Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday- The Franz Family

Maybe I am late on the scene but I recently found
this jewel of a family!! The Franz Family and WOW!!
I could listen to them all day. I do not yet know all
that much about them but if you watch all their videos,
you will see that all of the children play various
instruments. And I love how the parents are in the
back ground supporting them in instrument and love.
If you watch closely, you will see the parents glowing
from time to time.

I think I can say for all of us that I aspire to
have a family with my children that is this bonded.
Maybe for some it would not necessarily be musical
but I know that I look forward to the day when my
children are grown and I can look on them with pride
like these parents as they give back their talents.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Music Monday- Anthem Lights

Alrighty it is has been a week since I posted. But back to
it this week with Music Monday and a song for all of 
you ladies out there. And well I guess you men too. Take
some notes fellas. A fairly new group of handsome 
young guys called Anthem Lights! 

What I love most about these guys, is their love for Christ.
Nothing unmanly about making a stand for the Lord.
The song I am posting today is not actually their song.
(But you should take a listen to all of their music 
because you cannot go wrong with any of their songs.
Each guy in this group could stand on his own but
together is WOW!!) Today's song  is a cover from 
Bruno Mars and I think they kill it!! 
They are singing about how men should love women. 
AND the fact that you know that they love Jesus makes
it even well... hotter! I respect this song SOOO much more 
coming from these God fearing men then I do coming
from the one who actually wrote it. 

  Ladies, you want a man who loves you for who
you are inside and out. A man that sees your true
beauty. A man that loves you with a real love that
expects nothing in return. And I personally believe
that men who love Christ with all that they are, will
know better how to love you with all that they are.

AND you are welcome!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Music Monday- Brooke Fraser

Many of us hear Brooke Fraser on the radio
every day but may not know her name. At least
I didn't. Brooke Fraser is from Hillsong which
is a church in New Zealand. Many of us know 
her from her song Hosanna, which rocks. This 
woman is a wonderful example, to me, of being 
in the world but not of it. She has been on the 
scene in New Zealand since she was 17. She was 
writing songs and performing as a teenager. She 
has toured with John Mayer. She plays piano and 
guitar and sings and write songs and, and, and... 
But what I love about her is that it is never 
a secret that she is in love with Christ. 

The song I am posting today for Music Monday, she
wrote. I like this song for so many reasons. First,
the video is beautiful. Second, for some reason I
love that all of the string players are elderly. 
Really goes along with the songs theme of loving 
Christ for life. Each string player is playing
so beautifully and with such heart.I also like 
that even though she has an amazingly powerful 
voice, she does not blast it in this song. It is 
very personal and very intimate. A love song, 
if you will, for her savior. Lastly, I love that 
she reminds me that being a Christian is not about 
keeping score of the good and bad that we do. 
It is about a relationship it is about wanting only 
Christ with all that we are.

Have a blessed week everyone and remember
it is not about the Arithmetic!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Midweek Ministry

As you know from last week I would like to post more on 
Wednesdays about the work our church is doing in our 
community. However this week I have decided to deviate 
because yesterday I heard the most wonderful and awesome 
story. You know one of those stories that leaves you feeling 
little chill bumps because you know God was working. This 
story comes from a friend and fellow believer from high
school, her name is Rebecca Helvey. At this time her 
grandfather has gone through a huge surgery and is recovering
in the ICU. Yesterday as they were wheeling him to surgery 
the most inspiring things happened and I will just copy and 
paste two of Rebecca's posts here.
1st post is about her grandfather:
R.J. Stevens... 84 years old. 4 heart bypass. Has spent his life as a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ & teaches congregations all over the country how to better worship God through song. Also has a hymnal that is widely used through numerous churches called, "Hymns for Worship." So singing is quite a passion for him, 

