3 Things you think about when you read your Bible

Stop with the Attitude

As I’m reading through the Bible this year, I find that I’m reading slower, more intentionally vs just getting through the reading plan. You know what I mean, when you’re a task-oriented individual and you have a ton of things on your mind, we’re all guilty of it, that mentality of ‘just get it done!’ Well, Stop It!

So with your actual physical Bible, not your phone or computer – I would highly suggest in order to do your reading plan that you actually think about what this time means. It doesn’t mean it’s another task on your to-do list, it’s actually quality time with the Lord. So, number one – this is what you think about, how do you give quality time to someone you love. You give them your full attention, not keep looking if you got emails or who’s texting you. That’s another reason timing – when you read your Bible – is important. I’m not a morning person, but if I get up a little earlier than when I normally need to, I can focus on the Word with less (not no distractions but less).

Anyone with a smart phone is guilty of being distracted by our phones and not interacting with the people right in front of us!

Stop Distractions

With notebook in hand, one of the tips I’ve learned through the years while reading my Bible is to have 2 – yes TWO notebooks. One for your Bible study notes and one for all those ideas that fly through your brain as you’re trying to read. For example, ‘oh I forgot to buy bread’ or whatever the task is. We all have a short attention span as technology is around us everywhere. So stop allowing those distractions to take from your quality time with the Lord.

Is that You Lord?

How do you know what the Bible means? Well, that’s a pretty loaded question. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, will be left for us, to comfort, teach, and you can read more in your Bible and reference scriptures you can find here.

I personally journal in a notebook and ask myself questions while I’m reading. For example, although I’ve been a Christian for decades, I often know what a verse means or is referring to, but different translations use different words and if my brain starts to wander, I write that word/question in my notebook to cue myself to look up the definition of a word or how/why it was translated that way – even if I had read that verse dozens of times in the past.

For example I was in Matthew 6, specifically verse 24 – the one where Jesus says we can’t serve two masters. The word mammon struck my thoughts so I wrote that down, it’s part of how we study and think while reading our Bible and opens our hearts and minds to that question, “Is that You Lord?” Is He trying to teach, speak, give you thoughts of things you need to work on in your life or maybe you’re just a curious person, or maybe you’re storing His Word to bring back to rememberance for another time. For whatever reason, write it down and you’ll have lots to think about later when you look it up but you can also keep reading without derailing yourself too much!

Before this becomes too long, I’ll stop here for now. Let me know what thoughts you have or should have when you read your Bible.

Why did Noah take unclean animals on the Ark?

First what are clean vs unclean animals in the Bible? Here’s a simple definition and examples of clean vs unclean animals according to the Bible:


Clean animals: land animals that chew the cud and have a divided hoof, such as cattle, deer, goats, and sheep; seafood with both fins and scales, such as bluegill, grouper, and cod; certain birds, including chickens, doves, and ducks; and even some insects, such as grasshoppers and locusts.


Unclean animals: land animals that either do not chew the cud or do not have a split hoof, such as pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, and rats; seafood lacking either fins or scales, such as shellfish, lobster, oysters, and catfish; some birds, such as owls, hawks, and vultures; and other animals, such as reptiles and amphibians.

Even if you didn’t attend Sunday School in America, if you heard about Noah’s Ark, you had the impression that Noah built this big boat and put two of every animal in the boat to save every species of animals. But the scriptures actually say,

“Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2–3). The Hebrew phrase translated “seven pairs” literally means “seven sevens,” so there is some question as to whether Noah took seven specimens of each “clean” species (three pairs and an extra) or seven pairs. Either way, he was told to take more clean animals than unclean on the ark. Only the unclean animals came in pairs (Genesis 6:19). – GotQuestions.org

So the question remains, if God was going to create a flood to get rid of all the evil in the world, why would He have Noah bring “unclean” animals on the Ark? God had a list of “approved” animals for sacrifice and for eating. If you read through the scriptures and commentaries you’ll find that the distinction between clean and unclean was about a person’s diet vs good or bad animals for consumption.

The second question is why were there more clean animals than unclean animals on the Ark? God instructed Noah to bring seven pairs of every clean animal, that was for sacrifices to God as well as to repopulate the earth with those animals after the flood receded. I’m looking forward to visiting the Ark Encounter sometime soon in Kentucky to learn more and see the life-size Ark.

