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Confessions Of A Prodigal Son (Movie Review)

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in From the Heart, Inspirations, Review | 1 comment

Confessions Of A Prodigal Son

Confessions Of A Prodigal Son

Every time I am at church, my Pastor reminds me that God is for me! and God loves me!

This is a theme that is echoed in Confessions Of A Prodigal Son, a movie that my hubby and I had the opportunity for an exclusive pre-screening. The movie will be released on DVD on Tuesday (March 24, 2015).

The story of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15: 11-32, is told in this modern-day movie that is suitable for ages.

The son Sean (Nathan Clarkson) does not want to follow the guidance and direction of his parents (Kevin Sorbo and Laura Black). He believes that he knows what is best for him and leave home to attend college, in spite of his parent’s love. Does Sean have the right answers? Or will he find out that his way may not live up to his expectations?

While at college, Sean is in a struggle, a tug-of-war with his English professor (Darwin Harris) who questions Sean’s belief that no one should tell anyone what to do and people should make up their own rules. Sean’s so-called friend (Azel James) offers him no direction and is questioning his own life.

Sean becomes smitten with a dancer-in-waiting (Rachel Lee) who wishes that she had the type of life that Sean gave up and looking for that father-figure after her own father left home when she was only three.

After spending two years on his own, Sean appears to have his life figured out. But in a series of events, his life comes crashing down. He is forced to decide what he must do to make it work. How will he play out his own story?

Many times we can get frustrated when people tell us what to do; but these rules are in place to give our life order and foundation. The movie does an excellent job of showing how rules are necessary, especially from the perspective of young man. I recommend that parents watch this movie with their children, and then discuss the topics of independence, rules and God’s love.

Also, with the recent events happening at the University of Oklahoma and Penn State University, this movie also presents very timely topics that all parents will want to discuss with their children about making wise decisions relating to social media.

Confessions Of A Prodigal Son reminds us that God will never leave us nor forsake us, He is always there for us.

Please watch the trailer below:

YouTube Preview Image

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Overcoming Addiction! One Step at a Time

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in From the Heart, Inspirations | 0 comments

Addiction!
You may be one of the many people out there who are battling this demon. You may be suffering in private and on your own. Or you may be someone who struggles with the problem in the presence of friends and family. Many times, you do not know that you are in trouble until someone close to you confronts you with it. You may not know where to turn or what to do. All you know is that you need help. The 12 Step Recovery program is an old idea; but it has stuck around throughout the years because it works.

Life is like a flower. Don't let addiction destroy its beauty!

Life is like a flower. Don’t let addiction destroy its beauty!

You must know deep inside that you need to seek help?
First of all, you must admit to the problem. If you deny that the problem exist, how will you be able to overcome it? Without saying you are you battling an addiction and calling it out by name, the problem will only continue to progress into an even bigger issue.

You must also know that the condition has to be treated. No matter what the addiction is, it is not too small or too insignificant not be treated in some manner. Addictions adversely affects your mind, body and spirit. Like other chronic diseases, addiction is a progressive illness, and, if left untreated, it can be fatal.

Finding the right treatment is your key to overcoming any addiction. There is no ‘one size fits all’ theory when it comes to treatment. What works for one person may not be the treatment that works for you. You must take the time and seek out the right one that will work for you.

You must realize that your addiction not only affects you, but also the people who are close to you. You must realize that you are hurting yourself, but also those who are close to you. It can be very emotional and troubling for them to see you struggle to overcome the addiction.

If you make the effort to complete the treatment that you need, the addiction can be successfully defeated. You can recover! Treatment for addiction is not a quick fix; but rather it becomes the platform for stability and engagement in your own recovery, one day at a time.

God’s word is such a comfort and strength to the soul.
This scripture speaks of peace.

Psalm 30: 2 (NIV)
Oh Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

It’s easy to say, “Get counseling and it will make it all better!”
Our prayer for you is to get the right counseling.

