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Cold Milk and Tar

Ivegotconfidence:

Written a little over a year ago, but felt like sharing again. Hope you enjoy my little story! Don’t get stuck in the tar!

Originally posted on IVEGOTCONFIDENCE:

Doesn't this sound good on a hot summer day?

Doesn’t this sound good on a hot summer day?

When I was a kid, about seven or eight years old, I remember living in Pocatello, Idaho near a fraternity house that was on the other side of the alley.  As it happened, we lived very close to the college so to have a frat house close by was not unusual.  One particularly warm summer day, I smelled the most awful smell and when I went to investigate I can remember seeing a big machine with this steaming hot, black gooey substance overflowing and dripping down its side and some men standing nearby, their clothes stained in black as well.  I couldn’t imagine what was going on at first, but those guys sure looked thirsty!  In my little girlish mind I thought I knew just the thing that would cheer them up — a cold glass of milk!  So, I proceeded to pour two or three glasses…

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Just a quick thought for today:

God gives rest to the weary and joy for the sorrowing.  Reference is Jeremiah 31:25 New Living translation.

If you are weary today or full of sorrow, God has just what you need.  Trust and have confidence in Him to lift you up and fill you with His joy.

Blessings……

Choices

“My friend Harry taught me that.  He chose to be the best of himself.  It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.”… Spiderman 3Death of a Friend

I find this quote from the movie, spoken by Spiderman/Peter Parker about his closest friend Harry at his funeral, to be incredibly profound, and surprisingly wise.

What choices have you made that you regret?  And what choices have you made that you are the most proud?

During our lifetime, we are given multitudes of opportunities to make choices and I would challenge you today to consciously begin to make choices for right and good, and those that would be pleasing to the Lord God.

He made the ultimate choice to sacrifice His Son for us.  Could we possibly do any less for Him?

When I first sat down to create this blog, I had in mind that I would have mountains of things to say, and could “produce” a post every week, at least, that would touch the hearts of men and women and win them to Jesus in droves.  However, reality quickly set in and I realized that not only did the droves not show up, at least not yet, and my creative ability was not as creative as I had hoped, nor were my lofty goals of at least one post per week not coming about, I was left thinking that I would merely share my thoughts one at a time, once in awhile, and maybe, just maybe, one or two people would be blessed by whatever I felt led to share.

Of course, this whole venture was based on the Lord and how, over many years, He has helped me to have confidence in Him so, He is in charge and I am following as He leads, to the best of my ability.  Come to think of it, tomorrow, August 27th, 2014, will be my 46th birthday in the Lord.  On this same date in 1968, coming home from my first introduction to a Bible Study/prayer meeting, I was introduced to Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, the Creator and Keeper of my life.

Happy Birthday to Me--Thank you, Jesus!

Happy Birthday to Me–Thank you, Jesus!

It was a simple, loving group of intelligent and talented college students mostly.  We met in a home on a Tuesday night for about two to three hours where we sang, shared prayer requests, and learned about Deuteronomy 18.  For those who are not familiar with this passage from Scripture, it has to do with God’s perspective on astrology, mediums, the occult in general.  I remembered this Bible study distinctly because for several years, I had fancied myself as having somewhat of a clairvoyant gift, and had been fascinated by this subject and anything that was “stranger than science” for some time. 

For a first time Bible study goer, this study couldn’t have been better designed for me if I had designed it myself.  There was much very interesting discussion with lots of other scriptural references, but the gist of the whole study was that God has a very strong displeasure for the whole subject of the occult and considers it an abomination.  I have to say, I was a bit stunned because I was not expecting this.  I was under the impression these were gifts from the Lord and was to find out that they are merely forgeries to God’s true gifts from 1 Corinthians 12-14.  Fortunately for me, my whole motivation in life is to honor and please the Lord, so once I heard the Truth in the Word of God (which I never would have found on my own I suspect), I was willing and eager to give it up immediately.  Ok, so now what do I do?

