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Monday, March 30, 2009

We Worshipped Jesus...With Our Jumper Cables

Driving separate cars with a boy in each, we left our home for the Christmas Eve experience at our church. Not necessarily decked out in my nice clothes, but definitely a little more jazzed up than my usual Wal-Mart attire, I was ready for an hour full of amazing music and a message to keep me centered on the reason we celebrate this season.

Before we even hit the stop sign at Midwest and Waterloo, there was a delay. Not sure, at first, what it was, I inched up further along on the asphalt to take a gander. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? A stalled SUV with flashers blaring as if to say, "Will somebody please help me?"

Car by car made their detour around the man and woman as they frantically attempted to turn the key over just one more time. Now it was my turn. With my soon-to-be 10-year old in my car learning from my every move, I had to decide: Do I go around this hindrance in order to make sure that my nicely pressed outfit would remain in tact for the church service I was headed to? Or do I toss the plans out the proverbial window in order to be a Samaritan to someone I may never see again?

Rolling down my window, I yelled to the distraught woman, "Do you need some help?" Her affirmative reply was followed by a sigh of partial relief. Shortly after that, I whipped my Honda Pilot around and pointed my hood to theirs as my handsome hubby worked his magic with our old set of jumper cables.

"Give it some gas," he hollered to me.

Nothin'.

Continuing to apply my three-inch black heel to the accelerator, I started to pray, "Father, please help this couple. Help their car to start so that they can get home. Help them..."

Vroom, vroom, vroom.

"Thank you so much for your help," the man said. "And Merry Christmas!"

Quietly watching the entire occurrence, Noah said, "That was nice." I agreed with him and told him that I could have just driven around them to make sure that we wouldn't miss church because we wanted to worship Jesus.

"I think Jesus wanted us to help them more than he wanted us to go to church today, Mom," came his wise reply.

With tears beginning to sting my baby blues, I nodded and said, "I couldn't agree more."

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for allowing us the oppportunity to be your hands and feet. And for creating a tender heart in our sons that will know how to love you by loving others.



Visit Cindy daily at her personal site, CindyBeall.com

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Following HIS Lead

Max says, "I'm learning. It's slow going at times. Be patient."

Mom says, "I'm being patient Max. Don't worry or fret. I'm watching you."

Max is new to the leash. As a matter of fact, he's new to many things. We are in the process of "socializing" him. Acquainting him with life---and all of the fun! Unfortunately, with the fun --there are some "not-so-fun" things.

Yesterday was his second time out with the leash. The first time didn't go so well. I wound up carrying him home.

This time I allowed him to drag the leash so that he could get familiar with the "weight" of it. I walked ahead and he followed right behind. Pretty soon he was up right beside me. I reached down and took the leash. If he knew I had the "control" he didn't say anything. He just kept walking. Every now and then he slowed, when that happened, I'd notice right away and stop and encourage him to keep going. I had my eye on him constantly. Watching for him becoming too tired or straying to the wayside.

Sometimes we're like that. We think we are on our own. Walking our path solo. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Hebrews 13:5 (b) For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Isn't that just the best promise! We may think He's not aware of what's going on in our lives...but His watchful eye is on us. He is by our side.

Lucy (the little black lab), has now chewed three leashes. (I call her new mommy every week to check on her.) She resents being tied. It was for her protection all three times. It wasn't going to last but a few minutes. But she couldn't see into the future, and she refused to be patient and wait---and she was not trusting that she wouldn't be left there. Too much activity going on ---on the other side of the leash. I hope she learns. Or, somebody should by stock in the leash company.

*Are you allowing HIM to do the leading? *

Are you sensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting for direction? *

Are you in a hurry...chewing on the leash?

*Take the time to evaluate where you are in HIM. That's what He's teaching me through all this puppy business!

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pass It On


Pass It On




Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those

in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.


2 Corinthians 1:3-4



With arms crossed and eyes narrowed, Judy (not her real name) glared at me and demanded, “Why do you do this? Why do you come here?” Judy, who’d come to Bible study every week since she’d moved into the homeless shelter, never joined us at the kitchen table. Instead, she retreated to the safety of a corner in the kitchen. Judy’s body language shouted the distrust born out of her life circumstances. Having only visited the shelter for a few weeks, I was taken aback by Judy’s questions. Stumbling through an answer, I tried to ease her fears.

Later, searching my heart for just why I had felt led to teach a Bible study at The Shepherd’s House, I remembered a day when I had dropped off a clothing donation at the shelter. I recalled seeing the women and children who were living there and the pain reflected in their eyes – pain that I understood. I then realized that God had been preparing my heart since childhood for this ministry. Circumstances in my life have led me to have a heart for hurting people. Those same circumstances have also taken away the tendency to be judgmental.

Several years ago while going through a very long and painful season, many people did so much to love and care for me. One friend in particular was always very loving and giving. After several months, I finally asked how I could ever repay her kindness. My friend replied, “You’re not to repay me - you’re to pass it on.”

