Fruits of the Spirit

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With the waves that keep screaming IMPOSSIBLE at me… life’s circumstances… well .. have left me feeling abandoned, alone, and even helpless at times… I keep hearing that still, small voice inside me saying, “you’re never alone. I’m always with you. I will fulfill my promises to you.” Truly, God is faithful, even when we’re not. This season has been one of many lessons. Still praying, applying for work, praying, racing, praying, seeing my doctor, praying, building ministry, praying, weaping… when the world around me keeps telling me to give up, the Spirit of God inside of me tells me never to give in. So, I begain to ask myself what can I learn from all of this, in this mess what characteristics are being built? Then the Lord lead me to Gal 5:22-23 where the fruits of the Spirit are listed. So, today … instead of telling you how to grow in these areas, I’ll share how God has helped ME grow, and you can take from it what you will. At the end of this post I will share a fruit salad recipe w 9 ingredients just like there are 9 fruits of the Spirit 😉 now… let me begin by saying that this process, for me, has been one that has brought joy at times, but has also brought severe pain both emotionally and physically at times. However, by the grace of God, I’ve been able to persevere. In this, I’ve learned to 

1.) LOVE… it’s one thing to love those who love you and treat you kindly. However, it’s quite another to love and pray for those who have hurt you. My dad, well, I forgive him for the things he did. While I DO have legal boundaries set, I continually keep him in prayer and hope for the best for his life. No matter what He’s done, God’s grace is made available to all of us including those of abusive nature. I truly believe that God can heal and restore what’s been broken. 

2.) JOY… it’s one thing to be joyful when things are going your way, but it’s quite another to maintain joy when your world has crumbled and you watch the people around you seem to be getting blessed with the very things you wanted and prayed for. That new car, phone, ministry, ect… the Lord has taught me in this time that it’s not about the things you have…it’s about the attitude you maintain while waiting for the things you don’t have. Besides… in the end… ya can’t take it with you. So why stress? 

3.) PEACE… the old me used to stress about everything I couldn’t fix… now, God has taught me that an absence of peace means there’s an absence of His presence. Instead of stressing, I’ve learned to roll my thoughts on Him. Take a second to praise him and focus on His majesty. Besides, stressing over things and people you can do nothing about is a waist of time energy that can be better spent elsewhere!

4.) PATIENCE.. uuuuggghhhh! Wow! This one has been a doozey for me! You see, I live in an area that is like living on a little island… no real grocery store, no laundromat (we don’t have a washer or dryer at home) let alone very many job opportunities, with a bus system that is a little quirky, making it difficult to get from place to place so… with the loss of car, I’ve learned to be very patient whether it’s waiting for the bus, for a ride from my mom, in the car while she works so I can run errands, do laundry, and train in proper areas to prevent injury, or waiting on my God mom (with her mom) while she handles things she needs to get done (and couldn’t otherwise do)… I’ve learned that time is valuable. Showing patience and waiting on others shows that you value their time. In the mean time… I take those times of waiting as opportunities to enjoy the scenery (birds, trees, ect.) and to read and study the Word. This way, I’m making the most out my time =)

5.) KINDNESS… being kind to others regardless of how they treat you is a biggie! The old me used to get a bad attitude with people and tell them off if they upset me. Now, I’ve learned to maintain a level of kindness regardless of how I’m treated. This seems to shift the atmosphere.

6.) GOODNESS.. well… hmm honestly, doing good to others even when good things haven’t been done to you is something that God has slowly built into my nature. The Word of God DOES say to do those things in quiet, so… I’ll keep them between me and God.

7.) FAITHFULNESS there have been times when I’ve wanted to just walk away, throw p

 my hands up and tell God.. I give up! Times when I didn’t want to read the Word, pray, go to church… However, I’ve learned that hanging on to God,.praying, staying in the WORD is THE ONLY way thatiki I have any true, solid foundation and peace. Without Him, my day is flop, my emotions and worries run wild… so, I remain faithful to my God.

8.) GENTLENESS… many people in the world are hurting…. being someone who’s been hurt many times, I’ve learned that gentleness is the key. How do you clean a gaping cut? GENTLY! How do you treat others around you? GENTLY! Instead of snapping at others when they get in my way, I GENTLY ask them to move. Instead of acting harshly when someone snaps at me, I react GENTLY! Sowing good seeds today will bring a harvest of gentleness for tomorrow.

