Sabtu, 30 April 2011

2 months {and 7 hours}

As it always seem to do, time is flying by.  Our baby girl is already 2 months old! She is growing every day and is just so precious! She smiles *a ton* which I love! I finally feel like we have a "normal-ish" routine again- although I do feel 10x busier, and am having a hard time logging hours for work.  The good news is that Claire is going to sleep around 9pm in her cradle, and she doesn't wake up until 4am! That is 7 hours of real sleep {for me and her}! Woo hoo! That is pretty awesome for a solely breast-fed baby.  I have heard formula babies sleep through the night fairly early because it sticks with them longer than the breast milk. Anyways- here are some of my favorite moments with our girl {and of course Jacky too- love that boy}.

Sweet big brother
Me & My Girl {1month here}

Daddy's Girl






 Love this little face so much!

Come out of her my people...





















"Come out of her my people . . . separate yourselves from the things of this world. Weep and wail and mourn." 

Unless your living inside a cave or under a rock most everyone knows that in the blink of eye that various parts of the Sunny South has now been left in ruins. The death toil is well over 300 people and counting.

Late last night, as I watch television news reports roll across the screen, my husband and I couldn't help but reflect that the only thought on every one's minds was for the safety of family, friends and pets. 


On Tuesday's blog Pixtal Peep, I posted a "warning" that you can  read here  from the Holy Spirit that pain and suffering was coming.  What I didn't know was the who, what, when, where and why.  Little did I know that so much pain and suffering would land in my own backyard within 24 hours, keeping me up until 2pm watching our local weather forecaster issue waves of Tornado warnings that seem to roll into Georgia like an Alabama Crimson tide. 

Dear reader, I don't have a crystal ball but I can read and I do know that we are suppose to be watchmen and women on the wall.  Which brings me front and center concerning today's post.    On Wednesday's Pixtal Peep blog  I posted a Life Lesson from my devotional bible that I titled "Give us a King."  This is a timely message from the Holy Spirit that couldn't have come at a more opportune time! 

 Life Lesson
Give us a King


1 Samuel 8: 1-22

INSPIRATION - We need to show how cold, black, hard and ugly we are, to get motivated to stay in that fire. Unless we do, we will never hate sin and fear sin and be repelled by sin enough to stay in the fire. (Says Tozer, "The Holy Spirit is first of all a MORAL flame.") . . .

I see how when liberalism waned and we evangelicals rose to popularity and were listened to, we could have given our authentic message and cried to the world. "Repent! Be radically cleansed of your sin! Received Jesus Christ's PURITY and HOLINESS for your lives!"


But instead, in that time of golden opportunity, we lost our courage. We Madison-Avenue-trivialized our glorious gospel. And we stained ourselves with the world's adulteries and fornication.

We must never weep; we must mourn! We must hate what He hates! Let us ask Him to forgive our unwashed praises before Him, our silliness, our ignorance.

Let us see how our coldness, blackness, hardness, ugliness become colder, blacker, harder, uglier--unless in terror we wrench ourselves free and rush to His precious Fire!



(From My Sacrifice, His Fire by Anne Ortlund)















 





When Your World Caves In
Pastor Adrian Rogers


“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Mark 13:26


When we come to a place where we don’t understand what is happening…when everything seems to be caving in, there is Jesus. We always have the forgiveness of the cross, the victory of the empty tomb, and the hope of Christ’s imminent return.


When we go to the doctor and he tells us we have a malignancy. When we hear that we are infertile as a couple and cannot bear a child. When we have to declare bankruptcy. When we are laid off work. When we read a note that our spouse has left. When a loved one dies because of a terrorist act. We have a Savior…and we have a choice to believe or not to believe!


At that time we can begin to murmur, criticize, grumble, or despair. Or we can yield to the Savior and hear Him say, “My child, no matter what is happening, this is how much I love you. Look to the cross. Look to the empty tomb. Look for Me. I’m coming again.”


Get in a position of humility. If you can, drop to your knees. If you cannot, bow your head and close your eyes. Imagine the cross of Christ. Meditate upon the shame Christ experienced, the pain He endured, and the victory He secured in His death.

 
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.






















Seeking Guidance: The Pattern
Dr. Charles Stanley

Matthew 7:7-8

As we’ve seen, there is a pattern to seeking God’s guidance. The first step—cleansing—is actually important throughout the entire process. In fact, all but one of the remaining steps have no particular order and can fit together in many ways.

The exception is surrender. The Lord cannot share His plans for our life until we are committed to following Him no matter what. He certainly knows whether we are seeking direction in order to obey or merely to consider what He suggests. Therefore, surrender even precedes the moment that we ask. First John 5:14-15 says that the Lord hears and grants our petitions when we ask according to His will. It’s possible to make requests that are not of God, but believers who yield themselves will find their way to the right request and the best possible answer.


Most of the time, God guides believers to an answer through His Word, which is why I encourage people to meditate upon it (Ps. 119:105). Our reading can take us to the very passage that deals with our situation or reveals a principle that applies. Sometimes God speaks a crystal clear message to one person’s heart that nobody else would glean from that particular passage. The key is to believe that the Lord is going to guide you, and live out that faith (Mk. 11:24).


The process of seeking guidance is often slow, so we must wait. Running ahead and manipulating circumstances can be a costly mistake. The omniscient Sovereign of the universe acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isa. 64:4). You who seek direction will receive; that’s a promise (Matt. 7:7-8).