Suddenly realizing the answers to Judy’s questions, I wrote a letter and shared my story with her. “Although I’ve never been homeless,” I told her, “there’s not a lot that any of the residents have experienced that hasn’t touched my life in one way or another. Thankfully, God has always placed special people in my life who have shown Christ’s love to me. And that has made all the difference. So, Judy, I do this, I come to the shelter because I’m passing it on.” The following week, Judy joined us at the kitchen table.

Now, whenever a new resident moves into the shelter, I take the time to tell them who I am and why I come. I encourage them that someday when they get to the other side of whatever trial they’re facing, they too will have the opportunity to minister to others. And when a resident asks how they can repay my kindness, I always reply, “Please, just pass it on.”


Are we able to encourage others who are walking through difficult days by sharing how God has been faithful to us?


Do we take the time to share our hearts as we reach out to minister to others?


Do we take the opportunity to pass it on?


Father, thank you for the comfort You bestow on us through Your Spirit, Your Word and Your people. Help us to pass it on. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen







I'd love to have you visit at http://www.inspirationfrommayberry.com/.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Marshmallow Faith



I love marshmallows. Something about those little cylinders of squishy sweetness makes me all happy inside. They’re fun to eat and even more fun to eat after you roast them over a fire. The outside gets all crispy and the inside is gooey.

As I roasted a marshmallow the other day I thought about how we Christians can be like marshmallows when it comes to our faith. Do we just melt in the fire?

Some days I worry that I may have marshmallow faith – and that’s not what I want. I want a faith that will stand the test of time and the fiery trials. I don’t want to melt in the fires of life. I want to be more like gold and grow stonger through my trials. I want substance and staying power.

Marshmallows are great fun to eat but you can’t live on them. Marshmallow faith is a lot like that to -- sweet and fun, but they can’t fill up that deep down hunger. You can’t survive on a diet of marshmallows alone and you won’t live in victorious freedom with marshmallow faith.

Just what is marshmallow faith? It’s faith that turns to goo when the heat hits. It’s a faith that’s all about the sugary sweetness and not about the meat of God’s Word. It’s a faith that will make you happy for a short while, but it won’t sustain you over the long haul. It’s a faith without substance. It’s a faith built on the knowledge of others, not a personal knowledge.

This is not the faith that God has called me to. He’s called me to be in a relationship with Him. He’s called me to walk worthy of His call on my life. He’s called me to do His will. He’s called me to walk in His ways. And, sister, he’s called you to all of the same. No one gets to be a marshmallow. No one gets to just float on the top of the hot chocolate.

so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing
fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Col 1:10


Are you living in marshmallow faith?


Are you all about the sugary sweet and not about the tough stuff?


Does your knowledge of God come from another person?

God has called you to Him and He’s waiting for you. Call on His name, open His Word and spend time with Him there. It’s in His word that you’ll find freedom to love Him and serve Him. In His word you’ll find the joy of the Lord and in His word you’ll find the strength and the knowledge to move beyond a marshmallow faith..


In Him,





Come by and visit my blog, Joy Filled Living

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I love studying the Temple for understanding the work of the Holy Spirit. While searching the ancient words, I saw something wonderful.


When the priests withdrew from te Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 1 Kings 8:10.

Before the Spirit of God could fall down in the Holy of Holies, the deepest room in the Temple, the priests of the Temple had to get out. They couldn't even be in the room where His glory fell. It was His place to rule, and His place alone. When His glory fell, the priests were at His disposal, doing what He wanted and waiting on His guidance.


It's the same with us.


When the Holy Spirit takes up residency, we too must leave the Holy of Holies. We must make a cognitive, conscience decision in prayer to believe that the Spirit of God has seated Himself in the deepest place in us. We decide to humble ourselves to that power and believe that He will do what He says He will do.


Andrew Murray, a great teacher, says this in regard to our humility to the Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is not given to us as a possession of which we have control and can use at our discretion. The Holy Spirit is given to us as our Master, who have control of us. We do not use Him, He uses us.

I have had that backwards before. I have lived and believed (even if I didn't say it out loud) that I had control. I have believed that I can just summon Him to do something powerful and God-like in my life without even considering that, um, I'm the one who is alive because of Him, not the other way around. Such thinking kept His power from really breaking forth. I was not yielding. Not humbling myself. I thought I was, but it was really just me trying to force the Spirit to do His job.


I figured out that humility and yielding to the Spirit takes great patience and most certainly I found that it rubbed my flesh nature, my natural self, the wrong way! One of the hardest things for me to do a few years ago was go from my butt to my knees. Some of you may not have that problem, and I'm glad! It wasn't that I was all so into myself, it was just something I hadn't practiced, hadn't understood.


