Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

History In The Making

There is no doubt that our country is in great turmoil.  We can't turn on the T.V., radio, or go on the internet without hearing about all the violence, poverty, murder, and scandals (this is just to say the least).  The lack of rain in many states has wreaked havoc, and the earthquakes and tsunamis are almost more than we can bear.  This leaves many people wondering what to do, where to go, and asking, "What now?"  I say, "We need to humble ourselves and pray!"     

Texas Governor Rick Perry has called everyone in the United States to a day of fasting and prayer on  August 6, 2011.  Many will journey to Houston to join him in this endeavor and many more will fast and pray from the their own city, on this historical day.

I call it historical because for many, many, many years we have not seen such courage from someone holding a government/political office.  For this governor to hear the calling of Lord AND act upon it takes more courage (true grit) than many will ever know.  He faces the possibility of losing his support, losing his chances of one day being president, losing his career, and losing his upstanding reputation with some people.  But, if he remains within the will of the Lord, he will GAIN eternal life and the Lord will raise him up!

This reminds me of the story of Queen Esther.  She was asked by her cousin to go into the king's (her husband) presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people because they faced annihilation .  At first she wasn't so keen on the idea of approaching the king, seeing as how her life was on the line, until her cousin shared a few choice words with her.  He said, "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

It is the the last sentence of her cousin's statement that resonates within my heart...  
  • To Governor Rick Perry I say, "And who knows but that YOU have come to your honorable position for such a time as this?" 
  • To the believers of this great nation I say:  NIV 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
  • And to you, the reader of this blog, I say, "Go and gather all the Believers who are in your city, and fast for Governor Rick Perry.  I will fast as you do as we all gather in Houston to pray for our nation, even though many feel it is against the law to mix church and state (they don't get it). 
Esther carried out her cousin's request and said, "And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16.  Without a doubt in my mind, Governor Rick Perry knows that his future is on the line.  And without a doubt in my mind I know he was called for such a time as this!

I hope you choose to join me on August 6th as we fast for our wonderful nation and its people and I pray that you will be blessed 100 fold for your labor. 

(For those not familiar with the story of Esther, please refer to The Holy Bible, the Book of Esther).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Kind of Wineskin are You?

Matthew 9:17 (NIV) Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." 

Matthew 9:17 spoke to my heart, while I was reading my Bible, the other day.  For me, it's one of those scriptures that I hear pretty often and, because of that, can sometimes take for granted.  But this time the last four words of this scripture caused me to ask the question, "Why would you wanna preserve the old?"  So I dug into the world of wineskins to see if I could find any answers...this is what I learned: 

The process of making wineskins is GROSS!!  It's not practiced very much... you know, technology; yet in some parts of the world it's still done.  It's usually made from goat skin but other animals have been used.  The "wineskin" maker has to pull the skin off of the dead goat, while it's hanging upside down by one leg, trying not to damage the skin... ugh!  Then through a process of other things a wineskin is made and can be used for wine, water, or churning milk for butter... handy little gadget.  When new wine is placed into a wineskin it begins to ferment.  The bubbles and gases, the expanding and contracting would be too much for an old wineskin to bear and would bursts open.  Old wineskins can hold old wine, water, and pretty much anything that won't cause it to explode from it's gases and bubbles.  And so... new wine is put into a new wineskin.

From a Biblical view point, the new wine represents a new believer in Christ and the old wineskin represents old doctrine.  Trying to force all the rules and traditions from old doctrine onto a new believer would be too burdensome and possibly scare off anyone who wants to know Christ.   A new believer should be gently guided as they learn all that the Lord has for them.  (Thus... new wine into a new wineskin in order to avoid a doctrinal explosion)

Here is where those four words, I spoke about earlier, come into play... The old is still needed because it leads the way for the new; JESUS.  When Jesus came He said, Matthew 5:17 (NIV) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  The old "wineskin" (doctrine) is still very important because by learning from the old we can appreciate the new.  
Things to keep in mind:  we can't be so focused on doctrine (old wineskin) that we forget about the believer (new wine); I call this "religion".  And we can't be so heavenly minded that we forget about reality. (I don't have a name for this one but you know where I'm going with this ... right?)  There has to be a balance of both old and new so that 'both are preserved'; I call this "relationship". Which are you:  religion or relationship?  

