Rabu, 31 Agustus 2011

What Do You Watch?

The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies sips and noshes her way to glowing skin.
Here’s how she does it...

NCIS’ Cote de Pablo stars in a fairy tale come true, complete with
 European palace, mysterious suitor and fashions worthy of royalty...

This Fall
Sundays 10/9c

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

From the heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe

I grew up with a healthy appreciation of the arts. All through my school years, I learned to recognize the genius of the great masters of painting, sculpture, architectural design and, of course, music. As a singer at school and in church, I was in awe of the classical composers who could hear, create, and capture such glorious melodies and rich harmonies, making them come alive again and again in different places and times.

So when Jack and I were married and made our first trip to Belgium to meet all his relatives, it was an unbelievable joy to me. In addition to the welcoming and wonderful fellowship with the extended Van Impe family, the history and culture of old Europe was everywhere-the food, the traditions, the sights, sounds, and smells-the very atmosphere itself. Except for being seasick on the voyage over (we decided to fly on future trips), I loved every moment of our adventure.

When we strolled through the streets of Brussels and suddenly came upon the Grote Markt/Grand-Place, the amazing marketplace and celebration center of the capital city, my mouth flew open in amazement. There were flowers everywhere surrounding little booths and open-air shops that offered fresh produce, baked goods, candies, handicrafts of all kinds, and wandering troupes of street entertainers. There was color, sound, and life as far as the eye could see in every direction! And surrounding it all, framing the pulsing heart of the inner city, were the great, historic seventeenth century buildings with elaborate facades of brick and stone and glass, filled with shops, offices, and apartment flats. Amazing!

To this day, Brussels’ Grand-Place is one of my favorite spots in all the world, an ever-changing spectacle of vitality and excitement. But on my first trip to Europe as a young bride, the experience was almost overwhelming.

To further highlight my first visit to Europe, Jack and I got a car and drove from Brussels to Paris! I don’t have the words to describe my excitement at seeing the countryside, villages, and towns-most of them with their own marketplaces bustling with life-and soaking up the sounds of old languages accented with laughter and shouts. The people were real, live characters from folk literature, with costumes that would have seemed too elaborate even for my active imagination.

And then we were in Paris, standing outside perhaps the most famous art museum in the world, the Louvre! Could this really be happening to me? I’d always loved great art, and enjoyed visiting fine museums during family outings and school field trips. But the Louvre? As we walked through galleries filled with some of the most famous works of art in the world, I was literally overwhelmed. My mind could barely take in the reality of seeing the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Aphrodite, and works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Renoir, Mondrian, Monet, Cézanne, El Greco, and scores of other great masters from the past. Too soon my brief visit was ended-I could have spent days there.

Fortunately, Jack and I got to go back to Europe to spend time with his relatives about every other year, and on each trip we tried to take in some notable or worthwhile place. I learned so much each time we went for a visit.

Life is all around you-don’t miss it!

Here at home, my husband and I also try to keep up with significant news developments and often visit historically important places. Connected with our ministry on our trips abroad-we’ve been in about fifty countries-we’ve explored noteworthy local sites and sought to better understand the people and cultures. Of course, Jack is always aware and sensitive to people, places, and events around the world with prophetic significance.

So many times as we’ve visited some historic site or an area with prophetic importance, suddenly the realization would hit me that I was seeing something important...that I was literally part of something significant or noteworthy. I felt a little nudge that I should pay special attention to what was around me at that moment-as if the Holy Spirit was whispering, "He that hath an ear, let him hear..." (see Revelation 2-3).

That happened to me again just this week! While Jack was getting his hair cut, I wandered through a little antique shop nearby and soon found myself browsing a small art exhibit. I’d never heard of the artist before, but he was extremely talented-I’d put him in the category of a great master-painter. I was drawn to a powerful work he had done that captured the images of two young girls. As I looked at them, it seemed they took on a life of their own as they laughed together and looked out on the vista before them.

