Christian or Nah?

Spent a lot of time reading today, and one particular thought kept recurring through my head as I read this post by a “Christian” and that blog by an “nonbeliever” and a tweet by a “Christian who is a professional” and then an article by a “self proclaimed heathen” and so on…

Observation for today: If you call yourself a Christian, yet mock those who have overcome failures and defeat, focus more on race, politics and cultural agendas, and create division rather than unity by your words and/or actions,

what is setting you apart from the world??

…and if we are not set apart from the world, why would “they” want anything we have?

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Queen or Slave?

How are you feeling today?

Do you live like a queen or a slave?

A queen has rights, responsibilities and rightful ownerships.

A slave has excuses, exemptions and evictions.

A queen has power, personality and principles.

A slave has pity, problems and polysemy.

A queen makes choices, has character and a conscience.

A slave has disdain, degradation and disrespect.

A queen is never a victim, but rather a product of the chosen one she has become.

A slave is always a victim, never realizing her justification for hate and sin destroys her potential, her dreams, and her future.

Fight to win the victory.

Stand with royalty and honor.

Walk in the queenship you’ve been given.

1 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Life: It’s a Process

I was walking down the back staircase of a hospital when I saw this mural. My husband chuckled when I stopped my descent to take a pic, but when told him it would be for a blog, he totally got it, because he’s amazing like that.

To every challenge, every improvement, every healing, every victory, there has to be a process of steps to bring you to that positive outcome. Courage, strength, endurance, recovery and accomplishing goals don’t just happen miraculously or overnight. There are always steps involved, and sometimes, those necessary steps have to be taken meticulously and can even be excruciating.

However, if you are willing to put forth the time, effort and tenacity to take them, you can reach your goal, and you can shout your victory!

Tuesday Treats #166

Tastebuds Sweet Treats & Ice Cream

Location: Pace, Fl.

If you are in the Milton/Pace/Pensacola area, this place is tasty. (See what I did there. Lol.) I have to say, I’ve been to a place in Fairhope, Al (you can find the name), and I do like it much better. However, if Fairhope is just too far to travel, and you’re dying for a creative milkshake, this place will hit the spot.

I ordered the Pecan Lovers, and although, I wasn’t crazy about the butter pecan ice cream they mix in, I absolutely loved the pecan pie tart and pecans on top! They even warmed the pie; so, it was scrumptious!! Our party ordered the Chocolate Delight, the Unicorn (with a twist) and the ‘Nana Puddin’ shakes. Each one of them were created beautifully, and each person enjoyed them.

You do get to keep your jar, too. 😉

Here’s the website to see what they offer.

**A few disclaimers: (1) this place is locally owned and operated; so, if you’ve been to Fairhope, please, know it will be similar but on a much smaller scale; (2) if you have but allergies, they are most likely not equipped to serve your needs properly (We had 2 in our party, and although, the worker tried to convince us she could do it, without guaranteeing non-cross-contamination; however, after the discussion, those in our party knew it was better to not try it, because the risk was too high.); (3) They don’t have a sink to clean the jars that you’re taking home, but you do get a bag to put it in.

Be the Fire

No one said this life would be fair. No one said you’d always walk along a path of daisies and roses. Sometimes, life just stinks, and you have to live through the pain and agony it presents.

Sometimes, this life is going to be set on fire, and you’ve got to decide whether you’re going to grab a bucket and put out the flames , stand your ground and walk through the blaze, or lie down and become the ashes. The choice is yours, and no one can make that choice for you.

You can be destroyed in the fire, or you can slow it to refine you, strengthen you and teach you. If you decide to lie down and allow it to consume, you must know that your life may not be the only one that is devoured. There may be children, grandchildren, friends and family. Often, we do not realize, we stand as a shield for those coming behind.

If you choose to walk through, the road may not be easy, and it may get hotter and more strenuous before it gets better, but there is one who promises you will not be diminished from the inferno.

His name is Jesus.

And He loves you.

With God by your side, the flames may lick at your being, and the temperatures may rise beyond comfortable, but YOU WILL MAKE IT. He will walk beside you. He will guide you, and when needed, He will carry you.

Give Him a chance. He will not disappoint. He is able. He is faithful. He is true, and His promises are unbreakable…inflammable…in-consumable.

When you choose to walk through the flames with Him, you become resilient to the wildfires. You become a pillar of stone that cannot be singed. You become the firefighter who rescues others from the flames.

Grief: It is a Process of Pain

One of the best articles I’ve read lately in grief is this one. If you are grieving due to anything other than a physical loss, such as divorce, abuse, neglect or estrangement, this article may not bring much healing to you, because your circumstances yield a much different needed response. However, if you’ve lost a loved one, and you’re walking through this painful journey, you may find some comfort and encouragement as you read through this widow’s pages.

Grief: Authenticity is Healing

Be real while you grieve. Let the tears flow. Let the thoughts ponder. Let the grief run through your veins like a cold hard rain that just won’t stop.

Grief is never easy. It is never fun, or full of laughter or delightful. Honestly, grief sucks. Grief can make you feel like running far, far away or hiding in a corner until everyone is gone. Grief can even make you feel like crawling into that casket and being buried right alongside that person you’ve lost.

All those emotions, fears, anger, doubt and pain, it all comes with the territory of grief. It’s not a joy-ride, and it’s really not for the weak and whiny. Those who succeed best through the traumas of grief are those who allow those feelings to glow like rain. Those who live through grief and are able to help someone else through the same storm are those who allow themselves to be real and never try to live up to someone else’s expectations or demands on the grief.

