The Living Epistle Project

My good friend (and “adopted” sister :)), Modeline, began “The Living Epistle Project” about a year ago. The following is her description of this project…

The Living Epistle Project is a series of video interviews with christians from all walks of life such as lawyers, accountants, human resource, finance, missionaries, actors, hair dressers and more who God is writing a letter to the world with their lives.

The Living Epistle Project is created by Modeline Fenelon, a lover of Jesus, an attorney and a singer who the Lord Jesus has been and is writing a letter to the world with her life.

The idea for the Living Epistle Project is birthed out of Modeline’s monthly fellowship with a few of her Brooklyn Tabernacle Kids co-worker (co-volunteers). They are ordinary women with a heart after God. Every time they met they would share their testimonies. Each of them has amazing and surreal testimonies. They are as ordinary as the next person but with one exception, God is writing extraordinary letters to the World with each of their lives.

The hope for this project is for Jesus to be glorified and for individuals to be blessed.

My family and I first met Modeline when she came to our town to attend Law School.  A move elsewhere became necessary in order for her to complete her degree.  Her stay here was long enough for us to get close and become good friends.  Modeline has since completed her law studies and has worked in that field as well as sought ways to serve others in ministering to them from her heart.  The journey of her life has been one that has required perseverance, faith and trust.

One of the ways in which Modeline has been serving others is to share the testimonies of Christians who are living out their walk with Christ as a “Living Epistle”.  An epistle is “a written letter”.  The Bible speaks of us being “epistles” – which would make us what you might term, a “living” epistle.  The apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Christ in the city of Corinth, that as a result of his ministry, they were like a letter, confirming the effects and intents of his ministry preaching Christ.

2Co 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

So…if we are living out the gospel, the Good News of Christ, we are an epistle who is walking around demonstrating what has been written in our heart by the Spirit of the living God.

Modeline has chosen to use, as a theme song, a song that my mother and I wrote for Vacation Bible School one year.  Along with my father, my mother, I would say, has been one of the most powerful epistles for me to read in my own life.  This is because she desires with everything in her – to follow God.  She communicates this by the decisions she makes, the sound counsel she gives, the heart of compassion she shares with those around her – her daily life.  My mother has been the director of VBS at our church for quite a number of years now.  In addition to this, she writes the curriculum for the teachers.  This is no small undertaking.  There are others who assist her in these projects, but it is her wisdom and understanding that puts it all together.  Quite often, musicians from our local church write songs for the students to learn during that week.  Sometimes that includes me.  This particular year, my mother was hoping there could be a song written that specifically conveyed the message she wanted to communicate to the VBS students.  We worked together and the song, “A Living Epistle” was born.

I am a letter to you from God; are my words pure, do they ring true?  Do I say kindness, forgiveness and peace?  Do I read Jesus to you?

Do I say that He’ll take care of you; He’ll satisfy, love faithfully?  Can you read holy and do you see joy?  Can you read Jesus from me?

Do I say that He is coming soon; get ready now, tell others, too?  That He’ll lead and guide you to know what to do; is it signed, Jesus loves you?

I am a living epistle, God’s special messenger of hope.  I must preach Christ at all times, whether in word or by my life.  Showing His love for all the lost, telling His truth whatever the cost.  Of His love so free, a witness I’ll be.  May you see Jesus in me!

Over the past year or so, Modeline has interviewed multiple people whom she recognizes as being living epistles. She is now broadcasting weekly on Saturday morning on the Power of Worship Radio station from Brooklyn, (9:00 Central Time) Her first program was last Saturday and it was quite a powerful testimony from a young lady named Irina. Sadly, these programs are not currently archived. Hopefully that will change. You may have already heard some of these (they are on facebook, too, I think) but you may listen to testimonies of people she has interviewed here, though…

And now for the prayer request…Modeline has graciously asked if I would share the story behind the song on the next radio broadcast.  Many of you have known me for a long time – this means you know my weaknesses and hopefully a few strengths but most of all this means that you know our Heavenly Father, Who is the Source of anything worthwhile in my life and the Redeemer of all the times I’ve not handled life situations the way He would have (in grace and love). And so, I humbly ask for your prayers as I do this. If there is any need for you to forgive me for some sin of omission or commission that I have not already asked your forgiveness for, I humbly repent and ask for your forgiveness and His. My desire is that the Lord would be magnified in and through me in some way…I am so unworthy of His grace and am amazed at His mercy and faithfulness in my life.

