Monday, December 31, 2012

"Getting It Together" by Kayse Pratt: Book Review...

Kayse Pratt's Ebook, "Getting It Together" OFFICIALLY releases today. 

You can buy it for $3.99...
 OR
you can get it for FREE. 

Head over to her blog (follow the link below) to find out how:


 The book is a quick read but the information within is a powerful tool for organizing one's home and family. She has FREE printables to help you create the tool she personally uses for her family. Plus, she has made them cute. My personal favorite printable is the "Blogging Schedule." 

If you are the Mom of one little one or a houseful of children, Kayse's book will help you with the organization in your home. You can even use the tool to help with aging parents. 
Now, Kayse's system can't be done without a little work & discipline...YES, I went there! 
However, the rewards will definitely be worth the effort. 

I received an advance copy of this book with one request from Kayse:

"Please help me get the word out about the book's release and that I am wiling to give it to people for FREE for signing up for my newsletter."

 She also asked us to be honest in our reviews. 
Therefore, I will let you know that I have not created the tool Kayse discusses....yet. 

Here is the link one more time to be able to sign up for the newsletter and get the book FREE:



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Shannon Sullivan: Walking in His Word Guest Post...

Today, I would like to introduce everyone to Shannon Sullivan. Shannon is in a Proverbs 31 Critique Group with me and has graciously agreed to guest post on Dawn's Dialogue. She has been happily married to her best friend for 20 years. They live with their two children and three Boston Terriers. Enjoy the post and visit Shannon's blog:


"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s path to follow our own.  Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all."  -- Isaiah 53:6

Photo Credit: Dew Photography
Everyone at some point in their life has strayed off the path and not followed God like we should.  It’s not that we have turned our back on Him, we just put ourselves and what we want first.  I personally have had more than a few speed bumps on my path.

As a teenager, I strayed.  I wanted to do what I wanted to do.  Unfortunately, that was drinking, drugs, smoking and premarital sex.  My parents had been divorced since I was eight and I had four step parents by the time I was seventeen.  I didn’t really have a curfew and pretty much did whatever I wanted.  My dad had always made sure we went to church when we were with him, but he moved to California when I was thirteen.  I lost my way but I was always conscious about it.  I knew what I was doing was wrong but did it anyway.  I felt like no one cared about me, so why should I?  There was someone who did care about me though.  God.  My guardian angel took quite a beating for a few years.  It took being raped to get my attention and starting back on my path.  I still drank and did drugs to cover up the pain.  I went to church one Sunday with my Meme and cried the whole time.  I felt God’s conviction and straightened up.  I asked for His forgiveness and things turned around.

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

I met my husband when I was twenty.  Jeff was raised in church.  He had done some partying but for the most part led a pretty honest and straight forward life.  His parents had never been divorced and I used to tease him about growing up in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ land.  We dated, got married and had a daughter then a son.  We have been together for twenty years and married for eighteen.  

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

Despite my picture perfect life, I strayed off my path again.

After nine years of marriage, I succumbed to the attention of another man.  Things with my husband and I were strained because of some extended family issues.  This man paid attention to me, told me I was beautiful and made me feel special.  I had three best friends at the time and we were all close with each other.  They knew about the friendship between this man and I.  One even encouraged me to cheat on my husband.  I had started drinking again and didn’t have my heart where it needed to be.  Ironically, I was teaching Kindergarten at the Academy our church supported and my friends were the principal, PTA president and homeroom mother.  I was also head of the Children’s Ministry at our church.  I was a huge hypocrite.  Eventually, my friend that had encouraged an affair told my husband that I was in fact having an affair.  I wasn’t physically but I was mentally.  I asked forgiveness from my husband and no longer had any contact with the other man.  I resigned my position at the church and lost my best friends.  I also quit my job because I needed to remove all traces of temptation and bad memories.  Slowly but surely, I got back on my path.

Photo Credit: Dew Photography
I have not yet found another church.  It has been over nine years since I regularly attended.  I am afraid of the hurt that I felt by my church family when we left our old church.  We had attended there for six years and I was known to everyone, young and old.  
When we left, no one, not even my pastor, called to ask why or check on us.  
No one else knew of my indiscretion except my three friends as far as I know. 

