Summer Book Review #5: Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , on July 25, 2013 by Annette Budd

Renewed

My mentor, Victoria Munro, introduced me to Lucille Zimmerman the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. The three of us sat down on a lovely June afternoon and listened to each other’s hearts for about an hour.  I am very impressed with the godly woman that Lucille is.  She has a sweet spirit and a lot of insight in what it means to rest and learn self-care.

She introduced me to the Dutch word gezellig (heh-SELL-ick). Its meaning is a combination of cozy, quaint, nice, friendly, comfortable, relaxing, enjoyable and gregarious. I’ve decided that I need to pursue more gezellig in my life.

Summer Book Review #6: When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , on July 25, 2013 by Annette Budd

When Heaven Invades EarthA few years ago I read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn.  If I had to list in order the books that have impacted my life, that book would be somewhere near the very top.  And as my understanding of and excitement for heaven grows, my desire to see as much of it manifested in my life also increases.

When Jesus taught people to pray he said, “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”     Johnson says, “Everything that happens here is supposed to be a shadow of heaven.” He continues, “Conversely, if it is not free to exist in heaven, it must be bound here.  Again, through prayer we are to exercise the authority given to us” (Mat 16:19)

Johnson also poses the question of why some walk with a greater sense of God’s presence than others. The simple answer is that some people place high value on the presence of God and others don’t.  The ones who do enjoy fellowship throughout their day with the Holy Spirit are extremely conscious of how He feels about their words, attitudes and activities.  The thought of grieving Him brings great sorrow. It’s their passion to give Him preeminence in everything.  That passion brings that believer into a supernatural life – one with the constant activity of the Holy Spirit working through them.  It is my prayer and desire to place the highest value on the presence of God in my life.

I love one of the prayers that Johnson prays and have a whole-heartedly prayed this for myself.  “Father, you know that I don’t do so well when I look inward, so I’m going to stop.  I am relying on You to point out to me the things that I need to see.  I promise to stay in Your Word.  You said that Your Word was a sword – so please use it to cut me deeply. Expose those things in me that are not pleasing to You. But in doing so, please give me the grace to forsake them.  I also promise to come before You daily.  Your presence is like a fire.  Please burn from me those things that are unpleasing to You.  Melt my heart until it becomes like the heart of Jesus.  Be merciful to me in these things.  I also promise to stay in fellowship with Your people.  You said that iron sharpens iron.  I expect You to anoint the “wounds of a friend” to bring me to my senses when I’m being resistant toward You.  Please use these tools to shape my life until Jesus alone is seen in me. I believe that You have given me Your heart and mind.  By Your grace I am a new creation.  I want that reality to be seen that the name of Jesus would be held in highest honor.”

This book renewed my excitement for the things of heaven. It increased my desire for the power of God to be evident in all parts of my life.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking after these things.

Summer Book Review #7 & #8: Catching Fire and The Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , , , on July 25, 2013 by Annette Budd

Hunger GamesIn the interest of balance, I decided to read the last two books of The Hunger Games trilogy purely for fun.  I had read the first book a couple of years ago because many of my literature students had told me how much they had enjoyed it. I found that I really liked it also. My literature students also have pointed out to me many times that I am especially bad about accidentally spoiling the ends of books for them. I really, really didn’t intend to do this but found that despite my best efforts I ended up doing it anyway.

So the safest thing for me to do in this post is NOT to talk about the plot or characters at all.  I would just like to say that I found all three books very enjoyable.

$4.40 worth of peace and quiet

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , on June 26, 2013 by Annette Budd

moneybags I don’t know why but every time David, almost six, and Michaela, almost eight, got into the car, World War III broke out. It was driving me up and wall. We were about to embark on a five hour drive to Kearney, Nebraska and I was afraid.  The arguing that happened during a trip to the grocery store was unpleasant. I could only imagine what that would be like times ten.

One of my friends, Kelly Lawrence, came up with a life saving idea and I implemented it. I filled a bag for each of them with 25 dimes.  Each time they fought with each other (or basically did anything that annoyed us) I took one dime away.  They lost a total of .60.  The peace and quiet that $4.40 bought on that trip was some of the best money I have ever spent.  When the trip was over we took them to the dollar store, which is pretty much ‘kid heaven’.

It worked so well that I decided to make it a permanent fixture in our lives. I got pencil cases that are designed to clip into a binders, labeled them and filled them with dimes. Then I hung them from the back of the headrests in the car.   I don’t know how long it will work, but for now I’m no longer dreading the car.

