Starting Something New (+ A Quick Recipe And SOTD)

I
decided to do something a little different here. I created a category for documenting my health and fitness journey, where I’m going to be adding quick little posts, to share what I’m doing. Photos, recipes, thoughts, anything related to my journey to good health and fitness! : )

I’m doing this to keep myself accountable, and to hopefully inspire anyone else who wants to start their own journey to get fit and healthy. If we do this together, it will be more fun and we can inspire each other.

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

smoothie-atbI had this smoothie today, and it was SO delicious, as well as quick and easy to make.

1 banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 – 2 cups of almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 scoop of protein powder
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Just put in the blender, and there you have it. Super delicious and nutritious!

And the Scripture Of The Day… (and year!)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Something Far Better Than New Year’s Resolutions

L
et’s be honest. If you weren’t born yesterday, you know as well as I do that most people don’t keep New Year’s resolutions.

Every year around this time the same thing happens. People think about all the things they want to change, the bad habits they want to drop and the new and exciting things they want to do. I think that’s a great thing. However, most people give up on those resolutions after about 2 or 3 weeks, then it’s back to life as usual… until December rolls around again.

Sorry for being depressing, but that’s the reality. That said, there is some good news. Very good news, in fact.

I’ve discovered something truly amazing and… well…miraculous!

If you walk with God daily, you genuinely want to change and you make the firm decision to do whatever it takes to change, God responds to that and that’s when the miracle happens.

true transformationTrue transformation comes from God, and the changes are not shallow or temporary but deep, lasting and life changing.

Before I gave my life to Christ, I was a partier. In my twenties, I went out drinking with my friends just about every weekend. It was just what everyone did. The path I was on led to a lot of mistakes, pain and heartache. But I was so blind that it never even occurred to me that I didn’t have to drink or do all the things that people in the world do.

After I came to Christ, I remember thinking to myself, “Now that I’m a Christian, I’ll just limit myself to 2 drinks. That way I won’t get drunk, but I’ll still be able to enjoy going out with my friends.” That strategy might work for others, but it didn’t work so well for me.

My “2 drink policy” failed on a particularly horrible night in November of 2003. After a couple very tall beers, a friend of mine bought a round of shots for everyone, and things went downhill from there. I was no longer in control. Something very bad happened that night, which is a story for another time, but for now I’ll just say that it ended up being a big wake up call for me.

The pain that God allowed me to go through was enough to snap me out of my foolish mindset – the idea that I could be a Christian yet still act like everyone else in the world.

No, God wanted my whole heart, and that meant obeying Him. His word says that those who love Him obey Him. (John 14:23)

After that happened, I made the firm decision to stop drinking completely. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since. That was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made.

True change comes when we simply surrender to God and allow Him to transform us.

I don’t believe that God forces change on us. That’s why we all grow spiritually at different paces….which leads me to another example.

Even though my life changed drastically in several ways, I still had a lot of bad habits and terrible self-discipline. Especially when it came to my physical health and doing things I don’t like to do.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I never got in the habit of regular exercise. I’ve never been athletic, and I always hated exercising, unless it was something fun, like dance or maybe swimming.

true transformation

Me and my Coke. (Some random guy in Indonesia wanted to have his picture taken with me…. haha!)

In addition to not exercising, I had poor eating habits. I think I’ve been addicted to sugar, for most of my life. My friends know that my favorite drink was Coke, and you could always find me with a Coke in my hand, as you can see in the photo to your right.

Fast forward to this year, 2014. After years of being inactive, not exercising and not eating right, I finally woke up this year and realized that I just couldn’t continue the way I was going.

Because of the work I do, I’m on the computer constantly, always indoors, always sitting and not moving around much. I was eating lots of processed foods, lots of junk and not enough fruits and vegetables. I was fueling myself on coffee and sugar, everyday.

I was able to get away with those bad habits for a long time, because in the past I had the opposite problem that most people have… I was always underweight. But it finally caught up to me. This year, for the first time in my life (believe it or not) my belly grew, as well as my hips. But more importantly, my health was deteriorating. I had constant fatigue, very little strength and I knew that if I didn’t change my ways, I would end up with diabetes…or maybe something worse.