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

I lost my way for a while, but am back on track.  I work for a Christian man who lets me listen to Christian music while I work and decorate my office with Bible verses and crosses.  He encourages me and my other co-workers in our walks with the Lord and is always there lending an ear and offering prayer.  I have been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  My husband and I are closer than we have ever been and my children are the brightest part of my day.  I participate in online Bible studies and continue to visit churches.  I know God will tell me when I have found my new home.
Although I have strayed off my path and found my way back.  It breaks my heart to know that I broke the Lord’s heart and my sins are what held Jesus Christ on the cross.  His grace is a gift I don’t deserve.  I know the evil one will continue to throw things in my path but as long as I keep my eyes on the Lord, I know with His strength, I will be okay.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Plant the Seed"...Encouragement Cafe Guest Post Today (Dec. 26th, 2012)

I am guest posting over at Encouragement Cafe today. 
Here is a preview and the link to read the whole post. 

Photo Credit: Betty Images
"While praying over a red-faced, screaming 2-½ year old in a full-fledged temper tantrum, the thought of planting and nurturing seeds was the farthest thing from my mind. However, while contemplating a recent event, it became evident how Jesus was with me planting seeds..."

Read more over at Encouragement Cafe...

"Seeing through the Fog" Book Review

I apparently have read more books the past couple weeks then I realized. Here is another book review for you:


Ed Dobson's journey and book is definitely not what one would consider a "walk in the park."
However, I am extremely grateful this book came into my life.

Ed's raw candor and frankness about living with ALS became a source of support to me. With this last year of illness and maladies, there have been times of my wanting to just "pack it all up" and be a hermit for the rest of my days. Then Ed's book came into my path.

Ed's sincerity came through when he wrote:

"It is one broken person talking to another broken person. And there is power in that." 

This is what true ministry is meant to be. Not me being better than the person God has put in my path or vice versa...

Ed throughout the book shares how he has dealt with the idea of his body slowly deteriorating from a debilitating disease, facing the fact of being a Pastor no more, and the ultimate fact he is dying. But, are we all not dying since the day we were born?



I walked away from "Seeing Through The Fog" by Ed Dobson optismistic and expectant of what God plans to do in 2013.





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Trusting God": Book Review...

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you.
Here is a book review for you. Maybe you got an Amazon gift card. 
What a great way to start the New Year with a new book!





"Trusting God" is a book with honesty. Each of the women tell the truth concerning trusting God and how it does not  get any easier in full-time ministry. Many in ministry and others get caught up in a mindset of people participating in full-time ministry; never have trials, trust or temptation issues. This is a lie straight from the devil, which sets up those in ministry to fail. 

The Girlfriends in God (GIG) authors, Sharon Jaynes, Mary Southerland, and Gwen Smith share the ministries theme verse, *"We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."* They want us to know this invitation comes with the warning their lives are pretty messy sometimes.  I highly recommend this book for women in ministry. It can be done alone or with a group to support one another. 

One of my favorite parts of the book is when the ladies share about the shields from the armor of God: *"The shields had hooks on the sides so that, in difficult situations, the soldiers could link their shields together and march into battle as one."* 

The women share openly about distractions, feeling unproductive, doubt, and many other issues those in ministry have. However, we have mistakenly believed we should struggle and suffer in silence. I encourage you to pick up a copy of "Trusting God." Have a few laughs and knowing nods while you read the Girlfriends in God sharing their hearts. 

"Trusting God" is a book with honesty. Each of the women tell the truth concerning trusting God and how it does not  get any easier in full-time ministry. Many in ministry and others get caught up in a mindset of people participating in full-time ministry; never have trials, trust or temptation issues. This is a lie straight from the devil, which sets up those in ministry to fail. 

The Girlfriends in God (GIG) authors, Sharon Jaynes, Mary Southerland, and Gwen Smith share the ministries theme verse, *"We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."* They want us to know this invitation comes with the warning their lives are pretty messy sometimes.  I highly recommend this book for women in ministry. It can be done alone or with a group to support one another. 

