Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The God of Jacob



1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.


A few days ago I was talking with a friend of mine and she told me that someone had told her that the God talked about in the Old Testament was not the same God of the New Testament. "What!!!", I said. God is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He doesn't change. It is us that do the changing. It is of great comfort to me that I know He doesn't change. I can always go to Him and He is always waiting for me, willing to listen, willing to talk.

Hope your day is filled with much love today and you enjoy God's earth trusting in Him rather than anything else as Jacob finally did. I love the story of Jacob because it shows me again how much we can mess up things but God can turn things around and work them for His good and ours. It's a good thing that the God of Jacob is the same God we have today and will be for all eternity.


Wellness Tip: Low Fat Does not Mean Eat More - Just remember to check the food label to make sure you are actually reducing your caloric intake and do not double-up on the servings consumed just because the food is "fat-free." Too many calories, whether from carbohydrates, protein, or fat will lead to weight gain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A psalm of praise

A psalm of praise. Of David.

1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.

2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.

4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.

5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.

7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.

11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,

12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.

14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.

16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.


Today's image is a gift from a dear friend several years ago. I looked and looked for the picture of it full of red Gerber Daisies, but couldn't find it. That's how it arrived at my house and came at a time I really needed a smile for my heart. Thank you Elaine.

I'm a bit frazzeled today, but I'll get over it. :) Cocoa Puff and I are on adventure away from home. It's time for every creature to have the opportunity to praise God don't you think?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Renewed day by day

2 Corinthians 4
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


I certainly feel the effects of outwardly wasting away these days but at the same time I can say I certainly feel the effects of being renewed day by day too. I think that's one of the reasons I wake up eager to see what new word God has for me each morning. My soul swells with each renewed understanding. Each morning I become more and more thankful for His presence in my life.

My iron level has dropped again. :( Why it is that I can't find a routine that will keep me on a level keel, I don't know. My days are busy with this and that and I seem to fit in most things I want to do, but those that I don't, stay on my 'to-do' list aggravating me and keeping me from enjoying the time I spend doing the enjoyable things. Sigh

It is true, the older I get the more I realize that my time on this earth is fleeting. Yesterday pastor Barber reminded just how important spending time with God and serving God really is when you look at the big picture. When we look at our lives here on this earth compared to what we know about our lives living eternally with God, it becomes crystal clear that our troubles here on earth are fleeting and there will come a time when we all will stand in judgment of how we spent our lives given to us here on earth. In my life, that's scary. That's what I'm thinking on today and am praying that God will show me ways to use my life each day the way He would have me use it.



Mustard Seed:

"You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Like a tree

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


This morning is house is quiet except for the soft meows of Cocoa Puff. Now, there is one more gentle cat. She lets the girls drag her around in what I know has to be the most uncomfortable positions and just bides her time until she can escape under the bed or some other secret hiding place. Who says cats aren't smart? Not me.

Today in SS we will be talking about our actions, good and bad. Here are some of the questions. I know I'll be thinking more on these today as we continue our studies in Genesis and today in chapter 32.

1. Why do we make matters worse rather than solve them?

2. Describe a time when your actions caught up with you and created big problems. What do you wish you had done before this point?

3. What messengers have you sent ahead to prepare you for a threatening situation? What clues got you ready for what you were about to face? Why do you thing Esau chose to bring 400 men along with him?

4. How are your past mistakes affecting your present and future possibilities? What is God's path out of that predicament? What other paths compete for your attention, offering false solutions?

5. How do you keep from making things worse when feeling regretful about a past action or series of actions?

6. Describe a time in your life when you come to terms with your own sin and mistakes. Was this process easy or hard?

7.In two or three sentences rewrite Genesis 32:9-12 as if it were your prayer to God.

8. How has God helped you to accept what comes? What has He taught you over time?

9. Is it always right to admit fault, no mater how the other person might receive the admission? Why; what else should I do?

10. Whey do you think Jacob saw the face of God in his reunion with Esau? Where have you seen God's touch?

11. The amazing truth is that dealing with our sin sets us free. The justification and fear are what enslave. We know this, but we don’t act upon it. Why?
12. Sin is sneaky. It is often the little things that trap us. Give examples in your life.