For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/

Jumat, 29 April 2011

Everyone want's to witness




Everyone want's to witness

The Royal Kiss,



the Liftoff


It seems like everyone wants to witness one of NASA's last space shuttle launch, and today's planed liftoff of the shuttle Endeavour is no exception. NASA has a long list of VIP guests for Endeavour's afternoon launch, and even Hollywood found a way to nab seats for the launch... Read More







and the Return.


Father Recalls Deadly Tuscaloosa Tornado

NPR Radio: R.J., which is my older son, get up, son.
And right when I said get up and I put my hands on him,
the walls went, and he went. He just - he left.
The tornado took him right then...




Wisdom for the Way - Seeking Guidance - No Fight Left



















"You have said,
'How terrible it is for me!
The Lord has given me sorrow along with my pain.
I am tried because of my suffering and cannot rest." Jeremiah 45:3


Wisdom for the Way
Charles Swindoll


READ    Jeremiah 40:1-45:5

SITUATION   Except for 52:31-34, chapters 40-44 are chronologically the last writings in the book of Jeremiah. They recount the fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.) and its aftermath of destruction.

OBSERVATION    After the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah ministered to the remnant in Palestine and Egypt. They may have lost hope, but God looks at the big picture.

INSPIRATION    It's impossible to pass through life without experiencing times when you cannot see your way through a deep valley. Times when the package delivered at the back door comes delivered in the ugly wrapping of death or affliction or illness or even divorce....John Selden, the old British jurist and scholar, put it even more bluntly, "pleasure is nothing else but the intermission of pain."

You may find yourself enjoying the intermission. Today, you may be smiling. Your heart may be light and merry. Perhaps answers to prayer have come beautifully and deliberately. You are swept away in delight. But it's also quite possible that you are caught in the grip of affliction. You may be going through some of the hardest days of your life. You may be wondering, Why? Why me? Why this trail?

When you persevere through a trail, God gives you a special measure of insight. You become the recipient of the favor of God as He gives to you something that would not be learned otherwise. (From Wisdom for the Way by Charles Swindoll)

APPLICATION    If you're undergoing a trail in your life, try to look at the big picture. Reflect on your current situation and ask God to help you see it from his view. Spend a day alone with God and ask him to help you understand his perspective for life.

EXPLORATION     Guidance -- Psalm 23:3; 25:4-5; Isaiah 58:11; John 16:12-13

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing The Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado, General editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers



























Seeking Guidance: The First Step
Dr. Charles Stanley

1 John 1:8-10

By forsaking the broad worldly way, believers have chosen a narrow path (Matt. 7:13). However, we’re not wandering blindly on it. The Holy Spirit is our guide. He directs our steps toward new opportunities and offers discernment so we can make wise decisions that keep us on course for God’s will.

It is the nature of this journey that we have to stop often and seek guidance. God is pleased to respond to earnest requests for direction, as He wants to keep His followers in the center of His will. But I’ve discovered that many Christians wonder how to pursue divine guidance.

Seeking God’s direction involves a pattern that begins with cleansing—in other words, the first place to look is at ourselves. Ask, “Father, do You see anything in my life that might interfere with my understanding what You are saying?” Sin shuts down the guidance process: it strangles the power flowing from the Holy Spirit and thereby clouds our judgment (1 Thess. 5:19). First John 1:9 tells us that God cleanses unrighteousness when we confess our sins. The Bible also contains a clear warning for those who refuse to relinquish a rebellious habit or attitude—the Lord does not hear their cries (Ps. 66:18). As He brings to mind problem areas, lay them before the cross.

Cleansing is actually woven into the entire process of gaining divine guidance. God brings sin to our attention as we’re equipped to deal with it. So on the way to receiving His clear direction, we may revisit this “first” step often and in that way can experience a time of rich spiritual growth and renewal.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.




No Fight Left




To GOD be all the glory, honor, and reverence!

In JESUS' name, Amen.

Thank-you  MESSIAH YESHUA/JESUS CHRIST!

I'm giving it all up to YOU!

Praise the LORD of Lords and the KING of Kings!

Amen.

We all need to give it all up to GOD, perfect reminder. Beautiful. May JESUS continue to bless, guide, direct, and use you for HIM and His kingdom.

Keep steadfast, focused, and strong in the faith trusting JESUS CHRIST all the way!

Kamis, 28 April 2011

Give Us A King



Couple trying to 'block out terror' of wedding watched by two billion

Kate will vow to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William

Royal pair broke with tradition by writing own message in official programme





Life Lesson


SITUATION   - When Samuel retired, Israel rejected his sons as judges and asked for king in spite of God's warning against this.  Their request for a king was based on a desire to be like all the other nations.

OBSERVATION -  Israel demonstrates that our desire to imitate the world may seem righteous at first, but the final result will be destruction.

INSPIRATION   -   We need to show how cold, black, hard and ugly we are, to get motivated to stay in that fire.  Unless we do, we will never hate sin and fear sin and be repelled by sin enough to stay in the fire. (Says Tozer, "The Holy Spirit is first of all a MORAL flame.") . . .

I see how when liberalism waned and we evangelicals rose to popularity and were listened to, we could have given our authentic message and cried to the world. "Repent!  Be radically cleansed of  your sin! Received Jesus Christ's PURITY and HOLINESS for your lives!"

But instead, in that time of golden opportunity, we lost our courage.  We Madison-Avenue-trivialized our glorious gospel.  And we stained ourselves with the world's adulteries and fornication.

