November 22, 2009
November 4, 2009
Folks, I just love this!! How the maker of all creation loves each of us!! WOW!!
by David Wilkerson
Christ described the last days as a troubling and frightful time: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth…. Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:26, 25).
What did Jesus give us to prepare us for these calamities? What was his antidote to the fear that was going to come?
He gave us the illustration of our Father watching the sparrow, of God numbering the very hairs on our heads. These illustrations become even more meaningful when we consider the context in which Jesus gave them.
He told these illustrations to his twelve disciples, as he sent them out to evangelize the cities and towns of Israel. He had just endowed them with power to cast out demons and heal all manner of sickness and disease. Think of what an exciting moment that had to be for the disciples. They were given power to work miracles and wonders! But then came these fearful warnings from their Master:
“You won’t have any money in your pocket. And you won’t have a home, not even a roof to sleep under. Instead, you’ll be called heretics and devils. You’ll be beaten in synagogues, dragged before judges, thrown into prison. You’ll be hated and despised, betrayed and persecuted. You’ll have to flee from city to city to avoid being stoned.”
Now picture these men wide-eyed as they listened to Jesus. They must have been gripped with fear. I imagine them wondering, “What kind of ministry is this? Is that what the future holds for me? This is the bleakest outlook on life I’ve ever heard.”
Yet, in this very same scene, Jesus told these beloved friends three times: “Fear not!” (Matthew 10:26, 28, 31). And he gave them the antidote to all fear: “The Father’s eye is always on the sparrow. How much more will it always be on you, his beloved ones?”
Jesus is saying, “When doubts flood in— when you’re at your wits’ end and you think no one sees what you’re going through—here is how to find rest and assurance. Look at the little birds outside your window. And run your fingers through your hair. Then remember what I told you, that these small creatures are of immense value to your Father. And your hairs are to remind you that you’re of much greater value to him. His eye is always on you. And he who sees and hears your every move is near.”
That is how our Father cares for us in hard times.
October 15, 2009
by David Wilkerson
“When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do” (John 6:5-6). Jesus took Philip aside, and said, “Philip, there are thousands of people here. They are all hungry. Where are we going to buy enough bread to feed them? What do you think we should do?”
How incredibly loving of Christ. Jesus knew all along what he was going to do; the verse above tells us so. Yet the Lord was trying to teach Philip something, and the lesson he was imparting to him applies to each of us today. Think about it: How many in Christ’s body sit up half the night trying to figure out their problems? We think, “Maybe this will work. No, no…. Maybe that will solve it. No….”
Philip and the apostles didn’t have just a bread problem. They had a bakery problem…and a money problem…and a distribution problem…and a transportation problem…and a time problem. Add it all up, and they had problems they couldn’t even imagine. Their situation was absolutely impossible.
Jesus knew all along exactly what he going to do. He had a plan. And the same is true of your troubles and difficulties today. There is a problem, but Jesus knows your whole situation. And he comes to you, asking, “What are we going to do about this?”
The correct answer from Philip would have been, “Jesus, you are God. Nothing is impossible with you. So, I’m giving this problem over to you. It’s no longer mine, but yours.”
That’s just what we need to say to our Lord today, in the midst of our crisis: “Lord, you are the miracle worker and I’m going to surrender all my doubts and fears to you. I entrust this entire situation, my whole life, into your care. I know you won’t allow me to faint. In fact, you already know what you’re going to do about my problem. I trust in your power.”
September 13, 2009
Praying God's Word
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny...
because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment...
because you "deserve better than this."
I cheat you of knowledge ...
because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing...
because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness...
because you refuse to admit when your wrong.
I cheat you of vision...
because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship...
because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love...
because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in Heaven...
because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory...
because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride and I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you.
I'm looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry...
If you stick with me
You'll never know.
September 6, 2009
"…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."—Philippians 3:13-14
Have you ever entertained any of these thoughts: "Why didn't I….? I never should have…! If only he had… I'll never be able to forgive…"
These thoughts are thoughts of regret, shame and guilt, resulting from past disappointments which most of us have experienced. Although we all have been disappointed, we're not meant to carry these disappointments into the future. Hanging onto the past is a major stronghold for many Believers. Dwelling on past mistakes, failures, losses or betrayals year after year brings an increasing weight of sin, shame and guilt—which will inevitably lead to bitterness, weariness, self-pity, accusation, doubt, unbelief and the fear that the future will just be a repeat of the past. Once disappointed, always disappointed, you reason. If they disappointed me once, they will disappoint me again.
By dwelling on past disappointments, you lose confidence in relationships with others, with God and with yourself. One of the main keys to overcoming disappointments in life is learning to let go of the past. This letting go is difficult for many because we're required not only to let go, but, in its place, to take hold of something new: we must learn to love again and to trust again—and sometimes the heart is still too wounded and hardened to open to love.
So what can we do? First, we must recognize and admit to ourselves and to the Lord that we are disappointed and that our heart has hardened to love. This may be difficult to confess, as part of the pain of disappointment is fearing that disappointment will happen again and again. We fear being disappointed if we dare to trust again and maybe even fearing to trust God again.
