Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemi Shine. A Dishwasher Miracle.

I recently had a major problem with my dishwasher that I've never seen before. It started leaving a very thick, white film on all of my dishes. So thick that I couldn't wash it off. I tried a dish brush, different soaps, soap pads, everything I could think of. All I could do was scrape it off by hand or soak each piece in vinegar. But as soon as I ran it through the dishwasher again... I was back where I started. 

I ran the dishwasher with lemon juice, vinegar, and lemon flavored Kool-Aid. I even went so far as to have a repair man come out. He changed the heating element and we thought that solved the problem. Wrong!

It was so bad... the dishes looked dirty all the time and I was embarrassed to have company use them. After a few more weeks of this, my husband called the repair man again. Thankfully, the girl on the phone knew what the problem was and recommended we try Lemi Shine. We'd never heard of it before but my husband found it and asked me to give it a try. I was reluctant. I'd tried so many things I was just done with the whole thing, but I tried it just to make him happy. Boy, am I glad I did! This stuff really works!

Look at the photos below. I couldn't believe how well it worked so I took pictures. I figured no one would believe how bad it was to begin with and how great Lemi Shine worked.
Pretty gross, huh?

Can you believe it? Just like new! :)

This is one tip I had to share with all the other moms out there. I wasn't paid or asked to review this product. It's just something I found that works the way it should and I wanted to pass it along. If you decide to try it, please check your local grocery store first. It is sold online, but it's priced much higher than what we found it for at our neighborhood market.

And that's my tip of the day!

God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Things I Learned Following The Cross

It's amazing how God can use a single event to change your life.

That's what happened to me after walking down the Fremont Street Experience with Arthur Blessitt as he carried the cross. And then to hear him share all that the Lord has done in his life over the years... well, it just spoke volumes to my heart. It's been a week now and the Lord is still showing me new things.

I know I've already posted about the movie The Cross and the CrossWalk itself, but I learned so much... I really want to share a little more.

I'm not sure what I expected from the walk. I was excited to go and be a part of it. That I knew. But I was unsure of how the evening would go. I guess if I'm honest, I was thinking people would just kind of walk up to me... ask me about the Lord... and I'd smile, say "God Bless You" and give them a tract. You know? Then they'd be all happy and as excited as I was and just follow along. Right? Well...  I was hoping. But that's not exactly how it went.

It's been at least 20 years since I've been involved in any kind of street witnessing, so I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I was more than a little intimidated. Times have certainly changed. Some people were not as welcoming. Some wouldn't even acknowledge us. Yet some were interested and wanted to know more. My BFF and my Little Boy ended up handing out most of my tracts and stickers. I guess I was like the one providing for the 'missionaries' to go out. They both did a great job - and I'm so proud of them.

But to show you God's goodness.... When it was almost the end of the walk, about 3/4 of the way back, a man walked right up to me and asked if he could have the last tract I had in my hand. Here I didn't have the boldness or courage to witness to strangers, and my loving Father sent someone to me and showed me that He can and will use me in spite of my weaknesses.

Arthur Blessitt said "I am unworthy to be called by God - but my unworthiness does not disqualify me from the call of God." What a revelation that was for me this weekend. Instead of standing there fighting that 'thing' in my life that I just can't quit, can't do, can't fix or can't be... all I have to do is follow Jesus. Lay it all down... and follow Jesus.

I watched my 'Little Boy' follow Jesus on that walk. I saw him being used by God. Struggles and all. Talking to strangers. Walking up to people who would have walked right passed us. Sharing Jesus, inviting them to church. and loving them. God gave me a vision that weekend for my son... I saw him walking toward the cross, following Jesus... as he left those addictions behind. What an awesome God we serve!

My Baby Girl was walking with us and we would often get behind or too far ahead. From the beginning, she took it upon herself to be the one to 'keep her eyes on the cross'. She would ask "Mom, where's the cross? Where's the big cross?" What a great lesson for my 7-year-old. I told her how proud I was of her for always looking for the cross, always knowing where we were supposed to go... so we didn't get lost. I shared with her that this is how we should live our lives. We should always be looking to Jesus. We should always look to see where He is leading us... and follow after Him so we don't lose our way.