On the way home from the meeting, my soon-to-become-mama-in-the-Lord, Lynda, shared the basics of what Jesus did for me and how I could know Him personally.  Although I had been in a Methodist church for years with my parents, I never heard the Truth shared with such simplicity.  Being the shy person that I am, scaredy cat actually, I declined her generous offer to pray with me right there in her car, but once inside my home it all came out in a two word prayer, “God help!” 

Certainly not pretentious, wordy, or full of embellishments, but it did the trick!  I didn’t feel any differently exactly, but I knew that I had touched the Throne and had been heard by Somebody.  As the days, months, and years progressed, I learned more and more about this Jesus and what He did for me that night. 

I’m sure there are many of you out there who don’t know Jesus, other than hearing His Name as a swear word, or worse, but I can attest firsthand that He is real, He is loving, kind, gracious, ever present, and is the only source of Hope and Peace in this world.  He is Healing, Mercy, Provision, and so much

more.  If you need any of these things, reach out to Him.  He’s already reached out to you from the Cross.

As always, if I can be of any help to direct you to Him, please don’t hesitate to ask.  It would be my honor and privilege.

God Bless!

  

Once again I have run across an encouraging post that I think is worth sharing.  As we see our world crumbling before us, and the results of people’s mindsets running amok, it’s good to remember that we can change things in our little part of the world by focusing on the Word of God which never changes and is always there as an anchor when we start to sink.

When our thoughts are right, our speech will be right, and consequently our actions will follow suit.  It all starts in our little noggins!

 

Breaking Strongholds

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”

(2 Corinthians 10:4, NKJV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Scripture tells us that there is a battle going on in our minds. Our thoughts dictate our actions. That’s why the enemy will do everything he can to get you thinking in the wrong direction. Sometimes, it’s not our own thoughts that are holding us back; sometimes it’s that we’ve believed the negative things that other people have spoken. Those words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they’ll take root and become reality.

In life, there will always be people telling you what cannot be done, speaking negative things. Too often we latch on to those negative words and develop what the scripture calls a “stronghold.” That’s a wrong thought or action that keeps us from God’s best. The way you break those negative strongholds is by rejecting the lie, forgiving the person, and embracing the truth of God’s Word. In other words, you have to choose to delete that negative file in your mind.

Today, why don’t you take inventory of your thought life? Ask yourself, “Where did these thoughts come from? Do they line up with what God says about me?” Break the negative strongholds and embrace God’s truth so you can be all that God has called you to be!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I choose to reject negative thoughts. I choose to reject lies from the past. I break every stronghold through the power of Your Word and embrace Your truth which sets me free in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Ivegotconfidence:

Here’s a story about a good friend of mine and my daughter’s that I’d like to share with all of you. If you feel like going the extra step, as I have, and contributing to Dani’s special fund, please do. But most importantly, please Pray for Dani. Remember, that at any given moment on life’s journey, we all need each other to lend a helping hand. Give forward in any way you feel you’re able, wherever the opportunity arises. Trust me, God will bless you for it.

Originally posted on bellesmots2000dotcom:

Yep, I’ve been mostly mute this week. There were multiple things taking place that threw me off my emotional equilibrium. I tend to hunker down and ponder and analyze until I feel level again. ;)

One of those events I want to share with you here, today. For the purposes of this blog, I AM ACTUALLY USING REAL NAMES! I know, shocking.

When I lived in AZ, I met and was befriended by an amazing woman named Shonda. We were co-workers and friends, and grew to become like family. She was with me when I found I was pregnant with Maddie, she coached me through Maddie’s labor, and – due to a completely crazy scene at the hospital – she DELIVERED Moses’ head. The nurse made it for the rest of his body. Haha. Shonda often teased me that I needed to have a third child, so she could just…

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Come On In — Let’s Dance!

