Saturday, August 03, 2013


As we prepare to sell our first home...I have mixed emotions. Sadness, because we're leaving the only home our 3 little children have known. JOYful expectation in not knowing but trusting that the Lord has good in store for us, no matter if we rent for 6 mos or if it takes longer to find our next 'long-term' house that we will call home. BUT MOSTLY I feel discouraged and frustrated by all of the little things that we have to pay for as we prep the house for sale because we bought a house from a greedy house flipper named Jennifer Olstad. I name her name because I want other people who may google her to know the truth that the inspector didn't catch. This is with a hope that she will grow in integrity if she desires to continue buying houses to fix them up. Underneath our brand new deck, we found a huge hole next to our foundation and concluded that that was where the water poured into our basement after our first snow melt. To say that she didn't know that there was a huge hole beneath the deck that was built OVER the hole is just nonsense. We had to then remove the carpet padding from the basement and my husband had to crawl underneath our deck with tons and tons of dirt to fill in the hole. She hired people who either did not know what they were doing or she did the work herself without knowledge of how to do it correctly. Sure, we had brand new tile in all 3 bathrooms and our kitchen when we moved in.....but oh, how the awesomeness fades when the tiles crack as they settle and the grout comes out all over the place, and you can see the dividers that were LEFT BETWEEN THE TILES!!!! We now get to fix all of the tiles and the grading of the floor. Next, our 'brand new roof' over our porch wasn't done correctly, and upon the first hard rain that came down sideways our porch was FLOODED. An inch of water made the floor super slippery and made the room smell dank. After the first snow melt, it became evident that she hired a no-nothing to install the roof. The roof slants TOWARD the house in an area above our dining room from the upper floor. We had to have our insurance company pay for the tremendous amount of damage caused due to the neglectful pathetic work of the cheap laborers Ms.Olstad hired to do the work. As with many flippers, not just Jen Olstad, corners were cut with the railings from the upstairs to downstairs. The railings are actually nailed into DRYWALL. Are you kidding me?? LONG story short, the total damage to our home that was CAUSED and directly related to the work done by Jennifer Olstad or work that she hired out to unqualified individuals has cost us and our insurance company over $15,000. Do not buy a flipped house if you can help it. IF you choose to do so, make sure you research the work of the flipper you're buying from.......ask them to provide references - people who have purchased homes from them at least 5 years ago or longer. (5 yrs is ample time to reveal the corner cutting/crap work) Heads up - Jennifer Olstad sells homes that she owns. I wouldn't buy another home from her ever again. I recently discovered that she works for a real estate company now. (big surprise? not really....she probably saw the amt of money she was paying her realtor to sell her garbage houses and thought, "hey, there's 10k that I could keep for myself.") ** If she shows you a house anywhere - google the county's website where the property is located and see if she is the owner. If she is, do yourself a favor and walk away! Best wishes to you all...... PS..I know one honest and amazing realtor....he's my dad's realtor and now mine...the only honest one I've met. (I was in mortgage and finance for 14yrs prior to being a mother) To Jen Olstad, if you see this note......feel free to contact me. I'm happy to talk...and I just want you to be encouraged and challenged. In a highly digital world, cutting corners in real estate is bad business and it will catch up with you. Word travels much faster these days. Peace to you all who do the right thing, even when no one will know, and even though it takes much more time and money. The Lord bless you for it!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Ever have one of those moments where you say something that you are pretty sure you didn't know before you said it? That happened to me tonight....again.

I am an external processor, so I guess it's bound to occur the longer I keep talking.  The odd thing is the person prompting this odd meditation is a girl who doesn't really gossip......she actually hardly speaks at all.  I've known her for 3 years now, and I am sort of at this odd place of "do I continue to be friends with her?"   The reason I would stop pursuing a friendship wouldn't be because she lacks a passion for gossip, but because she isn't transparent at all.  So, here is the little odd theory that came out of my mouth.....based on my experience in friendships with many different women:

  Gossip is essentially false intimacy.

