Monday, March 22, 2010


Have you ever watched the movie Jerry Maguire? It's the scene where Tom Cruise yells "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!". Well, that is what I am doing to my budget; yelling at it.

Moving into 2010 has been interesting for me. I have been on the move to change bad habits and create new healthy ones. The first bad habit that I have been tackling is my “living life on the edge” budget. I pretty much knew how much money I had but I never paid attention to how much I was spending on one particular thing. I also was using deadly credit cards. I was numb to the dumbness of my life. I was living my life on Stupid instead of living it on SMART!! I am not saying that I am stupid, I am just saying that I like so many out there, ignored the issues that caused them to fall deeper and deeper into the earthly Hell called DEBT. So the buck stops here, literally. As Dave Ramsey would say, you must “Live like no one else, so that later you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE”. If you don’t understand the phrase, then I would recommend the book “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.

How does one live life on a tight budget, say no to the unnecessary and hopefully plan for the unexpected? Since the beginning of this year, I have been transitioning into the Total Money Makeover mindset. I took a Financial Peace University course before Christmas last year, but really didn’t implement it hard core until January. So now I am budgeting, saving, and trying to figure out how the heck do I live off of a stipend of what I make? I have noticed that when you are trying to stick to a plan, it is certainly not easy. It’s not easy when fun things come around the corner and at the last minute you have to say no. This is not the end of the world, but it is certainly a change.

So, I have been avoiding this for a few weeks, but I know the time has come. I must record every penny I spend to figure out what I can fix in the future. This must be done for 4 weeks. I know too much spending for most people, really comes down to the food budget; you think you need this or that and before you know it, your money is gone. So here goes the next financial breakthrough in my life. I will record every single penny that I spend and try and figure out how I am blowing the cash. This idea is not my own, mind you. The idea comes from the book "Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free" by Mary Hunt. She is a Christian author who gives some great insight to living financially free. I read her book right after the Dave Ramsey one and really liked a lot of the idea's she had. Although I am very much a Ramsey fan, if you want to know the nityy gritty on how to budget, she's got it. Anyway, what she recommends is to have 3x5 cards on hand for each day's spending. You are to catalog every penny and then at the end of the day, put it in a file for that week. At the end of every week you are to put all the money on a spreadsheet, divide it into categories and then move on to the next week. At the end of the month you are to add up everything in each category and then figure out how much you spend for each thing. This might help to see if there is an area that is unnecessary.

So, to all my readers, here goes. If you have any good advise on budget's, please let me know. I am all ears.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Style of Worship

Ok, I am giggling as I write this first part of my post, because the word that I have been getting for a week or so now is a strange one. Prostrate. Sounds like prostate. HA! When I went to research different meanings of this, Google kept asking me if I really meant Prostate, so I had to laugh. Anyway, on a serious note, I have been getting this word, and also a picture. I kept seeing a man on his knees with head bowed and hands stretched forward cupped, ready to receive whatever from the Lord. This I believe is a significant form of worship.

Psalm 95:6
"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."
Nehemiah 8:6
"Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground."
Genesis 24:48
"and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road"

I think of getting on our knees, on our faces, or even completely laid
out prostrate before our God. It is the clearest expression of worship you see in the Bible.

There are so many times during worship, whether by myself or in the presence of others where I have this strong urge to fall to the ground before the Lord. Usually this entails me being very emotional and I am either on the verge of crying or might already be in the midst of the rain fall. Sometimes, I will be involved in worship and God will reveal something to me about Himself, or He will show me a picture, and from there I am lost in Him.

Take for example this last Sunday. I went to a new church to see if it was good and let me tell you the worship was awesome. I realize that you can feel the Holy Spirit anywhere, it doesn’t have to be anywhere in particular, but on that day I REALLY felt Him. For some of it I believe it was the songs they were singing, and for the rest I really really missed spending intimate time with my Father; I know I don’t do it enough. As I was standing there, I felt a strong pull to get down on my knees but because it was a newer church and I didn’t want to make a scene, I stayed standing. I lifted my hand and then the tears started to flow and I just absorbed His presence. At that moment, without knowing what was happening my body started to fall backwards and I had to catch myself with the chair in front of me and hold on for dear life. What an amazing moment that was for me to feel his presence and be enveloped in the essence of him; I was just there, with Him.

