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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Journey....continues

I started off 2010 in a funk.  I felt that I had been overcome by my weight issues and didn't think I would ever find my way out of it.  I had fired my trainer (thank God she took me back) and finally decided to tell God that either HE himself could take this fat off of me or  I was just gonna be FAT.  With that first 'surrender' He began to work a work in me that took me from size 22 to size 14 in a few short months.  But He didn't stop April, at a Girls Get-A-Way retreat, through my testimony to many of you He began to birth a new thing in us.  Through 'Back to Eden' He gave me many of you and we began to walk together in your deliverance and in your victories over your weight.  Walking together we realized that so much of our 'issues' manifest themselves in extemperanous ways and that TOGETHER we were able to begin to overcome them and lose weight together.

The year continued and was full of more ups and downs then I thought I could ever be capable of living through.  I often joked with God. I told Him several times that He had my address wrong and had somehow mixed me up with Superman because the things that were happening were WAY WAY WAY out of my league.  I can remember almost faintly hearing my Lord chuckling, afar off.  Not maliciously but endearingly, like a father who is watching His child learn how to ride a bike.  Yes, she may fall and scrape her knee, but He would never allow anything horrible to happen to her.  Even as I cried, my way through, He was right there.  Picking me up, dusting me off but putting me right back on that bike.  I wanted off the bike, to be honest.  I didn't care if I EVER learned how to ride.  It was quite overrated.  I quit.  Lots of folks don't ride bikes.  WHATEVER.  I'll walk.

Yeah, but no.  It ain't over.  Fast forward to October.  I can't WAIT to meet some of you again or for the first time.  The Cane Creek Retreat.  In the midst of all the excitement and planning, I had yet another crisis at home.  All I could do was give it over to God and keep going.  "God, how on earth can you trust me with all of this?  I'm about to drop it all over the place and let everyone down!" I shouted to Him.  'Why NOW!"  His response, "Trust me,".  'Trust me?" That's what you say to the consummate control freak (ha!)  um, ok...I have no choice.  I left home and made my way to the creek, praying all the way and having to 'trust' God.  Very much easier said than done.  But to God be the glory, He stepped in and we had a GLORIOUS time.  One that was as much for me as it was for you all.  But it wasn't over. 

It had only just begun.  On Nov. 1st, I came across a prayer thingy...'31 days of Prayer for your Husband'.  Nov. 1st, God gave me an intercessor, a sister who would begin a daily regimen of prayer with me, that mid-way through seemed like it was having the OPPOSITE affect on our lives.  My head was spinning.  All hell was breaking loose.  I couldn't begin to imagine that my life would take the turn it took.  I hit 'bottom's bottom'.  But that was in my 'finite' understanding.  In truth, God was at work.  He was taking those daily prayers and stirring things up so that the 'semblence' of order would be able to make way for 'true order'.  He was in the midst of us each morning at sunrise and honoring our words.  He was giving us a bond of sisterhood that could not be created by blood but was created in heaven.  He was working things out for our good.  He was, indeed, bringing Romans 8:28 to life in our prayers. 

December 2nd, 31 days after our prayers started, God began to reveal another little glimpse of His plan.  In all the ups and downs, one thing was consistent - prayer.  So, the Prayer Conference line started (now on day 30) so that it could be more than just she and I (though for quite a few more days it was still just she and I on the line). 

But eventually, women from all over began joining at 6am Mon-Fri and pouring out their hearts to God.  Not just for themselves...they've/we've realized that the source of our strength is in intercessory prayer.  Praying for others means that there will always be someone praying for you especially when you/I can't pray for ourselves.  MY GOD there are some praying women on those calls.  Some I know by spirit, some I know by voice, all I know - are my sisters.  Without them I could do nothing.  This must be what God meant when He said, 'every joint supplieth' or when He said, 'the strong bear the infirmities of the weak'. 

So...we walk together into 2011.  Maybe not having accomplished every goal that we set for ourselves.  Possibly not achieving all the success that we desired.  But one thing is sure - we are still standing for a reason.  We are still here because we are More than Conquerors!  The thing that I've learned and it is my mantra, especially when I forget my 'faith colored' glassed and look at the world through the eyes of despair and forget for a moment that God is in control.  I remind myself...ITS ALREADY ALRIGHT! 

May God bless you and take you to higher heights and deeper depths in 2011.  May you find peace and success.  May you receive your healings, your blessings, your deliverances.  May you rejoice NOW because ITS ALREADY ALRIGHT!!!

If you'd like to join the week day 6am prayer conference call, text 'PRAY' to 704-493-2035 and you will be send the conference # and the pin.  Prayer changes things. 

Keep walking on water!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beef Lo-Mein

1lb of thin sliced lean steak (slivered)
10oz bag of stir fry veggies
1/2 bag frozen broccoli (about 5 oz - or you can use fresh)
1/2 box of Rice Pasta (spaghetti style - cooked)
1tsp Soy Sauce
1tsp Oyster sauce
1/4 c water
Lite Salt/Pepper to taste

Season steak with salt/pepper and brown on both sides.  (You can spray the pan with Pam if you don't have a non-stick).  Add veggies, sauce, water.  Simmer covered for 10 mins (until veggies thaw but are firm).  Add Rice Pasta and toss.  Spray with a couple skeets of Pam and enjoy!

Bottoms Up!

The joys of the bottom....

O my God, not my children!  This must be 'bottom'.  Jesus, all my finances????  Gone?  This must be 'bottom'.  All of my inventory, everything I have - well, this must be 'bottom'.  What doctor?  I have a devastating and disfiguring illness?  This must be 'bottom'.  My wife, turning her back on me and telling me to go to hell....surely, this must be 'bottom'.  Ahhh....finally some comfort.  My three best friends, they are coming to sit with me and keep me company...but what?  huh?  No, I didn't do anything to deserve this...what are you all talking about?  Ask for forgiveness?  This is happening TO me.  I didn't do anything to deserve IT...o my God, my best friends, turning on me....this must be 'bottom'.

God! It would be better than I had never been born.  That I never even lived than to have had to go through all this.  THIS must be my BOTTOM! (The story of Job, paraphrased)

So often, 'the bottom' is just the 'worst' place you can imagine being in 'right now' but if you hold on, your bottom will do one of two things....get worse (if its not the 'real bottom' its time....GET BETTER!

You see sometimes the bottom can become the very catalyst, the accelerant, the conduit YOU need to get to the TOP!  I believe that the 'very bottom' is not a solid hard surface at all but more likely compared to a TAUGHT trampoline....hit it hard enough and you can reach the SKY!  The good thing about the 'real bottom' is there ain't no where to go but UP!  Sometimes, in our stubborn, hard-headedness we won't do right with out the 'bottom'. 

Many of us can't stop smoking...until we are diagnosed with emphysema or bronchitis (bottom).  We can't stop sleeping around....until we are left lonely and our bodies ravaged with disease (bottom).  We can't stop eating inappropriately....until we have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes (bottom).  We can't pray and spend time with God.....until our cable is turned off (bottom).

Oftentimes we just DON'T do right until we hit our 'bottom'.

Congratulations Time:

Congrats Ms. Jailynn , she's down 9inchs in 4 weeks!
Congrats KT - back on track with a vengence!  So proud of your progress!

I was so glad to see so many of you at the Pray in/Weigh in but I wish that there would have been more 'good reports'. Some stayed the same but many gained.  We can blame it on the holiday season or the turkey or the weather or whatever.  But the truth of the matter is, we just didn't reach our 'bottom' yet.  You see, when you hit bottom, it doesn't have to be 'bikini' season for you to want to be healthy.  When you hit 'bottom' it won't matter that since you have on so many clothes, you can add however many layers of 'fat/fluff' underneath.  When you hit 'bottom' you will be ignited and catapulted into a serious commitment. 

So....For many of us, New Year's is a 'false' bottom.  We will look back over our past years and look in the mirror and then 'decide' that we are going to do better.  We have to do better.  Problem is, it won't be the momentum of your own 'bottom' it will be the whirlwind of marketing and advertising from all of the gyms and eating programs that will lull you into a false sense of 'this is it, I'm gonna do it this year'.  Good for them.  Getting you motivated is half of the battle.  But it is not the war.  STAYING motivated and making a true commitment to yourself and your family...that's when you've done it.  Let's do something different this year.  Let's DO IT for real!

Recipe: Beef Lo-Mein

Back to Eden - Bring a Buddy.  If you have not signed up for your personal Back to Eden Program and would like to get started first the year, you can do it with a friend for $70.  That is a one time fee - $35/each.  (offer available until Jan 4th, 2010).  Contact me directly at 704-493-2035 or via email at  You will receive your blueprint, your personal eating program, your measurements/weight tracking sheet, the fast track plan, personal consultation and continue to receive emails and recipes and be able to participate in upcoming activities*.

2011 Back to Eden Activities
B2E Boot Camp
Back to Eden Warm Weather Retreat
2nd Annual Back to Eden Fall Retreat
Monthly Pray in/Weigh in
B2E Food-Prep Sessions
...and much more - stay tuned for dates. 

Side note:  Georgia and Maryland I'd like to come to your town and spend some time with you.  If you'd like me to come, please contact me so we can work it out and get it scheduled. 

Prayer:  Lord, allow us to remember the sacrifice you made in Jesus.  Remind us to show love and kindness to one another and to ourselves.  Help us to find peace in your will and joy in you.  Strengthen us to be serious in our commitments to you and to ourselves.  Lord, cover us as we endeavor to make a new start and a new day.  Bless us to keep you in the forefront of all we do.  In Jesus name, Amen!

