Tuesday, October 26, 2010


68 lbs. Impossible! My digital scale must have had a 1/2 of a solar cell operation. Well more than half (gulp!)... Not wanting to (smiling), I stepped off my digital scale, hit reset and got back on. 127 1/4. "Well haleluiah Praise the Lord a 1/4 lost today - NOT!". I was not happy. Why did I do a redo? Couldn't I have just believe the lie? Couldn't I have been 68 lbs. - just for today?

How many times in my life could I have used a redo? For the better, not the worse like today's weigh-in. So many mistakes. So many regrets. So many plates of crow instead of caviar I had to eat because I had not listened, had not used my two ears instead of my one mouth and had not heeded the voice of reason hidden in my heart from God's very Word. I knew what to do - but did the opposite!

Re-do's are those times when the demon sat on one shoulder and jeered at the angel on the opposite shoulder. Each time the angel sat silently but I gave away my attention to the demon - - just because the demon wouldn't be silent.

And the pathetic part is that that angel was likely involved in incense burning on my behalf. Angelic pleading for me to listen to the Holy Spirit instead of pridefully attacking. That angel no doubt cringed as I spewed venom at that innocent soul. Just because the snake provided the poison I took it and flung it far. Had I prayed, had I hesitated, I could have prevented the need for a redo. No doubt as I sat in the dark and hid from God that demon did the victory dance. There was a party in Sheol and a dirge in Heaven.

How many times the saints in Heaven probably hid their faces in their hands and cried out, "No, Christina. No. Not this time. Wait. No! No!.....oh! not this time...why aren't you listening???????"

A redo would have been nice that one sunny turned dark day. The day I decided to take matters into my own hands. Oh, I had taken many matters into my own hands. Many days. But this particular day I made a mistake I will forever regret. And never forget. The demon agreed with me that I was making the right decision that day. Convenience. This was the right decision. But for who? Me. All for me. The demon won that day. The angel had a hard time hanging on.

In Other Words
Redo's could also be called Second Chances. I Googled 'second chances' (why not?!). I found this link Good Second Chances Website. So many verses about men and women throughout the ages needing or desiring a redo!

I love what Jonah had to say in Jonah 2:1-10:

 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head ...

Read on and you will cheer and be happy for him. He had a redo just for the asking.

How about Manasseh? Oh my! He is referred to as the King of Second Chances Learn More About Manasseh. More?
Abraham - He was a lair
Peter - denied the Lord three times

Jacob - He was a cheater
Moses - was a murderer
David - was an adulterer and murdered
Paul - arrested Christians and had them thrown in jail

Wait! Back up. Peter - - denied the Lord - three times? That would be one mess up, first redo, and do the math - that is a second redo!! John 21 - 3 times he answers.


uno ~ And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, “And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.” But he denied, saying, “I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest.” And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. (Mark 14:66-68)

dos ~ And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, “Art not thou also one of this man's disciples?” He saith, “I am not.” And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. (John 18:15-18)

tres ~ And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, “This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the man.” And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, “Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.” Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, “I know not the man.” And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, “Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:71-75)

What happened? Peter took his eyes off Jesus. He heard only the demon. The angel silently wailed as Peter hid in the dark. The demon did a victory dance in the dark that day no doubt just like he still does whenever we fail to hear His voice and heed His direction.

Who will you listen to when the Pastor gives the call? Look forward, not to the right or the left. Listen for the silence. Listen for the voice of the Lord. God is the god of second, third, fourth infinity chances... But why wait til the scale tips in your favor? Today the redo was not better than the original plan. But in God's economy the redo was in our favor for all of eternity.

Romans 10:9-11.

Make the decision today - before the angel leaves your shoulder and it's too late.

Matthew 24:31, "And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Redo's are possible. And so is Jesus Christ.


Obedience. What does this word immediately conjure up? Say it out loud. Break it down in syllables til it runs off your tongue in segments.

Obedience. Right away I envision a dog sitting at an owner's feet, on a slack leash - a leash that no doubt was not even necessary for the owner's verbal commands are all that are needed in the case of an obedient dog.

Next, I imagine a child at the dinner table without being told - - eating all the peas and carrots before consuming the dessert. Elbows off the table, this is a child happily enjoying being part of an orderly family. This child obediently following the rules. The results? Order and peace in the home.

In regard to the word 'obedience' I have to be transparent here - I was the last person I thought of as being obedient. Why is that? I am not an animal, surely not a child - - why do I not associate obedience with myself? Did I leave obedience at adolescence? Did I merely teach it to my dog so I could be in control?

I questioned, "As an adult, whom must I be obedient to?" Crickets.... More crickets....

In my carnality I logically went down the list. My husband? Well I respect my husband and respond in my role as wife, but obedient to my husband? Surely not.

My parents? I have cleaved and left (Genesis 2:24). I now respectfully honor my parents but since I am no longer under their discipline. I would be required to be obedient to them? Surely not I reason.

How about being obedient to an employer? Submit to the authorities God has placed over you - but obedient?

The word obedient sounds so submissive...

So I looked up the definition:
obedient: obeying or willing to obey; complying with or submissive to authority: an obedient son.
And so - - I realized it sounds submissive because it is!