If you would like to… and click on “listen live” this Saturday, September 19, 2015 9:00-10:00 Central Standard Time.

Trust {a seemingly appropriate topic with which to begin the new year}

Trust.  Why is it so difficult?  Because it means letting go of controlling my world.  It means not demanding that things always go my way.  It means accepting what comes my way, whether it is ordained or allowed by God, because as a friend pointed out to me once, nothing happens to me that hasn’t already passed through HIS hands.  And EVERYTHING about HIM is TRUSTWORTHY.  This is the rational, logical thinking behind the decision to trust my Heavenly Father.

Partly, it’s my little personal emotional feelings that get in the way.  I want to feel good and never have to suffer!  But while emotions can rule in a bad way, Christ wonderfully made it possible for us to be touched in our emotions by His Spirit so that even they can be blessed and guided by Him.  And His Spirit moving and touching us proves to us His nearness and involvement in our personal lives.  As far my purely human emotions, however, I cannot rely on them for they are given to change – often on a whim!  While we are made up of emotions, will, and intellect, we cannot let emotions rule, for they, just as the will and the intellect, must come under the lordship of Christ.

And, just as the determined will of a person can accomplish amazing achievements, it’s also a very formidable obstacle to trust.  The strong, stubborn will get in the way of our walk with God – for it doesn’t want to lose control.  But while we are made up of emotions, will, and intellect, we cannot let our will rule, for it, just as the emotions and the intellect, must come under the lordship of Christ.

And, I am so very thankful for the intellect, the ability to think and reason and discern, for I find myself turning to the very obvious fact that there HAS to be a CREATOR of all that IS.  A creation demands a Creator.  Many intellectual people reason their way out of believing in God because they ask “where did God come from?”.  And while anything that has a beginning requires a cause, there is nothing irrational about an Eternal God Who does not have a beginning because He does not require a cause (nothing or no one is required to have caused Him to come into existence).  And while many intellectuals come to opposing conclusions, true intellectualism should bring you to truth, which is embodied in Jesus Christ.  And…while we are made up of emotions, will, and intellect, we cannot let our intellect alone rule, for it, just as the emotions and the will, must come under the lordship of Christ.


And so we are an amazing creation of God – comprised of the will, the intellect and the emotions, all of which must come under the lordship of He Who amazingly designed them all – and designed them to be properly and appropriately used.


And so, I choose to TRUST in GOD.

I thought of this hymn today…

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.

Words: John H. Sam­mis

Music: Dan­iel B. Town­er

Read the story behind the hymn…here

And perhaps one of my other posts about trust…here.

ehrlichia and essential oils

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself” Proverbs 22: 3, 27:12

[Photo source: here]

I thought of this verse when preparing to share this.  What I didn’t realize was that it is in the Bible not once, but TWICE.  It seems that maybe this is an important verse since it is dually given.

“She looketh well to the ways of her household.” Proverbs 31:27 is another verse that would aptly apply to preparing for something that may lie ahead.

“looketh well” can mean to lean forward, that is to peer into the distance…

There are obviously a multiplicity of reasons to be prudent and look ahead and prepare or hide yourself from troubles that could arise.  God does this for His children, good and thoughtful parents do it for their own young, people do it for themselves…it’s somewhat built into humanity by God I think.  However, being prudent and purposefully thinking ahead does not always come naturally, nor do humans always even know what to look ahead for without being prompted of God or hearing of a specific issue for which to look out.

That said, I learned a word this week that I was not familiar with before and maybe you haven’t been either.

EHRLICHIOSIS (click for more)


It is transmitted by ticks, specifically the lone star tick to humans and by deer ticks to animals.  Sadly, it was because someone I know died from it (and interestingly enough, no tick was ever found on her that they know of) and our neighbor now has it, though I am happy to report that he was doing well enough to be sent home from the hospital just the other day.  (He was in a car accident going home, however, and needs prayer for a return hospital stay on top of the Ehrlichiosis).

Now, I believe that if you are God’s child, nothing happens to you that He doesn’t allow.  I am not saying we can save ourselves from every calamity and when it is our time to go, it is just that ~ our time to go.  So it must have been with our precious friend who was taken from us in this life.  I am certainly not claiming to have found a cure for ehrlichiosis, nor even a sure preventive measure for repelling it’s carrier – the tick.  Yet while I am trusting in God to keep us all safe, I also know His Word says  prudent and virtuous people look ahead to hide themselves from evil.

