Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
If you have found your way here from my devotion published today at Proverbs 31 Ministry (click here), thank you for stopping by. We open our door wide and say "Welcome!" I pray you are refreshed here. "...refresh my heart in Christ." Philemon 1:20
Today's devotion, "The Guest List", is a practical application of "godly guest list etiquette" from Luke 14:13-14 that the Lord put on my heart several years ago. Just as the Master invites us (the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind) to dine at the King's table of eternal life, we can extend His love to others (who are poor, crippled, lame or blind) through the blessing of receiving an invitation. Ministering to His "least of these" by opening the door to your heart and home honors Him. "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31
Your invitation and hospitality can soften hurt and hardened hearts to hear and receive the Gospel of God's love. God does not want any to perish. He desires that His house may be full. As you invite unsuspecting guests to be your guests of honor, be sure to share the Gospel of Christ with them as the main course. May they be seated and feast at the King's table forever! "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love him?" James 2:5
Sharing your heart, hospitality and home is a wonderful way of splashing others in God's gracious love. For a little fun here on Thanksgiving, I'd like to give the gift of Karen Ehman's book "A Life That Says Welcome" to one visitor who leaves a comment! What do you do on Thanksgiving? What's your favorite part of the meal? Who are you looking forward to seeing most? Have you invited any "guests of honor" to join your gathering? Answer one of these questions in your comment (be sure to include e-mail or contact information if it is not in your blogger profile). The recipient of the gift will be announced in a few days!
Do you feel crippled or lame today? The King is inviting you to come and dine with Him. He will renew, restore and refresh you. Open wide the door to your heart and receive His invitation. "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jeremiah 31:25
"Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." Luke 14:15
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:1-5
Monday, November 23, 2009
The door was locked, but the bread baker opened it for me to come in and purchase some bread for special guests. In turn, I shared the Lord with Him, and our family is praying that he opens the door of his heart and welcomes in Jesus, the Bread of Life. (If you haven't read the post about this pre-dawn God appointment and would like to, click here: "Bread of Life - Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Style!")
Two Thursdays ago, our cherubs and I returned to the bread shop to give the baker some gifts: The "Love and Respect" book and workbook for he and his wife from Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs, and a "Jesus Calling" devotional by Sarah Young for his wife from me. I have never met his wife and didn't know her name until I dropped off the gift for her, but I sense that she has been praying for her husband to turn his heart to the Lord. We were humbly blessed when the Lord put it on our hearts to give these gifts founded in Truth. We have the humble privilege of watering the seeds already planted. The door of the baker's heart might be locked, but Jesus is knocking and He wants to come in! And look what was the first thing the Lord gave when He went through that locked door: PEACE!
This year, I have felt an urgency in my heart to pray for family and friends who don't know the Lord or who are not abiding in Him. I have asked the Lord that, even if the doors of their hearts are locked, He will knock loudly and unceasingly and that they will open wide. I am fervently asking the Lord for their salvation. I have prayed for others to come into their lives and share the Gospel with them, too. Jim and I have shared it for years, yet I sense the Lord will use others to water and bring forth His harvest. I am so thankful for the others He will use. I am praying He surrounds those for whom we are praying with saints who speak His truth in love.
What a sweet, sweet blessing it was for me to bring the baker these gifts. God gave us the privilege of watering seeds in the baker's life, just as I am praying for Him to have others water seeds we have planted for years in the lives of those whom we love. May they open wide the doors of their hearts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of salvation. "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." Romans 1:16
He is our hope. The doors may be locked, but Jesus can still come in! This has been my prayer this year. And here, just as God often does, He gave me a real-life illustration (through the bread baker) of how He is opening locked doors! May it be so!
I'll keep you up-to-date on the baker and his wife. Please be praying for unsaved family and friends.
And to my friend, Gina, who I didn't even know reads this blog, thank you for the war veteran ministry information you sent me in the mail to give to the baker. We are going back to the bread store this week and will give him your gift! Thank you for responding to God's nudge on your heart and for reaching out in His love to the baker! God is using you to water and encourage! You blessed my heart, friend.
