Sunday, November 13, 2011

Forgivness Undos What Medical Science Cannot

Holding on to past hurts and pain has been known to change the body chemistry causing cancer, high blood pressure, and fatigue. There is an answer to combat what medical Science has been trying to do for centuries. The answer is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a choice that requires action on our part. When one makes the decision to forgive they are releasing themselves, as well as the other person. They are not dismissing or minimizing their pain; what happened was real, but they are saying they are willing to move on and heal.

One needs to understand that we may have felt pain or may still be feeling hurt, but in order to grow we have to let go. Part of the healing process is dealing with issues that creep up from a past occurrence and handling it one moment at a time. We can decide to move forward even if the other person does not, but we have to go through the process. The good news is that God wants to be involved in the process. The person involved in the hurt may not be part of the healing, but you can move forward with God’s assistance. Don't forget that you also need to forgive yourself. Christ forgave you; He does not want you to hold onto it either!

Healing is like pealing an onion; I think I have talked about this before. God would never give us more than we can handle. So as He helps us deal with the tough and grimy daily peals of our “aka” skins off our onion, one-day-at-at-time, deal with the issues that surface, don’t open up old handled wounds, and make peace. Face what is in front of you and move forward. You’ll be happier and healthy for it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Save the Hero 2011

Dear Ladies,
I am at the “Save the Hero” Penn Florida Conference this weekend in Orland, FL. It’s called Fall Break Away. I am grateful that the Lord made a way for me to “break away” and come to this event. I had no idea that the “everyday” women would be the hero they were talking about this weekend. Yes, Jesus is our hero, but women are often a stand-in for Jesus, an instrument extended. Now that we have established this, women, you know how amazing you are. You are heroes to those around us, and we are grateful for you! The problem is that many of these heroes are tired, they are falling like flies, and need to be strengthened.

Before this day, I had pondered many times what the topic was going to be about. I thought to myself, Jesus is my hero, and He does not need saving. Who is this hero of woman I am going to hear about? What do you have for me Lord? In short, I am a little slow and came here blindly believing that God would have a message for me; I was so caught up in serving that I neglected to see that I am hero to those around me. It hit me right between the eyes. Thank God, I did not miss it!

It is day two, and I’m already reveling in His love and His revelation is filling me to overflow, which I was I desperately needed but totally expected! I need to see myself as this woman they are talking about it. I remember a recent thank you event our women’s ministry gave to Pastor LaDonna Jones. Each one of us told her how thankful we were for all of the things she had done for us. We praised her for who she was in Christ, but she did not see all of it. It’s hard when you are living the hero lifestyle to see that you are a hero. It makes sense. You’re not in it for the money. You are in it unto Christ.

Being that women are the avid heroes day-in-and-out, we are busy saving or trying to save those around us. I’m not just talking about your home ladies, as your Proverbs 31 life extends to those whom you come in contact with on a daily basis. Though no one may never say to you “thank you for being my hero”, let’s not forget the influence, as well as the empowerment we have received from on high. We do it for the King! God created women with the instinct to nurture. Yes, He may have made us that way or set us up for this ministry (hee hee), but we have to be willing to be His servants and do what He calls us to do.

It’s easier to “save” our family because we are emotionally involved and invested with them, but what about the lady in the office who has no food? What about the young man who needs a place to stay? What about giving the stranger the last $20.00 dollars you have? What about taking a friend to have their car fixed? I have done all of these in my past among other things, but I am still giving and trying to save others through the blood of Christ. I want to be Christ to them. We sing the songs with the lyrics such as, “I want to be your hands and I want to be your feet. Go where you send me.” You have an area to take care of right around you first. Start looking with supernatural and natural eyes in your realm of influence, wherever it may extend. Helping people with the natural needs are the easiest ones to see and do. If you are doing that already, then ask God to broaden your ministry spectrum it. Again, we do it for the King!

Sometimes when we are busy giving or being a hero to a precocious one we can be misunderstood. But if we know the true desires and motivations of our actions, we do not have to crumble, walk away, or stop loving and giving. We do our best to flow in the supernatural power that He has given us, while using any natural resources at our finger tips. This could mean you give someone cash, food, or a place to stay if the Lord tells you to. These are just a few examples. We do it because we love Christ and them, but more importantly because we are indebted in Christ and not ashamed (Romans 1:14). So don’t stop helping and saving the people around you. Stay revitalized, by keeping in prayer and reading the Word. Keep your ears and eyes open, but make time to get away and seek God away from all of the hustle and bustle. I am already planning for Fall Breakaway 2013. I would not miss it. I know He will provide.Some of you are wondering about next year, as you missed out this year or some other conference you were informed about. Please have faith and ask God right now to make a way for you. If not this conference, go to one in your denomination or circles. Get away! I can’t look at next year’s speaker, Lisa Bevere, or title, “The Lioness Arising” and have negative thoughts for a second.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pastor's Song - Donna Jackson

Dear Ladies,
This week I want to impress the importance of taking the time to thank your pastor and his or her wife for the service to you and your family and congregation. We really have no idea what it is like to live the life of a pastor. They have a large vision from God and only so much time, people, and capacity to live out the vision.

We can only imagine that it must be hard. For example, think about being available 24-7 and to get up and leave your family right in the middle of dinner or during a dance recital to be with a family who lost a loved one. There is a great sacrifice that comes with being a pastor, though you never hear them complain. Aren’t you glad that your pastor is called to be a pastor? How about the days they go with little sleep. God has awakened them to pray for you and me. They also seek God for the words to preach to their congregation. They don’t fly by the seat of their pants. They are committed.
Think about all of the people they deal with day-in and day-out, both the kind and difficult and the ones in-between. In fact, patience is a gift that most pastors are blessed with. Again, this makes me think of a reason to thank my pastors Keith and LaDonna Jones. I am not horribly needy person, but I take up some of their time. Though they have laid their lives down for us and Christ, they have less time to take care of themselves. They want to make a difference for the kingdom of God. They give every part of themselves to it!

