Stay Cool! God Bless

{August 22, 2007}   Chapter 9

This chapter was more less an intro into Pastor Crouch’s life or part of it.  I liked how he stated he could not promise Pastor Jandl until he could communicate this concept to his wife and get her to accept the concept of creating a storehouse.  Both making an effort to be obedient to this command.   He gives and illustration of how two people in a marriage should come into an agreement in all aspects of life especially financially.  As I read this chapter, I realized that in my own marriage somehow Darrell and I grew apart in so many areas.  I wanted to live debt free, but he wanted to get a new credit card with a bigger credit limit.  I am not living debt free yet, but God is helping me to get there.  I have come a long way and I am close to achieving my goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved him and part of me still does and always will.  This chapter opened my eyes to many different things, not just about the storehouse principle.  However, I will not bore you with that and move into this chapter’s discussion.

Amos 3:3 "Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?

Amos 3:3 (NAS) Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?

I want to quote something that was written in this chapter, but it is something I have said for years, "It’s not about making more money, it’s about keeping it from disappearing!"  Don’t get me wrong, I want success in my career as any human being would.  I would not mind taking a position that pays well, my problem in the past is finding stable employment, a place where I am not just an employee, but a place where I am considered a valuable asset.  My future is filled with God’s promise to take care of me and bring many blessings as long as I stay obedient to him and give up my own will for HIS will.  I aim to do just that.  I am not saying I am perfect, only a fool would claim such a thing.  I try to live my life for HIS glory and now with the lesson this book has taught me, I can see my future becoming pleasant with less worries.

As Pastor Crouch shows how this principle being applied in his life prepared for time of when his wife, Doni, had cancer and undergone treatment.  If they had failed to apply this principle, this crisis could have been a night mare, but because they were obedient, God was able to bless them during this time of suffering.  He shares with us three places in the bible where God becomes personally involved with giving blessings, in fact He commands it. 

Deuteronomy 28:8 of course which I quoted in Chapter 8, but also Leviticus 25:21-22 (NKJV) "Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.  And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest."

This scripture pretty much took the guilt away that I had for having to dig into my storehouse to cover my expenses during this time in between jobs.  I like knowing that he has prepared the storage for survival until the new harvest is here.  To me, this means he has provided a way for me to maintain until the new position starts.  As he provided for me during this time of need, and for the Crouches during their time of need, He will provide for you too.

The third scripture, Psalm 133:1, 3 (NKJB) "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!…For there the Lord commanded the blessing, life forevermore."

This reminds us that whether it is the board of a business or church, or husband and wife unity is best in all things.  Otherwise separation begins to grow and grow, a foothold for the enemy to use to come in and destroy.


{August 22, 2007}   Chapter 8

Wow, this chapter made me feel guilty for all the past years when I did not save.  Thankfully here recently when I was working, I learned to apply this lesson of creating a storehouse.

1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?  Obedience is far better than sacrifice.  Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.

HIS command:

Deuteronomy 28:8 (NAS) The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Now Pastor Jandl was teaching Pastor Crouch this message that many over look. Pastor Crouch did not give to his own ministry or his own storehouse.  He was faithful to give to other ministries, but failed to apply a percentage into his own savings other wise known as a storehouse.  Pastor Jandl asks, "How can God bless what you do not have?"

This chapter reminds us that God intends for us to live debt free.  Meaning to be in debt to no one and  to be in debt to no business or organization.  Pastor Jandl confesses to Pastor Crouch that he has paid for everything in cash, everything in their own lives and ministry. (100s of acres, buildings, vehicles, and more)

Now as I read in the bible another verse caught my eye, Deuteronomy 28:9

The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you will keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and walk in His ways.

This verse meant a lot to me for a few reasons.  Financially, right now I am having to pull from my storehouse to make ends meet during this time in between jobs, God will still establish me to Himself and the time will come again allowing me to put back what I have taken out.  I know Pastor Jandl claims that we should not pull from our storehouses, but right now God knows I have no choice.  I also found comfort in knowing that as I stay obedient to his commandments and walk in His way, He will not only work things out in my financial situation, but also my situation with my boys.  Now verses 10 says, "So all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord…." There are some in my life that continue to try and ruin me and try to break my faith, but my love for the Lord is deep within me.  I can honestly say now that when all has been taken, I will continue to bless the Lord.  I am thankful to see how God has carried me through some trying times.  There was a time in my past when I had nothing except my 7 month old boy and the clothes I could carry in a bag.  God restored me then and now today, I know he can do the same thing again.  I may have lost the man I love once again and it appears my boys have been taken away, but I know that God will hear my cry and bring them home, my boys that is.  Just in case you might have missed this reason for why only my boys, my ex-husband has remarried. (you see I married this same man twice because I love him, also to allow God’s light to shine through the reconciliation, but the enemy has a way of coming in and steeling our blessings.)  God has blessed the boys and myself with a wonderful community, a wonderful school system, and a cozy home.  He will rebuild what the enemy has tried to destroy.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent…basically God has commanded us to create a storehouse and I urge you to be obedient to that, however with that said, I want to remind you to still give to your church or ministry.