Have a great day in the Lord and I pray you have a beautiful relationship with Him!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Day I Almost Drowned

When I was 10 years old my family and close friends went on a picnic by a river.  I can't remember the name of the river but I remember it was very wide, like the length of a football field. We found a great spot to picnic by a waterfall.  The top of the river seemed so still, except for the splashing of water from people swimming and playing.  As the water passed over the dam, about a 14 foot drop, the calm river water became violent; the water spun and splashed waves everywhere.  But 100 yards down the water became calm again. 
As soon as we arrived my friends jumped into the river - the upper, calm part of the river.  I never thought twice about jumping in with them, not that I didn't want to, but I knew my over protective mother would never allow it.  When my friends asked why, I told them I wasn't allowed.  This cause all my friends including my mother's friends to plead and beg for her to allow me to join them.  The oldest kid of the bunch, Joann, promised she would watch over me and not let me out of her sight.  Reluctantly, my mother gave in and I, with great joy, jumped into the river.  I quickly realized the river was deeper than I thought and the only way to keep my head above water was to bounce on one big toe (the one that went to market).  It was uncomfortable but worth a little discomfort for a chance to be in the water.  My friends started splashing water at each other so I bounced out of their reach;  I knew I couldn't win a splash battle and keep my head above the water.  Joann, who had joined the battle, left my side but I in no way felt alarmed.  I was confident in my ability to swim.  The battle became more fierce and a lot more funny since name calling now became the weapon of choice.  Laughing and balancing on Mr. Piggy became a little more difficult but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.  The battle was coming to an end when Joann gave the ultimate splash.  If my memory serves correctly, that splash equaled a small explosion.  Water shrapnel went everywhere, including in my eye. This caused my head to be slightly tossed back, which cause my body to go a little off balance... this was too much for my big toe endure and my leg was tossed out from under me.  Being a skin-n-bone kinda kid (string bean was my nick name), the water swept me away like a leaf.  I didn't know what was going on since it happened so fast until I realized that I was now at the bottom of the waterfall stuck among the torrents.  I fought hard to get out of its grip but its pull was too strong for me.  Over and over I tried pushing off the river bottom but my body kept churning with all the debris.  I remember fighting for so long, it seemed like an eternity, and so hard; I didn't have an ounce of energy left... so I gave up.  It was at this point that the water had its way with me a spit me out into the calm stream.  I could barely stand but I drug myself up and began walking to the edge of the river bank.  I looked up and saw a crowd of people running toward me, leading the way was Joann.  It was a rocky descent so it took Joann and others a few minutes to reach me. A lot of people, some strangers, looked me over from head-to-toe and found no injuries; I had emerged completely unscathed. Joann's legs, on the other hand, were cut and bleeding from her rescue attempt.  

  The Lord recently reminded me of this incident and then said it is the same way with His will.  We may be going along with our everyday lives relying on our own strengths, only to realize one day that we are at the bottom of life, drowning.  But, the moment we surrender everything to Him, by His mercy and grace, we are raised up and placed into calm waters.  Are you drowning?  Just surrender!

By the way... My mother never allowed me back in the water and I got an ear full of "I-told-you-so". 
I love my mom!

Psalm 18:6 (NIV) In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

The END of the world?

The "End Of The World" is all the buzz these days; May 21, 2011 has been marked by certain people to be the "END" or the day that Jesus returns.  Some believe it, some scoff at it, and others don't know what to believe.  This is what I believe... Matthew 24:36 "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

This doesn't mean that He won't come tomorrow but it does mean that we won't know when it will happen.  Matthew 24 describes it to be like the days of Noah:  The days that led up to the flood, people were eating and drinking, going out to (if they had restaurants) Olive Garden, Starbucks, and whatever the local flavor was at that time.  Everyone was doing there everyday thing when the flood over took them.  The chapter also describes it as two people working side by side... one gets taken and the other left behind.  So how do we NOT get left behind?

Be ready and be vigilant; Jesus says (Matt. 25) the kingdom of heaven will be like the 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Let me summarize:
(For the entire parable go to Matthew 25:1-13)  
So... there were these 10 virgins, five of them wise and five of them foolish.  They were bridesmaids and their job was to keep watch for the bridegroom.  None of them knew when he was going to arrive, it could be many hours, so they had keep close watch to announce his approaching.  In order to see, because this usually happened at night, they had to keep their torches lit.  The wise ones took extra oil to keep the flame burning but the foolish ones didn't.  Well, as one might imagine after waiting so many hours one might fall asleep, and they did.  So at midnight when some one yelled out "Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"  All 10 virgins jumped up from their slumber and turned on their lamps but the foolish virgins had run out of oil.  The foolish said to the wise, "gi'me some oil" but the wise said, "No... go buy some."  (You might be thinking 'How rude!! Couldn't the wise have just shared just a little oil with the foolish?  But a bridegrooms delay was VERY common.  The wise virgins were looking out for their friends wedding and wanted to make sure that nothing went wrong.  The foolish should have anticipated and planned, but they chose not to be ready.)  The foolish went to the corner store and while they were gone the bridegroom came and the wise virgins went with him to the wedding banquet... and the door was SHUT.  Later the foolish virgins came begging to be let in but the bridegroom said, "NO".  (Again, you might be wondering why he said "no"?  To participate in a friends wedding was a great honor.  The foolish virgins spoiled the wedding for their friend by not being ready.  This was considered a huge insult and thus were "shut out".)

