Monday, January 31, 2011

Just A Really Good Video To Keep Us Thinking Of Christ Throughout The Week.

This is just a quick message for all of you this Monday evening. I found this video yesterday and wanted to share it with all of you. As you go throughout the week, keep your thoughts focused on Christ. Think about how Jesus suffered so much for you of His own free will. There was not a force on Earth that could have kept Him on that cross. The only thing that kept Him up on it was LOVE. His love for each and every one of us! Praise be to Him! Thank you Jesus!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff......And It’s All Small Stuff!

This past week was a pretty rough one for me. It seemed as the week went on, problems seemed to come at me over and over again. I was extremely stressed out with how things were going and had a hard time keeping in a good mood. I felt depressed and nothing seemed to bring me out of it. I prayed to God, read my Bible and for the most part, even worked a lot of these things out. But I still wasn't really happy. Finally, one day at work, I walked to a place where I was alone and knelt down in prayer again. This time, however, I wasn't praying to have all my issues resolved. I simply told God that I was not worrying about these things anymore and was trusting in Him. Almost immediately my spirit was lifted and I went back to being my normal, happy self.

God wants us to be happy, and will do everything in His power to help us. But we need to remember is we are not meant to focus on “worldly things”. We are only meant to live our lives to the fullest and praise God in all things. When you consider what this life is all about and what our purpose here is, why do we let little things matter? Who cares if a certain person doesn’t really care about you? Who cares if you miss a payment on your car or house?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t bother taking care of things in our lives. If we stop paying for our house, we loose it and don’t have a place to live. We need to take do what we have to to survive. But we shouldn’t worry so much that we forget about the more important things. Matthew 6: 25-26 says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body; what you will put on. Is not life more than feed and the body more than clothing? 26. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

When we put the Lord 1st and put everything else 2nd, He will take care of us. He may not do this in the way we would like but we can be assured that no matter what happens, it will be for the best. God won’t lead us astray. Sometimes it can be extremely hard to trust in the Lord. Our ways and His ways are not always the same. But God knows us better than we do and knows what is best. 

A couple of years ago I couldn’t find any employment. I searched and searched and eventually had to take a job at a local hardware store making minimum wage. I was upset and frustrated about how life was going. I never thought that God had a plan for me and He does everything for a purpose. It was after two months of working there that a new girl started in the same department. This girl is now my beautiful wife. Had I not taken that job, I might not have met her. God had a plan for me and I didn't trust in Him to take care of me. I am so thankful now for what He does. I may not understand it but I know it will always work out.

We can all be much happier if we stop focusing on the conditions of our lives and start focusing on the good that is in our life. My father all of my life would say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff....and it’s all small stuff.” Trust in the Lord, praise Him in everything. He will take care of you if you only trust in Him with all your heart. Amen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

God's Love For Us

So this has been an amazing week for me. I have felt the Holy Spirit so strongly in my life each day. Today I would like to share with you some thoughts I have about our Heavenly Father. The more that I have studied about Him, the more marveled I become. So many times we focus more on Christ and all that He did for us. Jesus came down from the Kingdom of Heaven and die for each and every one of us. To think that He would love us so much He not only did this, but did so voluntarily. But what about His and our Father? How hard must it have been for Him to give up His only Son?

I am not currently a father, but I have a dad who loves me more than life. I know he does because I can feel it each and every time I talk to him. Every time we share a moment of bonding. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for a father to loose his son. How can we even attempt to comprehend how hard this must have been for our Father to give His Only Begotten Son?

John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

God knew from the beginning what was in store for His Son. He knew the pain and the suffering Jesus would go through. But He also understood that this had to happen so that each of us could be saved and return to Him. I heard this story a while ago and would like to share it with you now. This gives such a good illustration of God’s love. It is called “Clean Blood”.

The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. 

It's not influenza, but three or four fellows are dead, and it's kind of interesting. They're sending some doctors over there to investigate it. You don't think much about it, 

But on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say it's not three villagers, it's 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it's on TV that night. 

CNN runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the disease center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been seen before. 

By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story. For it's not just India; it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you're hearing this story everywhere, and they have coined it now as "the mystery flu." 

The President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, "How are we going to contain it?" That's when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing their borders; no flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. 

That night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated from a French news program into English: "There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe." 

Panic strikes! As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week, and you don't know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. Then you die. 

Britain closes it's borders, but it's too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton, are already affected. 

It's Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes the following announcement:  "Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing." 