{August 16, 2007}   Sex……..Marriage

I had this on my MySpace, but felt I should put it here today….Enjoy.


Ephesians 5:3 stirred thoughts I felt I should post.  I mixed my thoughts with a passage I read out of the bible.  
     Sex is good. God intended human beings to have relationships, and one type of relationship is sexual intimacy between a man and a woman.  Yet along with the gift of sex God has also provided guidelines for its expression.  God has done so because sex, like fire, can bring not only warmth and goodness, but also great destruction and pain if it is used outside of God’s guidelines.
     In most recent years we have experienced attacks to our nation, like the bombing in Oklahoma, the towers being brought down in New York, and flooding and fires across many states.  People don’t you see?  When the scriptures says, your children, your future generation will suffer for your inequities, it means that we may not see His wrath bestowed upon us, but the next generation may.  A cause along with many other causes is SIN.  There are all types of sin whether by thought or by action.
     The large number of illegitimate pregnancies, the worldwide plague of pornography, and the epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases provide ample evidence that something has gone terribly wrong. Disregard for the guidelines and boundaries God established for human sexuality has resulted in an enormous amount of pain and trauma in the world-lives that are shattered by broken relationships or diseased bodies, and hearts that are fragmented and hardened by "experience," unable to experience the deep intimacy with another which sexual purity makes possible.
     God’s word teaches that the boundary for a sexual relationship is the commitment of marriage.  According to God, sexual involvement outside marriage is immoral and wrong.  Within the covenant of marriage, however, we are free to experience the depth and richness of sexual intimacy without fear, shame, or disease.  This act however has boundaries even in marriage.  God intended this experience to be between ONE man and ONE woman.  When two people wait until marriage, they establish the respect and trust necessary for a dynamic and growing sexual relationship.  God’s desire is that we experience the kind of intimate sexual relationship for which we were created, one that is based not only on love but on commitment and the freedom of security.  Other scriptures to look up if interested:
Exod 20:14, Lev 20:10-21, Deut 27:20-23, Song 1:1, 8:1, 1 Cor 5:9-11, 6:9-20, 7:1-11, Heb 13:4, and Rev 21:8
     We, who live for GOD, have been set a part from all others to be His very own, through Jesus Christ. Leviticus 20:22-24, 26.

I am still working on the previous book, this is just a head up for those interested. 

{August 13, 2007}   What A Beautiful Morning

Today I woke up praying for my boys, I pray they are okay and asked for a hedge of protection to be around them. Once I did, I woke up with a sense of calmness. This is weird and neat for me. You see, I normally tend to worry about things that I have no control over. God has brought me a long way from who I was to the person I am today. Everyday I realize I have changed growing closer to him.

I know my boys will be home soon, and I can’t wait. Turns out I have sole custody not primary. I know God is going to bring them home soon, HE has provided a good home here for them. Oh Boy, when this first happened I was unsure of things, but today I have peace about it. I know that when they get home I will cherish every moment I have with them.

I know God will take of me. I know God will open the door to my next position. Since this has happened, I have re-evaluated my life and sought God’s will and guidance on how I could be here for the boys more when they get home. I have learned a lot, and I know God is working to change this tumult and persecution that has been brought against me into a situation that will bring Glory to HIS name. Even now as I realize it has almost been a month since my job ended, and I have not received a phone call from any of the places I have sent my resume to. My saving is very slim now, but as it says in Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." I like the next verse too, Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." God knows what I need before I do, and He will provide everything. Everything from love, comfort, peace, joy, health, money, food, clothing, all the things we need in this life. Matthew 6:32 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."

Anyway, I could go on and on, as some of you have noticed, I love God with all my heart and try my best to be obedient to His command. I do fail and will from time to time, but HE does correct his children. I am thankful for HIS grace and mercy. I do fear Him and live as obedient as I possibly can. Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever."

Well, I hope your week goes well and you all achieve your goals.

{August 12, 2007}   Chapter 7

This chapter is the end of Pastor Al Jandl testimony and leads the way for Van Crouch.  It also uses the ant as the basis to teach us about saving.

