Monday, July 30, 2012

A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: James 1:5

This week's memory verse was inspired by my syllabus from my "Christian Beliefs" class. This is the first time I have ever read scripture in a syllabus, which means a lot to me!


Here it is: 

Yes, this is a picture of part of my syllabus.


"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5 (TNIV)


God is love and the best source for wisdom,
Vanessa

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Homesick Dilemma

Yesterday evening I had the privilege of briefly talking with a family friend from back home. She had heard from another church member that I was horribly homesick. I immediately found myself being a bit defensive and even a little bit angry (on the angry scale from 0 to 10, 0 low, I was like a 1.5). It bothered me for two reasons; 1) I hadn't talked to this other church member since I left "home" and 2) it wasn't true.


So what did I say in response? I said, "Well that's interesting because I haven't talked to _______ since I moved to Tennessee."


But what do I say after that?


Do I say, "I'm not homesick"?.


But what kind of wife would I be if I didn't miss my husband? What kind of family member or friend would I be if I didn't miss my loved ones who live on the other side of the country? What kind of Oregonian would I be if I didn't miss her beauty and community?


My Superhero and I, one year ago, at one of my favorite places in the world. 
Sometimes I guilt myself in to saying I'm homesick because it's easier, but it's not the truth.


There was a time that I was indeed homesick; it lasted for about two weeks after I moved to Tennessee. If someone would have offered me a one way ticket back to Oregon within the first 36 hours of living in Tennessee, I would have quickly accepted and not looked back. Seriously. I've moved quite a few times in my life, and spent three months in Zimbabwe, but that was the first time  I had ever experienced the "homesick" feeling. 


But to say that I'm homesick now, would be a lie.


After returning from Zimbabwe in 2004, I shared a sermon titled "Home is Where Your Heart Is". In the sermon, I shared how my heart is ultimately and chiefly with the Lord, and so my home is with Him.


So am I homesick for Heaven?


No.


But what kind of Christian am I if I don't want to be in Heaven? 


I realize that as a Christian, the politically correct answer is to be homesick for Heaven, but that would also be a lie. 


So if I'm not homesick; what am I?


I'm appreciative.
I'm appreciating this unique time in my life, where I'm out of my comfort zone. I think about the characters of the Bible; and whom of them lived a comfortable life?And if you can think of someone; would you want to be like them? I appreciate the updates my loved ones post on Facebook, so I can feel connected. I appreciate the new friends that I'm making here and the little extended family that we have here.


I'm learning.
I'm learning life lessons every day. I'm learning more about myself, my pets, our marriage, and my God. I'm learning how to better take care of myself. I'm learning to conquer fears. I'm learning about anatomy and physiology. And starting tomorrow I'll be learning in my "Christian Beliefs" class. I'm learning to trust and depend on my Heavenly Father more than I ever have. 


I'm trusting.
Like I just mentioned, I'm trusting the Lord more than ever. I'm trusting Him with precious people like my Grandma, who according to the medical world, is on borrowed time. I'm trusting the Lord with our income... some days are easier than others to trust. 


I'm distracted.
God has done a marvelous job of keeping me distracted from feeling like a bum or homesick. He keeps providing new people and experiences to keep my mind occupied. I've been blessed with the opportunity to give Bible studies to folks, bake bread from banquets, help with outreach, search for my dog, write about searching for my dog, read, exercise, discover new music, and explore a "foreign land" (to name a few). The distractions really help, especially since it would be really easy for me to feel like a bum for not working. Like even now, as I'm typing, I feel obligated to tell you all that I've submitted resumes/applications at dozens of places and have only had 2 interviews. I feel obligated to tell you that the two local hospitals are on a hiring freeze and just recently laid off employees. But then again, a guy I know, who has only been here for two weeks, has already found a job. So then I feel obligated to tell you that perhaps God knows what's best since this Fall I will be in class from 830am to 830pm three days a week, and from 830am to 330pm two days a week, and nearly all my weekends are already full starting in September to late December (because that's the nature of the scholastic program I'm registered for). I keep applying for jobs but the distractions are nice for when I'm "rejected"... again...


