March 27, 2014

Where to Start When You Want to Redecorate

Where do you start when you want to redecorate?  It can be overwhelming sometimes. Our main floor was decorated in French Country reds and yellows for 10 years.  

I loved it for a long time. But styles change and let's face it - we just get tired of it after a while. I knew I wanted to redecorate but I hadn't found any direction that I wanted to go.

I used to collect magazine pictures in a notebook for years. I grouped them by room. Every magazine that I bought got scoured and the good pictures got taken out and added to my notebook. Then Pinterest became popular and changed our lives - lol.

The notebooks have been discarded for boards. So much fun. And I found myself gravitating towards 'white.' Now I've always loved white. I think white is my favorite color. :)  But with kids I never felt I could get away with it.  

I still didn't know what direction I was going to go and then I walked into a Pottery Barn. Now, you might wonder why that took so long to happen. I live in Big Rapids, Michigan. The nearest mall is 70 miles away. I'm.  not.  kidding.  

And when I entered the store, I had an 'event.'  I'm sure the sales ladies were a bit worried about me. The look on my face was probably comical - somewhere between rapture and awe with a little bit of drooling. 

I fell in love with the huge barn doors, the wood plank ceilings and floors, the white slip-covered couches and the rustic tables.  It was 'ME!!!'  

At the time, the store was also filled with blue glass vases and accessories and mercury glass candle holders. I had found my inspiration and my starting off point. I went home and announced that I was going to totally redecorate.  My husband glanced up and said, "What's new?"  

"No!" I  said.  "Totally!"  On my husband's next trip to Grand  Rapids he dutifully followed me into Pottery Barn and he fell in love.  Mission accomplished!

The fun really began when I discovered  "Look, Honey!  We can build our own furniture!"  I thought he would think I was crazy but was thrilled when he loved the idea.  And we (he) started building furniture!

So, find your inspiration. 

I found this picture at and I loved the mix of pale blue walls, French Country furniture, rustic beams and crystal chandelier.  It is the picture that made me decide on my family room wall color. 

When I first redecorated I spent hours making drapes and then just didn't like them. These are the pictures that convinced me I needed shutters on my windows.  (I'm finishing up my shutters and will feature them in a future post.)

Pottery Barn

Once I know what color I want I will shop for a fabric.  This time my fabric was white cotton duck.  I also found the blue paisley that I made these pillows out of at Joann's Fabrics.  I made the blue pillow with a burlap trim (Pottery Barn knock-off.)  The pillow with buttons I found at HomeGoods but it also looks like Pottery Barn.

Then I found the blue linen that's on my bergere chairs at Hobby Lobby.  So I had my basics.

We still want to add a barn door and have figured out where it will work.
So my redecorating foundations are done.  BUT, looking around I'm really missing print and pattern.  It's feeling a little boring and muted for my taste now.  So I've order some new fabrics to add a little interest.  

And after Sherry at No minimalist here posted all the beautiful Buffalo check, I'm thinking about adding this.
Also my living room is looking a little too feminine. I need to add a little more rustic and I'm thinking about taking the skirt off the love seat slip cover.

AND I'm loving this picture.  I'm thinking about painting my Entry Hall walls like this.  I think I'll just do it by hand.  The worst that can happen is that I'll have to paint back over it - right?

Here's my current situation...
What do you think?

So I laugh when my husband asks if we're done. Honey, I love your sense of humor! We're never done! Have a great day!

love and blessings~
"She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."  Proverbs 31:22 -

