Plants bring so many benefits to our lives: 1) They give us oxygen and clear the carbon dioxide from the air. 2) Like pictures, they bring life and promote creativity to one’s home. 3) They bring the outside in by causing a de-stressing effect, and 4) For the most part, they are simple and low-maintenance.
A few months ago, one of my friends blessed me with two plants. I decided to add them to my bedroom so that I could feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. I am all about aesthetics, and especially having spaces that are light and airy. I decided to place one in the corner of my bedroom in front of a wall mirror. The second one was placed on top of my storage trunk, along with another faux plant.
My son was given two plants recently for his birthday. One of them is a bamboo plant. He placed them in chairs by the living room window so that they could get proper sunlight. At first, I was questioning the location. Now, I have decided that I like them there. The greenery against the natural colors of the chairs and the curtain makes you feel so relaxed.
What simple, functional, grace-filled plants do you own? What places are you keeping them? Send in some comments and pictures below.
Episode 32: Surprised by Provision Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline
Surprised by Provision
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was
surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their
two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the
famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.
Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then
their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since
she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a
small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to
head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t
have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that
Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And
it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved
about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me
Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi,
seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty
hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her
daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they
came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going
back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back
for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.
He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named
Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was
recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered
and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto
thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy
father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people
which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense
thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her
about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of
Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be
he of the Lord,
who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi
said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth
2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the
redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he
could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.
However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he
had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.
Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all
the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was
Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of
Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon
his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his
brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged
Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be
the Lord, which
hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy
life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth
thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise
disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked
all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the
breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in
my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six
weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the
night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my
blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came
out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew
that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my
son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would
need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I
took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to
visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with
everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my
old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes,
just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought
of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead
serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working
again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour
four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different
job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting
for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure
what you have in store for us. In your name,
My weekend discussion on this topic: How have you allowed yourself to be led by emotions? (i.e., tightening up control with the kids, yelling, saying things that you later regret?) What was the background story? What patterns of behavior do you notice makes you want to ride the wave? What patterns of behavior helps you to jump off of this surfboard? How could you have reacted better than you did? How did you heal the relationships that were damaged as a result of you being led by your emotions instead of responding to life’s issues?
Why are we so afraid to step into our calling? There are various reasons. However, when we see and feel the freedom that it brings, we will wonder why we ever resisted displaying and embracing that irresistible mission.
Episode 31: Giving the Best Gift Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Giving the Best Gift Podcast Outline
Shame over Gift-Giving
Peter and John’s Gift
There have been quite a few times over the years when I would see someone that’s homeless on the streets and was deeply moved with compassion and empathy for their situation. Majority of the time, when this happened, usually one of two things were going on: either I didn’t have cash on me, or I literally didn’t have the money. I would feel bad inside, then let them know that I wish that I had the money to give, and then say, “God bless”. Then, they would usually nod.
What I said didn’t fill their physical need. However, saying, “God bless” told them that I did care. Sometimes, we see Christians and non-Christians, and we wish that we could help, but for whatever reason, we just can’t. Satan often uses these times as tools to place a stronghold of shame on us. Money isn’t all that we can give others. We also have our time and our talents that we can bless others with. However, once we start the comparison trap, then this reality goes out the door along with everything else.
Peter and John faced the same situation with a man at the gate Beautiful, asking for money from the passersby. They didn’t have money to give him. They had something better: the gift of salvation leading to eternal life:
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
We thank you for when we have money to help others who are in need. We also thank you for when we don’t have the money, knowing that the best help that we could ever give is the plan of salvation. Please help us to remember this when we encounter certain situations.
Episode 30: Lest We Forget Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:12:43
Episode 30: Lest We Forget Podcast Outline
Kids and Our Hearts
What We Give Our Kids
Introduction-Lest We Forget
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 30: Lest We Forget. Have you ever left out the door and locked your keys inside of the house? What about something spiritual? Like the promises of God when you are going through. Today we are gong to talk about just that. Passing information down to our children lest they forget.
Kids and Our Hearts-Lest We Forget
When it comes to our children, they can really pull on our heartstrings. We all want what’s best for them. We want them to be happy, healthy, attend the best schools, participate in sports, have great friends, and the best manners when they are around other adults, especially our friends. Lastly, we all want them to have a better life than we had as kids.
What We Give Our Kids-Lest We Forget
Don’t get me wrong, education, sports, friends, and manners are all on my list of important things to help with a child’s development. However, God wants our major focus to be training them on giving him their hearts, having character, and a relationship with him. Everything else becomes a bonus.