Our dynamite duo takes care of many things that go in the church, as well as the business aspect, but ministering to people and making programs to meet the needs of your congregation takes time and people to get the job done. It wouldn’t hurt to thank our pastors and leaders more than once a year on Pastor’s Appreciation Day. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your pastors where you can help and share their load. If it is a 24-7 job, and they need our help. I think they would appreciate that. If we can help just a little bit, how much more can they be freed up to do and serve? Let's give back!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

NO! You Can Say It!

Dear Kingdom Women,
I am writing to you today to encourage to use the short word: no. Are you spread too thin and going in a bunch of complicated directions? If you know me personally, you know that I am woman of God who serves and gives fervently. Yes, God has called us to serve; however, He also called us to be proper stewards. This means taking an account of what are priorities are. Sometimes we get pulled into a bunch of directions. Maybe it’s just that you are too afraid to say no, but if the Lord is behind you , as you move towards alignment off church, family, personal, and work alignment. He is sure to give you the words to speak. It’s only one word. No!

I had a difficult conversation that I had to attend to this week. I was about to embark on a temporary agreement, but I had to make sure that the contract was correct and that there would be no misunderstandings. I said what I could do, and the rest, I said I could not help with. I did not feel like I had to explain. Often, this is what we worry about the most. What will I tell them? Sometimes we don’t owe anyone the reason. If someone pries after you have said no, I question their respect and motivation.

Like I said, I am woman of God who serves and gives fervently. Yes, God has called me to serve; however, He also called me to be a proper steward. I have come to the end of myself, though it might be in near exhaustion. I just said no. I am proud of myself.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Love Your Neighbor

God has been talking to me about being more hospitable and loving towards my neighbors. For some ladies, this comes naturally, but not for me. I am a bit on the shy side. My husband Don is one who takes the lead in this area. He brings up the garbage cans for one of my neighbors each week. He is Mr. Sociable out there talking to them a lot of the time. He has the gift of gab that I wish I had.

So when I began to tell Him that God wanted us to bless our neighbors more and to love them, he began to question where this admonishment was coming from. You see, he was able to serve up a meaty list of how he has been a blessing to our neighbors. I, on the other hand, fell short. He uncovered my lack in love, which I respect. The next morning I opened my Bible to Romans 12: 9-21, where it talks about being a true Christian who is hospitable. Yep, I got my confirmation. I needed to head His word. We are commanded to love our neighbors. It’s time! I included this Veggietales song because it goes with the text rather well. Enjoy!

Below is a candid reflection of the above message and song written from heart.

Love Your Neighbor Poem:
Love your neighbor- even if they don’t chain up their dogs when they let them out to potty and their dogs chase you and your leashed dogs- love your neighbor.

Love your neighbor –even if you are shy and afraid to talk to them- love your neighbor.

Love your neighbor –even if they almost run you over as they back out of their driveway (this happened today)- love your neighbor.

Love your neighbor –bake cookies and take them over there with a smile on your face (I put this on my to do list for this week)- love your neighbor.

Love your neighbor –chat with them when they are outside and look for opportunities to invite them over to talk- love your neighbor.

Love your neighbor-they will see Christ in you the hope of glory and turn to God- love your neighbor.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This week a high school senior gave me a note. She was thanking me for being her mentor, though we never entered into a mentoring contract formally. She acknowledge the need for a woman of God to look up to in times like these. She paid me a high complement saying that she has seen me in many situations and that my life brings glory to God. I can only give Him the glory for this. Yet, it got me thinking of the importance of mentoring. There is a great need. Though I believe that God wants us to be engaged with the up-coming generations, I also see that a young woman may be watching you from a far and she is hoping that you two will connect. Sometimes these relationships begin from a far.

Ladies, God is calling us to mentor the younger women around us. It involves looking for a younger woman who needs support and direction, spending time with them, and pouring into their lives. They may be lacking a role model, and you are the one that God is sending to this young woman. It is not as hard as it looks. Some churches have organizations and or women's ministries already set up. If you ask God, He will send you someone. Others volunteer in youth church and look for ways to mentor teens. There are many options.

Some people decide they need a formal program to meet this goal, and there is no problem with that. One can join a Boys and Girls Club or Girls Inc. In fact, these organization can get you involved with teens who are at risk and need divine-intervention. What a meaningful way to make a difference.

Whether a formal program, church, or spontaneous mentoring situation occurs, keep your eyes open at your church, mall, and neighborhood. You have no idea how many girls need your support. Think of all of the lessons you have learned in life. Wouldn't it be awesome to speak into a young woman's life and hopefully, set them on a detour that will bring their life to a healthy and Godly level that you could not imagine. After all, it's all about getting that fruit to grow!

Finally, don't ignore those God moments when you are in public and God gives you a message for a young lady, or He urges you to pray for them. Be obedient and do your part. It takes a village to teach our children one mentor at a time!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There Is No One Else Just Like You

Let's face it. God made women extremely unique from men. After all, we can cry at the drop of a hat and in the next second, rejoice with the sister sitting beside us. God is good; I thank Him for how He made us.

He didn't stop there making two types of bland creatures: Male and Female. God created each woman and put a special imprint on each one. He knows the number of hairs on your head, and He knows what you will do with your life and calling. He knows how you will respond, and what you will do with what He has put in your hand. In short, we are unique from each other, though we share some of the same common characteristics of the everyday woman. In Psalm 139:13-15, it says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth". This tells me that He put special work into both you and me. You may have heard the old cliche: God does not make junk. Well, I second that! "You were woven together in the depths of the earth" and not through some fast food chain assembly line.

