Internet Cafe

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Standing on the Edge of Peace

The Cafe welcomes Heidi Yocum today!!

To call me edgy would be somewhat of an understatement. The past few days have shown that me that all of civilization is annoying and I am the only sane and rational person left. Okay, maybe I have somewhat of an unrealistic view of myself and the world surrounding me.

The truth is that I am wearing a large red button with a sign that taunts, “Go ahead. Just try pushing my big red button!” Whether it’s my child “forgetting” to clean his room, a long wait in the Walmart checkout lane or my husband questioning my dinner choice, I am a walking time bomb, waiting for someone to bump into me and challenge my patience.

I could blame it on hormones. However, being only 33 years of age, I can’t exactly throw out the suggestion of menopause and the timing just isn’t quite right for PMS. Although, I have to admit, the thought that I could blame any flare up of irritation on hormones is enormously appealing.

Truth is…if I care to come clean with myself. The truth is I am tired. I have nothing left.

I am so weary of people begging for my attention. Everyone wants a piece of me. I feel like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, bits of me scattered here and there, wondering how to put myself back together.

My kids? What don’t they want from me? “Where’s my lunch?” “Elijah hit me!” “Why do we need a bath?” “Mom, I wet my bed.”

My husband? He walks in the door and says the ugly words I’ve come to resent, “what’s to eat?”

My friends? “Can you babysit my kid while I run to the store?” “I need your advice.”

Oh, for the love!!! I am worn out. Finished. I have nothing left, world! Stop talking to me. Leave me alone. I am tired. So tired.


I just want peace.


Peace from the demands of my life. Peace from schedules, dirty clothes, troubled friends, high energy kids, busy husband, vacuuming, dusting, noise, conflicts. The list goes on and on and I am pretty sure that there aren’t enough trees in this world to list all the things I may need peace from.

I love the enlightening definition of peace:

“a calm and quiet state, free from disturbances or noise, a state of mental calm and serenity, with no anxiety, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”

Peace. The thought of it almost drives me to a utopian state of mind. Imagine an existence without noise, anxiety, conflict and disagreement!

How is it possible to “cook” up this type of life? One ingredient: Jesus.

When my mind and emotions suffer from a lack of peace, I know it’s because my mind and emotions are not aimed directly at Jesus. I’ve left Jesus behind and tried to tackle life my own way, with my own strength. Lack of patience with others, frustration with situations, difficulty loving friends and annoyance at my family are all symptoms of a greater problem…my relationship with Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3 “you will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.”

When my mind is set on Jesus, when my heart is focused on God’s will for my life, when I am determined to live life God’s way, the world around me falls away in view of heaven. All of these irritations in my life mean nothing in comparison with Jesus and what He did for me on the cross.

And to tell you the truth, I am pretty sure that in about 2 weeks from now, I won’t even remember that my husband was an hour late coming home for dinner.

But, what will matter 2 weeks from now is how I responded to him when he walked in the door after all the dinner dishes had been clean up.

“Lord Jesus, you will keep me in perfect peace when I keep my eyes focused on you. I am determined to trust in you, believing that my edginess will be replaced by peace as you give me the strength to lovingly distribute your grace to those around me.”

In Him,

Heidi Yocum

Join Heidi at her personal site, where she is constantly searching for peace!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Faith of Abraham

The Cafe Welcomes Carol Eads today!

It seems that God has used so much in my life to help me understand Him better, it takes me a bit longer than most people to get things.

Although I know this isn't true I can't help but picture Him slapping His forehead, gritting His teeth and grabbing for a heavenly aspirin when it comes to this child of His. When I was younger I had such difficulty relating to some of the Bible stories, there were a lot of troubling ones to me. The hardest one I think was Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't understand how one could do this and do it so willingly. I practiced avoiding the troubling parts, yes I could see how this related to God giving Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice, but still this was a human parent of a human kid.

And of course it didn't bother me much until I had become a parent myself.

One day, my oldest son said his throat hurt. This wasn't uncommon, he got swollen glands a lot and of course they had wanted us to get his tonsils out. Not having any insurance was a big issue at the time and we had put it off and continued all the home remedies every time it flared up.
A few days later he said it was still hurting, I noticed a slight lump on his neck just below his ear. Deep down I felt a panic, I talked myself into the gland being extra swollen and needing more medical attention, maybe some antibiotics or something. We went to the pediatrician and that is what he offered. Said it was really swollen more than he had ever seen but the infection was probably severe. He prescribed some medicine and said in three or four days the swelling should start to go down and he was to take them for a week.

