Lavishly Loved

I'm a simple girl with a huge heart for God, family and friends.

Location: Michigan, United States

Monday, March 27, 2006

Princess Weekend

I Peter 2:9 But you are a CHOSEN people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Deuteronomy 14:2
for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.

As you can see...I got to meet Sheri Rose!!!! She was such an inspiring speaker! She was so transparent and personable. She was there for anyone to speak with or pray with. It was great!I am humbled beyond words to have been a part of this journey. To have read her book in 1998, that lead me to read His Princess, that lead me to buy the books for special friends, that lead Lizi to tell the Women's team about the book, that lead her to speak at a Conference in 2006! Where lives were changed for eternity! What did Sheri say to me, after the retreat was over ? THANK YOU! "huh? thank me? no, no, no...Thank you for coming and sharing Sheri!"...she said.."oh's because of your obedience, you listening to God and buying those books for those girls! Always listen to HIM!"...( of course I just cried and hugged her)...still blows me away!

*so I encourage you... don't be ashamed of what God lays on your heart for you to do...Even when you feel like you might get teased by someone (even friends)...your relationship with God might be different than theirs. You are not trying to be pious or fake! You are sharing your heart! and stepping out in faith, and trusting God with the outcome!

Also...those of you in ministry? keep pouring into those kids, that small group, that congregation! You may never see the fruit of your labor...but God is doing something thourgh you RIGHT NOW!!! Be encouraged!

Here are some of the highlights of her talks, I wish I could share them all.

Embrace God's best Version of Me (you)
  • Find the Root of your pain/problems (currently and from your past)
  • Run to God
  • Eliminate the enemy's weapons in your home
  • Eat for Excellence (God has entrusted you with this body, treat it well!)
  • Do what God tells you to do!
  • Open the gift of life-connect to the vine
  • Move! if you failed yesterday, today or even still have the choice to get back up!

Royal Relationships ( I really loved this one!)

Romans 12:17-18 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on YOU, live at PEACE with everyone.

  • How do others feel after they've spent time with you ? refreshed, loved, accepted ? or drained, inferior, walking on egg shells/anxious ?
  • We are made for companionship
  • Care for each other
  • Bless each other
  • Cover each other -God gives us Sacred Relationships! You actually have the power (negatively or positively) to change someones Destiny!
  • "Lord put a seal on my mouth, that I might not sin against You. Be careful what you share with people.
  • Confront each other
  • Confess to each other (find someone to hold you accountable)
  • Council each other
  • Complete each other. *surround yourself with the kind of people you want to become!
  • Remember not everyone can be in your private world! Not everyone can be in the "First ROW" of your life.
  • God gives us specials friends. Some friends are only with us for different seasons of our lives. Some are single, some are married with children, some are married,...everyone's life is different. Let's enjoy the differences! *and respect the differences. *those with children may have a hard time finding a babysitter-be flexible and understanding. Those with husbands, respect their marriage. They are accountable to God for their relationship with their man. Some friends are able to see and talk to every day, some we only get to see once a month, some we may only see once a year! BUT Enjoy each moment! Don't be jealous! Hit the Mark/Target when you are together. Have quality time. Rejoice with them when they rejoice! It's about enjoying that appointed time that God has brought that person into your life :)

Waiting for His Return

  • Get a love life with God
  • Be real with Him
  • Get OVER yourself
  • Get a prayer life with purpose

Well, I could go on and on...God is Good all the time and all the time God is good!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You are a Child of MINE

God is so much fun.

Back in 1998, I began reading a book by Sheri Rose Shepherd. I was having some health issues *(hives head to toe, chronic fatigue etc)…I found a book called “Fit for Excellence”. I loved it! Loved the author, loved her heart…it was quite an interesting book. (she talks about making better choices in your life..with food, reading the bible, prayer time, etc)

Fast forward to 2003. I came across her book called “His Princess-Love letters from a King…and loved it! Anyone who knows me, knows that # 1- Since I was a little girl, I have struggled with my self-esteem, or liking myself. # 2- I LOVE God!…I love everything about HIM…and I absolutely LOVE His Kingship, His Lordship! During that time I adopted I John 3:1 as one of my favorite verses…”How great the love of the Father that He Lavishes His love upon us, that we are called the children of God”. (Thus Lavishly loved)

Fast forward to the present.

