Rabu, 29 Juni 2011

Happy Birthday America. Let's Eat!

Photo: Country Living

1 of 11
Happy Birthday America. Let's eat!

1 of 17

Treat the gang to easy cocktails, perfect grilled dishes,
our best sides, and star-spangled dessert...

2 of 21
Americana dessert goes well beyond apple pie. From Red Velvet Cake to White Balsamic Custard Tart—and of course Blueberry Hill Cupcakes— these recipes are all-American and all delicious.

Southern Living Party Tips and Ideas

Selasa, 28 Juni 2011

Mmm D'Licious: Chicken Marsala

 Since most of my Mmm D'licious posts have been desserts [eek] and we are not making desserts right now...I'm trying to post more entrées! Here is one of my favorites and a staple around here!

Chicken Marsala


3-4 half chicken breasts
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
Knorr Turkey Gravy packet [or Williams Sonoma Turkey Gravy Base (available during the holidays) + 1/2 milk]
Sprinkle Lawrys Seasoned salt
Sprinkle Garlic powder
3 Tbs Yoshida sauce
1/2 C Sweet Marsala Wine

Cut chicken into pieces, cook in pan with butter and olive oil until white all the way through.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and garlic powder
Cook gravy as directed
Add to cooked chicken
Add Yoshida & Marsala wine
turn on the heat for a couple minutes

*this is also good with sautéed veggies {onion, bell pepper, squash] in it or as a side*

Serve over rice or noodles [I usually do noodles] with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.


It's Personal

Is the Bible Important to You?
Mary Southerland
Girlfriends in God

Today’s Truth
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT).

Friend To Friend
If we really want to know God, if we really want to understand who and whose we are, the Bible must have the highest place in our lives. We don’t have to be a Bible scholar or have a firm grip on the Hebrew and Greek languages to know and apply God’s promises. As we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will give us understanding and teach us how to apply God’s truth in our lives.

A disciple is a follower, a learner and a student. If we want to follow God and be a learner of Him and a student of His ways, then we have to understand the importance of the Bible, love the Word and spend time in it. I thought I was doing a fair job of plugging the truth of God’s Word into my life until I was reading through the Old Testament and rammed right into Psalm 119. Within this passage, I discovered a test for us as believers that will help determine the importance we really place on God’s Word in daily life. Take this test with me to see if God’s Word has the place in your life that it should have.

Is God’s Word more important than food?
Psalm 119:103 “Your promises are sweet to me, sweeter than honey in my mouth" (NCV). Here the Bible is described as honey and at other places in Scripture as milk or bread. The Bible is our spiritual food. God's Word sustains and strengthens us just as food sustains and strengthens our physical body. We always find a way to eat, even if we must resort to eating fast food. Do we have the same depth of commitment to our spiritual growth and health as we do to satisfying the hunger pains of our human body?

Is God’s Word more important than money?
Psalm 119:72 “Your teachings are worth more to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver” (NCV). Spiritual wealth is more important than human wealth. Do we really live as if that statement is true? I have a friend who is totally committed to God and to serving Him whole-heartedly. My friend is a garbage collector - a happy garbage collector. I once asked him why he was so happy in his work. "Mary, I collect garbage to pay the bills. My real passion in life is to share Jesus Christ and to serve Him with joy." Do we really live to know and share God’s truths?

Is God’s Word more important than sleep?
Psalm 119:147-148 “I wake up early in the morning and cry out. I hope in your word. I stay awake all night so I can think about your promises” (NCV). I know. Now God is getting personal. When we start talking about giving up sleep to read and study the Word of God, we are talking radical obedience. Exactly! If we want to experience God's power in our lives, we have to saturate our lives with His Word.

How did you do? I will tell you honestly that I failed this test. I have walked with God for many years and I still do not have the hunger and thirst for God’s Word that I should have. If we listen carefully, I believe we can hear God say, “If you want to get to know me - really know me – if you want to be intimate with Me, then you have to know my Book.” The level of stress in my life is directly correlated to the amount of time I spend or don’t spend reading and applying the Word of God.

Jeremiah 2:32 “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number" (NCV).

Jeremiah did not write these words to the unbeliever but to those of us who call ourselves “disciples” of Jesus Christ. I can hear the sorrow in His words, can’t you? They vividly portray the broken heart of a Father whose children have ignored Him and abandoned His words. I know what it does to me as a parent when my children do not listen to me or when they choose a path that is in direct opposition to one I would have chosen for them. I can only imagine what it does to His heart when we go for days and even weeks or months without even picking up the Bible except as an accessory for others to see when attending church.

