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Underachiever Award Goes to: Brenda Czarniak 47th Year in a Row


I am not one to set new year resolutions because I only find myself on the floor the eve of a new year making the same old promises to myself and God, knowing in the back of my head it is all just talk.  Empty, worthless drivel.  Goals I will not set incude:

  • I will not exercise more in the new year.
  • I will not take more walks then the year before.
  • I will not be any more organized than what I am at this very moment.
  • I will still wait for the last minute to do things.
  • I will not push myself to write.
  • I will not make all the right choices when it comes to healthy eating.
  • I will not stop coloring my hair and embracing the gray.
  • I refuse to set goals and ambitions for the new year only because I am afraid of failure and the mentally of “I can’t do anything right” haunts me year after year.  It is my wound and I have been protecting it all this time.  I cannot fail if I don’s set goals.  My wound cannot get any worse if I choose not to set things in motion for the new year.

There.  Now that I have established everything I am NOT  going to do in 2018 I feel so much relief.  No expectations to fulfill.  No standards to keep up with.  No commitments.  No chance of failure or not doing something right.  If I write, I write.  If I exercise, I exercise.  If I choose cake over carrots may the cake be chocolate.  If I get my desk organized then I will celebrate probably with ice cream.  No pressure. No problem.


Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!


As deep cries out to deep, God calls us to higher and higher levels in Him.  He wants us to have everything He has destined for us to achieve.  He wants us to be healthy but it does not need to control our every thought.  I am sure He would like us to be organized simply to help keep us focused on His next step for us.  He wants us to be happy in our own skin and if something needs to change, He will lead us in that direction. At times I feel like such a mess almost as if I was an unraveled ball of yarn that someone took apart and then just left in a pile on the floor.  In and of myself I cannot put myself back into shape, I will need to trust the Creator to do this.  With that being said, if I spend 2018 just seeking Him, He will guide me in the right direction.

By me setting up goals and standards for the new year I am almost saying, “Don’t worry God, I got this! See You in 2019 and I will be ready to move forward with what you have for me.”

So what am I going to do in 2018?  Just be.  Just be in an attitude of gratitude.  Just be thankful for where I am at the moment.  Just be in an atmosphere of continual praise and worship.  Just be silent in His presence so I can hear the next step.  Just be content with what I have knowing God has some much more for me.  I am just going the be me and see what God does in and through me.  Romans 8:18 seems to be the verse for the year for our family.


My prayer this year for all of you reading this is for you to see making a new years resolution in a whole new light.  Let God into your goals.  Let God into any resolutions you feel you may need to make.  Just let God be in your life.  Just be in His presence.  Just be who He created you be.  You will discover in a very short time that His desires for your life are nothing like the standards of the world we so easily measure ourselves against.

Happy New Year! 

May 2018 show up in all it’s intended glory and show you who God really is.  May you be able to Just Be and pursue that which God desires for you to follow after.  May you find peace and joy in resting rather than working harder.  May you be blessed and highly favored as you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the world.  Most of all, I pray that you can Just Be.


The Darkness of the Cocoon (a continuation)



“So it’s time to enter into darkness,” says no one ever!  As seekers of a Christ centered life we are compelled to search for the light to be filled with holiness and purity as Christ was.  No one desires to be left in darkness.  Not one of us with a right mind want to continue on in the state we are in, it’s only when darkness broods in our lives that our thought processes become tainted.  We walk around with our caterpillar mentality thinking that we will never change.  No one notices me.  I will always be in this state of mind.  I am just ordinary and have no purpose so I will just walk around in circles until I die.

I am hear right now speaking life!  I am speaking light!  I am speaking into the heart of darkness and saying, “Let there be Light!”  My heart breaks that so many people are in the bondage of the caterpillar stage of life.  In my first marriage I always hoped things would change, I never did anything to actually change it.  God had to wait until I was desperate enough to want out.  He had to wait until I desired something different.  He had to be patient enough to wait until I was ready to enter into the cocoon where transformation could begin.

