Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

Even the strongest people get tired sometimes, but God's power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen in our time of need. His strength is our source of strength and stamina. When you feel all of life crushing down upon you and cannot bear to go another step, remember that you can call upon the Lord to renew your strength. Hoping in the Lord is expecting that His promise of strength will help us to rise above life's distractions and difficulties. It also means simply trusting God. Trusting helpless us to be prepared when He speaks to us. Then we will be patient when he asks us to wait and expect him to fulfill the many promises found in his Word. As we prepare for the dawning of a new year, instead of making resolutions that we may or may not keep, on whose success depends solely upon our human will and frailty, we should decide to renew our faith by looking back and seeing all the glorious things that God has done for us through the preceding year and know in our hearts that He will continue to be faithful during the next.

God Bless you,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Happiness vs Joy

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I-in righteousness, I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness.

Psalm 17:13-15

We deceive ourselves when we measure our happiness or contentment in life by the amount of wealth we possess. When we put riches at the top of our priority list, we let power, pleasure, and financial security, overshadow the eternal value of our relationship with God. We all know that financial security is important, especially if we are going to sleep well at night, not fearing that they power will be shut off at any given moment. However, financial security, while important, is not the MOST important element in our life. And it, in and of itself, does not provide happiness. We think we will be happy or content when we get riches, only to discover that they don't really satisfy at all, and the pleasures quickly fade away. The true measurement of happiness or contentment is found in God's love and in doing His will. You will find true happiness if you put your relationship with God above all else, including earthly riches.

God Bless you,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

And The Angels Sing

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Luke 2:8-12

And that says it all . . .

Merry Christmas everyone!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can I Post With A Netbook?

Proof of the Truth

The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not be able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at the proper time."

Luke 1:19-20

Zechariah listened to the angel's promise that he and his wife would have a son, one who would become a blessing to the nation of Israel. Being a priest, Zechariah knew about the ancient teaching that one like Elijah would preceed the Messiah's coming. So when the angel spoke of his boy in terms of the "spirit and power of Elijah," Zachariah knew that this one short phrase summarized his son's career as the precursor to the Savior of the world.
Overcome with doubt, Zechariah asked for proof. He got it, but it was not the kind of proof that he expected. The elderly priest completely lost his speech until his son, the child of this promise, was born. Once the child arrived, Zechariah opened his mouth wide and gave praise to God.
Look at Zachariah's progression; he moved from fear to doubt to faith. We have all known fear and doubt, and most of us have found out that it is easy to get stuck there. Faith can follow fear and doubt for us as it did for Zechariah. But, as Zechariah eventually was, we need to be receptive to the truth.
God may not send an angel to speak to you or take away your speech to prove himself. But He will give you the all the evidence you need to believe in His promises for your life. As you read God's Word and discover His promises, ask Him to move you beyond fear and doubt and into faith.

God Bless you,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Rule of Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:15-17

The word rule comes from a language of athletics: the apostle Paul tells us to let Christ's peace umpire or referee our hearts. He is the one who must make the final call. His decision must be binding in our lives. We must not rely on instant replay and try to rationalize our own behavior. "Well, I was close. I was at the line, but I did not cross the line. Or did I?" Our hearts are the center of conflict because there our feelings and desires clash - our fears and hopes, distrust and trust, jealousy and love. How can we deal with these constant conflicts and live as God wants? Paul explains that we must decide between conflicting elements by using the rule of peace - which choice will promote peace in our souls and in our churches and in our families and in our communities? Doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of our daily lives. As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times - wherever you go and whatever you say. The important question is what impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you?

God Bless you,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Love, Is It In You?

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven you. Is it difficult for you to forgive someone who has wronged you a little when God has forgiven you so much? Realizing God's infinite love and forgiveness can help you love and forgive others. All the virtues that the apostle Paul encourages us to develop are perfectly bound together by love. As we clothe ourselves with these virtues, the last garment we put on is love, which holds all of the others in place. To practice any list of virtues without practicing love will lead to distortion and fragmentation. Christians should live in peace. Too often you see or hear evidence to the contrary. To live in peace does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion are resolved, but it does require that loving Christians work together despite their differences. Such love is not a feeling, but it is a decision to meet others' needs. To live in love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers. Consider what you can do to demonstrate that love. God's love is real, and God's love is in each one of us. It is time that we let that light shine.

