heavenly Father. In Him there is life, our passion is rekindled, and our union with Him is His greatest pleasure.

It's everything I want to be. I want to belong, don't you? I want to come to Him as I really am. I want to leave behind my King James prayers and collapse at his feet with the message ramblings. Who are we fooling? He knows who we really are and what we're really thinking and for sure what we're trying to cover up. I don't know why we don't just come out with what we're really feeling, but I don't do it either.

I have friends who were destined to get married and have children and they are AMAZING at it-my word. If you asked me when I was 8, 18, or now 28 if I ever thought I'd get married I would have and still would shrug and say, "maybe." I don't have this overwhelming desire that if I don't get married and have children my life won't be complete. I don't know why - I've just always been like that.

But, every night when I'm coming home from taking my dogs for a walk, the neighbors across the street who I do not know are eating dinner. I can see their table right through their window. They're laughing and the kids are kicking their feet that don't reach under the table. It's not enough to make me want to get married, but I do find myself envious of the way they belong together. I go home to my vegetarian food-alone-and think it would be kinda nice to debrief about the day with some people who loved you unconditionally. It would be totally amazing to be 100% real with another human being in this world. I'm not just talking about a spouse, but anyone. Wow, I can't imagine. There isn't a person in this world that I am 100% real with, never worrying at least a little about appearances or how I'll feel about it tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I have people in my life that care about me and would always be there for me, but still there's that certain something that holds me back from being totally real.

Which makes me even more determined to be so real with the Lord, to sit at his feet and soak up his presence. To tell him the truth which sounds ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure at times I try to put on a good front for him too. To tell him everything and to let him be my everything. To belong to him-for real. That our hearts might beat as one. That I might never feel alone as long as he is with me. That I would be with everything I am - Abba's Child.