Tickle-Me Tuesday

For the writers:

Pearls Before Swine

From: Pearls Before Swine comic strip -


Inspirational Sunday

"...the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Rae's Thought: As a child, I used to be terrified of Satan. I thought he was this big, evil dude, who enjoyed preying on those who love God. I was terrified of him because I thought he could mess with my soul. In my young mind, if he attacked me, I'd be powerless against him.

It took growing up in Christ for me to see how wrong I was about Satan. I've realized that the children of God shouldn't be afraid of Satan; he should be afraid of us...or what's inside of us, rather. We are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to Satan and his evil ways, and it has absolutely nothing to do with us. Why? Why should Satan be leery of messing with us? Because of who we belong to. We're children of God and, as such, we have something within us that is more powerful than Satan can ever hope to be: Jesus (Holy Spirit), the #1 most effective weapon against Satan.

Satan cannot mess with our souls - they belong to God - but he can mess with our minds. When he's inside our heads, we feel defeated - powerless - and we listen to the lies he tells. We're giving the enemy too much power. We've got to stop listening to every lie that spews from his mouth. We've got to realize and believe that we do have power...the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not powerless against the father of lies nor are we defeated. Satan can try to trip us up, but, if we focus on and trust in God, Satan will not succeed. Aren't you tired of Satan? Aren't you tired of giving him the power he doesn't deserve? Aren't you tired of living a defeated, powerless life? Then stop cowering in fear, look to God, and know that you have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. Now, grab hold of that power and start living an abundant life in the Lord!


Random Thoughts Thursday

I am just in shock. Michael Jackson, gone. Wow. I'm I'm saddened by this news. The only other time(s) I felt the loss of a celeb was when Aaliyah died (still feeling that loss, even 8 years after her death) and Bernie Mac. While I am not crying, as I'm sure millions of people around the world are doing (I did cry when Aaliyah died), I am sad. He's gone. He's really gone.

I hope and pray that #1, people remember him for what he's done for music and entertainment, not for his troubles toward the end, and #2, he's finally found the peace he's obviously been searching for. Despite the troubles he's had in the past, you can't take away from the fact that he was one of the best entertainers of his time. I mean, come on. Beat It. Billie Jean. Thriller...the list goes on. Not to mention the hits from Jackson 5.

I remember when I was little, I had a serious crush on MJ. My crush wilted away (for obvious reasons), but the fact that Michael is one of my fave entertainers did not. More than his music, I loved watching him perform. His dancing...magnificent. Oh how I wanted to be one of the dancers in his videos or on tour. Alot of the performers today, if they were really honest with themselves, can attribute their moves to Michael Jackson. Their performances have MJ written all over it. Justin Timberlake, Usher, Chris Brown, and many more. Even some of Ciara's moves mirror the King of Pop (but on a more feminine and updated way).

His videos were awesome. My favorite Michael Jackson song and video of all time is not Thriller, but Smooth Criminal. I love absolutely EVERYTHING about that song...the track, the beat, the dance moves...I'm absolutely crazy about this song. I'm not the only one, am I? Despite the fact that he'd already started changing, I loved him in Smooth, really, with him dressed in white, hat tilted down, his smooth moves. In spite of his high-water pants & white socks, Michael was sexy in Smooth Criminal. After seeing this video, I secretly wished I could grow up to become Mrs. MJ (oh, come on, I'm not the only girl in the world who had that kind of a crush on him).

Michael Jackson's death (it's just really weird saying that) ends this week of death and sadness. Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett are gone, too. *sigh* In honor of the King of Pop, one of the best entertainers I've ever seen, here's Smooth Criminal. RIP Michael.


Inspirational Sunday

"Pure appreciation for His presence emerges from the daily walk, perhaps in the mundane more than the miraculous." Beth Moore

Rae's Thought: I love it when God shows His awesomeness in things we normally don't pay attention to. Like, on a day when white, cotton ball-like clouds float across the sky and I play a game of 'What does that cloud look like'...or, at night, when the moon is huge and completely full...gorgeous! Or, during those times when I need a pick-me-up, and God sends one of His precious children to come and give me a much needed hug.

When the prophet, Elijah, needed to feel God's presence, God didn't come to him in a mighty way. "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19: 11-12). It was in that gentle whisper that Elijah felt the presence of God.

Unfortunately, many people miss God's presence because they're too busy looking for the miraculous. Yes, God is a God of miracles. Yes, you can feel His presence when He performs those miracles, but you'd be remiss to even limit God in that manner. Sometimes, you'll feel Him in the least likely of places...during the least likely of times.

God doesn't always show up in a mighty way or in the form of a miracle. You may find His presence in the smallest of things...could be a baby who's looking at you with a beautiful toothless smile, or it could be while watching a tiny ant carry more than 10 times its weight. You may even feel Him during a time of trouble. Watch for His presence in both the miraculous as well as the mundane, and you'll learn to appreciate Him even more.


Really Short Hiatus

I know. I haven't been a very good blogger lately.