But we can take courage by understanding that the Lord's very purpose in coming, as He Himself declared early on, was to "bind up the brokenhearted" (Isaiah 61:1), to heal our disappointed hearts and restore hope to our innermost being. He understands deeply that we are brokenhearted by sin and failures and He has compassion for our souls.
This Hebrew word translated brokenhearted is shabar, an extremely vivid and powerful adjective that means maimed, crippled, wrecked, crushed, quenched, violently ruptured. Is this the condition of your disappointed heart?
Do you feel like you've been crushed because of betrayal?
Do you feel ruptured beyond repair because of lost dreams or lost loves?
Do you feel your hopes and prayers have been wrecked?
Do you feel crippled from an impossibly difficult journey?
Do you feel the Lord Himself has disappointed you by prayers that have gone unanswered or dreams that are still painfully unfulfilled?
Have you disappointed yourself by some egregious sin of the past?
You have no options but this: you must let go of the past. How, you ask? By choosing to forgive those who have hurt you, betrayed you, left you or wronged you. And choose to forgive yourself for your reactions to these injustices or for your own betrayals. You let go of the past by believing that God will restore to you anything and everything that was taken, including love, relationships, time, money, dreams, hopes, talents.
This truth, for many, is difficult to grasp: can the Lord truly restore lost time? Lost opportunities? Lost love? Yes He can and not only can He, but He greatly desires to restore to you everything you have lost—redeeming, restoring and multiplying it back to you.
Meditate on this marvelous promise from our Lord: "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25).
At the very moment you gave your heart to Jesus Christ, you became a new creation: "...old things passed away and everything became new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you receive Christ's forgiveness in your own life, you are released from the pressure to make up for past mistakes or failures. Christ has put your sins as far from you as the east is from the west, never to remember them again. Guilt and shame are gone and you can live in freedom. How is this possible?
Consider the Cross! He bore your sins as the Passover Lamb. Do not take His death in vain by attempting to remedy your own sins and failures by holding on to them in remorse—or holding others' sins and failures against them in accusation. None of us are righteous: the Blood of the Lamb is the only remedy for sin. The only remedy for past disappointments is to repent and turn to Christ, thanking Him for making all things new.
"Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'" Revelation 21:5Christ is the same "yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). That means He made all things new yesterday, He makes all things new today, and He will make all things new tomorrow. There is nothing at any time in your life which He cannot make new! Cast all your cares upon Him, receive His yoke, and you will find rest for your life.
Begin to experience the bright future God has in store for you. Don't let the regrets of yesterday destroy your hopes for tomorrow. Many Believers lead lives of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau described, hardly aware that they have ceased to dream big dreams and pray big prayers, believing God for the impossible.
Be vigilant to cast off any trace of the fear of future disappointments and trust the Lord's kindness toward you, receiving His grace to forget the past. He is an extraordinarily generous, caring and tender Father who knows what is best for His children. Abandon yourself to His care, for His name is "Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11).
"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10
No matter what has happened in the past, know that our God is a God of restoration—and He will restore what the enemy has stolen from you as He promises in the Book of Joel. Accept God's mercy and forgiveness today, as His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is not just adequate—it is great (Lamentations 3:23)! Great is His faithfulness! Look forward to the exceedingly wonderful plan He has for your future.
Pray this with me: Precious Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of forgiveness, the gift that releases me from the pains of the past and enables me to run towards You and the bright future You have in store for me! Please show me if there are any areas of unforgiveness or hardness in my heart, so that I may forgive, receive Your infinite love and walk in victory. I ask You to impart to me the dreams and vision You have for my life, restoring all the enemy has stolen. I ask for the grace to forget past disappointments. I believe You are granting this to me now even as I pray! Amen!
"Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope." Ephesians 3:20
Eagle View Ministries
August 19, 2009
by David Wilkerson
When Adam sinned, he tried to hide from God. When Peter denied Christ, he was afraid to face him. When Jonah refused to preach to Nineveh, his fear drove him into the ocean, to flee the presence of the Lord.
Something much worse than failure is the fear that goes with it. Adam, Jonah, and Peter ran away from God, not because they lost their love for him, but because they were afraid he was too angry with them to understand.
The accuser of the brethren waits, like a vulture, for you to fail in some way. Then he uses every lie in hell to make you give up, to convince you that God is too holy or you are too sinful to come back. Or he makes you afraid you are not perfect enough or that you will never rise above your failure.
It took forty years to get the fear out of Moses and to make him usable in God’s program. If Moses or Jacob or David had resigned himself to failure, we might never again have heard of these men. Yet Moses rose up again to become one of God’s greatest heroes. Jacob faced his sins, was reunited with the brother he had cheated, and reached new heights of victory. David ran into the house of God, found forgiveness and peace, and returned to his finest hour. Jonah retraced his steps, did what he had refused to do at first and brought a whole city to repentance. Peter rose out of the ashes of denial to lead a church to Pentecost.
In 1958, I sat in my little car weeping; I was a terrible failure, I thought. I had been unceremoniously dumped from a courtroom after I thought I was led by God to witness to seven teenage murderers. My attempt to obey God and to help those young hoodlums looked as though it were ending in horrible failure.
I shudder to think of how much blessing I would have missed if I had given up in that dark hour. How glad I am today that God taught me to face my failure and go on to his next step for me.
