Why Did God Create You?


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

Jesus is there
©Whynotdakidd/Instapray.com

 

Many people wonder why God created them, but the Bible says we were all created for God’s pleasure. I couldn’t wrap my own head around the fact that God made me for his pleasure. I am a sinner who doesn’t deserve God’s mercy or grace. How could God get pleasure for my sinful ways? Everyone sins and fall short of God’s glory. However, through Jesus, we can be forgiven of those sins and be cover by his blood sacrifice.

Rev. 4:12 (KJV) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

This verse means a lot to me, as someone who truly tries to remember every day to somehow bring God pleasure. I love writing, so I use my talent to try and make sense of my everyday stumbles. Sometimes, I feel like God is right there holding my hand but other times I feel he is distant. However, I truly believe that my sin blocks my relationship with God and I choose to repent. I know I am forgiven when I stumble and fall. He is there to lift me back up, because he loves me.

Psalms 72:13 (KJV) “He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.”

So, now I try to take time to honor God every day. No matter the storm I am facing, I am trying to remember to pray and stay connected with God. I love reading and listening to my Bible, but I use a YOU VERSION app on my phone. I have been learning more and trying to always remember to thank God for each new day that I wake up. I am imperfect and I know that, but God wants me as I am. He can mold me into what he wants me to be with each new step.

References:

Personal Opinion- God doesn’t make junk!**

**I cannot go to church as regular as I want, but I spend a lot of time praying and seeking God’s guidance in my life. God gives me so much, so I can spend time with God at home and I can work on my failures. I hope this devotional can help you in your walk with God. Keeping a prayer journal can help you learn how to give your problems to God and learn how to pray to him.**

 Thank you for reading and come back to visit.

©2016,Crystal S. Kauffman

 

Coming Home


By, Crystal S Kauffman, Staff Writer

impossible God
©Unknown

You’re the one I look to when my life falls apart,
You have had me in your hands from the start.
My life was bleak when I decided to move away,
So today, I come back home to you and here I will stay.

I know you will accept me, so I don’t feel an ounce of fear,
I am humbled, on my knees, and silently listening to hear.
Where do I go next as I choose to let you guide me,
You are the only the one in this world that can set me free.

Only you know where my life will ultimately lead,
I haven’t forgotten that I gave you my heart and its deed.
I have stumbled through life and looked for guidance from all,
Instead, I found a ton of strength the moment I took my fall.

I will continue to grow in the ways you choose for my life,
Despite the trials and tribulations that will cut like a knife.
Lord, I know you are in control of my life and my future,
Therefore, the peace will replace the temporary sutures.

©2012, Crystal S. Kauffman

Mesothelioma Awareness and A Story of Survival


By, Crystal S Kauffman, Staff Writer/Heather Von St. James-Guest Blogger/Collaboration

©Heather Von St. James
©Heather Von St. James

Patients and doctors want to raise awareness for cancer that is caused by asbestos, which was used in factory and other places people worked at for many years of their love. So, Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created and was celebrated on Sept. 26th, 2015. Survivors are happy to be alive. but they are angry that the use of asbestos has not been banned. The fibers are invisible and deadly, yet 30 million pounds are still used by many different businesses.

This dangerous substance is also used in homes, buildings, schools, and commercial buildings all over the world. Additionally, asbestos is the leading cause of cancer in the workplace around the entire United States. The peak of using asbestos was 30 years ago and over 43,000 die each year from exposure the asbestos, which is still in work places like: mills, military, and in old housing units.

Here is a personal story about a spectacular woman named Heather, who is a courageous survivor of this deadly disease. She is on a mission to spread awareness about the disease, in any way she can. Additionally, if her story, can save one person and their family from facing what she went though. Then, she has accomplished her mission to help families to avoid what she has endured once she learned that she had Mesothelioma.

***Personal Story Written from Heather Von St. James***

In 2005, when I was 36 years old, I was diagnosed with pleural Mesothelioma. This was only three months after giving birth to my baby girl Lily. The symptoms I had could have easily been chalked up to postpartum issues. I was tired, I had only gained 5 lbs through the whole pregnancy, and I had difficulty breathing. I was lucky, and I got my diagnosis within two weeks and that is not usually the case for Mesothelioma patients.

My journey then led my husband, newborn baby and I to Boston, and Dr. David Sugarbaker, who was a world renowned surgeon. I had my left lung removed on February 2nd, 2006, and spent 18 days in the hospital afterwards recovering. My husband had to stay home in Minnesota and work, because the bills still needed to be paid. He saw Lily a total of 36 hours in 3 months. It was a big sacrifice but needed to be done for our family.

After going back home, I did 4 rounds of chemo, and 30 sessions of radiation. I finished my last treatment almost a year to date from the onset of my symptoms. The reason I got sick in the first place was from wearing my father’s coat when he got home from work. He worked with drywall and construction, and at the time as a little girl I did not know that his jacket carried harmful asbestos fibers that would ultimately cause my illness many years later. But, here I am.

