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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

COME Just as You Are!



Many churches now days are more relaxed in their dress code.  Come as You are! All are welcome here many churches will say.

I was reminded of a time when I was in Junior High School.  Our group of campfire girls had decided to have a party and it was to be a “Come as you are party.”

The leader of our group was to telephone each girl and what ever they were wearing at the time of the call that was to be worn to the party.

Early on Saturday morning our telephone rang and someone at the other end asked for me. I realized this might be the call that I expected and rather hoped it was NOT. I had just gotten out of bed, was still in my Pajamas, and slippers and my hair was not curled. I said to my-self, “This is a fine how do you do - - I am a mess !”

“Hello,” I said as I answered the phone. Hi, this is Patsy, and we are calling everyone to let them know the party has been cancelled. I was somewhat relieved, because I did not want to show up at a party dressed in my Pajamas. That would be terribly embarrassing!!

The Bible tells us that there is a time coming when Christ will return unannounced for His Saints. The trumpet will blow and all the believers will rise to meet the Lord Jesus.

This celebration will be a “COME AS YOU ARE” festivity.

For those who are not ready, there will NOT be time to change any spiritual clothing that may be dirty, soiled, torn or ugly. The Bible urges us to be prepared in our hears because we do not know the day or the hour – Only the Father knows that time and it will be a surprise party.

The Holy Scriptures tell us to be clothed in the robe of His righteousness, the garment of Salvation, the garment of praise and to be living according to God’s plan for our lives.

These beautiful spiritual garments are what I desire to be wearing when Jesus returns.

How about you? When He calls and says, “COME just as you are,” will you be ready?

I truly hope so, and if not, now is the time to make those adjustments while it is yet day.

* * * * * * *

This post has been linked to: “Changing the World One Word at a Time” The word is COME. Please visit and check out the other great posts at: http://peterpollock.com/2011/11/come-blog-carnival/

Also linked to “On Your Heart Blog Hop Tuesday.” Do visit there as well at: http://www.shandaoakleyinspires.com/2011/11/home-made-christmas-potpourri.html

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit is Self Control





Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Gleaning from Pastor Carl’s Sunday’s sermon on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit - - Self Control.

Self Control is essential first of all to control our tongue. The tongue is difficult to control and James states that even though it is a little member, it is able to create much fire.

The Fruit of Self Control will enable us to control our words, our temper, our attitudes, our appetites, our eating and drinking.

Pastor, spoke about our love for God should always be first in our lives. Our soul is worth more than riches, honor, fame - - or anything else in this world.

Jesus died so that we might live. He is the vine and we are the branches. All the fruit of the Holy Spirit is first in him, and then in us as we discover who we are in Christ.

Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is within you. As He is so are we. Out of the heart proceeds all manner of living either evil or good. As a person thinks, so is that person. Let this mind be in you. God offers us a new heart, a renewed mind, a brave clean heart.

There is an old song, “Create in Me a Clean Heart.” You may enjoy it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYZibL9w2U8

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah spoke of a New Covenant, a New Testament, written in the blood of our Savior. It is a crimson tide that washes and changes us.

Paul spoke of the law not written on stones but now written on our Hearts.

All nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit is blended into one fruit and is to be activated by LOVE motivated from the inside to the outside.

Jesus said to abide in Him, and He is in us. As we give ourselves to Christ, he gives us all the fruit back.

May all the Fruit of the Holy Spirit Abound in YOU!

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem. Please visit to soak up good words you will discover there. http://www.jumptandem.net/2011/11/sunday_26.html

Also linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday. Please visit there as well at:
http://www.michellederusha.com/2011/11/hear-it-on-sunday-use-it-on-monday_28.html

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday


image courtesy photobucket.com

My daughter now lives close by, but a few years ago, she and her family resided several hundred miles away.

They had made the trip to come for Thanksgiving to our place.


image courtesy photobucket.com



 I was still working, and had requested a vacation day on Friday so my daughter and I could do some Christmas shopping on the Black Friday. 

Not too far from our home, there is a large mall with a variety of stores and small shops.

We had decided to visit the Sears store as they had advertised many good bargains including a sale of winter ladies Pajamas.  Regardless of being on sale, the variety of colors made it difficult to make our decisions.

Since we were so engrossed in gathering Pajamas for all the girls in our family we did not notice the photographers from the Local Newspaper in the store taking pictures.

Snap, snap and flashes went off.  Not a thought that it might be us in the photos; we were just happy that the crowd of shoppers were so jubilant.

Having enjoyed an eventful shopping excursion, and catching lunch at the Mall’s Food Court we headed for home to be with the rest of our family.

The week end was over, our loved ones returned home to their jobs, and on Monday I went back to work.

image courtesy photobucket.com
My supervisor met me as I entered the building and exclaimed, “It was a good thing that you took a Vacation day on Friday and did not call in sick, because we all saw your picture in Saturday’s newspaper.”