August 3, 2009
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. "(Isaiah 53:3)
Today's devotional comes from Kevin's book Rejection~
My father died on my sixth birthday. Leukemia. I soon found that I had lost my mom as well. Her need to work and her own emotional pain crowded nurturing and time together out of my life. Then, two moves in the next three years made me the new kid in town that got picked on by everyone else.
By seventh grade, things had changed. I was well-liked and accepted. But I had no friends -- no one to whom I revealed my true self. Why? I had experienced enough rejection by then that I was unwilling to risk being rejected again.
There are three different types of rejection we can struggle with. The simplest is performance rejection. This occurs when we experience criticism for our actions that is not given in love. While such rejection stings, it is not devastating. A poor job evaluation is an example of performance rejection.
The second type of rejection is very painful. Personhood rejection occurs when people reject who we are. Our identity is called deficient, not our conduct. I remember a teacher in fifth grade calling me names when I did not attend his class. My inability to please him (performance rejection) resulted in a rejection of who I was (personhood rejection). A small incident? Yes. But I remember it 37 years later.
Rejection, like abuse, is not measured by what happens, but by the impact it has.
The lack of affirmation is another part of personhood rejection. Just like flowers need water, we need affirmation. When affirmation is withheld, our sense of being acceptable withers and dies. Even though no one may say anything negative, the lack of anything positive is just as powerful a rejection.
We rejected ones may become people pleasers, keeping everyone else happy regardless of the personal cost. Or we may seek rejection. We don’t want it, but performance rejection is less painful than the personhood rejection we fear. In both cases, we end up living in emotional isolation.
From there, it is a short distance to third type of rejection - self-rejection. In this place, we despise and punish ourselves for who we are. By rejecting ourselves, we are finally able to join everyone else who has rejected us. It has cost us happiness, but we don’t think we deserve it anyway.
Once rejected by others, it is easy for us to believe that God also rejects us. In fact, the more rejection we experience, the more difficult it is to have a relationship with God. We have already learned to perform for others and hide our true self away. When we do that with God, we find our relationship with Him as empty as relationships are with everyone else.
Receiving healing from rejection brings us back to life emotionally. Intimacy is possible again and we feel more alive than ever. A significant part of this healing is found in allowing God access to our true selves. It is scary to do, but possible when we see that He is the ultimate recipient of rejection.
Read this short meditation slowly and prayerfully. Allow God to meet you in those sentences that emotionally parallel your own rejection. As you do, it will create the internal space needed for the Lord to comfort and heal.
As the hammer descended onto the nails, the pain experienced by Jesus was intensely physical. Those blows and all the other abuse He experienced also carried with them the sting of rejection (Mark 9:12). Mankind had rejected its Maker.
It was on the cross that Jesus experienced the culmination of a life of rejection.
Herod tried to kill Him before He could do anything to deserve it (Matthew 2:16).
He was thrown out of the synagogue and the people of his hometown tried to kill him (Luke 4:28-29). His family thought He was crazy and attempted to stop Him from doing His ministry (Mark 3:21). One of His closest followers betrayed Him for his own selfish purposes (Matthew 27:3). Another follower refused to admit he knew Him (Luke 22:57). Jesus experienced performance rejection when He did not do what everyone thought He should do. He experienced personhood rejection because He was not who everyone thought He should be. Yet, through it all, Jesus experienced the affirmation of the Father (Matthew 3:17). That is, until He hung on the cross. There in the midst of His deepest, loneliest and most agonizing hours, even the Father rejected Him (Mark 15:34).
That rejection by the Father allowed God on the cross, who is as equally God as the Father (Colossians 1:19), to enter into the fullest and most painful expression of all human rejection the rejection of one’s self.
There is no road of rejection that we can walk where we will not find the footprints of the Savior. And in each step He has taken, we will see His blood, bringing forgiveness and healing to all who will receive it.
This Week.........Ask the Lord each day to help you identify areas of rejection in your life. As things come to mind, forgive those who rejected you and forgive yourself for believing the rejection. Ask the Lord to heal the hurt and replace the rejection with His love.
"Father, thank you that You experienced rejection, too. Thank you that I have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, even in times when I feel like no one is on my side. Lord, I want to have as close a relationship with You as possible. Please heal my rejection so that I can enter into that deeper place with You. Amen."
Kevin Grenier is the author of Rejection.
July 30, 2009
by Dave Wilkerson
Paul writes, “Give place unto wrath” (Romans 12:19). He is saying, “Suffer the wrong. Lay it down and move on. Get a life in the Spirit.” However, if we refuse to forgive the hurts done to us, we have to face these consequences:
We’ll become guiltier than the person who inflicted our wound.
God’s mercy and grace toward us will be shut off. Then, as things begin to go wrong in our lives, we won’t understand them, because we’ll be in disobedience.
Our persecutor’s vexations against us will continue to rob us of peace. He’ll become the victor, succeeding in giving us a permanent wound.
Because Satan succeeds in driving us to thoughts of revenge, he’ll be able to lead us into deadlier sins. And we’ll commit transgressions far worse than these.
The writer of Proverbs advises, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11). In other words, we’re to do nothing until our anger has subsided. We’re never to make a decision or follow through with any action while we are still angry.
