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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hello Family, Friends and Missionary Supporters:
 
Introducing THE 40-40-40 CAMPAIGN:
I'M ASKING 40 PEOPLE
TO DONATE $40
DURING THE NEXT 40 DAYS
For a missions trip to MEXICO, OCT 26 - NOV 2!

I’m thrilled to say that on October 26, 2013, I will be privileged to be part of the Crosspoint Missions Team heading to Mexico to bring love, hope, healing and God's amazing salvation to  many there. Since 2005, I've traveled to Peru eight times with Crosspoint, and God has always, always come through in a mighty way to allow us to bless the people and for us in turn to be blessed even more by the experience. Well, God has enlarged Crosspoint's territory and they have begun to venture to new exciting places, like South Africa and Mexico (with more planned in the future). So, God has directed my path to join them on their first trip to Mexico this fall. 

We will be working with Pastor Jonatan Chavez  in Mexico City, the most populous city in the world with 106 million people. Its museums are amongst the most visited in the world, and its subways move close to 5 million people every day. It's also the land of my favorite type of food -- Mexican -- and the land of birth to tortillas, tacos, enchiladas and world famous salsa! OK, I'm ready to go now! 

MINISTRY WE WILL DO:
  • Visiting an orphanage -- to shower the kids with love, hugs, attention, supplies and hope for eternity
  • Visiting an elderly care center -- to bring love, care and hope for eternity
  • Possibly visiting a prison -- to bring the captives the true key to their freedom, a message of salvation
  • Hosting revival services -- to give testimonies, possibly drama skits, and ministry in song and teaching
  • Service work in local churches -- to provide help where needed; could be painting, cleaning, construction, etc.
OUR GOAL: Simply put by Crosspoint Missions: "Our goal is to share the love of God everywhere we go and to share the gospel of Jesus. God uses our team to communicate and demonstrate the gospel. He who wins souls is wise. (Prov. 11:30)"

GOD WORKS THROUGH PEOPLE. We will show up and allow Him to use us in whatever manner He chooses. This will be my 10th time on the mission field -- once in Ghana, West Africa and eight times in Peru -- and ALL of those times, God showed up and did some amazing things.

PHOTOS. In addition to the photo links below, I've attached a few photos from my last missions trip to Peru in 2012 with my son -- that was his second missions trip to Peru. 

Street Drama Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150856728741205.400730.703396204&type=1&l=4e887c34a2
Serving and Teaching Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150856668256205.400722.703396204&type=1&l=4dc67d8506
Boys Home and Medical Clinic Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150856773191205.400731.703396204&type=1&l=eb4c385e60
Just Precious People Photos :-)
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150856783541205.400733.703396204&type=1&l=7bf952251c

So, I have one question for you: ARE YOU IN? Will you help bring love, hope, healing and salvation to those in need by helping to send me to Mexico? 

Yes, there are plenty who are needy right here in the U.S., and hopefully we are all doing our part to help in some way. However, some of us are called to help internationally. I am one of them. I cannot go without your help. Funds will pay for airfare, lodging, food and local transportation. If you will do this great honor and sow a seed in God's kingdom, here is how you may make your donation:

(1) BY PAYPAL: Log into  your PayPal account and send your donation to the account: vanessaburke@clear.net. Or, I can send you a donation invoice from PayPal and you would just click on the link to follow instructions; just email me to request that. Either way, PayPal will automatically notify me when your donation is received; it will be transferred to Crosspoint Ministries; and you will be notified of the transfer. Your PayPal email receipt may used for tax deduction purposes.
 
(2) BY MAIL: Make your donation payable to: Crosspoint Ministries -- visit www.crosspointmissions.org to learn more about the ministry. And then please mail your donation directly to Crosspoint Ministries: 150 Plantation Trail, Statesboro, GA 30458. Be sure to indicate on a note that this donation is for Vanessa Burke's Mexico Missions trip. You may use your donation as a valid IRS tax deduction. 

Thanks in advance for your prayerful consideration to support this calling, and I look forward to hearing from you soon! Regardless, I ask for your prayers for sufficient donations and for the trip itself.

Remember, I need $40 from 40 people over the next 40 days! If you can fill more than one of the 40 slots I need, AWESOME!