Within four days the nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are selling little masks for your face. People are talking about what if it comes to this country, and preachers on Tuesday are saying, "It's the scourge of God." 

It's Wednesday night, and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!" While the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made, "Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu." 

Within hours it seems, This thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders. 

Then, all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting. 

Everyone is asked to do one simple thing: "Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals." Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, 

They've got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around scared with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on, and wondering if this is the end of the world. 

Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me."  Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. "Wait a minute, hold it!" And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. 

We think he has got the right type." Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another and some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week. 

An old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine." As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. 

But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for a moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor, and we need you to sign a consent form." 

You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-how many pints?" And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all!" "But, but..." "You don't understand. We are talking about the world here. Please sign. 

"But can't you give him a transfusion?" "If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?" Ask this of yourselves. In numb silence you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" 

Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?" 

And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've-- we've got to get started. People all over the world are dying." Can you leave? Can you walk out while he is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why, why have you forsaken me?" 

And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don't even come because they go to the lake, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care. 

Would you want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON'T YOU CARE?" 
Is that what God is saying? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?" 

"Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we begin to comprehend the great love you have for us. Amen" 

- Author Anonymous

This brings tears to my eyes no matter how many times I read it. God has so much love for each one of us. How can we sit there and not care about it? How can we put anything in the world before Him? How can we go throughout each day and not even take the time to talk to Him. To tell Him how grateful we are for what He did for us.

We truly have a Father in Heaven who loves us. He knew that as hard as it was to do, it was something that "Just had to be". He gave up His ONLY begotten Son for each and every on of you! And I can promise you this, if you were the only person to ever come to this Earth, our Father and Christ would each do the same thing. Even if it was just for you and nobody else. 

If you would like a great set of scriptures which speak of the love God has for us, I challenge you to read the book of Malachi. It is absolutly amazing! 

Malachi poses a question to us in this book. How can we take comfort in the love of God if we don't feel loved? What if circumstances seem to say that God is ignoring us, that He has abandoned us to our own pain, and that He is deliberately withholding from us what He could so easily grant? 

Malachi, a messenger to God's "chosen people," assures us that we are not the first to ask such questions. He gives us a chance to see why the love of God is one of the most misunderstood truths in the Bible.
           -Martin R. De Haan II-

God loves us! God wants us to be close to Him. Just as any earthly father of ours would. He wants us to talk to Him, to rely on Him, to trust in Him. It is my prayer and my challenge for each of us to come to know God just a little better in our lives. He has done so much for us so that we can return to be with Him, let's all take a little more effort of our own to return the favor!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our Own Superbowl

It is only three weeks away! On Sunday February 6th, 2011, 98% of us will most assuredly be sitting in front of the television; chips and dip, barbeque wings, soda and friends, watching the Super Bowl. As I was sitting here at the kitchen table this night trying to figure out a topic which would be beneficial to write about, I was once again surprised at the method God sometimes will use to send us inspiration. I am currently watching the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers play and began thinking about the game of football. I will begin by stating that I don’t believe there is a better sport out there. Such dynamics, such passion, such dedication in the sport as I have never seen before. And as I thought more and more about it, the more I thought about how comparable it is to our lives here on Earth…

Our Offensive Strategy:

If you have an expectation of winning in any sport, you must score. This is the importance of our offense in life. We are up against Satan and his followers, a very tough and determined enemy. Their one and only goal and desire is to beat us in this game we are playing. They are prepared and have the necessary tools and plays to accomplish this if we are not prepared to put up a good fight. Satan is all about trying to prevent us to reach our end zone of Heaven. However, just as any good team, we have all the tools needed to win the game (quarterback, running back, wide receivers, and a decent coach). We have everything we need to win if we only choose to use them in the right ways. 

1: God Himself (Our Coach):

While we may have Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, Jason Garrett, and Lovie Smith; there is one coach who trumps them all. God has always been and will always be the best coach we could ever ask for. Imagine having a coach who knew the other teams plays before they were called. Imagine a coach who knew exactly which way the offense was planning on running before the quarterback ever said “Hike!”. If your team had a coach such as this, do you think you would ever loose a game? I highly doubt it! Well, whether you believe it or not, we DO have a coach that knows the opposing team’s game plan. In Psalms 139: 1-6 it says, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged my behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high, I cannot attain it.”