*most activities are free to Back to Eden members or very reasonably priced.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash & Squash/Peach Smoothie recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash
(dedicated to Jennifer - I remember!!)

1lb Butternut Squash (its really hard to peel and cut so many of the supermkts have it already cut up for you.  Take the easy route. Its worth it.
1TBSP Pumpkin Pie spice (allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg)
1/4 tsp Lite Salt (optional)
Pam butter flavored cooking spray
1pkt splenda (optional - you really don't need any)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a tin pan with Pam and arrange squash in the pan.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Spray with Pam.  Bake 45 mins to 1 hour, until tender. 

Exchanges:  1/2 cup Carb A

Enjoy as a side with chicken or pork. 

Leftover butternut squash meshes flavorfully with frozen peaches in the blender for a delicious smoothie that is reminiscent of peach ice cream, if soft frozen with a 1/8tsp vanilla and a pkt of splenda.

do you see what I see?

She held on to hope with every fiber of her being.  She reached out, feeling her arms were too short to reach God.  'How long', she cried, 'how long'!!  In her all her ________-something years, she's never felt whole, loved, complete.  She tried to get your attention, but you were busy.  She tried to do it on her own, but she was too broken.  She continued to travail and wail.  Then one day she put on a face.  A face so stern, so stoic, so somber.  A mask that no one could see past.  A look of indignation or aloofness.  You would see her and say, 'that's surely someone who wants to be alone'.  There is no 'welcome' in her visage.  'Some people just want to be left alone', you'd hear people say.  She'd continue to walk alone and her stoic expression soon would turn angry.  Eventually, all the self-loathing that she's internalized would be loosed on the people that she first reached out to.  She is angry - devalued - empty - broken.

Brokenness begins to give way to moments of despair.  Unable to reconcile herself to these overwhelming feelings of emptiness, lack of value, lack of worth, she almost allowed herself to slip away into the darkness.  She almost let go...

Thankfully, you realize, even though she needs finally understand - she needs YOU to get to HIM.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

This season especially magnifies emptiness in some of our brothers and sisters.  I'm thankful for peace and joy and righteousness in the Holy Ghost but it has not always been so.  We have to help each other to be strong and feel loved. 
So often you hear the phrase 'comfort food' like the rich holiday fare we indulge in around this time of year.  But for some, overindulgence has become the 'coping' mechanism that they have used to keep from 'feeling'.  Instead of sharing 'food' with one another this year, let's go one better, share of 'yourself'. Be a listening ear, a prayer partner, a shoulder to lean on.  Go for a walk in the cool brisk air with a sister who might be sitting alone at lunch.  Or if outside is not your thing in the cold, mall-walking is the answer.  Just focus on one another and be God's hand extended.
Recipe:  Oven roasted butternut squash

This week's event:
Saturday 9am - Pray in/Weigh in
Fresh juice and smoothie's provided after prayer & weigh in
301 W. 24th Street, 28216

Daily prayer @ 6am Monday thru Friday
712-432-0232 passcode 813766#
We meet at 6am for about 30 mins.  Please feel free to join in to pray or just listen in.  Prayer changes things and where 2 or more are gathered He is in the midst of us.  Feel free to utilize & share this number at any point throughout the day to organize your own prayer group.  The more the better!

Prayer:  Lord, continue to make us an instrument of your peace.  As you help us to make sound decisions regarding our lives and our health, remind us that our spiritual health also requires nurturing.  We trust you Lord with all our cares and cast them on you.  Help us to pull down strongholds and cast down vain imaginations.  Remind us that we can trust you.  Remind us that You are the source of our strength and the strength of our life.  Keep us covered God.  REBUILD us.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Special prayer:  Thank you Lord for holding back the hand of the fowler.  Thank you that my sister is still in the land of the living.  Help me Lord to be instrumental in her REBUILDING.  Show her her value.  Restore you joy.  Amen.

If you know anyone who is interested in Back to Eden:  Eat to Lose - A Christian Approach to Weight Loss please send them to this link:  Back to Eden.  I look forward to connecting with your friends and family to help them to acheive their goals.  If your group is interested in a personal presentation please contact me directly at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Casserole (no dairy)

Recipe: Ground Turkey Casserole

1lb browned ground turkey
10oz pkg frozen onion/pepper stir fry
1tsp garlic chopped
10 oz pkg soy mozzarella cheese (Trader Joe's)
1lb rice noodles (Trader Joe's - rotini or macaroni) (prepared & rinsed)
1TBSP italian seasoning (dried oregano, basil blend)
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp Morton Lite Salt
2 pkgs of Splenda
10 oz no sodium diced tomatoes (Trader Joe's)
Pam cooking spray
In a heavy bottom skillet, sprayed with Pam over medium heat, brown the onions, peppers and garlic. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add the salt, splenda, sage, italian seasonings. Stir well. Add the diced tomatoes and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a tin pan or other oven pan and mix together ground turkey sauce with the noodles. Mix in the soy cheese mixture (reserve some for the top). Cover the top with the soy cheese and bake for about 15 mins at 350 degrees (all foods are already cooked, you are just melting the cheese and letting the flavor's meld). Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Portions - 8oz (1 cup). Exchange - Carb B, Veggie A, Protein B. Add a salad on the side for a meal the whole family will enjoy or separate into servings and freeze for future meals.

The old you or the new you?

In all my juicing, I have started juicing apples.  I took some apple juice and placed it in a glass jar and decided I'd let it ferment and make some vinegar.  I filled it up and put the top on it and placed in under the sink.  A couple of days later I heard a 'BOOM'!  An apple-y vinegary smell along with lots of broken glass was everywhere.  As the juice had changed in the glass it expanded and blew up.  The glass did not have the ability to expand so it gave way and was shattered.  Had I placed the juice in a plastic container it would not have had the same reaction.  It would have had room to grow and the plastic would have been able to accomodate it.

Rigidity and inflexibility in ourselves have the same reaction.  We will have stressors in our lives but we can either expand and contract to the situation or we can be rigid and combust.  Trusting God is part of the expansion.  Giving way to the fact that even though these situations are unfamiliar and uncomfortable to us, they are all part of the plan for the work that God is creating in us. 

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the season of Christ's immaculate birth, some may find themselves getting caught up in the fan-fare, the shopping, the presents, the food.   For others the loneliness, emptiness, loss of loved ones, memories of times past may even become overwhelming.  In all of it, we have to remember the real reason.  Place our focus on Christ and be flexible.  The hustle and bustle can be overwhelming.  We must allow ourselves time to sit and listen to God's voice and allow Him to create in us a perfect work. 

Mark 2:21 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If they do, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And people do not pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins."

Charlotte Weekend Events
Friday:  Zumba-THON
McCrory YMCA 7pm to 9pm
Come and dance off that Turkey!!

Saturday:  Walk it OUT!!
RCM 301 W. 24th Street
8:30 am - 9:30 am
Free:  Let's move something!

Recipe: Ground Turkey Casserole

Muriel S.- CA:  Down 7lbs in her first week!  Go girl!!  You got this.  Stay with it!!

Prayer:  Lord, help us to keep our minds stayed on you.  In the midst of every situation, allow us to gain strength from your presence trusting and believing that you desire our good success.  Show us how to do all that is within our own power and our own strength and to relinquish to you those things beyond our control.  Cover each and every Eden Citizen with your grace which is sufficient.  Release your healings and your deliverance over us from generational curses Lord.  Let the blood of Christ wash us white as snow.  Bless us with peace that surpasses all understanding. 

In Jesus' precious name.  Amen. 

Special note:  Its already ALRIGHT!

Monday, November 22, 2010

scrambled and PERFECTION!!

rubik's cube

1 Corinthians 14:33a For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...

Chaos and confusion is all around me. I keep trying to figure out what to do next. How is it possible to make sense out of any of this. God is not the author of confusion so surely God can't be in the midst of this. This is CRAZY! I can't continue to keep doing the same thing over and over and over and over and expect a different result - that's the definition of CRAZY isn't it? So how can I 'believe' everyday that God will make a way. I've 'believed' for almost 20 years and day after day the situation seems to get CRAZIER AND CRAZIER AND CRAZIER. SO I must be insane!!!!! I tell the Lord. In my most weary voice, 'HOW CAN YOU LET ME GO INSANE!!! You are the author and the finisher of my faith, so how can you let me be insane?'

He replies. 'RUBIK'S CUBE.' HUH? WTH?(pardon my french, but I talk to My God real regular). He says it again. 'Rubik's Cube.' So I go, sit think about this INSANE answer to my INSANITY question.

I begin to think...Rubik's cube is either COMPLETELY in order or COMPLETELY OUT OF ORDER. Then I realize, no, that's not true. I've gotten one side of a Rubik's cube 'completely' in order before and the rest of it was still more of a 'colorful checker board' than a completed Rubik's cube. I could never actually get the whole thing. Actually, one time I was so frustrated with it, that I peeled the stickers off and put them back on right so it would look like it was done. But I got no satisfaction out of that. I knew it was a lie.

So God began to reveal it to me. The Rubik's cube always has exactly what it needs to be complete, perfect. But in the wrong hands, its a mess. Then I said, YES God. I know that. That's why I give it to you. That's why I put it in your hands. But everytime one side get complete its only for a moment and then its all screwed up again.

And He answered again, 'Rubik's cube'. WHAT!!???!! Stop God! Just make it clear. I'm going INSANE with all this 'Rubik's cube' crap.