Those who become stronger because of the grief are those who, while their hearts are being ripped from their very being, extend a look of compassion to someone else who is hurting, reach out with a gentle hand to wipe away a tear from someone else’s cheek whose heart is ripped out, too.

These are the heroes of grief. They are not mighty pillars of stoic strength, never shedding a tear. They are not mindless minions, never feeling, never crying, never screaming from the pain. They are simply common, ordinary people who have chosen not to cause someone else pain because of their own, but rather, they have chosen to be a wounded warrior, linking arms with the fallen and helping him to safety while their own body is ravished from the bullet wounds of agony and pain.

Grief: Learning to Live

Grief isn’t fair. Grief isn’t gentle. Grief isn’t considerate, or gracious, or kind…or any of those nice words, really. Grief stinks. And that’s an understatement.

Grief makes you want to stop time, remove yourself from it, and retract minutes from eternity. It makes you want to return to simpler days, days where there were less cares, less tears, less pain.

Yet, life doesn’t work that way. Time moves on with or without you. The clock, living and breathing, keeps ticking until your heart doesn’t.

Demanding that it be any different is just as foolish as if I were to say, “I’m going to hold my breath until the sky turns green.” Demanding it to be different only causes you more pain, more regrets and more agony. Demanding others to remain stuck there with you only causes them more sorrow for the loss, more bitterness for your constraints and can even cause a dwarfism in growth for both you and them.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:4 says, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, “(there is) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

Time is the constant, grief is the variable and choice is the solvent in this equation called life. We can choose to drown in the river of grief and loss or dance in the torrential rains of grace.

Does the choice to dance make the journey through grief disappear? No. Does the choice to dance make the hours shorter or the days brighter? Maybe, maybe not. What I can assure you is when your perspective is focused on the dance more than the pain, it does make the burden a bit lighter, and it will cause the healing come in a bit stronger.

Dancing in the rain never dissipates the raindrops, and it never removes the moisture from your drenched hair and skin, but it surely will enable you to see the rainbow beyond the clouds.

I ask you, “What will you choose today?”

Tuesday’s Treats #165

Foggy Bottom BBQ

Location: Lawrenceville, Ga

Purely by accident did we end up here, and I’m so glad we did! We were attending an event down the road, and we had just a little while before the lunch hour was over. We knew we didn’t have time for our usual restaurant eating on the square, but we thought maybe bbq would be fast, and the place looked cool from the outside. So, we decided to give it a shot. Everything was amazing!

The pics are not wonderful, and my apologies. BBQ doesn’t usually lend itself to beautiful playing, unless maybe, you’ve gotten ribs plated by a chef. Lol. What is lacked in visual appeal, they definitely make up for in taste, quality and quantity. Oh. My.

The fried pickles appetizer is perfect. There about 6 pickles in the basket, and they’ve been tossed in a flour/cornmeal batter; so, be ready for the crunch! They’re also blazing hot; so, don’t blister the top of you mouth, as I did!

The brisket signature was amazing! The Texas toast, brisket piled high, and topped with a spicy pimento cheese was delicious and so filling, I couldn’t finish it all. The sides are just as good and plentiful. I got the fried okra and Mac and cheese. Others in our party got the turkey sandwich, the pulled pork, and the chicken sandwich. I can’t remember all their sides; some had baked beans and fried, but all of it was delicious! We will definitely be back!

Here’s the website for directions and menu items.

Grief: Learning to Breathe

Learning to BREATHE AGAIN is a normal process of grieving. Grief can be caused by so many variants. It can come from the loss of a physical being through death, both tragic or long-term illness. It can be from divorce, tragedy or abuse. It can even be from a severance of relationship due to danger or destruction.

I do not claim to have all the answers to this process of learning how to breathe again when grief invades. I do not claim to have all the knowledge afforded to those much older, wiser, and more experienced than I. However, I would like to point you to one resource I have found, and I believe it can help you on your journey with grief.

This resource, coupled with my personal faith in Jesus Christ, and intertwined with a host of leaders in my life, is helping me to learn the process of healing and enabling me to share a newfound hope with others…

Shameless Shout-out: I have begun listening more to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on XMRadio, and I just love her no-nonsense truth speaking! I appreciate how she deals with problems, people and the process of living. She gives incredible advice on grief, love, emotions, people, life, in general, and so much more!

Sometimes, when you are walking through the journey of grief, you need others to help you along the way. Sometimes, you need professionals who can give you proper perspective and appropriate approaches to this new you, this new life and this new “normal” you will encounter once grief enters your world. Sometimes, you’ll need to start listening to someone smarter than you, in order to simply learn to breathe again.

Dr. Laura is someone I would recommend to add to your resources, as you begin this journey of learning to breathe again, and as you walk this path of grief. The following pics are from her Instagram page. I encourage you to find her on any social media site, as well as, on XMRadio (Triumph 111) and start listening!

If you are a person who doesn’t just want to cope for the rest of your life, but you want to learn to breathe, to walk, to run, to even fly, listen to her and to people like her. If you are a person who appreciates self-improvements and learning how to deal with challenging situations and people, you will not be disappointed!

*Disclaimer: I am not recommending her as a spiritual advisor or counselor, as she never claims to be a pastor, teacher or even Christian instructor. She is simply a truth speaker who is not afraid of confrontation or spouts of emotional outburst and will “tell it like it is,” no matter the situation, conflict or difficult outcome that may result from the truth being told.