Sunday, December 12, 2010

I've Moved!

No, I haven't sold my house yet, but I have moved my blog site. After a while of contemplating having so many different blogs (this one, my photography one, my ministry one, etc.) all over the place, I wised up and combined them all into one site.

So PLEASE, check me out there and then subscribe so you don't miss a single thing. You can read the ones you want and delete the one you don't. It's that simple!

So check me out at!

Until then...

Let Your Light Shine,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do Not Doubt!

I will start off by telling you...this is going to be long, but I just need to post it and get it all out.

It started last week...on Wednesday, my pastor's daily blog was titled Speak to Things? and although, I am very familiar with this teaching, I chose to allow it to penetrate my thinking that day. Later that afternoon, I had the opportunity to put it into practice.

You see, although I'm at home most of the day, I stay very busy and do not watch daytime television, not even the news. Anytime I ever decide to turn on the news it is nothing but bad reports, so I prefer to just stay "out of the know" on things than sit there for 30 minutes to an hour listening to things that leave me feeling yuk! But on this particular afternoon, I turned on the news. I did not know why, I just did. After two days of flooding rain, there was blue sky and sunshine out my windows. However, when I turned on the television I found out that less than 40 miles away, the sky was a different story. As I sat there watching live video from a news helicopter, I watched tornadoes (yes, more than one) drop out of the clouds and touch down on Dallas ground. The reporters were yelling, "Oh no, it's in densely populated neighborhoods!" Having meditated on Mark 11 all day, I immediately began to yell at the storm clouds! (now it does not say you have to yell, only speak, but I'm just telling you what I did) "I command you to go back up into the sky, in Jesus' name! Dissipate and go away! You will NOT touch down, in Jesus' name. You will not take any lives, in Jesus' name!"

It was really quite comical - for one, my little dog thought I had lost it. She was running and hiding, then coming back to check on me and then take off again. But the other thing that made it comical was the fact that as I spoke, the funnels would go back up. I was watching this LIVE! It would go up and then the news reporter would say something like, "well, it's going to form again, here it comes..." and sure enough, the funnel would form and touch down again. Again, I would speak (shout, whatever) and command it to go back up! And again it would go back up. This lasted off and on for about an hour. Later that night as we watched the 10:00 news, they were giving the report of the tornadoes and were talking about how it could have been so much worse, how the tornadoes skipped around, there wasn't much damage and no lives lost!

Now, I am quite certain I was not the only one speaking to that storm, however, even if I would have the same results.

Fast forward to Sunday at church. Pastor Nick continued teaching from Mark 11:22 and 23 on Speaking to Things. If you are not familiar with this passage of scripture, here it is:

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 

He shared how in this passage, Jesus is referring to a physical mountain. The reality that by faith, we can literally speak mountains to move, hit me.

This morning as I was in my time with the Lord, I began to pray, read and study. Pray because I needed clarification, read so that I could make sure I knew exactly what it said, and study to do my own digging in the Word. And this is see, I was thinking about doubt. It is doubt that keeps mountains from moving. Let's get many people truly have faith to move mountains...physical mountains? I do not ever see reports that go like this..."Well, today another mountain was moved into the ocean. Yes folks, this time it was Mount Everest. Just another one cast into the sea. For live video footage, tune in at 10."

No, that is not a report we see or hear, and why not? Because of doubt! Myself included...I can imagine standing in front of Mount Everest and commanding it to jump into the ocean and what would proceed my words? Doubt. I would doubt that it would really obey my words. I'm just being honest. And I am quite certain that you would be the same way. So I began to study the word doubt. The second definition that was listed in my dictionary was one word, very simple, to the point. It was distrust. DIS - TRUST! No trust! No trust in what? Well, let's look at the entire passage and I will show you what I saw at 5:30 this morning.

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Verse 22 says, "Have faith in God." Or could also be said, "Have the faith of God." So if there is distrust, it is a lack of trust in God to be able to perform His Word. When I allow doubt, it is the same as admitting that I don't trust God. I immediately was reminded of an example of this doubt. Just a day or two ago, I noticed a knot on my little dog's back. So I immediately spoke to it and commanded it to go away, dissolve, dry up, whatever needed to happen for it to be gone. Then I looked at my husband and told him that I was going to measure it and if it got any larger, I would take her in to the vet. WHAT?????? What did I just do? I had doubt! Now, I KNOW better and I still followed my statement of faith with doubt.

When I realized this, I had to repent. And how many of us need to do the same thing? Repent because of our doubt, even though we profess to be men or women of faith?

I continued reading this passage and really liked what I read in verse 24, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." 

Ah, I like that! Because as I combine the faith of God with no doubt, I can have all my prayers answered. Selah! Then I continued...