Just like the virgins who fell asleep... such is life.  We live, eat, breathe, get married, have babies, cook dinner, take naps, walk the dog, laugh till we cry, and so on and so on...  But when the call rings out, "He is coming!"  Will you be ready?  Will the Lord be the center of your life or will you be self-centered?  Don't be foolish... Be ready!!  
1 Corinthians 15:51-52  Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 
(sleep = death; changed = transformed) 

If tomorrow is the day then I hope to see you while we bask in HIS glory.  If not... pack your oil and be ready!  


Friday, April 22, 2011

Why I Believe

As the Resurrection weekend (also called Easter weekend) begins I thought it appropriate to share why I believe. It didn't take scholars and theologians to convince me that Jesus is Lord.  My relationship with Jesus began in a very simple manner.  He called... I answered, simple.  Through the years I have realized that many people need more convincing.  If it were left up to me I would say, "Because I know and believe with my heart".  But, since we live in a world with highways of information, "How" and "Why" are at the tip of many peoples tongues. 

Here are 7 reasons why I believe:

1.  This history of Jesus is airtight - There is historical documentation, extra Biblical resources, and archeological references that prove Jesus walked on this Earth.    

2.  The character of Jesus is unquestioned - Jesus said He was sinless and was never challenged. Any one of His enemies could have followed Him (like the paparazzi) waiting for Him to sin but no one could find sin.  (If anyone followed me the results would NOT be the same!)  His character is a part of history and has influenced laws.   

3.  The works of Jesus went unchallenged - Foes questioned the source of His power but not His works.  They said He was able to drive out demons by Beelzebul but did not question the fact that He actually did it.  His works had many eyewitness accounts.

4.  The identity of Jesus is confirmed -  The Father said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17  Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6  Our Heavenly Father confirmed it, Jesus confirmed it, and when Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say I am?" Peter by faith answered, "You are the Messiah." Mark 8:29  Also, over 700 prophesies have been fulfilled.  

5.  The death of Jesus is undisputed - The executioners were professional.  After Jesus received 39 lashes* He was then crucified** on a cross that He could not physically carry because of the brutal beatings.  Once the nails pierced His hands and feet He hung on the cross gasping for air.  Executioners would commonly break the legs of a person being crucified if he (the executioner) wanted to speed up their death; but, this wasn't the case for Jesus because He had already died (this was to fulfill scripture John 19:36).  To be sure, being the professionals that they were, they pierced Jesus' side where blood and water flowed.  The water is the fluid around the heart... needless to say His heart had been pieced.  Many witnessed, and in some cases cheered, this horrific event.  (Keep in mind this was all done for YOU and me so we may live with Him for all eternity)

*Lashes (also known as being flogged) - According to the NIV Study Bible (Zondervan) the Romans would use a whip made of several strips of leather into which were embedded (near the ends) pieces of bone and lead.  The Jews limited the number of stripes to a maximum of 40 (in practice to 39 in case of a miscount), but no such limitation was recognized by the Romans, and victims of Roman floggings often did not survive.  

 **Crucified - NIV Study Bible states that this was a Roman means of execution in which the victim was nailed to a cross.  Heavy, wrought-iron nails were driven through the wrists and the heel bones.  Archaeologists have confirmed this form of punishment when they discovered the bones of a crucified man.  This form of execution was filled with agony and disgrace. 

6.  Jesus' burial was public and secure - His body was placed in the tomb of a very well known man, Joseph of Arimanthea, John 19:38.  They posted Roman guards to secure the grave and placed the Roman seal with its insignia upon it.  If the seal was broken under the watch of a Roman guard he would receive capital punishment - death.  Also, there were many eyewitnesses.  

7.  It's Convincing 
a.  Jesus' life and death were foretold 100's of years before His birth
b.  Jesus predicted His death many times
c.  After His death, Jesus appeared multiple times to multiple people 
d.  Church growth verified for all to see
e.  Transformation of the disciples attitude.  They changed from acting like cowards to changing the world. They healed, spoke, and taught like Jesus and were willing to die for the Truth.

What does the Resurrection mean to you?  It's historical, it's absolute hope, and He is the author of spiritual life. John 3:16-18   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

What you have just read will determine your destiny.  Accepting or rejecting Jesus is not an intellectual issue but a moral one.  Will you accept or reject the evidence that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lord's and the King of Kings; God's one and only Son?  If you would like to accept Him as your Savior then please pray the prayer below.  Remember, this prayer is just a guide to help you; it's not the words that save you but your faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Father in heaven, I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of all my sins. I acknowledge that I am your child. You sent your only son Jesus to die on the cross and rise from the grave so that I may live with you forever.
Jesus, I believe with all my heart that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I ask that you come into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I ask that you allow your Holy Spirit to take control of my life and that you would use me to fulfill your work.
Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for my life and your mercy. Thank you for writing my name in the Lambs book of life. In Jesus precious, Holy name, Amen.