I quietly observed the lump getting larger rather than shrinking, again a panic deep down. I finally shared with my husband my fears that this was something more. We prayed, but the lump continued to grow. We went back to the pediatrician and he said all it needed was another round of antibiotics that were a bit stronger, but if the swelling wasn't reduced in a couple of days to get back in there. In a couple of days it had grown even more.

I had some very tearful and prayerful nights. When we returned to the dr.'s office his face became solemn, he said he had never seen any thing like this before and referred us to a specialist.

The specialist said he had never seen any thing like it before and hooked us up with someone who was even more of a specialist than he was. This doctor was in Phoenix, close to 200 miles away. I had prayed so earnestly that God would heal him or when we got there he would say he had seen this all the time and all we needed was some totally different medicine.

After the examination, this is not at all what he had to say.

It was some sort of cyst, might even be cancerous and we needed to get him in for a biopsy right away. It was all arranged for us to be at the hospital the next morning. I was a mess, besides not having the money for all of this, I couldn't handle the message he had given me. I prayed and prayed all through the night in our motel room.

Finally I had some peace by the next morning, I was going on the fact that at least we would find out what it was and they would treat it and it would be done and over with. They had to put him out to do the biopsy, he looked so little, he was ten and had never been in the hospital before.
They wouldn't allow me to be there by his side to hold his hand or be there when they woke him up.

More prayer.

After about an hour the doctor came out and said that through what he observed doing the biopsy it was just a small cyst and all it needed was some draining and then some strong antibiotics to take care of the rest of it but they wouldn't know for sure until the lab results were all in which could take about three or four days.

I was feeling so victorious and rejoicing all the way home.

We had been home two days and the phone rang, it was the Dr. in Phoenix telling me we needed to get back there immediately for an operation because it was a fast growing cyst that had to be cut out or it would cut off his throat completely and they still didn't know whether it was cancerous or not. The Dr. said he would make all the arrangements and for us to leave that night because he wanted to see him at the hospital at 6 a.m the next morning.

My legs buckled, the tears flowed and the questions began.

I was just in shock.

As they were prepping my son for the surgery the doctor met with us. Told us this was a very serious surgery as he would be cutting deep into his neck. Said it would take about an hour and a half with several surgeons assisting. We headed to the waiting room which was full of other anxious moms, dads, wives, husbands and friends all waiting as we were to hear the final word.

The story of Abraham kept coming to my mind, honestly it made me a little angry. I did not want to think about this now, I wanted to think about all the good things God had promised, all the things that made me happy not the things that were so serious or deep.

My husband and I would absent mindedly reach for each others hand and pray silently.

When two hours had passed and there was no word even when we asked, I got down on my knees in a waiting room full of strangers and began to pray out loud. I told God I knew what the story meant now....and I was trying with every thing in me to love Him more than one of the most precious gifts he had given me, I asked him for help. I told him that I completely was giving in to His will, if he chose to take my son I would still love him and serve him but he would have to help me so much to do this.

I also asked if Him if it was possible through His will to let me keep my son I would make sure to keep this in my heart forever and not forget, to tell every one and I thanked Him for helping me to see the story of Abraham with a different heart.

Before I was finished there was a voice that called for my husband and me by name. When I got up off my knees, the waiting room full of strangers were holding hands, some of them had their heads still bowed. It was one of the assistant surgeons who had just come from the operating room. We looked at him with hopeful eyes but with a peace we hadn't had. He said, "It was touch and go for a few minutes in there but he is fine and he is being taken to recovery where you can see him in a few minutes."

The main surgeon came up behind him as we said, "Praise the Lord", and he nodded his head and said, "yes, you need to do that because it wasn't us that pulled him through."

Of course the tears flowed, but they were tears of adoration for our Savior and relief that God's heart had been tender towards us.

A week later the surgeon called and said it was something they had never come across before, but it was not cancerous and they had apparently got it just in time before it closed off his throat.

My son, now 27 has a slight scar on his neck from that is my reminder every time I look at him of God's great love and the story of Abraham.

