God hears and answers our prayers, even when we can’t see the obvious answer. Read my latest published article from Grace and Peace Magazine. http://www.graceandpeacemagazine.org/the-power-of-prayer-and-presence
Today I enjoyed baking with the ladies at Peace Church. Thank you for sharing your morning with me. Here is the basic muffin recipe-enjoy baking muffins and other quick breads
Basic Muffin Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl stir together the milk, butter,vanilla and egg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add milk mixture. Gently combine. Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
For variety choose any of the following additions; stir in 1 cup of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, diced peaches are my favorites) or mini chocolate chips. Add fruit juice (1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup) for part of the milk, so total liquid equals one cup. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice.
Thank you Lord for this new year, for friends and family. Thank you Lord for new beginnings. This year will be a year to declutter. Declutter my calendar (spend my time more thoughtfully), declutter my space (organize and economize physical space) and finally declutter my eating (choosing more healthful eating).
The next step will be devising a plan. More on that later.
“My little daughter is dying.
Please come and put your hands on her
so that she will be healed and live.”
So Jesus went with him.
Jairus, a synagogue leader, had an emergency. His daughter was very ill, and even though the synagogue leaders had spoken out against Jesus, Jairus was desperate. He pleaded for help and Jesus agreed. Upon arriving at Jarius’ home Jesus calms the panicky crowd and heals the little girl. Jairus’ story can be read in Mark 5:21-24, 35-43.
How wonderful it is when Jesus goes with me. When he does I can expect to see what Jairus saw. Verse 26 reminds me that I do not have to be afraid, dispite circumstances that look desperate. Verse 29 reminds me that Christ has power over chaos and can bring calm through all the commotion. Finally, verse 42 tells me that I can be prepared to be astonished.
Lord, thank you that you do go with us. I praise your presence in my life. Lord I trust that you can bring peace instead of worry and calm out of chaos, You amaze me. Amen.
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You must also run in such a way that you also win. (I Corinthians 9:24)
I attended an ice skating competition. I was amazed at the athletic ability of the skaters. They spun on the ice. They did amazing jumps. The men lifted their partners above their heads as they skated .
I sat in the stands eating popcorn and watched in awe. Watching was easy, it required very little effort on my part. I can only imagine the strict training, the daily discipline, and the perseverance it took to become the accomplished athletes I watched.
The same can be said for faith. What kind of effort am I putting into my spiritual life? Am I merely an onlookers giving minimal effort, watching or reading about persons of spiritual get-up-and-go? I do not want to be only a fan of Christ, I want to find ways to practice my faith. I want to gain strength and wisdom, but also the peace and assurance of God’s love. That is the prize Christ offers us today. Today is the day to evaluate my spiritual get-up-and-go.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Tiny white lights, evergreen boughs and excited guests filled the sanctuary in anticipation of the annual nativity pageant. Excitiment permeated the room; children were costumed and the lights were dimmed. The reader began, “In those days the Roman Emperor decreed that a census be taken…” The story progressed, but when the little lamb saw the audience he burst into tears. The angel couldn’t stop twirling and Joseph was throwing up in the bathroom.
Nevertheless, at the conclusion of the pageant grandparents gush over their grandchild’s participation, cameras snap, hugs, smiles and cookies are enjoyed.
Advent is a time of anticipation, we anticipate festive events, family cheerful, with our homes decorated for the season. But it doesn’t always turn out the way we imagined. The food flops, the weather is questionable, and overtired children become fussy, whatever the faults may be, the Christmas we anticipate never completely materializes.
So whatever your celebration looks like, at the conclusion the true joy of the season; Jesus the Savior is born is still all that matters. So overlook the glitches, and revel in the birth of our King, our Immanuel. God is with us, and that is reason for celebration.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish,
looking up to heaven, he gave thanks.
Thanksgiving Day. What a wonderful day to pause and give thanks to God. Before Jesus fed the people, he stopped and looked up to heaven and gave thanks, a simple gesture, it only takes seconds. But that simple gesture can focus our hearts and minds on the Giver of all good things. Jesus fed “about five thousand” that day, and you may or may not have that many to feed, nevertheless a moment to pause and join with families throughout the nation in thanking and praising God is what this day is all about.