We must never weep; we must mourn!  We must hate what He hates!  Let us ask Him to forgive our unwashed praises before Him, our silliness, our ignorance.  Let us see how our coldness, blackness, hardness, ugliness become colder, blacker, harder, uglier--unless in terror we wrench ourselves free and rush to His precious Fire!  (From My Sacrifice, His Fire by Anne Ortlund)



Life Application Study Bible,, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Zondervan Press, page 319 Life Lesson  1 Samuel 8: 1-22 Israel Asks for a King

She Didn't Live Happily Ever After . . . But She Could Have




She Didn’t Live Happily Ever After … But She Could Have
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair,” (Isaiah 61:1-4 NIV).

Friend to Friend
We all know the story of Cinderella. She went from being held captive in the furnace to being a captivating belle of the ball, from being covered with ashes to being crowned with jewels, from being abused by her wicked stepfamily to being adored by her entire village. We all love “And they lived happily ever after” endings.

In 2 Samuel 13 of the Bible, there is a story that somewhat reminds me of Cinderella’s, but with two major differences: it is no fairy tale and the events occur in reverse. It is the story of Tamar, the lovely princess daughter of King David.

Tamar was one of the most beautiful young ladies in the entire kingdom. Her name meant “palm tree,” a symbol of victory and honor. She had several siblings: sisters, brothers, half-brothers, and half-sisters. It was a royal blended mess.

One of her half brothers, Amnon, lusted after his beautiful half-sister to the point he couldn’t sleep at night. At the advice of a wicked friend, Amnon plotted to lure Tamar into his bedroom with the help of their unsuspecting father. Amnon pretended to be sick and requested some of Tamar’s special baked bread. He also requested that she feed it to him with her own hands. Tamar obeyed her father’s request to tend to her brother. After she entered his bedroom, the supposed sickly Amnon commanded the servants to leave the room and lock the door behind them. He grabbed Tamar, threw her on his bed, and even though she begged and pleaded for him to stop, he stole her most treasured possession, her virginity. After he had his way with her and his lust was satisfied, Amnon tossed Tamar on the floor along with her hopes and dreams.

The distraught, devastated, and demeaned Tamar ran from Amnon’s room, crying out in anguish and despair. She tore her royal robes and ran the halls searching for her beloved brother, Absalom. When Absalom came to her rescue, he surmised what had happened and bid her to come to his house to live. “Shhhhh,” he whispered, “don’t worry; I’ll take care of you. Now don’t tell anyone what happened, just leave it up to me.”

And even though Tamar was still a royal princess, she spent the rest of her days secluded in a darkened room, wearing sackcloth as if in mourning and placing ashes on her head in shame. Never again did she place the royal robe which was rightfully hers on her shoulders or live as the princess she truly was. She lived the rest of her life believing she could never be restored.

This is not just the story of Tamar, but the story of many women I meet everyday – hiding because of shame, feeling ugly and unworthy to accomplish God’s dreams. Paul reminds us that when we come to Christ, he makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), but many conceal or cover up that beauty with shame from past mistakes or abuse. It is as if they rise each morning and put a fresh dusting of ashes on their souls; the very ashes that Jesus came to wash away. And dear sister, it is Satan who keeps the supply of ashes coming and Satan who holds the box of ashes in his hand with the lid open ready for us to use.

Oh, we may not be walking around with ashes on our heads or dressed in burlap sacks, but we wear the mantle of shame that Satan has placed on our shoulders and secures with guilt-ridden deception and lies. I meet many women who have children, a husband, a successful career, and appear beautiful on the outside, but are spending their days in desolation of the soul because Satan has convinced them that’s where they belong. Wearing the cloak of shame because of past abuse, misuse or mistakes, they don’t realize that Jesus Christ has washed them clean, purchased a robe of righteousness made just for them, and He is eager to place it on their shoulders.

Please don’t let Satan deceive you into believing that you are anything less than a beautiful princess. Do not allow him to convince you your dignity cannot be restored. The truth is, it already has been. We simply need to start believing the truth.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus in these verses:

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair,” (Isaiah 61:1-4).

Jesus has the glass slipper in His hand. He’s waiting for the princess to offer her foot – your foot. Don’t let Satan tell you it doesn’t fit. The One who made your foot has already decreed that it does.

Let’s Pray
And they lived happily ever after. Dear Lord, I know that is the way the story of my life will end. I’ve read the book. I’ll live in eternity with the Prince. Forgive me when I sit in shame and forget what Jesus has done for me. Today, I will walk clothed in the mantle of righteousness that Jesus purchased just for me. In His Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
I’ve told you the story of Tamar, but I’d like for you to go back and read it for yourself. You can find it in 2 Samuel 13.

Tamar’s father didn’t do anything to help her get over her shame and come out of hiding. Your Father did. Describe, in your own words, just what God did to restore your crown.

More From the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s new book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them(a new revised version of her previous book, Dreams of a Woman). This book is for every woman whose life hasn’t turned out like she dreamed it would … and I think that includes most of us. Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His--take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find: the dream God planned for you all along. Let’s dare to dream again!






























BEES, BATS, AND STINKBUGS
Dr. Chuck Missler
Koinonia House Ministry

A truck loaded with honeybees crashed on Highway 220 in Wyoming Monday, bouncing 150-200 bee hives down the road. The bees made a nuisance of themselves until protectively-suited workers eliminated the problem. Aside from the rare bee-hauling semitrailer accident, the problem with honey bees are not their numbers, but in their lack thereof. Healthy honey bee colonies are tremendously important to farmers everywhere, but Colony Collapse Disorder has been threatening these valuable pollinators since 2006. Bees are not alone. Bats face the spread of a devastating disease in 16 states, to the concern of farmers. And while bees and bats, the farmer's friends, struggle to stay healthy, the despised stinkbug returns from its winter hibernation and is expected to destroy crops throughout the East.

