Becky J Submitted on 2015/06/29 at 6:25 PM you are the winner of last weeks drawing!! Contact me with your address!
- Medicinally, Rose of Sharon’s flower buds contain mucilage, a gooey medicinal compound made of polysaccharides, found in most species of the mallow family. Mucilage can be used to heal burns, wounds, gastric ulcers and internal and external inflammation and irritation, such as sore throats or urinary tract infections.
2. Every part of The Rose of Sharon is edible leaves, blossoms and bark- it contains vitamin C and, Anthocyanins which are antioxidants.
3. Current studies are showing promising results with the root bark for inhibiting the proliferation of lung cancer. The root bark is used by the Chinese as an anti fungal remedy. It is also said to calm the nerves.
4. Use flowers and leaves in salads-Chop the blossoms or use whole flowers.
5. Make a tea from the leaves and flowers and drink as an antioxidant.
6. Add flowers and leaves to soups and quiche.
7. Chopped blossoms make beautiful decoration on cakes and the mild flavor blends well.
8. Opened blossoms make great dip holders- dip idea below.
9. Rose of Sharon water can be enjoyed with raw honey or used for making tea.
10. Song of Solomon 2:1 The bride speaks, describing herself as a humble meadow flower (Rose of Sharon) unfit to be in such a luxurious place as that in which she now finds herself in Solomon replies.
Rose of Sharon is South Korea’s national flower. It’s called Rose Mallow in the United Kingdom and St. Joseph’s Rod in Italy. It’s a deciduous shrub native to Asia and the name comes from Palestinian Valley named Sharon.
If you’re joining me from P31 Devotions today, welcome!
“I can’t STAND my husband. I’ve had enough. It’s over. I’m so finished
with this marriage, Sharon. I’m DONE… DONE!” She screamed as I held
the phone away from my ear. She started sobbing. I waited. I could hear
her kids fighting in the background and a baby screaming. She said,
“Sharon, can the kids and I come over right now? I need your help. I don’t
know what to do with my life.”
Everything in me wanted to say, “NO!” It was lunch time. Her kids plus
mine would be a miniature army to feed. We were renovating our house
and the kitchen was out of service. I was using my bedroom as a makeshift
kitchen. We didn’t even have running water! I couldn’t imagine feeding
her crew and mine, much less have enough ingredients for a lunch.
Without thinking further I said, “Get the kids in the van and get over here!
We’ll talk over lunch while the kids play.” I heard her phone disconnect
before I even finished the sentence.
I rummaged through a box and found oatmeal, walnuts, maple syrup and
water bottles. That’s it, I thought. We’re eating oatmeal for lunch. That’s
all I’ve got! I made it on one of those table top burners. It was the biggest
pot of oatmeal you’ve ever seen.
The bowls and spoons were covered in dust from the construction. I wiped
’em clean. A little dirt never hurt anybody, I thought to myself. My kids
came in and asked why I had so many bowls. I said, company’s coming.
Your FRIENDS! They squealed with delight.
15 bowls of piping hot oatmeal topped with butter, walnuts, milk and
drizzled maple syrup were ready! I ran outside. Pulled 15 apples off the
apple tree and sat one next to every bowl.
The house was a wreck but I don’t think she ever saw it. She had tunnel
vision. All she could see was her doomed marriage. Everyone got their
bowl of oatmeal- including the construction workers.
We all sat down on the dusty floor, bowed our heads in prayer, ate, and
talked. The kids talked. The construction workers talked. My friend and I
As she told me her story, I thought to myself, “Oh my GOODNESS! I can’t
imagine being married to this man-either!” But I wasn’t about to say it! I
let her talk for over an hour without saying a word. At the end of it all, she
looked at me and said, “Well, what do you think?”
Within my spirit I prayed and asked God to help me say only what He
wanted me to say. My flesh wrestled with my spirit- BIG TIME! Lord?!
This guys a jerk! A total JERK!
I looked into her eyes and said, “Let’s pray and ask what He thinks.”
Words rolled out of my mouth that I hadn’t planned or thought. So much
better than what my thoughts were.
The prayer was finished and she looked at me and said, “I’m going to need
a lot of prayer to get through this Sharon. Everything you said really
convicted me today. I do love him and I believe more than ever after
coming here, that God is going to turn this around and use it for our good.
