Archive for the ‘health’ Category


After spending the weekend feeling discouraged and fearful, I decided that I would focus on finding little blessings throughout the day.  As I found things, I would text them to my husband.  Blessing #1:  the ability to text so I can stay in touch with Josh all day.  Blessing #2: God provided lunch at work, etc.  The discouragement and fear were beginning to be replaced with peace and joy, that is, until I received a phone call.  A doctor’s office called informing me of a medical bill that I had no idea I even had.  They were very unsympathetic to my surprise, all they cared about was when they would receive payment.

“God, really?  I’m trying to do the right thing here by not grumbling and complaining.  What’s this all about?  Why can’t we get a break?”

In the quietness of the moment, God answered, “What about the commitment you made this morning about be thankful for the blessings?”

“Yes, BLESSINGS, not more bad news!”  I complained.  “You know we’ll never be able to pay this!  We can’t even buy a roll of paper towels!” (fact, not exaggeration)

“But who’s to say that I didn’t just give you a blessing?”  God challenged.

“What?” I retorted, but then I stopped and thought about it.  Our helpless situation required a miracle, and the only one that could perform the miracle was God.  There was the blessing.  I would be able to see God provide for us in a way that only he could do!  Through this my faith would be strengthened.

Quite humbled and filled with gratitude, I responded, “You’re right, God, this bill and this situation is a blessing.  No matter what, I will praise you.”

That night, my husband and I shared with our children the situation that we were in and our commitment to give thanks in all things.  As our kids prayed asking God to meet our needs, they also made sure they thanked him for all that he has given.

Sometimes blessings come in disguises, we just need to have a different perspective.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)


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ripe orange with leaves on white backgroundA few weeks ago, I was all excited about 2015 and all the mystery surrounding a new year, but for whatever reason, the excitement vanished.  Instead, the year loomed before me as a deep bottomless pit with no hope.  As the joy of the holidays subsided and the reality of 2 ½ weeks of no work, no pay (not by choice) sunk in, so did the fear and frustration.  Why can’t we ever move forward?  Why are we always in a continual backward motion?  With 6 mouths to feed our stash of food was quickly dwindling and the cravings were growing (No, not pregnant cravings).

After all the junk food and sweets of the holidays, we all wanted fruit, veggies, and meat.  “God, can you please provide some fruit, veggies, and meat?  We all need this.”  I simply asked.

Not aware of our need, my mom went to the glean to gather some food.  A glean is where people pick up day old food from grocery stores and bring them to one location.  Everyone who helps out, can pick out any food for free.  My mom helps out with one and she often brings all sorts of goodies to us.  On this day, she stopped by our house with a box of oranges, veggies, meat, and bread!

I am so thankful that I belong to God, my father and provider!  He shows his love for me even through an orange.

You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.   – Matthew 7:9, 10 (NLT)

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maggiano's December 12 Countdown –

Along with all the donations of clothing, one community group really wanted to be responsible for providing the food for the December 12 Christmas Extravaganza for the homeless.  A week ago, I received a phone call from one of the men who was organizing it.  He said that he ordered meals from Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant!    For those of you who aren’t familiar with Maggiano’s, it’s a very popular place out here in Seattle – absolutely wonderful food.

In the course of ordering the food, Maggiano’s asked what the food was for.  After the man explained about this special event, Maggiano told him not to worry about payment, they would like to provide this for free and will throw in some extra!

God provides for every detail!

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life is short coffee

One of the perks of being an admin. for a pastor is that I get to clean my boss’ coffee cup which I am staring at right now.   After many times of washing it, I have finally stopped to read the words on it:

Coffee Break, n. 1) a break from life for coffee, a pause, etc. 2) an oasis in a sea of insanity 3) five minutes alone 4) fifteen minutes with a friend 5) a moment < Starbucks

Something about this just struck me, I guess maybe it was the concept of time and how we all need more of it. What if we did get more time, what would we do with it?  Would we stop to have a cup of coffee, and I mean really enjoy it just for the heck of it, not a grab, run, go? Would we use the extra time to just sit with a friend and share life, or curl up with that book we swear we’re going to read someday, or maybe just do nothing but stare at the nature around us?  Somehow I doubt it, with the addition of more time we would add longer working hours in order to obtain financial stability so that way we could someday enjoy more time.  We humans don’t make sense.

This past week I’ve been listening (yes, listening) to the book, The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston. In it he explains that one of the reasons people lose hope is because they are doing too much.  Hope gets lost in the busyness of life.  More people suffer from stress related illness than any other illness.  Do you feel like you lack hope in your life?  If so, reevaluate your priorities and give yourself that needed coffee break!  Who knows, that  brief oasis may just give you more time.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. –  James 4:14 (NLT)


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“Father, will you catch me?” I implored God back in October. What I didn’t mention in my post at the time was what prompted my pleadings with him. It has been, well, I don’t really know how to describe the last few months, maybe a grieving period with a hope towards a different kind of future.