Please send me an e-mail if you have made the decision to follow Christ and/or have questions to 

(7 Reasons Why I Believe written by Chip Ingram)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not  dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

On many wedding days this scripture is the "theme" of the day.  It is printed on the best of Hallmark cards, wrapping paper, and even napkins.  Unfortunately, this scripture has been carelessly tossed about and mass marketed that it sometimes ends up being recited the same way as, "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?"   I wonder what would happen if this scripture was truly taken to heart? (the way it was intended) I am in no way implying that these words do not mean anything on "The Wedding Day" but what I ask is do these words still mean something after "That Day"?  If the divorce rate were to be the judge then the answer would be, "No, they were nothing more than a famous line in a Shakespeare story."      

My Valentine greeting goes out to those who have persevered through the test of marriage, it is an ongoing test with pop-quizzes in between.  My marriage has put this scripture, and the entire 13th chapter of  1 Corinthians, to the test.  What I have learned along the way is that there is another scripture I must rely on to get through those nasty bumps in the road:  Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  When things don't seem to be quite so peachy in the "Garden of Eden" we must have the confidence in Christ to make a way when we see no way possible.  We may not see what we like in our spouses but we must have faith that the Lord is doing His work in them.  I'm pretty sure, in the same way we are not seeing what we like, they too are not seeing such lovely things in us. 

Many good things happen in marriage like serving the Lord together, children, 1st home, walks on beaches, up all night talking, blankets and videos, etc.  But unfortunately bad things happen too, like when we've been offended or hurt beyond what we think we can handle.  It is then that we must have the courage to swallow the bitter taste of pride so that we may not react hastily, just to become another statistic on the divorce chart. We must cling even tighter to Jesus and confess the scripture we once recited as a vow. 

By the grace of God my husband and I have stood the test of 25 years (in November) and in the name of Jesus we will withstand many more.  We just battled the flu in our home and no one else could have loved me through all the coughing, sneezing, crusty eyes and nose, and greasy pinned up hair but my husband!  I am a true believer in 1 Corinthians 13 (as well as the entire Bible) and I pray that we may remember its words and the power they hold when we find ourselves saying, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".     

Once again, Happy Valentines Day! 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. 

P.S.  Happy Valentines Day to all the single people as well.  I pray the Lord bless you and may you find your happiness in Him; He is the One True Love!! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daniel Fast - a Day of Celebration and Feasting

Psalm 97:11-12  Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.  Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name. 

Yesterday I completed my 21 day fast, along with my family, so early this morning we went out for breakfast, yum.  We gave thanks to the Lord for all He is, all He has done, and He will do in our lives.  This evening we will meet with others, who also fasted, to rejoice in the LORD and to feast on the fatted calf (it's just a brisket, ya'll). 

For those of you who are done with your fast, let's rejoice together in spirit.  Those who are not yet done, I will continue to pray for you... stay strong.  And for those who's spirits are being prompted to fast, I pray you be courageous to take that 1st step!  May the Lord bless you all. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You Are Holy

Daniel Fast - Day 21

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 

This is the final day of my 21 day fast and 2 Chronicles 7:14 sums it all up.  Imagine the multitude of people fasting across this nation and planet, praying either at the same time or through out a 24 hour period.  I pray the Lord heals our land, our hearts, our relationships, and anything else that is on your heart and mine.   I close out this fast with a song in my heart:
You are holy
"I saw the Lord, sitting on His throne; clothed in glory and exalted high.  And the train of His robe, it filled the temple; I see angels gather 'round Him and cry:  'You are Holy, oh so Holy, You are Holy Lord of All'".

There is more to this very powerful song and it almost always brings me to tears just imagining the angels singing with me as I worship the Lord singing "You are Holy, Oh so Holy".  And on a larger scale all the people around the world worshiping the Lord while the heavens cry out,  "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."   

Thank You Father for saving my life by sending Your Son to die for me so that I may live with You in heaven for all eternity!! 

(For your ease and for you to worship with me I placed the song 'You are Holy' on the blog.  Enjoy!!) 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 20

Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Daniel 21 day fast; it has been amazing and wonderful.  I've spoken to several "fast-onians" who said that tomorrow is all they are fasting for this year while others said they are going to continue for another 19 more days, a total of 40 days.  I have decided that tomorrow will be my last day but I am going to fast one week in the spring, summer, and fall for a total of 40 days. 