I'm claiming...
I'm claiming Bible verses/promises like I never have before. Every time I walk the path that had the huge snake skin (especially at night), I claim Jeremiah 29:11. Or when I start to worry (especially about money), I claim Matthew 6:25-34. Or when there is a creepy bug/spider/amphibian/reptile all up in my personal space, and everything in my wants to scream like a little girl, and holler for my Superhero husband, and my legs are crossed so I don't wet myself, I claim Isaiah 41:10 (and yell for my cat Ike). Sometimes I don't know how to articulate my desires or I'm too tired to pray the dozens of things on my prayers list, so at  times like those I'll claim Psalm 37:4-5 and ask God to read my heart. The more I claim verses, the more He gives me verses to claim.


So here's the thing...
Of course I miss my husband and my other loved ones. Of course I miss the beautiful valley and community that I called home for nearly 10 years prior to moving to Tennessee. And if Jesus were to come today or if I died today, of course I would be ecstatic to be truly "home".


But God is taking such great care of me, in such an undeniable way, that I can't in good conscience claim that I'm anywhere close to being "homesick".  Please don't misunderstand me, my life isn't perfect, and I have hard days/weeks, but God is even closer in those times... which takes me back to the comfort zone thing... I wouldn't trade anything to have the walk that I'm having with my Lord right now. (Please see Philippians 4:6-9).


Which is exactly what I told my friend on the phone, "God is taking really good care of me."


If I were to choose one word, it would be, "abiding". I'm abiding in the Lord. So if you hear anyone say, "Vanessa is homesick.", while that might be partially true, you now know to politely correct them by saying, "Vanessa is abiding."And then just refer them to this blog post! ;)


God is love,
Vanessa who is abiding


PS. I did a little Bible study on the words "home" and "sick" and found the following verses stuck out to me (which I have copied and pasted from Biblegateway.com (they are all TNIV)):


  • "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9




  • "29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to comeeternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:29-31




  • "Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." John 14:23

  • "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 




  • "10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Matthew 9:10-12




  • "34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’" Matthew 25:34-36




  • "13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:14
Perhaps this will shed more light on why I don't take the word "homesick" lightly. :)






Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five For Friday!!!

I truly don't know how it is Friday again already! Matthew 24:22 comes to mind and I wonder if this is what Jesus meant about the days being cut short. I don't think it is what he meant but my days do seem short. But hey I rather have them be short than long!


Ok moving on to my five:


Photobucket



1. Answered prayers... (but please continue praying)




Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




2. I accomplished my goal of exercising six times this week. And I accomplished another goal of posting on my blog six times in a week.
 Click here to read about my recent lifestyle change (this is me not using the word "diet"). 


3. I got to see one of my friends from Oregon on Tuesday! (Shame on me for not taking any pictures to document this event.)

4. My FREE Outside magazine and cards/letters from loved ones came in the mail this week! It's the little things folks!!!


 5. I was able to fall asleep at a decent hour at least twice this week!!! I'm hoping and praying that changes to seven days a week soon. And in case you are wondering... a picture of myself sleeping would be really awkward. It was awkward enough that I posted a sweaty picture of myself.

High Five for Everyday:
*My Superhero husband who accomplishes more before eight in the morning than most people do all week. He works so hard and complains so little. And he loves me unconditionally (truly). Most importantly, he loves the Lord.*

*And our pets, who give me something to fret over. And for also loving me unconditionally (well my cat does most of the time & my dog - all the time :).*

I have a lot in store for me this weekend! I'm looking forward to it! Thanks for reading my blog! Just a warning... the posts might decrease as I'm picking up another class on Monday... I know, I know... it will be rough without a daily dose of blog posts from LLHFL Blog.... ;) just kidding! Not kidding about the class and potential decrease. o_0 Time will tell! 

Lots of love to you and a blessed weekend too (note what just happened)!


