What a wonderful blessing it was going to Ladies retreat this year. We all got a mighty blessed from the Lord, and being there we great fun. We laughed, we cried, we stayed up late and work up early. We shopped, (some more than others LOL) We witnessed healings, and our faith has been built stronger for that. I Cherish the memories that were made and the friendships that are built stronger. What an awesome time. If you didn't get to go, I highly recommend you try next year, you will be blessed.
On our way home we noticed this dust storm in the horizon, it looked threatening. Once we were in it it wasn't so bad, but just stay away from the big rigs on the highway!
We all made it back home safely to our families that were very glad we all were finally home. It is a long time to be away from your family, 3 and 1/2 days. My husband did very well and everything was just fine when I got home, Thank you Jesus.
I have been thinking for a while now about giving my testimony here on my blog. My husband and I have been through some trying times in our marriage. I know that God has always kept his hand not only on me, but on my husband as well. We both had been through a lot before coming to know each other.
I haven't told my testimony to many people. My husband and I meet each other in a bar. Neither of us were in church at the time, and when I think back to how God saw me, and how I need him, he put Joe there to help me, while I was in a very sad lonely place.
After we met, Joe told me about God. I think I was really drawn to him because he knew about God and wasn't afraid or ashamed to talk about Him. I have always believed in God. I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Sunday school, and learned some about God. I think that sometimes I went to church and Sunday school because it was expected of me. I was constantly watching the clock, waiting for my hour to be over. As I reached my 20's I didn't go at all to church, but I have always believed in one God. The Catholics as a rule don't use the word "trinity" and God had given me then, a Revelation of "one God"
Starting a life as a young couple and drinking and going to bars all the time is not a very good start to a marriage. My husband and I struggled with a lot. We lasted about 6 months of this life style before the party ended and we realized we need more in our marriage.
I had the idea of going to church, because if God couldn't help us then, nothing could. I figured I would look for a church, but Joe had told me he would not go to a Catholic church. There was a large church in the area we lived, a "Christian church" The first time we went there was a disaster. I left there very discourage and feeling like there was no hope. Joe was trying to be supportive. He wanted to try to make our marriage work, and he also knew that only God could fix it. We drove home from that very cold, informal, church service (that neither of us got anything out of) and he looked at me and said, "If we are going to go to church, then we are going to got to the right church, a pentecostal church. At this point I said OKAY, I need something, GOD, and at this point I didn't care what church we went to as long as we went somewhere.
Joe called Bro Driscoll, in Texas, and ask him to find us a church in California. He called us back and gave us Bro. Bookers number in Rialto. At the time we lived in Garden Grove and I explained to Joe that Rialto is very far away. He called the Rialto church and Joel Booker gave Joe the name and number to the church in Orange.
I got the Holy Ghost in the middle of January about six weeks after we started to attend the UPC of Orange. I remember the service. It was a missionary from France preaching. He talked a lot about the Catholic church in France, since mostly everyone is France is Catholic. The service hit home. I got the Holy Ghost and Joe and I got baptized together that next week. (Joe had been baptized in Jesus name when he was 12 yrs old, but wanted the be rebaptized) It was very special to me that we were baptized together.
When I meet Joe he told me, "I never thought I would marry someone I met in a bar". No one knows what God has in store for them. My husband was a backslider, and came back to God to save our marriage. He lead me to the right church, so that I would know the truth. Some other men could have just PLAYED church to appease their wives. I know men who do that, just to keep "The peace", but I am so very glad that Joe didn't do this. I feel like God really knew what I needed when I needed it, he also knew that my heart was ready, and that I was desperate for him. When I think back on what my life could have been I am so glad God chose me and that I answered his knocking on my hearts door.
Valentines Day. Some may say it's commercial. Infact I think almost every man you ask would say it's commercial. My husband has said this in the past. I have a couple of Valentine stories I am going to tell here.
One year while I was still a newlywed. Joe bought me roses. I was so excited, they were beautiful, and I was young and in love. We got married in January, and this was our first Valentine as husband and wife. Well I went to work the next day and while I was gone, Joe placed my new roses outside in the sun!!! I walked up to our apartment and to my suprise, my flowers were sitting on the pourch! 1 day! I had my flowers for 1 DAY! I was very upset, as you can imagine. Joe said he thought they needed some sun! ugh!!!