So I watched this video - Rubik's Cube AND I AM SHOUTING THE VICTORY IN THE RUBIK'S CUBE!!! The Rubik's cube in the master's hand still has to go through some undoing to get to the complete perfect work. So in the midst of the 'fixing' for my untrained, un-omniscient, eye it looks like MESS!!! But it in God's hands. It is only a few seconds away from PERFECTION!

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

HALLELUJAH!! Its not what it looks like. Do your best to follow your daily plans. Pray, seek God, eat and trust. I promise you, I PROMISE YOU that God is working it all out in the midst of us. There is nothing too hard for God. We have to believe that. As insane as that may seem or feel like to the untrained eye we walk by FAITH and not by sight. Stop looking at your situation and look to the HILLS FROM WHICH COMETH YOUR HELP!!

Thanks and Congratulations Time!
Thank you to all the Eden Citizens! All of your help has galvanized me to move to higher heights and deeper depths. I still don't know what the Lord has in store for Back to Eden but I'm walking in it and I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you. You have blessed me with blenders and juicers and projection screens. You have cooked and worked come out to events and 'worked' as if you were getting a paycheck. You have been models and mentors and countless other things too great to mention and I'm humbled to be amongst such an awesome group. My sisters and my brothers. I can't do any of this with out you. THANK YOU!!

Prayer: Lord, we start our THANKSGIVING today. Right now. The thanks is not about turkey or dressing but about YOU and all that you are doing and have done for us and through us and with us and to us. It is only in your hands that we have good success. Today, I give THANKS!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to Eden Slide Show

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Chilly Chili

1lb Ground Turkey

McCormick Chili Seasoning packet
1 medium onion - diced
1 medium green pepper - diced
You can use a 10oz bag of frozen stir fry for a quick tip in place of the chopping onions/peppers
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 can diced tomatoes (no sodium) (fresh is even better!)
1 can tomato paste (low sodium)
1 can of beans (kidney or pinto - low sodium)
1 packet splenda
Brown grown turkey.  Push meat to the sides of the pan and brown onions/peppers in the center of pan (using turkey juices instead of oil).  Once carmelized, mix thoroughly with the ground turkey and add remaining seasonings.  Add tomatoes (diced and paste) and beans and allow to cook down. 
Serve over rice (NY Style) or spaghetti (Chicago Style) or over a baked potato (Back to Eden Style)

Is he worth it?

There we were.  Laughing, dancing, smiling.  He's hanging on my every word.  Filling all my empty places.  He spent the night and laid it DOWN.  Oh it was so good.  Every second...perfect.  Satisfied to the tips of my toes.  Every hair, every nerve ending...stimulated.  I can't imaging not wanting to feel this way.  When he's with me, I'm completely satisfied.  I feel his warmth.  It pours all over me.  Then, before the dawn...he slips out.  Trying not to wake me so that I won't feel the void of his absence.  As the light of day begins to wash over me, what should be providing warmth is actually magnifying the cold emptiness that is chilling me to the bone.  He was so good to me - but nothing about him was good for me.  He's gone back his wife.

I'm really not telling the story to reveal my secrets.  Although, I'm a pretty open book.  I'm thankful for who I am and I'm very thankful for who I'm not, anymore.  But most of all, I'm learning that everything in my life has a lesson in it.  You see, that man, who wasn't my man was just enough man to take the edge off of the lonely times.  He made me feel so good.  I could even fantasize that one day he'd be all mine.  Or that he was just 'Mr. In the Meantime'.  Whatever he was, I know who and what he wasn't...Mr. NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!  But I know that now.  He left in his wake residual scars that would require healing, he left emptiness, for so long he blocked Mr. Right. 

I'm not going to tell you how this relates to food today - because its much more than food.  Its about figuring out your value and expecting, demanding...REQUIRING nothing less.  That requires self control, patience, prayer - all of the same things we need on this journey for wholeness in our health too. 

2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (sound mind is translated to discipline and self control)

Weekend Plans!!
Diva's Day Out!
It's not too late.  Free food, $5 dollar manicures, $7 pedicures, $1 per minute massages, $15 dollar photo shoot, handbags, jewelry and more more more !!! $10/advance - $12/at door!!
Back to Eden is a VENDOR!!! (Thank you to my B2E support team!  One day God is gonna let me put ya'll on STAFF!! - AMEN!!!)
Recipe Remix!!
Chilly Chili
Prayer:  Back to Eden family - please pray for the success of the Diva's Day out event.  Pray for my family.  Pray for your families.  Pray for the unity and success of the Body.  Pray that we find our focus. Pray that God honor the desires of our hearts.  Pray without ceasing.  Pray.  The importance of prayer can never be over emphasized.  JUST PRAY! 

Love you!  Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For Colored Girls

Note:  I did not write this email nor do I know the original author.  But it was so profound and struck so close to home for me I wanted to be able to refer back to it and share it.  I'm not a fan of 'fwd's and typically DON'T EVEN READ THEM.  But I'm glad God led me to read THIS WHOLE LONG THING because it is right on point in so many ways. 

I love my sisters...of every color.  Let's share love!!

Subject: For Colored Girls

When I first heard of the movie "For Colored Girls" I got so excited.  I had the
idea of getting as many women together that I could think of to go see this
movie.  I had visions of group discussions and moments shared with one another
that would  lead to healing and growth, I guess I kind of imagined a Womens
Empowerment Conference type of setting.

Well after I shared my idea with a few women, reality set in and I  realized
that so many of us wouldn't be willing to participate for various reasons: You
don't like me, you don't care for somebody I might invite, you only hang out
with certain people, you don't understand the big deal about Tyler Perry making
yet another movie about black people and our issues for all the world to see,
you don't like crowds, so n so is too ghetto, such and such is too uppity 
etc... It has ALWAYS amazed me that we as black women are each others biggest
critics.  We are the quickest to bring each other down, find each others faults
and nit pick at a sister until she has nothing left, nothing left to give and
then we step over her and call her worthless.  We take the prettiest women and
tear them down for thinking "they are cute" but turn around and dog the average
sista because "she know she should take better care of herself than that - can't
believe she got a man!" We call strong women female dogs and accuse weaker women
of riding somebody else's coat tails. We tell a big sista to put down her burger
and turn around and criticize a skinny woman for not picking one up. We ride the
loud mouth woman for "talking to darn much" and likewise torment the quiet woman
for "Being too quiet and needing to take up for herself"  Sad part is we don't
discriminate, we talk about everybody!!!

I've watched women dog out everybody from Oprah for catering to white people and
Halle Berry for not being able to keep a man to young Willow Smith for acting to
darn grown in her recent video. All of these females are successful and there is
something about each one of them to be proud of but a lot of us can't seem to
see that.  I have to wonder since we all share a common thread (whether we want
to admit it or not) is there something about ourselves that we don't like, what
has happened to us that we cannot seem to get along. Why is that we fight
amongst ourselves, backstab & steal each others men(only to find out we should
have left him where we found him). We cannot seem to be unified to support and
stick up for one another. Everybody seems to be out for themselves while other
groups unite against us but nobody else has to bring us down because we trample
on the spirits of each other daily. 

Even if you live in a mini mansion, drive a luxury car, have good credit, rich
handsome husband etc, this does not mean that should look down your nose at the
woman with 4 kids, no husband, living in income based housing struggling to keep
her lights on. We ALWAYS think the grass is greener on the other side, I had a
woman who's child father is MIA tell me that I should never complain because I
receive a decent amount of child support and I laughed and let her know that I
would gladly give every dime back if he would come relieve some of this
overwhelming pressure of feeling inadequate as a parent.  If I could get just
one full night of sleep or not always be on the verge of losing my job because
I’m the one that has to call off or leave work for one reason or another to
accommodate my child - yeah he could DEFINITELY have his money if I could have
some peace!  Money alone doesn't make you happy (not true happiness), good
credit doesn't keep you satisfied, beauty doesn't make you any less insecure,
fame doesn't make you less vulnerable or cause you to be a good judge of
character and being stuck up and mean doesn't keep you warm at night or prevent
you from being lonely.

You don't know how the sista sitting right next to could have carefully put on
her make up this morning to hide the beating from last night. The teacher you
handed your child over to this morning could have sent her children off to
school from a dark house with empty bellies.  The teller you just got rude with
at the bank could know that today is her last day on her job and have no idea
how she is going to survive past next weekend.  The sista at the office that
appears so busy could be typing her goodbyes to all the people that she loves
because she plans to blow her brains out tonight after she tucks her babies into
bed. The woman you pass in the hallway could be on her way to have an abortion
because she fears what others might think or how the woman that sent you this
e-mail may drink an over abundance of alcohol every night to mask the nightmares
of an abusive childhood. 

Ladies we HAVE TO DO BETTER!!! I'm not suggesting that we all like each other
and be phony, But I am asking that we all try to respect each other.  You HAVE
NO IDEA what the next woman is going through, you don't know what past or
current hurt and pains have shaped her into who she is today.  We spend so much
time trying to be as strong and hard as we are expected to be that we end up
cracking from the inside out piece by piece. If we would spend 1/3 of the time
we spend tearing each other down to build someone up, encourage someone, show
someone some love, we could truly make a difference and save someone's life. 
PLEASE don't be the straw that breaks another woman's back. Believe me when I
tell you that there is a woman out there that needs your smile, your hug, your
support, your prayer. 