God is love,
Vanessa




Thursday, July 26, 2012

5 Suggestions For the Average Facebook User {From An Expert}

So I have become that person on Facebook... you know, that person who is always there, somehow liking status updates all day. I use to wonder about people like me, "Don't they have other things they need to be doing? How are they on Facebook so much?"


 Be careful what you ask, because before you know it, you might live your answer. 


I recently moved across the country to Tennessee from Oregon; I'm a country away from most of our family and friends. Perhaps this is why I've become a Facebook addict. I don't really like analyzing this phenomena, so let's move on... 


With all the time that I've spent on Facebook the past few weeks, you might as well call me a Facebook expert... (how did it come to this so quickly...) and being the expert that I am, I have come up with 5 suggestions for the average Facebook user:


1. Don't Post Sh**. Literally. 
The other day I posted a status update that said this: 
"Just cleaned up my cat's diarrhea for the second morning in a row. Considered taking a picture and sharing it with you all, but decided not to. You're welcome."
I just knew that my friend and fellow cat lover Rebecca would think it's hilarious. But then I realized two things 1) she cleans her baby's poop every day and mentions nothing. 2) I should probably just text Rebecca.


Then I started thinking about all my friends who are nurses (especially the ones that work at nursing homes), and all my other friends who have babies... and what would Facebook be like if they all shared their daily interactions with poop... or worse.... Turns out poop isn't a big deal and should be kept to oneself. 


I deleted my status update and thought about people's interactions with poop the rest of the day. Learned that lesson!


2.  Facebook is Great if You Lose Your Dog.


Because of Facebook (& other factors which you can read about here) I was able to find my dog in 24 hours. 


But Facebook is not so good if you lose your keys, cell phone, money, or mind. Not much help there as it turns out.


3. People Are Watching You Watch.


I'm not sure why, but some video watching applications on Facebook allow everyone to see what videos people watch.


Am I the only one disturbed by the amount of people who watched the video about big zits? If you must watch stuff like that then please go over to YouTube, so I don't have to be embarrassed for you.


4. Last Logged In


Facebook should really have a "Last Logged In" function for every Facebook user. That way we could figure out who is a Facebook stalker (never posts, just looks) and who never logs on. I think I could clean up my Facebook friend list this way. We all have friends that claim they are never on Facebook but yet somehow know everything that has been posted... if you're a Facebook stalker, that's cool with me, just own up to it... That's all I ask. Openly admitting your addictions is the first step to recovery after all (thus this blog post.... *big sigh, head hung low*)


If this function were available, it would also have to have an option that said "Has Been Logged on Since..." for folks who have been logged on for over 3 hours. This would help us decipher the folks that never get off of Facebook. 


So mine would say "Last Logged in 5 Minutes Ago" and it would almost continually say that because I'm constantly logging on through out the day and staying logged in for just a few minutes. This function would really help my addiction because it would then become like a game to see how long I could go without logging in. By the way, I need a job. 


5. Facebook is What You Make of It.


If Facebook is a place that you choose to share the crazy drama in your life, then so be it. If it's a place to share your political beliefs in a cruel way, then so be it. If Facebook is a place that you choose to be a salesman, then so be it. Just know that I will block your updates from my feed, because I get embarrassed for you.


For me, Facebook is a place to connect with family and friends from all over the world. A place to share my life and my love for the Lord. It's ok if you block my updates in your feed, but just know, you might miss a diarrhea post... and some really good Bible verses. 




Lighten up already. It's just Facebook.


Oh. Ok.


God is love,
Vanessa the addict 



PS. Let's try to limit the self portraits on Facebook  to 3 a day, I get embarrassed for you. Duck lips need to be less. Ok I'm done.





Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How I Lost 10.5 Pounds in 30 Days

In today's post I'd like to share with y'all how I lost 10.5 pounds in 30 days. Hopefully what I'm about to share with you will be helpful and encouraging.



On June 13th, the day I dropped of my husband at BNA (Nashville International Airport), I weighed 142.5. I weighed myself 30 days later on July 13th, and came in at 132. 


I weighed 132 in the picture that you see in the upper left hand corner of this blog.


What's my secret?