When we reached the end of Fremont Street, which marked the 1/2 way point, we were to turn around and head back. Well... at the end of the street there were these dancers up on a small stage outside of the casinos. Fremont Street is not family friendly, so these girls where pretty scantily clad. My first reaction was to tell my kids, "Don't look at the half-naked women up there... look the other way." Well... I stood convicted. The Lord showed me that I was trying so hard to avoid sin that I was overlooking those who were still trapped in it.

As I would later learn... one of the dancers, when she saw Arthur Blessitt walking by... jumped right off the stage and ran to the cross. Not worried about her job, how she was dressed, or what anyone else thought... she ran to the cross. She told Arthur Blessitt that she knew who he was, had seen the movie "The Cross" and was showing it to all her friends. God was using her. He saved her... right where she was.

There are many people who will never see the inside of a church... but they can meet Jesus out on the street... if we are willing to take Him there.

As I listened to Arthur speak Sunday night at our church, one thing touched me in a way that will never leave me...

He said when people say things like "Brother Arthur, you have such great faith, I wish I had the kind of faith you have." or "It must take great faith to go into all these places."...

He tells them... he doesn't go because he has great faith...he goes because he loves Jesus.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Lord, I want to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Way Or The HIGHway?... HE orders my steps.

'Twasn't the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a.... wait. That's not true. I'm stirring. For over an hour now.

Why can't I sleep? Let me think....

Oh, that's it! I keep thinking! Well, that, and my Baby Girl who came in to tell me she's sick and is now occupying my bed. That'll do it.

But since I'm up... Lord, could you please tell me how I can handle this mess of a day tomorrow? And why do I worry about it? I know you're in control and "I can do all things through Christ"! And yet here I sit planning it all out.

Here's how I see it...

  • Wake up early.
  • Remind Mom not to eat or drink because she has surgery today. 
  • Have Young Man take Little Lady to work so I can get ready. (Little Lady's car broke down. Hopefully she can find a ride home and a ride to the airport tonight - she's going to see her BFF. I'll still be at the hospital.)
  • Shower & get dressed. 
  • Make breakfast... but not for Mom.
  • Get Baby Boy ready for school. Baby Girl won't be going because... well, she's sick. Would have let Baby Boy stay home the whole day, but he doesn't want to miss his GATE class. So he'll go for the morning.
  • Hubby will drop Baby Boy off at school on the way to his 2nd, 8hr day of orientation for his new job. (Thank you, Lord!)
  • Get things together for our day at the hospital: GameBoys, Nook, and cell phone (make sure they're charged), art pads and pens, books, plenty of one dollar bills for the vending machines. Oh... and make sure Mom has her ID and Insurance info.
  • Take Young Man downtown for Jury Duty. (His first ever.) And don't forget my GPS. Hope he finds a ride home... the bus?
  • Pick up Baby Boy from school on the way home. He and Baby Girl will have to go with me to the hospital for Mom's surgery. No one to pick them up from school, no one at home, no one with a car. Hope Baby Girl isn't too sick. Won't be fun.
  • Make lunch... but not for Mom.
  • Clean house, laundry.... forget it. No time. There's a perk! :)
  • Load up the Van with backpacks, kids and Mom and head over to the hospital. Need to be there an hour early for paperwork. Would have re-scheduled but it took 4 weeks to get an appointment that should have only taken 3-5 days to get... so, no chance I'd miss it.
  • Get Mom checked in. Hope they will let me bring the kids in... she can't hear very well and I need to know what's going on. 
  • Call Kid to see if he can still pick up Baby Boy and Baby Girl from the hospital and stay with them until Hubby gets home.
  • Wait patiently for Mom to be finished. Yes! Quiet time! I can read a book. :)
  • Sit with Mom in recovery... then head over to the pharmacy to pic up her meds.
  • Dinner? Not on my list. Maybe Kid or Hubby can pick something up. (Send money with them.)
  • Home at last! Hopefully Young Man and Little Lady each found a ride to where they needed to go. Have one of the 'boys' help me get Mom upstairs so she can rest for the night. And me too.
  • Pray for a quick recovery for Mom. Do I dare go to Ladies Bible Study on Friday? Probably not... but I'll hope. Can't leave Mom alone on meds and getting up every 4 hours = pretty sleepy. 
It's funny how my mind works when I'm tired. Looking at my list now I know it will all go well. God is in control and I've worried for nothing. But it seemed so big in my head! Not that I have a big head. Do I? 