In Him,

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mentoring Growth Spurt

I've been mentoring a particular young lady for a little over a year now. We've had some great talks over the last sixteen months and have hopefully grown together as mentor/mentee. My responses to her are always based upon God's Word laced with my experiences in life. I always end our times together with my please call me if you need me phrase.

She rarely would call for help. I'd get texts and calls just to say
hi but nothing too intimate. Then it happened.

She called me crying.

We hit a mentoring growth spurt, if you will. While I was sad that she was in tears, I found myself smiling that we'd finally made this breakthrough. Because while she's a strong gal in the Lord, she's still in need of guidance.

I write this to tell you that things take time. Rebuilding trust takes time. Finding faithful friends takes time. Developing a healthy marriage takes time. Allowing God to mold you into the person He wants you to be takes time.

I don't want you to give up. Neither does Paul.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Where does God want you to press on in your life? Do it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Road Through A Year

As I sat this morning at a local fast food restaurant, waiting on the breakfast that did not live up to the claim of fast, I reflected back over the traveled path of my year.

The road I travel each morning is under construction. There are days when I sit still---waiting to move ahead---some days I stop as many as three times! Each day I am at the mercy of the “sign holder.” You know the one. He stands there and holds a sign all---day---long. On one side it reads stop. On the other side it reads slow.

You may think this sounds crazy…but the slow side of the sign is more aggravating and testing of my patience than the stop side. I mean, if I can go…then let’s get it in gear and MOVE sister! I have also noticed some things about me in the times of this road construction. On days when I have an agenda---I prefer things at a fast pace. Get with the program and all that jazz!. . . . But then there are days when I am simply to be still.
Jeff and I were discussing this morning (he’s at my mercy of discussion as we wait in the surgery center room for his painless test [since he'll be asleep],---and might I add---he is not a very patient patient), the deal of traffic issues and who it bugs the most. I told him that while we had the same problem---both of us get agitated when we are driving, and someone “without much drive” gets in front of us---however, when he’s driving---I am less irritated by the other drivers.

When he is driving, my focus is not so much on the road we are traveling, rather my attention is on the view. On the sky. The surroundings. The landscape. I enjoy traveling more when Jeff’s driving. I almost said simply, “when I’m not driving”, and while that is true---I prefer Jeff over anyone else. Why? I trust him. I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles with the man and I trust he knows what he’s doing and where he’s going. There is no other human being on this earth that I can say that about.

Let’s lay this out in spiritual tones. It’s really very simple. Let God drive. Let Him do the navigating and planning of the best route to take you on this coming year. Well---actually for the rest of the drive. All the way to heaven’s gates. I guarantee you will enjoy the ride much more if you relinquish control of the steering wheel to the Master GPS.

So tell me ladies, who is holding the sign on the road you are on?
And what does it say? Go? Slow down? Wait? Stop? Or, maybe it says, "I am with you...always..." The sign is easily read. It's found in His word. Every promise. Every detail of our lives is completely covered.

Today this is what my sign read:

Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10 KJV

And then later I saw this sign:

I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, THE Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The LORD protects you; the LORD is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The LORD will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
Psalm 121 Holman CSB

Before I send you on your way...allow me to share three things that our pastor, Stephen Potter shared with us at the beginning of 2008.

►Face your fears
►Forget your failures
►Follow your faith

God will be holding the sign, directing the flow of traffic. Don't take on more tasks than He has called you to this year. Clean out your closets--both spiritually and physically. (That is my yearly mantra.) AND last but not least---as you open up your heart to Him afresh each day, ask Him to reveal more of His Word and life to you as you dig in and study!

I'd love your visit at my blogs, The Knightly News and Sisters of Faith

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just Stuff

The Internet Cafe welcomes M.J. Corrales today!

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

(Matt 6:19-21 NKJ)

My mother passed away recently, and now my father is not too far behind her.

After a marriage of nearly 64 years, he patiently waits to be with her once more. As I will soon find myself being a “60-year-old orphan,” the situation arises of what to do with all of their stuff. Their belongings, their furniture, their things.

That table I remember from my childhood as being right next to that couch. The throw rug that’s spent the last several decades being continually tripped over but no one had wanted to move elsewhere because that’s where it belonged. And what about that dresser Mom had found when we were out shopping? She was so proud of it, so happy it was just what she was looking for. Where is that to end up? Back in some thrift store for another seeking person to find? Are strangers to touch and own that which once had held such a place in my life?