If I had been inventing a lie and pretending to be sick in order to take a day off work, I would have been caught dead to rights.  There would have been the proof there in black and white for all to see.

No, I was not sick, I was on vacation.

Yes, I had done the right thing and took one of my vacation days to shop and visit with my daughter.

Now I must admit that there have been times in the past, that I have manipulated events, but as far as lying, that would be inexcusable.

One of Sir Walter Scott famous quotes says, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”

How much simpler is it to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Proverbs 8:7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

If you went shopping on Black Friday, I do hope you told your supervisor the truth.

I also trust that you got some real bargains. We did!

Linked to Spiritual Sundays, do visit there at: http://bit.ly/s0pXd7

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pass the Mashed Potatoes Please


image courtesy Photobucket.com
He loved mashed potatoes! That is how I remember my brother Allen as we grew up.

One particular Thanksgiving dinner in days gone by, we were all gathered around mother and dad’s table.

Uncle Martin and his family had joined us as we were about to enjoy our turkey with all the trimmings.

Uncle Martin was not aware of my brother’s love for mashed potatoes, and he politely handed the large bowl to my brother first.

Our family secret was that we never allowed my brother to have the bowl of potatoes until everyone else had been served, but our uncle did not know this.

Allen took the bowl and without thinking he proceeded to empty all the potatoes onto his plate.

All eyes were on Allen, and Uncle Martin began to laugh, and his remark was, “Well should we pass the bowl around, or should we simply pass Allen’s plate?

Awakened from his stupor, Allen guiltily put most of the potatoes back in the bowl, and no more was said about this as we enjoyed our meal.

No doubt about it that mother took Allen aside privately and lectured him about being concerned for others at the table.

Today I am thankful that long ago Allen has learned to share his potatoes with others.  :-)

In this land of plenty, there is much to be thankful for. Even those who enjoyed a Fast Food or even a simple meal can still be grateful that they had food to eat.

While we know that there are many who are less fortunate, there are those of us who are discovering ways to share our potatoes with others.

Do you hear them? - - - They are saying, “Please pass the potatoes.”

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Also linked to Brag on God Fridays at Laura’s site. Do visit to find many good words there at: http://www.beholdingglory.com/1/post/2011/11/brag-on-god-friday16.html

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We See Jesus


Today I share with you the Week Day Devotional by Beth Jones.  "WE SEE JESUS."  You might enjoy learning more about this beautiful couple who radiate the beauty of Jesus. 

Jeff and Beth Jones Ministries
Two Ten Resources
P.O. Box 745 - Portage, MI 49081



We See Jesus


"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us…." Psalm 90:17, NKJV
___________________________________

Have we considered the beauty of the Lord?

The psalmist must have known something about the beauty of the Lord. When he came into God's house, he was overwhelmed and hungered for Him.

"...One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple." (Psalm 27:4, AMP)

His beauty is also described as...His sweet attractiveness, delightful loveliness, pleasantness, approval and favor.

Have you seen Jesus in these ways? I am sure that many could use a refresher...myself included. Jesus has revealed Himself and the Father to us through His earthly life and ministry and through His Word. Let's look at how He has revealed Himself.

Today, may you meditate on Jesus and how He is revealed in His Word. Think on His beauty. His attractiveness. His loveliness. His pleasantness. His approval. His favor. These words will prime your pump.

Jesus is beautiful because He is...

• Merciful
• Loving
• Gracious
• Forgiving
• Accepting
• Favorable
• Kind
• Patient
• Faithful
• Strong
• Good
• Loving
• Compassionate
• Joyful
• Peaceful
• Gentle
• Mighty
• Tolerant
• All-wise
• All-knowing
• Righteous
• Perfect

Jesus is beautiful because He is our...

• Teacher
• Preacher
• Healer
• Brother
• Friend
• Light
• Shepherd
• Savior
• Redeemer

Jesus is beautiful because He is the...

• Way
• Truth
• Life
• Alpha
• Omega
• Author
• Finisher
• King of kings
• Lord of lords

Let's pray that we see Jesus afresh and that the beauty of the Lord may be upon us in a fresh way.

Say It: "Father, I thank You for a fresh revelation of the beauty of the Lord. May Your beauty be upon me in a fresh way. Open my eyes to see Jesus and His beauty, His attractiveness, His loveliness, His pleasantness, His approval and His favor. In Jesus' Name. Amen."




Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is Faithfulness

image courtesy photobucket.com

Gleaning from the message on Sunday as our Pastor began his teaching by reading the following scriptures.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (NASB) God is FAITHFUL, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV) Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found FAITHFUL.

Luke 16:10 (NKJV) He who is FAITHFUL in what is least is FAITHFUL also in much;

As believers we know and understand that our God is FAITHFUL and we wait to hear Him say of us,  "Well done thou good and FAITHFUL servant, enter into the Joys of the Lord.”

