The Pinnacle

The Pinnacle.
“pin·na·cle
ˈpinək(ə)l/Submit
noun
noun: pinnacle; plural noun: pinnacles
1.
the most successful point; the culmination.”

When I hear “pinnacle”, I think of a mountain top. The very tip and highest point. It is the “turning point”.

A lot of work was put in to get to that point, the Pinnacle.

Right now, in my life, there are two battles raging. Well probably many more than that… Some very personal, some very public. All very spiritual.

On June 9th, my husband turned 30 years old, and stepped into the cage as a professional MMA fighter. It was a big day. It was his birthday. It was exciting. It was a “pinnacle”.

Prior to this even set in the outskirts of Pittsburg, PA, I was sitting in the ER with my mom, my dad and my grandma. My mom was laying in the hospital bed, an IV flowing into her arm to rehydrate her. She had decisions to make, since it seemed to have grown worse.

My mom, you see, for the past 6 months has been believing for a miracle. My mom’s battle is with this tyrant and intruder in her body… otherwise known as “cancer”.

Later that same evening, I sat in another state, miles away, to cheer on another battle. We walked away victorious with more than one winner. You see, my mom and I both recognized that it wasn’t just my husband in the cage. It was also my mom. She had a vision that afternoon of Jesus in the middle of the cage, my mom and husband on either side, and lifting up their hands in victory. The battle is won. Jesus said it is finished.

Throughout the night we prayed. But the future was already laid out. We win. We knew it.

Round one looked grim. My husband had previously been told to “not think, just do”, but wound up missing the “do” part…
Hands down, he threw very few punches the first round, while fighting the hometown hero from Pittsburg.

After a quick break between rounds, and a swift realization, he stepped into the second round alive again, and quickly ended the fight with a series of punches taking his opponent down, and finishing the fight with a TKO/KO in less than 30 seconds. As the ref called the fight, I fell to my knees. I wept, knowing the battle is that easy. Knowing that it’s already won. Jesus holds up our hands in victory. Hundreds of miles away, my mom was waiting on our home couch for the text that we had done it. That it was finished.

As they began to play the victor’s song, they played “Lord of Hosts” by Shane and Shane – my husband, “the Militant Gentleman’s”, theme. It comes straight from Psalm 46:

“God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when the morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”

Miles away, my mom rejoiced with us, playing his song on her phone. It was a joyous occasion, and a promise of HOPE.

So we continue to fight, knowing our battles are not with flesh and blood. And that the Lord of Hosts is with us.

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Power and Love

Wow guys God is so good. He is opening my eyes to the broken people all around us everywhere we go. For me lately, this has been at school. I have been surrounded by a lot of atheists and Wiccans at my school.

About a week ago I prayed for my project partner who is a very strong liberal and atheist. He is highly intelligent, and can explain “why God doesn’t exist”, but also struggles with self-hatred and past addiction.

We agree to disagree on most things, but are slowly becoming friends. He was struggling with some knee pain one day as we were walking back to class. I told him a testimony of a guys hips that just got healed over the weekend as I prayed. “Huh” he thought about it. I offered to pray and he reluctantly shrugged his shoulders. “You’ve got nothing to lose” I pointed out. He finally agreed and we went to a corner and I casually laid my hand on his knee. Simple and sweet I commanded pain to leave. I told him to check it by walking up the stairs that hurt before. He did and when he returned surprisingly said it was better! Haha!

Today after Yoga (a great place to find atheists!) I connected with one of the girls in my class. Previously I had noticed her wearing a pentagram ring and jewelry. She is always very quietly and subdued and insecure, but has often complained of consistent back pain. I’ve wanted to connect with her and pray for a while, but was waiting for Holy Spirit’s lead. He is the answer for all situations, not just a bullhorn of righteousness.

So as we walked out of class today,she was telling me she had a headache and stomach ache. We chatted about puppies and work and food allergies/genetics. We landed at the parking garage and we’re about to part ways when I simply asked “hey do you still have that headache?” “Yeah”, she replied. I proceeded to gently ask if I could pray for her. She looked as if she would decline and stated how UN-religious she was. I said it was ok, and that it didn’t matter, I just wanted to love her and be intentional and see if it would change. She agreed that Love and intention can change things, so she sat down (without me even asking!) I began by thanking God for her. She smiled a little on the inside. I then asked for his presence to come and asked if I could lay my hand on her head gently and I commanded headache and backache to go. When I was done I asked how she felt. She smiled and said better! And again I assured her she didn’t have to “be nice”… as she is a very kind person. We kind of laughed it off and she explained that she thinks most religious people are full of judgement especially of her looks, as if she had been hurt by the Christians before. I told her that Jesus showed Love, so I believe in that. I began to tell her how awesome she was and she started to cry and then she hugged me. I finished simply by telling her I love her and she responded “I love you too”.