9.) SELF CONTROL… at many points, I have found it difficult to not cry and whimper and fall into a “poor me” mentality. Daily recognizing how blessed I am regardless of what has happened or what things I may or may not need…helps me remain controlled in my thoughts and actions. I’m now more self controlled in the way I spend any income received, I refrain from lashing out at people who’ve hurt and I’ve learned to show respect by controlling my tongue and temper with my mother and others in authority, and refrain from complaining in the midst of my circumstances. Attitude is latitude and an attitude can only truly be changed by the power of God. 

Now… I’m still a work in progress, and all I can say is… I pray that through this, my life will bear MUCH fruit & that through this, others will be inspired to allow the Lord to work in their lives as well! No matter what you are facing… keep pressing in and pressing on!

Now, onto the recipe!

 

Fruit Salad Omega

-1 cup grapes (cut in halves)

-2 braeburn apples (diced)

-1 large orange (diced)

-1banana (sliced)

-2/3 cup blueberries

-1/4 cup roasted flaxseed

-1 cup nonfat, plain yogurt

-5tbs clover honey

-1/4-1/2 cup oj

 

*Directions

Mix all fruit together in a salad bowl. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, honey, and oj together. The amount of oj you use should leave the yogurt mixture smooth and silky. If it’s runny, add some yogurt to thicken it. If it’s muddy, add some oj. Once yogurt mixture is thoroughly blended together, add the flaxseed and mix! Then, drizzle over the fruit and slowly mix. Place in fridge for one hour… and serve! 

 

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Knowing your gifts

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10

We were all created by God for a purpose. What was that purpose? It was for us to become little images of Him, bringing honor and glory to His name in all that we do. I believe that when God made us, He took different traits of His being and personality and placed them in various ways in mankind. Many of His traits are displayed in spiritual gifts given to each of us. (I Corinthians 12:7-11). We as humans become fulfilled when we recognise those gifts He has given us, cultivate them, allow them to grow properly, and use them in a way that bring honor and glory to His name. So, today, I’ll share some some ideas with you on how to come to recognise your spiritual gifts and also transfer this lesson into the realm of life I personally love to share with others.. getting to know your body in regards to nutrition and exercise so you can nourish yourself and exercise yourself in ways that benefit you and your lifestyle best. I’ll close by hooking you up with a recipe for something delicious to sink your teeth into!
Now, in the body of Christ, we are all given 1 or more Spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:7-11). An individual who does not know what his or her gifts are and/or how to cultivate and use them can end up feeling insecure and left living without truly reaching out there God given potential. How do you find and cultivate these gifts? The following is a list of suggestions that will helpfully will help you!
-Get in your prayer closet and ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance.
-Get in the Word and ask the Lord to show you passages that will help you identify your giftings
-Ask the Lord to provide people/mentors to help you point out/recognise various gifts and will help you cultivate and use them in a way that truly ignites pain and purpose in you, thus inspiring others.
-Volunteer!!! Try out different areas of service like childcare, youth ministry, choir, grounds keeping, prayer team, homeless outreach, ext… don’t limit your idea of ministry to the walls of church and generalised ideas of what ministry should be.
-Ask the Holy Spirit to show you giftings you use in everyday life and how you can use them in the lives of your friends, family, and community.

Remember… it’s not how much you get our there and serve, it’s about the quality of service. Ask yourself if you feel peace or strife. Strife is usually a good sign that you’re in the wrong area. Serving without being called/lead by the Spirit to do so can leave you too spread out and drained. When you feel a peace and things flow without tension and strife, you’re more than likely doing the right thing. You may get tired, but not drained and you’ll feel useful. You’ll be using the gifts that God had given you and you’ll be a true blessing to others while living in fulfillment of your purpose and calling.