To make a long story short, let me just summarize- last spring we were introduced to a group of people, who I now lovingly refer to as Issaquah’s hidden treasures. This group consists of drug-addicted teens and homeless youth. They are a rough bunch, very distrusting. We call them the Trail Kids because they all hang out at a trail across from the highschool. My husband and I “fell in love” with them and God ignited within our hearts a passion to make a difference in their lives. This led us to the ultimate leap of faith that we’ve ever had to make.

My husband resigned as pastor of our church that we had started 10 years ago. We exchanged the comforts of a steady income for financial instability. Feelings were mixed about our decision to help these kids, some thought we were crazy and distanced themselves from us, while others thought we were heroes of faith. All I know is that God led us into this new life and I am so thankful for it.

I wish I could say that I was strong and never wavered, but that’s not true. There were scary moments when our heat ran out during the coldest week of winter and our family had to huddle together to keep warm. It was difficult watching the fuel in our car go below the level and praying that we would make it to wherever we needed to be. For the first time in our marriage, it was humbling to call our bill companies, and tell them that we could not pay. Through all of this, though, God kept our food stocked. This was extremely important for our diabetic daughter. He made sure that we never had to worry about that. On top of just surviving, we both struggled with grief. Grieving for the loss of our church, the loss of friends, and the loss of stability. I have been thrown into utter confusion with the newness of everything – new church, new job (after 15 years of not working to now having a job), new friends, and a whole new ministry in which I know very little about. With all of this change, I’ve struggled with putting two sentences together to make a coherent thought. All I could do, was to write down my random conversations with God as I tried to make sense of everything. After 7 months, God provided a job for me and a part-time subbing job for my husband. Even though things are still financially tight, we are hopeful. Grief has subsided as hope and love for these young people have grown.

I invite you to follow my journey and join me in laughter and tears as we enter into this territory of drug-addiction and homelessness. For more information on the new outreach that my husband and I, and 3 others have started, go to http://www.thetrailyouth.com/info.

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Several hours later, the doctor stood before three men who claimed responsibility for the sick woman. Wishing to be on his way home from an exhausting night, the doctor quickly shared the results from the CT scans and blood work. “She’s malnourished and underweight. The 104 fever is caused by pneumonia in both lungs.”

“Will she die?” Ze’ev asked genuinely concerned, not for her sake but for his. He was afraid that the goddess Shakti would reclaim her promise of wealth if Adi died.

“Don’t know. We’ll have to just wait and see if she’s strong enough to fight off the
infection. She’s so malnourished that it is highly doubtful that she’ll be able to pull
through.” The doctor paused looking at the three men. The trio was silent. “If there are no questions, I’ll be on my way. Another doctor will check on her later tonight.”

As soon as the physician left, Ze’ev turned to the two men and gave them a cold, hard stare

“She wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for you,” he accused.

Thomas looked nervously at Matthew who now stood in human form. Matthew’s
eyebrow arched, “I’m trying to save her from who you work for.”

Ze’ev gave a nervous laugh, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I love her and you best keep away, Ambassador.”

A spark of anger flickered in Matthew’s eyes, “You love her? Come now, Ze’ev, let’s be honest here. What did Rasha promise you – power, wealth, fame if you marry her?”

Ze’ev flared at the accusation. Taking a step toward Matthew, he threatened, “How dare you accuse me of these things! You need to leave here at once or else…”

“Or else what, Ze’ev?” Matthew closed the gap between them and stood towering over the smaller man. Ze’ev was no match for Matthew’s strength. Ze’ev faltered, taking several steps back. “Don’t pretend to care for Adi when I know the truth!
As for leaving, I’m staying right here.” To emphasize his point, Matthew crossed to the other side of the bed. He pulled a chair closer to the bed, and sat down, clasping Adi’s frail hand in his larger protective one.

Ze’ev glared, sat down in the other chair, and grabbed Adi’s other hand. Both men sat in silence, staring at one another. Thomas left muttering about finding another chair.

There were more than just four beings in the room. Dagon and Shakti hovered behind Ze’ev while glaring and taunting Michael and Gabriel, who stood with swords poised and ready to defend.

“You’re a fool, Ambassador, to think that Adi will ever choose your Prince,” Ze’ev

Growing weary of the taunts of Dagon, Shakti, and Ze’ev, Matthew looked
up with all authority and demanded, “In the name of Prince Joshua, I command you to be silent.”

Startled, Ze’ev fell back into his chair, unable to speak. Upon hearing the
name of Joshua being spoken, Dagon and Shakti trembled, making a hasty retreat into the far corner of the room.

Exchanging amused glances with one another, Michael and Gabriel felt a surge of pride for their King, their Prince, and their Ambassador.