But the Lord says to us things like this:
I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
There is great reward and holiness in waiting before the Lord. It shows a soul determined to believe that the Spirit of Christ is the fullness of God in her. That He has the right to do as He wills and that He hold the deepest place in us and in that, we are changed. Let me say this and you ponder it and tell me what you think
The degree I am yielded to the Spirit is the degree I am filled with the Spirit.
We who are followers of Christ have His Spirit. Now, are we letting Him have full authority? Do we get out of the Holy of Holies and believe that regardless of what we feel, He is at work? Be humbled. Be yielded. Be filled.

Step Into Your Future - Book Tour & Giveaway

Are you a small business owner who is looking for some practical and helpful insight to get your business up and running? If so, we'd like to offer the following information on a newly released book by a successful Christian woman. We will give away one copy - today (Thursday, March 26) by midnight CST - to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is tell us what business you hope to grow! The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Be sure to check out our other contest as well: Spring Giveaway

Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp author of Step Into Your Future: A Businesswoman’s Path to Profits shows how to make success a process.


“What specific incident inspired you to gather together this information and put together a book?

Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: Let’s face it, being a Small Business Owner is HARD. You don’t have time to focus. You’re stressed and you rush around. You’re all over the place; catching planes, picking up kids and completing proposals and contracts. And it seems like you’re doing this all at once. You’re lost in the trees and blind to the forest.

“What’s the story behind the book’s title?”

Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: I feel so good when I work with other business owners to help them understand how to tame the things that steal your time. The great thing is that when you focus and produce results, you get to share your story of your products and services with everybody. You meet people who help you connect with others. You play a bigger game. People will recognize your name. You enjoy life. Your sphere of influence grows. You get more opportunities to create alliances with people that you now only dream about.

“What’s specific inspiration changed your life … and why do you feel it had such a ‘mind-shifting’ impact on you?”

Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: I believe in easy; an easy way to see what you need to do and came up with a quick process that allowed me to identify steps that accelerated my success.

Book Summary
As you read Step Into Your Future: Your Path to Profits you’ll discover a powerful map that will guide you on your road to business success. Here are some of things you get to take away from this business planning book:

Chapter One− What’s Your Dream Business?
Chapter Two− Catch Your Business Vision on Paper
Chapter Three− What Makes Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd?
Chapter Four− Call Out Your Business Reason for Being on Paper
Chapter Five− The Truth About Your Time
Chapter Six− Create a Moneymaking System
Chapter Seven− State What You Want
Chapter Eight− Plan Your Business Results
Chapter Nine− Key Steps to Constructing Your Moneymaking Plan
Chapter Ten. Remove Your Obstacles

Summary
Most of our success is based on connecting your business with your purpose and passion. Many advisors are needed for the making of war according to Proverbs. Business is brutal. Get an advisor, visit Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp at www.StepIntoYourFuture.com/teleseminar/ to start walking in your path to your future.

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What Is Success?

"We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps."
Proverbs 16:9


Had you asked me what success was 5 years ago I would’ve pointed to Manhattan high rises, daily train commutes and multi-million dollar deals. Had you then asked where I pictured myself in 5 or 6 years I would’ve stared at you like you were a little slow on the uptake and reiterated the beauty of a Manhattan high rise.

I’ve spent the majority of the past five years torn up inside over the course my life has taken. It is that daily struggle I’ve spoken of many times before. Everything in me with worldly ambition shakes its head and asks, “Kristen, is this what you really want?”

For five years I’ve answered with, “…let me think about that.”

Then the wrestling would come. The Lord would give me a firm “no” about moving a certain direction and set my course straight ahead. I would start to veer left; He would patiently wait and return me to the path. Ultimately, I would follow His lead but more often than not I would go wondering what I left behind.

The other day I was getting ready for bed, a hard time of day for me when I am going into a season of purposed writing, speaking to the Lord.


He spoke something to me that I couldn’t put into words if I tried. So, I won’t. Did you ever have a moment like that? A moment so holy, so God you simply couldn’t express it if you tried? I want us to have moments like that.

Anyway, He spoke something big, certainly not by the world’s standards maybe not even by yours, but big for me.

Honestly, that isn’t even the miracle of the night.

The miracle? My response.


It was my joy to serve Him.

It was my small offering.

The best I can do.

The most I can bring to this thing.

“Yes.”

A quiet, whispered, heartfelt,"Yes.”

What is success you ask? Is it multi -million dollar deals, train commutes and Manhattan high rises?

Or is it a feisty, independent girl on her knees in dependence before her Lord, heart in hand and life offered?

I don’t know much but I know this --it’s the latter.


Oh, that our steps might be steady, keeping to the course He has set.


“You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I'd never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I'm going to do what you tell me to do;
don't ever walk off and leave me. “
Psalm 119:4-8



__________
Kristen welcomes you to visit her blog {dancing} in the margins where she writes about seeking Jesus in the day-to-day, her deep love for cupcakes and the hilariousness that is The Office.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mondays Are Overrated. His Mercy Is New Every Morning!


I know you do it too...

"I'll just have this piece of massive chocolate cake now and start my diet on Monday."

"I'll call her on Monday and set up a time to meet her next week. We can make amends then."

