Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wisdom Is......

Wednesday morning I was preparing the lecture for our ‘The Best Yes’ book study.  I wanted to use something different than what the leader section suggested, so I began looking.  The study for the week was about wisdom and I wanted to use “godly wisdom”.  I knew there was a passage in Exodus about when God gave Moses instructions on how to build the tabernacle he also told Moses that he had given two people the wisdom they needed for their task.  When in doubt on where to find a word I always go to the concordance in the back of my Bible.  I found ‘wisdom’ and immediately went over to the Book, Chapter and Verse.  It was there!  I knew it was Exodus but nothing was listed.

Then I heard that still small voice.  You know the one that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  The voice said “you are asking the wrong question”.  I was asking ‘Where is wisdom’ the correct question should have been ‘Wisdom is’.  The voice also told me to READ what the concordance said about wisdom.  This is what I discovered about the word WISDOM.

WISDOM IS:

The justice that comes from appointing wise judges
What Solomon as God for
What we should ask God for
Having wisdom and knowing how to act upon it
Not limited by age
Found only in God
Comes from reading the Bible
What comes from listening
Takes effort to find and use it
A constant process of growth
What parents must encourage their children to strive for
You must decide to go after it
Wisdom is the opposite of foolishness
Tapping wisdom of the elderly
What comes from walking with God


We had a good time Wednesday night discussing knowledge and wisdom.  I wish everyone could have been there.  Have a blessed day in Jesus and enjoy your flowers on this rainy day.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

God's Insights



Yesterday when I awoke it appeared my day was going to be very casual and laid back.  Then I open my devotional book “Jesus Calling”.  I read the first few words and quickly closed the book.  I didn’t want to read the words.  So I picked up my Bible and began reading.

I kept thinking about the devotional but didn’t go back and read the rest of words.  If you are like me, there are countless times that you pick up your devotional book and the words on the page were exactly what you needed to hear.  Or, you just open your Bible and begin reading where the book fell open and it was exactly what you needed for the day.  I call these “God’s Insights” they are the believers horoscope for the day.

No one has more insight into my life than God.  After all, He knew before I was ever born what would happen everyday of my life.  Therefore, the term “God’s Insights” has become a part of my everyday life.

Yesterday the first words of the devotion were – “Expect to encounter adversity” that is where I closed the book and just began praying for whatever was on it’s way into my life.  Before bedtime I knew what the adversity was and I could do nothing, it is completely out of my control.  I still didn’t go back to the devotional.  At 3 a.m. I was reading my Bible and decided to go back to the devotional because at this point I needed to hear from God.  Little did I realize that I was the reason I wasn’t hearing from God because I wasn’t listening.

The devotional read – “Expect to encounter adversity in your life, remembering that you live in a deeply fallen world.  Stop trying to find a way that circumvents difficulties.  The main problem with an easy life is that it masks your need for Me.  When you became a Christian, I infused My very Life into you, empowering you to live on a supernatural plane by depending on Me.

Anticipate coming face-to-face with impossibilities:  situations totally beyond your ability to handle.  This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade.  It is precisely where I want you – the best place to encounter Me in My Glory and Power.  When you see armies of problems marching toward you, cry out to Me!  Allow Me to fight for you.  Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in shadow of My Almighty Presence.”

It was there when I needed it complete with the scripture that I found on my own.  God is there waiting for you every second of everyday.  All you have to do is to stop and seek Him and He will respond with the fatherly love He has for you.

 Today’s devotional begins with “I continually call you to closeness with Me.”  Are you checking your daily “God Insights” to hear and experience His love for you? 

Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy the flowers.  God Bless


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Staying in God's Will




This morning as I went through my email and now scanning FB, I have noticed a lot of people are posting verses asking God to help them to do His will in their lives.  I don't know how many Bible verses there are about doing God's will but I imagine there is a great number.

This is probably one of the most difficult things to accomplish in our everyday life.  We leave our home in the morning on fire for the Lord and ready to tackle anything that can possibly come our way.  After all we did ask God to help us find and do His will.  Maybe we should be asking Him to "Keep" us in His will. When we walk out the door of our home we will be constantly bombarded with worldly ways and some are presented to us in such a way it is easy to just say yes and forget about our talk with God.  I am guilty of having the best intentions of remaining in God's will but I become distracted and easily enticed through out the day.

If you think it would be easier to remain in God's will if you stayed home 24/7 you would be wrong.  God tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go out (out of your comfort zone) and make disciples of all nations,..  His commands are His will for our life.

Begin today to sincerely pray that God will keep you in His will as you go out into the world.  Don't forget to put on your armor you will need it to make it through the day.

Enjoy your flowers and enjoy your new found life in the will of God.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie


I promised to share my Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie recipe and this is my first attempt at sharing a recipe on my website with step-by-step instructions.

I like recipes with stories and this pie has a story behind it.  Several years ago Jennie James and I were on a road trip and we discovered a hidden jewel in the tiny town of Leslie, Arkansas (population 469).  Leslie is located at the Junction of Highway 65 and Highway 66.  We had originally stopped at the Serenity Farm Bakery and asked where we could eat lunch and the cashier suggested the Skylark Cafe and it was just around the corner.  The Skylark Cafe is located in a quaint Victorian home that is over 100 years old.  We were hooked from the building alone.