One of my favorite parts of the book is when the ladies share about the shields from the armor of God: *"The shields had hooks on the sides so that, in difficult situations, the soldiers could link their shields together and march into battle as one."* 

The women share openly about distractions, feeling unproductive, doubt, and many other issues those in ministry have. However, we have mistakenly believed we should struggle and suffer in silence. I encourage you to pick up a copy of "Trusting God." Have a few laughs and knowing nods while you read the Girlfriends in God sharing their hearts. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and My One Word...

"God is Faithful to us, even in our suffering,regardless of our faithfulness to Him"
- Joyful Journey by Teri Lynne Underwood

The above quote has been on my mind lately. Even though it should not, it utterly amazes me how God is faithful even when I am not. My current health issue has caused me suffering and it has been way too easy for me to lose my focus and faithfulness to God. Those of you who follow this blog will remember that "focus" is My One Word for 2012. 



(Affiliate Link)

With 2012 coming to a close and Christmas just a few days away, I must admit to feeling like  I have  failed with My One Word. After a year, I don't feel any closer to understanding "focus". 

However, 2013 is a New Year and I serve a "God who is faithful...regardless of my faithfulness to Him" 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
I encourage each of you to check out the My One Word page. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break": Book Review


"Isn't it time for a Coffee Break?" caught my attention because of the word 'coffee'. Anyone who knows me understands my infatuation and love with this hot liquid gold. 

Amelia Rhodes covers a range of topics in this book to be released on January 1st, 2013 from 'good' to 'hospitality' in an easy to read style. There were times, I didn't completely agree with Rhodes but her discussion of true hospitality stuck with me. I even shared a hospitality example from her book. 

We just didn't see eye-to-eye on 'good'. Rhodes quotes her Pastor at one point, "Many of us want to be great, and because we want to be great, we look for something great...Meanwhile, all of these opportunities to do good go whizzing by."

My personal thoughts are many Christians miss God's best while being kept busy with 'good'.
Did this cloud my view while reading Rhode's discussion on 'good'?
Why do I ask? 

Because Rhodes says at another section in her book, 
"When God asks us to do things that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar, it isn't because He want to control or manipulate us. It's because He has an eternal view of our lives
 and knows what is best for us in the long run." (emphasis mine)

At other times, my heart resonated with understanding while reading. Such as when Rhodes wrote:

"For some reason, I felt the need to be the strong one, the one who holds everything together, who had the answers, who had the faith to withstand anything. It was exhausting..."

Rhodes explains how she gave up this exhausting behavior and learned the value of authentic relationships. She continues throughout the book with stories and examples of authentic relationships. 

 My recommendation: 3 1/2 stars

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Take the Next Step...Encouragement Cafe Devotion...

Today, join me over at Encouragement Cafe, I get to share again about "Until We All Come Home." 

 The book shares Kim de Blecourt's journey of bringing home her son home after his adoption. 



You can find her book on Amazon (not an affiliate link). 

CLICK ON OVER TO ENCOURAGEMENT CAFE FOR THE DEVOTION:


Being a part of the launch team for "Until We All Come Home" became a blessing in so many ways. I jumped and asked to please write the devotion the day Kim would be on the radio podcast at Encouragement Cafe. I truly believe people will see God in Kim's story. 

In true Kim generosity she gave me a special gift last month. 
Her family made a donation to "Food for Orphans" in my name. 

Check out Kim's story and read my devotion over on Encouragement Cafe.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: At the Feet of Jesus...


This is a newer feature of Dawn's Dialogue, a book review. I have recently started participating with two different programs. It is actually a sweet deal for an avid reader, like me. In short, the reader goes through an approval process. We fill out an application and wait for approval.
Once approved it is the reviewer's intent to help get the word out about the books. 

I have chosen two programs ,which allow me freedom in choosing books to review. This does not mean the request is always approved but it does give me the chance to share books that I think are worth reading. Another freedom, the publishers want us to give honest reviews.

What do I get for the reviews? What is in it for me?

Simple: Books and eBooks 

In return for the review, the reader receives a copy of the book. In addition, I will occasionally add an affiliate link to the bottom of the review page. Neither program requires the affiliate link. 
However, when you click on the link at the bottom of the page a portion of the sales
 helps our ministry and business. I will always disclose when an affiliate link is posted.