There are so many ways we can offer up a sacrifice to the Lord; what's important is what and how the Lord has called us.  Sometimes we find ourselves judging others for not doing the Lord's will just like we "think" it should be done.  But we gotta wash those thoughts right out of our heads and pray for each other.  Pray for each persons needs and success in the things that the Lord has entrusted to them. 

Have a wonderful day and stay strong... I'm praying for you and may your hearts and ears be open to hear the Lords will.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 19

Matthew 4:2-4  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  Jesus answered, "It is written:  'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

I LOVE coffee... I love it in the morning, in the noontime and before bed.  I especially LOVE having a little "coffe-sito" from Starbucks... it's very heart warming.  So coffee is one of the items on my list of things to fast.  I pass Starbucks several times a day taking my kids to and from school and it is usually no big deal.  But today I was tested... the tempter came and said to me, "It's so close to the end of the fast; you could say you're just about done.  Why don't you go ahead and get a little coffee from Starbucks.  No one would know and as long as you don't tell them it won't mess up their fast."  I sorta freaked and the thought screamed out in my head, "Get behind me satan!"  The "coffee thought" fled from my head and all was back to normal.  Thank you God for Your Word and Your faithfulness and thank you Jesus, because You were tempted You are able to help me when I am tempted. (according to Hebrews 2:18)

I pray that you stay strong, even in your trials.  May the Lord bless you and help you through to the end of this fast!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 18

James 1:2-3  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Yesterday my daughter went on an 11 hour round trip outing with her school to tour a couple of colleges.  Because she is also fasting during this time, she packed herself several fasting friendly snacks.  For lunch, the students were told they would be stopping at a fast food restaurant so my daughter figured she would purchase a salad.  What she didn't count on was the "change of plan".  After touring the 1st college the tour guide escorted them to a waiting area with 10 boxes of pizza... the college decided to feed the students before continuing on with their journey.  This was hard for her but the "cherry on top" was that it was from her favorite pizza place, Double Dave's.  She knew she had to be strong so she tried to stay as far away from the pizza as possible.  The teachers were going from student to student making sure everyone had a chance to eat.  One student, my daughter told me about, said he didn't want to eat due to nausea.  Well, this caused the 1st aid kit to be pulled out and the student was asked a series of questions about his health.  The teachers and administrators surrounded him trying to get to the bottom of his nausea.  My daughter, seeing all the commotion,  decided it would be easier to hide from the teachers who were going student to student, ducking behind different friends.  When it was finally time to board the bus and head to their next destination she breathed a sigh of relief and pressed on the remainder of the day.  They arrived back home and one of the first things she said was, "It was hard but I did it.  I passed up the pizza."

Every time we face a trial we should remember to consider it pure joy.  I'm sure she wasn't "feeling the joy" while she was going through her "pizza trial" but the huge smile on her face at the end of the day was a definite sign of her faith producing perseverance.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 17

A living Sacrifice:  Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

This is what the Lord asks of us... and what better time to begin (if we haven't already) than now during this fast.  Romans 12:1 says to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is our true and proper worship.  Romans 12:3 says not to think of ourselves as more highly than we ought.  What am I getting at with all this?  It's this... Forgiveness; It all starts with this one word.  When we came to Christ we asked Him to forgive us... and it's a daily process (at least for me anyway).  So as He forgave us we too must forgive so we my do His will. 

Let this fast be a sweet aroma in the nostrils of God and that He may accept this fast as sacrifice unto Him.  But first we must begin by not thinking highly of ourselves and forgive those around us. 

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 16

I pray that you have been strong over the long weekend.  For some of us, this is our last week and for others you might have another week to go.  Where ever you are in this Fast don't give up.  Remember it is the Lord we are honoring with this fast so whenever the boredom or hunger wants to overtake you... lean on Him.  

The Bible verse that has been on my heart today is James 1:6-7  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. During this fast many of us may be seeking out the Lord for finances, relationships, health, etc.  Sometimes, when the answer isn't clear or doesn't come right away, we may tend to give up and think nothing will happen.  But we have to remind ourselves that it is in the Lord's timing and not our own.  We must pray without doubt and expect to receive.  Forgive me Lord for the thing I've made it 'cause it's all about You!

Keep up the good fight and finish the race... the end is near!   

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 12

Self-worth... funny how these words control my life.  It has such a simple definition:  respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself.  If my self-worth is good then I can conquer the world and do all things through Christ who strengthens me; my relationships with those around me are wonderful.  But if my self -worth stinks the opposite happens, nothing seems to be possible and I go into a sort of reclusive state.