We live in Kansas City where Westar Power Company makes a tremendous amount of electricity available to us. With that power, we can light our homes, stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We can enjoy electrically powered appliances that turn, spin, wash, dry and clean. What difference electricity makes in our lives … when we flip the switch. Unless we use and appropriate the power of available electricity, it is worthless to us. The same is true of the Bible. To experience the power of God’s Word, we must make it important in our lives.

Let’s Pray
Father, I pray that You would give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. I want to please You with my life through obedience to your truths. I choose to spend time with You each day this week, studying the Bible. Will You please honor my commitment and empower me to keep it? When I fail, Lord, I choose now to forgive myself as You forgive me - and begin again.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Set aside one hour this week to re-evaluate your plan for reading and studying the Bible.

Set new goals for daily Bible study. Make the goals realistic for your current lifestyle. Next week, add 15 minutes to your study time each day.

Pray and ask the Father to empower this new commitment.

Remember to record new truths and insights in a journal. At the end of the week, go back over your journal entries to see what changes God has made in your life. Praise Him for the power of His Word, and when you fail, do not allow the enemy to discourage you or persuade you to give up. Simply begin again.

More From The Girlfriends
The truth is - we find a way to do the things in life that are important to us. Our soul can only be nourished and fed by the Word of the Living God. How important is God’s Word in your life?

Need peace? Get Mary’s NEW E-Book Bible Study How to Find Your Missing Peace.

Need stress relief?
Check out Mary’s online Bible Study, Stress Management 101 beginning July 18. Enroll now and have access to all 2011 lessons.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

North Point Community Church: Baptism - It's Personal

Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power
Dr. Charles Stanley

Romans 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13). God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that within ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will. No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient. Sometimes Christians get proud over the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved. Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk—as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships—as God desires. His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord. Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power. It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.” Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough. Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life. Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can— I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory.That’s the kind of life that surges with the Holy Spirit’s power.

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

Senin, 27 Juni 2011

The Wow Factor: Window Boxes

1 of 17
Don't let shade get you down. Create window boxes that beautify your landscape
 with our easy plant-by-number ideas...

Add a splash of color and visual interest to your home with a traditional wooden window box. These charming wood boxes have been used for centuries the world over to dress up plain, somber windows. And now you can install one in just an hour or so with a minimal amount of effort or expense....

There are a lot of great reasons to garden in containers, in addition to the fun. Compared to fighting tight, heavy clay in the landscape, it's also easier to provide a good environment when it comes to soil or planting mixes for your plants...

The heart of {art}

Last week my sister and I took our kiddos to Ceramicafe to do a little painting.  It was so much fun to watch the kids get so excited about it.  They loved every minute of it, from picking their piece to choosing paint colors, and the of course, the actual painting of it.  Children are so creative, and so uninhibited.  They are not afraid to express themselves through art.  I love that. Somewhere along the road of my life, a little bit of a perfectionist came along for the ride.  That, combined with my indecision, has hindered my ability to be {artistic}. Or maybe that just isn't my gift? No psychoanalysis necessary! ha. I don't know, but it sure is refreshing to watch children in that sort of setting.  Children really know how to live.  The are free, they are honest, they love and they laugh- uninhibited by things we adults get hung up on.  I love seeing the world through their joyful and innocent eyes.  They still have so much to learn about life, and yet they are teaching me about it.

"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"
Matthew 18:2-3

Forgiveness and Freedom

Looking for Woolworth
posted by Chip

Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional
Forgiveness and Freedom
By James Robison

In the spiritual realm there are two kingdoms in conflict: the kingdoms of light and darkness, life and death, truth and deception. Those influences are calling out to you, not only for your attention, but your devotion. They seek to control every aspect of your life. Sadly, most people tune in the wrong signals. Eventually, rather than you merely having thoughts, those thoughts take hold of you.

From the time man was created and placed in a garden, God fully intended to fellowship with us. He wanted to bless all the earth through the stewardship and oversight of those who knew Him as father, walked in His will according to His ways and fulfilled His purpose. But in that garden there was a deceiver, more subtle and crafty than any beast of the field. You know what happened – they bought the lie. From that moment on, a tragic cycle of defeat began.

God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. That commandment expresses His will for those created in His image. The effect of the fruitfulness of our life will be multiplied. We are continually sowing seeds with our words, deeds and influence. God designed us to have a positive and profound impact on everyone we encounter. But instead, many of us live a life of continuous defeat.

Psalm 78 chronicles the Israelites’ cycles of defeat. These events illustrate a spiritual truth – a life lesson that speaks to us today. Throughout history, the people of God have cycled through blessings of God – forgiveness, fruitfulness and restoration – and the curses of sin – arrogance, self-centeredness and bondage. The Old Testament repeatedly recounts how God made His people to walk in his will, but the enemy took them captive, then He set them free. Sadly, the cycles of defeat were foolishly repeated.

Jesus, the promised Messiah, walked in and announced, "What the prophet said is fulfilled. I have come to set the captives free, to restore sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are oppressed." The Jewish people looked at him and said, "We have never been in bondage to anyone. We're descendants of Abraham!" If you read Psalm 78, as well as the minor and major prophets, you will find these people continually lived as slaves. Yet they said to Jesus, "We're not in defeat. We’re not in bondage."

We are all born in this world as the children of wrath because of mankind’s fall. We must be born again to become the children of God. But from the moment you're born again, the kingdom of deception and destruction seeks to take you captive. When we turn away from the spiritual battle between these two kingdoms and do not walk the path of victory that the Lord has laid out for us, we fall back into bondage. Consider this account of God’s chosen people:

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God's covenant and refused to live by his law. They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.

He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan. He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.

But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High. They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert? When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?"

When the Lord heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance. Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
(Psalm 78:9-24)

Do you see the similarity today? God does great things in our lives, but we wander from His ways, His truth, His life and His love. We pay the price for our rebellion, yet God remains faithful, pouring out “the grain of heaven.” We deserve His wrath, yet He opens the doors of heaven.

God wants to break every bondage in our lives. He longs for us to live in fellowship with Him, hearing His voice and responding to His love. Only through intimacy with God can we receive the freedom, fullness and fruitfulness that He wants for us.

We spend our time going to church, but God desires us to become the church. It is not a place; it is a people. We are to live to pierce the darkness, to bring about a transformation of everything we come in contact with because we have been undeniably set free.

Say to the Lord, “God, I'm in your hand. What's your purpose for me?” He wants to shape Christ-likeness in you. All things work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. That’s you. He wants to shape Christ in you.

The starting point for this process is His word. The word is alive! And I make you this promise – it’s really God's promise – if you will get His word out of that leather binder and bind it up in your heart, it will be like a fire in your bones. It will be like honey, gold and silver tried in a fire, reflecting the beauty of the purified work He has accomplished in your life. When you look at your life, you will see Jesus. And when God looks at you, He will see Himself in you, refined like silver.

God’s word is true. He is faithful to forgive and restore you to His freedom. So make the choice today and every day to live according to His ways, so that you can receive His life and impact those around you for His kingdom.

Adapted from the series “Living Free” with James Robison and Robert Morris. “Living Free” airs every day this week on LIFE Today. Read more about the teaching series at www.lifetoday.org and watch the programs this week online or on the air.


Children of Abraham
Patty Loveless sings this song on her "Mountain Soul II" album.

The lyrics:

We are all children of Abraham, Abraham
We are all children of Abraham
Vast as the stars of heaven, Abraham, Abraham
Blessed be ye nations, Abraham
Cross the burnin' sands, Abraham
O'er to Cananns land, Abraham
He kept the course, Abraham
Faithful to the voice, Abraham
Abraham, we are all children of Abraham
Blessed are the nations, Abraham, Abraham
Who honor his creations, Abraham
And then one day, Abraham
He heard God say, Abraham
Leave this land, Abraham
Cross the burnin' sand, Abraham
And you will find, Abraham
Peace of mind, Abraham
That only I, Abraham
Can provide, Abraham
Yes, Abraham, Abraham, Abraham
So he was blessed, Abraham
By the ultimate test, Abraham
Never doubtful of, Abraham
The living God, Abraham
He heard the call, Abraham
To heed the law, Abraham
Of God above, Abraham
The God of love, Abraham
Abraham, Abraham, we are all children of Abraham

Sabtu, 25 Juni 2011

In the Light of the Aftermath

June 25/26
Choosing the Right Building Material
Dr. Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Believers build their lives on the Rock of Ages: Jesus Christ. Every motive, every deed, and every word is material for our spiritual house. The apostle Paul warned followers to construct with care because on the day of judgment, fire will test the quality of each person’s work. This refers not to a literal fire but to the purifying presence of Jesus Christ.