The girls seemed so much more real than just a painting. They seemed so relaxed, so comfortable, so real. I felt that I should know them...that I’d like to know them. As I stood there for several long moments, I actually said aloud, "Who are you?"

It was the kind of deeply introspective moment a person may have in his life on occasion when he looks into a mirror and wonders, "Does anybody know who I am? Do I even know? Does God know that I’m here?"

As I looked into the skillfully created faces of those two youngsters in the painting, I whispered again, "Who are you?" And I thought in response, "I know Someone who knows you better than this artist, and that is the Lord. No matter where you are today, He knows you!"

I didn’t see anybody else in the quietness of that little gallery, but in that instant I became keenly aware that the "Someone" I’d just thought about had seen me...and recognized me...and knew me!

God knows us even before we are born

God spoke to Jeremiah and said, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee (Jeremiah 1:5). What a phenomenal statement. When did Jeremiah become a "viable," individual person? At conception? At some point in the prenatal process? At birth? According to the Lord God, He knew Jeremiah long before.

When Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me" (Mark 10:14), the Greek word used for "children"-brephos-can refer to born and unborn, I’m told. This would mean that Jesus was not just saying, "let these children come unto me, but all children-those who have been born...and those who are not yet born."

I have a little sister in heaven who was miscarried. I have a brother in heaven who was born but lived only three hours. I will see them both in heaven someday! Every child who was ever conceived is known of God. He declared that before a child is formed in the belly or is born, He knew that baby! Before I was completely developed in my mother’s womb, God knew that I would be born and called Rexella Shelton. He knew who I was before I was!

I know He knows our names because in Revelation 3:5 He declares that He will not blot our name out of the book of life. Every name is in the book-it can only be blotted out if a person rejects the Lord. That’s why every child goes to heaven, no matter what. Jesus himself said that our names are written in heaven (see Luke 10:20).

What a great promise! So many children’s lives have been snuffed out in wars, epidemics, and famines. Millions more have been destroyed by abortion. But, thank God, how wonderful to know that every child is safe with Him...and He knows them all by name! Every single one of these precious lives is now with the Lord. Oh, that blesses me!

God walks with us in life

Have you ever needed to know that you were not walking life’s road all alone? Did you ever need the strong shoulder of the Lord to lean on in life’s hard places?

Thank God, the Word says, For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee (Deuteronomy 23:14).

I believe all of us have plenty of occasions when we need to be delivered. The longer I serve the Lord, the more times I recognize His presence in my camp, walking close beside me to deliver me from all harm and danger.

I remember getting up to sing one night to an audience of eight thousand people. As I looked over the crowd, I saw four men in the fifth row with stockings over their heads. God gave me peace so I was not afraid to go ahead and minister although it was obvious the men were there to try and disrupt the service or intimidate Jack and me. We later learned there was great turmoil in that city because a number of drug dealers had been converted, and the drug bosses wanted to threaten our lives. But God protected us from violence.

Another time in South America, we were on our way to the airport when a huge riot broke out. We were trapped in the middle of the violence, but God’s hand kept us safe.

Over the years we’ve received threats in the mail and over the phone, but Jack and I never were afraid, knowing that: There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways (Psalm 91:10-11).

More recently, I was not afraid when Jack was attacked by a serious, life-threatening physical illness. Somehow the Holy Spirit reminded me that God was in control and that my husband would be delivered. And he was!

How sad when people-even believers-lose contact with the presence of the Lord who is always with us. How tragic when they can no longer see the hand of God at work in their lives and are overwhelmed by despair. Thinking that nobody cares for them or is looking out for them, they try walking alone through the dark valleys of this world and are overwhelmed. The sad statistics reveal that more and more people are committing suicide, taking matters into their own hands.

Recently our long-time friend and team member, Chuck Ohman, told us of a friend of his who committed suicide. Some time ago, a pastor friend of our family in Detroit, took his own life. Another Detroit pastor we knew well had lunch with his daughter, kissed her and sent her on her way, then went into his office bathroom and hanged himself.

