Guilty Pleasures

"He Seldom Reflects On The Days Of His Life, Because God Keeps Him Occupied With Gladness Of Heart."
Ecclesiastes 5:20

I got an email requesting I list some of my favorite guilty pleasures...

I thought this would be a nice break from some of the thinking I have been doing lately.

I will start with my number one guilty pleasure...

"America's Team" - The Dallas Cowboys...

I have been a fan for as long as I can remember, I never miss a game and will root for them no matter how badly they are losing.

I am not a fan of the owner, I have seen him almost single handedly destroy the team and as a fan it is hard to watch at times....

I am not a fan of our quarterback, he seems to want the spotlight of the rag magazines more than he truly wants to play football and like one of the quarterbacks around here (no names mentioned, however he is now going to be playing for the Denver Broncos this year), I find him highly overrated.

You should have known you would see this picture somewhere in this post.


My all-time favorite band.

I know the lyrics to every single song they have ever recorded and in 22 days, I will finally see them live...

No matter what people say about them or the bad press they receive, I personally find them to be one of the greatest bands ever formed.

And yes, when they broke up a few years ago, I did shed some tears.

When they got back together, I shed even more and I knew I would finally be able to somehow, someway see them together on stage and I am looking forward to that night that isn't so far off anymore.

Don't adjust your monitor, that is indeed the cast of "Jersey Shore"...

Yes I watch each and every single episode, I even DVR it if I am not home to catch it...

I am almost embarrassed to say I even watch it...

I know they get some pretty bad press and really there is no substance to it, however if you sit down and watch one episode, you are completely hooked...

I will also now admit that "Snooki" is my favorite character...

The girl cracks me up...

It is like watching a trainwreck in super slow motion.

Two of the best flavors ever invented...

Chocolate and mint.

Whoever thought to combine them should get the Nobel Peace Prize IMO.

I have tried store brand versions of it, however nothing beats Baskin Robbins for the best mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Which is also a good thing for my diet since we don't have one very near to our house.

Books, lots and lots of books...

I own more books then any one person should have...

The bookstore is one of my favorite places to hang out.

I love a brand new book that hasn't had the binding broke on it yet, I love the feel and the smell of it as well.

I will read just about anything I can get my hands on...

I am never reading just one book at a time and always carry two in my purse with me since you never know when you will be hung up somewhere.

This was a toss up...

Between Bath and Body Works, Starbucks and Yankee Candle Company...

I went with the candle company...

I very rarely buy their big candles however I can spend some serious dough on their tarts...

When my stuff isn't living in a warehouse, I have 6 tart burners and would always burn a different scent in each room.

One of the many things I can't wait to do once I get a place of my own.

Dancing or skipping in a rain shower...

Need I say any more than that?

I did it this morning as I was leaving the grocery store.

We had a nice downpour, I kicked off my flip-flops and skipped through the puddles to the car .

Why wait for the rain to stop when you have the opportunity to enjoy what He is presenting to you?

You Set My Feet To Dancing
You Set My Heart On Fire
In The Presence Of A Thousand Kings
You Are My One Desire


How Heavy Is Yours?

"And Anyone Who Does Not Take His Cross And Follow Me Is Not Worthy Of Me. Whoever Finds His Life Will Lose It, And Whoever Loses His Life For My Sake Will Find It."

Matthew 10:38-39

Until recently I never understood what it meant to carry your own cross.

I have heard the term, and read the verse stated above...

I just didn't "get it"...

What cross was I carrying and who did I get it from so I could actually indeed carry it?

Told you guys I was a dork.

Carrying the cross means to bear the difficulties that life throws at you with strength and patience just as Jesus did.

Using the difficulties and sufferings in front of you to produce love.

Since I live in my situation, I will use that as an example to show you when I carried my cross and when I abandoned it.

I am not proud of all the choices I have made, however I no longer allow it to weigh me down with regret and doubt.

During the early days when my life was decimated by another, it was my main focus...

For months I walked around in my own fog, moaning and complaining to anyone who would listen...

I wanted answers, a lot of answers and the one person who could give them to me was not speaking.

I must have cursed his name with every fiber in my being on a daily basis and that would be on the days when I actually made it out of bed.

Then I read "The Shack" and it opened my eyes up to forgiveness on a different level, a higher level.

True story or not, it was one of the best books I have ever read.

I got back into Church and actually started learning there are bigger things out there besides me and my circumstances...

I stopped trying to control each and every single aspect of my life and over time I learned how to turn all of it over to Him.

I realized that the world does not owe me, my husband was not responsible for my happiness, I was...

I took back the control I gave over to him, control I didn't even know I had lost...

Slowly, time allowed me to take back my self-respect, my self-worth, my dignity...

Day by agonizing day, I rebuild a small piece of me that was shattered 18 months ago...

Some things I keep, some things I discard....

I add new as well as work on what needs to be polished.

I realized that God knows what it is like to suffer, He suffered more than any of us could even imagine...

I realized that in my self-centered, self-focused state, I could never fathom that any good could come from this, much less be worth it

I learned how to use this situation for good.

I use this as a way to consistently look for ways to glorify Him, to get closer to Him and ultimately to know Him more intimately than any other person I have known in my life.

He wants you to pick up your cross and follow Him, give up life as you have always known it to be and live His way, in it's place.

To carry your cross means to go against what "others" may think you should do and do what you know in your heart is right.

Just always remember that no matter how heavy your cross is, you are never, ever carrying it alone.

He is always right there with you, shouldering the weight of your burdens, the weight of your circumstances.

Just as He promised.

