So A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Florida . . .

So Goodbye Arizona:

At our age, it seemed no one wanted an enthusiastic but older couple who simply wanted to follow God’s leading into ministry. With 27 years of schooling, a Seminary Master’s degree and two photo of Dave and Ellie 2Doctorate’s, who wouldn’t want my husband as a teaching pastor?  However, sending out resumes and receiving countless rejection letters became discouraging. News Flash: If you’re on a search committee, please don’t send a rejection letter stating you’ve decided to go in a “different direction.”  As Christians, Dave and I are going in the right direction, where is your church going???

So we then contemplated moving to The Villages in Florida, complacent to teaching adult Sunday School.  You know . . .  somewhere, hot , sunny and warm. Nearer our children.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression,  “Man plans . . .  God laughs?”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

“Out of the blue,” we received a call. A small town church in Ohio was looking for a compassionate pastor who would take the helm and grow their church.  After much prayer, many conference calls and a personal visit, we fell in love with the warmth of the congregation, (which more than substituted for the warmth of Florida.)

Arizona is a snow bird location but sadly the economy here hasn’t risen as other areas have. Everyone told us the prospect of selling our home quickly was remote, usually taking an average of eight months to sell. However we had a secret weapon: the Will of God! Faith believes that if God wants a mountain to move, it will move.

“There is no coincidence with God.” 

I’m hardly ever out in my front yard (everyone lives in their gravel-based backyards in Arizona)  but 7:30 that morning I was out sweeping off my walkway, preparing for a large realtor tour in a couple of hours. A man coincidentally drives up to our sign out front and picks up a flyer. He glances over at me and asks enthusiastically if I am the owner? When I confirmed I was, he wondered why his realtor hadn’t shown him this beauty before? Of course I joked it was even prettier inside.

His name was Bob from New Jersey. He was on a mission, here for only three days, searching for a home for his wife and him in a warmer climate. Would it be possible on short notice to view our home? He came by with his realtor immediately after the tour and within three hours we accepted his cash offer. He generously offered to purchase some of our furniture which he didn’t know, I had been praying to sell anyway.

Another coincidence was, that very morning at 6am, (9am Ohio time) we had been notified that our offer on the home we desired in Ohio had been accepted!  And the street name of the new home?  It happened to be my sister’s name who lived 75 miles away.  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

So goodbye my beloved Arizona, goodbye cowboy hat and hello new adventure as we follow God’s chosen pathway for us. I want to  especially thank Pastor Sebastian Weaver,  Pastor Joe Quatrone and Storyad for their continuing, encouraging prayers for God’s Will to be done in our lives and the acceptance of whatever that might be!

 “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”  (Ruth 1:16)

 

 

 

Praising Pathways – Wherever They Lead!

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Little did I know, as a teenager, when my mother wrote those precious words in my first Bible, where those pathways would lead.Dave and Ellie Marrandette

Sometimes the paths were winding:

In college, this guy walks into my classroom as I was leaving, and a friend introduced us. He said his name was David, handed me his newspaper and mentioned he had a gerbil named Gina Lollogerbil. I just thought he was the cutest thing on campus. Three days later he asked me to marry him.  But I was stubborn. I had no interest in marriage, I was having too much fun and anyway, another guy had already proposed the day I met Dave. Well, I held out for three weeks.  Next month we celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. Where did those years go? (I still feel thirty although my bones tell me differently.)

Headed to Australia for a new job, we had Visa’s, passports, shots, airline tickets . . . when life took an abrupt “drafty” turn. “Uncle Sam wants you,” his country declared!  So our path took us down 20 years of military service, with its 12 moves including California, Washington D.C. and Germany. Then it was Dave’s call to seminary which lead to a teaching position at a small Christian school. A tiny $500 per month salary was tough, so he was lured away into the golf industry. More exciting diversity ensued, as well as several more moves. Then it was fulltime motor-homing for 6 years with more adventures while cultivating friendships along the way.

Occasionally the paths became rocky:

One can’t be married without some impediments along the pathways. But with God as our GPS system, He steered us through the rough patches, restoring, growing and refining our love for each other. Believing that marriage is a 50-50 proposition is a myth. Sometimes Dave needed me 70% and sometimes I needed him more. Spouses also get on each other’s nerves and sometimes even being married can be a lonely situation. But through it all, the Lord is faithful and I praise God for always having Him as our solid marital foundation.