Prepare yourself. You'll want to write this down....


I exercised more, and ate healthier. Period.


 I'm sorry, I wish I had some secret easy button for you, but I don't.  I know this sounds crazy, but I've become thankful that there's not an easy button. I'll get to that later. 


Since last September of 2011(you can read this post to get an idea of what my life was like) I have slowly gained weight. I didn't exercise at all during the month of May. By the time I moved to Tennessee in early June 2012, I felt really flabby and out of shape, thus the 142.5. 


Fast forward a few weeks later and now I'm exercising six days a week, and my sweets cravings are nearly completely gone. 


So without further adieu, allow me to share 7 lessons I've learned that are essential in healthy weight loss:



1. It starts in your brain.
  • Before I moved to Tennessee I had made up my mind that I needed a lifestyle change. As you already know, a lifestyle change is more than weight loss or looking good.
  • I've also found that good role models are helpful. I have plenty of friends who are in great shape and look great in a bathing suit. As it turns out, they all eat healthy and exercise regularly. Weird I know. Also I have chosen a few famous people as healthy lifestyle examples. One example that I keep in mind is Carrie Underwood. She is very open about her vegan lifestyle, which is how I'd like to ultimately eat. And she isn't skin-n-bones jones, she is strong, which is what I'd like for myself.  Don't miss understand me, I'm not trying to be Carrie Underwood, we are all made differently, her self-discipline is what inspires.
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  • The Bible says that our bodies are temples. "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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with you bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 A healthy lifestyle is a way of honoring the Lord, it's a way of worshipping Him. So why not include the Lord in your exercises and what you consume? I have found that Jesus is absolutely the difference between 2.5 and 3 miles, or passing on what I know isn't good for me. Yes, I pray for strength when I run. My exercise time has become one of my most cherished times with the Lord. Seriously.
  • It's also important to trust the Lord with your life (this could be an entire blog post), because stress has a huge impact on our physiology. When we stress, we tend to eat junk, and stress depletes our energy and robs are motivation to exercises. This is all easier said than done, I know. But if I can do it,  you can do it! 
  • I choose to weigh myself only once a week at the most, and I made sure it was first thing in the morning. Remember it's not about numbers.
2. Food
  • In short, I eat less crap, and more fruits and veggies. :)
  • My weakness is sweets and "quick and easy". My grandfather would literally pour table sugar on his green salad; I'm not quite that bad. And my grandmother is the queen of the microwave; I quite possibly could be the princess. To curve this, I've become very purposeful in my grocery shopping. I just don't buy that stuff any more. I know I'm weak, so I don't even tempt myself by allowing it in my house. It's for this reason that I also choose to not even go down the "snack" isle. My sweets now come from more natural forms; like honey. The more natural the food, the better. It turns out that eating an apple is just as quick as a handful of crackers, and so much better for us. The only time I use the microwave now, is if I need to reheat something for a few seconds.
    I also consider this an essential to have around. 
    • Like I mentioned above, I try to eat vegan as much as possible. My digestive system is so much happier when I do this. I realize this kind of eating isn't for everyone, but I recommend giving it a try if you haven't done so. This is admittedly easier to do when my husband is out of town because he's a big beef/dairy guy. But I'm also blessed with a husband that will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him as long as it tastes good... the secret is to be prepared. There are tons of books and recipes out there for folks who want to give vegan a try. Keep the recipes simple at first, so you don't get discouraged. Most the stuff I eat doesn't require a recipe. For example, long grain organic brown rice with steamed vegetables (simple as that). One thing that I do continue to indulge in is ranch dressing. I know there's vegan versions for ranch dressing, I just haven't made the switch yet, it will come in time. :)
    • Also, I think it's important to mention that I'm not a food snob. If I'm at someone's home etc and they prepare a meal that has cheese on it for example, I'm not going to refuse to eat it. 
    • Alcohol is high in empty calories, so I have choose to leave that out of my diet. If you'd like to leave it in your diet, then I suggest doing so in moderation if you want to lose weight. The same goes for other high calorie consumables (ice cream, cup cakes, etc).
    • I also try not to eat for at least two hours before I sleep.
    I consider these one of my must haves. I buy the variety pack from Costco.