She hollered for her kids. Hauled them into the van and off they went. She
went back home to her husband, the kids’ dad, the family united. They
started to love each other again…
What did I do?
Served 15 bowls of piping hot oatmeal in 15 dusty bowls on a dusty floor
and barely said a word of my own. Listened. Kept my mouth closed and
invited the Lord through prayer to lead our thoughts. He is faithful and boy
did He answer.
“Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will
be opened to you.”
Do you have a friend who’s going through a hard time with money,
marriage, kids, or their health? One you should invite over but haven’t
because your house isn’t in order? It doesn’t matter what your house looks
like or what you serve ’em! They need your help!
In the comment section below, tell me who you need to invite in one word.
Your comment will enter your name in the drawing to win a fifty dollar visa
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The grain bag was almost empty, so I reached deeply into the dark bag to get a scoop for my chickens… Suddenly something scurried up my arm sleeve! You would have thought an anaconda was in my shirt the way I jumped and screamed! Within 10 seconds a mouse jumped right out of the top of my shirt! I’m surprised we didn’t both roll over and die right there!
People love farms. I think it’s inborn. You know an innate desire deep within for “that” farm- where the grass is always green, the animals are always content and luscious organic food grows effortlessly.
Ahhh… but what people don’t see is what it takes to make “that” farm.
A diligent farmer never, ever goes a single day without working and laboring by the sweat of his brow on behalf of the farm. You have to fight for it. YOU DO! You protect its borders, maintain the fences… love and cherish it, in sickness and in health- till death do you part.
Only a farmer with this mentally has “that” beautiful, “magical” farm.
You must be willing to fight predators single handedly who come to steal, kill and destroy; like snakes eating our breakfast, foxes dragging off the chickens, or coyote’s stealing our newborn kids (baby goats).
The work doesn’t stop there. There’s poop to scoop, fields to mow, poisonous vines to annihilate, goats to milk in 0-100 degree temperatures. . . Left unattended for just a short while and you wouldn’t want the farm!
People love looking at our goats, chickens, and turkeys strutting about the farm. They love watching the fireflies dance about over the open field at night… roaming the nature paths… With dreamy eyes many say to me, “Oh this place is magical! I want a farm, just like it.” I smile and nod, thinking to myself, if they only knew the labor. Would they really want it?
A good marriage is just like a good farm.
People love good marriages, it’s innate. Everyone desires “true love.” Oh, it’s breathtaking. People flock to movies to see a powerful love story about a couple who would do anything for love. They sit with popcorn in hand, tears streaming and wish their love story was “that” one.
Just like a farm, marriages have predators that threaten “true love.” You know what I’m talking about… Something or someone that seeks to destroy you and/or devour your marriage. You’ve got to FIGHT for your marriage! YOU DO! Protect the borders. Maintain the fences. Love and cherish it in sickness and in health- till death do you part.
The work doesn’t stop there. There’s stinky messes to clean, poisonous vines (words that destroy) to annihilate… love to be lavished sacrificially. . .left unattended for one season and you wouldn’t want the marriage.
Yep… There are moments that I don’t want to farm anymore; like when a mouse runs up my sleeve and out the top of my shirt. I’m finished, I am! But in the grand scheme of things a mouse in my shirt is the very least of the costs of having “that” farm. Some things you just got to get over no matter how unnerving and press on toward the prize of the high calling.
A good marriage is like a good farm. It is a work in process that can never be left unattended- not even for one day. Luscious fruit doesn’t grow effortlessly. You’ve got fight for it. YOU DO.
I always dreamt of living on a farm. Never, ever did I think it would be so hard. But we’ve got “that” farm- where the grass is green and the animals are content. Actually, it is magical to live here but we work hard at it.
Our marriage is magical too, but we work really hard at it.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground…”
Gen 2:22-24 “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ”This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Edward our French Alpine buck. He’s famous on The Glasgow Farm.
Mulberries are the latest rage in “superfood.” Their antioxidants are 79% higher than blueberries and 24% higher than cranberries. They contain high levels of resveratrol- the super hero antioxidant. They outperform cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with its phytoactive ingredients!