We are called to be FAITHFUL unto death and then we will receive our crown.

God is the owner of all things, and we are given stewardship to manage over what we claim as ours. We give back to God of what we have first been given.

image courtesy photobucket.com
We are stewards, co-workers, managers of His grace and gifts. Faithfulness demands obedience, and loyalty to God’s truth. Faithfulness is both an attitude and an action shown toward God and toward others.

God is generous in that He has bestowed upon us His grace and mercy. It is only by His doing that we live and breathe.

Pastor described a logo used by an Asian company. It was an image of a man standing on his word. We must be FAITHFUL to stand on our word. I am reminded of the Gospel Hymn titled, “Standing on the Promises of God.”

God stands on His word. All the promises of God find their final Amen in Jesus. Jesus came down from heaven to lift us up.

God’s word never passes away, and He is FAITHFUL to perform it. God calls us to faithfulness and to Keep the Faith that he has given us.

We are to be FAITHFUL stewards of the message of Good News that Jesus died so that we might live. “We have been bought with a price and if we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” May we all continue in our Faithfulness to God,

This post has been linked to Deidra's new Sunday Jump community. Please join with others at: http://www.jumptandem.net/2011/11/sunday_19.html

Also linked with Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. Please visit there at: Graceful! http://www.michellederusha.com/2011/11/hear-it-on-sunday-use-it-on-monday_21.html

Friday, November 18, 2011

Keep Smiling Orange Smiles



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As we travel into town, we purposely view our neighbors orange trees and can see that the fruit is turning from green to gold.  Although they will not be ready to harvest for a few more weeks, never-the-less, we are closely watching as the oranges develop.

I am reminded that when we were kids, Mother would slice our oranges in half and then into mini-slices. That was a good method for us to enjoy our oranges and to also have fun. Into our mouth would plop a slice and we would hold it there and hum that we were smiling.

Children today still take pleasure in creating an orange smile and then in enjoying the fresh fruit.

Yesterday, we met with the Hospice Coordinator because Mother’s doctor has referred her to Hospice. The gentleman was very kind as he explained the services that Mother will receive.  He went over a list of seven (7) check marks that let them know a person is ready for hospice.

He referred to a blood test report taken last week when we had Mother in emergency. While there, they took a battery of tests which she did not appreciate. The blood test results gave information that her oxygen level was below normal and other factors that applied to the seven point check list.

I was amazed that one of the important questions on the seven (7) point list, was;


image courtesy photobucket.com
 “Does the person SMILE?”  

My answer was, “I haven’t seen my mother smile in a very long time.” She has always been a serious type person, and never a joke teller.

Mother has constantly been a busy person making certain first that others were happy. Her own joy was never in the fore-front.

Is she happy? I’m not sure, but I do know that she is content.

As Paul said in  l Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Now I must consider do I smile?

My husband and I read the funny paper together, and we laugh at some of the comics. We especially like “Mr. Pickles.” We smile at each other as we laugh.

Do you smile? And if not - -“Why not?”

Learn to Smile OR - the Hospice will get you! :-)

What ever is your stance in life, find reasons to smile!! Make up reasons, if you must! 

Smile even if you need to purchase an orange and use it for your smile!

This post is linked with http://bestpostsoftheweek.blogspot.com/ Hurry on over to view some good words.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

This post is linked with My Daily Walk in His Grace at: http://mydailywalkinhisgrace.blogspot.com/

This post has also been linked to Laura’s Brag on God Fridays.
Please visit and view many good words there at:  http://www.beholdingglory.com/1/post/2011/11/not-about-me-november-day-14-brag-on-god-friday.html

Monday, November 14, 2011

Is Burnt Toast Secular?


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It is difficult to write on the word Secular which could mean things not connected to religion and the church. Common everyday things perhaps even a bit worldly, like curly hair and burnt toast.

Burnt toast and Curly Hair

My Dad insisted that he was born with straight black hair, but he always wished for curls.

As he tells it, his sister Blanch told him that if he actually wanted black curly hair that he must eat lots of burnt toast. My dad believed her, and each morning he would burn his toast to a crisp and enjoy the flavor.

Some say this is a myth, but I wonder, because after many months it began to work, for his black hair began to curl. All the days that I knew my dad he sported black curly hair.

Dad may have told me that story in-order to get me to eat my burnt toast, and I don’t mind toast that is a bit burnt, however my blond hair never did turn black with curls.

Many of us are not satisfied with our hair, our shape, our nose, our eyes, because we have this tendency to always want to be something different than the way God made us.

Let me diverse here and apply this toward a spiritual subject. This is where we can be changed into a New Creation, to never be the same again.

Isn’t it wonderful that you do not need to eat burnt toast to become this new person? Simply invite Jesus into your heart and he does the changing by his Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come.


