I have had a few friends recently ask me how do i know there is a God? Another question asked by a friend was is there an afterlife, or heaven? If so how do we know this?
I can only answer these questions from my own back ground experiences, and the knowledge i have gained through out my life.
For me personally I have felt his presence since i was a young child. God just was felt and known. As I matured and aged I have learned that the word ( the bible) has shown me the face of God. If one really thinks about the bible one will know it is the oldest book around with the author still living.
I simply have faith that God is real. I gained this faith through facts. Facts that are in the bible. When i stay in the word I feel God's presence in me.
James 4:8 tells us to "Draw near to God and He will draw near..."
Intimacy is part of revelation as we draw close we can hear and better understand what he has to say.
John 8:32 tells us " You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free."
Jesus said He is the Truth (John 14:6)
As we seek to know Him, we see areas of sin and bondage in our life and will be set on the path of freedom and wholeness.
All I know, all I have learned and all that I am, is because of my "faith" through believing in Jesus, and reading the word.
I gain my faith through the reading of the word. My faith is made stronger every single day when I am reading of the word. When you have facts to back up ones faith and beliefs it allows your soul to become stronger.
A strong soul, spirit and body allows me to walk in this life hand in hand with my Lord. He has stated that there is eternal life in his living word.
This is how i know that there is a God, and a heaven.
I stay in the word, and in doing so I know that the only way to eternal life is to use the bible as my guide on how to live, and how to stay strong in my belief. If i do not do this, doors are open for unbelief. I know the enemy will use any way he can get into ones soul to bring about questioning of ones faith.
John 10:10 - The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am a strong believer in Good verses Evil. If I am not in the word, then Evil will try and turn my faith and make me fearful. Fear is a good way to kill off the spirit. It is a way to deaden ones spirit and soul. I have been in that place where the soul and spirit are no longer living. I now know to guard my spirit and soul with life. Life being the word. I keep my faith strong now which allows love to shine through and a light to be seen in ones soul.
I know these things because I believe in them. I know them because I have faith that Jesus is my Savior and he died for my sins. My faith is based on the facts of reading and staying in the word.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Tracy at 9:22 AM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
My blogger friend Mike asked to see what other desktops looked like.
Here is my screen on my lap top. (The picture is of the ocean here on the eastern shore. My husband took this picture while we were out walking on the beach early one morning.)
I thought it a cool idea. It kinda is an inside view of each persons personality I think.
So here ya go Mike! If anyone else would like to do this let me know! :)
On a side note I would like to thank my blogger friend Sonnie who honored me with an award this morning!
Thank you so much Sonnie! You really touched my heart. Hugsssssss
Posted by Tracy at 10:34 AM
Monday, April 28, 2008
I have been having a hard time explaining my experience with Cleansing streams. The experience has not only touched me deeply but has had a profound impact on my life.
I knew that this experience was going change my entire life. I knew that God was going to work wonders for me. I just did not know how or what he had in mind for me.
Truthfully i could not see what else he could possibly have in store for me during this retreat because i had already seen how much he had done for me in the last two months. I thought he had changed my life so much already, what more could he possibly do?
I know this post will be a long one, because to explain how the retreat touched my life i really have to start with the weeks prier to the retreat. I have to explain what led me to going to this retreat, and how God is so very powerful if you only hear him when he speaks to you.
Before I even agreed to taking this class i felt an urgency to change. I started having dreams and visions during my day. I saw two paths before me. I was told that i had a choice. I could continue along the path i was taking, or i could choose to go down another path, one that i knew instinctively would change my life forever.
I heard a voice say that if i did not change right now i would forever regret it. I knew one of the paths was God led. The other path was man led. Or in my case woman led. The man led one i knew was filled with much pain, sorrow, and death. The other was filled with light, and life.
During that time I was drinking more and more. My pain from fibromyalgia was so great that i struggled and fought with how to deal with that pain. I was slowly killing myself with alcohol. I knew i had a problem, but i allowed myself to believe it was the only way to deal with the pain. The thing is, yes it took some of the pain away, but only for a short period of time, making it so i needed more wine to dull the pain.
During the visions and dreams i was having, a voice deep inside told me i was killing "me". I was killing my soul with the wine i was drinking. Not only was the wine killing the pain, but it was also killing my spirit.
I prayed to God then, i asked him how do i deal with the pain? How do i live with the pain. My answer was given. A very loud shout was given to me. One that asked me "do i fear the pain"? "Or do i fear God" ???? Am i choosing to fear PAIN OR GOD?????? That instantly humbled me. Right then i prayed for forgiveness. I vowed to God i would listen to him. I put my trust in him.