If you believe that God knows what we are feeling and thinking on the inside, then you can rest assured that God knows the plans of Satan as well. God is all knowing. From the beginning of time God has known what Satan has had in mind. He has known what his plans and desires were. Friends, if you were on any sports team and your coach knew what the other team was planning, wouldn’t you trust what he wanted you to do to counteract that? You would if you had any brains at all. I will tell you now, GOD KNOWS THE PLANS OF SATAN!! HE KNOWS EACH MOVE HE WILL MAKE! So…. why don’t you trust in Him? Just as stupid as it would be for a player not to trust a coach who knows the opposing teams play, it is equally stupid that we don’t trust God! He knows how to best coach us and He will never lead us wrong!

2: The Holy Bible (Our Playbook)

In most sports, a playbook is crucial. We need to have a plan of attack. Teams will spend several weeks or months before the season begins studying and practicing what is in the playbook. A typical sporting event last no more than 1 to 2 hours, maybe a little bit more. Our life is sure a lot longer and a lot more complicated. Yet we have a for sure playbook. No matter what we are up against in our lives, the Bible is here for us to use and grow from. It will help us fight the battle against Satan and earn our reward in Heaven. I promise you that no matter what you may be up against in life… you can and will find the answer in the Holy Word. But just as you must with any playbook, you must study and follow the Bible. It doesn’t matter if you have a 100% guaranteed playbook if you don’t follow what it says. It doesn’t matter if you go into the game not knowing what the plays are. You must know what is expected of you. Back when I was in High School I played on the football team. It always surprise me to see the difference between those players who knew the playbook like the back of their hands, and those who didn’t. But as surprising as it was, the difference was simple; those who knew the playbook played, those who didn’t sat on the sidelines. The reason behind it is obvious. The coach knows that if his team doesn’t know the plays inside and out, they will for sure fail. I personally don’t know all things regarding God or our salvation, but I can tell you this without a shadow of doubt: If you study, learn, and follow the Bible, you will win the game every time! Take advantage of what has been given to you. Don’t let it collect dust on your shelf. Use it. After all, it is a free bit of knowledge and insight.

3: Jesus Christ  (Our Quarterback)

In the game of football, the quarterback is considered the backbone of the team. Without him the team would be worthless, for he is the one calling the shots and making the plays happen. In life, we have been given a #1 draft pick of a quarterback as the world has never seen before. Not only does our quarterback know the best play to call in EVERY situation, but he has been though every situation. If you were the coach of a team, what would be your reaction to a quarterback who had played every position, succeeded in every position, and in every aspect of the game, was 100% accurate? Of course you would do everything in your power to get him playing for you.

Our Lord and Savior is each of our quarterbacks. He knows what He is doing! Let Him guide you each and every play. Even in those times of doubt when you think the game is over and you don’t stand a chance, your Savior will come forth for you to make the game winning play. Just as each of you have probably heard in regards to football, trust in your quarterback, no matter what. Friends, TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST!!! He is fighting the same fight as you! He has been there and knows what to do to lead you to victory!

Our Defensive Strategy:

Just as important as it is for us to play an offensive game, we must play on the defensive side as well. First an foremost, what is the purpose of the defensive in any sport? It is to prevent the offense from progressing. No matter how hard we try or what we do, Satan will always be playing an offensive game. He is going to try and convince us to do that which is wrong and against God. So what can we do as a team to help prevent us from being defeated by this very strong offensive drive? 

1: Pray

Friends, I cannot stress this one enough. We must talk and ask of God in every aspect of our lives! If you watch an NFL football game you will notice on both offense and defense, there will be one player who has a little green sticker on the back of their helmet. For any of you who have never known what this sticker is for, it is to indicate the two players who have a headset built into their helmet to listen to the coach on the sidelines. No matter if we are playing the offensive side or the defensive, we have a direct link to our coach to see what he wants us to do. Listen and pay attention! Unlike any sport, if we follow what our coach says, we will never fail.

2: Read Your Bible

This is just as important to do on as it is on offense. The defense also has a playbook to follow. This is full of different ways of preventing the offence from progressing forward. I have always been irritated with former commentator John Madden. The reason is he always had a tendency to state that which was completely obvious, to those who both knew the sport, and who didn’t. One of my favorite quotes he made was this, “You know Al, that‘s the purpose of the defense. To come up with a technique and strategy to stop the offense from scoring!” No duh!! As ridiculous as this sounds though, we can still learn from it. Satan is on the move and we need to know how to best stop him. Our Bible is just as good as an offensive guide as a defensive guide. 