Seating is limited but we did find a booth to sit in.  The sweet waitress told us off the bat that if we wanted dessert we needed to order it first.  She began naming off the desserts (yes, many) for the day and we were totally lost.  She suggested we go to the cashier register and 'read the wall'.  We decided on two different desserts, then we could share with each other.  I ordered the Strawberry Cheesecake Pie and I honestly don't remember what Jennie ordered.  The pie was a slice of heaven.

Being the cook, I dissected the pie when I got home and tried to duplicate the recipe.  The following recipe is what I came up with on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  The complete recipe is at the end.  You can skip all my ramblings and go directly to the recipe or you can stick around and learn how not to make a big mess in your kitchen, when you use the wrong size pie crusts.


These are the ingredients you will need:  8 ounces cream cheese, two prepared pie crusts (this recipe makes two large pies), 1 small box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use sugar free), sugar, Cool Whip and two 16 ounce containers of fresh strawberries quartered and cornstarch (I forgot to put it in the photo).

Begin by letting the cream cheese soften until it is at room temperature...and prepare your pie crusts and bake according to your package or recipe directions and let cool.  You can use a prepared graham cracker crusts but they really aren't big enough to hold all of this wonderfulness.  If you prepare your own graham cracker crusts be sure to use 9" pie pans.  Anything smaller and you will have strawberry filling all over your kitchen...this is experience talking.


Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and add the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and blend until it is well combined.


Now add the Cool Whip and blend.

When the Cool Whip is blended with the cream cheese, set the bowl aside


Looks good, doesn't it?

In a medium saucepan empty the box of Jell-O, dash of salt and sugar.  Add 1 cup of water to the Jell-O.  Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water together until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add this to the Jell-O and cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken it will also turn to a clear red when it is ready.


Now it is time to get to work.  Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the two baked pie crusts.  Refrigerate while you prepare strawberries.


Slice/quarter the strawberries into a large bowl.  There should be four cups of strawberries maybe a little more and of course you have to make sure they are good by tasting a couple.  Pour the Jell-O mixture over the strawberries and stir, be gentle you don't want to bruise the berries.


Almost finished, now spread the strawberries over the pies dividing as evenly as possible.  Refrigerate at least three hours.


When cool top with whipped cream of Cool Whip and enjoy.  I took these to a July 4th cookout and didn't get a photo of just a slice of the pie.  Sorry.


 FRESH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE PIE

Makes 2 - 9 inch an

Ingredients:

2 prepared 9 inch pie crusts, baked according to package or recipe instructions
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
9 ounces Cool Whip (I use Lite Cool Whip)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
3 ounce box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use Sugar Free)
1 1/2 cups water (divided)
Dash of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar (or you can use Splenda granulated)

Crust:  Prepared crust according to directions or your favorite recipe.

Filling:  Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a medium size bowl.  Blend in Cool Whip.  Spread evenly into the two pie crusts.  Set aside.

Topping:  In a large bowl quarter the strawberries and set aside.  Mix Jell-O, sugar, salt and 1 cup of water in a medium size saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the Jell-O mixture.  Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and changes color.  Pour over the strawberries.  Divide the strawberry mixture between the two pies.  The juice may run over, it it does just put the pie plate on a regular plate to catch the overflow.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip and enjoy.

You may copy and paste to print this recipe.  I am still trying to figure out to make it 'printer friendly'.

Bring Back the Family Table


One of my objectives in life is to bring back the family table. When I was growing up we had dinner (supper) together as a family every night. When my children were growing up we had dinner together every night. Some nights it may have been at the baseball field (original tailgating) but we ate together. With the busy lives of today's families this family tradition seems to be going to the way side. You know it is a problem when there is a television commercial urging everyone to turn their phones off on Sunday night and enjoy a meal with their family. I am not naive enough to believe that the family table will return overnight. It disappeared over several years when we began getting busy with outside activities. Even if the food has to be 'take out' it should be eaten together.
My husband, Bob, sent me the following article. I wish I knew who to thank for the article but I don't.

She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household. - PROVERBS 31:15

R. V. Brown was the sixteenth of 17 children. As he and his siblings arrived at the dinner table, he never understood why his mother stood in the corner with a bowed head. When he was older, he learned that she was praying that the butter beans and cornbread would make it to one end of the table and back without running out!

Of all the rich memories forged in his childhood home, this was the best: dinnertime. Everybody gathered around. Talking, listening and enjoying the laughter and noise of family togetherness.

He can still hear the older kids talking about the work they'd been doing that day. Or about what had happened at school. Another might tell a story he remembered from his stint in the army. And before they finished, R.V.'s daddy, who couldn't read or write, would lean back in his chair and begin sharing from his heart in that soft, arresting voice of his. Little bits of wisdom. Nuggets about how to treat people. Pearls about how to always give your best, settling little problems by using some patience and understanding and not hurting anybody.