So, what is Ehrlichia and how does it manifest itself and what can we do to ward it off?

Here is a bit about it:

WHAT IS IT? (click to read more)Ehrlichia are parasitic organisms which are something like a virus but are classed with bacteria. They attack the bone marrow, crippling its ability to make the white blood cells (leukocytes) which are an important component of the immune system.
“Once a human or animal is stricken with Ehrlichiosis, white cells die off faster than the bone marrow can replace them. These dead cells migrate primarily to the spleen which enlarges as a result. Frantically, the bone marrow works to form new, healthy cells. In its haste, it sends out immature cells which do not work efficiently. Quite often these immature cells are almost indistinguishable from those seen in leukemia patients. Advanced Ehrlichiosis is, in fact, often misdiagnosed as leukemia or lymphosarcoma.”…(click to read more)Both monocytic ehrlichia and anaplasma must find their way into white blood cells in order to survive and reproduce. Six different white blood cells protect the body against infectious diseases and foreign materials. Monocytic ehrlichia has a particular affinity for lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophages. Anaplasma favors predominantly neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils. Once the Ehrlichia bacteria are inside their respective white blood cells, they multiply by splitting to make two microorganisms. With enough splitting, the white blood cells become overwhelmed, dysfunctional, and die. Disabled and dying white blood cells weaken the body’s defenses, making it open to other pathogens.


Monocytic ehrlichiosis and granulocytic anaplasmosis are similar clinically. Ehrlichia symptoms first occur five days to three weeks after the offending tick bite. Symptoms of ehrlichiosis resemble those of influenza, i.e., fever, chills, cough, low energy, headache, and muscle pains. Nausea, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite may occur as well, although these symptoms are more common with the monocytic type. Unlike other tick-borne illnesses, skin rash is not typical in ehrlichiosis. Rash is rare in anaplasmosis and occurs about 30% of the time in monocytic ehrlichiosis. If a rash does occur, it can look like any rash, including flat/raised red marks or small pinpoint lesions spread over the body.

It also seems that it is more difficult to treat is there are other infections present in the body.

First hand information from a family member of our friend who passed away…

“This is not a type of Lyme Disease they say, but it is carried to humans by the Lone Star Tick which hasn’t been native to this area.  It is carried to and infects animals only through the Deer Tick.  There were no documented cases in humans of Ehrlichiosis until the late 1980’s.   The symptoms take 2-3 weeks after a bite to appear and include low white blood cells, low red blood cells (anemia), and low platelet counts, nausea, fever, inability to walk, and extreme muscle aches.  The only symptom she had until 2 days before passing away is the low blood counts.  That is why they thought it was cancer somewhere and didn’t suspect an infectious disease until very late.  Although in hindsight, we are wondering if that is what made her fall when everything began the weekend before.  He (the doctor) also said that he might see 2-3 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a year in this area and that he has had 4 patients with that in the past 3-4 months.”


It would seem that boosting your immune system as much as possible would be one of the best things to do.  In addition, this essential oil seems to keep ticks a bay…


Evidently ticks are attracted to some smells.  This (along with others such as lavender, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, and cedar wood) are not scents to which they are drawn.

Rose Geranium is not a combination of rose oil and geranium oil but rather simply the oil of “rose geranium”.  It does not need to be distilled in small quantities but a drop on each ankle, behind the knees, each wrist, and the back of the neck is sufficient.  There is more than one variety of rose geranium but the more potent variety (a hybrid actually) is Pelargonium capitatum x radens (as opposed to the more familiar Pelargonium graveolens – in the same family but not the same species).  It can cause sensitivity and might not be a good idea for expectant mothers to use.)


Where to buy:  I do not have a highly researched source but this site has it, whereas other sites I thought might, do not or have the other species.  Mountain Rose Herbs is one of the best resources for things of this nature that I know of but presently they do not seem to carry it.  Eden’s Garden does, however.  I don’t know much of anything about them but they look like they are worth checking into.

EDEN’S GARDENRose Geranium



Essential Oil resources used:

Essential Oils 1

Essential Oils 2


Note: It also may be used for other things such as…acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, as a mosquito repellant, ringworm, ulcers, breast engorgement, edema, poor circulation, sore throat, tonsillitis, PMS, menopausal problems, stress and neuralgia. Source: here

 Always check yourself after being outside as well!

