Saturday, December 12, 2009

Squeezing Lemons

As I pondered the lemonade award. I thought of how each of us have or are experiencing lemons in our lives. That makes us understand each other. We are all in some way kindred spirits.What do we do with all the lemons? Do we allow them to rot in our midst or do we make lemonade and share it with others. As I pass this lemonade award to each of you, I pray you will make lemonade and share it with the less fortunate around you. Let's not allow a single lemon to rot and stink up our lives! Get to squeezing, dear friends. Take all the "yucky stuff" in your life and make lemonade!
Squeezing lemons,

1 Thessalonians 5:23

May God Himself, The God Of Peace, Sanctify You Through And Through.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Holiness makes the soul like a field or garden of God, with every kind of pleasant fruit and flower, and each one delightful and undisturbed, enjoying a sweet calm and the gently and refreshing rays of the sun.
~Jonathan Edwards

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Heavy Responsibilities

"A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! my daughter is suffering terribly . . .' "
Matthew 15:22

Have Mercy On Me?
What is this woman saying? Her daughter is suffering terribly, yet she asks for mercy for herself. How can that be? You see, caregivers need mercy too. They walk the fine line between care-giving and care-taking. They try to adjust to living under permanent stress without giving up hope for healing and change. They face terrible reality every day, and they consciously, purposely fight to maintain a level of faith in order to survive.
Are you a caregiver? Have you sought answers and healing for someone in your care with no results? Perhaps you are one of a growing number of people sandwiched between elderly parents and the needs of your children. Are you pressured by the pain of someone near to you? If so, it's perfectly appropriate to pray for yourself and ask for mercy.
Ask for His mercy, and expect His grace.

Questions for thought:
Do you know a caregiver who could use a friend? Could you be that friend?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Never Good Enough

"And Jacob . . . finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah."
Genesis 29:28,30
The Leah Legacy
Imagine Leah's sadness. She always lived in the shadow of her lovely and charming sister, Rachel. Unloved, unappreciated, unwanted, will this be Leah's only destiny? Is doomed to this painfully existence all her life?
There are women who feel like Leah, who live her legacy every day. For those afflicted with the "Leah Legacy," there is hope. God wants you to know:
1 He remembers you and does not ignore your needs. (Psalm 9:12)
2 Only He can and will supply all your needs. (Isaiah 58:11)
3 He gives strength to your just when you need it. (Psalm 29:11)
4 He promises to wipe away all your tears. (Revelation21:14)

Question for thought:
Who loved you enough to die for you?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Do It Yourself Trap

"So she said to Abram, The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife."
The Sarah Syndrome
Sarah loved Abraham. Her marriage was built not only on love, but on respect and partnership. Where he went she went, not as a shadow, but as a strong influence. By his love and respect for her, we can see that Sarah enjoyed an equality with Abraham that was rare for a woman in her day. But like so many capable women, she developed a set of symptoms that, when left unchecked, only lead to trouble. When we do so, we will find ourselves living with the sour consequence of a do it yourself life and will be lift like this.
1 Impatience.
2 No understanding of divine delay.
3 Jumping to the wrong conclusions.
4 Devising an alternative plan to "help" the promise along.
5 No satisfaction.
6 Complaining.
7 Shifting the blame.
8 Making the best of a bad situation.

Now lets take this and turn it around for the better. Sarah's way of overcoming her do it yourself syndrome.
1 She heard a word from the Lord. (Genesis 18:10)
2 She realized God moves in His time, on His terms, in His way, for His purposes. (Genesis 21:1-2)
3 She submitted to God.
4 She used wisdom in dealing with unbearable situations. (Genesis 21:8-9)
5 She asked for justice. (Genesis 21:10)
6 She experienced freedom/ (Genesis 21:14)
Question for thought:
Name one time when you took things into your own hands and ended up with sour consequences?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Overwhelmed By Circumstances

"Don't call me Naomi, she told them. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty... The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."
Ruth 1:20-21
The Mara Misery
Naomi was all alone, far from home, and feeling' blue. Her life was quite a change from ten years before, when she and her husband took their two sons and set out for Moab and the chance for a better life! For ten years the dream was working. Then tragedy struck, and her whole life crumbled.
When Naomi's circumstances became more than she could handle alone, she wanted family, she wanted to go home. Naturally, many of us turn toward home when we are overwhelmed by trouble. Whenever circumstance threatens you, whatever bitter experience intimidates you, remember this: You too have a Kinsman Redeemer. Jesus has already paid that price for you.
Bitter experiences that harass you will become sweetness as He touches them with His mercy. The pain that has dominated your life and affected your decisions must subside when embraced by His comfort and love. Let Jesus redeem not only you, but the hard places of your life.

Question for thought:
What circumstances are crushing your joy?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Assaulted by the Devil

"Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means."
Luke 8:1-3
The Magdalene Malady
Meet Mary outgoing in public, miserable in private. She was a woman of influence, a woman of position and means, and yet she was troubled by assaults of the Devil. Something much stronger had control of her. Mary was demon-possessed. Seven demons had attacked and invaded her, then drove her without mercy, so that she lived in a personal hell. Then she met Jesus and her whole life changed. Mary the tormented became Mary the triumphant.
We need not attribute every cross moment, every sinful or compulsive action to Satan or to demons, though as Christians we do believe there are dark influences around us. But perhaps you, too, enjoy good standing in your church or community while living each day in your own personal hell.
Well there is good news. The same Jesus who freed Mary can free you. The freedom Christ offers turns victims into victors. You no longer have to be known by the battles you fight, but by the victories you win.

Questions for thought:
How has Christ touched your life? What difference has that made?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our God is in Control~Enjoy!

Steven Curtis Chapman

Thank You Sitka