"But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out." Acts 5:19
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11:9-10
Friday, November 20, 2009
One thing the Lord impressed upon my heart early in our marriage was to always remember that my husband was and is my brother in Christ first. Jim and I are God's children first. God then brought us together beautifully as husband and wife.
This true perspective of our relationships with God and each other brings an immediate reverence for God and for my husband. If I look at him only as "my husband", I can become entitled and self-righteous. Tapping my toe with hands on hips, I could begin to make selfish demands, spoken and unspoken. This is damaging. I genuinely love and respect my husband deeply, yet my sin nature can be destructive if my heart is not yielded to the Holy Spirit. I want to be the wise woman who builds her house, not the foolish one who tears it down with her own hands. "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)
To read the rest of this post, please go to:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As I pulled up to the bread shop, all the inside lights were on and I could see the bakers working. The sign on the door indicated that the shop opened at 7 AM. It was only a few minutes after 6 AM. Ugh. What to do?
I bashfully, but hopefully, got out of my car and walked up to the door. Knock Knock Knock. The bakers looked up and read my smile, which said to them, "Can you please open the door for me?" Because I frequent the shop with my cherubs, the bakers chuckled at my familiar face and said, "Are you serious?" I nodded.
One of the bakers came over and graciously unlocked the door. Here is our conversation:
Me: Two please. [Paused and prayed for God to bless this baker. Then this is what God put on my heart.] I want you to know that you are an answer to prayer this morning.
Baker: I am? Really? Me...an answer to prayer?
Me: Yes. I prayed that God would make a way for me to get some of this bread for our guests. You were the way. You are my answer to prayer today. You opened the door and welcomed me in.
Baker: [He looked sincerely moved by this, but his words reflected his wounded soul.] Look, my wife believes in God and she takes our children to Bible classes. But me, I don't pray. I am a recent war veteran. I have seen lots of ugly in this world, and...I don't know....but my way of seeing things is different than my wife's and different than yours. Being in a war...that really changed my way of seeing things.
Me: [with a lump in my throat] I am so sorry for all the ugly you have seen through war. Thank you so much for serving our country. I can understand how you would feel the way you do. But you need to know that God loves you, and His heart is grieved over the same ugly sin you have seen. Ugly is not of God. The truth is God loves you, and God even used you today to answer a prayer. [I could see his heart softening a bit.]
Baker: Thanks, lady.
Something tells me God is going to multiply the blessings of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread! We will keep you posted! Oh, and always remember to tell someone when they are an answer to prayer!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Today and tomorrow at my home church, we are hosting the live Love and Respect Marriage Conference with Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs. (I love God's timing and His always perfect attention to detail...the first "Marriage Matters" post is today...the same day as the Love and Respect Conference that has been in the works for over a year!) Emerson and Sarah teach in-depth how these two nuggets of Truth can transform a marriage....(to continue reading this post, please click here: "Titus 2 In Action"
Thursday, November 5, 2009
1. to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent: to steep tea in boiling-hot water; to steep reeds for basket weaving.
2. to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue.
3.to immerse in or saturate or imbue with some pervading or absorbing influence or agency
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
"...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
+We have a terrific group of boys on our team that work very hard all game long and conduct themselves with great sportsmanship.
+They are becoming better football players each week.
+They treat each other with respect. I have not seen any players blaming each other or pointing out errors. That is the spirit of team that we will continue to reinforce.
+We have seen incredible improvement from our many first year players as well as returning players.
+They are staying positive and having fun.
+We only had three substitutes yesterday so each and every player was tired but continued to fight against a team that was bigger, stronger and has been together since the 70 pound level - three to four seasons.
Our boys play with pride and sportsmanship and act like quality young men which we will continue to celebrate and reinforce. We have two more games, two more opportunities to fight hard, and two more opportunities to win. More importantly, we have the opportunity to continue to teach football and life skills.
This e-mail brought tears of thankfulness to my eyes. We are so thankful Joshua is able to be part of a team with excellent coaches and wonderful young men. (And the best "Team Medic" -- Daddy!)