Good Eats

Recently while talking with a friend of mine we got on the topic of cooking. She’s one of those people that thinks outside the box and comes up with some really amazing dishes. She has this book that tells you all about the health benefits both good and bad of different foods and spices. This led to a Q & A session since I like to try new things.

I shared about a recent recipe I had tried that didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. It came under the category of it was okay but not something to make again. It was one of those easy, under thirty minute type meals that just didn’t have the flavor to it. That led to a conversation about how nowadays we don’t cook our foods the way they used to cook, you know (or maybe you don’t), letting it simmer all day so that the spices and juices of the foods have time to blend together making the flavor pop in your mouth with every bite. Listening as she talked about the old days when her mother would cook letting it simmer all day on the stove, a thought popped in my head about preparing a meal and God.

Much like the meal that simmers all day on the stove, with the spices blending together and the flavor exploding in your mouth when you sit down to eat, so is our relationship with the Lord. It takes time to nurture a relationship. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our relationship with Him isn’t a quick ~ okay I know everything I need to know. It’s one that, similar to the meal simmering all day, you nurture it and spend time in the Word getting to know Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk, of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation

1 Peter 2:2 (NAS)

As we learn more about this Man who died for us, we learn about love, compassion, patience, endurance, and the blessings that come from obedience to the Father. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus left His disciples with a promise from the Father…

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

There are many promises, blessings, and teachings found throughout the Bible. The Holy Spirit of promise… the blessing of being chosen by God before the foundation of the world.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:13,14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

Ephesians 1:3-5

Predestined to adoption by Jesus Christ Himself…oh how He loves us! God bless.

Road Block

A peculiar thing recently happened…

Fading away while waiting for car tag…

We all face road blocks from time to time. Sometimes its a bump in the road of life. Other times it seems as though you’ll never reach the end of the road block. My mother-in-law was in the process of moving to assisted living. She had been in the hospital and would go straight into assisted living upon her discharge if a place could be found. At the time it was uncertain if she’d go straight into an assisted living facility or if she would be at home for a short period of time. So my husband and his siblings got together and start going through her belongings separating the things that would go with her, the things that they wanted, things to donate, and things to throw away. Now this process would take more than a day or two to get done. My sister-in-law drove down with plans to stay until everything was taken care of. My husband had work so he drove back and forth for a few weeks and his brother, well he lives there so he didn’t have to worry about traveling.

One such item to decide upon was her car. She still had car payments and needed to sell it. In the beginning we were asked if we wanted it and we had declined. Yes, we were looking for a vehicle but it wasn’t something we needed right away and we had decided to save up for a year and then get a car. But it turned out her car had low mileage and the balance due on her loan was less than we thought and within our budget. We took out a loan and then….

Then the road blocks began…

Our bank cut a check for the payoff of the loan and gave us the paperwork needed to go pick up the car because it didn’t have a tag. A few weeks go by and we hadn’t heard anything about getting the tag for the car. My husband calls them and they tell him the check hadn’t cleared. Okay…so what are you going to do about it? Our bank contacted the bank holding the title to the car and gets met with -I’m sorry I can’t give you that information. Excuse me?!?!? 🤨You gave it to us before. After about a week of that run around they finally get the information needed and cut a second check. In the meantime, we wait a few more weeks and nothing.

During this time of waiting, my husband had asked around at the office if anyone knew of someone that might be interested in a truck for sale. That same day someone came to him and said they might be interested. He let them take it home to test drive and the NEXT day my husband gets a cashier’s check for the sale of the truck. So now we have two vehicles sitting in our drive. One with a car tag and one with a cardboard handwritten “tag applied for” sign. I’m driving this “tag applied for” car back and forth to work waiting for news that we can go get a tag for it. Several more weeks go by and during this time my husband is trying to find out any news as to when we could get a tag. I offered to call and he shut me down. I mean he said NO before I finished my sentence. 😅 Something about me not keeping my cool. Okay, so he is way more patient when dealing with stuff like that. I doubt I would have been as patient as he was. You know the person who can be aggravated with a situation and still be polite? He’s that guy. I’m just saying, oh and by the way? This all began in December and here we are in and February and we FINALLY got a tag!

As we went through the craziness of trying to purchase the car tag so that I could properly drive it, (we found out you aren’t supposed to drive with a makeshift tag.) I was reminded of how the devil will throw road block after road block up in order to distract you from God. To blame God for all the “road blocks” in our lives. When the truth is it’s the devil playing havoc with our lives and while he is busy trying to blame God, God is standing in the wings waiting for you and me to go to Him and let Him walk us through it. Can He make it go away? Yes, He can. But sometimes He will use those road blocks to get our attention. To hit pause so that He can refresh our spirits, renew our faith, and trust in Him.

