Month: February 2018

Brotherly Love & Affection.

Sunday Morning Sermon by Pastor Johnie

Suffering doesn’t always have to mean hopeless.

When you are suffering it’s easy to slip into a state of hopelessness.

I live with chronic illness, my major organs are being attacked one of them is my heart, that means unless God heals me, I am not going to get any better. That also means, each day I have to be at peace with where I am at today, at this very moment. You can be angry about the past or your present right now, that’s entirely up to you. I tend not to give the power back over to the people or my illness that have already ruined things once.


The way I see it is; that I can live life one of two ways;


One; I was born into an unfair world, I suffered and I didn’t deserve how I got treated. I get knocked down too much and I don’t think life is fair so I am not going to even try. Life just sucks…

Two; I can use my circumstances and become stronger because of them. Every time life knocks me down, I get back up again using it as a spring-board. I focus on the good things in life and enjoy every moment in life that I do have.

I choose to live my life exactly like the second choice. I have no time for negativity in my mind because my time is so precious and limited.

I refuse to allow myself to think about how unfair my illness is.  I know the consequences in the end, but I do not dwell on them. I am making my life worthwhile anyway though, no matter the trials. 

Make your life count for something no matter what is going on in your life. If you are sick, count your blessings still.

I would rather live out the rest of my days being grateful for all the things I  do have, rather than be upset, live in regret, waste precious time, for the things I didn’t do or don’t have.

How to find the”perfect”, church? My view from the pew.

Do I Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
 It’s Sunday morning and we have a choice to make. Do we get up and get the kids and ourselves ready for church or do we lay in bed, maybe sleep in, or watch some TV church for a few minutes until we get bored and turn the channel to Food Network?
There is a brand-new trend that I have been hearing about lately, it’s called “stay at home Christians.” What does that mean anyway? I have also heard, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” Let me set this straight, no, we don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, but we live in a free country where we have the right to go to any church we choose to attend, not everyone gets that choice. All over the world, especially in communistic countries, people do not get the choice of what church they want to go to attend.
 Here are some reasons why people are not going to church. I did a little research and this is what I found.
1. Churches are always asking for money. 
*It’s your choice to give or not to give. God is the one that requires tithes and offerings, take it up with Him.
(My home church does not pass an offering plate around, we have a box for tithes and offerings.)
2. Sunday’s are my only days to sleep in.
 *A lot of churches have Saturday night services as well as Sunday morning and afternoon services.
3. I don’t get anything out of it.
 *It is up to the individual what they get out of church. Some people go for the music, some people go for the message and still others go for the fellowship.
Honestly what we get out of church is what we put into church. If we will worship during the music, we will be blessed. If we will apply the message to our own life, we will be filled. If we are friendly, we will gain friends.
There are also some reasons that I believe that we should go to church. Let me give my top three reasons for going to church.
1. After Jesus went to be with the Father in Heaven, He told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was given to them. After Pentecost, the Bible records in Acts 2: 42-44 (ESV),
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
 The people who followed Jesus and had received the Holy Spirit fellowship together and had all things in common
2. We are a body of Christ. We should worship together, encourage one another, learn God’s word together, pray for one another and strengthen one another.
3. When we have a church home we have a church covering. That means that we are covered in prayer by other Christians at all times. I understand that we can pray for ourself, that is great, but wouldn’t it be better to be covered in prayer by the pastor and the prayer warriors at a local church that loved us, and knew us.
 When we are not under a covering, we choose to fight the enemy alone. Wouldn’t we rather have an army with you fighting then fighting on our own.

snipview.com Google Images

How do I find the perfect church for me?

The truth is, there is not a perfect church. We are all sinners saved by grace, gathered together in our Fathers house under one roof however there is a church that we can belong to and we can grow in.
Finding a church that believes the way you do can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The excuses run wild with why people can’t find the perfect church these days.