In a recent article by the Journal of Infectious Diseases it proved that resveratrol decreased the reproduction of the influenza virus.
Studies have shown that eating high levels of antioxidant’s can also help protect from age disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
So, if you, your neighbor or the park next door has a mulberry tree, go get ’em!
5 cups of washed fresh or frozen mulberries (remove stems if you desire, it takes a lot of time)
*1 tablespoon elderberry elixir (if you have it!)
1 cup organic sugar & 1/4 cup water- heated in pot until sugar melts
Puree mulberries and add to melted sugar and stir well. Let chill in refrigerator for 6 hours.
Pour into ice-cream maker and follow the makers directions for making sorbet.
Let set in freezer(cure) for an hour before serving.
If you’re not into health, don’t waste your time harvesting mulberries. It takes a LOT of work. Read how we harvest.
After you harvest the fruit- you’ve got to go through and get twigs, branches, rotten and unripe fruit out. Which could take hours if you have bushels and bushels and more bushels. . .
The only people who would go through this amount of work are people who don’t have the money for superfood in the market, people who are ultra serious about their health and want to stock up or farmers who can’t let anything go to waste.
This is “today’s” harvest from one tree, we have three more trees! Yep, I didn’t take a photo of yesterday’s bounty.
The trees will keep producing high yields for the next few weeks. Well, I better stop talking and get to work! I love super hero food and Dale’s a true farmer at heart- he can’t let harvest go to waste.
I’ve come to realize that as long as I have life in this body, it will be a season to work. We have a friend on the farm helping today (Luciano) who just said, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!” Hehe, he’s a pastor and also lives life to the fullest capacity! When he has nothing left to give, God refuels him to give even more.
My husband and I take off one day of week to rest. Six days a week we go hard, really hard.
In the past month I’ve traveled and spoke EVERY week. And, we’ve hosted a wedding on our farm EVERY weekend. . .
Joel 3:13 “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow…”
We have a wedding this year EVERY weekend except August 1, Christmas and Thanksgiving! Yeah… not one wedding passes without us praying for someone or many. After praying for the bride and bridesmaids at one wedding, the word got out that my husband and I were ministers and all throughout the reception we had a constant flow of people coming to us for personal prayer. Can it get any better than that?
The work on a farm never stops. Never.
Going out now to mow grass for this weekend’s wedding. When that’s finished, I’ll finish preparing for Sunday’s speaking event in Jonestown, PA.
Have a blessed weekend! If it’s a season of work for you, I pray God gives you what you need to accomplish it all! Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
The winner of our last drawing is Karen Walker!! Contact me with your address!!
If you are visiting from Proverbs 31 devotions welcome!
Hopelessness knocks on every door, even spiritual giants. If we
succumb to the temptation to believe there is no hope- hopelessness is
given permission to rule us.
Hopelessness tempted me at a young age, but God graciously showed
me the way of escape. To this day when hopeless thoughts attempt to rule me–
I remember what I learned that day.
I had come home from school and found my mom lying on her bed in
convulsions. I called 911. On the way to the hospital I prayed that God
would save her life. Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given unto you…”
repeated in my thoughts. The rescue crew worked feverishly to get her
heart to beat. When we got to the hospital they put me in a little room
off the big waiting room. The doctor came in and told me my mom had
died on the way to the hospital.
My faith didn’t fail at this point.
The doctor took me back to see my mom. As I put my hand on her
foot, the flat line on the monitor showed a heart beat, then two. . .
She was put into intensive care, unconscious. My sisters, brother, and
I went to my dad’s house (who didn’t live with us).
I waited till everyone was asleep. I opened my Bible to II Chronicles
20. A vast battle was coming against the Southern Kingdom in Israel,
Judah. The battle was so over-powering that it would be impossible to
win. When Jehoshaphat heard of the battle- the Scripture says he
feared and sought God. He also proclaimed a fast in all of Judah.
Then, he gathered all of the people together and then started to praise
God for all He had done for them. Soon after, a prophet stood up in
the audience and said that the battle would not be their’s- but God’s.
A strategy came from heaven… The next day they put worshippers in
the front of the battle line, singing,
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
As soon as the worship started, the battle was won. Even as
a child, this charged my spirit. I read the same chapter over and over
all night, without going to sleep! I wept over this chapter, praying that
I would have the ability to live it, myself.