I hope that you read this and get something out of it other than a laugh and
that you pass this on to as many women as you can to let someone know that you
believe they are somebody special and that if need be you are available to
listen. Nothing bad is going to happen if you don't forward this e-mail but I'd
like to think that something positive will happen if you choose to pass it
along.  May favor be extended to each and everyone in your lives, keep your head
up and know that someone somewhere cares!!!

Beloved, resist the temptations that the devil brings to cause you to get
discouraged. Stand strong and believe. Refuse to allow fear to undermine your
faith and your ability to achieve and maintain emotional and mental stability.
The breakthrough that will follow this time of testing will be well worth the
effort necessary to overcome, says the Lord.

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In
the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the

Listen! Do you hear the trumpet resounding in the realm of the Spirit? I am
calling you, My beloved, to rise up and go forth by My power and anointing to be
all that you are destined to be. It is time to come up out of every place of
discouragement and defeat; rise up in restored faith and renewed hope. You will
break away from all that has held you down if you will only believe. Let victory
resonate, says the Lord.

Hosea 6:1-3 Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will
heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive
us; on the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us
know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as
the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain
to the earth.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Collard Greens

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 5 cups chicken stock (low sodium)

  • 1 smoked turkey drumstick

  • 5 bunches collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • Directions

    1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, and gently saute until light brown. Pour in the chicken stock, and add the turkey leg. Cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
    2. Add the collard greens to the cooking pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Let the greens cook down for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. Reduce heat to medium, and season with pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the greens are tender and dark green, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain greens, reserving liquid. Mix in red pepper flakes if desired. Use liquid to reheat leftovers.

    Not my goodies!!

    The temple of God.  The place of worship.  The holy place.  The place of communion with the Lord.  The place of honor.  The place of refuge.  Defiled.  How can you help me Lord to choose to honor you Lord when I am in fear?  Help me not to be slack concerning you.  Lord, I seek you.  I seek you deliberately.  Remind me that I make choices each day to serve you and that whether I choose wrongly or choose NOT to choose I still choose.  Cover me with a mindfulness that serving you is a daily decision that doesn't happen by accident or force. 

    2 Kings 16: 8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.

    I choose the things of God and give them to man.  All my goodies.  I give them away.  Out of fear.  If I'm honest, lots of the decisions I made over the years were out of fear.  Not all of them, but some.  Sometimes my choices were made out of lonliness, some anger, some sadness but yeah...lots of them fear.  Fear that I'd be alone, or fear that no one would want me or fear that no one COULD love me.  Fear that this would be forever.  FEAR that this is all that there is, so why bother or why not?  I can't live forever without eating cake?  I can't go on forever without having sex?  I can't wait for THE one...I can settle for SOME one.  I don't have to wait for the ring - he LOVES me.  We are gonna get married (one day). 

    I'm just saying, some decisions are made in the moment because I allowed fear (in the form of lack of self control) to govern my decisions.  Little by little.  Strong holds slip in and before I knew it, I was sacrificing my most precious gifts!  Just me, maybe not you.  Just me - that's all I can talk to.  Just me.

    So - can I never eat cake?  Can I never have sex? (this was then not now - I's married now - LOL)  Am I doomed to pay for my choices forever?  No!  Thankfully, God is remolding me, rebuilding me.  In this process there are a lot of things that I 'could' do that I (emphasis on 'I') cannot do (for now).  There are still some areas of my life that need purging and clensing.  God is still establishing my value.  I still get to easily distracted.  So for now - REBUILD ME.  Tear me down so that I may be build up in your image.  Ahaz is dead - let me walk in my Hezekiah season Lord!

    YOU MADE IT!  Its November 2010...I bet you didn't think it would get here this quickly!  Just weeks before the season of FOOD, FAMILY, FUN!  But its also the season for lots of people to suffer the reality of their emptiness, loneliness and great depression.  Often the reality of this season reminds some of what we 'don't' have rather that what we have to be thankful for.  Many of us turn to alcohol, food or other vices to fill the empty voids in our lives.  Let's be mindful of this season.  Not only for ourselves but for those we love or come in contact with.  Be nicer than usual.  Open your heart to someone new.  Be God's hand extended.  Instead of eating or drinking find social situations to share in.  We don't want to put on the 'annual 10lbs'.  Let's release and open up ourselves to love!!

    Weekend events:
    Saturday - Freedom Park 10am (Charlotte, NC) 5K

    Saturday - Diva's Day Out 2-6pm @ The Wine Up (Charlotte, NC)
    Admission is $10 in advance/$12 at the door
    Free food, $5 dollar manicures, $7 pedicures, $1 per minute massages, $15 dollar photo shoot, handbags, jewelry, door prizes, a fashion show by MAKellz @4pm and so much more!
    BACK TO EDEN IS A VENDOR!!!  Please come out and support me in my first event as a 'vendor' OMG!!

    Collard Greens

    Prayer:  Lord, help me to honor you today.  Help me to make conscious decisions to let you guide me and lead me.  Help me to believe your report and not my FEELINGS.  Help me to continue to pray for the changes in the situations in my life and to sure them up with action and not talk.  Help me to build up those connected to me and not destroy.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be accepted in thy sight.  I love you Lord.  Thank you for not giving up on me!!

    Special prayer:  You know what she's standing in the need of Lord.  Make haste.  Let the answer come early and place her heart in perfect peace.  Amen.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Diet Coke Chicken

    Diet Coke Chicken

    It's really easy and good! It is like barbecued chicken, makes 4 servings
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    1 cup catsup
    1 can Diet Coke (other diet sodas work well too!)

    Put chicken in a non-stick skillet. Pour catsup and diet soda over the chicken. Turn heat to medium-high and cook chicken for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15-20 minutes. Remove lid, and cook until sauce thickens and sticks to chicken. Sauce will taste like BBQ and the chicken is very tender.

    Note: You can make shredded BBQ chicken with this. Simply use 2forks and pull chicken apart about 15 minutes before it's finished cooking. You could also add some black pepper and diced onions right when you start to cook it.

    Add with a side of rice and green beans for a complete lunch or dinner for just about EVERY body type.  Be sure you use your scale!  This is so good you'll want to CHEAT!

    Its a thin line between love and CAKE!

    2 Samuel 13: 1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her

     6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.

     11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. 12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.

    14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.

    Not the (bleeping) cake again!!
    So, as I am reading this, I'm real curious as to how THIS lesson will help me with my 'cake' issues.  So I say - ok God.  SMH (shaking my head).  Do it. 

    Tamar is the 'cake' in my story.  Now all of my food issues have absolutely NOTHING to do with food - understand that I am fully aware of that in my life now.  NOTHING.  The food is and has always been symbolic, unfortunately - the symbolism that it represents still has calories in it, so the pounds - yeah...notsomuch symbolic.  I see 'Tamar' (my cake) and instead of being content with all that I have (I'm Amnon - I'm a child of the king) and all that I stand to inherit/gain (um, did I say...I AM A CHILD OF THE KING - the first born child of the king!  I will inherit the throne - I am a child of God I shall inherit the earth!).

    I, instead focus on what I don't have - TAMAR (cake).  I allow my focus to over come me OVER TAKE me.  TAMAR is all I can think about.  The love I have for 'her' is so powerful that I can't even focus, I can't even think!  I gotta have her!!! 

    So of course the spiritual war that is going on inside of me collides with one of the principalities out there, just ready to 'help me out' - my 'friend' who shows me, you can have 'Tamar' just do this, this and this (read it for yourself in vs. 3).  So, instead of casting down those vain imaginations...I creep.  I creep off and do the deed.  I have me some TAMAR. oooooh...I thought she was gonna be soooooo good, I couldn't wait!!  (and maybe she was for a moment - uh, in case your TAMAR ain't cake (or is cake) - know that it could be GOOD for... a moment).

    Then the reality of my actions come to light.  The lusty haze is broken.  My vision is clearer.  And because I know what I have done is SOOO wrong that I don't want any association with it - I begin to DESPISE the very thing that I was in love/lust with just minutes ago!  Turning all my anger, all my hatred, all my feeling of failure and despair on that CAKE!!  I mean on TAMAR!  Its her fault.  Why did she have to be so mmmmm....good!

    NO!  ITS MY FAULT!  I have to own and take responsibility for my own actions in this world.  I had opportunities to make better decisions just like Amnon did.  My 'cake' has evolved over time from men (and/or women), money, drugs...etc (fill in your own blank).  But it has always really been the same.  A void.  An empty place that no matter how I try can only be filled WITH GOD!! 

    How you fill the void with God will vary from person to person but trying to fill it with anything else will prove as fruitless as trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a bucket of sand.  It ain't gonna happen.  Fill it with worship, fill it with 'work-ship', give yourself to the Lord of your own gifts and talents.  He'll show you.  Just invite Him in.

    Congratulations Time!! 
    Michelle Cromwell (SN: she was the one who showed us how she got her 'butt' in two weeks - LOL) She uploaded her first Youtube Video!  This girl can SANG!  and she is on the come - up!  Check out her live performance at Club Prevue (Charlotte, NC)  With Christ ALL things are possible - A cutie tootie bootie and a singing career - you just can't beat God giving!

    Judy D. - For the love of Christ and the power of the sisterhood!!  (we don't need no travelling pants - we have the powere of the HOLY SPIRIT)  Thank you!!  Love you!!  Keep being you!!!

    Sherry T. - For the daily prayers and the love that you share with me every day.  Thank you for being so transparent in Christ.  Thanks for letting God use you and show 'us' how awesome He is!

