Month: March 2017

How to be someone else’s prayer “voice”

Luke 5: 17-20:NIV

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Don’t you just love the “right in front of Jesus”? How often do we bring our family and friends right in front of Jesus? 

We don’t  because we forget that we can. But if it was OK this time, it’s OK anytime. We can bring our loved ones and place them right in front of Jesus. I love their tenacity, their boldness. We should show those same attributes.

When my mom was so ill, my friends took me there. They took my prayers and placed them at Jesus’ feet because all I could do was shoot up one-sentence prayers. (I call them arrow prayers.) They knew my efforts had to be elsewhere.

We are called to pray on behalf of others but also to step in for them, praying their requests when they can’t. And it often seems that when my life is in disarray, theirs isn’t and vice versa.

When I pray in their stead I remind God that I am praying because they can’t. I know their concerns so I simply echo them. They do the same for me.

I hope you have family and friends like that. I am blessed because I do. Today they had to step in for me again. It was such a comfort to know they did.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

healing

Are you willing to be healed?

I love this story in Luke four where Jesus heals the man covered with leprosy.

“While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus he fell on his face and implored Him saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”. (12)

After stretching out His hand and touching the man, Jesus replied,  “I am willing;’ be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (13)

I love this portion of scripture because the man knew two things:

First, that healing comes from GOD. (If you are willing.) 

And that secondly, that God can heal.

Sometimes I think we assume that God always mean to physically heal us. I don’t see in scripture where that is true. Even the apostle Paul wasn’t healed from his “thorn in the side.” And nowhere in scripture does it say that everyone who came or was brought to Jesus was healed. Many weren’t.

And therein lies the conundrum, doesn’t it? If we don’t know if we’re going to be healed, or if our loved is going to be healed, why do even pray?

I would suggest the answer is exactly because we don’t know. And remember there are degrees and stages of healing and quite often they require something of us.

For example, depression. Can we really ask for healing if we’re not doing our part by adopting a healthy lifestyle, making good choices, avoiding certain habits, activities, and people that are bad for our mental health, engaging in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study among others? Isn’t that like asking God to heal us of a broken leg without receiving any kind of medical help?

I know that in my own life, God’s healing of my depression (many years ago now) meant a lot of hard work on my part.

Healing, no matter what kind, almost always involves some effort on our part.

I think of my spinal stenosis.  I’ve asked for healing while I continue to walk 40-45 minutes 6 out of 7 days a week. 

There are at least four people I know that need healing. For some it’s terminal. Some are followers of Christ, some are not. For those that are, I’ve been praying that whatever healing and what type of healing God has for them, they will tap into it through prayer. For those who claim no such allegiance to Christ, I pray healing for them and ask for God to be glorified for whatever healing comes their way.

For my mom, I pray very specifically for her physical safety and ask God to pierce her brain somehow, someway, so she will realize her need to use her walker.

Finally, I believe in prayer for healing and I believe God can heal. I’m also cognizant of the fact that I don’t know what God’s plans are for the people I pray for so whether healing comes their way whether I see it or not, I still believe he is healing. After all, none of us sees the pain beneath the surface. None of us knows kind of healing is needed.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

money

Do you know the condition of your herd?

I seldom write about money management. And you’ll be surprised at the portion of scripture I used to support my case.

Proverbs 27: 23-27

“Know well the condition of your flocks and pay attention to your herds:”

Yes, this scripture does refer to sheep but every time I read this verse I think of money instead. I read it like this:

“Know what your money is going and pay attention to your finances.”

I said I seldom write about finances. Actually, I never have.

I don’t even know what is prompting this. Maybe it’s because the tax deadline is coming up. Who knows?

As a Christian, I am a strong believer in tithing. But I’m also a strong believer in “sacrificial” giving. So what is that?

Did you know that there are over 2,300 verses in the Bible about money and possessions? Of Jesus’s 38 parables, 16 of them are about finances. The subject of love in scripture is outnumbered three to one as there are three times as many verses about money and possessions than there are about love. One would never need a money management if they just followed what scripture says.

And we would not be held captive by our money or our desire to have more.

money

It’s not the least bit complicated.

My mother gave me a wonderful piece of advice years ago when my husband and I got married. “If you go to work, don’t live on both incomes.” We never did.

Another thing my mom always says, “It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you save.” She is a living example of that and she has relieved my brother and me of a great deal of angst because she managed her money well. We don’t have to worry if we’re going to have to dip into our own saving to take care of her. She is to be applauded.