Women who have close friends know that in order for the friendship to have any meaning at all, both women need to share their OWN hearts, little by little, deeper and takes time, a long time for some, especially if they have been burned or back bitten by other women they opened up to. I am the type of person who lays a few cards on the table, cards that might make many people 'fold' and never speak to me again. Honestly, I don't mind, because if they can't handle certain things about me up front, I'm not really the type to tiptoe around my convictions - let's just say. :P The crux of the matter though is, with women who are not-so-ready to make themselves vulnerable, they sometimes will make OTHER people vulnerable by gossiping about them. (I don't mean 'holy gossip' by speaking well of others or telling of a good report of the goings on of someone we all know that is public information).....I'm talking about all the negativity that spews out with every breath. "Oh, did you hear what so and so did to so and so, and oh, this person did this to me, can you believe it?" ACK.

I honestly know that this kind of gossip makes me want to barf.....and I know that I've listened to it, and unwittingly done it as well. I know this because when I'm with women who barely speak, I SEEK to connect with them, but because they do not make themselves vulnerable whatsoever, I've caught myself speaking in unsavory ways to try to get them to engage with any kind of response. PUKE.

Well, by God's grace, this is 2012. There have been SO MANY things brought to my attention by the Lord, and this is the year of BIG change for me.....I want to be holy....I want to love and be a more faithful follower of Christ. I hope that my friends know that they can rebuke me for any unwholesome talk.....I sure wish they would love me enough to do that. I have many godly friends who would. PTL

Back to the original note, for those who are slow to open up about ANYTHING real (fears, hopes, trials, even just random trivial things) and thus, just don't talk at bold for the sake of fellowship, and you will be blessed. Truly. Take a risk and tell someone you're not perfect....tell them that you have trials too...that you have growing to do (get specific)....take that chance, because you will gain a friend by being transparent, that you would lose if you just said nothing and listened.

 up out ~ jenb

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Persecution & Suffering

Listened to a tremendous radio program today....blunt and provoking. Todd Friel :) Very timely for me, as I've been being stirred by sermons at church back to boldness. My heart thrives when I get into discussions about the Savior ....even if the other person does not know him nor love him.

There were a few clips from pastors saying very bold things.......about the gospel...not about their legalistic points of view. I forget the pastor's name who was throwing down, but he was dead on. One of them said "Be prepared to be called arrogant." the other said "You want to suffer? Go share the Christ with every person on your street and press it to the point where they know that they will go straight to hell if they leave this world without Christ. You'll suffer. You want to suffer? Call up all the apostate pastors in your area that aren't preaching the gospel of Christ and tell them to get with the biblical program; You'll suffer."


How lazy have we been? Our love does not make us bold enough for those we claim to love. Instead we preserve our comfort and our 'likability" by being cowards. I am convicted by this small snip it and encouraged tremendously.

The other part of the show he spent discussing how frothy 'christian' music is. I don't even think you can call MOST of it's so grey....and so....unbiblical. it takes no courage to write songs about life.....I am not a musician, but if I were, I guess I just can't fathom how any artist can say "I'm a Christian, but we are not a Christian band." What in the world? How in the? If you are saved, and you love Christ, He permeates EVERY area of your life, and I would think ESPECIALLY your art that is pouring out lyrics from your heart? I dunno....anyhow. Todd went on, and I whole heartedly agree with him that there are so many talented BIBLICAL Christian Rap artists who are so much more bible saturated that a believer's heart can be lifted up into praise much more than by what they play on the 'christian radio'. I've been to churches that have a fire in their eyes and almost a condemnation in their tone about 'christian rap'. They have no idea what they are doing when they speak against much of it........perhaps they are so removed from the culture that they are clueless as to how HUGE rap and hip hop are in my neighborhood and the young adults? It's absurd even from the point of being a missionary to the USA. Since, if we were going to go to Africa or to Asia, we would learn the culture, we would worship God with their instruments and in their special way....we would not force them to sing old school hymns and buy a piano or a super out dated ORGAN!!!

