Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
That's how she heard the chorus "I will make you fishers of men..."
The two fishermen casting their nets in to the Sea of Galilee- Simon (called Peter) and
Andrew -may have thought Jesus' words were strange also when He said, "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men." But scripture tells us that they left their nets "at once" and followed Him. Soon James and John, sons of Zebedee, left their boats and nets, and their father sitting in a boat and immediately followed Jesus. Followed a man with no home; with nothing except his sandals and clothes. (Matthew 4:18-22)
What was it that made 4 fisherman leave everything that they knew to step out of their comfort zone and follow Jesus? I think we will understand when we, too, stand face to face with Him.
I do know that Jesus caught His fish first, then cleaned them. He chose ordinary, poorly educated men. As they walked and talked, they were being molded into the men Jesus would leave behind to carry on His ministry.
Would you be willing to leave your comfort zone to follow Jesus?
Monday, November 27, 2006
The newborn Jesus starts His life in a stable because the inns were full- "no room." Then his parents escape into Egypt so Herod cannot kill Him- no room, again.
As an adult, Jesus said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20 NIV)
No room, once more; unless someone invites Him in to stay with them.
Today, I ask, "Do you have room for Him?" Is He a part of your Christmas celebration? At our house we will have a birthday cake for Jesus and we will share a simple gift in rememberance of the maji gifts and of God's love gift to us.
Selah... Do you have room?
Sunday, November 26, 2006
During this busy time of year, our hands are extremely busy. We have too much to do; and we have no time to figure out what we should be doing. I encourage you to make time for God; to be silent so He can whisper His promises and direction for you; and to take time to rest. An oriental philosopher once said "Besides the art of getting things done, there is also the noble art of leaving things out." (Lin Yu Tang)
Make a list of what is really important then prioritize your list. Pray for the Lord to estabish the work of your hands as He promised.
Selah, think about this.
The eternal God and Creator slept, for the first time on earth, surrounded by animals and straw and lying in an feed trough. Can you imagine His first smells? His first sights in that stable? Can you imagine His fatique and hunger following that delivery into this world? Can you imagine God becoming human?
That night God really understood what redemption or the removal of man's sin would cost; He gave us His Son anyway.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
A.W.Tozar reminds us that "God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years."
I am amazed quite often at how relevant The Bible is today as well as when it was written. And how a verse or two that I have read many times suddenly has new meaning for me. In the next few days I will share some of those with you.
Meanwhile, let God's love fill your heart and refresh you often during this busy holiday season.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"The stresses, and pressures of life add up; all that negative energy has
to go somewhere. Sometimes it gets into our hearts and heads and we end up
with what I call a ratitude. A ratitude is my emotional and
spiritual state when I feel used, abused, unappreciated, misunderstood,
and put upon.
I scurry around trying to find things to make my life
better and to try to make me feel better.
Other times, I try to hide out from all my problems, trying to avoid
those who would treat me harshly. All my efforts only make me feel
worse. I'm bummed out. I've got a ratitude.
I can pray. I can continue to bring my supplications
before God. I can do it with thanksgiving to God. You see, when I bring
God into my ratitude by offering thanks to him, He transforms it. He
Let me share a little secret with you. The next time you have a
ratitude, bring God into it. In fact, just take the Big G at the
beginning of God, and add it to the front of your ratitude. What do
you have then? That's right folks, you have a GRATITUDE.
I know, it sounds corny. You may even think it's trite. The truth,
however, is that learning to be grateful -- to give thanks for our
solid blessings in Jesus and the overflow of God's gifts given to us
everyday -- is not trite or corny, it's transformational.
And that's how we are supposed to live each day, in gratitude to God."
(c) 2006 Cary Branscum at www dot heartlight dot com
P.S. I will be off-line celebrating Gratitude with my family Thursday & Friday.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Several years ago I began using a Blessing Bowl, but I soon found that it wasn't big enough.
Now I use a basket, but an old cookie jar would work also. For my basket I found some ribbon that said Blessings on it, and laced it into the basket.
I write my blessings on small strips of paper throughout the year. Then on my down, sad, dreary, not-so-good days and on Thanksgiving I read them one by one. I remember good times, unexpected blessings, special people in my life, and the simple things in life that we easily take for granted.
This Thanksgiving Day I will be remembering you, my readers, and I will ask God to bless you in a profound... can't deny it... way during this holiday season.
Tomorrow: What are you thankful for?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Investments are opportunities for which we will be held accountable:
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life...
Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (Galations 6:4-5,7-10 The Message)How well spent is our time? Our passions? Our interests and causes? Our money?
Are we sowing the right seeds? Will we sacrifice as needed to reap a bountiful harvest?
Christ invested His life for us- can we do less?
When we invest in Jesus Christ, it must be for a life time; and we will have a harvest overflowing with faith, hope, love and joy.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look only at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one.
Who needs a kind, encouraging word? Who needs a smile? Who needs a helping hand? Who around you is hungry or thirsty?
Have taken time to see? Do you reflect the light of God?
Look around you... notice one person at a time.
How can you bring hope to someone today? Tomorrow?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
As for me, I like Lucy. She's sitting in her advice booth handing out wisdom at five cents per advice. I remember one when Charlie Brown comes burdened with life's overwhelming problems; Lucy tells him, "Get another life Charlie Brown!"
There are days I'd like to turn my life in for a new model. How about you?
