There's a world out there that we should see.


Friday, March 2, 2012


Let's be real. 
There will always be something that gets in the way of a goal.
With that said, we simply need to learn to adapt and adjust accordingly in order to continue to make that goal.

What prompted me to even think of this was the fact that I broke my toe in October (6 months ago) and how I haven't worked out since. I was on a regular routine where I worked out 4 times a week. Then I broke my toe and I stopped completely. 
I really didn't have to stop completely, I simply needed to figure out how I can go about working out with my toe being broken. I could still have ridden the bike at the gym or still do my ab workout and even arms. Instead, I decided that it was an easy out to say my toe was broken and be lazy for a few months.

My thoughts were blinded by my one thought, "my toe is broken, I can't run or play basketball so I can't workout". 
Thinking back on it now, I didn't even try thinking of other ways to workout. I simply stuck with the fact that I couldn't work out the way I normally do which is running and playing sports. I was being close minded and my negative thinking was actually hindering any other thinking from happening.

Don't let anyone or anything hinder you in accomplishing your goals.
Sure, there will be obstacles but CHOOSE the better route and figure out how to push through the hurdle rather than letting it win over you. 

Same thing goes with procrastination. Life will always be busy and too busy sometimes to do everything. We prioritize on getting things done that "need" it but things that we don't necessarily "need" to do right away, we put off which lingers to sometimes never getting done. No one wants to be that person that starts 5 tasks and only finishes 2. 

Take charge of your life and your goals!
Don't allow someone or something win over you!
YOU have the power because it's the choices you choose to make!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I'm a book lover.
I love to read.
I love stories.

(Meet Denise, my old lady alter ego)

"Well, how the heck do I turn this laptop camera on again…"

"There we go!"

 "Hello social network world!"

"I just can't seem to remember where I left off the last time I was reading here…"

"Oh no! That was the last chapter and I forgot how scary that part was!"

"Oh stop it, I was just kidding…there aren't any scary parts in this book!"

"No no, wait…."

"I'm confused what book I'm reading again?"

"I keep getting distracted looking at my stand up mirror, thinking about having a dance party"

"Am I still on camera? I can never tell with this darn computer"

"Back to the book…."

"So good"

 "Just such a good book, I'm trying to be in the story by getting closer to the pages"

 "And now I've officially decided to have a dance party because I'm too distracted"

Reading time is over!


It is critical to understand that we cannot save ourselves. The foundation of our faith is Jesus' death and resurrection. That's what paid the penalty for our sins. As a result of God's work in Jesus, we are a new people with a new heart and a new Lord.

1.    Is it possible to be saved by the good things we do -- our "works"? How are we saved? 
       Ephesians 2:8-9 -- No, we are saved by God's grace. It's a gift. "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it's a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

2.    Does God save us because of the good things we do? If not, why does he save us? Titus 3:4-5
       -- No, he saved us out of his kindness and love. "When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit."

3. What does God's grace teach the believer? Titus 2:11-12 -- Turn from Godless living and sinful pleasures through the grace of God. He brought salvation to all people. "For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures."

4.    Shall we continue to sin because of God's forgiveness and grace? Romans 6:15 -- "Well then, since God's grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!"

5.    What are we created for as new Christians? Ephesians 2:10 -- "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

6.    What did Jesus say to those who believed in him? Matthew 16:24 -- "Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."

We learned that we are spiritually dead and cannot save ourselves. Regardless of who we are, we need a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only true Savior. By receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord, we can be delivered from the power of sin and its consequences. Our salvation is based on what Jesus did for us, not on our own efforts.

We must therefore…Realize that we are sinners without excuse (Romans 1:20) and that it is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we can be saved. Respond by turning from sin and putting our faith in him and then following him as Lord.

Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner from Full House) has a great testimony and even speaks all over the world about how "Being good isn't good enough" meaning that we need Jesus Christ as our Savior and simply "being a good person" isn't going to get you into Heaven.

(The Purple Book by Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell - Chapter 1 - Lesson 5 - P.19)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ATL - Day 3

January 22, 2012

Leaving our room at 7am...SO EARLY

We woke up at 6am so we could leave Atlanta by 7am. We head downstairs to get some starbucks and kept the cashier quite entertained at 7:15am. Jesse is ordering her coffee while I'm looking at items and singing, "This is how we do it."

We get the car out of valet and I don't even know how we started a conversation about child support but we did. The two male valet men don't agree with how much crazy money the women of famous men get paid millions per month for child support. I had zero interest in the conversation though I did add that if he cheats, she deserves it all. Jesse was debating back and forth about it and let's just say we left winning the argument and free parking the next time we're in ATL.
When he told us about the free valet, we both looked and each other and said "we'll be back next weekend" ahaha

As we just hit the road to head to Orlando, Jesse asks "Did you check in?" and I look at her and ask, "On facebook?" when I knew she meant my airline. She gave me the best look. That is actually one of the reasons I'm getting rid of facebook because I constantly am checking it and need to be focused on everything else but updating my status.