We bring glory to our heavenly Father whenever we overlook hurts and forgive the sins done to us. To do so builds character in us. When we forgive as God forgives, he brings us into a revelation of favor and blessing we have never known.
Jesus commands us to love those that have made themselves our enemies by doing three things:
1. We are to bless them
2. We are to do good to them
3. We are to pray for them
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
July 18, 2009
Overlooking Offenses TGIF Today God Is First by Os Hillman07-13-2009
"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11
I have a friend who tells a story of a lesson the Lord taught him through his wife. It seems that every time he and his wife would get in the car to travel somewhere, his wife had a strong need to direct his driving. She would tell him where to turn and when to turn, even in their own subdivision. It was such a horrible habit that it drove my friend crazy and became the source of many an argument. Finally, one day my friend concluded that the Lord was trying to teach him something through this experience. He decided he would let go of his need to be free from this correction. He began to affirm his wife and even thank her for her input. It was excruciatingly painful to do this from where he sat.
A few months passed. He let go of the entire situation and actually got to a place where it just didn't matter to him anymore. An interesting thing happened a few months later. One day his wife looked at him and said, "John, I just realized that I have been directing your driving all these years and now realize why I do that. It goes back to my childhood when I had to direct my younger brothers and sisters. I am so sorry I have been doing that." My friend nearly fell out of his seat!
Whenever we work close to another person, whether in an office or home, small offenses can become the source of great conflict. Resentment and irritability soon follow. God brings these "offenses" into our lives to develop character qualities in us. He uses individuals in our lives to accomplish his goal of making us more Christ-like. So the next time you complain or resist a habit or action from someone close to you, ask God if it has been placed there to develop some quality in you. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. A man's wisdom gives him patience-to let go of little offenses. This is where spiritual maturity is seen in the day-to-day activity of life. Is there someone close to you who has some habit you really want to change? Give up that desire to the Lord. Who knows, He may even change it after you let go of the need to change it.
Lord, today July 18, 2009......I give it up!
July 13, 2009
You're alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act.
~ Barbara Hall
Walking Through When Doors Open . . .
When a door opens, walk through it. Trust that the door has opened for a reason and you have been guided to it. Sometimes we have a tendency to overanalyze or agonize over the decision, but it is quicker to simply go through the door and discover what’s there as that’s the only way to know. Even if it doesn’t seem right at first, opening this door may lead to another door that will take us where we need to go. Doors open when the time is right for us to enter a new space, metaphorically speaking, and we can have faith that walking through is the right thing to do. Sometimes we linger in the threshold because we are afraid of leaving our old life for a life we know nothing about. We may have voices inside of our heads that try to hold us back or people in our lives saying discouraging things. These voices, internal and external, are known as threshold spirits, and they express all the fears and doubts that arise at the beginning of a new life. Nevertheless, none of these voices can hold us back, and they will fall silent as soon as we cross the threshold. There are many doors that open in the course of our lives, leading us into new relationships, jobs, friendships, and creative inspirations. Our lives up to this point are the result of all the doors we have walked through, and our continued growth depends on our willingness to keep moving into new spaces. Every time we walk through an open door, we create a sense memory that encourages us to move into the new fearlessly. When we enter the new space, we almost always feel a thrill and a new feeling of confidence, in ourselves and in the universe. We have stepped across the threshold into a new life. ~ Nigel Alston
Consider This . . .
Start walking.......A door is open.
July 11, 2009
- He is a gentleman
- He is confident
- He is a provider and protector
- He is rich and powerful
- He owns everything; there is nothing He wouldn't do for me
- He perfects all things concerning me
- He anticipates my wants and needs
- Every day He tells me and shows me how much He loves me
- I don't have to perform in order to earn His love
- He keeps all of his promises
- No one can influence His opinion of me
- He is the ultimate intimate partner
- He can't 'disown' me because I am a part of Him
- He prepares a table before me (Selah)
- He covers me and doesn't expose me
- He wrote His loving words down so that I'll never forget how He feels about me!
NOW THAT'S LOVE!!! Any man, who wants pointers on how to love a woman, should study GOD! Wake up every day and thank God for being the best 'man' in your life! Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith!
Let's continue to pray for one another. The Prayer ~
Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace. Where there is a need, I ask you to fulfill their needs.. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name, Amen
July 9, 2009
Hannah was a good woman who loved God. But she was sad, because she didn't have any children. Each year, her husband took her to a place called Shiloh, where they worshiped God. And each year, Hannah prayed a special prayer that God would give her a child. One year, she prayed, "Dear God, if You will only give me a son, I will give him back to You, to serve You all his days." She prayed so hard her mouth moved, but no words came out. A priest asked if she was drunk. "No, she said, I'm pouring my heart out to God." "May you find favor in God's eyes," said the priest.
The following year, Hannah couldn't make the trip to Shiloh with her husband because God had answered her prayers. She had a new baby boy named Samuel!
She happily cared for Samuel until he was old enough to leave her. Then she kept her promise to God, and took Samuel to live with the priests in Shiloh. It wasn't easy for her to say good-bye, but each year she made him a special robe to wear as he served God.
God gave Hannah many more children. And Hannah was pleased to know that Samuel was growing up in Shiloh, where he would love and serve God always.
