Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Full Day With God

                                                   Fill my days with sunshine bright,
                                                   With flowers in wondrous array -
                                                       Each in it's own colorful hue
                                                      And all in a fragrant bouquet!
                                                    Fill my nights with moonlit skies,
                                                     With stars and the Milky Way -
                                               With a peaceful sleep and rested mind
                                                      To help me greet the new day.
                                                       Fill my hours within each day
                                                        With joy and praise to Thee
                                                    For each and every blessing sent
                                                       From You, dear Lord, to me.
                                             And may I use each minute, each second,
                                                          Throughout the entire day
                                               to share Thy love and peace with those
                                                             I meet along the way!

                                                           Poem by Mary Chevalier

"Guide me in Your truth and teach
me, for You are God my Savior. For
You I wait all the long day, because
of Your goodness, Lord."
Psalm 25:5

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


     As some of you already know, I am vegan. I made the transition very slowly and it's been a year now, yea!  Thank You, Jesus! I became vegan for several reasons. First of all,  I say "STOP" to animal cruelty. Secondly, because I support a "Greener Earth." Thirdly,  because I am a 54 year old woman that until a year ago was experiencing a lot of health issues that kept me going back to doctors, only to hear the same thing, change your diet, change the way you view food, change your dairy, change seasonings, stop eating red meats. It was the same word over and over again, change, change, change. So I decided to change.
     I decided to partake of the 21 day fast, The Daniel Fast, that my church was about to embark on as a New Year's resolution last year.and glory to God, within two weeks into the fast the Lord started showing me the areas of my life that needed change. Not just the physical. But the mental, emotional and spiritual. So today, I can say I feel wonderful and even my skin tone has changed for the better. I joined a gym where I workout 5 days a week, and at 54 I haven't felt better in my entire life. I won't change this new and improved lifestyle for anything in this world!
     It's about going back to basics and making a conscientious effort in adopting a healthier lifestyle. I sleep like a baby, and I have better focus. I enjoy my family more. So no more night sweats, no more acid reflux, or mood swings. No more bad taste in my mouth. It's about a healthier body as the temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. It's about a closer walk with the Lord as He continues to heal me and pour into my life. It's about my seeking Him and His truths in the Scriptures, and enjoying everyday life. It's about living for Jesus!
      Although my amazing husband does not share completely my vegan lifestyle, in the name of Jesus and our marriage vows, he opted to at least eliminate all red meats from his diet. Baby steps! All in all,  he continues to make some very healthy choices now. On the other hand, however, our 15 year old daughter is all for eating healthy. She loves earthy, plant based foods, no meats. Although for now she is only choosing scaled wild caught fish twice a week. I am so very proud of my family, and am grateful to the changes they have made in their lives as they support my health choices. The Lord is doing some pretty wonderful things in this family. He is faithful!
      I also decided that it would be selfish on my part to keep all to myself some really delicious vegan recipes. So at least once a week I will be sharing with you some of my very favorite ones.  Here is my first, simple, easy and delicious recipe. Nothing complicated about this one and it's ready in 30 minutes. So while this is in the oven you can stay busy fixing the rest of your meal. We eat these chips at least 3 times a week. Got some of my "meat eating" friends hooked on the chips, (hehe).
     I serve these as appetizers, snack, and sometimes with my yummy Garbanzo Bean Burgers as a meal.  They go with anything. So without further ado, please welcome my "Broccoli Chips." (some clapping please!)

Broccoli Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop a head of broccoli (do not rinse immediately prior to preparing).
Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic

Place broccoli, garlic, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and a few shakes of sea salt & pepper in a ziploc bag.
Shake it up!

Spread out on a baking sheet, place on top rack of oven, and bake for about 30 minutes. Broccoli will be crunchy and delicious. You can also use kale, as an alternative. 

(Optional) Sprinkle a tbsp of nutritional yeast for that great cheesy flavor. Serve with hummus, or just eat em up plain! If you have some "little people" in your family that are a tad finicky, let me tell you, they will devour these chips in a jiffy! Enjoy!

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:14




     As another day comes to an end, I am thankful for Your provision and protection, and I am humbled by the opportunity to experience Your constant presence.