Gloriously, there were smooth paths:

When a decision is God’s Will, it has a way of working out. That is what Faith is all about. When we were out of God’s Will, challenges arose, but when He called us out of the desert, (quite literally since we live in the Arizona desert)  we answered that call. As we discover when reading and study Scriptures, it is unwise to rebel against God’s Will. (Jonah, anyone?)

Even if it meant sacrifice, such as giving up a family celebration, we learned to obey and trust Him. The world doesn’t understand and looks at any Christian who must choose between God and family and criticizes that choice, no matter how heartbreaking it was to make.

My husband has answered the call to be a pastor at a loving, praying, small church in Ohio. Although I prayed we would eventually return to the Myrtle Beach or Charleston, SC area, God had other plans. (Good thing I never gave away my winter coat!) Perhaps I always knew in my heart that to make a decision to follow Christ wouldn’t be easy, but it is certainly worth the sacrifice for our LORD who gave up all for me.

So we are moving this week! My next post will confirm that this was the miraculous “coincidental” pathway God wanted us to follow all along! Please stay tuned!

The Benefits of a Little Known Herb: Fenugreek

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There’s always something “new and improved” coming along, which catches the world’s attention. Fenugreek could be the “newest” 6,000 year old wonder-fad for weight loss and beauty being promoted on every magazine and health program around.

The good thing is, it works! But use caution here; just because something is good does not mean that more is better. Always use common sense when trying any herb because each person’s chemistry is unique and without caution, it could be  potentially dangerous. It’s how I learned I was deathly allergic to Echinacea.

  • Fenugreek contains many good nutritional properties such as vitamin C and iron, a perfect combination, since these should be taken in conjunction with each other for maximum absorption.
  • By reducing the bad LDL cholesterol in your system, it therefore lowers your risk of heart attacks. It also contains high levels of potassium which regulates heart function.
  • It assists with burning fat and developing a flatter belly (sorry, one must still exercise.)  This herb contains fiber which swells when taken with a large glass of water so it is very helpful in decreasing appetite and thus losing weight naturally.
  • It flushes out toxins and thus allows the kidney/liver symbiotic relationship to thrive. By doing so it cleans out your digestive system, producing more natural energy.
  • And wouldn’t anyone desire healthier, cleaner skin? By grinding the seeds into a paste and applying as a facial, has been shown to be extremely effective against skin irritations, breakouts and preventing scar tissue.
  • I have highly recommended it for women’s health issues such as hot flashes, mood swings or lack of libido because it balances hormone levels due to its containment of a plant estrogen. But please avoid if pregnant.
  • This herb has been tested and found to slow the rate that sugar is absorbed into the blood. Therefore, if used properly, it has been beneficial in treating diabetes . I caution you to speak to your doctor however before attempting to self-remedy any health concern.
  • It restores brain function and allows the brain process to retain information. It basically helps cells not wear out.  Don’t we all need that as we age?!
  • It has been known to soothe an irritated stomach, so if heartburn or digestive issues are a challenge, gradually add this into your daily routine as recommended on the label.

Not bad for a little advertised herb that can be found inexpensively at most health and drug stores.

Isn’t God Smart???  Way back in Genesis 1:29 He declared, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

God knew man would prefer simple instructions so He made easy to comply with instructions for maximum health. So why do we insist on following some crazy health plan that warns us against consuming legumes, whole grains or other restrictive diet plan with some made-up human formula? I prefer to follow God’s formula, don’t you?

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  (Joshua 24:15)

Where Do These Celebrities Get These Ideas???

thE41MPS7BI hardly ever watch afternoon television but the other day while I was packing, I turned on the TV to break the silence. I found a health program and listened intently as this celebrity cautioned against drinking distilled water!  She proclaimed to her entire audience that distilled water not only washes away minerals, but is dangerously acidic.

Say what . . . ???  Where did she get this incredibly crazy  advice and why did she pass it along to her audience without any authorized documentation? What a myth! And yet many will follow this celebrity’s declaration simply because of who she is, rather than ‘test the spirits’ to discern truth.

Distilled water is naturally pure water. It’s created by allowing the steam from the water to drip down and condense. Yes, some  minerals (as well as impurities) are filtered out, but we should get most of our minerals through fruits and vegetables anyway. Once again it’s a matter of balance. I’m sure you’ve heard that some have even died after they became imbalanced, losing too many electrolytes by over-drinking water – ANY water, not just distilled water.