That morning, I got on a school bus exhausted from no sleep. I felt
hopelessness closing in on me. I didn’t know if my mom made it
through the night. What would happen to us? I thought how can I be
so hopeless when I was in His presence- ALL night??
My faith started to fail. The Lord whispered to my heart, “Will you
live it?” I prayed, “JESUS, this is too hard! I saw You do a miracle
yesterday and here I am today in total despair.”
Nothing in me wanted to worship. Absolutely nothing. I felt no
strength or power in my spirit. I was a goner. Have you ever been
there? A lifeless goner?
I stood up on the bus. I knew that in II Chronicles
20 they won the battle when they started to worship. I couldn’t sing a
lick and didn’t even know one worship song’s words! But, I was desperate to win the battle– so I started to
sing Amazing Grace (off key) and missing half the words. I noticed
There’s a lot more to the story…
My mom lived and I learned a powerful truth. Psalm 34:17-20 “When
the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all
their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the
crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the
Lord delivers him out of them all.”
To this day when hopelessness knocks on my door (and yes
unfortunately as long as we live in these flesh bodies we will have occasional hopeless
thoughts)- I remember what He calls me to do and do it!
1. Cry out to Him!
2. Worship Him!
3. Believe His Word and live it!
Hopelessness knocks on every door- even spiritual giants (Elijah, Job,
Moses, Peter…) If we succumb to the temptation of believing there is
no hope, then hopelessness is given permission to rule us. We
cannot allow hopelessness to rule- we have the key to
God graciously saves the crushed spirit- but we have a part to play.
We must do our part.
Are you in a battle? Is your faith being tested? Do you feel like a
“goner?” You’re in the perfect place for God to deliver you! Cry out to
Him. Worship Him. Believe His Word and LIVE IT!
What are you battling? We will pray for you! Your comment will enter
you to win the “Walk by Faith necklace and earrings AND Lysa Terkerust’s book- What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.
Organic Sweet Potato Flatbread
A delicious paleo flatbread that taste like heaven.You would never know it’s healthy! Every ingredient is packed with life-giving nutrients. This recipe makes 4 sandwiches, 8 flat breads. You’ll probably want to double it!
3 tabs Hazelnut flour or substitute w/Coconut flour or almond (Hazelnuts contains phytopchemicals, including proanthocyanidins, quercetin and kaempherol. These proanthocyanidins belong to a group called the flavonoids. Flavonoids support brain health, improve circulation and reduce symptoms associated with allergies)
1 envelope of Knox gelatin (largely composed of the amino acids glycine and proline- anti inflammatory)
6 tbsp baked sweet potato, mashed (one of the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom, loaded w/carotenoids, calcium, b-12, potassium, vitamins A and C…)
2 tbsp real butter (abundant in vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids, perfect balance of omega-3 and 6
2 pastured eggs, lightly beaten (said to be the world’s healthiest food)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (contains many essential trace minerals our bodies need to be healthy)
- Bake sweet potato -Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce sweet potato with the tines of a fork. Place sweet potato on a cookie sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Mash 6 tablespoons of the sweet potato.
- Mix all ingredients in bowl, except gelatin. Add gelatin last, stir well-until smooth.
- Put sheet of parchment paper on baking sheet. Spoon dough into oblong rounds 1/4 inch thick and smooth out.
- Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and peel flatbread from paper. Make second batch of flatbread.
Layer your flatbread with your favorite sandwich filling.
Today’s flatbread is layered with whipped avocado’s, smoked salmon, organic greens, tomato and red onion. Served with a colorful organic salad.
Other times I’ve filled them with organic chicken salad or bacon, lettuce and tomato. . .
Winner from last drawing is Tami who posted her comment 2015/03/17 at 9:10 AM! email me your address!
Have you ever made a plan to keep out of trouble, but instead found yourself in double trouble? Oh my goodness… That was ME- this week!
My daughter got a job 18 hours from home and needed to get there immediately. But, we didn’t have a budget for the move.
Question: Do we use credit and go into debt?
Answer: Avoid debt at ALL COSTS. Keep the goal and stay out of debt!