This post is linked with the One Word Carnival: The word is Secular. Please visit here at: http://peterpollock.com/2011/11/secular-blog-carnival/

Giving of a different kind.


Happy Coats and sweaters
image courtesy photobucket.com

Victory church that I visited a week ago, announced that at one of their free lunches for the needy, a gentleman came to receive the food and he was barefoot. Besides warm sweaters, jackets they now were requesting gently used tennis shoes, and clean socks. I knew they wanted warm clothing and I had prepared two large bags and had brought them with me; one with men’s long sleeved flannel shirts and the other bag filled with ladies warm pants and sweaters.

This week, my husband went through all his sweaters and handed me a large armful from his closet, but no available shoes.

I tend to be a person to find a way when there seems not to be a way, so I visited one of our local thrift shops and was able to purchase a very nice pair of men’s tennis shoes for one dollar.

Sunday at my church I was allowed to make an announcement. I stated that usually we like to send money to help the victims of floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis etc, but we often neglect those who are cold and hungry in our own community. I told them about the little church not far from us who are feeding the poor on Thursdays and Fridays, and the man who arrived with no shoes. Then I asked my friends to bring shoes and sweaters next Sunday and I would see that they get delivered.

One man told me he would bring a bag next week. YES!!

My church has a early service so, after my church I went to the other church and left my contributions.

I am not one to volunteer to help serve the lunch, but there are other ways to give and I am finding this to be one of those ways.

This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays.  Please visit these lovely sites at:  http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/

and also linked to: Sundays in my City at: http://www.unknownmami.com/2011/11/sundays-in-my-city-121.html 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness


image courtesy photobucket.com

Gleaning today from our Pastors sermon on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, “Gentleness.”

1Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children:

Pastor Carl was reminded of the famous football hero, Merlon Olsen: a fearsome football player for the Los Angeles Rams and a “gentle giant” when on the television screen.

A Hall of Fame football player and actor Merlin Olsen, was a giant man, 6’ 5” weighing 270 pounds, who friends say had an even larger heart, was known as much for his brain as his brawn. His acting career with his mellow tender voice found him in the hearts of many as a gentle caring man.

We are to show forth the fruit Gentleness as kindness, comfort given and humility for they are God like qualities. Gentleness or Meekness is certainly not sissified.

Jesus was meek and lowly because he humbled himself to give his life for us.

Tender love is sometimes tough and tough love might possibly follow.

GENTLENESS, WHAT IS?

1. It's the way we feel and act towards others
2. Humility and Humbleness before God
3. Putting others before ourselves
4. Meekness and Gentleness is Christ like

GENTLENESS, (KINDNESS) WHAT DOES IT ACCOMPLISH?

1. People "feel loved by you"
2. People "see Jesus in you"

Gentleness is being courteous, polite, speaking with kindness, listening well; a loving caring and sharing spirit, and freely giving of ones self.

A good marriage is one where the parties have learned to communicate effectively and not always desiring to be the one who wins the argument.  A marriage where each party will  love and care for one another.

Jesus identified with us as the Gentle shepherd leading us and showing tender mercies toward us.

God in His Gentleness, provides for us, restores, redeems and renews us daily.

We are to grow in Gentleness and multiply in kindness as you nourish all the Holy Spirit Fruit.

This post has been linked to: Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday. Do visit there at:
http://www.michellederusha.com/2011/11/hear-it-on-sunday-use-it-on-monday_13.html

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fudge Pudding Cake





Our relatives from Georgia had traveled many miles to visit us, and I wanted to impress them with a simple but delicious desert to complete our meal.

Pudding Cake was something that was easy and it would be lovely served warm with vanilla ice cream on top.

What I share now is my easy to make recipe using a box of Chocolate Cake Mix and a few other ingredients.

Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1 package chocolate cake mix

In a 12x9 pan, mix brown sugar, cocoa and water. Sprinkle the marshmallows and nuts over the mixture. Prepare the cake mix according to directions on the box. Spoon the batter over the mixture in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Serve warm topped with ice cream. Also good chilled.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays.  Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes at:  http://annkroeker.com/



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Liar Liar Pants on Fire



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 Marie’s husband was a hard worker, and he had done his best to scratch out a living on their Tennessee farm. Even in those days times were tough for a large family.

When the husband received an offer from a neighbor to purchase their Tennessee place, it seemed like a good time to pull up stakes and move.

Desiring to assist his daughter and his nine grandchildren, Marie’s dad drove his car to Tennessee to help their family make the move to California. Arranging a house for them he had also secured work for the husband at the Auto Wrecking Yard.

Even though we could hardly afford to do so, Robert and I took several boxes of groceries to their place to help stock their cupboards. The boxes included canned goods, meat, some staples and a box of oranges for the kids.