God Bless you,


Monday, December 6, 2010

Building Bridges

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Colossians 3:9-11

What does it mean to "put on the new self"? It means that your conduct should match your faith. Quite simply, if you are a Christian, you should act like it. To be a Christian means more than just making good resolutions and having good intentions; it means taking the right actions. This is a straightforward step that is as simple as putting on your clothes. Every Christian is in continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and His work, the more we are being changed to be like Him. Because this process is lifelong, we must never stop learning and obeying His Word. There is no justification for just drifting along, but there is a great incentive to find the rich treasures of growing in Him. It takes practice, ongoing review, patience, and concentration to keep in line with His will. The Christian church is the one place on earth where everyone should feel welcome. The church should have no barriers of nationality, race, education, wealth, or power. Christ breaks down all barriers and accepts all people who come to Him as they are. Nothing should keep us from telling others about Christ or accepting into our fellowship any and all believers. Christians should be building bridges, not walls.

God Bless you,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Ruler of the World

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Colossians 1:16

Because the false teachers believed that the physical world was evil, they thought that God himself could not have created it. If Christ were God, they reasoned, he would be in charge only of the spiritual world. But Paul explained that that all the rulers, powers, thrones, and authorities of both the spiritual and physical worlds were created by and are under the authority of Christ himself. This includes not only the government but also the spiritual world that the heretics were so concerned about. Christ has no equal, and no rival. He is the Lord of all. He is big enough to fulfill His every promise. He is great enough to handle your biggest worries this Christmas season. He is God enough to provide peace in chaos and light in darkness. Continue to trust Him and He will bless you.

God Bless you,


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Discussion On Distraction

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Philippians 2:12-13

"Therefore" ties this verse to the previous section. "Work out your salvation," in light of the preceding exhortation to unity, may mean that the entire church was to work together to rid themselves of divisions and discord. The Philippian Christians needed to be especially careful to obey Christ, now that Paul was not there to continually remind them about what was right. In the same way, we too must be careful about what we believe and how we live, especially when we are on our own. In the absence of cherished Christian leaders, in the absence of people we trust to hold us accountable, we must focus our attention and devotion even more on Christ so that we will not be sidetracked. Our journey takes us on adventures day to day, and we can see God's hand working in our lives, if we are paying attention. By the same token, we can get easily sidetracked if we are not paying attention to what is true and right. So much in this world is set before us purely as a distraction. We must be wise and we must be wary in order to avoid the pitfalls that are common to us all. Keep looking up and all will go well with you, even when things around you are truly chaotic.

God Bless you,


Monday, November 22, 2010

Be Joyful Always

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

This is, perhaps, one of the most encouraging passages in the Bible. The apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippians. It might seem strange that a man in prison would be telling a church to rejoice. But Paul's attitude teaches us an important lesson: our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus was with him. Several times in this letter, Paul urged the Philippians to be joyful, probably because they needed to hear it. It is easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too seriously. If you haven't been joyful lately, you may not be looking at life from the right perspective. Take this Thanksgiving weekend and reflect on what is really important . . . and rejoice!

God Bless you,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moving On

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Let us live up to what we have already attained.

Philippians 3:14-16

Sometimes trying to live a perfect Christian life can be so difficult that it leaves us drained and discouraged. We may feel so far from perfect, that we can never please God with our lives. Paul used the word perfect to mean mature or complete, not flawless in every detail. Those who are mature should press on in the Holy Spirit's power, knowing that Christ will reveal and fill in any discrepancy between what we are and what we should be. Christ's provision is no excuse for lagging devotion, but provides relief and assurance for those who feel driven. Christian maturity involves acting on the guidance that you have already received. We can always make excuses that we still have so much to learn. The instruction for us is to live up to what we already know and live out. What we have already learned. We do not have to be sidetracked by an unending search for truth. We simply accept where we are, and we move on.