March 26, 2014

A Spring Table Scape

It's definitely still winter here in Big Rapids, Michigan.  We've matched the all time cold record here this morning. 7 degrees.  But I continue to try to convince Mother Nature that spring would be so nice.  With that in mind, I created a spring table scape that I can use for Easter or a Sunday brunch.
I bought these dishes, place mats and napkins at HomeGoods in Grand Rapids.  I fell in love with them because they coordinate so nicely with the paisley fabric I have in the family room.
I later saw the whole set on line - I only have four of the plates and bowls, but didn't buy them.  I think I'll wait and see if they show up at HomeGoods again. I kind of enjoy the 'hunt.'
The turquoise stemware is actually acrylic but I love the color and am looking forward to using them on the deck this summer or even in the hot tub.
I added several sweet little birds and nests to my table scape.
The flower container is metal and arrived at our house one day filled with pasta and other Italian delights.  It was a gift from my sister in law.  It was a rusty red color and I dry brushed it to match our decor.  I have it filled with blue and white hydrangeas.
As always, I love adding a mix of crystal and rustic.  A nest in an antique crystal dish and my antique salt dish complete the look.
It's been confusing for my 17 year old son since I've started blogging.  He comes downstairs, looks around and says, "Who's coming over?" when he sees the table set. When I've used all the silverware and he threatens to steal a spoon, his dad tells him, "Don't touch anything!  Mom is blogging."  My poor men.  ;)

Have a warm and wonderful Wednesday!

love and blessings~

 "But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You."  Psalms 5:7

I'm linking up with these wonderful blog parties:

March 25, 2014

Faking Spring

Hi all!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while.  My husband and I traveled to Boston a couple of weeks ago to visit our son, Matt, at Fetchnotes.  We had a wonderful trip.  We were home for a short 6 days and then flew to Auburn, AL where Mark spoke at an Economics conference at the Mises Institute.
The weather in Auburn was glorious - 77 and sunny! Coming home, I took off my sandals at the airport in Atlanta and put on my boots and winter coat.  This is our view into our backyard today in Michigan...
But there's still no place like home. I love to travel but it's always so great to get home.  (I keep repeating that over and over to myself as the snow blows in my face today.)

So to cheer myself up, I 'puttered' around and added some more 'Spring' to the living room.

If you're new to my blog this room has gone through a lot of changes in the years we've lived here.  It used to have a lot of print and and I'm loving the white but I'm also thinking the white chairs in front of the fireplace are a little boring.  They may get a make over again soon - lol.
The bird pillow on the love seat is from Hobby Lobby as well as the ribbon roses pillow on the Bergerge chair.  I made the two larger blue pillows on the love seat.
The tray on the ottoman is also Hobby Lobby but it was black when I bought it.  I painted it and distressed it.  I painted the art above the fireplace onto some scrap boards.

I am hoping that this summer we'll replace the sliding glass door on the left with French doors and the one on the right (behind the love seat) with windows and a low wall.
So it's still 20 degrees outside but it's feeling like Spring inside.  I'll just live in my bubble.
Maybe I should put a fire in the fireplace....*sigh*

Have a wonderful day!  There is so much to be thankful for!
"We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, For Your name is near; Men declare Your wondrous works." Psalms 75:1