So, all that to say is this. Should I have just gotten down on my knees when I felt inclined to? Maybe. Or I could have chosen to just sit, which I did later because I know I couldn’t stand anymore. Ultimately, what I really wanted to do was speak to the Father in the spirit and cry out to him, not really caring what I looked like or what people thought. In a smaller church setting this is harder to do because let’s face it, you don’t want it to be loud and who knows if they encourage such things in public? Probably not. ;-) But man it would have been great. This brings to mind a moment that I had with God while in YWAM. We had a service in the middle of the day, and the music was loud enough to drown out anything out of the ordinary. There were many of us who felt the move of the Holy Spirit so we went to different parts of the sanctuary to pray. I did this as well and ended up laying prone on the floor crying my eyes out, snot flowing and really not caring. I was in the moment with my Father and no matter how messed up I looked or how much snot and tears covered my face afterword, I would never want to erase that moment of time. Everything within was drowning in His presence. Aahhh, what a memory! ;-)

How many times do we allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to envelope us like that? How often do we let go and let God? I know that is a cliche phrase, but really it works here. Do you fight with your urge to go deeper or is it easier to remain on the surface like you do every day and not really give in to the call of God? I feel so many times that I do this because I don't have time, or I don't want to mess up my makeup or I can think of so many other things worth my time to do. HA! What is worth my time is spending it with the Lord and being a subject to HIS will, and not my own. I am still working on this and I hope for the time where I can actually let God help me fill my time verses me trying to be the master of it.

So, going back to the style of worship that I mentioned before; to be prostrate or prone before the Lord. There's just something about being laid out prostrate before God in prayer and worship before Him. Why do you think that bowing down is so heavily linked to worship? What keeps us from bowing down before God in our Quiet Times/Personal Worship Times, or when worshiping with others? Should we be bowing down more in worship before God? Why or why not?

I am interested in hearing your views on this and also I would love to hear stories of how God has moved in your lives, whether it be through worship or prayer. Please write back, I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunshinny Inspiration

Have you ever thought about how often you might take for granted those wonderful sunny day's? Has it ever occurred to you how often you feel drum and are just yearning for a pick me up? Now, I am not talking about the pick-me-up in the form of a soda or coffee or dare I mention chocolate??? No, I am talking about how a true, glorious, sun shinny day can truly change a persons mood, or an outlook on life.

Today, as I was driving home from work on the freeway, I was getting a bit irritated with how many cars were out there at 3:30 in the afternoon. Now come on people! Why do you feel the need to be going home at the same time as me???? Seriously! As I was thinking this, something occurred to me. Oh my gosh, it's sunny today. How GLORIOUS! How beautiful is this!? As I started recognizing the fact that my spirits started to lift, I did not want the traffic issues to bother me anymore, I just wanted to enjoy it.

As this whole rotation of my mood started, I also began to feel inspired. Go figure! It's like "Hello Annjeri, welcome to the WORLD OF THE LIVING!!". I started picturing a ballet dancer doing a full rotation, with the sun playing with the colors on her dress. In this "day dream" the dancer was so peaceful, moving with such grace. I wanted to be there to capture it all. Then the let down happened and I realized I have to pay attention to my driving. Sheesh.

But, now that I am safely home (which I am sure that my mom will greatly appreciate-smile) I can now really let what just happened sink in. I really do hate the fact that as we are in the middle of winter and spring is about to hit us; how often do we sit around and not realize that just a bit of sun can really brighten a persons day? So to all of my readers, go enjoy a bit of sunshine and see what it can do for your day! ;-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hosanna by Hillsong

I see the king of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes


I see his love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing

Hosanna in the highest x2

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees


Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from earth to

This song really stirs my heart. I pray this over myself, my family, and my generation. Father, I pray for a breaking of the heart, a stirring of the heart strings, a burning like no other for who you are, and for what breaks your heart. May we see the things that are unseen. Open up our eyes to see what you see. Stir up within us life and a new breath. Unleash the joy that you want for us Lord. Break down those barriers that have caused us to stop seeing, stop breathing in your aroma. Bring to us a newness like we have never seen before Father. I praise you and lift you up for you are; my Lord, my King and my Master. You are the great Creator, the Master of ALL things. May everything we are, everything we will become be for your kingdoms cause as we go from earth to eternity.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Puting it out there