God Bless you,


Monday, November 8, 2010

Pressing Toward the Goal

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

The apostle Paul says that his goal is to know Christ, to be like Christ, and the be all Christ has in mind for him. This goal of absorbs all Paul's energy. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal of knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that will distract us from being effective and productive in our daily lives. You must ask yourself, what is holding you back? Once you pinpoint what those things are that are holding you back, you must let them go. We all must shake off the things that hinder us. All of us have baggage. Some of us carry baggage around with us for years before we decide to finally let it go. It may be baggage of the past, baggage of habit, baggage of hurt or resentment. It doesn't matter what it is. The point is that it is doing nothing but slowing you down. It is time to let go. Strive forward and attain what God has for you.

God Bless you,


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Power of Living

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Philippians 3:10-12

When we are united with Christ by trusting in Him, we experience the power that raised Him from the dead. That same mighty power will help us live morally renewed and regenerated lives. But before we can walk in the newness of life, we must also die to sin. Just as the resurrection gives us Christ's power to live for Him, His crucifixion marks the death of our old sinful nature. We can't know the victory of the resurrection without personally applying the crucifixion. James says, "Faith without works is dead." This is not speaking of works in the outward sense, that we need to earn God's grace or earn our ticket to heaven. This is simply talking about the application of the new covenant; the application of the cross in our lives. Faith that we have for what Christ has already done will ensure His power working in us and through us on a daily basis. The power to change our nature, and to become more like Christ is not in us, the power resides with Him who chose us. The sooner we realize how powerless we are as mere frail human beings, the sooner we will be filled with His power from above.

God bless you,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Walking in Victory

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:22

Why does forgiveness require the shedding of blood? This is no arbitrary decree on the part of a bloodthirsty God, as some have suggested. There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive, Jesus shed His blood - gave his very life - for our sins so that we would not have to experience spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Jesus is the source of life, not death. He gave his own life to pay our penalty for us so that we might live. After shedding His blood for us, Christ rose from the grave and proclaimed victory over sin and death. In that, we need to realize that the victory has already been won. It is time that Christians all over the world take hold of that victory and share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. It is time that we walk victoriously, not in our own power, but in the power of him who had the ability to do what could not be done by anyone else. We have all received a great gift. But some of us have taken it for granted. We continue to act as if no sacrifice had ever been made. We continue to act as if we are the ones who are making all the sacrifices. We need to start to pay attention to the Truth and walking in the victory that He has given us.

God Bless you,


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I just like this

The Final Sacrifice

Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices, day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.

Hebrews 7:26-27

In the Old Testament when animals were sacrificed, blood was demanded as atonement for sins, and God accepted animal blood to cover the people's sins. Because of the sacrificial system, the Israelites were generally aware that sin cost someone something and that they themselves were sinful. Many people take Christ's work on the cross for granted. They do not realize how costly it was for Jesus to secure our forgiveness - it cost him His life and painful, although temporary, separation from His Father. Because Jesus died once for all, He brought the sacrificial system to an end. He forgave sins - past, present, and future. The Jews did not need to go back to the old system, because Christ, the perfect sacrifice, has completed the work of redemption on the cross. You do not have to look for another way to have your sins forgiven - Christ was the final sacrifice for you.

God Bless you,


Monday, November 1, 2010

The Past and the Present

Because of this oath, Jesus has become a guarantee of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:22-25

No one can add to what Jesus did on the cross in order to save us; our past, present, and future sins are all forgiven, and Jesus is with the Father as a sign that our sins are forgiven. If you are a Christian, remember that Christ paid the price for your sins once and for all. As our high priest, Christ is our advocate, the mediator between us and God. He looks after our interests and intercedes for us. The Old Testament high priest went before God once a year to plead for the forgiveness of the nation's sins; Christ makes perpetual intercession for us. Christ's continuous presence in heaven with the Father assures us that our sins have been paid for and forgiven. This wonderful assurance frees us from guilt, and from the fear of failure. We no longer need to feel bad and beaten up over past deeds that we regret. Christ has let us off the hook; it is time that we do the same for ourselves. The key to living a joyous life is realizing the significance and reality of the cross and finally being free of the past. God does not hold it against you; it is time for you to let go.

God Bless you,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Down on the Farm

Life on the Farm

By Henry M. Lorang

Down on the farm, about half-past four

I put on my pants, and sneak out the door,

Out through the yard, I run like the dickens,

Milk the cow and fee all the chickens.

