google imageThis past week has been an incredibly difficult one. The desperation and brokenness some are suffering with is becoming heavy to bear.  So many who battle physical ailments, addictions or mental issues.  The cancer rate is staggering.  A little 11-year-old girl’s body has been invaded  by this vile diagnosis.

We have had stories of the abuse some are enduring now and some who have had it in their past.  Suffering with abuse causes much anguish whether it is sexual, physical and emotional.  The unbelievable amount of those caught up in sex trafficking is staggering. This is the new form of slavery! If we fight against slavery we must fight against slavery in the sex industry!  Seeing more and more the perversion of the world can cause me to become totally expended. causing feelings of hopelessness.

As I recalled the incidents that were troubling me, I began to sing…

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

As I sang it over and over, I could feel God touching my spirit and drawing me close to him. What comfort I began to feel.

There is assurance in Christ that HE IS in the middle of all our darkness.  God IS unchanged in His Goodness and Love. His Sweet mercy and truth extends far beyond the contamination of this world and beyond any bounds of our wasted lives.

While we know there is more beyond what this world can offer, we still long to have someone jump in the middle with us to help bear the burdens we carry.  This is exactly what being a Christian is all about!  We put on the Hands and Feet of Jesus and walk in the shoes of another to help in their struggle.

This isn’t about going to church, teaching a Sunday school class or having a theology degree, this is about being and doing -Jesus- This is our only hope in reaching others.linen-paper

And though the evil around me may feel like I am drowning, I will still beg out to God for healing, rescue and deliverance for those who are struggling.

Having the heart knowledge that HE is in the middle of our battle and there is NO darkness!

google search Just to add to what I have copied, when you ask the Narcissist to have a meeting with all parties involved – they will not do it! They DO NOT want to be confronted about their lies. Some studies say that N’s cannot change that it is a brain problem. The N that is in our life, I believe does what she does to purposely hurt. It has to be all about her.
PLEASE BE AWARE! THEY ARE DANGEROUS!

“Beware of people who “Drive Under the Influence of a Narcissist” (DUIN). They are as dangerous as the Narcissist. They are drunk on lies and not safe for close association. ” This sounds exactly what we are dealing with!

“Almost by definition, narcissists don’t care. We wonder if they have the ability to care about others. Yet, they cannot move forward in the relationships they need without convincing people that they do care. So narcissists learn to do what it takes.

I believe that narcissists are some of the most practical people we will ever meet. Because they are actually quite free of emotional ties, they are able to look at situations without the same complications we experience. That ability gives them freedom to make quick and strong decisions and to make difficult decisions.joy

Who can look on the employees of a small business and choose which has to be let go because of the budget cuts? The narcissist can, and without consideration of the employee’s needs or tenure. The decision will be practical and ruthless. But it can’t look that way or the other employees might cause problems. The thinking narcissist will feign a struggle, let everyone know how difficult the choice was, and even shed a tear or two. Of course, if you watch carefully, the narcissist will look bigger and better because of the phony struggle. None of it will be about the employee.  joy-2

Emotions are useful to the narcissist. She/He knows that the way into the heart of another person is through connected emotions.She/He will be upset about some injustice with those who are feeling abused. She will be attentive and loving with those who need a friend. I have found narcissists to be some of the best listeners in my life, accepting and instantly grasping my own feelings. But all of this is an act. The same narcissists who have been so gracious in times of need will produce much greater struggles for their victims in the future.

Understand that emotions are risky for the narcissist. If she/he cannot control his/her feelings, she/he may reveal the weakness he knows himself to have. She/He will betray the image if they are not careful. So the narcissist learns early not to cry, not to express too much enthusiasm, not to hope. They cannot look weak. They must be in control. Even the covert narcissist, who seems much more willing to express vulnerability, will share only those emotions that will be useful in relationships. They might cry, a lot, and they might show fear or anxiety or disappointment; but all of that will be for the purpose of manipulating those around them.”

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Ever thought ‘If I could just get a break!” So many times we think it is the ‘Big Break’ that will ‘Open the Door’ to success in life. Or maybe because we came from ‘The wrong side of the Tracks’ is what we blame for holding us back. Maybe blame the family you were born in or ‘I’m the black Sheep’ philosophy. ‘If only’… things had been different in my life… Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas is almost here and this is a sure favorite!  This is always a crowd favorite.  Our Amish friends in Indiana served this to us and I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

Salted Toffee Pretzel Bark
• 1 bag mini pretzels (at least 4 or 5 cups)
• 1 cup butter (not margarine)
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
• Sea salt (if desired)
1. Line 11 x 17 cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Cover the bottom with a layer of pretzels.
3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a full boil. Stir continually.
4. Pour slowly over the pretzels.
5. Place in a 350° oven for 8 minutes, or until bubbly all over.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
7. Let sit for a minute to melt the chocolate.
8. Then smooth chocolate surface with a spatula.
9. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
10. Cool to room temperature.
11. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden chocolate topping. Or lift out of pan onto a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter to make bars.
12. Remove from the pan and break into bite sized portions.