Why does the publisher do this? What is in it for them?

Simple: Free publicity and marketing of their books. 

The publisher's view is the more people reading, reviewing and discussing their books
 will lead to more sales. 

How does this fit with the mission of Dawn's Dialogue:

"Connecting with One Another and Jesus in a Communication Saturated World"

Simple: It is another way for us to connect. :-)

Here is my brief review of "At the Feet of Jesus" by Joanna Weaver

This devotional is a wonderful edition to Weaver's writings. It takes portions of her previous books, "Having a Mary Heart", "Having a Mary Spirit", and "Lazarus Awakening" and weaves them into a 365 day devotional. My favorite part of this book is the Outtakes. It is like in seeing the deleted scenes on a movie's DVD. This in no way means the outtakes are not worth every word. It is just in the real world of writing and editing, some portions are removed. This devotional proves"good" portions are edited out in the publication process. I am grateful that Weaver saved the outtakes.

With a New Year quickly on our heels and many looking for a devotional to start on January 1st, "At the Feet of Jesus" by Joanna Weaver is worth the time and investment.


This is an affiliate link. However, I do not recommend books that I would not want to personally own.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Repost while hands rest...

I am doing something unusual this week. The link below will take you to an old post. Yes, there have been weeks where an old post has shown up on this blog. However, not just the link. 

I am having some severe hand issues and typing is painful. Continued prayers are welcomed. 

Here is the link: 


I hope to be back in full swing writing the blog soon. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bondservant...(Guest post on Jamy Whitaker's Blog)

Photo Credit: Unknown

The above picture shows something that is painful for me to do right now...

Writing, typing or any action requiring my hands produces pain. I ask that you pray for me.

On another more beautiful note, God gave me the pleasure to guest post on Jamy Whitaker's blog yesterday. Jamy is a She Speaks Sister and wrote the recently released book, "Get Real."
I have read the book and recommend it. I need to write a review of the book in the near future.
 
With no further ado, and to let my aching hands rest here is the link to my guest post:
 

 
Give Jamy some love and visit her page often. All of us, in ministry need encouragement and love. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Philippians and Achy Hands...

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

This week started the Philippians online bible study and it has been great for me, thus far. However, my hands have been crampy, achy and losing all feeling; especially when I type. I have noticed the timing of my hand problems, with my stepping out to be obedient to God, with the online bible study. 

In lieu of the hand issue and needing to write a guest blog post, I am sharing part of an article written back in early 2011 for Student Life Ministries. The original article was written for Youth Ministers however, it is definitely relevant for all in ministry. 

“I learned that if we’re available all the time, people will need us all the time. And if we’re always available, we’re sending the message that we’re indispensable. Availability is a boundary-less prison, but presence is purposeful availability. You must remember we can’t stop others from wanting our time, but you can usually decide when to give it. Simply, you should have times when you’re not available. Learning to set this boundary is a key to longevity in ministry—if you can’t (or more appropriately will not) do it, you’ll grow tired and resentful.” --Steve Merritt
Many of (us) must admit we like being indispensable, it is nice to be needed. Nonetheless, what we don’t want to admit is being indispensable and always being needed has a root of pride. Ouch! That hurt! Admitting that we enjoy being needed is a big step in understanding the difference in availability and presence. Presence is we are there for our students. Our students recognize, comprehend, appreciate and value that we love them and care for them. Yet, it is vital for them to understand there are times that we will not be available to them. This, not being available, does not mean we do not care. It means just the opposite; we care enough to make sure we are pointing them to Jesus instead of being their Jesus.
We all have needs. However, when we put the needs of our students above the needs of our own family or even our own basic needs, such as sleep, then there is a problem. You need to step back and reevaluate whether you have either consciously or unconsciously made yourself indispensable. Remember it is never too late to set boundaries.  Start today. It may be necessary to start with apologizing to your students for not setting these boundaries in the first place; maybe you started in your ministry single and are now married. Let them know that you are still there (remember presence) for them. Yet, you will not always be available to them so that you all can be healthy. To read more of Steve Merritt’s article on setting boundaries click here.
If you would like to see the full article click here.