The Lord first spoke the word “mindset” to me several years ago.  A friend had died of sickness.  We had gone to the hospital to pray for her and I had seen the light of Jesus shine on her and bring wholeness.  I had spoken the things I saw in the Spirit over her.  She felt heat. Others had come and prayed for her, spending hours worshiping in her room. She was recovering.  Then I got a call two days later that she’d gone home to be with the Lord.  I asked God, “Why?”  And He said, “mindsets.”
In the last couple of days, God’s been talking to me about this a lot. The free online dictionary defines a mindset as:  1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.
 I googled “mindsets” and found out that there’s a book out called, “Mindset” by psychologist Carol Dweck.    Here’s an excerpt from it.  “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.  It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value.  How does this happen?  How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?“
Now I don’t like psychology for a very simple reason.   It does not acknowledge that man is a spiritual being that needs salvation.  It is ‘humanism’ at its worse; man trying to fix himself without Jesus.   And once again, I’m sure this book will tell us how to fix our thinking through positive affirmations.  But this understanding of our thinking is profound.
The online dictionary also talks about “collective mindsets.”  A story is told that in 1974, psychologists were trying to reorient the American Indians to have ”correct goals” such as a house and a full bank account.  But their historical viewpoint of success was so different that it was impossible to get them to think ‘correctly.’ 
The term ‘apostle’, which we see in scripture, is a secular term that was first used in Roman/Greek culture.  The Romans were conquering vast territories and claiming them as part of the Roman Empire.  But when the conquerors  would return to these regions, they found that the culture of the original country had not changed.  The people were not becoming “Romans.”  So they left ‘apostles’ in the area to change the culture!  These people were to be an influence and infiltrate the culture with Roman/Greek thinking!   They were sent out to these regions to transform the culture!
This is the reference point that Paul would have been using when writing.  He was charging us to be apostles to this world.  We have been ‘sent out’ by Christ to affect our culture, to change men’s  thinking, to tell the world that there is access to God through Jesus Christ.  But instead, many of us have been indoctrinated into the world’s thinking.  We are salt that has lost its ‘saltiness.’   Salt is a natural preservative that people used to keep their meat from spoiling.  Jesus wants us to be salt and light to this world.
We say more with our actions than we say with our words.  Especially when we are parents, we have a huge influence on the mindsets of our children.  If we eat dinner together every night and then spend time as a family in God’s Word and in prayer, we are establishing a truth in our children; that we cannot go a day without the Word of God; that we value the principles of God’s Word; that God is our first priority.
If our children see us up every morning before they are, praying and seeking God, it sends a message.  If our Bible is always open and we know what it says, and we quote it, it sends a message.   If the first thing we do when our children are sick is to lay hands on them and pray, we establish that we believe God’s Word regarding healing.  It becomes established in them that God heals.  They begin to experience healing through faith and when they are sick again, they do what works; pray, repent of sin and receive healing.
Our culture and society has an understood truth.  When you are sick, you go to a doctor.  Medicine heals you.  Some things cannot be healed; they are chronic or worse yet, terminal.  Some pharmaceuticals will help the symptoms but you will always be sick.  When medication causes negative side effects, you can take another medication to get rid of that side effect.  Everyone needs health insurance.  Getting sick without health insurance might mean that you could be refused medical care.  If you are given medical care without insurance, your bills could destroy your finances.  Doctors have the final authority on your health.
This becomes a deep routed fear in people.  It becomes a mindset. 