I started researching nutrition, and reading a lot about sugar and which diet is the healthiest. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to make this change, and I realized that I needed to change not only my eating habits but my entire lifestyle.

So I finally made the decision to get healthy and stay healthy.

Last year I prayed about my lack of self-discipline. I asked God to change me, but at that time I wasn’t quite ready or determined to do whatever it takes.

God knows our hearts. He knows when we merely say we want to change, and when we truly want to change. When we truly want to change, we give God the green light to work in us, and that’s what happened with me not long ago, in the area of my physical health and self-discipline.

It has been amazing. God opened my eyes and showed me that changing my daily habits will change my life. I’ve learned that He cares about not only our soul and spirit, but our bodies too. Remember, if you are a follower of Christ, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

To others, this might not sound like a big deal, but this mindset change for me is huge. Remember, I was the person who never exercised or ate right, and although I was thin, I was out of shape. (Yes, it’s possible to be thin yet have no muscle.)

What have I done? I cut out all processed foods. I quit refined sugar and caffeine. I’ve been eating fresh, whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables. And I’ve been drinking tons of water.

And I’ve only just begun! I am determined to get in shape. I started working out regularly, and for me that has been the most challenging part – even more challenging than changing my diet.

I’m drawing a red ‘X’ on my calendar, every day I work out, and just crossing off another X is satisfying!

This is not a New Year’s resolution.

This is a lifestyle change. A mindset change. A surrender to God, to allow Him to transform me and teach me self-discipline. Not only in the area of my physical health, but self-discipline overall…and self-improvement overall.

I’ve thought about why this realization didn’t happen sooner. I think it’s important to say that this mindset shift came after over a year of applying myself to learning and getting closer to God, as you can read about in this post from last year.

So 2014 was a year of learning, soaking up knowledge and wisdom, growing and preparing for what is to come. That investment has paid off, without a doubt! With my new mindset, new habits and new determination, I’m ready now to bear fruit!

So, I’m really looking forward to 2015 and the future in general. I have some exciting plans about a big creative project, but I’ll share that in another post!

Do you want changes in your life that are deeper and more lasting than the usual short-lived New Year’s resolutions? You can be transformed. I believe anyone can.

Join me in this adventure. Allow God to transform you from the inside out, by making the firm decision to go to the next level.

You will grow and blossom into the person you were created to be.

And that’s a beautiful and miraculous thing!

 

true strength and influence

The Simplest Way To Gain True Strength and Influence

J
ust about everyone knows how to build physical strength. We all know that things like eating healthy, hitting the gym and lifting weights will increase physical strength and power.

But if I were to go out on the street and ask the question, “How does a person gain true strength?” the answers might not come as quickly.

So that is what I want to talk about. What brings mental and moral strength? What brings influence, authority and the capacity to do great things? And once we determine what that is, what’s the simplest way to gain it?

The answer doesn’t come from the latest New York Times best-selling author or the hottest new entrepreneur. It comes from the Author of the best-selling book(s) of all time. God Himself. Here it is:

A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.

Proverbs 24:5 (NASB)

Wisdom and knowledge.

I like how the Contemporary English Version (CEV) puts it: Wisdom brings strength, and knowledge gives power.

Some might ask, “Well, what is wisdom, really?” I believe there are different types of wisdom. There is the wisdom of this world, and there is true wisdom; i.e. wisdom that comes from God. However, many worldly people have acquired some true wisdom.

For example, there are certain principles that just about everyone agrees are crucial to success. Things like preparation, self-discipline, diligence, hard work, excellence and continual self-improvement, to name a few. Those principles are straight out of God’s Word, but of course many people who apply those principles aren’t Christians. They’re just sensible people who have learned some genuine wisdom, which paved the way to their success.

To get back to the question on wisdom, I would say that true wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on acquired knowledge on how life generally works. Another sense of the word wisdom is: truths or teachings from God on how life works.

If we want to become a stronger person, it’s essential to continually gain wisdom.

How do we get wisdom? Some people think that wisdom only comes with age and life experience. It’s definitely true that wisdom usually comes through life experiences and learning from mistakes or trials. So wisdom often comes the hard way.