Charged to Uplift.Encourage.Inspire,

Vanessa Burke
Questions? vanessaburke@clear.net

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Order My Steps and Guide my Socks


Some prayers I pray daily, without fail. One of them is this: “Lord, please establish my thoughts
and order my steps this day.” Such promises are in His word, and I believe that every day when I
pray this prayer, God does just what it asks.

One recent morning, I put on some warm, fuzzy purple socks to pounce around the house in. I
wore slip on heels to work that day and totally forgot to take off the socks. About halfway to
work, I happened to glance down, and I almost stopped the car as I noticed my purple socks—
glaring. So I thought, “I’ll just stop by Walgreen’s and get some knee-highs.” Driving down the
street rocking my praise, I hastily turned into what I thought was the driveway for Walgreen’s.
Instead, it was a closed restaurant. Just as I was about to drive out of the parking lot, I noticed
a homeless woman, who seemed to come out of nowhere, and she and I both just stopped and
stared at each other. I knew in that instant this was a meeting God had gently guided me to. She
slowly walked over to the car as I rolled down the window.

I immediately asked her if she was hungry, and as she nodded I proceeded to give her most
of what I had packed for my lunch. She was so excited and asked if I were a “God person.” I
said, “Yes Ma’am, I am.” I asked if she knew that God loved her. “Oh yea; I’m still alive.” I then
steered the conversation to the Bible, specifically Romans 10:9. She said, “Oh I know all about
that,” and she kept mentioning her “brother” who was really beat up and bruised and suffered a
lot. It was almost as if this brother she spoke about was Jesus Himself—whom we know suffered
greatly on the cross as payment for our sins. Since she “knew all about Romans 10:9,” I asked
had she actually done what it said. Her response: “H--- yea!” We had a good laugh.

“I’m thirsty,” she said. I had two water bottles, both less than half empty. I poured one
into the other and gave it to her. Her grin widened. “You got a lot of clothes," she stated
emphatically. "Don’t you? I need some clothes; I’m freezing.” I remembered I had packed some
workout clothes for later that evening, so I handed her the bag and informed her that she now had
a new T-shirt, pants and socks. At the word “pants” she lit up like a 5-year-old, which made my
heart smile. With the biggest grin, she declared that God had blessed her that day. I responded by
asking if I could read some of His word to her. So we read a little. She asked me for the third time
if I had any (Christian) literature. She seemed just as eager to have the literature about God as
much as the food, water and clothing. I was so enjoying meeting Gigi.

As a parting word, I told her that Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to
one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25: 40). I explained to her that
in other words, everything I had given her this day, I was really giving to Jesus ... He was the
one who used me to bless her that day. At those words, she closed her eyes, and she had the most
peaceful countenance. She asked for a hug and I obliged. Yes, she was dirty, and her hair needed
a wash badly, but that didn’t matter in that moment. I knew that Jesus would have given her a
hug, too. In fact, He did—through me.

I knew that the Holy Spirit didn’t want me to change my purple socks that morning; He knew I
would want to change them and attempt to stop at Walgreen’s; and He knew I would make the
mistake I did—and find Gigi. He needed to bless one of His children. When you find yourself
in a strange place, don’t always be in such a hurry to leave. Stop, assess your surroundings, and
consider the possibility that you may be just where God wants you. He may be using you to
give Him food, something to drink, and clothing for His journey ... that He takes every day and
distributes as needed … as He walks with—and sometimes carries—His precious children. I’m so
grateful that He guides our footsteps, even when we’re wearing purple socks.

For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger
and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in
prison and you came to Me
. Matthew 25:35-36

Saturday, April 7, 2012

PERU BOUND IN 2012 -- ONCE AGAIN!


PERU BOUND ONCE AGAIN – FOR THE 8TH TIME!
MY 10-YEAR-OLD SON IS GOING FOR THE 2ND TIME

Hello Family, Friends and Missionary Supporters,

I’m excited to announce that June 1-9, 2012, will be my eighth missions trip to Lima, Peru! I’ve been traveling there since 2005, and I’ve loved every minute of it—God has shown Himself in mighty ways on these trips. My last trip in June 2011 was very special because my son went with me for the very first time. He loved it; I don’t think I’ll be able to go back anytime soon without him!