This weekend Sheri Rose Shepherd is speaking at a retreat for NorthRidge Church. Myself and some other girls from church, have the privilege to sing for this event. As we met up for practice, to decide who would sing what song, what part on which song etc…we also worked on a Special song called, “You are a Child of Mine”.

Melanie (the leader of the worship team for our Women’s Ministries) asked me to sing the 2nd verse of the song…l

Here are the words…

“And so I listen as You tell me who I am
and who it is, I’m gonna be.
I hang on every word,
Knowing I have heard
I am Yours and I am free
But when I am alone at night
That is when I hear the lie
You’ll never be enough
And though I’m giving into fear


Let me say, I began to cry (surprise, surprise, haha)…

I am quite excited for this retreat. To hang out with girl friends…to sing and to meet Sheri Rose…I can’t believe it! You just never know what is around the corner in your life.
So I encourage you today, that whatever voices you are hearing today, whatever lies the enemy is saying to you…don’t listen…listen to GOD’S VOICE..YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE KING OF KINGS!

About Sheri Rose

Sheri Rose Shepherd has been a motivational speaker and Bible teacher for fifteen years as well as the keynote speaker for the Women of Virtue conferences and the national spokesperson for Teen Challenge (’94-’98).Sheri Rose has the gift to give all generations an eternal view of their lives.
She shares with total transparency how God carried her from a dysfunctional, Jewish,“Hollywood” home and a life of drugs,depression and an eating disorder to become a Daughter of the King. Her speaking style is humorous,heart-warming and based on Biblical Truth.

This former Mrs. United States does not talk of worldly accomplishments;rather she shares about the Crown of Life. She takes us back to the truth about Who we are, How much we are loved and Why we are here. Inspite of battling dyslexia, she has written several books including
Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal Her two newest books are in the His Princess® series by Multnomah Publishers, His Princess, Love Letters from Your King and His Princess, Prayers to My King.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Week in Review

If only I had seen this in Sydney...hahaha

Coming back from the began to ran...but God gave us the coolest rainbow..

Friday, March 17, 2006

Me and Kristi at the Blue Mountains

Just Hanging Out :)

Krisit with the baby kangaroo!

The gang (with one addition Charles from Toronto ) at the Rainforest...and there's Jim..he ALWAYS looked good for the pictures! You go Jim!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sydney Harbor AND Hillsong...yep I could live here!

Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House...I could totally handle seeing that every day :) geeked that Paul and Jim were able to climb that bridge! If I ever have the chance to go back...I will climb it...

Bondi Beach
(and the lovely Jelly Fish)

Darlene, Marty, Joel and the others at Hillsong...whew...good stuff!

The Blue Mountain Tour...what a beautiful day! After getting stung by the jelly fish 2 days before...I made Jim a little nervous on this cliff... hahaha. So I decided to be in front of the group for the pic

"look for the girl with the broken smile"-Maroon Five

Friday, March 10, 2006

Final Moments's those final moments.

It's 9:30p.m. here in Australia...Kristi and I getting ready for bed. We have an early start in the morning. We have to be up by 3a.m...plane leaves at 6:50a.m....we have 3 lay-overs..1 in Sydney, 1 in LA, and 1 in's going to be a long day. Honestly...the 14 hour something none of us are looking forward to....we would appreciate your prayers.

As I was walking along the pathway to get to the computer area of the hotel...I looked around...the breeze blowing, the waves crashing, geikos running along the path...I still can not believe it...that I have been in Australia for the last week. Tears welled up in my eyes...perhaps because I am leaving this beautiful place,...that I will probably never see again, maybe it's because I was even able to go on this trip, maybe it's the trill of seeing my man at the airport ( I have missed you so much)...really it's all of them...and the thought of the 14 hour ride home...hahahah :)

Each day has carried something different with it...a beauty of it's own. I can't wait to post the pictures. I am still so humbled to have been a part of this trip.

I know that as we return, (even on the plane ride) that God will be bringing back so many moments, so many laughs, so many tears...It's been an experience...Thank YOU Jesus..

Kristi was reading this today from her calendar...