Many times believers in Christ believe that they have right thinking based on truth because they believe Jesus is the Son of God Who died for their sins never realizing that they are still believing lies from the enemy in every area of their lives.  They have deep routed mindsets well established from their childhood.
Then consider the ‘collective mindset.’  Nothing reassures us that we are ‘right’ better than having a group that agrees with us.  We find comfort in that; that everyone thinks like we do.  We pass this thinking down from generation to generation; from church to church.
Jesus talks about mankind as ‘sheep that need a shepherd.’  Without a shepherd, sheep don’t know where to go or what to think.  They are known for flocking together and not separating from their flock.  It is very hard for us to think independently and risk the rejection of others.  We are much more comfortable getting into the center of a group of like believers and hiding there;  approved of and accepted.
When Jesus was on the earth, He spoke the most harshly to the religious of that day: the Pharisees.  The Pharisees religiously observed the Sabbath, they tithed and fasted and prayed.   But Jesus condemned them saying that unless we become more righteous than they, we will not see the Kingdom of Heaven.  He called them hypocrites and told them that they invalidated the Word of God by their traditions; teaching their own traditions as the doctrines of God. (Matthew 15)
A few years ago, I heard about Heidi and Rolland Baker’s ministry in Mozambique, Africa.   At that time, it was reported that they had raised over 70 people from the dead.  Heidi was going into the villages there and calling the people to come and hear about Jesus.  She was especially having success in the deaf receiving  hearing  and I always think it’s so wonderful that the first thing these people heard was the Name of Jesus!
When I first heard about this, my mind sort of did a little overload –“ What?!  Over 70 people raised from the dead?!”  I could not comprehend this!  As the years have progressed, I’ve listened to her on line.  In one session, she was speaking to a large group of pastors in Africa.  She asked them how many of them had raised people from the dead and every single one of them raised their hand!
One pastor told the story of a woman who was the people’s leader in witch craft.  She died and the Lord told him to go raise her from the dead.  He didn’t want to -LOL.  When he obeyed, the woman came to life praising Jesus and now serves Him with all her heart.  Many of the villagers have committed their lives to Christ because of her testimony and the transformation God has done in her life!
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, and the author of, “When Heaven Invades Earth” says that when we share testimonies of the wonderful things that God has done, it creates an atmosphere for miracles.  People need to hear the wonderful things that God is doing.  It expands their thinking and they begin to think outside their mindsets.
Pastor Johnson’s  church has been experiencing miracles for years.  They are pressing into God that their territory, Redding, California, be a cancer-free zone.  They are seeing tumors fall off, deformities from birth corrected, cancer healed and many other healings and miracles.  They are breaking the mindset that God does not operate today the way He operated in the New Testament.
God’s mercies are new every day.  He will help us today.  But, He tells ‘US’ to renew our minds in His Truth.  He tells us not to be conformed to this world in our thinking.  He’s not going to do it for us.  He has given us His Word and His Spirit and it is our choice to renew our mind and seek Him or to continue to believe things contrary to His Word, just because we’ve found a group that will agree with us. 
We like to tell ourselves that if Jesus had come to the earth today, we would have recognized Him.  We would have followed Him and honored Him.  But He’s on this earth today.  He’s omnipresent in the form of the Holy Spirit and many ‘believers’ have not recognized Him. 
God gave us free will.  We can choose.  We can decide to follow God with our whole hearts or we can stay where we are.  There is always more.  He is infinite love; infinite mercy; infinite truth.
Jesus’ last commission to us was this: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (The Good News!) to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.  THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them;  THEY WILL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK AND THEY WILL RECOVER.”
We have to start with a new mindset.  We have to start by believing.