I’m intrigued by the old testament vs new testament scriptures about what people were “allowed” to eat and why, that will be for another post.

Pray through the Bible in a Year Journal

It’s been a very long time since I last updated this blog and it’s time to reconnect. We’ve been through a lot the past couple of years and I just need to reset, what better way to do that then going through the scriptures and journaling. I was in Sam’s club yesterday and they have a lot of Christian books, journals, Bibles, and devotionals. I stumbled upon this book and liked that it had daily readings listed on each page, with a short prayer and a place to journal – just to get into the habit of journaling again. Although the purpose of this particular book to develop a habit of prayer. So this is where we’ll be in 2019.

What I like about this Journal is that you grab your Bible, you read the passages from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms. Join me if you wish and I’d love to share what I’m learning and hearing through the scriptures. Often times we read other people’s devotionals but we don’t actually read the referenced scriptures, I find that as we’ve deepened into social media, everyone’s attention span is a split second, a pretty picture, and the lack of depth of what scripture is saying and only paying attention to what someone else is saying, not what the Word of God is saying to us.

Sadly, I often hear people say, “I never heard that in church.” When a scripture is referenced. I’ve found that many people “attend” church but never read their Bible. A good pastor will tell you, read the Word for yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to interpret the scripture and  God will reveal Himself to you. It’s true, the Word is living – we may have been a Christian for years and you’ll read the same passage one day then wham, the Lord reveals something new, 20 years later! It’s a timing thing, maybe you or we weren’t ready to hear or understand, or for whatever reason, reading God’s Word can’t be beat by any other book that a person writes – so yes, I’m using a devotional that someone else wrote, but I’m reading the Bible, my Bible, and asking the Lord to reveal himself to me.

If you’d like to get a copy of the journal I’m going through, click on this link: Pray through the Bible in a Year Journal. 

Standing in the gap – when a friend is dying

Intercessory prayer is it for you?

Jan 28, 2016 – I was extremely moved by today’s devotional by Blackaby called, “God is Looking for Intercessors.” It was like any other devotional, or so I thought, but then again I’ve been waking up in the wee hours of the morning for the past week, not able to go back to bed. Its 4:41 am right now, I’ve been up for over two hours. I’ve been thinking it’s because I’ve had lots on my mind: work, family, friends. So much to do so little time.

And then I think it’s most likely my subconscious thinking of a distant friend who has been living with an inoperable brain tumor for the past year. I’ve been awakened with thoughts of her life and possibly of what’s left of it, her children, her marriage. I tear and cry easily. I think of things that frustrate me about people and nit picking over minuscule little things and think to myself, “can’t we all just move on” and why do we make such a issues of trivial things – in regards to the daily things in life, these are my thoughts over minors things, that it shouldn’t matter when people are dying.

Then I read today’s devotional:

S – Scripture

Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

O – Observation

God was speaking to Ezekiel to deliver a message to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen AND the Lord could not find ‘someone’ to stand in the gap on behalf of the sins of Israel’s leaders. If you read chapter 22 verses 23 to 31 you’ll understand.

In today’s devotional Blackaby talks about how we can apply this verse to our lives today. Here’s Henry Blackaby’s comments:

God looks for those whose hearts are prepared to be intercessors before Him. Intercessors have hearts in tune with God’s heart. They are so acutely aware of what is at stake, for their land, that they will stay before God as long as necessary in order to obtain God’s answer. That is why you do not volunteer to be an intercessor. God enlists you.

Why do we not intercede as we should? Perhaps we are afraid to put God to the test. We worry that God might not answer our prayers. Yet God promises that if we ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7). We may fail to intercede because we believe the busyness of our everyday lives is more effective than prayer. Jesus warned that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Without being intimately acquainted with God and His will, all of our labors are futile. Perhaps we fail to intercede because we misunderstand the heart of God. Jesus wept over the_city of Jerusalem as He interceded for it (Matt. 23:37). If we truly have God’s love within us, we will feel compelled to plead with God on behalf of those who face His imminent judgment.

Intercession is a lonely business. There may be many days or even years when there appear to be few results for your labor. Yet intercessors can be the only ones standing between a family and God’s judgment, or between an individual or nation and God’s wrath.