It's easy to get "sticky-fingered" with the gifts God gives to us. We want to hold onto them, keeping them for ourselves. But, like Hannah, when we give God that which is most precious to us, we can trust him with it. And God always gives back much more!
What gift has God given you that you want to keep all for yourself?? Is it your time, your home, your husband? Yes, your husband is a gift! Everything that we have belongs to God.....He's just letting us borrow it for a little while.
Give it up and give it back! Let it go cause it has never been yours to have......even we do not belong to ourselves.......we belong to God.
Lord, help us to give it up, give in to You and get over ourselves! Lord, it isn't about me, it's about You....help me to see that daily.
Lord, I love you........
6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
2 cups stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
Lightly grease crock pot or spray with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in pot. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk, stirring well. Spoon over cheese; sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing mix. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 6 hours. Serves 6.
May 9, 2009
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things" (Luke 10:41, NKJV)
Mary and Martha were two sisters who were as different as night and day. Martha was the picture of the perfect hostess. She loved to entertain company; of course, as long as they called in advance. If they had such magazines in her day, Martha certainly would have been a subscriber to Southern (Bethany) Living and Better Homes and Gardens. The Bible does not tell us, but perhaps her last name was even Stewart! Martha is a perfectionist and yet, she is her own worst enemy. She sets expectations that she can never meet. She is never able to completely rest and be content. Life for Martha is always an unfinished task.
On the other hand, Mary, Martha's sister, is not much into the hostess scene.
It's not that Mary does not also enjoy having company over, but Mary is more interested in conversation than the day's menu. When you drop in at Mary's house for a visit she may have you go fetch your own glass of iced tea. It's not that Mary doesn't care. Mary just takes life as it comes and material comforts and hostess graces are just not that important to her.
One time when Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha, Mary broke a very expensive bottle of fragrant perfume and she anointed Jesus with oil (Mk. 14:3-9; Jn. 12:1-8). This was an expression of Mary's love and devotion to Jesus. Some of Jesus' disciples became infuriated at her for doing that. Martha was there (Jn. 12:2) and I am certain that she too chimed in with the disciples in chastising Mary for her extravagance.
In Luke 10:38-42 we discover an occasion where the stark contrast between these two sisters, Martha and Mary, is obvious. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha is busy "with much serving." Mary is enthralled as she sits at the feet of the savior. Martha is enraged as she busily paces back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. The Bible tells us (v.38) that Martha welcomed Jesus into her house. This visit does not appear to have been planned. Because of the short notice there would be much work to do if dinner was going to be on the table. It did not take long for Martha to become stressed and angry at the fact that Mary was sitting while she was serving.
Martha directed her anger towards Jesus (v.40). She is essentially saying "Lord, if you really cared about me you would rebuke my sister Mary and tell her to get in the kitchen." Martha is ordering Jesus around and telling Him what to do! Anger, frustration, and resentment often comes out in this kind of controlling way. When people do not act the way we want them to we often want someone else to straighten the person out for us.
It's easy to focus on Martha's apparent frustration and anger, but I want you to consider her in a little different light. Martha is not really a bad person. In fact, she is a woman of dedication and she is a doer. I can just imagine that she is the kind of woman that probably seldom complains, seldom misses the smallest details, and she can always be counted on when you need her. Martha is certainly a commendable woman. Thank God for the Martha's of the world! This story is not in the Bible to teach us that serving is bad and that sitting is good. Under different circumstances serving may have been the best course of action.
Instead, this is a story about maintaining a much-needed balance in life. It's a story about the need to recognize that we are human, we stumble, and we fall short. It's a story about being human and how we desperately need to realize just how human we are. It's a story about setting priorities and making the best choices in life. In life we are not usually confronted with choices that are outright good vs. bad! Those are the easy ones to make. But, oh how difficult are the everyday choices between what is good and what is best!
In this instance (Lk. 10:38-42) there were more important things to do than housework and preparing supper. What Jesus desired was not dinner, but devotion. Martha was "worried and troubled about many things." Martha's worried and anxious heart would not find rest in serving (trying harder and doing more) but by sitting at the feet of Jesus and finding rest in His presence.
How do you know the difference between choosing what is good and what is best at any given time? You have to examine your life below the superficial level of outward appearances. If only Martha could have stopped long enough to see herself as Jesus did, then she could have seen that her life was filled with busyness but inside she was running on empty. Her life was one of frustration and distractions. Her calendar was filled with activities and engagements (good things) but she was missing out on the best things in life.
Jesus was saying to Martha, "Martha, you're not superwoman! You need to slow down. You need to re-prioritize your life." Martha was caught up in what many of us are snared in today — the performance trap. In Martha's mind she had to do it all. She was always setting expectations she could never meet. If the truth be known Martha probably did not like herself very much. She could not accept herself and as a result she could not accept others. What Mary knew and what Martha needed to know was that in a devoted relationship with Jesus Christ God's unconditional love and grace are experienced and we are set free from the bondage of the performance trap. Martha needed to know that she was not superwoman and that was ok. Martha needed to know what we so desperately need to know today. That in Jesus Christ we are set free from a life that seeks to only please others, and we are set free form a life of trivial pursuit and emptiness.