Mindset –  A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.

Love and blessings!

It is Always God's Will to Heal

My dad has been married six times.  I went through 3 divorces in my family between the ages of 9 and 15.  Then my dad left the state and I did not hear from him for 11 years, until I found him.
This left deep wounds in my soul which affected me in every area of my life.  I had fear of rejection, I believed I was unlovable, I was angry and confused.  I had trust issues. 
As I entered my 20’s, I began to have severe migraine headaches that over the years got worse and worse.  I sought doctors and their solution was to find a pain medication that would take away the headaches.  But I had headaches for a reason. 
Everything is spiritual.  We are spiritual beings.  When we are wounded emotionally, it manifests in many ways and often times in sickness.   My dad’s lifestyle was not my fault yet I suffered because of it.  And it became sin in my life.  Fear of rejection, anger, confusion – all these things fall short of the glory of God.  My thinking and my emotions were not in line with the truth of Jesus Christ. 
My sin then led to wrong actions.  I mistreated others because of my fears and issues.  God had a lot of healing to do in my life. 
Many people become angry when it is suggested that sickness is rooted in sin but sickness came into the world through sin.  The first to suggest that sickness was not spiritual was Hippocrates – the father of Western Medicine.  But James 5:14 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”   In every example of sickness in the Bible, we see that sin/forgiveness of sin is connected.
That does not mean that we are to look at those that are REALLY sick and jump to the judgment that they are REALLY sinful.   They may have suffered the worse in this life and therefore be opened up to sickness.  Jesus wants to heal them.
In Luke 5:20-25 Jesus heals a man who was paralyzed.  He says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”  The scribes and Pharisees challenge this and Jesus says, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
Scripture tells us over and over again that ‘Jesus healed them all.’  He never divided the crowd and told the group on the right that God did not want to heal them, they needed to learn something.  We ALL need to learn something.  We ALL need to be more dependent on God.  But God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into ALL truth.  Most the time our own actions have led us into negative circumstances and through these things, hopefully we will cry out to God and repent of our sin.  But our actions put us there, not God.
Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”
Proverbs 8:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”
And Psalm 1 says, “How BLESSED is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; AND IN WHATEVER HE DOES, HE PROSPERS.”
I have been so blessed by the teachings of Katie Souza.  She teaches so beautifully on how the Light of Jesus heals these soul wounds that we all possess.   She refers to the story of Jesus casting out demons in Matthew 8:28.  “When He (Jesus) had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-ightpossessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
Jesus was pure and without sin.  He had nothing in common with these demons.  That gave Him complete authority over them.  When we have something in common with the demonic (sin), it gives them legal license to attack us; therefore , we have no authority over them.  When we repent of our sin and our ‘soul wounds’ are healed, we then have authority over this area in our lives.  3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you prosper and are in good health, even as your soul prospers.”  This is the will of God for us;  that we prosper in all things and walk in good health.  There is a scriptural connection between the prosperity of our soul and our health.
Because we have not understood why people who have faith in God are dying of illness, we have tried to adjust our doctrine to fit this world.  We need to adjust our thinking to fit the Word of God.
Katie Souza also shares how the Lord led her to do a 40 day fast and at the end of that fast, she saw Beelzebub falling from the heavens and knew she now had authority over the demonic.  The Lord still teaches her as she goes into situations and prepares her by showing her ‘soul wounds’ that are still not healed in her life, so that she will have authority in a situation.
I recently read an article written by a non-believer who went on a 40 day fast to lose weight.  I was amazed as he explained the changes you go through; physically, emotionally and spiritually, as you go through this fast.  Through his research, he learned that a 40 day fast destroys cancer cells in your body.  I have a dear friend who gives a testimony of a lady she knew when she was a child that was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The Lord instructed this believer to do a 40 day fast.  When this lady finished, the cancer was gone.
Katie also teaches on the Light of Jesus.  Several years ago, the Lord led me to study ‘light.’  Jesus tells us that He is the Light of the World.  I learned so much about healing in this season and so was amazed as Katie added to that teaching.
 Another wonderful book is, “The Healing Light” by Agnes Sanford.  She had a miracle healing ministry and would imagine, just like Katie, that the Light of Jesus was shining on the sickness. 
I want to share, in my own words, an analogy that Ms. Sanford gives in her book.
“Imagine that there is an infinite reservoir of light/water/holiness/healing;  that is God.  This infinite love and healing is available to us at all times.  From the reservoir, a hose flows down to us and at the end of this hose there is a valve that we have the power to open or close.  God’s healing and light is available to all us.  It is infinite and given to us through the Blood of Jesus.  We just need to learn how to open the valve.”
Our mind is the ‘gate’ – the valve!  Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may PROVE what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect.  As our mind, ‘the gate’, begin to line up with the Truth of Jesus, we are open to receive instruction, healing and revelation to set us free from sin.
 I have also learned so much from Bill Johnson.    He pastors Bethel church in Redding California.  His church has been experiencing miracles for years now.  He says that when our mind is renewed in truth, miracles become logical.
I have a ways to go.  But I am setting my heart to think like Jesus; until the miraculous becomes logical.

Love and blessings!

Praise Him with Dancing!

Bill Johnson, the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, tells the story about a woman who came into their church one day and through the Holy Spirit he discerned that she was demon possessed. He went to their church’s “main dancer” and asked her to begin to minister in dance and as soon as she began to dance across the platform, it was if this demon possessed woman was a marionette and the strings were cut. The woman crumpled to the ground, the power of darkness broken over her life. Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, then bent over the woman praying for her and ministering to her and the woman received salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

While we lived in Alabama, our church was blessed with revival that lasted over five months, during which over 700 people received Christ. The power of God during those five months was so wonderful that we had church six nights a week and stayed many nights until midnight, worshiping and ministering to those in need. 