Rejoice in your uniqueness; rejoice in what God created. He knitted you in your mother's womb. He took, for most of my readers, nine months to form you. He has also been superintending in your life and is molding and shaping you as we read. Look in the mirror and remind yourself how special you are!

Praise God! Men are unique too, but that's a whole "nother" entry all by itself!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Honor Her Now

Dear Ladies,

I am writing this entry because we often wait to honor the ones we love until they die. I never want to have something I didn’t say that I wanted to say go unsaid. Though our lives are busy, I stopped time today and said some things I had been prolonging to say. Our women’s leadership team took time to honor Pastor Ladonna Jones for her faithful service as a Section 13 rep, WOW ministry leader, Praise and Worship Director, mentor, servant, and friend. We threw her a gala party-to-remember served up with heaping scoops of love and showers of blessings.

Each lady present shared their favorite women’s ministry memory and their heart with LaDonna. Tracy Tavaroch honored her with a song: Wind Beneath My Wings. Our ministry leader Marcia Wooley came via a DVD message. We fellowshipped and ate together. We hugged and loved on her and prayed for her. We showered her with teacups and chocolate among other gifts! It felt so good to express our love for her in such a unique and creative way. All in all, she was blessed.

I am so glad we took the time to honor her and show her how much we appreciate her.

Why not take the time to think about your pastor’s wife, mother, mentor, etc. Isn’t time you took the time to honor her? Say it while it can be said!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Overflow Equals Harvest

This past Tuesday I spoke at Community Life in Port Charlotte, Florida at a Womens Ministry meeting. The Lord was faithful in giving me a the word that overflow equals harvest. He took me to Isaiah 61 and told me to remind these women that He had given us many gifts and garments to break the cycle of worry. Step four: praise, is key to breaking the cycle!

Once we break the cycle at whatever part in the cycle , we take our thoughts captive, and we get to praise, thanksgiving, and joy; the result is overflow. That we means we get beyond ourselves and our problems. We begin to truly trust God with our problems- no matter how big or small! How else will we get to doing the work of the harvest.

The overlfow spills out to others around us. This overflow brings about harvest if we begin to tell others what God is doing and what He will do as we trust Him. In short, overflow equals harvest.

We have all been commissioned by Christ to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Don't be intimiated by the word preach. Just go out and tell others what God is doing. Your words may bring them out of a miry pit and the sinners prayer is the next step.

If you are interested in reading more about this, below is the book mark that I gave out and the scriptures for that night. Enjoy!

The Bookmark

Breaking the Cycle with
Prayer & Thanksgiving
1. Denial
2. Question
3. Fear & Worry
4. Panic
5. Praise
6. Joy
7. Thankfulness
8. Overflow

Psalm 63:4I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
© Ileana Reich
Harbinger Ministries 2012

Opening Scriptures:
Isaiah61:1-3- What we have been anointed to do and give

1. John 18:24-26 -Denial- It happens, but we can stop it!
2. Psalm 22:1- Question- It happens, but we can stop it!
3. Psalm 3:6 , Psalms 56:4, and 2 Timothy 1:7 Fear- We don't have to fear!
4. Isaiah 31:1- Panic can make us do all sorts of things!
5. Psalm 42:5, 2nd Samuel 22:1, Psalm 149:3, Psalm 8:2, Psalm 66:17, and Isaiah 61:3- Praise is a powerful decision.
6. Psalm 69:30-Thanksgiving leads to joy
7. Psalm 28:7 and Psalm 95:1- Joy leads to overflow
8. Collissians 2: 6-7- Overflow

Closing Scriptures:
2 Timothy 3:10-17- We are equipped and should do what we have been taught.
Colossians 2:6-7 -Thanksgiving is pertinet to overflow.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Snap Out of It!

Dear Ladies,

In a self imposed cold like stupor lately and that nasty spirit won’t seem to flee? Some may call this state depression or funk. No matter what we call it, it's time to snap ourselves right out of it and lay a hold of the promises of God. What are you seeing right now and with which eyes?

Yesterday my husband and friends were talking about being healed, but walking the process out. For both main characters in our stories, it was a two-year process. The discussion of tenacious and laborious times of waiting and being a one-eyed faith walker almost caused them not to see what the Lord was doing. Their healings did come. Their spiritual eyes were clouded on their journeys, though they had faith, and their natural eyes were still seeing the same vision: sickness and poor health. This scenario applies to most any topics, such as marriage, financial, and personal problems.

Sometimes our narrow vision keeps us from seeing what is really going on. We are too busy finding all of the reasons why it cannot be; the sight of the small blessings and signs along the way are being smothered.

Don’t get me wrong. What you and I are going through right now is real and painful, but the message is the same. We have to stand firm and snap out of the stupor. So, as I get ready to leave for church, I brush off this spirit of stupor and I put on the garment of praise. I open both spiritual eyes, and I line them up with the Word. I remember that my God can do anything!

It’s time to shake it off and wake up!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking a Seek-cation

Dear Readers,

I am taking a vacation with my husband, but will return in two weeks. I have no idea if I will have internet access via my laptop. My goals while I am gone are the following:

Jesus Time

Rest and relax

Walk the beach

Hubby time

Work on my book

Eat healthy

Read some books and His word


Listen to the CD: R.A.W (Revival, Alive, Within) by Steve Swanson

Brainstorming with Don on our new couples blog

I am a firm believer in pressing in and feeling refreshed in the Lord. It’s time like these when we are busy that I have to stop, get away, set myself apart, seek God, and listen to Him. So friends, though I am not too far away, we are far enough away where we can do just that.

Psalm 27:8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek (NIVV).

Matthew 6:3 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (NKVJ).