We will all make mistakes throughout the course of our live. We will give up that big play and lose a lot of yards. Does this mean the team has a reason to quit? No! We need to learn from it and make the stop next time. I guarantee that whatever problems we will face in life, we can find a way to put a stop to it if we will only study and trust in the Bible, our playbook.

3: Learn From Our Experiences:

Only one team in the NFL has ever had a perfect season, that is to never loose a game throughout the entire year. This was the Miami Dolphins in 1972. Unlike the Dolphins this year, we will all make mistakes and not of us are perfect. But the trick is to learn from what we do wrong. After each week, teams will spend hours watching the videos of the game and pointing out each and every mistake made. They will make note of these problems and throughout the week practice on correcting them. 

We cannot let our mistakes ruin the season for us! We have to learn from them and move on. Each night as we are laying in bed waiting to fall asleep, dedicate this time to review our previous plays. Look back on all we did right as well as the mistakes we made. But just as importantly, let each and every one of us practice and learn from them so that in the future we can play a more perfect game. 

Friends, I pray for each of you that you can play the best game you can. Do all you can in life to learn and grow. Be prepared for an extremely difficult opponent who is just as ready to face you as you are to face him. He knows a lot and has lots of experience. But we are lucky enough to have a coach who has been through even more. God knows what He is doing. He has picked a star quarterback to guide us and lead us to victory. And He has a foolproof playbook which has the answer to any situation we may encounter. Trust in your Lord and your God and I can promise you we will win the game 100% of the time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’d love to blame it on how I am now lately working 24 hour shifts four days a week and just don’t have the time, or how each night at 1 or 2 am I am called by the police to inform me my horses have gotten out and are on the highway again, but in all honesty, I have had a major block as to a topic to write about. If you ever have a topic that YOU would like to see on here feel free to email me at or send a message to my Facebook. But as I have been watching the news on some of the things which have been happening around the country, it suddenly became 100% clear what my next blog would be about:

Why do bad things happen to good people? This is a very common question for those who lack faith in God when a horrible event occurs. How can an all loving God let something like this happen? Why does God punish the innocent and not those who are evil and deserve to have bad things happen in their lives?

I am sure that the entire nation has been hearing the tragic news of the events which happened days ago in Tucson, Arizona. The thought that a 22 year old male could walk into a crowd and open fire on people he never knew is baffling. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to all of the families which were affected on that day. 

I feel a sadness inside me for each of these people, however, I am extremely upset at the death of Christina Taylor Green, who had only lived 9 years of her life. As a young girl, she was taken to an event because of her great interest in politics. And as she was standing in line eagerly waiting to shake hands with a real Congresswoman, was taken away from us in a flash. An innocent girl who had done nothing wrong. As we all know, Christina was born on September 11, 2001. The same day of the terrorist attacks on America. She was given the title, “A Face Of Hope”, yet now she is gone.

It would be extremely easy to loose faith in the midst of such a horrible event, but these are the times that we must look to God the most. In the Bible, we can find numerous stories of times when, “Bad things happened to good people”. The most classic of all these stories I would think is the story of Job. We are told that Satan went to Heaven and of all the others on the Earth, God choose to use Job as an example of his goodness. God told Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” But Satan accused God that the only reason for this was He had made Job’s life to easy and given him all he needed. So God allowed Satan to do numerous things to test Job’s faith. Job’s entire family died, he lost all of his crops and animals which were his livelihood. God even allowed Job himself to suffer with boils and sores upon his body. While most of us focus solely on Job, we sometimes forget about those around him. Nothing was ever said to justify his family’s deaths. They as well were innocent bystanders used for a great purpose of God.

Another example would be Abel. Yet again we find a man who was upstanding in the ways of God. He was favored by God and he was killed by his brother Cain. Could God have just as easily have stopped this death from happening as he could have stopped Job's troubles? Yes, but He didn’t. Throughout all of time innocent men, women, and children have died for a greater cause. 

At the time of Jesus, a decree was sent throughout the land to put to death all children under the age of two by King Herod. Because he feared that the Son of God would be born and be a greater man than he was, Herod ordered the slaughter of thousands of children. Likewise, in Exodus 1, Pharaoh ordered that all male children born were to be killed simply because there were to many of them. These are other instances of the slaying of innocents. There are also many other instances throughout the Bible which are too numerous to mention. 

As I read these stories out of the Bible, it gives me more comfort while I try and understand how events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and the shooting in Tucson, AZ could be allowed to happen. God has a plan for each of us in this world. While we may not know the fullness of this plan or the reasoning behind it, we can rest in knowing God loves us and only wants the best for us. He will never do us wrong in anyway. Yes, sometimes bad things happen which are difficult to explain, but as the old saying goes, “What doesn‘t kill us will only make us stronger”. Just as God did with Job, He will test us each and everyday. 