How sad to see these precious souls reach such a state of futility that they ended it all. Oh, if we had known their need! It hurts so much to see people destroy themselves in despair. Oh, if they had just come to us-or some other believer-for encouragement and help. Perhaps someone could have helped them find the answer to the question, Who are you? The answer for them-and for all of us-is: "I am the beloved child of my Father, God almighty!" If we know who we are, then we know there is help for the helpless and hope for the hopeless in Jesus. Nothing or no one is more powerful than God, and no one cares more than the Lord.

God remembers us in death

Several years ago I was in Israel interviewing some of the more influential members of the Israeli government, including members of the Knesset and various other leaders. One person I was to interview was the heroic military leader, General Moshe Dayan.

He was standing on a staircase, in uniform, complete with his trademark eye patch, ready to begin. As I greeted him, he suddenly said brusquely, "I am not going to do this interview!"

I was stunned because I had worked hard to make all the necessary arrangements, and politely inquired what had happened to change his mind. "Oh, it’s nothing you have done," he said. "I’ve just realized that this is pointless because no one will remember me when I am dead anyway!" And he walked away.

I believe General Dayan was wrong. A great many people knew and cared about him. They appreciated his patriotism, and his heroic efforts to preserve the nation of Israel in the face of overwhelming odds. To this day, his name is remembered and revered as a great soldier and leader.

But even if no one on earth remembered Dayan after his career and his life were ended, there is Someone who will not-who cannot-forget who you are in birth, in life, and in death. This friend is aware of even the most minute details of our lives-He is the Lord!

The Bible says, But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Luke 12:7).

I have interviewed some 250 outstanding leaders and world figures, and I made it a practice to try, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to share something uplifting with them as well as seeking information and comments from them. I wish I’d had the opportunity to witness to General Dayan. I’d love to have been able to tell him that, indeed, someone would remember him-and walk with him-after death. Someone would remember, and walk with him through the valley of the shadow of death. He is God almighty!

Perhaps you think your life has been less distinguished and noteworthy than someone like General Dayan. But you are not less important to God. He has been with you before birth, and throughout life. And He will not desert you when you come to the end of life in this world. Who are you? You are God’s child...and one of His favorite traveling companions!

The time will come for all of us when it is time to cross over from this world to the next. And the Lord will walk with us, faithful to the end, until the shadows of life are illuminated by the light of heaven. So we can make that final walk in confidence.

The Bible says, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). My husband, Jack, says that the phrases "absent from the body, present with the Lord" in the Greek are both instantaneous and simultaneous! When the time comes, just as you close your eyes-you’re there!

And He will have been with you all the way!

Visit our website to view past issues of our newsletters @   Jack Van Impe Ministries

Nichole Nordeman - Legacy

I don't mind if you've got
Something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
And you could take my picture
And hang it in a gallery
Of all the Who's Who's and So and So's
That used to be the best at such and such
It wouldn't matter much

I won't lie it feels alright
To see your name in lights
We all need an atta boy or atta girl
But in the end
I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough?
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust thieves and such
Will soon enough destroy

Not well-traveled, not well-read
Not well-to-do or well-bred
Just want to hear instead
Well done good and faithful one

Selasa, 30 Agustus 2011

Smart Ideas for Small Spaces

1 of 20

These rooms show you that small spaces can be super-efficient without sacrificing style.

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Woe is You. Woe is Me!

Woe is You. Woe is Me!
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’…The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’ (Matthew 15:11,18, NIV).

Friend To Friend
All through the Bible we have accounts of God sending men and women out into the world with a message. Whether it is a message of repentance, judgment, deliverance or hope, God made sure the messengers were placed in strategic moments in time to make an impact on those around them. But God doesn’t send the messenger out unprepared. He trains them as only He can do…and it usually has something to do with their words.