    K.W. - For standing fast in the midst of your storms knowing that God is able and that you are not in ANY of this alone.  You are my family.  I'm so proud of your PRESS, your PUSH, your perseverence.  Its ok to be human.  God hears you and pity every groan.  I LOVE YOU!!! and we're walking!!

    Recipe:  Diet Coke Chicken

    Prayer:  Lord, help us to regain the authority over our minds.  Help us to make decisions that honor you and give you glory.  Remind us daily that you are the source of our strength and the strength of our lives.  Bless each of us each day to wake up, DECIDE who we shall serve and WALK in VICTORY!!

    In Jesus Name!!  AMEN.

    Special prayers:  Lord, thank you for getting my mom safely to NY.  Now order her steps and guide her feet.  Keep her from harm and cover her mind Lord.  Let her stay focused on you and trust you completely.  Give her peace. 

    Day 4:Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and
    providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will
    be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Easy Vegetable Soup

    Easy Vegetable Soup
    2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
    1 tbsp Garlic Paste
    1 large onion - chopped
    2 carrots - chopped
    2 celery stalks - chopped
    1 can garbanzo beans
    1/4 cabbage (chopped)
    1/2 tsp olive oil

    To a large pot, medium heat oil, add garlic paste and onions.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add stock, cook about 5 mins, add all the rest of the vegetables (except cabbage).  Cook 15 mins.  Add cabbage, cook until tender.

    Serve over rice or over a hand ful of rice pasta noodles for a YUMMY warm soup.  Add a boiled egg (no yolk) for protein.  DELICIOUS!!


    Psalm 94:18 When I said, "My foot slippeth," thy mercy, O Lord, held me up

    Just walking along...and WHOOPS - I begin to fall.    Thank God you are right there.  You caught me and you held me up and you kept my foot from dashing against the stone.  Instead of being thankful, I'm caught up in aggravation for the fall I almost had.  Wow.  The thoughts are so tricky.  So easy to slide from right to left.  Making a decision to do right and then being diverted, o so subtily.  Off track.  How do I get back up?  JUST GET BACK UP.  Actually, when I think about it, I didn't fall - not like I was beginning to allow my mind to convince me.  I am WAY better than I used to be and as I allow God to 'perfect' me, I will have some set backs.  But they are only 'failures' when I stay there. 

    Today is your day.  New mercies.  Don't look back.  Look ahead.  Trust God.  Make a decision right now to do your level best.  NOW is all you have control over.  Matter of fact, why not trust God even with the things YOU have control over - He's gotta be able to do a better job with it than you?  I think that's what I'll do.  Deciding to turn over the reigns to the Most High has to be the right thing to do.  Let's do it together.  The best thing about it, is He won't be overwhelmed with ALL of our issues at the same time even though I can get overwhelmed with just my own little issues.  Git it Big Poppa.  Do your thang.  I love you!

    Congratulations time:
    Kim J.- MD, Down 3 more lbs!!  You are doing it for real.  Its a lifestyle and you are living by example - Ms. Keilah (senior year stress and all) holding steady and losing those INCHES!! So proud of this mom/daughter team!

    Jennifer R. NC, I'm so proud of you!  Off to a great start with a bullet!!  We going grocery shopping saturday and getting that daughter all ready to jump on board with you!  Mom's take note - its a family thing!!

    Special thanks!
    Special thanks to Amanda B. and St. Paul's for having me out last night to speak with Davidic Praise Litergical Dance team.  I'm blessed to be able to share with you what God desires for you.  Continue to honor your bodies as a temple for the Lord.  He is blessed by your praise!  Present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE...its our reasonable service!

    What's up next for Back to Eden:
    RAP (Review All Pitfalls) Session
    Friday, November 19 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm

    Where:  301 W. 24th Street, Charlotte, NC 28216
    Topic:  S.O.S. (Sedentary Off Season)
    Tell the truth and shame the devil!  We often use the holiday season as an excuse to fall off the wagon.  Then New Year's resolution time comes around and we are further behind then when we started.  Lets try to nip this thinking in the bud and get off to a jump start for the new year.  Please RSVP.  I'd like to try something different for the 'food' part of this fellowship and I need a head count to be able to figure it out.

    There is no cost to you.  You may bring a friend, they don't have to be Back to Eden.  Just RSVP.  Thank you!

    Recipe: Easy Vegetable Soup

    Prayer:  Lord, cover us and keep us.  Prepare us and strengthen our hearts for a lifetime of commitment to you.  Bless our husbands Lord (the ones we have and the ones we want).  Cover our families.  Bless the wives Lord.  Keep and comfort our hearts.  Remind us to turn to you in every need.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

    Special Prayer:  Lord, bless my mother.  Allow her to arrive safely in NY and guide her feet to find all that she seeks of you.  Cover her with favor and grace.  Let her heart find safety in you.  Be peace and peace be still.  In Jesus name.  Love you Mom.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Beet Juice - w/pomegranite YUMM

    1 beet
    1/2 pomegranite
    1 celery stalk
    1 carrot
    1 handful of parsley
    1/2 cucumber

    Run through juicer and DRINK IT UP!  yummmy and sooo RED I love RED!!

    Potassium Drink - Carrot based

    Potassium Drink Recipe

  • 4 medium carrots, greens removed

  • 1 stalk of celery

  • 1 apple

  • handful of fresh parsley

  • handful of fresh spinach

  • 1/2 lemon, peeled (optional)

  • Process the ingredients in a juicer and serve.
  • Carrot - Cabbage Juice; umm...yumm?

    Carrot - Cabbage juice

    2 carrots
    1/4 cabbage

    Push through the juicer into a nice chilled glass.  It was actually good.  I am enjoying it right now:)

    Just starting this juicing thing, so my recipes are a bit novice but I'm documenting them so I'll know what I like and what I don't.  If you have a recipe you like - please add the comment! 


    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Here's who I'm not

    I'm not a dr.
    I'm not a lawyer
    I'm not a nutritionist
    I'm not a trainer
    I'm not promiscuous
    I'm not without value
    I'm not ignorant

    Here's who I am
    I am the head and not the tail
    I am above and not beneath
    I am the first and not the last
    I am more than a conqueror
    I am more valuable than rubies

    I rehearse these things in my ears because so often I am plagued by what I 'thought' I was and I have to remind myself of who I am and WHOSE I am so that I don't fall back into the lifestyle of one who does not deserve good success.

    Green Machine - Smoothie

    1/2 c Frozen Spinach
    3 strawberries (fresh)
    1 banana (med ripe)
    4 cubes of ice
    1 pk of splenda (for sweetness - if needed)
    1oz soy milk or almond milk

    Put in blender and MIX -WHIRRR...its yummy even though its green you don't taste the spinach:)

    Fish and Chips - Talapia & Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

    Talapia & Sweet Potato Fries (it was SOOO DELICIOUS)

    1 pkg Frozen Talapia (if you have fresh even better - I'm inland)
    1 pkg 10oz stir fry mix (if you don't want to use this, just cut up onions, red & green peppers - I like it easy)
    1 pkg 10 green beans (frozen)
    2 tsp Mrs. Dash garlic pepper seasoning (separated)
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    1 pkg Frozen Sweet Potato Fries (packaged - feel free to cut them yourself if you like - remember, I like it easy)

    Large sheet Aluminum Foil
    1 small tin pan

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Season the talapia with the 1st teaspoon of Mrs. Dash and put on the bottom layer on the foil.  Top with the stir fry mix, top with the green beans, top with the rest of the seasoning and make a foil pouch. I used NO oil or butter in this recipe and it was DELICIOUS.  Bake for 45 mins (if the fish is frozen - 20 mins if fresh).

    Sweet potato fries - I did NOTHING with them but put them in the tin pan and bake for 20 mins. 

    Exchanges:  Protein A - Veggie A - Carb B (remember portions 2oz protein, 1/2 cup carb, Go for broke on the veggies)

    No more MR. Niceguy


    1 Kings 20: 2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, 3 Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.

    20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

    29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

     32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother. 33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
    So, this is a lot of scripture text this morning, but if you read the entire selection, when you get up to this point (vs 34), if you are anything like me, you will be scratching your head - 'Huh'?  WTH?, he (Ahab - King of Israel) had Benhadad - King of Syria, right where he wanted him - in a surrendered position.  AND LET HIM GO!!!  I was like - that is so stupid!  No one would do something that dumb. 

    I'm not even a military person and I know better than that.  I'd never do that - shoot, I got my enemy overtaken and I have their KING in my better know its going down!!  Its over.  Finito.  Kaput.  Done.

    ...and then I get real about it.  How many relationships have I been 'freed' from only to choose the same mess one-mo-gin (that's kuntry for 'another time' for my northern readers:).  How many times have I been 'delivered' (yeah - real live DELIVERED) only to tip-toe back on into it, because 'I'm good - I got this'.  How can I be at a point where I'm seeing GOOD SUCCESS only to allow myself to succumb to OLD thinking (sinking thinking)?
    When we have conquered, overtaken, overcome a THING in our lives - food, sedentary lifestyle, sinking thinking, low self-esteem, whatever it is, we have a responsibility to SNUFF IT OUT!!  KILL IT!!  Do not allow it even a tiny toe hold because it is NOT YOUR FRIEND!  Don't you remember it was trying to destroy you?!  EVERYTHING about you? 