Tithing is giving ten percent of our income to the church. Sacrificial giving is beyond that. How much more? That’s between the individual Christian and God. But like tithing, is has to be planned.

Some people plan on giving extra every quarter. But you could do it twice a year or even monthly. Maybe once a year. The point is to give more. Our former pastor once shared how he and his wife try to increase the percentage of their giving every year. That’s a good way to go, too.

Before I hear the obvious objection, “I don’t have any extra to give”, you might find it interesting to know that those who have the least give the most. The higher the income, the less the giving. This has been validated in all research.

An interesting book by Randy Alcorn gives a lot of insight. It’s called, “Money, Possessions and Eternity.”

RAndy Alcorn

Whatever you decide, try giving a little extra over the next few months. You’d be surprised how easy it is and how little you will miss it.

God bless and have a good day.

 

the mind and creativty

It’s that exciting time of year. You know, don’t you?

It’s getting to be that time of year. You know what I mean, don’t you?

GARAGE SALES!!!!!!

I even found one Saturday, in March no less. I bought four of these small black baskets, $.25 apiece. It doesn’t get much better than that.

black basket

But because I have this philosophy about buying a number of small things if they’re available, I went back and bought all of the rest of them because I knew my friends could use them as well.  Total? Twenty. Here’s why I do that. It’s hard to use

It’s hard to use one small thing for decorating sometimes but a number of them? Now we’re talking. Give you so many more options and if you still only want to use one, you have that option as well.

black baskets

My favorite activity is the hunting, the finding, the bargaining, the buying. But I especially like what garage sales do to my mind.

What is that, you ask?

It’s the creativity it sparks.

the mind and creativty

That’s my favorite part. I love looking at an object and thinking how I could use it. Should I paint it? Should I hang it? Should I alter it in some way? I have found that if I really like something, I’ll almost always find a place to use it.

Oh, the possibilities. I want to highlight some blogs I’ve found that offer some great advice for repurposing and using the “stuff” you acquire this spring and summer.

Here’s the first one:

http://www.houseofhawthornes.com/shopping-flea-markets-festivals-fairs/

This site lets you take a fun quiz: http://gsalr.com/blog/garage-sale-quiz/

This site is just plain fun and this woman’s stash from just one sale rivals anything I’ve ever done.

http://queenoffiftycents.blogspot.com/2017/01/findings.html#comment-form

This one has lots of links that contain oodles of information.

https://yardsales.net/blog/

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

Food Charlatan/Strawberry, cucumber salad

A post you will enjoy if you love home decorating

I usually don’t post on the weekend. But it’s raining and cloudy here in Michigan today. Yesterday, however, was glorious. Sixty-five degrees!

So today I was browsing the “net” and “pinning”. Oh, but first. Went to my first garage sale on Friday and then went back today to buy all the rest of something. You will just have to wait till next week. I spend a total of $5.00.

Anyway, back to my browsing. I have a number of sites I really like and this is one of them. This particular post is very informative.

http://www.stonegableblog.com/the-very-best-decorating-tip-you-will-ever-get/

Stone Gable

And I like this post on de-cluttering. I do the same thing. Containers everywhere.

http://histlewoodfarms.com/simple-ideas-controlling-clutter/

 

And then there is this. All about decorating your home with garage sale “finds”. I absolutely do not believe one has to spend a lot of money to make a house beautiful. It’s all about the great things you can find on the roadside, at garage sales, and flea markets and those items you can DIY.

 

http://thistlewoodfarms.com/decorating-home-yard-sale-finds/

Thistlewood farms

And then, of course, there’s the food. I found “The Food Charlatan” a few months ago and I really recommend her blog.

http://thefoodcharlatan.com/

 

Food Charlatan/Strawberry, cucumber salad

I mean, really? Bacon AND avocados? Doesn’t get much better than this.

http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/bacon-wrapped-avocado-appetizer

Bacon-Wrapped-Avocados6And then this little winner: http://www.focuseat.com/2013/11/mini-cauliflower-pizza-crusts.html

Fried cauliflower patties

Enjoy these sites and God bless each of you.

PS. Is it OK to use their photos from their website? Seriously, I’m wondering. Seeing as I’m not taking credit for them, I assume I’m merely directing traffic back to their blogs. If anyone knows the “rules” regarding this sort of thing, let me know. 

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