A – Application

How do I apply this to my life? Well, after waking up daily and not being able to go back to bed I’m reminded of something my Aunt Charlotte told me many years ago when I first became a Christian. I told her that sometimes I would get up early and can’t go back to bed and she said that I should begin praying as the Lord may be stirring my spirit to get on my knees and pray. When I asked her, what do I pray about, she said, just have a conversation with the Lord, ask Him to show me who and or what to pray for and He would. Honestly I’ve learned that when I can’t go back to sleep I just say, Lord help me sleep, not who should I pray for.

It’s been a while since I’ve been, “stirred in my spirit”, a restlessness in my sleep, so for that I am sorry I did not instantly go to a place of prayer. Oh I did pray the first time it happened, but then thought it might be something else as it’s been everyday for about five days and I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier.

The lesson is I wasn’t as diligent as the Lord wanted me to be. I wasn’t listening to Him. Yesterday I took some time in the afternoon, about 20 or 30 minutes to “hear from the Lord.” But got stuck in the busyness of work and quiet time. I believe the Lord kept waking me up again and again, earlier and earlier, to tell me to stand in the gap for my friend, her family and the things He places on my mind to pray for.

P – PrayerJesus Praying

Father, I ask that you would forgive me for not taking the time to earnest seek you when you call upon me. I ask that you would give me the strength to intercede for that which my friend is wanting to pray for herself and at times is too weak in body but not in desire to seek you for the salvation of her family members that do not know you. I ask that you would heal my friend and if that not be in your greater plan as we know that our lives are temporary here on earth, I ask that you would help her and her husband and children to find your comfort and peace as she prepares for the time she has. If you need to wake me again, I pray that I would immediately go to my knees and seek you, so that I can intercede for those who need it.

I am thankful that your son Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins so that we don’t have to pay the eternal penalty of our sins. I’m thankful that we don’t have to carry our burdens on our own – Psalms 55:22. We can share each other’s burdens, Galatians 6:2; and we can go to you Lord and you will give us rest – Matthew 11:28. I thank you for all these things and more. In Jesus name, Amen.

UPDATE – Feb 23, 2016

My friend went home to be with the Lord last week. On Saturday we had her Celebration of Life service. She was only 45, but had done what God asked of her with all of her being and more. Praying for her husband and two children, that they would be strong in Him and that the Lord would carry them when they need it. – Thank you for continuing to pray for them.###

God promises to protect us against evil

2Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

Ever wonder why things happen and what to do about it? It seems lately that we’re under a spiritual attack. Things going wrong with the house, someone tried to break into our garage and our front door. Just yesterday someone actually stole our recycle bins – really? Last week a coworker had her home broken into and they stole a lot of valuables and sentimental items. Another coworker has been having heart issues which has at times prevented him from going about his daily routine. Sometimes it’s just small little things that add up to annoyances.  Whatever your situation is today, remember some of God’s promises.


1John 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

2Samuel 22:3-4 my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies

What are the treasures in your life?


S – Scripture: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

Is what you treasure (value) in life, preventing you from having a true relationship with God? Do you place other things, people, time, money, etc. before that which Christ places as priority?

Dr. Blackaby’s devotional sums it up well here:

This is from Experiencing God devotional: (I couldn’t explain it better than this, so why recreate it?)

O – Observation:

What you value most is your treasure. Where you spend your time and your money is your treasure. Whatever dominates your conversation is what you treasure.

What others know you for is a good indication of what your treasure is. Most Christians are quick to claim that God is their first priority. Yet often their actions reveal that their treasure is not God but things of this world. Some Christians find it difficult to discuss their relationship with God, but they can chatter easily about their family, friends, or hobbies.

Some find it impossible to rise early in order to spend time with God, but they willingly get up at dawn to pursue a hobby. Some find it difficult to give an offering to God but readily spend lavishly on recreation. Some boldly approach strangers to sell a product, yet they are painfully timid in telling others about their Savior.

Some give hundreds of hours to serve in volunteer organizations but feel they have no time available to serve God. If you are unsure of where your treasure is, examine where you spend your available time and money. Reflect on what it is you most enjoy thinking about and discussing. Ask your friends to tell you what they think is most important to you. Ask your children to list the things most valuable to you. It may surprise you to know what others consider to be your treasure.

A: How do I apply this scripture to my life?

As I think upon this devotional I am reminded that in order to place Christ first in my life, I must obey the Word of God, lean on the Holy Spirit that dwells within me for guidance and sacrifice my personal selfishness so that my actions ‘reveal my treasures’ are that which God guides to be priority, not my own. This is a challenging thing to do in a society that places an emphasis on “I, Me, My,” – The “what about me?” question is always at the forefront of our thoughts. Thus we need to consciously think, What would Jesus Do – phrase that was popular a few years back – as daily, moment by moment – what is God’s priority.