I'm rambling....just had to get this off my chest..........I know that I have been de-friended on Facebook by many people lately for a link to a pro life deal by Ray Comfort. As long as I tell the truth in love, and am pure in my intentions to see my dear family and friends embrace the truth.....God going with me, I assume I am about to lose a great deal more than facebook friends.

Up out for now,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another great day.....

I get to spend time with my dear friend Jamie Ski tonight.....somehow, we always end up meeting older people (we're in our early 30s and meet people in their 80s) It's odd....and's a blast! Might talk her into going to a pub tonight. I want to see God open doors with unbelievers....I want to see the lost sheep saved. Gotta go to lost sheep places to find lost sheep hank....there's no way around it. Burst that Christian bubble and start small. Go to Perkins and start a conversation with someone you don't know. I go to Perkins by myself sometimes just to read/ clear my head. (and enjoy their coffee) And there is ALWAYS someone there by themselves too. I'm just sayin.

How will they call upon Him unless they have heard of him?
How will they hear if no one tells them?
How will someone tell them......oh, they will obey the joyful commission. What a rush.
Lord willing, I will remember to blog tomorrow.......and, more often.
I have a ton going on in my life/mind lately and am going to have to do the whole blog organizing thing.....categorizing the posts so that you don't need to read about my kids/diet/personal thoughts/theology if you don't want to....then again, you could always just click on the close button........hmmm....

too much coffee this morning.......

Up out,

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A timely book......"God Space"

I'm reading a book right now called God's been very encouraging and convicting at the same time.....well, those two usually go hand in hand so whatever. The book is about having real conversations with real people, uninhibited by awkwardness - about spiritual things....about truth.
People that know me know that I love the Lord.....I am pretty vocal about my faith; Until the last few years though, I didn't really care if I weirded people out by what I said, and I was completely unaware of them many times when I jumped on my soapbox to tell them what they NEED to know. My intentions were always right, but sadly, I didn't consider who I was talking to and how to help them feel comfortable talking to me about such things. In my ignorance, I was not quick to listen and slow to speak.....I was quick to speak and to my shame, I alienated many people that I love very much. I have felt deep down that the door is closed with many of them.....and I have a feeling they are grateful that I don't bring up spiritual things, (and they certainly won't be bringing them up with me)
In recent years, I've spent some time with some believers who make ME feel uncomfortable as a believer when they share the gospel with random people. Sure, the people I speak of have the right motive of lovingly telling the truth as often as they can - but again, they don't consider the PERSON that they are talking to.....I know this because you can actually see the person flush and feel awkward and put off by how the conversation is going down. They are caught off guard by an awkward transition, asked very little if ANY questions about their thoughts/ideas/life experiences and then are TOLD what is true in a very bold masterly way.
My skin kinda crawls thinking about it now. I don't want to be that kind of Christian. I want to be real, yes. I want to tell the truth in love....but how is it love if you show no interest in the person you're talking to before you start a rant?

There is a chapter that I will get to this week that talks about rebuilding bridges that you've burned down....agh, i can't wait.

If you have been struggling with how to do evangelism in natural ways - avoiding awkwardness and really want to communicate to the person you're talking to that you love them.......check this book's been pretty great...then again, I'm on chapter 2 still.......will have more reviews as it goes on.....and, Lord willing.......some experiences to share about putting it into practice.

Love from above,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shoot the wolves, Rebuke the swine and love the sheep.

I used the caption from Mark Driscoll above to point out what I am about to do. I need to openly reveal a wolf in sheep's clothing....which is not an easy thing to do.

I will not go into a ton of detail here until the cases are settled.
This is just a blog to get the attention of anyone who has done business with:

Robert (Bob) Feland of Burnsville, MN
Principal Reduction Corp

I am working with the MN Attorney General and the MN Dept of Commerce with the charges I am alleging against this man. If you feel that you have been wronged by him as well. I urge you to also contact the proper business authorities. The more evidence the better.

MN Dept of Commerce 651-296-6319
MN Attorney General's office 651-296-3353

You can and should also file a complaint on the Better Business Bureau website.
Thank you for taking a stand.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The purpose of grief and pain is 'relationship'

This past week I was blessed to spend time with a dear sister in the Lord....this friend inspires me every time I hang out with her....the funniest thing is that she basically has no idea just how much she affects others simply by being herself.