JTwisdom signature

Information for this post has been provided
by Origins Recovery Center <www.originsrecovery.com>.

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21 Days of the Daniel Fast: Week Two

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Inspirations | 0 comments

Hi Elegant Readers,

On week two of the Daniel Fast and it’s been going pretty good.  There was one day I was feeling like I wanted food bad and that because I waited to long to eat. This fast has been different.  This is the first time my husband and I fasted dairy, sugar, yeast and meat. My mind feels clearer and I have a lot more energy.

God has really been showing me that I need to put him first to have a deeper relationship with him. I had to put some things aside so that I could focus on my relationship with the Lord.  Am I there yet? No.  However, I am a work in process and every accomplishment is a mark towards the goal.  Having a relationship with God is a lifestyle not a constant growth process.

I finished the book by Jerry Savelle called, No Boundaries and it is an awesome book. I will do a future post on it because it really gives you a step by step overall makeover on what you need to do to have a deeper relationship with the Lord.

My Pastor is doing a video a day of encouragement during the fast and it’s precious.

The video for today is protection because it’s so comforting to know that God is always there and my guardian angels have my back. It’s so important to watch what comes out of our mouths and make sure it’s positive and productive.

Moving forward means moving ahead and not looking back at past hurts and stresses of life. You can’t look back because you have such a vibrant future when you put God first.  I keep remembering that if I strive to put God first everything else will fall into place.

I wanted to share this no sugar Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from Kristin Feola’s Ultimate Daniel Fast website because it tricks your mind into thinking your eating a cookie but it’s actual a healthy burst of energy.

 Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Kristin Feola

1 Cup old Fashioned rolled oats
1 Cup almond flour or oat flour ( we used coconut flour)
1 cup of creamy cashew butter, almond butter, or peanut butter (we used peanut butter)
1/2 cup  unsweetened applesauce (We added extra applesauce for dough consistency)
1/3 cup of Date honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, almond flour, cashew butter, applesauce, and date honey  in a large bowl until well combined. Add raisins, walnuts and cinnamon.

Dough Mixture

Dough Mixture

Drop by spoonfuls, two inches apart, on a 11 by 17 inch baking sheet. Flatten and shape into circles.

My hubby and I used Coconut flour instead of Almond flour because we couldn’t find it. We didn’t use the Date honey and we add more applesauce to get more of a doughy texture. You can make the cookies as big as you like them. We made them small to medium size.

The cookies turned out really well.

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

If you are on a Daniel Fast or looking for a healthy alternative to a cookie, please give these a try.

JTwisdom

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21 Days of the Daniel Fast

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Inspirations | 0 comments

Hi Elegant Readers,

New Year New You! The year of the supernatural!

My church is doing a 21-day fast in January. My hubby and I decided that we would do a Daniel Fast. One week down and we are now starting the second week. As a congregation, we can fast whatever the Lord leads us, to fast something that has a significant meaning to us. Kristin Feola, author of The Ultimate Daniel Fast, spoke at church about the Daniel Fast and what to expect.

Kirsten’s book includes a daily devotions for each of the 21 days; and healthy recipes to guide you.

Fasting is a great way to develop a deeper relationship with God and to gain divine insight and wisdom.

JT Reading Daniel Fast Book by Kristin Feola

JT Reading Daniel Fast Book by Kristin Feola

At first, I did not know what to think about the Daniel Fast because the main foods to eat are fruits and vegetables. As part of this fast, some things you give up are dairy, yeast, sugar, refined and processed food, deep fried foods, solid fats, beverages like alcohol, energy drinks, etc. Giving up these foods may be a challenge for some people; but that is the point of a fast. You have to give up something in order to draw closer to God.

The fun part of the Daniel Fast is that you can eat fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds, unleavened bread, Legumes, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil,  flaxseed oil, grapes oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, distilled water, filtered water, spring water as well as herbs, spices, salt, pepper, seasonings, soy products and tofu.

