Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: The Gift of Life

It's Thursday and I am thankful for the gift of life because God got me through what could have been a much worse car accident. Let me explain: Today, I was driving to different towns within the county for which I cover news as the Editor and a Reporter for the newspaper.

I made it my business to go to most if not all of the towns within the county in order to introduce myself as the new editor and get story ideas from the community and so far, I was doing great. After my fourth visit, I was on my way to a very small town and to get there, you need to take a gravel road. Now I was used to driving at a normal speed on the paved roads and I did not drastically reduce my speed once on the gravel road because it seemed as well-kept as the paved roads and I thought the weather conditions were good-- it was a bright and sunny day, I didn't see mud over the gravel and definitely no ice or snow-- so I thought everything was okay and for the first 10 minutes of driving on the gravel road everything truly was okay until suddenly, for a reason of which I still cannot figure out, my car started swerving, it was mild at first but rapidly accelerated to the point where no matter what I did to try to regain control, it had lost it and before I knew it, I was crashing into a wire fence, my car spun around and came to an abrupt halt.

Now the good news is plenty: 1) I was driving by myself so I didn't have to worry about anyone else getting hurt (2) I did not get hurt (3) The scene of the car wreck was on an old road with farmland on either side of it so it was a lot safer (4) No one else was driving on the road at the time of my accident.

The bad news is, I did not demonstrate  faith in God (apart from screaming "God help me" multiple times as my car was in the process of swerving off the road and crashing). And I say that because as soon as I stepped out of my car and walked around it, inspecting the damages, I knew that this was going to cost more than I could afford to be fixed. So then I started stressing out and crying out to God. My conversation with God in the middle of nowhere (literally) went something like this, "Another car accident? (I got into one back home, before moving to work as the editor of the newspaper). Why God? I just prayed this morning for traveling mercies and no more car accidents and you let THIS happen? What's the point of praying to you to keep me out of car accidents if it's not going to happen?" and "How am I going to pay for this extensive damage? I get paid less than first-year teachers! My budget is already stretched thin! How in the world am I going to afford to get this fixed?" and "What are you doing God? Am I being punished? Did I choose the wrong career? Maybe I should have just studied for a career that was reliable and pays a lot of money! Sure I would be miserable but at least I would have all of my needs and wants taken care of financially!" and "Where are you?" and "Are you listening to me?" "Please send someone to help me" and then when I found out that my phone could not make calls from the middle of nowhere because there was no reception, I really let God have it, "Are you just going to leave me out here?" (it was only a few hours before sunset when this accident happened and I was worried) "Why are you SILENT?!"

Now again, the good news is, God is NOT afraid of HONEST PRAYERS (Hebrews 4:16) in other words, He didn't (and wouldn't) strike me dead for confessing how I was truly feeling at the moment. And while I did not hear God reply to me, about 20 minutes later, a pickup truck was driving toward me and I waved frantically, asking for help. The driver of the pickup truck rolled down his window, I told him my story (the short version) and he turned his truck around and helped me out by using his pliers out of his toolbox (he was a professional plumber) to detach the wires that were tangled beneath and through the ripped bumper of my car. When I started up my car and it still would not move off the road, he got behind the wheel and moved it onto the road for me. He then told me that it seems safe to drive and so I thanked him (profusely), got into my car and started to drive the 1.5 hour trip into the town where I work. But only 10 minutes into the drive, my car started making very weird noises and so there I was demanding that God get me home safely, "Just answer this prayer, would you?" were my specific words. But then, common sense kicked in and I decided five minutes later upon approaching the small town from which I had driven out from toward the gravel road, to park my car in the lot of a nice roadside cafe, went inside the establishment and after introducing myself, asked to use their phone to call my office.

So I called the office and they told me that they received my e-mail (it was the only feature on my phone that worked out there in the middle of nowhere) and sent 911 personnel to help. No sooner than I hung up the phone, a police officer drove into the parking lot. So I went outside, told him the story and he called my towing company. Next a state trooper arrived and asked me questions, filled out paperwork and visited the scene of the accident. While the trooper was away to access the damage to the property in the middle of nowhere, I called my insurance company and talked to an agent who was very professional and very sympathetic. "That must have been scary" she said as I explained the accident. After hearing my story and getting the necessary information, what she told me next made me cry (I had not cried in front of the  people in the cafe, at the accident yes but not around the people sent to help me). What the insurance agent told me was simply a part of her job but I heard God speaking through her words as my mind drew an instant parallel when she said, "I might be silent for a moment but I am right here."
And there it was, my object lesson not just for today's ordeal but for life: God may be silent, but He is still right here, with you.

