Thursday, January 01, 2015

Taking inventory with one word in mind...

Do I feel passionate about my relationship with God? Am I living a wholehearted life? What things do I feel like I need to change about my spiritual life? What areas of my life are suffering due to complacency? 

These are a few of the questions that I'm asking myself. At the end and beginning of each year is a great time to take stock of one's life. An inventory if you will. Start with the most important relationships and move out from there. 

Personally, I start with God...

How have I treated God over the past year? What type of relationship do I have with Him? Is He first in my daily life and not just on the papers in my journal? How is my prayer life? How often do I praise and worship Him? How can I serve Him better? How often do I express my gratitude toward Him? 

Then I have to check in with me!

How have I treated myself over the past year? Is my body a temple dedicated to God's glory? Is my mind filled with excess frustration or fear? Am I telling myself the truth about my gifts, talents, body, health, etc? Am I working to improve my skills? 

After that I move on to my husband...

How did I treat my husband? Does he feel valued and loved? What is important to him? What he is struggling with? What are his personal goals and dreams? How often do I let him know how much I appreciate him? 

You get the idea, don't you? 

Go through each relationship with a few questions. Then you can move on to your work/ministry, hobbies, goals, dreams...what have you. Take inventory of your gifts and talents. Ask yourself questions and take the time to thoughtfully and prayerfully answer them. Get out your Bible and learn what God says about how to interact with Him. Take some time to learn what the Word says about you as a person and as His child. Pray about your purpose and your calling. Listen to His still small voice. 

For me the year 2015 will be a year of PASSION. A year of wholehearted focus on being and doing what He has called me to be and do.  A year of putting my all into whatever I'm doing and whoever I'm with. A year of living life to the full!



I'm a woman, a wife, a mother, and soon to be a grandmother. I'm a counselor, a singer/songwriter, a worship leader, a co-host on a talk show.  I want to do all that I'm doing with intention, without reservation, with PASSION! 

As you listen to God's word for you
 allow Him to speak into your life as never before. 
Allow Him to set the tone 
for this New Year of your life and beyond. 
May you be blessed beyond
 all of your expectations. 
And may 2015 be your best year yet!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Easy Toffee aka 'Christmas Crack'


Normally this recipe is made with saltines on the bottom layer. Since I'm gluten free I couldn't use the regular crackers and I haven't seen any gluten free alternatives here in Belize. However, I recently found a gluten free Rice Biscuit Cereal and decided to see if they would work in this recipe and they did!



Oh my goodness does this treat live up to it's nickname. I couldn't stop eating it until it was all gone! I have to add this to my Christmas treats for next year!!!

Easy Gluten Free Toffee
Ingredients:
3 cups Gluten Free Rice Biscuit Cereal (or Rice Chex)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips (apx 2 cups)
optional:
salt
pecans

Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Line cookie sheet with rice chex
*In a saucepan using medium heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil, slowly pour mixture over rice chex and spread with a spatula to cover. (Don't worry about being perfect!)
*Bake for about 5 minutes
*Remove from oven and cover with chocolate chips, let them sit for a minute or two and then use a spatula to smooth out the chocolate.
*Top with nuts and/or salt 
*Refrigerate until set.  Then cut or break into pieces.

I used the nuts with a bit of salt sprinkled on top...YUMMO! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From start to finish...

Personally, I think Tom is one of the most creative people on the planet...but, perhaps, I might be biased! He was asked to do some artwork for the set of Divaz Next Door which is a local talk show on PlusTV, a Christian TV station, here in Belize. Here are some photos that I put together showing the evolution of his artwork!


His initial concept

He wasn't happy with the direction of this one...

So he changed direction.


Cirilo's preparing the set

The table was custom made by Pastor Scott Stirm and his son Shane.

all set and ready to go!

And it's show time! 

We had an informative talk with Mrs Arzu about the Garinagu people of Belize

Andrea and I also enjoyed a song by David Smith of Roots and Honor Records!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's new in Cohune Walk...