When you hear someone declare, “Distilled water leaches minerals from your body,” it’s a half-truth. Hearing that, one might immediately panic, perceiving that valuable calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and other essential minerals are hemorrhaging out of your system.  These necessary minerals are alkaline forming and physiologically stay in our cells. It’s important for our body’s pH to remain on the alkaline side because it prevents acidic illnesses such as cancers and cardiovascular disease. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains (except wheat) test as alkaline.  Meat, processed foods, soft drinks and sugars are acidic. Simply  consume 5x’s more fruits and vegetables than meat and you’ll remain alkaline.

By using this scare tactic, some of what this celebrity stated exhibited plain ignorance. Yes, distilled water removes minerals from your system – dangerous ones that we don’t want to remain in our body. Doesn’t she realize that when one drinks any type of water (spring, tap, bottled)  it washes toxins out of our system? I wouldn’t want aluminum, chlorine, mercury or arsenic to remain in my system, would you? So continue to drink distilled water and stay healthy. And please don’t be confused by something called “deionized water,”  which is undrinkable,  used to clean computer boards and US Navy ships.

In our Christian life, we sometimes do the same, following a celebrity preacher because he’s got a nice smile and seems so sweet but never opens his Bible to profess the Word of the Lord. I’m sure Jim Jones was very charismatic too but look how many followed him into the pit of hell?  This is what happens when someone follows blindly without checking out all the facts before professing Truth. Don’t believe everything you hear. Test the spirits before following like sheep, whether it’s a preacher or a nutritional guru.

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1 )

 

 

 

When Change Happens, How Do You React?

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.”  (Psalm 39:4)

Have you noticed that during the worship service there seems to be a division concerning music on Sunday mornings?  One group longs to keep the old traditional hymns and the other wants to modernize its service with K-LOVE hits and a worship band. Polar opposites that create division and dissention.

How does God feel, I wonder, when He sees His people squabbling over such an thIYZOKL0Kissue? Churches have split because of this! Families will leave a church they’ve been attending for years because “after all, we ain’t never sung that before!”

News Flash:  Change happens whether we want it to or not, so embrace it if it glorifies God.

How do you react to change? It might affect your mental, spiritual and physical health.

Isn’t it silly to squabble about music? It reminds me of frustrated teenagers who scream, “I’m NOT being overly emotional!!!” as they slam their bedroom door in God’s Face.

I believe a good song transcends time or we would still be singing Stephen Foster verses.  Words have meaning!  I absolutely love K-Love. But I get impatient with “7/11″ songs.  You know the singing of the same 7 words 11 times.  I feel like shouting, “Okay, I GET it already . . . let’s sing something else now.”  During those songs my mind tends to wander and that’s not worship.  Change is inevitable or we’d only be singing, “Bringing in the Sheaves.” As long as the words and music praise our Lord and touch one’s heart, why argue?

What brought this rant on was that we have a fabulous little worship band with a young man who is very gifted musically. He is around 12 years old and he is sensational drummer. He is worshipping His Lord in a way which uses his God-given talents. What would happen if he wasn’t allowed to change?  If he was restricted to playing only 200-year-old hymns? I wondered if he’d eventually search elsewhere for an outlet, even a secular one! What a loss! This world lures our Christian children away with their false praise and pleasures all the time.

thG5O99N5CWhen I worked for a faith-based, drug rehabilitation center, I heard it repeatedly: “My parents didn’t care what I did.” “I was lonely” “My friends were closer than my family” “I just wanted attention.”  When they felt neglected or stifled in their environment, they rebelled, seeking solace from drugs, alcohol, sex . . . even cutting themselves.  At least feeling something, even pain, was better than numbing apathy.

Mentally, the brain will crave what it so longs for and will subconsciously search for an outlet through physiological pleasing chemicals. And the chemicals found in food increases weight. That’s a change for the worse. Let me add another nutritional point: it’s not unusual for your culinary tastes to change over time as well. I enjoy foods now that I hadn’t as a child . . . veggies anyone? Enjoy Gods’ diverse bounty for that is what He intended.

I expect you’ve also changed as a parent over time for the better.  Children need your godly guidance.

  • Keep the channels of communication open!
  • Communicate effectively and steer your children into using whatever talents they possess for good, even if it’s different from yours.
  • Keep your loved ones grounded within your family and the church.
  • Remember that most family members don’t want things. They’d rather have a personal relationship with you. Our Lord doesn’t need our material gifts either – He wants our heart and love . . . a personal relationship with us.

 

 

Coming Soon To A Bookstore Near You!

