Blackened Skies are Beautiful

Good Morning my friends,

You are God’s for all of time and beyond and throughout eternity. No power will ever be able to deny your inheritance in heaven. God wants you to know that you can relish in the fact that your eternity is secured and that He will never let go. Knowing that your future is absolutely assured can allow you to live abundantly everyday. He has prepared today for you with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Do not approach your day as if it’s blank canvas. Approaching your day this way can be troubling.. As a follower Christ that puts all of their faith in Him, You should know that God is the artist and has already painted your canvas for the day. This is where we tend to go wrong.. We wanted to take control of our paint brush, paint & canvas and paint our own picture.

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” (Psalm 18:30)


STOP!!!
Look around for the beauty that God has blessed you with today. There is beauty EVERYWHERE.. Everything around us, God has chosen specifically for you & your day. Last week Keri & I were on our way to work and we were able to witness a storm moving across our path. There is not too many things that are more beautiful than a thunderstorm. Although the sky was filled with darkness, we watched as the lightening tried to fight its way from behind the thick dark the clouds.. Those majestic charcoal grey clouds were rumbling & swirling slowly.. As we witnessed the flashes of light building behind the clouds they illuminated the night sky just enough. Just enough for us to witness the hues & depth of the different shades of gray, black, deep purples, & greens. They were all blended together and breathtaking. Those amazing colors combined with the deep growls of thunder rumpled across the sky for what seemed like days. The wind began to pick up. It swayed the trees back and forth as if they were Fred Astair & Ginger Rogers dancing across a ballroom floor. There would be an occasional bolt of lighting that would explode through the clouds and shake the ground in microseconds. It was followed by an earth shaking boom. The beauty of the storm was absolutely amazing. We were awestruck by its mass & beauty as it all unfurled in front of us.. We eventually made it to the storm and the sky opened up and released huge drops of rain and pea size hail. There was so much rain that our windshield wipers couldn’t keep up. There was about 20 minutes of downpour and then I got to witness the backside of the storm in my rear view mirror. God is truly an AMAZING artist. He paints beauty all around us everyday but we just have to STOP and turn our attention towards Him and allow Him to paint our canvas as we watch patiently for it to unfold..
Today, try living it in a responsive mode: being on the lookout for all that God is doing around you. This sounds easy, but it requires a deep level of trust, based on the knowledge that God’s way is perfect.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord : and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalm 38:23-24)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU…. STOP!!!! Allow God to paint your canvas with His beauty.

I hope you all have a SUPER day… Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Focusing Your Attention

Good Morning my friends,

It so easy to get caught into the trap of focusing your attention on somewhere else besides God. In the Spring of 2012, Keri & I started praying for God to open door & opportunities so that we could start LAST 24 MINISTRIES and then move forward on holding Disciple of Thunder Family Conferences across the nation. We prayed for months for a blessing. Four or five months after we started praying I had breakfast with one of my best friends and were talking about business and markets were hot and on the verge of exploding.. Before our breakfast was over we had created a company, business plan, and a vision all on a napkin. AppYea was born… Keri & I believe that God blessed us with AppYea Inc.. This blessing hasn’t been an overnight jolt but instead it has is taken time and patience. I have to admit there has been a HUGE LEARNING curves. It has taken time & effort but we believe God placed it in our life to make sure that I am ready and in a totally different place mentally for when it’s time to reap the harvest.. God has blessed me many times with financial blessings but they always became my focus. Each time it became only about the money and never about paying it forward, blessing others, giving back or living a Godly life. My focus has remain on Him. My dependence for guidance & direction remains on Him. The remainder of my life will be about how God changed me and how He blessed my life. I want to bless people & change lives thru Greenleaf, AppYea, Deo Volente Holdings, LAST 24 MINISTRIES, Disciple of Thunder Family Conferences and my daily living. The Cross was a blessing of grace given by God to ALL and I want to do doing as much as I can to bring Him honor & glory.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”(1 Chronicles 16:11)