2nd post is the awesome story from yesterday:
UPDATE on Grandpa before surgery today!! Two ladies came into PaPa J's room this morning to transport him to surgery. They were so sweet & kind to him & our family.
As they transported him down the elevator and through the halls, grandpa was engaged in conversation with one of them about God & Jesus Christ. She asked him what his favorite gospel song was, and he said, "Nearer, Still Nearer." She said her favorite was "Nearer My God To Thee." He replied, "That's a great song, too." He started singing it. Both ladies stopped the gurney and everyone sang it together - my dad, mom, Uncle Joe, Aunt Paula and even Grandma Pauline.
When they arrived at the place where they would eventually put grandpa to sleep, both ladies gave your grandpa a big hug and told him everything would be okay.
When my dad looked down at the ladies name tags, their names were RUTH and ESTHER!! This just brought tears to my eyes when my dad told me this! So uplifting to hear this and fits my grandpa's love for the Lord.

Immediately when I read this post yesterday on Facebook,
I thought several things. One, how this wonderful man was
proclaiming the name of Christ even as he was about to face
major surgery. This shows me where his focus, life and heart
is, it is at the foot of the Cross.  And second, about how God
always shows Himself to us. He lets us know that He IS 
present and He is still in control. I immagine that Papa J blessed 
those two women immensely and I bet they too blessed him. 

So this week WE are going to be the ones Ministering. The
apostle Paul was a prayer warrior and a fine example of how
we are to pray.

    "I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for
     you constantly."  Ephesians 1:16

    "Don't worry about anything; pray about everything. Tell
     God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
      Philippians 4:6
    "Devote yourselves to Prayer with an alert mind and 
      thankful heart." Colossians 4:2

    "Keep on Praying." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

These are just a few times he talked about praying. If
he talked about it so much, then we should probably be
doing it more. 

We are going to pray for Mr. R.J. Stevens today and 
in the weeks to come. God has already been moving and
working and I can see He is not done yet. Pray with me
for our Brother in Christ. Pray for healing, pray for strength
for him and his family. Let's pray that God works so mightily
in Papa J's recovery that everyone will know that it could
have only be done by our Great and Mighty God!! AMEN 

I will update you in the weeks to come as I learn more and
I know that family thanks you for your prayers because our
God is bigger than any health issue we face. Our God
is the Greatest of all Physicians.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Monday

It is Music Monday again and I have a great tune for us 
to start our week! I have had a rough couple weeks and 
every time I hear this song on the radio I crank it up
because it is such a huge encouragement to me. Mainly
because it is a great song, in my opinion. But also because
Shawn McDonald, the writer has an amazing story. Adopted
by his grandparents, in his teen years he started to rebel 
big time and got in with the wrong crowd and started down 
the road of drugs. Then he came to Christ!! And immediately
the drugs were no longer a desire for him. In a moment, like it 
should be, his life was changed. And the amazing part was 
he had never played a guitar in his life! In a few short years 
he went from learning the guitar to being a well known 
Christian artist that you and I hear on the radio several times 
a day. God has a plan for each of us and He can do amazing
things through us when we focus our lives on Him.

We can rise from our troubles because He who is in us
is greater than he who is in the world! Have a blessed

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thyroid Thursday- The Thyroid

I have talked a lot about thyroid disease
in my last few thyroid posts. I decided today
to get back in the saddle with a post that
is just about the thyroid and what it does
and why it is so important to the entire
functioning of our bodies.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that
sits on the front of the lower part of our
neck. It is usually flat and you should
not be able feel it on your neck.

The thyroid regulates almost every cell in our bodies!!
How crazy is that? It is responsible for metabolism, 
temperature regulation, weight regulation,heart rate regulation
and energy consumption. So if it controls all of that, you
can see why it is so important for it to work well!

Now we get to the confusing part. There are several hormones
involved in the function of the thyroid and another gland
that helps. First, the hormones involved are TSH, T3 and T4.
The other gland is the Pituitary which is in our brain. 
The Pituitary secretes the TSH(Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
to stimulate the Thyroid to secrete T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are
different but T4 can convert into T3. And T3 and T4 are
the hormones that assist with metabolism. Clear as mud?