In Christ,

Ileana Reich

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obsessions, Confessions, and Revelations at Midnight

Where does our mind roam? Where does it obsess? What does the Bible tell us to do? It tells us to think on things that are right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy not food, worry, white noise, etc (Philippians 4:8). Matthew 6:25 (a) says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink..”

I write the following entry not to condemn anyone but tell you what the Lord revealed to me about my relationship with food two nights ago at midnight. This revelation relates to any unhealthy obsession you may have such as alcohol, gambling, and or people. So, please read on!

I had just spent four hours on my new blog: Keeping It Real On the Winds of Real Worship. I could not sleep. I swam laps and then talked with my son. I swam some more. I then made a chicken salad sandwich with chips. I went to the couch to sit, and then I was pulled to the TV. I should have known something was up because I began to ponder a recent post I made about cutting the DVR shows I saved. Some of my shows were still there; new ones had occurred. What could one show hurt I thought and questioned? Boy, did I get an answer!

I can say relationship because I had a relationship with anorexia and bulimia in my teenage and young adult life. I had a relapse with anorexia in my late twenties. I have had relationships with many obsessions: God, work, family, and music. Some are unhealthy. It's unhealthy when food is your life! When all you think about is what you will eat next and how you will burn those calories? How many laps will I need to swim? How many push-ups? It's painful taking a walk down memory lane.

While eating disorders are complex and this blog does not explain or delve into their symptoms, causes, and or treatments, it is important to understand that many people who obsess over things are comfortable with themselves, others, or something that has happened to them. This blog goes deeper than the diagnosis and is about the relationship one can have with food.

Obsession can put people on edge and cause them to be anxious. For some, it’s the TV that has to be on. Why? I think it’s to fill either an empty space or an uncomfortable space. Is food my friend and comforter or Christ? Again, it’s about the relationship with food. It has taken me years to uncover the patterns or coping skills I learned when I was a young girl desperately trying to make my way through childhood and young adulthood safely and quickly. Food became my faithful friend; it was always there, and it never talked back when I threw it up.

I have always likened my obsession and relationship to someone with alcoholism because we are always thinking about the object or item. When can we have it next? Or, we are not going to have it. We have to wait to have it. How can we control it? Limit it to one day a week, and the obsessive thinking goes on and on and on! We can be so wrapped up in it. Some more than others! I might add this is an exhausting cycle.

We gladly, more often than not, run and spar like hamster on a never ending wheel, but how come we hardly ever get off? I have this picture turned to the right because this resembles or brokenness and dysfunction. Over the years I have faced many dark moments deciding if I wanted to hold onto dysfunction or let healing and life come. This was a long journey of prayer, counseling, reading books, teaching healthy eating classes, and learning to find balance and learn what is healthy. I have learned to love and accept myself.

God is revealing the strongholds that keep me from living a life of freedom in Him. If we are not comfortable in silence, there is something amiss, unaligned, or off within us. This needs to be addressed and fixed! I am finding new life in Christ, and I am overcoming my obsession. Just when I think it’s gone, God reveals another layer or buried stronghold that I need to understand, overcome, and release.

Here is what happened: At midnight, I did not want to think about anything at all. I realized that it meant that I did not want to quiet myself and be still in the silence. The TV, sandwich, and chips were my check-out ticket. I am not saying there is anything wrong with checking out from time-to-time, but when it is because of running, fear, or denial, it’s no good!

How we need silence and quiet time. The droning sounds and activities of life cloud our space, but we need silence to think on things. When and if we get there, we need to decide on what we are going to focus on. If we focus on the wrong things and we end of getting upset, sad, or frustrated, why would we come back to that silence? Some crave the negative vibe and feed this monster too. Anger is another addictive obsession. Any way you slice it; the word tell us what to think on.

The following scriptures are helpful in learning where to put our minds and thoughts:

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous

and successful.

Psalm 1:2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 48:9 Within your temple, O God,

we meditate on your unfailing love.

Psalm 77:12 I will consider all your works

and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Psalm 119:15 I meditate on your precepts

and consider your ways.

Psalm 119:23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,

your servant will meditate on your decrees.

Psalm 119:27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 119:148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

It’s something to think about!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's Coming: A For-Couples- Only Blog

Dear Readers,

I excited to announce that my husband and I will be writing a For-Couples-Only blog! While I wrote about this in my book’s introduction in March and held it in my heart, the idea was birthed yesterday in car conversation. God is good!

We plan to pair this blog with our marriage class that we will be teaching in the fall as part of our life group at Gulf Coast Assembly of God in North Port, Fl. It will be based on the bookHis Needs Her Needs, by Dr. Harley to start, but will continue on after the class ends. It is our desire to bring hope and faith to couples and allow for reconciliation, forgiveness, healing, and new health/life in the couples we touch.

While I cannot get my husband to include the cliché “keeping it real” in the title like the other three blogs I write, we will be able to reach an audience that may not otherwise come to class and or enter a home. In fact, we may be able to reach the unchurched by doing this blog.

Everyone can improve their marriage. Joining this blog or class does not necessarily mean you have a failing marriage. It means you are going to take a step and enrich what you already have. It means you are going to take time for one of the most important relationships you have next to God and your children. Think of it like an investment. the more you put in; the more you get out of it! The more you will grow!

Also, people who miss class can get the notes from the blog. Comments can be made. People can contact us via email. Another option is Skyping with people who need marriage support. We hope to help support couples work through issues in their marriage, as well as assist them in growing and enriching the marriage they already have!

We plan to write each week about something the Lord puts on both of our hearts from a his and her perspective in addition to our course notes. In short, we are really excited about this blog. You do not have to attend the class to read the blog; however, you can join, read, comment, grow, and follow this blog.

Our class plans to take place on Mondays from Sept. 9th to Dec. 12th and meet @2800 Pan American Blvd. North Port, Fl @ 6:45 PM.