I have saved my greatest desire for seeking God. God is constantly guiding & communication with me in my journey. To find God and hear His voice, I had to first learn to seek Him above all else. I realized that anything that I desired to seek more than God is an idol and when I was determined to get my own way, I was taking God from being first in my mind. Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, I now talk with God about it. I let the Light of His Presence shine on each pursuit, so that I can see it from His perspective. If my goal fits into His plans for me then He will gradually strengthen the desire in my heart. Seek Him first and foremost and then the rest of my life will fall into place, piece by piece.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matthew 6:33)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Don’t allow your focus to be drawn away from THE CROSS…

I hope you all have a FABULOUS day… Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Humble…Dependence….Obedient

Good Morning my friends,

 

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. “(Psalm 63:7-8)

God says, “let Me help you through this day. The challenges that you face are far too great for you to handle alone.” We know that we need assistance, sometimes divine intervention or just some guidance with all the events that we face each day. Our awareness gives us a choice: to go it alone or to walk with Him in humble steps of dependence & obedience. HUMBLE…..it’s defined as having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.. Perhaps there lies the problem… We need to learn to be more humble. DEPENDENCE….the state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else. Maybe there lies the problem too… We need to learn to be more dependent and less independent… OBEDIENT…….submissive to another’s will…… Hmmm.. We need to learn to submit to someone else’s will and not our own.. WOW… Isn’t that the same things we try to get our kids to do as we raise them.. We want them to humble themselves and listen to our advice. We encourage them to depend on us not just financially but emotionally as well when we share our experiences and mistakes.. We want them to be obedient and use our advice and shared experiences to help with their decision making.. Jesus said in Matthew 8:3-4, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
For those of you that have kids, doesn’t it just pain you to watch your kids make bad decisions after you’ve given them sound advice that you learned from your experiences at that age? Keri & I have been blessed thus far that both Zakk & Mick make wise choices for their age.. There haven been a few decisions that they’ve made that we tried to warn them that they would regret later. BUT we haven’t had to deal with anything drastic or dramatic. I must be honest, they’ve made a lot better decisions at this age than I did and I was pretty responsible. God gives each of us the same free will in our decision making each & every day. It’s up to us whether or not we choose to be obedient and allow ourselves to be lead by the spirit. It’s our decisions whether or not we to choose to walk in faith. It is you & I that choose to make our decisions based on the cross and not our own fleshly desires. God wants us to be His passenger but we must be willing to give up the drivers seat.. The choice will continually before you, but your difficulties highlight your decision making process. Consider it all joy whenever you are enveloped in various trials, that they are gifts from God, reminding you to rely on Him and Him alone.

 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

 

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU…. Move over and let God drive…

I hope you all have a GREAT day… Blessings & much love…D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Making a Walk in the Park Difficult

It’s Friday but SUNDAY’s COMING!!!

Good Morning my friends,

When Keri & I first got married we got in the habit of walking almost every evening for exercise.. We would walk anywhere from 2 to 4 miles and sometimes 5 or 6 on the weekends. The walking gradually turned into jogging and then we would alternate from day to day. Once Keri got pregnant with Zakk we cut out the jogging and just walked and continued this routine throughout her pregnancy until it got too cold. Our most favorite place to walk were on the Park Glen trails. After Zakk was born and the weather got warm enough we picked up where we had left off. We did this on & off for the next couple of years.. Once Mick was born we started our routine again. We had a double stroller and he would be in the back laying down napping & Zakk would be in the front. Zakk always wanted to walk with us but since we were exercising we made him ride in the stroller. To say it was a chore to exercise with him in the stroller was an understatement because it was gonna be a fight to keep him sitting down. He would stand up, turn around, pester Mick and get him to crying just because he thought he might have a chance to get out. One day Zakk figured out how to stop the stroller. Keri is walking along and all of a sudden the stroller wheel comes to a screeching halt and nearly flips. Zakk learned that if he put his foot on the wheel and stood up it stopped. He did this for several days & several times during our walk.. Keri & I talked it over and decided that we would get a kid backpack. She would still push Mick in the stroller and I would wear the backpack with Zakk. It was a novel idea. The first day wasn’t bad other than the fact that I was lumping an extra 30 or 40lbs, but EVERY day after the first got gradually worse and was a fight.. Zakk would pick at my hair, use my head as his drum set, put his hands over my eyes, or he would heal me as if I was a horse trying to get me to giddy up. There were numerous different things he tried just for the chance to let him walk on his own..

