HOUSTON, TEXAS, WHEN WE ARE MADE WEAK, WE ARE STRONG!

Sitting here at my home located in one of the outer suburbs of Houston, Texas, I am watching the rain saturate the land which is already overflowing with water.  Worried? No, I serve a mighty God, and Harvey is only a moment in time.  

For even in our weakness, He can make us strong! And I believe this statement with everything that is inside of me.

Today while reading my bible, one of my bible verses was 2 Corinthians 9-11.  I will take it back a couple of verses to give you a little more insight. 2 Corinthians 7 -11 and this is the Apostle Paul speaking.

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Sometimes being strong in the midst of a hurricane, or a storm in our lives, can be very difficult  Our human nature wants to whine about the inconveniences and be angry over the loss of our material possessions.  But if for one moment we were to pause and just be grateful for our lives. Then realize that we have been granted another day to try to live up to our God-given potential, our perspective could be different.

We can be the hope for others among the ruins of their lives! We can be the beacon of light shining through the darkness. We can be the imperfect who reflect God’s perfection! And that is what we are seeing now with Houston, Texas.

Houston, Texas is the lighthouse, whose beacon is circling the city of Houston and its outer suburbs. Bravely shining light into the darkness of the destruction, devastation, and hopelessness trying to invade our city. And, instead of allowing the darkness to envelope us, we are pushing back with our army of friends, families, neighbors, and strangers. All coming together to rescue, feed, clothe and love on one another!

Yes, in our weakness, we have seen our strength!

Of course, leading this army is our band of angels! First Responders, Firefighters, Medical Personnel, Police, City Management, and our hometown news station KPRC and KHOU, charging head-first into the chaos from the very beginning. They are being joined with their brothers and sisters from other states, along with the Coast Guard and National Guard.  And if you can’t see their wings, it is because they are carefully tucked in, so the wings won’t hamper the job they have to do!

Yes, in our weakness, we have seen our strength!

In the weeks and months to come, recovery will be painful, the work will seem never-ending, and there will be people who will try to snuff out the light and steal all of our hope. Don’t let them!  Because we know that…

“When we are weak, we are strong!”

God Bless Everyone!

Did You Leave Your First Love?

When we think back over our childhood years and our first love, we still have a sentimental impression left on our hearts.  Sometimes good and sometimes not so good.  But the memory is still there, and once in a while will re-surface to tug at your heart once more.

But do you know who your real first love is and should always be?  Jesus!  He knew us before we were born and designed our every molecule.  And I believe we knew Him too, until we journeyed to earth.  I believe because there are times when I am watching God’s wonderous creations, and a wave of immense homesickness swallows me.  My first love is back where I belong, for I don’t belong to this world, and my heart knows it. And there is this tug to be with Him.

In Revelation 2:3-4 Jesus says, “…and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Never-the-less I have this against you that you have left your first love.”

He does not say we have lost Him, only that we have left Him.  Has your church or family left Jesus?  Have you found it easy to abandon “Jesus First” in all things? Have the whispers of this world made wrong into right for you, even when the bible clearly states it is wrong?

We all find ourselves charging ahead in life and leaving our first love behind.  So caught up in the lights, and shiny things our eyes turn to focus more on them.  All because we are human.  But you know, when we realize we are off track and have wandered away; can we not re-adjust ourselves?

Recently, I started selling Rodan+Fields because I am in love with the skin care line!  One of their suggestions is to make an idea board so that you can visually see exactly what you want to accomplish by being a consultant.  I thought why not?

My vision board has four quadrants with pictures.  Each picture represents four things I would like to do with my earnings.  One picture concerns my husbands retirement.  He has taken care of us and I feel it is time for us to take care of him.  The second picture is of our family’s Disney trip years ago.  The kids, grandkids, and us.  This was a wonderful family vacation.  I would like to be able to go on many more family vacations.  The third picture concerns the dreams of our youngest son.  I would like to be able to help him.  And the fourth picture is a dream I have had for many years. Ever since I saw the abandoned school on highway 200 in South Carolina.  I want to take abandoned schools and redesign them into apartments for families who are struggling and homeless to live.  To give them a chance to breathe without worrying about bills.  And to provide the assistance they need for a brighter future.

Yes, when I dream, I dream big.  Because I have a big God!

Speaking of my big God; at the front and in the very center of my vision board, is a huge white cross.  Because none of my dreams or aspirations would be worth anything if God was not the center and forefront of everything I do!  Jesus is still my first love and will always be, I pray.

It is time for all of us to come back to our first love!  You can start by putting a white cross on everything you do.  A little reminder that God must come first.  Or start by praying to God, once a day.  Go to church. Join a bible study.

Your first love is waiting on you to return to Him!

God Bless You!

Watching The World?

Like everyone else, I watched what happened around our country concerning certain protests.  Being a Southern mom, all I could think of was that those people needed a good spanking for disrespect and immoral actions!

Neither side was right, so I turned the news off, because I kept wanting to heal those news people.  If you don’t know what “healing” someone means I will tell you.  It was when old-time Preachers would smack the person on the forehead and yell, “You are healed in Jesus name!” Add a little southern accent with it too.