But we don’t have to get wisdom the hard way.

We can bypass a lot of the pain, sorrow and regret that comes from bad decisions by learning wisdom directly from God. We become stronger, able to make better judgements, able to stand against the enemy, less likely to fall for deception and able to overcome challenges when we gain wisdom by immersing ourselves in God’s word.

God reveals truth and wisdom to us in a way that is amazing and hard to put into words. Have you ever noticed that you can hear something a million times, but it just doesn’t sink in? But when God opens our eyes about something, it is life-changing. It moves us to action. It transforms us, and that is when we become stronger, better and more spiritually mature.

quiet-time1A daily quiet time with God.

It took me a long time to learn (on a heart level) the importance of a daily quiet time with God. Long story short, it finally got to the point where I knew that I needed to do something different, because I felt stuck. God showed me that I needed to have that daily time with Him, in an intentional way.

Once I committed to having that special time every morning, connecting with God and being in His word, it was life changing. I got out of the stuck season and entered into a new season of personal development and spiritual growth. I could see that God was working on my character and slowly but surely transforming me, like a Potter with clay.

So to sum that up, the simplest way to become stronger and transformed is to have a teachable heart and continually learn directly from God. And not just hear it, but apply it. I did the opposite for years, and through all the pain and heartache that came from that, I learned that doing things God’s way is really the smartest thing one can do. I really wish I would’ve known that years ago.

Let’s talk about knowledge in general

True knowledge brings authority and influence. So if we want to make an impact, it’s so important to always continue to learn.

That may be a no-brainer, but think about how many people stop learning after they’re finished with their formal education. It’s not surprising that one of the things that very wealthy, successful people have in common is their continual quest for knowledge and self-improvement. They aren’t interested in things that waste time, like TV, for example.

Thomas Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals” writes:

The wealthy are not avoiding watching TV because they have some superior human discipline or willpower. They just don’t think about watching much TV because they are engaged in some other habitual daily behavior — reading.

To be clear, by bringing that up, I’m not saying that money equates to true success. I believe that true success is fulfilling our true calling, as I talked about in this post.

But it’s still worth noting that wealthy people who have achieved a form of success usually have the habit of reading and continually seeking knowledge.

Simply having knowledge is not enough, though. If we are willing to share that knowledge, with honesty and a heart to serve and make a positive difference, then I believe God blesses that. We will have favor and authority and influence.

So if you want to be stronger and more influential in 2015, as I do, then gain wisdom and knowledge! Seek it from the Source of all true wisdom and knowledge. Let’s do this together. : )

I want to end this post with a prayer.

Thank you God, for teaching us that wisdom and knowledge are crucial, if we want to get stronger and have influence. I ask for a spirit of wisdom and revelation, for myself and for whoever is reading this post, so that all of us will know You better, the source of wisdom! Thank you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

For Bloggers: 10 Things To Do When You Feel Uninspired

I
f you’re a blogger or content creator of any kind, then you would probably agree that few things are worse than feeling uninspired or creatively stuck.

Many bloggers keep a running list of blog post ideas, that they can draw from on those days when the ideas just aren’t flowing. I have a list like that, but there are some days when I’m so creatively stuck that even looking at that list doesn’t help, because there’s still something blocking me. And that can be extremely frustrating, especially if we’ve committed to a particular schedule or we’re trying to meet a deadline.

So what can we do when we’re in a creative slump but we don’t want to waste time waiting around for inspiration to strike?

Here are 10 things you can do during those creatively stuck moments. Some of these “to do’s” might spark creative ideas, and others are things that should be done anyway, if you’re trying to grow your blog, get more traffic and improve as a blogger.

1) Read and comment on popular blogs

Instead of staring at that blank screen, take this time to go visit other blogs. This is a great way to network with other bloggers in your niche, build friendships, and get visits to your blog. That is, if you leave thoughtful and interesting comments. Whatever you do, don’t leave a half-hearted comment for the sole purpose of getting a link back to your site. Comment on posts you truly enjoyed or have something to say about.

2) Find out what the “topics du jour” are

Go to Google Trends, Buzzfeed, discussion forums (where people discuss politics, current events, etc.) or other places where you can find out what people are talking about.