Now this may sound like we are going backwards, but bear with me.  We are born into this world and like I said in the previous blog, we begin to eat up everything of this world, it’s like we don’t know anything different.  Then one day, we have an encounter with God and we begin the healing process.  We begin to believe that we have a purpose and that we are worthy of love.  We start to look in the mirror and see that change is happening.  We suddenly decide that change needs to continue and we surrender what we know as life to God and He begins the process.

We enter into a stage that I am calling the cocoon stage only because this is where the darkest things in our life are revealed, transformed and changed.  It is in the cocoon stage that we are hidden in a darkness not like the worlds but we are hidden by God.  We are protected from the influences of the outside carnal world.  We reside in a place where only God can touch us and transform our thinking.  He turns the “I ain’t good enough”  into “I have worth”.  He takes the “I am ugly” and changes it to “I am beautiful”.  He takes the “I can’t” and molds it into “I can do all things through Christ!”.

Most importantly He takes our lifeless flesh bodies and turns them into wings of life and freedom.  When we emerge from the cocoon at the end of the process we emerge whole and full of life.  We no longer desire to eat of the world but we desire to drink in the goodness of God.

Are you tired of eating the garbage of the world?  Do you have a desire to change?  Do you want to be free?  Happy? Joyful? Content?  Then it’s time to enter the cocoon.  It’s time for you to allow God to penetrate you to the core with His love, mercy and grace.  Don’t be fooled by the devil into thinking that you are not worth the time it takes to change because you are.  Others are waiting for your transformation process so that they too can witness the loving kindness of God.

Darkness is a Way to Life

At noon the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. At three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
When Jesus died on a cross to save mankind, there was three hours of darkness.  Three hours may not have seemed like a large span of time but do you realize all of the transformation which took place in three short hours?  Sometimes the evidence of darkness is the very thing we need in our lives.  Why?  Because in those darkened times we begin to search for the Light.
Why do we not believe that we are worth anything sometimes?  Why are we bogged down with statements such as these:  I am not good enough.  I will never amount to anything.  I can’t do anything right.  I am such a failure at life.    These words haunt millions of people everyday and it’s time we shed some Light on the subject.
Like the caterpillar we spend the beginning of our lives eating up all of the worlds media and what it says about people.  Media segregates people and puts them into groups according to what they see on the outside: black, while, Indian, mothers, fathers, children, work-a-holics, homeless, over-achievers…the lists are endless.  But in reality we are all unique on the inside.  Our opinions matter not because of what race we are or what part of society we belong to, but because each of us have value.
Where did we get so off course with our own identities?  So many of us wander around never knowing who we are.  We just keep eating and eating all of what the world has to offer because we are afraid that if we change we won’t be accepted anymore.  When in reality, we should be willing to accept that like the caterpillar we need to go through a transformation process.  We need to accept that at some point we have to pull away from the world and discover who God thinks we are.  We need to go into our cocoon process to discover this.  We have to be wiling to surrender what we think is life to be held in darkness for a moment so that we may emerge as the person God designed us to be.
If we never go through with the cocoon process we will always believe what the world says about us.  We will no longer have a desire to be all that we can be.  In fact, we will just continue to go with the flow with no regard for ourselves.
………to be continued

She said What?????!!!!


