Friday, December 6, 2013

Coffee Talk With Jesus: Book Review

You could very well call me a "devotional junkie!"  LOVE THEM!  Can't get enough of them!!!! 

I am just a firm believer in using good devotionals of all styles to usher me into my morning time with the Lord!

SO,  when I saw Barbie Hernandez Swihart  31 Days Of Coffee Talk With Jesus in October of 2012, I thought to myself, 'that would be a good devotional!'  NOW, a year later,  HERE IT IS! 
Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats With The SaviorI  am so ELATED to be a part of this Coffee Talk With Jesus Book Launch!  If you have followed Barbie's blog @ My Freshly Brewed Life; you will quickly pick up that this woman loves her God, is a servant in the highest form,  a devoted wife through the thick & thin, and adores her children, and is a gifted writer & artist, and has a heart for women to experience an intimate relationship with God!

We can perceive that the trials of life that Barbie has gone through has given her a firm foundation of seeking the Lord herself.  Now, it has given her this dynamic platform to help others. I am sure she feels the words, "NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND!" 

It seems to me that the heartbeat of God is for freeing women of the lies and misconceptions we have about Him and about ourselves.  These 31 days address areas of our very soul that we can go back and grab for ourselves and for someone else.  I already know this is a devotional I will continue to use for encouragement, soul searching and comfort; things I need MEGA DOSES of!

Barbie uses the style/method of  "Listening Prayer", a practice of personal conversation with the Lord, which DRAWS you in to a beautiful encounter.  First of all, she/God invites us to COME!  That is a neverending struggle for many, just to get there!  The drawing IS FROM GOD!  For (to draw) is to cause to move toward a force; steadily and gradually.  Barbie gives reflective questions which prod you to DIG DEEPER, so often a place we don't want to go!   But God's Word says, in Psalm 51:6  "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."

Coffee Talk With Jesus is available on Amazon in softbook and on Kindle.

AND A BONUS OR SHOULD WE SAY TREAT is that Barbie inserts these wonderful recipes which all have the common ingredient of COFFEE!  How great is that?

Barbie personally is very dear to me, as she is the reason (through God) that I am blogging today!  The first of this year, the Lord put me on her heart, only knowing me from the internet & initially me commenting on her blog.  She reached out to me and  LITERALLY   SET ME UP with this very blog place, and made one of my hearts desires come to pass.  She made a trip from Fremont, Calif to Stockton, Calif. to give me "HANDS ON HELP!"   She gives of herself undonditionally!  I consider her a mentor and a friend.  I am so proud to know her in the way that I do! 
Tuesday, November 5, 2013


As I was looking back over my journal entries this month, I saw that I had felt inadequate in some areas of caring for my son.  I repented and said to God, "Can we start OVER AGAIN?" This was on Oct. 3rd.  The nurses that come in each week were making me feel overwhelmed by all they expected me to do!

Now looking in hind-sight, I believe God answered my prayer immediately and got the ball rolling, since that I had FINALLY relinquished my control over the matter, as I was not getting anywhere my way!  Not that He brings sickness; but He brings us through it and we become better and whole; of which both my son and I are in the process of wholeness!

With the fact that my son has been a quadriplegic since 1994, when he fell backwards off porch 2 ft. due to a seizure and hurt his spine.  With all these years of not being able to have much movement, his bowels have suffered immensely! We have spent years of treating constipation. Now this was all coming to a head, by my son appearing to be sick, however, not knowing how very sick he was!

Now after 3 weeks of being here in the hospital, I can talk about it. We actually have no way of knowing how long he has had a bowel obstruction.  But God just let everything fall into place , with different tests being given, and put an amazing team of doctors together for his best interest!  On Oct. 21st he had surgery, a colonoscopy and it turned out even better than they had hoped for. 

Now (this week) we are just waiting to be discharged, as he is eating now and keeping it down.  SO, we are starting a new chapter in our lives.  Can't you just see a HEALTHIER  diet in the plan for both of us?  But that's another blog post!

I simply never pass tests with flying colors like I see so many do!  I tend to worry, waver in my faith and be absolutely reluctant to change!  I just thank God for His Great Mercy towards me!  "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness."  Lam. 3:22-23

I have such a large community of friends and family that I have made contact with especially on FB.  My personal chatgroup of Flybabies,  my morning accountability group, Hello Mornings  my Hide His Word group.  The list really goes on and on! Then there are the personal ones that contribute into my life with their posts; it might be a verse, a quote, a picture, a blog. But it all speaks volumes to me and daily nurtures my very soul!  SECRETS OUT!  I SPEND A LITTLE TOO MUCH TIME ON THE INTERNET!  Lol!