"I'll fill out and turn in my volunteer sheet on Monday. It'll work out."

oh.my.

If I had a dollar for every little thing that I have put off until Monday well then let's just say I would have lots of money and guess what? Monday comes but it still doesn't get done. Why do we procrastinate? Why do we delay with things that are so important to us? What if Jesus had said, "Oh, I'll just sit around with these guys here and do the whole "saving the world" thing on Monday? No! He would not and did not.

He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine."
Matthew 26:39

Things won't always be comfortable for us. It won't always come easy. It does take an amount of self-sacrifice to accomplish God given tasks. So what if, like me, you have messed up quite a few times already and need to start over?

Guess what?

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
Lamentations 3:23


You can start again. But start this morning and not on Monday, hmm?



I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: Amy Bayliss.com

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Word of Mouth - A Great Resource

I normally have the honor of writing for the Cafe on Saturdays. I do the weekly "Cafe Chat" meme on Saturdays, but today I am posting one of my "Word of Mouth" posts for the Cafe. Basically, a "WOM" post is just me writing, or in this case talking about some wonderful resource I have discovered. The resource could be a book, DVD, Bible Study, or anything that might be helpful to in your daily Christian walk.

This post will be helpful to parents and anyone that is in charge of raising and disciplining children (of all ages)... If interested in learning more about today's resource please visit Ginger Plowman's website at http://www.gingerplowman.com/

Blessings, Kim (To Know Him)




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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reduced Price on Tickets To A Woman Inspired Conference

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Walkin' in Circles

Walking down a shady neighborhood trail not long ago, I breathed in the air of a refreshing seventy degrees. Starting slowly, I took some time to praise the Lord and enjoy the peace and alone time. I quickened my pace, and anxious thoughts began to jog alongside me. God, please help Annie on her tests today. Don’t let her fail again. She studied so hard. I’ve got so much to do. I shouldn’t be walking. I’m going to get behind on everything else. Why am I always a step behind on everything?

My worries completely took over my steps, and I’m sure my heart rate went off the charts. Ministry at church. My son’s issues. Not meeting people’s expectations. Emails and phone calls to return. Decisions my husband and I needed to make. Kids and families my heart is grieving for. Not enough hours in the day…

Then, one thought hijacked the others: I remembered something that had recently hurt my feelings. I didn’t think my legs could go any faster, but they did. I bit back at this person in my mind. I defended myself. I informed this person through telepathic communication that her actions were immature and hurtful.

Huffing in mind, spirit and body, all of a sudden, I noticed that I’d passed my starting place and was walking around the same trail again, by a long ways. The thought of going around a second time was quite an exhausting one, so I stopped for a moment, leaned the weight of my body via arms on my knees and caught my breath.
Do you really wanna walk down this path again?
This was the thought that stopped my elevated “worry pulse,” and I’m positive it was from the Lord. He had my full attention, seeing as He had given me a real-life scenario to think it through (not to mention, plenty of time).

It took the rest of the trail (a second time) home to allow the Lord to do some counseling with me. He gave me incredible insight into just how far He had brought me down the path of anxiety. He reminded me that I struggle with it so much less than I ever have before. He recounted instances of situations past where He has worked out each and every problem, hurt, fear or disappointment for His glory. He testified of all the ways He has worked in me to grow me up spiritually.

By the time I got home, my hurts and “But hows” had taken a hike, and the Lord had carried my numb legs through the door. 
I was where I needed to be: in the hold of His strong and capable arms. 
That’s when my prayers and praises started me down a new trail—the one they should have veered on about an hour earlier. I had gone full circle, and now it was time for His Truth to speak.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, 
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, 
and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. 
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing. 
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)

What trails keep you running around in circles? Are there any issues in your life that you need the Lord to “stop you in your tracks” over today? Take a few moments to remember His faithfulness on the treaded trails of your yesterdays. Do any of those give you hope for your footsteps today?
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, 
because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Lord, we praise You, for You are true and honorable, 
most worthy of praise. I pray that You would work Your Spirit 
in and through us, helping us to put your Word into practice on our faith walks. 
Guard our hearts and our minds with Your perfect peace, I pray. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Come by to Pause, Ponder & Praise:

or you can sign up for my edevos here:

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Monday, March 23, 2009

“We Know” all Things Work Together for Good…

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Over the years, this beautiful verse has been applied to just about every circumstance and groups of peoples imaginable. And yet, for all its beauty and profound eternal promises – its truths promises apply to the children of God alone!

The “we” of verse 28 are the “saints” of Romans 8:27:

“And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for WE know not how to pray as WE ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for US with groanings which cannot be uttered; and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the SAINTS according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

We saints “know” that ALL things work together for good too. Followers of Jesus Christ count the cost of discipleship and know Jesus says:

"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:38-39

Loving God means laying our lives down for our Savior! We are challenged to maintain steadfast trust in God, even amidst trials and suffering:

"Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" Rev. 2:10

The great promise of Romans 8:28 is that God will “work all things good” for those of us who love Him! He rules over and through every tragedy and infirmity cause by sin's presence in this world - to accomplish His purposes in the lives of those who love Him and who have responded to His call.