Bees:

Colony Collapse Disorder has troubled bee keepers and farmers for a solid five years, worrying the agricultural industry that depends on the bees to pollinate crops. Honey bees have been dying in record numbers, and it has been difficult to nail down a specific culprit. In 2007, mites and insect diseases were blamed. Pesticides, environmental change, genetically modified crops with pest control modifications, and cell phone radiation have all been accused of causing the bee deaths. Regardless, farmers know that crops won't grow unless they get pollinated. Without bees, we all starve to death.

"Farmers say they have scores of bees fly out, land on their plants and drop to the ground, dead - or they can't even fly," said Mark Schlueter, associate professor of biology at Georgia Gwinnett College. "This could jeopardize the food supply of the whole planet."


According to the USDA, colonies lost 29 percent of their bees in 2009 and 34 percent in 2010. One major problem causing a weakness in some bee populations is the lack of food diversity. When single species crops grow as far as the eye can see with no break, bees have a hard time getting the food they need.

"So many of the problems come down to one thing, and that is monoculture. The bees can't even live there, they'll starve to death. From the point of view of nature, it's insane," says Maureen Maxwell of the New Zealand Beekeepers' Association. The problem isn't just in America; bee populations are dying around the world.

There has been some hope. Colony Collapse Disorder has been a well-known problem for the past five years, and plenty of bee businesses have started up during that time. Despite the losses, honey production rose 20 percent from 2009 to 2010 for a total of 176 million pounds last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The number of honey producing colonies rose seven percent to 2.68 million colonies in 2010. While Colony Collapse Disorder continues to be a scourge to bee-keepers and farmers alike, some progress is being made in raising more colonies. Good thing.

Bats:

While most people recognize the value of a honey bee, many fewer appreciate the significance of bat populations. Forget vampires. A bat can eat well over half its body weight in insects every night and studies have shown that a cology of 150 big brown bats can eat 1.3 million insects in a year.

Unfortunately, white-nose syndrome has been wiping out bat populations from Texas to New York since its discovery in 2006. In white-nose syndrome, a fungus grows on the bats' noses and ears and wing membranes while they hibernate during the winter. The fungus itself apparently does not kill the bats, but scientists believe it wakes them from hibernation early so that they waste their fat reserves and starve to death before the explosion of insects in the spring.

Many east coast caves that are tourist attractions have been closed to the public as wildlife experts work to stop the spread of the fungus. While humans are not susceptible to white-nose-syndrome, the spores could be transported on their clothes and shoes.

Bats eat a wide variety of insects, and farmers are dependent on their voracious appetites. Among the pests they eat are cucumber beetles, leafhoopers, and stink bugs. They eat the moths of crop-damaging worms, interrupting the pests' reproductive cycles.

Researchers in the April edition of Science estimate that wiping out the US bat populations would cost farmers more than $3.7 billion - potentially up to $50 billion. People who hate pesticides should love their local bats.

Stinkbugs:

Speaking of annoying insects, the stinkbugs are rubbing their eyes and yawning and hopping out of their winter hibernation. The brown marmorated stink bug beetle appeared in America first in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the late 1990s and has multiplied into swarms that coat houses and windows every summer.

The bugs have spread to 33 states, where they promise to destroy crops like sweet corn, apples, pears, grapes, berries, peaches, tomatoes, peppers and beans. Trissolcus wasps keep the stinkbugs under control in their native Japan by eating the stinkbug eggs. However, importing these tiny wasps to fight the stinkbugs may not be the best idea if the wasps also eat the eggs of other, beneficial varieties of stinkbugs.


While the price of gold and silver rise and investors scrutinize the stock markets, the very basic food needs of the United States - and the rest of the world - are under attack. Farmers face losing large numbers of their friends the bees and bats, while pests like stinkbugs reproduce in plague-like numbers. We have a constant reminder that sin - like a disease, like a pestilence - has infected the world, and all our striving will not make it go away. We also have a constant reminder that we were created in the image of God, and in our creative power we are able to find answers to many of our physical problems. Yet, with as many advances as we make, the sin remains. The blights and bugs keep coming. Thank God, we have a Savior in the heavens who has died to heal all our diseases – even the diseases faced by entire nations. 
 
 

Koinonia Institute is dedicated to training and equipping the serious Christian to sojourn in today’s world.  This unique international membership offers education, insight and community for the serious believer. Pray about joining us or if you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter please go here: http://www.khouse.org/
 


Melissa Greene: "Imagine" (LIFE Today)




Former Avalon member Melissa Greene performs a live single from her solo album.

Rabu, 27 April 2011

Cooking With Kids




Give your kids permission to break the rules with these kid-friendly (and fun!) recipes that you can enjoy preparing together.








Make any casual meal into a party with these fun and unique sandwiches. Both kids and adults will have fun making and eating these creations and what better way to get kids to eat more veggies than to make them a fun sandwich like these...







Good enough to eat!










Fun, beautifully illustrated, and yummy cookbook.
Perfect gift for any aspiring young chef!