Why I started to list groups was because of the overwhelming response of prayers and wellwishes for us from so many who I so lovingly look up to!  My own church, Tabernacle Of PraiseCOGIC, whose prayers have literally sustained me!  Oh how they KNOW ME!  What a mess I am when it comes to my son!

I started this post on the 23rd of October.  We spent  3 weeks, 4 days in hospital.  We left on the 29th. He had made such progress after surgery and has continued to do so since we have been home this past week,  GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!  We are both sleep deprived, but it is so great to be home in our "NEW NORMAL!"

I titled this post "I GET IT!" because God has been speaking to me loud and clear all through this experience, showing me myself for real!  It seems to me like He FINALLY was able to get my full attention!  I can say like Job said,  "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee."  Job 42:5   But now I do really get it!  God just wants our all; heart, soul, mind and body.  He wants to be my 1st priority! It's just not as hard as I have been making it!

My son got a new bowel construction.  I got a new heart surgery from the Master Surgeon!  I have a new lease on my life, added purpose and a fresh recommitment!  I simply intend to SHOW GOD how very greatful I am!
Saturday, October 12, 2013


In Matthew 14:22-33 we have a very familiar story of Jesus rescuing the disciples in a storm. What I just LOVE about our omniscient God, I just happened up on this one this past Wed. morning (10/9/13) as I was intending to do some study on the Bread Of Life, which was the devotional in Our Daily Bread Devotional.

If I could just paraphrase; the disciples were in trouble far away from land. 
A STRONG WIND had hit them and they were fighting HEAVY  WINDS!          THIS  IS FOR  ME!   I am in a storm with my precious 40 year old son, who so graciously God has allowed me to care for the past years of his life, & as a single parent!

Last week, I fell into OVERWHELM  as the wind and waves of sickness hit his body!

In verse 26 of this passage,   "in their fear, they cried out, 'it's a ghost!'
We MUST BE so very careful of  WHAT WE SPEAK  when we are in fear of the unknown!
When we don't realize Jesus is ALREADY THERE!  I remember the song, "He was there all the time!"  When sickness hits, you see symptoms & hear such bad reports, that take your eyes off of Jesus and His Word!  Jesus reassured them that HE WAS THERE!

He is as close as His Word!  Rom. 10:8  "The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is the word of faith which we preach!"

It only states that Peter initiated walking on the water by asking Jesus to call him to come.  Now, looking in hindsight, HOW LONG have I been hearing Jesus bidding me to 'come closer?' In Mt. 11:28, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Every morning Sara Young  bids me to come  closer in her devotional, "Jesus Calling."   Diane Stortz has gathered us together in profoundly charging us to memorize 52 scriptures from A to Z.  The 3rd scripture was this very Mt. 11:28.  The 2nd one was Is. 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God!"  I can personally learn much more on the (be still) part; however, God is simply showing me that HE IS GOD!  In living color!

Being still and resting in God is one of my passions of interest!  I want to come closer inspite of distractions. I am perfecting this desire by being accountable to my "Hello Mornings" group who are studying Ephesians.  Started with "Hide His Word" in memorizing Eph. 1, but now with this crisis I may be too behind.  But God knows. 

BACK TO PETER..........when the strong winds and the heavy waves hit him, it practically knocked him out!   SO ME!  As much Word as I do know, as strong of a regimen I try to engage in, one more time, I about  FELL OUT!  I know it is shameful after 40 years of facing quite 118:17 a few crisis with my sons life and I KNOW GOD TO BE FAITHFUL!

Jesus simply stated, " You have so little faith!" "Why did you doubt?"  Verse 32 says "When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped!"  This was the Rhema Word for me, climb back into the boat, don't let the fear paralyze you into not wanting to get back into the saddle!    GUESS WHAT?  It's not all about this we are going through.  God is showing me my real self, and that ugly underlying fear I tend to allow to control me in many areas of my life.  AGAIN I am on the attack of this fear that immobilizes me from blogging, telling our story, declaring God's goodness and AGAIN I rise to the occasion in the name of JESUS!  AND I WILL be posting on the progressive healing of my son. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013


     The little grandmother who didn't get a computer until the age of 60!  The one who found out there was such a thing as a "BLOG!"  I secretly followed so many gifted writers & only God knew that I wanted so badly to write a blog myself!

      This very year, 2013, a little lady over in Fremont, California, Barbie Hernandez Swihart +My Freshly Brewed Life  saw me & felt led of the Lord to help me get started! 