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As I watched each group, they reminded me of Satan’s minions I see in my mind’s eye.  When you are creative, you tend to associate actions and words to pictures or visions.  Here is the vision I saw while watching the television…  red, fiery minions jumping around like their back side was on fire and spewing filth from their mouths.  Their human forms appeared to fade and evolve into my fiery image. Did they have no soul? I had to wonder.

 

 

Realizing their motivation for their actions was money, I knew Satan had to be surely behind it.  And, I question whether the people who were all stirred up, even know their leaders are being paid fabulous sums to get them to do these despicable acts.  If they did, they would want their cut of the money!

Maybe this is  a new job title and we have not heard.

WANTED: Chaos Creator, apply to Satan down the hall. And I mean “down” the hall.

My friend, they have not only sold their souls but they have ensnared others and are taking them “down” with them!

Even now, my curiosity gets the best of me when watching these events and I find myself wanting to go and talk with each group’s leaders and ask “why?”

Go to your imagination and picture this…

I would invite each leader to my porch and we would sit in the rocking chairs.  A breeze blows through the porch as we rock back and forth. Being Southern, I have to offer them some sweet tea or something else to drink, and maybe a sandwich or piece of cake.  Nothing makes a person more grumpy than an empty stomach and a desert feeling mouth! My bible would be by my side because God’s words are so much better than mine. After we rocked for a spell, I would  give each one an opportunity to explain to me exactly why they feel the need to create this chaos: other than the money.  Of course before they came they would have to agree to my guidelines.

  1. We have to pray before we begin.
  2. No yelling.
  3. No cussing or foul language.
  4. No interrupting.
  5. We all have to wear a pair of pink sunglasses. (Thank You Miranda Lambert!)
  6. We have to pray when we finish.

Who knows, it might work.  Depending on each individual’s mentality and emotional state.

People, God can solve all the problems in the universe.  Nothing is too big or too small for Him! He wants us to ask and then follow His direction. Without God, this world is going to hell in a hand basket (old southern saying.) And we are too.

Remember if your motivation is hatred or anger, it is not from God.  So the next time you get angry and full of hate, go sit in a rocking chair. Rock back and forth and spill your heart out to God!  Then you won’t apply for Satan’s job.

God Bless You!

 

OK I TRIED IT AND I DID NOT LIKE IT, NOR DID I LIKE ME!

My husband graciously pays for my websites, and blogs.  So I decided last year around September that I was going to look into affiliate marketing for my sites.  Then I had an idea…”Why not turn one website into an affiliate only site and turn it into a virtual marketplace?”

One Retail Therapy was born and I have worked at it diligently since then until now.  Contrary to what affiliate marketers and their websites tell you, you can not spend $5.oo with Facebook advertising and have thousands jumping over to your site.  And this is not a three-hour a day job, you have to work it!  

But for me it was something else.

When you are a creative creature and you stop creating, you almost stop breathing.  I felt like I was chewing on card board every day.  Don’t ask how I know what it feels like to chew cardboard.  No joy, just ho-hum, when will the day be done?  And money rolling in by the wheel barrels is also an urban myth.  You do make some money, but when you calculate the hours you work by the money you make, one cent an hour is pretty pitiful.

By now, I was going down the road my Lord had warned me about in Romans 12:2.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Renew my mind? My mind was bored and frustrated! My soul gasped for survival!

Yep, I was spiraling down the world’s twisty, turning slide and right into the nasty, sticky muck.

Something has to be done and be done right now!

So, that is what I am doing! I am turning my sites back into inspirational sites. 

Please be patient with me as I find my butterfly wings and attach them once more.

God Bless YOU!

WHEN SUMMER PASSES BY SO SLOWLY

Most kids would love for summer to slow down and then be able to stay out of school a little longer.  For the Berry family, we have experienced the slow-moving months of June and July this summer.  Which is unusual for us, because we are usually left with wanting more of summer.

Our beloved older pets, Honey, 17-year-old dog, Cameron, 16-year-old dog, and Tiger, 14-year-old cat, started succumbing to their old age at the beginning of June.  We spent two months of long nights laying beside them as their bodies failed and their time to die drawing near each day.  We went to numerous vet visits, hoping for a simple answer or maybe an antibiotic would keep them with us.  But no, their time to leave us was near.  And we knew it.

The vets were surprised by their ages, but we wanted more time with them.  Honey, Cameron, and Tiger were our family.  When we went on family trips, they would pile into the camper with us.  The stories we have to tell and laugh over, because they were sharing our experiences with us.

During this time, from June to the end of July, time seemed to crawl.  And isn’t that the way it always is when a loved one is sick.  The suffering seems endless and time almost stands still.  Once they are gone, time to grieve is fleeting.  The world has a “just get over it” perspective on death, suffering, and pain.

But maybe if we paused long enough to wail from the belly, sob until our tears run dry, and shout our indignation at losing a loved one so loud it echoes within the earthly barriers; maybe then we would carry the laughter, the love, and the good memories longer in our hearts.

Now as July comes to an end, we only have Daisy (7-year-old dog) left, and our other baby’s ashes, along with wonderful memories and an immense love for each of them.  As for us, we still tear up when we talk of our pets and will for awhile.  And even though they are gone from our earthly lives, they always live within our hearts!