We were horrified when the older kids instead of enjoying the fresh fruit, began to have a throwing fight with each other. Quickly I managed to stop all the throwing and then it was needful to give them a lesson on how to eat an orange and about the value of food.

Early in the morning a few days later, I received a telephone call from the oldest daughter. She spoke anxiously and requested that I please come and take her mother to the doctor. I asked if her mother was hurt, and she said, “No, but Mama has an appointment.”

When I arrived, there was Marie waiting and smiling. Entering my car, she asked me to please take her to the local grammar school because today they are giving away free clothing. Surprised, I asked, “What about the Doctor?”

With out missing a beat, she stated, “Oh I knew you might not come just to help me get some clothes for the kids unless we said it was for the Doctor.”

It seemed that the school had certain days when those with a need could come and get clothing, and I saw nothing wrong with that.

However I had to be bold and tell Marie, that she had lied to me, and this time I would take her, but she had betrayed my trust, and today would be my last trip to help her. There are times when you can only go so far.

It is sad to say, that this woman was a habitual liar. She could not even open her mouth to speak - - with out telling a lie. Even more depressing was the fact that she was also training her children to become liars.

I am reminded that the Bible says that LIES are an abomination to God.

The Bible also states that all liars have a very hot place to go to.

After all Satan is the father of lies and we do not want to associate with him.

My mother taught us as children to tell the truth, and we did a reasonably good job of truth telling. I have tried to impress on our children that Truth is always best and a Liar will always be found out.

Jesus told us that He was the Way the Truth and the Life.  

May we ever seek His Truth!

image courtesy photobucket.com

 This post is linked to Grace Café. Please visit and view many good words found there.  Be sure to read the testimony: He Provides written by the hostess Joan.  http://www.reflectionsofhisgrace.com/2011/11/he-provides/

also linked to: Brag on God Friday scroll all the way down to reach the posts shared there at:  http://www.beholdingglory.com/1/post/2011/11/not-about-me-november-day-9-brag-on-god-friday.html



Monday, November 7, 2011

Bail Out by Uncle Martin


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Desiring to earn some money at my young age of about eight years, I clipped a coupon from a magazine and sent off for some miracle salve to sell. It wasn’t long before my product arrived, and now I was in business.

That week end, my Uncle Martin came for a visit and cheerfully made a purchase of two cans of salve, one for colds and one for aches and pains.

Now I needed to earn enough to repay my mother who had fronted my investment.

Dutifully I trudged from door to door, but my neighbors simply weren’t interested in my Miracle Salve. Being a bit discouraged, I put my sales box away in my bedroom.

A few months flew by and my Uncle Martin came for another visit. “Hey there,” he said to me, “Do you have any more of that good salve? If you do, I will buy what ever you have left.”

That night as he headed for home I gave my Uncle Martin an extra big hug.

I was rich, not because I had sold all of my salve, but because I was loved and understood.

My hope is that you all have an Uncle Martin somewhere in your life!

If you have ever tried to sell something when you were young you will understand the discouragement of many answers in the negative. It was when someone encouraged you and bought those cookies or candy that darkness turned to light - - Sadness into Joy!

Next time you see the Girl Scouts selling cookies or children trying to raise money to go to camp, be available to support them by making a purchase.

Don’t use the excuse that you are on a diet - - just donate the cookies to your next church social.

In your immediate life there are those that can use a bit of encouragement. Just a word fitly spoken is like sweet honey to their ears.

A few choice encouraging words won’t cost you a cent, but it will light up their life.

This post is linked to SoloGloria blog Hop at:
http://findingheaventoday.blogspot.com/2011/11/living-soli-deo-gloria-party.html

Also linked to Shanda’s “A Pause on the Path” at:
http://www.shandaoakleyinspires.com/2011/11/more-than-rice-paddy.html

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Paul Refuses Warnings




This post is gleanings from the message given by the Pastor at Victory Christian Fellowship where I visited today.  The Study was from Acts 21 - - Paul’s return to Jerusalem.

Pastor began by saying the Key requirement for service to God is: Availability !!

God first, then do not allow what others think to get in the way of our obedience.

Some will skip over a scripture that they find difficult. We error if we do not consider all scripture at face value.

Watch yourself first before you watch over others.

It is better to give to him who needs the most, than to give to him who has the most.  (Note: Victory Christian Fellowship has an active feeding and clothing program for their neighborhood.)

The study today was about Paul’s journey back to Jerusalem and some stops he made while on his way. At each place he visited, there were Godly prophets who spoke warnings that he should NOT go to Jerusalem because much danger awaited him there.

Paul did not heed these warnings. He was determined to go to Jerusalem anyway. The question was, “Did he miss God by not listening to the warnings?” Maybe he did! “Could a better purpose have come to pass if he had heeded these warning messages?” Possibly!

Paul’s strength was that he listened to the Holy Spirit for himself.  Prior to all these warnings, God had already shown him what great things he must suffer for the Lord.