Pumping gas in Ocala!

We made it to Ocala y'all! Felt good being in the sunshine state though I was only there for less than 5 hours.

Jesus is everywhere :) Much love

We stopped for some columbian burgers. I've been craving one for months now and I finally got my fix.

This picture had to stay up just because of Jesse's awesome face

Garlic sauce and the green hot sauce are THE BEST!

Such fond memories here after 2am

They even painted!

We headed to World of Beer for some Framboise and to enjoy the atmosphere. Victoria, Craig and Elyssa stopped by so that was fun seeing more familiar faces.

My experience flying out of Orlando was by far an interesting one. I get to the airport around 6pm and my flight is at 8pm. I have a boot on my foot and I go through the metal detector (just as I did in Vegas) but it beeps SO the security guy tells me I'll have to have a "pat down" and get my boot x-rayed. So he calls a woman over to do it and she explains the process then asks me if I'd like to go in a room or stay out where I was, in the middle of security, for the pat down. Um, I'd rather get felt up by a woman in front of witnesses than a private room, thanks. So I'm literally just standing there with my arms up looking at everyone look at me whilst I'm being "patted down" - thanks for the memories Orlando security. THEN I have to go to this room so they can take 5 x-rays of my boot. 15 minutes later, I'm finally allowed to go to my gate.

As I'm about to board and have my ticket scanned, this lady in front of me asks or actually states to the employee about to scan her ticket (handsome black man) and says, "Is this plane going to be waiting in ATL on the plane for an hour because the flight that's in ATL now has been sitting on the runway with all passengers on for an hour just waiting" - he looks at her like "crazy white woman" and says, "ma'am, I have no idea". I walk up to get my ticket scanned and look at him with a hilarious smirk because of how ridiculous she was being.

THEN as we're boarding the plane, she holds up the line to say the exact same thing to this flight attendant (a gay black man - I only say what ethnicity he is because it makes the story that much better when I go on) and he has the same look of "are you serious right now?" on his face and he starts saying, "Well let's not be negative nancy and let's be more of a positive Paula" (again, his ethnicity and all makes that statement that much better) and she is still running her mouth and not walking about AS we're trying to board the plane but he just talks over her so she finally keeps walking down the isle to be seated. I turn around to look at him and the rest of the passengers waiting behind me, "I'm not sitting next to her" and everyone laughs as we all take our seats.

So our flight boarded on time but we had to wait 15 minutes extra on the runway because of the bad weather in Atlanta. We arrive in Atlanta around 9:45pm and I don't get off the plane until 10:10pm and my connecting flight to Vegas was boarding at 10:05pm. 
Anyways, I get off the plane and the employee tells me I'm at C22 but my plane probably already left since it was leaving on time. I choose to ignore that and hobble myself through this large airport to gate C22. Everyone around me is running and I can't because of my boot but I definitely felt like I was in Home Alone 2 when everyone is racing to their gate. Everyone on my flight had a connecting flight. 
I finally get to my gate and see it's completely empty but the lady is behind the counter and sees me and tells me to "come on" so I hand her my ticket and board my plane! I was literally....the very last person to board. I get on the plane and every single seat is full and of course my seat is in the very back and a window seat. 
I was SO thankful they waited. The captain knew flights were behind due to weather so they waited.
As I say "excuse me" to the nice couple that had to get out of their seats to let me in, I hand him my purse and am all "can you hold this please" so I could put my bag in the overhead bin. I don't know him but he was nice. HAHA
Oh, and of course the couples in front of me and beside me are staying at the Palms resort. They were from Charlotte and we actually talked quite a bit about traveling, etc. I always get into traveling conversations with people. They also gave me advice to not get married because that's forever...haha - I've been keeping that advice in my memory bank thanks. 

Flying out of Orlando

 This is my new home and when I saw this sign, I simply exhaled and was so happy to be home...

The trip was more than I could have asked for. Jesse and I laughed SO much which we always do regardless but what an awesome trip. It's such a blessing to have good people in my life.

Next trip will be in April to Nicaragua!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Technologically has made this society socially inept.

Oh don't think I'm not admitting to being a part of this society because I'm certainly guilty. 
I'll put myself on blast before I go talking about everything that irks me.