I hate to think what the pace of life in today's families has done to memories like these. How many kids, when they grow up and look back on their childhood, will reflect on how much it meant for them to wolf down a fast-food hamburger in the car between ball practice and youth group? I think that what we stand to lose by consistently eating on the run may be a generation that has learned to value activity over relationship . . . and continues to feed self when they could be feasting together.

Give your children something they'll always remember: Give them dinnertime.

Be honest about your dinnertime habits. Are they what they should be? What's one thing you want to do differently about your dinnertime?

Ask God to help you place more value on being together than on doing it all.

These flowers were a gift from my friend, Joan Tornquist, she picked them from her rose garden. I 'had' to use one of my vintage table cloths for these beautiful flowers for dinner that night. Pick some flowers from your garden or from the side of the road and use them for your centerpiece at 'The Family Dinner Table'. Have a blessed day.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

I would like to take this time to wish each of you a Happy Fourth of July.  I am sharing from an email I received this morning and a post from my son, Scott Lacy​.  Stay Safe.

As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Galatians 6:14

A gift like no other, it has become the ultimate symbol around the world for freedom and democracy. Erected in New York Harbor and dedicated in October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France. For millions of immigrants drawing near to New York City after long ocean voyages, Lady Liberty was one of the first glimpses of America. On the day she was dedicated, the tricolor French flag veiled her face. In a dramatic flourish, the designer and sculptor himself climbed the 354 steps within his own creation to release the flag and unveil the noble, now-familiar face. The statue is 151 feet high, from base to torch — 351 feet with pedestal and foundation included. The seven points on her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents of the world.

In other words, Liberty is a universal yearning, not just a national symbol.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the great structure fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Lighthouse Board because the Lady’s illuminated torch served as a navigational aid for ships entering the harbor. The statue became, then, a symbol and something much more.

It is the same with the cross of Jesus Christ. Across the world, it is an easily recognizable symbol of Christianity. In reality, however, it is a real and powerful navigational tool that has guided untold millions out of darkness, superstition, selfishness, addiction, and despair, bringing them into relationship with their Creator. To those who live apart from Christ, the cross is a religious icon or decorative emblem. But for those who have experienced its mighty transformational power, the cross is more like a shining torch lifted high on a dark night, welcoming them to safety.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross. If it wasn’t for that place and time in history where You laid down Your life for me, I would have no hope at all. But now I have every hope — of meaningful life today and a future in Heaven.

The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Guard Your Heart

Proverbs 4:20-23 – My son pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are left to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.  Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

The wisdom we receive from our Heavenly Father is to be placed in our hearts where it will be forever.  We may try to ignore it but it will always be there.  The wicked will enter our lives and try to disrupt the way we think by creating self-doubt.  Our lives are not to be based on doubt and lies but on the word of God and the wisdom we receive from Him.

I have been under attack because of my belief this past week.  I didn’t ask for the attack but was chosen by God to be a warrior for Him.  God gave me wisdom even before the attack and I relied upon it and I asked for more wisdom during the attack.  If the evil choose not to listen – walk away from them (this is Godly wisdom).  Pray for them that they will have their eyes opened and find Jesus.  But, first and foremost GUARD YOUR HEART.


Father God, thank you for giving me the wisdom I need to handle this difficult and awkward situation.  Your word is clear on how believers are to handle attacks.  May I never be found without the full armor of God and may I never cease to pray for divine wisdom.

Enjoy your day and enjoy the flowers.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Feet and High Fives

Most of you have probably seen the Crestor commercial on tv – the one where the woman leaves the doctor’s office dancing and giving everyone high fives.  Well, that was me early today when I left the doctor’s office.  I even let out a ‘Yes, Lord’ while I was in the restroom (didn’t realize there was someone in the other stall, she just laughed and congratulated me).  When I walked out of the building I was singing and Bob was waiting at the door to give me a high five.
  
Dr. Chakka said that my EKG was perfect and when I told him that I have been off heart meds for 10 days he said it was really perfect.  He could not believe that I was already off meds and doing so well.  We talked for a long time about the surgery, doctor and the hospital in Austin.  He does like sending his patients away for treatment.  He would rather keep them close and treat them himself.  But it all boils down to funding.  He has seen the mapping equipment at St. David’s and it cost $2,000,000 and they have eight of them.  He feels that St. Vincent’s could become a viable competitor in the cardio surgery, if the funds were available.  He is going to request for the St. Vincent’s chef to go to St. David’s and observe how they handle their heart diet food to make it so good.  Did you know that Arkansas is 49th in payback for Medicare in the United States?  It is based on per capita income and that puts at the bottom of the heap.  This isn’t fair to the people of Arkansas but that is mandated by Washington.  Okay, I’m off my soap box.

I really don’t know who was more excited today Dr. Chakka or me.  He looked at my records and the first attempted ablation was eight years ago and technology has changed so much that what aborted the ablation would be dismissed today.  He has been inside my heart three times and each time was different.  He wants to see me in nine months just to see how I am doing and after my appointment and tests in November.  After that once a year check ups.