Several months before the revival, I had started a dance ministry, by God’s direction, and we had done a medley of songs that included the words, “cast out your nets all you fishers’ of men, In the power of the Spirit revival begins.” The Lord instructed me that before we danced, to get up before the congregation and repeat these words. It was not until about a year after the revival, that the Lord told me to go back and watch the tape and reminded me of this. I had even forgotten that I had done this and had never connected this with the revival, yet I had sensed that freedom of worship and dance had been a key part of bringing revival and God had used the prophetic words of this song.

In Ecclesiastes 3:4, we see the scripture ”a time to dance, a time to mourn.” The Hebrew word for dance here is “raqad” and is translated “to dance, skip, to skip about, leap and jump.” In 2 Samuel 6:14, we read the story of David dancing with abandon as the Ark of the Covenant is brought back to the people of God. This time we see a second Hebrew word “kara” and this word is translated “to whirl, whirling, dancing. “

But in Exodus 15:20, as we read the account of Miriam leading the women in dancing after God had delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt and they had crossed the Red Sea, we see a third Hebrew word for dance. It is “m@chowlah” and means “dance, dancing, company.” The root word of this word is “machashabah” and means “thought, device, purpose, work, imaginations, cunning, devised, invented, means.” It took me a couple of days of thinking about this meaning unto the Lord before it was revealed to me that this was a choreographed dance! It still had all the spiritual power of the first two dances but was pre-planned by the Holy Spirit!

But the word used in Psalm 149 and 150 is fascinating and confirms everything the Lord has taught me over the last 20 years. The word used in Psalm 149 and 150, “Praise Him with dancing” is “machowl,” a fourth Hebrew word that translates in English, “dance.” However, the root word of this word is “chuwl” and pay attention to the meanings. It means pain, formed, bring forth, pained, tremble, travail, dance, calve, grieved, wounded, shake.
The following is copied directly from Strong’s concordance as the definitions of this word:

1) to twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained
1a) (Qal) 
1a1) to dance 
1a2) to twist, writhe 
1a3) to whirl, whirl about 
1b) (Polel) 
1b1) to dance 
1b2) to writhe (in travail with), bear, bring forth 
1b3) to wait anxiously 
1c) (Pulal) 
1c1) to be made to writhe, be made to bear 
1c2) to be brought forth 
1d) (Hophal) to be born 
1e) (Hithpolel) 
1e1) whirling (participle) 
1e2) writhing, suffering torture (participle) 
1e3) to wait longingly 
1f) (Hithpalpel) to be distressed 

The word dance here in Psalms 149 and 150 means to offer up praises to God, to intercede, to prophecy and bring forth - all through dance! Through worship dance, we intercede, we birth and bring forth, we travail and we prophecy!

Now here’s something amazing. If you look up the in the Strong’s the Hebrew word in Ezekial for “Army” it is chayil or chuwl! The root word of army is to” to twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained.” The same word!

Consider the words of Psalm 149:
1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. 4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. 
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 7 To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; 8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute on them the written judgment-- This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord! 
Praise God with singing, with the dance, with instruments because the high praises of God in our mouths and in these forms bind the enemy’s kings with chains and his nobles with fetters of iron. This is spiritual warfare and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal – they are the beautiful praises of the saints expressed to God – spirit, soul and body!

Acts 15:25 says that while Paul and Silas were in prison, that at midnight they were praising and singing hymns to God and suddenly there was a great earthquake and all the doors were opened and everyone’s chained were loosed! Not just Paul’s and Silas’ chains – but everyone’s! Praise and worship will break the chains the bind us and a good twirl and kick and the chains can be cast away for good! I know it sounds silly, but there is power in twirling!