Those of you who have been published, know it’s always so exciting to see your years of hard work going into its final production stage! I’ve been assured that it won’t be long before mine will be available. As much as I enjoy my Kindle (and this will be available as an e-book too) there is nothing like touching the pages of an actual book, agree?!

The title of my book refers to an expression I proclaimed to many a patient while practicing nutritional counseling for over twenty years: Don’t settle for second best!

This is not meant to be just another diet book; it is meant to be a positive philosophy on how to honor God with our earthly bodies by choosing wisely.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)

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“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional & Life Lessons God Teaches Us) addresses how God never meant for us to live on complicated, fallacy-laden, restrictive diet plans which clearly reject our Maker’s fundamental psychological, physiological and spiritual truths.  God set Adam in a Garden and provided the perfect Master Plan for health.  Today however, people needlessly consume “sticks and twigs,” processed packaged foods, drink tasteless protein shakes or restrict their diet needlessly. Why?

God has already given us the perfect dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. Healthy living is not about denying oneself chocolate, cheese, eggs or any other food while consuming only rice cakes and celery. There is no need to suffer through some restrictive, unappetizing diet plan in the quest to obtain health. If one concentrates on nutrients, they will naturally be healthier. Since most already know that, why do we do what we don’t want to do? (to paraphrase the Apostle Paul.) We would never think of throwing trash in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, so why do we trash our own temple of the Holy Spirit with so many unhealthy foods? 

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” is filled with useful illustrations, realistic applications and common sense! I pray that this encouraging and intriguing non-fiction work will encourage you to tackle the many mental, physical and spiritual connections to food which challenge you. Discover your true vitality through sensible eating, honoring God in the process!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

I’m Okay, You’re (Maybe) Okay . . . but Your Child’s A Mess!

In the ’70s a popular book entitled, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” became an extenuation of the “me” generation, fostered in the ’60s.

Over the years, hundreds of books were written meant to uncover why adults acted as they did. They touched on what motivates us, how we should view ourselves, what’s our sign and discovering what type of personality we have: Type A, B, and so on. It was all about “self.” These books were written, reflecting how people should view themselves. Everyone got placed in a box and tied with a brightly colored ribbon. It became the discussion in many a social situation.

th6YRBMKCUWhat a diversion toward self-centered thinking! Usually we are a combination of many personalities because God created each of us uniquely. That alone makes us special. For example, my husband and I respond differently to different stimuli. I’m more impulsive, my husband’s more methodical. I need to talk it out, he needs time to think it through . . .

Through it all, authors studied adults profusely and forgot about the children. Have you ever thought that perhaps the way we treat our children shouldn’t be the same as we treat an adult acquaintance? Our children are as individual as we are.  Each child has a distinctive personality and a separate need for recognition, discipline, acceptance and approval. No child should be placed in a box!

It’s extremely important for each parent to discover their child’s “Love Language.”

One child is more analytical, another is a bookworm and studious. These children desire stimulating conversation even more than hugs.  Praise and respect them for their curiosity and dedication to studies (and of course hug them anyway!)

An emotional or affectionate child would respond better to physical rewards such as a hug rather than a toy as a reward. He wants to know he is worth more than “things.” No amount of materialism can purchase this child’s love.  He needs to be assured that he is more than simply another possession or he’ll turn to food or drugs for unfulfilled comforting emotions.

Sometimes a child only wants time with their parents, but rarely finds it. Sometimes the parents are so busy keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, working sixty-hour weeks in order to reward their child with “things” rather than what their child’s soul longs for; attention. This creates a chasm between relationships, perhaps even one which will never fully heal. This child could grow up to be introverted, placing a protective shell around his heart to avoid hurtful relationships or perhaps become another workaholic. He might want to sit and enjoy a movie, snuggling with his child, but that’s considered unproductive time. So he continues to strive for his parents approval through hard work.

We are God’s child but perhaps we fail to see that He accepts us as we are, faults and all. Our Lord understands our Love Language! If we simply want to spend time with Him, wrapped in prayer, He’s always available to us. If we encounter challenges, we can rest in our Father’s Arms, finding comfort rather than criticism. If we are analytical, He’ll provide knowledge and wisdom through His Word so we can go on to teach others. God’s always attuned to our needs even before we know them ourselves.

Begin to teach your child the ways of our Lord early, remembering that most children first identify our Heavenly Father with their earthly father. Therefore, appreciate each child as the blessing from God they truly are!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  (3 John 1:4)