We saints also “know” that God, in His sovereignty, works all things out – even when we cannot see how. Listen to what Israel’s ancient prophet Amos declared long ago:

"For behold, He who forms mountains, And creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth-The Lord God of hosts is His name" Amos 4:13

God is God and we are not.

We saints also know that we are “called according to His purpose” also:

"Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." II Timothy 1:9

That is us!

According to His purpose means just what it says. That removes us completely out of the picture, doesn't it? He has laid out for us foreknowledge, calling, predestination, and justification. We can trust Him!

"For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." II Corinthians 4:15

There are some experiences that He has allowed me to clearly see at the start of it. At other times, I was not sure why it was happening. Still other times, I remain clueless to His purposes in working out the “good” He promises.

Nevertheless, because He has total control and I “know” this truth - I praise Him!

I “know” that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose because He loves me and I too, love Him:

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God. And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love, because he first loved us.” I John 4:15-19

Close and personal:

1. Can you go back in your lives and see His hand taking you places that you could not have planned out beforehand?

2. How might you view Romans 8:28 from now on?

"Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for always knowing what is best for us! Help us to always remember that you are great, and majestic! You created this universe so how could we ever doubt that you know what is best for us! Forgive us Lord for those times in our walk where we doubted! Thank you Father for reminding us that "all things do work for good!" I love you, Jesus, my Savior, my redeemer, and my Great I am!"

In Him,

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mimhtai Mou!


μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε, καθὼς κἀγὼ Χριστοῦ. 


You say, ‘That's Greek to me!’  Yes, friends, it is.

Translation: 

“Be an imitator of me just as I am an imitator of Christ.”

Mimetes means to imitate, to follow.  The root word means ‘to mimic’.

Paul was teaching those raunchy, self-indulgent Corinthians saved by the grace of The Most High God, how to live out their new faith.  He was teaching them what being a Follower of the Mashiach (Messiah) actually looked like in their liberating new life.  It was to MIMIC the Saving One.

He was teaching them that their NEW LIFE in Christ was gloriously beautiful as it is liberating because it was Truth.  And it is Truth that sets us free indeed!  Paul was spelling out for them who (and Whose) they actually are now IN Yeshua HaMashiach.

The Pattern to be copied and mimicked is ultimately Jesus, the Christ.  Though, Paul preaches to them that they are to follow his (Paul’s) pattern only because he is following Christ’s pattern for living a pure and holy life in word, thought and deed!  

Paul’s halacha (walk) matches his LORD’s.

Now, you might already be enlightened to the fact that Scripture ‘addresses’ or references are not inspired of God.  Men put those there so that we might be able to locate the Inspired passages.  I bring this up because 1 Corinthians 11:1 should actually be 1 Corinthians 10:34.  It completes the point that Paul is trying to convey that ‘he is not looking out for his own interests, but for those of the many, so that they may be saved.’  Paul is deeply concerned about the salvation of others.  

Don’t you know that is the compassionate concern of Christ in him?

Paul is telling us today that we are to be so concerned with the salvation of others that we closely MIMIC the LORD YESHUA in word, thought and deed for the purpose of bringing others into this Kingdom of Light!  We are to be making Followers as we ourselves follow the Risen Christ.

Imitation cheese.  Disgusting.  

Imitation bacon bits.  What’s the point?

Imitation Christ.  Exemplary!  

And Christ looks GREAT, y'all!

I used to believe that we were to ‘mimic’ until Christ is formed in us.   But, the LORD has corrected me.  We are to ‘mimic’ that Christ might be formed in us.

"Be ye followers (imitators) of me, even as I also am (an imitator) of Christ."

Be ye:   4:16; 10:33; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 6:12

even:    Romans 15:2,3; Ephesians 5:1,2; Philippians 2:4,5

Not everyone will be enthralled at your imitating Christ.  Some may even be your Christian friends.  Truth always brings conviction.  Go ahead, imitate anyway.  It is for the sake of all, remember?

What about you?  Can you say “mimhtai mou ginesqe kaqwV kagw Cristou”?  No, I don’t mean in Greek...I mean with a good conscience?

Our halacha is being seen.  But ought it be imitated? 


Carmen would love your company at...

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Café Chat March 21, 2009

This week I was listening to my favorite Christian radio station and the host quickly mentioned the “fruit of the Spirit”. So today’s question was inspired by what I heard on the radio. First, let’s take a look at the verse in the Bible about the “fruit of the Spirit”.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

After looking at the verse in Galatians, what specific “fruit” (love, joy, peace…) do you find yourself lacking in your daily life? Give an example if you can.

What circumstance in your life shows your weakness with the specific “fruit” you mentioned above.
I know I am always talking about the things we are struggling with, but I do it for a good purpose. I truly feel that we learn more through our struggles and defeats than through our victories.