On the way to Little Rock, Bob and I were talking about how many trips to Little Rock we had made in the last 15 years and they were too many to count because some were weekly at one time.  And the amount of money spent on medications, we could go on a really, really good vacation for at least a month.

God is so good and I am a walking, talking, breathing, praising the Lord proof that He is not just good some of the time but all of the time.

Enjoy the rest of your day and take time to enjoy all that God has created.




Thursday, June 18, 2015

Experiencing God's Extraordinary Grace, Part 2

521 Day of Experiencing God’s Extraordinary Grace. 

I have been off FB for six weeks while recuperating from my third heart ablation in sixteen months.  I want to thank all of you for your prayers, cards, calls and so many acts of kindness during this last procedure.

You may not know but I was referred to Dr. John Burkhardt at the Texas Arrhythmia Center in Austin, Texas for treatment.  On May 8th I underwent the third ablation and from all indications this one was successful.  I was taken off one of my medications when I left the hospital and last Wednesday the one remaining heart medication was taken away.  I have been on heart medications (some of them were heavy duty) for over fifteen years.  No more heart meds.  Can I hear a ‘Praise the Lord’?  The only remaining medication is Eliquis and that is a blood thinner.  If everything goes as planned I will be taken off this med in November.  My heart has to heal completely before they will remove it. 

As of today, it has 521 days since the battle of my heart began.  You can go to my website www.heartandhomeministry.com and go to the very first post to read about the beginning of this journey.  It has indeed been a journey and God has been with me and continues to be with me as my guide and anchor.  He was Dr. Burkhardt’s guide when He stopped my heart from beating so they could find the source of the problem. Dr. Burkhardt told me he had never had that happen before.  I do know they gave me a pretty hard shock to re-start my heart because the burn marks were pretty bad. 

I have an appointment with my cardiologist in Little Rock tomorrow for my six week check-up and I am excited for him to see the EKG and listen to my new heart beat.  I know he will be as excited as we are.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Where is Your Promised Land?

I received the following devotional in an email from www.incourage.me .  This is where I am in my life right now, this morning, today.  Some of you may be in the same place if you are rejoice in it.  If you are still on your journey, rejoice in it.  Enjoy the devotional and enjoy the flowers in your life.



Their toes were still in the sand of wilderness, but their eyes could finally see the Promised Land.
They knew it was for them.
Just waiting for the taking.
Are you in that place? You’ve prayed and longed for “it.” You’ve waited and waited. Now, all of a sudden, God has placed it in front of you.
I’ve become a little obsessed with the Israelites and their story, from slavery to wandering to being chosen to enter into the Promised Land. I’m sure you can identify, too, on some level.
I feel like our little family is on the edge of what God has planned for us. God has set the place in front of us.
I can identify with the Israelites’ excitement, fighting the fears and asking for forgiveness for all the grumbling I’ve done in the waiting.
I believe you and I have a Promised Land this side of heaven. You might name it your calling, your ministry, or your unique design. My Promised Land has even become a physical place.
I’ve seen the giants, the ones we have to fight. Sometimes it’s the sheer size of the project, the overwhelming need, the lack of time and energy. This place is occupied by things I don’t think I can overcome. Even though the Promised Land is always occupied by a real enemy, these “giants” are small in comparison to the true giants of faith.
“Don’t be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you . . . like He did in Egypt.” {Deuteronomy 1:29}
Just like Jesus fought for you on the cross. Just like Jesus pursued you when you didn’t know Him and didn’t care to. Just like Jesus fought off the ugly voices, the difficult family relationship, the chains of whatever was weighing you down after you met Him. He will fight for you again. Now, on your behalf as you follow God into what He has for you. He has promised it to you. He has planted the desire in your heart, changing you in the process, preparing you for what “is right in front of you.”
I love how God fought for the Israelites when they left Egypt. They did nothing but grab their families and a few belongings and walked out of their chains and into freedom. There was no battle. They followed God out of the gates and into what could have been a special time with the Captain of the Lord’s Army.
Such a wonderful reminder for us to know we don’t have to work for it, fight for it, or wish for it. At the right and opportune time, usually when we least expect it, after a time of purification in the wilderness, God will bring us to the place He has promised.
Let’s cross through the waters and step foot in the Promised Land. He will take care of the rest for you.
Lord, I pray we have been transformed by the wilderness. Forgive us for complaining and griping about the path You took us to get here, the length of our journey and how we initially viewed the Promised Land You want us to occupy for You. Yes, this place You have prepared for us is about You, God, that we might give great care to Your kingdom and people. Silence the giants. Empower us with courage that can only come from the Holy Spirit. Free us from our current bondage and allow us to see Your vision clearly. Let us faith-fully step into possession of all You have promised. Let us continue this adventure guided by You, Lord. Give in abundance, provide all we need, and be the center of our lives in our Promised Land. Be magnified!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Search for a Birthdate Verse, Part 2


I thought I was going to have to change my birthdate.  There are very few 5/19 verses in the Bible.  But, I found one.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”.  Romans 5:19.  This is really a powerful verse.  Through the disobedience of Adam we were all made sinners and through the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ those of us who believe in Him are made righteous.  Praise the Lord!!!!