13. What person will embrace you as you deal with the sin you have done or are doing?

The key to freedom from our own sin, guilt, and brokenness is found when we practice godly humility. Let God show you what to do about past wrongs, and how to heal relationships.


Powerful heavy questions this morning. I'm just thankful that we have a Savior that we can go to for help with anything, the big and the small issues.

Hope your Sunday is a good one with rest in preparation for days ahead.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We are His people

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.


We all have expressed how thankful we are of our lives and the many blessing God has bestowed on us. Today I want to tell you how thankful I am for those that visit this blog. Those that are quiet and those that leave me messages. I feel your presence in my life.

I'll need to come back later and add some other thoughts. The girls are wake and you know what that means. :)

4:00 pm More thoughts: The girls are taking a nap. I really had a hard time getting them to go to sleep because I decided that we would go by Wendy's and pick up chicken nuggets to take to my mother’s house and eat lunch with her. We ate lunch and then went to see the chickens. They had no idea those cute little fuzzy feather balls might one day be their supper. I wish I didn't know that either. Anyway, coming back home, which is just three miles away on a country road, Anna went to sleep. Then she decided that was enough so it took me about an hour to get both the girls to sleep. Kimberly, I know you know all about how hard this is. I never remember it being this hard with Brent, but then again, he was my only child and I was at work most of the time.

It's relay for life time weekend here in Thomaston. Terri and Brent are participating and I'm participating by keeping the girls all day instead of the normal half day on Saturday. Thinking about relay for life makes me thankful too that there are so many that can be helped by joining forces to make a difference not only with the money raised, but the support felt and prayers sent up.

Soup et al.

When I lived in Charleston S.C. as a pre-teen I would spend my baby-sitting money on a Shrimp Salad from cafe in our neighborhood. Can you believe a child would do that! We'll to me it was the best ever and I've never forgotten it. I always look for Shrimp Salad recipes that might be like the one I remember and think I've found it. I haven't tried it yet, but when the girls are gone, I'm going to the grocery store, buy shrimp and stuff and see if this is the ONE! Wish me success!

SHRIMP SALAD OR POTATO SALAD

2 1/2-3 lb. boiled, shelled, deveined, chopped shrimp or
8 boiled peeled, med. Irish potatoes, chopped
1 c.green celery, chopped
1 lg. green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. canned pimento, chopped
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 tbsp. dried chives
Mayonnaise, salt, black pepper to taste

Do not use salad dressing. Combine shrimp (or potatoes), celery, green pepper, pimento, eggs and chives, salt and pepper; mix well. Add mayonnaise. Gradually, being careful not to use too much, sprinkle top with paprika. Garnish with sliced boiled egg, pickles, or strips of bell pepper, pretty on lettuce leaves.

Credit: Cooks.com

This recipe says either shrimp or potatoes, but I remember both being in the salad, so I'm going to use half and half. Again, I'll let you know.

I can't wait!

+++++++

I'm sure y'all have some of the same funny traditions we have so here's a flamingo for your cyber yard. Feel blessed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Holy Land


Matthew 1: 18-24

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”which is translated, “God with us.”

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.


I love this story!

Let's go to the Holy Land.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Genealogy

Matthew 1: 1-17

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.

4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.

5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,

6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.

8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah.

9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.

10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.

11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.

13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.

14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.

15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.

16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.


I have a friend who is all into genealogy. She spends hours and hours doing research and learning interesting details about her family. I, on the other hand, only have a fleeting interest in knowing the roots of my family. I'm not really sure why except for the fact that I know knowing all that wouldn't change who I am. Maybe there are deeper reasons but I don't even care to know that either. The confusing part to me is that I absolutely love history and can spend hours and hours reading and exploring the events and people that have lived before me. Perhaps it's because I like to see the big picture and leave the details to others. Perhaps it's because I don't want to do the historical research myself, but want to read what others say. I don't know.

The verses this morning and the genealogy listed are very important. It's not just a useless list, but rather it shows the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. That's the chief intention but looking deeper at the names, there are some I recognize immediately as not being such good people. This also serves as a marker for us to realize what a big deal it was for Jesus, who knew no sin, to come down to our level taking on the form of man. This is how much He loved us. It is for His sacrifice I am thankful for on this Thankful Thursday.

Oh, by-the-way, my brothers name is Willam Asa Russell. He was named after both our grandfathers, George William Slaughter and Asa Russell. I just realized I don't know the full name of my grandfather Russell. Guess I should do something about that at least.



Tom, Brent, Phyllis Franklin - Circa 1974



"Summer Love" - The Blackbyrds - Circa 1974

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Poor in spirit

Matthew 5: 3

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Yes, I'm still thinking about the beatitudes. Today I'm thinking about what it means to be poor in spirit. To me this seems a bit confusing because I don't think being poor anyway would be a good thing, but Jesus said those that are poor in spirit are blessed and I know He tells us the truth.

Looking back again at some notes I took last year, I list poor in spirit as meaning you know yourself. You know who you are in Christ. It's an attitude of humility. When we get to the point in our lives where we completely give ourselves away in humility to God, we receive the gift of heaven. We have to realize that we can't save ourselves, only Jesus can do that. We have to realize that we can do nothing or be nothing without Him. Accepting Jesus as our saviour is the ultimate answer to what it truly means to be poor in spirit. We are weak; He is strong.



Wellness tip: When you first start walking, a ten minute walk is ten minutes better than not walking at all. If you can block out 10 minutes for a daily walk chances are you will have days your walk can be longer. It's all in getting started and that's what I'm going to do today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blessed vs Blessed

Luke 6: 20-23

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.




Yesterday my mind stayed on the verses in Matthew called the Beatitudes. As I’ve mentioned before, most of the time I like to read my King James version of the Bible mainly because that is what I began with and memorized verses in GA’s (Girls Auxiliary). I also like my NIV study Bible and my Life Application Bible. When I read the Beatitudes, I always say Bless-ed be… I’m not sure why other than what I have heard all my life.

Last year in Sunday School we began studies in Matthew and ran into the question as to if the word blessed in Matthew 5 was pronounced blessed or bless-ed. I suppose it doesn’t really doesn’t matter much except when you dig deeper and begin to think how the word gets translated and how it’s used in our English language today and then how it relates to us personally. I remembered that I made notes and went to find them in my journal. It seems the word “bless-ed” means something like a congratulation or approval by God. Translations from Greek word makarios found in both the Matthew 5 and Luke 6 writings of the Beatitudes do not carry the secular sense of happy or fortunate. At the same time, if you find yourself bless-ed you surely would be blessed, wouldn’t you?

When a person says “I am blessed” that usually means that God did something for them, that they are happy or fortunate. When a person says “I am bless-ed” that usually relates to the nature, constitution or condition of that person. It’s the difference between using the word as an adjective, noun or past tense verb. This confusion, which I fully admit I still have, is all the more proof that translators have a HUGE job.

As I thought more about being bless-ed or being blessed, I decided I wanted both. I want God to approve of me and I want to reap the rewards of being approved. I want to be bless-ed and I want to be blessed. I’ll think on this some more, I’m sure.



Today's photo is of a favorite tea cup of mine. I got it a couple of years ago as a present to myself while shopping in the gift shop of Kanapaha Gardens in Florida. When I want to feel really prissy with my tea making I pull out this cup. As you can see, it has it's own strainer and a lid to keep the tea warm until it's brewed just the way you want it. I've looked for others like it but haven't seen any. I'd like to have at least another one so I could share my little secret ritual with a friend. In the meantime, I guess Cocoa Puff won't feel too left out. I don't think she likes tea that much.

Happy earth day. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Am I "Blessed"?

The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:1-12
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Somehow reading familiar passages is comforting to me but still, I have to be on guard against just skimming over passages thinking they have nothing new to tell me. When I catch myself doing this I stop and ask God to slow me down. In my comfort state it might not seem that I need to be slowed down, but being in the comfort zone is just the place where you can let things slip by without noticing. Have you ever been driving to a destination and when you arrived didn't remember going thru a particular street or city? That's scary.

As I look at the Beatitudes this morning I noticed that these are all promises from God. He tells us that we are "Blessed" when we fulfil each of the actions He lists. What does the word "Blessed" mean? I suppose each of us have our own way of describing the word "Blessed". For me it's certainly worthy of thinking on today. As Jesus taught then and teaches today, where do I fit in? Am I blessed? Am I doing what He would have me do under each of these circumstances? In some areas I am strong and others weak. Yes, I am blessed... but only through His power.


Carley Ann learning to paint finger nails.



Mustard Seed: It doesn't matter how much you mess up, God is always loving you, guiding you, and proud of all your efforts just like we are of our children.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The King of glory

Psalm 24

1 The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.



Mr. Cason's vegetable garden at Callaway Gardens

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A new heaven and a new earth

2 Peter 3: 10-18

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.



It's the middle of the night and I'm awake for who knows what reason. The TV 24/7 news program blasts the problems of the moment and I shake my head. Anna Claire sleeps peaceful in my bed and I find myself weepy over her beauty and innocence. I pick up my bible to continue reading the books of Peter and am reminded again that this earth is not going to continue. I almost want to say duh. The only thing is, God is so good. It's His mercy and goodness that continues forever and I am thankful for that.

Peter asks us to be on guard so we don't follow the wrong path. He asks us to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am happy to do that each day, step-by-step, moment-by-moment until God decides it's time for a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime I'll enjoy this earth and life He has given to me and be thankful for all the blessings in my life.



SESAME SALAD DRESSING

1/2 cup corn syrup
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds


This yummy recipe is good over a mixed green salad, throw in some mandarin orange slices, apple, pineapple or avocado depending on your taste of the day. It's also a good rub to use when grilling chicken to use in your salad. The dressing recipe is based on Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad dressing. When I make this I open a small can of pineapple slices and use the juice in my dressing recipe and the pineapple in the green salad.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Time?

2 Peter 3: 1-9

1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


Here on this earth we measure time but the scripture above tells us that the Lord's day can't be measured. It's a mystery. How can there be no time? The only thing I know about having no time is measured by time. :) When these verses were written, the apostles expected Jesus Christ to return shortly. They were measuring time just like we do by what we know about time.

As I think on these words today I'll be thinking about time and about the return of Jesus and remembering that we don't know when He will choose to come for us. We just need to be ready, but I don't think we need to pack anything. :) It must be truly grand not to worry about time.

Vicky and Danny Smith, members of my church, are going to travel to Moldova next week to take Bibles and talk to the people there about Jesus Christ. I thought you might like to see some photos of where they are going and pray with me that their trip will be successful and they will have a safe journey there and back.

http://www.harvestmoldova.org/photo_albums/albums/countryside_album/index.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What has mastered you?

2 Peter 2

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;

5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men

8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—

9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.

10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;

11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.

12 But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.

14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!

15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."


Last night in prayer meeting we looked at Genesis 25 where Abraham died. I forget how old he was but 175 sticks in my mind. That's a long time to live. We talked about his life and the mistakes he made but how through it all he was a testimony to the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord and a good example to his families. That's a goal worthy to reach for.

Reading this morning in Second Peter, I find myself again thinking about Abraham and his faithfulness and role models. In this day it's easy to find people we admire that seem to live the kind of spiritual life we wish we lived. Still, we just can't use them as our spiritual yardstick no matter how good they happen to be if heaven is our goal because people are human after all and subject to mistakes. Jesus Christ should be the only yardstick we have. When we accept Him as our master, all else falls in place and we don't have to worry about false teachers or prophets. We listen to Him and measure all else by what He says. Peter is trying to tell us that we have to be on the look out and guard against people or anything that might become masters of our hearts and souls.

Bottom line, there is no spiritual path to follow excepting that given to us by Jesus Christ. Be on guard. Yesterday, today and tomorrow there will be those that offer a path that seems the right one and may even borrow His teachings and His words to bend them for their own purposes. Following after them instead of following Jesus Christ would be, well, just wrong.

Today I am thankful for the blessings in my life and the beauty of this earth.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Eyewitness

2 Peter 1: 12-21

12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,

14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.

21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


I do believe that the Bible is written by men inspired totally by God and am thankful that those words were transcribed and continue to be transcribed into Bibles that we can understand today. I've mentioned before that I really like the King James Version as literature but have to admit when I don't understand a passage, I turn to NIV or other translations. I think that is what we should do.

Last Sunday our pastor mentioned having a copy of the Wyclif Bible. He didn't mean an original copy. Looking up some facts, it looks like only about 250 original copies of that translation survive for us to see today.

It is amazing to me how much our own English language has changed and continues to change each year. Why just going from one side of the state of Georgia to the other, I find some words have different meanings so it boggles my mind when I think about what a huge task it must have been to take the different writings and translate them into the word of the day. That task continues even today. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the original papers of the entire Bible to translate from?

Look at this from the Wyclif Bible John 3:16 - "For God louede so the world that he yaf his oon bigetun sone, that ech man that beliueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf." Well, at least I can make out a bit of what the words mean. I admire and am thankful for those that study the languages of ancient Palestine which the Bible was originally written in, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and have the ability to translate those words into languages we can understand.

Today will be a busy day for me as I have several projects to finish up. Hope your day is a good one and you feel the blessings of God with each step you take.

The wellness tip for today comes from Realage.com

"Three foods your arteries can't get enough of: onions, celery, and parsley.

Whether you add them to soups, relish dishes, sandwiches, or salads, improving the health of your arteries may be as simple as munching on these flavor boosters. People who eat more flavonoid-rich veggies like these cut their risk of hardening of the arteries -- especially in the legs -- in half. "

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

His Divine Power


2 Peter 1:3-11

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;

6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Yes! We have everything we need in Jesus Christ. I remember a class I was in asked us to start listing down the promises that God has given to all of us. It seemed to me every time I opened my Bible a promise popped up waving it's words with delight. That was a good exercise and one that I think I might do again. Oh, I know you can buy books with the promises already listed, but it's not the same as finding them yourself.

I'm praising God this morning for His word and His promises. I'm thankful that I hear His voice in that sweet inner place in my heart and soul.



I'm also thankful today that I can again show you something from my house that I treasure as part of my heritage. This is my Blue Bubble Depression glass passed down from various members of my family and added to as I find them. I'm looking forward to doing a luncheon soon with these... now on to the recipes. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Abundant grace and peace

2 Peter 1

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.


These are short verses from Second Peter this morning but so important I wanted to stop and think on these today. It's comforting to know that we have grace and peace in abundance through the knowledge we have about God and Jesus who is our Lord. That's why it's important for us to continue to study. It's in the constant seeking that we become more and more what God would have us be.

Just like our relationships here on this earth are dependent on nurture, so is our relationship with God. As a Baptist, I believe that once you are saved, you are always SAVED. Some say that this belief gives Baptists license to sin without consequences. Not true. What I believe is that if you are truly saved you will not want to sin and you will not want to be or go anywhere else except walk with Jesus.

As Christians we are not exempt from sin, but when we do sin, we have that tug at our hearts that compels us to ask for forgiveness. Those that are not truly saved don't have this tug. That's what I believe. Another thing to understand is that Jesus, as our Shepherd, is always taking care of us and if we stray, is always calling and looking for us. That's another way we know we are His. Once you are saved you always hear His voice. Sometimes some might try to ignore His voice, but He will always call. That's the once saved always saved call, or you could put it another way and say once His always His.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A kiss of love

1 Peter 5: 12-14

12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.


Here in America I don't often see people greeting each other physically with a kiss of love, but in many cultures they do. Still, even if we don't physically greet each other with a kiss, we can in our hearts. What it all means is if our hearts are right, then everything else will fall in place too. It really is true.

It's said that little children can melt even the most hardened hearts. We see examples of this all the time with little children turning grumpy old men and women into happy, smiling beings just by being around.

Another thing that is said all the time in our culture is "If mama is happy, everyone is happy." That's true because so much of the time it is the woman of the household that sets the tone. Of course, this is true of daddies too, but the meaning of the saying is true.

Today I'm going to be thinking and praying about the greeting I send out each time I meet someone. I may not have any difficulty with this on the surface, but digging deeper, I know there is much to work on.



Carley Ann and friend Grace

Saturday, April 12, 2008

To Him be the power


1 Peter 5: 5-11
5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.


Oh what glorious words this morning. To Him be the power forever and ever says it all. No matter what happens to us He is with us, He cares for us, and in the end He will win it all for us. That's how much He loves us!

Again I see we are reminded to keep a watchful eye for the devil. It's funny to me that Peter would talk about the devil being like a lion. Just the other day I was watching a National Geographic program about lions and how really tricky they are. First of all, the lions send out the females to hunt and bring back food, they just walk around roaring and keeping their pride in check. That's about what the devil does too. Most of the time he really doesn't have to do anything. We do it for him. It's just his presence that keeps us doing what he wants us to do. That is why it is so important to keep our eyes, hearts and minds on Jesus Christ. It's true, what you dwell on is what you become.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Sweet Potato fries without frying

Spray or oil a sheet pan. Preheat oven to 400.

Microwave 3 large sweet potatoes for about 4 minutes. They should be just starting to soften but not soft. Let them cool in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Peal them and slice into fries. Put 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour in a flat dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the fries in the flour and shake off all excess flour in a net strainer or colander. Place fries on baking dish. Spray with non-stick olive oil or canola oil spray. Bake about half done, turnover fries and re-spray. When they are almost toasty brown, spray them one more time. Serve hot.
I've eaten sweet potato fries all my life. I can remember walking down to Mrs. Jackson's house and she would make me fries to eat with cane syrup. It's good to have memories that anchor you to your heritage.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Crown of Glory

1 Peter 5: 1-4

1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;

3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.


As mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, wives, husbands, co-workers, friends and all those other relationship we have on this earth, we are charged by God as caretakers of those relationships. It's a big responsibilty, but God tells us that if we take good care of those He has entrusted to us, we will have the reward of a crown of glory. I'd like to think about this today and turn it over in my heart. I know the only way to really be a good caretaker is to be the kind of person God would have me be. These are awesome words from God today.

Hope you enjoy your day!


Come visit with me and walk around my yard. Mind you, I haven't been working in my yard for the past two years and the weeds and shrubs that birds plant have grown up in the azalea beds. But, even they are beautiful. I've so enjoyed being able to get out and do a few things this spring. My leg, hip and tail bone seem to like it, and only grumble a bit. Thank God for Allison too, who helps me in the yard.











Thursday, April 10, 2008

Suffering for being a Christian

1 Peter 4: 12-19

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.

16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

18 And,
"If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

19 So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.


In today's world there are many who claim to be Christians. I am one of them. It's really hard to claim the name Christian when the world sees Christians in so many different lights. I suppose they are right because I too see many that are calling themselves Christians that don't believe as I do and I wonder if they realize the difference.

What does it mean to be a Christian? First of all, and most important, you have to be a follower of Jesus Christ and believe He died on the cross to pay for all our sins, in full. I suppose that's it in a nutshell.

On the internet, TV, radio and even in some churches, we are being spoon feed what seems like a type of religion, but in fact is just another wave of new age thinking. They leave out the most important thing. They are all about doing good, giving away material things, and seeking a "higher power". Baloney! You know what baloney is... it's a mixture of all kinds of throw away stuff. Something you wouldn't eat if you knew what it was really made of.

I worry about my granddaughters and how they will cope with the dangers of the world as it continues down the path of what appears to me as destruction. Just in my lifetime I have seen so many changes that it boggles my mind. There is no telling what will happen in the next twenty years if God sees fit to let our world continue.

Anyway, on this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful that I serve a living God, that my family is safe and secure, that my grandchildren have Christian parents and thankful for the beauty in my backyard that blesses my heart each time I walk outside.

Enjoy your day on God’s earth.



I had fun today taking photos of my yard. I don't think Cocoa Puff liked getting photographed. :) Or, maybe she just wasn't ready for her close-up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Living for God



1 Peter 4: 1-11

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.

2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.

5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.

Amen.