This chapter refers to Proverbs 6: 6-8

Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest.

Now this chapter does not refer to the verses 9-11, these scriptures give a warning of what will happen if we do not take action.  It warns of poverty.

I could understand his point about working hard. When I read about the ant storing up food, naturally I thought of saving money, but Pastor Jandl is referring to more then money in our lives. He mentions that the ant makes it through the winter providing not only for herself, but others in the colony and even those outside the colony, like the grasshopper. When spring sets in, the storehouse is still in abundance and the need to go gather food is not present, but this does not stop the ant for continuing to work. When spring sets in, the ant goes out to gather more food to continue to add to the abundance all ready in the storehouse. Another words, just because we have good size savings does not mean we should stop.

About 3.5 weeks ago my temp position at the base came to an end. To my surprise I found my self in one of those life situations that could destroy me. Thankfully, by my wiliness and by being obedient I was able to allow God to prepare me for this time in my life. About 2 weeks ago, I found myself in a new situation, a battle against my ex. I was concerned about using my small storehouse and it all being used up in my defense, but to my surprise there was a twist in my situation. Not only would I need to use my small storehouse, but I needed lots more. God is so good and provided it. I have made attempts to avoid poverty, I immediately began to look for work and I trust in God for tomorrow.

Right now today, there are things in play attempting to ruin me, but like this chapter said there are two things or two ways to look at this. One, am I willing to help others, or two, do I want others to take care of me? I have always tried to help out others when I can. By applying the principles that Pastor Jandl has taught us thus far, I can see how I will be ready and not miss the opportunity to help others when that time arises.  However, if I fail to apply these principles then it will be easy to miss that opportunity and in doing so miss the blessing.

I like how Pastor Jandl states, “Look at what you have – whether it is time, talent, or treasure or any combination of these – …start building storehouses for your future. Build a spiritual storehouse, a natural storehouse, and a mental storehouse. Build storehouse for yourself, for your children, and for others.”

It doesn’t matter where I am at today or what happened in the past, I must start preparation NOW for tomorrow, as Pastor Jandl says, “…So that whatever tries to knock you down will never knock you out.”

When I read ‘build a spiritual storehouse’ to me that meant to continue to have a relationship with God and to continue to seek his word. It does not matter if you have read the entire bible already, re-read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you on a continual basis teaching you God’s knowledge and understanding for that is where true wisdom will come from, asking for discernment, always. His word is a live as it is stated in the book of Hebrews.

When I read ‘build … a mental storehouse’ to me that meant to continue on my pursuit of obtaining my Bachelors. I tell you, my Bachelors of Science has been put off for some years now and I sometimes wonder if it is worth it.  I have not been able to find steady employment in my field and therefore contemplated whether it is really worth pursuing. At one point in time having two Associates of Science degrees was enough, I had achieved them simultaneously and have enough college hours.  Motherhood and being a wife set in, I thought I did not need it to pursue my educational goals.  I was in slumber as it is described in Proverbs 6:10. That is in the past and I am must continue to pursue my education and not give up, to be honest whether I ever use it or not, it is good to always learn. We should always keep the door open to the intellectual growth. Everyone claims that no one will change them or that you shouldn’t change for someone else. We all change on a daily basis whether we are attempting to or not. In life things happen, we see or hear something that affects how we look at life and in doing so we change. If we feed our minds with good things then we can become even better individuals then we are or then we think we are. No one is perfect, not even a Pastor or a Minister or the Pope. We are all capable of failing. But we are all capable of learning and growing and making a better future.  For myself, I change on a daily basis, as Christ who lives in me shines through, I change.

Like the ant who is wise and a victor, we too should act as wise and become a victor by starting now today. Not waiting for tomorrow or for something better or when things settle down. Come on, things will never settle down.  In stead of living our lives as "undergoing a situation" lets live our lives as "overcoming a situation."

The temporary emergency custody trial coming up, I was so concerned because my previous attorney was too busy to represent me. This past Monday, I felt like David going into battle with nothing except a sling shot and the Lord Almighty. Today I went to the court house, to do paperwork, but I couldn’t get answers or cooperation, they kept referring me to an attorney any attorney.

As I drove off I thought, "Lord, what do you want me to do? How can I be prepared for the up and coming battle?" Within minutes as I drove down the road, I saw a person, a person who happens to be an attorney. I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to stop and ask this person about my case. So I did. This person was willing and had the time to help me in my battle. Well this person quoted me the fee. I was like, "ouch." I know my boys are worth it, but thought "Lord thank you for this person, but now what do I do?"

As I drove home, I prayed and prayed. Guess what………….. God provided it. WooHOOO! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have an attorney now thanks to God Almighty.