How about you? Is your life filled with purpose and peace or does your life look more like Martha's life — stressed and frayed? When you accept Christ then you are able to accept yourself and you become empowered to accept others. There is good news for the "bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt out!" That good news is that you can experience God's rest and acceptance today. Where do you start? First, recognize that you are human. Like all humans we fall short (Rom. 3:23). We cannot make it in life without Jesus Christ — His grace and power. Even Martha's need Jesus. Second, give Jesus Christ complete control of your life. Simply said, don't try to be superwoman (or superman for that matter) but let Christ give you His peace and rest. Jesus' words still ring true for us today: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden [distracted, anxious, tired, frustrated], and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28, NKJV).
Joe Alain is Pastor of First Baptist Church of Port Allen, LA.
April 11, 2009
Just had to post this video because tomorrow, Resurrection Day, is my very most favorite day of the year!! It just kinda tells it all.....nothing left after that cause it is finished! It is finished.....thank you, Jesus!!
March 26, 2009
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak...
March 6, 2009
You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind, but GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3) “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee”
There were times when I thought I could go on no longer, but the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15) “And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong, but the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Ps. 39:1) “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, while the wicked are in my presence.’
Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough, but GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.., (Matt. 6:25 -34) This is Jesus’ sermon on the Mount. V. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up. (I Pet. 5:7) “casting all your anxiety upon Him, because HE cares for you.”
When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (Matt. 11:28-30) “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me! I'm blessed to be 'kept!'
Are you a 'kept' woman? I'm "kept" by the Love and Grace of God!
I am indeed a 'kept' woman and praise God for it!
One of my very most inspiring favorites and thank God that He watches out, takes care of and "keeps" us, HIS beloved children!!
February 28, 2009
Got a new recipe for you! This is dee-lish!
2 to 4 pounds country-style pork ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch lengths
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
3 medium sweet onions, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rings
1 head (about 12 cloves) garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 (28 ounces) can crushed, peeled tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 pound of pasta of choice, cooked al dente
Chopped parsley for garnish
Sprinkle pork ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the pork ribs on both sides until golden brown, turning only once. You may need to do this in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Remove to a platter. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven, along with the sweet onion rings. Toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and sweat the onions, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, both cans of tomatoes, and water to the onions. Stir to combine, then return the pork ribs to the pot along with any collected juices. Simmer the pork ribs in the tomato gravy 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until pork is tender. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if warranted. Stir 1 cup of the tomato gravy into the cooked pasta as soon as it is done. Portion the pasta into shallow bowls, top with pork ribs, spoon on some tomato gravy, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
February 27, 2009
BECAUSE OF THE DETOUR, DON'T THINK HIS PROMISES ARE POSTPONED.......Actually, the opposite is true (Psalm 138:8). Because God is taking you a different way, the promise will not only come to pass, but be fulfilled on a grander scale, because you allowed God to do it His way (Psalm 18:30). Oh yes, you meant well and your heart was in the right place, but God wanted to show you “a better way.” And because you decided not to panic and take a side road to avoid His detour, God can now speak with you about His plans and not yours (Jeremiah 29:11). Now you realize that you should have taken His detour long ago, but you couldn't discern the signs. You start to thank Him for the forced detour that He caused, because it will bring you into deeper communion with the King (Luke 24:15).
REJOICE, YOU'RE IN GOOD COMPANY AND ABOUT TO MAKE HISTORY...
God gave Paul a divine detour (Acts 9) and changed history. Jesus gave a few fishermen a detour and it turned their lives upside down (Matthew 4:18-19). God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary for the grandest detour of all--and because she accepted it (Luke 1:30-31), you and millions of others are now in the Kingdom of God. They and many others could have taken the normal, beaten path, but they would not have changed history. God's highway appears before you (Isaiah 35:8) and you need to start thanking Him for the interruption. Rejoice for the detour God has placed in front of you. Do not run from it. Many will be blessed because you said, “God, I don't recognize this path, I have never been here before, but because You say so, I will follow Your detour for me.” Remember, no one said you have to understand the detour God is making you go through...that will come later. As for now, take a deep breath, slow down and enjoy the view. Simply keep your eye on Jesus and He'll let you know which exit to get off (1 Samuel 3:10).
February 25, 2009
I was driving to a lunch appointment with a Pastor when I came upon a detour. Because of the detour, traffic became snarled and I was barely moving. I checked the time and knew that if this traffic didn't clear up soon, I was going to be late. I almost fell into an irritated state, when God's presence came upon me. I sensed the Father saying, “I have placed many of My children on a Divine Detour and they do not know it.” SOME ARE FACING UNEXPECTED ROAD BLOCKS IN THEIR WALK WITH GOD... Generally, everything seemed to be going smoothly for you. Most battles were easily won and temptations (although constant) didn't usually trip you (1 Corinthians 10:13). Then all hell broke loose. Those things that you used to handle with ease suddenly overwhelmed you and you wondered, Where did your strength go (Psalm 6:2)? So there you are, called by God and following His plans the best you knew how, when things start to go downhill. Your spirit used to soar with enthusiasm, but now it is hard to get out of bed. Fear not, God is preparing something new for you, but to bring it forth (here comes that word), pruning must take place (John 15:2). You didn't ask for this, but now you must fight the battle (Ephesians 6:11-12). You must bite the bullet and keep moving forward--tremendous rewards await you if you do not quit (Philippians 1:6). You decide to keep moving (Philippians 4:13). God nods His approval. SOME THINK THEY ARE HARDLY MOVING AND SEE NO PROGRESS AT ALL... You are wrong! If God would have allowed you to keep on the same old path you were on (Proverbs 14:12), you would have missed the opportunity (and blessings) He is about to show you. Often, God forcefully detours us so we will head into the harvest He has for us (John 4:38). Sometimes, more is accomplished in the spiritual realm when He makes us wait (Isaiah 40:31) than when we are “busy for God.” Don't panic because nothing seems to be happening. He has pushed the “divine pause button” to bring you to Him and sit in His presence, something He has been trying to get you to do for some time now (Matthew 11:28-30). Yes, you are moving, only this time He is carrying you. Yes, progress is being made, but this time He is directing it. You prayed for this long ago, so don't fight it. You now relax...as He takes over!
