Recipe for Change

Extra-Baking-Supplies

Recipe for Change

Sometimes in life we are to make changes. Regardless of if we want to or not; if God feels it’s necessary for a change, He’s going to sprinkle on some new ingredients.

When we claim to be Christians, although we may be having a rough day or going through a trial, we still need to walk in His sweet, evenly coated grace.

We have unique personalities and we are sometimes like oil and vinegar that just won’t mix, until…God shakes us up a bit. When he does, we are all a delightful mixture of His creation.

Season yourself in His grace. Drain out the dry, sour, harmful ingredients and know you are loved so very much and are frosted with the sweet flavor of God’s grace.

Take on this day and savor the moment.  Beth

Join us on Living by Grace   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-by-Grace/208718449189065#living by grace

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Cutting Back

 

My husband and I have been on a major money crunching budget. A year ago I became really sick and finally in January of this year we had a diagnosis. I was diagnosed with a kidney disease and my world as it was changed. I went from working full time, to working only 20 hours a week and writing from home. Although my passion and is with my writing, I am not making a whole lot of money. Hence, I have taken on another part-time job, which starts today.alarm clock

Although I have not earned much money with my writing/blogging, I have been blessed to meet so many wonderfully talented supportive friends and I am forever grateful for that. Those of you who kept encouraging me not to give up, took the time to edit my words or threw opportunities my way, you will forever be in my heart. I won’t give up.

 

 

women studying bible

I start my second job today. I look forward to taking some of the heavy financial stress off of my husband’s shoulders and I look forward to how God is going to use me. I won’t be on my blog as much or writing as much for a while, but I will be giving God the glory for this new open door.

Deuteronomy 10:12…And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Quietude

 

What does Quietude mean? It is the state of being quiet; tranquility; calmness; stillness. It’s origin 1590-1600.  I was drawn to a book at the library yesterday called Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality by J. Brent Bill. I was drawn to it because of the word silence. I have such a hard time practicing silence. A group of ladies in my neighborhood come together one night a week and meditate for 15 minutes to a guided meditation tape. I was very apprehensive at first because I thought it was going to be a hokey-pokey religious thing, but it was not. It has turned out to be one of my most favorite times of the week. It is a time where I totally surrender to God. I empty out all of the bad things from my day, release all of the bad thoughts and just am still.shan and alex

How do you embrace silence? We are all so busy in life and when it’s time to wind down, we turn on the television and slump onto the couch, or open up a good book we’re reading. Those are winding down tools, not silence tools. When was the last time you really sat down and became silent so that you could listen to God? We often talk to a pastor about a situation or talk to a trusted friend or read the Word of God. Those are all good, but being silence has its own distinctiveness.  When you practice the art of silence, God reveals His presence. He grants us insights, guidance and spiritual wisdom.

How do you practice silence? Do you practice silence? Share with us today as we are discussing quietude/silence/tranquility/calmness.

 

1 Peter 3:11…Peter said, “Work hard with living in peace with others.” Are you a peacemaker?

          The holidays are fast approaching and unfortunately with some families, arguing is part of their holiday tradition. It has never been a part of mine because we all live miles apart. When my brothers and I can get together for any occasion, it’s a true blessing and now that my own kids are older and living in different states, I feel the same way.

I knew a woman who ever year put four Christmas trees up in her house. They each had their own theme and were each stunning. However, to have them up in time for Christmas, they started right after Halloween. Between Halloween and Christmas there would be disagreement after disagreement which ultimately led to silence. There was no Christmas music playing, no hot cider simmering, and no reminiscing; just silence. I ask, is it worth the silence?christmas tree

Why do people get so surly with each other, especially during the holidays? Did she really have to have all of those trees? I never got the opportunity to ask her if it was worth the pain, arguing and silence. It would not be for me.

In preparing for the approaching holiday, why not begin praying for peace now. Whatever the deep hidden reasons are for having everything just-right no matter what the cost; why not begin to pray that the Lord in His mercy would provide you with a peaceful holiday. Pray that you would be able to avoid the yearly fights. Does it matter whose house you celebrate at? Isn’t it more important that the family is all together?

Toss the foul mood. If you can’t make the homemade stuffing, just buy the boxed. If this will free up precious time to spend more time with family remember again what Peter said, “Work hard with living in peace with others.”

As you count down the days examine your list. Practice the art of shutting up and calming down before you say something you might regret. Don’t provoke a family battle. Enjoy them and if someone gets something bigger or shinier, so what. Enjoy the time. There is no promise for tomorrow.

 

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matters before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14.NIV

Worship Wednesday

 

cooking Recipes for Change

            Sometimes in life we are to make changes. Regardless of if we want to or not; if God feels it’s necessary then He’s going to sprinkle on some new ingredients.

            When we are claiming to be a Christian, we should not be walking around raw and sharp. He has created us to be sweet and evenly coated with His grace. It’s an essential ingredient to our walk with God and it’s free.

            We all have unique personalities and we are sometimes like oil and vinegar. Our personalities clash and separate us until God shakes us up a bit. When He does, we are a delightful mixture of His creation.

            My Wednesday worship thoughts…Season yourself in His grace. Drain out the dry, sour and harmful ingredients and know you are frosted with the sweet flavor of God’s grace.

You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

 

Monday Moments-Forgiveness & Trust

Retaliation or resolution? Where do you channel your energy and emotions when you just can’t seem to forgive someone?

I recently read that forgiveness is about letting go of the past and that trust has to do with your future behavior. I definitely struggle with both. I hang onto the past for way too long which ruins any chance for a peaceful future.GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Forgiveness should be immediate even if the person hasn’t asked for it; but trust? It takes time to re-build trust.

