Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Experience

Beginning September 6th I will be starting a new ministry at Lighthouse Baptist Church.  The idea sort of sprang up from a lady I met in Wilson.  The women of her church were in charge of decorating the church, preparing for weddings and funerals, etc.  The money that they used for these things did not necessarily come from thier pockets, they did three or four fundraisers a year to cover their expenses.  I combined this idea with the fact that about every other month (in Wilson) we attended ladies meetings in and around NC for fellowship and encouragenment. I merged these two ideas and presented it to my husband and thus began what I call the W.I.S.D.O.M. ministry of Lighthouse Baptist church. (Proverbs 14:1) Once a month, the ladies of the church will meet and enjoy a time of food, fun, and fellowship.  Of course each meeting will begin with a devotion - given by myself or a guest - from God's word.  Our key passages or thoughts will be based from Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and Women mentioned in the New and Old Testament. (Mrs. Ross will be glad that I am using my college notebook)  The age group will be 15 and up.
I am writing this blog to ask all who read to be faithful to pray.  There are many obstacles that will  have to be overcome for this to be a success. Some of them include: 

My lack of experience -  I have only spoken to women once in my life (and that was only for about 15 minutes!)

My age - I am close to the ages of most of the women in our church.  I want to be careful to befriend them; but keep the relationship such that when hard things have to be said they will listen. Also, a few of the ladies are older than me and have much more life experience than I have.  They will need grace to allow the "younger to teach the older".

Our Demographics - I am not sure if this is the best word to use; but I will try to explain myself.  Most of us could count the number of Black couples on our hands, who believe and follow the Word of God for salvation and practice, met and married before they had children, and have a healthy/ heavenly home (one where all parties are exercising and content to perform thier proper roles) - and still have a good number of fingers left over.  I chose the picture above to illustrate the goal of this ministry.  We want to train women who have a genuine and sincere love for Christ, who will dress in a godly fashion, have and demonstrate a godly love and submissive spirit to their husbands (who will desire husbands- not babies' daddies); and who will help bring their children up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord.  In Newport there are couples who have been/lived together for 30 plus years and have never married, there are children in the tenth grade who are pregnant with their second child, but praise the Lord!!!there is a God who loves them and desires to show them a lifestyle that will bring Him honor and glory and simultaneously give them true joy and fulfillment.  I want to show these ladies, young and old, the vision that I believe God has for them.  Please pray with me for the Lord's direction, that I will be sensitive to His leading, and that those who attend will have ears and hearts that are open to be blessed by the Lord.


Food Labels De-coded Pt. 1

It seems everywhere I look I see the terms Natural, organic, raw, vegan, etc.; but what does all this really mean.  This post has been in the works for some time.  A few years back, when I found out I was expecting; I started paying more attention to what I was putting in and on my body.  I was already exercising pretty frequently; but I decided to take my health to the next level for the sake of my baby.  It was then that I found out the benefits knowing exactly what it meant when a product labeled "organic", or "raw", or even "natural".  Here is what I found out. 

First and foremost let me say that products labeled Natural have absolutely NO   benefit to you. USDA and FDA put only a few stipulations for companies using the label "natural" on their products.  It seems that right now (especially in America) people are trying to be more "green" and conscious of what they are putting on their plates; so food industries and such are changing their labels in order to attract our attention and get us to buy their stuff.  If something is "natural" as opposed to "non-natural" then it must be good for you, Right?  Don't let them fool you!!! They (big food corporations and such) are not any more interested in your health than the man on the moon - with VERY few exceptions.   When you see
"Natural" applied to meat or poultry, it means that the food caries no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  When applied to non-meat foods; this label is meaningless.  According to Webster's new world dictionary, the word "natural" means, "produced or existing in nature; not artificial." By that definition, anything derived from plants, animals or elements found on planet Earth could earn the label  "all natural" .  It is important to realize that it is the un-natural processes that these "all natural" ingredients are going through that is changing these items (be it chemically or structurally) that make it into things that are found no where on Gods's green Earth.  A food labeled "all natural" can contain:  pesticides, herbicides, toxic heavy metals, trace amounts of PCBs (a highly toxic chemical found in transmission fluid andcoolant that has been illegal in the US since 1979), toxic fluoride, hidden MSG, high-temperature cooking by products , synthetic chemical vitamins, other non-natural substances.

Organic  labels, on the other hand carry no antibiotics or growth hormones and are free of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, bioengineering (foods that have been genetically modified - GMO, and irradiation (I didn't know what this meant initially - it means that foods may have been treated with gamma rays, X-rays, or electron beams intended to kill potentially crop damaging insects or bacteria on beef that can cause food poisoning).  Foods can be certified 100% organic if the entire product is organic, Organic if it is 95 to 99%, labeled "made with organic ingredients" if at least 70% of the ingredients are organic.  If the product is make with less than 70% organic ingredients, then it can list the organic products on the side; but not the front.  The PLU (product look-up) code differentiates organic goods by beginning with the number "9".

I know what most of you are thinking (the same thing my husband told me), "organic food is too expensive!!!"  So, my best option was to find the foods that generally use the highest amount of pesticides and such and purchase them when I can.  Also; buy U.S. products - local is even better- as it is probably the healthiest and safest food in the world.  Foods that are high in fat (meat, poultry, dairy, and oils) should be organic whenever possible because fats hold on to pesticides.