You may wan to check out these entire articles from which a large part of this information was taken from…

Ehrlichiosis and Rose Geranium Oil




on olive trees and children

The Bible gives us not only beautiful but valuable word pictures.  Sometimes we have to dig deeper to understand the more meaty wisdom God may have been seeking to convey to us.   I so appreciated this article that an obviously sincere and dedicated mother wrote about the passage in Psalm 128.  Enjoy!



What about eating {hybridized} wheat?


I am not wanting to blindly jump on the gluten-free bandwagon.  Bread is one of the yummiest foods around!  However, as my mother often says, “knowledge is powerful”. And it is true.  From the most important truth – spiritual truth – to other important truths – such as knowing what you are really eating – it can mean the difference between life and death – spiritually or naturally – literally.

So…I am more motivated to avoid grains (modern hybridized grains that is) after reading an article my aunt sent me.  The following is an excerpt from that.  It coincides with what I read years ago in a really fascinating book about a mother who majorly helped her autistic son with an at least temporary grain and dairy free diet. {Unraveling the Mystery of Autism}.

And since I tend to enjoy an adventure, especially when it’s for a worthy reason…I’m looking forward to trying some grain free dishes.  Last week I even tried cauliflower alfredo sauce with spaghetti squash…which wasn’t too bad…especially with some grass-fed beef on top.

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

{pictures not mine}

But back to the article…

“In 1960, when the threat of world population explosion was imminent, there was an investment made in agricultural research where lots of money and time were devoted to new ways to increase wheat yield. At this time, different strains of wheat were crossed over and over again to select certain characteristics and to introduce unique genes.

The resulting wheat yielded up to 10 times more per acre. When this wheat was introduced to many third world countries, famine was greatly reduced within one year. Dr. Norman Borlaug received the Nobel Peace prize for his work creating this high yield strain of wheat.

Because this wheat is so prolific, it has taken over almost all of the world’s wheat supply. There are also about a million acres of what is known as Clearfield Wheat being grown in the Pacific Northwest. It is a semi dwarf strain of wheat that has had its seed and embryos exposed to a chemical, sodium azide, which is an industrial toxin.

In fact, in the few cases of human ingestion, the Poison Control Center has warned people not to offer CPR because the person offering the CPR may also ingest the chemical and die. In addition, if the victim vomits, people are told not to put the vomit in the sink because it might explode. This is how dangerous this chemical really is.

The makers of Clearfield wheat claim that their wheat is a result of “enhanced, traditional plant breeding techniques,” making a distinction between genetically modified wheat. However, although no gene splicing techniques were used, many other methods were, such as the purposeful induction of mutations using chemicals, high dose x-ray and radiation techniques to induce mutations coupled with cross breeding. These methods are far worse than genetic modification, according to Dr. William Davis, author of the book Wheat Belly.

The government says eat more wheat – what is up with that?

The government tells us that we need to eat more grain, meaning more wheat. Over 90% of all grain consumed is wheat. In the food pyramid, we are advised to eat 60% of calories from wheat. The new food plate design also tells us to get at least 1/4 of our calories from wheat. Here is why we need to stop listening to what our government is telling us about the food pyramid:

Modern Wheat is an Appetite Stimulant

It is estimated that up to 10% of the population has a sensitivity to the protein in wheat known as gluten (some estimate it may be higher, closer to 30%). However, the other 90% of people who consume wheat really should not be eating it either. Here are a few reasons why:

Gluten is a two part protein that is comprised of gliadin plus glutenin. Glutenin has a unique elasticity that gives us the ability to stretch our pizza or bread dough or even spin it over our heads, if we are inclined to do so. Gliadin, the other part of the gluten protein, was heavily studied in the 1970′s by psychiatrists who found that if they took all of the wheat out of the diet of their patients with schizophrenia, they improved markedly.

When they put the wheat back, they found that the condition worsened. So the question asked was what was in bread that led schizophrenics to hallucinate? It was traced back to the gliadin protein which, when ingested, enters the brain and binds to opiate receptors where it stimulates appetite.