The memories I have of my parents and my life with them are not solely contained in man-made possessions. I know that. My mind is full of both my parents and so is my heart; they always will be. But the snapshot or two I happen upon or seeing the cabinet which once held my childhood toys are still sufficient to bring on the tears of remembering.

But at what point do we say enough?

Where is the line drawn between stuff that was once owned and treasured and those same memories in the heart? Do I keep this but not this? Do I keep any? Do I keep all? As I wrestle with these questions, it seems the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, is slowly untying the knots that have bound me to my parents all of these years. The love and confidence I have in the Lord and His sovereignty are slowly allowing some emotional distance to develop between what was and what is to be.

I know with the clearest certainty that my mom is in heaven with Jesus and my brother who passed away several years ago. And I also know, with the same certainty, that my dad will join them shortly around that heavenly throne. One of these days, months, years, I know that I will be there, also, and we will all be together again.

But in the meantime, there’s the stuff of this world, of my parents, to contend with. I shall perhaps keep a bit here and there but I need to let go of the majority of it. I know that. My parents are more than their possessions, and I know I will be able to eventually deal with it. However, I also know that my focus should not ever waver from the One who owns it all.

Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You, and not our possessions that we have here. We need to think on things above, things that will last forever, even as we shall, in Your holy presence. Amen.

M. J. Corrales is managing director of The Glory Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded totally by business and private donations. Ms. Corrales has been writing for many years with a concentration in biblical studies and devotionals. She can be contacted through her website


Cafe Chat - December 27, 2008

Well this month I am letting the season dictate my questions. So this week I ask a short question, but one that may not be so simple to answer.

What is one thing you will commit to do in 2009 that will draw you closer to Jesus? (This is not a New Year’s Resolution)

Blessings and have a Merry Christmas!!!


Labels: ,

Friday, December 26, 2008

One More Gift

The ornaments still hang on the tree, the star still blinks on top and the lights still twinkle. The decorations still cover the house and the food is in the refrigerator just waiting on the next hungry soul.

But some things are different, festively wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes no longer crowd under the tree and the stockings are missing from their spot on the mantle.

The one thing that strikes me the most is the lack of excitement in the air. The energy is gone. Christmas is over.

The weeks leading up to Christmas day seem to be never ending. Either you’re working too hard and have too much to get done or you’re waiting until Santa shows up with the latest, greatest hot new toy. Either way, Christmas is a long time coming.

It seems like Christmas morning takes forever to arrive and then it’s gone before you can blink – just that fast. One moment you’re giddy with excitement and then it’s gone and you’re in a heap of wrapping paper, bows, and empty boxes.

Each December 25th we celebrate the birth of Christ’s birth.. One day out of the 365 days we have each year. We set aside this one day to focus on His amazing birth and what that birth meant to all. What are doing with the other 364 days each year? Christ’s birth was just the beginning for us and all mankind.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

He came to earth for us. He was and is full of grace and truth – that bears repeating, Grace and truth. Today He is grace and truth. Today and forevermore. The excitement of His life, death and resurrection continues.

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

Grace upon grace – mounds of grace, like pretty wrapped presents under a Christmas tree. Grace is a gift, but so unlike those that sit under my Christmas tree every year.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor. I don’t deserve it and I can’t earn it. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 says ”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Scripture spells this one out – “it’s not your own doing” and “not a result of works.” Grace is the “gift of God.” An amazing gift that is poured out on us through faith. God knows His children -- we want to work for this so we can be the 'best' or the 'first' or the 'something.' But the Lord says this is His gift to us.

Now that’s excitement that doesn’t end on December 26th.

This gift from God, this gift of saving grace through faith in Christ Jesus – this grace upon grace. In this grace we are blessed by God as he pours out the grace on us. As you clean up the wrapping paper and pack away the ornaments, consider just one more gift– the gift of His grace.

Do you believe in His grace?
Has this grace saved you, transformed you and filled you with His joy and peace?
Are you walking by His grace?

Today begin to enjoy this gift of God.

Read John 1: 1-18 and consider this gift from God.

Soak in the words as you read of the Christ and of John the Baptist, who called Jesus the One. He is the ONE! The One who came to save us! He is the One who triumphed over the grave!