Why is my self-worth attacked?  Satan knows that if he can keep me tucked away in the "safety" of my home then I will not do what the Lord has asked.  Moses' self-worth was attacked when he was asked by the Lord to go up against Pharaoh.  He was so concerned about the way he spoke that he ended up using Aaron to do the talking for him.  Even though (according to Acts 7:22) he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech,  he was still paralyzed by his self-worth.  He tells the Lord that he is slow of speech and tongue (Exodus 4:10).  But I love how the Lord replies in the next verse; Exodus 4:11  The LORD said to him, "Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the LORD?

For me, having anything worth saying or worth contributing to the kingdom of God is usually what gets attacked... thus I tend to fall into my comfortable reclusive state.  Satan didn't pick something uncomfortable for me to fall into... reclusive-ness is very familiar to me and somewhat comforting; a safety net that has been built by me.  But I know this safety net is false and I find myself, once again, giving this "self-worth" issue over to the Lord.

This is what I lean on and this is what I believe:  Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;..."

May you have a wonderful self-worth! Remember Who's you are and Who created you... you are a child of the King! The Lord bless you and if you are fasting continue to stay strong... I'm still praying for you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 11

It is officially past the half-way mark of this 21 day fast.  Although cravings may still pop up now and again, it is going well.  The feeling that seems to want to take over is the feeling of "boredom" or "I don't wanna".  As I stated in a previous blog, I started out excited and full of expectation; but as the days go by I find myself fighting off the "boredom-ness".

Aside from praying for you, my family, and our country I have also been praying for myself... that I would be who He wants and to do as He says.  He has given me a glimpse of what I am... I don't think I could handle more than a glimpse... scary!  This boredom problem is something that I deal with in my life.  I start something with excitement then get bored and sometimes leave it undone.

I know I will finish this fast... that's not even an issue.  But I wonder, what is the Lord preparing me for and what will He ask me to do that might take time and effort?  It's in those things that I know I must press on, not get bored, or give up.  Because when it is all said and done, I want to proclaim:  2 Timothy 4:7-8  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Stay strong my friends... the end is near!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 10

Today is a day of thankfulness for the people in my life and my relationship with them.  Just a few minutes ago the Lord reminded me of the "Banana Story".  You may have heard it before but I'm gonna tell it anyway because it's such a good story.  As far as I know this is a true story.

The Banana Story
A pastor had it in his mind that he wanted to run the Boston Marathon so two weeks before the race he began to train.  He trained the best he could and on the day of the race he ate a hearty breakfast since he would need to keep up his energy for this long race.  "On your mark... Get set... GO!"  Off he went down the course of the race.  Everything seemed to go according to plan but about 1/4th of the way into the race he felt his breakfast begin to stir within his intestines.  He knew he would not be able to complete the race with out taking care of this very inconvenient necessity of life.  Around the half way mark he remembered that one of his congregants lived not to far off the race course, so there he went... trying to stay calm so as to not initiate any launch sequences.  He could see the house not too far off and prayed that his church member would be at home.  He saw the car in the driveway and the screen door was open.  He felt his sweat begin to bead up around his forehead and down his back... not from the race but because his body new relief was on its way and the count down had begun.  The pastor, in a panic, knocked on the door, explained his dilemma, and then sprinted for the bathroom.  After several long minutes, and feeling very relieved, he noticed that he couldn't feel his legs.  He tried to stand up but his legs felt like mush and his muscles began to cramp.  Needless to say he was not able to finish the race.  

After a few weeks a young lady walked up to him at church and asked about the race.  He told her that he was unable to finish the race and was very disappointed.  She asked various questions dealing with his training and diet then asked if he would like her to train him.  She had run the race several times and was not going to participate the next year but would like to help him if he would allow her; he jumped at the opportunity.  Many months before the race she contacted him to begin the training... he was surprised because he thought it would only take a few weeks.  He followed everything she said for him to do including his diet.  She told him that a runner needs to have the proper diet or he will not be able to finish the race because his intestines would end up taking over. 
The day of the race came and the pastor ate accordingly, just as he had been instructed.  "On your mark (he was nervous thinking of the previous year)... Get set (what if it happened all over again)... GO!   And off he went down he went the course of the race.  He was able to shake off his nerves as ran the course and became more confident when he breezed by the area of defeat the year before.  But about 3/4th of the way into the race he felt his muscles tire and his body weaken.  This concerned him so much that he wasn't paying attention to his form or his pace and so the feeling of giving up began to consume him.  A crowd of people had already gathered to cheer on all the runners and as he looked at the screaming crowd he saw his friend's smiling face (the trainer) and heard her cheering for him.  As he got closer to where she was standing he saw her holding out a banana and yelling , "Eat the banana so you can finish the race!!"  He ate the banana and was amazed that his energy level perked right back up.  He fixed his form and focused his thoughts on finishing the race.  A few miles before the finish line he began to weaken again and wished he had another banana so he scanned the crowd of cheering people, that had multiplied tremendously, for his friend but... no banana.  Instead what he saw up ahead was his friend in her racing attire.  As he met her on the road she said, "I will run the remainder of the race with you so that you will not lose heart."  And together they crossed the finished line.