Now this is the amazing thing. As i struggled each day to deal with my pain with out alcohol a song would play through my head. One i had heard before but not well enough to know all the words. Each moment the pain invaded my body, pain so bad all i could do is cry a song would play in my head loudly. By the end of the song the intensity of the pain subsided. When i was not in pain i could not remember the words or even the music of this song. It was the strangest thing. I would struggle to remember the song. I wanted that song to play later because it was such a comfort to me. I would only remember the song during intense moments of pain. I can only tell you that the song i heard was God sent. It was his way of letting me know he was dealing with my pain. While at the retreat I heard this song again. It played during a time of prayer and while a prayer warier was anointing me with oil to break a bond with soul ties.
This is the song and the lyrics :
Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made
This heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you
Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me
King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly you came to the earth you created
All for love's sake, became poor
I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that Cross
Call upon the name of the Lord
And be saved
That is only one of the many ways God had already touched me before the retreat.
I had a hard time reading the bible. Due to an incident that took place several years ago of not only being brainwashed but having the word (bible) being used to do such, i could no longer read the word with out hearing the man who brainwashed me in my head.
Before i started the study that cleansing streams wanted me to do i had to read certain parts of the bible. I sat one day and prayed. I poured out my heart to the Lord, asking him how such a situation could have happened to me? What i heard then astounded me. I heard a voice tell me to read a passage. That voice kept saying to read Psalms 10. It became louder as i sat there. I did not want to read the bible. laughing. The voice was persistent though. It got louder and louder for me during that time, telling me to read Psalms 10.
Finally i gave into the voice, because in truth it was being shouted to me. lol I opened my bible to that passage and read it. Instead of hearing the voice of the man who brainwashed me i heard another. One that was soothing. One that was gentle. One that helped me hear and understand what the passage had said. The passage was one that explained to the tee the situation i had in dealing with brainwashing. It was exactly about the situation. Since that day i have had no problem in reading the bible. I was then able to fully study for this retreat.
During the retreat God had a plan. A plan to clean every single hurt i had. A plan to break every chain and bond that held me bound to the past. He had a plan to take my broken bleeding heart that i had surrounded with strong walls as a protection and replaced that heart with one that was not only strong and had no holes in it but with one that was whole! He humbled my pride and my spirit. He healed not only my heart and soul, but my spirit. He took every single fear i had and threw them out. I had a fear of not only men, and crowds but a fear of myself. I feared me. I know that sounds strange, but i honestly feared myself. I feared who i was and what i knew God had in store for me. I feared walking that walk. I feared i would not be the person God knew i was. I feared that i was not good enough, that i would not measure up to the person God wanted me to be.
During this retreat I feared being around men. Men hurt me in my past. I say men because it was many men who hurt me in my past. God made sure that every time i went up to pray with a prayer warier it would be with a man! I not only had men praying over me, I had men wrapping me in their arms and holding me tight praying with me. By the end of the retreat i realized that i no longer had a fear of men.
During this retreat i had a fear of crowds. I was surrounded with people. In fact there were moments when i thought how am i to breath? By the end of this retreat i no longer thought about how do i breath? I just breathed, and found i was ok. :)
During this retreat i learned who i was. I saw not only my past, and the present, but i could see myself in the future. I no longer feared myself. I saw the beauty of what God had done for me, and I trust that God will lead my spirit from now on. I am a person of beauty. I saw myself as ugly before. I now see how beautiful i am.
I now see how Satan had worked in my life. The lies he has fed me. The way he used men to hurt and destroy the person God meant me to be. I saw how he put things in my life to keep me from God.
I also see how God took care of those lies, and chains Satan had surrounded me with.
Every chain, every shackle, every hurt, every fear, and any word that had bound my soul has been broken.
That is what going to this retreat did for me. This is what God had in mind when he made me choose which path i wanted to take.
By the end of the retreat i was singing this song. I am still singing this song. :)
I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord
I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord
And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen
I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning
Posted by Tracy at 8:33 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I am off to the retreat early tomorrow morning. I have had an upset stomach all day, but i think it is nerves more then anything else. So I am going to work through the upset stomach and aches and pains and go to this retreat! :)
Update on my guys. Hubby is feeling much better. My youngest son is still feeling a little sick, but he is not as sick as he was. So he is on the mend.
