Sunday, September 30, 2012

Change You Really Can Count On...

Do you ever wish you could change who you are?  Is there some bad habit in your life that you would like to eliminate?  There is a way to do exactly that:

Romans 12

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In my King James Bible, verse 2 reads:  " not conformed..."  In other words, stop being conformed to this world and be transformed by renewing your mind so that you can find out what God wants you to be or do.

I guarantee you that if you do as these verses suggest, you will be a changed person.  There's no help for it.    When you completely forego your wants and follow the leading of God through His Holy Spirit, you will find strength to say no to those things you do that you don't want to do.  You will find the courage to do that thing you want to do but are too scared or lack the confidence to do.  You will find that your desires change and begin to look more and more like the things that God wants and less like the things that this world finds important.  Are you addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, pornography?  If you REALLY (and I mean REALLY) die every time you start to take a drink or light one up, or place your bet or start searching on line (or wherever) and say to yourself, "no, I have died and I am no longer alive.  It is Jesus Christ walking around in this body, and He has nothing to do with this", I am certain that you WILL see change in your life.  I knowbe cause I've been there and done that (and, as a matter of fact, I'm still there).

Lord, Jesus, I thank you that you are true to your word.  We only need to seek you and ask for your help and you are happy and willing to help us become all that you intended for us to be.  I pray for those who are out there and want to change but don't think they can.  We both know better.  I ask, Lord, for your glory and your honor, that you would draw them near  to you and let them experience your love, mercy, grace, acceptance and the feeling of knowing that You are an advocate before the Father on behalf of each and every person who accepts your sacrificial death, burial and resurrection as atonement for their sin.  You are so worthy of our praise, thanksgiving and love.  May these words be your words, and I pray that you will use your Word for the purpose for which you intended.  In your name I pray these things.  Amen.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Time for Soberness

1 Peter 4:7  The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.  

I have not posted in a while because I am being very cautious.  I only want to say something if I feel it is something the Lord has layed on my heart to write about. 

As I waas praying tonight before going to bed, I felt led to share with you that this is a time on earth for us to be sober.  We all like a good belly laugh now and then and one always looks forward to a good party, right?  I just don't think now is the time for that.  As I prayed for my fellow man tonight, I thought of the many who are living in hell right now...the people of Syria, Egypt, Spain and Greece, specifically came to my mind.  I can't imagine what their lives must be like.  I know the Lord is there.  I pray that many will come to know Him and that there is someone there speaking the truth and spreading the gospel.  The Lord has a remnant throughout the earth, so I know He is working, saving people.

There is so much pain being experienced on the earth now.  My heart aches for people.  No, there is too much suffering for a good belly laugh or a party.  Now is the time to be on our knees and in prayer to our Father.  It is time to stand in the gap for our fellow man, interceding on behalf of the persecuted, the poor, the hungry, the widow, the orphan...our neighbors...that ALL may come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the only one in whom real life and breath and being can be found. 

We, too must be ready to be faithful.  We must be read-up on His Word and ready to give our testimony and why we believe.  It is a sober time, friends.  May you be with God; I know He's with you.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

I love bread, don't you?  Bread that's warm and crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside...pumpernickel, rye, oatmeal, wheat.  I love them all!  I have always loved bread.  Several years ago, I began hearing negative statements about bread; like, it's carbohydrate overload, made with the "white death" flour, fattening, causes your blood sugar to spike, etc.  This was very troubling to me, especially the "fattening" part.

As a young girl in junior high school, I taught myself to make cinnamon rolls and home made doughnuts, and I can remember my Mom's home made bread slathered with butter and honey.  Man, I loved those things.  I stopped making them once I left home for college because I didn't have the time to invest in making them, and I surely could not afford the calories that they carried with them.

About two years ago, I began to experiment with making home made cinnamon rolls and doughnuts again, and at that same time, I began hearing lots about breads made with "whole grains".  I wasn't sure what it was, but everyone seemed to be pushing it as the next big "health fad".

My husband and I attended a picnic at the OWBC that my son attends on Memorial Day this year, and we were served home milled, home made wheat bread.  It was the most delicious piece of bread slathered with home churned butter and jam that I have ever eaten.  

This, too, began to pique my interest in bread.  A fellow blogger Joseph Herrin  (Parablesblog  posted a series in May about how he had begun to mill his own flour and make his own bread.  I began to think more and more about it; contemplating, too, that should (when) the economy fail, I would need to have some craft that I could use for barter.  So I began my research and bought a flour mill, organic wheat seed and a cook book entitled, "No More Bricks" in order to learn how to make soft, wonderful bread instead of those hard brick loaves that I have seen come out of the oven in the past.

The cook book is a step-by-step "how-to" book which provided invaluable information that I would never have even begun to think about asking.  I really learned a lot about milling your own flour and baking whole grain bread.  For instance:

*   In the 1700's when everyone lived "on the farm", everyone had their own flour mill and milled their own flour.

*  As people left the farm and moved to the city, more and more commercial mills appeared. 

*  The milled flour had a very short shelf life and became rancid. 

*  In order to have a longer shelf life and therefore earn the mills more $$$, they began milling off the wheat germ and the wheat bran.

*  The removal of the wheat germ and the wheat bran eliminated 32 nutrients which were inherent in the wheat berry.

*  Prior to WWII, illness throughout the world was the infective kind. the kind related to lack of personal hygiene, antibiotics and safe food handling practices.

*  With the removal of the 32 natural nutrients in the wheat berry, illness caused by the lack of soluble and insoluble fiber began to flourish.

*  The FDA required commercial bread makers to add back in four nutrients (the B vitamins, I believe) and later folic acid in order to put nutrition back into bread. 

Bread, delicious as it is, is the foundation of food.  It is basic nutrition in just about all cultures and can be and is served with any meal.  Throughout the past, in times of extreme hardship, bread has many times been the only food available to those struggling for survival.

Jesus referred to himself as the "bread of life".  In other words, He is a basic need for survival in this life and for eternal survival in the long term.    Jesus is the only ingredient needed for us to live as God has called us to live.

If only we would partake of and love the "bread of life" as easily and habitually as we love and eat of the bread on our tables.  Just as God provided manna (a type of bread) for the Israelites' survival in the wilderness, God has provided Jesus Christ the "bread of life" for our survival in this world and the one to come.

There are many things to learn about God and our relationship with Him through a simple loaf of bread and its ingredients.  I'm sure I'll be sharing them with you soon.

Father God,  Thank you for the wonderful, life-giving provision of your son, Jesus.  Thank you, also, for the food you provided today and that I have never had to experience true physical hunger for more than a day.   Lead me in generosity, Lord, that others throughout the world will not have to go hungry either.  Thank you for giving me a desire to be busy, and I pray that your will would be done in my life and on earth as it is in heaven.   In Jesus' name...