Let’s look at two messengers and how God prepared them to impact the world: Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Isaiah was called to prophesy to Jerusalem 740 years before Christ. In the first five chapters, the overriding theme is impending judgment. “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field…Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks…Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit and wickedness as with cart ropes…Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight…Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and champions at mixing drinks…” But then something happens to Isaiah as he sees his own life reflected in God’s magnificent glory.

Isaiah had a vision.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and threshold shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:1-5)

I imagine Isaiah was feeling pretty good about himself, being called by God to prophesy to this irksome people. But just when he got out the sixth woe, God decided to hold up the mirror of His holiness in which Isaiah saw his own sin. And where did the sin manifest itself? His words.

God doesn’t convict us of our sin to condemn us. He reveals our sin to bring us to repentance and change. Just as Isaiah was lamenting his own foul tongue, a seraph (brightly shimmering heavenly beings whose name means’ burning ones’) picked up a live coal with tongs from the altar of atonement and touched it to the prophet’s lips. Just as God sent the Holy Spirit to the believers at Pentecost in the form of flaming tongues, He sent a coal to set Isaiah’s tongue afire with cleansing power. The seraph touched Isaiah’s tongue with the burning coal and then announced that his guilt was taken away.

Now Isaiah was ready to go out into the world and proclaim God’s message to His people and his “woe is me” was transformed into “Here am I send me.”

Isaiah didn’t need to change his eating or drinking habits, he didn’t need to alter his outward appearance, or take extra classes at the local seminary. Isaiah needed to have his words purified and fortified so God could be properly glorified.

If God thought it necessary to deal with Isaiah’s tongue before he embarked on his heavenly assignment then we should not think it would be any different for you and for me. But did you notice it was God who did the cleansing? It takes more than washing our mouths out with soap to be a woman of clean lips. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit and the touch of God. Our part is to cooperate with Him, submit our words to Him, fill our lives with Him, and live our lives through Him.

Now It’s Your Turn
Unlike Isaiah, Jeremiah didn’t begin prophesying until God touched his mouth first. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the Hebrew nation. However, he was very reluctant to heed the call. “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child,” he argued. But God reprimanded Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child’…Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.”

Then God reached out his hand and touched Jeremiah’s mouth and said, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.” God called this young man to be strong and courageous and assured him that He would be with him wherever he went.

Today, pull out your Bible and read Jeremiah chapter one. Turn the words into a prayer for your own life and pray that God will use your words and your life to make a positive impact for the gospel today.

More From The Girlfriends
The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. If you would like to learn more about how to use your words to speak life into those around you, you’ll want to read The Power of a Woman’s Words by Sharon Jaynes. And for a more in-depth look at what God’s Word has to say about our words, see The Power of a Woman’s Words Bible Study Guide.

Beth Moore: Opportunity in Opposition

To watch the full show please go  here
on Wednesday, Aug 31st! 
Apparently this video has not been posted or aired on TV yet.

Beth explains how Paul saw opportunity for Christ
when he felt opposition to him personally.

Senin, 29 Agustus 2011

First Fruits

make that first foods...rice cereal to be specific.

And she loved it. She was so proud of herself. 

Oh how I love her expressive little face.

Every little milestone is a reminder of how quickly time passes.
How quickly they turn from tiny to toddler. 

As parents we have precious little time to pour into these ones. 
It is vitally important to give them healthy food to nourish their little growing bodies, but what we feed their spirits is of even greater importance. 

I pray the Lord will give us the wisdom, strength, and grace to raise these babies to know Him,
to know how precious and dearly loved they are [by Him & us],
and to honor and obey Him.

In the midst of a society that will want to feed them lies and convince them that worldly gain and pleasure is all that matters; 

We must show them the light, the freedom, the joy
the peace, 
and the life
that comes from walking in obedience to God.  

It is a lofty responsibility we parents have.  These are lives being molded, minds being shaped, and ultimately, futures being determined, one lesson after another.
Be mindful of what you are feeding your little ones.



Give New Life To Closet Standbys

Family Circle, photo Michael Waring

Think you have nothing to wear? Then try these new, unexpected ways
to remaster what's already in your closet...