This week’s question is meant for me as much as for all of you. Recently, I feel like I have come to a place where I see that through all my life’s circumstances, especially the tough ones I have an opportunity to become more like Christ.

Through my life circumstances, I get to practice dying to a very "selfish" self. To think of others more than I think about myself. To practice self denial when my flesh cries out to indulge. To show love when I don't feel at all loving. I could keep going with my "to" list, but I will stop here, and leave you with one final thought. If you are at all like me, or maybe even a little like me; I want to challenge you to see whatever "life circumstance" you named above as a great and wonderful opportunity to become more like HIM, our sweet and lovely Jesus.

Thank you so much for answering these tough questions with me each week. You make my job a joy!

Blessings, Kim


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Brotherly Love

Please Welcome Melissa Hill to the Internet Cafe!


A few days ago, Tee and Graham were arguing and generally producing mayhem in the car and had been told to "simmer down" more than one million times. Although I firmly believe in first time obedience, my children are still up in the air on the issue.

Something, unseen by me, escalated the situation and both were told they would receive a consequence when we got home. Translate, S.P.A.N.K.I.N.G.

Enter weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When we got home, Trey took both boys upstairs to give them each four spankings.

He had them explain to him exactly what happened and during the explanation, Tee confessed that it actually wasn't Graham's fault, but his own and Graham really didn't deserve to get a spanking.

Let me pause this story to say that this is a rare, rare occurrence in our home. Our children are of the age and predominate heart condition that there is always someone else to blame. As I reread that, I think it matters less about the age and more about the predominate heart condition because I find myself doing the exact same thing much of the time. Needless to say, pigs flew, Hell froze over, and I ate vanilla ice cream without hot fudge sauce.

Trey was so surprised he almost fell out of his shoes. Tee stuck up for his bro' and threw himself under the bus in the process. As Trey was picking himself up off the floor and excusing Graham from his consequence, Graham asked if, instead, he could take Tee's spankings for him.

Say wha'?

"Daddy, can get a spanking instead of Tee?"

Note to self, when I'm cast opposite Brad Pitt in his next blockbuster and I need to cry on command, remember that moment. Check.

Trey was dumbfounded and conflicted for a minute. Tee was obviously as conflicted because he was nodding his head but saying "No way, Graham!" at the same time.

In the wisdom that attracted him to me in the first place, Trey decided to let Graham take half of Tee's punishment for him. He felt that, although it wasn't fair, it was right. He needed to honor his son's prompting to love someone greater than himself, and to be willing to suffer in his place. He needed his other son to see how much he is loved and how, when he defends the cause of the innocent, mercy abounds.

It gave us a teachable moment where we could talk more about the perfectly innocent Son who took on not half but all of our consequence so that we could have life with the Father. Each boy received two spankings but loved and respected each other more when they left the room than when they had come in. Through the process of sin and consequence, they saw an aspect of the Father's love in one another they had not seen in the backseat of the car. And we were giving a gift as parents we won't soon forget.

Thank you, Lord, that you were pierced for our transgressions, you were crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought our peace was on you; and by your wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5


Melissa is a stay at home mom to four biological children and two (unofficial) foster teenage boys. Her husband runs an inner city ministry in Dallas that primarily serves the children of the urban poor. Jesus became man and moved into our neighborhood and they felt called to follow suit. Five years ago, they left their pretty comfortable, predominantly white neighborhood and moved into the community, the ghetto, the hood, the place you most likely avoid when driving through that fair city; and they love it. Seriously, love it.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

We're Giving Away Tickets!



Join us April 6th through the 9th at the A Woman Inspired Online Conference!

An online audio conference uses the Internet as a conference venue. What this means to you is that you will be able to access the conference from anywhere in the world using standard browser software which we provide. This software is compatible with all computers including Macs and it is provided by us, to you, with the cost of admission. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and speakers!

The conference will happen in real time but it will be recorded so if you can't be there then you can still download the sessions to listen to at your convenience. You'll be able to take Darlene's message about "living well" on your next walk with you. Put Lysa on your iPod and take her to carpool. Crank up Melissa Michaels while you are cleaning house! All of that is included in one ticket.

Look who is in this line-up:

Lysa TerKeurst, Janice Croze, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Allison Worthington, Ginger Moore, Lynn Donovan, and Leigh Gray.

From Christian Women Online: Darlene Schacht, Marybeth Whalen, Melissa Michaels, Lisa McKay, Allison Bottke, and Shelly Ballestero.

And from the Internet Cafe, our very own: Cindy Beall, Natalie Witcher, and Amy Bayliss.

To read more about the speakers and their topics visit the site: A Woman Inspired and click on their photo.

We're giving away tickets!

Guess what else? If you attend, you’ll be entered to win these prizes, including an iPod Shuffle, and an autographed Mandisa CD!! And speaking of the beautiful Mandisa… she is giving all the attendees some free downloads of her music! Woo Hoo!! Our gift bag is getting full and there is more being added daily.

