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Welcome To The 2014 Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

If you are visiting from the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Moms, welcome! I’ve brewed a fresh pot of coffee just for you.  Feel feel to pour yourself a cup, have a seat and hang out with me for a bit.  Before I tell you a little bit about me and the blog, I wanted to let you know that I am giving away a copy of my book, Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats With The Savior during the party.  All you have to do to enter to win is visit here and scroll down to “book prizes”. Good luck!

A little bit about me.

Family
My beautiful children and son-in-love!

I’m a full-time working mom (outside the home) of four children, ages 23, 20, 13 and 10.  I’ve been married to my amazing man for 25+years.  I work at a house of prayer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I support our lead pastor and children’s pastor, and am also involved in children’s ministries, worship team and pray ministries.  My children have all grown up in the house of prayer and are all involved leading worship and ministering before the Lord in prayer.  I love coffee and chocolate (they go together so nicely, don’t you think?).  I also love to paint and am grateful that I get to do this during worship services.  You can view some of the art I’ve created here.

My blogging journey.

I began blogging in July of 2008.  I cannot believe it’s almost been 6 years!  I blog mostly about issues of faith, sharing what I am learning on my journey with the Lord. My Freshly Brewed Life is a place for you to come and savor the aroma of God’s love and a place for your soul to wake up to the promise of a new day, where His truth and love abounds, and where you will be constantly reminded of who you are, and whose you are.  I believe that each day is a freshly brewed gift from the Lord and that He has hidden treasures for us to find!  I trust that as I share my life with you, you will find rest and peace in knowing that a loving God holds you in the palm of His hand. He adores you!

Here are a few of my favorite posts on the blog.  I hope that they will encourage your heart.

When the Path of Trust Meets the Road of Disappointment

At The Edge Of the Cliff

The Weekend Brew: Living In The Tension

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit and your coffee, and I hope you will visit again soon!

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Life through the lens…Gilroy Gardens

I have been excited for the Life Through The Lens link up since Lisa announced it.  I have been wanting to take more photos, and my smart phone takes great pictures.  Over the last week, my life has been a little boring as most of my pictures have been taken of homeschool books (many of them) which I am trying to sell.  But then I remembered that last week, I went with a friend to the Gilroy Gardens. I have never been there before.  Although it is definately a place for families, especially those with younger children, we had a lot of fun! So I hope you don’t mind if I show you pictures from a week ago during my trip to the Gilroy Gardens.

This is a sign that I found at the park, and I loved what it said.

This next picture is of a car that I actually rode on at the park.  You should have heard the kids telling their moms, “mommy she’s too old to ride that car”!

And this is my best friend. Laura.  I just love her to pieces.  We are both artists, love coffee (well, I haven’t had coffee in almost a month) and just enjoy each other’s company.  Aren’t we cute?

What’s been happening in your life lately?  Link up and show me your life in pictures.

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21 Day Fast: Week 3 {Challenges}

Here I am at week three of my fast.  Just five more days left.  I truly wanted to “step up” my game this week, but instead I find myself backing off just a little bit.  I’ve been faced with some challenges this week, which has frustrated me to no end, but I keep reminding myself that the Lord looks at the heart.  I have to believe that He is pleased with me and that nothing I’ve done is in vain.

Challenge #1 – Lack of Finances.

It’s very hard to fast when you have limited financial resources to buy the food that you need, in order to keep yourself from indulging in the foods you are supposed to be fasting from.  The first week I was able to stock up on fruits and vegetables, but this week, well nada.  As the wife of an unemployed husband, sometimes I simply have to make do and eat what I have.  For a minute or two I considered a water fast for this last week, but I knew it was not wisdom from the Lord.  So what I did to adapt this week was add chicken to my diet, and a few healthy, whole grains.  It hasn’t been perfect.  I’ve messed up a couple of times, beat myself up a little bit, but climbed back on the wagon.

Challenge #2 – Sick.