 

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Josh Duggar’s 2nd news event -pornography & affair is called the “Scandal of the year.” Absolutely horrible but would not have been newsworthy for someone else. This is normal behavior for many men.  The media’s intention was not so much to attack Josh Duggar.  This was clearly done with intention to be an attack on Christianity.

Yet Caitlyn Jenner is “Person of the Year” & Glamour Mag. “Woman of the Year.” If Bruce wants to be Caitlyn, fine but giving an award for it is messed up! Plus, how can you be Woman of the Year, when you haven’t been a “woman” for a year?

As twisted as Bruce Jenner is and Josh Duggar has obviously sinned wrong –  this is nothing in comparison to what is about to be unleashed. The scripture is very clear.  Gal. 6: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

I worry about America.

….And who doesn’t love a Crunchy Cheesecake! One of our favorite restaurants that moved into Lexington, Ky around 1998 was –Up The Creek- This was the first time my husband and I eaten a dessert of Fried Cheesecake. We immediately fell in love with it! They also had a sandwich that was Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Oh my, every night this was what I ate for weeks!

 

 

Fried Cheesecake

• 3 -8 oz. Cream Cheese
• 2/3 c. sugar
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 c. vegetable oil
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 15-20 small flour tortillas
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• SAUCE
• 1 lb. strawberries, diced
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1/8 c. water
• 1/8 c. strawberry preserves

cheesecakechimichanguasDirections:
1. For the sauce: In a medium sauce pan, add the strawberries, sugar, water, and place on low to medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Using a potato smasher, smash the strawberries while in the sauce pan. Add the strawberry preserves and allow to simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes OR until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese; add the sugar, and vanilla. Take a flour tortilla and add about a spoonful and a half of the cream cheese mixture and spread in the middle of the tortilla. Begin to roll the tortilla away from you; half way through tuck in the sides; and roll to the end of the other side of the tortilla making a roll. Complete the process until all of the cream cheese mixture is gone.
3. In a large sauce pan on medium heat (make sure it isn’t too high) heat the vegetable oil. Add a couple of the tortillas to the pan seam side up. Allow to fry for 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon remove from oil once it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.
4. Using a pastry brush swipe each tortilla with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, and allow to cool before serving. Use the strawberry sauce for dipping.
Please note: Allow to cool before serving. The tortilla will remain crunchy even after cooled.  I prefer the cinnamon be left out of the recipe but that is a personal choice.  Enjoy!

 

I have been noticing more and more some disheartening actions among people who claim to follow Christ. We recite our Bible verses about turning the other cheek and not retaliating evil for evil and think we have it. When it comes to things that personally affect us or our family, we do away with the “turn the other cheek” and suddenly an “eye for an eye” becomes our theme.

There is a tendency in all of us to think having the “right” beliefs (religious, political, outlook, theory) or following a certain set of rules, gives us a free pass to act like a nitwit. Some will learn how to refrain and some will always force their jerk-face attitude on others.

Voting for certain candidates is not a justification for being offensive and saying derogatory things about political opponents. Obeying all the rules that we have set for our life does not give us a free pass to treat people harshly who do not agree with us. How we respond to people is how we respond to Jesus. “For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matt. 25:35-36

Our reality of, “I am right” is not an excuse to treat another person like garbage.

Regardless of what others may do to us, whether a minor offense like cutting us off in traffic or something major like, stabbing us in the back when we gave all we could to help them ―we do not treat them with love because their actions merit that we do ―We treat them with love because Christ told us to. And HE will reward us. Be assured God will not bless when purposeful actions are taken against His Children.

When we take into our hands to “get them back” then the scripture “Vengeance Is Mine….I will repay” may never come to fruition. God may say, ―You took care of it―  How much better do you think God could handle it than we ourselves? When God judges or chastises it is much more effective.

If accepting Christ does not transform our heart, our behavior, and our actions then it is time for self-examination. This life-changing effect should be evident most in how we react to those who disagree with us, are not of the same social or political status, or those who just blatantly wronged us. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Our flesh tells us to treat them the way they deserve by their actions but we are to treat people the way Christ treated us.

Jesus, who was innocent and perfect in every way, gave His life in place of all humanity that was guilty. When confronted with his executioners, He cried out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” After all of horrendous actions that had been done to Him, He had every right to choose retaliation…

Our salvation is not based on our behavior or our obedience of all the rules. But our salvation should change our heart thus changing our behavior. We are saved because we trusted Christ and nothing we can do on our own will get us to Heaven. Simply trusting Him.