Have you found yourself indispensable? Runned down? Tired? 
Ask God to establish presence instead of availability in your ministry.

Share your thoughts: What is the main difference for you between presence and availability?

The focus of Dawn's Dialogue is "Connecting in a Communication-Saturated World" and this connecting is only possible through interaction. Therefore, Dawn's Dialogue loves comments from you the readers. Feel free to share your comments and prayer requests. If you find a post encouraging and want to share it, I encourage you to do so. My only request is that you link back to Dawn's Dialogue when sharing. Have a blessed day! :-) 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pastor Tullian's "Glorious Ruin"...




"Glorious Ruin" thus far has been worth the anticipation to read. Only just beginning and I am already absorbing each word spoken by Pastor Tullian. As I stated on my FB and Twitter statuses, Pastor Tullian's book are such a deep read that I have to take my time with them. 

It reminds me of when I read Watchman Nee books, read a little digest, read a little digest. True representation of "taste and see." 

If you want something which will challenge you and your present thinking on suffering pick up a copy of "Glorious Ruin." However, give yourself the time to digest and don't rush through this book. 



(affiliate link)


Horse Antics and Focus...

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

I like the above picture. Yes, I readily admit it is not the best picture from a photographic standpoint. 
There are many things that could have been done to improve it...exposure setting being only one. 
Yet, I still like it. The reason why? 

Because the horse didn't care about my photographic intentions. He was a fiesty fella. He kept sticking his tongue out at me and putting on a real show. There were three horses in this fenced area but this fellow wanted, NO DEMANDED, the attention. If one of the other horses came near, he would charge at them and even try to nip at their rear to move them along. 

Even with all his antics, it was not easy to get this shot with his tongue stuck out. Yes, he kept doing it but even this was a game for him. Thank God for continuous shooting on my camera. :-)

While preparing for this week's blog, I have had many things running through my head.  

~ Prayers for blogging friends walking through rough things. 
~ Stepping out in new areas such as leading the Philippians Online Bible Study  
~ The desire to take more photographs and have people see God through a camera lens
~ Preparing for my Sweetie to go to early morning day shift after working night shift for years

Some of it has been pretty heavy stuff. 

Then while looking for pics in my folders for this week's blog,  I saw the picture of Mr. Antic Horse and had to smile. Why? Because at times, I can be just like Mr. Antic Horse. 

I WANT ALL THE ATTENTION!

But, that is not how it is suppose to be. 

Today, I am grateful for a God who helps me see others and reminds me through a picture where my focus should be. Focus is My One Word for 2012.  Even though, I have joked on FB that with all the change in my life in past year, maybe God got my one word wrong. 
It is apparent from today's lesson...God knew what He was doing. 
This realization gets one big...DUH DAWN.  :-) :-)

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Philippians 1:6

My mind wanders back to this verse a lot lately, partly because of preparation for the Philippians Online Bible Study. However, we also know nothing in God's kingdom is by chance. He knew my need for the constant reminder of this verse at this particular life juncture. Ain't God amazing?

Now it is your turn:
How has God used pictures (music, books, etc...) to refocus your thought pattern? 
Share a DUH moment with us. 



Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Until We All Come Home": Kim de Blecourt

Photo Credit: Kim de Blecourt's Promotional Team

You may have seen me mention the book, "Until We All Come Home" by Kim de Blecourt on my FB pages. Dawn's Dialogue has the immense pleasure of our first ever interview being with Kim about her book. Kim is a complete delight and I just can't say enough about her book.

Plus, we will have a link at the end of the blog post for you to be able to access the first chapter for FREE!

"Until We All Come Home" is the story of Kim and her family's one in a million adoption story from the country of Ukraine. Kim says, "This is not your typical adoption story" and boy (no pun intended) is that the understatement of the year . Who would be willing to stay 11 months in a foreign country to bring home their child?

 A woman named Kim de Blecourt!

Photo Credit: Kim de Blecourt's Promotional Team

My favorite parts of the interview are when Kim shared exactly what the above picture portrays.