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Giving and Receiving

Feeding the 5,000

Giving and Receiving
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account" (Phil 4:17).

The apostle Paul had a tent-making business. However, over time, it was evident that more and more of his time was being given to vocational ministry activities. That required him to receive income from those to whom he invested his life. It became increasingly difficult to run a business and travel and minister.

His letter to the Philippians gives us a perspective on giving. Although Paul appreciated the support financially, his real joy came in the fact that their gift was being credited to their Heavenly account.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:14-19 emphasis mine).

Paul had a confidence that God would always provide what he needed. Sometimes it came from his business. Sometimes it came through others. He was not overly concerned with where his provision would come from. His confidence was in God, his provider. So, his attitude was in affirming the benefit that came to the giver from a Kingdom perspective.

Paul learned that it wasn't a church or a business that was his provider. It was God. These were merely tools God used to support him.

Today's Prayer

Dear God, When I look at the state of the world, the complacency of my neighbors, the lifestyles of sin that so many are involved in, and the attitudes and actions of young people today, I just wish I could do something to fix everything and make it good; something to help people, to point them in the right direction, to lead them to experience Your love, protection, and freedom. Please work through me; use my life to be a mighty witness and worker for a cause greater than myself. Please guide and bless my efforts and bring glory to Yourself. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Sabtu, 27 Agustus 2011

The Prayer of Faith

The Prayer of Faith
Bayless Conley

Yesterday we learned about the prayer of dedication. Today I want to help you understand the prayer of faith. This kind of prayer is found in Mark 11:22-24,

So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."

With the prayer of faith, at the moment you pray you are to believe that you receive what you pray for. Not when the circumstances look different, not at some point in the future, but when you pray. The Amplified Bible says, Believe that it is granted to you.

When you pray, believe that God hears you and that He has sent the answer, whether you feel differently or not. Before you ever get up off your knees, believe that heaven has sent the answer.

1 John 5:14-15 says it this way,

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

The prayer of faith is prayed when you know and understand God's will. Friend, the Bible is a revelation of the will of God. Prayer will not reach beyond the will of God, and God's Word reveals His will to us.

So pray the prayer of faith according to His will, and you can be assured He hears you and heaven has sent the answer to your prayer.

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

If we don't change,
millions of American families are
just one medical emergency, or one layoff,
away from financial disaster and bankruptcy.
Jim Cooper

How can a nation with this much wealth have a financial crisis? No matter who you ask, Republican or Democrat, the other side has caused our nation's problems. In this message, Andy uses a familiar Bible passage to remind us that Jesus called on us to stop pointing fingers and to start looking in the mirror. We may have more power to start the recovery than we know.

"Part of the Solution"

In this short clip Andy points out the futility of blame in the midst of crisis.
To hear the full message please go here: Recovery Road 


Jumat, 26 Agustus 2011

Tiny House, Big Style

1 of 13

A design-savvy couple figures out how to live (happily!) in a tiny San Diego bungalow

Recovery Road

If we don't change,
millions of American families are
just one medical emergency, or one layoff,
away from financial disaster and bankruptcy.
Jim Cooper

How can a nation with this much wealth have a financial crisis? No matter who you ask, Republican or Democrat, the other side has caused our nation's problems. In this message, Andy uses a familiar Bible passage to remind us that Jesus called on us to stop pointing fingers and to start looking in the mirror. We may have more power to start the recovery than we know.

"Part of the Solution"

In this short clip Andy points out the futility of blame in the midst of crisis.
To hear the full message please go here: Recovery Road 

The Prayer of Dedication


Hindrances to Prayer
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18

The prayer must be made with faith, and no trace of doubt. James 1:6

Hurry is the death of prayer. Samuel Chadwick

Yank some of the groans out of your prayers, and shove in some shouts. Aiden Wilson Tozer

Beware in your prayer above everything of limiting God, not only by unbelief but by fancying that you know what he can do. Andrew Murray

The self-sufficient do not pray, the self-satisfied will not pray, the self-righteous cannot pray. William Edwyn Robert Sangster

The Prayer of Dedication
Bayless Conley

Yesterday we began a journey to understand the different kinds of prayer for the different circumstances we face in life. The first kind of prayer I want to point you to is the prayer of dedication.