DWTS week 8 - Meryl and Maks - Rumba

DWTS week 8 – Meryl and Maks – Rumba

Derek Hough and Amy Purdy -- Tango

Derek Hough and Amy Purdy — Tango

 

Ok.  So…I have to admit that I have become a Season 18 Dancing With the Stars junkie.  Since my cable company removed the weekly programs from their “On Demand” menu a few weeks ago, I have resorted to watching the various cast members’ dance routines on Youtube — both on my computer and on my phone.  I could spend hours watching them all, and then I discovered there are gazillions of interviews from the after show as well.  I’m in heaven.   Well, not really, but I do enjoy all that stuff.  I think I’m starting to feel like a stalker.  Juuuussst Kiddding!

Alright, enough about me.  Is there anyone else out there who loves to watch this stuff like I do?  The idea of dance to express oneself, to dance skillfully, seemingly effortlessly is just an exhilarating feeling, I would imagine.  It makes me smile just to watch them create magic for all of us in the television audience.  I literally sat with a big, goofy grin on my face every Monday night throughout the entire season!

There were times of fun, comedic dance routines, some were dramatic, some romantic, but it was all there.  Anything you could ask for.  And I think this season, more than any other, was not so much about the end goal of winning the Mirror Ball Trophy, but the life journeys, lessons learned, personal growth of each of the participants, the relationships forged with all of the cast members and celebrities.  You could actually feel that they were all pulling for each other to be successful.  A very uplifting season.

Ok, that’s great on TV and for professional entertainers, but how does that correlate to the “real” world?  I mean we actually live 24/7 with our own warts, failings, short comings, inability to dance through this life as successfully as we would like.  And, let’s face it.  We have an end goal so much greater than the “plastic” Mirror Ball Trophy!  Our end goal is eternal life, Heaven, Jesus.

One of the things I have come away with while watching Dancing With The Stars this particular season is that the overall feeling of the show seemed to have changed from previous seasons.  There were several cast changes that might have helped and there seemed to be a more positive outlook altogether.  The pros and celebrities all seemed to be more open and able to express their real frustrations, to show themselves as real human beings with the same issues we might have under the same pressurized situations.

Candace and Mark -- Fox Trot

Candace and Mark — Fox Trot

 

How does that relate to those of us mere mortals?  Most of us already know that in order to have a more successful life in general, we must get rid of negative influences in our lives, which may include changing or eliminating certain groups or individual people from our sphere of influence.  Certain activities we participate in may be harmful and are keeping us from being positive and ultimately having success in our lives.  Our own attitudes of cynicism, prideful arrogance, anger, skepticism, unbelief, and so forth must be first recognized and then eliminated if we are ever to make good progress in our lives.  This is definitely true for the Christian.

Our Heavenly Father says we are to walk by faith, just like He does.  What does that entail?  Wow..what a question!  In part, I think it means that even if we don’t understand, we are willing to trust, have confidence in, rely on His love for us to bring what He has already said in His Word to pass in our lives.  As if it’s already happened.  Because, in reality, in the spiritual realm, it already has.

How to walk by faith is sort of a loaded question, but really it’s just a matter of trust.  Just like on DWTS, the celebrities are trusting their pro partner to teach them step by step and they learn to have confidence in them to catch them during a trick or a lift and to help them make it look effortless and beautiful to all who are watching.  Yes, it takes hard work and much time and effort, but the end result is so worth it!

Have you ever thought about dancing with God?  The Grand Ballroom is waiting…full of angels and those who have gone on before us to watch as you glide effortlessly across the golden floor with Him.  He will catch you, He will help you.  After all, He lovingly created you.

Come on in to the Ballroom.  Let’s dance!

I Love You Mom!

Ivegotconfidence:

These words are still true 2 years later, RIP Mommy. I love you!

Originally posted on IVEGOTCONFIDENCE:

Esther Z, my little momAs her time on this Earth draws ever closer to an end, and her eternal life with Jesus and all that have gone before her comes ever closer into view, I would like to take a moment to share my little Mommy with all of you.