He is Emmanuel -- God with us.

Thank God for this gift of grace and live in this grace – every day.

For it’s in this grace that you will find the joy, peace and hope that only comes from a life in Christ.God’s grace is amazing.

Keep the excitement alive all 365 days in this coming year.

In Him,

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Celebration of Christ's Birth

Internet Cafe Devotions is celebrating the holidays this year with lots of great things for you to participate in! There will be six weeks of celebrating going on and it will happen on Thursdays.

Today is our Celebration of Christ's Birth. Simply put into thoughts your perspective of this day and then link back here through Mr. Linky.

If you participate, please post the following button on your blog and link to your site through the Mr. Linky below:

Please post this button to your blog and spread the word!


Joy To The World!

I love Christmas music. I'm the type who starts listening to it in October and begrudgingly puts it away in January. On top of the holly-jolliness of it all, I love to listen to the words. To digest the meaning of each song.

This is especially true for me of old Christmas carols.

This season I've been captivated by "Joy To The World" originally written in the 17th century by Isaac Watts. He started writing music out of boredom with what was sung each Sunday at church. His father challenged him to write something better if he didn't like what was being offered.

Isaac did just that.

He penned many hymns but it is "Joy To The World" we are most familiar with. It was written after the last half of Psalm 98:

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity."

My favorite part of Isaac's carol is "Joy to the world, the Lord is come..."

The Lord is come.

Isn't that the truth?

Our Christ is continual. He is come.

When our hearts are broken.

When redemption is needed.

Where restoration is offered.

Where wholeness is without limit.

He is come.

To free the captives.

To bind the broken.

To proclaim good news.

To release prisoners from darkness.

To bestow beauty instead of ashes.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, His coming to earth, it is my prayer we would joy with all the world...with all of creation...

that our Lord is come.

And He will come again.

Revelation 1:8

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
Merry, Merry Christmas!

Kristen is the daily author of {dancing} in the margins, her personal blog. She welcomes you to stop by!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Getting To Know People

“A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself,
but a spiritual man is easy on others
and hard on himself.”
by A.W.Tozer

I knew a man who was considered to be a heathen by some folks. They would call him on the phone to invite him to church, go to his work with the intention of "ministering" to him, his face was plastered on their bulletin board of unsaved persons, and they would lift up prayers for his salvation. He was preached to and had scripture thrown at him as though that would change his mind. They often spoke about how much good he would do for the kingdom if he would only get saved and serve at their church.

He was a busy fellow with lots of stamina. He was the one to call if you wanted to get the job done. He had already retired twice, once from the marine corps and once from the post office -over 46 years of service in all- and he still would not take a break. He went back to work. This time at a hospital supply company. He had a wife, a son and daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

He was definitely a man of few words. He listened intently and I never once saw him get angry. He filled his days with thoughts of others. He saved all of his lunch money to purchase gifts for his family to surprise them - for no reason. He bought the first car for each of his grandchildren and taught them to drive. He nursed his near dying wife back to health after she suffered massive injuries in a car accident. He spent every day of 43 days by her bedside until he could bring her home.

He would buy gifts at Christmas time for the children of strangers and leave them on their doorstep because their parents had no money. He slipped $20 bills into the jackets of people he'd heard mention that they were short on cash. He wrote letters to people no one else cared about. These were people he had met on the street and gotten to know while delivering the mail on his route. He was often quoted as saying, "never loan something to someone that you wouldn't freely give to them" and he gave often. He was a man of his word but some people just never listened to him.

It wasn't until his untimely death that his love for Jesus and all of the untold deeds were found in his journal and the numerous donations to charity and the financial security plans he had made for his wife were discovered. He kept working all those years to help others who needed it. Many that he had helped along the way came to say their goodbyes. The stories were numerous and we still hear them to this day. He had never said anything to anyone except that he thought he could do more.

Oddly enough, the same folks that tried week after week to get him "saved" quit coming around when he could no longer speak or walk from the brain tumor. When they heard of his death they apologized to the family because the assumed this man had gone to hell. ... twas not true.

This man was an avid seeker of God and never did strive to bring attention to himself. He walked with God during the day and he taught this same foundation of faith to his family. His beliefs and faith were proclaimed heavily through his writings and heritage preservation books. He prayed for those who came to visit and he never judged them. He just wasn't interested in joining their church. He knew God wasn't in a building and he knew his wife, who had medical conditions that prevented her from leaving home for more than an hour at time, would prefer for him to be with her on his two days off. These folks didn't know this because they didnt' ask. They assumed. They were wrong.