When his friends realized that Paul was going anyway, they prayed for him and said, God’s will be done.

In our walk with the Lord, when we see some one who we think is going the wrong way, and we speak to them about it – they may not listen. Then it is up to us to back off in love and continue to pray for them.

When Paul arrived at Jerusalem, the entire city was aroused against him and wanted to kill him. Hate knows no boundary and they closed the temple gates. 

Paul seemed to have a problem, and kept trying to go back through those closed temple gates. Trying to go through a closed door can cause a person to get a bloody nose.

You hear people say, “Follow your heart.” May I ask, “Where is your brain?” You can’t always trust your heart.  Our emotions can be fickle.  Paul even though a Christian, still loved the Jewish rituals and the Jewish way.  It was difficult for him to give up traditions of what he had always known.

Two reminder points were made at the end of the pastor’s sermon:

1.  If you warn someone and they refuse to change their ways - - Continue to pray for them.

2.  If you come to a closed door - - Don’t keep trying to go through it when it is already shut!


This post has been linked up today with Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. Please visit at:
Graceful Link: http://www.michellederusha.com/2011/11/hear-it-on-sunday-use-it-on-monday.html

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Martha's Missionary News Letter


Good News Club
image courtesy photobucket.com

Note: Our long time friend, Martha Wright has been a Child Evangelism Missionary for over 40 years. She has ministered in South America, and as an Administrator in the CEF headquarters in MO, a Scheduler and teacher for training of Good News Bible and Release Time Education teachers, and now ministers in Maryland as State Director. I thought you might enjoy her latest news letter.   Hazel


Martha's Child Evangelism News November 2011

A CEF committee rear ended another car a few weeks ago at a stop sign. As she and the man in the other car were exchanging information, she said, "God loves you". He said, "Yes, I know. I'm a Christian". She replied, "Do you know about Child Evangelism Fellowship and that your church can adopt a public school and teach kids the Bible?" He didn't know that fact! As a result of this "street meeting" the man's church has formed a team, they have been trained by CEF workers and soon they will launch their Good News Club in their local school! Accidents do happen. . . but was this one planned by God?????

A recently retired school teacher was asking God to show her a ministry in which she could be involved. In September she pulled up near her grandkid's school to pick them up but for safety, she put her hazard lights on. A lady from Idaho who was driving by stopped and asked her if she was ok. Mary said she was just waiting for her grandkids and added, "We really love kids!" The lady asked, "Do you know about Child Evangelism Fellowship?" Mary said no. The lady told her to call Huber Church because they had a Good News Club. Later, Mary followed through and called the church and was put in contact with the GNC leader there, who is also on our volunteer leadership team. Today we had a meeting with her pastor. This pastor of an inner city church is excited about adopting Gilford Elementary School which is a block from the church! Mary will be the team leader for the GNC. Who was that mysterious lady visiting from Idaho who loves CEF? We'll probably never know! Could she have been an angel???

We have been praying about several thousands of dollars of indebtedness that we have in CEF of Maryland. God gave the idea of a Walkathon. But how to pull it off? Then, through a series of events, God sent us Sheila, a retired teacher with giftedness and experience at event planning. November 19 is the day we will hold the Good News Club Walkathon at scenic Lake Montebello in Baltimore. We're asking every person that walks to get sponsorships for $25 from six people, thereby bringing $150 to the Walkathon. Sheila's church has 42 people who will walk and each one is working to get their six sponsorships! We don't know what God will do but He is working to meet our financial needs! Sheila has been hosting a 5-Day Club each summer for over 20 years! Edna and I were at her club this summer and met her for the first time! Was that a divine appointment or what???

Marie, our director of development, discovered that a conference was being held in Baltimore by the Christian Professional Network. (We have been praying for contacts with businesses). Upon inquiring about the conference, Marie was told that an exhibit space would cost $500. She told the director that we would like to come but did not have any money. The conference leadership discussed our situation. Very positive comments were given about CEF in the meeting. As a result, someone made the decision to sponsor us. While at the conference in October 26, we made several key contacts. A CPA who was a former 5-Day Clubber came by the booth as well as a former Good News Clubber, now working with a magazine. We are beginning to follow up on the contacts--Was it a coincidence that Marie discovered the conference and that someone sponsored us???

Bill Vogel, the man who is working with us from Southern California, recently attended some political meetings in Washington, DC. He sat at a table and began to share that he is in Maryland with CEF helping get (Good News Clubs) Bible clubs established in public schools. A lady spoke up and said, "I was a school teacher and was teaching my students everything contrary to God. I wanted nothing to do with religion. But my kids attended a Good News Club in New Hampshire where we live and they accepted Jesus as their Savior. They came home and told me about it. I began to investigate the matter and not long after I was also led to the Lord! Since then most of our family and extended family have come to know Christ. Now we're all committed Christians." How in the world did Bill happen to sit at HER table when there were two or three hundred people present? Was it to let him (and us) know again that Good News Clubs make a difference in the lives of children and their families????