We work mainly in the area of San Juan de Lurigancho, the largest district in Peru and home to the poorest of the poor, with many eating only one meal a day. Trust me; you haven’t seen poor conditions like these in America! Many live in what’s called squatter homes, which are actually huts made from bamboo, cardboard, tin, tire rubber—whatever the people can find—and most are without electricity or running water. About 49% of the people live below the poverty level, and of course unemployment is very high. The needs are vast, and we seek to meet as many needs as we can—naturally and spiritually—through hope, healing, love and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY DO WHILE IN PERU? HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:
·         Visit orphanages like the Hope House home for girls and Centro Shama, a boys home – last year we planted a garden, painted, leveled a volleyball court, and allowed the kids to go “shopping” for goodies like clothing and toys; of course, all prices were $0.00!  Jonathan had mega fun at the home for boys! And he was brave enough to give a five-minute encouraging word from John 14 about trusting God to the girls.
·         Visit Pat’s Place, a shelter for abused women and children – we pour on the love, gifts and hope by having most of our meals and meetings there, as well as several activities. Jonathan was incredible with the kids. There was a precious one-year-old reaching up his little arms for Jonathan practically every time he walked through the door!
·         Visit the Villa La Paz Medical Clinic, free care, room and board for about 50 kids with serious conditions – we fellowship and play with the kids, and of course, hand out goodies.
·         Speak at various church conferences throughout the Lima area, where we minister with skits, testimonies, prayer and of course, the word of God.
·         Perform street drama – we literally find conducive  areas on the street and perform several skits, eventually leading up to a main skit which points to Christ. Afterwards, an invitation for salvation is given, and you’d be surprised at how many come forward, right there on the streets! Local church representatives collect contact information for follow up and invite them to church. All kinds of amazing things happen at these street drama sites. Jonathan was able to show off his drama skills!

Would you like an opportunity to help sow a seed in God’s Kingdom? You can do that by helping us go once again. The cost to cover airfare, food, lodging, local transportation and materials for both of us is $3500. Great news: we've raised nearly 1/2 of this amount, praise God!!

Will you support us in raising the remainder? No amount is too small. If God places it on your heart to donate, please do not hesitate—obedience is a great thing. We need to have all monies in by May 4—just about three weeks away! However, we need significant deposits in now for group travel arrangements. God continues to use me in Peru. On the last two trips of 2010 and 2011, I was a guest speaker at a couple of churches along with other missionary speakers, and many people submitted their hearts to Christ. Your support will help to bless so many.

Your check or money order should be made payable to “Crosspoint Ministries” (www.crosspointmissions.org), and please mail it to me at the address below so that I may record and manage incoming support. You may use your donation as a valid IRS tax deduction. Thanks in advance for your prayerful consideration to support us. Contact me with any questions. If you like, I will be glad to send you a self-addressed stamped envelope! Just email me your address. We hope to hear from you very soon!

Charged to uplift, encourage & inspire,

Vanessa Burke          
3502 Peachtree Park Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30309

vanessaburke@clear.net

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PERU NOVEMBER 2010 - DETAILED REPORT



Where do I begin? This trip—my 6th one to Peru—was so full of love and so full of service. We were 12 missionaries on a mission to leave a trail of love and service in Peru. We  lavished this on orphans at Hope House—a home full of precious orphaned girls in need of many basic things like more than one pair of shoes and milk on a regular basis; on orphan boys at Centro Shama—a home full of rambunctious boys who originally came from the streets, sniffing bags filled with glue to stop their hunger, bathing in trash filled rivers, living in caves and fighting at every turn to stay alive; and on orphans at Pat's Place—a home for abused women and children, who've all grabbed the core of my heart.

GUEST SPEAKER IN PERU!
One week before leaving for Peru on Nov 13, 2010, the end of a 21-day fast, I received an invitation to speak in Peru! God had already shown me in dreams years before that He wanted to use me this way. I was very excited about the opportunity and accepted immediately. The very next day, God gave me the title of my message: “Acceptate a ti Mismo, Porque Dios ya te Accepta.“ In English, that is, “Accept Yourself Because God Already Has.” He also gave me the three points from which I was to speak: (a) know that you are unique; (b) be truthful with yourself, with God and with others; and (c) live truly submitted.