They didn't even know his wife was sick.

This man was my grandfather. Those people? Christians that I loved and admired. They were people I trusted. Somewhere along the way they stopped getting to know people. They stopped forming relationships. They quit trying to reach the masses and settled for those they deemed worthy. Is that what Jesus died for?

Religion is man made. God is spiritual. He does not like hypocrisy.

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."
Luke 6:41-42 NKJV

It wasn't until my grandfather's death that I began to understand just how self-righteous I had become. I'd made my own assumptions about people. I had quit forming relationships. I quit listening. I quit loving.

I was wrong.

Our mission is to love others in spite of our perception of them; in spite of their sin. Isn't that what Jesus did for us? He got to know the person. He loved the person. He knew that in order for a person to change they had to commit with their heart. No matter how much talking we do it will never accomplish what a simple act of love can demonstrate to the heart of a person. There is no greater way to share the gospel than to live it and others would have known my grandfather's heart if they had only asked or showed him love.

Today, show love to someone you never would have shown love to before. When you see the twinkle in their eye then you will know you have reached in and touched the very core of their being and that is where the Lord resides.

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:40 NKJ

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Could this be the Year?

1 Thessalonians 5:1 “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.”

Could it be this year that our Savior returns? I have been hearing this since the early 70's. Books were and still are, coming out with dates predicting our Savior's return. In God's Word it states that we won't "know the time or the day but He will come as a thief in the night."

I clearly recall the movie “Thief in the Night” which petrified me in my early days walking with my Savior Jesus Christ. I was always making sure of my salvation - many, many times over again. I did not want to die and end up in hell! I wanted to know for sure that I would be with Jesus if I died or if He took us home at that coming rapture of the church!

God promises by His own Word that no one can pluck us out of His hands! Thank God!

What an encouragement to know that our Savior loves us this much and that His Word is Truth and never changing! When I began again to doubt, I remember that most beautiful passage found in my Bible:

God declares, ”There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

This should make us want to jump for joy and shout “Hallelujah!”

God declares, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief, you are all sons of light and sons of the day." 1 Thessalonians 5:4

Years have gone by since I started hearing about the return of our Savior. Time has flown by since those first days of my walk with Jesus but the scenes of that movie, “Thief in the Night”, stills burns in my mind and heart.

Does this happen to you too?

As we usher in the coming new year, we might be tempted to begin letting our guards down and vacillating in our convictions. This is why it remains an imperative to keep our whole armor on.

God declares, "”Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” I Thessalonians 5:6

Lord, help me to avoid the tendency toward not watching for His soon return. I don't want to grieve Him by my actions or thoughts on that Day! Clearly, we will be constantly fighting off the old nature till He does come and take us home but one thing we are assured, He is coming!

God declares, "He who testifies these things says, Yes, I am coming quickly, Amen. Yes, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Are you ready to meet Him? If you are then He has a beautiful promise for you and I:

"“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with Him.” I Thessalonians 5:6

Sisters, did you read that great news? God did not appoint us to wrath makes me so thankful that He chose me to eternal life through the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

What do we do with these incredible words of promise to all who are His adopted?

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11

There are times when I am just not as bold to speak these wonderful words to others. God knows this too and in fact, gave us Paul's example of what to do... pray to God the Holy Spirit for boldness!

"But I ask, not being present, that I may be bold with the confidence which I think to be daring against some, who thought of us as walking according to flesh." II Corinthians 10:2

During this holiday season and continuing into the new year, let's stay awake, remain sober and watchful for His soon return! Share these thoughts with others today! Comfort one another so that, even the unbelieving can know where the hope within us comes from and who He is!

Could it this year my friends?

Close and Personal:

  1. Are you ready to see our Savior Jesus Christ face to face?

  2. If you are not ready what can you do to get ready?

  3. Are we using this holiday season to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to prepare for His coming for us His bride or are we pre-occupied with personal pleasures and the gifts to each other that will soon perish and be forgotten?