The next story that comes to my memory is about Br. Saul. My husband worked with him while we were living in Colton. This man has a very, VERY conservative nature. He could be discribed as very thrifty. I have met him and his wife, and they are very much in love. He is a great provider to his family and his wife is a stay at home mother to their 3 children. Joe asked him what he was getting his wife for Valentines Day. I am sure they discussed the topic over their eight hour shift, many times, but it came down to this one statement, that my husband thought was very clever. "I love my wife everyday of the year, I don't need a special day to show her." When he came home and told me this I yelled "What a cop out! I can't believe someone would say that!" Bro Saul's wife recieved a beautiful Valentines gift that year. Joe was later quoted as saying that Bro Saul said, "That comment about Valentines day was just a cop out!" Can you believe it? We have laughed about this story many times, and acutally are both laughing about it right now. LOL
My next story isn't so funny, but more romantic. Have you ever heard of the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas?" Well, I had the three days of Valentine, last year. My wounderful husband brougt me flowers to work 3 days in a row. A different flower every day with the Roses coming on Valentines Day. I have a beautiful picture of my roses that I will try to add to this post at a later time. By far the best roses I have ever recieved. They were saved from a day in the sun too! (I acutally said that to him, DON'T PUT THEM IN THE SUN!) They lived beuatifully for 14days, when one by one they slowly died away, the last one at day 18.
This year was different. I was at work anticipating what would happened on this special day. Some of the other girls I work with recieved there flowers by 9AM. I didn't recieve any. I wasn't sad, because of the flowers that I recieved last year, and the romantic I know my husband to be, I knew there would be something coming. When he came home I was already making dinner, and he came in and there was nothing in his hands, I felt a little crushed. It didn't help that I was starting to feel under the weather. But true to form, he went and got the gift he had already bought me. A box of my favorite candy, SEE'S Truffles. We have been married nine years and he got it just right today. But no flowers. I wasn't mad, maybe a little disappointed. Then he gave me another bag. I pulled out "Garfield-large and in charge!" I had told him weeks ago that I wanted it, but until then I had forgotten. I was so excited, I jumped up had hugged him and yelled, "You just redemed yourself!", "From what?" he said. "I was sad I didn't get flowers this year, but now I AM HAPPY!" I was very excited. I guess men do listen sometimes, huh?
The moral of the story is, some men MAY treat there wives like they are a queen year round. But to be truthful to you, I like being treated like a queen on Valentines day, for one reason. If I was treated like every day was Valentines day EVERYDAY, then it wouldn't be special. I love my husband, he's a great provider, soul mate and friend. I wouldn't trade him for anyone else. God knows what we all need, and when I needed him, God sent him to me. GOD saved me, but he used this man to point me in the right direction. I thank GOD for my husband.
"Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility" Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Judgment-A formal utterance of an authoritative opinion. Responsibility-Moral, leagal, or mental accountability.
This quote caught my eye today. It was on (of all things) my box of caffeine free tea I was making. I started to think about the things we are responsible for. The things that I am responsible for I am accountable for, but to who? Morally I am responsible to the people around me. Leagally I am responsible to follow the laws of the state and town I live in. Mentally I am responsible for the chocies I make in my life. I want to be sure that morally I am doing the things that will please God. God lays down the foundation for our Moral standards in life. Without God in my life where would I learn a standard of living? Does not the bible teach us that we are to abide by the laws of this land? Are we not to give the rulers of our nation support and prayers? Legally I need to be a responsible citizen. Now what about mental accountability? I have a personal responsibility to God to exercise my "free will" in a way that will please HIM. Everyday, I have to make a choice to follow his way, and live my life in a way that I can be found "Holy and acceptable" in his sight. God is at the very essence of the aspects of responsibility. You can turn everyone of these aspects selfishly inward, and someone who doesn't believe in God, can find that very easy to do, but for a child of God, our responsibility needs to be focused on HIM.
I want to be able to focus on what God wants me to focus on and not what others are doing/not doing. I want the Judgment in my life to be self focused, and I want to be responsible and accountable for my actions. In this way I will find strength in God.
Today is the first day of our church wide caffine and sugar fast. I thought a lot about it last night. I even thought about going to starbucks last night on the way home from church, since the fast starts today. We didn't go, but I thought about it.
This morning I woke up and had a thought about coffee, like I do every morning. Then I remembered the fast, no Starbucks this morning. I got the kids to school and as I was driving a thought hit my mind, or should I say revalation hit my mind. DECAF-SUGAR FREE LATTE!!!! I laughed out loud, Starbucks here I come.
Having fun at California Adventure, and getting ready to get on "Sreaming" Kevin, Jose, and Ariel. Not picutred Sis Cathy and Alice and Madison. It was very cold and tears were running down my face as we got off the ride, but we all were laughing, and had great fellowship.