New Life Church, Lima
At an early Sunday morning service I spoke at New Life Church, located in the capital city of Lima. After my message, 11 people accepted Jesus as Savior! We also did an altar call for anyone who needed prayer. I was honored to pray for the pastor’s wife, who was sobbing in my arms as we prayed. Then, after service, a woman came up to me crying with tears of joy. She explained that she had been at church since 7 a.m. praying for a word from God. She stated that everything I said in my message was exactly what she needed to hear! God never ceases to amaze! Please pray that the people of CMC Gardens Church would continue to grow with God.

El Renuevo Church
I also spoke at the first night of our Daughter’s of the King women’s conference at La Eglesia El Renuevo in San Juan de Lurigancho, where Pastor Jonatan Chavez is Senior Pastor. This church was on fire for God! The two-man praise and worship team had so much anointing and sounded amazing. The Holy Spirit spoke through me with power, and I was able to deliver the message with even more conviction. Afterwards, there were salvations for Christ, and we prayed individually for the people, a blessing as always to see countenance after countenance change through prayer.

After service one of the leaders of the church approached me and thanked me for the message. He said that he thought the message uplifted the church and that it was what they needed! I was very humbled and happy to be used by God. Pastor Jonatan also said to me, “Thank you for that word,” more than once. A heartfelt blessing happened the very next night of the conference when a gentleman came up to give a testimony about the first night when I spoke. He said he was well known in Lima; that he had been on drugs and alcohol and was into so many bad things; and that after he heard the Word, he was able to submit his heart to God. He said, “I was able to leave all of that behind …God may not have healed my physical eyes (he had a vision problem), but He healed my spiritual eyes!” My heart leapt for joy! Wow, God. I remembered that this same guy was literally balled up in a corner of the room, wailing and crying out to God fervently. Praise you Jesus. I wish I had gotten his name. Will you please pray that God continues to build his faith and that he stays away from his former life and grows in Christ daily?

THE CHILDREN!
Ah, it is the children that keep me going to Peru over and over again. They will steal your heart! Some of them are in such need, and their stories are so sad that you just want to pack them up and bring them home! Alas, that is much easier said than done, so I try to do all I can do to encourage them while I am there.

La Casa de Esperanza (Hope House)
I’ve visited Hope House for many years, but there was something very special about this trip. I connected with the girls even more. About 17 girls reside there, ages 5 – 17. They are in need of food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, hot water heaters, etc. We were able to bless them with clothing, milk (which they had not had in quite a while due to a lack of funds) and toiletries. We also cleared a large hill of dirt on their volley ball court and painted pictures and encouraging words on one of their outside walls.

Earlier that morning, the Holy Spirit prompted me to bring some nail polish with me. After I got there, I realized it was for the little ladies, so I set up a “nail shop” on the steps and attracted several customers! Later, one of the girls named Carina, together with Lajuana, helped me paint flowers on the walls. Carina was very sad, as she had only been there one week and had not yet adjusted to being in an orphanage home. She only had one pair of shoes, period. I encouraged her to pray to God daily about all of her feelings, her needs and her desires. I told her that things would get better day by day. As she worked with me and had fun painting, her countenance changed to a bright smile, which warmed my heart.

When I returned home and saw the many choices I had for shoes in my closet, I thought of Carina. As a result of our visit, a few other like-minded missionaries and I have begun a campaign called “Soles for Souls.” We will collect funds to provide a “welcome gift” to each new girl, as well as a replacement kit for those who are already there, consisting of a pair of tennis shoes, flip flops and socks. Please pray that God would touch many hearts to give to this worthy cause, and that the girls of Hope House would continue to receive the supplies, clothing, shoes, funds and most of all the love of God that they need.

La Casa de Pat (Pat’s Place)
We sat in a circle on the 2nd floor fellowship room of Pat's Place, a home for abused women and children. The director, Laura, calmly told each family's story, as Erick interpreted, about how they came to Pat's place. Just hearing the stories kept our eyes moist. Abigail was brought to them because her parents literally used her as a child slave, making her sell items on the street from about 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at night! She was not in school. Her face was covered with scars, no doubt from fighting she had to endure to protect herself. However, beneath the scars lay a sweet, quiet disposition. Abi sat very quietly listening to Laura, and slowly her tears begin to fall. At that point, I could wait no longer to go and hold her. Abi had run away twice from Pat’s Place, but a policeman and a neighbor brought her back. I whispered to her that everything would be OK. I have to trust God that it will.