I got hit with a nasty head cold shortly after my post last week, so for the most part, I felt like crude this week.  And then it got hard.  When I don’t feel good, and my head is not in the game, I make poor choices and tend to want to “feed my emotions”, thinking it will make me feel better.  So last week was a little bit of a slippery slope, but I endured.

The Good.

I have had some sweet times with the Lord this past week.  I am still struggling to get out of bed after the 2nd alarm goes off in the morning, but I’ve been staying up late, reading the Word and worshipping along with the International House of Prayer web stream. My son is attending an internship there and sits in the Prayer Room from midnight to 6AM, Kansas City time.  So, while I watch the stream hoping to catch a glimpse of my son, I pray, worship and am encouraged through the spontaneous songs that come out of the prayer room straight from the heart of God.  I have had some amazing encounters with the Lord during these times of prayer.

Another good, but hard, thing is that the Lord has begun to bring to light a few things that need to be worked on in our family.  I would consider this an answer to prayer, a little bit of the breakthrough that I’ve been hoping and praying for, so this is a good thing.

What I’ve Learned.

I wasn’t as prepared mentally, spiritually or physically as I could have been for this fast.  Fasting is not something to be taken lightly, without first coming before the Lord and asking for His will.  This is not something new to me, but I don’t feel as if I sought the Lord for His perfect will in this fast.  I had some of my own “issues” I brought before Him, and He honored those desires, but I feel I may have missed a portion of His blessing.

Overall, I am not disappointed.  Fasting is something that I get to perfect my entire life.  It takes time to build spiritual fasting muscles.  Mine aren’t quite there, but each time they get a little stronger.  There are a lot of things in me that I need to allow the Lord to weed out if I am ever going to be successful in fasting.  I want fasting to become a “lifestyle”, not something that I do religiously, or something that I do because I think I am supposed to.  I want to set aside time every week to fast and pray, to get God’s heart for not only my own needs, but the needs of those around me.

Next week, I plan to share my weight loss goals as I begin the next chapter in my journey towards health.

Faith, Uncategorized

In God Alone

In just a couple of days, we will be casting our vote in the Presidential election.  My heart has been broken as I’ve heard and seen all of the dishonor concerning the candidates and the issues surrounding this election.  Not only are people dishonoring the men who have been appointed for such a time as this, but they are dishonoring one another with their constant bashing back and forth of the issues.  We must remember to bless with our words and not curse.

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
(Psalm 141:3)

I have been intentional in taking this election before the Lord in prayer, both corporately and privately. This one has not been easy, and I can honestly say that my own decision has not come without a struggle. I have wrestled with God.  But I have finally come to a place of peace and rest now, because I believe God’s hand is upon our nation, and that His plans will prevail.

Friends, we must call on the wisdom and guidance of the Lord to direct our hearts in the voting process.  We must pray and ask God to open our eyes and show us the man that He has chosen to lead this nation for this season.  Pray and ask Him to show you the man who will be the most pliable in His hands.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  (James 1:5)

I believe that every Christian has a responsibility to vote.  Your decision is between you and God.  The truth of the matter is that our hope is not in a man.  Our hope is in God, and in Him alone.  I know that the outcome of this election will have lasting effects on this nation, our economy and we as a people.

The question is, “Do you trust God enough to vote your conscious and leave the rest up to Him?”

Come Tuesday, I pray that you will vote (if you haven’t already).  Please understand that despite what you might think, your vote does matter.  Some would say that there isn’t much choice in either candidate. Some ask how they can morally side with either one.  I know that God is ultimately in control.  I believe that God can change the heart of any man, and that He can use either of these men to accomplish His will.  Our responsibility is to vote, and to continue to pray and intercede for these men, our governmental leaders, and all of those in authority.  No matter the outcome, we must continue to be a nation that blesses so that we in turn will be blessed.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
(Psalm 33:12-22)

As a people we must also continue to pray that God would have mercy on us, forgiving us for the things we’ve allowed, so that righteousness would once again rule and reign in our hearts. Over the next couple of days, will you commit to intercede with me on behalf of our nation?  We must continue to fix our eyes on Jesus and put our faith and our trust in Him alone.

(photo credit)