The word tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:27. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” Many “wise” men have despised the dance thinking how could God use such a silly thing as this as a form of warfare. But the dance was created by God as a form of worship and all worship is warfare. The Word tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Where God is, there is salvation, deliverance, healing and strength and He is enthroned on our praise. 
Many people have received healing and deliverance during praise and worship without anyone praying for them or laying hands on them. 

And the dance is an important key in worship. The enemy has perverted this form of worship and the world and some sections of the church think of it as evil. The world uses it to glorify the body; to glorify the creation instead of the creator. But God is compelling the Body of Christ to take back the dance and the arts and understand that they are powerful in form and image. 

God is a creator and He created us in His image. He created us to be creative and God intends that we use this creativity to glorify Him! He has blessed us with an imagination and dreams and when our whole heart is submitted to God, the natural outcome of a renewed mind creates new ways to glorify God! He wants us to glorify Him through dance and music, through drama and art. He wants His Spirit to flow unhindered through us with new spontaneous forms of praise and worship. This releases His power and majesty here on the earth that all may see Him. This brings the “experience” of God to others that they may know that He is real and alive and not just print on a page. 

As in all things of God, we will not gain understanding of this through our natural mind. The things of the Spirit are understood by the Spirit. We learn as we step out in faith and seek to operate in the things of God. The same thing happens with dance ministry. As we obey the Lord in faith, even without understanding, the Lord begins to impart revelation knowledge. This is an area that the Body of Christ needs to “renew their mind in.” 

We are spirit, soul and body. We cannot separate where our spirit stops and where our body begins – our body is the saturated dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We live in the spirit realm and our sensitivity to the things of God will determine our awareness or unawareness of this realm we live in. When I move my physical body, I move in the spirit realm and when I move by God’s divine direction, I dramatically affect the spiritual atmosphere. 

God first commission to man was to take dominion over the earth. He created the earth for us to rule over and handed the keys of His authority to us. If this were not true, Adam could not have given them away to Satan. But when Jesus conquered sin on our behalf, He handed these keys back to us. I always think its interesting that even before His resurrection He give His disciples power and authority over all the demons and to cure diseases and sends them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick (Luke 9:1,2.) 
And yet even after Christ’s triumph over evil many of us do not understand our authority on the earth. The Host (Army) of Heaven has been given to us to assist us in this rule. They are also under our command. Jesus came to the earth to do good and to destroy the works of the enemy. This is also our assignment and every spiritual blessing has been given us to take back the earth for Christ. (Eph 1)

Our churches are full of ministries that don’t need the power of God to operate. They accomplish their goals through good planning, marketing and human determination. They are training people to never expect to see the Holy Spirit move, to never see a miracle, to never expect to be healed in a church service. They have a form of godliness but deny the power within. The dance is not meant to be a form of entertainment. It is beautiful, as beauty was created by God and all things that come from Him are beautiful, but it is a powerful form of worship and warfare. 

Heidi and Rolland Baker are missionaries in Mozambique, Africa and in the last several years have, through their ministry, seen over 70 people raised from the dead. Right now, Heidi is going into African villages and calling specifically for the deaf to be brought to her, because she is seeing the deaf healed 100% percent of the time through the laying on of her hands. She spends hours in worship and has gained this tremendous anointing through the intimacy of worship. Heidi and Rolland Baker started with a dance ministry! 

God is raising up a joyful Bride that will operate in these Keys to the Kingdom and one of these powerful keys is worship! Unashamed, abandoned love for God that cannot be contained but must be expressed with a shout, with hands raised high in love for Him, with feet that crush the enemy’s head with dancing and joy, with a banner raised up in His name! A worshiping Bride washed in His blood and His Word, empowered by His Spirit and operating in His gifts. A Bride that will obey God’s first commission: to take dominion of this earth and present it to Her Saviour. A Bride that will obey the last thing He told us to do – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…And these signs and wonders will follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; …they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. “

Jesus said, “ Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the good news preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Hiim for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Love and blessings!