The only thing we are asked to do is to trust Him. Lord, we know You have a plan for us and while we do not always understand Your doing in these things, we trust You. We know that our ways are not Your ways. In the book of Proverbs 3: 5-6 it states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

It doesn’t come to much surprise that we are in the end of times when we read Revelation and look at the state the world is in. The last days are those where wickedness will reign over the Earth. Tragic events are happening all around us at a pace never seen before by this world; hurricanes, tornadoes, shootings, floods, tsunamis, starvation, etc… 

In today’s world, many people think that the death of an innocent person is always, in every case, evil. If we are to consider God in all of His goodness, glory, and majesty, nothing this awful and terrible could be attributed to Him. Only evil. But there are actually so many different verses in the Bible which show us that the death of innocent is not always an act of bad. In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 57: 1-2, “The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness”

Yes, bad things sometimes happen to good people. We don’t always understand why they do other than each and every one of us were given a great gift in this life. The ability to choose for ourselves. As much as we are given the choice of what good we will do, what church we will attend, and what God we believe in, we are also given the choice of whether we will do that which is evil or not. Because we have been given the freedom to do as we choose, God cannot stop those who are evil from doing what they will. Or how would they be judged later on in the next life?

As I said before, my prayers have been constant for Christina Green as well as everyone who was involved or witnessed what happened on January 8th, 2011. May the Holy Spirit of God come down and rest upon each of these families. In what is surely the roughest time of their lives, I hope and pray that they will receive comfort and strength. 

God, we ask at this time when such a tragic thing has taken place, that You show all of Your mercy and love on us. We ask that Your Holy Spirit will manifest itself on us in a way that it never has before. We pray dear God, for a blessing unlike any before on those who were affected by what happened on this horrible day. We ask that you comfort them and bless them. Help them understand that all things are done according to You. We know You have a plan for each of us God, and that nothing is done unless you are behind it in some way or another. We know that these good people who were taken from us suddenly are now resting with You in Paradise, that their troubles and sorrows are over. We ask of you, Oh Lord, that we can always remember that. That while we are left here we may know that as bad as this was, those who died have received the greater reward. For we know that they are now with You God, and in a state of never-ending happiness. We pray for the families and for the nation and world that in this time, they may look TO You and not away from You. Again, Lord God, our hearts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones. Bless them dear God, comfort them, give them strength enough to handle and move on from this. But at the same time, God, let this be a time of learning for all of us. Let us take what has happened and grow in You from it. Let us come closer to knowing You. We pray for these things in Jesus Holy name,  Amen!

This is the.. Heartbreak Hotel!

Hey dolls,

Hope you are all well this week!

So, my blog this week is all about breaking up! What is it about the new year that makes people want to end their relationships? Ok, I understand new year, new start but really, do people just want to have fun?
In the past two weeks, six friends of mine have broken up with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Obviously, as the worlds best agony aunt/advice giver, they have all come to talk to me. I love that my friends come to me for help or advice and I love that I can listen and help.
Sometimes, there actually is not a lot you can say to some one. Yes, you may have been dumped or ended a relationship in the past so understand what they are thinking or feeling, but everybody deals with things in their own ways. Some people will have the positive attitude and think "F**K it" and get on with life and move on, others will have a cry, shed the odd tear here and there and be done and some will lock them selves in their room with depressing music and Ben and Jerrys. One friend of mine has just wanted to party and have fun, another will not socialise.

A friend of mine asked what she should say to another friend of ours when she got dumped by her boyfriend. Considering she had no idea what to say as she had never been in the position and is not good with words, I advised her to just 'be there.' Sometimes, you don't want to hear "well there's plenty more fish in the sea" or "its his loss you amazing!" You probably are amazing and yeah, it probably is his loss but sometimes, just be there. Sometimes all we want in our friends is their shoulder to cry on, their hand to hold or their sleeve to wipe our nose on.

So, should you talk to your "ex" after you have broken up? Some people will want to stay friends and if you can do that, then that is awesome. Sometimes, it is best not to speak, but obviously depends on the situation. One friend of mine who is living in Heartbreak Hotel has not heard from her "ex" a week on. After a break up this is normal. All she wants to do is phone him or text him. He hurt her though so I advised her not to, which she has not and now she is doing great. She is realising things that she didn't whilst in the relationship and now knows that being out of it is better than being in it.. Time to check out of HH! Another friend, the day after he broke up with his girlfriend, he phoned her asking for advice on clothes to buy. They knew they are better off as friends so that has worked out great for them. They can still be best friends and do everything together still without being in the relationship.