I post on a couple discussion forums, and the lively debates going on there often give me ideas for blog posts or videos.

3) Repromote older content

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably have a few great blog posts in your archives that a lot of people haven’t read yet. Find a good one, dust it off, (you might need to make a few modifications) maybe even come up with a new title, and just promote it. Promote it on social media and linkups (especially “throwback” linkups specifically for sharing older blog posts) and any other places you normally share your posts.

4) Find a guest poster

Instead of wallowing in that “stuck” feeling and doing nothing, use this time to contact bloggers in your niche that you respect and admire, to invite them to guest post on your blog.

Some internet experts say that guest blogging is passé, because it has gotten spammy. But if you specifically ask quality bloggers who will undoubtedly add value to your blog, then it’s still a great blogging strategy for a number of reasons. It brings variety to your blog, it attracts new readers, it will give you more social media exposure (as they promote the post to their followers)… and of course it gives you fresh, high quality content to post when you’re feeling uninspired or you need time to work on other things.

5) Read the bible and pray

This one might be a no-brainer for Christian bloggers. Nevertheless, it should be included on this list. Quiet time with God and reading His Word is always a good thing. Maybe there’s something that you need to resolve – that might be the reason you’re feeling uninspired or unable to focus on creative work.

It could be that God wants you to rest, or take a break. Or it could be that there’s some lesson to be learned.

Even if that’s not the case, spend time in God’s Word and you can prayerfully share some thoughts about a particular passage, or a short devotional style post based on an inspiring scripture. You can also do a “list post.” For example, a list of your 10 favorite verses, or the verses you find intriguing, or something along those lines.

6) Be a storyteller

lightbulb-momentThink about an important life lesson that you’ve learned, or an interesting story, or a funny story, and just put it down on paper. Well, maybe not actual paper, but you know what I mean.

People love stories. This is something I want to do more often. I have so many stories from my past and important lessons that I’ve learned. Most of them I haven’t even shared yet. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I think I need to get over that and just write!

Even if “storytelling” isn’t your usual writing style, you don’t get better at something without practice, right? And that leads to the next one…

7) Try something completely different

Many of us are camera shy, but if you’re feeling creatively stuck, try filming a Youtube vlog, or just try something that’s completely different for you. Maybe put together a tutorial, record a podcast, or try writing about something that you don’t ordinarily write about.

You never know, experimenting might break you out of that uninspired slump and lead to something amazing!

8) Beautify your website

If all else fails, this might be a good time to beautify and organize your blog. Remove any clutter, add some beautiful photos, change the color scheme or even try out a new theme. You can also go through your media library and delete unused files, give your about page a makeover, or do anything else that you haven’t had time to do.

9) Join blogging networks and groups

If you haven’t done this already, you could use this time to go join some blogging networks and groups. Blogging networks are another way to bring traffic to your site, meet other bloggers in your niche, find out about monetizing opportunities and improve your SEO. There are tons of blogging networks out there, just look for the good ones and sign up!

There are also blogging groups that are worth joining. For example, Facebook blogging groups. I joined one a few months ago that has been super helpful, for a number of reasons. They’re a great resource for tips, ideas, finding linkups and pinterest group boards and more. And it’s a great way to meet other bloggers who are very encouraging and helpful. You can get new followers on social media and promote other blogger’s posts, while they promote yours.

10) Research topics that interest you

Finally, sometimes we need to take a break from giving and just receive. During creative slumps, use that time to read and research interesting topics that you’ve been wanting to learn more about.

The more we learn, the more we can pass along what we’ve learned with others. There’s always something to learn, so there’s no excuse for not doing just that!


So there you have it!

I’m sure there are tons of other things you can do during those “creatively uninspired” days, but I hope this list of 10 things will be helpful!

I have to admit, I really hate it when I feel uninspired. But I no longer want to let it stop me from being productive, or cause me to wallow in self-pity. Many blogging experts say that when you’re feeling uninspired, you have to just do it anyway. While it might be true that pushing through and simply taking those first steps can sometimes snap us out of a slump… when we’re feeling stuck, I think it’s important to try to figure out what the problem is.