Mary Had a Little Lamb






















Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As a little girl, I really did have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I can remember the day my mother showed me the lamb and explained that she did not have a bottle with which to feed the stray lamb. I did. I agreed to let the lamb have my bottle if I could have the lamb. I have been fascinated by the unique relationship between sheep and their shepherd ever since.

Shepherds live with their sheep, finding places for them to eat and drink, providing shelter from the storms and protection from the heat. Sheep must eat the right amount of the right kinds of grass at the right times…or they will die. If the sheep eat too little one day and too much the next day, some of the bacteria that live in the stomach of the sheep will reproduce abnormal levels, creating toxins which cause sudden death. This problem was even more complicated for the shepherds of the Bible.

The type of shepherding referred to in the Bible is not the farming of fenced pasture lands but nomadic grazing. The shepherd must carefully plan the path and lead the way so that the sheep have neither too little nor too much grazing and are able to get to the water hole on time. Pastures are often lost to extreme heat which means the shepherd has to scour the countryside in search of green grass. Several flocks of sheep are gathered together at night in a sheltered place so that shepherds can share the watches of the night, protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves. Good shepherds are always willing to risk their lives to save their flocks from any harm, any enemy and even from themselves.

Sheep are dumb, can never be left alone and often stray, requiring the shepherd to find and rescue them. A shepherd never pushes his sheep but rather leads his sheep, going before them, making sure they are not walking into danger. The needs of sheep, compared to the needs of other animals, are greater because of their instinct to be afraid and when faced with a fearful situation, to run. Without a shepherd to care for the sheep, they will not last long.

Personally, I definitely fit the profile of a sheep. I can’t count the number of times I have stubbornly stuck to my plan, foolishly thinking that it was better than His plan, only to end up in some pit somewhere, calling for help. Psalm 40:1-3 has become my life maxim – with one exception. I rarely wait patiently! Remember, I am a sheep!

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD” (NIV).

I sometimes allow fear to drive me to a place where I am trapped by doubts and darkness…until He rescues me. I try to satisfy my hunger by eating the wrong things found in the wrong places at the wrong times. The result is always the same; my soul remains ravenous for what is good while stuffing my heart and mind with what is bad.

Like every sheep, I don’t like to be pushed. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation. A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep. When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that they can make it on their own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to them…just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him. When will I learn that I cannot do life on my own – as a sheep or as a shepherd?

A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and for me. I am so glad He was willing to lay down His life for every single sheep – the cute, fluffy ones as well as the dirty, broken lambs like me. Maybe it is time for us all to stop, listen for His voice, seek His plan and remember that we are indeed needy sheep who are called to love and lead other needy sheep to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Let’s Pray
Lord, I am so thankful that You are my Shepherd and that no matter how deep the valley or dark the pit, You have gone before me and made a way. Help me to understand that Your ways are higher than mine. Forgive me when I complain that the way You have made for me is harder than I want it to be. I surrender my life to you, Lord, my God and my Shepherd. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now it’s Your Turn
Here is a challenge for every Girlfriend in God. Read Psalm 23 once a day for one month. Record it in your journal. Let every word soak into your heart, mind and soul. When fear comes, turn to God. When you are in need, trust the Shepherd. When confusion surrounds you, trust God to make the crooked paths straight. Rejoice daily in the fact that you are His lamb and He is your Shepherd.

More from the Girlfriends
I truly believe that most of our stress in life is rooted in our refusal to trust God as our Shepherd. Escaping the Stress Trapis not just a book I wrote. It is based on Psalm 23 and is my story of learning to understand that I am His sheep and He is my Shepherd. Check it out! If you need help dealing with the pain in your life, enroll in Mary’s weekly online Bible Study,How to Handle Hurtand learn how to face and deal with the pain in your life. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email.




Michael Olson - On the Third Day

 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalm 122:6

All men should desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace. Thomas a Kempis

Jesus said to her, "I am the RESURRECTION and the life. Those who BELIEVE in me, even though they die, will LIVE. John 11:24-25

He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule. Philippians 3:21

Selasa, 26 April 2011

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy!


 Shirley, Goodness and Mercy!







Afflictions are but the shadow of God's Wings.
George MacDonald


Folk Art Angel "Lavender Blu" by Lore $15


Every painful event contains in itself a
seed of growth and liberation. 
Anthony de Mello






Folk Art Angel Print by Lore $15

Tell me how much you know of the suffering of your fellow men
and I will tell you how much you have loved them. 
Helmut Thielicke




This is Psalm 23 read by Eko in the TV series Lost.
You are not alone,
God is with you through all situations.




 
No man is fit to comphrehend heavenly things
who hath not resigned himself
to suffer adversities for Christ.
Thomas a Kempis






The Head, Not the Tail
















The Head, Not the Tail
by Steve and Joan Driessen


The River Church

God has been reminding me lately of the many ways in which we are, and are called to be, the head and not the tail. Deuteronomy 28:13 says that we will be exactly this if we obey God in everything.

What is obedience? One aspect of it is stepping out when God says “Step out,” even if we have no idea what, if anything, will happen next. In that very act of stepping out we become the head, and what happens next follows us.

2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of a woman who had nothing in her house but a little oil. The word of God came to her through Elisha the prophet: “Pour oil into as many jars as you can find.” She poured and poured until she ran out of jars. Then, and only then, did the oil stop flowing. Most of the time, we want to wait until we can see gallons and gallons of oil before we start filling jars. But in our obedience we actually step into headship, and our pouring precedes the appearance of the oil.