I clean out the barn, curry Prince and Jiggs,

Separate the cream and slop all the pigs.

Work about two hours, then eat like a Turk,

Then by Heck, I’m ready for a day’s work.

So I grease up the wagon and put on the rack,

Throw a jug of water in an old grain sack,

Hitch up the horses and hurry down the lane,

Must get the hay in, ‘cause it looks like rain.

Look over yonder, sure as I’m born,

Cattle on the rampage, cows in the corn,

Start across the meadow, run a mile or two,

Heaving like a windbroke, wet all through.

Get back to the wagon, then for recompense,

Prince gets straddled in the barbed wire fence.

Bones all aching, muscles in a jerk,

I’m as fit as a fiddle for a full day’s work.

Crops all in, and winter is nigh,

Check up the books and heave a big sigh.

Worked all season, didn’t make a thing.

Got less cash than I had last spring.

Some people say there ain’t no Hell,

But they never farmed, so they can’t tell.

But a spring rolls ‘round, I take another chance,

As the fringe grows longer on my old blue pants,

So I give my suspenders another big jerk,

And by Heck, I’m ready for a full day’s work.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Discipline

Do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 3:11-12

Discipline means "to teach and to train." Discipline sounds negative to many people, because some disciplinarians are not at all loving; indeed, they are the exact opposite. God, however, is the source of all love. He does not punish us because he enjoys inflicting pain (as some would have you believe), but because he is deeply concerned about our developement and well-being. He knows that in order to become morally strong and good, we must first learn the difference between right and wrong. His loving discipline enables us to do that. It's difficult to know that God has been disciplining us until we look back on the situation later. Not every calamity comes directly from God, of course. But if we rebel against God and refuse to repent when God has identified some sin in our lives, He may use conviction, crisis, or unfortunate experience to bring us back to Him. Sometimes, however, difficult times come even when there is no flagrant sin in our lives. Then, as it was with Job, our response should be patience, integrity, and confidence that God will show us what to do.

God Bless you,


Monday, September 20, 2010

God's Wisdom

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

1 Corinthians 1:20-25

Many Jews considered the Good News of Jesus Christ to be foolish, because they thought the Messiah would be conquering king accompanied by signs and miracles. Jesus had not restored David's throne as they expected. Besides, he was executed as a criminal, and how could a criminal be a savior? Greeks, too, considered the gospel foolish: they did not believe in the bodily resurrection; they did not see in Jesus the powerful characteristics of the mythological gods; and they thought no reputable person would be crucified. To them, death was defeat, not victory.
The Good News of Jesus Christ still sounds foolish to many. Our society worships power, influence, and wealth. Jesus came as a humble, poor servant, and he offers his kingdom to those who have faith, not to those who do all kinds of good deeds to try to earn his gifts. This looks foolish to the world, but Christ is our power, the only way we can be saved. Knowing Christ personally is the greatest wisdom anyone could have.

God bless you,


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Source of All Wisdom and Strength

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.

Jeremiah 9:23-34

People tend to admire four qualities in other people: wisdom, power (strength), kindness, and riches. But God puts a higher priority on knowing Him personally and living a life that reflects his justice and righteousness. What do you want people to admire most about you? It's a simple question that only you can answer. The answer to that question reveals the priorities in your life. God has declared you are his priority. He knows you better than you know yourself, he can count the hairs on your head as he can count the stars in the sky, he has cast your sin and guilt away from you as far as the East is from the West. God gives graciously to all who ask. God gives graciously because it is his nature to do so. He loves us, not because of anything that we have done, simply because of who he is. If you live your life truly devoted to God, his gifts become yours, and his nature, his peace, his hope are what people will admire most about you.

God Bless you,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Mystery of His Will

And he made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Ephesians 1:9-10

God was not intentionally keeping his plan a secret ("the mystery of his will"), but his plan for the world could not be fully understood until Christ rose from the dead. His purpose for sending Christ was to unite Jews and Gentiles in one body with Christ as the head. Many people still do not understand God's plan; but when the time is right ("when the times will have reached their fulfillment"), he will bring us together to be with him forever. Then everyone will understand. On that day, all people will bow to Jesus as Lord, either because they love him or because they fear his power.