O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!

Psalm 71:12

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:2

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

When going through the trials and when the road blocks seem to get in the way, look to the Lord for your source of strength to get you through. And remember the reason for the road blocks is because God has great plans for you and the devil is trying to distract you from the things God wants for you. God bless!

I’m Waiting…

Have you ever shared something with someone and before you could finish speaking they interrupt you by talking over you to tell you something that they or a family member did was better? Or maybe you’ve walked up on a group of people standing around talking and it was as though each person had a better story to share, a better item, or their child did such and such and well, you get the idea. I can remember walking up on a group of people talking all at once trying to make themselves heard and of course no one could hear what the other people were saying.

I wonder. How does God feel when He is talking to us, and we interrupt Him talking over Him, and simply not listen to what He is saying? I can almost envision Him rubbing His chin deep in thought and then stepping back holding up His hands and saying something like okay when your ready to listen, I’ll be over here waiting for you and then He steps back. I can almost see the Lord strolling by stopping next to His Father, waiting with Him as He prays for us, interceding on our behalf. Can you hear the Father sighing and Jesus responding with a light chuckle saying something like You did send Me to save them and God replying with a remark similar to this…I did and I love them dearly but do they realize they’re acting like children? Can you hear the deep belly laughter as Jesus agrees and continues to intercede?

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

John 17:9

Jesus goes on to say in verse 20

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word

John 17:20

That’s you and me! If Jesus was willing to die for us because God asked Him to do this one thing that we might have a relationship with Him; and Jesus did it out of obedience to His loving Father, shouldn’t we stop and listen to what the Father is saying to us? To grow and mature and not stay as children? I can almost see the smile as His children pause and run back to Him saying…Forgive me for not listening to You earlier, please teach me, tell me what You want me to know. I pray you will take the time to stop and really listen to what God has to say to you. God bless!

Innocent Distractions

It started out innocently enough.

It started out innocently enough. Looking through YouTube videos I happened upon watercolor tutorials. I had been in search of videos that would teach me how to sketch better. It was a great idea except I became distracted and lost sight of the prize. Now there is nothing wrong with watching videos to learn how to do things but it’s the time spent watching and doing, that can become the problem. Realizing my lack of discipline I decided I wanted to learn to listen to God better. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned. Instead of listening, I became even more distracted when I happened upon a watercolor video about making homemade Christmas cards. So I started to make them.

I became so focused on making the cards that I lost sight of spending time with the Father. So much for listening. I was doing the right things, praying, doing devotionals but I wasn’t spending the quality time with God that He deserves.

As I thought about that, I realized that the whole time I was wanting to hear from God, He was trying to speak but I wasn’t stopping long enough or being still long enough for me to hear Him. You know, kind of like that person who asks you a question and moves on to the next question or topic before you can answer them. That was me. I wanted more of Him but I wasn’t waiting for Him to speak, instead I was moving to the next topic. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that? Can you imagine if He did? Maybe that’s why He has so many teachings on what we our relationship with Him should be like so we could use that role model to have that kind of relationship with others. Why He took time give examples for us to follow.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:12,13

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Colossians 3:14

God bless!

The Christmas Tree Lot

Passing by a tree lot on the way to church one Sunday, I was surprised at how crammed the parking lot was with vehicles. It wasn’t even 8:30 a.m. yet people were vying for a parking spot bringing traffic to a near stop. I must confess I couldn’t help but wondered how many would make it to church that morning. As quickly as that negative thought entered my mind I repented and asked the Lord to forgive me for my attitude. Who was I to judge anyone? We all have something that can easily distract and draw us away from our relationship with the Lord if we aren’t careful. Something that is for sale if we aren’t careful to guard it, to protect it.

As I thought back to that day, the Lord reminded me how easily someone can be to be drawn away from Him. That when we take our eyes off of Him, we become vulnerable and open a way for the enemy to take territory from us if we aren’t careful. Just as we have to take time and nurture our relationships with family and friends, we must also take time nurture our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus gave up everything just so we could have an opportunity to become sons and daughters of God. He died that we could live. To nurture such a valuable, precious relationship, we need to spend quality time with Him and not only seek Him, but listen when He speaks. Reading the Bible is important. It’s how we learn about everything that God wants us to know. Prayer is important. It’s how we communicate with Him. But listening is the most important thing we can do to get to know Him. To grow our relationship with Him.

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

Proverbs 1:33

To dwell safely and be secure without fear of evil…isn’t it worth taking the time to listen? God bless.