Monday, March 26, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

On this rainy morning in the cozy home is is good...having my younger daughter at home on spring break is good...and the Word of God is good!

In whatever way this morning greets you, here is A Verse to Chew On...

Ah Lord GOD! It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You.
Jeremiah 32:17

*How does this reminder of God's awesome power affect you?

*What do you have in your life that is too hard for you but not too hard for God?

*Are you trusting Him with that?

*Is it easier for you to trust Him with the 'big' things in life or with the 'small' everyday challenges?

Chew on this verse and let it feed the area of your heart and mind that may be troubled with something 'too hard'...then spend time building your faith up to trust the Lord with it by praising and thanking Him that there is nothing 'too hard' for Him!

What relief, joy, hope and peace is brought by reminding ourselves that indeed nothing is too hard for GOD.

Serving Him and you,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 2

Hey there! So last week I posted Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 1...scroll down to the March 14th entry if you haven't read it...where I talked about the Beautiful part...

Today comes the Messy...I know that doesn't sound as fun as what we talked about last week, but just hang in there with me, please! :)

Speaking of hanging...that's were the inspiration for this part of the message came from...last week's post came from a clothing tag that had made camp on my desk...this one comes from a sign that hangs next to my desk.

It's a cute little metal sign (if I had a decent camera I'd take a picture and post it) in the shape of an apron with little flowers and pockets...pockets which state...

Life is Messy ~ Wear Your Apron

To this I say, " true...and - have you been watching me in my kitchen :/ ?"  I really don't get some of those gals on the Cooking Channel - slicing and dicing, whipping and blending - all while beautifully dressed (in outfits that probably have a 'dry clean only' tag inside) and no apron in sight.  They seem to come out splatter free...but for me, apron-free cooking is just nonsense...I become fully engaged in the activity...and drips and splatters often occur.

This should probably be on my kitchen wall!

But really, I need my aprons...I love my aprons...who doesn't love a cute apron?  Not only are they practical and adorable but they are Biblical too!!

These aren't mine (I require full coverage) but aren't they cute?!

They are biblical not only in the sense that Aprons are like Love in that they both cover a multitude of sin ;) (1 Peter 4:8) but the Bible refers to aprons directly and metaphorically in more than one instance.

But before I go into any Biblical reference to aprons let's just take a look at the Life is Messy part of my cute little sign.  The fact of the matter is that this is a true statement...even outside of my kitchen! 

Life is Messy due to a bad decision made at the very beginning of time.  Because of that we live in a fallen world where bad decisions continue to be made by ourselves and others...where disasters of the natural and man-made sort catch us off guard on a regular basis...where sin and selfishness abound...where feelings are hurt, promises are broken, jobs are lost, health is challenged, and sanity, at times, is held onto by our fingernails.

Gosh, that last paragraph is a bit depressing, isn't it?  Oh, Lord, do we need an Apron for the Messiness of Life!  Thankfully He has one for us! 

The apron supplied to us by God, to protect us from the messiness of life, is listed in it's bits and pieces, along with a few other helpful tools, in Ephesians 6:10-18.  Oh I know, most people refer to this as the Armor of God, but armor and aprons do have a couple of things in common!

Armor and Aprons both cover and protect!  In fact I have done teachings on the Armor of God in the past using an apron, chef's hat, pot holder and knife for the visual aids.  Read the following portion of scripture and try to image what that might look like. :)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the 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 firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,which is the Word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Can you see yourself in your armor/apron get-up?  What stood out to you as you read through these verses?  For me, beyond the actual description and need for the armor, was the call to 'put on' and 'take up'...that requires intentional action on my part!

Life indeed is Messy...God in His grace has provided us with full defensive protection as well as a weapon of offense to protect ourselves from what will surely present itself time and time again in our lives - attacks of the enemy.

But if we don't take the time to acquaint ourselves with what is at our disposal...and make sure we apply it...God's Armor does us about as much good as my pretty aprons do when I just let them hang decoratively in my kitchen instead of tying one on.

Life is Beautifully Messy!  We have so many blessings and things to be thankful for because of all that Jesus has done for us...all that God has provided for us!  We also have to be aware and prepared for the challenges and pitfalls of life...won't you join me in being more deliberate to apply the armor that God has freely given us?