"My dear Heavenly Father, I want to take this time to tell you I love you! I love you because you first loved me and sent your son to die for me even if I was the only person on this earth you would have still died for me! Lord, to know this but to live this is totally two different things so Lord please help me to live today as you are returning today! Lord, give me boldness as you did Paul to tell others to get ready because He is coming back! Lord thank you this time we have to be with our spiritual families,family and friends and may we keep you in the center of everything we do! We love you, my Savior and King!"

In love with Him,

Join Elaine daily at her personal site.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 22, 2008

L.A.W. Fulfilled in the Christmas Presence

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

~ Matthew 5:17-18

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we kept before us the Christmas Presence always....if we were aware at all times of this Glorious Presence that goes before us?  

Yes, this play on words evokes for me a glorious image of the Undeserved Presence we are blessed with everyday of the year.

And in return, our gift to Him for His year-long Presence would be to beautify our own presence in this sin-stained world by loving others as He loves us.  Sanctified, Baby!

Isn't it quite comical (uh, er...rather sheepish) that when we get wrapped up in ourselves, worry and pride move in to destroy us?  Yet, when we wake up each morning with the intent to WRAP OURSELVES IN THE CHRISTMAS PRESENCE, our adornment is truly becoming of Whose we are...and shalom and humility adorn us!

As we say in the South, 'Now, that's perrrty!'

How do we even begin?

More than two thousand years ago, in a land not so far away, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) fulfilled perfectly the law given to the Israelites. HE brought completion - a wholeness - to something that had been distorted, incomplete and grossly perverted.

Might it be that we who have the Blessed Christmas Presence with us also have the tendency to distort the law with legalistic, unloving attitudes of what is right...instead of what is righteous?

What are we saying, without saying, to a lost world as we fill our shopping carts and rush through aisles of people at the local shopping mart? What are we saying (what are we feeling?) as we fly through the streets of highly strung Christmas lights and garlands with large bows wrapped around light poles weaving our way in and out of traffic?

Have you thought about it?  Have we stopped to consider The Presence that goes before us, that surrounds and sustains us?

What are we saying?

Aha!  That must be where the 'acknowledging Him in all our ways' DEMAND (strong word! but oh, so necessary) begins to turn our lives right side up!

Paul said to the Romans and Galatians:

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. ~ Romans 13:8-10

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:2

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galatians 5:14

James’ sentiments were identical (James 2:8).

If you truly attain the goal of Kingdom Torah, in conformity with the passage that says, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.

Have you done well today?  

ADONAI, have I?

In real life, what might our daily commission look like if it were enveloped in His command?

Perhaps it looks like this...

  • L- LOVING Generously the sinner in Christ Jesus.
  • A - ACCEPTING Genuinely the sinner through Christ Jesus.
  • W - WELCOMING Graciously the sinner to Christ Jesus.

Remember what it felt like the first time you realized your Father in Heaven passionately loved you in this way?

Do you even know that?

Well, HE loves you so much that HE gave all...namely, HIS Son.

He gave to us the ULTIMATE-of-all-time-presents...

The Christmas Presence!

I pray you receive IT, open IT and keep IT with care.

I pray you walk in IT and thus fulfill the L.A.W. of Christ for yourselves, giving away Christmas Presence everywhere you go!

Shalom aleichem, dear Sisters, as you celebrate the Blessed Christmas Presence everyday of the year, walking as He walked in the coming new year, and watching your love and trust increase exponentially as you hold tightly His hand through prayer.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Perfect Gift

I don't know about you, but right after Thanksgiving my mission in life is to find "the perfect gift," for each and every person in my life. I want so badly for them to be pleased. When I was pondering what to talk about for my guest spot this month this is the subject that came into my mind immediately.

I wonder if everyone has that same determination for perfection?

I have more fun watching people open things I have carefully selected than I ever do opening something given to me. The opposite is true when I give those gifts that are generic... you know, the ones that were picked up quickly at the black Friday sale at Kohl's and are just to serve the purpose of having a gift for someone who you know will be giving you a gift.

What is it about giving and recieving that makes people so happy? It's much more than a need for something, it is definitely a want issue. I think about that every time I see the old reruns of Little House on the Prairie. The really old ones where they are in the little house and get a stick of candy for Christmas and are so excited. Can you imagine giving your children a stick of candy for Christmas? Period?

I love my kids, they are kind and loving and they have hearts for Jesus... but they also want stuff!