We were able to give all of the kids and the women of Pat’s Place much-needed toiletries and clothes. We set them up as a store and had each one select the outfits they wanted. We were also able to give each child a small toy and gift. Will you please pray that the tremendous amount of child abuse would significantly decrease and that less and less kids like Abi would have to suffer such neglect in Peru? Will you pray that all the children of Pat’s Place would grow in Christ?

Centro Shama Boys Home
It’s always a pleasure to see the boys at Centro Shama! These precious boys were homeless, having been abandoned. They lived in horrible street conditions, bathed in filthy, germ-infested waters and sniffed glue to keep the hunger pains away. Thank God for Centro Shama, a place that rescues the boys and offers them a home, education and love.

It was so heartwarming to see the boys now in school with plans of being an architect or a physical therapist. We were able to play with the boys and give them gifts. They are asking for a Play Station! Maybe we can bless them with that next time. Please they would receive all their needs and God’s love.

Villa La Paz
We generally visit Villa La Paz, a medical clinic for children with very serious medical conditions. An American doctor, Dr. Lazarra, runs the clinic, free for all the children, whose parents cannot afford the expensive care required. About 50 children stay there in the clinic/home until they are better, sometimes for years. Many walk only with crutches or in wheelchairs, and some have really bad burns that have disfigured them. We brought them supplies, spent time with them, prayed with them and took them to the park to play. In the baby ward, I held, played with and fed a little baby boy, Rolando. He cried when I put him back in his crib, which made it difficult to leave him! Please pray that Dr. Lazarra would receive all the supply and monetary help he needs to maintain this precious clinic.

CMC Gardens Church Youth Conference
The two-night youth conference at CMC Gardens Church in Lima was awesome! The house was packed, and not only were we treated to lots of praise and worship, but there were numerous skits as well. CMC Gardens showcased the talent of their youth through song, dance and acting. The missionaries ministered also through acting, as well as through testimonies, words of encouragement, prayer, and of course, the Word of God. At the end of the night, so many young people either accepted Jesus in their hearts for the first time or rededicated their lives to Him. I met a young man, Irvin, whom I prayed for at the altar. We talked afterwards, and by the end of the night, I had adopted yet another ‘little brother,’ and we discovered that we have the same birthdays! Will you pray that CMC Gardens church and its youth would develop an ongoing passion for God’s presence and destiny in their lives?


Laura’s Garden
One of the ladies at Pat’s Place, Laura, has been able to move out, get a job and a home of her own. This quaint, four-room shed sits high in one of the many hills/mountains of Peru, and the only way to get to it is by walking up a very steep, rocky and dirt covered hill. She has to walk a great distance to the market to get vegetables and food daily. We decided to bless her with a garden! God had already provided what we needed: one of the missionaries, Eddie, was a farmer! We were blessed to get loads of planting dirt and seeds. And we had 12 missionaries who were willing to carry the heavy supplies up the rocky hill, clear away dirt and rocks for the garden, lay down the planting dirt, and plant and water cucumbers, carrot and other vegetable seeds. While the men were digging, I thought, “We need a cross for the garden.” Again, God had already supplied what we needed: the very daughter of the farmer, Ellyn, was an art student! She artfully found two sticks somewhere on the mountain and bound them together and painted them—and presto, we had a beautiful cross to mount at the head of the garden, a reminder of God’s provision.

Having descended from Laura’s garden, at the foot of the hill was a beautiful sight: one of the missionaries, Alison, was reading the Bible to a bunch of kids. I quickly said to her, “Read Romans 10:9!” (the salvation scripture). Then I remembered that we had a wonderful Spanish translator sitting on the bus. I wanted to make sure they understood very clearly, so I yelled for Erick to come quickly and interpret. Together we led 5 kids to accept Christ! Please pray that Laura’s garden flourishes and that the kids who accepted Christ that day will find a church home, grow in Christ and remain steadfast in Him.

You, too, can be a part of such an amazing experience. Just ask me how: vanessaburke@clear.net

PERU BOUND -- AGAIN!