We can follow all the rules, attend church every time the doors are open, write books about salvation, or have all the colleges give us Honoree Doctorate degrees but if we treat others like jerks

Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt. 5:4

  As Christians, we were not intended to live in agreement with the way the world views right and wrong. I have a renewed desire to be a known as someone of peace in a violent world. Someone of forgiveness in a society full of hate and anger. I pray that God’s people will take a stand, together as a community, to loudly declare the Gospel that Christ gave His Life for us to have. What has happened to many who claim to have been set apart for the gospel of Christ?

As Christians, death no longer has a hold of fear for us because we know that death is not our final destination. Everyday we learn anew how to trust God for our every need because He already knows all of our needs even before we ask. We should have no desire to be defined by our looks, our wealth, our belongings, or our importance in society but to be known as a follower of Christ.  A follower of the One who gave all He had …for us. Oh what peace in knowing that He will never take His love away from us. Nothing that we will face in this world can take away the inheritance we have in Christ.

God did not send His Son to make us more religious but to teach us how to pattern our life after Jesus. Jesus allowed himself to be subjected to all the darkness, evil, and violence of this world… and yet He triumphed over it.  God loves us so much and He will give us victory over all the tragedies and sufferings we have to endure.  He has given us eternal life that death cannot shake and Living Water that will always satisfy our thirst. He is our Bread of Life and only He can fill our hunger.

We must take a stand and be a voice for those who can not speak or an advocate for those who have been abandoned and ignored by society. We must take a stand for those who battle with depression, anxiety, and all mental illnesses to help with their feelings of being broken. 

We no longer search to find help for the poor, the widow, the orphan, or the mentally ill.  We seek the approval of the affluent and the powerful.  Something is wrong. So very wrong.

Why are we allowing the Gospel of Christ to become so watered down?  We make an appearance to church on Sunday and we believe that will take care of the idols we have been living by and with during the week. We want to quote stirring and uplifting quotes we have heard yet we never pick up the Word He left for us.

Why don’t we look like him? Why aren’t we known by our love, our self-sacrificing life, our compassion? When we are as fearful of tomorrow and materialistic as everyone else, when His love no longer permeates our lives and hearts, something is wrong. God will not be a counterfeit God.

Do we believe God is impressed with us because we did attend church and we always make charitable contributions by giving to the poor at Christmas time. We are meant to be strangers in this land but instead too many of us are becoming willing participants in it. We find it more appealing to follow the world’s rules than to live the life of complete surrender. Our treasures are not to be laid up in this land where we don’t belong but in heaven where we will live for eternity.

We are getting a strong sense of security…where we don’t belong.

    http://www.decortoadore.net/2012/10/day-28.html

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”  –Thich Nhat Hanh

My Self Description:

  • I  am a nurturer.
  • I am uncomfortable accepting praise and will usually deflect it to praise someone else.
  • It is hard for me to say no and will usually do whatever it takes to make things happen for other people when asked.
  • I am over-apologetic even when it is not necessary or not my fault.

When I say that I need to love myself, I’m not implying to be the prideful, worldly type of loving oneself, I’m talking about an idea of being grateful and appreciating the person who God made. The worldly type of loving myself is where I am not prideful and arrogant. Since I am and have been surrounded with and was brought up in a family of a long list of narcissists who always blames others for their actions, I was overcompensating by going the opposite direction. The type of loving myself I am talking about is based upon humility and thankfulness. The two could not be more different!

Here are some things I am working on and am learning.  Do you see yourself in this?

  • The amount of bondage from not loving myself was affecting me both emotionally and physically.
  • Low self esteem is not being happy with the person that God made in you.
  • I was considering myself as a homely and voiceless person even though others told me differently.
  • I could not let myself forgive for the things I had done in the past that were embarrassing or even for my social awkwardness.
  • I am always defeated regardless of how hard I try. I continue to push to reach impossible ambitions just to feel like I am worthy of being here.

I have purposed in my heart that I am going to begin to love the person that God created. God created my body, my mind, my emotions, intellect. What I put into my mind and heart is what people will see. God did not intend for me to see myself as I was viewing myself. In Genesis 1:26 It says, “Let us make man in our image….” God’s image is beautiful and that is how He wants me to view myself.

I will continue to work on this…..And believe that God knew exactly what He was doing when HE created me!

“Self esteem is just a belief. It takes as much effort to believe you have low self esteem as it does to believe you have high self esteem. All you need to do when experiencing low self esteem is to change your belief about yourself. Remember that no one can give or take away your self esteem.”

Image found on: decortoadore.net