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

There is one more thing that MUST be done in order for all of the above to happen...and that is to forgive! Forgive who? Anyone who has offended you, done you wrong, looked at you the wrong way, said something about you that was untrue, mistreated you, (I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture.) And this must be done! M.U.S.T.!!!

In order to move mountains - we cannot doubt and we must forgive! What God is saying in this passage is this...

v 22: You have to have
v 23: You have to speak this...words
          and you can't have this...doubt
v 24: Then you will get this...answer to prayers
v 25: If you do this...forgive

So no matter what the mountain is that you are faced with today...take the Words of Jesus! Have the faith of God and DO NOT DOUBT!

Until next time...

Let Your Light Shine,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carbs and Protein: Do the Body Good (first thing in the morning)!

I have found throughout my weight-loss journey, that I tend to eat the same things over and over. Not because I have to, but because when I find something that I like and I know it's good for me, it's convenient to have it time and time again. I will typically do this for a number of days, weeks, even months until I move on to something else.

My last great find is a wonderful breakfast that has exactly what I need for working out, is quick and easy to make, is low cal, low fat and nutritious. And the best is delicious.

I figured if I'm enjoying it, you may too! So here it is:

Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt - 4oz. My faves are Blueberry and Strawberry (can be found at Walmart as well as many other grocery stores)
1/4 Cup of Kellogg's All Bran cereal
1/4 Cup of fresh Blueberries or cut up Strawberries.

The added cereal gives crunch, fiber, additional protein and makes it filling. This very nutrition breakfast has only 150 calories, 29 grams of (good) carbohydrates, 0 fat, 6 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. The combination of good carbs and the protein makes it an excellent choice for any day or time of the week, but especially when working out.

I have also combined the blueberries and strawberries with half of a small banana for even more substance.

Enjoy this nutritious breakfast first thing in the morning and I believe you will find that it your body good!

Until next time...

Let Your Light Shine,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Make it Plain!

Habakkuk 2, verses 2 and 3 in the New King James Version says...And then the Lord answered me and said:

"Write the vision and MAKE IT PLAIN on tablets
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet, for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
it will not tarry."

The Message translation of "make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it" says, "Write it out in big block letters, so it can be read on the run." The Amplified says, "Engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by."

The first and most important part of any journey is to have a vision of where you are headed. 
Just a couple of posts ago, I shared the importance of finding your Weight Loss Whys. Knowing your Weight Loss Whys is what causes you to create vision for something. Once you have vision, you must write it and make it plain!

How do you do this? It's quite simple! There are three steps:
  1. See it! Again, this is the most important. You can't just say you have vision or a goal, you must know what it is to the point of being able to see it with your spiritual eyes. This is your vision!

  2. Watch it! Now you must watch it. You do that by creating visuals, such as a Vision Book or Vision Poster and put pictures, words, scriptures, ANYTHING that will help you maintain the vision. Include things of what you will do, clothes you will wear, places you will go, accomplishments you will live once you have reached your goal.

  3. Share it! This is the part that is sometimes the most challenging. You may for a moment, think, "I don't want to tell anyone, I just want to lose and then have people notice." That is wrong thinking. What does the scripture in Habakkuk say? It says to write it in big block letters, make it plain on tablets...and why? So that it can be read on the run, by everyone who passes it. 

It is important to share your goals and vision with others so that you are accountable, not only to yourself and to the Lord, but to others as well. If you share your goal with others, they will encourage you PLUS you will know they are watching you and therefore you receive just a little more motivation to not disappoint...them or yourself. 

So..MAKE IT PLAIN! If you are serious about reaching your goals, share what those goals are!

To begin, reply with a comment on this post and start it with: 
Then tell me what your goal or vision is. 

I will be the first to share, right here: I'M MAKING IT PLAIN! I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength and since He lives within me, I will reach my goal of losing 40 pounds OR MORE by December of this year. 
This is a very attainable goal of losing an average of no more than two pounds per week (which results in a safe, healthy and long-lasting weight loss.)

After last year's set back, I have been challenged with getting and staying committed to lose the additional weight that I gained. But now I have a Weight Loss Why! My sweet hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last month and to continue with the celebration, we have booked our first cruise on December 6th. I'm so excited! My birthday is the 5th and therefore it will be a double celebration. This is a big Weight Loss Why for me as seeing that our trip is a cruise, it will mean swimsuit wearing! So I have plenty of time to achieve it, and yet, no time to waste!

Do you need a big Weight Loss Why? Think ahead! What is coming up in the next few months or within the next year that you want to be at your prime health and fitness for? Do you have a special occasion that YOU will be celebrating? A high school reunion? A trip? A family reunion? If you do not have any thing scheduled, create one. Set a date that you will ______ (fill in the blank). Perhaps call several friends you haven't seen in a while and either plan a trip or just a get-together. Don't you want to look your best?