March 14, 2014

Trash to Treasure

I think my favorite posts from other bloggers is their stories of 'trash-to-treasure.' There's nothing better than finding someone's throw-away and transforming it into something that you know would have cost you a couple hundred dollars to buy!  We have several of those things in our house - things we've bought cheap and fixed-up or remade into a treasure.

One is our railway cart coffee table.

I originally spotted one of these at and fell in love!  It was just under $400 and I immediately set out to make one.  My husband and I shopped around for wheels and hardware and during that time, I pinned a picture of one on Pinterest. Lynda @ Gates of Crystal   A friend saw my pin and told me that there were carts for sale at a nearby second-hand store.  That weekend my husband and I went and got one.

It was filthy and rough but we loved that it said, "Chicago Machinery Exchange" on it as we are about 3 hours from Chicago and love visiting.  We scrubbed and cleaned it and replaced the top with new wood, stained to match.  I love the rustic feel it gives our family room.

Another favorite is a table that sits in our Entry Hall.  Several years ago my husband and sons and I were driving down our street when I yelled, "Stop!!"  There was a yard sale at a neighbor's house and I spotted this table sitting on the grass.
It was a lot longer at the time and the wrought iron was a rusted green color and it was also filthy.  The owners said that they found it in "the river!"  We took it home, cleaned it up and painted it, and shortened it to fit in this space.

It's really heavy and solid and a great place to drop your stuff when you come in from the garage.  This summer I'm hoping to re-make it into a dining table for our deck and build a hall tree to fit in this space. The wall hanging above it is from Hobby Lobby.

One of my all time favorites I don't have a picture of.  We found a three-legged dining table in the trash, added a leg and I painted the top with chalk board paint.  We used it for home schooling and our kids loved drawing and doing math on the top of the table! From free to fabulous!

But I'm especially happy about our latest project.  My mother-in-law gave us "Aunt Thelma's Desk" many, many years ago.  I have always appreciated having it but wished I had a hutch to sit on top to make it a secretary.  Over the years, I've scoured the internet and second hand stores hoping to find something that would fit.  

A couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I had a book shelf in the basement that I had bought just a year or so ago that might work.  And much to my great joy it was a perfect fit and perfect color!
We're going to add some crown moulding to the top and beef up the shelves because they tend to bow but I am thrilled!  I'm also thinking of painting it to look like this...
What do you think?

I'll post the finished secretary soon.  We just returned from visiting our son in Boston and will be travelling to Auburn, Alabama next week.  And then I'll be blogging regularly again.

love and blessings~
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 

March 4, 2014

Spring Home Tour

Welcome to our home!  

We live in Big Rapids, Michigan. We bought our house over 10 years ago.  It was definitely a 'fixer-upper.'  But it had such a wonderful floor plan with high ceilings, lots of windows and 3 fireplaces that I told my husband that "This is the one!"

We have filled it with antiques, estate sale finds, and second-hand furniture which I slip cover, reupholster, and paint. My husband and I also started building furniture this year.

Over the years we've made A LOT of changes but there are still some things we'd like to do. It's changing all the time but here it is...for now!

The Entry Hall

When we bought our house this room had dirty tan wallpaper and berber carpet.  We replaced the carpet with ceramic tile, and added the chair rail and crown moulding.  This room has been through several changes over the years.  You can see them here.

How we built this table

The Living Room

All of the furniture in this room has slip covered or reupholstered.  You can see the changes over the years here.

Our Dining Room

My husband also built our dining room table.

Our Kitchen
(I'm hoping soon that this will be the 'before' picture.)

Our Family Room

This year I also slip covered this couch and reupholstered this chair.

Our Main Floor Guest Room

Our Main Floor Bathroom

Our Master Bedroom (upstairs)

Our Basement

Thanks for dropping by!
  You can click on the sidebar pictures to see more details of each room.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace."  
Numbers 6:24-26