Now, onto nutrition. Not knowing your body’s neuronal needs is just as bad as not knowing you’re spiritual giftings and needs. It can leave you drained, under or overweight, malnourished. These things can lead to ask sorts of things like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, ect. There are many diets and nutrition programs from low-carb to right carb/ right protein, nutrasystems to Jenny Craig, clean eating to juicing, macrobiotic to “everything in moderation.” The following is a list of ideas on how to find a nutritional program that works best for you:

-Always check with a doctor and/or nutritionist before starting ANY new nutritional program
-Be willing to try new foods
-know your body. If somethin makes you feel tired, drained, groggy, super anxious, unfocused, abnormally irritable… take those as signs that whatever food caused that is something to avoid consuming.
-keep a food/fitness journal. This will help you keep an eye on how many calories you burn, what fuel you put in, and how your body reacts to various foods and exercise. There are various online ones you can do for free =) there are even some for your smart phones like livestrong.
-Get around people who are well balanced in their eating and pick up some tips from them.
-know your sport! Knowing how/& what your physical activity triggers your body to burn will help you in finding the proper foods for optimal performance! (Someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle should avoid eating like someone who bikes or spends a lot of time working a physically demanding job)
-READ, READ, READ! Inform yourself! There are all kinds of books on nutrition and healthy living!
BE CREATIVE and enjoy what you eat! While food IS fuel, you should be able to enjoy it as well!

Now, find your workout! There are many kinds of fitness from yoga, tai chi and pilates to biking, swimming and running to weight lifting.. the list goes on!
Finding the right workout that fits your personaly, lifestyle, interests and motivates you to keep pressing forward with it is very important! Here are some ways to find one (or more) that suits you!
-Always check with your doctor before adding or changing a fitness routine. This will make sure that you are trying out things that work with your level of fitness and will improve your health.
-find out what time of day works for you.. no excuses! If a full-time working woman with a family can find time to train for marathons (ie:my mentor), anyone can learn to take 20 min to an hour at least 3 times a week to improve their fitness, or even add some pushups, walking and ab work somewhere in each day (I’ve made notes on working out and the busy life in a recent blog).
-find out if you like working out at home, at the gym, or outdoors and what works best with your lifestyle!
-try a free gym pass! Many gyms (like 24 hour fitness) offer free passes from 1-10 days that enable you to try out many, if not all, of the various aspects of the gym. This way you can find classes, weights, machines, ect that you may enjoy. This is not something to take advantage of. The passes are to be used strictly for the purpose of funding the RIGHT gym and workout for you’re needs.
-Rent or purchase some at home DVDs, bluerays and/ or equipment. Renting gives you the opportunity to try it before you buy a it. Also, many mail order equipment will allow you a trial period. You don’t like it, you can return it.
-try working out alone, with a friend, and in a group. This will help you bring a little flavor into your routine and keep it lively.
-try working out more than once. Many times people really don’t enjoy working out, so they need to push themselves (not to hard) to get up and active. Eventually, after time, the benefits will pay off, and the joy of it will set in. Like Winston Churchill once said, “never, never, NEVER give up!”

Now, the food!!!
*Sprouted grain individual pizzas with “tomacco” sauce, topped your way!
Now, it seems many people these days have issues with various types of foods.so, in this recipe, I use sprouted grain English muffins since sprouted grains are grains that have not been processed so, the gluten is not exposed and red bell pepper instead of tomatoes since some people have tomato allergies. This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients
-4 Ezekiel bread English muffins
-3 red bell peppers
-1/2 to 2/3 cup carrot juice
-1 tsp McCormick Italian seasoning
-olive oil cooking spray
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella
-Your choice of toppings.
Directions
Preheat oven to 400° Take bell peppers, seed them, spray with olive oil set on a cookie sheet and put in oven to roast for 10-15 min or until tender. Take them out and place in a blender, add 1/2 cup of the carrot juice, blend on med speed and build up to a high speed until it becomes a desirable consistency and add more carrot juice if needed. Turn off blender, add Italian seasoning and sea salt and blend on low until thoroughly mixed and set aside. Next, turn oven down to 350° spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, cut the English muffins in halves and place them on the sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Put 2-3 tbs of sauce onto each piece, sprinkle with mozzarella and toppings of your choice, put them in the oven for 10 min (or until baked to your liking), serve and enjoy!