Life just kinda got hectic within the past 2 weeks, ya know? You'd think that, since it's summer, things'll slow down, right? Add to that the fact that this week is Adventure Week (vacation bible school) at my church, which means I'm going to work (at the church) then teaching 5th grade for AW (at the church) and returning home (at late. No energy to do anything but sleep.

Things will (hopefully) return back to normal next week. So, I'll (hopefully) return to posting on Sunday.


Fitness Friday

Why, oh why must getting in shape/losing weight be so hard? Why can't there be, like an easy button or something that'll speed up the process? Can I please have a wand so I can wave this weight away? How bout the twinkle of my nose, like Samantha on Bewitched? Or a nod of my head like I Dream of Jeannie?

I'll be so glad when I've reached my goal weight. Oh to be able to actually run without feeling like I'm going to die! To be able to wear a swimsuit without self-consciously covering it with a t-shirt or wrap! To be able to hear the doctor say, "High blood pressure? What high blood pressure?"

But, alas, I must trudge on. My time will come. I'm working hard on this thing, so I'll see some results. I WILL SEE SOME RESULTS. Sorry, had to reassure myself, there. By this time, next year, I'll be screaming from the hilltops (or at least from the hilltops of blogland), "I did it! I got rid of those pesky little pounds!" I'll be able to run around with my extremely active nephews without needing to be resuscitated. I'll be able to run, period! OMG, maybe I'll be able to play basketball without hyperventilating.

So, yeah, this weight loss journey is long, tedious, and did I mention, long, but when I've reached that goal - when I've stepped out on that Hawaiian beach (that's where we might go next summer) in my tankini (you won't catch me in a bikini, no matter how much poundage I lose) - the pain...the tedious-ness...the 'oh-God-I-don't-think-I-can-do-it-anymore'...will only make my victory that much sweeter!


Random Thoughts Thursday

El Rostro de Analia. My show, El Rostro de Analia, is leaving me! Just when I've discovered it. I've only been it watching for about 2 months. If I'm not mistaken - and I could be - Friday will be the series finale, so to speak. I know etapas final basically means final stage or final chapter, so I'm assuming that it's the same as a series finale as opposed to a season finale. Which means, after Friday, no more Analia. Now I have to find another novela to watch. Maybe Mas Sabe el Diablo, with cutie pie, Jencarlos Canela. Seriously, watching the Spanish channels has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with my espanol. No matter how cheesy the novelas may be - and some of them are really cheesy - I'm getting much better with my Spanish. I also buy the Latino mags like People En Espanol to read.

NBA Finals. Rashard Lewis is a Houstonian and an Alief Elsik High School (my Alma Mater) graduate, so GO MAGIC! If it can't be the Rockets (who, btw, passed up a chance to have Lewis on the team like, 10 years ago), I'll take a fellow Houstonian getting the ring/trophy.

Rae's List. So, last year, I came up with a list of things I'd like to do. It was originally for before I turn 35, but, clearly I'll be 35 in 2 years. Anyway, the list ended up having about 60 things on it. Now, ask me how many I've actually done? Go on. Ask. One! That's it. I've managed to cross of one thing off my list (wear shorts - I haven't worn shorts since about 1995 because I didn't like m legs and I did it last year). The good thing is, by the end of this year, I will have crossed off about 14 more things, including skydiving, getting my 3rd tattoo, and learn salsa (all this summer). I also get to cross of travel to Puerto Rico when we go in December. My sister and I are going to get our 3rd tattoo to celebrate her 27th birthday in July. I want an angel, but the ones I've seen have been too detailed (and painful looking). I'm still searching for the perfect angel. I LOVE angels. Like, really. I collect anything that has to do with angels. I actually have a creepy, yet cool story that goes with why I collect angels (besides the fact that the Bible tells us that God sends His angels to protect us). It's a blog post in itself that I'll tell another time - soon, though.


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Inspirational Sunday

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8

Rae's Thought: All of us have been guilty of this at some point in our lives. When problems or needs arise, we get on our knees, pray to the Lord, get back up, and worry about what we've just prayed for. I admit, I'm guilty of this. If you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that you do the same thing too.

The problem with this is we're not trusting God to do His thing. When we pray and then worry, it's like we're saying God isn't capable of handling our situation. Can you really see God up on His heavenly throne, trying to figure out how to handle our problems? Can you see Him not knowing what to do? No? Then why try to handle the burden yourself when you have a God who can handle it for you? It's like we're handing the problems to God, but they come back with us because we've super glued them to our hands.

Children set good examples for us when it comes to trust and giving up burdens. When they have a problem, the first ones they usually go to are their parents. They're positive that their parents will take care of it. After they've given the burden to Mom and/or Dad, they go on with their lives. They have confidence in their parents' ability to handle the situation.

We need to have the same confidence in our heavenly Parent. Trusting God means totally giving Him the problem. It means not worrying about it after you've given the burden away. It means truly believing God can and will do what He says He'll do. After all, He promises He'll do what's best for us (Romans 8:28: 'And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God.') Have you ever known God to fall back on His promises?