Set the date, grab hold of your vision and then MAKE IT PLAIN!

You CAN do it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are You Serious?

With my own challenges of weight gain and weight loss, this is a subject that is close to my heart!

Many times I hear people say (or have said myself), "I am watching what I eat and I'm exercising, but the weight just isn't coming off!" This is said with frustration and discouragement, especially when you think you are doing it all correctly and are not seeing results.

I have been struggling with these same thoughts the last two months.  After a period of several  months where I was unable to exercise regularly, weight crept on and before I knew it, I was up 25 pounds. Then things changed and I started back to my regular routine of exercise and expected to see the pounds melt off me immediately. And you know what? That has not happened! And why not? After all, my eating isn't bad, I don't snack all day long, I'm aware of high calorie and high fat foods and choose against those, cook only lean chicken and fish with veggies, so why isn't it happening?

I'll tell you why. Because I have not gotten serious about this weight loss journey like I was when I had 90 pounds to lose. Oh yes, I'm eating decent and I am exercising again on a regular basis. So what is it? What makes one serious?

The answer is being constantly aware and not just thinking you are doing all things correctly, but knowing you are! This comes from having total purpose in everything you do towards losing weight.

Here are a few tips on how you can do that...

  • Bite and Write! Keep a food journal of everything you eat. Write down every bite and I mean EVERY bite. Just having an awareness of what you are consuming will reduce calorie intake by as much as 30%. Many times we get busy and throughout the day will grab a bite of this and a bite of that and have no conscious awareness of what we have consumed. Especially if you are one who eats because you enjoy it and not necessarily out of hunger. Which leads me to this...
  • Eat only when you are hungry! Do not snack every time you walk into the kitchen or by the table at work that coworkers keep cookies and candies on. You do need to consume something that contains nutrition (no dead calories) approximately every three hours. So have your three nutritious meals a day with a nutritious low calorie snack halfway in between.
  • Track your calories! The reality is that weight loss comes down to two things...calories consumed vs calories burned. Bottom line - that is it! No matter what fad diets, diet pill commercials or friends tell you, that is the way God created you. You receive calories in through nutritious foods, these calories spark and maintain your metabolism which in turn burn calories. These calories are what give your body energy to live and if you do not burn off the excess, it is stored as fat. The formula for what I call "Debbi's Law of Weight Loss" is this...C < B = -F, which means Consume Less calories than you Burn and it will equal a decrease in Fat. Bottom Line!
  • Have Fun with Exercise! If you find an exercise that you enjoy, then you are more likely to stick with it. It isn't enough to just exercise, you must have fun doing it. If you enjoy it and are having fun, you will work harder,  more consistently and form a habit that will not be broken. There are so many options for great forms of aerobic and strength training available, so don't limit yourself. If running or step classes aren't your thing, get outside of the box and find something you enjoy. Perhaps a rock climbing course or tennis is more your style. Join a swim team or maybe hiking is something  that excites you. The important things are to 1) find something you enjoy and will stick with and 2) stick with it.
For many more tips, suggestions and encouragement in your weight loss journey, order my book, No More Weighting - Thought for the Week. It is full of my own personal tried and true weight loss tips. There is one to focus on each week, as it is laid out in the form of a weekly devotional. I'm going to go pick up mine right now and read it for myself! I need to get serious!

So, if you feel you are doing everything right and you aren't seeing progress, I just have to ask you this question,  " Are you serious?"

Until next time...
Let Your Light Shine,

Monday, March 1, 2010

What is Your Weight Loss "Why"?

If you have read much of what I've written in past, been to one of my NMW Series or have my book, then you already know what I'm about to say. But it doesn't hurt to hear it again!

When it comes to losing weight, one of the first and most important things that will help you to be a success is identifying your Weight Loss Whys! What is a Weight Loss Why? Let me explain...

In order to make a necessary change, do something out of the ordinary or decide to redirect your course,  the first thing you want to know is the answer to this question, why should I

Why do you take an exit off of the interstate to head to a destination? Do you just randomly pick an exit to take? No! You take a specific exit because you know it will get you to your destination. You have a place to be and there is a reason that you are heading in that direction, a reason that you are going to arrive at that location. Are you going to a certain store to make a purchase? Are you going to visit a friend or relative? Whatever the reason, you know why you are going.

It isn't any different when it comes to losing weight. Why do you want to lose it? Why do you need to shed the extra pounds? Why is it important? These are your Weight Loss Whys! They can be for you or for others around you. For example: Do you have children? Do you want to be the best parent possible? Do you want to be able to keep up with them physically without tiring out? Do you want to live a long and healthy life so that one day you can enjoy your grandchildren? Are you married? Do you want to be? These are examples of why you would do it for someone else.