Rick Warren says that, “if someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately and you are not expected to allow them to continue hurting you.” For many years I got these two powerful words mixed up. Forgiveness is immediate, trust takes time.

My Monday moment thought…Do we truly forgive and forget? I’d love to hear your feedback on this question because I will be honest with you, I do not. It takes lots of time and ultimately surrender of myself.

Faithful Friday Thought

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I read somewhere about making a list of different ways of showing your devotion to God. They were:

  • Writing a letter
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Confessing
  • Feeding a hungry person
  • Praying with a friend
  • Teaching, singing
  • GO

Go? Yes, go and do unto others as you would like done unto you.  (Matt. 7:12) What does that mean to you? To me it means one has to have faith in order to show your devotion; otherwise it’s just actions. I have done nice things for someone but God was not behind the action. I was just doing them. But, when I’ve done something helpful or nice to a person and God was behind the gesture; it was pure faith. God gently puts little ways in our hearts to help others and then he puts the radical, risk taking things as well. Hebrews 11:16 tells us that “without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.”

Remember faith is not the belief that God will do what you want, but rather what He deems best. If he has called you to do some sort of kind act for someone, he will provide the time, the way and the words. He won’t turn his back on you.

May I challenge us today to do something that reveals your faith. My faithful Friday thought….GO!!!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-by-Grace. living by grace

Thursday Thoughts: Bubbling Emotions

light through trees

For whatever reason, a confrontation with a co-worker, a fender-bender, a long line at the supermarket, and no toilet paper in the bathroom; your emotions sometimes bubble up to the point where they become almost impossible to control. Been there? I’ve learned over the years that you can’t let stress get the better of you. I didn’t say I’ve mastered it though. The secret to riding the stress wave is handing it all over to God. He can take it! He’s in control anyhow, so you might as well toss it back in his direction.

I think back of Biblical times and the people were stressed as well but the term “stressed” was defined more like,

Adversity: Job 2:10

Affliction: II Cor. 6:4

Distresses: Rom. 8:35

Suffering: Phil. 1:29

Tribulation: Jn. 16:33

I think of the arc that had to be built a specific way; wandering in the desert for 40 years; or the plagues in Egypt. I think about being thrown into a fiery pit, facing a giant with only a sling shot and being locked up in prison. Now you want to talk about stress. Yikes!

What do you do in times of stress? I know we casually throw that question around at church, Bible studies, and in our blogs, but really; what do you do when you are stressed out? Are you dealing with some adversity, affliction, distress, suffering or tribulation today? If you are, may I validate your stress and tell you there is comfort in God. You can just sit and talk to him and he will listen. Give him your fears, worries and concerns. Ask Him anything and he will answer; maybe not right away, but know that in the waiting, he’s working it all out. Your personal relationship with God will deepen if you speak to him regularly.

My Thoughts for Thursday? I am thanking God today. He’s got this!

Beth

List Makers

 

Worship Wednesday

Are you a list maker? I used to be a hard-core list maker until my “run in” with a goose. See May 17th post.  I was all about writing my lists, rating the items in order of either time or importance and sticking to it no matter what. I can’t believe the lists controlled me.

God has had a different list for me many times. I am currently glancing through a book by Prevention called “List Makers Get Healthy Guide.” I lists things like ultimate 10 minute work outs, foods that fight belly fat; hair care products, memory protectors, how to get a great night sleep and much more. While these are all good things to list; what about your list with God?

Do you have your God-pleasing list? Now we know that our good-doer lists don’t get us to heaven. It is by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and that He died for our sins to have eternity in heaven. But, while we are here on earth, He wants us to have a list of things that pleases him. I just spent the morning with the most loving, gracious, giving women I have ever  met. They are so ready to serve the Lord in whatever capacity.

What about love? Is that on your list? God calls us to love Him and to love others. Is that on your list?

What about serving? God calls us to serve Him in specific ways. Is that on your list?list2

What about spending time with Him? Is that on your list?

What does your list for God look like? This is a very personal question so I will leave it with you to ponder. I have my own list with God and then there is my worldly Beth pleasing list that needs to take the back burner for a while. I love how God is working on me this way.

My Wednesday worship thought:

Center yourself; deep breathe! After some time look around your heart and see who is there. Are they on your list to love? If so, let them know.

 

Beth

Tuesday Treasure

I love this quote:

Settle in solitude,

And you will come upon Him; in yourself.

St. Theresa

What doe s it mean to settle into solitude? At times, I have a hard time getting myself to slow down; especially my mind. How about you? Do you ever struggle with slowing down?

Last week I went to a “guided meditation” class where I live. I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know if this was going to be a worship-some-other-god kind of meditation but it was just the opposite. I sat upon my pillow, took in the scent of the incense and began to deep breathe. I was totally connected with God for fifteen minutes. I sat on the pillow and spoke to my soul, surrendering to Him. No religion was pushed my way, just my own oneness was present, my oneness with God.0408120451

Now why can’t I do this on a daily basis, on my own? I just don’t have the practice yet or the routine. Slowing down takes priority in our lives and believe it or not, it takes practice and routine. It’s a shame that we have soooooooo much going on in our lives that we just can’t figure out how to pencil the time in to slow down.

God wants our solitude with Him. He desires it. He wants our minds to show down and empty the bad and focus on Him. Love Him, praise Him, just be one with Him.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Tuesday’s Treasure: Isn’t that worth slowing down for? Isn’t HE worth slowing down for?

Beth