Today we had a Peach-Mango-Strawberry-Peanut Butter-Flaxseed-Chia Seed-Coconut water smoothie. It was good with all those flavors blending together.

Peach Mango Smoothie

The Ninja makes a scrumptious smoothie.

Makes Two Smoothies

Having a smoothie in the morning is refreshing and an energy booster. It’s a great way to start you day.

As part of the fast, we are also reading the devotions from Kristen’s book, and  a chapter from the gospel of John. Both are a good study tool for strengthening my relationship with the Lord.

After the smoothie, hubby and I are ready to do some light cardio. Getting back to my exercise routine after dealing with cold and flu symptoms.

JT getting ready to workout.

JT

I must admit, prayer and fasting is a real energy booster, clears my mind and ideas are flowing. I plan to write more about the fast after we finish it up at the end of January.

JTwisdom

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Veterans Day!

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in From the Heart, Inspirations | 0 comments

Elegant Readers,

Please take time out today and everyday to observe Veterans Day and honor all who have served and are serving in the Armed forces.

Veterans Day!

Veterans Day!

I would like to honor my Uncle Fred, Uncle Theodore and Uncle William.

Honoring Veterans Everyday!

My  Fred and Uncle Theodore

Fred & Theodore _Fotor_Collage

My Uncle William in the third row

Uncle William

Thank you for FREEDOM. Praise God!

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The Wedding Dress: 15 Year Wedding Anniversary Celebration!

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Fashion, From the Heart, Inspirations | 1 comment

Hi Elegant Readers,

My  hubby and I celebrated 15 years of marriage on September 11th! We are celebrating the whole month.

Wow, 15 years makes me reflect to my wedding day filled with joy and happiness.

JT and Hubby Wedding The rings

JT and Hubby Wedding
The rings

This is my daddy and I on my wedding day, he was putting a penny in my shoe for good blessings.

JT  and Daddy

JT and Daddy

My hubby and I celebrated this past week with an awesome road trip. We just got back and I’m getting back to blogging again. We will be writing about the trip to the Southwest, so check back soon for those posts.

I wanted to see what my wedding dress looked like and how it fit after all these years. I pulled it out of the closet and I tried it on. My dress did not cost thousands of dollars; but to me it looked like it did.

My dress was designed by Alfred Angelo, exclusively for JC Penney’s. I was dealing with some physical and medical challenges at the time, causing me to gain weight that I was not able to control.

 I know gaining about fifty pounds is not what I wanted when I got married; however I dealt with it and conquered it.

On the day of the wedding, the dress fit me exact. It did not need to be taken in or hemmed.

However, 15 years later, the sleeves are baggy and the wedding dress is loose on me now and hangs.

Side view Wedding Dress

Side view Wedding Dress

This is a back view of the dress and it’s beautiful, but it looks so different on me now. I decided to wear a cream-colored dress.

When you looked at it up close, you can tell that it is cream. But in all of the photographs, it looks white.

My daddy stepped on my dress after the ceremony was finished. I thought at the time that he had ripped the fabric where I couldn’t reattach the bustle to the back of the dress.

When I tried it on, I found out that the dress wasn’t ripped at all. But, my maid of honor did not attach the train correctly after I walked down the church steps.

  I attached the train correctly in the photo.

I thought this wedding dress was haute couture with all the bead work and detailing from the sleeves to the hem.

Back view JT wedding dress

Back view
JT wedding dress

Here’s an up close look of the detail in the bead work; exquisite I must say.

Closeup of detail

Closeup of detail

 My hubby and I planned our wedding and we were on a budget. However, I still wanted it to be a wonderful day of celebration. I still look at the dress and marvel at how beautiful it is with all the beadwork and lace.

Beadwork and Lace Detail

Beadwork and Lace Detail

JTwisdom

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