Giving our children God’s commandments and
instructions for our daily living should be just as important as passing down
family history. When we tell our kids about the history of God’s goodness in
our lives, it will become contagious. They will want the God of Abraham for
themselves. They will want to tell their children. The best teacher of Christ
to anyone is living a life that oozes out Jesus wherever we go. Our kids will
see that, and even as they get older, they will remember.
God gives us explicit instructions on what we are to tell our children: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thoushalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (KJV)
Hindrances-Lest We Forget
One of the main
hindrances to feeding our children God’s Word, is that we make it legalistic,
and we compare with how our friends are doing it. We focus on how their family
holds hands and pray, whereas, we are just going over one verse or song per
When my kids were
little, I found myself getting caught up in this. When I let God’s Spirit reign
during teaching time, then God was glorified, and I felt freer. Being free to
Spirit to move in
whatever manner he sees fit for our families is enough. When we legalize it, it
discourages us from wanting to give them the Word in the first place.
If we don’t feed
them God’s Word, then they can’t pass down the knowledge to their children.
When they are adults, and they have been brought out of their struggles, they
can know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was only the Lord who did it.
Thank you for how you created our families. Please help us to teach our children about you in a way that is God-honoring first of all, and secondly, in a way that reflects who we are as families.
It was on a fall morning about six years ago. I remember being extremely out of breath. I had lost track of the time, as usual. And there I was running down the hill and into the big, open field next to my home. I kept thinking to myself, ” I’m not going to make!” I was finally on the same side of the street as the bus stop. But I still had to walk into 7-Eleven to get change to get on the bus. I said to myself, “I can’t run any more! I am so tired.” Then, I decided to give it my all, run into 7-Eleven, and give it my all to make it back to the bus stop.
As I was running into 7-Eleven, the verse kept playing in my head, ”
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
How many of us say the same thing that I did day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year when we are facing insurmountable trials?
“I can’t run any more! I am so tired.”
We all have. When this is happening, we have to remember that God is trying to do the running for us instead of us doing it in our own strength. When we give the race to God, then our legs become lighter and we reach the FINISH LINE like I did that morning when I made it to the bus stop.
Episode 29: The Power of God Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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The Power of God Podcast Outline:
Dissection of Relationships and Our Brokenness
My Witness to the Power of God
Saul’s Witness to the Power of God
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 29: The Power of God. Have you ever seen the Power of God in your life? Well, today I am going to give two examples of his power at work. First of all, let’s do some a little dissection.
Dissection of Relationships and Our Brokenness
Whether we are at church, work, or in our neighborhoods, it is important to cultivate relationships with people. Sometimes, in the process of doing this, people become jealous, or they turn on us for no reason. If there is a reason, it is one that doesn’t make sense to us.
However, since we are all broken, we all do things that are characteristic of our sin nature. In a few of these instances, there are times when the people who turn on us are toxic, and the best thing to do is to setup boundaries. In many cases, this may involve little to no contact at all. Prayer from a distance is the best way to go.
My Witness to the Power of God
When I was going through my divorce, my ex-husband’s behavior got so out of control and toxic, that I had to setup a boundary that he could not come back to our marital residence to visit the kids for some months. They could walk out to the car to go with him.
However, that was the extent of it. What led to this decision? His behavior was so out of control during one particular visit, that it cut through my soul and crushed my spirit. It was also during this time that my grandmother was dying in the hospital. I ended up having an emotional breakdown of sorts and was hanging on by a thread.
All correspondence was done via email for a while. What I didn’t find out until later from my son, is that he had decided he was going to come in anyway. However, as the Lord would have it, the first time that he attempted this, his car broke down. Every time that he decided that he wouldn’t follow the paperwork from the court for his financial obligations, his car would break down. My friend joked with me and said that she would never cross me. I said, ” Why?” Her response was that once I started praying things happened.
Saul’s Witness to the Power of God
Saul became jealous of David because the women sang songs about how David had slain ten thousands and Saul had slain thousands. Saul’s anger got so out of control, that he decided that he would kill David. He sent his messengers ahead of him to find out his exact location.
As God would have it, his messengers ended up prophesying. They entered the place where Samuel and his prophets were praying and prophesying, and God caused this to happen to them. Saul sent messengers out two more times. The same thing happened. Finally, he went himself, and God caused him to be filled with the prophesying spirit. This was done long enough for David to escape.
When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Talk about the power of God moving! When we do the praying, God does the acting.