As I sit here reading, I can imagine a voice in my head... like one of those announcements after an old cartoon.  You know...

  • Will Little Lady find a ride home from work? Will she get to the airport on time? And what is the fate of her car?
  • Will Young Man take the bus after Jury Duty? Did he get picked?
  • Will Kid get off work in time to pick up Baby Boy and Baby Girl? What will they have for dinner?
  • And what about Ladies Bible Study?
Tune in next time...

I can only imagine how small our problems look to God. And when we keep our eyes on Him, they will look small to us as well. I can keep my own plans for the day, or I can let Him lead me. It's MY way or the HIGHway. Not a tough choice... I'm going to give my day back to Him.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." -Proverbs 16:9

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CrossWalk 2011 with Arthur Blessitt

What an amazing night! Of all my years in Las Vegas, I would have never thought I'd see such a thing as a large cross being carried down Fremont Street. Much less witnessing to the passers-by. This is my city... MY city... and I have never seen such a thing. Only God can make it happen! And that... He did!

 Arthur Blessitt praying for us and the people we'd meet and giving us information about the event. He provided tracts and stickers to hand out as we walked.

And we're off...  Right at the beginning, Arthur is already talking to someone about Jesus. As he stopped along the way, those who came for the event were talking to people as they passed by and handing out tracts. Many were curious as to what was going on. Some accepted Jesus. Some didn't want to hear. Some took our tracts and stickers and others refused to even acknowledge us. But the love of Jesus was seen and heard... acknowledged or not.

Praying for someone along the way.

Many people came up to talk to Arthur during the walk.
And he took the time to talk and pray with each of them.

Sharing Jesus with 'Elvis'. :)

It was a wonderful time of witnessing God's love being shared so unconditionally with others. Funny, I thought I'd be spending the night ministering to others.... but God used the time to minister to me.

I'd like to share a little of what I learned tonight... but I will have to do that in another post. Soon to come!

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

"The Cross"... The Arthur Blessitt Story

Last night our church showed the movie "The Cross"... the story of Arthur Blessitt. If you've never heard of this man, let me tell you a little about him.

Arther Blessitt began as a preacher on the Sunset Strip. He ministered and shared the love of Jesus to those who others may say are unworthy. Hippies, hookers, drug addicts, Hell's Angels, rock stars and more. He has a heart to love people. ALL people.

In 1968, he said that God told him to take his cross and start walking across America. Two weeks before he was scheduled to leave, he found himself in the hospital, with a brain aneurysm. Faced with the news that any excessive walking or heavy lifting could cause the aneurysm to burst and kill him, he decided that he would rather die doing the will of God, than live outside of it. He said that his circumstances did not alter the call of God on his life... so he headed out, as planned, on Christmas day.

Now, after more than 40 years, Arthur has walked the world over. He's been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for "World's Longest Walk", walking through 315 countries, walking on every continent, and crossing every ocean. He has shared the love of Jesus with every people group, of every language. He has walked through places that no one else would go, knowing that God was sending him.

Here's a trailer of the movie...

Arthur Blessitt is a humble man. He's seen many miracles, and he gives all the Glory to God, and God alone. He says... "I am unworthy to be called by God- but my unworthiness does not disqualify me from the call of God."