God Bless you,


Thursday, September 9, 2010

God's Love

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

To love others was not a new commandment, but to love others as much as Christ loved others was revolutionary. Now we are to love others based on Jesus' sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Christ; it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living example of God's love, as we are to be living examples of Jesus' love. Jesus says that our Christlike love will show we are his disciples. Do people see petty bickering, jealousy, and division in your church? Or do they know you are Jesus' followers by your love for one another? Love is more than simply warm feeling; it is an attitude that reveals itself in action. How can we love others as Jesus loves us? By helping when it's not convenient, but giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others' welfare rather than our own, by absorbing hurts from others without complaining or fighting back. This kind of love is hard to do. That is why people notice when you do it and know that you are empowered by a supernatural source; empowered by God Himself.

God Bless you,


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God's Way

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

Psalm 18:30-34

Some people think that belief in God is a crutch for weak people who cannot make it on their own. God is indeed a shield to protect us when we are too weak to face certain trials by ourselves, but he does not want us to remain weak. He strengthens, protects, and guides us in order to send us back into an evil world to fight for him. And then he continues to work with us, because the strongest person on earth is infinitely weaker than God and needs his help. David was not a coward; he was a mighty warrior who, even with all his armies and weapons, knew that only God could ultimately protect and save him. God promises to give us strength to meet challenges, but he does not promise to eliminate them. If he gave us no rough roads to walk, no mountains to climb, and no battles to fight, we would not grow. He does not leave us alone with our challenges, however. Instead, he stands beside us, teaches us, and strengthens us to face them.

God Bless you,


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Eyes of the Lord

The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33:18-22

This is not an ironclad guarantee that all believers will be delivered from death and starvation. Thousands of Christian saints have been beaten to death, whipped, fed to the lions, or executed. God can (and often miraculously does) delivers his followers from pain and death, though sometimes, for purposes known only to him, he chooses not to. When faced with these harsh realities, we must focus on the wise judgments of God. The writer was pleading for God's watchful care and protection. In times of crisis, we can place our hope in God.

God bless you,


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eatmore Flax snacks (chewy Omega 3 bars)

I've never concerned myself with the benefits of Omega 3. I don't think I have a cholesterol problem, my skin is good.... omega 3 diets are for sick people and I'm NOT sick. I started eating yellow flax because it looks good, and when I put it in my FLAX SNAPS or in these chewy bars it is so GOOD I can't stop eating it.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp margarine
3 cups roasted yellow flax
1 cup raisins

Heat the corn syrup,sugar, and margarine together over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the peanut butter. Remove from heat and mix in the flax and raisins. Roll out on a greased cookie sheet, cut with a pizza cutter. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Truth

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2:2-3

By "they" Paul was referring to the young Christians of Colosse and Laodicea. Paul knew that as young Christians, many of them would be steered away from the faith by false teachings and heresy. It was Paul's intention through this letter to remind the church what it's purpose was: to encourage fellow Christians to remain true to the faith, to hold on to their very strength in Christ and to carry on His work by sharing the Good News with others. That reminder is as important today as it was when Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians. We must encourage one another through all types of trials, to stand firm, to stand in the gap for one another in love, and to continue to profess the Good News of Jesus Christ, even when, especially when, it is unpopular to do so. People need to hear the Truth.

God bless you,


Monday, August 23, 2010

God Is With You

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my the victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

God chose Israel through Abraham because he wanted to, not because the people deserved it. Although God chose the Israelites to represent him to the world, they failed to do this; as a result God sent them into captivity. Now all believers are God's chosen people through Jesus Christ, and all share the responsibility of representing him to the world. One day, God will bring all his faithful people together. We need not fear, because God is with us, God has established a relationship with us, and God gives us assurance of his strength, help, and the victory over sin and death. He is there when we don't see him. He is there when we don't recognize his presence in the circumstances of our lives. We have been granted victory. We have been granted strength. It is up to us to receive it.