There have not been any more bomb threats against the High school since monday, so all the kids have been able to go to school. Thank heavens for that! There has been no word yet from the police on what they found out regarding the phone # they traced.
I Thank those who have been praying for me and my family. I truly appreciate it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. May it be full of blessings, and love.
Posted by Tracy at 4:06 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
(This is the start of a new painting i am working on that i am going to call Spiritual warfare. I will continue to show the progress i make on it as i progress.)
My Retreat is coming up on Friday for Cleansing Streams. This class has been working toward this moment for over about a month now. I have mixed feelings regarding the retreat. I have had fears prior regarding going. I do not like large crowds of people, and i do not want to stay overnight in a hotel. I do not want to go into the reasons why i have these fears because it is living in the past. The past is no longer. I have been healing from my past. :) I have been working past the fears.
The reason i want to go is that I know it is going to be wonderfully moving for me. I know that God is going to touch me in a wonderful way, and I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for me. I was warned that I would be under attack this week, because Satan will not want me to go. They warned us about this in the last class. I thought my faith is strong and no way would I allow for attacks. I felt nothing is going to keep me from going to that retreat and receiving the message meant for me!
Wow was I wrong.
In the last few days I do feel under attack. I have had a hard time focusing on my readings, and bible study. This is why.
My eldest sons high school has had three threats against his school since friday!
One was from a child who threatened to come to school and kill everyone in it with a gun. The police checked out his home, and came to the conclusion that he had no access to guns, and no ability to follow through with this threat. He was instantly expelled though because of these threats. On friday morning though the whole school was chaotic and kids and parents alike were in a panic. After coming to my own conclusion that my son was in no danger I came home. I then preceded to deal with phone calls from other moms that still were fearful. Just when i was feeling I could breath I received a phone call from the school stating that there had been a bomb threat called into the school and the school had to evacuate all of the kids to the Jr.High. I went and got my son.
On Monday morning my husband woke to the worst case of the flu ever. The poor man was so sick. Both my sons went to school. I talked with the administration at the school and felt that Fridays school scare regarding the bomb was just a prank from one of the kids in the school. I came home cleaned, and washed sheets in an attempt to ward off the flu for the rest of the family. By 9:30 am i received another phone call saying another bomb threat was called into the school. They had to evacuate all the kids again and cancel school for safety reasons. With my very sick hubby home and now my eldest son i preceded to deal with house hold things and was trying to ward off fear now to on top of the flu. My youngest son came home yesterday feeling very sick. He now has the flu also. So two at home with the flu, and my eldest was home because of a bomb threat! Later i found out that no bomb was found, and that the sheriffs department felt that the threat was from some child who did not want to go to school. It was another prank.
This morning I woke feeling not so great. I am dealing with a sick child, and hubby. My eldest son went off to school , and i am trying hard not to worry about what in the heck is going on in his school. I have found it hard to do my bible study, my mind keeps wandering. I also have an upset stomach. Is it because of the flu, or nerves???? I am unsure. I can not get sick! I am determined to go to this retreat.
I now fully believe i am under attack! I think someone wants me unable to go to this retreat, and it is not the Lord!
Thankfully I went to Denise's blog and she had the perfect post today for me to read. If you get a chance go over and read todays post, it is wonderful. It calmed me, and soothed me enough that I know that God is watching me and is with me even during this time of uneasiness.
For those who pray please pray for me and my family that we will stop being under attack. Pray that the rest of the week will be that of peace, good health, and safety for my children and all the other children at the high school. Pray that nothing will harm them, and that nothing will stop me from going to this retreat, where I know I am to be.
Posted by Tracy at 1:45 PM
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have been tagged for a meme
Rules of the game:- Link to the person who tagged you.
- Post their rules on your blog.
- Write six random things about yourself.
- Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.
- Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment (on their blogs).
- Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
6 Completely random facts about me:
#1 random fact about me: I have been alcohol free now for a little over a month! Woot :) I decided to give up drinking when i figured out drinking was not relieving my pain for more then a few minutes.
#2 : I was a pastry chef years ago. I am now in the process of trying to put a home business together so i can sell desserts to the local restaurants in my area.
#3 : I am an awful business person. I tend to want to give my baked goods away. So i am wanting to take a business class online to learn pricing as well as book keeping.
#4 : I have been collecting Bon Appetit Magazines since 1991. I refuse to throw even one of the magazines away. I read the magazine from front to back like i would a book.
#5 : I worked for Birth right and found i loved it.