Power food for your spirit, sould, mind , and body

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“My message and my preaching were not done with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

Hey there heeeere we go again! =) today’s message is about being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now, instead of going off on a droning trail about the details of my circumstances, I’m going to shine some light on the glory of God in those situations. As a fellow motivational speaker once said, “you have to be PROACTIVE.” So, how does someone who has suffered abuse (by numerous people), loss of home (multiple times), broken relationships, change of job, health issues that have come and gone, deaths of multiple loved ones, and countless other traumas within a short period of time find the strength to move on? By keeping my eye on Jesus Christ. Knowing that He has good plan for my life and that He is a good God who gives life so we can live it to the fullest. Have there been moments when I’ve broken down and made a fool of myself?… of course! To say that I haven’t would be to deny the fact that I’m human. However, every step of the way… My heart has cried out to God in one form or another. Through it all, especially through the mosrt recent loss of my God Dad along with other battles, God has taught me to ask Him to turn it around for His glory. Now, for the first time in my life, though I’m not materially wealthy, I’m the richest person alive.God has given me a relationship with my mom that was once shipwrecked, a relationship with my sister and nephew… my miracles, a relationship with my little brother, and a God Family that has adopted mine and shown my family how to enjoy meals and birthday parties together in peace and joy. I have more now than any riches can buy. While it does still bother me at times that I’m not currently in a position to give back to others the way I would like, the hope remains that this too shall pass, and I too will get to be a vessel of blessing to others. In the mean time, I daily have to crucify my attitude asking God to give me strength to endure this season… Knowing it will all be for His glory in the end. For, you… I will say this… whatever you are facing, no matter how great a trial, cry out and ask God for His help. Open your word, meditate on verses that will help strengthen you to endure. Ask God if there is an area of your life that needs to be put into check, and be willing to make proper adjustments, fast (if you feel lead to do so), worship Him and let Him wash over you and refresh your spirit. Keeping your eye on Him will keep your mind out of the storm so He can lead you safely to dry land. In closing, I will leave you with some power verses to meditate on, a speed training workout that will add some power to your fitness and take you to a new level, a list of power foods and… a recipe for homemade breakfast bars that will give you energy to power out your day!

*Power Verses:
-“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

-“Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts.”

Zechariah 4:6

-“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

-“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Luke 10:19

Psalm 91

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1John 5:4-5

*power workout
Go to a track and do a nice dynamic warm up. Do a slow jog for 1/2 mile (2laps)-1 mile (4 laps). Go to the beginning of a straight run as hard and as fast as you can, then very slowly jog or walk the curve. Once you’re at the beginning of the next straight, run as hard and as fast as you can through to the end of the  curve (1/2 way around the track). Stop at the beginning of the next straight and jog in place for two min. Go to the beginning of the straight and run as hard and fast add you can all the way around the track, then cool down with 1/2 mile-1 mile SLOW JOG. This is a beginner speed workout and can be changed up by adding repetitions of various cycles around the track. Have fun with it! Make sure you thoroughly stretch out when you finish. Make sure you DO NOT over do yourself! Listen to your body!!!!! 

* 5 Power Foods
Peanut butter

Dark Chocolate

Eggs (free range)

Rolled oats

Berries

*Recipe
POWER OAT BARS (makes about 1 doz cupcake sized servings)
-3 cups rolled oats
-3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
-1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
-1/2 cup ripened pureed banana
-3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/4-1/2 cup honey OR 100% maple syrup
Directions
Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake tins with paper (you can also choose to use a cookie sheet sprayed w nonstick spray). With an electric mixer, mix the apple sauce, pureed banana, and nut buter together. One thoroughly mixed, slowly mix in the oats then… the dried fruit. Once all ingredients are combined, place 2-3 tablespoons into each cupcake paper. If you’re using a cookie sheet, spread evenly over the sheet, and using a buyer knife, cut into 12 equal parts making sure to wriggle the knife side to side at each point of separation to leave about 1/2 inch between each bar. (Please excuse the lack of image for this). PLace in oven and bake for 7min, pull out and drizzle honey or maple syrup on top. Place in oven for another 5-10 min or until golden/ crispy on top. Set out to cool. Enjoy!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Be blessed, be safe, and enjoy life!