God Bless you,


Monday, August 16, 2010

Blessed part 3

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the councel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

There is simple wisdom in these verses-the more we delight in God's presence, the more fruitful we are. When Scripture says, "whatever he does prospers," it does not mean immunity from failure or difficulties. Nor is the guarantee of health, wealth, and happiness. What the Bible means by prosperity is this: when we apply God's wisdom, the fruit (the results) we bear will be good and receive God's approval. Just as a tree soaks up water and bears luscious fruit, we also are also to soak up God's Word, producing actions and attitudes that honor God. To achieve anything worthwhile, we must have God's Word in our hearts.

God bless you,


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blessed part 2

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the councel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

This "law of the Lord" means all of Scripture: the first five books of Moses, the Prophets, and all other writings. The more we know the whole scope of God's Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions. You can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. Meditating means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. It means asking yourself how you could change so you're living as God wants. Knowing and meditating on God's Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what He says.

God Bless you,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Blessed part 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the councel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

The writer begins his psalm extolling the joys of obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit or ridicule him. Our friends and associates can have a profound influence on us, often in very subtle ways. If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we might sin by becoming indifferent to God's will. This attitude is the same as mocking. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends should help, not hinder, you to draw closer to God.

God Bless you,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

God's Grace

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Then will all your people be righteous, and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.

Isaiah 60:19-21

This wonderful picture of God's promise of eternal life, depicts two things that we see every day but oftentimes take for granted: the sun and moon. If either of those things were truly absent, the lives of everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike, would be thrown into complete and utter chaos. All we would know is darkness. The night we now know would be darker still if the moon were no longer there to lead us on our journey. God is reminding us that there are people all around us today who are in darkness right now; those who have not yet accepted the saving knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is patiently giving us this opportunity to share His love with others. His Spirit is going before us, making us righteous, and giving us the chance to share with others what we know to be the Truth. The day is coming, and will soon come, when our "sorrow will end." And I guarantee you, what is yet to come, is better than anything you can imagine.

God bless you,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

God's Protection

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God.

Psalm 34:1-3

In this chapter, God says that despite the people's spiritual failure, he will show them mercy, bring them back from captivity, and restore them. He would give them an outpouring of love, not wrath. Then the world would know that God alone had done this. God created Israel and made it special to him. God redeemed Israel and summoned them by name to be those who belong to him. God protected Israel in times of trouble. We are important to God as well, and he also summons us by name and gives us his name. When we bear God's wonderful name, we must be careful never do anything that would bring shame to it. Going through rivers of difficulty will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. If you invite the Lord to go with you, he will protect you throughout your journey, day by day.

God Bless you,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Lord's Favor

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and the garment of praise, instead of the spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus quoted these words in Luke chapter 4. As he read to the people in the synagogue, he stopped in the middle of 61:2 after the words, "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Rolling up the scroll, he said, "Today this scriptures is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21). The next phrase in 61:2, "and the day of vengeance of our God," will come true when Jesus returns to earth again. We are now under God's favor. His wrath is yet to come. A sobering message indeed. Are you ready?

God bless you,


Monday, August 9, 2010

Taste and See

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:7-8

"Taste and see" does not mean, "Check out God's credentials." Instead, it is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know you'll like it." When we take that first step of obedience in following God, we cannot help discovering that He is good and kind. When we begin walking in the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. As we trust Him daily, we experience how good He truly is.

God Bless you,


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fullness of God's Love

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19

God's love is total. It reaches every corner of our experience. It is wide - it covers the breadth of our experience, and it reaches out to the whole world. God's love is long - it continues the length of our lives. It is high - it rises to the heights of our celebration and elation. His love is deep - it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death. When you feel shut out or isolated, remember that you can never be lost to God's love. "The fullness of God" is fully expressed only in Christ. In union with Christ, and through his empowering Spirit, we are complete. We have all the fullness of God available to us. But we must appropriate that fullness through faith and through prayer, as we daily live for him. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians is also for you. You can ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of your life to the fullest.