God is love, and Love is enough to break all the stereotypes and brokenness.

Happy New Year!

2017 was full of new experiences and adventures. Here’s to even more in 2018! I believe this year will be a year of fulfilled dreams and new beginnings. To me the “8” represents “infinite” possibilities. Time to put in the work and receive the reward.
Much love to you all, and a Happy New Year!

cheers,

Jules

2017

Opinions 

I’d like to pose a question to anyone reading this… a question, that I thought in my own way and timing, not some plug to pitch a religious practice or program. I want to know genuinely – what do you think about God? Because if we’re honest, that question can and probably should shape how we live our lives. If there really is a supernatural being somewhere, its probably pretty significant. Atheist, believer, agnostic, “spiritual”, unsure… everyone has an opinion of God. And many of our experiences with PEOPLE create that opinion. I’ve seen it in different communities, races, and cultures that have been hurt by “Christians”. I’ve seen it within churches and friend circles. But here is another question… why do we let our experiences with people dictate our belief about God? People believe in all kinds of things… aliens, ghosts, and conspiracy… it’s exhilarating to connect with something unknown. And I have to say, that’s how I often feel when I encounter God. Could be on the street, in prayer or worship in a corporate event. But God is so much bigger, and more mystically mind-blowing than we imagine in our traditional religious mindsets. I encourage anyone with an opinion of God to really ask for God – who knows you better than you know yourself – to encounter you.

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What does it mean to be “healthy”?

Here is an excerpt from a paper I wrote this past semester in school. Our assignment required us to give an extended definition, and I chose to explain my definition of “healthy” in comparison to what I often see in our country.
Thanks for reading,