What if your "ex" is being horrible or on the other hand wants you back? These are two things I have seen. Sometimes, it may have been you ending the relationship and in some cases, your other half disliked that and went around slagging you off afterwards and saying they ended it and will say horrible things about you, mainly because they are angry with the way things have ended, but remember, if that happens,it is not your fault that they have become bitter and cannot accept things, but don't hate them, always remember your good times. No need to hate. Always be the bigger person. On the other hand there is the case of if they wanna get back with you. Some will say, it did not work first time round so why will it second time? Well, in my opinion it really depends on the situation. If it was ended because you both were not sure or not ready and you miss eachother that much, then go for it. I'm one for second chances. If your partner hurt you, made you cry, made you miserable or anything along that line and then wants you back, tell them to bore off! Clearly, that one is done.

Now, what if you just really miss them? Well, this is the biggest feeling you will have after a break up. Lets be honest, when you are in a relationship, your partner is the one person that is basically EVERYTHING. You hear a song on the radio and it makes you think of them, you smell a certain smell and you think of them, you eat a certain food and think ah this was their favourite. You come home from a bad day at work and you just want them there to cuddle. I know all of these feelings. Sometimes, yeah it does suck to feel all of that but then surely when feeling that, know that you can feel, and it was real and it was great!

I hope whilst reading this, you smiled and maybe it helped!

If you have any questions or comment, please comment below. You can also email me or twitter @IlanaVak

Lotsa Love..

Little Miss V..x

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey Dolls!

How are we?
Happy new year :)

How fast did 2010 go?!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Mine started on Christmas Eve Eve with my girls, every year we do a Secret Santa dinner. This year was at Abi's house and everyone made a dish. There was lasagne, salads, quiche, pasta bake and lots more. There was also lots of nosh, wine and an amazing apple crumble made by Jessie! We ate and then exchanged gifts. It was so nice seeing everyones face light up and try to guess who got them their present. My friends know me too well and my dirty mind! I was given a "Sex Copuon Booklet," a naughty card game and a massive mug perfect for a hangover (which came in handy cmas day!) Christmas Eve was spent partying with friends at Oceana, we go every year, its like a ritual! It was a very fun and drunken evening which lead me to my bed at 3 in the morning. I woke up at 10am to open presents with the family. I did so well this year :)
I got silk pjs, an awesome bag, 2 perfumes, new black uggs, leather boots, a dvd and some other bits and bobs. My sister bought me this gorgeous diary/notepad as she knows I love to write. I need to get stuck in! We had a big Christmas lunch at home, followed by a bigger desert, Articulate and then Love Actually. Me and my sister watch it together every year, it is our favourite Christmas movie. I also watched Home Alone 1 and 2, has to be done.
Boxing day was spent in bed and then partied in the night. Bank holiday Monday was spent with friends then partied again. Tuesday was spent in bed attempting to cure the past few days hangover!

Next thing I knew, it was Friday again and New Years Eve! I could not believe how quick that week had gone. I prefer a big party Xmas eve and a chill New Years Eve, but this year, one of my best friends Alison had a house party. She went to a lot of trouble getting food and nosh and it was all set out lovely. Her cousin and my friend Barker, is the balloon boy. He bought over lots of balloons including 2011 balloon which was massive! There was a lot of alcohol and all my closest friends were there. It was a great and drunken eve. 3am came and everybody started leaving and Ali and I got into bed. We were awoken at 9am by Barker cleaning the whole house (which was great as Ali and I did not have to do it!) The day was spent lying in bed and watching TV. I was hungover all day but then thought, its Saturday night, I want to go out. So I did just that.

I went with my friends Roxy, Gemma and Stefan to this divine restaurant called Levant which is just off Wigmore Street in Central London. The restaurant is Moroccon/Lebanese. Its 30pounds ahead and you really get your moneys worth. Its a set menu and I opted for the Vegetarian one. First they bring you pitta bread and humous and an aubergine dip and some others. Then your starter, mine included falafel and some other divine tasties. Thenw as main meal, by this point I couldn't eat any more! Mine was an aubergine, broad bean and cheese dish served with cous cous and salad. Then was desert which was baclava, fruit, turkish delights and Mint tea. Whilst you are eating they play Moroccon music and if you get there early, they have belly dancers! I reccomend anyone to try it out. Yummy!