God is a Good God. He gives good things to His children. No matter who has denigrated you or how much pain you've experienced in life, no matter how many set backs you have suffered, you CANNOT allow yourself to accept that as the way life is supposed to be.
NO,... God has better things in store for you! (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Love you all...

Carrying you with me where-ever I go...:)...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Last couple of days

It's been a HUGE bummer to be unable to share pictures of this adventure we've been on.

I've had to use the computers here at the hotel...AOL isn't at the Great Barrier Reef...

We went to the RAIN FOREST 2 days ago...and saw some magnificent views...We all had a chance to throw a boomarang...Kristi and Paul were GREAT! I came 3rd place...they also got to throw a spear. (We spent time with the aburiginy people...quite interesting)

Yesterday marked alot of moments for each of us...we spent the day out at the Great Barrier Reef...The colors, the coral, the moments, the water...were unbelievable.

We all were so excited, yet scared of some things...Paul wanted to scuba dive, but was a bit nervous. I wanted to snorkel, however I am NOT a good swimmer, I have some fear issues with water, and I don't like to put my face underwater...(I know, I know...get over it...)

Well..I have to share this one thing before we had off to breakfast. Try to imagine it...Kristi and I in these crazy blue (not flattering) body suits...we looked like aliens!...we are sitting on the area where we go into the water. Kristi is giving me a pep talk, she goes into the water...and I begin to pray. "Lord...I want to do this...take away all fear! Fear is NOT of you"...then suddenly as if she was running on the water in her flippers...Kristi is bolting back to the landing...because of these HUGE, and I mean HUGE fish that were swimming all around her. I laughed, she screamed, then there we sat both of the water and Kristi of the gigantic fish!...
But then we did it!!! and it was the most EXCITING thing I've ever done!!

Babe' I actually snorkled!!! You would have been so proud! Praise JESUS!!! God's creation goes far beyond what you could ever dream!...His beauty...HIS Glory was so evident at the REEF...
We have pictures!! and I can't wait to show them to you!

Today is our last day...we are going to hang out at the beach and watch for jelly fish and sharks...there are a ton around here!...

Be Well!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Day # 4 Flying out to Cairns

Let me say...One of the BEST plane rides ever!!!!

It's gorgeous here. It is the "rainy season" without warning, it can just ran, and then be clear again. It's VERY TROPICAL, VERY HUMID...We are right on the beach, right on the ocean..!

Here are some views of our hotel.

I can hardly believe this beauty. The wonders of God's handiwork! It's amazing.

We've seen lots of lizards (geikos) running around here. We've been told that this part of the ocean has a lot of no swimming...just laying out...which is fine by me :) Sweet Avalon..."no worries" I won't be going out there.

Abby, I haven't seen Keith Urban yet...but I've been looking :) xoxoxo signs of the wiggles either...actually I wouldn't even have a clue what they look like, but I am keeping my eye out anyways...hahaha

Miss everyone! Love everyone! This is going by so fast! We will be home before you know it!

The next 2 days are going to be busy...Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. I am still praying about going snorkling or not. I'm not the best swimmer. It's a fear of mine. I'm not a person to have my face in the water. We will have a chance to be in submarine and a boat with a glass floor, should I decide not to go snorkling. Either's exciting, fun, beautiful...and guess what I am still in shock! I still can't believe that I am in Australia typing this blog.

God will do immeasurably MORE than we could EVER hope for!! Be well!

Day # 3 Blue Mountains

I can't wait to show you all the pictures for this day... (there I am with a wild kangaroo...we were not too sure about petting these guys! )

We had a tour of Sydney, and Blue Mountains. We had a great bus driver that Kristi made quick friends with :) his name was Max...he was quite a character. The Australians are quick are laughing all of the time.

We laughed all day :) and had some sweet moments...Kangaroos, koala, ...Kristi was able to hold a baby was so cute...Steve can I bring one home ;) xoxoxoxxo We fed the was so fun.

The guys decided to climb the Sydney Bridge, and the girls stayed back had pizza delivered and dined in on top of the roof of our hotel (there's a jacuzzi and a pool) and watched with binoculars for the slight chance of seeing the guys climb the bridge. It was great to relax, and just "be girls"...

God is so fun. Whether it is worshipping with a bunch of strangers at Hillsong Church, holding a baby kangaroo, or sitting back watching the sunset, at Sydney Harbor eating pizza...His Glory is all around. His smile, His Love, His grace...I can't imagine a moment without Him. Thank You Lord for Who You Are.