    3. Exercise
    • On June 13th, when I started this lifestyle change, I ran to the end of the lane I live on and back. Each day since then I've made myself go a little bit further, even if it's only 10 feet. Now I'm up to running 4 miles outside without stopping (my goal is 7 miles).
    • Here are some essentials while I exercise:
      • A good pair of running shoes
      • Music (check back next week, I hope to have a playlist for y'all). I CAN NOT exercise without music. I prefer fast paced, uplifting music. 
      • A supportive bra.

    • For the first 30 days my exercise regime was only cardio. Since then I have added weight training to my workouts, making my total workout time about an hour long.
    4. Water
    • This is something that I have struggled with. I know I need to drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day, but too often I fall far short of that goal. I do best when I have bottles of water already full in the fridge (or in the cooler if I'm traveling) ready for me to grab. You'd have to live under a rock to not know the importance of staying hydrated. :)
    5. The Great Outdoors
    • Fresh air and sunshine make me feel better. So when the weather and my schedule cooperate, I choose to exercise outdoors. I always feel better exercising outside vs. in the gym. But exercising in the gym is better than not exercising at all. I honestly can't think of a better workout than hiking or running in the mountains. 
    6. Shut Eye and Relaxing
    • My biggest struggle since moving to Tennessee has been adjusting to the Eastern Time Zone. I have not mastered a regular sleep routine as of yet, but I'm not giving up! My ideal sleep schedule would be to be asleep by 9 or 10 and up at 5 or 6.
    • I require 8 hours of sleep. My husband can get by on 5 or 6. Do what works for you and make sure you get that amount consistently. 
    • I also take a full 24 hours off from exercising (and most work) each week. I do this each week from Friday night to Saturday night (Sabbath). I've done this for almost 10 years,  and now my body is so use to that weekly break that by Friday afternoon it automatically "winds down". 
    • I've also recently discovered the blessing in unplugging once a week. During the same time that I mentioned above, I turn off my computer and my cell phone. I hope to share more about this in a different post.
    7. Moderation
    • Too much of anything can be bad. Too much food means obesity. Too much exercise means no life. Too much sleep means lazy. Too much alcohol means beer belly and alcoholism. Too much sun can cause cancer. You get the idea. Is there such a thing as too much fresh air? :) But seriously do all things in moderation.
    • It is possible to be obsessive about being healthy. Don't do that, no one will want to be around you. When you obsess over something, it becomes your idle, and God warns strongly against that (let me know if you need Bible verses to support that statement).

    I feel so much better since making these lifestyle changes, plus I can think clearer. Which means my prayer life is better and so is my ability to study. And for that I am very grateful.

    So why am I sharing all this? 

    I truly hope this encourages you if you are considering making changes in your lifestyle. Also, I could use the accountability. The lowest weight I have been in years is 129 pounds and I'm near that mark now. I don't want to stop there... I'd like to see how 125 feels... and then see how 120 feels. (By the way, I recommend using a BMI calculator to determine what is a healthy weight for your height.) So I am totally open to suggestions to conquering a weight plateau (please leave suggestions by commenting below). 

    For His glory.
    God is love,
    Vanessa

    PS. ***I am not a health care provider. I'm just an expert on what works for me. There are no guarantees that what has worked well for me will work well for you. Pray and talk to your health care provider before making drastic changes, especially if you are on medication.***
    http://wearethatfamily.com/features/works-for-me-wednesday/


    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Everyday, Every Day Beauty

    Huge glorious mountains are required for a place to be considered beautiful... or so I thought. 

    sights of the morning after my workout

    my content kitty on my happy bed spread

    a distance marker on my runs...

    flowers also from my runs
    my view from my front door

    my every day gift from God

    getting use to TN bugs

    cutting from my hanging basket

    my dog. home. asleep.