"I have never left you. And I never told you, you couldn't go outside. Take your children and go outside and play and shop. Resume your life. What are you afraid of?" --Page 216, Until We All Come Home

 Kim shared in the interview how fear played a huge role in situation. 
God used a specific incident to show her fear was control her life and not God. 

Pre-Order the book here (This is not an affiliate site)

Before the link and free chapter are given, I want to leave you with the following from the interview:

The focus of Dawn's Dialogue is "Connecting with Christ and One Another in a Communication-Saturated World" and my question is "Can you tell us a little about how important staying connected was while you were in the Ukraine?" "How did you keep your connections alive?" 

Kim's response...is in the interview. 


Click here to go to page to listen to interview.

(I tried to be technical and add an actual mp3 player to the blog with the interview...
 but alas, I am technology-challenged)

However, the interview is available in mp3 format for downloading. 
Just send me a private message to dawn.whitmore@comcast.net and we will gladly send you a copy.  

I want to send out a special thanks to Kim de Blecourt and her team for letting me interview her.

Here is the link to that first FREE chapter mentioned at the beginning of the blog.
You thought I forgot didn't you...

Click here for FREE Chapter

Friday, October 12, 2012

Raising My Spiritual Umbrella over at Karen Lembo's Blog...

Photo Credit: Unspaz from Creative Commons

Hello everyone!

I have been given the blessing to share about 
"Raising my Spiritual Umbrella" over at Karen Lembo's blog today.

In my guest post, I share my personal testimony about my spiritual umbrella. Karen has been sharing this week about spiritual umbrellas and I encourage you to check out her blog, 
"Living Above the Laundry Pile" and don't forget to leave a comment. 

You can also learn more about Karen and her ministry at 
www.karenlembo.com. 

Don't forget to jump over and read my guest post here. 


If you have already the read the post and are here from Karen's blog or site: 

WELCOME!

Take a minute and look around. 
If you like what you see and would want to follow Dawn's Dialogue
 just click on the Networked Blogs button to the right. 

Thanks for stopping by and may you have a blessed day! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing & Connecting: Guest Post Over at Michelle Lazurek's Blog...

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

Today, I am sharing over at Michelle Lazurek's blog.
 Michelle's blog on writing is a source of encouragement for writers.

In my guest post, I discuss how connecting is an important component in writing. 

"Writing is done alone...but doesn't have to be a lonely existence"

Hop on over and read my guest post here. 


If you have already the read the post and are here from Michelle's blog: 

WELCOME!

Take a minute and look around. 
If you like what you see and would want to follow Dawn's Dialogue
 just click on the Networked Blogs button to the right. 

Thanks for stopping by and may you have a blessed day! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Revisiting: Fall Foliage and Walking with God (2011 Post)...


Photo Credit: Dew Photography
With Fall in the air and on everyone's minds, I decided to revisit a post written last year. It explains why the trees change to the vibrant colors we see and how God related that to me during a particular season in my life. Also, I wanted to share the above more recent Fall picture from one of my favorite places, Chatham Manor. Sweetie and I plan to make the trek to Skyline Drive mentioned in the post. I promise to share pictures with you all. May you each have a wonderful Fall season and enjoy the beauty of God's creation. 

Fall Foliage and Walking with God.... (Repost from 2011)
Rappahannock River Fall Foliage 2011:Photo Credit: Dew Photography


A couple weeks ago, the Fall Foliage was vibrant here. There were yellows, oranges, and reds. The picture above is one that I took on the river bank in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Everyone each year discusses the beauty of the colors. Some even make a trek to Skyline Drive to see the colors at their peak. 


All of this got me to thinking, "Why do leaves change color in the Fall?"
I read the following on the website, www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html:


"During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors."
 
I knew that there was a correlation between God's beauty of nature and our walk, but some of my first thoughts were wrong once I came to understand the reason why leaves change colors.



People admire the colors and they can be amazingly beautiful. However, no matter the brightness of the leaves; the truth is they are preparing for the lack of food which comes with shorter days and colder weather. Once I understood the reason for leaves changing...The TRUTH God was  speaking to became  clear. This TRUTH is that many times in my Christian walk the Lord is preparing me for a season where there will be a lack of  food for my walk. The amazing thing, to me, is that just like the vibrant Fall leaf's color people will see a vibrant and vivacious walk with the Lord in me during this preparing stage. 