Wow...this cliff was so awesome...I loved being there.

Day # 2 Hillsong

*There's Hillsong Church...:) isn't she cute...


I have to say that one of my highlights of the trip so far (since I am writing this a couple of days later)...
was Sunday morning, at Hillsong Church. I just love that place....when we pulled up and saw the sign "HILLSONG CHURCH"...I was GEEKED!

People were soooooooooooo friendly. They knew we "new" to the church. Could it have been the multi flashes of cameras going off ? our long sleeve shirts and black shoes, to their tank tops and flip flops?...hhahah

Anyways...The service began and Marty Sampson walked out (one of my favorites)to lead worship.
It was such a sweet time...I cried, I laughed...the guest speaker was great! The worship was UNBELIEVABLE!..I didn't want to leave. Kristi and I went up after the service and spoke to Marty for a minute. What a great guy!

We had a good afternoon at Hard Rock Cafe...and then got ready for the big event.

We arrived at the Sydney Entertainment Center, to lines and lines of people waiting to get a seat. We were blessed with SWEET SEATS!! (thank you to those who helped us with that) We sat right behind Darlene's husband and daughter.

They decided to do something totally different. Normally, they write new songs about 4 months out and try them out on their church congregation. However, they decided to scap most of them and wrote new ones, only 2 weeks ago. And let me tell you...WOW!! they were great songs! Annointed Songs! God Breathed songs...!I think the reality of that night will explode for us, once the new CD is released in the was so great! (our jet lag started hitting us throughout the night...but we didn't let it stop us one bit!

*This was certainly worth flying a LONG 14 hours to have this day in Sydney, at Hillsong. God is so moving at that place. I could live here! :)

*I hope to have pictures at some point...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

WE ARE HERE!!!! :)

Greetings from Australia! Just wanted you all to know, we made it here safe and sound :) Let me tell you...that was one LONG plane ride!!! OYE!!! (but no motion sickness! yeah!)

We had a busy day yesterday. (we arrived yesterday morning)

We took a tour on "Captain Hooks" boat around the harbor. GORGEOUS,hopefully I will be able to do pictures tonight. (Opera House and the Bridge are fantastic)

Then we went on a bus tour (to fight off th jet lag) that was cool got to learn all about Sydney. We stopped at a beautiful beach with sweet waves. We ran down to walk along the beach.
It was so tranquil, so peaeful, until I got stung by a jelly fish. Let me say..OUCH!!! I panicked and kept spinning around which made me get stung again and agan. (I'M FINE MOM!! NO WORRIES!!)

all good today. we are heading for church in just a second. It's 8am. Tonight is the big night...the recording of Hillsongs new DVD/CD !

Thanks for your prayers. The guys are going to climb the bridge tomorrow. I was going to, but Paul B. said NO ...that after I got stung in less than 12 hours of being in Australia...he doesn't want me to take any chances!..hahahahahah

Kristi and I send our love...We still can't believe we are here. Once we arrive at Hillsong in a will finally hit us :) eeeeeeeeeee.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Australia Here We Come!

I can't believe it is here. We are leaving tomorrow morning. We will be arriving in Sydney in the morning to this beautiful sight...the Sydney Bridge and Opera House. *some who are traveling with us are thinking about climbing the bridge! HEE

Kristi and I are soooooooooooooooo excited, so excited. There is still a part of me, that can not believe this is still happeing. Of course I will have 14 hours to believe it on my plane ride.

If all works well...I will be updating the blog while I am away :) thank to Dianna at work!

Pray for us (Kristi, myself, Jim, his mom and the others) pray for safety, health (no jet lag..hahaha)...and ready to experience all that God wants to show us!

We are breaking alot of fears. So I leave you with this song!

Jani-I dedicate it to you. I'm gonna let go and be brave! for God is my personal Bravery!!!!!

Brave(Nichole Nordeman)

The gate is wide,The road is paved in moderation

The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in

Welcome to the middle ground

You’re safe and sound and Until now, it’s where I’ve been

‘Cause it’s been fear that ties me down to everything

But it’s been love, your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo, I think I just let go

You make me want to be brave

The way it always was, IS NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH