5 Steps to Successful Youth Mission

Read my latest article at this link. https://factsandtrends.net/2019/01/03/5-steps-for-successful-local-student-missions/

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Memory and Memoir Class

Thank you to all the students who attended Susan and my Metro writing class. You were all so amazing and good luck with you writing in the future.

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Answered Prayer

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

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Lovely Day at Peace Church

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 egg
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.

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A New Year

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.

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Jesus, I Have An Emergency!

“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.
(Mark 5:23-24)

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.

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Spiritual Get-Up-And-Go

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.

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Anticipation

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.

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A Blessed Thanksgiving

Taking the five loaves and the two fish,
looking up to heaven, he gave thanks.
Matthew 14:19

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. img_0524Jesus 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.

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Pray First, Pray Often

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)

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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

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