Julie

What Does It Mean to Be Healthy?
America, as a nation, has long pursued the “American dream”. Part of that dream includes our health, wealth, and prosperity. In our culture we are bombarded by images of pretty people, and a façade of smiles and skimpy clothes showing perfectly toned bodies all over social media. But in today’s society, the reality is that, America is anything but “healthy”. Most Americans are busy working their nine-to-five jobs, over forty hours a week, to acquire a decent pay-check with health care benefits. We’ve settled for little free-time, and lots of stress. We have strayed from a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and traded it for money and things that we cannot afford. Ghandi once said, “It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.”
So what is health? Is it your BMI?  Or the “perfect” physique? Perhaps it is the 5-foot-nine-inch, supermodel frame. Or could it simply be a life free of sickness and disease? The definition of health is much more complex than these things alone. It is a vast, complex, idea that crosses the physical, mental, and spiritual boundaries of our lives. Health must be a balance of all of these aspects, working together to benefit our state of being.
Physically speaking, “health” has a broad definition. As a Health and Fitness Technology major at Cincinnati State, I’ve been learning a lot about the physical aspects of health. Some people think being “skinny” equals being “healthy”. Doctors often use charts with recommended Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers to determine if you have a healthy weight. But BMI does not account for overall bone and muscle mass, or different body types. A general “rule-of-thumb” is to keep your waist circumference under half of your total height in inches. Eat right, exercise, and avoid consuming more calories than you burn, and you will maintain a healthy weight. It is a simple concept, that is not always so simple to maintain. We are overrun by food ads on television and the latest “diet trends”. It can be easy to lose balance in our diet and exercise habits that promote healthy weight-management. But if you happen to be in a “healthy” weight category, according to the charts and graphs in the doctor’s office, does that make you healthy?
What about sickness and disease? Health is more than just looking good or being able to run an eight-minute mile. Health is the quality of life to accomplish our activities of daily living with excellence. Our current healthcare system and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not always the most helpful in achieving this goal. Most foods in the modern American diet are ridden with hidden pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, and artificial colors and flavors that make our foods easier to produce and harder to digest. “It probably comes as no surprise to you that food addiction is actually one of the top addictions in America right now.” (Beni Johnson) Corporate businesses are enjoying the profits, but we are suffering the physical consequences. Diabetes and hypertension are at an all-time high, with no signs of improvement, and “approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes”, according to Cancer.gov. These debilitating diseases prove that our society is not where it needs to be. Our healthcare systems are the best in the world, but we are still killing ourselves slowly. “Fat” or “thin” is simply not a picture of what health means.
Our physical health decline is also, without a doubt, effected by the way we handle ourselves emotionally. Self-esteem is greatly affected by physical fitness, and quality of life. With the barrage of beauty products and super-model secrets, our young men and women are desperate to get a “quick-fix” to beauty and happiness. We have developed a need for instant-gratification, and won’t stop until we achieve what the media deems perfect. “Comparison is the thief of joy”, according to Theodore Roosevelt. When we are in constant comparison physically, or materially, it leaves us dissatisfied and in emotional stress. Enough is never enough, and we become dependent on acquiring more. More food, more clothing, more technology, and even more relationships. We will grab at whatever satisfies our emotional need in the moment. This emotional dependency is not healthy. It creates a rollercoaster of actions that may fluctuate, moment by moment, based on how we feel at the time. This is a rollercoaster of instability and selfishness that can lead to all kinds of problems for ourselves, and others.
This lack of fulfillment and emotional dependency on people and things is the result of a deeper health problem, spiritual health. “A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). Spiritually, we are all created for wholeness, but we live in a broken and fallen world. We may strive for perfection, but we are far from it. Our physical selves are just a piece of who we are as humans. The spiritual part of us was made for a deeper purpose and sense of meaning, a connection with God. Without a deep connection to God, that place in our heart is left empty, and we are left trying to fill it with whatever will give us some temporary fulfillment. The result, again, leaves us feeling unsatisfied and without purpose. But the Bible says “seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). God knows our need for the physical things of this world, but He also knows our need for relationship and love. He created us for relationship with Him, the greatest love we could ever know. That love is like gravity, always pulling us toward something bigger than ourselves. God is love. God also designed each one of us with unique desires, gifts and talents. The more we seek His will for our lives spiritually, the more connected we become to our purpose, and therefore sense of fulfillment.
As spirit beings, we are connected to our physical bodies. When our minds and spirits are not well, we may also become physically sick. This brings me back my original question – what does it mean to be healthy? Since we are not just a physical body, that means health is not just physical. Since we are more than just our mind, it means it is not just emotional. And since we are more than just a spirit being, this means it is not just spiritual. It is a continuous triune thread, made by a triune being, that requires balance and consistency to maintain. To be healthy is the state of being fully alive. It is a journey. “As hard as it can be to stay on the journey of health, the price for wavering is even greater.” (Beni Johnson)

 

 

 

“Cancer Statistics.” National Cancer Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
Ghandi, Mahatma. “Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote.” BrainyQuote. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mahatmagan109078.html

The Holy Bible. “Proverbs 17:22” New King James Version (NKJV) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs17&version=NKJV

 

Johnson, Beni. 40 days to wholeness: body, soul, and spirit: a healthy & free devotional. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 2016. Print.
Roosevelt, Theodore. “Get Inspired. Get Motivated.” Quotefancy: Wallpapers With Inspirational Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
https://quotefancy.com/quote/33048/Theodore-Roosevelt-Comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy

What I Want to Be

This was from Valentine’s Day, 2013. It’s nice to know things haven’t changed… #goals


What I want to be

I want to live a life at I would look at and say I want.
I want to live by doing what I say and acting out what I believe.
I want to live progressively in a consistent compound effect that will benefit my future.
I want to live simple, but strong.
I want to workout every day.
I want to eat organic and clean. (Nothing artificial)
I want to grow my own food.
Recycle.
Use my own grocery bags.
Walk more.
I want wisdom.
I want to help people.
I want peace.
I want to help young women in slavery.
I want to encourage young men to be real godly men.
I want to teach children to avoid the lusts of the flesh.
I want to council the broken hearted.
I want to not worry about things, but be confident.
I want joy in every circumstance.
I want to experience God and hear him daily.
What are your Goals? Are you Living your DREAMS?

“Chick”ing In!

It’s almost Easter everyone, and I just wanted to “chick” in with everyone! 🐥 (peep,peep!) I know I’ve been busy with school this year, so my posts have been few and far between. 

First of all, thank you to everyone who came to Keith’s fight, or watched it on my live stream (April 8). It meant a lot to him, even though he was displeased with how the fight went down. We are blessed by the victory and God’s promises for our future, but Keith says he knows he has a lot to work on! 