Right before writing this blog post, I was in a creative slump for days. Then I realized that part of the problem was that for weeks, I wasn’t exercising or eating healthy. I’m not an athletic person, I’m very indoorsy (OK, I guess I’m a nerd!) so sometimes I can spend hours on the computer, with very little physical activity, which of course is unhealthy.

So I think that God has been showing me that in order to be productive and creative, I need to be healthy, well rested and just have a more balanced life. God cares not only about our soul and spirit, but our physical health too.

Putting together this list and sharing my thoughts on this topic has actually been really helpful for me! In fact, I might print off this list, and hang it on the wall or something. Because the reality is, we’re not going to be overflowing with creativity every day. But it’s important to not allow that lack of inspiration to paraylyze us. And it’s definitely important to get recharged and refilled whenever necessary, so we can then get back to creating and giving to others.

If you’re a blogger or creative person, how do you deal with those uninspired moments? If you have any ideas you want to share, please do so!

Thanks and God bless!

5 Reasons Why Distrusting God Is The Height of Foolishness

P
eople often bemoan all the problems and evil this world. But how often do we seriously consider the root causes, and check our own hearts to determine whether or not those roots exist in us?

I believe that one of the biggest causes of problems in this world is unbelief or lack of trust in God.

There are different types of unbelief. There is unbelief in God’s existence, AKA atheism. And then there’s unbelief among believers. That may sound contradictory, but this is a different type of unbelief, it’s not about His existence. A better way to describe this type of unbelief would be distrust – distrusting God’s promises, or His power or His intentions toward us. This is the type of unbelief I’m going to be focusing on here.

Let me give an example from the bible.

sarah-hagar-abrahamAbraham and Sarah (who were among the heroes of the faith, in Hebrews 11) initially disbelieved God’s promise that they would have a child, in their old age. Sarah’s reaction was to laugh or scoff at the idea that she would conceive a child, when she was past her child-bearing years.

That initial unbelief had disastrous results. Most of you know how the story goes. Abraham and Sarah’s lack of trust caused them to take matters into their own hands, and they decided to “help God out” by having a baby through their maid-servant Hagar. That union was outside of God’s will, they did it without asking God, but out of distrust that God would follow through on His promise to give them a son.

Their presumptuous act led to the birth of Ishmael, considered to be one of the forefathers of Islam. And of course the tragic family feud that I believe continues to this day, between Jews and Muslims, about who is the true heir or true “son of promise.”

There are lots of other examples, but let’s get to the list. Here are 5 reasons why distrusting God is the height of foolishness and a grave mistake to avoid at all costs.

1. Our faithlessness or distrust grieves God’s heart

Have you ever been in a situation – either face to face or online – where someone misinterpreted something you said, and even after you explained that they misunderstood, they simply refused to believe you?

That happened to me a few months ago, on a discussion forum I used to post on. A very bitter person chose to think the worst of me. Do you know that feeling? It can be hurtful when someone distrusts you. It’s almost like a slap in the face.

If it is disrespectful to unjustly distrust a human being, who is fallible…then how much more disrespectful is it when we do that to God, who is is infallible? Perfect. Holy. Sinless.

So distrusting God is an entirely different level of insult than distrusting another human.

I would say it’s an even bigger slap in the face when God has already demonstrated His love and trustworthiness.

distrustI’m reminded of the Israelites, as they were led out of Egypt. Think about all the amazing, dramatic miracles that they witnessed. The parting of the Red Sea, the plagues on Egypt, the supernatural food in the desert…all sorts of things that demonstrated God’s power and faithfulness.

Yet many of the Israelites still lacked faith and trust. They worried, doubted, complained and quickly forgot about all the amazing things God did for them.

According to the scriptures, God was not pleased by their distrust.

If we distrust God, after He has demonstrated His goodness and faithfulness to us, then we too grieve God, the one being who is actually worthy of our trust, at all times.

It should be stated that from a New Covenant/Grace perspective, God isn’t grieved because He is disappointed in us, or because He’s angry at us for breaking a rule. He grieves because when we distrust Him (or sin in other ways) it hurts us. And other people. He loves us and wants the best for us. So when we do something as foolish as distrust Him, it grieves Him in a similar way that a good parent is grieved when their child does something that is harmful or unwise.