I am lucky to be here today, and I’ve made it my life goal to be a voice for the victims, the family members who have struggled with this disease and those who know someone battling or who have lost someone to this disease. Asbestos is still not banned in the U.S. or Canada, and can be found in many commercial buildings and products today. I share my personal story to help spread hope and awareness, in hopes that one day no one else will have to go through what I did.

***Meet Heather Von St. James on Facebook or Twitter ***

Let’s raise awareness together!

©Heather Von St. James
©Heather Von St. James

My Mission to Save My Childhood Home


The house, but it has changed more in the last 5 years. Inside and out.
The house, but it has changed more in the last 5 years. Inside and out.

About a year ago, my husband and I began working on an endeavor that would challenge us financially, emotionally, and spiritually in many ways that we had never dreamed were possible. We felt we did the right thing, but every now again we question if it was truly worth it to save the home I grew up in. Personally, I am thankful that we didn’t give upon our mission to save what my grandfather had spent his life creating and building for our entire family. However, I must admit it was not an easy task to complete, yet we accomplished it with the help of many of our true friends who gave up their days to come help us clean up the property. We still have a long way to go before the inside it is completed, but we both have faith that we will accomplish what we have set out to do.

From the Beginning

In 1970, my grandfather bought a small house and began expanding it to fit his family’s needs over the years. Additionally, he had built a huge garage from tin and wood that was almost as big as the house is today. The property he bought is over an acre, so he built a chicken coop and had other livestock, which he raised to feed his family. As his family grew, he began his own business and did odd jobs like fixing cars to make ends meet. Soon, he began building race cars with my uncle, who drove them on a local racetrack. As he got older, he decided to move a mobile home on the back half of the property where he lived for many years with his wife of over 40 years. Later, my grandfather built a washroom behind the mobile home and a small storage room behind the garage, in order to keep the things he treasured or thought he may need in the future.

Growing up Here

My brothers and I grew up here, with my grandparents from the time we were born, until we became adults. Except when my mother married our adopted father, when I was five years old. He was in the Navy, which meant we had to around a lot with his job, but one place remained home for all of us. When my twin brother and I turned eleven, my mom decided to return home while my father traveled overseas and worked on his career. My mom announced she was getting a divorce and our life began changing drastically, because we no longer seen our father and my grandparents became constant parental figures in our life. Several times my mom would move out on her own for a few months, yet we were always welcome to move back home when she needed the extra help. I grew up into a young woman while living in this house and later married myself.

Losing our Rock

On June 7, 2007, my grandfather died after a long battle with prostate cancer and lung cancer, which had severely affected all of my family members including me. When he died, there was a lot of stuff he had collected over the years in all areas of the property. He collected things he thought he might need in the future like car parts, cars, wood, metal and PVC pipes, bricks, paint, and tools of all kinds. My brothers were feeding their addictions with the money they earned, so my grandmother went to live with my uncle after she became ill herself. I got very angry and I chose to stay away from the house for over two years, except when I came by to see my mother who was still living here. Additionally, I learned that all of my grandfather’s stuff had been sold without other family member’s consent,  so I chose to walk away from the situation completely.

Taking a Stand

In June 2008, the City of Jacksonville, FL., issued three different types of citations against the property for unsafe structures, residential, and nuisance. Then, the police raided the house and arrested my little brother for his misdeeds, but the house picked up a bad label from the city because of his actions. During the time, he was feeding his addiction to drugs and the three cases against the property were being neglected and my mother had to go to court on this issue. Finally, I took a stand and I spoke with my grandmother, as well as my uncle about saving the property from being demolished by the city. My husband and I sold all we had and moved in on Oct. 31st, of 2009, in order to begin the delicate job of cleaning up the property and fixing the house. Life changed dramatically for us because my grandmother came home and my mom was already living here with us.

The Clean Up

First, we had to clean up all the junk, trash, and debris that we found in the yard in order to comply with one citation. Then, once we got that finished, we learned that we had to tear down three separate buildings that were unsafe or condemned. We tore down the garage, washroom, and mobile home with the help of some friends who helped us clear out the second citation. Next, we began repairing the house, which had an old shed attached that was considered unsafe. We rebuilt the shed and made it into a large master bedroom for us and soon the residential citation was closed as well. However, we still have a lot of work ahead of us like painting and adding flooring, but we accomplished our goal to close all three cases.

Conclusion

Old shed redone
The new room we built from old shed.

Honestly, it wasn’t easy to accomplish the goals we set, but we did it and now the house has become a home and it looks so much better than it did before we started. We never thought we would get the three citations closed, but we did and we were not given any fines by the city. Our neighbors are always complementing us on the way the house looks now and the outstanding job we did of cleaning up the property. We initially set out to save my childhood home, yet along the way I am making new memories with my husband and my children. However, no matter what happens in the future, I will always know I did do the right thing by choosing to take a stand and helping rebuild this house into our home. Therefore, my wish would be that my children and future generations are able to enjoy seeing the home that my grandfather built with his own two hands.

©2009, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously Published/Associated Content/Yahoo Voices

Update: I am feeling blessed, because now I am buying the house, but it still needs major work. However, I am truly happy to have saved this home from being torn down by the city. I am ecstatic that I now have a chance to own it. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways!