Sunday, November 28, 2010
Years ago my mother went to visit a friend at Christmas. She was a widow and former minster's wife who grew up near us and our families were close. She now lived in a retirement condo. When my mother got there she rang the bell and greeted her with a hug and a big platter of homemade cookies...
Our friend had her dining room table set with her best Christmas china, silver, crystal and serving pieces... and beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. Everything sparkled and the Christmas music was playing in the background
My mother said, "Oh, I didn't know you were having a party. I'll just drop these cookies and run". Her friend quietly said..."Oh no, no one is coming, the family is all scattered and far away and it's just me now, but I always set the table for our family dinner like I did in the old days, it makes me feel like they are still all around me and I can remember how it was when they were all here...
My mom left with tears in her eyes that day....
A gentle reminder to me and to each of us that there are many lonely hearts out there who need to be remembered this Christmas. Lots of families are hurting this year, for many reasons. Emotions intensify during special holidays, and maybe most of all during Christmas.... it takes so little to reach out and give a smile or a word of encouragement, maybe some Christmas cookies, or sharing a favorite recipe.
There is always room in our lives to help someone when the need is genuine, and... as with all gifts from our hearts...
WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE BLESSED!!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This sits about 5 minutes from where I live. Every time I go there for 10 grain bread... THIS is what I am faced with!!
I always look... every time!
But very seldom do I buy what's in that case, not never, just very seldom! If I bought something every time I was tempted, I would be huge! I love that stuff, particularly the little key lime tarts. Sweets are a serious temptation for me...
This case in all of it's eye catching dazzle, reminds me a little bit of the lure of sin. I don't mean murder or stealing or those 'big ones', I mean the subtle sins that pull us in... sins of the thoughts, or the tongue, or even wrong desires... Sin can sometimes look so appealing, it can draw us in if we aren't on guard, and the consequences are much worse than a pound on the hips! I usually don't stand around and study everything in that case, I just get the bread and get gone!
It's funny... the 10 grain bread is just stacked up in loaves in plain clear plastic bags on the counter... but the little beauties in the glass case are displayed in doilies, perfect rows, and little fluted cups... it pulls my eyes toward it every time I go in there.
It isn't the 10 grain bread that tempts me...This is not a perfect illustration... with sin, we are told NOT to yield, whatever the lure might be, God has made that plain in His Word. He has also provided the strength for us NOT to sin!
With pastries... maybe once in awhile...
I was there this week, gave a quick up and down glance at the curved glass case, and quickly turned away...
"So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life." (James 4:7 The Message)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Oh boy! This is one chapter I know none of the 3 of us will forget...
When dad preached in little churches during our summer travels, often the church didn't really have enough extra money in the budget to pay the evangelist they had invited to preach... my dad.
Dad never worried about that. He knew if he had been called to go and preach, that God would provide.
I remember many services when we, the preachers family, would be seated in the front, and the church pastor would announce the 'love offering'. He often went on at length, about this 'dear family' who had traveled so far, and needed the offering to provide their needs... so the people were told to be sure to DIG DEEP for this family... us!...
Knowing my dad, he was probably bowing his head and praying during those times, and my mother was no doubt feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable, while the 3 of us just squirmed!
Nickels, dimes and quarters went into that plate, and the end result was always the same... God provided our needs! ( I would have chosen a different method, I'm sure...)
But I've also never forgotten... the love and kindness of those church people, the faithfulness of my mom and dad, or the sometimes unusual but humorous variety of ways that God always provided for us!
"And my God will liberally supply ([fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil.4:19 Amplified)
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Double click on You Tube to enlarge...
This may be a 'random act of culture' for some, but for me... it's a celebration of the King of Kings, right smack in the middle of Macy's!
Isn't it interesting that the whole world sings about The King of Kings at Christmas, even if they may not know Him yet.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths."
I love the way the Amplified Bible 'amplifies'...
If I am leaning, trusting and confident in God with my whole heart and mind, and NOT NOT NOT relying on my own understanding (or lack of it), and if I know and acknowledge Him... HE will direct, lead and make clear to me...what??
Everything! Everything I need, everything I need to know... ALL of it!
It's like my dad used to say about the word 'all'... all he could ever find 'all' to mean was ALL...
All... everything. That's not a hope, that's a promise!! BIG difference. Our hopes are only certain if we are trusting God, otherwise it's a human hope based on our limitations... hollow.
God's promises contain all, everything that we need, they are meant to be lived and fulfilled in my life and yours. We are HIS children, the promises were given to us, and backed by all the power of the designer, creator and fulfiller of life itself... God almighty!
What on earth are we waiting for??
God's promises to us cover every situation that life can ever throw our way. His grace is ready to forgive anything and everything we have ever done wrong. When I stop and think about this... I am the most blessed person I have ever known... and so are you!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
"Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:
Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use.
However, this prize has rules, just as any game has certain rules.
The first set of rules would be:
Everything that you didn't spend during each day
would be taken away from you.
You can not simply transfer money into some other account.
You can only spend it.
Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.
The second set of rules:The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, it’s over, the game is over!
It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
ACTUALLY This GAME is REALITY!
Each of us is in possession of such a bank. We just can't seem to see it.
The BANK is TIME!
Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
What we haven't lived up to that day is forever lost.
Yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but GOD can dissolve your account at any time....WITHOUT WARNING.
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.
... time races by so much quicker than you think. Start spending. Your life is a deposit from GOD!"
" So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Ps.90:12 NKJV)
Monday, November 1, 2010
So, of course when I came across that today, it started my brain to churn... which category do I fall into??...
I don't mind being called a religious nut if it's for valid reasons. I know that some non-believers would label me a nut... that's okay, I DO want my life to be different, there are times when it will look odd... I have been saved by the grace of God, and that should sound and look different than the world. We have found what they are still searching for!
I know the fruits of the spirit, I've memorized them like you have, I've known them for years... I also am intentionally seeking God for more of those fruits to spring from my heart into action in my life. Those fruits are what He has said we are to be filled with.
But... I don't want to be the kind of 'religious nut' that talks the language and fails to live up to what I say... and I know I've been there too, as recently as yesterday (and today is still young)!
This will probably ruffle some feathers, but...
It's one of the reasons why I don't want Christian bumper stickers all over my car!
I know full well that I have honked my horn in impatience, or scurried through a more than pale yellow street light, etc. etc.... and I don't want someone to see a Christian symbol or saying on my car and think... 'look at her, another religious nut'... wears all those stickers and she's worse than the rest'... for some of you, that would never be a problem, for me... yes, it can be.
I also know that for people to label us that way can be a cop out on their part, an excuse to point the finger at another Christian to prove we are wrong and they are okay. But we are called to be "more", our fruit should identify us! That SHOULD make us look different. It's a responsibility that I want to live up to, and so often I'm sure I don't...
I grew up in California, where everyone was labeled as being 'from the land of fruits and nuts'... but I have lived in Texas for 45 years, and I can assure you that fruits and nuts live here too!
I think I'm a nut with some spiritual fruit, and desiring more...
Maybe by the time It's my turn to go to heaven, I will have grown enough in my faith and my walk and my witness that I will have stickers all over my car...
The bottom line on this one for me is... grow in my own faith and allow Him to walk this life more fully through me, that His fruits will be evident and growing in my life day by day, and.... no bumper stickers! ... well...maybe a small fish...