When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
So did you hear about the pastor who said this about grace? How bout that minister who just does marriages for first timers? Maybe you heard about the priest who has been visiting people in bars?  Did you hear about that church couple who have been fighting?  Can you believe that so and so are searching for a divorce lawyer?  Did you know that Mr. and Mrs. Busybodies are no longer attending that church?  Did you hear about that teen in youth group is pregnant and it’s by another teen student that goes to another church?  
Why does anything I mentioned in the first paragraph matter to us?  If I am correct the Bible clearly states that we are to love one another.  Why is that so tough? Probably because we are human.  Maybe because when we go through things and are set free we expect everyone else to have the same views.  Maybe we have this belief system that because we were set free from certain things that others should be able to also with no issues.  What we fail to recognize is that we all have come from different walks of life and some things which were easy for us to break away from may not be so easy for others.
Now clearly, there are some folks I would just like to drag right to Jesus’ feet and make them sit, but we all know that is not a reality in any situation.  We all have to find God in our own way.  We have to be the ones willing to be changed from the inside out.  With our free wills, we have to begin to allow God to cut us like that rough diamond and create in us a clean, precise image…one just like Jesus.
So what do we do when someone is speaking about another person?  Choose not to get involved.  Offer prayer as an option instead of standing in judgement.  Begin to show how God’s Word instructs us to love…no where does it say to speak ill of anyone.  I know it is really hard to separate ourselves from the world, yet if we are going to show the love of Christ to anyone then this is something we need to be able to do, love.  We at times seem to be incapable of loving others and this stems from being unloved in certain situations in our own lives.  
We have to go against everything within us sometimes and push to love.  Push aside pain.  Push aside distrust.  Push aside offenses.  I like the analogy I have heard about PUSH.  Pray Until Something Happens.  This is what we need to do in situations where we just don’t want to love.  This is what we need to do when rumors need stopping.  We just need to say, “Because God Says….”

I Want a Divorce……


Isaiah 40:31The Message (MSG)

For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.


Yes, I am ready for a divorce, but not the type you immediately thought of. I assure you that I am VERY happy in my marriage to my wonderful hubby!  As a matter of fact I was quite shocked when I asked God for a blog idea this afternoon and He said to write about divorce.   I just kinda of stood there for a moment and I am sure to the outside world I may have looked very puzzled.  Divorce? But why would you want me to write on such a subject when there is no truth to that in my current marriage?

I almost heard God laugh through the dead silence in my head and He said, not a marriage divorce, but a divorce from the world.  OHHHHH! I get it!  So here we are writing a blog about divorcing ourselves from the things of this world so that we may have a more intimate relationship with our Creator.  In Romans 12:2 the Bible clearly warns us to not get attached to the ways of the world yet it is so easily done, everyday, everywhere and all the time.

We get so busy in life.  We are always going here and doing that next great thing.  We are taking challenges to jump into bodies of water or pouring buckets of ice on ourselves.  Some are trapped in smoking addictions or going to the bars.  Others are spending too much time earning more money so they can buy bigger and better things.  While all things in moderation can be a good rule to follow in most circumstances there are still some things which are hallways to things not of God.

Now, don’t stop reading just yet…I am not judging or condemning anyone, I am just offering another way of looking at a Biblical principle.  If God is calling us away from the things of this world it is only for our benefit.  The more we decide to seek God then personal pleasures or wealth, the stronger our faith becomes and it allows God to provide all those wonderful things our hearts desire.

I am even feeling discouraged a little as I write this blog, it is tough to not be of this world especially since we live in it day after day.  Often times it easier to flip through the pages of Facebook than it is the Bible.  As humans we are so easily distracted.  We want to be involved in everything and we never want to find ourselves bored so we give in a little to the world here and there.

I guess maybe the key to all of this is keeping your eyes on Jesus and His purpose for your life.  For example, my husband and I are dedicated to making ministry our top priority and as we serve God, He blesses us.  Just recently my husband started his own  Power Washing and Home Specialties business and God is just opening door after bigger door after BIGGER door.  We stand in awe at what God is doing.  So what are we missing out on? The latest television shows, yet gaining the friendships of people everywhere.  While we are not bound by every sporting event imaginable we are able to see God’s handiwork at the beach and in the woods and develop a stronger marriage.

When we decide to be a follower of Jesus and separate ourselves from worldly things, God makes a way and fulfills our happiness at the same time.  I really cannot ask you to do what my husband and I do….however, I don’t miss a lot of the things of the world.  As I have learned who I am in Christ, it really does not matter.  What matters is relationships…not just with the Creator but with the broken-hearted people of the world.  They are the ones who really need less of the world and more of Jesus and His unwavering love.  The world will only love you for a minute and then it’s on to the next big thing….You will always be God’s son or daughter and He longs to pour out blessings and favor upon you.