Ever since moving to the West to work in Journalism, my mom has told me whenever she talks with me over the phone four words which she told me to remember before I flew out here to work, words to say everyday in a prayer. And those words are, "God be with me."

And it made me cry because while I was ranting and raving, stressing out completely, worried sick and demonstrating absolutely no faith in God and His promise to provide for my every need, God was right there, patiently waiting for me to see that no matter what happens in this life and it seems like He is silent, He is right here, with me.

So yes, on this Thursday I am very thankful that God saw fit to continue giving me the gift of life when the car accident could have been much worse. My gratitude runs deep and I pray that my faith grows strong to the point when it is tested, it soars (meaning, I ace the test). :)

My prayer for all of you is that you, if you do not already, will come to realize this
(1) God is REAL 
(2) God is LOVE 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger Gerdine Dalambert

Gerdine Dalambert is a friend of mine who I met when visiting WGTS Gateway Fellowship which is an interfaith gathering that introduces people to Jesus Christ and reconnects them to the love of God while teaching them to have love for others. Gerdine has written in a journal since she was 8-year-old however it was not until a few years ago that she decided to write for others in the public sphere. So when I asked Gerdine to write a guest post about being single during the holiday season, to my delight, she agreed! 

Without further ado, here is Gerdine’s first guest post for my blog: 

Holiday Singles 

Written by Gerdine Dalambert 

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time of singing Christmas carols, decking the halls, and being around mistletoe
 while enjoying great food with friends and family. But being single can prevent your mingle if you know what I am saying. 

As a single woman, I have made some assumptions based on my observations during this time of year in my singleness. Singleness is not embraced during the holiday season and it seems that no one is talking about what it is like and how to prevent any side effects if you will, on being a “holiday single”.

Thanksgiving is usually the toughest because if you are away from home, there are many places you can go to enjoy the holiday, but no matter how much fun you try to have, home is missed. There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to remember what things were like at home if they are sweet memories. However, if going to spend Thanksgiving with friends is what will give some gratitude, don’t let it be spoiled by a negative attitude. There is no law that says one cannot be alone to be reflective on Thanksgiving.

If you plan to spend time with family, you have to gear up. We love family but they love us so much that we have to be ready to experience that love. Let me explain: There are family members who love us so much that they think we need to be with a mate in order to be happy on the holidays. The best way to gear up is to be humorous. When Aunt Sally says, “When will you introduce this special person?,” your response can be, “Let’s place an order and see if we can get one by New Year’s.”

Christmas is a great time for singles that go out on dates and have a great time. If you’re looking for a date, it does not have to be Mr. or Mrs. Right. He or she needs to be right for the moment. Go out on your own! Be confident in your singleness! There is nothing more radiant than embracing what you are right now! Exercise is great during this time. You are so bright with goodness, you sparkle from the ornament of your heart. Do something you have never done. The best way to tackle the tantrums of emotions during this time is to stay busy and take time for self. Spend time with Jesus—He is the reason for the season. Can I get an Amen?

The New Year can mean a new you! The status of being single on the holiday means everything is about you. Not in a narcissistic way but indulge, be merry, reflect, and take action! Resolve to be in love with who you are and be open to whatever life has in store for you. Society’s subliminal message that you are not complete in your singleness is false! You are a family, I see it as I am a family all on my own: me, myself, and I. Adding others to my family of me is like adding whip cream to my caramel covered latte of pure sensation. So if you are single during this holiday season, enjoy this time in your life! It is all about love and you deserve to love yourself as you are because you are perfectly you! Happy holidays!


Author biography: Gerdine Dalambert works at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as a chaplain. Prior to that, she was trained at Lesley University and Loyola University Maryland. Writing is a hobby which she sees as a change agent because she wants to inspire others with her work. 