Where's the balance? Is there a balance?

I actually decided to scale down this year to create more balance. Growing up I was taught that Christmas was not a religious holiday. It was almost a bad thing to even suggest that it was associated with the birth of Christ. Now I do realize that even though we do not know the exact date of the birth of Christ it is more about celebrating His birth on that day.

Christ was, is and will forever be the perfect gift. So no matter what I give my kids, my friends, my relatives, or my secret pals, the best gift is Christ's love. If I can show that love I am giving the perfect gift. There is nothing that compares.

It is frustrating to get caught up in the materialism of the holidays. I am always really aware of it when they put the Christmas trees up in stores in October. This year I hesistated to begin getting ready for Christmas, not because I am depressed or sad... but just because I don't like being pushed into it.

I think if we as Christian women took a stand for Christ and spreading goodness during the holidays rather than the overwhelmed feelings that usually consume us trying to make a Martha Stewart Christmas, we'd do much more good.

Jesus is the perfect gift.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through
Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you struggle with the holidays, trying to do to much?

Do you find yourself losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas?

Christ was born 2000 years ago, is He born now in your heart?

I pray that that Christ is born in all our hearts and will come alive this Christmas.

Labels: ,

A Season of Hope

The Internet Cafe is thrilled to welcome Susan Dollyhigh!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6.

As we sat around the kitchen table at the homeless shelter, we lit the purple Advent candle that symbolizes hope and talked about the great reason Christians have to hope. We talked about the hope the prophet Isaiah gave the world when he foretold the birth of Christ. We talked about the eternal hope that Jesus gave after he came to earth and promised to return and take us with him. We talked about how that eternal hope surpasses the condition of our lives on earth.

Even the condition of illness.

Even the condition of job loss.

Even the condition of domestic violence.

Even the condition of just being released from jail.

Even the condition of struggling with an addiction.

All of the conditions that lead to homelessness.

We made lists of things that we want and things that we hope for. We talked about the things we hope for this week, this Christmas season, next year, and for the rest of our lifetime here on earth.

We talked about our next life in Heaven and what it will be like to see Jesus face- to-face. We tried to imagine what it will be like to go where He is. We talked about the hope that believers have that someday Christ will take us to our permanent heavenly home where there will be no more illness, no more job loss, no more sin, no more homelessness, and no more death.

As we talked, the peace that passes understanding replaced expressions of worry on all the ladies faces.

And it was then that an uninvited guest showed up. He loves to do that. He loves to ruin a party. He loves to steal our joy. He loves to remind us of sins that our Father tells us He has forgotten. And he did just that as he reminded one of the ladies of her past sins. And her expression of peace melted away as her face drooped with sadness.

In a small voice she shared, “I know I’ll be there. I know I’m going to Heaven but I have a feeling I’ll be in the back of the crowd and won’t be able to see Jesus. I’ve just done too many bad things in my life."

And then another lady chimed in, “Yeah, me too. I’ve done too much. I know I’ll be in the back too.”

“Why would you think that?” I asked. “If all the sinners have to be in the back of the crowd, that won’t leave anyone to be up front with Jesus! He’ll be all alone.”

They slowly smiled. They just needed a reminder as do we all in this season of Advent. We have hope. We have the good news of great joy that is for all the people.

In the town of David, a Savior was born and He is Christ the Lord.

Father, thank you for the hope we have because of the wonderful gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.

In Him,


Susan Shelton Dollyhigh was born and raised n the small, quaint town of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Mount Airy (better known as Mayberry), is Andy Griffith’s hometown and the place that inspired The Andy Griffith Show. Susan and her husband reside there still today and have two grown children and one granddaughter.

Susan uses her inspirational stories as teaching tools at The Shepherd’s House, a homeless shelter for women and children. Susan has a passion for the homeless and for the last four years has taught a Bible study at the shelter.

Susan never intended to become a writer. She never intended to write even one story. But God intended for her to share her life and personal experiences as He restored beauty from the ashes of her life. She is very humbled that God would chose to use her to share the message that His power is indeed made perfect in weakness.

Susan is a free-lance writer and columnist. She was recently announced as the grand prize winner in Women of Faith’s Shine the Light Contest and the story appeared in September/October issue of Connection Magazine.

Please visit Susan at her website: (Currently under construction)

Labels: , ,