Have you found your birthdate verse?  It was a good study for me.  I can also say if you were born after 5/19 the verses are very few.  Most chapter 5s only have 12 verses and several books stop at chapter 4. 

This morning as I sit on the back porch with my laptop and Bible I am in awe of this beautiful Spring day.  The rain from yesterday and early this morning has made the leaves pop from within the branches that were bare yesterday.  The grass is greener and the dogwood trees are in full bloom.  Thank you Lord for allowing me to live in an area of your world where I can see and appreciate the four seasons.  The long cold winter is over and everything has been made new. 

Enjoy this beautiful Spring day and take time to enjoy your flowers.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Birthdate Bible Study



Yesterday was my friend Joan Tornquist’s birthday.  She has been part of the Facebook 10 day Bible Verse Challenge and since it was her birthday she used her birthdate for a verse.  She chose “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13 as her verse for the day.

This verse is truly the appropriate verse for Joan.  She lives this verse everyday of her life.  She is a lot stronger than she thinks but she knows from whom her strength comes on a daily basis.  I admire her for this so much.  I am blessed to have her for a friend.

Keeping with this train of thought, I began searching through the Bible for my birthdate, 5/19.  Genesis and Exodus didn’t really speak to me so I skipped over the Psalms 5:19, there were only 12 verses in chapter 5.  On to Proverbs, nope this one is the warning against adultery.  Back to Leviticus 5:19, this one hit too close – guilty of wrong doing against the LORD.  Numbers 5:19 back to adultery again.  Deuteronomy 5:19 part of the Ten Commandments.  Judges 5:19, nope.  Oh boy, the next book is Ruth – no go only four chapters.  But I love all four of them.  On to I Samuel no verse 19.  On to 2 Samuel 5:19 the Lord is handing the Philistines over to David.   I Kings 5 only 18 verses.

Looks like I am going to be doing a lot of looking for my birthdate verse.  It will be a glorious verse when I do find it.


Enjoy the blessings God sends your way today and enjoy the flowers.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Muffins






Fresh Strawberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg...
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin pans.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 400ยบ for 20-25 minutes.
Makes one dozen muffins.

Viral Bible Verses

Have you ever thought about how a Bible verse becomes popular?  I Have.  Did you know that there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament, making a grand total of 31,102 verses in the entire Bible?  Each is just as important as the next or God would not have included them in His book.

Some verses are more popular than others i.e., John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, Genesis 1:1, I John 1:1 are just a few.  On occasion someone will make a t-shirt with a verse printed on the front or on the back, put a verse on a coffee mug or even on a piece of jewelry.  Suddenly, the verse goes viral and everyone is quoting the verse and talking about it with their friends on how it has impacted their lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is wonderful because any scripture hidden in your heart can never be taken away.  This is a good thing.  But what about the other 31,101 verses that may never go viral.

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the viral verses but it is not meant to be a stand-alone verse.  Verses 12 and 13 give the instructions on what we must do in order to receive the plan the Lord has for us. “For I have a plan for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, but plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD,” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV). 

To say God is generous is an understatement.  After all in verse 11 He told us He had a plan for us and it is a good plan because we are going to receive something from God.  We receive far more than what we are worthy just by getting out of bed in the morning.  But in these verses God is speaking directly the people of Jerusalem who will be held captive in Babylon for seventy years then He will come for them and fulfill the promise He made to them.  But, before the promise can be fulfilled they must seek Him with all their heart and then they will find Him and He will bring them back to their home.  His promise to the people of Jerusalem is no different than the one we have today and the instructions are the same. Call upon me, pray to me and I will listen. This is not an easy command.  With the busyness of our lives today we often pray on the way to work or in the shower.  Praying is not always the same as seeking and finding the Lord.  Prayers become superficial and for lack of a better term ‘rote – same thing every time’. 

God does have a plan for you but are you seeking Him and  praying to Him.  If you truly are seeking and praying He will reveal His plan for your life to you a little bit at a time.  If he revealed it all at once our heads would blow up from the overload.

When you run across a viral verse always take time to look it up and read it in context for an even richer blessing.


I hope you can understand what I have written today.  Satan did not want it to go out.  The internet has been down three times this morning when I hit ‘post’ it all goes away.  Everything would probably have made more sense if you were sitting across the table from me and we could discuss this over a cup of coffee.  God bless, enjoy the gift of today and enjoy the flowers.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AM I CONTENT?

Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
The art of being content is a very difficult lesson to learn. Very few people are really content for longer than a few hours at a time. By that I mean you will say you are content and have all you need then a few minutes later you discover an "I need" item. Is it a 'need' or a 'want'? A need is something that is vital to your health, welfare and well being and a want is just something that could make life a little easier. As I look around this morning I am very content with my material life and really there is nothing I desire that I don't already have in my possession.
But then I look at my spiritual life and I am far from content. I long for a closer walk with Jesus not just today but everyday. It is up to us on how we spend the 24 hours God blesses us with each day. Today, I need and want just a few more minutes with Jesus before I begin my day. There is always something I can give up in order to have this time but it is up to me on whether or not I choose to make my time with Jesus 'a need' or 'a want'. Today I am choosing to linger just a little longer on the back porch with my Lord.
Are you content today in where you are in your life and more importantly are you content in your spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Enjoy the blessings the Lord sends your way today and enjoy the flowers.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

"What if I Had Been There?"

As I sit on my back porch this morning, on the day before Easter, I began thinking about “What if I had there?”

As a believer, I would have been at the Gate of Jerusalem to welcome Jesus as He rode in on the donkey.  I can see the children waving the palm leaves and I can hear them singing “Hosanna”, their voices are so sweet and innocent.  Not yet marred by the sin and hatred that surrounded them.

I would have been honored to help prepare the Passover meal for Jesus and His disciples.  His slightest wish would have been my command.

I would have been in the crowd at His sham of a trial.  I would have been going from person to person asking for them to save the life of my Savior.  I would have tried to explain to them that His ministry is just beginning and He has so many more people to reach.  I would have explained that He had done nothing wrong- only good to those with whom He came in contact.  They were all frightened by the words He shared because they did not understand.

I know I could not have watched as He was beaten, mocked and stoned.  I would have been there to support His mother, Mary, even though I wanted to run and hide from the horrors I was watching unfold before my eyes.

I would not have been able to watch as the soldiers nailed my Lord to that cross.  I know this because I close my eyes and cover my ears during movies when I hear the hammer hit the iron nails and shutter at the mere thought this happening in real life.

It would have been difficult for me to sit and do nothing as the soldiers continued to mutilate His body and even cast lots for His robe.  The man who knew no sin was dying, for me.  He died for all men but most of all He died for me.

To be the woman my resurrected Lord chose to be the first one to appear before is beyond my comprehension.  Mary Magdalene was given that honor and an honor that words cannot express.  When my friend, Karen Chadick, sings “I Have Just Seen Jesus” all I can think of is – I am the one lying face down on the ground, unable to move or to speak of the one whom I had just seen.  Mary Magdalene would have helped me up and I would have followed her as she delivered the message to the disciples “I have just seen Jesus, He is alive”.

Mary Magdalene is not mentioned in the Bible after this glorious day.  She fulfilled her assignment just as Jesus instructed.  She was never the same just as I have never been the same since I met Jesus, the one who died for me.


HE IS ALIVE


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE WEDNESDAYS

I am beginning what I want to call "Women of the Bible Wednesdays". This is my first try at writing something like this and I hope I am on target. This is the Bible according to Betty and what God shows me.
Deborah – One Gutsy Girl
I am fairly sure that when Deborah was growing up she did not plan on being a ruler of Israel. She grew up just like all the other young girls in Canaan. She had chores that had to be done in her father’s house. And then in the house of her husband, Lappidoth.
But, Deborah was more dedicated and concerned about her country than most young women. She was also dedicated to God and loved Him deeply. God recognized this quality in Deborah and He set her apart for better things.
Deborah became the fourth and the only female judge of Israel. She was known in all the land for her prophetic power and her abilities as a mediator, advisor and counselor. When she was called on to lead she did not hesitate and she was able to plan, direct and participate in whatever her people were engaged. She was influential with her people and encouraged them to live their life for God.
When she called on Barak and told him “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him unto your hands.’”
Barak said, “‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’” Deborah then told him she would go but she would receive the honor not him. And, Sisera would be handed over to a woman. From what I can understand Barak did not want to go to battle against Sisera and his 900 iron chariots because it may have been futile in his eyes.. But Deborah had no problem, she knew what to do because God was giving her constant direction, even before the battle began.
Sisera heard about the attack and took his men to a dry river bed (AKA – The low road). While they were there the river began to flood and the chariots and horses were caught in the mud and drowned. Others were killed by the sword. Sisera escaped on foot and went to the tent of Jael. He felt it would be safe for him to hide in a woman’s tent because men were not allowed to enter. To make a long story short Jael killed Sisera with a tent peg and later gave his body to Barak.
If I close my eyes I can see Deborah standing on a mountain top directing and positioning the troops and telling them when where to go. If Deborah had lived in the South we would say “She was one gutsy girl”.
After the battle was over and victory was claimed by Deborah what did she do? She wrote a song about the battle, the victory and her faith in God. The song is found in Judges 5.
Deborah was ahead of her years in history and she is one woman you don’t hear a lot about. That is the way she wanted it to be. Deborah wanted the victory and glory of the battle won to go to God not her or to Barak.
You can read more about Deborah in Judges 4 and 5. Take time to get to know her – you will be glad you did.
Enjoy your day and your flowers.