Fire

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2013 by Annette Budd

Isaiah 43:2 When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Unfortunately, I know plenty of people who literally walked through the fire and were burned.  My family has been plagued with fire.  The first victim of this fire was a young boy that very few in our family every met. My husband’s grandmother had a little brother. Her father was pouring gas into a carburetor when it caught on fire and severely burned the boy. He died from his injuries.  Later Grandma burned her hands in a grease fire.  When my husband was a little boy his house burned to the ground and they lost everything.

When my husband and I had been married for only a couple of years, his precious Uncle Lynn and his cousin were working for a gas company cleaning out large storage tanks.  Something caused a spark and there was a huge explosion.  Uncle Lynn was burned over at least 70% of his body.  The antibiotics that they used to keep him alive left him deaf. His body was grossly deformed.  The pig skin that they transplanted over many parts of his body gave him constant trouble.  Uncle Lynn went home to be with Jesus a couple of years ago. I like to imagine him in heaven listening to all the wonderful things that he couldn’t hear on earth and living without the burden of a body that was constantly betraying him. We were very close and I miss him very much but I am delighted that he is no longer dealing with the effects of fire.

When my husband’s youngest brother, Jerry, was in elementary school, he was playing in a dumpster and lit a match to see what was in there. He discovered the hard way that it was full of paint thinner and other explosive material.  His legs were burned severely.  I remember him having to go in and have the skin scraped off of his body. It was beyond awful.

Today our family had another encounter with fire but this time it ended very differently than all of the other times. We have been in the carpet cleaning business for about 15 years now but we have never had a day that even faintly resembled today. Gary and our son-in-law, Ryan, were at one of our client’s homes cleaning the carpet.  Ryan was inside working and Gary went out to get something from the van. (He had been out to the van a few minutes before and there was no sign that anything was wrong.) Gary saw flames and shut off the equipment. He then got in the van to see what the source of the fire was.  He saw that the fuel line had been damaged and diesel fuel was being ignited as it came out of the damaged hose.  At this point he heard a noise and a burst of flame flew at him. The fire filled the back of the van. He turned his head away and the hair on the back of his head was burned.  He then jumped out, got the hose and extinguished the fire.

After the initial relief set in that the fire had not harmed him, we started to think about our situation. About a month ago our other van, which is 17 years old and has served us well for the better part of those years, had black smoke pouring out of the engine block so we decided that it was basically inoperable. Our main van, which had now caught on fire, was the primary way that God provided income for us.

So Gary came home and we gathered the family and we prayed.

After we were finished Gary took the van to our supply house where they could safely figure out how much damage had been done. It turns out that there was absolutely NO damage to the van other than the slit in the fuel line. They were able to cut away the portion of the fuel line with the hole in it and reattach it.  They didn’t even charge us to do that. The only thing we had to replace was a garden hose that was inside our truck. There were no melted wires. Nothing was damaged at all. There weren’t even any burn marks on the walls or the ceiling. We think the slit in the fuel line was caused by another piece of equipment pushing against it.

I know this has been a pretty long explanation of our day today.  So if you have actually made it to the end of this post, we want to invite you to praise God with us that everything turned out as it did. His faithfulness constantly amazes us.

 

 

Maybe if Netanyahu became a talk show host . . .

Posted in Politics on September 25, 2012 by Annette Budd

President Obama’s refusal to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, while making time for Letterman and The View, is prodding the Mideast closer and closer to the brink of war.  Those who have vowed to annihilate Israel are waiting for just the right moment to strike. That that moment is close at hand. Obama is sending the clear message that we will NOT stand with Israel if they are attacked. We don’t even have time to meet with them, let alone support them in a war. That’s how Israel’s enemies view this.

Iran test fired four missiles today in the Strait of Hormuz. If they close that strait, it will completely disrupt the trade of oil around the world. If you think the economy is bad now (and it is) wait until our supply of oil is cut off.  But Obama continues to be nearsighted, not being able to see anything past November 6th.

The relationship  between our country and most of the Arabic world at this moment is extraordinarily tenuous.  They are killing our ambassadors and embassies all over the world are on high alert.  And Obama’s excuse for not meeting with other world leaders today when he spoke at the UN was that if he met with one he would have to meet with ten.  We are at a time when we should be meeting with every world leader possible to avert war.

Maybe if those world leaders would host a talk show, Obama would make time to meet with them.

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.