She has been very brave in the last few years to endure sickness and disease, Alzheimer’s, which has left her memory rather frayed and confusing to those of us who still have some semblance of reality left, and the burden of being alone without the love of her life for so many, many years.  She is now closer than ever to being with him and all her family and friends who have gone on before, even as we speak.

However, one of the bravest things she has tackled over the years, in my view, was to take on the responsibility of raising a child…

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Let’s Speak Life!

What kind of fruit is your tongue producing?

What kind of fruit is your tongue producing?

I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but does it seem that an awful lot of people are talking problems, theirs or others, and there’s not a whole lot of folks talkin’ positive, let alone about real, solid solutions?  It’s so easy to talk smack, denigrate others, let out frustrations vividly, but that never helps to make the situation better, does it?  If anything, it makes things a whole lot worse!

Recently, I had yet another occasion to witness the damage words can cause by folks not paying attention to, or not caring, what they’re saying out loud, this time in a work environment.  The situations are still a bit in flux, feelings were hurt, people got into trouble, work flow was interrupted, and although I think everything will be ironed out with a minimal amount of real damage, it brought home the fact that our words are powerful.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who love it will eat the fruit of it.  That’s not terribly reassuring, depending on which side of the proverb you’re on.  If I’m speaking death (negative words), I’m in BIG trouble!  What I find interesting is that an honest-to-goodness king is aware of the power his tongue has over any given situation and is willing to write about it and warn others.  Of course, he was the wisest of kings, so I guess God knew that was one thing we needed to be advised of.

James warns us again in the New Testament (James 3:6) that our tongue is a fire!  Well, THAT can’t be good!!  It may be a small member, as he says, but it can act like a rudder on a ship or a bit in a horse’s mouth, and head you in an area you may not want to go.  And he goes on to say that we speak blessing to God, yet curse our fellow men and women that He created.  Not good at all!

fireObviously, there is a bit of a disconnect when we communicate with each other everyday.  We must somehow become more aware of the things we talk about, share with others, comments, jokes, frustrations, etc.  Paul is pretty clear in Ephesians 4:29  “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  Even though we’d like to do whatever we want, and in the last 20 or so years we’ve become more self-centered in that regard than ever before, that isn’t what we were created for.  God had a better plan and it entails, drum roll please………..loving one another — enough to where we care about how we communicate with others and really speak the truth in love.

Now, I have to say, it’s not easy to do — especially in the society we live in today where God is mocked, Christians are made fun of, every song on the radio has a cuss word, or five or ten or twenty … or worse.  People are so afraid to interact with each other that they have turned to talking in texts on their “smart phones” or on social media.  But, for those infrequent times that we actually do talk to a live person, try to pay attention to what goes on in your conversation.  Do you hear them demeaning themselves or others, are they acting prideful, do they curse or speak in sensual or sexual overtones, or with obvious disregard for others as if their life is more important than their friends or co-workers, family members.  Are they basically negative?  Do you find yourself agreeing with them or speaking in the same way?  If so, maybe it’s time to read up on the tongue and find out just how God thinks your “talk time” could be better spent.  It might be a time to survey the intents of your heart as well.

And this applies to conversations in social media too.  I’ve seen the most horrific stuff on Facebook and Twitter.  Would you REALLY say that if you were in front of that person?  If so, you need an attitude adjustment, for reals, seriously!!

You know, this world may not last a whole lot longer, you might meet your Maker today, or tomorrow, or in a week or a month.  We have no guarantees as to the length of our days.  Only God knows that little detail and He usually doesn’t share it because He knows we couldn’t handle that responsibility. That said, do you really want to meet him having just blasted someone for taking your toothbrush?  Or not doing the dishes because it was their turn, darn it!? Or would you want your loved one to have to bear, for the rest of their lives, the memory of an argument, a stupid disagreement, as the last conversation you had?power of the tongue

Let’s try to pay attention to our words this week, this month, for the rest of the year, and see if we can’t shine a little light into our world.  Our words are powerful and also creative, just like God’s are.  Perhaps we can create some good things to happen just by ordering our words to be laced with encouragement, positivity, and life.  We have that power..in our tongues.  Let’s speak life for a change, huh?  What d’ya say?