Mark 14:32, 35-36 helps us understand this type of prayer,

Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray."…He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

Here we find Jesus dedicating and consecrating Himself to the will of the Father. He is in agony; He is in distress. This is the eve of His crucifixion. And Jesus is saying, "Lord, if we can redeem humanity some other way, God, please! But Your will is what is important. So I am consecrating Myself to Your will, Father."

This prayer of dedication and consecration is one that believers should pray. In fact, I believe every Christian should pray this prayer in a general sense after they get saved. Just like the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, "Lord, what would You have me to do?"

Also, when you come to specific crossroads as you follow God, if you are unsure of God's will, or you feel He may be leading you into a specific area that will require sacrifice, reestablish that consecration and dedication to God through this kind of prayer.

Christ was dedicated to do the will of the Father, and yet He reaffirmed that dedication as He prayed, "I am willing to submit Myself to You."

Pray it. Vocalize it. Submit yourself to His will as He reveals it.

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

Kamis, 25 Agustus 2011

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't,
and that's a wife who can't cook and will. 
 ~Robert Frost

CHOW: Patricia Wells - Go To Summer Salad


The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary,
no painter's pallet can duplicate nature's artistry. 
 ~Dr. SunWolf 

CHOW: How To Sauce Pasta


Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it. 
~Author Unknown

SAVEUR: Molecular gastronomy - Cuisine R-EVOLUTION Trailer

Chemicals, n:  Noxious substances from which modern foods are made. 
~Author Unknown

Prayer for a Friend

Bayless Conley

In Ephesians 6:17-18, the apostle Paul tells us,

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Today I want you to take special note of that phrase, "Praying always with all prayer." In Goodspeed's translation, he puts it this way, Use every kind of prayer and entreaty; and at every opportunity, pray in the Spirit.

I believe Paul is pointing you and me to the fact that there are different kinds of prayer. Over the next few devotionals, I want to talk to you about those different types of prayer.

Now, I know you may be thinking, "Well, prayer is prayer. Let's not get so technical." There is a truth there because prayer in its simplest form is just talking to God, and that is something anyone can do.

But to say, "All prayer is prayer," is equivalent to saying, "All sports are sports." It is true in one sense, but you cannot play one kind of sport with the rules that govern a different kind of sport.

I remember when I was coaching Little League. A ground ball was hit into the outfield. When the outfielder got it, he threw it at the kid running to second base and hit him. Then the outfielder started screaming, "You're out! I got you!"

Well, that works in dodge ball, but it doesn't work in baseball. There are different kinds of prayer for different kinds of circumstances, which I look forward to helping you understand in the coming devotionals.

Be diligent to talk to God every day, but along with that commitment, make it your aim to learn the "rules" that govern different kinds of prayer.

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

I Need a Friend
Part 1
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her (Ruth 1:16-18, NIV).

Friend To Friend
Friendship is the catalyst for every other love and the foundation of every healthy relationship. In his book, “The Broken Heart”, Dr. James J. Lynch shows that lonely people live significantlyshorter lives than the general population. In other words, God created us to need each other. We need friends.

I know what you are thinking. Everyone knows that having close friends is risky business. While attending seminary, one of my professors told me that, as a pastor’s wife, I would never be able to have close friends in the church. I didn’t believe him then. And I don’t believe him now.

I have been a woman in ministry for many years and my best friends have always been with women in the church where I ministered. Have I been burned? Yes. Have I been betrayed and disappointed? Yes. Has it been worth it? Absolutely! It is my prayer that over the next few weeks, we will catch God’s plan and purpose for the friendships in our lives. But before launching into this study, there are three friendship facts we must first understand and accept.