The process of training and cutting weight for this fight was different than what Keith had previously done. He is used to water loading over a gallon or two each day, cutting calories a day or two in advance and then killing himself with some cardio and a sweat suit. It’s rough, but it works. He has also tried the old “bathtub” method with Epsom salts and alcohol, and then rolling up like a burrito till you sweat. I thought he may have a heart attack! 

We decided, since calories = energy, and excess energy = fat, to cut his calories much sooner and gradually drop the 10+ lbs. 

It worked well. Im not sure how his strength and cardio was overall, but I know he was not so sickly and drained looking from dehydration the day before the fight.

While Keith was meal-prepping like a champ, it gave me some ideas and maybe a little kick in the seat for not doing the same thing. 

School has somewhat obliterated my diet, but I know I can be doing better. It also showed me that he can survive on almost half of what he is used to consuming – it’s a problem that I can barely cut 200 calories from my diet! I have managed my calories in the past, but it was always a struggle, and it all goes back to the “binge” mentality. 

As many of you know, since I was young, I struggled with hiding my eating habits, binging at night, overeating and snacking throughout the day. I’m still in the process of learning more about myself and how this habit occurred, but I will say it was always an outlet for frustration or stress. I would crave something sweet or salty, and then that “out of control” feeling would come.

So I tried following Keith’s method of meal-prepping and planning. I have to say, it helped significantly while He was on it. I’ve found that, like most people, I just need some extra support until the new habits are formed. Typically people with any struggle or disorder state that they do not feel they have the support they need. 

I also have seen a newer product one of my classmates has from six-pack fitness. It is a meal planning backpack that stores your prepped Tupperware (or glassware) in the bottom or side of the bag! This is what I need for school! 😉 

Despite all the work and prep it takes for me to manage my calories efficiently, I know the root of this is within. I can have support from Keith to do right, and still struggle throughout the day. 

So I’ll leave with this thought. The Lord has been speaking to me a LOT about this season I am in of Trust. Trust with school/grades, trust with Keith’s fights, trust with my family relationships, and a lot of trust that He actually wants me to be healthy and knows what is best for me. Trust is largely brought to me through another concept He’s given to me about rest – and resting in His presence. That is where true change occurs. I tried over spring break to do a “fast”, and wouldn’t you know that I ate more that week than I had the week prior! It’s all a mind game, and about the relationship I have with food. During that week, however, I did hear from the Lord. He said He wanted to teach me to EAT, not how to fast yet. So I have to trust that he knows what is best. Despite my efforts to lose weight, I know he wants to redefine my relationship with food first. 

This morning in my devotional, I saw a verse “pop out” to me. It was 1 Corinthians 6:12


Wow, that is truth. Do not be DOMINATED by anything. (I know there could be a whole tangent on alcohol here, but that does not dominate me. Food sometimes does.) I was so encouraged by this verse, I didn’t even realize it was THE WRONG VERSE! my devotion said 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Also good, but not the same. Wowsers. 

God is with us and FOR us, who or what can be against us? 

In case I don’t stop by this weekend, Happy Easter everyone! 🌤⛪️🐰💐

Jules 

Welcome to 2017!

Well everyone, welcome to a brand new year! I know it’s been some time since I last updated regularly. School has kep me busy. 😉 

But here we are in 2017! I’m not posting any resolutions. Not because I’m afraid I’ll fail them, but because our lives are not meant to be one temporary fix to another, but rather a journey of transformation. 

I do however believe in words to meditate on for the year. This year, I really felt I heard the word “change”. Good change! Things in the natural seem to be changing – school, work, schedules, Keith’s fighting, etc. I believe we are genuinely growing and pursuing more without fear. And I believe that is a transfer supernaturally. I have a renewed desire to be with God, in his presence and to prophecy. I believe, like Melissa Hesler said, our Perspective needs to shift into CONFIDENT sons and daughters. 

My husband recently asked me what my favorite “promise” of God was. Well I haven’t been reading His word as much as I used to, but the first thing out of my mouth was “He that is IN ME is greater than He that is in the world”. You see at the end of last year I was battling some anxiety. Then through lots of prayer it began to shed off of me. I won’t say it doesn’t come back, but even for a moment, I got the right perspective. When it feels like the world is literally caving in and pushing on all sides – you are stronger because HE is with you! So good. I’ve been reminded of these things several times in several ways over the past 2-3 weeks. We were recently at OneThing in Kansas City over New Years. Wow, so much joy and refreshment came on that trip – and a renewed mind and desire for purity. Lots of words were spoken over me. Lots of prophecy. Lots of joy. Lots of healing. Even prophetic dreams! But when I returned, Keith got sick. Not severely, but enough that he was confined to his bed for a week. I was so full of Joy, it was easy to clean and take care of, not just him but the whole house! A week later and I let some anger back in. I let distracting and disappointing thoughts and anxiety back in. Even just for a moment. The next day, I woke up sick. 