Reflections of the Follower

1 Peter 4:14-16

If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
Well, last week we rested, renewed and let Jesus hit that RESET button..so what’s next?  Hmmm.. reflections.  Let’s do a little exercise.  Go look at yourself in a mirror, any mirror available.  Go ahead, I will wait……
Okay, what did you see?  Did you like the reflection?  Did you find flaws?  Did you point out anything you wanted to change about the reflection?  Was there anything you were happy with?
Now, how do you think people see your refection as a Christian?  Does the reflection of who you are match up with who God is?  Do people want to see something change in you?  Does the reflection make people happy or sad?  Do you like your reflection of God?
I know, these are tough questions but let me lighten the mood and show you I surely am not attacking you or how you reflect God.  I “mirrorly” want to show you how to get to the place where you can reflect God in such a way there will be no questions about who you are in Christ.
First of all, let me let you off the hook…you are human and humans make mistakes and it’s okay.  We cannot come to the place where our reflections match our God until we choose to rest, renew and reflect.  We need to remember that from the moment we say yes to Jesus He says yes to pushing the reset button and the process begins.  Some things we learn quickly and a result it seen almost immediately.  Other changes take time and perseverance.  It all begins with listening to God and being obedient and open to His will for your life.
Now, the world is filled with mean, unsaved people and our mission is to share Jesus with all of the those people and shed Light into the darkness.  I know it’s not easy especially when some of the people knew the former you.  They know what you did last summer and perhaps are still mad at what you did.  Who knows?  We often get caught up in thinking that WE have to doing something to change the world when in reality it’s all up to Jesus!
So what I want us to focus on today is simple….what messages are we sending to those around us?  Are we reflecting Jesus when we talk about our co-workers?  Are we reflecting Jesus when we drive angry?  Are we shedding Light into the darkness when we speak harshly to others?  We need to understand that being a Christian is a 24/7/365 reality.  Yes, we will make mistakes and that’s okay as long as we remember that was just part of our old-self rearing it’s ugly head for a moment.  Know that it is not a part of the new you.  Let Jesus hit the rest button on that area of your life and try again.
How can we keep our reflection one of Jesus?  REST.  RENEW.  RESET. I know it sounds simple…it is!  Let Jesus change you from the inside out.  Disregard the bad from the world and let God be your vindicator, you are just called to love.  Choose to love you.  Choose to love Jesus.  Choose to love the ugly of this world. When you do all these things your reflection will become all that God intended it to be!

Pollinate the World

James 1:22

The Message (MSG)

22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.


Becoming a Christian is a full time journey.  We need to read our Bibles. Spread the Gospel to everyone. Follow the laws of the land. Go to church. Be who Christ designed us to be. Listen to God. Wait on God. Move when the Holy Spirit directs.  Lead by example.  Apply the Word of God to our lives. Work out our salvation.  Help the poor.  Have compassion. Don’t lie, steal or cheat. I could go on and on with things and it would soon be so overwhelming no one would want to follow after Jesus.  How about making it so simple that it would not seem like such a chore?

Love. Simple and to the point, love. Period, that is the one thing we need to be a Christian and this stems right back to God.  He loved us so much He gave us His only Son.  Because of LOVE we exist. Because of LOVE we find compassion for others.  Because of LOVE we want to share the Gospel.  Do you get what I mean?  God is LOVE and His only desire is to LOVE.  We will read the Bible because we want to experience His LOVE. We will have a desire to be more like Jesus because we want others to experience LOVE.

There is that old song that says it’s love that makes the world go round, well it’s love that created this world.  If we could all only grasp that being Christian simply takes only one ingredient LOVE, we could change this whole world for Jesus.  I encourage us all to become revived.  Fall in love with Jesus everyday.  Be filled with a desire to LOVE others even those who seem unlovable.  If we all take one big giant step of faith right now and stretch our arms open wide and proclaim into the heaven’s that we are loved, then perhaps today we could make a difference.