Archive for July, 2012

Heroes for my Children Part 5~Audrey

I hope you have enjoyed reading my Heroes for my Children Blogs! Today’s is the last entry. Here are the link if you have missed any:

Part 1: https://radical7even.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/heroes-for-my-children-part-1audrey/

Part 2- https://radical7even.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/heroes-for-my-children-part-2audrey/

Part 3- https://radical7even.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/heroes-for-my-children-part-3audrey/

Part 4- https://radical7even.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/heroes-for-my-children-part-4audrey/

Mohandas Gandhi

Gandhi is most known for his quotes about peace, but very people know his acts. They don’t know that his acts of non-violent protesting would be used by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., that he is credited of freeing India from Britain’s rule, and, though a devoted in Hinduism, he believed in freedom of religion. Gandhi encouraged everyone to seek the Truth and know that all human beings were made the same. Through fasts and prayer, he made a difference without hurting another person. Through the idea of peace, he changed the world.

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Heavenly Inspired Sisters 

This group of girls is my soul mates. Constantly striving to be on with God and to live a Christian life, they support causes, pass on devotionals, volunteer, encourage others, and are great friends. Our Radical 7even journey has brought us closer together and closer to God. Read on to find out what I admire most about each of them (listed in alphabetical order).

Algem-The Professional 

Algem’s professionalism continues to inspire me. Daily she encounters obstacles that would knock a lesser person down. She has a full time, very rewarding career that she is passionate about. It’s this dedication to the job that lifts me up when I start to worry about my kidney disease. If one of my wonderful friends can succeed, so can I.

As a consoler I learned tolerance. Tolerance goes a long way.-I’m Not Judging But…

 

Beyondai-The Dreamer

Beyondia inspires me because she is always dreaming big. She follows the endeavors she enjoys and creates beautiful art from them. Be it baking or photography, she is always in the middle of doing something creatively inspiring.

It feeds my creative spirit. Something I haven’t experienced since I was a kid.-Don’t Worry Be Happy

 

Danielle-The Funny One

Danielle always makes me feel good. Whether it is with a laugh or a nice word, her infectious spirit lifts the mood of everyone around her. Her praises to God and her enjoyment of the little things in life help me to see the good things even when I’m down.

I love to Give-Give hugs, presents, smiles, just give until my heart is content.-Do Unto Others

 

Kelly-The Egalitarian

I have never met anyone else who supports equal rights as much as I do. In fact, Kelly is more dedicated to the cause of human rights that I could ever be. She works with causing, through her work, and through social networking to support those who are oppressed and help us to see that God loves everyone.

Even if you don’t want to live or be like someone else, we all deserve dignity, respect, and the benefit of the doubt.-Check YOURSELF Out

 


Kim-The Spunky One

Kim is the fighter of our group. If you have injustice, she will fight for you. She will not let herself or her loved ones be pushed around. In a world where people continue to put others down, her fight is a cause of its own.

Pam-The Mother

Pam has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. She has adopted and given birth to beautiful children who she always puts her first. Her fire for these little ones is amazing, and, I think, what always pushes her forward in life. She cares for adults as well, reaching out to family members and friends who could use her support. God continues to move her to take care of others.

I have given birth and adopted and it’s just as strong. An unbreakable connection where you know you would die to save them without hesitation.-Week 2 Pam

 

Renee-The Spiritual One

 All my sisters are spiritual, but Renee always inspires me with her daily bible quotes, prayers, devotions, and general Christian life. In fact, spiritual is the first word I think of when I think of her. I use her as an example of how to lead a Christian life.

I am blessed beyond measure. I have more than I ever thought I would and I can’t thank God enough for seeing me, little ol’ me and thinking that He would even bless me like He has. The Beauty of it All

 

Venus-The Herald

 Venus is the epitome of “share the good news”! She is always sharing an inspiring video or devotional to bless others with. Whatever your issue, I can assure you she can send a song or story your way to inspire you. She is always passing on the good news about Jesus.