Part 2 is coming soon.....
February 20, 2009
February 15, 2009
She wants so badly to prove to herself that she can make it on her own, but I just don't know! The Dr's. are wanting her to go into a Rehab unit for about a month to get her leg healed, but she's afraid she won't get to ever go back home....and I can understand that! However, the Dr. says if she doesn't, she could lose her leg! And on and on it goes.......
I just wish that sometimes the best of the best in God's garden didn't have to have it so hard! Sometimes God allows things for reasons we never, ever know or understand....."His ways are higher than our ways." Maybe it is for someone else's growth or lesson. Ann would say it was worth it. It is so hard sometimes to step out of this fleshly body that we are in and lay everything at the foot of the cross and let God do His work. Why is it that we think we can do things different??
God, you are the only one that can take my heart and ease it's pain. I hurt because Ann is hurting and I don't want her to. But, I'm not asking or begging anything except change MY heart to accept your ways. I trust You and You alone. I love you, Lord.....I love you.
February 9, 2009
January 27, 2009
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven (Ps 107:29-30). Imagine for a moment you began an exciting sailing adventure. You've been trained to navigate and sail on the ocean and be ready should trouble arise. You are confident you can handle the challenge. However, midway in the journey your resources have dried up. It almost seems God has intentionally destroyed all the skills you have to deal with the weather and the obstacles and your sails are now damaged. Even your engine has broken down. And to make matters even worse, your oars were lost overboard. You are stuck in the middle of the ocean and there is no wind to propel your boat. You are, as they say, "up the creek without a paddle." All of this leads you to the end of yourself and you say, "Lord, I don't know why you brought me out here only to die." The silence is deafening. Finally, the Lord speaks, "Yes, you are right. I did bring you out here. I did destroy your sails. I did break your engine. And yes, I do want you dead. Not in a physical sense, mind you, but in a spiritual sense. In order that you may LIVE."
"You see my child, you are nothing without Me. You cannot do anything without my grace and power in your life." The sailor quietly yields. Suddenly, a gentle wave lifts the front of the boat. An easterly wind blows through the broken sail moving the boat in the right direction. You realize God is moving your boat! Your role now is to steer it. Do your sails no longer have wind to move you? Is your engine broken? Does it feel like God has propelled you into the open sea only to stop midway with no options? Perhaps He is saying it is time to die in order that He might live through you. Give the Lord total control today and you will see His wind moving through your tattered sails........
My song for you today, my friend!
January 26, 2009
Ann is doing fairly well and now has to turn her focus to herself. She has always taken care of others first and let herself go last, but it can't be that way anymore. We will stop by and see her on the way home tomorrow.
Looking forward to going home and getting back into my own surroundings, even if it is unpacked boxes!
January 22, 2009
It has been furious here trying to get ready to go because we have moved twice in the past year and I am too old and tired for this! I can't find my knee highs, much less anything that will fit besides my jeans and T shirts! It will be OK....something will work out. Trying to be positive here.......lol
Will try to post in the next few days.....don't know that I can explain my heart strings right now. Joy that Jerry is at peace and has no more pain, but yet such heart hurts for those that don't know how to let go....
"Oh, God, ease their pain, comfort their spirit and emptiness. Fill them, Lord with your overflowing love and healing. Touch the innermost parts of their heart, the deep, deep part that can't let go. Oh, Lord wrap your loving arms around them and draw them close to you like a Daddy cuddles his child. I love you, Lord.......I love you."
January 20, 2009
The next two are just PICS of our back yard......
January 19, 2009
1 box (containing 10) Hostess Twinkies
¼ cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
½ gallon coffee (or coffee and chocolate) ice cream, softened slightly
½ cup bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated chocolate shavings or sprinkles
Slice each Twinkie in half lengthwise. Line a 8½- by 4½-inch loaf pan lengthwise with two 18-inch-long sheets of plastic wrap, overlapping the sheets slightly in the center of the pan and letting the excess plastic wrap hang over all sides.
Place 5 Twinkie halves, cream side up, crosswise in the pan. Using a pastry brush, generously apply some of the coffee to the cut side of each Twinkie. Spoon about a ½-inch layer of softened ice cream over the Twinkies. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of grated chocolate. Arrange another 5 Twinkie halves on top of the chocolate, cream side up, brush with coffee and top with another ½-inch layer of ice cream and another 2 tablespoons of chocolate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of ice cream. Smooth the top, pressing down firmly. Pan should be filled to just above the rim. Fold plastic wrap over top of cake. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
To serve, carefully unfold the plastic wrap from the top of the cake and use it to lift the cake out of the pan and carefully invert the Twinkie-Misu onto a platter. Remove and discard the plastic wrap. Sprinkle top with chocolate shavings and serve with Mocha Fudge Sauce.
Mocha Fudge Sauce (Makes 2 cups )
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Pinch of salt
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the brown sugar, corn syrup and espresso powder to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the cream and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Gary wasn't feeling well tonight and was off to bed early. I still have parts of the kitchen to clean and I wonder if I will ever get all this *stuff* unpacked! Yes, I still have boxes in my kitchen! I really think my friend, Liz in North Carolina, sent a bunch of her boxes of stuff when the moving van came. I want to get the stuff out of storage, but where am I gonna put it?? I am doing some serious cutting back. We have 3 Bdr's and 2 Baths here, but again, where did all this *stuff* come from??
Why do we have to accumulate *stuff* and get so attached to inanimate objects?? Ya know what?? I'm gonna get rid of a lot of the excess *stuff* I've been carrying around and get me some elbow room in my life!!
What about you?? What are you hanging onto from yesterday that has no more life than an old shoe with no mate and is just simply dead weight?? In 50 years, will it make a difference?? Probably not.......let it go, let it go, lay it down and let it go!! Don't let anything from yesterday hold you back from your tomorrows!! Let it go!
Maybe between now and tomorrow I can figure out how to post the PICS on here and show you our Snow Dog, Chrissy, and some other things. See ya tomorrow!
January 17, 2009
January 16, 2009
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanillla extract
1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1,000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!
January 14, 2009
My dear sweet hubby, Gary, sent me this email and I hope this comes through so you can see it......I think it's fantastic!! Enjoy!!
January 12, 2009
January 8, 2009
Greg and Sherry raise the most gorgeous horses! They have Solomon, Dollar, Frannie, Farrah, Tempest and Stormy, who is gonna be a Mommy in the spring! Tempest is her baby and and will be 2 years old this spring. I will post some Pics later and tell ya more about the horses then. Solomon and Dollar are Tennessee Walking Horses, Tempest, Stormy and Frannie are Rocky Mountain Horses and Frannie is a Paso Fino! They have some of the neatest personalities and we'll talk about them later., but until then their website is www.gaiteddreams.com and is in its growing stage, so check it often for new pics and info!
Hope you've had a great day and I'll see ya later!
12 servings (about 3 quarts)
6 cups water
7 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed
1 package (30 ounces) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
In a Dutch oven, combine the water and bouillon. Add cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Thicken with instant potatoes, if needed. Add cheese, bacon bits or sour cream on the side. Yummy!
This is the now. See, my heart has been very heavy today. My cousin that lives in GA is very sick. She is 5 years older than I am and we were raised together, so she is more like a sister. I call her every day and today she was very down, said she just didn't want to eat anymore. She has lymphedema and cellulitis in her legs and she is a diabetic. My only thread of hope is that she does know the Lord. My heart is heavy because I am very selfish and I don't want to lose her. My heart is sad and it hurts.
I was brought back from that place of heaviness today to a place of remembrance when we lived in Western N. Carolina. I was part of the Worship Dept at New Covenant Church in Clyde, NC for quite a few years. The choir was led by Elisabeth Price, a very dear friend and a mighty woman of God. There was a group of us women that worked on a song for uite a long time. It was done in Acapella in about 5 part harmony, I think. Bear in mind, I have never sung a song like that in my entire life, but it was at a special place and time, ordained by God.The name of the song was "Lift Thine Eyes," composer Felix Mendelssohn. I haven't yet learned how to add music to this blog, but I think I can stick in the link here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWmuLobEqJ4&feature=related
Of course, living in that section of the Smokies, lifting your eyes to the mountains wasn't a hard thing to do! Basically, the rest of the song was about "Lift your eyes to the mountains, where your help comes from." Paraphrased, of course! We never did sing that song in a service or anything, but the song was for someone at that particular place and time. That was then and this is now.
Well, I sank today! And how often do we sink and sink and don't take the time to look up and see where our help comes from?? OR, to look back and see where God has brought us from? How do we know where we're at, if we can't see where we've been?? I lifted my eyes to the mountains where my help comes from! My God created those mountains!
"Lord, I place my eyes on You and You alone. You are my strength, my help, my source and Redeemer! I know Ann is in the palm of your hand and please forgive me for being selfish. She belongs to you, not me. I love you, Lord.....I love you.
January 6, 2009
Of course where I'm at.....I can only wish for snow! This is the time the earth and mankind await the touch of the Almighty God for new birth. See, what's so cool about that is even tho we humans have seasons in our lives, we don't have to wait for spring or anything for that new birth touch. Cause it is available to us 24/7!! How awesome is that?!?!
"Thank you, Lord, that you are always with me and you never, never leave me. At my lowest point, your right there waiting on me to say, "Daddy, I fell. Please help me up!" Just like the little girl that falls and skins her knees and wants her Daddy........that is how you are to me! Thank you for adopting me and being my Daddy!! I love you, Lord!! Oh, how I love you!