In addition, gliadin, acting like an opiate in the brain, has other disastrous effects. For example, people with ADHD become hypersensitive and have behavioral outbursts, people with schizophrenia have major hallucinations, people who are bipolar become increasingly manic and those with eating disorders, such as binge eating, will develop food obsessions.

By 1985, everything at the supermarket with wheat in it came from the prolific semi-dwarf strain or a spinoff. Interestingly enough, if you compare what happened to America’s weight prior to and after 1985 it is evident that there was an obesity explosion that is still happening today shortly after the “new” wheat was introduced.

A huge increase in the number of diabetics also followed. Although cause and effect cannot be proven scientifically – it seems evident that we have all been fed an appetite stimulant.

Modern Wheat Raises Blood Sugar

Two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar. How does this happen when whole wheat is considered a complex carbohydrate that we are encouraged to eat more of? The complex carbohydrate of wheat is called Amylopectin A, which is highly sensitive to amylase, which we have in our stomach and mouth. This makes it very easy to digest and raises blood sugar rapidly. Wheat for breakfast, wheat for lunch and wheat for snacks results in visceral fat that encircles the intestines, heart, liver and kidneys. Repetitive high blood sugar results in what Dr. Davis calls a “wheat belly.”

Modern Wheat Causes Inflammation

When bacteria or a virus enters the body our immune system responds in many ways. Plants do not have the same type of immune system, but they have lectins which are proteins that are toxic to mold, fungi and insects. Some lectins are benign to humans like the lectin found in spinach while some are very toxic. The lectin in wheat (Wheat Germ Agglutinin) is a four part complex molecule.

When this lectin is isolated and given to rats in very small amounts, it destroys the small intestine. Average Americans consume about 10-20 mg of the wheat lectin in a day, that’s enough to do significant damage.

When we consume wheat the gliadin protein unlocks the normal intestinal barrier and allows foreign substances entry into the bloodstream – substances such as wheat lectin. This is why people who eat wheat have autoimmune and inflammatory distress such as joint inflammation, bowel inflammation, acid reflux, inflammation of the brain, inflammation of the airways etc. In fact, there is not one system that escapes the inflammatory assault of wheat.

What Happens When We Remove Wheat From Our Diet?

First of all, taking wheat out of the diet is not as easy as might think – it is in a lot of foods – even ones we would not associate with having wheat. For example, wheat is in Twizzlers, Campbells Tomato Soup, taco seasoning, frozen dinners, cereals, salad dressings, granola bars and a lot more. Why is there wheat in so many products?

In 1960, we could find wheat only in things where we would expect to find wheat – breads, pastas, pancake mix, etc. Today is an entirely different story – wheat is in all kinds of foods where we would not expect to find it.

Is it possible that food manufacturers know a little something about wheat as an appetite stimulant (on top of the fact that is it heavily subsidized by our government and therefore artificially inexpensive)?

Impact of a Wheat-Free Diet

Dr. Davis tells us that taking wheat out of the diet will result in the following:

Dramatic weight loss

  • Reduced appetite
  • Lowered blood sugar
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improvement in cognitive function
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced food obsessions
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced triglycerides
  • Increased energy
  • Improved sleep

What About Gluten-Free?

Although going gluten free is a good thing because you avoid problems with gluten and gliadin, wheat germ agglutinin and amylopectin A, gluten-free foods contain other things, mainly potato starch, rice starch, tapioca starch and corn starch. These are the only foods that raise blood sugar higher than the amylopectin A found in wheat.

Warning: If you choose to be gluten free, avoid the commercial gluten free products, at least until you educate yourself on the differences between the various gluten free products on the market.

What Can I Eat?

Eat real, single ingredient foods as much as possible. You can eat nuts, healthy fat, organic fruits/vegetables, grass-fed beef, organic chicken and turkey, wild caught salmon, cheese, organic eggs, coconuts, avocados, flaxseeds, olive and hemp oils as well as a variety of other foods that are in their natural state. The more refined a food is, the more likely it contains wheat and other byproducts of the refinement process that are just too dangerous to your health.”

-The Alternative Daily




So…these dishes are looking good to me…


nacho cheese triangles gluten-free recipe




Whose house are you building?

“An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to you.”

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!”


Whose house You are building

Just beautiful

Remember Jesus’ example of the man who built on sand and the one who built on rock…we must begin with the end in mind and build accordingly…which also leads us into considering how we should  treat others…however we would build a house for someone else could actually be our own house in the making!