Yesterday was a frazzled day. It all started with an upset stomach, which took up entirely too much time. I didn't have time to be sick. Who knows why my stomach was upset, it just was, but all is better now. By the time my stomach was better it was already daylight and I had to get moving with the things planned for the day. I missed my morning devotion and for the rest of the day I didn't feel quiet right.

It was late in the day before I settled back into my home. During the day I had taken care of car maintenance and got new tires. 5 Star Tire & Auto has a nice comfortable waiting room so I took advantage of that and pulled out my book to read. The author was talking about snow and how the snow covers the ground with a blanket of white making everything look so clean. He went on to say that this is the same thing that Jesus Christ did and does for us, His love covers our sins. We don't have much snow here in west central Georgia, but when it does snow, it's beautiful. As I continued to think about snow and about God's grace my mind jumped to singing "Jesus paid it all". When I woke this morning I was still thinking about that song so I went to You Tube and found a clip. Enjoy. I did. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Harmony

1 Peter 3: 8-22

8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

10 For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.

11 He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison

20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.


My heart is heavy this morning with lots of earthly concerns. God, through his Word, speaks to me and tells me he has all of us in his hands. My prayer for today is directly from this passage. At prayer breakfast this morning I jokingly asked that everyone pray for my car. Still, I know that God cares even about needs like what to do about sick cars when the caretaker of that car knows nothing about them and has just in the past few years learn how to pump gas!

My routine is off today and I feel a bit frazzled. Still, deep in my heart I know everything is well for I am proud to be called one of his sheep and am glad to find comfort and everything I need with my Shepard.



Today I wanted to show you what greets me each time I walk into my side door entry to my house. It's a welcome plaque that has moved with me from house to house since I first began housekeeping. The roses in the blue and white pitcher remind me of those that my grandmother grew outside her house. I love reminders like this and do treasure each memory that comes from keeping them close.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wives and Husbands

1 Peter 3: 1-7

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.

4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,

6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.


There is nothing better on this earth for a wife and husband to love each other. When you fall in love with someone your every move and thought is all about pleasing them and wanting them to return that love. They truly become the master of your heart. Some people take exception to the word submit, but stop and think. The word means nothing more than what your heart does willingly when your love becomes it's master.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Overseer of your souls



1 Peter 2:13-25

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,

14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.

20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 "He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth."

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.


The idea that we would suffer for doing good is foreign to me. How would one do that? I can understand the suffering one might experience by living a Christian life in a society that doesn't accept Christianity, but just ordinary, everyday, doing good? How could one suffer for doing that? The more I thought about suffering for doing good and trying to think of examples in my own life, the more examples I found. Yes, you can suffer for doing good. I've been on both sides of this equation.

When I worked in the corporate world I had a co-worker who was always cheerful but really, really, REALLY, cheerful each morning when she came in the back door to our building which lead her right by my office. I always arrived early to work so I could settle in and get organized for the day, so I was always the first recipient of her cheer. I've always valued and protected my morning rituals as my special time, not to be interrupted by unimportant things and other annoyances. I like to ease into my morning and not be jerked into any action. This cheerful person had become an annoyance to me. She interrupted my quiet ritual and demanded I pay attention to her song each and every morning and there was no getting around it. She had her routine and I had mine. She was doing “good” but I didn't appreciate the thought. One morning, in my desperation, I lashed out and asked her if she could be just a little quite when she came in. She was crushed. She thought she was bring cheer to what she perceived as an office that was much too serious and sadly quiet. I still think about this from time to time and am disappointed in myself for lashing out to such a sweet spirit of a girl. I apologized but still, there was no undoing my action.

This morning I am thankful to the small blessings of life and for the not so small sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for all of us. I am thankful that even when we stray, He is there seeking and waiting for us. I am thankful that He is the overseer of our souls and we have His example to follow in all things.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The goal of your faith

1 Peter 2: 3-12

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,

5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.


This morning’s devotion time was cut short by the cries of Anna Claire who spent the night last night. Oh that precious child and how loving she is. She is at the age where she demands attention and I am happy to give it. On the days that she is here my schedule takes a vacation. I am all hers until I fall on the couch in exhaustion and patiently wait for her mother to come get her.