Every time I go on a missions trip to Peru, my heart oozes love, appreciation, wonder and awe at our heavenly Father God. He is amazing. Read more details about it in the letter I've sent to supporters below. If you would like more information about this amazing experience, or if you want to be a part of what God is doing upfront and center towards the goal of saving souls, read on ...


JONATHAN AND I ARE GOING ON OUR FIRST MISSIONS TRIP TOGETHER!

Hello Family and Friends,

As you may know, I’ve been travelling to Peru as a short-term missionary since 2005. This last trip—my 6th one there—was so full of love and service and has me looking forward to going yet again. And this time, I’m taking my son, Jonathan, with me! Yes, this will be his first experience as a missionary at nine years old. He is very excited, and I cannot wait to see God work in him on the mission field. We travel in June 2011.

What will we be doing? Visiting orphanages like the Hope House home for girls; Centro Shama, a boys home; and Pat’s Place, a shelter for abused women and children. We will also visit the 50 kids with serious medical conditions at Villa La Paz medical clinic. Jonathan will get to see some of the same people and places to which his clothing donations have been going to for years! This past year, he befriended twins on his lacrosse team, and being from a family of five boys, they were able to give Jonathan a total of 16 hats for the boys at Centro Shama. Now he can visit those same boys. We will also host a women’s conference and a youth conference. At these conferences, we minister with skits, testimonies, sometimes songs, prayer and of course, the word of God.

We mainly work in the area of San Juan de Lurigancho, an area of Lima that’s home to the poorest of the poor, where on average many eat only one meal a day. And some of their living conditions make America’s poorest neighborhoods look like vacation homes. They are squatter homes, which are actually huts made from bamboo, cardboard, tin, even rubber from tires—whatever the people can find—and most are without electricity or running water. About 49% of the people live below the poverty level, creating great need for so many, and we hope to meet not only some of their natural needs but their spiritual needs as well. We plan to give them hope, healing, love and the good news of Jesus Christ.

Would you like an opportunity to help sow a seed in God’s Kingdom? You can do that by helping me go again and helping Jonathan go for the first time. The cost to cover airfare, food, lodging, local transportation and materials is $1600 for each of us. And I have a praise report already: Jonathan has received $860 of his money, and I’ve received $500! Will you pray about helping us raise the rest? No amount is too small. Both of us have another $500 payment due March 2, with any balance due by May 4. God has used me mightily in Peruon this last trip I was a guest speaker at the women’s conference and another local church and helped change lives with what God gave me to speak. Your seed will help to bless so many. If you are able to help, please let us know so that we will know how much more we need to raise. When you help, you are also credited by God for the work we accomplish there!

Checks should be made payable to “Crosspoint Ministries” (www.crosspointmissions.org), and you may mail it to me at the address below so that I may record and manage incoming support. Do not put my name on the check, so that you may use your donation as a valid IRS tax deduction. We thank you for your prayerful consideration! Feel free to contact me with any questions and to share with others you think may want to help. If you send me your donation plans and your address, I will be glad to send you a self addressed, stamped envelope! I do have a detailed presentation with many photos available; just send me your email address for your copy—then you can see for yourself how God moves in us to help change the lives of the people in Peru. Hope to hear from you soon!

Charged to uplift, encourage & inspire,

 Vanessa Burke
 vanessaburke@clear.net

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Power of Fruit


Fruit – something good to me and for me. Yes, this wonderful and powerful food item we seldom think about has been right under our noses for centuries, or millenniums. Sure, we may nibble here or there on fruit, if it’s served to us, but many of us don’t eat fruit on a regular basis, as in everyday.

A friend of mine once encouraged me to read a small, paperback book entitled “Healing Fruits & juices From the Bible” by Brian Edwards. At $1.95, it was well worth it; enough to change my life. Are you ready for a new, healthier you? Read on.

Fruits are naturally low in fat, contain no cholesterol and have plenty of fiber. Get a load of the power of fiber: it wards off cancer, diabetes, heart disease and controls cholesterol. Who wouldn’t consume as much of it as possible? There’s more. Did you know that in order for your body to successfully eliminate garbage and poisons, your blood cells need to be free of fat and synthetic chemicals from junk food? Fruit delivers your blood from such enemies by cleansing and fortifying it, paving the way for the oxygen, vitamins and minerals it needs to fight disease, maintain your health and boost your energy. Life is in the blood – use the power.

