Friday, August 28, 2009

Ava Marie

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A Good Friday Laugh

Here are some funny pics of Miss Ava Marie. She is our Weimaraner puppy. She just turned 5 months old about a week ago. She has TONS of personality and is literally a little clown! Her face is so expressive I can sometimes tell what she is thinking! Example: George and I were sitting on the couch and she was playing with her toys. She then decided to hit George in the leg with one of her tug toys, and I was dying laughing... She looked at me with this face that said "I think I'll hit the both of you"....and before I could move WHAPP! (this is a pretty hard plastic toy with rope tassels on the end of it) hahahahaha She is silly!!! Well Enjoy!
--Ava and her "weapon"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

HIS Product=Changed Lives :)

My world was consumed by drugs and violence, until God used the gift of woodworking to shape me into a different person. By Carlos Antiono Velasquez

I grew up on a family farm in the Andean mountains where we raised cattle and grew coffee and bananas. I loved the smell of cooking "panela" when we boiled the sugar cane to make brown sugar. But at age 12, my paradise shattered. The heavy lid of a wooden grain bin fell and struck my mother's head. Within days she died, and so did my world. I sought refuge in my father, but he sought refuge in the bottle. Despite my young age, he introduced me to alcohol. Although I didn't like it, when the men in the bar laughed at my reaction, I decided to be a "man." That day I took my first step down the road of addiction and wrong companions.

A bottomless void

When Pablo Escobar, a powerful drug lord, recruited my uncle to process cocaine, my whole family entered the drug business. Before long I'd earned a reputation at the laboratory for processing pure white cocaine.I had money, alcohol, women-but nothing filled the void inside me.Distorted values poisoned all areas of my life. Though I was a gifted craftsman at woodworking, I poured my energy into the drug business. I married a wonderful woman named Aleida, but instead of a romantic getaway,we spent our honeymoon at the laboratory.Our marriage was often in turmoil. One day after our second child was born, Aleida and I got into a bitter argument. She stormed off with the baby and, angry and hurt, I partied at the lab, showing off my latest weapon. To my horror the gun accidentally fired, and my 2-year-old son, Giovany, crumpled to the ground. The bullet had pierced his tiny body close to his spine. As we raced down mountain roads to the village clinic, several times I considered swerving the jeep over the precipice. Why live? I asked myself. Then Giovany groaned and I thought, Perhaps there is hope. I tried to recite the Lord's Prayer and the Rosary-then just screamed, "God, save my son!"When the young medic in the village cut into my little boy's body, I put my hand on my revolver, determined that if my son died, the doctor would die. But God used that doctor to save Giovany's life-and give me my first glimpse of His glory. The doctor didn't give Giovany much chance of walking again. Yet three days later he walked and was eventually released from the hospital. Despite my joy, I turned my back on this second miracle. After all, the mafia needed me to move a shipment of cocaine. But God didn't give up on me. Drug agents captured me, and I was sent to a prison in Urrao. Some of the inmates and I planned an escape, but the day we'd intended to flee, a massive earthquake destroyed the prison. Along with the other inmates I was shipped to Bellavista-a maximum security prison in Medellin. Having heard of the hellish conditions, I was terrified. As I walked through the patio (the Columbian term for prison block), I never expected to find a group of six prisoners singing. I drew near, and they opened their circle to me. One said, "Jesus loves you, Carlos." Those words penetrated deep, and I found myself returning to the group. I later discovered that Jeannine Brabon, an American missionary, had planted a powerful ministry in this dangerous prison a few years earlier in 1989. When I arrived at Bellavista there was a thriving community of Christian inmates. In time I opened my heart to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. His love filled that void inside me, and I felt happier than I ever had before. On her visit two months later, I eagerly told Aleida how God had changed me. But my wife only shook her head. "Carlos, you cannot play with God. I know all too well your evil lifestyle. Don't be a hypocrite!" That night as I wept in my tiny bunk, God spoke to my heart. "Carlos, words won't convince Aleida. Living the life will draw her to Me."