 

 

 

Be a lighthouse, a beacon -- lighting the way for others.

Be a lighthouse, a beacon — lighting the way for others.

Thought I’d share a scripture with you today that really ministered to me on my way to work the other day.  I hope it encourages you to walk boldly for Jesus in this world with a new attitude.

“….work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).  [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.  Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, …..”  Philippians 2:12b – 2:16a  The Amplified Version

For those of us who have met and fallen in love with Jesus on a personal level and dedicated our lives to Him and received Him into our hearts as Lord, Savior and Soon Coming King, these words should spur us on to repentence from acting like the world does, and thinking we can get away with it.

Yes, Jesus was and is loving, kind, caring, merciful and all that stuff, but He also prayed for guidance and boldness to do what was right when it was time to “throw the bums out” for desecrating the House of God!  (Flashback to the scourging of the Temple where He threw out all the money changers, merchants, consumers, those buying and selling their wares inside the temple for gain.  Mark 11:15-16.)  We often think nowadays about those types of folks in our society that we would like to “throw out”, but maybe there is really more to it than that, something more personal and intimate in fact.

Whether we realize it or not, we have allowed the “bums” to desecrate His temple yet again!  WE are His temple in human flesh and on a daily basis we let such things as greed, intolerance, unholy speech (that’s a big one for a lot of folks and they don’t even realize they’re doing it!), arrogance, grumbling, complaining, unforgiveness, and other sins (bums) too numerous to mention, to saturate our lives. And that’s not even close to talking about the so-called “BIG” sins like, murder, rape, sex outside of marriage, stealing, etc.!

We have been seduced by media (social and otherwise), the printed page, our families and friends, and those ever-present evil whispers into our very ears from the enemy of our soul, and they all play a part in clouding our judgment.  Our behavior sometimes is anything but Christ-like and it is high time to THROW THE BUMS OUT!!

How?

The most obvious way to start, I suppose, is to read the Bible, New Testament especially, to find out what God expects a believer to act like.  Then, while reading, search your own heart–deeply– for areas where you may not match up.  (Don’t worry. He’s a forgiving God and He loves you tenderly, more than you could possibly imagine.  He’s also waiting to forgive you, if you will ever just show up.)

Repent.  You may think, after reading how God wants us to behave, that you’ve gone too far.  You haven’t.  But, if you will take this step of repentance, He can help you to do better.

Resolve to consciously work on the areas that God points out to you.  When you feel tempted by the “bums” to swear at someone, or get into a heated political argument (so common nowadays at least), turn away, tell them “Jesus loves you and He has everything under control.  I’m trusting Him to bring His will to pass in my life and to take care of all of us.”  When you are offended, vow to take that forgiveness road instead of harboring the “grudge and hate bums”.  They are dangerous, deadly and out to ruin your life.  As Joyce Meyers talked about in a conference years ago, once they have been thrown out, don’t let them try to talk you into inviting them back into your life “just for a cup of coffee and a nice chat”, because they will try, trust me!

We’ve allowed the spirit of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and money changers (“bums”) to take root in our lives for so many years that it is hard sometimes to see that they are even there, but I assure you they are.  You see in the news, both on TV and the internet, stories involving “Christians” who are really behaving badly and sullying the name of Jesus.  Although the Bible tells us this is going to happen in the end times, it still saddens me to the core.  WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HIS REPRESENTATIVES FOR GOOD ON THIS EARTH!  We should be different from the world, but many times, we are just like everyone else.

It is time to be the beacon of light, the light on a hill, the salt of the earth!  I encourage you to throw out the bums in your life and live for Jesus with renewed vigor!  He is worth whatever energy you will expend in telling those bums they can’t stay in your temple any longer.  If you will trust and lean on Jesus, you will be successful! God bless you!

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