Serving Him and you,

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

This morning finds me a bit under the weather...and a bit behind on prep for my blog.  In God's good and gracious way He has provided us a Verse To Chew On in spite of my situation.  This verse came to my email in-box this morning as the header on a note from my dear friend Rebecca.

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By His wounds we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT

Given the fact that we are in the weeks preceding Easter I thought this would be just perfect for us to chew on!

As you spend time with this verse substitute the plural pronouns with singular personal it aloud that way.  Does this verse have a more intimate and profound effect on you by making that simple little change?

Think about how this verse affects who you are today...and who you will be in the tomorrows to come as you apply the truth of it to your life.

Now take this verse and turn it into a prayer of thanksgiving...for what Jesus chose to do on your behalf...for the grace of the Father...for the difference this truth has on your life.

A short blog entry I know...but I really don't thing I need to add anything to the magnitude of this scripture.

Stop by later this week for Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 2.

Serving Him and you,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food 4 Thot

It's been quite a while since there has been an entry for our Food 4 Thot Friday's!  Sheesh, what is up with that!?!   Could have something to do with the busyness of life lately, lack of routine in some areas and trying to adapt to new routines in other areas...or maybe it's just that I haven't given much Thot to it. :)

I have had a couple of things bumping around in my heart and mind lately though.  Like how much Jesus and food go together...

Like the fact that His very first miracle was turning water into wine!(John 2:1-11)...I know that wine isn't exactly 'food' but they are close comes from grapes, ya know! ;)

Or how about when Jesus cared enough about the hunger of the crowds following Him that He multiplied the few fish and loaves at His disposal (Mark 6:30-42)...

Or how He is called the Bread of Life (John 6:35)...

And Jesus even cooked breakfast for His disciples after His resurrection (John 21:1-14)...of course it was fish over an open fire - but isn't that how most men cook?...either grilling or phoning for pizza - sorry, I digress...

But when you really think about it, or flip through the pages of the New Testament, you will see that Jesus and food really did go together in a plethora of ways!

One of those ways...which has bumped around in my heart and mind the most lately...and even made it on to the chalkboard in my kitchen is Jesus' statement in John 4:32...

My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.

Think about that for a minute or two...Who sent Jesus?...What was 'His work' that Jesus was to finish?...and how in the world could that be food for Him?

Jesus' work was to serve the Father...bringing others into relationship with God.  Shouldn't that be my food, and yours, too?  Of course our methods of bringing others into relationship with the Father are dramatically different from that of Jesus...whatever we do is because of Jesus!

But here is a thought...if I busied myself with the work of Jesus would I find fulfillment in it that would be better than anything food has to offer.  You know the old saying "Nothing tastes better than skinny feels" about "Nothing tastes better than serving God feels"...maybe that's what Jesus was talking about?

I wonder how that mindset and action might affect my waistline?  How has God called you to fulfill His will?  Do you lead a Bible study? a bunco night for your neighbors (to build relationship and give them a chance to see the Jesus in you)?...are you raising little ones to love Jesus?...are you taking time to listen to the heart of the gal in the cubicle - dorm room - grocery line next to you?

Each of us are different and God uses each of us's our job to make sure that we are being used... to make it our food to introduce others to the Bread of Life!  Something tells me that the benefits are savory and sweet!  There's a little Food 4 Thot. :)

Don't miss Monday's Verse To Chew On and Part 2 of Life is Beautifully Messy mid-week!

Serving Him and you,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life is Beautifully Messy! Part 1 of 2

I have had a tag, which came off of an article of clothing (probably from one of my girlies), that's been sitting on my desk for weeks...maybe months as I am a terrible tracker of time these days!  It's been there for so long that I forgot why I was saving it! =/  I prefer a clutter-free environment, but have accumulated a few piles in the office during this season of life that I know (must) have purpose.  This little piece of card stock, however, had no apparent need to be taking up space and was about to find a new home in the little wire can beside my desk...I am no collector of tiny scraps!...unless of course these tiny scraps have words on them...and they usually I am in the habit of writing scriptures or creative ideas on whatever may be handy in the moment of my Divine Inspiration! :)

This fact about my self fluttered through my mind, as the tiny card stock scrap almost fluttered down into trash, so I stopped myself to look for the tell tale signs of my chicken scratch on the back of the tag...expecting some previously ordained word of wisdom or spark of a vision.  I was met instead with a clearance tag...indicating that I had scored a deal...a huge deal...this was not a random tag from one of my teenagers this was a trophy of sorts...attesting to my incredibly frugal shopping prowess! 