I'm very excited for the weekend ahead. Arthur is coming to my city, Las Vegas, to carry the cross down Fremont Street, and share the love of Jesus. I know God is working in Vegas. I miss the days when christians had a heart for the lost, and I'm hoping this weekend will restore that passion in me, and in others.

Lord, give us a heart to reach the lost for You. Bless this event and use it to Your Glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Legalism vs Discipline... written by Leeland

*This is a great devotion from the group Leeland. They are one of my favorites! They have a great blog on their website Check it out!

Legalism vs Discipline

1 Cor. 9:26-27 " So I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."

Legalism is doing a list of good things in order to get in right relationship with God (which stands opposed to the true Gospel). Discipline, on the other hand, is doing those same things because you're already in relationship with God. Legalism seeks redemption. Discipline should be the hallmark of the truly redeemed. When we are rooted in the knowledge of God's grace, we are then free to run this race. So that's where we start. The routines or exercises we do aren't out of our effort to win (we've already won) but to FINISH!

We have a generation of people who start but don't finish. The reason they fall out of the race isn't because they don't love God, but it's because they lack discipline. Setting Godly standards in our lives is okay because the Holy Spirit helps us live up to those standards!

If the goals aren't there, then we're setting ourselves up to run aimlessly and ineffectively. And the end result is quitting because we're burnt out, even though we had good intentions. Your intentions don't mean any thing if your actions oppose them.

In a generation that's running around chasing their tails, let's set a different standard. Once again, we're not going for a life of dead legalism. You have to know that God loves you! And this is our motivation for excellence in life.

*If you'd like to learn more from or about Leeland... visit them at

I'd heard many of Leeland's songs on the radio and even heard them performed as special music at church. But it wasn't until I had seen them in concert, The Exit Concert with Raul Ries, that I was totally hooked. The heart they have for God is undeniable. They aren't just a group who sings christian music... they are a group of christains who are out to win souls for the Lord. Refreshing. And to wrap it up... here's a video of one of my favorite Leeland songs. Count Me In. :)

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann  :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Living In The Overlap by Steve Schaefer

Steve Schaefer describes the "Overlap" as the time between Jesus' first arrival here on earth and His second coming. He explains how the Kingdom of God consists of 'already' and 'not yet'. Does that sound complicated? No worries... the author does a great job of explaining just what that means in our daily lives.

The first two chapters, which is part one of the book, cover the Old Testament Predictions and their New Testament Fulfillment's. A lot of good information laid out plain and simple. Easy to understand. He includes in the book a fold-out diagram called The Kingdom Dartboard, which by the way, is available for download on his website,

Part two of the book deals with daily living. Issues such as Loving Others, Praying for Healing, Walking by Faith, Working Together as a Body, and Being Used by God are addressed in these next chapters. He uses examples from his own life that makes it more personal.

It's an easy book to read. Not overly technical... if that's the word I'm looking for. Some books that deal with a particular subject seem to go way over my head. But not this one. Don't get me wrong... there are more than enough scriptures and references to back it up, over 40 pages of End Notes and Recommended Reading in the back of the book. I just appreciate how he writes as if he's talking to me and not standing in front of a classroom.

I've seen a few new books that deal with living a 'real' christian life. Not just labeling yourself a christian, but living like you believe what God says. If living what you believe is of interest to you... then you will want to read this book. I know I will be referring back to it again and again. It's given me something to think about. 

*Thank you, Glass Road Productions, for providing me with a copy of this book and allowing me to be a part of your review program! :)

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

eFile For FREE Through

It's tax time again...

Weather you're expecting a refund or have to pay... you might as well save money on filing. The IRS offers FreeFile for those who qualify. Just go to the IRS Website and follow the directions.

Seems that most people I know qualify for free service so you may too... and you get to choose from a list of trusted companies like TurboTax and H&R Block. You might find your favorite company on the list.

BUT... it's very important that you enter these sites from the IRS Website. If you enter any other way, you won't get the service for free.

I've been using FreeFile for years and it's saved me a lot of money. Now you can save too!

And that it my tip of the day! :)

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)


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