Recently we were attempting to launch a Good News Club at Pimlico Elementary School in an inner city, drug-infested area. The principal said we would have to take off "Bible", "Biblical", "Christian", and "Scripture Memory" from our registration forms. The adopting church's team leader said "no" and filed a complaint with the Baltimore City Schools. Within 45 minutes he had a call back. Two days later the Good News Club After School Program was cleared through the city school headquarters (137 schools)! Did God use that resistant principal to get us city-wide clearance to hold clubs in all city schools?

We have been working hard to cast a vision to local churches to adopt a school, get them trained and get the schools open. This ministry is not for the faint-hearted! Satan has been fighting all the way! But we praise the Lord for the 8 new schools that are being launched now. We praise the Lord for the team He is putting together in various places in Maryland. He is answering our prayers and sending us laborers for the harvest field!

I arrived in Maryland on August 1, 2010, fourteen months ago. I am humbled that God has called me here "for such a time as this" to lead this turnaround effort. It is challenging, requires long hours, hard work, creativity, thinking outside the box, and lots of energy! At times it is frustrating and discouraging! But it can be lots of fun to see God at work in such miraculous ways bringing people our way to join us in His work!

You are also being used of the Lord in my life and ministry here as you pray and support me financially. Since some donors have passed away and others have had to cut back, my account is still heading for the Orange (below budget) and approaching Red. Would you pray about sponsoring me as your missionary for 2012? You can give by check, credit card or have the amount withdrawn monthly from your bank account. God is working in Maryland!  How about sowing some seed in this harvest field and watch it grow???

Prayer requests:

1. Pray for our financial needs here in Maryland. Pray that many will attend the Walkathon and that several thousand dollars will be raised.
2. Pray that the Mission 4/14 movement will grow. God sent us a marketing specialist who has caught the vision for this ministry and he is going to help us!
3. Pray that we will be sensitive to where God is working and will be quick to join Him in His work.
4. Pray that God will raise up full time directors and other staff for the ministry here and the funding as well
5. Pray that we will be able to open up 25 schools in Greater Baltimore by February.
Thanks again for being part of the team (and my family!) I am so grateful for that divine appointment!

Blessings and love

Dr. Martha J. Wright
Executive Director
CEF of Maryland
2203 N. Rolling Road
Windsor Mill, MD 21244
(410) 944-6435

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Too Much Leaven in the Apple Cake



image courtesy photobucket.com

A visit to our Aunt Edna’s home was usually an exciting experience. She always had a delightful cake of some kind for a treat.

One such visit we pulled up to her table to enjoy her apple cake. Oh NO, We began to spit! Ugh it was awful and some-thing was terribly wrong. The cake had an overwhelming bitter taste.

My mother asked Edna. “How much soda did you put into this cake?” She replied, “I just followed the recipe.”

Mother asked to see the recipe and there it was in black and white where Edna had copied the recipe from a friend. Two teaspoons baking soda, but Edna had misread the recipe and used TABLESPOONS instead. In this case there was TOO much leaven.

We corrected my Aunt Edns's hand written recipe, but it was too late for the cake.

I was reminded that the Bible relates a parable that Jesus told about Leaven when he likened it to the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 13:33
Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened

In another scripture leaven is likened to sin or wrong teaching.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven, leavens the whole lump.

It only takes a tiny amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread.

Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

Take heed, examine and test the spirit of the message. Not everything you read and hear is truth!

I share with you my mother’s Fresh Apple Cake and this recipe only has one teaspoon soda, so not to worry.  This recipe is the truth!

FRESH APPLE CAKE

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped
2 cups sugar
Cover apples with sugar, stir with wooden spoon and let set for 10 minutes

1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
Mix eggs, oil and vanilla together and add to the apple mix

3 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Sift together, dry ingredients and add to the above –

1 cup chopped nuts

Add chopped nuts and mix with wooden spoon.
Pour into tube or oblong 13"x9" pan and bake in 325 degree oven until done, approximately 65 minutes.

CARAMEL GLAZE FOR FRESH APPLE CAKE:  (Optional)  We usually do not frost our cake.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup cream or evaporated milk

Place butter and sugar in double boiler and allow to melt; blend well. Add cream (or evaporated milk) and bring to a full boil. Cool and add vanilla. Spread evenly over cooled cake.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Oh yes, please check out my husband's post that has been entered on Ann's site as well.  Here is his link
http://musingsbyrobert.blogspot.com/2011/11/make-it-different.html

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Shoes for the Missionary


image photobucket.com

“Big and Tall,” that was the name of the store where my husband liked to purchase his pants that would fit his long legs. 