When I stand in the Savior’s perfectly holy and just presence, all the wood, hay, and stubble in my life will disappear. Good things done with wrong motives will vanish along with secret sins and bad attitudes. Only what has been done and said in Jesus’ name remains. And the moment the chaff is gone, we will see that God is right—those things didn’t fit the life of His child.

On hearing this explanation, someone usually says, “All that matters is that I get into heaven.” But that attitude is shortsighted because the judgment of believers is about rewards. In the parable of the unrighteous steward, Jesus explained the basic concept to His disciples: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). Our time on earth is the beginning of an eternity serving and rejoicing in the Lord. God will reward us with heavenly responsibility according to our faithfulness here.

Wise people plan for the future (Prov. 27:12).I want to receive as much of God’s goodness as He offers, so I am determined to build with top-quality, enduring materials. The privilege of serving is only the beginning of the rewards. In heaven, God’s generosity will be even more abundantly unleashed.

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


The skies lay low where You are
On the earth You rest Your feet
Yet the hands that cradle the stars
Are the hands that bled for me

In a moment of glorious surrender
You were broken for all the world to see
Lifted out of the ashes
I am found in the aftermath

Freedom found in Your scars
In Your grace, my life redeemed
For You chose to take the sinner's crown
As You placed Your crown on me

In that moment of glorious surrender
Was the moment You broke the chains in me
Lifted out of the ashes
I am found in the aftermath

And in that moment You opened up the heavens
To the broken, the beggar and the thief
Lifted out the wreckage
I find hope in the aftermath

And I know that You're with me
Yes, I know that You're with me here
And I know Your love will light the way

Now all I have, I count it all as loss
But to know You, and to carry the cross
Knowing I'm found
In the light of the aftermath

Jumat, 24 Juni 2011

Run the Race

I love exercising.  A year ago I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week.  Kickboxing is my favorite, but I also like the Strength Endurance Training (SET) and Core Central classes too.  I found out I was preggo with Claire Bear exactly a year ago, and I kept working out until I was 8 weeks and I experienced some pain during TKB.  My plans of being 9 months preggo and still doing it went out the window.  It wasn't worth the risk.  I'm sure I could have done some low impact cardio or at least walked on the treadmill...but the truth is- I didn't. So for the next 10 months I of course was not sedentary...anyone with 1-2 year old knows you don't do a lot of sitting around, but I really didn't do any exercise to speak of.

Now Claire is 4 months old and summer is basically upon us [even though the weather hasn't really gotten the memo yet] and I'm ready to be back in shape. The only problem? I've been working out for 2 months and honestly- I'm stuck.  I'm just not losing this darn weight.  So what's the deal?

I have a couple of guesses.

The past 6 months there has been a lot of stuff going on in our family, and stress is never good for the waist line {or any part of you} It is actually pretty toxic.  [It also may or may not cause you to consume copious amounts of dessert comfort food].

I also may just have a sweet tooth that doesn't quit- and a husband who loves it just as much. We eat very healthy the rest of the time, but dessert is kind of a weakness of mine [and his- and I like being a sweet wife that bakes chocolate chip cookies for my guy when they sound good to him].  We are making a concerted effort to not eat sweets for a month. I've been doing pretty well...I'm finding half the battle is fought at the grocery store.

This is also my 2nd baby and C-section - so I suppose I shouldn't have assumed it would have been as easy "getting back" as it was the first time around.

So heres what I'm doing about it (and a couple tips if you are trying to get in shape too):

I'm kickboxing. YAY. I love TKB, and it literally torches the calories! I'm trying to go 3 times a week. The days I don't kickbox, I'm doing Insanity.  Have you heard of it? Its another Beachbody production like P90X, but its mostly cardio, plyo, and core training. It is a little insane.  I'm usually tired after the first 15 minutes.  It's good though because I don't have to have a babysitter and I can do it whenever I have a spare 45 minutes :-) *update* I did Jazzercise this morning with my sister...don't laugh. It's actually a really good workout. I left there dripping sweat.  I just might add it to the rotation :-)

I'm really trying to not eat dessert. A couple of tips? Like I said- the battle is really fought in the grocery store. If you don't buy it, its not available in that moment of weakness after dinner when the kids are asleep and you are relaxing with a good book {or three- more on that later}.  If I don't have it in the house, I don't eat it. Want another tip? Go grocery shopping after you just ate.  If I'm hungry when I'm shopping, I'm more likely to buy things that aren't healthy just because they sound good.