I've Faced A Great Tragedy
But Have Seen The Works Of What You Bring
A Display Of Faith That You Give
I Don't Know If I Will Ever Understand
The Depth Of What It Is You've Done Inside
But I Know I Won't Find Any Worth Apart From You


Time To Get Dressed

"Therefore Put On The Full Armor Of God, So That When The Day Of Evil Comes, You May Be Able To Stand Your Ground, And After You Have Done Everything, To Stand. Stand Firm Then, With The Belt Of Truth Buckled Around Your Waist, With The Breastplate Of Righteousness In Place, And With Your Feet Fitted With The Readiness That Comes From The Gospel Of Peace. In Addition To All This, Take Up The Shield Of Faith, With Which You Can Extinguish All The Flaming Arrows Of The Evil One. Take The Helmet Of Salvation And The Sword Of The Spirit, Which Is The Word Of God."
Ephesians 6:13-17

When this verse above was first mentioned to me, I admit to thinking I had to literally buy a suit of armor.

Clank around so I knew was protected, I have come a long way my friends. :)

Yes I am a dork...

I think "literally" when I hear something like "armor"...

Anyway, I am going to show you how to not only put on the full armor but to use it during your day so you are truly protected during any and all spiritual warfare you may come in contact with.

This way you will know how to come out victorious.

The Belt Of Truth:

The main weapon of attack from Satan is lies. His lies sound so truthful, however they are very dangerous to you as a servant of God.

He walks around just looking for a way to get in and destroy you...

Like a lion looking for prey.

Because we as a whole have become numb to sin, we don't even recognize it anymore.

So many things that used to be considered vial are now acceptable.

I am not a prude, by any measure, however even I am shocked at what I tolerate on a day to day basis.

Movies that promote violence, adultery, hate, racism etc...

Our children are no longer allowed to pray in school and you might just get hung (depending on where you live) if you even breathe the name of God out loud.

I am sorry but this isn't acceptable, this isn't how I want to raise my boys.

The only way to defeat these lies is God's truth.

Put on the Belt of Truth and turn away from the lies you have been fed.

The Holy Spirit, which lives within you will show you the truth no matter what circumstance you are in, just listen for His voice.

The Breastplate of Righteousness:

The breastplate is to guard your heart, the one place Satan loves to attack.

Your emotions, your feelings come from your heart and if he is able to get in and mess with those he is then able to mess with our lives.

By stirring up the emotions, he is taking you from Him, making you question your worthiness, thus making you a less effective servant of God, which is his goal.

When we feel unworthy, we are more prone to sin, we sin more, we fall further away from God...

It is a vicious cycle to be in.

You have to guard the righteousness He has given you in order for your breastplate to become stronger.

If your breastplate isn't strong and your heart takes a direct hit, you are then susceptible to temptation...

Don't give in, allow the temptations to build up your breastplate, with the full knowledge that God will never allow us to be tempted more than we can handle...

If cracks start to appear or your breastplate seems to be giving out, call to Him, He will show you a way out.

Shoes of Peace (Preparation for Gospel of Peace):

I know those shoes are hideous and I personally wanted to use a picture of black combat boots, however the voice of reason told me I needed to keep within what may have been worn back when this Scripture was written.

The Shoes of Peace are an important piece of the Armor that you put on each day.

The Gospel is a source of comfort in times of need, a source of joy in happy times, a source of hope in times of despair, the source of all the peace you seek can be found within the pages of His word.

To have true peace with our Father, we should be walking towards Him and running away from the sins of our past.

The Shield of Faith:

Out of all the armor I think this one is my favorite, especially since I deal with the "fiery darts" all the time and I am only now beginning to understand how to deflect them.

Satan uses arrows of discouragement, hate, insults, lies, doubts, fears, temptations etc...

We use the shield to block these arrows, to hide behind the shield knowing God is in control no matter how many arrows come your way.

When you reach the end of your rope, you have two choices, to trust yourself to continue on or to trust in Him to carry you through.

The trying of your Faith (your shield under attack) will allow you to learn patience.

The Helmet of Salvation:

This is something I am in dire need of, protection of the mind...

Satan can't force you to commit sin, instead he uses different tactics to get you to see that "sin" is better than what you are doing...

Your mind is what will decide if you commit that specific sin or not.

Jesus is the author of our Faith, our minds put it into action.

If we choose to live in sin, we are then mastered by Satan and our own evil wishes and desires.

The tactics Satan uses against us are designed to weaken our Faith...

He uses carnal temptations to lure you to his side...

Money, pride, sexual temptations etc...

He will do anything in his power to poison your mind and blind you to the truth.

The Helmet of Salvation is designed to give you peace from God which happens when you are focused on Him and not the world around you.

The Sword of the Spirit:

The Sword is formed by speaking His word.

Praying His word.

Singing His word.

Answering questions based on His word.

To use the Sword, you have to know the Bible as well as the context from where it was taken...

To know the Bible, you have to actually open it and read it, meditate on it and memorize it...

I pick out certain verses that sometimes are really short, however pertain to what I am needing that day...

You need to program your mind with His word and I will be the first to admit it isn't easy...

I can hear a song on the radio once and the next time it is on, I can sing it (scary I know)almost word for word...

I can't understand why Scripture gives me such a hard time, however that is a different post...

The Armor of God is based on Faith, Belief, Truth, Righteousness, Peace...

All things that each of us could probably use a little more of.

Don't Look Anywhere Else For Life
Don't Look Anywhere Else For Meaning
There's Nowhere Else To Find
Your Peace Of Mind
Cause I'm All You Need
And I'm All Yours


2009-2015 Serenity ~

All Rights Reserved By Their Respective Copyright Holders

All Pictures (unless otherwise noted) Are Used Via Google Images