The Plan: Leave credit cards at home.
The plan was to pack our 2000 VW Bug and drive 18 hours straight- only stopping for gas. The plan was to get free furniture and appliances from Craigslist when we got there.
The plan was working well! We got there on $100 and slept at a friend of a friend’s house.
The next day, we wasted no time as we headed for a thrift store. It was a banner day! We got a microwave and other appliances all for just $17! We were getting pretty puffed up about our successful plan until we got back
into the car and… it wouldn’t start.
The gas gauge was at a quarter tank. Maybe the gauge is broken? We walked to the nearest gas station… bought gas. That wasn’t the problem.
We asked nearby businesses what local mechanic to call. They all said, “You’re in the hood ma’am. There’s no place we recommend.” That was not comforting!
I called our sweet new friends (who let us sleep at their house). They graciously called a tow truck and had the car delivered to a trusted mechanic. While the car was being towed, we were picked up and delivered to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
They needed a credit card with my name on it in order to rent a car. Gulp… I didn’t bring a credit card because the plan was to stay out of debt! I didn’t plan to break down! All I had was a debit card and they wouldn’t take a debit card, period.
Sternly, the manager said, “We’re closing. We’ll take you back to where you broke down.” The woman was very rude and treated us like vagabonds.
My emotions rose…
This is where I found myself in double trouble. My flesh wanted to rise up and my faith was challenged. Instantly, I recalled a verse I had read that very morning. “You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord,
that it may be well with you…” Ah, yes Lord.
“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.. . but the fruit of the spirit is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
I was very kind and gracious to her, as she locked the door. I said, “Would you accept a photo copy of one of my credit cards at home?”
She said, “Yes.” Oh thank the Lord, I thought!
The problem was that no one was at home! Rachel Moberley drove to our house, found the card, and sent a copy to me! I was approved!
The story gets good now… We didn’t just rent a car. We got a truck!
Now we had the needed vehicle to pick up free furniture! And just a few miles from Enterprise, was sitting a free couch. The people selling the couch were Christians and it was very clean. So I asked if they had a mattress or any other furniture they needed to get rid of. They said, “Yes!” After loading all the goods I asked if I could pray for them. They said, “Sure.”
I’m not sure who the car broke down for- us or them. We got all this free stuff and they were in need of prayer and God’s direction. JESUS!!!!
It had been a day. I was exhausted from lack of sleep but had made a commitment to the Lord to give Him a sacrifice of praise, prayer, and time with Him in His Word- every morning and night.
I opened the Bible to where I had left off that morning and this is what it said, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you into the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you… so that you might know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Gulp. Worship and tears sprang from my heart like a fire hydrant.
Oh Lord, may I be found faithful in the testing- even when my plans fail!
The car? It was the anti-theft processor. It took the garage 6 hours to figure out! There was also a “God set-up” at the mechanic and all the work turned out to be only $150. Although we had to have a credit card to be approved for the rental car, we were able to pay in cash without having to go into debt. Jesus, You are worthy of all my praise! What a life in Christ!
A plan that we make to keep out of trouble is quickly broken if we are merely relying on our own ability. We’re not strong enough on our own. We need supernatural strength, wisdom, and guidance from the King of kings and Lord of lords! He can and will help us through it all!
A couple of weeks ago, I made a plan to fast from complaining for 40 days. I failed on the first day! I came up with a new plan and it’s radically changing my life. Since starting this, I’ve had more breakthroughs- than
ever. Read post to read plan. It will be over on Good Friday, which is the first day of Passover.
I’m journaling everything that happens. It’s unreal!
Do you need to make a plan to keep out of trouble? What is your trouble?
Complaining, debt, gluttony, your mouth, anger, sexual sin, addiction, lack of faith, laziness, lying. . .? Tell me in one word below. I’ll pray for you!
A name will be drawn from the comments to win a Keep Out of Trouble gift set that includes: a Bible, journal for your 40 days, and a candle to remind you to keep the fire burning on the altar of your sacrifice!
It was a standoff. The biggest fox I’d ever seen… and me…
We’ve lost countless chickens, ducks, turkeys, and even a couple newborn baby goats to fox attacks. They come to kill, steal, and destroy under the guise of the dark.