Enjoy the feasting, the food, the family and the friends and have a very blessed Thanksgiving.
In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry. (Jonah 2:2)
How bad do things have to get before we turn to prayer? Read the story of Jonah, he let things get really bad.
Fearful to preach in Nineveh-No mention of prayer.
Flees to foreign land-No mention of prayer.
Hops a boat that meets up with a storm-no prayer.
Sailors fear destruction and ask him to pray-no prayer.
The sea gets rougher and rougher-no prayer.
Thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish-finally Jonah prays the words quoted above. Jonah prays and rescue comes. Could Jonah’s story have gone easier if he’d turned to prayer earlier.
Could our stories go easier if we would only turn to prayer earlier? How bad do things have to get before we turn to prayer? Pray first, pray often-God is present with us, God is listening.
Lord God thank you that you hear and answer my prayer. In all circumstances you are present with me, help me feel your nearness and your guidance. Amen
“There is an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 The Message Bible).
December 26th is my son’s birthday. He was born at 2:30 p.m. CST. When a baby is born, someone, usually the attending physician or midwife, checks the time of an infant’s birth, and it is noted on the birth records. The same is true when we die; the time is noted and recorded on an official death certificate, and in between those two times we are obsessed with time.
What time is it? What time should we go? Who has the correct time? Is there time to do that? Where did the time go? As humans, in a human world, we worry about time—all the time. We put clocks on our walls, our computers, and our phones. But God does not keep time as we do. God is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
However, God does care about how we use our time. Not in idleness nor in busyness, but in balance. Our time here on Earth is God’s gift to us and, therefore, God is most knowledgeable about how we can best use that time. Because God is the creator of time, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would be the best one to consult on how to use time?
Here are some strategies that I found to be helpful is deciding how to use my time:
- I pray over my to-do list; amazed that God sometimes changes what I thought to be my priorities.
- Build the day beginning with one nonnegotiable activity-the most important item to get done.
- My next strategy is a list of about 3-5 important items for each day. I may add a few very minor items to that list, like a phone calls or an errand.
- Don’t just write a to-do list; consult it frequently to keep on track of accomplishments.
- My philosophy to counterbalance feeling overwhelmed is that I can only do one thing at a time, but I can always be doing one thing.
- When I feel creative, I decorate my list with an inspirational saying, stickers, or anything that makes me smile as I look over my work list.
- Break down big tasks into little tasks, until they are small enough to be easily manageable.
- Be gentle, but also honest with myself, in discovering what works best.
I feel confidant that when I prayerfully set the agenda I am able to more wisely use my time. God, the Creator of Time, always gives his children enough time to do what he calls them to do.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:9 NIV)
It was one of those weeks where everything went wrong. Well, really, one of those months when the world was constantly trying to pull my life out of balance. Every step and activity seemed like such a battle. My bathroom remodel was in its 14th week and I had workers here at all kinds of unexpected times. There were serious problems and discontent in my church family that was very stressful to me. I had a minor, but nagging health problem. My darling grandchildren had been spending 3 days a week with me and they bring a delightful liveliness and chaos to my day. My routine work had been piling up and tasks I needed to complete had been put on hold. I was feeling the pressure, and losing the battle.
My quiet time with the Lord was constantly being interrupted or postponed till the next day. Finally, I put everything else aside and sat down to pray and meditate. This was the scripture that God brought to my attention. I needed a Mighty Warrior! I know God as my heavenly Father, my Counselor, my Friend, the all compassionate, all merciful, all loving God that I praise and seek guidance from, but I had forgotten that God is also my Mighty Warrior, and I needed a mighty warrior, someone who would fight for me when I am too tired, too weak, and too small to fight for myself.
Today I lift up my prayers to a Mighty Warrior God who is strong and powerful and will take my cause. A God that I can trust to defeat whatever battles I am facing. God is my Mighty Warrior who will always bring victory.
Dear God, Mighty Warrior, thank you that are a mighty and powerful God. I trust you this day with any difficulties that arise, knowing that you are mighty to save. Amen.