Mark 6:35-44 describes Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Beginning with five loaves and two fish, Jesus blessed them, broke them, and told the disciples to start passing them out. Not only were all five thousand men (and their families, so the crowd was much bigger) fed, but twelve basketsful of food were left over! It’s hard not to take a pretty big gulp when you have only a few plates’ worth of food and you begin to distribute it to five thousand. But the disciples obeyed God, and the food multiplied as they served it.

The principle runs through Scripture. Malachi 3:10-11 teaches that our tithe precedes the pouring out of blessings, and Mark 16:17-18 names signs that will follow those who believe. In each case we pour, feed, sow, walk – step out and obey – and not only the wonderful things God wants to do, but even the provisions to do them, follow.

Scripture reading: 

 Deutronomy Chapter 28:  Blessings for Obedience and Curses for Disobedience




















Rejection on the Grace of God Brings Cursing

As taught in the Tabernacle, there are boundaries of the grace of God. Rejection of grace has dire consequences. Here, in the words of the Lord God, is a warning for all who reject Bible Doctrine. They will be equated with Mt. Ebal, a mountain of cursing. Further, the curse is for those who do not obey, which is different from disobedience. Ignorance is no excuse. Those who refuse to expose themselves to Bible Doctrine will suffer the same fate as those who hear the teaching and refuse to obey. Negative volition to Bible teaching will lead to cursing for the individual and for the nation. The warnings in Deuteronomy were being given to Israel both individually and collectively.


The rest of  Deuteronomy Chapter 28 is a prediction of how the people will disobey God. They will follow other gods. This is exactly what happened to Israel. They eventually followed other gods. The generation that left Egypt all died in the wilderness with the exception of Caleb and Joshua. They died the sin unto death without ever reaching the Promised Land. Later both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel were destroyed when they followed other gods. "Other gods" refers to idolatry, the worship of Satan and his demons.

Principle: If you are not obeying God, you are obeying other gods.

For most people, the warning here is meaningless. The principle is the same today as it was in Israel. Those who do not obey Bible Doctrine are under the power of the Cosmic System. They will be influenced and succumb to the power of Satan's Cosmic System. They will obey the devil and false gods. Everyone has a choice: Divine viewpoint or cosmic viewpoint. There are only two sources of inspiration, God or Satan. And mankind's thinking is definitely inspired by one or the other.

 { Read More }







PROPHECY IN THE NEWS: SYRIA OPPRESSION




Isaiah17: Destruction of Damascus

In the last days, the Bible tells us of a horrible series of events that will take place in the lands of Israel and Syria. One of these events is the disappearance of Damascus as one of the premiere cities in the world. The oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet, Damascus has witnessed at least 5,000 years of human history, and some historians believe the city actually dates back to the seventh millennium BC. In fact, Paul was on the road to Damascus when Christ first appeared to Him, an event that transformed not only his life, but the course of human history....

{ read more }

Senin, 25 April 2011

Celebrated Designer: Steven Gambrel





 







INNOVATIVE INTERIOR DESIGNER S. R. GAMBREL

Steven Gambrel's fresh, innovative approach to color and form has been widely celebrated in magazines and newspapers, including House & Garden, Elle Décor, Interior Design, Departures, New York Times, and New York Magazine. All of his projects share a classical sensibility that come alive with his individual mix of modern and traditional furnishings...

If you'd like to see his portfolio Click Here

New Life, a New Creation in Christ



















New Life, a New Creation in Christ
Pastor Adrian Rogers

“For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9
Jesus had a life that the grave could not keep. While He carried your sins to the grave and left them there, Jesus came out of that grave living, risen, and victorious! When Jesus rose, you rose with Him.

Christians are not just nice people, they are new creatures. We have the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

We have come out of the grave of the old life. Our old master has no more hold on us. The old debt has no more penalty that we have to pay. When Jesus came out of that grave, we came out with Him and we have been raised to walk in newness of life.

Are you walking around in the grave clothes of your old life? Shed them, my friend! Jesus came to give you New life! Believe that you are now a new creation in Christ!

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.























"Ruth, the gentile bride, was married to Boaz on Pentecost. It was around midnight that she came to lay at his feet at the end of the barley harvest. When Solomon came to fetch his bride, in the Song of Solomon, chapter 2, verses 10-13 he said “Rise up my love and come away with me for the voice of the turtledove is heard in the land and the fig tree hath put forth its green figs."



Will the Rapture Occur on Pentecost?
by J. R. Church

I cannot tell you when the rapture will occur … because I shy away from being a date setter, but, if the Lord plans to take us home this Pentecost, than there are certain things which might occur leading up to that auspicious occasion.  Read more









The Mystery of the Golden Calf
by J.R. Church


On June 8, 2011, the day the Jews observe Pentecost (Shavuot), the sun will rise at daybreak directly in the center of the horns of Taurus the Bull. Seeing this in my astronomy computer program reminded me of the Apis bull in Egyptian folklore. Then, it dawned upon me that statues of Apis can be seen with the sun disc and a Cobra snake between its horns. Can there be a connection between the Apis bull calf and Israel’s golden calf? Is the sun disc between the horns of Apis a time marker?

Did you ever wonder why the Israelites built a golden calf? Why not a golden fish? Or lamb? Or lion? Or some other symbol in the Zodiac? Why a calf? I think the answer lies in the religion of the Egyptians....
Read more






Prophecy In The News: The Priest named Zechariah

12/23/10

Minggu, 24 April 2011

Diary of a Roman Soldier

























Diary of a Roman Soldier
by Randy Robison
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional

Wednesday

We killed the Nazarene heretic today.