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)


Our walk in life is a lot like my walk with Zakk. We have someone that is willing to push us in the stroller or carry us in a backpack down the path we should be on but instead we try to do it all on our own.. We want to blaze our own path and do things our own way. God knows the direction we need to go just like Keri & I did with Zakk, but he wanted to do it his was way. God wants you to walk on your path with Him. He wants you to enjoy
His Presence even in adversity. He is always before you, as well as beside you. Look & listen for Him shouting out to you: Come! Come, Follow Me!! God is the One who goes ahead of you, opening up the way. He is the same One who stays close and never let’s go of your hand. He’s not subject to limitations of time or space. He is everywhere at every time, ceaselessly working on your behalf. That is why your best efforts are trusting Him and allowing Him to take you down your path whether it be in a stroller or backpack…

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:3-4)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU…. Allow God to walk you thru your park..

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day… Blessings & much love…D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Embrace Your Struggles & Trust God

Good Morning my friends,

Make friends with your problems in your life. That sure sounds positive and all but I’m thinking that’s a lot easier said than done.. Many times things feel random and wrong but we must remember that God is sovereign over ALL things.. Yes, even our problems. God is capable of fitting everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Him. All problems can teach you something.. I know perhaps you don’t feel like learning anything today.. Problems have a way of transforming you little by little into the masterpiece that God envisioned you to be. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve thought the same thing several times myself, I wish He would hurry and get finished with His masterpiece. Don’t let your problems can become a stumbling block over which you fall. When you react to your problems with distrust and defiance this will throw you on a downward spiral and before you know it you with be at the bottom of a pit.. The choice is clearly up to you. You have to choose many times over each day whether to trust God or defy Him.
The best way to befriend your problems is to thank God for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce your problems to God. Allowing God to embrace your problems in His loving Presence will lift the burden from your should which in turn will give you peace and rest. God will not necessarily remove your problems, but His wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (‭Romans 8:28)


The Sunday prior to Mother’s Day, me, Keri & my nephew Chris pulled an all-nighter. We worked from 7:30 pm until 4:30 pm on Monday so we would be ready for our busiest delivery day of the week.. I guess I over did it because since then my left leg has been having problems with swelling.. In fact, I haven’t been able to get it under control since that day. My doctor referred my to a Physical Therapist in Bedford so I started Lymphedema therapy 4 weeks ago. My insurance even approved me to have a machine at my house that replicates the Lymphedema massage. After my surgery in August 2013 when they removed most of the lymph nodes in my groin & upper left thigh I was faced with the realization early on that I was going to have to wear compression undergarments & socks in order to keep my swelling under control. Yes, I’ve been wearing the same black knee high socks that you see old men wearing. In all honesty after battling cancer twice the least of my concerns are whether or not I look fashionable.. I’ve wore them in public and with shorts. I just don’t care what anyone thinks. There are more important things in life than to be fashionable. After my leg increased in size and never went back down in May, I bought a full leg compression that went from my hip down to my toes. It brought a little relief but once I started PT it improved even more.
Last Friday however I took a turn for the worse. After working a full day (no change to my routine) when I got home my leg had practically exploded in size from the knee up.. In fact it was so filled & heavy that it was difficult to bend let alone lift. Walking was a chore and the pain was excruciating.. I tell you this only because there have been moments when I have began to feel overwhelmed. I have wondered if this would ever end or am I going to have to live with this for the remainder of my life. I’ve had moments when I began my own pity party because here I am almost 46 years old and at the moment I can’t even fully dress myself.. I’m so lucky that have Keri. She massages my leg for hours so it will loosen up and flow easier. She makes sure I’m comfortable wherever I am situated She serves and waits on me endlessly with a smile on her face. She has embodied our goes in sickness and in health. When I get down she reminds me that God is in control and we will embrace my struggles together, find the good and trust Him. But we will not have a pity party and defy Him. We are choosing to trust Him..

“But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

My CHALLENGE prayer for you…. Embrace your struggles & trust God..