     I'm learning to see beauty in my every day everyday here in Tennessee...
    along the driveway

    too may to count
    Pond I run by..

    by the front door

    hiding in the trees along the driveway 


    on my way home from giving Bible studies

    this morning's sunrise
    by my parking spot

    Poco Bear smelling the flowers with me

    Ike helping with the flowers too

    out front, hiding under a bush



    an unexpected view

    my doormat 
    my view when i get out of my pick up








     "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us…"  Psalms 90:17, NKJV


    God is love,
    Vanessa

























    Monday, July 23, 2012

    A Memory Verse a Week for the Weak: John 11:35

     This past Memorial day, after putting flowers on loved one's graves, my mother and I went back to the cemetery to watch a F-15 fly overhead. I had always enjoyed watching air shows fly over the Puget Sound as a kid. My mom has similar found childhood memories growing up in Phoenix.  
    F-15 (Photo courtesy Oregon Air National Guard)
    I'm not familiar with how other towns celebrate Memorial Day, but in Baker City, Oregon the day is kinda a big deal. Most of the stores close in remembrance of those who gave their lives. And as my mother and I drove down Main Street to the cemetery, I couldn't help but be proud to live in a community that still honors the Brave. The cemetery itself is gorgeous, with dozens if not hundreds of American flags erect and waving in the breeze. Flowers and people are of an abundance on this weekend of Memorial. 


    A part of me felt a bit silly and giddy to go to the cemetery to watch a jet fly over, but my insecurities quickly dissolved after parking the car and taking a long look around to see babes, parents, veterans, my mom, and so many others come to watch the same moment.


    And that's all that it was; a moment. The F-15 came flying in with such force that it felt as though the entire planet stood still. And it left in the same fashion. I watched the jet until I couldn't see it anymore. Somewhere in that brief moment, tears rolled down my face and onto the gravel my beneath my feet. 


    After the F-15 no longer held my gaze captive, I looked at my mother, and she too was crying! It was then that I realized where I got my crying tendency. Prior to this realization I thought I was a crying weirdo. 


    Turns out that she too cries when the National Anthem is sung, no matter where she hears it. No matter where I hear that song, little league game, or watching the Superbowl, I'll shed a tear. I'm not particularly patriotic, that's not it. Any time a group of people join together for something good, I get goosebumps, and I get teary. You know those flash mob dances that you see on YouTube? Ya, well that opens up the flood gates for me. Choir sings at church, same result.


    Or like last week when my dog went missing for 24 hours; I ugly cried in front of, I don't know how many people. Wow, was it ugly. And then when I found Poco Bear, I fell to my knees, I was sobbing so hard. 


    When I met my nephew Wyatt for the first time.... tears.


    My wedding day, in front of everyone... or pretty much any wedding actually...


    So as you can imagine, I shed a tear when I read what happened to the movie goers of Aurora, Colorado. I assume I wasn't the only one, I imagine people across the world wept. 12 lives gone. Countless others scarred for life. 


    Perhaps you will join me in taking great comfort in these two words (this week's memory verse):
    "Jesus wept." 
    John 11:35 is the shortest verse of the Bible and quite possibly the most descriptive of our Saviour. 


    There is no doubt in my mind, that just like the death of Lazarus caused Jesus to weep, so does the mind boggling incident in Aurora.  Jesus is not immune to the pain and suffering of this world. In fact, he cries even more than I and my mother combined, and everyone else for that matter. 


    Wherever you are or have been, whatever you are experiencing or have experienced... Jesus is there with you. Jesus is the original and ultimate "Been there, done that, bought that t-shirt" guy. So no matter if you are in a prison cell, or standing amongst a sea of people in New York City, you are never alone in your experience. 


    There is not a tear that goes unnoticed by our Saviour. And while a universe may separate us from Him, there is nothing that will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39, but if you have time read Romans 8:18-39)










    Please, please take the time to read this post called, 

    SO YOU STILL THINK GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD?!

     it was wrote by a woman who survived the shooting in Aurora. And for the love of Pete will someone please teach me how to subscribe or follow her blog? I can really relate to her heart! 


    God is love,
    Vanessa