Cherries, Goals, Joseph and Josh McDowell

My daughter recently had a birthday, and I was lacking in taking pictures of the food, so I will just tell you about it.

Her theme was cherries, so I decided to include cherries in every part of the dinner.  We had cherry coke and cherry koolaid to drink, cherry glazed pork roast and cherry coke bbq ribs for our main course, cherry applesauce and a tossed salad with dried cherries for sides, cherry muffins and cherry jello topped of the dinner off.  Dessert included  cherry pie cookies and a chocolate cake shaped as decorated as a cherry.  Cherry heads, cherry tootsie pops and cherry twizzlers garnished the table as well.

I had a lot of fun making these dishes, most of the recipes were new.  And, she was excited that cherries touched everything!  I think her love for cherries is waning slightly…probably just because we were inundated with them for awhile.  😉

Anyone interested in the above recipes, shoot me a message!  🙂

In other news…I know I have not done well with blogging every day as was my goal.  Gallbladders and floods got in the way.  BUT, I have to say that God is drawing me closer.  Definitely giving me new questions to tackle and research, which means I am digging into His word more, which is always a good thing!  I am by no means digging in as much as I could/should, but I am getting there…only because of Him.  In my gallbladder craziness, both food and exercise went by the wayside, but it actually helped me get back to normal living.  I found that overtraining leads to overeating for me, because the calories you burn can’t compete with the incredible hunger.  So, I am mixing it up, doing different cardio and strength routines, not getting stuck in a rut and not getting crazy hungry.  ‘At first there was no difference, but I am happy to say that I am finally seeing some more definition in my body AND shed a couple pounds (just a couple, but I am ok with that for now).  😉

I recently finished UnDaunted.  It is a nonfiction book about Josh McDowell.  Josh McDowell is the author of More Than a Carpenter.  Josh learned to forgive the unforgivable, to trust the untrustable and to hope in something he didn’t quite believe all because of God.  The writing may not be the greatest, but the story is amazing!

My husband and I began watching Seasons of Gray~A Modern Day Joseph Story.  WOW!  So good!  We have to finish it tonight but I can already recommend it.

That is my eclectic post for the day!

🙂

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Forgiveness

I am not an expert on things of the Bible.  I don’t think I pretend to be.  I am not afraid to admit that there are some things that are tough to swallow when following the ways of Christ.  However, despite all of that, I am eager to learn more about Him and I trust Him to know better than me.  His ways are higher than mine.  My lack of understanding is because of my imperfections, not because of His.

One of the things many Christians struggle with is forgiveness.  It is pretty easy to forgive someone for an accident, but I am talking true ‘lay down the sword’ forgiveness.  My biggest struggle isn’t forgiving people who hurt me, but rather people who hurt those I love, or people who hurt children.  But we must forgive.  And we must pray that they change.  We are called to minister to them just as much as we are called to minister to the little old lady next door who always bakes us apple pies.

Whenever I think about murderers, abusers, etc, I think of a few things.  First of all, it is not my place to judge where they will spend eternity.  While we are not called to condone, accept, or agree with their choices…in fact we are called to speak truth against their choices and hold them accountable…we are not the judges of their forever fate.  Second of all, I am far from perfect, and the deepest sins that Jesus knows about me are no better than the ones that we all know about public sinners.  Third, while some people are completely aware of the evil they do, others are not completely…some were raised from birth to think it okay to hurt those who don’t agree with them.  Some have not found Jesus yet and do not realize how wrong they are.  This doesn’t make them innocent.  No…none of us our innocent, but prayers and forgiveness are for everyone.  I also thank God that by His grace alone, I am not under the mindset that murder and abuse is the right path to take.  Finally I think about the length of eternity.  We cannot even comprehend the length of time eternity is.  And for someone to suffer for that long helps me pray for everyone.

Again, please know I am not condoning these people or their actions.  I have not been in the position to have to forgive someone who hurt my family in a severe way.  I have had to forgive people who have hurt my family in a less severe way though.  I don’t know how I would respond in the situation, but I pray that I would be able to forgive and love as Jesus would call me to do.  I am not at all claiming it would be easy.

When I think about people around the world hurting others, especially children, the only way I can make it make sense is if I relate it to “Divergent.”  Yes, my favorite movie!  There is a part of the movie where people are put under a trance and in this trance are programmed to do things that they normally would be against.  When they come out of the trance they are appalled at what they have done.  I think of the unsaved as being in the trance and if we can reach them, maybe they can come out of the trance, stop hurting people, and help save others.

In a world of Sauls, let’s pray for some conversions to Pauls.

10.17.14

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Acts 9:5-6

I found this today and wanted to include it in my notes about “Prodigal God.”  Paul, a follower of Christ, a servant of the Lord, a man whom many have great respect, was once a persecutor and a murderer of Christians.  Here is the perfect example of a man changing completely for the Lord…completely!  We will meet many Pauls in our lives.  We may know some in their Saul stage, we may know the rest after the conversion  Irregardless, when we feel self righteous or judgmental about people in this world who have done horrific things…we need to remember God may use them to do great things in the future.  We need to pray for the lost, no matter how lost they are.  

Now is the Time

The moment is now.  Don’t let it pass you.  Everywhere around me I see family, friends, loved ones and strangers…all people getting hit hard by “life.”  These may just be the birthing pains that are the mere beginning of the end of the world to come.  Or they could be more.  Why take the chance?  No matter what, we know this life is not forever.  Now is the time to have that conversation you have been putting off, ask for forgiveness, give forgiveness, pass on memories, pass on legacies and most importantly have a one on one conversation with your Lord and Savior.  Ask Him to guide you, lead you, forgive you.  Ask Him to live in your heart.  Give yourself to Him for eternity.

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.

10.29.13

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds
are forgiven, and whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the one to whom the Lord
shall not impute sin.
— Romans 4:7-8

 

Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, only because He first loved us, are BLESSED beyond even our knowledge.  We get the mercy and grace that we do not deserve and we do not receive the punishment we do deserve!  

March For Life

Please join me today in praying for the enormous number of babies who are aborted each day.  Please join me in praying for their parents who are facing things many of us cannot imagine.  Please join me in praying for EACH life everywhere in this world…the blessed, the poor, the wicked, the homeless, the tortured, the abused, the hurting, the dying, the living.  Pray that we may be able to show them God’s light and love.  We are able to help every person without enabling them.  We are able to LOVE every person despite their decisions.  There are a lot of people I love who do not make choices I love.  There are a lot of people who love me that do not love the choices I make.  We need to love as God loves us.  Love with His heart, His gentleness, His forgiveness.  I am not saying we compromise our beliefs, but Jesus was and is a friend of sinners, and we are all sinners.  The least we can do is honor Him by reaching out to others with His love.

PLEASE PRAY that the world may see each life, whether born or unborn, as a life that is made from God, a life full of potential, a life worth living.

http://www.liveaction.org/

 

12.28.12

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

 

This year has been a difficult Christmas for so many…with big or little disappointments or even tragedies.  It wasn’t very long ago when my husband and I were going through a dark Christmas with the loss of our Joshua.  Something to keep focused on and to hold dear is that Christmas is Jesus coming to earth from pure perfection for the sole purpose of saving us.  Trust Him.  Believe in Him.  Accept His gift of forgiveness.  Repent and give yourself to Him.  He is all that any of us will ever need.