     I sought to glorify You in all I said and did today. Even as I sleep, I pray my thoughts will be focused on what honors You (Phil. 4:8). Let me wake in the morning refreshed, renewed and transformed with a heart yearning and ready to serve.

     Thank You for extending me Your wisdom and grace. I am grateful for Your unconditional love. How wonderful it is to abide in Your rest.


"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


     Thank You for the blessing of a new morning and the privilege of beginning the day by talking with You. I give You myself and my schedule today, asking to be used to further Your kingdom.

     Grant me the wisdom to handle each situation I encounter with grace so that my speech will be pleasing and my thoughts pure as I follow Your direction. I am grateful that Your plans for me are good (Jer. 29:11), and I trust in Your steadfast faithfulness.

     Help me to live in a manner worthy of the calling You have placed on my life (Eph. 4:1) and to magnify Your name in all things.


"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14



     I finally built up the courage and decided it was time to revisit my dad's favorite park. That special spot under the huge old oak tree by the edge of the lake , that he loved so much. Yes, that quiet tranquil place where he did most of his critical thinking and reflecting on life's little and big intricacies. The same spot where he would sit and feed the ducks as they came wobbling over to gather around him anxiously, in the hope for the morsels of bread dipped in honey. Where he would sit and talk to the ducks squirrels and birds. Where he would sing to them , hum and even whistle his favorite hymns. The very same spot where he sat and enjoyed his favorite chocolate covered vanilla ice-cream sugar cone that he bought from the neighborhood ice-cream truck.
     I am talking about Jay Blanchard Park in Orlando Florida. You see everyone knew him as "brother Freddie." Even ranger Dave would stop occasionally by the huge old oak tree on his way to make his daily rounds through the park for some meaningful, and heartfelt conversation on the different subjects they would engage in. Subjects such as Jesus, salvation, marriage and family. As I made my way through the winding road that led to the heart of the park, I was amazed at how it all looked exactly the same way it did that week before dad went home to be with the Lord. I immediately parked my car in the lot straight across from that huge old oak tree. I just sat there in the car for a few minutes looking over at the park bench, the tree, and of course the ducks. Wow, the ducks were still here, I thought. But then I rationalized that bit of information. It's been two years since I visited the park, perhaps these are not the same family of ducks.

     Dad was working on a nature album and there were all sorts of treasures he had collected on his visits to the park. He had tons of nature pictures, unusual leaves, twigs, dried wildflowers, and even seeds all in a variety of shapes and sizes. I felt an incredible sense of excitement and deep sadness, all at the same time. I sat down on the park bench and closed my eyes, hoping to recapture those easy breezy happy times with dad. I just wanted to relive and enjoy once again the distinctive smells of nature in the air that came wafting through the tree branches as the wind blew east. Then I heard crows, cawing back and forth as if greeting one another.

     I don't know exactly how long I sat there like that, with my eyes closed, but suddenly I was brought back from my reverie to the familiar sounds I so very much loved to hear. There were sounds of cars and motorcycles making their way through the winding road into the park, there was children's laughter as they rang their bike bells. Parents calling out to the children to wait up for them. Somewhere in the distance I could hear the faint sound of the music to "row, row, row your boat" song, and instantly knew the ice-cream truck was headed this way. As I opened my eyes, I noticed bikers riding up and down the bike path, teenagers rollerblading,  mother's pushing strollers, dogs on leashes, and even elderly couples enjoying their morning stroll. And of course, ranger Dave putt putting down the road on his way to his morning rounds through the park. As I am sitting there on the park bench, I recall the many times that dad and I would just sit there taking in the beauty and sounds that surrounded us, neither one uttering a single word. It wasn't because we had nothing to say. There was plenty to say, but you see, my dad and I had an understanding. We both loved nature, and nature was to be observed, appreciated, respected and enjoyed as the good Lord intended it. It was God's creative handiwork we were dealing with here.
     Although dad has gone to his eternal resting place with our God "Elohim", God Creator, he now enjoys the most breathtaking view of beauty beyond our imagination. Exquisite cities of pure gold, rivers as clear as glass, walls made of precious jewels, gates of pearl. Heaven will be lighted not by the sun, but by the glory of God! Heavenly angels singing continuously praises to the Lord! For me remembering dad now is about the wonderful memories me built together. Reminiscing about the good times. Today,  my memories are no longer full of pain and sadness, but memories I welcome wholeheartedly with peace and joy, because I know I will see him again. The Bible teaches us in Tutus 2:13, the blessed hope that just as we will recognize the Lord Jesus, we will also reunite and recognize our loved ones in heaven. What a glorious time that will be! Until then, I sit on the familiar park bench under the old oak tree feeding the ducks, squirrels, and birds talking to them and singing dad's favorite old hymns.