But then I realize that I would have to give up too much: the giggles of my baby granddaughter, the marvel of life through my grandson's eyes, my son who serves the Lord through his art, my daughter-in-law who fits her middle name of Joy, my friends of many years that always are there for me, etc. I've too many wonderful life experiences to part with.
When we go through hard times they seem so isolated. They distract us from all the good stuff.
They move us away from who we were meant to be, when we focus on the have nots, what ifs, and woe is me's. I often read the Book of Psalms, especially David's laments.
David pours out all his frustrations, fears, and burdens and asks God to help him; then he praises God. Negatives galore then praise and thanksgiving. No wonder God called David a man after His own heart. I do a lot of dumping, ask God to lean my way in answering my pleas, and constantly need more- more faith, more understanding, more joy. BUT I'm not very good at following my list of expectations with praise & thanksgiving.
Remember the prophet Elijah? He was the first prophet to actually perform miracles. Afterwards, the queen wanted revenge; causing Elijah to run away. What a pitiful pearl party he had! He asked God to kill him because he could no long bear life.
I can relate because I have suffered with the deadly D's including deep depression. Life SEEMS to not be worth it. Note what God did; He sent an angel to feed Elijah and then gave him rest. Why? Because God knew Elijah's worth, God could see the future and what He had planned for Elijah.
It is the same today. God will nourish and refresh us, if we but ask.
Lucy's right, get another life. Live it by choosing to honor God in all you say and do.
Just think of the wonderful things you can write in your journal. Snoopy might even lend you his typewriter. : )
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I confess that exercise is not a priority in my life... And my body shows it.
But I do like the pool as I can move easier in the water, my arthritic pain is less, & I don't hurt afterwards.
My grandson likes the pool too; we have fun gramma-times there.
The only exercise some of us get is:
jumping to conclusions
running down others
pushing one's luck
walking into trouble
I think I'll stick to swimming!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Sitting on the podium were 2 jars of pickles: dill pickles and sweet pickles.
(Maybe the sermon title should have been changed to "Acidic or Sweet Mouth.")
Mouth Management Requires 5 Things:
1. God- without Him, mouth management is impossible because there is no eraser for words spoken.
2. Spiritual maturity- soaking in the right environment is needed. (Ahah, the pickle jars!)
Dill pickles = the world's environment of self & whatever feels good.
Sweet pickles = a spiritual environment based on prayer, devotions, Bible study, worship, and Christian fellowship.
3. Thinking before you speak. (And I would add listening before thinking.)
4. Avoiding tooth decay using the treatment of truth telling.
5. Love- seasons all truth. Rather than vinegar and dill try some sugar.
Then the pastor placed another, larger jar on the podium and said, "Better yet, soak in this jar."
The label said GOD'S LOVE.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Here's 2 thoughts that just might save it.
1. No matter what your psyche does, for the believer, the spirit stays intact.
2. The Battle of Thoughts are controlled by your focus:
The Invasion stage is when you can't stop the thoughts... they just keep coming.
The Beachhead stage is when you replace those negative thoughts.
The Stronghold stage is built on your core beliefs; when God is your focus, not only does your spirit stay intact, but you have access to wisdom, comfort, and guidance.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
7 Principles of Success to Build Your Life Upon
S tart with God (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
U se God's Word as your map and guide (Psalm 119:9-12)
C lown around, follow your dreams & demonstarte God's joy (Eccl. 11:9a)
C onduct yourself with judgment in mind (Ecclesiastes 11:9b)
E scape from evil (2 Timothy 2:22)
S acrifice now and pay later (Lamentations 3:27, 58)
S et an example (1 Timothy 4:12)
Remember that perfection is what or how God wants us to be in order to fulfill His will for our life- that includes the positives and the negatives.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Someone Took the Chairs Away
When I was young
I used to sit
Behind the saints
I sat in church
To my amazement
That the saints were gone
And someone had taken
Away the chairs
Mine was the front row
At the sweet burden
That is mine
And by living
Is all He says He is
And it is up to me
To do for others
What was done
What causes you to tremble?
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saw a plaque in a magazine that has hearts around the border with vines and berries intertwined- would love it for my border.
More important is what it says:
OUR HOUSE RULES
"Love God and love each other.
Be generous with hugs and warm wishes.
Be patient and respect each other.
Be kind and tenderhearted.
And live with a thankful heart."
That's my prayer for you today.
|Praying for you|
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I haven't written for a few days because I have been sad and I am unsure whether to cry or to yell in anger. Anger doesn't solve issues though; and crying won't change anything. So I am going to write why I feel this way.
The conference & retreat that I attended last weekend was on "Health & Spirituality" for Parish Nurses and other people in health ministries.
So, why am I upset? Spirituality is the problem. I talk about spiritual growth; I've sung spirituals, I am spiritual because I am made in the image of God... I have His Spirit within me.
I do not want to be called religious or by the name of a particular denomination. I do want to be called a Christian. Christ- an'- I. Or Christ-like.
Today the definition of spiritual has been broadened to include whatever "feels okay."
I believe that we have crossed the line between what God sees as spiritual and what men and women want to see as spiritual.
The Bible, the only book to have survived for 1000's of years, says that Jesus is the Way and the Truth. Through Jesus we have direct access to the mind of God. Being good, kind, gentle, honest, etc. does not get you into heaven. Neither does Budda, or any other god. Neither do mystics or their practices.
Are lit candles, a cross, a Bible, an angel figurine, and soft music wrong? No, but they can be dangerous depending upon what your heart attitute is.
Read Isaiah 44:13-20 about the carpenter and his idol; then...