Let me encourage you to wait on God.-Did God Tell You to Move?

 

Jesus Christ

The ultimate hero, role model, and advocate. He believed, way before the Beatles, that loves was all you need. Love for God, love for your neighbor, love for yourself. He often spoke of religious egalitarianism promoting women and children’s rights. He gave prime example of how to live as God wants us to. He changed the world with love and God’s message, and he promised us that we could do that too. So each day I try to take a page from Jesus’ book and love and forgive those around me while sharing my love and joy with Christ.

…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do… Luke 23:34

As you can tell from the heroes I have chosen, each person was just a single individual who made a difference in the world. Knowing this, you should know that you can be a hero too. I encourage you to let God move you and make a stand.

And they say that a hero can save us.
I’m not gonna stand here and wait.

Hero,  Nickelback

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Asking all them questions-Renee`

I am coming up on my last year and a half of grad classes (I think) and I am still unsure what my career looks like. I am currently in non-profit which I love, but I never knew what my “non profit” job would look like. I have done everything from account executive for United Way, Boys and Girls Club Education Director, assistant at the Montgomery Humane Society, AmeriCorps VISTA working with teens, to Housing Relocation Coordinator to now Family Advocate. And i’ve loved every job; like literally loved it. Were there hard times, better believe it, but every day when I go to work I know that I am positively influencing someone’s life. It is a wonderful blessing and curse, being there on the cusp of someone’s worst day can wear on you. BUT I find it an absolute pleasure to be there in that gap to serve as a support system.

The only issue is…classes don’t really put you on the career path; someone with a sociology degree, or medical degree or science degree can do a million and one different things..and I guess I am trying to figure out what my “one” thing is. I never even heard of a family advocate until I became one. I’ve learned so much about the heart of people and how wonderfully hopeful God has made us. How people even at the lowest have given me life “gems” that I don’t think I will ever forget..those are lessons I didn’t learn in a class room.

As I come to the “end”, well should I say halfway “end” LOL of my program  I still wonder how my degree will lead me down an even bigger path than what I currently have. Where will I end up?…still trying to see about one day opening up my own business..but what will that business look like..where will it be? *shrugs* I still don’t know.

What’s radical for me??

Figuring out my career path

Cracking open a book,

Renee`

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Friends ~Venus~

Hey everyone! This is a devotional I received yesterday. May it bless you! ~Venus

 

Friends Part 5 by G. Craige Lewis

Matthew 13:57 – ‘And they were deeply offended and refused to believe
in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.’

There is nothing wrong with letting certain friends go. You may have grown up together as children. You may graduated high school or college together. But there may come a time when you are required to let a friend go! If you are growing into your purpose and calling in God, or you are maturing as a Christian and they are not, then God is gonna require you to move on and end some relationships. Why? Because, many times, old friends and family know too much about you! You may never be effective in ministry or even as a true believer in some of their eyes because they hold on to your past mistakes and errors and will not allow you to grow past it.

This is dangerous to you because it puts you in the position where you have to forsake your call or compromise your place in God to be accepted by them. Since they will not let you grow past them or be something other than what they feel you are, then you basically have to become what they expect to be accepted by them. It’s not that you are trying to be better than anyone, but it’s that you know what you have is good and perfect! Protect and cherish who you have become in Christ and forsake the past. God always took his great vessels away from certain family members and friends because if they knew too much about their past, they may not see the plan God was working in them. Even Jesus had to leave his home town because people there would not receive him as the son of God. They remember him maybe being changed as a baby, crying or playing with toys. How could they see him as the son of God after seeing that? Well, how can some of your old friends and family ever see you as changed, when you have failed so much in front of them? Protect what God is doing in you and guard your progress in him. Silence the negative voices and stay clear of the witchcraft that others may be using by manipulating you with your past. God has chosen to forsake your past and use you, so you must not let people, places, or things keep you bound to who you were.