A work of beauty

That same night I dreamed I found an ugly block of wood and carved a beautiful clock with an eagle perched on top. To my surprise, when I awakened the next morning I found a block of wood. Determined to recreate the clock from my dream, I bought a small, black-market chisel-the blademade from the in step of a shoe and the handle from melted plastic cups-and began my masterpiece. When I finished, I was thrilled someone wanted to buy it. On Mother's Day I intended to surprise Aleida, who was expecting our third child, with $20 from the project. But before I could make the sale, the chief ruler-the toughest inmate in the patio-came and took my clock. Heart broken, I had nothing to give Aleida but my discouragement. Jose Giraldo, another inmate, encouraged me, "God will provide." So I carved a second clock, only to have the ruler's second-in-command steal this one. I cried. Why was God letting this happen? Again, Jose urged me not to give up. I made a third clock and sold it. But before I could give it to the buyer, it was stolen by the lowest criminal inside. "I've had it!" I cried to Jose, throwing my Bible to the ground."The Christian life isn't for me. I turn my cheek only to be slapped again and again, and my wife is in great need.""Let's pray," Jose suggested, but I angrily shook my head. "You pray. I can't." His prayer soothed my anger. Afterward he suggested, "We should report this theft.""No, Jose." I answered, knowing the thief would be tortured. "I'm going to trust the Lord and allow Him to provide, even though I don't understand why life has been so difficult now that I'm a Christian."That night God spoke again: "Carlos, do you re-member the ugly block of wood? Through blows from the mallet and chisel, you formed a work of beauty.These trials are blows to chip away your bitterness and hatred, to make you into My image."From that day on, I studied the Bible. Although I continued to face serious trials, even death, I prayed God would not take me out of prison unless His presence would go with me. Eventually, I served my sentence and was released.

Today I work with other young men who come out of prison, encouraging them to start a new life in Christ. I understand all too well the struggles and challenges they face.It wasn't easy to start over with a family to support. But as I look back, I can testify of God's great faithfulness. My wife and my sons now each know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. The most important moment in our home is our family worship time together. We are growing in Jesus day by day, and love Him with all our hearts. He is our reason for living!

Adapted from Good News magazine (Nov./Dec. 2006). Carlos Antiono Velasquez and his family live in Medellin, Colombia. A graduate of the Medellin Bible Institute and now a pastor, Carlos has been on staff with Prison Fellowship Antioqua, a regional branch of Prison Fellowship Colombia, since 1999. Copyright C 2007 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian magazine.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Yesterday I made this cake, and it was literally delicious!!! So moist and not too sweet. The icing is not my fav so I am still on the look out for the perfect icing but in the mean time... this is GOOD :) I used two 8-inch pans and it came out PERFECT :)

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" FROSTING

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa.

Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Be Glorified!