KEEP me and the boys in your prayers. Pray the boys will come home soon. Chris has already missed 2 days of football and band practice. I sure hope they don’t miss their first day of school. I pray Darrell will allow them to come home, considering I do have sole custody. Although right now Darrell has been granted emergency temporary custody because of lies about me.

Chris told me just days before Darrell filed this emergency order thing that he was ready to come home, and he was ready to start football practice. I know they both miss me and miss being home.

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for your many prayers.

{August 6, 2007}   Dealing with Adversity

Below is a copy of of an article that really helped me today by helping me to release at the end.  Enjoy!


Honest to God: Getting Real With Christ During Adversity

Adversity has the potential to move us closer to God if we are willing to be honest with Him during trials.

by Shana Schutte


I once wrote a story about three brown cows who desperately wanted to change color. Tired of their earthy hue, they decided that purple would impress the neighbors and gain them notoriety. So after much planning, the herd’s leader pushed a large can of purple paint out of the nearest farmer’s garage and onto the driveway where it spilled for each Holstein to roll in it.

Their plan worked.

A short time later a farmer passed by. He couldn’t believe his eyes! He’d never seen a purple cow! He’d never even hoped to see one. But one thing was certain: he was enthralled with their pastel beauty so he herded them home. They were proud, and he was impressed—just like they hoped.

And then it rained.

The downpour washed away the paint, and with it, the cows’ posturing and posing. What they’d pretended to be was gone—and all that was left was a purple puddle.

The rains of adversity, like the downpour in this story, have a way of washing away our pretense and revealing our true selves. Adversity even has the potential to move us closer to God if we are willing to be honest with Him during trials. You might be wondering, How do I become more real with God during these times? I’m so glad you asked. Christ is teaching me that transparency with Him requires three things.

I need to remember that feelings of desperation are okay and can even be a blessing.

One afternoon I felt like these cows. I wanted to be impressive, but felt inadequate. I longed to be a better woman for God but knew my righteousness was like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). After several moments of bearing the “I’m-not-good-enough burden,” the Holy Spirit whispered. “Shana, don’t you see that this [desperation] is a gift?” God instantly showed me that my feelings of desperation were indeed good because they pushed me to my knees and closer to Christ. That’s why Matthew wrote, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).

We can only see desperation as a blessing when we recognize that we can gain Christ in greater measure in exchange for it, and receive abundant love from Him while our heads are bowed and tears fall.

Pride, the opposite of humble desperation, keeps God at a distance. It makes me think that I have it all together and, by the world’s standards, it may look like I do. But in God’s economy, what looks right is really wrong. That’s why Jesus says that those who are poor in spirit (desperate) are the real winners.

In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning writes,

“…we never lay hold of our nothingness before God, and consequently, we never enter into the deepest reality of our relationship with Him. But when we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God’s mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us.”

So if you feel desperate, rejoice! Your longing is a gift; your inadequacy a treasure and your need a blessing that can draw you into a deeper relationship with God.

During adversity, I need to remember that it’s okay to be angry.

At my former job, I hung a poster outside my cubicle showing Lucy from the Peanuts screaming, “Look out everybody! I’m gonna be cranky for the rest of the day!” Lucy’s announcement became a joke with my co-workers because she’s so not like me.

Somewhere in my youth, I learned that anger was unacceptable, possibly because I often saw it misused. Then when I came to Christ, this faulty message was reinforced in church. After all, good Christian boys and girls never get angry, right? Wrong. Not only is this teaching wrong, but God expects that we’ll experience anger. Jesus never said “Don’t get angry,” but He did say, “Be angry and don’t sin” (Ephesians 4:26). In this Scripture, He acknowledged that people would get angry. Why? Because anger is a secondary response to emotional pain. And there’s no doubt there’s a lot of emotional pain to go around on this sin-filled planet! Anger will happen!

Anger is like a red light on the dashboard of a car signaling that something is wrong under the hood—that there’s a hurt that needs to be given to God and perhaps forgiveness granted to someone. Like desperation, anger has the potential to take us to places of deeper intimacy with Christ when I bring what hurts me to Him for healing.

How can you do this? Yell or scream when no one is around or run outside and holler at the universe. You can also do what author Muriel Cook calls “Hot Pen Journaling.” Write down your true emotions without sweetening it. Be real. Tell God the truth. Then ask Him to show you what’s fueling your anger so He can minister to what’s hurting you through prayer and His Word.