For the Jewish holidays, Bellicus and I were placed on the speira assigned to the Sanhedrin. It’s the duty nobody wants, so it’s mainly comprised of grunts from the 7th cohort. It’s bad enough being bossed around by your centurion, but when one of these priests thinks he can tell you what to do, it’s not easy for a soldier to maintain discipline. Of all the places in the Empire, I get sent here. I might have to kill another Jew before the week is over.

We received a tip last night that the one they call Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, so we lit our torches and went with the Jewish guards to arrest him in the middle of the night. When we arrived, one of Jesus’ followers nearly took off another Jew’s head. The sight of a sword sent most of those cowards scurrying. We thought we might have a good fight on our hands, but Jesus called off his men. I didn’t understand everything that was said, but he agreed to come with us peacefully. Good thing for him and his followers, because most of us were not happy to be roused out of bed. We left him with Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest Caiaphas.

I saw him later when he was first taken before Pontius Pilate. He didn’t seem dangerous to me. He didn’t rant and rave, like that madman Barabbas, whom the Jews eventually let out of prison. Fools they are, if you ask me. I was in the cohort that arrested Barabbas and I got a good look at his eyes. He’s crazy. He has killed before and will kill again. Nothing like this Jesus. Evidently Pilate agreed with me, because he said he could find no fault in him. We sent him off to Herod just to get rid of him, but he sent him back before noon.

I don’t know who laid into him, but the next time I saw Jesus, he was in bad shape. Some say it was Herod’s men, but who knows. Our soldiers can be brutal at times, but that’s what makes us the best in the world. Pilate decided to appease the Jews and crucify Jesus along with a couple of thieves, but when it came time to carry his cross up to Golgotha, he had been beaten so severely that he could hardly stand. I grabbed some Cyrenian out of the crowd and made him help. Once those three were put up on their crosses, we were tired, so Bellicus and I asked permission to retire to our quarters for some rest. That didn’t last long.

We were awakened from our afternoon nap by an earthquake. We all ran outside. It was over quickly, but we had a good laugh because Bellicus hadn’t grabbed his robe before running out, so there he was naked, half asleep and frightened for his life. A centurion caught us laughing and ordered us to get dressed and report again for duty.

The Jewish priests wanted those three off their crosses by nightfall. Some religious thing related to their festival. So a few of us went up that skull-shaped hill to smash the legs of the criminals. If they’re not already dead, that does the trick. They can’t hold themselves up any longer, so I guess they suffocate. Sounds that way to me.

I hate the crack their bones make when breaking, so when we got to Jesus and he looked dead, I just stuck my sword in his side to make sure. Blood and water poured out and he didn’t react, so I could tell he was gone. Better for him that way. I noticed someone had nailed a sign on his cross. It was in Aramaic, Latin and Greek, so I could read it: “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Some king.

The priests were worried that Jesus’ followers would steal his body from the grave, so we followed an Arimathean Jew who came to bury him and pushed the heaviest stone we could find over the entrance. I doubt anyone can move it, but just to make sure, Pilate sent an official to put a Roman seal on it. Nobody will be robbing that grave – especially some Jew. Still, the priests are worried, so we’re setting a guard around the clock. It’s a full-time job just keeping these Jews from insurrection.


Thursday

Bellicus and I drew the morning guard duty at Jesus’ tomb. We relieved the night-duty team and checked the stone and seal. Nothing had moved. No surprise there. Most of the Jews are celebrating their holiday, so it was pretty quiet.

A couple of women came by, but we told them they couldn’t go in the tomb. Pilate’s orders. So they left. Other than that, most people stayed away. Word got around that we were guarding it, so that kept the curious away.

Bellicus said that it was the high priest’s slave, Malchus, that almost got the sword in the garden. Someone said he lost an ear, but I saw him later and there wasn’t a scratch on him. He did look a little shaken, though.


Friday

Morning guard duty with Bellicus again. I’m pretty sure the overnight guards were asleep until they heard us coming. Looked like they had just woke up. We checked the stone and seal again. Nothing. Are they going to make us guard this tomb until the body rots? Curse those Jews and their ridiculous superstitions!

Thankfully, it was another festival day for them, so the graveyard was dead. (Haha!) We passed the time by telling stories we’ve heard about great Roman battles. I think Bellicus makes them up, but at least they are entertaining.

One odd thing happened. A centurion came by to check the tomb. Asked lots of questions, like what we thought about Jesus. We told him we didn’t think about him very much. He said he was there, at the cross, the moment Jesus died. Said that was when the earthquake hit. I would have told him the funny story about Bellicus and the quake, but he had a strange look about him. Bellicus asked him if he thought the stories were true about Jesus – the miracles and such. I thought about the sign: King of the Jews. The centurion didn’t really answer Bellicus’ question. Just said, “He was an innocent man.” Then he told us to keep good watch over the tomb. Strange. Very strange.


Saturday

Another day, another boring guard duty.

Those two women came by again. They want to put spices on the body, so we told them to come back tomorrow around the sixth hour. Our orders are up by then, so they can do what they want, although I wouldn’t go in a tomb after three days’ rot.

Quintillus, another guard in our cohort, asked if I could take his night shift. Says he isn’t feeling well. Offered to bribe me with a piece of Jesus’ clothing he won casting lots with the others, but I turned it down. I’m not superstitious, but it seems like bad luck to take a crucified man’s clothes – especially if he was innocent. Quintillus can make it up to me some other way.