God bless you,


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wisdom and Knowledge and Praise

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings, and he deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

Daniel 2:20-22

After Daniel asked God to reveal Nebuchadnezzar's dream to him, he saw a vision of the dream. Daniel's prayer was answered. Before rushing to Arioch with the news, Daniel took time to give God credit for all wisdom and power, thanking God for answering his request. How do you feel when your prayers are answered? Excited, surprised, relieved? There are times when we seek God in prayer, and after having been answered, dash off in our excitement, forgetting to give God credit for the answer. Match your persistence in prayer with gratitude when your requests are answered. If you ever think that you have much to learn in life, and if you ever wish that you knew more about how to handle people, then look to God for wisdom. While educational institutions provide diplomas at great expense, God gives wisdom freely to all who ask.

God Bless you,


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Great Protector

I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber.

Psalm 121:1-3

This song expresses assurance and hope in God's protection day and night. God not only made the hills, but heaven and earth as well. We should never trust a lesser power than God himself. But not only is he all-powerful, he also watches over us. Nothing diverts or deters him. We are safe. We never outgrow our need for God's untiring watch over our lives.

God bless you,


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flax Snaps

Brown flax may be good for you, but it looks like..., well it doesn't look like anything you ought to put in your mouth!
Yellow flax on the otherhand is every bit as good for you and in contrast to brown flax it begs to be eaten. Roasted, it reminds me of sesame seed. When I think of sesame seed I get hungry for sesame snaps. I had to try making flax snaps, and they are really good and very simple. So here is the recipe.
(Btw, flax is bigger roasted so to get 11/2 cups roasted flax,  roast a little more than a cup of raw flax.)

1 heaping teaspoon margarine

2 cups sugar
11/2-2 cups roasted golden flax

First prepare a surface to roll it out on, also oil your rolling pin and pizza cutter. The first time I made these I buttered an arborite counter and rolled them out on it. That was NOT smart! The mixture is very hot when you dump it from the pan, and very sticky...they didn't come off that surface very easily! This time I used a thin plexi-glass sprayed with pam.
Anyways, it is important to have that all laid out because once the sugar is melted and the flax is mixed in you have to work VERY quickly to roll it out and cut it before it hardens.
Over medium/low heat melt the margarine and sugar. It's best not to stir it too much, and keep the heat low enough that you melt, not burn the sugar. I melt the margarine first so it covers the bottom of the pan. I don't know if that helps. When it is all melted quickly mix in the flax, roll it out thin and cut with the pizza cutter. Remember you have to work quickly. And that is all there is to it.

And of course for the best golden flax available visit Grandma Lou at Mcdougall Acres!
Edit, feb. 2013
Making these is so stupid simple, and yet it is a bit of an art, melting the sugar takes patience, getting them rolled out and cut quickly enough takes a practice batch...but I have figured out what works best for rolling them out on...silicone cookie sheets are definately the ONLY way to go!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Times of Trial

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened, so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 9:1-5

The common belief in Jewish culture was that calamity or suffering was the result of some great sin. But Christ used this man's suffering to teach about faith and to glorify God. We live in a fallen world were good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. Therefore, innocent people sometimes suffer. If God took suffering away whenever we asked, we would follow him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and devotion. Regardless of the reasons for our suffering, Jesus has the power to help us deal with it. When you suffer from disease, tragedy, or disability, try not to ask, "Why did this happen to me?" Or "What did I do wrong?" Instead, ask God to give you strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is happening. He is your comfort and your guide through difficult times.

God bless you,


Monday, July 19, 2010

In Conversation

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil of that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

James 1:19-21

When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. We need to pay attention regarding our conversations and keep track of how much we are talking and how much we are actually listening. When people talk with you, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value? Or are you most concerned about getting other people to see your point of view and to have them think the way that you do? These verses also speak of anger that erupt when our ego is bruised - "I am hurt;" or "My opinions are not being heard." When injustice and sin occur, we should become angry because others are being hurt. But we should not become angry when we fail to win an argument or when we feel offended or neglected, as difficult as that may be. The truth is, selfish anger never helps anybody. James also advises us to get rid of all that is wrong in our lives and to "humbly except" the salvation message we have received ("the word planted in you"), because it alone can save us.