Foods conventionally grown with the highest pesticide residues
1. peaches
2. apples
3. sweet bell peppers
4. celery
5. nectarines
6. strawberries
7. cherries
8. pears
9. imported grapes
10. spinach
11. lettuce
12. potatoes
13. and carrots

Foods with the lowest pesticide residues include
1.  onions
2.  avocado
3.  frozen sweet corn
4.  pineapples
5.  mango
6.  asparagus,
7.  frozen sweet peas
8.  kiwis
9.  bananas
10. cabbage
11. broccoli
12. papaya
13. blueberries
14. cauliflower

To Be continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newport News

So what has been happening in Newport?  About a month ago a man, whom we will call David, was saved!  He promised us that he would come to church;  but he didn't know when because he works a lot. When he first answered the door he didn't seem very receptive; but when my husband asked him if he wanted to know that he could go to heaven, he said yes.  They sat there and he listened.  We soon started to see tears running from his eyes.  (If you knew David, you would know that this was not normal.)  He prayed and asked the Lord into his heart that day.  Two weeks later he came to church and brought his wife.  They came back that evening, and the next Sunday, and the next Sunday evening (along with thier daughter and granddaughter).  Well, to make a long; but exciting story short, David's wife prayed to recieve the Lord last Sunday and they both plan to be baptised soon.  Isn't that wonderful!  David and his wife (we will call her Abigail) have been experiencing a lot of heart-ache lately.  He recently found out he has lukemia, he recieved a serious injury at work, they have some financial struggles, and their children (one of them and her "spouse" and child) live with them, etc, etc, etc.  I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do in their lives. 

It is great to be an instrument in God's hands to change lives and influence people.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Which Gem are you?

The majority of us have taken personality tests (ie. which color are you?, which shape are you?, which purse are you?, etc); but this style of personality test I really liked and found interesting because every gem is desirable and  posses good qualities. This information is taken from the book Grooming the Next Generation for Success by Dani Johnson.  It is a good book and offers some good insight on rearing your children to be the best they can be.

Sapphires tend to be very verbal and loud.  They are fun and wild.  They love loud music and they love to talk.  These "gems" are not usually orderly or on time, but  are very visionary.  They tend to be encouraging and natural motivators. They love to laugh and everything they do has to be fun.  They thrive on encouragement.  They love fun colors and clothes and lots of accessories.  Sapphires are major risk takers and multitaskers.  They love teamwork, popularity, and people. They usually have the most friends and are the most popular and possess strong leadership skills.  They love to help and love to be rewarded.
Weaknesses of a sapphire: They have a hard time focusing (Society would say they have ADD or ADHD) are disorganized, disorderly, late,  and have over-active brains.  Sapphires are over reactors and get their feelings hurt easily.  They commonly struggle with distrust, blame, hatred, malice, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiving.  They tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves and experience extreme highs and lows.  They want to be recognized by you and don't want to disappoints you.

Spiritual gifts:  To motivate and encourage


 Obey the first time.  They have a heart to fulfill the needs of people.  Listen well and love to help and serve. They are warm, sensitive, calm, even-keeled, compliant, honest, loyal, mellow, quiet.  Pearls don't like confrontation and are major peace keepers.  They're most comfortable alone or in small groups.  Tend to be musical and creative.  They usually wear comfortable clothes and earthy colors, or something special that was given to them.  They like the outdoors.  Pearls tend to be touchy-feely.
Spiritual gifts - to show mercy, heal,  intercede, and serve.

Weaknesses:  people-pleasers and can get themselves into co-dependent relationships.  Their feelings get hurt very easily and they are sad when things don't go right with people.  Pearls can be easily taken advantage of and need to have boundaries.

grooming - need to establish boundaries and boldness.

 Pays attention to details, facts, and figures.  Simplify complicated things and solve a lot of problems all at once. They often see solutions other people cannot see and like lists and making plans.  They love puzzles and problem solving.  Emeralds are extreme thinkers, predictable, quiet,  and compliant. Not people-pleasers and very comfortable being themselves.  They are confident and have no problem pointing out what is wrong with a situation.  They can be very direct.  Emeralds like to look nice and naturally keep things clean.  They like schedules and routines and are never late.  Prefer to be alone and like to entertain themselves.  They will do homework by themselves and will rarely ask for help.

Spiritual gifts - teaching, discernment, and wisdom.  have a heart for righteousness with a clear sense of right and wrong. 

weakness - perfectionists.  Usually take longer to finish or start something.  They are not spontaneous risk-takers. Tend to be authoritative and to put people on the defense.  If an Emerald argues with you it must be because they are right.  They are always right and will tell you so.  Usually judged as being cold hearted and insensitive.  Not naturally humble.

Grooming- weak people skills. Teach them that "it is not about perfection; its about getting the job done with results."  This helps them start things and get them done in a timely manner.

Always have to be the head of everything and the best.  They don't surround themselves with other people who are better than they are.  Leaders and have to dominate. They have to win. They are warriors, strong, passionate driven, and have strong desires.  They like to be in authority and take charge.  They are determined, confident, and bold.  Rubies are goal setters.  They have an "It's my way or the highway!" mentality.   They show initiative and take charge.  Rubies are big thinkers and fast.  They have a world shaking and history making mindset.   They want all the best clothes, shoes, and stuff.  They care about name brands and what is popular. They want to be the best in everything they do.  If they can't win, they simply won't play, and they may just say the game is stupid.

spiritual gift - leadership and governing. 

weakness - They are bossy and dominating, and get angry when things don't go right.  They can be manipulative and pushy and perceived as arrogant and cocky.  They can suffer from severe depression.  They are often unteachable and self-reliant.  Often have ego problems. 

grooming - They can become amazing leaders; but you must must reach their heart and teach them how to be teachable.  Groom them to be humble, to serve,, and to be honorable.  Teach them to pull the best out of others instead of competing with them all the time.  Character has to be developed in them.

Spiritual gifts:  to motivate and to encourage

Once again, Which Gem are you? 
(Remember most us probably posses one dominate and one secondary gem's attributes.  Also, this is a long post and I was in a hurry; so please forgive any typos and mistakes.)


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