Let's look at some Whys for yourself: Do you want to feel better? Be able to accomplish more? Feel good about the way you look in your clothes? Wear a swimsuit without covering it in long t-shirts? Be able to go to a gym and not wonder what the skinny-minny next to you is thinking? (She probably isn't thinking anything but in your mind you can make up all kinds of things that she is judging you about!) Do you want to do backflips again, be a cheerleader, go water or snow skiing, ride in an airplane without an extension, tie your shoes, cross your legs? These are just a few examples of Weight Loss Whys

Now...take a moment and write down your own personal ones. Go ahead and do it right now – just jot down a few. You can always add more later (and trust me, you will!).

The next step is to have vision! The Word says in Habakkuk 2:2, 3, The Message version, 

And then God answered: "Write this. 

   Write what you see.

Write it out in big block letters 
   so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness 
   pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! 
   And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait. 
   It's on its way. It will come right on time.

You must have vision! You must be able to see with your eye of faith exactly what you desire the end result to be. Then to assist in keeping it before you, do something so that it is "in big block letters so that it can be read on the run." 

Find specific scriptures that pertain to what you desire, and create a Vision Book or Vision Poster with photos cut out from magazines, catalogs, etc. of things you will accomplish as a result of reaching your goals! Have fun with it and "play kindergarten!"

Look at that Vision Book/Poster every day. Keep it someplace that can be seen "on the run", in a location that is not hidden from you, carry it with you, do whatever it takes to keep that vision alive!

Another important step is to set goals! Long-term and short-term. And be sure to set dates or milestones. For example, a long-term goal might be to drop 100 pounds within one year (by xx/xx/2011). Do not say you can not do that! That is a safe and effective rate of an average of two pounds per week, and is very attainable!  Why do you want to reach that goal? 

Then set short-term goals, baby steps or bite-sized goals. Be sure to set dates or milestones for each mini-goal. Let's say that you have a vacation coming up in two months. You can safely lose 15-20 lbs in that time frame. Or perhaps you would rather go by sizes. With approximately every 10 pound loss, it is equivalent to dropping one size (this is an average - many factors go into it). So let's say that you want to be a size ___ by your vacation and list the date. 

It is so very important to have a date attached to your goal. It gives you something set, concrete to shoot for. It also helps to overcome the challenges and temptations that await. To be able to say to yourself, "No, I will stick with my plan so I can feel better about myself on the beach in May" gives you the extra punch you need to push through.

Then last but not least...take ACTION! Do the things you know to do, and DO them! Faith without corresponding action is dead! So what actions will correspond with what you desire, believe you can achieve, see that is ahead in your future? Do them! DO is an action word!

If you aren't sure what to do and need additional help, just contact me. I will help!

Have a blessed day, have fun playing kindergarten and remember to always...
Let Your Light Shine,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stretch After Strength!

You know the old saying, "Live and Learn"? Well, I want to share something with you today that I actually learned a long, long time ago. Although I've known this for a very long time, I made a big boo-boo last week and have paid for it since. I share this with you in hopes of helping you prevent making that same mistake.

When it comes to strength training (working with weights, machines, bands, etc.) you must always go into the workout warm and you must always stretch out those muscles afterwards. No matter how you feel when you've completed the workout – take time to stretch.

With my sabbatical from exercise the last few months (if you haven't already, be sure to read last week's post, I'm Just Like You), after several weeks of putting aerobic exercise back into my routine I decided it was time do add some strength training. And so I did! After approximately 30 minutes of working with weights, resistance bands and doing some core training, I finished, took a shower, got dressed for the day and went about my business. One very important element was left out...I did not stretch after my workout. 

Quite honestly, I underestimated myself and didn't feel like I had accomplished much. I couldn't feel the burn and so therefore just assumed that I had not worked my muscles as much as they needed. Well, how ignorant I was, let me tell you! Six hours later, I knew differently! I spent the next two days paying for that ignorance. Walking, sitting, bending, doing just about anything, I felt. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm one of those strange people that enjoys feeling sore muscles after a good workout. I believe in "no pain, no gain". This wasn't just a little muscle soreness. No, this was the kind that moans and groans came ushering out of my belly with every move! Did I injure myself? No, it was strictly extremely sore muscles that had been neglected for quite a while. However, I could have and that would have set me back much further than my sabbatical. 

Stretching out is a very important part of the process of a good and thorough workout. Never neglect a good stretch while the muscles are still warm. It will not take you long and the benefits will be worth it.

The moral to this story? Always, always, always stretch after strength! Always!

Until next time, remember...
STRETCH and Let Your Light Shine,