There are several ways this system can be interrupted. First,
the Pituitary may not supply enough TSH and the causes 
Hypothyroidism. Or it may supply too much and that is 
Hyperthyroidism. The Thyroid gland itself may not secrete
enough T3 and/or T4 and that can cause Hypothyroidism and
on the reverse it can secrete too much and cause Hyperthyroidism.

Ready for more confusion? If the Thyroid is not producing 
enough T3 and T4 the Pituitary will secrete more TSH. SO
if you have a TSH test done and it is High that means your
thyroid function is LOW. And vice versa if your Thyroid is 
secreting too much T3 and T4 then the Pituitary will secrete 
less TSH and if your TSH test is low that means your thyroid 
function is High. 

Hopefully this helps if you have had a Thyroid test done
and wondered about the hormones and what it all means. 
Please ask any questions if you need clarification.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Midweek Ministry

 Things at our church, First Baptist Church of Belen, have
been heating up since our New Pastor David Guerrero arrived 
this last September. Every week I am seeing our members be 
reignited with passion and fire for what the church needs
to be about. We are refocusing on what our mission is and 
week by week it is so exciting to see our church transform 
into the Acts Church.

Our Youth Minister Sean Farrell has a vision for ministry
he calls his mission "Hands and Feet". We are to be Christ's 
hands and feet. We are to do for others what they cannot do
for themselves and love them like Christ loves them. When
people look at us as believers, they should wonder why we
are different and Sean is working diligently to instill these 
core values into our youth. Our desire is that our church would
be about service to those in need. Getting out in our community
and making a difference and that is what we are doing!!

A turn of events on Presidents day brought about a huge 
opportunity for our youth group and another youth group
from a fellow church! The plan was to go to White Sands
for a day of fun in the sand. But poor weather conditions at
White Sands ended the trip. Pastor Sean said he started to 
think and pray for an alternate plan for the youth. Then it
came to him! The previous day he had spoke with a gentleman 
by the name of Rex Lewis. Rex Lewis and his family lost
their home to a fire just a few weeks ago. Our church had 
already been out to help with the clean up but there is still
lots to be done to prepare for the rebuild. Pastor Sean had
told Rex he would assemble a team and come out again soon
to help. Sean realized he had a large group of teens and youth
workers at his disposal so he pitched his idea to the adults and
then the teens. Most were on board and very excited about
the service project. Of course there were a few of the teens who
Sean says "were not excited about the not having fun," and they 
went home. Little did they realize what they were going to miss
out on!

The workers piled into the vans and headed over to the Lewis's
and started working. Several of the youth I have talked to said 
at first it was quiet and everyone was a bit somber but then
the singing started and creativity in the clean up and silliness
and fun ensued!

 Some comments about the days events were:

- "Honestly, not only did yesterday rejuvenate me, but it turned out 
   SO much better than I had planned. All in all, I am so grateful that 
   the day turned out like it did instead. Where not only were laughs 
   present, but that of which matters, acting and serving out of love and
   devotion. Plus, it reminded me that we may have our plans, but His 
   are always better."     Miranda Lucero

- "I just have to say it felt amazing to help " Mystie Sky

- "Our students lit up Facebook with how much fun they had and how 
    good they felt helping."  Pastor Sean Farrell

- " I think it was a GREAT change of events and some of the students 
     even agreed. I spent time with two last evening and they mentioned 
     it was so wonderful to be in service to others in the Kingdom 
     than just to themselves. They had a great time of fun and silliness, 
     too! It is always such a blessing to give oneself away. I was proud 
     of the work the kids did and how well they did it, too."  
     Venetia Yates -Youth Pastor