Let’s look at the benefits of some particular fruits, starting with apples; the healing power is amazing. They contain the soluble fiber, pectin, which forms into jelly-like substance in the digestive tract. This substance then attracts enemies such as cholesterol and eliminates them from our bodies. Some major benefits are low cholesterol, which helps maintain normal blood pressure; low blood sugar; and a decreased appetite, which helps control overeating. If you experience nausea from eating certain types of apples, as I do, eat pears instead. They also contain a healthy amount of pectin, along with lots of potassium, which helps keep the lid on high blood pressure. Speaking of potassium, it’s married to the banana. Eat plenty, and give high blood pressure a swift, and maybe even fatal kick.

In addition to pectin, oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits contain the power of vitamin C. Heart disease is warded off by vitamin C. It gives a deathblow to cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines, and it gives the immune system a boost. My mother made me take vitamin C each day during high school. Guess what? The common cold and I were practically strangers. You probably need another testimony: a British friend of mine, Pauline, worked with me in Chicago for two years; I don’t remember one common cold attacking her body during this time. Her secret weapon was a glass of orange juice every morning. Of course, fresh squeezed orange juice is even better. Hurry, get to the store and stock up.

Even more power for the immune system is found in melons, which are rich in beta-carotene and good for preventing cancer and heart disease. Add to this a super dosage of fiber, and I’m convinced to eat more melons. Mangoes, papayas, peaches and apricots also boast the benefits of beta-carotene, along with others.

Last, but not lease, berries are our friends, as they provide sweetness and weight loss power! Raspberries and blackberries are richly blessed with insoluble fiber, which regulates the digestive system, particularly potassium, and it has been proven that blueberries and blackberries are good for treating diarrhea.

Of course, there are other ways to help maintain a healthy life, like eating vegetables and grains and exercising regularly. Those topics deserve articles of their own. In this one, I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage daily of this precious, natural gift. Start today and experience the power – eat fruit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take YOUR Time

My article below was featured on www.streamingfaith.com May 2010. You can still find it! Search on the News page under the Women category. If it blesses you, will you please take a moment and comment about how? Don't forget to pass on the goodies! Thank you & God bless.

Many of us are in a constant state of busyness. “There’s never enough time in the day.” “I’m always tired.” “I need a vacation.” If you find yourself speaking such words on a regular basis, you need a “time for me” break. And another one. And another one. The point is, time for yourself should be taken on a regular basis, not after you have suffered a nervous breakdown, fainted from not eating right or simply shut down under the mental weight of stress.


Don’t fall into the guilty trap of feeling that you must work all the time. Your body was designed to handle an impressive amount of intelligence and physical activity, but it was also designed to rest. The harmony of these three create a lovely symphony of your life – one composed specifically for you. Wouldn’t you at least like to hear it?

Let’s begin writing your lyrics:
1.Write down these five areas of your life: mental stimulation, physical fitness, emotional stability, spirituality and fun. Rate the wellness of each category from 1-10, 10 representing excellent, 5, fair and 1, poor. Be honest, and your results will speak for themselves.

2.For each category, write five things you could do to maintain wellness – or sanity – in that area of your life.

3.Get a calendar and decide the days of the month you will accomplish one item from each category. Record your decisions on the calendar, and place the calendar somewhere where you have to see it every day.

From month to month, vary the items you select to do in each category. You may find that you have time for more than one item per category in a given month. You will also discover which things really work for you and which things you only thought would work for you. You can eliminate or add to your original list as you make such discoveries.

The key here is not to focus on accomplishing all of the things you think you need to do each month. Rather, it is to continually do something towards the goal of “taking time for me” each month. Plan for the month, but focus on the week so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you don’t follow your plan this week, so what? Move on, and plan to take time for yourself next week. Write down these activities for yourself in your organizer just as you would an appointment. In fact, write them down first, and then plan appointments and other obligations around them. Place items on your list that you enjoy doing. It’s all about you. Soon you may find yourself doing these things – taking time for you – automatically. You will hum your symphony without even realizing it. It will be the background music – the peace – of your life.