>The Biggest Temptation

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I could have titled this, “My Biggest Temptation,” but I didn’t. I’m banking on the notion that it’s not just my temptation, but other’s. “Hi, my name is Heather Palacios and alcohol is the biggest temptation to me.” I officially stopped drinking (after 14 years of not) in 2002. For this, I give glory to God & credit to Raul, Dr. Wells, Troy & Steph, prayer & guts. However, the biggest temptation is still in me. The temptation never left, though the habit was broken. I am not an expert on addictions or recovery, (just a client). But what I have learned is that God willheal, recover and set free – but our flesh can still hold on to what He’s freed us from. Because it isn’t in my heart where the biggest temptation lies dormant, it’s in my flesh. God lives in my heart, it is His control-tower where He releases His power and strength. But around His control-tower is MY flesh. And alot of times, when I am stressed, MY flesh is really tempted. In the New Testament, Paul talks about temptation. And in the Gospels, Jesus endured it. Hey, if there’s anybody to “know what I’m sayin?” it’s these two. Not bad company.

www.mynakedpastor.com

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>My Thoughts on Nakedness

>This Sunday, we are kicking off our new mynakedpastor.com series with a LIVE launch party on the web. You can’t forget it cause the date is 9/9 @ 9pm. Hope you’ll be there, I will be one of the hosts of this event – and if you log in, I’ll send a shout out to you for the whole world to see!

I wanted to give my naked thoughts as we head into this 5 week series at my church.
Awhile back, God and I wrestled on what parts of my life I should share and what parts I should keep between Him and I.
And I just want to clarify that getting naked with others doesn’t mean baring all the gory details of your life. When we talk about getting naked, what I think we’re talking about is Jesus, himself. Jesus was WHO HE WAS, ALL THE TIME. He was naked and unashamed in WHO God made Him to be. He put on no airs, he wasn’t comprised of many layers. He wasn’t mysterious. He wasn’t a chameleon or a phantom. 
He was unadulterated, raw Jesus, every day of His life.And that is what naked means to me.
It’s not parts of my life that I chose to conceal or reveal. 
Me getting naked with you, especially via blog, is me being me.
Its not me being or trying to be anyone else.
Its my unveiled, non-plastic, mask-off Heather.
And as I am, I hope others are drawn to the Light that is easily seen thru somthing willfully transparent.
www.mynakedpastor.com

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>WORK WORDS

>OK, so we’ve established that I LOVE words. This blog post was titled, “6 Verbs of a Winning Workplace.” Great post by David Foster. Although it’s not my style to swipe other posts to fill my own, this one was too good not to. Here is my abbreviated version:
1. Innovate. 
2. Cooperate. 
3. Negotiate. 
4. Create.
5. Associate. 

6. Celebrate. 

And here is my food-for-thought before I go night-night: Are these 6 verbs in my workplace?
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>I AM OLD

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I am old. I am 33 and will be 34 on Sept. 25. I’ve lived through almost 4 decades–so I’m not too far from 1/2 a century. I have brown spots on my shoulders, I have Droopy-the-dog eyelids. I watch what I eat, but still have to workout like a crazy-woman. My pastor reminded me that I’m at the official age that Jesus stopped his ministry….I could go on, but I’m getting tired. So, what’s my point?

Though I am getting old, I don’t have to BE old.
Every day, I look forward to finding a way to be a kid. (see pix)
If you’re trippin’ that you’re gettin’ old…Stop! Who cares?
As long as we’re alive, we’re allowed to act young….OK, boogerhead? : )

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>Leave the Well; Run to the Village

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After the Samaritan woman met Jesus at the well, she stopped doing 
what she came to the well to do. (John 4)
She left her bucket and ran back to the village to tell anENTIRE vi
llage that she found Jesus.Don’t miss this:
Jesus didn’t tell her to run & tell everybody.
SHE WANTED to run & tell everybody.
This is the true story of a woman who knew she needed life and knew that giving her life to Jesus was the best thing she could do for her and in turn, her village.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…And because of his [Jesus’} words many more became believers.” 
WHERE’S MY VILLAGE??? What is it about this Jesus in MY life that causes me to drop what I am doing and run to an entire village to tell them all about it?

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>MY FAVORITE QUOTE

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I’m going to internally combust if I don’t share this with you.
This is my very-favorite-of-all-times-numerouno quote:
“BY PERSEVERANCE THE SNAIL REACHED THE ARK”
-Charles Spurgeon
This quote just begs me to think deeply and to move determinedly.
When I want to give up, I just imagine Noah and ALL the animals hanging out in the ark…getting impatient, wanting to close the door, ready to go.
I imagine Male-Snail and Female-Snail going as fast as they can, but the ark seeming so far away.
I imagine that nobody or no animal got off the ark to go and help the snails.
And I imagine that nobody or no animal had to.
‘Cause the snails had God, and He was gonna make sure they made it.
And we know, to this day, that they did.
Hey, I’d love to know what (if at all) this quote speaks to you.