I'm setting goals.  I like having a chart and tracking my progress. Its encouraging, and it also helps keep me motivated.  We have a family vacation planned for the end of July, so that is my goal time-frame.

Here's a bonus tip: drink water!!! I love lemon water, so I'm drinking a lot of it! Especially after dinner. Somehow the lemon kind of takes away the sweet tooth! Oh and if I'm done with my lemon water- I brush my teeth right away! That also deters me from eating anything I shouldn't.

Regarding your health & weight, and really all areas of life, it really comes down to your choices.  Life is about choices. You can make good ones; choices that ultimately please the Lord, and subsequently you are blessed because of it; or you can choose to live your life according to your own will.  That road does not lead to blessing, it leads to destruction. We are called to take care of our bodies, for they are the temple of the Lord.  I want to be healthy and feel strong, physically and spiritually, and I want to please the Lord with my life and my choices.

I can't help but think of the analogy of our spiritual lives being a race we must run- with endurance and perseverance.  Just like exercising, we have to be disciplined and work at our relationship with the Lord.  If we do nothing, nothing will happen.  We won't be growing in our faith.  If we do not take time to have silence and prayer time, we won't hear His voice. If I never exercise or purpose to eat healthy food, I won't reach my goal.  What are you doing to exercise in your spiritual life today? Are you "feeding" your spirit with things that will draw you closer to the Lord?

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:1-3

linking up with Katie here 

So, How's It Taste?

Blog: So, How's It Taste?  

It’s delightful. It hits every note of flavor with just a few ingredients.
This pasta is so easy to whip together....

Perfect Summer Salad

 Eight Layer Salad

Blog: The Meaning of Pie  

While cleverly plated salads have never died, the cleverly assembled salads seem to be trapped in the era of the first color cookbooks. Ah, but they are around. This example is merely a layered salad, frosted generously with a creamy dressing...

Blog: MY BEST days EVER

This is a salad I have lived on every Summer since I discovered it. The flavours are simple, fresh and beautiful, and with its milky orbs of buffalo mozzarella and segments of drippy golden peaches, it is quite possibly the sexiest Summer salad I have ever eaten...

No swimming upstream required....

Blog: One Vanilla Bean

Sometimes I leave work exhausted with no desire to cook anything for dinner. I just want to pick up something on my way home. And there is one thing that I love, something that never disappoints me and always leaves me satisfied: the smoked salmon pasta salad...

The Requirements of Receiving God's Wisdom

The Requirement for Receiving God's Wisdom
Bayless Conley

In yesterday's devotional, we talked about how, when you ask for God's wisdom, He reveals it in your spirit…that hidden place. But there is a critical requirement for God to reveal that wisdom to you. You have to ask for it in faith.

James 1:6-8 tells us,

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

You can't vacillate between two opinions. If you don't anchor yourself on God's promise that He will give you His wisdom, you will be blown about by the opinions of others, by your feelings, by the way the circumstances look, and you won't receive anything from God.

Not too long ago I went with some friends in a small boat to Catalina (an island 26 miles off the coast of Southern California). Just as we were arriving at about eight in the evening, the engine seized. We paddled in to a depth where we could drop the anchor.

After calling Vessel Assist, a storm came up and the wind began to blow and the rain began to fall. We had to wait a couple of hours before help arrived.

You know what? If we hadn't dropped anchor, the wind would have blown us somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

My friend, you have to drop your anchor. You have to ask in faith. You can't vacillate. You can't be double-minded if you are going to receive the wisdom of God.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God.

The Potter's Hand - Darlene Zschech

The evidence of knowing God is obeying God.
Eric Alexander

Obedience is the key to every door.
George MacDonald

Surrender of self applies as much to the daily affairs of life
as it does to the affairs of the soul,
 they cannot be separated.
We are all of a piece.
Brother Roger (Schultz)

The more a man denies himself,
the more shall he obtains from God.
Horace Bushnell

Jesus must be become more important,
while I become less important.
John 3:30


Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

Dreams are Nature's Answering Service

Dreams are nature's answering service -
don't forget to pick up your messages once in a while. 
~Sarah Crestinn

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
Elizabeth Barret Browning

We are not only less reasonable and less decent in our dreams...
we are also more intelligent, wiser and capable of
 better judgment when we are asleep than when we are awake. 
~Erich Fromm

Dream as if you'll live forever,
live as if you'll die today.
James Dean

Shattered dreams often lead to a world-impacting destiny.
But getting there is often a process where we must work through
honest feelings before we can see the God who redeems even the
most devastating shattered dream.