I used to LOVE talking on the I'll only text or skype. Skype is nice because I'd rather look at the person because it's almost like they'e there. Texting is simply convenient when you need a quick response, if it's not vital to know right then, or you simply don't want to hear someone's voice. (oh stop, it sounds harsh but if I'm watching a movie or lounging at home, I'd rather text)

The extremely bad thing with texting and/or emailing is that we use those purposely to not have to show our true emotions. You don't know anyone's tone in a text. So you don't know when someone is joking, being sarcastic..etc. (Tons of fights happen via text just because of the way its perceived...just a mess) Anyways, we then rely on typing a message instead of approaching someone about something. It's awful and will only worsen.

Let's go back to the basics and use our words
(not via text, email or letters either) - FACE TO FACE!


The act of disobeying God is called sin. One definition of sin is to "miss the mark," as when you fail to hit the target in a sporting event.

Obviously the Bible's understanding of sin is much more serious than that. In fact, Scripture has a couple different ways of expressing this idea. Sin is sometimes described as a "trespass," something that involves crossing forbidden lines or boundaries that God sets up for our protection.

The concept of "iniquity" speaks of sin's most troubling and destructive result: to twist and pervert our inner nature. This is gravely serious because the Bible says God's nature is "holy" -- that is, completely free from evil or defect, absolutely pure in love and goodness.

1. What state does the Bible describe us as being in? Ephesians 2:1 -- Dead

2. Why ultimately is our sin so serious to God? Leviticus 11:44 -- Because he is holy

3. What does iniquity do to our relationship with God? Isaiah 59:1-2 -- Separates you from God

4. Describe sinful humanity's desperate condition. Romans 3:9-20, 23 -- The law revels that the world is guilty before God. Shows how sinful we are.

5. Describe the impact sin has on our heart. Jeremiah 17:9 -- The heart is the most deceitful

6. What are the "wages" of sin? Romans 6:23 -- Death

7. What does the Bible say happens after we die? Hebrews 9:27 -- Judgement Day

8. How does the Bible describe eternal judgement?
    Matthew 25:41 -- Eternal fire w/ the devil & demons
    Revelation 20:11-15 -- Lake of fire for anyone's name not in the book of life
    Revelation 21:8 -- Fiery lake of burning sulfur

9. What does Paul, the writer of Romans, call himself? Romans 7:24 -- A miserable person

In Romans 7, Paul describe's his own state and cries out on behalf of all humanity with the most important question ever asked: "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Humanity's deepest need is for salvation -- not just from the evil in the world, but from the evil in our own hearts. 

Obviously God takes sin very seriously. What about you? What do you think you deserve for your sin?

(The Purple Book by Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell - Chapter 1 - Lesson 2 - P.14)


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made...All things have been created through him and for him 
- Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16

The earth, humanity -- all that we see around us -- had a beginning. 
God declared each phase of creation "good" -- until he created the first man, Adam, and said that it was "not good" for him to be alone.
So Eve, the first woman, was created, and the original couple was given everything to enjoy. They were only forbidden to eat the fruit of one tree: the "tree of knowledge of good and evil."
The fatal decision that followed and its tragic results have affected all of human history. Humanity would pass down this fatal flaw, this inner corruption, from generation to generation. The power of evil and darkness would have prevailed -- except for God's intervention. His plan of salvation, deliverance from evil's power, began to unfold in that very Garden of Eden. This is the primary story of the entire Bible.

The Original Story

1. What was creation like in the beginning? Genesis 1
    v. 10 - Land & Seas
    v. 12 - Seed-bearing plants & trees
    v. 18 - Lights (to separate day/night)
    v. 21 - Sea creatures & Birds
    v. 25 - Wild animals & livestock, to reproduce

2. How many commands did God give Adam and Eve? Genesis 2:17 -- one
3. What was God's command to the first human beings? Genesis 2:16-17 -- Do not eat from the tree of knowledge
4. How did Adam and Eve respond to God's command? Genesis 3:6-7 -- They disobeyed
5. In light of this, do you think you would have responded differently? -- My curiosity may have provoked the thought to do it but I normally follow the rules regardless of who's telling them so I don't think I would have done it.

Think about what God attempted to shield Adam and Eve from: the knowledge of evil. What loving parents today don't do everything possible to protect their children from dangerous material -- on TV, on the internet or anywhere else?

6. Who tempted Eve? Genesis 3:1 -- The serpent

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit -- in essence saying to God, "We don't need you or your rules." They disobeyed God. They sinned.

7. How did Adam and Eve react after their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked? Genesis 3
    v. 7 - They covered their nakedness
    v. 8 - They hid from the Lord
    v. 10 - They were naked and hid because of that and since they were afraid

8. Why do you think they reacted this way? -- Their eyes were uncovered and now they were ashamed.
9. How did God respond to Adam and Eve's sin? Genesis 3:8-9 -- God went looking for them to ask what they've done and why they're hiding

Notice the two very different responses to humanity's sin:
    1 - Humanity covered up and hid from God
    2 - God sought humanity
Things have not changed much since the beginning. After thousands of years and billions of people, human beings still hide from God -- and God still seeks.