The house is quiet now. No little screams of delight with each new toy found, pulled out and left on the floor, no pounding of little feet running up and down the hall with sticky fingers tapping the wall all the way, no little head peeking around the corner saying peek-a-boo. What pleasure silence is. :) I already miss her.

Reading the verses over for this morning and getting a second chance at devotion time is also a pleasure and one I miss when it gets interrupted. Some how my day just doesn't feel complete without time alone with God. Words of comfort again from Peter feel good. I don't think there has ever been a time in my life when I didn't have faith in Jesus Christ but can well imagine how hard it might be for some. After all, we are asked to believe in something we can not see.

Maybe about 20 years ago I took a class called Experiencing God. One of the exercises asked us to set aside an entire afternoon to pray. I thought it was going to be an impossible task for me as I had no idea what I would pray about for longer than 30 minutes much less an entire afternoon. When the day came I went upstairs to my room with Bible in hand and spent my afternoon in prayer. I will never forget that afternoon as long as I live. I only wish I had words to describe how close to God I felt and how much I want that same experience for everyone even as angels long to look into these things.

Enjoy your day.



Chicken Pitas
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut in half
8 Romaine lettuce leaves

Preparation
Combine first 11 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Line each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf; fill each half with 1/3 cup chicken mixture.
Yield
4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 471(30% from fat); FAT 15.5g (sat 2.5g,mono 5.4g,poly 6.2g); PROTEIN 36.8g; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 98mg; SODIUM 776mg; FIBER 7.2g; IRON 3.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.8g


Michele Powers , Cooking Light, MAY 2007 Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spiritual milk

1 Peter 2: 1-3
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


These are powerful words this morning from Peter. I admire those that have the gift of condensing what they want to say down to just a few words forcing thoughts into our heads that linger all day. This is what Peter does here with the beginning words of this chapter. Today we call this a writer’s hook.

In my own life there have been times when I did have malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander thriving within me. Even today I know I am capable of these sins and guard against them. Still, I'm not always successful. The older I get the more grateful I am for the power of Jesus Christ, His love and His sacrifice. God is good and His mercy endures forever, thank God.



Travel virtually with me today to a place I hope to visit one day, the Cotswolds. I was first introduced to the Cotswolds through a special devotion book, Meeting God in Quite Places, by F. LaGard Smith. Reading Smith's book about his time in the Cotswolds makes me know already that visiting a few days will not be enough. Still, if I could steal a few days away, this is a place I want to go. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

From the heart


1 Peter: 13-25
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,

25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.


Carley Ann spent the night with me last night. When we crawled into bed I asked her if she wanted to say her prayers and she said no but she would hear mine. So, I prayed out loud and then Carley added her prayer to mine. You see, this just proves that sometimes we need a jump start to get us going. We all need each other, learn, grow and depend on each other to keep us going.

I'm thankful today that God never gives up on us and keeps us going. I’m thankful He is always there ready to listen to us and help us live our lives here on earth. I am thankful for His word that stands forever.

For some reason Anna Claire and Carley Ann have become fascinated with ants. I think last night was the first time I've ever prayed for or rather about ants. I am thankful for the wonder of little children. The last thing Carley Ann said to me before she went to sleep was "Memama, I love you in my heart." Today I am thankful for all the love in our hearts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Refined by fire

1 Peter: 1-12

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.


3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,

5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.


Thank you Lord for loving me so much and for your daily presence in my life here on this earth.



Wellness - Enjoy Spring

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prayer offered in faith

James 5: 13-20

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,

20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


What wonderful verses to read this morning. God wants to hear from us no matter what. Being able to tell God what is on our hearts when we are troubled or sing praises when we are happy makes for the kind of relationship God wants.



Several times during my childhood my mother, brother and I would come to live next door to my grandmother while my father continued his career with the army. During those times I learned how to be a southern lady and do all the things southern ladies do. Oh do I ever have stories to tell about those days, but today I want to show you my grandmother's wooden flour bowl. I'm so honored to have it and do keep it as one of my special treasures filling it with different things as the days go by. I've even used it to hold my flour while I made biscuits but not three times a day like my grandmother did. :)

Hope you have an awesome praise God day today!

Word of the day.

.:.