#6 : I taught preschool for 5 years and loved it. When my first born son was born I knew I no longer wanted to work with young children. Laughing. He was a hand full! When my second son was born, i knew I had to change my goals, both sons kept me more then busy. So I focused on cooking and baking.
Now comes the tag.
Posted by Tracy at 8:43 AM
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I want to give my friend Tart from http://jungletart.blogspot.com this special award.
This award really does say it all for me. I not only trust Tart, but she is a very kind, honest and caring woman. All the traits that I love and expect in a friend.
I have known Tart from almost the beginning of when i started blogging.
I met Tart and her husband one year. She was brave enough to come visit me and my family. :) This was a huge deal for the both of us. I think it helped us to know deep within our hearts that some on the internet are safe to meet.
We had such a wonderful time during that visit! Upon meeting her i instantly knew she was every bit the person she shows herself to be on her blog. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out.
It was a blessing for me. She had not only taken the time and energy to visit me real life, but has consistently been there for me through out the last few years. She has gone through all the ups and downs with me, and never once wavered in her belief in our friendship.
She is pure hearted, and about as lovely a lady you will ever meet. If any one deserves this award it certainly is her.
Thank you Tart for blessing my life not only in Internet land, but off!
I love you my friend.
Posted by Tracy at 7:00 AM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The song "Amazing Grace" has always fascinated me in many ways. One reason was i could relate with the words so well. I felt lost, i felt blinded. The thing is I really never understood the song, because I was to blind and so very lost to see fully. I wanted to see, and not feel lost any longer. In fact it has been a craving. The song would play over and over with in my soul, spirit and mind.
I come from a family of much turmoil, and strife. I was raised in a family who loved deeply, and played hard. Pleasures of the heart and flesh were taught to me.
I was raised with contradictions though. I was taught with words to love, be kind, be generous, do not hurt another, and to not cheat or lie.
Yet the actions in my family were anything but those things. I was raised with all the things i was "told" not to do. Because of this, I grew up really unsure with who i am as a person, wanting to be and do one thing, yet doing just the opposite. I could not really understand why i would choose the opposite from what i wanted. I craved the life i was told about but never shown or given the tools to receive that very life.
I went about life trying to seek the life of love and generosity, yet kept going down the wrong paths. Paths that led to anywhere but the very life i craved and wanted most.
I am 43 years old and only now finding that the life i have always craved is right in front of me and within my reach. It was always right in front of me, but i was to blind and lost to really truly see it or understand it.
The song Amazing Grace resonates within my soul even deeper and stronger then ever before. I relate with the words in ways that i never thought possible.
"Grace" what an amazing thing it truly is to receive from the Lord. How very easy it is to receive.
After all the sin, after all the fears, after all the hurt and heartache i have had in the past, i finally get it, i finally see. I finally know deep in my heart that i have Grace and Mercy for "all" my sins. I have Grace and Mercy through "Jesus Christ".
He will not "forsake" me. Once given he will never take it back. It was promised to me if i were to confess my sins,and repent them, i would be given "Mercy" and "Grace".
What i have learned through this class I am taking "Cleansing Streams" is that Amazing "grace" God's freely given love and favor - is offered- not condemnation. Wonderful "mercy" God's kind treatment when punishment is deserved - is waiting- not judgment. God offered and i entered into a relationship with Him when i accepted Jesus as my Savior and my spirit was made alive.
God is offering, it is my choice to enter and receive freedom and healing for my soul. I am finally receiving that very healing through his "Grace" and "Mercy".
Thank you Lord for the Mercy and Grace you have shown me.
I now sing and hear the song and honestly understand it.
How very freeing.
Posted by Tracy at 8:28 AM
Monday, April 14, 2008
It has been another pain day for me. Fibromyalgia at times knocks me for a loop for days at a times, sometimes even weeks and months at a time. I think it has been almost a week where i wake up to another day of pain. I remind myself that the pain will not last forever. It will end hopefully soon.
Summer is coming and with it sunny days where i can soak up the sun which will help me to experience less pain.
When i go through days of pain, i become so sleepy. I feel like i am walking through a never ending fog. It is amazing though, that even when i am experiencing so much pain and feeling that a fog has rolled in I become ever closer to God.
I want to share a song that is rather simple, and has few words. It is a song that when I listen to it soothes the soul and spirit even during my pain days. :)
I hope everyone is having a blessed day.
Posted by Tracy at 4:38 PM
Friday, April 11, 2008
I have added a few new things to my blog page.