I got to see her mothering and we talked about a shared struggle of which we both have yet to be victors......and it's been on my mind just how closely parenting our children and being a child of God are related.

I saw her calmly tell her daughter that there were going to be consequences for her when they got home because when we were out and about, she disobeyed. Her sweet little 3 year old cried and pleaded "mommy, I will obey you, I will obey you mommy"
because she did not want any sort of discipline. My friend is a very very good mother....when we got home she reminded her of the consequence and her little one began bawling again and mom hugged her and showed her compassion, and yet still followed through with the discipline.
This hit me, because little kids who go unpunished grow up to be adults who never apologize for their actions, they see no need to confront the wrongs they have done to others, and they never want to admit fault. I've worked with many people (and am guilty of it myself, sad to say) that tend to blame shift.......whatever it was that went wrong could "NEVER be their fault"
They want to get the light that is beaming at their wrongdoing shifted off of them quickly so that the issue can be swept under the rug by some distraction, and life can continue with a peaceful calm. Such people have a hard time believing that God will judge their wickedness too......but sadly, God will not tolerate blame shifting....check out Genesis when Adam blamed God by blaming the woman "that God gave him, because SHE tempted me and I ate" and the woman blamed the serpent for her's human nature to want to hide from blame.....which is why little children hope that mom forgets the pending discipline by the child's plea to now be compliant.
I remember this EXACT scenario when I was young. My dad had told me that I was going to get a discipline for lying.......and that was when we had just left the house and were going to be out and about for the day. I had it in the back of my mind that maybe if I'm good all day, he'll forget, or change his mind.
He didn't.

The goal of parents (should be) in discipline should be to repair the relationship between parent and child. When a child disobeys, the relationship is thrown because the roles are rocked. When a child is trusting their parents directions are for their good and obey their parents because they trust their parents love them and want what is best for them.....the relationship flourishes. The parent is filled with joy at knowing their child's trust, and the child feels loved and secure in their parent's care.

When it comes to the Lord and his discipline of us, whether it be - allowing us to continue on in certain sins AS the disclipline because we are choosing it (get your mind around this- Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him Luk 22:34, and Peter was powerless to do anything BUT sin by denying Jesus those 3 times........but Jesus did not let him fall UTTERLY....when Peter sinned against Jesus the first and second time by denying him, it did not hit him......but the third time he said "I do not know him" - His heart broke in half and he wept over his sin, obviously he was not given over to unbelief, but God restored him)
OR if the Lord gives us flat out blatent consequences for sin - (ie...if someone gave into lust and contracted an STD)

The Lord KNOWS how to discipline each one of his children to get their draw them back to trusting in Him, and faith that what he has commanded is good for us thereby repairing the relationship.

I have a friend who has 3 little ones. The youngest one who has down syndrome didn't get a time out or consequences like the older two......all that the parents had to do to get the child to recognize their error was look at them directly in the eyes and say with a bold tone "that's a NO" - the child's spirit was broken, they cried and wanted to be made right with their parents immediately - and showed it by reaching for a hug with all their might.

So, with some of God's sheep He knows he only needs to have them get in a fender bender to show them their idolatry of their car.......for others, he may let them go on a skid ....and humiliate them in front of other people to humble them.....for others, he might just prick their hearts as they read his word. He loves HIs children immensely and knows them intimately as we are to know our children.....and how to REACH their hearts to pursue the mending of relationship with them.

We want them to know the kindness of God, and how God pursues his children even if he needs to cause them pain - whatever it takes - to bring them back to lovingly trust in Him. I've heard discipline referred to as God setting up "roadblocks to hell"
Blessed are those who heed instruction and set their face toward God and hear him say "you are forgiven" and "I've called you by name and you are MINE"

"The Lord disciplines those whom he loves and a Father does a son in whom he delights"

May we love our children enough to get to their hearts that they may see the love of the Father in our parenting.
in Jesus Name,