Now, it is back to work for me. We have just re branded our product so lots of work to do!

If you have anything you would like me to write about, please tweet me @IlanaVak or email

until next time.. lotsa love..

Little Miss V..xx

Saved By Grace

Happy 2011 everybody!!! I hope that each and everyone of you had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, gifts, food, and of course Christ. But as the season once again passes we are left to return to our normal day to day lives. I was thinking however this last week of different resolutions that I would like to set for myself this year. I have never been good with these. My diets last about a week and a half and I still bite at my nails. What are some of the goals you have set for yourselves this year? To Lose some weight, to visit family more often, to stay away from some of those bad habits? How many of you this year set a goal to come to know Christ? In my thoughts, I began to realize that there is no better goal we can set. Whether we already have a relationship with Christ or not, we can always get to know him a little bit better. How great it would be for each and every person to set a goal to be saved this year. While I know this goal is unrealistic, I do wish to talk about this for my first blog of the year 2011.…Saved By Grace.

This topic is a very sensitive one for me as I came from a religion which didn’t preach that you are saved by the grace of Jesus. All through my growing up years I was taught that we must do certain things as well as believing to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. And throughout my childhood I never felt that I was doing a good enough job. No matter how good I was, I always fell short of what I thought I should have. It wasn’t until later in my life when I began to really study the Bible that I came to know the truth of the matter. All that I needed was to accept Christ. He would take care of the rest.

I remember my former church would sometimes mention those out there who believed in being saved by grace. They would tell me that it was those who thought they could go out and do whatever they wanted to do and it was ok because they believed in Christ so they were good to go. Now of course if it is explained to anyone in this manner, it sounds ridiculous, right? So let me just take this moment right now to clarify what is meant by this. Christ came down and suffered for the sins of the world. He took every last one of them upon himself of his own free will. Not one sin was left unaccounted for. This is why He said, when on the Cross, “It is finished.” or, “It is enough”. Because from that point on it was enough. All we now have to do is believe in what he did and our sins are forgiven. Now, this does not mean we have a free ride during our lives to do whatever. Believe me everyone of you, GOD KNOWS YOUR HEART AND YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOUR INTENTIONS! If you say you believe in Him and don’t mean it, He knows. 

God gave us 10 commandments in the Old Testament which were to be strictly followed. When Jesus came and fulfilled the law, they were done away with and we were given two new commandments. 1) To love the Lord your God. And 2) To love your neighbor. And how do we show our love to Him? By following his example. We help those in need, we give to the poor, we keep God in our thoughts and Satan far away from us. If we say we accept Jesus into our lives, and then we don’t follow any of His teachings, have we really truly accepted Him in our hearts? No! And He knows it. If we truly have faith in Him then we do what He taught. But these things are not what saves us, only Christ can do that. 

Let me pose a scenario to you which relates to this topic: You grow up in a very loving family and all your needs such as food, shelter, and clothing are taken care of. However, like some kids get, you tend to be a bit rebellious in your actions. You are lazy and don’t really want to do anything that wont be fun for you. So your parents, in an effort to teach you some discipline, put a chore chart on your bedroom door. You now have a list of things which you need to complete each day. Things such as cleaning your room, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, etc…. One day you are out climbing in a tree with your friends when suddenly a branch breaks and you start to fall. About half way down your pant leg catches on a limb leaving you dangling 20 feet in the air. Naturally you do what every young child would do, you yell for help to your Mother and Father. But as you are yelling for their help, your Father appears and says, “I would love to come and help you my son, but you have not completed your list on your bedroom door. Since you didn‘t complete all you had to get done, I cannot help you.” What kind of parent would do that?!?!? Friends, our Father in Heaven loves us more than any parent here on Earth could ever comprehend. In the end, it doesn’t matter how many times we read the Bible, or how many times we fell short of His expectations. He still loves us and will be there to reach out to us as long as we believe on him. 

I had a good friend of mine and his wife come and visit our church where I attend. It was a very good sermon and I believe everyone was touched by what was said. At the end we went to lunch and his wife and him were contemplating coming each week. They really enjoyed the church, pastor, and hospitality of all the members. After they had left though, I received an interesting text message from him. He asked me, “We just heard that your church teaches that your salvation can be affected by your sins. Is this true?” I don’t know where he heard this from but I was glad he asked the question, because as most questions do, they spark a flame. I was now pondering this and it got me to study it out. How can it be possible for someone to be “un-saved”? That is the same as being un-born, or un-grown. It is not possible. On another note, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What would be the purpose of Him going through all that He went through, if it wasn’t enough? What was the point, if we still had things to do as well? 

But there are some out there who will argue this point. They will say that the Bible says it is by our works which we are saved. James Chapter 2 says, ”(V14)What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? (V17) Thus also faith by itself, if it does no have works, is dead.” First off, let me just make it clear that I agree with this scripture 100%! But, I believe this to be one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. I will refer back to earlier when I was talking about true faith in Christ. All this verse is saying is the same thing I said, If you say you believe in Christ but don’t follow His teachings, you don’t have full faith in Him. But nowhere does it say that our works will save us!

Another passage others will bring up is how the Bible constantly tells us we need to be baptized in order to be saved, or we will never reach the kingdom of Heaven. This one is more simple to explain because it can be explained in one verse that is overlooked. Matthew 3: 11 in which John the Baptist says as he is preparing the way for Christ, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Many things changed with the things Jesus did during His life. The Law of Moses was disregarded and a new law was given to us. And with this was the Law of Baptism. Jesus is now our baptizer. When we accept Him and give our lives to Him, we are baptized not by water, but by that fire that is mentioned in Matthew.  Nowhere after Christ does it mention that a water baptism is necessary. It does however mention water baptisms. In Acts 8: 36, 37 it say, “Now as they went down to road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ Then Peter said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’” Notice the wording however. Peter did not say, you must. Peter said you may. Many churches in the world to day will perform baptisms even though they preach that you are saved by grace. Why? What is the point? Baptism is an outward expression of an inward commitment. In other words, when you are baptized, it is a way of declaring to the world and to God in a physical way, your commitment to Him. Is it necessary to do? No. But it does show you have faith if you do it with the right reasons and a willing heart.

Let me give you a scripture to use yourself. This is one of my favorites because unlike the previous two I have just given you, in this one there is no possibility of misinterpretation. This is in Ephesians 2: 8-9 which says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." How much more clearly does it have to be written? NOT OF WORKS. Right there in the Bible for us to read. 

Now, so far I have told you that if we have true faith and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, that we will be saved. But there is one exception to this, and only one. Many of you know it to be the unpardonable sin. So what is this sin that has no forgiveness?  Mark 3: 22-30 states, "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He has Beelzebub,' and, 'By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.' …'Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation;' because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'“ Here it says that even if you are saved, if you are to deny the Holy Spirit by which you were saved and speak ill towards it, you shall never receive forgiveness. After all, how can you be saved of your transgressions and later say it was false and expect the saving power of Christ to still have compassion on you? You have denied Him and so He will deny you what could have been yours had you believed.

My friends, I would like to close this with a story to help fully illustrate the love our Father has for us. The unconditional love that is there. This was given by Kenyon J. Scudder from a 1961 Reader's Digest article, "A friend of his happened to be sitting in a railroad coach next to a young man who was obviously depressed. Finally the young man revealed that he was a paroled convict returning from a distant prison. His imprisonment had brought shame to his family, and they had neither visited him nor written often. He hoped, however, that this was only because they were too poor to travel and too uneducated to write. He hoped, despite the evidence, that they had forgiven him. To make it easy for them, however, he had written to them asking that they put up a signal for him when the train passed their little farm on the outskirts of town. If his family had forgiven him, they were to put up a single white ribbon in the big apple tree which stood near the tracks. If they didn’t want him to return, they were to do nothing, and he would remain on the train as it traveled onward. As the train neared his hometown, the suspense became so great that he couldn’t bear to look out of his window. He exclaimed, “In just five minutes the engineer will sound the whistle indicating our approach to the long bend which opens into the valley I know as home. Will you watch for the apple tree at the side of the track?” His companion said he would; they exchanged places. The minutes seemed like hours, but then there came the shrill sound of the train whistle. The young man asked, “Can you see the tree? Is there a white ribbon?”Came the reply, “I see the tree. I see not one white ribbon, but many. There is a white ribbon on every branch. Son, someone surely does love you.” 

God surely does love you! Each and every one of you. When Jesus was hanging there on the cross, I can promise that he thought of all of you. And if you will only believe in him; when the day comes that you are returning home on that “train” to His kingdom, you will see all the ribbons of welcome for you to return home. God bless you all and may this year be one of dedication to him. Lets learn and grow together!