- " I think we youth should do more service projects like that. I think 
     that's what we're supposed to be doing. Going to concerts and doing 
    fun things is nice, but so many kids don't realize how important these 
    things can be to someone else. I know yesterday, God was definitely at 
    work. I noticed a few things that happened to me yesterday, that might 
    not have happened if we'd spent all day down at White Sands. Of course, 
    God works in so many ways and through so many situations."  Katie Alvarez


The Youth and youth workers left Monday feeling excited and 
honored to be a part of such an awesome day. Of course the
Lewis family was most thankful supplying hotdogs, 
smores and appreciation!  I think that when we help someone in 
need and get our eyes off ourselves, we find that we are equally 
blessed. What I love most of all is that everyone saw that God had 
much better plan for the day!  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Allergy Tips Tuesday- Spring Cleaning!!

Some of the most common indoor allergens -- the ones that can trigger childhood
allergy symptoms -- are often found in bedrooms. 

I was surprised to find many articles about how to keep a child with allergies
room in tip top shape. I have always been more worried about our living room
and what lurks in our carpet, which is important too. But then it occurred to 
me that our son does sleep in his room for 10 hours every night! Wow probably 
I should pay a little closer attention to his bed. 

There are so many articles that are EXTREME in my opinion about how
to keep a child's room with allergies clean. One gave detailed step by step 
instructions on how to clean the sheets, blankets, comforters, duvet covers, 
pillows, and on and on. It was quite amazing to me. I myself have been
caught in the trap of freaking out with the littlest exposure for our son.
If you have done anaphylaxis or have done an asthma exacerbation, you
want to steer clear of doing it again. But I have come to find there has to
be a happy medium where my son is safe  and I am not being crazy lady.

Our son is allergic to 35 things that we are aware of in the areas of food,
drugs and environmental allergens. It can be very overwhelming if I 
think about it too much. So I just do my best to steer clear of things
knowing that I can not always keep him away from all of them and 
trying to keep him away from the BIG ones. 

That being said I have found that his room can cause issues. So
there are a few things you can do to keep the room a little more
allergen free. First, put a mattress cover on the mattress. We had
already done this because he was a toddler and still having the 
occasional night accident. Mattresses harbor all kinds of horrible
things that no one really wants to think about!! Dust mites being
one of the big ones. Next get a allergy safe pillow cover. We bought
our son a special allergy safe pillow and cover. They are really not
that expensive and when you think about it, that is where their face
is going to be. Lastly, you need to be washing the bed linens once 
a week. I am not that great about this in the off seasons. Usually April
to June is our son's worst time of year and I work hard during
that time to keep all linens clean. Obviously dusting and vacuuming 
are two other important things. But I think the bed is the big
issue because they spend 8-10 hours a night there and it needs to
be a place of comfort and a place that does not cause them to have
a full blown allergy attack.

Lastly, one interesting tip I read that I had not really thought about,
because we don't have bunk beds, many suggest putting the allergy
kid on the top bunk. When the dust and allergens falls, it will not be 
on the allergic one as much.

Any other tips? Chime in and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Music Monday

"I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water."     Ray Charles

A beautiful young lady I know has reminded me that it is time to 
get back in the saddle and start blogging again. I have been going
over in my mind for a while what can I blog about. I have thought in
the past that I would like everyday to be a day where I explore one 
of the things that I know about. So why not start the week off with 
music hence music monday because music is my first love. 
I completely identify with the quote by Ray Charles, music is who I am, 
it is a part of my genetic make up. I cannot live without it. On Mondays 
I am going to try to hook you up with some tunes that make the start 
of your week good and gives you hope. Music is my go to, to make 
everything better. 

I am so excited one of my favorite vocalist has made her first music videos and it is one of my favorite songs that she does. This is one of my go to songs when the world is beating me up. Just what I needed  for this week as I am facing some challenges right now and just needing the reminder that even though I feel like I am in the valley, He is here to comfort me. He is for me and He is for you!

Blessings for a beautiful week and tune in tomorrow for Allergy Tales Tuesday!