Who is the banana in your life; the person who will help you fight the good fight so that you can finish "The Race"?  I have a "bunch" of bananas in mine... my husband, family, pastor, and friends.  At one time or another they have been a banana.  Today, my  B-F-F (and daughter-in-law) was my banana.  This blog is  something the Lord has asked me to do but today I felt I had nothing.  She handed me a banana, walked with me awhile, and voila... here's today's posting.  Thank you God for all the bananas in my life.  I pray that I too may be a banana in someones life!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 9

We're right in the middle of this 21 day fast.  The 1st week was embarked with excitement and expectation.  This 2nd week has been much more of a struggle... feelings, thoughts, and not to mention cravings.  I thought I was alone in this difficultly but as the reports have been coming in from those that are also fasting I realize that I am definitely not alone.  Each one of us has had a major craving or a weak emotional moment.  My cravings began yesterday even though I made the most delicious pot of vegetable soup ever created on this earth (at least that's what my husband said).  And it didn't help one bit that a child I watch over ate pork chops and cheesy macaroni for lunch... help!   I know the end is near so I shall stay strong and wait upon the Lord... He is my everything.  I am still praying for you... that you too may stay strong!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daniel fast - Day 8

This past weekend my prayer to have the courage He gave David as he fought Goliath and the wisdom He gave Solomon kept stirring within my heart. Going on about my weekend, my family and I went to see the movie 'True Grit'.  After the movie I kept thinking about how much courage it took those people to do the things they did.  And that's when it happened... a feeling of a warm gush of water that had been poured over me...I couldn't contain my tears.

The Lord at that moment showed me that as those people portrayed in the movie had "true grit" or "courage", so did I and many others that I have known personally... 

This is "true grit": 
  • The Pastor whose wife has left him yet continues on with the Lords work
  • The Pastor who did not waiver while at the pulpit when a man tried to shoot him point blank (every bullet missed him)  
  • The woman who forgives her husband for infedelity
  • The mom who has no job and decides to leave an abusive husband to save her life and the lives of her children
  • The person who's self-esteem has been shattered yet continues to press on
  • The person who continues to serve the Lord even though "the church" family he has always known turned its back on him for financial gain
  • The family from the city who moved to the country into a home with no heat except for the room they all shared; so when they awoke in the morning the toilet water was frozen solid.  The mom and child had to make their way to the neighbors house to borrow the bathroom... true story
These are all real people who live real lives and this list, that the Lord gave me, could go on and on.  Let me say at this time that I am not one to "spiritual-ize" every movie I see and I don't go around trying to see the portrait of Jesus in my tortilla or oatmeal.  But this movie did open my eyes to the strength and courage that is all around me and within me.  So the next time I feel weak or "yellow-bellied" I will try, with all my heart, not to give up but prevail in the name of Jesus because He is the One who has given me "True Grit"!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 6

The weather today has been beautiful; the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing throughout the house.  This is the kind of day that make me breathe in deep and enjoy whatever is planned, even if it's nothing.  But today, as beautiful as it has been, I found myself struggling to be happy.  I read my Bible and prayed (by the way... yes I have been praying for you too) but still sadness wanted to come over me. 

My phone rang and I saw it was one of my family members who is also fasting at this time.  As we began to speak she told me of the beautiful morning she spent with the Lord.  She read some words that the Lord put in her heart and spoke with such a joy in her voice.  Her excitement spread over me and I too began sharing the things that the Lord has done.  Before I knew it all sadness was gone.  She had no idea that I was struggling, nor did I tell her, but the Lord sent to me an angel with manna. 

After that phone call I hopped in the kitchen to fix up some fresh broccoli, straight out of my garden; I took it outside and enjoyed every little tender broccoli bud with my husband.  Today is a beautiful day and I will rejoice and be glad in it!! Praise You Jesus!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 5

This is the 5th day of my fast and the Lord has been hard at work within my heart.  This morning I knew that I had a lot of work to do and so my mind was upon those things.  During my prayer and Bible reading time I found my mind was on my day and not on the Lord.  I asked the Lord to forgive me and turned to the place in the Bible from where I have been reading.  And guess what tasty little morsel He had in store for me today... well I'll tell you.  1 Peter 4:7  The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  Well, that's pretty clear of what I needed to do. Thank you Father in heaven for allowing me to be in Your presence! 