Want to know more about how this online event works? Click here and scroll all the way down to view a special video featuring Ms. Amy Bayliss.

There are only 1000 spots available at this conference but we have allotted 10 tickets to give away to 10 lucky readers. We know how badly you will want to win a ticket so we are going to give you a chance to enter. You need to enter by Sunday 3/22 at 10:00 pm CST. Simply leave a comment on this post. That's it!

Also, can you help us to promote? Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Blog about the conference and put a button in your sidebar.
  2. Send an email to your friends and tell them about the conference.
  3. Post on your favorite forum.
  4. Or post on Facebook.
  5. Or tweet it on Twitter.

The winners will be announced on Monday morning, so be sure to check back. If you want to skip the contest and guarantee a spot, you can purchase a ticket here for $24.95. Time and spaces are running out.




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Temptation Anyone?

Temptations...you all know what I'm talking about and it's not that Motown group of 5. It's the OTHER temptations in our lives.

They've been around since the dawn of time, and given their history, it's not likely they're going anywhere. Recently I came across a quote which put into perspective why there are times when we're tempted more than others:

“The weaknesses we see in the people of the Bible are the very weaknesses we ought to recognize in ourselves. Live Eve who ate the forbidden fruit we are vulnerable to temptation when we act on our own. Like Abraham, who lied about his wife to save his neck, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are scared. Like David, who slept with Bathsheba while his men were off to war, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are idle. Like Elijah, who wanted God to end his life, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are exhausted. Like Peter, who denied his Lord even after he promised to die for him, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are overconfident. In other words, we are vulnerable to temptation practically all the time.”
Phillip Graham Ryken

There is no question about it, I'm vulnerable when I'm exhausted, prideful, overconfident and scared. I'm not as likely to give into the temptations that swirl around me when I'm immersing myself in The Word. It's when I go it alone that the problems start. Looking back at my life, heck looking back at yesterday tells the story.

I snap at those I love when I'm exhausted.
I see things I don't need to see when I'm idle.
Lose a few pounds and forget the struggle it is and overconfidence leads to a "binge."

A REALIZATION came to me after reading this quote, I am VULNERABLE to TEMPTATION practically all the time.

Daunting?

It is, UNTIL I embrace the fact that I can, with the help of a Savior who DIED for ME, overcome each and every temptation that comes down the congested superhighway of life.

Clearly the temptations aren't going away, and THANKFULLY and CONFIDENTLY neither is my God.


No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
We can be confident that Jesus taught us to pray these words as He knew the temptations of this world all too well. And with this in mind, I pray daily the prayer Jesus gave us, with particular attention to the words, "lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil."

Reflections:

When do you find yourself most vulnerable to "temptations?"

Spend some time this week paying attention to the times that you "fall" and ask our ever faithful God to help you. Journaling the times I fall to temptations has helped me to learn where my vulnerabilities lie.

Father,
I come to you today knowing that I cannot resist the temptations of life without your constant help in my life. Thank you for always being willing to hear my cries for help. Help me to be ever reliant on YOU, knowing that your plans for me are perfect. I want to live in your will, today and everyday.
Amen









Join Lori daily at her personal blogspot, where at the very least, she daily tries to resist the temptation of the chocolate in the pantry.




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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Serving up a SPRING Giveaway!



It's officially SPRING and the Internet Cafe is WELCOMING SPRING in a big way!!

As the season of RENEWAL and REJUVENATION is upon us,
join us as we WELCOME SPRING!!

Our Spring Giveaway features all things SPRINGY and FRESH!

Beginning with,

Wild Olives Tee's

These t-shirts great! This Spring, "Get Your Verse On!"
The winners will have their choice of t-shirts as we serve up 2 $25 dollar Gift Certificates!

Wild Olive Tees



A 25 Dollar Gift Certificate to Beauty.com for some "fresh new Spring" supplies!

AND a 25 dollar Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!
A new SEASON! What better excuse for a few new books?

Also included in this FRESH BREW giveaway:

A copy of We are Expecting, by Zuaquis Ross
A Keepsake Poetry and Prayer Book for Expectant Parents
(Visit her site here!)



Since Spring is a time of renewal we'll also be giving away two copies of
Recover Your Good Heart, by Jim Robbins.

Recover Your Good Heart is about setting your "good heart" free in Christ.
A perfect theme for Spring, what better time to embrace a "Good Heart" for Christ.

Ladies, We're SERVING up an open the windows, and announce SPRING IS HERE kind of giveaway!!

Giveaway 1
1 $25 dollar gift certificate to Wild Olives
1$25 dollar gift certificate to beauty.com
"We're Expecting," by Zuaquis Ross
"Recovering Your Good Heart," by Jim Robbins

Giveaway 2
1$25 dollar gift certificate to Wild Olives
1 $25 dollar gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
"Recovering Your Good Heart," by Jim Robbins

In order to be eligible to win one of these FABULOUS prizes, we're looking for ways to REFRESH and RENEW our Spiritual lives this Spring! Write a post about how you are REJUVENATING your Spiritual life and share it with us! Leave a comment letting us know you've shared and viola, you're entered! If you don't have a blog, no worries, just share your goals in the comment section and leave an email address so that we can contact you, should you be chosen as a winner.