If you want me to email you the blog link once it is created please email us. If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to email us. If you plan to attend the course in person, you can register for this course by by emaling me now Spots are limited!

There will be no cost for this course. We will ask each couple to sign-up on a snack calendar and evenly take turns providing an inexpensive snack.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stealing Time

Today I feel impressed to tell you that you need to take a little time for yourself. I know for some of you making this time will take serious planning and seem like it’s just too much trouble. But I promise you; it will be worth it!

I remember when my kids were little, and I used to go to praise and worship practice every Thursday night. I enjoyed music and praising the Lord, but this was also “me time”. I had to arrange a babysitter often, but it felt so good to get a way for a few hours. Looking back, I see the need for taking a break or removing myself from the hustle and bustle of it all and chill out. More importantly, stealing time away, despite how brief or extended it is, can make or break what you have left to minister to your family. I think it is crucial to your ability to minister to your family in the most effective manner. We are no good to anyone if we have no reserves. We are no good to ourselves if we have nothing left. Remember it’s about having time away to relax and not about how much you spend! Since I must practice what I write, I went and had some of my own “me” time today. I feel so much better!

That’s right! Today I went to Get Well Therapy today and had a massage! Sue Wesolowski is my licensed massage therapist (#MA47155) who did a fabulous job working out the knots and tension ridden muscles in my neck, shoulder, and back. The last time I had a massage, it was twenty years ago! It’s been too long and time for me to do this more often. I’d say something like at least once a month will do! Right now they are running an awesome special that she will honor if you tell her my name, Ileana Reich, and that you read about me in my blog. Here is her great deal: $20.00 for a half-an-hour and $35.00 for an hour. These are their summer specials. They are located at 3161 Harbor Blvd Suite B. Please call Sue @ 941-286-3382 at make an appt for Tues. or Fri. She starts at 8:15 AM and takes her last appointment at 6 PM!

If you’re not the massage type, the following are a few ideas to get you thinking:

· When everyone goes to bed, take a bath and light a candle. Read your favorite book or sit there and just soak in the silence. Some women like to play soft music too.

· Get your coffee, cocoa, or tea one step from being “button ready” and your favorite book. Get up 15-30 minutes before your house awakens. Leave the stuff on the counter and floor. It will be there later. Read your Bible and pray. Sometimes it is good to just sit, relax, and thank God.

· If you have a spouse, take a walk with yourself or a friend before everyone wakes up or after everyone goes to bed.

· Arrange for a few friends to get a sitter club together and take turns watching the kids. You can go out on a date-night, girls-night out, or other activity you love to do, such as shop or get a bite to eat.

· Join a cheap gym that has a daycare.

· Visit a spa in your area and have a manicure, facial, and or pedicure, etc.

· Go to a park.

· Go to the beach.

· Go shopping.

· Meet a friend for lunch.

· Fall Breakaway/ Ladies Retreats/ Marriage Retreats….

I caution you to try to do something by yourself and soak in the “me” time. Too often we hear the words from the pulpit to give and serve. These are true Christian attributes that one should strive to do, but the Bible also tells us to be a good steward. It used to feel awkward when I would think this way. I’d feel guilty for thinking about taking time for myself. Before long I became aware that I was giving myself away to everyone around me; I had little left for my husband. I began to reevaluate my priorities. Changes were in order!

What about you? Do you need to make some changes? Do you cringe at the idea of “me” time? If you do, examine your heart and ask yourself why. I truly believe that we need to love ourselves, and this means taking care of ourselves! We also need to do more forgiving and releasing of ourselves and our actions. This is also a love decision we make towards ourselves. Why is it we are quicker to ask God to help us forgive someone, but we do not ask God to ask Him to help us forgive ourselves? If we want to be whole, we need to take care of the whole person and not just parts. Take time out for yourself. Discover a part of you that you never knew existed!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'll Have some Tear Soup Please

Dear Ladies,

I woke up this morning with a lot on my mind. I was thinking about the impression that Kristin Parks, a Godly woman, left with me yesterday. We spoke and fellowshipped last night and talked about how her unborn daughter who was diagnosed with Achondrogenesis, which is a lethal form of dwarfism and there are no recorded cases of babies surviving it. It has been a little over a month since Carina went to be with Jesus. You’re probably wondering why I am writing this blog, but I tell you there are many reasons. I suspect there are reasons I am not aware of, but God is. Ironically, this was one of our topics last night. Moreover, Kristin has inspired me before, and I have always looked up to her as a woman of God who takes her calling seriously, loves the Lord with everything she has and goes through, is the best mother and wife I know, and trusts Him completely. She is the author of the blog: Choosing Carina: She is also the author of the book: To Be Loved by You.

Some of the key points of our conversation last night and this morning revelations’ are as follows:

· Your life speaks. In reflection, we are an open book to be read by many. I am thankful that she has chosen to write her blog and tell her story. As I read her blog, her words inspire me to live my life to the fullest I can in Him.

· Your story needs to get out. In reflection, we talked about how her story is important on many complex levels and topics. She talked about putting her blog in chapter form. I told her that it would be awesome for anyone in her situation to have that book in their hands, though HOW she lived and is living through her trial that she embraced and trusted God is also a story. Yes, the chapter blog idea is a good one, but there is more. I believe that she is going to be speaking to both small and large audiences about the faithfulness of the Lord and His people.

· Some people don’t know what to say. In reflection, I felt so much pain when I thought about what she was going through that I did not call her. I did not want to cause her any more pain, but the truth is her blog inspired me to pray for her and to ask God to make me more like her. Even when I separated or held back, she ministered to me.