They can sniff out a bountiful farm a mile away, even sending a few lead foxes to scope out the place before the attack. Then, before dusk, they inch their way closer to their prey- all the while hiding (very sneakily) so as not to get caught.
Yesterday, I took a walk on my prayer path through the newly fallen snow, with the Lord. I was marveling at each intricate snow flake, the beauty of His creation and then I saw this past summers hornets nest. “Lord thank You for this time of rest on the farm! Thank you that I don’t have to worry about poisonous snakes, hornets nests, or poison ivy!”
No sooner had that prayer been spoken to the Lord, when the biggest fox I’d ever seen stood directly in front of me. It was staring right at me! If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it was a wolf or a coyote it was so BIG! Any predator looks bigger than life when face to face, the red hair gave him away. Foxes usually come out at dusk and forage for their kill until just after sunrise. It was broad daylight–he took me by surprise!
Thankfully, I terrified him and he ran away… Then I did!
After I collected myself, I asked the Lord, “What in the world was that about?” He very gently and sternly showed me… We can never take a rest from guarding our lives from the schemes of the enemy. He is always on the prowl looking for ways to kill, steal, and destroy from what is rightfully ours.
We need to guard the perimeter of our home, family, marriage, and (figuratively speaking) our vineyard. We can never take a break from guarding our lives. If you give the enemy an inch- he’ll not only take a mile…he’ll take everything. . .
In the beginning it may be one fox, then two- then they bring their whole pack. It’s at that point, a lot is a stake…Dale has had to stay up all night waiting to capture a pack of foxes! But he got ‘em!
Isn’t that how the enemy is in our life? Comes when we aren’t watching, he’s sneaky and looks for opportunity to devour us. We have to be on guard all the time, always patrolling the borders around our home, marriages and in our children’s lives.
This morning I asked the Lord to reveal any area of my life that I’ve not guarded and have given the enemy entrance to. I asked Him to reveal any area of compromise, or sin.
My eyes were closed in prayer when I saw a set of scales—I felt the Lord whisper to my heart that, “everything I think, do, or say glorifies Me or your flesh. Weigh everything on those scales, Sharon—everything.”
Every dollar I spend… book I read… movie I watch… word I speak… every thought glorifies Him or my flesh. If it doesn’t glorify Him, it will bring compromise into my life and to the fullness of His will becoming manifest.
The little foxes will come to the most bountiful farms. Guard your borders and if you ever find yourself face to face with a fox- Having done all, STAND. He will flee if you command. Take charge, don’t let the enemy think you’re bait!
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”
Romans 16:19-20a, “For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
My 40 day fast ended abruptly before my head hit the pillow, on the first day! Yep, my plan was to… fast from complaining. I was pretty excited over the possibility of reigning all those negative thoughts… then I woke up on the first morning- and our pipes had frozen!
I stood with my blow dryer, blowing hot air on to pipes while Dale sawed huge holes out of our drywall to find where water was flooding behind walls.
The phone rang, I turned the blowdryer off. Someone was unhappy with their circumstances and were complaining- profusely… My thoughts were flailing… I got ready to stop myself because of my fast… but… then- I took the bait and went along with the complaining. How quickly my high hopes and ambition failed me!
Dale’s computer died. It wasn’t even its appointed time. It was still in its prime… Poor thing, he had to work on mine- which put me behind. My thoughts started to complain, but then I remembered- I was fasting!
That night, I had a rip roaring fire in the wood stove. I opened the door to load wood but my dog wouldn’t move. His back end pressed against the scorching hot stove door and caught fire! A large stream of dark grey smoke rose toward the ceiling. The fire alarm sounded, “Fire, Fire, Fire!” He ran. I chased him with a wet towel… He was fine. We both sat back down, by the fire. The house smelt horribly of burnt dog hair.
I said,“Lord, I failed terribly at reigning negative thoughts today. I don’t have the ability to do this in my own power. What would you suggest for the next forty days knowing my weak minded condition?”
I’d been reading in Exodus, so He spoke to me through it. I had just read Exodus 29 where Moses and Aaron were to offer a morning and evening sacrifice- an offering made by fire to the Lord of their first fruits.
