Sunday, October 25, 2009


Story by Lisa Petrarca

I’ve been planning on starting an exercise routine for the past year… well truthfully, the past three years. I complain about the way my body looks, I’m sore, achy and flabby. It’s always “Next week I’ll start for sure.” Next week comes and it gets pushed back another week. I’m too tired, busy, lazy…whatever the reason, I always find an excuse. It’s not easy to start, but no one can deny the difference in the way you look and feel once you do.

Our minds also need exercise. They get filled with all sorts of “junk”. Our thoughts can be compared to the food that we put in our body. Constantly putting bad thoughts…(you’re not smart, you always mess up, what’s the matter with me, you will never be able to quit that habit, everyone would just be better off without me, your an addict you'll never change, I’m so ugly, I’m too fat) the list is endless.

The “food” that is supposed to be nourishing our minds, is actually doing the opposite. We fill our head with so many negative thoughts there isn’t room for the positive things. Our heads become “overweight”…they need exercise. We need to trim down our bad thoughts. The exercise that’s needed starts with making time FIRST thing in the morning to feed it with positive, uplifting things. Make an appointment, add it to your day planner, outlook calendar, whatever you need to do to start your MIND EXERCISE ROUTINE.

Have the Bible set next to your bed. Before you get out of bed, reach over and start reading. When you’re done, pray to the Lord to fill you with His love, patience and peace for the day. Pray for strength to do it again tomorrow.

Like exercising this will eventually become easier the longer you do it. Before you know it your mind is being filled with healthy, nourishing food. You’re no longer focusing on your shortcomings, problems, insecurities, hang ups and addictions. Your mind is finally in shape and you are able to reach your true potential. The Lord has called you for something better. START YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE TODAY!

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


By: Lisa Petrarca

“Here we go again! I’m so tired of the same argument over and over again,” she shouted at her husband. “Why can’t you just leave me alone and mind your own business!” He replied, “You never listen to a word I say. I know what I’m talking about. Why can’t you just listen? Then we wouldn’t have to always have the same fight.”

She took in a deep breath, ready to let him have it again. But then something hit her…as if someone was speaking inside of her.

“Haven’t you been praying for help with your mouth? You thought you were doing so much better and that HE was the problem. But wait, aren’t you the problem too. You have lashed out and now you both have said very mean and hurtful things to each other.”

She felt as if the air had been sucked out of her. She had been praying and asking for help in this area. She thought she had gotten better and overcome the issue, only to be confronted with it once again. Had she really overcome it or was she back at square one? Heading around the same mountain that she had been going around for years.

“Why does this keep happening to me? I want to be a better person and just when I think I am, I blow it again. I get sucked into situations that make me explode,” she whispered.

Then the answer came to her. “You have cleaned the outside, but inside you still harbor bitterness, anger and resentment. You will now need to work on the things INSIDE that cause you to react this way. All of the painful issues from the past that you are still hanging on to. They are controlling you and you need to let all of it go. You need to realize who you are in Christ. You are a new person. Let His peace fill your emptiness. There is much work to do, but I’m here for you, trust Me enough to let go, I’ll carry your pain and burdens.”

With that, she began to weep, knowing that she needed to give up everything that was buried deep within her to Heavenly Father. She needed to learn to trust again.

Instead of looking at the person you have problems with, take time to search yourself. What do you need to work on? Are you going around the same mountain? Do you have issues that you need to lay at the Lord’s feet? You can’t change someone else, but you can change yourself. Ask the Lord to help you…he will carry your pain. Remember, until we let go of the past, we can never truly move on to the blessings and peace that is waiting for each of us.

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

“To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
Acts 3:26

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lost Dreams

Story By: Lisa Petrarca

He had hopes and dreams in his youth. He played hide and seek, dodge ball and had many friends. He had food on the table, slept in a warm bed at night and had parents who loved him very much. In high school he was the star quarterback, went to dances and had a steady girlfriend. But that one evening irrevocably changed his life forever.

It was Saturday night, the mist covering the windshield as they headed up the steep, windy mountain rode. Three cars filled with boys, girls and beer. They had just won the biggest game of the year against their rival school. It was going to be a night of celebrating.

They reached the top, piled out and started to party. Half an hour later, five cars pulled into the dusty parking lot. A group of people jumped out. They were older and looked like a rough crowd.

The quarterback was drunk and agitated that they were trying to crash the party. He shouted, “Get out of here! You need to find somewhere else to go…this is our spot.”
The rough crowd charged him. A teammate jumped in front of the quarterback, something bright flickered in the moonlight. Sliding into his chest, he slumped over and fell to the ground. They ran to their cars, tires spinning up dust as they sped away from the scene of the crime.

Stunned, the quarterback picked up his teammate, running to his car he carefully put him inside. He raced to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The knife had penetrated his heart.

Life was never the same, he felt responsible for his teammates death. He began to drink heavily and take drugs to numb the pain and guilt. As the years passed his hopes and dreams faded away, he withdrew from life.

The homeless man stood at the corner. He was dirty, hungry and cold. The harsh realities of life along with his poor choices and guilt had beaten, worn and taken away all of his dignity. People walked past him, as he held his sign up asking for food. They looked at him with disdain. Someone shouted, “Get a job loser!”

The homeless star quarterback was asking for food, but he also needed love, compassion and forgiveness. He had been judged his entire life. Who would reach out to him? Who would see past his appearance and notice the lost, hurting soul inside? He needed nourishment for his soul. He needed the love of Christ.

When you look at others, do you see their appearance or do you try to look at them through Christ’s eyes? It’s so easy to judge, but we are called to be different. Remember, our actions should speak louder than words. Don’t walk by someone needing your help. Show them the love and compassion of your Savior Jesus Christ.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:14-17

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Story By Lisa Petrarca

With my hand on the doorknob, I took a deep breath, turned the handle and stepped inside. Immediately taking in several deep breathes, trying to anticipate what awaited me at the top of the stairs. The aroma was strong, but I couldn’t be sure until I rounded the corner. Just as I suspected there it was, three separate spots on the carpet.

I immediately began to yell and scold my dog, who replied with a wailing howl, knowing that she was in trouble once again. She refuses to consistently use the doggy door to relieve herself outside.

There is no rhyme or reason to her behavior; it just seems to be whatever her mood is. This leaves all of us very anxious when we walk in the door.

What would happen if I just left the poop on the floor? Day in and day out letting it pile up…before long it would leave such a stink that it would become unbearable.

Now, lets replace the “poop” with our thoughts & feelings. Have you allowed negative thoughts and feelings to pile up? Do you start your mornings off by filling it with all of the things you need to accomplish? Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, jealous, hurt, angry with your spouse, children, friend, or neighbor?

God wants us to take every thought and feeling captive. Start your morning out talking to Him. Ask Him to help take away all of the negative things that is stealing your happiness. Open up your Bible…read a scripture and start your day right.

You’ve made a choice to clean up the “poop” before you leave the house. You are on your way to taking control of your thoughts and feelings by turning them over to your Heavenly Father and asking for His help.


I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.
PSALM 142:1-3

I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “Your are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.”
PSALM 142:5-7