· She poured her husband a glass of water without him even asking. Okay, this might not seem like a big deal, but she did not get up to get herself more water and then get him a glass. She got up to get him water because his glass was empty. I did not even notice the smoothness of this. She asked where the water was. I told her where the Brita container was, and then I marveled that when she sat down, …. her glass was empty. I asked her about it. Again, here is an example where she lives her life unto the Lord. She is also a wife who takes care of her husband. I thought this morning about in the Bible where it talks about the ones that did not minister to the people in need. Lord, I want to be more like her Lord because she is more like you!

Every woman has a story to tell. Some stories are more powerful than others, but in honoring my friend, Kristin Parks, I wanted to help her get her story out! I believe that her blog and life will inspire you too! Kristin told me about a book called Tear Soup last night. The story book teaches people to understand the grief process. Last night she told me that sometimes we need to pull out some bread to go with our tear soup. I guess that is part of what last night was.....Even tear soup is manna from heaven!

Might you consider asking her to speak at your church or event?

Below is an excerpt from her blog: Don't Forget the Manna

Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't Forget The Manna

I'm starting to read this book called, "The One Year Book Of Hope." In the introduction, the author has also just lost a child. She asks her sister-in-law how you get through the loss? How do you get through the grief? Her sister answered, "Manna." Such a perfect answer!

When the Israelites were wandering the desert, they had to depend on God daily for their sustenance; manna. Just as they had to depend on it daily, so do I. I have to depend on Him daily to get me through my grief.

I tend to be a "ritual" person. I get up, get Autumn's breakfast, fix Ken his lunch, day starts pretty much the same. The middle sometimes changes, but it doesn't vary much. Being ritualistic is not what will get me through my day. I need the manna. And the thing about manna is, you can't store it up. Just as the children of Israel couldn't store it up. They needed a new supply daily. I am determined to remember my daily need for Him. Only His word and His strength are unchanging.

Don't forget the manna.

Thanks for reading the entire entry! I hope it inspires you to love the Lord with more of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. If she can do it, so can you and I! Ummmm...I'll take a cup of that tear soup Lord.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account Was Brewed

Vacation Revelations: A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account was Brewed.

I woke up this morning in a new place, literally. I began to peruse an unfamiliar kitchen, shuffling about making coffee; I had to read the directions on the coffeemaker to ensure that I did not ruin our friends’ essential appliance. That’s right. I need a cone filter (I thought). Both this trivial and normal thought brewed, but many other complex ones were perking and stirring my heart for a much needed makeover. Removed from my normal elements and familiar patterns, God began to expose some hidden areas. On day one of our home-away-from-home getaway, I began to question the very basic actions of my everyday life and existence. Yet, I carefully drank this cup of coffee that He poured for me this morning. I slowly, purposefully, and difficultly considered every sip.

The Bible tells us to search our hearts and take an account. I didn’t wake up thinking these thoughts, but I was open to let God speak to me and deal with my heart, which was heavier and stained more than I realized. Simple day-to-day repeated patterns, actions, and conversations reveal the pitter-patters of our heart: How big, how small, who they are directed to, who they are not directed to, who they are directed to sometimes, and how they are held back or diminished. It was a strong and bitter cup of coffee, but it went down like medicine. Vacation God; this is what I am thinking: Resting, the thing I do little of and need desperately to do more of; ah yes, this was on my to-do list and NOT this inward deep-sea heart diving expedition. In short, day one’s vacation headlines read: A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account was Brewed.

After getting to know the coffeemaker, I began to examine my actions. My heart beats with grandeur love pumps when I praise Jesus or thank someone, which is a worthy and appropriate focus and task, but is my heart pumping out these splendorous love bursts to the people and family around me on a regular basis? Are there chambers in my heart that are still bruised th

at keep me from loving others the way God intended (1 Corinthians 13)? Does God expect me to be perfect (I thought)? Of course not, but He does ask us to take an account. Excuse me while I grab a tissue; this is a tough one to write and a terribly difficult cup of coffee to drink!

I thought about how nice it would be to have breakfast when my husband came back from fishing. How delightful it would be to sit and eat a breakfast he has prepared for the two of us! To clarify, yes, he has done most of the breakfast cooking over the years; I don’t cook breakfast well. I did enjoy cooking meals, and I belonged to two supper clubs. But where is my love for cooking meals? I pondered: Lost! What else it lost (I thought)?

Though I was never one to cook breakfast because the smoke alarm would go off every time, I remembered how things used to be. How I used to be. How I used to love whole heartedly despite arrows and darts that would come from every direction. Though I thought I had dealt with bitterness, it appears that the root was not surgically removed, or the wound was so deep that it is time once again to go digging in my heart garden. Dissecting this vivid moment and my motives was and is no easy thing to do. Why would anyone want to go there? I want to go here Lord because I want to be more like you and less like me. I want my life to line-up with the Word, and though this is a hard task, I am all in Lord (I thought and cried). These eye-opening thoughts took me back to the days of my youth, otherwise known as the early married years, which exposed and leaked some secrets I had buried. I went back to the kitchen for a warm up. As a write this piece, I feel as if time is frozen; I am parked here drinking this cup of coffee revelation. Lord, please change me and soften my heart. Let the results of this moment bring glory to You; let me be changed (I begged, pleaded, prayed, and thought).

As the years go by, my husband does more cooking; I do less. I am not saying that you should judge your relationships by the amount of time you spend cooking or how you divide up these responsibilities, but I am saying you need to take an account. As I stated earlier, my family discovered early on that I was not gifted in making tasty delicious breakfasts on the weekends. I could never get it quite right! But I am reminded that I need to judge my actions and look inward and dissect my relationships, especially the ones close to me, which is my family, my first ministry before anything else, except seeking and serving God.

Yes, this is a hard cookie to swallow or cup of joe to drink on any day of the week. But on day one of my house sitting vacation at our friends’ home; yes, I took a bite of this cookie. Hmm. It’s going to be a long vacation. My body may do some resting, but if I allow God to peruse my recent surge of weeds in my garden, I just may have a flowered heart garden ready to be posted in one of those well-manicured garden magazines. I hear my husband walking in.......