I’m not a morning person and I would never choose to rise before the sun does, ever. So I decided that I would sacrifice those hours to Him. I would rise at O’dark-hundred every morning for the next forty + days to spend three hours alone with Him.
I started this past Sunday. I thought it would be impossible to get up, but He woke me before the alarm sounded. Then yesterday and today were the same — He woke me before the alarm… as if He’s excited about our time together.
The hardest part of getting up is that our house is FREEZING! We heat by a wood fire and by wee morning hours it’s just a few glowing coals left. The temperature in the house is 40ish degrees until the fire gets going. I load the wood and then we start to talk, Him and I.
It’s getting pretty exciting… How ironic that my sacrifice starts with us starting a fire together, kinda like in Exodus. The forty days will be over on Good Friday- and this year, Good Friday is even the first day of Passover! I can’t imagine what it will be like in 37 days. If you see me out and about you notice me glowing like Moses you’ll know why! His Shekinah Glory is EXPLODING!
Oh that my sacrifice be a sweet smelling aroma unto Him!
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God…”
This year, make Valentine’s Day memorable for your entire family without breaking the bank!
There’s no need to venture out to a restaurant and subject yourself to the movie theater, when you can make it even more special at home…
This past week Dale and I watched an amazing movie that I want to share with you. It’s a love story. Quo Vadis is a romantic and powerfully heart- gripping film that was created by MGM in 1951. It beautifully portrays the conflict between pagan Nero, his Rome, and early Christianity in a stirring love story between an agnostic Roman general and a Christian woman. Can you sense the tension yet?
The Apostles Paul and Peter are both characters in this moving film.
It’s directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Produced by Sam Zimbalist and adapted from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s classic 1896 novel- Quo Vadis.
It’s a three-hour movie! But, don’t worry- you won’t get bored! The first two hours are setting the scene for the final hour. Be awake and fully alert for the finale. You won’t want to miss a second. That’s the part when you’ll literally be sitting on the edge of your seat. (Oh and have a tissue or two nearby.)
Its rated PG, but there are moments that wouldn’t be good for younger children to see; Christians eaten by lions and burned at the stake as sport in Nero’s Coliseum. However, it is NOT a scene to fast forward through. It is one of the most POWERFUL moments to see on screen when the lions are unleashed into an arena full of Christians. (GULP/GASP…)
At first fear grips them. Then they start to sing and worship. The entire stadium is in awe and amazement. The scene is a testimony even to this day that we are to worship even in face of death, hardship and persecution. Oh King Jesus, help us all to worship on the hardest day of our life!
I shouldn’t say more since I don’t want to spoil anything for you. But there’s more- so much more. The love story is. . . epic.
MGM spared no cost in making this film. Thirty-thousand people were used in one scene. It is a story of immortal combat. Once a man has the zeal of
the Lord within him- the fire within cannot be quenched! He can and will endure anything for the sake of love.
A few important questions to ask ourselves…
What will I be doing when persecution presents itself? How will I choose to give glory to God even in the face of suffering?
My suggestion for Valentine’s day evening is to enjoy a homemade simple dinner at home and rent Quo Vadis from Amazon for $2.
I don’t have cable or watch television shows so my review of a movie may be different from yours but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.
Here is part of Movieguide.org summary of the movie Quo Vadis:
“QUO VADIS was made in the days when major studios like MGM were willing to invest absolute fortunes in unabashed Christian epics. It was like spending an AVATAR budget on a movie with the message of COURAGEOUS.It’s the story of the Christian martyrs in Rome contrasting gross pagan excess with Christian love and compassion. It deserves a Plus Four Acceptability for its profound Christian message but slight caution should be applied to young children because even tastefully done images of martyrdom can cause young children anxiety.
…On that road, General Marcus Viniculus (Robert Taylor) returns to Rome after conquests in Britain. Emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov) has him camp his troops outside the city and wait for a spectacular entry to provide the proper conquering hero victory procession for the entertainment of the Roman citizens.
Marcus is instructed to wait in the home of retired General Plautius, whose whole household is Christian, including Lygia (Deborah Kerr), a hostage the general adopted as his own daughter. Marcus mistakes Lygia as a slave. His bold advances show a very low regard for women. Marcus is frustrated and puzzled that Lygia is not thrilled by such an important general as himself showing interest in her. Her Christian values don’t fit his pagan concept of male/female relations.