The child learns from the parent. The animal learns from the master. We must learn from God - from His Word - the Bible.

Obedience 101 - God's Way
Joshua 1:7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

In context, the Book of Joshua is the story of the man Joshua leading Israel from victory to victory as the people follow the Lord and claim their promised inheritance. Joshua is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who won the victory over sin - over Satan. Joshua is also a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives rest to those who trust Him (Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 4).

Joshua knew he was following orders - he was second in command (Joshua 5:13-15). His life was evidence of obedience and out of that faith we realize we too can share victory (1 John 5:1-5).

Faith + obedience = courage

Joshua had all three. God reminded Joshua that Joshua's success came from the Word.

Back to the word 'obedience'. I can only be obedient to what God's Word commands in regard to: my husband, my parents, my employer if I am in the Bible. If I am not in the Word I do not know what is required of me! I do not know how to follow orders. I am living without a compass, without a map.

And so it all made sense suddenly. Obedience to God first. To His Word. Realizing what is required of me helps me to know my role in other's lives. Like Joshua back in the Old Testament, I know I must be second in command with the Lord leading me to victory. In the grand scheme of things I truly am a child. Yikes! I am also like an animal in that I too need a leash at times. Knowing I must be obedient allows me to rest in the fact that I will remain on the winning team - doing the victory dance one day.

How I long to find the Promised Land. How about you? Do me a favor. Say it out loud (deep breath first), "Obedience". Not so hard to say. But very hard to do - - if you attempt to do it without God!

Lord, grant us the faith and obedience that will provide the much-needed courage to enjoy the success that only comes from You! Amen and Amen.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Sunday, October 17, 2010


That is all I need to say today.

Psalm 139

Hope you heart Jesus today too!

Blessings, Christina

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Continuing The Legacy: House On The Sea

This past October my husband and I made our annual trek to our most favorite destination in all of Florida - Anna Maria Island, Florida. Every year in October, we stay at the same accommodations for one week to celebrate our anniversary which is also in October - October 18th to be exact.

We stay at a home on the beach. A home in which the original owners also reside. "The Eagle's Nest" at the Adams Apartments is our diamond in the rough - - for which I will not include a hyperlink as I do not want too many to find out about this hideaway on the sea - our private paradise.

A house on the sea is something familiar to me as  I grew up with a beach house almost my entire life. At a very young age, my parents bought a second home in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Upon the gas crisis they sold that home but the beach bug bit them later and we enjoyed a summer and weekend home away from home located in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. My parents would fling open the sashes of our home in Beach Haven, New Jersey each spring and me and my three sisters enjoyed the Atlantic Ocean for our backyard.

We spent each weekend at the "shorehouse" and all four girls sans parents in the summer. We stayed until school began and then each weekend until the first Jersey frost of the year. My dad would "winterize" the "Hawke's Nest" as it was aptly named (my maiden name is Hawke) on the last Sunday of the coldest day in the fall. I will never forget having to be told that a bucket was the last resort for a restroom after my dad twisted the water main valve the final time the first time he winterized our shore house. It was kind of a running joke (no pun intended) but after the first year we had to reort to using the bucket we would ask an hour ahead when the final twist would occur just in order to avoid ever having to use that bucket again. In typical Girl Scout fashion we became prepared and the bucket was only a far faraway memory after that first year of winterizing orientation.

I remember the smell of our beach house. The slightly musty, attic-scented beams in the ceiling I will never forget. Each spring we would return before the sun set and wait in the living room with our coats still on. I remember running up to my bedroom and looking for the contents I had left on my bed - exactly where I had last left them- and being surprised they were where I had last left them!! I remember being comforted by the slip-covered couches and how they felt starchy and salty at the same time. That mixture of dry-cleaned and salt-scented fabric stuck with me all these years. After having been laundered and left in fresh air for three months these couches had a scent that could have been bottled and sold as some special scent known only by seasoned beach house dwellers like me.

I recently experienced that same welcome scent this season. However, just prior to opening the door to our "Eagle's Nest" after ascending the deck stairs, the first thing we saw was the glittering, sun-kissed sparkling sea. My husband and I both said at the same time," That's what I'm talkin' about!" for no matter how often we imagine this wonderful home by the sea, the first sight we see after climbing the deck stairs is a breath-taking blue panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico. We are never prepared for how special and how beautiful this little house is each year. Though we are merely renters for a price, we feel this is our second home - our special beach house.

And the reality is that this home is a dream come true that began as a child - a continuation of 'The Hawke's Nest" that inspired my love for my own home by the sea - the musty smell and the antiquated furniture that come with it....We'll rent it all and pretend it is ours. For to rent it is far better than never having entered at all.

As we cross the threshold aptly a sign on the living room wall reads, "Welcome to Paradise" and we know we are home. That sign and the musty slip-covered couch welcomes us another year and for this we are grateful as everything seems to be right where we left it the same time the year before.Our home on the sea. Another year to celebrate. Another October as husband and wife. The "Eagle's Nest" - - our beach home away from home. And we shall never need  a bucket - - other than to build a sand castle on the beach... Seasons change but some things never change and for those things we are grateful!