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>Jesus and DJ

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Ah, isn’t DJ too cute here? This is one of my fav pix of him. Well tonight as I helped him with his snack, he stopped mid-snack & struck up a conversation with me. 
I’d like to tell you about it:
“Mommy, I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” 
“You do? Do you know what that means, DJ?”
“It means I’ll get to go to heaven.”
“What else?” 

“It means that He will help me read and write.” 
“Uh, hum, well, uh….” (Me, trying to come up with a smart-mommy reply) 
“Can you pray it with me, mommy?” 
“DJ, do you know what Jesus did for you?” 
“He helps me do everything.” (DJ)
“Do you know what He did on the cross for you?” 
“He died for all my sins.” 
“DJ, let’s ask Daddy to pray with you, cause he’s your daddy AND your pastor!” 
DJ hopped down from his barstool, went up to Raul and told Raul he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. 
Raul took DJ by the hand, they went to his room and they prayed. 
When DJ and Raul came back into the living room, DJ came up to me and whispered in my ear, “Now Jesus can speak to me.”
I’m sorry, I need a moment, my eyes are really watering as I type this….OK. Better.
Let me land this plane…
I don’t know how this all unfolded in our home tonight. I may never know. I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t have time to call a parenting hotline. But here’s what I know for sure: Jesus makes himself known to all people, everywhere, all the time. 
For five years and 12 days, He’s been making himself known to DJ Palacios.
Tonight, DJ Palacios chose to make himself known to Him. 
And for me, there is not a bigger celebration.

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>Green Baggin’ It

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Being the good mama andwifey I try to be, I make several trips to Publix every week (where shopping is a pleasure). I do this to ensure that my little family has plenty-o-sustenance to nourish their manly, little bodies. Tonight was no exception. After the kiddos went night-night, I went toPublix. When I got back, my Cuban was kind enough to help me bring in the groceries. And then he proceeded to make fun of me AND my new green, recyclablePublix bags (see photo). I cautioned him that if he made fun of my bags that I’d blog about it. Uh-hum. Look, I’m not some crazy tree humper-hugger-granola-no deodorant weirdo. But I do have a heart for God’s Green Earth, and the preservation of it. It devastated me when we lost 2 palm trees in Hurricane Wilma. And when DJ started to axe a tree in our backyard with his sword, we had a serious talk. We need trees. I don’t know all the reasons why, but I know we need ’em. They are a part of God’s creation & surely they were bountiful in God’s perfect Earth called Eden. And, well, that’s really all I need to know to do my best to preserve them. So, here’s to green baggin‘ it and if you want some for yourself, go to www.greenbag.info and get some, & then let my Cuban know you did. : )

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>Decisions for DJ

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For our firstborn, DJ, it was a rough first week of kindergarten.

Raul & I knew we had to take this on, seek God, and do something.
But what????
Our options had equal (+)s and (-)s.
Don’t you hate that?
It’s like, “God, PLEASE, I’ll do anything you want, but PLEASE tip the scale one way or the other!”
But He didn’t, and that’s OK.
By the end of the week, we blindly proceeded with our seemingly sensible decision. But it’s what God did afterwardthat reminded us that He never turns deaf ears or blind eyes to our cries.
In this week of not knowing what to do,
I am so glad that God did know what to do.
Oh, sure, we could ask, “Well then why didn’t He do it?”
He did.
He LET us pray to Him and He let us be heard.
He LET us be the recipients of HIS wisdom THRU others.
He LET us come together as a husband and wife and lean into each other for DJ’s sake.
He LET us make our decision (to put DJ back in K4).
And then He LET us know, (after the fact) that His peace and His contentment are some of His favorite gifts to give when we are blindly faithful.
Next week will be a new week for DJ – he’s going into a new class so he can do better.
It’ll be a new week for me too – I’m going into it with a new outlook on God, I’ll do better too.

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>WORDS! WORDS! WORDS!

>In case you’re still in the dark, I love words! I just can’t get enough of words and the assembling of them. If Raul would let me keep one book in our bathroom, it’d be a dictionary. I subscribe to a word-of-the-day email. I’ve been doing crossword/word- search puzzles since middle school. When I’m waiting around, I love doing the vocab quiz in Reader’s Digest. Its so important to stretch our vocab. Just because we aren’t learning grammar in school anymore doesn’t mean we should stop learning grammar.The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words in current use – but just how many of those words do we know, much less, actually use?

I thought I’d share some of my favorite words & how to use them. 
If you’re feelin’ it, add ’em to your word reservoir and try to use them sometime this week.

  1. JUXTAPOSE- place side by side: “The fauvists juxtaposed strong colors.”
  2. EXPONENTIALLY – in an exponential manner; “inflation is growing exponentially”
  3. QUANDARY – The school was in a quandary over the needful size of a playground.
  4. COPIOUS – She thought about the planets all day and wrote copious notes to them.
  5. QUINTESSENTIAL – Of, relating to, or having the nature of a quintessence; being the most typical: “Shakespeare was the quintessential romantic”
  6. COMPELLING – having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect: “a man of compelling integrity.”
  7. CAPSULIZE – To capsule: capsulized the news every 30 minutes.

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