PRAISE GOD AS IF NO ONE IS WATCHING

Good Morning Everyone!! Another beautiful day today.
Those who really know me know that I love Southern Gospel Music. I have been worshiping this morning (with very little restraint). I have made a joyful noise, danced, raised my hands and cried tears of worship. I am so thankful to the person who took the lead with KBHS 105.5 FM in Hot Springs the music is wonderful. When Gold City sang "The MIdnight Cry" it filled my house with God's glory. Right now "Let God be God" is playing.
How often do we let God be God. Is it only when we need him on the big things or is it everyday all day. I choose everyday all day. Don't put Him in a box and just let Him out on bad days. Take the lid off the box and get ready to have your world rocked.
Have a blessed day in Jesus. Enjoy the flowers.


IN MY DAILY PRAYERS

The weather is so nice today that I had to go visit my favorite writing place. There is a spot on the Quachita River in Malvern at the water park. I go there often to just sit, think, commune with God, and to pray. If you aren't familiar with the water park you will not realize the level of the water today. The Jeep is about 10 feet from where I usually sit. As you can see it is under water. So today I stayed in the car and 'had my little talk with Jesus'. During our talk it dawned on me that I don't pray as much as I should be other people. If you ask me to pray for you, I will. And I will pray for you when I think about you. But I need to be more deliberate in praying for others.
I have a perpetual calendar that sits in my kitchen window and I write the names of people I am praying for on that calendar. Some are coming around for the second and third years. But this morning I wanted to pray more for FB buddies. I have written names on the calendar and I have prayed for and will continue to pray for these people throughout the day. If I am praying for you I will send send you a private message and ask if you have any prayer requests. This will be private just between me and you.
Enjoy the flowers and have a blessed day today.



THANK YOU JESUS


AM I BURDENED FOR OTHERS



Today's writing is what I refer to as a soul searcher. I have been doing a lot of soul searching in the past year and this is one thing that the Lord has revealed to me.
Am I Burdened for Others --
A few years ago, my oldest son, Scott, came by for a few minutes. When he was leaving he asked if we could pick up the boys after school. I told him I was leading a Beth Moore Bible study for the next 10 weeks. He then looked at me and said something that has bothered me since that day, he said, “you sound burdened about it”. My reply was simply that I wasn’t burdened and I was just busy making dinner.
I have not forgotten his comment and it really got me to thinking yesterday as I studied and made the last minute preparations for the final lesson of “The Best Yes”. Why am I not burdened? Why am I not burdened for more of our women to attend Bible studies, Sunday School, Sunday night worship , Wednesday night Prayer Meeting, and all the other activities that are offered at our church? Am I too complacent with the non-response of others in our church and just accept that they are not interested in attending. Do they not want to grow in their walk with the Lord? Do they not want to grow spiritually and emotionally in the Lord?
Then I looked at myself – this is where the tough part comes in. Why do I choose not to come on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights unless I am taking/teaching a Bible study class? The first part of the previous sentence answers that question. I choose not to come, I want my will not the Lord’s will for my life. I am burdened for the choices I am making and want to do better and commit myself to this as of today.
Then there are the others that I should be burdened for. Our Sunday School class is a good place to begin. There are some of the best prayer warriors ever in our class but are they coming on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights? I really don't know because I choose not to come. Are they making the same choices I have made and just not coming? I can sit here all day and ask if it is apathy, poor choices, busy lives and a multitude of other excuses. I don’t know what is going on in the lives of our members but God does. How sad it must make Him when we give Him an hour to an hour and a half each week to truly worship Him as our Savior and Lord.
This isn’t just in our church but in churches everywhere. Are there any others who are burdened for our members other than the staff? I am only one person, one believer with a new found burden for the people of our church – particularly the women. How can we be Titus 2 Examples if we are not doing what we are supposed to do?
You will see a new person in me from now on. One who is burdened for her church and particularly for the women of her church. Please pray for me because this will be new ground for me to walk. The Lord has blessed me far beyond measure in the past year and I am making a commitment to serving my Lord wherever and whenever He directs. He has already given me direction and I am trying to keep up with Him.
This girl knows that God is in control. What choices are you making? Have a blessed day and enjoy the flowers.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Where Jesus Walked

This picture was taken this morning at The Sea of Galilee by my friend, Forrest Spicher. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A thousand words cannot begin to say enough about The Sea of Galilee. I just want you to really look at the photo and try to comprehend some things; this is where Jesus walked on the water, this is where the disciples were in the storm and Jesus calmed the water, and so many other events that happened during Bible times. Do you see the boat in the lake and if you look closely the utility pole resembles a cross. Oh, to walk where Jesus walked.

Some day I will not only walk where Jesus walked but I will meet him face to face and fall on my face in utter awe of His glory and majesty.

Thank you Forrest for sharing this with us.


Friday, March 13, 2015

He will supply all my needs



Okay, I admit it - I am a people observer.  Stephen Smith posted this to his Facebook page and I was immediately drawn to the sign the man is holding.  It is a piece of cardboard with the following written in Magic Marker - "Need 13¢”.

I began going through a gauntlet of questions in my mind and kept asking why just 13¢?  The photo was taken in Alaska and that amount of money will not go very far in today’s economy.  Driving around town on any given day I will see men holding signs asking for gas money, money for food and the occasional “I’ll work for money” signs.  But I have never seen one asking for 13¢, have you?