Is it really that simple? A mental shift can do that much? So today it was worse and we decided to still go to church looking like a hot mess… together. When we got home I had had enough. I sat just thinking about things. Anxiety started again. School and work at tomorrow! I have so much to do! I’m tired! I should find a sub! 

No. that is not my portion. I could sulk in my sickness and expect to be waited on by Keith who is not a little better than me, but instead I asked him to pray. Not like “get better” or “wake up better”. But with a revelation that I am better and it will manifest – like praying for the dead! Just me expressing that seemed to trigger a word. It was like Jesus telling the woman “your faith has made you well”. He said my mentality is what will change it. So I got up and did laundry! Haha 

Let’s have a mental renewing of what we have and who we are. And let’s do our very best to walk in that. I slip and fall so often. I do. But let’s be honest and pick ourselves back up. 

As I started moving around I thought of He words “be healed”. It’s interesting to me that it is not “act healed” or “ask for healing” or “pretend you are healed”. No we say “BE healed”. It is not only creating something, but it is a state in which we can live in! We are human BEINGS. We are. So we ought to likewise BE healed. This reminded me that when we are sick, we do the most to take care of our bodies – no sugar, extra vitamins, tea, broth, essential oils. Why not just live this way? We might never get sick! Haha 

Well, with that said – let’s challenge one another to stir up our healthy bodies, take care of it and our souls. 

Happy 2017! 

Calm before the storm? 

Well everyone… we made it. The election is over and we are still alive. I personally have not lost any friends or had to delete anyone from Facebook, so I am very happy about that. 

I will not tell you whom I voted for, just as I did not try to pursuade anyone else’s vote. In all honesty, I had not planned on voting at all. Politics are not my favorite, and it always seemed like a prideful power fight for control. However, I did feel the need to vote against a candidate this year. That is what pushed me to go out and vote. (It’s also convenient that I can literally walk across my street to the town hall!) Now maybe voting against a candidate is just as “prideful” as putting all your trust in your favorite, but for me it was a moral decision. I still can not say I supported either side. 

Having said it was a moral decision, I did what I typically do when election season comes and I PRAYED. I’m very thankful that a lot of my Facebook friends have been posting neutral comments and peaceful statuses. In the end I had to be reminded that whomever is president, Jesus is still King. 

Continue to pray for the nation. The powers that be that control our system are not very pretty. With either side, the more I learned, the more I feared. I will say this – do your research, and keep your spiritual eyes open! I may sound like a pessimist about the world, but I know it only means a sooner return of our King. 

Let us keep the faith and encourage one another. I know I need it! 🙂 

Jules

Independance Day

Independance day 2016… 

It was beautiful, despite the rain. I enjoyed a good 2 1/2 mile walk around a park, and got to connect with my extended family. I began to reflect on how blessed I truly am. Thank God for the place in which I live and for the people I am surrounded by… 

As I relaxed at home for the evening, we turned on the film “Independance day”. I am a bit of a sci fi junky, so I was happy to end our day watching this classic (despite the fact I had missed watching fireworks).

During the movie, my mom called. Appearantly while conversing with said extended family, she found out that my dad’s German heritage also included a full blood Jewish man on his mom’s side. Therefor my dad’s great grand father was Jewish. Which means my great great grandfather was Jewish. Which means my grandma was 1/4 Jewish. Which makes my dad 1/8 Jewish. Which makes me 1/16 Jewish. Which makes me long lost cousins with Jeff Goldblum! 

It also made me realize how much more blessed I am. I know I have received favor on my life in so many areas. I believe there is a special blessing over the Jewish people, but I strongly also believe it is because I chose to honor God in my life. Faith is not works-based, but it does reap rewards, both here on earth and in heaven. 

A few weeks after I learned of my distant heritage, we visited Washington DC for the Together 2016 conference. While we were there we visited the United States holocaust museum. It brought a new perspective that some of my distant family could have been among those persecuted in that era. But it really just brought a sober reality of persecution. Perhaps one day we, as Christians, will be put under similar circumstances for our faith or heritage. 

Until then… 

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you and cause His face to shine upon you, now and forever. Amen. 

Jules 🙂