We thank you for your grace. Thank you for having our backs when we are literally up against the wall from our enemies. Please help us to remember to set boundaries and pray when we are surrounded by toxic people.
Episode 28: Bad Advice Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:14:10
In case you missed our last episode, Episode 27, Simply Grace, you can check that one out first. Click here. Today’s episode is entitled, “Bad Advice”.
Bad Advice Podcast Outline
Younger Adult Advice
Same Age Group Adult Advice
Older Adult Advice
What the Bible Says About Advice
Solutions for Advice
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 28, entitled, “Bad Advice”.
When it comes to making decisions, some of us take way too long. Others of us make decisions too fast. We wish that we had thought things over well. A lot of times, bad decisions can’t be erased. The domino effect can be felt for years. When we make decisions, sometimes we include God and other times we leave him out. God also uses other wisdom-filled people filled with discernment to help us make decisions. Ultimately, we have to decide what we are going to do. Other people can’t make us decide to do what’s best.
Younger Adult Advice
It is good to gather advice from our younger friends. These friends are more than likely raising children younger than ours. They can cause us to have a come to Jesus moment about some of the crazy perfectionistic moments that we had with our kids when they were little, use this advice for our grandkids, and see how it is when younger adults are active in community. Some of our younger friends have been through a lot, and they have old souls. They can give as much advice as an older person.
Same Age Group Adult Advice
The next group of advice can be given from same age-group friends. These friends can give us a different view than we are currently using in raising children, making friends, and living in community. Since God hasn’t made any two people the same, our same-age group friends can help us to reframe what we are thinking regarding life, and vice versa. We tend to share parenting kids of the same age group, and thus we can share similarities and differences. If we are in community with safe friends, then they will go there and tell us what we need to hear.
Older Adult Advice
Our older friends have been there and done that. They have years of advice and experience to
give us. They can serve as mentors for
the younger and middle-aged adults. They
can tell us the lessons they have learned from their struggles in life. Older people are less into the comparison
trap and caring what other people think.
They have more of the you do you and let me do me. They help us to be more at ease. I praise God for my older friends who are
indeed old enough to be my mother. They
have helped me in parenting, living life, and being me.
What does scripture say about giving advice/training
different age groups?
however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.2 Teach the older men to
be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in
faith, in love and in endurance.
teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be
slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the
younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be
self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be
subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
We’ve all had times
when we’ve gotten bad advice. And this
is where we have to use discernment and proceed with caution. Healing advice from a person who has been
stuck in self-pity or blame for 15 to 20 years and is seeing no way out wouldn’t
be in our best interest.
Getting advice for how to deal with your spouse from a
person who hates all men or all women because they were wounded by one wouldn’t
be in our best interest as well.
Rehoboam got advice from the younger men in his age group. And it was the worst advice ever. Jeroboam had expressed to Rehoboam that his
father Solomon had a heavy labor load on them.
They wanted the load to be lightened.
The older men who advised Solomon said to lighten the load. The younger
men who were Rehoboam’s friends, said to increase the load. Not only did he deliver this awful news to
Jeroboam and the people, but he was filled with contempt and nasty with the
went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat
heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon),
he returned from[a]Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam,
and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 “Your father put a heavy
yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on
us, and we will serve you.”
answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went
6 Then King
Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his
lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and
give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young
men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is
your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke
your father put on us’?”
10 The young
men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your
father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My
little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a
heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I
will scourge you with scorpions.’”
days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had
said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the
people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of
the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even
heavier. My father scourgedyou with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen
to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of
Nebat through Ahijahthe Shilonite.
16 When all
Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
share do we have in David,
what part in
To your tents, Israel!
Look after your
own house, David!”
So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites
who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
Rehoboam sent out Adoniram,[b] who
was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King
Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in
rebellion against the house of David to this day.
This one bad decision that king Rehoboam made caused a domino
So, the question is: how do
we combat bad advice?
Remember God’s advice is the best advice.
Don’t forsake the advice of our elders, especially when they have
proven that they possess wisdom and discernment.
Test the spirit as the scripture said. God often uses what we think he is telling us
by giving us confirmation through other people.
The question that I want to leave with you today is: “What bad
advice were you given that you are still paying the price for today?
Thank you for being a part of our listening audience for Healing
our Brokenness’ Episode 28: “Bad Advice”. If this podcast is making a difference in your
life, please submit a review, tag a friend, subscribe on YouTube, iTunes, or wherever
your podcast medium is located.