I posted this on both of my spiritual and inspirational blogs because I felt both readers would be blessed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Free To Dance

Dear Ladies,

Today I felt impressed to remind you that you are free in Christ. He that the Son has set Free is free indeed. That’s you, a lovely woman of God who is busy in her day, but needs a little spring back in her slightly weighted steps. That’s you, the one who is climbing the mountain and is tired, but be refreshed today. That's you, oh woman of God who is serving at full throttle and needs a little burst of fresh oil! Get ready; it's about to rain waters of refreshing.

When you begin to sing a song of praise, you open your spirit up to God. You let Him pour spiritual rain into your spirit. I tell you waters of refreshing are pouring from the heavens as we speak. You do not need to be of a certain color, social class, or title. It doesn't matter what you did in the past or even a moment ago; He is there for you. Buckets of rain are reserved for you. It truly is all who are thirsty, let them come! I am not talking about a sprinkle or even ashower; I am talking about spiritual water that will inundate your spirit.

Take a moment and read the following lyrics from Hillsong: Free to Dance below or click on the video above. Perhaps, right now, you will “get ya some of them rain buckets from on high”! Rejoice, lift Him up, and swoosh, you’ll feel His rain!

Free to Dance (Hillsong)

This song in my heart, this song in my soul
This song I was born to singIt's Your song of freedom, now I'm free to dance again

I'll sing in the darkness, I'll laugh in the rain
Rejoice in Your love again
It's Your song of freedom, now I'm free to dance again

Your Spirit brings me liberty
Your breath of life has set me free

Jesus, Your love, it lifts me high
Gives me reason to run the race with joy
This song within me, Lord, will bless Your Holy name
Jesus, I'll dance before Your throne
Bring this heavenly sound to You alone
This song within me. Lord, will bless Your Holy name

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jesus Follower Vs. Christian - "Turn or Burn"

This is food for thought. Chew on it for a bit! Sometimes I get distracted and judgmental. I forget how I can sincerely win others for Christ. Is the amount of ones I help ask Jesus into the heart as important as the ones who want to live for Him because they know Him or want to know Him?

If I act like the "turn or burn" dude, I am more likely that they will turn and burn in Hell because I was either unapproachable, haughty, argumentative, and unloving. I am not saying that we compromise the Word or the message, but how we say it and if we are approachable makes all the difference. Is you stone shiny, dull, rude, haughty, and or _______? What are the rays you are giving off to the others around you. Keep in mind, that as I write this that I am considering this all for myself too. May I be more like Jesus and less that man on the left. Help me Lord to be more like you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Branchways: Mentoring Women One Life at a Time

Dear Women of the Most High God,

I am thankful that you are making branchways! Read on to understand what I mean! I recently read a blog post from a personal friend. She highlighted how many of the women she has worked with, ministered to, and trained have begun to blossom for the Kingdom of God. I remember thinking that this is the fruit on her tree. This is her life extended and reaching out to others. This is Christ working through all of these relationships and activities; these are His branches. What an amazing legacy she is building and at the same time, she is bringing glory to God.

I too want the same motto, lifestyle, and legacy. I want fruit on my tree. I want it to remain and be there for those in need. I want to empower other women to make those same branchways (pathways). I want to be His hands and His feet. I want to be a part of His multiplication and increase!

When the earth was created, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply: Genesis 9:7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.” Yes, there is a natural interpretation here and it is rather obvious. Could I infer that there is a deeper meaning to be had?

I have to say yes! The New Testament reveals more. Did Jesus say go and make disciples? Yes. Did he tell us to have the faith of a mustard seed and let the birds come and feed? So, if we grow and drop seeds, they begin to grow and so on and so on! So, I can make this assumption! I’m not finished yet. I need to take this a step further.

Like my friend I just told you about, I too believe that I am called to mentor and work with women. He has given me a word to speak to encourage, teach, and admonish, but it is more than that. It’s about the hand-in-hand working and development of women day-in and day-out.

I was evaluating my female relationships this week. This includes the women I work closely with at work at school and at church. I can see how my investment is paying off. I had two conversations this week about growth. My word to one of them was, “Man, you are growing!” Now that I think about it, I said some thing like to her at least four times this week! Ladies this did not happen over night! I am grateful to see what the Lord is doing through me, but I want Him to use me more and more and more!

Let’s all strive to be branchways for Christ as we mentor!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Can't Take It

I have been thinking a lot about a young lady who met the Lord this past January. She was one who spent time edifying her spirit in the Lord. She had many priorities straight, though not perfect. I have been thinking about my own earthly body or tent and where my emphasis has been over the years; it's time to focus. If you know me, I have been saying this a tremendous amount. If I fall short, I just try again. This short poem is what has been on my mind:

Cant' Take it!

Lately, I am more concerned about my soul than the condition of my natural tent.

I have a guarantee from my maker that His spirit will never leave or forsake me.
When I am absent from my body, I expect my spirit will rise to the Lord.

This tent is tired and sometimes busy doing things that do not edify my spirit.
Running instead of resting, traveling and missing out on blessings.

This tent, I won't be missing!

The older I get, the closer I see my end.
The closer I get, the stronger I realize a need to have a prepared way.
The more prepared I get, I affirm that I can’t take this tent or anything else with me when I die.

I really am more concerned about my soul than the condition of my natural tent.
I can't take it with me!

My spirit will rise and meet the Lord!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From Moth to Butterfly: There is Joy in Your Struggle!

Dear Ladies,
I am writing this entry to remind you that you can find joy in the struggle of transformation. Instead of seeing yourself with dry bones or in the state of depression, see yourself alive and well in Christ breathing in the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. There are always going to be struggles, but what do we do with them? Do we allow them to stretch us, or do we retreat back and give in to the struggles? Think about your surroundings. While in the processes of transformation, like a moth shut-in a cocoon, there is inner work taking place. Every Christian goes through struggles and or cycles of growth. Are we going to resist the inner change that is taking place?

