Category: LIFE

how do you give back a blessing?

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google images

My husband and I received a very big blessing today. An all-clear medical report for one of our children and for the other one a few weeks ago. Before I write anything else,  I want to share with you what Oswald Chambers wrote for his January 6th devotion in My Utmost For His Highest.

“Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot………..God will  never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.”

But how? Do I find a way to give back right away today? Do I wait and watch and listen for that prompt from God as to something specific?  How is it even possible to give a blessing back to God?

Some authors suggest an extra financial gift to a needy organization. We have done that in the past as a way of passing on a blessing.

There are times when saying “Thank you, God”, just doesn’t seem enough. For God, it probably is but do we always want to do just enough? Aren’t there times we want to do much more?Today is one of those days for me.

I have decided I will be alert for a special prompt these next few days but until then I want to do something today. So here it is.

First of all, would you thank God with me for this blessing we’ve received? I would love to think that the heavens are being inundated with praise. And secondly, as you go about your day, would you be alert to that stranger that might need a prayer? And would you offer one up for them?

Years ago when I was in Brazil, I sat poolside on the roof of our hotel and noticed an unusual bird flying nearby. I was feeling pretty alone that day as my husband was working and no one else was on the roof with me. I kept watching that singular bird and thought how much we were alike. Both of us by ourselves. But soon that bird was joined by a flock of birds and he was no longer alone. Other people showed up on the roof and I was no longer alone.

For some strange reason, I felt God “speaking ” to my heart that day telling me to pray for those people on the roof. I had never felt the urge to pray for complete strangers before, but I did that day. (I mean how does one pray for a stranger)? I found it far easier than I would have thought and even today, years later, I often find myself praying for people I don’t know.

And just one last thought. Remember, that prayer you offer up for that stranger today may be the only prayer that has or ever will be prayed over that person. That really puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? We know that no prayer ever goes unheeded. God hears them all.

Notice that stranger today and let God lead you to the words you will pray. You will both be blessed and thus I will have passed on my blessing to you.

God bless and let me know how it goes.

commitment

How to commit to anything

I came across a couple of quotes I want to share with you.

Some of us make big commitments in word only. We’re going to do “this”, we’re going to do “that”.

Except we never do it.

I even know people who think about something so much, they even convince themselves they have done it.

So I want to share these quotes with you.

I don’t recognize the authors and it does ‘t matter anyway. These are basic truths but said in a different way.

You have to pay a price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize. Sally Nunn

One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. Sidney Howard

 

commitmentThen there is this list from John Maxwell, who has written many books and given many seminars on management and motivation.

SEVEN ENEMIES OF COMMITMENT

  1. A lifestyle of giving up.
  2. A wrong belief that life should be easy.
  3. A wrong belief that success is is a destination.
  4. Negative thinking.
  5. Acceptance of other people’s fences.
  6. An irrational fear of failure.
  7. A lack of vision.

I would add:

8. Not knowing what you are called to do.

9. Never taking stock of your life.

10. Plain ole’ laziness.

The first step to commitment is to simply make it. Many of us think but never do. We know what that’s called, don’t we?

Procrastination.

So which will it be for you this weekend? Will it be commitment or procrastination?  The choice is yours.

God bless and have a great day.

 

cooking tips

Some great cooking tips

We were at the cabin last week and I found an old magazine. There was one page that had some great tips that I had not read before anywhere. Not even on Pinterest!

So thought I would share them with you.

  • You know how strawberries go bad so quickly? Apparently, if you store them in glass jars (unwashed and unhulled) they will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. To me, if they even kept fresh for one week, that would be great. Let me know if you try this.
  • Now chicken on a grill is tough to get right. I like the charred marks and I hate dry chicken. So if you wrap a brick in aluminum foil (obviously, you will need a brick for each chicken breast) and place it on the chicken breast, the weight compacts the chicken breaststroke, keeps the heat in, and assures attractive grill marks. I’ve already found my “cooking” bricks.
  • This next one is a “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?” Poke two holes in a paper plate, then slide the heaters through to keep splatter at bay. Hope you find these tips useful.

cooking tips

God bless and have a good day.

questions

Why it’s ok to question God

I had a great conversation with a twenty-two-year-old yesterday. She admitted she was struggling with her faith, that she had a lot of questions.

questions

“Good,” I replied.

“What do you mean?”, she asked.

Here’s how I explained it.

“I wasn’t brought up in a Christian environment although I did go to Sunday School as a little girl. In fact, one of my most treasured memories is of a dear teacher with one totally cloudy eye. She was so loving. Her eye didn’t even bother me, an eight-year-old who is usually put off by such things. Anyway, because there was no one in my family to teach me, I asked a lot of questions. The cloudy-eyed teacher never had a problem with that.

When I got to be a teenager and then a young adult, I entered the stage where one asks the big philosophical questions, the ones they think no one before them has asked, but in fact, have been asked by young people since the beginning of time.

“What does it all mean?”

“What is the meaning of life, anyway?”

“What is my purpose on earth?”

“Why is there good and evil if God is all good?”

You know the questions. They are typical of any emerging, thoughtful mind.

Hers is no exception.

I went on:

“I find that even now, I’m still asking questions, maybe even more of them. That means my faith isn’t handed-down by parents, teachers, or preachers, or books and sermons. It’s mine. I’ve done my homework. You should do yours. Besides, you are in good company.