Fact 1: Friendships have many different levels. There are friends we see occasionally and then there are soul-mates with whom we share everything. There is a place for both in our lives.

Fact 2: Friendships may change with the seasons of life. We are naturally drawn to women who face the same problems and share the same dreams.

Fact 3: We all need friends. Friendship is part of God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus placed great value on relationships. The Bible tells us that He spent much of His time deepening relationships with a few - not the crowds. His teachings are filled with practical suggestions on how to be a friend and how to have healthy relationships. One of the most beautiful portraits of friendship is found in the book of Ruth. It is the story of Naomi, a godly woman, a wife and the mother of two married sons.

Naomi’s husband and sons died, leaving three women alone, Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. Because they had neither food nor money and no certainty of what the future might hold, Naomi chose to return to Bethlehem, her homeland. On the way, Naomi suddenly stopped to tell Ruth and Orpah that they should return to their homes in Moab because there, they would have the chance to marry again. Both Ruth and Orpah protested but Naomi was insistent. Finally, Orpah gave in and returned home, but Ruth would not leave Naomi, her mother-in-law and friend. Noami was amazed at the loyalty Ruth offered and together, they made the trip to Bethlehem. Interestingly, it was there that Ruth met and married Boaz. They had a son named Obed, who later became the grandfather of King David. Ruth, a gentile from Moab, became part of the family line of Jesus. Why? Ruth was a loyal friend. Wouldn’t you like to have a friend like that? Wouldn’t you like to be a friend like that? The lives of Ruth and Naomi offer nine keys to healthy and vital friendships.

First Key: Time
Ruth says, “Where you go I will go. Where you stay I will stay.” Ruth was willing to commit her life and time in friendship. Friendship doesn’t just happen. True friendship takes consistent investments of time. Time spent together in friendship creates a memory bank from which we can make withdrawals when tough times come and we need encouragement. Time is a priceless gift and one of the most powerful communicators of love. When we are willing to give 30 minutes of time, we are actually giving 30 minutes of life. Ruth was willing to sacrifice her entire life agenda for the sake of her friendship with Naomi.

We live in a “quick-fix” world that often fails to understand or address the relationship truth that it takes time to build a friendship. It is so easy for women to fill every time slot of every day with activity, leaving little or no room for friends. The waters of daily life are often difficult to navigate. True friends are willing to get in the boat and ride out the storm with us.

We tend to spend time instead of investing it. The depth of the friendship depends upon the investment of time we can make or the investment of time we are willing to make. I have a friend, Michelle Johnson, who is the perfect example of a friend who was willing to invest time in our relationship. Michelle and I first met at a church where she and her husband were small group teachers while Dan was the youth pastor. We were not especially close because our paths rarely crossed. But when Dan was called to be the pastor of a nearby church, Michelle and her family joined us in ministry. Our children were in school together and we were both involved in women’s ministry. As our paths crossed more frequently, we became friends. Then, during a two-year battle with clinical depression, we moved into the neighborhood where Michelle and Jay lived. Michelle made a choice. She chose to invest large chunks of time, walking with me through those dark years. As a result, her friendship is beyond measure in my life. Friendships take time.

Let’s Pray
Father, I want to thank You for being the ultimate Friend. You have never let me down or turned away from me – even when I have turned away from You. Please help me be the kind of friend You want me to be so that Your love can flow through me in my relationships. Teach me how to invest time wisely so that each friendship is a living illustration of Your love.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

 What is the greatest hindrance to friendship in your life?

What has been the greatest reward of friendship in your life?

Are you willing to take the risk of cultivating intimate friendships and of being a true friend? Explain.

Make a list of your closest friends and then picture life without them. What would that picture look like?

Make a specific plan this week to invest time in the life of a friend.

More From The Girlfriends
Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Studies. Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study. I Need a Friendis available in Bible Study format.

Be sure to check out Mary’s weekly Online Bible Study: Stress Management 101. Enroll now and have access to all 2011 lessons. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

Prayer for a Friend - Casting Crowns