Sunday, November 22, 2009

All for Him

"These are not days for the church to turn inward,
curl up in a corner and passively await the end.
The world has yet to see what the Spirit can do."

Howard A. Snyder

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ready for Battle

This morning I woke up slowly, with no desire to read God's Word, unless it was only so I would feel no guilt later in the day. Yes, me, the good little Christian girl, did not want to read my Bible.
"But God, I did it every other day this week. Can't I have a day off. I mean, come on, I am tired..." So I read a fictional book instead. Yes, I really did, but with the promise that after breakfast I would snuggle up in bed for an extended time with God and I would get things straightened out with Him.

If there is one thing I do not want for my life, it is being distant from God. I did that for way to many years, and I am not about to go back to that life. Deep down in my heart I always know that I want God more then all else, but sometimes my humanness gets in the way. You know what I mean.

So, after breakfast I grabbed my Bible, journal, my currant "good read," and a notebook that I write quotes in, and dived back into bed for an extended stay. Then I came across these verses:

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded you waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-" Ephesians 6:11-18

And that is when something clicked in my head (and heart). While I was was strapping on my sword every morning, I was making little preparation for battle in the other areas. No wonder I felt so weak most mornings, no wonder the daily battle with self and sin looked so daunting that I did not want any part of it. I was not ready for battle.

I came away from my time with God refreshed and feeling closer to Him then ever. God has a battle plan for us, it is all written out. Sometimes we will become discouraged and downhearted, and will want to do our own thing, but there is one thing I have realized. Once God's, always God's. Once you have given Him control of your life, there is no taking it back.

I am in this battle for the long run. Thankfully I have the best leader ever! When I get down, I know I need to take some extra time and really dig into God's Word, and just spend some good old one-on-one time with Him. If I seek His will, His plan for the battle, He will reveal it to me.

This morning I was tempted to turn my back on God for the day and do things my way, but I knew from past experience that that was not a good idea, so instead, I took some extra time to meet with my Lord and Master this morning and because of it, my day is going great.

I feel like the flowers in the picture. I am blooming in the midst of the desert. All because of God's love. Now that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Grace Is Sufficient

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness"

(2 Corinthians 12:9).


This morning I was reading in 2 Corinthians and I came across this familiar verse. How often I worry about being weak. Many times I have begged God, " Father, make me stronger. I am so weak. I cannot do what I know is right, I am too weak, make me stronger. Please!"

I had it all wrong. I should have been saying, " God, I am so weak, but Your Word says weakness is not a thing to be feared, because when I am weak You are strong, and You promise that Your grace will be sufficient no matter the circumstance."


In praying this way, I would have taken my mind off of me, and my weakness, and placed it on Him and His strength. When we focus on our frailties it is easy to become overwhelmed, and when we become overwhelmed we often do not remember that God is in control, that His grace is sufficient. When we are weak we do not need to be focusing on our own weaknesses, but on His strength. We know we are weak, so why focus on it and feel miserable? On the other hand, it is always a struggle for us to remember that He is always there, always strong. It will take effort and lots of prayer, but it is important that we learn to focus on Him, on His strength, on His grace, on His goodness, not just when we are feeling strong, but also when we are feeling our weakest. We are nothing without Him, and it is about time we start remembering that.


I like what Paul says in verse 10. "For when I am weak, then am I strong." God does not expect for us to be strong all the time, He knows that is not possible, He knows we will have moments of weakness. The cool thing is, He promises that in our weakness He will make us strong in Him. We have to let Him though. We have to put our faith and trust in Him daily and while admitting our weakness, seek His strength.


That is the part I am apt to forget more times or not. I always know when I am weak, but when I am weak, I forget to seek His strength. When we do not seek Him and remember His majesty, His power, His grace; that is when we fall. We must strive to take our eyes off of our mistakes and focus instead on His goodness if we are going to make it through.


So the next time we are struggling with temptation, with laziness, with a decision about what is right or what is wrong, let us remember to seek God, to start listing off all of His promises. Let us get our eyes off of ourselves and onto Him. The next time you are feeling really weak, remember: in your weakness, you are strong in Him.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Yam Bake

Holiday Yam Bake

4 Lg. cans of yams, drained

2 Lg. cans of crushed pineapple

8 T. brown sugar

8 T. butter, melted

1 c. chopped pecans

4 c. miniature marshmallows

Drain yams and mash well.

Drain pineapple also, and reserve the juice.

Add the pineapple juice, brown sugar, and butter to the yams and beat well.

Then stir in crushed pineapple and pecans. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13" pan.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with marshmallows (the more the better I always say) and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve.

It is our family tradition to make this recipe each Thanksgiving. Our family has grown so that we now need to double the recipe! Often times the job of making the yams falls on me, but I will not complain because I like my Yam Bake made just so. :) I hope you will give this recipe a try. Who knows it may become one of your family traditions too. I'd love to hear about your families Thanksgiving favorites. Please leave a comment. I love hearing from my readers!

God Bless,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When The Fall Winds Blow

I love it when the seasons change. The leaves change colors, and the wind blows stronger. There is sort of a chill in the air, and an expectancy. It reminds me of the changes that we have in our lives. Though there may be some unexpected changes there are far more gradual changes we know are coming.

I am so thankful that I have a God that does not change. He is so trustworthy! I was reading, in Genesis, about Abraham how God told him to leave the land of his father, everything he ever knew, and could rely on. Abraham obeyed. God did not even have to tell him that He was going to lead him to a better land. God just told him to go to the land that He was going to show him. I want to trust God like that. I do not know if I would follow God like Abraham did. I have a hard enough time trusting God with the smaller things. I still want to hold on to them and control them myself sometimes. Abraham's faith was more than just knowing that God had the best plan for his life. He knew God had a plan, and was willing to follow where ever God lead him. Abraham's faith was operative. He trusted God enough to act on his faith.

A lot of times our faith, although it is not necessary absent, is inactive. We know that God has the best plan, and that we should be following Him. We want to do His will, we just lack that operative faith. I challenge you to examine your faith. Is it operative as Abraham's was?

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).