The millennial’s, for the most part, are looking for great music and a modern service. The older generation typically likes the traditional style of church services. It’s no wonder people have a challenging time finding a church that fits them, but many of the larger churches offer both styles of services at different times.


 We are in a state of transition as the body of Christ right now and attendance is at a staggering all-time low.

Almost ten years ago, there was always something wrong with all the churches that my husband and I visited; the church was too small, they used chairs, I liked pews, the music was not moving, the Pastor didn’t move the earth and sky with his sermon. When we had enough excuses, we would move on to another church. We walked into every church expecting to “fit,” in somewhere and that was never going to work.
 Things began to change, oh sure, you could find us on the same pew every Sunday unless we really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t speak to anybody, we didn’t move when it was time for meet and greet. As far as we were concerned we went to church because it was the right thing to do. We came in to church, sat down, enjoyed the worship, enjoyed the sermon and at the end of service we went straight home, with no real communication.
It wasn’t until I met, what was soon to be, my Spiritual Father who made me get up off that pew and become sociable. I started helping with small jobs. I became a greeter on Sunday mornings and if I wasn’t greeting, I walked around and “tried” to carry on conversations with people. I taught children’s church occasionally. I volunteered for church events. I stayed after church and helped clean up.


 All of these things added up to molding myself into a church family. I had to learn to make myself mold into the church and create a place for myself instead of trying to make the church fit to me. The trick is, you must get up off that pew and move!!! Move around the church, sit in a different spot. God may have a special person that needs to connect with you.

 The excuses for not being able to find a good church are just silly. Pick a church that you agree with what they believe, then go, and mold yourself into that family! Be a part of the kingdom of God and grow.
 As for me and my family, we continue to mold ourselves into our church family and be disciples for Christ.

Watch “Katie” on YouTube The Old Rugged Cross.

https://youtu.be/5_fNVJOrS_w

How to battle fear.

Fear is something that we will all experience in our lives, but fear is actually an emotion that we can control.

Fear is an emotion that brings on a reaction of fight or flight. Fear can manifests itself in all areas of our lives. When fear comes, we generally choose one of two pathways; we either stand and battle out whatever is causing the fear, or we run away from the fearful situation. Fear is the most powerful weapon that the enemy can use against us. Living in fear can absolutely can kill, steal, and destroy. Isn’t this the scheme of Satan?

As I am watching the latest on the school shooting here in my home state of Florida, many thoughts are running through my mind. I wonder how many parents are thinking they need to homeschool their children.
I wonder how my daughter and son would react in the same situation if it happened in their schools. Would they give in to fear, would they be able to react in time and overcome their fear to survive? How many teachers are thinking they need to resign?
Last night one of the schools in a nearby small town cancelled school today because of a potential threat. This morning, I watched my kids walk out the door for school, and worry did run through my mind, but I also know that I cannot give into fear. I lived in fear for many years of my life as a result of an abusive childhood.
It took a long time for me to learn how to control my fear but once I did my life changed dramatically. First, I had to accept that there are some things in life that I am not going to be able to control. I have to live my life, and stop merely existing. Fear can paralyze even the strongest of person, and the grip is so tight it’s almost impossible to get out of its hold. Fear would give me overwhelming anxiety and take over all of my senses. Understand that fear is a product of the evil in this world and that evil uses fear to control. Once you allowed fear to enter into your mind you are already suffering.
There are a lot of things going on in the world right now and we can choose to be afraid, to send our kids to school and or we can teach them to speak up when they see questionable Snapchats, texts, or whatever.

We can equip our children to live in their generation without being afraid. Our kids will emulate our actions and reactions so we need to learn how to deal with fear first and foremost.

One of the ways that I battle fear is to control my mind and it’s thought processes. Satan can do a lot of things but he cannot control your thoughts. The mind can occupy just one single thought at a time.