2. Distrusting God prevents us from moving forward.

The “stiff-necked” unbelief of the Israelites had grave consequences. Many of them lost their lives, and most of them never saw the Promised Land. Instead, they wandered around in the desert for 40 years and it was the next generation that made it into Canaan. Imagine how different things would have been for the doubting Israelites, had they simply trusted God.

When we lack trust, we can end up wandering in circles like those Israelites, instead of moving forward, and getting to the place God wants us to be.

It can hinder our growth, it can hinder us from exciting opportunities to be used by God, and it can keep us stuck in an unfruitful season, for far too long.

3. Distrust robs us of joy and blessings

Distrust robs us of joy, peace, blessings and future rewards that God wants to give us.

Throughout the bible, we can read that trusting God and being secure in Him brings joy!

For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Psalm 33:21

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it comes from God. So, it makes sense that when we grieve the Holy Spirit through our distrust or lack of faith, we’re not going to have joy at the same time.

Faith, on the other hand, is what pleases God. He delights in those who put their hope in His unfailing love! (Psalm 147:11)

The stiff-necked generation of Israelites missed out on the blessings and abundance that awaited them, because of their unbelief and self-centeredness.

The biggest blessing of all is God Himself, and being in a right relationship with Him.

All who are saved – born from above – are completely forgiven and we don’t have to worry about God ever leaving us or forsaking us. However, even though we are forgiven when we lack faith, there are still consequences. We miss out on certain things that God wants for us in this life, and future rewards in heaven.

4. Distrust dishonors God before others and damages our witness

Faithlessness not only grieves God and hurts us, but it damages our witness to the world.

Strong faith, through any circumstances, glorifies God and moves hearts.

Strong faith touches not only the hearts of those who don’t know God, but fellow believers as well. I know from experience that being around Christians who are strong in faith, and filled with passion and joy is so edifying.

Distrusting God, on the other hand, dishonors God, even if that wasn’t our intention. And that can lead people astray. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the seriousness of that.

5. The sin of distrusting God is at the root of numerous other sins

The distrust of the aforementioned Israelites led to a slew of other sins. Idolatry, complaining, ungratefulness, false accusations and lust, to name a few.

When we distrust God, we are in danger of falling into numerous other sins, because we’re not being led by the Spirit, but our flesh or emotions.

eveAs was stated earlier, so many of the problems in this world are rooted in unbelief or distrust in God, and it has been that way since the very beginning.

Adam and Eve sinned because they allowed themselves to doubt God’s goodness. They fell for the deception of the enemy, who insinuated that God lied to them, and had evil motives.

Have things changed that much among human beings? Not really. Just as it was back then, to this day people fall for the lies of the enemy, allowing themselves to distrust God.

Faith is about trusting God’s character – His goodness, faithfulness, power and love… through all circumstances. It’s easy to trust God when the sun is shining and all is right in the world.

The true test of our faith comes during the darkest days and most difficult trials.

Again, we glorify God when we trust Him, no matter what!

I don’t want this to come across as condemning. When I think about all the times in the past 14 years that I was lacking in the trust and faith department, I can see how – like the Israelites – that prevented me from moving forward and being victorious.

How patient God has been with me! How merciful, loving and awesome God is, to put up with me… a person who has been slow to learn important spiritual truths. But I have learned some things, and I’m still learning.

So I want to thank God for that and say a prayer right now, that maybe some of you can relate to.

God, I’m sorry for all those times that I didn’t believe You or trust You. When someone does that to me, it doesn’t feel so good. It can be hurtful. So how must that feel to you, someone who is actually worthy of trust, no matter what.

Thank you for your patience with me, and thank you for teaching me the importance of complete trust! I pray that if there is anyone out there struggling with trusting You, that you would give them a fresh revelation on how essential it is to trust you, through ALL circumstances. Not just when the sun is shining, but during the worst storms, as well.

I pray that you will continue to teach us to step out in faith, so we can honor you through our faith, trust and obedience.

Amen!

photo credit: Dick Vos, via Flickr, cc