…to be continued…

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A sharp rap sounded on the motel’s door startling Thomas. Jumping up from where he sat, he moved cautiously toward the door. Opening it slightly, he was able to make out a man in the moonlight. “Yes?” he questioned suspiciously eyeing the man dressed in a navy blue polo shirt and khaki pants.

“I must speak with the Ambassador,” the man stated crisply. Everything about his manner and posture spoke of being a military man. `

Thomas stared at the muscular man with suspicion, “Who’s asking?”


Thomas waited for more information, but seeing that the man was not going to offer any explanation, he humphed and closed the door. A few seconds passed when the door reopened.

“Gabriel, come in, quickly!” Matthew urgently waved Gabriel in.

Once Gabriel passed through the doorway, Matthew made a quick glance about the dark parking lot making sure that no one was lurking in the shadows. Satisfied, he shut the door and turned to face the messenger.

“Sir.” Gabriel gave a respectful bow to Matthew.

“You must have orders from the King,” Matthew stated.

“Yes, sir. Michael has been sent specifically to watch over Adi.”

Matthew nodded, “Good, good. Tell Michael that he needs to stay close to her, but not to interfere. She needs to make the choice, he is to just keep her safe.”

“Yes, sir. Michael wishes me to inform you that she has spent the day with that man, Ze’ev. He has offered for her to spend the night.”

“Yes, I knew he would.” Sighing, Matthew paced back and forth in deep thought. Gabriel stood attentively watching his commander.

Thomas looked at both men, confused. He desperately wanted to be a part of the conversation. Before he could think, he blurted, “Well, that could be a good thing! At least Rasha hasn’t found Adi!”

Matthew stopped in his pacing and looked squarely at Thomas, “A good thing? Do you have any idea who Ze’ev is?”

Thomas shrank regretting his outburst, “No, sir.”

“Ze’ev is a con man, a deceiver. He’s a master at manipulating people. Everything he does is to benefit himself. So, how is it a GOOD thing for Adi to be with Ze’ev, Thomas?”

Completely embarrassed, Thomas mumbled, “It’s not.”

“No, it’s not. Adi is in a vulnerable position to be deceived by Ze’ev.”

Gabriel cleared his throat, “If I may interject, sir, a meeting between Rasha and Ze’ev was observed the day before Ze’ev met up with Adi.”

Anger fickered in Matthew’s eyes, “I’m aware of the meeting. It’s quite clear that Rasha wants Ze’ev to lure Adi into marriage.”

“Why would a man like Ze’ev want to marry a girl like Adi?” Thomas quietly asked.

“Like I said before, Ze’ev will do anything that will benefit himself. Rasha loves to promise people wealth and power. He tells them that they can be creators of their own destinies, they are responsible to no one. I’m sure that he gave quite a compelling speech to Ze’ev, promising him all these things if he would marry Adi!” Matthew shook his head in disgust.

Thomas’ eyes widened with understanding, “Rasha doesn’t want Adi to marry the Prince because then he loses control over her. He also knows that this would inflict great pain upon Joshua if Adi rejects him, and also it will ultimately destroy Adi!”

“Precisely, Thomas, now you see why she is in danger. We’ve got to show her the truth that’s the only way she will be set free from Rasha’s deception.”

Thomas humphed, “Isn’t that ironic? Ze’ev is deceiving Adi, and yet, he himself is being deceived!”

Matthew sadly nodded, “We hope that in the process of rescuing Adi, Ze’ev, too, will come to see the truth!”

“Ambassador, Michael says that Ze’ev will be taking Adi to the play The Goddess of Soteria tomorrow night at the Emerald Theatre on the boulevard.” Gabriel informed.

Matthew nodded deep in thought. “Gabriel, tell Michael that I will be there at the play. During the intermission it is imperative that I speak to Adi alone. He needs to distract Ze’ev as well as Rasha’s other men who have also been following Adi. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sir, what may I tell the King about the Prince?”

Matthew quietly responded, “The King already knows. It is His plan.”

Gabriel hesitated, agony filling his vivid blue eyes, “May we protect the Prince?”

“Absolutely not. Did Joshua summon you? Did the King send you to him? No, they didn’t. The contract with Adi must be fulfilled without any interference, do you understand?” Matthew snapped.

“Yes, sir.” Gabriel crisply responded.

Softening his tone, Matthew laid a gentle hand on his messenger’s arm, “We are all grieving. It is difficult not to protect the one we love, but we must remember that all things will work together for good.”

A tear gathered in Gabriel’s eye, “Yes, sir.” he whispered, swallowing hard.

Matthew stiffened, once again becoming authoritative, “Now, go. Give the orders to Michael and report to King Penuel.”

“Yes, sir!” Gabriel saluted, clicked his heels, and quickly vanished into the night.

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