This is the starting point for understanding salvation.

(The Purple Book by Rice Broocks and Steve Murrell - Chapter 1 - Lesson 1 - P.11)


Do you have to go to church to go to heaven? No.

Have I liked every church that I've went to? Not really.
Is it okay to try different churches until you find something you love? Of course!

When I lived in WI (back in 2000), I attended an "Assemblies of God" church which was fine and I went for a few years but it wasn't something I really loved. People there were great, Pastor was great...I just didn't really get what I needed out of it. I went to several churches in WI and then just stopped going.

Once I moved to Orlando (in 2008) and discovered "Northwest Community Church"...I simply fell. in. love. The pastors were great, the people were great, the structure of the church was awesome, the band was was awesome all around. I went there for 3 years but then I moved to WI (temporarily) and I was really sad that I'd be missing NWC. Luckily they started airing service on Ustream so I'd watch it on there when I was in WI. Then I moved to NV and luckily found "All People Christian Church" and fell in love all over again.

Anyways, the point of church (in my opinion) is about gathering each week to basically get reenergized/encouraged/motivated by fellow Christians. I will tell you that every single time I began to stray away from God and get caught up in sin, I had stopped going to church. Not for any reason aside from my work schedule, I was busy or I was tired. You open doors and you're more prone to give in to temptation when you're not held accountable and not being around fellow Christians.

This world has done a terrible thing and made "church" or "religion" WAY more complicated than it is. It's not about religion, it's not about going to's simply your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's all. It's SO simple.

My friends kept asking me what I'm doing for New Years and I said, "Just staying home, making a pizza and reading then going to church in the morning to start the new year off thanking God for all the blessings he's given to me." The response I got was, "I'm thankful to but I don't have to go to church." You see how this person got defensive when I didn't say they should go, I simply was answering the question as to what I'm doing. Church isn't there to make you feel guilty about not going either! It's a place to gather and praise God and thank him with your fellow spiritual brothers and sisters and hear what God's doing in everyone's life.

Church is really not that complicated.
It's a place to thank God and praise him and make friendships.

Do I ALWAYS go to church? No. If I work, I have to work but if I don't go, I do watch NWC online just to get a message for myself. Do you have to do that? No.
Each person's walk with God is at its own pace.

Point is, IF YOU feel guilty by not going to church then go and try some out. See what it's all about and decide from there. As long as you're growing, reading God's word, have some Christian encouragement throughout your life, you're good.
Church is a good thing.
It's an open door and there to HELP you not judge you.

Step out in faith and dare to love God fully.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


If we've truly reached salvation, do we keep quiet about it and go on living a "good life"?
We should want to share the great news, wouldn't we?
We'd want to invite others to let them know that they have the opportunity to receive blessings and the greatest gift of all, eternal life...right?

Many Christians (including myself throughout my teenage years until this year - 2011) are hesitant to speak out what God has done in their life and then continue to spread the word. I'm only speaking for myself when I say that I was hesitant and/or afraid of what people would say or react. I was afraid that I didn't know enough of the word in order to back myself up if I were questioned. Really, we don't know ALL the answers on the spot. But that's why we have the Bible to learn from as well as fellow Christians to teach each other.

Do we also try to still live one foot in the world and one foot following God? That's a big reason as to why I have kept quiet so that I wasn't being a hypocrite. But wasn't I then being a hypocrite to God? Shouldn't I care more about being a hypocrite to him as opposed to people? So here I am, partying (not just having a drink but several until my lips go numb), swearing...really just acting a hot mess yet I roll into church on Sunday morning. You can do it and you can get away with it for a minute but inevitably, it all catches up to you. (And when I say "get away with it" it's really when you finally feel convicted) If you've truly repented for your sins, you'd be disgusted at the former things you've done. You wouldn't want or be able to listen to music with cursing and messages that are literally opposite what you believe.

People who don't believe or have an understanding of God...still say "pray for me" because people feel comforted when they know someone is praying for them. We are made to need more than man to rely on in life. I don't like when people haven't taken the time to research my beliefs or the type of church I go to (non-denominational) before making remarks. Same as I haven't looked into Scientology at all so I don't sit there and call it a "cult" or "weird" because until I take the time to read into it and make my valid points, I've got nothin.

People so badly want to know their purpose in life and that goes for everyone, regardless if you believe or not. It's human nature. So why be quiet about this great news that God sacrificed his only son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins? People are interested enough and especially when they've lived a pointless life (which they say to me) full of drinking, sex, drugs...and whatever else they tried filling that void they feel.

It's important we spread the good word.