Guess I’d better get some sleep now, since I will be up all night.


Sunday

I am in deep trouble!

Last night, I took Quintillus’ place at the tomb. I was there with a man named Gnaeus Pompeius Silvanus, who comes from a noble family in Picenum. He seems an honorable man and, not knowing each other, we were careful to stay awake and vigilant throughout the night. I relayed the story of the centurion coming by that morning, which served to put both of us on alert.

I don’t know what time it was, but well before sunrise something happened that I still cannot explain or fully reconcile. I was pacing about, trying to stay awake, while Silvanus was leaning up against the tomb. Suddenly, he jumped up as if stung. I asked him what was wrong.

“The tomb…the tomb…” he stammered. He had a look of fear on his face. Before I could ask another question, there was a bright flash. It was not an outer blaze, as if lightning across the sky, but like the explosion you see when struck with a sword across the helmet. The kind you see inside your head.

I saw Silvanus start to fall, then felt my legs give way. But before I hit the ground, I swear by my father’s name, I saw a man – or was it a god? – dressed in brilliant, shining clothes standing above the tombstone. He looked nothing like the images of Jupiter, Apollo or any other god I’ve seen, but if he was just a man, he was like none other.

After that, all was black. The next I knew, it was nearly dawn. I shook Silvanus until he awakened. We checked ourselves for cuts or bruises, but there were none. Our torches were out, but by the early light we could see that the seal had been broken and the stone had been rolled away. Though I feared for my life, I feared for the coming punishment even more, so I had to know if the body was still there. In the dim light, it was nearly impossible to see inside the tomb. I could barely make out the light-colored garment that the Arimathean had wrapped Jesus in. I used my sword, which I had unsheathed the moment I woke up, to feel for the body. Under the thin cloth, it only found stone.

Silvanus wanted to flee, but I urged him to come with me to tell the chief priests. Perhaps they could find whoever did this. He was not yet convinced when we heard the voices of some women coming. We ran to see the priests, who said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

Foolish priests. All of us knew such a story would not satisfy Pontius Pilate. So we got money. Lots of it. When we left, we went straight to our quarters, though neither of us said why. We didn’t have to; we both knew. Upon entering, I encountered Bellicus, who was on his way to relieve Silvanus and me. I repeated the priests’ story and I could tell by the look on his face that he knew how much trouble I was in. “Go see for yourself,” I urged him. When he left, I gathered my belongings and fled.

Now, I make camp for the night. Tomorrow, I will reach Joppa, where I hope to catch a ship on the Great Sea. But there is one last thing I must record. For on my way out of Jerusalem, as I approached the town of Emmaus, there was a man bathing in the warm springs that flow there. As I passed by, he smiled at me and I realized that I recognized him somehow. I did not slow my pace, for I am a man at flight, but I saw something as he raised his arm to pour water over his head. There was a wound in his side. It was the mark of my very sword.

But how can it be? He was dead. I know. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. But then, I saw him again. And now I know…it’s true, he is alive!



THIS MAN- JEREMY CAMP

 


The "Resurrection" at the end is very important as Christ conquered death. The entire structure of Christianity -- and indeed of any hope for eternal life and for any meaning to human existence, stands with Christ's resurrection.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, ever though they die, will live."  John 11:24-25


"He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule." Philippians 3:21

Sabtu, 23 April 2011

Holy Saturday: A Dark Sabbath















Holy Saturday

A Dark Sabbath
Dr. Charles Stanley

John 19:31-42

Just as Christ once rested in the stern of a boat through a raging storm, He rested in the tomb as storms raged within His disciples. A day after Jesus’ death, fear, doubt, and grief must have cycled endlessly through their minds. Memories of their lives with Him must have played there too: how it felt to stand upon a rolling sea, to feed thousands with a few loaves of bread, or to see Lazarus’ burial clothes heaped in the dirt. No doubt their hearts grew sick with confusion as they contemplated these things.

The disciples’ feeble faith shouldn’t surprise us, because if we’re honest, we see it in ourselves. The “little of faith,” as Jesus often called them, failed to believe or remember things the Lord said of Himself—that He’d lay down His life and take it up again. Had His followers faithfully held these things in their hearts, that Sabbath day might have been a time of joyful anticipation.

At times in our lives, God may seem absent, but ultimately we know that He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5). And unlike the disciples, we’ll never experience the dark prospect of a failed Savior. But many times we forget the promises of God. In the face of uncertainty, how frequently do we turn to a “do-it-yourself” Christianity to fix our problems?

Too often we look no further than our own solutions, when what we need is the wonder-working power of Christ’s resurrection and a posture of humility as we wait on Him. If we are willing to wait through the darkness of night, we can rest in knowing that morning will surely come.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.





























ALL I NEED
 by Rita Springer


All I need to do is worship
All I need to do is say His name out loud
All I need to do is lift my hands, surrender
And bow down
All I need to do is find Him
All I need to do is let His presence fall
All I need to do is worship
Worship the Lord


When there's no way out
Except through a miracle
When there's no way up a mountain
Except to climb it
When everything you hope for
Seems gone
And every dream you've dreamed
Is so far away, that's when I say….





A beautiful song of adoration and praise to God. Surrendering everything at His feet. Letting of our tears and heartache disappear in His presence as His love surrounds us. This song has encouraged me in a lot of my personal trails as reminder to keep worshiping God and there I will find my strength renewed. --KoolChristianGirl