P – Prayer:

Father help me to see what I place as priority and treasures in my life and guide me to your will and your ways. Help me to desire that which is your treasures, not my own for my own selfishness but to have my heart treasure that which will bring your kingdom glory.

Cali: Life lessons from our Golden Girl

Cali girl: Life lessons of a golden retriever.

It’s been about two weeks ago that we took our 8-yr-old golden retriever Cali to the vet for what was supposed to be an operation to remove a large lump on her stomach and to have her spayed at the same time. According to the two vets we saw at different clinics, since we chose to not have her spayed at an early age (we were going to breed her but that ended up not happening) the lump was most likely cancerous but they wouldn’t know unless they took a biopsy and/or removed the large mass, about the size of a baseball. We decided to make her more comfortable and have it removed and then biopsied but one surgeon suggested having the spay take place at another time so that if it were cancerous it wouldn’t spread to the area that was being spayed.

Cali girl: Life lessons of a golden retriever.

Cali girl: Life lessons of a golden retriever.

Cali: Life lessons of a golden retriever

Fast forward, from the first and second vet opinions – we decided to take her into the first vet and get both procedures done at once and it was also about $500 less at an estimated amount of $900 to $1400 with the second estimate starting at $1500+. We had been praying about this situation as well as asking others to pray for Cali and were comfortable with getting her the surgery but knowing our finances we would not put her through chemo but try to keep her as comfortable as possible. Cali never complained, she was alway happy and wanting to please, still going on walks and coming when called. She would try to play but not as playful as in the past, although she still fetched her favorite football squeaky toy. She was eating fine and all in all it didn’t appear that she had any problems when you looked at her.

We decided to apply for a Care Connection credit card to pay for the surgery and right after the second opinion we were told that the mass might break through in the next week but if wouldn’t remove all of what was in there. Cali would like at the lump and the day before the surgery, not only was she in heat, but the lump started to bleed slightly. We were relieved that the surgery was going to be the next day and thought even if it is cancer at least she will be comfortable for a bit and we’d have a few more months with her.

On Monday we said our goodbyes as Cali was escorted to the vet my husband said she whined upon entering the vet’s office, which she didn’t do before and usually only does when she wants to go play with people or dogs that she sees – she was a typical golden, sociable and lovable. Only difference was there was no one else in the vet’s office besides the receptionist and no other dogs/animals so this was a different type of whining. When my husband turned to leave Cali in the vet’s office she barked at him to turn around and to not leave her there. Hubby turned to Cali and said, “stay” – which she knew her master’s voice and was obedient even though she didn’t want to.

Now you may be thinking that’s normal for a dog but I had just taken Cali to another vet a few days before for a second opinion and she never made whining noises without wanting to go and play with the strangers and other dogs. She also wasn’t making a fuss when the vet tech took her “behind” closed doors to weigh her and to do xrays. That’s said, we’re sure she knew something was going to happen at this office and she didn’t want to be left there. What a horrible feeling for an owner and pet to go through, but you think to yourself that it’s for her best so you trust that when you leave your pet in the hands of a professional that they would do their best.

I don’t want to relive this point but I’ll write it here, it’s part of the healing process. I was at work and my husband got several calls from the vet, there was a problem and Cali was bleeding internally. The vet said she was fine but he wanted to open her up again to see the cause. We were told by the second vet that we needed to be cautious of the amount of anesthesia that she was given because the second vet found by the xrays that Cali’s kidney was small for a dog her size, she was 72 lbs. The first vet, doing the surgery said he couldn’t read the xrays – not sure why as I saw them with the second vet who read them in front of me, pointed out Cali’s organs and told me that the mass had not spread to her lungs, then made a copy of the xray. That was a concern that the first vet may have had some other issues. He later admitted to my husband there was a “cut” that he made during the spaying part of the surgery which he did first and that was the reason that she most likely died. It was horrifying that as I went home (5 minutes away) to go to the vet’s office with my husband and stepdaughter that we got another call – Cali was gone.