One of the reasons for this blog is so that I can have some accountability. I have noticed a lack of self esteem, and possibly a lack of self worth of who I am and what I am created to do. As I write this, I cry because it hurts to come face to face with issues that I have buried for so long. I think for so long I have not felt worthy enough to walk in the path that God has lead me. It hurts to realize that so many years have passed and I just wasted them away. Well no longer!!!! I want to do what God has called me to do. To Create. To Birth new things. No longer will I allow the enemy to tell me I am no good. I do not have talent. Well shut-up you filthy beast and GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!!!!!

Last night we had a prayer and worship night at our house. We try and do one of these at least once a month or every other month depending. The theme for last night was "Who wants prayer for more spiritual gifts?". I have been coming to terms with some of my issues in this and have known for quite a long time that I need to step out in Prophetic Art. This, I must say, is very intimidating. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my art work. It needs to be just so. I will deal with it if it is not perfect but man it drives me nuts if I cannot get out on canvas the way I see it in my head.

Anyway, I decided to step forward for prayer and in a gentle but firm way, I believe God spoke to me through some of my friends. I have to say that pretty much all of the things that were stated were confirmations that I felt the Lord telling me directly.
#1. I need to walk out in faith, without much planning on my part, and just start painting.
#2. It is not me who comes up with the ideas, it is God, and it is God who will help me get it onto the canvas.
#3. It will be as if I were wearing a blindfold; with my hand stretched out, paintbrush in hand I start painting. I won't know what will come of it, but I know it will be beautiful.
#4. I need not be embarrassed for how long it has taken me to get to this point. I believe that there was some things I needed to go through (healing over wounds) in order to see a breakthrough in this.
#5. When I paint prophetically, it will not only be for an others benefit, it will also be a time of worship and intimacy with God.

So, there you have it. I am looking forward to my first time setting up my paints again, but yet I feel scared also. I worry about whether or not I am going to be standing there, just waiting for the info on what to paint. I assure you there will be more to come as this all progresses. I will make sure that I post pictures as I do it as well. Blessings everyone. TTFN.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Something new #1

Recently, I would say in the last 4-5 months, I have really been feeling this need to try new things. I think it might be because I have felt like I have been stuck in this rut for so long I could not breath. It was as if I lived this same old hum drum life (Eat, sleep, go to work, go to church, eat, sleep, etc.). So boring, so BLAH!!!. I never really moved forward in anything. I always would feel excited about something but I never really experienced raw passion over just one thing. Now, I know God is resurrecting those old interests of mine and reminding me of what I love to do. I know it sounds silly and a bit quirky, but I get really really excited when I can try a new thing and be able to share it with people.

I want people to venture out, to taste new things, to experience the world. I want to feel that for myself. I want to try out new gourmet dishes and feel confidant that I can cook something brilliant. I picture myself some day cooking for my husband, or for my kids and just having a blast doing it. I can honestly say with out having a big head about it that I am a good cook. I am not a brilliant cook, but I am a good one. I hope that doesn't sound conceited, but I feel that cooking is one of my gifts. I absolutely love cooking for people. If I had enough money, I would host parties all the time and cook, cook, cook. ;-) I think I will start researching fun healthy meals that are friendly to the figure, but have the same outcome as some of those luscious tasting meals that are full of butter. Maybe I should become a chef. Hmmmmmm..........

Soooo.....I signed up to make brownies for a going away party at work and I thought "Why not make something new?". ;-) I have a bunch of these magazines from Taste of Home that I picked up from the free table at work. They have a ton of fabulous recipes that people submitted to be entered. Here is a new one for you.

Today's recipe is Creamy Cashew Brownies.
Recipe: 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9 inch pan size)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup salted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, oil and egg. Stir in chips. Spread into a greased 13-in x 9in baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not over bake)
For topping, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confec. sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with cashews: drizzle with hot fudge topping. Refrigerate before cutting.

Here are the main ingredients

Going into the oven

Just out of the oven

Whipping up the cream cheese topping

Finished with all the toppings