Last week I was angry when someone I loved hurt my feelings. Rather than denying how I felt or sinning by taking it out on someone, I beat up my bed. I yelled. I screamed. I clobbered it as hard as I could. The result? I felt 100 percent better. I forgave the person who wounded me, and thanked God for loving me. Minutes later I was singing a song, proclaiming His truth and praising His name. Sound crazy? Not really. Even the Psalmists knew that expressing all of your emotions—good or bad—is okay.

During adversity, God wants to blend feelings with His truth to bring me through trouble and heal my heart.

One day while reading a Psalm, I got the idea to do what I did in second grade—color in my Bible. I picked two of my favorite hues: pink and green. Every phrase where the Psalmist expressed his feelings, I highlighted pink, and the places where he proclaimed God’s truth, I colored green. The result was an interesting pattern: Pink, green. Pink, green. Pink, green. Feelings, truth. Feelings, truth. Feelings, truth. Immediately, God showed me that His plan for our lives involves the blending of our emotions with His truth.

For the person whose life is based solely on emotions, there is no healing for his heart, because emotions alone are not trustworthy.

For the one who only acknowledges God’s truth and shoves down negative emotions because “It’s the Christian thing to do; I shouldn’t feel this way,” healing is also elusive because she’s living a life of denial about what’s really happening in the depths of her soul.

God wants to merge what we know in our head about His Word with what we feel in our hearts. Only then will He apply His truth to our emotions, just like He did with the Psalmists. That’s why it’s crucial that we’re honest when we feel angry, disappointed, disillusioned or fearful during adversity. It’s only then that He can hold us in His arms, speak truth to us, heal our hearts and give us the courage to move through the trial.

I understand that getting real with God can feel terrifying if you’re uncertain of His love. I encourage you to choose to believe that Christ is safe because He loves you enough that He died for you. You can take your fears, tears, concerns and anger to Him.

If you’re experiencing a trial now, do some “Hot Pen Journaling,” run outside and scream, tell God everything that’s on your heart and then get alone with Him and let Him quiet you with His love. I promise you’ll find Him in your rainstorm of adversity in a way you never imagined.

Shana Schutte is a freelance writer, author and speaker living in Colorado Springs, Colo.


My boys are enrolled! School starts on the 15th.

Chris has his first football practice with the new coach tomorrow the 7th from 7 am to 9 am, and it is back to band practice tomorrow too at 10 am to 12 pm. Followed by another practice with the coach at 7 pm to 9 pm. He will be on the High school football team and the junior high team. Some of the team members were like, "Hey where is Chris, we miss him," "we need him back," on and on. He is a great kid and liked by so many. He will be the Running Back again, I think. He began the games last year kicking the ball, so I think he will do that again. I met the new coach. Seems nice.

Matt well all his friends keep riding their bikes up in the drive way when they see me outside they ask, "Ms. Matthew’s mom, I want to play with Matt." I tell them he is with his father. They keep asking for him, "When is he coming back?" Matt is popular too and very much missed.

Well, I miss them too.

Everyone, I have no news at this time, just keep me in your prayers.  Darrell was told to have them at their practices.

I know Darrell loves the boys just as much as I do, I have never said otherwise. I am not the one who left this marriage, nor did I want the divorce. Inspite of all Darrell has done, I have loved him and forgiven him, and although I find it very hard right now to say this, "I do forgive him for trying to make me look like a bad person." Darrell knows I am not a bad person and many times has stated how a good mother I am. He is a good father, but he is the one who found someone else and decided he had enough of this family. No it was not his first time to find someone else, but that is here or there. God knows that I would have loved him and forgiven him even this last time. BUT, Darrell is remarried now, and I do wish him the best.

During this time of adversity, I am drawing near to Christ, I have always sought a relationship with Christ since I was young. This battle now with my ex is not going to change that. I know God Loves me and Christ Died On the CROSS for me and the Holy Spirit is here to guide me. Christ lives in me and is a part of me.

Please keep me in your prayers. Pray that my boys will get to come home soon. I love them and miss them. I would love to speak to Chris, but … The boys are precious gifts from GOD. Yes life can be lived with only Christ, but I do want this gift He has given me, my boys (Chris and Matt). I do want to raise them and give them a good home. I may not be able to spoil them as Darrell does with materialistic items and fun parks all the time, but I spoil them with my love, God’s love, and a good home. We have a good foundation here, and I am saddened that their father left. But what could I do? I couldn’t make him stay. God will mend this broken family. Just because Darrell is remarried and his wife has two kids of her own does not mean that their home is better than my home. Although I am a single mother now, I can still provide the best for them, no I did not say spoil them. I am a good hearted forgiving loving person and mother.

Oh Dear GOD be with me and help me through this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


et cetera