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day… Blessings & much love…D

Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Life is A Lot Like Golf

Good Morning my friends,

Have you ever felt like quitting? Screaming that LIFE IS TOO HARD!! Life has a way of kicking you in the teeth.. It can really beat you up.. It can knock you down.. It can twist you into knots but it can not defeat you unless you allow it… I’ve had some major valleys in my life where I’ve been bruised & battered.. Some that made me want to just freakin quit. But it seems that life has a way of making me come back for more… Life is similar to my golf game. The minute I want to give up and throw my clubs away is when I will hit the perfect golf shot which makes me want to come back for more.. Life is a lot like playing golf. There are times when it’s difficult to get off the tee box.. There are times when you’re lost in the woods, buried in a sand trap or swimming in the hazard… There are times when you’re just in the rough, but it’s those times in life when you hit the perfect drive and you land in the perfect spot in the middle of the fairway, have that beautiful chip on to the green, or that amazing long putt that keeps you coming back.. I have found the key to life is having a short memory with the shots that you don’t like but cherish the unforgettable ones that take your breath away…

“Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23)


Keep your eyes on God! When waves of adversity wash over you, you will feel tempted to give up. Allowing your circumstances to consume more and more of your attention means that you lose sight of God.. He is always with you and fully aware of your situation.. He is holding you by your hand and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you’re able to bear. Worrying about tomorrow is your most gravest danger. When you try to carry tomorrow’s burdens today, you stagger under the load and will eventually fall flat. You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries for today. It is the present moment that God walks closest to you, helping you carry your burdens. Keep your focus on His Presence in the present..
I believe that quitting is the easiest way out… It’s so easy to just throw your hands up in the air and just give up.. One day Keri & I were sitting amongst a group of people (probably 60-70 mostly married couples with kids) and we got on the subject of life difficulties. One guy (single) spoke up and pretty much slapped everyone person there in the face when he said that he knew what it was like to struggle because he had recently taken on the responsibility of raising his two kids that were in high school. It took me a minute to comprehend exactly what he said and by the time it sunk in we had moved on in the discussion to something else so I never really got to say what I wanted to say. Keri & I talked about it a little later and we thought about all the people that was there that had taken on the same responsibility as him but from the birth of their children not when they were 15… The more I thought about what he said the more ticked off I became but of course Keri calmed me down and told me to let it go.. I brought that up only because he had quit on his kids previously and chose to live a drug induced life instead of taking on the responsibility of raising his kids..

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

My CHALLENGE prayer for YOU…. Remember your great shots today and don’t worry about how you’re gonna play tomorrow.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day… Blessings & much love…D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24

Gratitude Nurtures the Soul

Good Morning my friends

“If people would concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation then they would discover that their life will be enriched which then leads to gratitude which is a feeling that ultimately nurtures the soul”
Learning to be still in the Light of God’s Presence while He communicates Love to you is a difficult task. Let’s face it….being still and waiting is difficult because we want instant gratification. We complain about the trials but never give credit for the smooth seas. There is something good that comes from every situation but it’s up to you to find it. Once you discover this little secret your life will be filled with gratefulness. You will approach life with an attitude of gratitude.. There is no force in the universe as powerful as God’s Love. We all have limitations but there is no limit to God’s Love. It fills all of space, time and eternity. We see things through a dark glass but someday we will see God face to Face. For now, the knowledge of His Loving Presence is sufficient to carry you through each day.
Our society would be a much better place if everyone had an attitude of gratitude. Instead we focus on the negative or we allow our problems or bad experiences in life to steal our joy.. I’ve been burned so many times this year by “friends” and ex employees that I feel like a crouton. There are times it makes me want to never to be generous, caring or sympathetic towards anyone ever again but instead I refuse to allow those bad apples to steal my joy and keep me from being generous. I see a lot of people return bad for bad. They respond with hatefulness and turn their back on people when they’re down & out. I completely understand not wanting to get burned and protecting yourself from it happening again but don’t punish an peach because you got a hold of a bad apple. You can love the bad apple from a distance and respond to them that way. When it’s time to cut times with the apple you will know. As a follower of Christ, we need to look at society and life and recognize the Love & Blessings that God is bestowing upon on us. Don’t look at them in a negative or dark way but instead accept & embrace as God’s love.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12)

My CHALLENGE prayer for you…. Find the good…

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day… Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24