God Bless you,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our Identity

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:3-5

When we look at the vast expanse of creation, we wonder how God could be concerned for people who constantly disappoint Him. Yet God created us only a little lower than himself and the angels! The next time you question your worth as a person, remember that God considers you highly valuable. We have great worth, because we bear the stamp of the Creator. Because God has already declared how valuable we are to Him, we can be set free from any feelings of worthlessness. It all has to do with our perception of ourselves. We cannot function outside of that perception. We need to understand who we really are. We need to understand from which our identity is acquired. Our identity is based upon who we are and not what we do. Who we are is based upon our birth. Those of us who are born again are now identified with Christ. Once we identify ourselves with Christ and His sufferings for our sake, only then will we be able to truly live.

God bless you,


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rising to the challenge

: Abundance of Herbs...and a challenge.
It takes some imagination to find a herb in my yard these days. When we got back from vacation, the first order of business was to rid our flower beds of purslane. The pineapple weed hasn't recovered from the glyphosate, dandelions are an aquired taste, and plantain ain't tasty, we just keep it for bee stings and bug bites!
Still, thanks to the unusual spring we have had..we have a second crop of Pine berries!!
What I want to do with this unexpected bounty is mix a handful with fresh garden picked peas and NOT tell the kids!! But the peas aren't ready yet.
I like to use a handful of pineberries in our Veggivore Soup!
but they are also a welome addition in Dandelion and Purslane salads or in Lamb's quarter greens!
My apologies to Chef I obviously do not know how to provide a link...but you can visit Chef tesse's blog by looking up her blog in the blogs I follow, and you can use the search box to find our Veggivore soup!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tough Love

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lacked," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Mark 10:21

What does money mean to you? Although Jesus wanted this man to sell everything and give his money to the poor, this does not mean that all believers should sell all their possessions. Most of his followers did not sell everything, although they did use their possessions to serve others. Instead, this story shows us that we must not let anything we have or desire keep us from following Jesus. We must remove all barriers to serving him fully. What if Jesus asked, could you give up your house? Your car? Your level of income? Your reaction may show your attitude toward money-whether it is your servant or your master. In addition, Jesus showed genuine love for this man, even though he knew that the man might not follow him. Love is able to give tough advice; it doesn't hedge around the truth. Christ loved us enough to die for us, and he also loves us enough to talk straight to us. If his love were superficial, he would give us only his approval; but because his love is complete, he gives us life-changing challenges. That is what God's love is all about.

God bless you,


Saturday, June 19, 2010

What Really Matters

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God that dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Psalm 84:10-11

God does not promise to give us everything we think is good, but he will not withhold what is permanently good. He will give us the means to walk along his paths, but we must do the walking. When we obey him, he will not hold anything back, that will help us serve him. Serving the Lord and fulfilling our purpose in Him is better than any alternative on earth that we could possibly come up with. Where do we spend the bulk of our time? Where do we focus our energy? Is it in the things of the Lord, or is in the things that serve only to ingratiate our winsome desires? Wherever it is, there our heart lies also. We are relational people. Sometimes, we have to look at our relationship and attachment to things in order to properly judge our relationship with God. If we are too focused on one, then we are lacking in another. We must begin to focus on what really matters.

God Bless you,


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Don't Give Up!

Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.

II Chronicles 14:11

If you are facing battles you feel you cannot win, don't give up. In the face of vast hordes of enemy soldiers, Asa prayed for God's help, recognizing his powerlessness against such a mighty army. The secret of victory is first to admit the futility of unaided human effort, and then to trust God to save you. His power works best through those who recognize their own limitations. It is those who think they can do it all on their own who are in the greatest danger. You must first surrender in order to win the ultimate victory. Let go and let God.

God bless you,


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Portion Forever

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Who have I in heaven, but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:23-26

This song was written by Asaph, a leader of one of the temple choirs. Asaph declares his confidence in God's presence and guidance. From birth to death God has us continually in His grasp. But far more, we have a hope of resurrection. Though our courage and strength may fail, we know that one day we will be raised to life in Him in order to serve Him forever. He is our security, and we must cling to Him, as we trust in Him every day. As we go through life, as we become older in this life, as we gain wisdom, we realize as Solomon did that everything on earth is fleeting: wealth, fame, material possessions. None are fulfilling. None can bring happiness. All are temporary. As we spend time with God, we realize that only He and His desires for us are what give our lives true meaning and purpose. We must look to Him for strength today and everyday. He is our portion forever.

God bless you,