I actually walked out the door when I heard the phone ring on my husband’s phone as if that would have made any news go away. I couldn’t believe it, I was angry and a part of me is still angry – at myself, the vet and wondering “if only”. It’s too late now for the if only statements, our baby girl (youngest of our once three dogs – our eldest Nala passed less than a year ago at 14) was gone.

I won’t go into the details as I’m near tears now, but all we could do as a family is grieve. I’ll end here for now, maybe another day I’ll be able to write about the rest of this event but it’s still too fresh, too painful, too sad. If you’d like to read the post I wrote on the life lessons I learned from our Cali – click on this link: Cali lessons of a golden retriever.

Top 4 Goals to set for an Amazing New Year

There is always a sense of newness, resolution, gone with the past – when we enter a new year. What’s different for you this year? This week’s devotional (thanks to Alan Lyle) we’re reminded of the top four goals we should set for the new year. You may already have in mind some of your goals for this coming year, but why not spend some time in prayer. Ask God for direction, seek His will, and guidance for each step into 2015.

Make everyday count! create 365 amazing 2015

4 Goals for the New Year

  1. Spiritual – John 15:15 abide in the vine of Christ. Read His Word daily, get involved in a Bible study. Share your faith with someone, set a goal of how many people you will minister to this year.
  2. Mind – Engage your mind. Proverbs 1:5 “let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” NIV – Learn something new, teach/share with others what you learn.
  3. Emotional relationships – Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3 talks about Rules for Holy living. 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
  4. Physical – taking care of your ‘temple’. Set goals for a healthier lifestyle. I Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

My challenges change and develop over the year, but I need to start somewhere so I’m praying for direction and setting up plans for:

  1. Growing the ministry I work in to increase the number of people we reach out to 100 new people this year. Invest time/resources into a new church start-up. Balance time in ministry, family, work ministry and taking care of myself.
  2. Be a better listener, share/teach others what I have learned and pray about teaching a course online or workshop. Also praying about teaching within a local home school coop.
  3. Follow the Rules of Holy living.
  4. Stay active regularly. I started using the RunKeeper app training program to work up to jogging continuously in a 5k by Feb 2015. By eating healthily and moving regularly (walk/jog 3x week and gym 2-3x week – or going to Disney and walking 7 miles!) I can prevent the ailments that plague our family and society. I’ll track my health through routine blood lab results, weight and health checks in general.

I can walk a 5k easily, however my husband runs 5 and 10k races and I don’t like running. In order to challenge myself physically, although I have trained and completed two Tinman Triathlons in Hawaii, since moving to Orlando I haven’t been able to adjust to the environment well enough to want to compete. I still bike and swim but bad knees have held me back from jogging.

  • I will train 3 times a week to walk/jog and eventually full jog the entire 5k on March 7.
  • I will train 3 times a week to walk/jog and complete a 5k w/my husband at the Clermont Waterfront park run by end of Feb.
  • I will continue training 3 times a week and jog the entire 5k by end of March at the Clermont parkrun. (Free weekly 5k timed runs)

What are your 4 Goals for this coming year?

If you haven’t set any yet, take some time to pray about it and ask for God’s guidance.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Mele Kalikimaka – Merry Christmas in Hawaiian

Merry Christmas in Hawaiian language.

Merry Christmas in Hawaiian language.

This is the Hawaiian word for Merry Christmas. As you may have noticed over the years in the US, people in general are saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Why’s that you may ask? Well Christmas as most of us know is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Actually there are many people who don’t know the name of Christ as the Savior of this world. Sadly there are many young people growing up in our country that was founded on Christian values, not knowing basic history that is recorded in the Bible.

For this reasons, referring to the birth of Christ that so many want to do away with and have a generic, commercialized Christmas, the masses have turned to saying something that is non-religious, a reminder that they choose to snub the name of Christ, that He never was born, never existed, because they choose to do what they want, when they want and believe that if we can just be “good people” then what’s the harm. The Bible explains that harm – Man cannot live without God. Click on the link to read more of what GotQuestions refers to in the scripture, here’s a part of the answer to, “Can man live without God?”

Answer: Contrary to the claims of atheists and agnostics through the centuries, man cannot live without God. Man can have a mortal existence without acknowledging God, but not without the fact of God.

As the Creator, God originated human life.To say that man can exist apart from God is to say that a watch can exist without a watchmaker or a story can exist without a storyteller. We owe our being to the God in whose image we are made (Genesis 1:27). Our existence depends on God, whether we acknowledge His existence or not.