We'd also be THRILLED if you spread the word of this SPRINGY giveaway too! Add the button to your site!







winners will be chosen in a random drawing that will take place on April 3rd~
The WINNERS will be announced on April 4th, 2009~

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Good Investment



On a cool breezy night last month my husband and I attended a formal dinner at an elegant country club here in our town. All the ladies were dressed so beautifully in their long flowing gowns, and the men looked so handsome in their sharp black tuxedo's! We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived at the private dinning set up with beautiful china and crystal. A special duet was playing classical music in the background as we greeted one another and took formal pictures. A five course meal was served with some of Louisiana’s finest cuisine. Bon Appétit! The service was impeccable, and it was truly a night to remember.

The reason for this occasion was to recognize the new 2009 “President's Council” and say good bye to the out going one. This tradition has been going on for over 20 years at my husband's company. Rick worked exceptionally hard last year, spending the entire summer away in Iowa on a special disaster recovery project following the Cedar Rapids flood.

Part of the reward that goes along with this honor is a recognition trip. We were all sitting on the edge of our chairs awaiting the announcement from the President on where we would be going. This year he chose Williamsburg, VA., and it looks like it will be a wonderful get away to this beautiful and historic area of our country.

When I think about awards and accolades, it only seems natural for humans to desire this. After all, who doesn't want to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work, sacrifice, and leadership?

The bible speaks a lot about rewards both as a recompense for doing good, as well as, a punishment for doing wrong. Most people think of rewards in terms of material gain, but it was not only material prosperity Jesus promised to His disciples.

I like what John Piper said about this:

God's standards of greatness are different from ours, and the process through which He produces greatness are also very different.

Matt 25:20-21 describes an Award Ceremony that will take place in Heaven:

20 “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

What an awesome time of celebration this will be when all of God’s faithful servants will stand before Jesus as He honors them before the multitude of angels and saints in Heaven.

Is anything worth missing out hearing those words?

The word is filled with scriptures and promises of rewards. Here a just a few of them to consider.

I Samuel 26:23:
The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness?

Proverbs 12:14:
From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

Proverbs 19:17
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

I especially like this one in Hebrews…

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Now, what excites me the most is what we will be able to do with these rewards. I don't know about you, but I don't want to come empty handed when I face Jesus one day. I want to have my crowns to lay down at His feet. Just like the faithful servant in Matthew 25, I want to be able to give back to my master five more talents.

Something to ponder:


Consider how you are investing your talents each day as a servant of Christ.


Is there more that you know you are able to do?



Join Susan daily at her personal blog,
























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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Because He Said So

I was in traffic, the radio on, slowing down at the stoplight, when I saw something on the car in front of me. It was bumper sticker. I could just make out the words which read,

"God said it. That settles it. Whether you believe it or not."


This particular bumper sticker makes most of us think about God's view of sin and the true path to forgiveness. For believers, the message is clear. If He said so, that's all there is to it.


But is that really what we believe?


God said many things in His Word. He promises the consequences of sin. He promises the forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. He clearly expresses His Love for us in many ways. There is one promise He gave us that we often have trouble believing.


He promises us peace.


We often think that peace is the absence of trials. Peace is a day full of happiness. Peace can't be cancer or chemotherapy. Peace can't mean divorce. Peace isn't unemployment or foreclosure. Is it?


The time was near for Jesus to be crucified on the cross. He knew the hour was coming. In the last days before His death and resurrection, Jesus gave his disciples encouragement. He knew the time would come for Him to leave and The Comforter (The Holy Spirit) to come.


"Jesus asked, "Do you finally believe? But the time is coming- in fact, it is already here- when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16: 31-33


Notice what Jesus did not say. He did not say that he would give them peace and they would have no sorrow. He tells them the truth. Sorrow will come. The disciples had no earthly idea what was in store for them, the fear, the pain, the persecution they would endure. Jesus knew. Yet, He still promised them peace.


He promises us the same peace, dear friends! Peace can be experienced in chemotherapy or in the midst of a custody battle. You can know real peace while you struggle to pay the bills because you can know Jesus. Jesus is our peace!


He walks us through our suffering, holds us when we're weak, gently reminding us of his amazing love. We can have joy in tears and in laughter because Jesus, our solid rock, our salvation, is our only source of real peace.


Jesus offers us peace that the world could never give. It is true because He told us so. Now, we just have to believe it!


Reflections:

What area of your life do you struggle with true peace?

Ask God to give you peace.

If you do not know Jesus as your saviour, ask Him now. He wants to give you peace.



Join Melanie at her personal blogspot, "This Ain't New York."

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