    We have to GET UP today and choose to utterly destroy the enemy.  The bible says DIE DAILY.  That 'flesh', that 'laziness', that 'urge', that 'man/woman' WHATEVER OR WHOMEVER it is that is not good for your right for you KILL IT!!  DON'T PLAY GAMES WITH IT!
    The scripture goes on to show what would happen to the King of Israel because of his slackness - 1 Kings 20: 42 And he (the prophet) said unto him (King Ahab), Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.
    I will not be utterly destroyed.  I will not have YOU to be utterly destroyed.  God says WE WIN.  But we have a responsibility to be ACTIVE participants in the victory.  Get up, take control of your life and OVER TAKE your enemy - he's delivered into YOUR hands - KILL HIM don't give him a chance to recover and come back and destroy YOU!
    Congratulations Time!
    Marsharie I. - Down 4lbs!  You go girl!!  I'm so proud of you!  Taking control of your destiny!  No more fried foods - and look at you!  SEXY SEXY!!
    Lisa Indyatalks T. - Holding steady with the pounds but losing inches...One day at a time - I HAVE THE VICTORY!!
    Kim J. - special shout out to you.  You encourage my soul everytime I think about the commitment you have made to yourself and your daughter.  I pray much continued success!  Please send me some updates girl.  Keep walking tall!!
    Recipe: Fish & Chips YUMMY!  Oven easy deliciousness!!
    Prayer:  Lord, now that you've shown me the victory, strengthen me to take it through to the end.  It often feels like I could just sit down, stop right here and go back to a 'regular' lifestyle but I know you desire better for me.  I trust you to strengthen me and give me endurance.  You never wanted 'regular' for me.  I settled for it.  You said you came to give me life and life MORE abundantly - nothing 'regular' about that.  In your strength and under your spirit I am able to continue and persevere and encourage and uplift those around me.  I love you for giving me the day and giving me my life back.  I look to you Lord.  I look to you!

    Meanwhile...keep walking on water!

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Chicken Parmesan - soy, loosely translated


    Tomato sauce:

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably organic
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    Morton Lite Salt to taste
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


    Cooking spray
    4 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
    Morton Lite Salt to taste
    2 large egg whites
    6 tablespoons dry oatmeal (ground in blender) (season with italian seasoning)
    2-3 teaspoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons of finely ground oatmeal (ground in blender)
    1/2 cup soy shredded mozzarella cheese (Trader Joe's)


    Tomato Sauce: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended and the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the basil.  (You can always use your favorite low sodium, no sugar sauce here instead to save time).

    Chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cutlets with the salt. Lightly beat the egg whites in a medium bowl. Combine the ground oatmeal on a sheet of waxed paper. Spread the finely ground oatmeal on another sheet of waxed paper. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip both sides into the finely ground oatmeal, shaking off excess. Dip each piece into the egg whites, shaking off excess, and then press both sides into the other oatmeal breading to coat.

    Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken, in 1 layer, to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the chicken then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, covered loosely with a tent of foil, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 12 to 15 minutes.

    duck - duck - duck.....GOOSE!!!

    Duck, duck, duck....GOOSE!!!

    1 Samuel 16: 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

    Alright God, put this together cuz it don't make no sense to me yet...(my prayer right now-lol)

    So, I'm sitting here thinking of what to write and I start to think - DUCK - DUCK - DUCK - DUCK.....GOOSE!! I haven't played that game in years!! You know it, you sit in a circle and someone walks around and pats you on the head and says...Duck - Duck - Duck (come on holy ghost) and you sit...BUT when they pat you on the head and say GOOSE you get up and RUN - give CHASE!! You have to reach them before they sit down because....ITS YOUR TURN TO MOVE!!!

    Thank you Lord!  I think about David and all days he spent sitting in the field, not even being called to dinner (I'm shouting right now) and he sat diligently watching over the flock in the field his own father had to be ADMONISHED into bringing him to dinner!!!  BUT GOD!!!  When the ANOINTING was poured over him...his season began to change...(he would not rise immediately to his position but it was time to start MOVING in that direction). 

    GOOSE!!!  God has TOUCHED you!  He has poured on you the anointing of his Holy Spirit.  Its time to RUN for the Lord.  Its time to MOVE in the direction of your goals.  We have a command from the Lord to present ourselves a LIVING SACRIFICE - holy and acceptible!!  That is not just about how you eat, exercise, live, work but it is about it ALL.  Your work, your worship, your life - everything about you.  God wants you to get up and RUN toward Him. RUN toward your goals.  RUN!!!  GIVE CHASE!!  GOOSE!!!!
    I can't stop praising right now.  I know that I haven't even begun to properly conceive what God has in store for us.  And I have a pretty EXTENSIVE imagination.  But one thing I do know - and that is it cannot - WILL not be accomplished if we do NOTHING.    God uses us as His hand extended.  He is waiting for RUN!!  AND there's more...HE WILL HELP YOU TO WIN!  He said He would renew your strength!!  You will mount up with wings as eagles (he gotta be some kin to a goose - lol)  You will run and not be weary, walk and not faint!!  (Is. 40:31 paraphrased)

    Congratulations time!
    Kim J. (Baltimore, MD) - You keep surprising yourself!!  I'm so proud of you for not giving up on YOU!  Down 6lbs MORE!  You saw that ole' plateau and told it to HIT THE BRICKS!!  My God is ABLE!  Keep going sister!

    Michelle C. (Charlotte, NC) - You had me LAUGHING OUT LOUD looking for the ingredients for the Apple/Pecan w/craisins salad.  Glad you got your workout running through the store looking for everything.  And BRAVO for braving the brownie aisle!  The devil put the pecans by the brownies - LOL.

    Last Minute Weekend Moves
    Ladies from the retreat, ya'll were WALKING and doing the dern thang.  Cardio, 3 miles, 6 miles, chacha slide, dancing...doing the dern thang!  Many of you asked me to keep ya'll moving.  So, meet me at 8:30am on Saturday @ 301 W. 24th Street for a 1 hour walk/run through downtown.  I'm going to go from 24th street to Morehead (on Tryon) and back.  Then stop and snake the stairs at that church on 9th street.  I usually do it by myself but I'd really enjoy some company.  So I'll see you there!!

    Lost and Found
    All of the lost items from the retreat have been found and delivered to their rightful owners!  AMEN!That's God!

    I would LOVE a juicer - if anyone has one gathering dust under their counters PLEASE be a blessing:) 

    Chicken Parmesan Recipe
    (its on a separate link in the blog so that you can search for it easier later). 

    Prayer:  Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning for blessing me with a covering that includes my sisters (Thank you Sis. Karen F.) and brothers who pray for me and love me as I love them.  Thank you for strengthening me for your work.  God, today - help us to be committed to you through how we treat ourselves.  Remind us to honor our temple and honor you out of obedience to your will for us.  Obedience is better than sacrifice.  I believe that everytime we keep our promises to you, you strengthen us and bless us.  I realize that in and of my own strength it is impossible to please you Lord.  But through Christ - all things are possible.  Thank you for CHRIST.  In Jesus name - AMEN!!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    2010 Charlotte Back to Eden Retreat Menu - Itinerary, etc.

    For those who wanted to have all the recipes of the retreat - Here she goes:

    Dinner - Friday nite: (Thanks to Sonia M. and E. Chaney for cooking!!)

    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    - Rice pasta
    - Turkey meatballs (1oz/from Sam's Club)
    - Hunts no sugar added, no sodium Italian Sausage version (canned)
    - Garlic powder
    - Onion powder

    Breakfast - Saturday
    Hash brown casserole
    - Grated potatoes
    - chopped Turkey Sausage (jennie-o; skinless, low-sodium)
    - Soy Mozzarella/Colby Grated Cheese (Trader Joe's)
    - Egg Beaters
    - Stir Fry Mix (onions/peppers)
    - Seasonings

    Mid morning snacks
    - Various granola bars

    Lunch - Saturday
    Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
    - Diced Gala, Golden, Pink Lady, Delicious apples
    - Pecans (not salted or glazed)
    - Craisins
    - Mixed Salad Greens
    - Grilled Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (Sam's club)
    - Raspberry Vinegrette dressing

    Mid afternoon snack
    - Fresh Juices (Thanks Roz for the use of your juicer)
    - Apple, spinach, carrots, spinach, Bok choi, broccoli (WHATEVER YOU LIKE)
    - Smoothies
    - Pineapple, Banana, Strawberry, Almond milk, (Whatever you like!)

    Dinner - Saturday
    Arroz con gandules (Rice and peas) & Shrimp & Salad (Thanks Sonia!! for the Spanish FLAIR!)
    - Arroz con gandules (no idea how to make it - my recipe...Call Sonia and say real sweet - SONIA, can you make me some Arroz con gandules) LOL...It always works for me:)
    - Shrimp (31-40 ct Shrimp, Sam's Club)
    - Mixed Salad greens

    Late night indulgences
    - SMORE'S (yeah - we had 2 a piece!!)
    - 2 Graham Crackers
    - 1 marshmellow
    - 2 Hershey Squares
    Heat over the campfire and INDULGE...almost sent me off the wagon! THANK YOU STEPHANIE for saving me - LOL. She took the S'more's right out of my mouth. I was having FAR too much fun with it.

    Arrival prayer and release ceremony
    Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you! We released our issues with our helium balloons.

    AM Prayer Circle and Fitness Exercises (Thank you Gwen!! You liked to KILL US but we worked up a sweat and got our hearts pumping!!)

    Hiking - To each group of ladies who took the 3mile, 5 mile, 6 mile hike - kudos to you! I'm so proud of you. I know it was a stretch but you did it!!!

    PEARL Ceremony - EACH and EVERYONE of you is a special PEARL to me. A jewel that is beyond compare, unique and precious. Thank you for being a part of me!!