In early 2005, Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch’s conversion to Christianity was treated as a significant, newsworthy event. More than 13,000 people showed up when he shared his testimony at a church in Bakersfield, California. The next day, an MTV camera crew followed him to Israel, where he was baptized in the Jordan River.
He recently released his autobiography; Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, And Lived to Tell My Story.
Korn is well known for hit like ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ (an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Sex”) and ‘Freak on A Leash,’ They were made millionaires many times over.Professionally, things couldn’t have been better, but on a personal level, his life was falling apart. His marriage had ended, leaving him a single parent, and after a decade of abuse, he was addicted to methamphetamines – speed - as well as Xanax, Vicodin, Valium and Celexa. He had also developed a serious drinking problem; both his father and grandfather were alcoholics, making Brian at least the third generation to struggle with the disease.
After a decade in L.A., he returned to his hometown of Bakersfield in 2004, where, shortly before his conversion, he began a partnership with two local real estate developers. Both were Christians, yet rarely shared – or even spoke - about their faith with him. Nonetheless, their impact was significant. “You know what? I saw something different. They were glowing; they had a glow about them, and they were always in good moods. They were just these guys in the real estate business, but I looked up to them for some reason. I thought it was the business and the money, because they were always wheeling and dealing, and that was my thing. Money was my god. It made me feel powerful and safe, so I wanted more and more. And that’s how awesome God is; he didn’t care that I was blind, chasing money. He still used that to get me in. It was cool.”When he finally decided to reach out, they were there for him.
The transformation was fast, radical, and ongoing. “I dove right in; I’m like gung ho for Jesus nonstop; hours every day talking to him and just living for him. Sometimes I’m a little extreme. I’m extremist, and I take the Bible literally, I take my relationship with God very seriously. I think that’s the way it should be, you know? All or nothing.”I still go through dark days, and some are worse than others. But I know that it will pass. I mean, look at [Biblical King] David; it’s like he’s a schizophrenic or something; he’s happy one day, and upset the next. He was screaming out to God one day, and then he was joyful the next Psalm.
Another area that saw significant improvement was his relationship with his father. His dad had stopped drinking years earlier, but there were other, ongoing problems. “Recognizing anger was not helping the situation, he prayed about it; “God’s like; ‘No. No, no, no, no.’ He taught me…” He began to show love towards his father, and it set up a spiritual domino effect. “It’s crazy how that falls. God broke it; he just broke it, man. They ended up getting saved, and it’s like my dad’s a different person. He doesn’t drink, and I don’t drink, and we have the best relationship now - better than it’s ever been.
Many were impacted – some, profoundly.“This guy came up to me in Atlanta; he was a full-on tattooed guy, like 6’ 5”. He looked like a biker. Kind of like me,” Welch laughs, “but he came up to me, and he’s shaking. He’s like; ‘Dude, you have no idea.’ I go; ‘What?’ And he’s like; ‘I’m gonna fall down right now; I went to make fun of you on your website. I went to make fun of you and mock you, because I heard you became a Christian…and all of a sudden I got this power come on me, and all I could hear in my head was ‘Find out what’s in that book.’’“He went to a church, found a Bible, and he got saved.” It didn’t stop there. “His wife got saved, his parents got saved, and all his friends got saved. So all these people got saved because he was going to mock me, and God just zapped him.”They’ve stayed in touch. “He sent me a letter, he’s like full-on filled with the Holy Spirit, just loving life. He’s cool.”

Direct Quote from Here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Destin Pics

Just a few more pics :) awwwhhhhh Memories!! I seriously want to LIVE on the Beach!!

25th B-Day

This past weekend I took a mini vacay for my Birthday (Aug 7th). I went to Destin, FL which is one of the best beaches in the US. I went with my cousins and sister and I had soo much fun!! I thought I would be sad that I was getting OLD (turning a quarter of a century), but I was thankful! Another day and Another chance! Well I thought I would add some pics to give you guys an idea of how much fun we had :) Enjoy!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This song just really speaks to the FACT that GOD NEVER Fails and he loves you just the way you are because he created you :)

Failure doesn't phase you.
Worry doesn't win.
Loss doesn't leave you afraid to start again.
Our sin doesn't shock you.
Our shame doesn't shame you at all.
Mistakes do not move you.
Terror doesn't tame.
Death doesn't doom you to life in the grave.
Our suffering doesn't scare you.
Our secrets won't surprise you at all.
At all.

There is nothing above you.
There is nothing beyond you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not. You fail us not.

Hatred doesn't hide you.
Evil doesn't ail.
Despair can't disguise you and tell you that you fail.
Our doubt doesn't daunt you.
Our darkness won't defeat you at all.
At all.

There is nothing above you.
There is nothing beyond you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No, You fail us not. You fail us not.

You are Bigger than the Battle x3
You are Bigger than the Battle has ever been
You are Bigger than the Battle x3
You are Bigger than the Battle has ever been

Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No, You fail us not. You fail us not.

" Fail Us Not" by 1000 Generations

You can download the song here if you have Real Player on your computer :)

Or if you have Facebook you can visit their page and play the song.