After months of repeatedly calling the city to remind them to do their pick up of yard clippings they finally showed up today! There was so much debris throughout our community they had to send a backhoe and a dump truck out to do the collection.


As you can see it's been so long since the last pick up
 that we actually had a tree growing out of the pile in front of our house. 



Tom went out to thank the driver and chat with him.

They had a four man crew out working. 
One driving the backhoe, one driving the dump truck,
 and two helping to load the backhoe when needed. 



There was a snake in that pile!!! 

As they finished up in front of our home we thanked them and clapped. We pray it won't be another year before they come again. All up and down the street in all three phases of the area we live in there are piles of yard waste and overgrown bush. The jungle just keeps growing back if no one clears it. And that makes a breeding ground for snakes and vermin that becomes hazardous to all the neighbors.

We're grateful that it's finally cleared. It looks better and it's much safer for us all!



Monday, September 01, 2014

Hope For Life

Last month a new ministry opened up here in Belize!
Hope Life is a Christian organization that is dedicated to offering love, emotional support, and material help to women who are faced with an unintended pregnancy.


The director/founder, Jadine Fritzler, worked with us at CDF and was one of the eight students who graduated from the two year course in Christian Counseling that Tom teaches at Belize Bible Center.

The Mayor, Simeon Lopez, and Deputy Mayor, Anna Banner Guy, were in attendance.

 Judy Vasquez, Director of Seeds of Life in Belize City


 The pastors in attendance prayed over all the board members and the center


 Mayor Lopez and Jadine cutting the ribbon




 Pastor Craig used these figures to explain pregnancy development to these little twins...

 They asked their mom if they were ever that little!!!

Josie, is one of the volunteer counselors for Hope For Life and is also one of Tom's counseling students! 

 Jadine being interviewed by Luis Wade of Plus TV, and by Brother Fem of My Refuge Christian Radio


The directors of the various pregnancy centers here in Belize. Margaret Robinson and Perla Chable of Seeds of Life in Benque, Jadine of Hope For Life in Belmopan, and Judy Vasquez of Seeds of Life in Belize City.
I took these photos at the Grand Opening & Dedication on August 14th. And the center opened it's doors to clients on Monday, August 18th. They are now open three days week; Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10-6.

Keep this ministry in your prayers. It is very much needed here in Belize! 



Monday, August 25, 2014

The Gift of Teamwork...

Do you work well with your spouse? 

There was a time when Tom and I tried to team teach back in California. We'd been married about 15 years or so. Though the talk went well...WE did not do so well...before or after. Let's just say there was weeping and gnashing of teeth involved. Thankfully, both of us have grown up a lot since then.

We've learned to work as a team over the past 9 years on the mission field. 

It came about slowly but surely. We've gained a greater respect for one another as the bond of partnership has strengthened throughout the years. 

Realizing that we are on the same team impacted our marriage and our ministry for the better.

This past weekend Tom and I spoke at a marriage seminar for Holy Ghost Church Esperanza. Tom made the initial outline for the talk and I added in details where it seemed appropriate. Tom's idea was to tell our story as a couple and based on our story we could then share some principles of Effective and Ineffective Communication. For example, Tom wrote about appreciating how well I listen to him when he talks so I was able to give some pointers on being a good listener. As we progressed through our story we were able to incorporate what we've learned about healthy communication throughout our 32 years of marriage. We felt comfortable speaking together and answering questions for the couples who attended.


Pastor Matthias Hill of Holy Ghost Church Esperanza and his wife Oneida.

Pastor Ian Sangster doing the opening remarks and prayer

Pastor Sarah Vasquez doing the icebreakers

 Mrs. Jane Martinez doing the giveaways!

Miss Verlie Lamb dancing to Bless the Broken Road

Mr. Jason Twist speaking on Finding your Ministry & Supporting your Spouse in Ministry

crowd shot by Mrs Jane Martinez

What an incredible blessing to witness all these couples giving up a Saturday to invest in their marriages and families. And Tom and I came away praising God for the precious gift of teamwork!