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

These Make a Home

                           The love of parents, dear and true,
                                                To dwell beneath the skies of blue,
                                                 Country meadows, vast and wide,
                                                 The wonder of God's countryside,
                                               Kindness, caring, childhood dreams,
                                                  The happiness of magic scenes...

                                                 Touch of beauty, hopes to keep,
                                                    Confidence, believing reaps,
                                                      Memories we cherish still,
                                                    Valleys deep, a climbing hill,
                                                    Yesterdays we treasured so,
                                                   Sun at dawning, nights aglow...

                                                         Family that's ever dear,
                                                     Happy moments ever near,
                                                 Laughter, sorrow - bits of each,
                                              Pleasures close - some out of reach,
                                                  Togetherness - sometimes alone...
                                                   'Tis all of these make a home.

                                                   Poem by Garnett Ann Schultz

"Happy the chosen ones You bring to dwell in Your
courts. May we be filled with the good things of
Your house, the blessings of Your holy temple!"
     -Psalm 65:5

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14


The Importance of Feeding your Soul

      I believe in the importance of feeding your soul. As a Christian I have had my share of trials and pain in my journey through life. No matter where I go, what I do, or what level of spiritual maturity I am in there will always be some struggle, or some challenge for me to overcome. Jesus warned us in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." If Jesus had trouble in this world, what makes us think we are to live trouble-free lives? As Christians we are to feed our souls on the Word of God. Day and night. And to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV). Jesus did it!
     In Psalms 43:5, the psalmist David says while in deep prayer, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? The Greek translation for cast down is kataballo, which means to be forsaken, prostrate, struck down. The word disquieted means worried, or anxious.  David was clearly feeling troubled and terribly overwhelmed, yet in the same verse he answers himself and goes on to say, "Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God." He is affirming, and acknowledging that God Himself is his source of strength. Some scholars feel that this psalm was written when David was excluded from the temple at the time of Absalom's rebellion. Later in David's reign Absalom took over the kingdom temporarily and David was driven into exile outside of Jerusalem. This psalm reflects a time of deep sadness and frustration. None of us need to think that because we are Christians we will escape times of sadness; they will come. But we need to do something about them.
     When our souls are troubled, and we are feeling weary, and tired, let's practice what the psalmist did. Let's pray. Let's praise and worship our Lord. Let's pour out to our heavenly Father. Let's feed our souls the spiritual food we can only find in God's Word. Psalm 46:1 reads, "God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble."
     The Lord is a safe place where we can find strength and refuge from the storms in our lives. Philippians 4:13 reads, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This was one of the many Scriptures that ministered to my soul during some very trying times in my life. I believe in Psalms 40:1-3, "I waited patiently for the LORD, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and I will trust in the LORD." This Scripture is truly a reminder that we are to wait joyfully and patiently in the Lord, because help is on the way! He is faithful!
     Jeremiah 29:11 reads, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Let's stop grumbling and complaining. When challenges come our way, let's get on our knees and pray.  God has a plan, a divine plan for each and everyone of us. Sweet communion with God is a holy, blessed, and quiet place that we can enjoy as we fellowship with our Father, and we can feast on the benefits of His Word as we feed our souls. Philippians 4:8 reads, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." Let's find peace for our souls in this Scripture, as we infuse our spirit with the Word of God.  We can experience peace and joy in the midst of our trials. God knows exactly what our days hold, and He is always willing and able to sit at the table and fellowship with us.

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
2 Corinthians 13:14