We need to understand that during this time, God could very well be preparing us for a dry season. A time when 'spiritual' food will be scarce. We need to be like the leaves that we admire and be preparing for all the seasons. The leaves know that the shorter days and colder climate will come and they prepare for it.


All the trees are bare now and it looks as if death has come upon them. Yet, in reality they are only dormant resting in and feeding on the food that they stored up during the Summer....Do we live during our 'dry' winter season with  assurance that we have prepared and that Spring is on the way?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Blogger: Sarah Roap & Weighted Down


 Today, I introduce you to Sarah Roap. I was blessed to share dinner with Sarah, while at She Speaks in July. Sarah's story shows how God turned her from a food addiction. However, her words are pertinent to each of us. God is using Sarah's story to connect with others, after she connected with Jesus, in this communication-saturated world. Leave Sarah some love through the comment section.  Thanks Sarah for being this month's guest blogger on Dawn's Dialogue. 


I am a good ol’ girl that was born and raised near Huntsville, Alabama.  I am 28 years old and have battled with food addiction and weight my whole life.  At the young age of 24, God started sending me down a path to cure my obesity and I want to share that journey with the world. Through the strength of Christ and the tools He gave me I lost 150 pounds.
Photo Credit: vividBreeze 

When I was morbidly obese and weighing a whopping 285 pounds, I would over eat all day everyday.  There are many different reasons that we over eat.  One reason is because we are emotionally eating.  We are using food to fill the void that is meant for Jesus to fill. 
Food made me feel better temporarily. I am pretty sure it had to do with the feel good chemical reactions I got by eating these foods. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates can release serotonin.  Dopamine is released when eating protein rich foods.  Phenylethamine is released when we eat chocolate.   I could sit here and tell you about all the different hormones that are released that make us feel good when we eat certain foods, but the bottom line is that I needed those feel good hormones in my body to make me feel complete.  I was missing and seeking something.  Food would cure my emptiness, but only temporarily. 
Photo Credit: Dew Photography

Food became my drug and I was addicted to it. It is described well in Proverbs 25:28 which says,
    “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” 
I know how that man feels: frantic, anxious, worried, desperate, distressed, distracted, susceptible, weak, helpless, defenseless, exposed, and vulnerable. 
Galatians 5:22-23 says,
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” 
Did you read what I just wrote and quoted from the Bible, the sacred scriptures of Christianity???  If you call yourself a Christian and realize that you have received your salvation from the blood of Jesus Christ, then you have the fruit of the spirit IN YOU! This is great news! If you are anything like me when I first read this scripture and trying to apply it to my lack of self-control at the time, then you are wondering where it is in you. 
I used to joke about the levels of each fruit of the Spirit that I had in me and when it got to self-control I would show that I had a pinch and then laugh it off.  I quickly realized that I needed to ask God to make the fruit of self-control in me stronger and I did this through lots of prayer. 
My advice to you about your food issues, whatever they might be is to pray, pray, and then pray some more.  He listens and He is faithful.
The Bible tells us about prayer in Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Photo Credit: Dew Photography

“Dear Lord, help me please.  Right now, in this moment I need you to fill me up because I do not feel as if I have the self-control that I need to make the right choices.  I know that I will only be completely fulfilled with you and not the things of this world.  Thank you Lord for giving me options, but please give me the wisdom and clarity I need to make wise choices. Amen.”
Prayer works. Our Heavenly Father wants to help you; you just have to ask Him for help.  Psalm 63:5 tells us
    “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”  
I am not going to lie, it is hard and it sucks.  I have to constantly check myself and my heart every single day.  The days when I try to resist temptation by myself, I fail miserably.  On the days when I seek God to help me resist temptation, I am pleasantly surprised that He is there!  It gets me every time too that I have a really great day with moderation and I have kept my diet in balance… it is the sweetest blessing!
“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”  Psalm 107:9
 To read more about my journey and daily struggles that I write about in hopes to inspire others to use the strength of Christ you can visit my blog at www.weightedweighdown.blogspot.com

Sarah Roap
"Encouraging people to drop the baggage and gain a life"
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