       Remember me?  I was the one who was going to IMPROVE in all the areas of my life.  Then, March7, I realized I had messed up, not seeking God first with my plans.  By April 28th, I got my "want to" back! 

        Throughout all of these three posts and since, I admit, I have had a PARALYZING FEAR!  I can quote to you, "There is (no fear) in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18.
      The question is, a fear of what?  Writing?  Writing comes naturally for me. Wait until I can start taking pictures and finally learn how to post them on my blog!  I was given a new phone today!  Me, with a SmartPhone?  (a shout out to my sweet "Fluttering Sharon!"
          I don't even KNOW what I am afraid of!  It's just a tactic of the enemy! I do know that!  John 10:10  "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

               I read a beautiful quote from Denise J. Hughes, blog writer at  "Writers overcome their fears when they do one thing:  BEGIN."

         One thing I would love to show you, is a picture of my many binders!  I have one for (every cause) that comes to my mind.  My newest one is my "WRITING BINDER."  This has posts I have collected from many bloggers who have merely spoken into my life with their words! 
              Today is just my day to BEGIN AGAIN!  This is a familiar word to me.  God and I use it quite too many times in my journal.
BEGIN:  To do the first part of an action.  To arise, to have a starting point.  To take the first step.  Starting implies to first actions, steps or stages taken.

A good formula given here:  1) Acknowledge where you are really at.  2) Repent.  3) Begin again.

               I think I will just take God at His Word.  Is. 41:13, He tells me, "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'do not fear, I will help you.' "

          In June 2013 Mandy Scarr wrote a wonderful post on "Kicking Fear To The Curb."  She said, " I'M NOT GOING TO CONTINUE TO ALLOW THE ENEMY OF THIS LIFE PARALYZE ME FROM STEPPING OUT, FROM MOVING FORWARD, FROM TRULY LIVING."       
          ME TOO MANDY!

             Hope I haven't rambled on too much here.  This is just an attempt to make straight paths for my feet, to acknowledge where I am really at.  I have a strong conviction about honesty and being for real.  I have a story to share. My heart goes out to young mothers of small children in overwhelming conditions.  I've been there, done that! I can testify that God will see us through anything!  He is no respector of persons.

                    In closing, would you pray with me?  Heavenly Father, would you touch and use (this vessel) to write to reach someone who may be discouraged or going through a difficult time.  May my words bring them hope in knowing that YOU are always with us, and you love us just like we are; fragile, sometimes literally broken, under much pressure with responsibilities. But YOU, OH GOD!  You are able to make us over again, for YOU are the Potter and we are the clay!  (Jer. 18:3-6)
Sunday, April 28, 2013


          This year is the SIXTH TIME I have attempted to read/study/digest Lysa Terkeurst's book, MADE TO CRAVE since buying it in 2011.  I so relate with her words in the first chapter, "It's not the "how to" I am missing. It's the "want to....really wanting to make changes and deciding that the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice."
          I found that this was scriptural!   "Not in your own strength, for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you (energizing and creating in you the power and desire) both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." (Phil. 2:13)

            Some weeks ago I started to notice a real "want to" to make so many right choices.  The same week this was noticeable to me I received an appointment to have an ultra sound taken of my arteries, which they had been wanting to check since 5 years ago, when they saw a narrowing occurring.  They immediately saw that placque had built up, but unable to see the extent without taking further testing.  Ever since then, we have had insurance obstacles.

             As soon as these negative results came I went through an escalation of emotions.  The worst was the fear I had to immediately fight.  When fear grips you, it is just like the Bible says, in 1John 4:18 "......fear hath torment!"  The greatest description  I have always experienced with fear is the feeling of paralyzation.  I am not worried about my condition of my heart. I have simply been worried about the care of my precious son whom I take care of.

                      ENOUGH   ABOUT   THAT!

                     What I want to share with you is how God has just been so loving & concerned about me!  My Hello Morning group has been studying on hope and for one entire week we had scriptures on fear, just what I needed!  It seemed like every other blog was dealing with the issue of fear.  All my church programs on tv were preaching or teaching on how to fear not!  My Hiding His Word Group has been memorizing Psalms 71 which has many comforting verses directly to my situation. And my Pastor Lawrence Montgomery speaks right into my life with a Rhema Word! 

                 RIGHT HERE is where I would interject a picture of my binder I made.  I am a visual person.  The cover says, MY BELIEF  SYSTEM.   The verse underneath this title is  "we having the same spirit of faith according as it is written, 'I believed and therefore have I spoken'  we also believe and therefore speak."  (2 Cor. 4:13)

                          I have dividers with sections for scriptures, confessions,  prayers, my identity in Christ, articles that edify. 

                           Earlier in the year I thought I knew where I was going, wanted to go in all the areas of my life.  But I have so learned that life just happens and we have to make a detour.  As far as my health, I am already making necessary changes, but because of this, more intensely!  And that is a good thing!  I am "WANTING TO" because of the great mercy God has had upon me and my foolishness!   My trust is in God! I just know "HE'S  GOT  THIS!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013


          In all actuality and honesty, I don't have a problem with saying, "I AM SORRY!"  It's just when I have to get up before a group of people to repent, and like this, before the whole blog world!  I am a little intimidated!

         I know your ears are perked up now!

            As Job said, "For the thing which I greatly feared (is come upon me) and that which I (was afraid of) is come unto me."  Job 3:25

               2012 was my first year on the internet.  I know, I'm a late bloomer!  I got so overwhelmed by all the blogs, the information  and suggestions given on resolutions and goals.  The year drizzled on down and my goals did too!  Thankfully I was doing the basics.

                So with that experience, I was determined to not let that happen again this year!  I so carefully looked at the ideas that came from all of the bloggers I read. (which are many!)  Even in my choice of yearly Bible readings, I was not going to get "caught up" in the popular. I wanted to go at a slower pace. My goal is to retain what I read, not in checking off a checklist. My ultimate goal is to know God better through His Word.  For I have been reading through the Bible for quite a while now.   Infact, today is my 38yr. spiritual birthday!

                  It wasn't many days and weeks that I realized that I had "gotten in over my head!"   Again!   I bit off more than I could chew!  I had joined too many groups; all good endeavors, good company, but too much!

             Why could I have not met Pastor Greg Simas from my mentor, Barbie@ My Freshly Brewed Life's Church; Convergence House Of Prayer.  Pastor Greg wrote a post on his blog, "My One Pursuit" on Dec. 31, 2012.  "How I Am Setting Goals This Year." 

              This post was speaking directly to me, although I didn't run-up-on-it until the last of February!  In his post, he is talking about making goals and taking small consistent steps to get there.  My "lightbulb moment" was when he said, "Asking the Lord what He wants you to do in 2013 and how He wants to co-labor with you to see it done is vital!"

                     I  (DID NOT) consult the Lord on this.  I really didn't!   How well I know, "For we are laborers together (with God!)!  1 Cor.3:9a

               I also know Jeremiah said,  "I know O Lord that the way of man is not (in himself), that it is not (in man) who walks to direct his step."

                For God promises in Ps. 32:8  "(I) will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

                 I first, did not consult God.  Second, I didn't sit down and count up the cost.  In Luke 14:28  "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

                  That is how I have messed up!  I am so Godly sorry.  I have repented to God and He has forgiven me.  God is the very one who has opened the door for me to have a blog.  "Without Him, I can do nothing!" John 15:5.
                  I want to live a life of honesty and integrity, not only at church, but behind closed doors and now on this (PRECIOUS) blog given to me!

                    God is showing me how to go about the list of goals (I  MADE) and we are weeding through it. I will be writing of my new agenda very soon.  I realize now, I was TRYING TOO HARD in my own strength, muscling my own way!                 
Monday, February 18, 2013

My One Word: Improvement

So many times I have suffered great consequences because of making unwise decisions and being a poor steward over the resources God has blessed me with.  In the area of finances, I need improvement!  When I follow God's guidelines of tithes, blessing the man of God, my church ministry and being responsible to pay my bills timely, to budget what I am given and to only spend what I can afford, I do well.  But it's in those times of testing that I find that I have tendencies to overspend, borrow that which will be hard to pay back.  You see, I need improvement!

     {Improvement:  To bring into a more desirable or excellent condition, a change by which a thing is improved, developed, corrected, or made better.}

Anything I put in to bettering myself will improve my life forever!  No one can improve yourself better than you can!

Exercising and eating right will prolong my life and keep my body functioning properly as it was designed to do.  Having Diabetes makes this area a great challenge. Even though I have chosen the right path now, I need much improvement in this area!  It's not about a diet, or any essential plan, but a goal of living a healthy lifestyle.

In Sept 2012 I came across "The Fly Lady!"  I have battled with clutter for years now.  In this program, what she teaches by example has been doable for me and I have made tremendous strides.  I still need improvement, because in only a day or week, I can easily go back to my old tendencies of cluttering and piling.  I am part of an accountability group through the site that encourages and motivates me by their striving to keep order in their homes.

This has been the key for me, being a part of groups that I am accountable to in the areas I need help in.  Telling one person or group increases your likelihood of sticking to your plan and goals. 

I found "Hiding His Word", where I have been challenged to memorize Ps. 71 in 14 weeks.  This has been amazing to me, to see myself at age 62 able to memorize!  This beautiful discipline has already improved my mind, as well as my heart.  I am so looking forward to adding other passages to my list.  

Another group I have joined is "Hello Mornings".  This challenges me to want to get up early to spend time with the Lord more than any other thing I do!  They have a beautiful Bible Study offered.  The Word is so rich & enlightening.

All of these accountability groups help me to improve in all of these areas.  A great key to anyone would be to spend time with friends who improve you.  Ones who will make you be accountable and help you to uncover the obstacles that hold you back from your goals.  Ones that will tell you the truth, which sometimes hurts.  Improvement is not something someone hands to you; you pay a price for it.  And I am finding,  IT IS SO WORTH IT! 

*Linking up with Melanie at Only A Breath for her One Word Link up!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CONTINUING ON...................

          If there's one thing I know to do; it's to continue! The definition for continue to remain, to stickwith, to maintain, or to resume after an intermission.

          The Bible even instructs us to always continue in good. "...continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of because you know those from whom you learned it." (2 Tim. 3:14)

            In my experience of caring for my son with special needs for the past 39 yrs., quitting, abandoning, leaving, nor stopping was ever an option.  I  didn't know anything else to do, but continue.

            Two weeks ago, I wrote my first blog post regarding my commitment  to be a part of this journey in becoming healthy.  Last week I was attacked by that flu-virus going around. It literally knocked me to my knees.  I  had no choice other than go to bed, then SLOWLY recuperate!  Due to my age,  my immune system being completely depleted, having diabetes, blood sugars going haywire because of the foreign germs within my body and at war with each other.

             Good also came out of this; I lost my appetite.  Thought I would have lost a pound or two, but NOT!  A continual thirst was birthed & ever since, I have easily been able to maintain my 8c. water per day.  I have even noticed my appetite being curbed, not desiring to binge late at night.

              I couldn't resume walking until this Monday. Weather permitting, I will get in my 5 days of walking.

              Someone profoundly said,  "IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL!" Strategic planning is what I've been weak in. I've noticed comments on the FB group page of many who are realizing meals and snacks must be planned in advance to be successful.  Careful planning for me would disavow my temptation to eat the wrong thing, making for healthier decisions.

               Another planning device is my food journal.  This is another area I have become slack in.  A  food journal can be so helpful to find your patterns of eating, the reasons & emotions behind it, if you are honest in recording every bite you put in your mouth.  It is a place for personal accountability; which is no more than telling on yourself with explanation. A food journal can be such a good barometer of where I really am at! It won't lie to you!

                      So, this week girls,  I continue after an interruption.  I get right back in the game.  Sickness may have knocked me for a loop, but I am so encouraged, renewed, energized and rejuvenated.  I  am too positive to be doubtful,  too optimistic  to be fearful,  and too determined to be defeated!

 (photo credit)    

The scale is still at 180 lbs. But with more careful planning and continuing what I know to do, I know that I will be seeing change soon!

I'm linked up with Kim for Weigh In Wednesdays.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday With Kim

Weighing-in, the numbers are not what attracted me to this FB group!  Last year, I do have the date written down, infact I do believe I even made copies of Kim's post which originally drew me to Kim!  It was her openness, her forthrightness, and her inviting me to come and be accountable on Wednesdays!  I had difficulty leaving comments for her, so I never really commited myself! But every week I would keep seeing Kim sharing of her good weeks & honestly of her bad weeks! Then, Kim was taking it to a new level; a FB Group Page, and if that wasn't enough, she started a FB Group Page for our Morning Time! God was using this woman "for the kill" of Helen!  For the bottom line here is that people like me do not want to die to the flesh!  I have so many evil tendencies to take the shortcut, underdo, cheat, lie to myself as well as others. And I found that the LORD "desires truth in the inward part, and in the hidden part."  He wants me to find the wisdom I need. 
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (Ps. 51:6)
I have wanted to delete my name from the groups, not wanting to be the weak link of the group!  But God, would not have it so! Everyday, I find myself running to look at the successes of others, the delightful recipes these women are finding because they want a change!   So, this Wednesday, the 16th day of January, 2013 I would like to recommit to the goal of becoming healthy, because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus paid a great price for me & I owe Him the honoring of my body. 
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19)
I again, recommit to making healthier choices of eating, drinking at least 8 cups of water daily, walking at least 5 days a week, finding some kind of exercise.  Today I weigh in at 180lbs.