I am writing about the spiritual side of transformation, but I am also thinking about things in the natural. Will we stay at a job for security reasons though our land is dry and the environment is stale? I guess this depends on if we are growing. For some God is facilitating a move, but there is little faith by the developing moth to take the necessary leaps. One would rather stick with what they know instead of embracing the new life that He has already prepared.

I woke up this morning thinking some really laborious thoughts about my life. When it was all said and done, the one thing I felt God was speaking to me and has been for a few weeks now, is that there is joy in the struggle. The time in the cocoon is crucial, but everyone moth has to allow the change to take place. The butterfly will take flight when it is ready. Some will stay and allow God to show them the joy in the struggle and eventually they will be released from their cocoon experience. God has given you the provision you need until you are ready. Some will make changes and find joy as they step-out and do new things as in a time of change and or struggle. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength!

What are your next steps? Pray and ask God to reveal to you where you are in your struggle. Things can get cloudy. Ask Him to confirm to you where you are in the process and what He wants you to do. Pray, pray, pray! Listen, Listen, Listen.

To hear more about this, come hear me speak at Community Life Center Church (19048 Edgewater Dr.) in Port Charlotte, on Saturday, May 14th @1:00.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Renting-to-Own Reflections: Which Path Will You Take?

Dear Gals,
The "rent-to-own furniture"concept is often an arrangement that is amicable and workable. The key component is the word contract. One understands that there is a binding agreement and responsibility between both parties entered in the contract. Yes, some default on these rental agreements, and they should be aware that there are financial consequences involved with prematurely withdrawing from a legal and binding contract. Let’s not forget about the declining movement of a credit score if one engages in this irresponsible behavior. Keep in mind, the furniture will grow with wear-and-tare before the product is paid off even if it is a love seat! So, these are just a few of the natural components of "renting-to -own".

Many men and women want to "rent–to-own" or try out their partner before they marry. I have heard men jest about "trying the bike out first" or"take that bike for a ride". This is demeaning. In fact, this comment means they are referring to women as objects. Ironically, the are saying that they could be furniture. You'll understand what I mean as you read on. I have also heard a lot of women say they want to try it this way for fear of another "bad relationship".

Let's explore the pathway of "renting-to-own" relationships, while remembering that the Bible tells us it is "better to marry than to burn" (1 Corinthians 7:9). It's blunt, but true! Sure much of getting to know someone can be done without sinning and through the dating process; however, if one engages in fornication or living together before marriage, they are not following the will of God for their lives. When one sleeps with someone before marriage, they must understand that they are uniting their spirit with this person and the Lord. They are making an unholy three-corded union because they are not married before God. When the couple breaks up, the tie has to be broken or they will never be released to move forward. This is a very painful and laborious process for most! Why not date for a longer time instead of sleeping together? Why not move out and date your man? It's just a thought!

People who have broken up with a partner that they have been sexually active with understand the three-corded concept. I will boldly say that these ties go beyond the bedroom. This means that an unmarried couple will have influence and relationship with family members and extended family members of these significant others. It touches the realm of friends and coworkers. This goes for marriage too! Thus, then if one divorces or breaks-up after the spiritual cord is in place, it effects more than just the couple. People who have suffered a divorce, whether the actually person, child, and or other family member, understand how painful it is to cut these ties. If it is because of a significant other, they have put their child through unnecessary pain. Keeping these relationships in play, child or family member, is difficult when the spouse or significant other leaves. Many children see this repeated over and over. I worry that they are getting the message that relationships are about pain and not love. This is true for the ones who find this pattern repeating.

It is also imperative that one understands that one should NOT enter into marriage without contemplating the union. When one "rents–to-own", they are not promising to be there forever though they may say it. They do not understand the word commitment- the kind that God wants us to engage in-they do not understand the word covenant. It reaches beyond sickness and health; it means to death do us part! It means that you can count on me to be there tomorrow and the next tomorrow! Women, we have a need for security and to feel loved. Just because you are “renting them” does not mean that they are going to stand by your side. Sweetie, you cannot count on them no matter how good it feels. You are living for the moment and not for eternity. It's not too late to tell you man that he needs to marry you. See what he says. You will have your answer. I don't even want to address the males who are still married and in the process of getting a divorce. It's ludicrous! God is faithful!

Yes, I know that there is divorce in the church too, but I have to believe that God is raising up a people who understand that His love is patient, kind, believes all things, is not puffed up, and is long suffering (1 Corinthians 13). This does not speak the language of I I I ...or me me me...! Buying means that we are in it for the long haul. It also means that smart couples really do read their Bibles and pray together. It means we start putting our lives in God’s hands and that we walk in God’s ways. Instead of fighting about what they are NOT doing, it should be a fight over: oh honey, let me get that for you. No, honey, let me do that myself. No, love, I want to serve you. How often is this the language of love in our homes and relationships?

When one "rents" something, it implies that one can turn it back in with no questions asks, or one can think that they can stop making rental payments on it. After all, the owner of the company or person will just go back to the store or where they came from. Does this line up with the word of God? Not really. God has also come up with a blue-print for successful living and renting a “significant other” is NOT in it; dating is in His plans. He has given us clear guidelines, and one needs to follow the principles that lead to life and not death. If you are in a relationship and you are living with someone or sleeping with them, it's not too late to tell them about God's plan. You can visit a church and ask a pastor to help you with the scriptures. If you are not in the relationship to get married, then why are you in it all? God has a design for marriage and not for fornication. It's never too late to make things right! We serve a God who allows for second chances.

I welcome your thoughts and comments!