Recently Gerdine published Journeys of Butterfly Chloe, a children’s book, with Xlibris. The book is available for purchase through and promotional items can be bought at

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Testimony: Why Choose Jesus?

MUSIC VIDEO: I Choose Jesus

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."-- Jesus Christ (John 15:16, NIV)

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving Gathering

Today I find myself being thankful for having somewhere to go for a Thanksgiving Gathering. Last month, I moved across the country to take a job in Journalism. God gave me my first big break in a career field for which I am passionate and for it, I am SO grateful! :)

Now being so far away from home and just starting work last month means I was not able to fly home to celebrate the holiday with my family at my grandma's house (a tradition ever since I can remember). However, God opened another door for me in terms of fellowship when He sent a community member to my newspaper's office to extend an invitation to me for celebrating the holiday with their family. Happy to have somewhere to go instead of spending this holiday all alone, I accepted their invitation.

Dinner was in the evening and it was amazing! Everything from the appetizers to the sparkling cider, entree and dessert was very good and tasty! The conversation was intriguing, welcoming and light in nature of discussion. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. At the end of the evening, I headed home with a full stomach and warm heart (despite the cold weather)!

So on this Thankful Thursday, the very first in this new series/feature on my blog, I want to thank God for the gift of fellowship over Thanksgiving dinner. It was nice to go to a home while being away from my home to share a meal with people who care.

What are you thankful for?

Introducing Thankful Thursdays

Today in the United States of America, millions of people are sharing dinner with loved ones where turkey is the entree and pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie (my personal favorite) is being served for dessert.

What's the reason? Why it is Thanksgiving, a traditional holiday celebrated in our country since 1863. The story of how the Thanksgiving holiday began in America can be traced back to when the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and the Native American Indians showed the newcomers from England how to cultivate the soil and harvest food for which the Pilgrims were grateful! Former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, made Thanksgiving an official holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November and we as Americans have been celebrating this holiday of thankfulness ever since!

Now today in 2012, I thought why not start a new feature to my blog called "Thankful Thursday"? Given, this is a title that has been taken already by countless blogs but so since being thankful is something we all should practice, I thought why not add a weekly feature to my blog where for one day every week, I would sit down, reflect on my blessings and write about what I'm thankful for in life?

You see a picture of a thank you card being taken out of an addressed envelope in the upper right hand corner of this post because the idea behind "Thankful Thursday" on my blog is to write a "thank you" note to God. I would love for you to join me in this weekly letter-writing venture! And while God does not have a street address (you cannot literally write a physical letter to God and mail it to his address in Heaven), He does have a heart for humanity and you don't need a postal stamp to mail a letter to Him! All you have to do is to pray and He will hear you and answer your prayers according to His plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). 

So in a sense, Thankful Thursday is about sharing with the blog world your thankfulness! God is good, all the time and He loves to hear your praise!

I hope you will join me on this journey! Here's how it works: every Thursday (starting today), come to my blog, read my post and in the comment section, write your letter to God about what you're thankful for that week. Simple, right?

Now there are long-term effects to your participation in my Thankful Thursday series-- it will change your outlook on life because the more you count your blessings and praise God for what He's done in your life and who He's used to help you, the more you'll come to realize how much He loves you and you'll start to see the silver lining in the clouds and/or storms of life.

Simply as my grandma told me when I was growing up, "Gratitude will change your attitude."

Let's be grateful, together! :)



Happy Thanksgiving!

Music Video: BLOOM

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: MADE TO CRAVE by Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 218 pages, US$14.99, reviewed by Alexis A. Goring). 