Throughout the Bible, people questioned God. I can’t think of a single incident where God chastised them for it. In fact, there are a lot of words in scripture like, “seek”, “find”, “learn”, “embrace”, “be transformed”, etc., all of which, in my opinion, means asking some questions first.

God is open to all honest questioning. He invites it by the word choices he inspired.

It is those people who never question who never grow.

I present this next little popular Pinterest ditty as exactly how not to think. questions(I just want to hit my computer some days when I see what people post and what people believe is scriptural. I hate these little sayings and I’m very careful how I use them.) Trust is not the absence of questioning. Trust is the product of questioning. If Abraham hadn’t put a period where God hadn’t intended, the whole Sodom and Gomorrah situation might have turned out differently. He stopped too soon. How’s about we trust God while we question?

 

To trust someone without the answers is the greatest trust of all.

 

We are in a classroom all the time, the classroom of life. The greatest minds, the strongest Christians, have always been those with an inquiring mind, those who don’t just ascribe to the “standard” formula of faith. The most faithful of Christians are those who don’t let God “go”, much like Jacob. They keep asking until they are given some sort of answer, even when that answer is something like, “That can’t be revealed just now. Wait on me.”

We went on to talk about why she doesn’t necessarily “buy” into certain theological concepts. We’ve had these conversations before and as usual, I didn’t try to persuade her any different. “A person persuaded against their will, is of the same opinion still“, is an absolute fact of life. Instead, I encouraged her to continue asking and never quit.

Some of you may wonder if I wasn’t a little afraid to go that route. What if she falls off the deep end? What if she gives up on her faith?

She won’t. And now you’re sure to be asking how I can be so sure.  Now, you are asking the questions.

I know because she is my granddaughter and I’ve prayed for her her entire life. My hubby and I were intimately involved with her and her brother’s childhood. My son and his wife invited us into almost every decision regarding them. We have spent countless hours (My spell-checker told me this was a cliché. I ignored it as some clichés are totally correct) with them. We have been there through their struggles and their triumphs.  They are more like our children than our grandchildren.

So when she left, I knew that all my prayers for her are being answered. She is going to be a strong woman of faith. I know it, even if she doesn’t. It has been hard with both of them to learn to adapt to them as young adults who happen to be our grandchildren, instead of our grandchildren who happen to be young adults. I talk with them as I would any young person their age. And then do you know what I do?

I pray.

I pray as hard as I can for them. I pray that they will always be willing to talk to me and their grandfather, that they will always be one hundred percent sure of our love for them.

I have to say that I wouldn’t want to be a young person at this time of history. Not because I think the world is any more stressful but because my world was “quite-er”. I wasn’t bombarded with everyone’s opinions every minute of the day because of social media. Interesting to note, neither her nor her brother are on Facebook a lot. They don’t “tweet”. Yes, they have Instagram and yes, they are on their phones texting a lot with their friends but the rest of it is not something they’re interested in. I’m grateful for that.

I never take my relationship with my grandchildren for granted. I work on it all the time as they go through the growing up process. I always try to remember what it was like for me and then I get all “teary-eyed” with gratitude as I remember that they have not had my experience. They have always had us to come to.

If you have young adults in your life, treat them with respect. Remember how confused you were at their age. Think what it would have felt like to have an older adult talk with you as they would anyone their own age, who would have been honest about their own questionings, who would have been honest about their own fears. Maybe you did;  I didn’t. I would’ve loved to have had those kinds of conversations with an adult I loved and respected.

Have enough faith to know that the same God you question, and you do, is the same God they question.

questions

He has seen you through and he will see them through as well. Encourage their questions and don’t be afraid that by doing so, you are sending them down a wrong path. If you are praying for them at the same time, God is protecting them.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled cheese and meat sandwich

An amazing grilled cheese and meat sandwich

I meant to post this a few months ago. I was scrolling through my media library and saw them and realized I hadn’t done it yet. So here we go.

I wish I could say this was a sandwich I had grilled but it wasn’t. It was my daughter-in-law. I have to admit though that if you decided to make this, it’s not low cal. It’s loaded with fat.

As you can see there are two kinds of meat and two kinds of cheese. The meat is very shredded and is not your typical “packaged” lunch meat. I think if you were going to make this, you would want to get the meat from the deli department and have it cut very thin. Here, the meat is turkey and ham and the cheese is cheddar and swiss. Real butter “pats” are laid on top of the top layer of bread. When she turned it over, she added even more butter.

Grilled cheese and meat sandwich

 

You can see in this picture that’s it’s not a “neat” sandwich. That’s the charm.

Grilled cheese and meat sandwich

 

Here’s a close-up. Amazing, huh?

Grilled cheese and meat sandwich

Grilled cheese and meat sandwichGive this a try!

God bless you and have a good day.

PS: If you need a smile. I just saw this “big announcement on a news show about a Hollywood couple who split after a long-term marriage. The long-term marriage was a full eight years! Duh, they were just getting started.

Then the husband remarked, that “they worked on their marriage really hard”. Really? Eight years are not that long. The commentator then mentioned how disturbing this news was. They were such a “close” couple. Again, really? It’s not the least bit surprising that a Hollywood marriage doesn’t make it, is it? Disturbing? No. But fairly predictable, yes.

I get such kick of Hollywood drama. Don’t you? (BTW, so you don’t think I’m being heartless,  I do think this divorce is sad because I think all failed marriages impact the people involved negatively. There’s usually plenty of “hurt” to go around. And in this case, there was a child. While sometimes a child is better off in the long run (I certainly would’ve been), they are still very confused and hurt in the beginning.

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