Later on in the day I read some more and wouldn't you just know it... another tasty treat!  This time it was:
1 Peter 5:8-9  Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  These verses caused me to think about all the people around the world who are fasting at this time.  I was having a struggle this morning with staying focused upon the Lord but I wonder what other people might be struggling with.  Maybe their strength to continue on with this fast is wavering or possibly sin is knocking at their door.  So throughout today and the rest of this fast I shall pray for you my brothers and sisters... that you may stay strong; resisting the devil and that you may stand firm in your faith!  Remember... the end is near.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 4

After starting my day off with prayer and reading my Bible I looked over my list of many errands.  One of those errands consisted of taking our 'beater' car to get a tire check.  Let me mention at this time that I do not like driving this vehicle.  The car rattles so bad that even after I've gotten out of the car my insides are still shaking plus the thingy that makes the seat slide back-and-forth broke and stuck on the furthest setting; I'm only 4'11 1/2 (that 1/2 inch is very important to me).  So needless to say I have to drive with my tippy-toes. 

I arrived at the tire shop and was informed that it would be a 45 minute wait.  Making the best of it I decided to walk to a near by store to knock-out another errand on my 'to do' list.  While walking, I began going down 'memory lane' and remembered when my husband and I were first married.  We didn't have a whole lot of money and could only afford one car.  So when it broke we were stuck and it liked to brake a lot.  We would either have to take public transportation (not that there's anything wrong with that) or walk.  We usually chose to walk if our destination was within a few miles.  During these walks we had plenty of time to talk and enjoy each others company.  Sometimes, because my husband is adventurous, we would walk through wooded areas or down a train track or two looking for treasure of any sort... an Indian arrowhead, oddly shaped rocks, a wild animal skeleton (gross), or a campsite belonging to a few hobo's (scary).

By the time I knew it my walk to-and-from the store was finished in less that 30 minutes and I was back at the tire shop.  As I walk up to the shop my car rolled out of one of the bays.  The gentleman driving the car asked , "Is this your car?"  I happily nodded my head yes since it was such perfect timing.  As I drove away the Lord reminded me of one of my prayers during this fast and this scripture:  
1 Peter 1:6-7  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  I admit we were not rejoicing while going through those financial trials but we definitely grew closer and stronger. 

One of my prayers during this fast...?  It's for my marriage; that we would be strong through all our trials.  Today I find myself praising the Lord for those days; it was those times that have made my marriage what it is today.   Thank You God!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 3

On this 3rd day of my Daniel Fast, I thought I would get up extra early to bake some flour-less oatmeal muffins.  The recipe seemed delicious when I read it... how can anything go wrong when you blend together oatmeal, bananas, fresh blueberries, and cinnamon?  I'll tell you what can go wrong!  What the recipe didn't mention was that, although it was toasty on the outside, the inside would be MUSH and the flavor was GAG ME!  (that's if 'gag me' had a flavor) I'm not too particular about food texture but this little muffin wanna-be was rejected  by the inner-most part of my body.  My family also tried to eat these little impostors; mostly because it's "Mama's cooking" and they didn't want to offend.  But since this was 'Fail Blog' at its finest they could not continue with their charade. Bananas and granola to the rescue!

On a different note:  My prayer this morning (before I opened my Bible) was to give me the courage that He gave David when he fought Goliath and the wisdom that He gave Solomon.  To know when the 'battle is the Lord's' and when it's my own flesh. I opened my Bible to James 3, where I've been reading, and James 3:13-18 is what the Lord showed me.   It's sorta too long to blog but I'll tell you the last part of it... James 3:17 -18:  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.  

Thank You God for being real to me... You are my King! 

If you're fasting at this time I want to encourage you to stay strong.  If you're thinking about doing it; don't delay... It's an amazing experience that is between you and the Lord. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Daniel Fast Begins

Yesterday my family and I began our yearly Daniel Fast.  We've done this for the past couple of years and have seen God move in so many amazing ways; we look forward to it every year.  The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast, eating fruits, veggies, and whole grain.  I have run into a few people who have snickered and said, "a fast is eating nothing at all", or "a 21 day fast is for baby Christians".  I say, "Oh yea, tell that to Daniel and his friends!"  Granted a full fast would be difficult for me but this one has its difficulties as well. 

Yesterday I passed by a Little Caesar's pizza place... twice.  No big deal, I pass it all the time. But the third time  passing this little enticing restaurant got me thinking about the melted cheese oozing off the crust as it is lifted away from its steamy companions.  I had to shake it off and think on "Holy" things.  I'm guessing that's what the tree in the Garden of Eden was like for Adam and Eve...  bless their little hearts.

If the Lord is prompting you to fast then I invite you to join me.  I HIGHLY recommend reading the book, Fasting by Jentezen Franklin; it will definitely give you an insight to fasting that every person should have!! 

Have a blessed and prosperous day!!