At the top of the page is a slide show featuring most of my paintings. I have grown through out the years in my art. I still find them uniquely me. Most of my paintings are Surreal. One is abstract. I had to give that style a try. All are dreamy looking. :)
I have also added music to my page. All one needs to do is to click the song to play what they would like to hear.
There is also a daily prayer that i find rather wonderful.
Last but not least I have added the books I am currently reading, and highly recommend to others. These books are from the class I have been taking called Cleansing Streams.
Soon I want to add a List of blogs that I read.
Slowly i have been creating a new page. One I find soothing, and appropriate for all the changes I have been making in my life. :)
I hope everyone enjoys the new page add ons. I still have not figured out how to get rid of the edit buttons on my page. They however can not be used by others. So I am ok with the page how it is.
I hope you all have a blessed weekend!
Posted by Tracy at 7:33 PM
Thursday, April 10, 2008
How Great Thou Art
This song has always touched my heart, add the images and the wonderful voice of Alan Jackson and my heart and spirit soars.
How wonderfully awesome God really is! Not only did he make this beautiful universe, but sent Jesus who is my savior God. How Great thou art sings my soul.
Posted by Tracy at 8:23 AM
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Spiritual Energy Painting
This is a painting I did in class. I had an image in my mind for a painting. One of a lone tree at night with lightening in the background, and rain in the air. Something where one feels all the elements when looking at the painting. Earth, air, fire, and water. As is prone to happen in my painting class, my Instructor had another idea in his mind. He tends to want to guide me to his thoughts and ideas instead of mine. In the end i took his idea and turned it into something all my own. This painting is very surreal. At first I did not like it mainly because it was a pink tree. Now however i do. It is different, and unique. The painting has a lot of meaning. It spoke to me of new growth, of energy, and light.
Please share your thoughts and opinion on this painting. I am always interested in hearing what others think of my work.
I am going to do the painting I had in mind to begin with, that is my next project.
Posted by Tracy at 5:50 PM
Does anyone know why the edit tool is appearing on my page under all my picks and stuff? I have now been trying to solve this problem for months. I finally give up. If anyone might be able to help me with this problem would you please share? :) I certainly would appreciate all and any help one might give. If i can not resolve this problem i am thinking of making a new blog.
Posted by Tracy at 5:09 PM
Posted by Tracy at 11:37 AM
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
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.
The focus this week in my class "Cleansing Streams" was about learning to commit everything to God.
So often in our walk with the Lord we quickly forget that he needs to be the leader, and you the follower. When you commit everything to God you can not do so half heartedly. I myself tend to try and take lead, and that very action always leads me down a wrong path. Allowing him to have full reign is really essential in your walk with God. Trusting that he should and will direct your path is so very important.
Another thing i learned was that when you turn it all over to him you will keep growing, experience rest and shine His light to those around you.
I learned that if i keep all problems, and direction (what I should commit to God) in my hands "I get what I can do.... my ability, my talent, my effort, my energy, my strength, and my reasoning."
If I put things in others hands (another human person such as my husband)"I get what others can do... their gifting and abilities may be different from mine, but it is still going to be limited to the best they can do."
If I give everything to God.. "I get what God can do."
I have loved the Lord most of my life, but I have never truly trusted him fully. I have never allowed him to carry all my burdens, or even all my everyday doings, for fear that I was not able to run my own life and that it would be looked upon by others as a weakness.
Now I realize that it is not weakness at all to give over all I was, all I am, and all I can be to the Lord. It is having enough wisdom and maturity to see that I am nothing when I walk alone. When I walk with in the light of God I am everything.......
Posted by Tracy at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I received this in my email today from someone special. Thought i would share it here.
Be proud of being "just a Mom and a Housewife"
I think that is the hardest job of all and that is why most give it up for an outside job and let someone else "raise" their children.
JUST A MOM?
A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office,
was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.
She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
'What I mean is, ' explained the recorder,
'do you have a job or are you just a ...?'
'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman.
'I'm a Mom.'
'We don't list 'Mom' as an occupai on,
'housewife' covers it,'
Said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself
in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised,
efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like,
'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.'
'What is your occupation?' she probed.
What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
'I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations.'
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and
looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the lowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest,
'just what you do in your field?'
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
'I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureac racy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more
distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mom.'
What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers
'Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations'
And great grandmothers
'Executive Senior Research Associates?'
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts
Associate Research Assistants.'
Posted by Tracy at 4:19 PM