So, in order to keep fear at bay, I have learned the key point to getting out of the emotion of fear is to stay positive. I have learned to make positive statements to myself almost repetitively. I have found that when I think on the positive aspects of my life or the positive things around me, my conscious mind eventually accepts my subconscious mind. I have learned to make positive statements to myself almost repetitively. I have found that when I think on the positive aspects of my life or the positive things around me, my conscious mind eventually accepts my subconscious mind.

One other thing I hold on to keep me calm is reading my favorite passages in the Bible. The Bible holds a wealth of comforting words to keep me calm and serein, so, often I go to the Bible to read passages that hold fearful situations back.
Fear is the opposite of faith, and as long as I have God in my life I trust in His plan for me and my family. The Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear…” (2 Timothy 1: 7a NKJV) Because I know that fear is not of God, I choose to not let fear control me. Satan would have me to doubt and fear, God would have me to trust Him and live a happy fulfilled life despite what terrible things happen to me and around me. God didn’t give us the Spirit of fear. We can’t control what is going on in the world, but we can control our emotions and how we allow fear to play a part in our lives.

Recording of my daughter’s flute solo. Adante in C Major by Mozart.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bMakYSqOPS0x52zMcNxbQMc7RHEPsm-B/view?usp=drivesdk

Benefits of Being Led by the Spirit of God

via Benefits of Being Led by the Spirit of God

Day 4..How does Autoimmune affect our family.

My husband hangs in there. Working two jobs and helping me to do day to day things. We have two kids and even that is a challenge for me at times, he has to pick up a lot of the slack. My health has declined over the last four years and yet he is still here. Out of anybody my illness affects him the most. This is what he had to say.

Before Tabitha was diagnosed with LUPUS, we both worked and were able to provide our kids with most of their needs on a daily basis. Then on that day in April of 2014 when we went to the ER and received the diagnosis that she had a DVT on her right thigh, things started to get turned end over end. Within a few days we were told that she had antiphospholipid syndrome and LUPUS. It seemed that every time we went to a doctor we were told that she had another problem. She lost her job and we were starting to wonder what we would do. I got a second job and we were blessed with me having two employers who are flexible enough that I can be at her doctor’s appointments to support her and help her.

It has been a major adjustment for all of us in the last four years. I spend a lot of my time at work worrying about her and trying to coordinate all of her appointments with my work calendar and trying to keep enough leave time to make sure I can get her to them. I try to do everything I can to help her get through each day. I help in setting up her meds for her and making sure she gets them every day.

I try to put her needs before mine because she needs help with a lot of day to day activities. I believe we will find something one day that will improve her quality of life to a level that she will not be in so much pain and able to function better, but until then I will continue to do what I can to help her. She deserves that from me and I want to give it to her.

In case you missed it…

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

 

Previous post includes a letter from my Dad, my daughter, and my best friend.

Rock Solid

via Rock Solid

Day 3…How does Auto immune affect our family.

This is my best friend and her perspective. When you have chronic illness, it’s hard to keep friends close because you constantly have to cancel plans and she does get that from me. I have tried my best to educate everyone in my life what Lupus is. I believe that has helped my relationships.



I have known Tabitha most of my life and she is one of the strongest people that I know. She can handle just about anything that is thrown her way. When she told me she was diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea what that really meant. It took some learning on my part to understand how this can really impact a
person’s life and change everything that they know. As I said before, Tabitha is one of the strongest people I know, if not the strongest. I am always worrying about her even when I don’t say it; that is just who I am as a person. When I do ask how she is, she quickly tries to comfort me with a “I’m fine”, “things
are great”, but I can see hurt in her eyes, or hear the pain in her voice that is caused by this disease. I wish that everyday I could make the pain go away or make it my own, that way she would no longer suffer. I worry for her family too and wish they could have their mom back in full health that she use to be. She is loved beyond words and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even write this up with

the little sleep I have had, working over 12 hours a day, going out 10 days straight. I Love you Tabitha.



In case you missed it….

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

See previous post for letters from other family.