Archive for October, 2011

My Testimony

Posted in Me, Things I put into my heart from a sermon on October 19, 2011 by Annette Budd

After a three week Daniel fast in January of 2010, I heard God promise me that He would give me freedom in four areas of my life. These four things were problems in my life that I thought I would never overcome.  They made me feel trapped, discouraged and defeated. They were the kind of things that steal joy and life.

And then came February of 2010. Things seemed to be so much worse than they were in January. As the pattern continued into March and April, I was pretty sure that I must not have heard God correctly – that He really didn’t make those promises to me. I felt that these four things would plague me until I got to heaven. So, I settled back into my defeated attitude and just kind of resigned myself.

Then came August.  I go to Jubilee Fellowship Church and John Leach is my pastor. If you are searching for a place to seek God and receive life, Jubilee is it. Pastor John preached a sermon one Saturday (one of many) that changed my life.  He talked about how after God makes a promise, the first thing that always happens is that Satan comes and tries to steal that seed before it can grow into anything. He gave many Biblical examples of this – too many to list here.  If you are interested in them, I would encourage you to listen to his sermon from August 15, 2010.

Finally, things just all of a sudden made sense to me. It wasn’t that I heard God incorrectly. It was that Satan is an evil beast (I actually thought of a more fitting curse word to describe him, but I never curse so evil beast will have to do) and he wants to steal from me.  He wants to destroy me. He wants to kill me. And instead of resisting him and standing firm on God’s promises, I listened to the father of lies. Because I couldn’t see it with my eyes, I assumed the seed of that promise wasn’t really there. To reinforce this, that snake reminded me that all of my problems were not only there, they were growing bigger.

So after I came to the epiphany that since I was already in a war, I should stand up as a warrior and fight back.  The first thing I did was tell these promises to some trusted friends (I love you, Dan and Kerry Hoff).  And then I started to fight. I prayed, I watched and I expected. This, of course, caused Satan to hit us hard. Harder than we have ever been hit in our lives. He attacked everything he could find. And, trust me on this, he hits below the belt.

But I continued to trust God.  I decided I was not going to let go of His promises. And then things started to change.  Almost immediately I saw a miraculous change in one area.  It is like something that had tortured me for as long as I can remember was completely gone. It is too personal and intimate to talk about in detail publicly in this forum. Then I started to see gradual changes in another of area that he promised. This promise involved other people, so again, I can’t mention it here.  But I would like to testify that God has restored a relationship that has been bad for more than five years.

The other two things, I am very excited to talk about in more detail.

We have been through a lot of financial struggles.  Some of it was our own doing. We incurred debt, some of it was personal and some of it was business related, that was strangling us. And we also had something happen to us that was not our own doing and that got us in trouble with the IRS.  Now, if you have never been in IRS trouble, may God continue to bless you. The IRS has been a ruthless monster that we have been trying to appease. It has been a horrible experience.  Dealing with them has consumed the last four years of my life. I’m excited to say that last week, we were finally able to pay all their penalties in full! We still have one more item that we are trying to unravel with them but our taxpayer advocate is confident that the IRS is completely in the wrong on this issue and that it will resolve without costing us anything.

We also have made incredible progress on the rest of our debt. We are very grateful to Dave Ramsey and his financial freedom class. I’m not sure when we will be completely finished with it, but we are close.

And now for the news of the day.  Another one of God’s promises was fulfilled! When I stepped on the scale this morning, I hit my weight goal! I’ve lost 60 pounds.  For those of you who are math orientated, that is ten pounds for each of my six children. I’m not exactly sure how much I weighed before I got pregnant with Stina, but I am sure it is close to my weight right now.  I started going to Slimgenics at the very end of March.  I eat a very balanced diet and I go in three times a week for dietary counseling. No magic bullets here – it was a lot of hard work. But it’s done! I’m free! I no longer am dealing with the physical and emotional issues that were caused by that extra weight. I will now move into the balance and maintenance program that they have.  I think that lasts about six months.

So, to end this very long post, I want to leave you with Galatians 5:1:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Stand firm then and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Here’s the fantastic news for you:  You don’t have to be imprisoned by anything. Instead of listening to Satan’s lies, listen to God’s truth that will set you free.  He who called you is faithful and He will do it.

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Parenting Dross

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , , on October 5, 2011 by Annette Budd

Here’s a parenting truth I recently discovered: Sometimes it is easier to focus on the dross that is coming out rather than the gold that is being refined. It is just that the dross seems to be so abundant. It’s ugly, useless  and it’s everywhere.  But the whole point of the refinement process is to make the gold pure.  The gold is now beautiful and very valuable even if it is not abundant as the dross. I’m going to consciously focus on gold coming out of the fire rather than the dross coming out of the refining process.