Fasting and the Busy Life

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Hey y’all here we go again! haha! Na my journey continues as I’m still waiting on God to open the right door for employment while training for/ running races. Pressure building at home as finances have been a consistent struggle… my mom overworked, me helping her with her cleaning business… feeling stretched at all points at times, yet knowing deep inside that God called me to run… and I will run this race, trusting that He will provide every step of the way. That being said… there are seasons in many of our lives where pressure builds and it’s time to take our relationship with Christ to the next level in order to either receive answers or even to just zone in on the Most High… AND since we ARE in Lent season, I thought it would be fitting to discuss fasting and prayer. For those of you who don’t know what Lent is…  it is a season generally focused on by those of Catholic or “Orthadox” Christian faith that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday. During this season, the individual refrains from eating any sort of meat or dairy products and devote themselves to posing a higher level of intimacy with GOD (much like the Daniel Fast). This, in my opinion is a wonderful way for athletes and people who need to maintain proper blood sugar levels throughout their day to fast! Also, many people have busy lives and tend to out a lot so… I’m going to give some tips and ideas on how to pack a quick snack or meal, a few restaurant menu op tons that are Lent and Daniel Fast friendly, a link to a diabetic friendly fasting guide as well as a recipe of my own. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll be informed enough to prayerfully take a fasting journey of your own. That being said… Let the journey begin!
First off, with all fasting, I SERIOUSLY ADVISE that the individual go into it upon total leading of the HOLY Spirit. This season was designed for us to grow in our relationship to our creator and should NEVER be used as a means to lose weight. Second,there are many ways to fast. The season of Lent and the Daniel Fast were just basic examples… you can also
-Do a full on fast, refraining from all food and beverage accept water for a given period of time. (I suggest being extremely prayerful about this and be sure to prepare yourself mentally as well as nutritionally just like an athlete before a major event).
-liquid fast. Refraining from all solid food, drinking only fruit and vegetable juices and water,NO caffeine!
-Daniel fast, individual refrains from all meat, dairy, drinks that are not 100% juice (no choice and tea), sweeteners, ect…
-Lent… nor really a fast but can be used as an example. The individual refrains from all meat and dairy products, are allowed fish on Fridays, and give up one activity for the time of that season.
-single item fast, refraining from a certain food or beverage, or even activity for any given amount of time.
-media fast… absolutely noooo media! No tv, radio, computer, video games, little doodle moments on your cell phone (outside of phone calls) Facebook, Twitter… out can all wait! Believe me, you won’t miss anything to catastrophic 😉 … nada! (One of my favorite ways of fasting)

Below are some links to diabetic friendly fasts as well as restaurants that provide Daniel Fast friendly and Lent appropriate meals

~Diabetic friendly

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes/fasting-safely-with-diabetes.aspx

~Daniel Fast Friendly, and Lent appropriate Dining places

you can pretty much go anywhere you want these days and find a way to order all veggies, however… here are a few restaurants that I suggest simply because… I like them!

-Sweet Tomatoes/ Souplantation

-Hometown Buffet

-Chevy’s (they have vegan black beans and I order their side salad with Santa Fe veggies, black beans and bring my own vegan sprouted grain bread)

these are just a few, however… If you want more suggestions, leave a comment below, and I’ll be happy to provide!

Quick snack pack ideas:

-Pack a can of progresso lentil soup and some vegan sprouted grain bread

-A package of rolled oats and a single serve box of unsweetened almond of soy milk

-Dried fruit and nut packages

-Brown Rice with beans

Quinoa (there are microwave packages you can purchase at Costco)

Looks like I covered all of the basis! From the lists above, y’all should have a pretty good platform to get a good lift off! So, I’ll leave you with this…

Roasted butternut squash with brown rice and beans! (serves 2-3)

-1small butternut squash cubed

-1 can Campbell’s tomato soup

-1/2 can h20

-1 Can red kidney beans

-1 Cup brown rice

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray cookie sheet and place squash on, spreading evenly. Let roast for 15-30 min or until desired consistency. In a saucepan, bring soup and water to a boil add rice, beans… finally… when  all is heated, salt and pepper to taste, pour over squash and serve!

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!