Diets don’t work. But the concepts in Made to Crave will help you achieve the picture of health you desire. According to, “Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen.” Written by Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave is a book written to help us recognize our deep cravings for food as what they really are—our hearts’ yearning for God.
             Made to Crave contains 19 chapters of biblically sound advice. While the target audience appears to be women, men would also benefit from the material contained in this book. After reading Made to Crave, I felt empowered to make a lifestyle change—one founded on my ultimate craving, which is not for food but for God.
           Within the first chapter of the book, TerKeurst makes a heart connection with dieters everywhere when she says: “Not once in my life have I ever craved a carrot stick” (p. 12). TerKeurst goes on to say why Made to Crave is useful, describing it as “the missing companion you’ve needed with every healthy eating plan you tried and cried over” (p. 14). Given her own personal struggle with weight and food, TerKeurst can testify to others. She writes: “With Jesus, if we want to gain, we must give up. If we want to be filled, we must deny ourselves. . . . If we want to conquer our cravings, we’ll have to redirect them to God” (p. 16).
          According to TerKeurst: “Getting healthy isn’t just about losing weight. It’s not limited to adjusting our diet and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change—spiritually, physically, and mentally” (p. 16).
          Made to Crave achieves its goal of showing readers how to win the battle of the bulge. TerKeurst combines her skill as a noted writer and experience as a woman striving to achieve a picture of health to write a book that speaks to the hearts of women worldwide and provides the tools they need to break free from bondage to their appetites and unhealthy food choices.
          After reading Made to Crave, you’ll find it hard not to be convinced that with God, all things are possible.
This article was published May 26, 2011.
Accessed online (


Dear blog readers,

Do you love to read? I'm not just talking BLOGS, I'm asking you about BOOKS! :)

Stories are the spice of life! At least I think so! :) Here's why...they transport you from your reality into the author's dream of how the world can be and in the process, they take you on an amazing adventure! Can't afford a vacation? Buy a book and travel anywhere in the world with the author as your tour guide!  Journey through the lives of the characters with a FREE passport to exciting destinations: Paris (FRANCE), Milan (ITALY), Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)...SWEDEN, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND, NEW YORK CITY (U.S.A.)! The possibilities are ENDLESS!

I've always been a reader. I would make my parents and grandparents take me to the library at least once-a-week during the summertime when I was a child and I breezed through series like the Sweet Valley High series and Love Stories (used to buy that brand at the book store with my allowance) and I loved immersing my mind in the pages of books written by my favorite authors like Lurlene McDaniel (author of "Don't Die My Love") and L.M. Montgomery (famous for her series Anne of Green Gables). It is a passion I never quite grew out of-- as an adult, I now work full-time as a writer! My dream to write full-time recently came true and I thank God,  the author of my favorite book ever--The Holy Bible-- for He answers prayer and grants me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).

My passion for the written word is real. And I'd like to share it with you! :)

So without further ado, I gladly introduce to you the newest feature of my reviews! :)

Coming soon!



Friday, November 9, 2012

A beautiful message in song for you

Every true follower of Jesus Christ is a part of His body. How beautiful, the Bible says are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:15)! How beautiful, Twila Paris sings, is the BODY OF CHRIST!

Be encouraged in knowing there is a God who is real, sovereign and in charge of the affairs of this world. He did not create our world and leave it to run itself or sit up high in heaven from a throne and watch us as the popular song by Bette Midler says, "From A Distance." No, no, NO! God is just as much involved in our everyday matters here on Earth as He is in Heaven and He wants you to know that He loves you and He is here for you no matter what! 

My prayer is that you will be blessed by this song and that you will if you do not already, come to know the God who loves you with ALL of His HEART. :)

Praying for peace in your life,


Friday, November 2, 2012

Encouragement for you :)

Dear Blog Readers,

You were on my mind today and I thought, "What can I do to brighten their day and send light into their night?" And after speaking with one of my friends concerning relationship issues, I remembered what a great resource the stories shared on Bianca Juarez's blog, "In the Name of Love," are for everyone and anyone who is struggling, disappointed, depressed and ready to throw in the towel and call it quits! Bianca has been there and she's emerged victorious and happily married too. :)

So without further ado, here's a true love story that shows how God is in the details and He's willing to write your own true love story if you just let God have the pen and allow Him to author the greatest romance. :)

"Motivational Speaker Bianca Juarez Olthoff Shares Her Online Dating Success Story"-- Feature story by 99.1 Family Radio

"It's Just Coffee" by Bianca Juarez (the beginning of her beautiful love story with her now husband Matt Olthoff)

"Not Sure I Said Yes"

"Silverado Engagement: Bianca + Matt" - Photography by Jasmine Star, international wedding photographer and Bianca's twin sister :)

"What You Know to Be True"


God bless you!