Suggested Reading: Prov. 9:6, Psa. 27:10, 1Tim. 6:11,

©2012 G. Craige Works All Rights Reserved http://www.exministries.com

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***Jesus Said So*** by Pam

Most people that know me know that I have adopted 7 kids. When people first find out the reaction is almost comical. Mouths agape, you can see the mind searching through the “hows” and “whys” for a verbal response. Some need more help and have to voice the questions. Others come to a conclusion of either “I could not handle that many.” or Wow, that is so good of you to do!”  Neither response is accurate. Anyone could do this but it’s not easy with this many. Secondly, we are not good because it is so easy to love these kids. No different from the bond that I have with one I gave birth to. Not having them would destroy me. The next question is always, “What made you want to do this?” I usually say something that people understand. My Mamaw grew up in foster care. We have a lot of adopted people in our family. My aunt was a foster parent. My friends were adopted. Really though it did not start with these. I always knew I would adopt and dreamed of the day I would. I have read about adoption and the earliest examples are in the Bible. I never hear people talk about them but they are there. I will give you the one that stands out the most to me because Jesus himself ordered it.

“When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home”

John 19:26-27 NIV

That to me is a perfect example. Love is given by the Lord. No DNA test needed. Now I will apply that to my pet peeve. What makes someone your real mom or dad? Not DNA. Love, being there for better or worse, and commitment. How do I know that? Jesus said so.

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The Advocate Program~Audrey

 

If you could choose your own hero, someone to be your advocate who would you choose? That successful business woman who you admire? The good looking professor who could teach you things about your field?

While we may choose our own heroes we can not chose our own advocate. This is productive for us because we don’t get sidetrack by lust or jealous or any other negative emotions we would get from moving a human being into God’s position.

In Max Lucado’s Fearless he discusses the idea of Jesus’ advocate. Jesus himself had to leave us but he would not leave with out someway to continue down his path. Jesus granted us the Holy Spirit to be an advocate of our spirituality. Lucado points out that in the original version of John 14:26-27 the word “allos” is used before being translated into advocate. “Allos” means one just like the first. So the Holy Spirit is just like Jesus. It gives us the same strengths and support that Jesus did. The big difference is that the Holy Spirit lives inside us like a life force.

I’ve been considering my idea of advocate this past week. One of the volunteers at the therapeutic riding center I worked at and another girl were in a tragic car accident. My volunteer was driving when a car ran a stop sign and T-boned the car. The passenger did not survive. I grieved for this girl and for my volunteer’s pain unaware of how both she and I could deal with this idea of youth lost. But the Holy Spirit allowed me to mourn and then pick myself up so I could help those affected by this tragedy. I know that the Holy Spirit will give my volunteer the same strength.

So while a hero can be anyone you admire or would like to be like, we all need to remember that our Advocate comes first.

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Victims of Decisions ~Venus

Hey everyone! I wanted to share a devotional I received on Thursday by G. Craige Lewis. I hope ya’ll find it to be a blessing!  God bless!~Venus

“Victims of Decisions” by G. Craige Lewis

Ephesians 4:18 – ‘They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.’
-The Message Bible
Have you ever been so obsessed with something that you wanted until you went off the deep end to try to get it? Have you ever gone so far from your walk with God until you found yourself in the middle of something that you could not handle? Nervous breakdowns, emotional distresses, panic attacks and crazy phobias are all situations that can cause people to lose it! These come from over the top stressful situations and circumstances. And many Christians suffer with these types of distresses. Being obsessed with material things to the point that they will cheat or steal to get it. Or being so obsessed with the wrong person that they would destroy themselves before they would let them go. Being so stressed that they will use drugs or turn to alcohol to ease the pain. Or being so sexually obsessed that they would risk dying for a sexual partner. But didn’t the bible say that God would put no more on us than we can bear? So, how does things get this bad for Christians and how do they get out of them?