My husband especially liked the Big and Tall store to secure his shoes, because his feet are wide and difficult to fit.  The “Big and Tall” store carried a top line of shoes that were comfortable and matched his taste.  Although the shoes were a bit expensive they were worth every penny.  The owners became our friends and they would always notify us when there was to be a sale.

Our Missionary minded church had invited a Missionary, his wife and little girl to hold us a week of services before they left on their missionary journey. To save the church money, they were staying with the Pastor’s family, and church members were bringing in prepared dinners for them all.

Scheduled to bring a meal, I was ready and also had another agenda in mind.  When God lays something on your heart so strong, it is best that you do exactly as He tells you.

Prior to arriving with the food, I stopped at the bank and drew out $75 in cash, then I proceeded to the Pastor’s home.

image courtesy photobucket
As I reach my destination, I noticed the Missionaries little girl lying on the sofa. Her mother told me she was sick and had a fever. Perhaps it was because I had been in touch with God that afternoon, but as I reached out and touched her forehead, the fever left and she asked her mother for a drink of water.

Handing the food to the Pastor’s wife, I asked to speak to the Pastor. He came into the room where we were, and I told him my message.

“God has asked me to request that you take our Missionary to the Big and Tall Store down on East 14th Street, and use this $75 to purchase him a good pair of shoes.

The Pastor was not surprised, because he knew I often heard from God so he quickly agreed to do this after their meal.

Returning home, I was again impressed to telephone the "Big and Tall" store and tell them that my Pastor was on his way with $75 to spend for some new shoes for a Missionary friend.  I asked if he would please give him the best price they could for a new pair of shoes. The owner assured me that he would take personal care of the Man of God.

Unknown to me was the fact that God was also working on the other end. The Owner was a devout Christian man, and after measuring the feet of the Missionary, he brought out three pairs of beautiful shoes. Each pair of shoes was a perfect fit, and the owner said that today these shoes are on sale for $25 each, so the $75 would take care of all three.

At that point, greed entered my Pastor’s heart and he asked the owner if they had any shoes in HIS size for that price. The owner replied, “No these are the only ones on sale today for the special price!”

I believe the reason was that my Pastor was BIG, but not TALL!   So what do you think?

This post is linked to: Grace Café. Please visit for some good words you will find there. http://www.reflectionsofhisgrace.com/2011/11/beyond-understanding/

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tell them The Lord Has Need of a Bicycle


image courtesy photobucket.com

To have a strategy it means you must have a plan and hopefully a good idea that will work and bring success.

The church we attended in the big city, decided to reach children in the neighborhood and also in the projects. Our pastor had a plan, but it was going to take almost everyone in the church to become involved.

image courtesy photobucket.com
First a school bus was purchased and the neighborhoods were canvassed door to door and before you knew it, our Sunday school was full of children. Those who could teach were busy teaching and others helped as assistants.


One Sunday to give the kids a treat - - McDonalds had a sale on burgers at ten cents each. We were able to purchase enough burgers for every child. No one was left out. 

Each week something new was promised and we found a way to fulfill the pledge to the kids. Usually it was food in the form of candy or a cookie.

Our Pastor decided to have a contest, and a bicycle was to be awarded to the boy or girl who would bring the most new children to Sunday school.

Problem was, we needed a bicycle.

The Pastor’s wife and I went shopping and discovered that a good bike was expensive even in those days. I told her, that I believed God had shown me a plan and to make it work she must do exactly as I would tell her. We had a strategy, a plan of action.

Do you remember the story in the Bible when Jesus told his disciples to go to a certain place and loosen the colt they would find there? They were worried and asked, “What if the owner objects?” Jesus said, “Just tell the person that the Lord has need of this colt.”

Here we were; my Pastor’s wife and I standing in the parking lot of a large hardware store and we knew there were lots of bicycles inside.

I told her not to be afraid, but to go in there and ask for the manager and proclaim to him that, “The Lord has need of a bicycle.” She boldly entered the store, asked for the person in charge, and delivered her message. After a few questions and answers, she came away with a promise of a FREE girls or boys bike for who ever was the winner.

The contest ran for several weeks and excitement was high. The children brought friends and more friends.  I don’t really know where we put all those children. It appeared that the winner was going to be a girl so knowing this we went back to the store and collected a girls bicycle.

We had promised the store a write up in the Newspaper and we were true to our word. For the paper it was a good human interest story, and nice advertising for the store and our church.

When you are in need, it helps to have a prayer plan. Ask - - believing that God will supply it for you. Then do or say what ever the Holy Spirit tells you. That is good strategy!

This post is linked to: One Word Carnival and The Word is Strategy. Please visit and soak up some excellent takes on Strategy - -  at: http://peterpollock.com/2011/11/strategy-blog-carnival/

This post was also linked to Laura's Brag on God on Friday site at:  http://www.beholdingglory.com/1/post/2011/11/not-about-me-november-day-4-brag-on-god-friday.html