    Special big'ups to Cheryl! You made it back to the finish on FOOT even after we sent the car for you. You wouldn't give up. You would not be defeated! We are so proud of you!!

    Special atta'girl to Carla! You were right out there sweating and huffing and working it out with the early morning exercise. Such an inspiration! Thank you!!

    Little Ms. Munchie - way to hold it down for the teens! Thank you for coming!

    Regine' - THANK YOU for our audio video accoutrements & for keeping us in line with our recycling. Couldn't do it without you!

    I also want to send a special 'thank ya Salome' for participating in our exercise of 'nuts and twigs' much to your chagrin - LOL. We understand what a sacrifice it is for you to see us all getting fit and giving up all the plus size fluff you love to squeeze so much. Thank you for caring more about our health than your own vices - hehehehe...I love you. Maybe I'll save a little love handle on the left hand side just for you:) (NOT)

    I want take time to thank each and everyone one of you because each and everyone of you was remarkable. Expect a call from me over the next week or so. I'm so proud of ALL of you.

    Please comment and share your stories so that everyone can experience this event from your eyes.


    THANK YOU!!! for making the 1st Back to Eden - Charlotte Retreat such a success. I had an awesome, empowering, refreshing, energizing time. The sisterhood was remarkable!! You'd think we were all family the way ladies were laughing and joking and playing. The comraderie was amazing.

    I promised to send out all of the recipes, exercises, etc. so that you can refer back to them and enjoy them again and again, and I will, tonite. I hope everyone uploads their pictures to FaceBook and if they don't have facebook they can send them to me and I'll post them.

    I have been asked specifically to share the speech I gave on the last night of the retreat so here goes:


    S-Strength - Sharing (you gain STRENGTH when you share)

    The beauty of a pearl is cultivated out of abrasive and irritating circumstances.
    A grain of sand or some other irritant slips into the oyster, gets between its skin and shell. The formation of the natural pearl begins when an irritant slips in between the mantle and the shell which irritates the mantle. The mantle then covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell of the oyster.

    If I had my hearts desire, in my finite understanding, I would wish that none of you would ever have to go through any of the things that you've gone through or will go through. Or both.

    I would be like "Marlin" the daddy clown fish who's son Nemo was lost in the sea who said: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
    Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
    Marlin: What?
    Dory: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

    That little scene, one of an overprotective clown fish spoke and a absentminded little blue fish spoke volumes to me. I mean, I wish I could keep everyone connected to me safe and protected from all the worlds irritants. But if I did that, the world would miss out on the beauty of who you are and what you have to offer - some of which will actually be birthed out of the overcoming of some painful situation that those of us who love and cherish you will wish you never ever had to endure.

    I would love to give you real pearls to wear about your neck, wristlets and ears. Just to remind you that your struggles, your trials, your losses, your pain, its not in vain. Each time you overcome, with grace under the strength of God, the pearl of who you are is cultivated and polished for the world to admire. Cultured pearls and natural pearls are almost indistinguishably similar, however, natural pearls have far more value because of the way they develop. Pearls develop their luster (which determines their value) nacre-its transparency, smoothness and overall thickness of the nacre. Interestingly, the thickness of the nacre is directly related to the ‘irritant’.

    Pearls also represent ‘wisdom’, as in, don’t cast your pearls before the swine. I initially thought it would be a stretch to use both of these analogies at the same time because they seem so diverse…but not so. The ‘pearl’ that is being cultivated in you through your circumstances, your trials, your experience, well…they are creating ‘wisdom’ in you. God is enlightening you each day and strengthening you each day. Your wisdom is not just for you. It is for the kingdom. But be careful in the dispensation of your wisdom, it is valuable and while it is for ‘everyone’ everyone will not receive it.

    Whether you decide to wear your faux pearls or just keep them as a keepsake, know that they pale in comparison to the pearl that God is creating in each of you. And that I consider it an honor to have had my life touched by yours. Thank you!

    I also wanted to share the exercise that we participated in with the rest of the Back to Eden folks...We all were given a helium filled balloon upon arrival. The instructions were simple - cast all your cares, burdens, issues, situations, unforgiveness, whatever, upon the balloon (representing Christ) and release it. I don't know about the rest of you, but I felt an actual physical 'release' when I let my balloon go. I hope none of you picked your junk back up on the way home, if so - you don't need a balloon to let it go again. Just call upon the name of Jesus and cast your cares on Him for he cares for you.

    I so loved this weekend and look forward to the stories and pictures from everyone.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    I'm not as bad as...

    Ephesian 4:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

    I'm not as bad as _________________. Well, I could have done ______________. At least I don't __________________. As much as I'd like not to admit, I catch myself thinking this way. A sort of 'minimizing' way that I use to give myself 'wiggle room' for the things that I want to do instead of what I ought to do.

    The thing is, if I'm only concerned about doing 'as much as' or 'as good as' ___________ then I should only expect to 'grow as much as' or become 'as good as' ______________ and I call myself standing the line for 'exceedingly, abundantly, above all I could ask or even think'! Doesn't that mean I have to do my part? I believe it does. The end of that scripture plainly says 'according to the power that worketh in you (in me)', so I gotta work my power. What power? I don't have much power. I can barely get out of bed on time in the morning. I can hardly push myself to work out. I can only inconsistenly keep cuss words out of my mouth. What is the power then? Keep reading...'which is in Christ Jesus'. He's so awesome! Even when its about what 'I' have to do, He's still right there, picking up all the slack. The source of my strength, the strength of my life. With all of that, when it comes time to look around for a role model or a mentor or someone to model myself after - it would behoove me to use him.

    That being said, as competitive as I am, I've always been honest with me about me. I know my limitations. Jesus is just too lofty a goal. I won't set myself up for failure. At least those are the conversations that go on in my mind. Vestiges of my old self. The me that just didn't measure up. The me that couldn't do anything right. The me that went through life for years feeling unwanted and undervalued. That me is still in there - as much as I'd like to believe she's gone forever. But I have the responsibility to nourish her each day and encourage her and remind her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. I have to remind her that God would not lie to her. He told her that she is only a little lower than the angels. She has dominion over the creatures of the earth. She has the power of life and death in her tongue. Yeah, I talk to her like she's separate from me sometimes.

    She hides in the corner of my mind, afraid that the 'me' out front is just doing too much. How could "I" think that 'we' can be this? Well, I could yell at her. I could try to shut her up as I have so often before. But I've learned that if I don't comfort her and earnestly coax her out of her fear, she will gain strength and she will become the 'me' that I used to be.

    Love you. Nurture you. Talk to 'you' and tell yourself all about yourself - your True Self. Your New Self. All about the things that God has said about you that you may not even fully believe yet. Build up that reserve so that when your 'me' is cowering in the corner, you can love on her (or him) and remind her of who she is and whose she is.

    Congratulations time!
    Judy D. (Charlotte, NC): Girl!! You are down 1lb and 5 inches!! in only 2 weeks! You had already made your weight goal and now you tightening and toning! Aye Mami! Do it girl!!

    Vangie H. (Charlotte, NC): Hold it down! Down 2.35 inches in 2 weeks! You are doing it. Stay consistent and keep going. How awesome is it to look 10 years younger than your driver's license photo - I mean DAG what a difference!!

    Dr. MJ (Charlotte, NC): That's what's up 'slim'! Down 3 more pounds and 2 inches...keep going. You are almost at goal and already FABULOUS!

    LeKisha L. (Charlotte, NC): You have garnered your commitment to yourself and you are doing it! Already down 9lbs! I can't wait for your next weigh in to see how much more progress you are making. Walk it out!!

    Porshe D. (Charlotte, NC): I'm so proud of you!! Down 1.2 lbs and almost 3 inches! Sexy, sexy! You look marvelous!!

    Prayer: Lord, show us how to begin to exercise encouraging self talk that will nurture and empower us to be all that you desire us to be for your kingdom. Lord, remind me that I am what you say I am and no other opinion has any value, not even my own. Keep us in perfect peace and let us keep our minds stayed on you. Show us your wisdom and help us to rightly divide your word so that we may be able to STAND. Your Word is our strength and your love our encourager. Cover us O Lord. We love you.

    Special prayer: Lord, we ask you to send your healing to our sister Maria. As we stand in the gap for her and her sister Judy, we know that you hear our prayers and pity every groan. We thank you in advance for the manifestation of your power. The miraculous healings that are already taking place in her body. We bind up cancer, in the name of Jesus. We thank you Lord for reminding us that you have given us dominion and power to tread upon serpents. We thank you for the authority to speak life and healing. We thank you for giving us life and life more abundantly. We receive her healing. In Jesus name. Amen.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Power Thoughts

    Peter on the water: Matthew 14:22

    Lisa on the water: Thatch 10:06:10

    I can't do this, its too much. I don't believe in me anymore. Any of this kind of thinking will be "sinking thinking".

    Dig it:
    My desire - to walk on water
    My source - Christ
    My untimely demise - ME

    Sinking thinking...down, down, down, I begin to sink.

    All that I am doing with Christ at the healm...water walking...I LOVE walking on the water. Its like floating to me. Its freedom. Its triumphal. Its OVERCOMING EVERYTHING that I ever thought impossible. Its success. I'm walking on water!

    Then I think "I'm walking on water"? I'm not walking on water. I can't walk on water. Nobody walks on water. You are stuck between a size 8 and size 10 for the past 3 months - you are not walking on water. Things are insane in your life. Nothing is going as it should. You are losing. You are failing. you are not really gonna do this - SINKING THINKING....and down, down, down I begin to sink...