Marcus’ victories are celebrated with a massive spectacle. Because all hostages are at the mercy of the Emperor’s wishes, Nero rewards Marcus with the gift he desired, Lygia.
Feminists who consider Christian’s attitudes about marriage to be a form of bondage should see this movie. The Romans treated women like sex objects for sale, while Christians considered women partners in having and raising a family. Nero had his wife and his mother murdered.
Peter Ustinov’s Nero is a truly disturbing character. Like Hitler he justified the senseless killing of thousands in pursuit of his own warped sense of greatness. His decision to burn Rome, so he could rebuild it as he wished, was horrific enough. He then blamed it on Christians and made a spectacle of feeding them to lions and burning them on crosses before a Coliseum full of spectators.
As Nero becomes more and more crazed, Marcus begins to see the purity of Lygia’s Christian faith and values. Also, the words of Paul and Peter ring out with moral and spiritual clarity. He decides to take a stand, but Nero sentences him and Lygia to death in the Coliseum. Only a miracle can save them.”
Valentine breakfast recipes!
The plane was jam packed- yet an empty seat was right next to me. Ahh, I profusely thanked the Lord, for only He knew how exhausted I really was. I took my boots off… laid my head back, closed my eyes and started to praise God for His graciousness.
Twenty minutes into flight a man came up and asked me, “ Can I sit here? There’s a screaming baby back there.”
What could I say? “Sure” and closed my eyes. Immediately he opened a conversation, “What was your purpose for travel this weekend?” I gave the quickest answer possible… “I was speaking at a conference.”
“Oh? What were you speaking about?” He asked. I then knew, this was not going to be a flight to sleep and replied, “I’m a Christian speaker.”
His eyes got big and a huge smile overcame his face as he pulled his face into mine, “So, you speak about Jesus?”
I said, “Yes, I do. Do you know Him?”
The smile cleared off his face and he said, “I do. Tell me what you know about him.”
I was tired and wanted to see where he was coming from so I said, “You first. You tell me what you know of Him.” While he talked, I realized that he didn’t know Him.
He then asked, “Why do you believe in Jesus? What is your proof that He is the Son of the Living God? I have read many books, and none convince me that Jesus is God’s Son.”
Instantly, Luke 24 and Acts 1:8 flashed before my mind, “You will be My witnesses. . . even unto the ends of the earth.”
I was being called to be an eye witness.
Everyone sitting around us listened. I wanted him to lower his tone- but he didn’t.He asked about heaven and hell… the purpose of baptism… the inspired, infallible Word of God… He covered all bases for himself and all those around him- on the packed airplane.
We are each called to teach them to observe all things that He commanded and He promised to be with us always even to the end of the age. GLORY. AMEN!!
When I stood up to get off the plane, passengers started to shake my hand.
People are watching and listening to
us. . . What will they hear?
Winner from last weeks drawing for Bible and earrings is Ifeoma Ayodele! Contact me with your address!
We’d been cooped inside the vehicle way too long!
The kids were fighting. Everyone starving… but the good news? We were only 10 minutes from home. Until suddenly I realized… I needed one item from the grocery store. Yeah. . .
I reassured them, “I only need one thing and I’ll be out in less than four minutes. I promise. Set the timer!” They wailed louder.
I ran in, got the one item and found an empty check out line. I was making excellent time. I would probably get back in less than four minutes. I love exceeding expectations! I grabbed my bag from the cashier and darted for the door. They could see me from the vehicle… Surely they were happy to see the plan going as I had said…
Until I got to the door…
A man laid on the floor in the doorway and the grocery store manager knelt by him. I knew my clock was ticking and my vehicle could explode if I didn’t get to them instantly… but I had to, you know… stop.
I laid my bag on the floor, bent down, and looked into the man’s eyes. He couldn’t say anything. The manager said, “We just called the ambulance. They’re on their way.” I asked the man if I could pray for him. His eyes seemed to say, ‘yes.’ The manager closed his eyes… The man on the floor and I stared at each other as I led him to the throne of God!
The next time God interrupts your plans for His- Just do it!
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Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,