What you must realize is that we are decision driven. Unless we truly seek God and his kingdom, we will become victims of our own decisions. We many times see what we like and decide we want it, not counting the consequences. We try to bring God in it and have him bless it because it’s what we really want. But we must consider the cost of our own decisions. It could affect us in a very serious way and change our lives dramatically. I know people that never fully recovered from nervous breakdowns. I know teen girls that were killed by boyfriends that they tried to break up with after giving too much to them. I know older saints that get drunk because they feel that they cannot deal with the cares of this life. These are not trials and tribulations my friends. These are consequences of bad decisions coming back on people. It has nothing to do with God and him testing you or allowing the devil to test you. These are the consequences of your own actions and when you go outside of God to choose your own way, you suffer consequences. Even if you are called of God, you can still make very bad decisions and though you may be helping others, you are hurting those that are around you. The remedy is, just quit! Quit making bad decisions and decisions based on your present emotional and mental state! If you are not where you need to be in God, then wait till you are there before you try to make big decisions. If you are not living right, wait until you are before you make giant steps. If you are not walking closely with the Lord, then wait until you do before you make life changing judgment calls. Take some time to get before God first, not after the decision making process! Just because it feels good at the moment or it fits your life perfectly at the time does not mean that it’s from God. If there is a question about it, then it’s more than likely God trying to tell you something. But if you are not walking with God properly, then you will not hear his warning and may fall victim to another bad choice. God must lead us not follow us. He will protect us from bad choices and decisions, but he must be first before we can hear him. Put him first and follow his lead, not your feelings. That way, you will be following God and in touch with what he is saying, and not what your emotions are calling for. After all, God will not put more on us than we can bear, but we can definitely put too much on ourselves and it will ultimately cause us to lose touch with our own reality.

Suggested Reading: Eph. 4:19, Gal. 5:16 , 1Pet. 1:13, Eph. 4:23
©2012 G. Craige Works All Rights Reserved http://www.exministries.com

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Pulled Rugs-Renee`

It’s always the rug you’ve been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you-Joe Bannerman

Lately, I have been dealing with a situation that is very close to my heart, attempting to love my enemy so to speak. I don’t think I necessarily have people out there plotting against me so to speak, but I have a few that just refuse to get on the same page with me. I’ve tried praying before, during and after interaction with a certain individual and no matter how I’ve been the results are always the same-frustration,anger and confusion.

I tend to hide my true feelings, because I feel that my feelings weren’t very Christ-like, I am to be peaceful, easy-going, because that is how God would have us to be. For the most part I believe that is true, but I also believe that there are times when God calls you to take a stand. That stand might be very unpopular, but if you have God in your corner you will win in the end. My dad has a saying that I think can be appropriate “even the children of Israel had to draw swords”-meaning there are times it is necessary to fight-not usually physically but this can be metaphoric as well.

I am not going to “fight” my enemy, but I am taking a stand that certain boundaries are not to be tampered with-let alone crossed. I wont be disrespectful, but I will be firm. Not dealing with an issue, sweeping it under the rug so to speak, does not help you and it definitely does not help the other person doing the offending. Communication is vitally important and if you continue to live in silence then the behavior is more than likely going to continue. Not saying that talking will fix everything (like I said I’ve been doing ALOT of that) but it let’s you know what that other person is willing to do, or not do after you express how you feel. After that make sure you follow through with whatever you verbally told the other person. For example, if you have a “friend” that speaks twice a year and only to borrow money and you feel used…speak up about the situation. 1) you are enabling this person-not helping them and 2) you have the right to set boundaries for yourself.

Now with anything I write I will say first pray about the situation and ask how God would lead you. If you feel that boundaries need to be set, yet you’re afraid of upsetting the other person-pray that have an open mind and then pray for peace and courage as you press through. There are some situations God will tell you to specifically NOT address-follow Him. BUT on those occasions when HE tells you to move-please do so. You deserve respect.

Cleaning house,

Renee`

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