This, my dear friends, was tangible evidence that I had spent my birthday money well, (birthday money that I received and spent last October...which means that this little scrap has been on my desk for months...but why clutter a perfectly good story with the reality of my housecleaning hiatus in this room),  scoring a $30 top for a mere $9.

This information was thrilling and yet disturbing at the same time.  Have I, during the course of challenging situations over the past couple of years, developed a need to leave reminders to myself of mini-victories like pat myself on the say that I have skills that go beyond the mundane &/or medical caregiver responsibilities that I vacillate between??? Scary!

As I contemplated the pros & cons of delving into self-psychoanalysis (a scary thought...'going where no man has dared to go before') I realized that there was a little flap on this clothing tag...a flap when lifted, revealed something of purpose!  No, I am not a collector of useless pieces of paper...No, I am not a needy housewife storing up proof of shopping brilliance to make me feel better about my self (phew!).  I am...wait for it...a collector of words!

The words this little flap of card stock revealed were, "Life is Beautiful ~ Dress Accordingly"

Love it!  What a great reminder of Truth...truth that is not dependant on the current weather condition, financial situation, health circumstance or relationship factor.  Regardless of what life may look like or feel like, life indeed is beautiful!

Life is a Beautiful gift from God.  He has given us life....saved us through the gift of His Son...comforts us with His Spirit...provides wisdom when we ask....promised to never leave us or forsake us...blesses us with His Amazing Grace...hears us when we cry....and gives us the peace that passes all understanding!

So, I ask, if body size or budget were not an issue how would you dress for this Life is Beautiful mentality?...

Would it be something fancy & floral like this?

Or something short & sassy like this?

Or would you concentrate more on the footwear?
Where jeans are my fickle friends, shoes on the other hand never let me down! :)

Or maybe what we should clothe ourselves in is something not found in our favorite department store or boutique.

Maybe, just maybe the most appropriate way to dress in response to this Beautiful Life the Lord has provided us with has nothing to do with current fashion or our jean size...

Maybe what we should 'put on' to reflect this Beautiful Life is found in Isaiah 61:3...a garment of praise!

Despite the circumstance or situation we may find our self in Life is indeed still Beautiful!...because of the Lord's great love for us...because of His forgiveness and faithfulness...because He remains on the Throne and holds our life in the palm of His mighty hand!

So won't you join me in getting all gussied up in that Garment of Praise and maybe even accessorizing it with a 'thank You Jesus' and giving the Lord the Praise that He is due?  If we choose this attire I guarantee we will be the best dressed women in town!

Join me Friday for Food 4 Thot...and next week for Part 2 of Life is Beautifully Messy.

Serving Him and you,

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

Since I am a "wee bit o'Irish" and this week holds St. Patrick's Day in it's line-up, I thought I would give us A Verse to Chew On that would be a great reminder that we don't need to catch a little leprechaun or find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to have all our desires met!

No, we have something much more tangible and defiantly more reliable to put our hope and trust in...

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, trust Him and He will act.
Psalm 37:4-5

This was the first 'grown-up' verse that I studied and memorized and applied to my life.  By 'grown-up' I mean it wasn't one of those required Sunday School verses of my childhood like John 3:16 & Psalm 23.  Those are powerful verses and should be planted in one's heart and studied and applied.  But they were fed to me.  This verse I found all on my own [with direct help from the Holy Spirit of course :) ] when I was just about the same age that my first born is spoke to me (probably the first time in my life that had happened) and I had to learn more about it...what did it mean and how should I apply it to my life?

Some of the questions I asked myself then...and I think we should ask our selves now as we chew on it are...

~Do you think this verse means that God will give us everything that we want?
~How do you think the Lord defines the 'desires of your heart'?
~What do you think it means to 'delight yourself in the Lord"?
~What part(s) of your life to you need to 'commit' to God that you haven't? there any area that you aren't trusting Him with?
~How does it make you feel to know that if you keep the conditions of this verse, (delight, commit, trust), that God promises to act on your behalf with your best interest in mind?

As you chew on this verse over the week take time to look up some of the key don't have to have Vine's Expository Dictionary of Bible Words at your disposal, Webster's will be just fine...and see if the definitions of some common words make a difference in how you relate to this portion of scripture.

Praying that your week will be filled with many wonderful Jesus moments! :)

Serving Him and you,