Be careful what you wear to bed at night,
you never know who you'll meet in your dreams.

Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep
and God can speak to that, either by words,
by proverbs, by signs and similitude's,
as well as if one was awake. 
John Bunyan

The River of Dreams
Billy Joel

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin' for something
Something sacred i lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
I've been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I'd never lose
Something somebody stole
I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To the river so deep
I know I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night

Gaining the Wisdom of God

You cannot keep people
from rejecting you.
But you can keep rejection from

--Max Lucado (A Love Worth Giving)


Gaining the Wisdom of God
Bayless Conley

I think every Christian desires wisdom from God. But they don't get it because they don't understand how to receive it.

In Psalm 51:6, we are told,

...in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

When God communicates His wisdom to us, He does it in that secret part. Whether it's as we read His Word and a Scripture speaks to us, or whether the Holy Spirit just whispers to us. As Proverbs 20:27 tells us, The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord. In other words, God illuminates us through our spirit.

For example, maybe you are in a difficult financial situation and you just don't know what to do. You are working, you are tithing, you are trusting God, you are doing all you need to do, but it seems like you can't make ends meet.

Maybe what you need is wisdom. If you ask for it, God may speak something as simple to your heart as, "Go talk to this person." Or, "Advertise in this magazine." Or, "Call so-and-so and ask them to forgive you for the way you treated them." Or He may just say, "Hold steady."

Shortly after I was saved, I developed a physical condition I could not get any relief from. So I went to God and I said, "God, give me wisdom." God spoke to me and said, "You need to stop drinking coffee."

Now I did not want to hear that because I was a big coffee drinker. But you know what? After obeying God in that, almost immediately, that condition cleared up, and it has never been back.

God's wisdom. He will speak to you. If you ask, He will make His wisdom known in the hidden part.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God.

Shattered Dreams
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband." (Ruth 1:3-5).

Naomi's life was going well. A great husband. Two fine sons who had two wonderful wives. Then the unthinkable happened. Her husband died. A little time later both her sons die. Her and her daughter-in-laws find themselves in the midst of shattered dreams. This isn't how life was supposed to be.

How did Naomi react to her situation? "...for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!" (Ruth 1:13). Ah, we see her true feelings about the situation. "How could a loving God let this happen?!" "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?" (Ruth 1:20-21).

Mara means bitter. She knew where she was. She was bitter toward this so called God of love. "How can I possibly reconcile this?!" No life insurance. No widow?s fund. "What is going to happen to me and my daughters?"

The Bible says the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. Naomi and Ruth move to a community where some of her relatives lived. Ruth goes out to work in the fields to put food on the table. She just so happens to work in the field of a wealthy farmer named Boaz. When Ruth tells her this the first ray of hope penetrates her bitter heart. Even she can recognize the hand of God.

So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz. Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!?" (Ruth 2:19-20).

Hebrew custom was for the next in kin to care for the widow in the family. Boaz was to be this man. He would eventually marry Ruth. She would bare a son, Obed. He would be the father of Jesse, the father of David. Jesus would come firm the same lineage.

Shattered dreams often lead to a world-impacting destiny. But getting there is often a process where we must work through honest feelings before we can see the God who redeems even the most devastating shattered dream.

Today's Prayer

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ~ Psalm 91:11-12. God, this is one of my favorite comforts from Your Word. I pray and trust that You will command Your angels concerning me, my family, my friends, my pastors and their families, that through Your power and Your command guardian angels will be round about to protect us and lift us up so that we will not strike our feet against stones. Please protect us from all harm and evil. Help us remain pure and devoted to You. And for those I know and love who are fighting addictions of various types, I pray that You would give them strength and power to overcome and that guardian angels will protect them and keep them from stumbling. In the name of Jesus I pray and give You thanks, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

APPLICATION Are you young and looking for something to believe in? Are you older and looking for God's hand anew? God answers both needs. Look to him and no further.

EXPLORATION Encouragement and Examples for Old and Young- Psalm 119:9; Proverbs 16:31; Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:1; Isaiah 46:4; Lamentations 3:27; 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:2-3.