If this man was standing on a busy corner a number of people would be willing to give him the 13¢ and he could make a fair amount of money in one day.  But, then my mercy side (and I don’t have very much mercy) kicked in and surmised that he may have needed the money to finish paying for a utility bill or buying milk for his children.

There have been days when we all need just 13 more cents worth of grace from those we come in contact with everyday.  We may have been hurting and could not talk to anyone ‘with skin on’.  But, dear one our Heavenly Father is only a whisper away and He is willing and able to supply you with abundantly more than 13¢.  If you can’t talk to someone ‘with skin on’, just lift your eyes toward heaven and talk to the one who created you. He is waiting to hear from you.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9:8

Thanking my Heavenly Father for my 13¢ today.


Betty

Just Do Something

How many times have you heard someone say “It’s not my job” not jokingly but totally serious?  Over the years at work I heard this countless times.  Being the ‘take charge of the situation and I’ll do it myself then I will know it is done correctly’ person that I am – I would do whatever needed to be done and we won’t talk about what I was thinking.

I have also heard “It’s not my job, we have people paid to do that” or “It’s someone else’s turn I have done my time” at church.  This is disturbing to me because the Bible tells us in Romans 12:3-5 that a church is all the members working together as one.  “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly that you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Each of has a job to do in the church.  We all have spiritual gifts that were manifested in us when we received Jesus Christ as our personal savior.  These are found in Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let me do it cheerfully.”

It is easy to ignore things that we need to be doing and we can come up with all kinds of excuses.  My personal favorite happened several years ago.  I called a young lady and asked her if she would pray about teaching a two year old Sunday School class.  She immediately said – “No, I might get pregnant”.  I was completely taken aback by this quick response.  I wanted to say that I had never known of anyone getting pregnant teaching two years olds.  This job was usually more of a visual aid for birth control.  But all I said was “okay and thank you for your honesty”.  How often do we give an ‘off the cuff’ answer instead of giving someone the time in prayer they requested?  In hind sight, I am glad she said no to teaching pre-school because it was not her spiritual gift.

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?  God gives us spiritual gifts so we can build up His church.  Notice I said us and we and them and they.  We don’t all have the same gifts but we must all dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not our own personal agenda, success or ego.  We must be willing to utilize our gifts and not hold anything back from God’s service.  If you are stepping out in faith to use your gift for the first time, rest assured that our gracious God will give you the faith and power you need to complete the assignment.

These are some of the things you can do in your church to best use your spiritual gifts:
1.  Gift of prophesying – this doesn’t mean predicting the future but more interpreting the past by preaching God’s message to all people.  If God called you to preach – don’t miss your call by arguing with Him.
  
      2.  Gift of service – there are countless areas within the church where you can serve; hold a baby in extended session, Wednesday night kitchen duty, sing in the choir or play in the orchestra, be a greeter, work with local missions and the list is endless.

      3.  Gift of teaching – teachers with a heart for God are always needed whether it is in bed babies to senior adults, discipleship training or children’s church, you are needed.

      4.  Gift of encouragement – people blessed with the gift of encouragement often prefer to work in the background, they place value on others and want to be used but not out on the front lines.  Our church has a small group of ladies who meet every week and send cards to people who are ill, having birthdays, are homebound and some who just need a touch and to know that someone cares.

      5.  Gift of contributing – the first thing we think of with this gift is ‘money’.  Some are blessed financially and give freely to help others in need.  Others pray diligently for God to bless the 90% left after writing the tithe check. God needs your time.  The time you can devote to caring for others by preparing a meal for someone who is ill, or using your talents to help a family whose home is need of repair.  The list is endless of how you can give of your time.  We don’t all have the same amount of money but we do have the same amount of time and we need to share it with others.
  
      6.  Gift of leadership – churches need good leaders for committee work, for their organizational skills and most of all for their ability to lead a team in the right direction.  A true leader knows God is in control and He places people under the leaders who will benefit and learn from the leaders skills.  A good team leader plus a good leadership team equals a successful ministry.
  
      7.  Gift of mercy – people with the gift of mercy are very special.  Everyone wants mercy to be shown toward them but many of us do not have this precious gift.  On the spiritual gifts test I score the lowest on mercy.  But, I am learning with the help of the Lord to extend myself into this uncharted territory.  People with the gift of mercy are always smiling, ready with a hug and an open heart.  I personally believe they will have extra jewels in their heavenly crowns.

We all have something to do in our churches and in our communities.  Matthew West has a new song entitled “Do Something”.  Please read the words and then ask God what He wants you to do for Him.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how'd we ever get so far down
How's it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, "God, why don't You do something?"


Well, I just couldn't bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, "God, why don't You do something?"


He said, "I did, I created you"
I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God's hands and feet
But it's easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It's alright, "somebody else will do something"


Well, I don't know about you
But I'm sick and tired of life with no desire
I don't want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
"I'm gonna do something"


If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it's time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It's not enough to do nothing
It's time for us to do something

Until next time, I am living for Him,
Betty