    "Whoa, hey, listen, over, scuse me - Jesus here! What happened? We were doing this together. Why did you leave me?" (me to Christ) Huh? I left you? You left me! I was right here, walking on water and then...o yeah - I started to think 'I' was walking on water. I took my eye off of you. It was 'You' (Jesus) who empowered me to walk on water. Not me myself. Only in my surrender to YOU can I do all things. Thanks bro. And we're walking!! (ode to Regine' - love you sis)

    This Saturday at 9am we will have our monthly "Pray in-Weigh in".
    301 W. 24th Street
    Charlotte, NC 28206

    Please plan to attend if you are local to Charlotte. I would like to float locations if any of you here in Charlotte have somewhere that we can host the "Pray in-Weigh in" for November, please let me know. We don't need much room, we can even do it outside if you like (it'll be brisk but hey, at least we know we won't fall asleep while we praying).

    God is doing great things in each of you. I'm so excited for the upcoming retreat and overwhelmed by the participation. Not only did you ladies sign up en masse but almost everyone has reached out to me to 'volunteer' for something. You really realize that 'every joint supplieth' and that this is not a "Lisa Indyatalks Thatch" thang but a body of believers thang. I'm glad to be a part of your body.

    Congratulations Time:

    Lisa Indyatalks Thatch - down 5lbs FINALLY!!!! Jesus! Hallelujah! I have been so 'stuck' and going up it wasn't making sense. But I kept pushing and doing realizing that I was building a lot of muscle which was messing with my 'scale #s' and finally - a breakthrough!

    Connie S. (Charlotte,NC) - Doing great lady! Even getting hubby on the plan. I'm so glad its working for you. I can't wait to weigh in on Saturday and get the real 'skinny' on things:)

    My church family is in the month of Consecration this month and we are denying ourselves flesh and TV. So this is a vegan recipe that I've enjoyed this week.

    Quinoa & Cabbage
    (Read about quinoa, pronounced Kin WAH online. It eats like a starch but metabolizes like a vegetable, packed with health benefits and is yummy!!)

    Quinoa (prepared package because I wanted to try it without messing it up)
    Trader Joes has it with mixed veggies and it is only $2.99 follow directions on the pkg.

    1 head Cabbage sliced thin
    5 baby carrots
    2 celery stalks cut in 2in chunks
    1 onion sliced thin
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp paprika

    Place all veggies in a heavy bottom skillet, add seasoning, cover on medium heat. Cook to desired tenderness. Notice NO OIL and it wasn't missed.

    The entire meal is a 'FREE' and it fills you up. Take a little beano before so it doesn't blow you away - LOL.

    Prayer: Lord, thank you for reminding me to keep my eye on you. To put my faith and trust in YOU and not in myself or what I see or even how I feel. I can't do this without you. I'm glad I don't have to. You are the strength of my life. You are my all and all. Thank you for surrounding me with loving people to encourage, support and remind me of who I am. I get lost in my 'sinking thinking' and they turn me to you and walk with me on the water. I love you Lord.

    Reminder: For those who prayed with us the special prayer over the past months, we are having the Memorial Service for young Kareem Berry who has gone to be with our Father. Services will be held on 10/9/10 @ 2pm 301 W. 24th Street. God showed Himself MIGHTY in KB's life to the very end. We KNOW God is in complete control. The family thanks you for your prayers.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Cane Creek Update & Itinerary

    Cane Creek Update
    See video

    All 6 Cabins are BOOKED!! Final payments are due Wednesday (no later than Friday 10/8/10)unless other arrangements have been made. The weekend will be like a Celebrity Fit Camp/Retreat with lots of laughter, prayer, fun and new friendships to be made by all. Pardon the length of this post but I want to provide you with as much info as I can so we can prepare our hearts and our minds for this awesome experience.

    Cane Creek Website - Check here for pictures, details and directions! The section that refers to the
    '6 rustic cabins' that's us!

    The Tentative Itinerary is as follows:
    Friday: 10/15/2010
    3pm - 6pm (arrivals/happy hour)
    Meet and greet, cabin assignments, music, dress up and fun!!

    6:30pm - Prayer
    7pm - Dinner
    (Don't stay up too late - for tomorrow....)

    Saturday: 10/16/10 - GETTING DOWN TO SERIOUS BUSINESS!!
    7am - Sunrise Prayer at the creek
    (God help us!! Tish and Gwen will be our Fitness Instructors - Have MERCY!)

    7:30am - Breakfast

    8:30am - Fitness Festivity #1
    Details to be provided by our Fitness Team

    10:30am - Snack

    11:30am - Fitness Festivity #2
    Details to be provided by our Fitness Team

    1:30pm - Lunch/Adjourn to the 'Day Side' for more fun activities. Miniture Golf ($2/person) Pedal Boats ($3/person). We are also trying to secure a VolleyBall goal for more fit fun!

    3:30pm - Snack (or special presentation w/food preparation - TBD)

    4:30pm - Fitness Festivity #3 (note: if we are able to provide the special presentation at 3:30pm there will not be a 4:30pm Fitness Festivity...I hear you all saying 'awwww' (sarcastically))
    Details to be provided by our Fitness Team or special food preparation provider

    5:00pm - Free Time - Shower/hang by the creek/fish (I'm bringing 4 poles you can borrow)

    6:30pm - Sunset Prayer/Dinner/Movie

    Sunday: 10/17/2010
    7am - Sunrise Prayer/Check out

    Note: We do not officially 'have' to check out until 3pm. Anyone who would like to linger, please coordinate with your cabin leader and provide 1 blank check (per cabin; to be made out to Cane Creek) or $40/cash to use for the key deposit. You will get it back when you turn in the key. Otherwise, I'm turning in the keys when I leave which is at 7:30 am.

    Please do consider staying and hanging out around the area. Its very peaceful and beautiful. I can't stay after 7:30am because I have to get back to Charlotte and ready for church services.

    Tentative Menu (subject to change based upon availability and pricing)

    Crystal Light/Wylers Packets

    Friday Dinner
    Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs w/veggies and/or salad

    Friday Treat (PM Snack)
    S'More (notice - no 's' at the end - LOL) we'll only be having 1 "S'More" a piece - uncivilized, I know:)
    Fruit will also be available

    Saturday Breakfast
    Turkey sausage/Potato/Spinach Breakfast Quiche (no cheese)

    Saturday Snack #1
    Trail Mix

    Grilled Chicken salad w/Apples & Walnuts

    Saturday Snack #2
    Special Presentation or TBD (keep your fingers crossed. I really want to be able to have the 'special presentation'

    Saturday Dinner
    Shrimp Gumbo & Spanish Rice w/peas

    PM Snack
    S'More - AGAIN!! You will have EARNED this one - LOL!!
    Fruit and left overs I am sure will be available for those not wanting this second bit of 'treat'.

    Sunday Morning
    Coffee and tea and water will be available.

    I hope that you all review the itinerary and start to get excited about all the fun we'll have.

    What to bring:
    All your hindrances and issues (you won't be taking these home with you - we'll cast those cares on Him who cares for us and let them float away on the water)

    Tooth brush/paste
    Wash cloth/towel/body wash/deodorant
    1 twin size fitted sheet (or queen size fitted sheet if you are gonna double up. I'll send the cabin assignments by friday. If you have a preference and have not already communicated it to me, please let me know ASAP.)
    1 comforter/blanket or sleeping bag
    Shower shoes
    Pajamas & Undies - feel free to bring your lucky draaaws (lol - too specific; ya'll know I got a little type A)
    Bathrobe (to wear back from the bath house after your shower)
    Flashlight (for nighttime visits to the potty)

    Work outfit w/comfortable shoes AND A GOOD BRA!
    Hand towel or face towel
    Yoga mat
    5lb hand weights
    Resistance bands
    CDs of your favorite music and/or DVD you'd like to have us watch together

    Note: Don't worry about 'buying' anything in this 'specific' list you don't have. We'll work around it if you don't. No one has to make any additional expeditures.

    Also, there is NOTHING in the cabin but your bunk/mini-fridge/bed and heat/air unit (not room for much else either). We are watching movies outdoors on a projector in the common area by the lake so be ready to bring your blanket or your robe to be comfy.

    What not to bring
    Any negativity (unless you are bringing it to allow the Lord to DESTROY that yoke)!

    General Questions:
    Q. Do I 'have' to participate in all the stuff?
    A. No, of course not. However, in addition to be fun, fit activities they are also a team events. So whatever activities you 'sit out' will not garner points for your team. Be mindful that there are 'points' available for 'non-fitness' related contributions so no worries, everyone will have the opportunity to get points.

    Q. Will I be able to choose what cabin, bunk, person, I sleep with?
    A. I will make every effort to be as equitable as possible, taking into consideration special needs, familiarity, personality and preference. However there is no way I can guarantee everyone will get exactly what they want. Please be flexible and pray much and oft for me:)

    Q. Will there be alcohol at the retreat?
    A. I will neither be providing nor prohibiting alcohol. Ya'll is grown folk.

    Q. What if I have paid in full and cannot make the trip?
    A. I should have mentioned this one up front, but the cost of the cabin is non-refundable. I would recommend you 'sponsor' someone else or allow me to extend your spot to someone who would enjoy the opportunity but could not otherwise afford to attend.

    Q. Will someone be taking pictures and videos of the event?
    A. YES!! We will be documenting the fun and fellowship to look back on with fond memories!

    Any other questions? Feel free to send them on!!