You’ll Never Stand Alone

There are times that you face choices in your life; spiritual and physical.  There are times when no one, but you,  can make that choice. No one can really understand the minute details that inform the decision, so no one else can truly make the right decision for you.  Fiddlesticks! but those are hard decisions….

There are places in life where you can do nothing, but get alone with God and make your petitions known. Then, it is time to be still and wait for his guidance.  Sometimes, it’s leading you away from your place of prayer to a place of action.  Sometimes, it leaves you in prayer for years. Sometimes, you are left wondering, “What is God’s will for me in this?” Best to just stay in prayer till you know.

Sometimes, it seems there are no real “good” choices to make; between a rock and a hard place.  Often we get in these hard places because of prior decisions we have made – never easy to admit that, is it?

The thing is, I’ve found, there are times that you have felt the hand of God touch your heart, and no one else may ever understand when you need them to.  Those closest to you may think you’ve lost your mind and are making a decision that will hurt you.  The only people who really need to know your reasons and stance are those that matter – not the rest who assume they know the deal and make judgements based on nothing at all but their own opinions. Pay little heed to those voices! Trust the voice of your consciousness. Trust the voice of the Spirit, as He guides you.  Get alone with the Shepherd and listen to really hear Him.

Then, the other voices don’t really matter.  People will have their ideas, opinions and beliefs.  As long as you know that you walk with the One who called you, and you seek to please Him and He alone – who cares what others think?!  Time will tell the tale. Sometimes, time doesn’t tell all the details, the ins and outs and hidden things of man, but time will tell.

In the rough times of life, no one and I mean NO ONE, really gets what it is for you to go through it. They won’t because they haven’t lived your life, endured your experiences. Still, remember this: you are not alone. There is One who has promised to go with you – even to the end of the earth.  Even if those who have promised you many things never fulfill their words; there is one who will never be slack to keep His word of love, faithfulness and companionship to you.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God….  the rest will all fall away.

 

There Is A Cause

This story was recently relayed to me.

The Pastor’s wife of a church saw a young woman praying and emotional in an altar call service.  This young woman was new to the church and was moved by the Spirit of God to go forward and pray.  The Pastor’s wife went to her to encourage her to accept Christ and to pray for her.  The young woman believed in God, but when asked if she would go to Heaven if she died responded, “What is Heaven?”

In her early 20’s this young American woman did not know what Heaven was.  There is a cause.

Recently, i asked a group of middle schoolers to write down how often they attended church.  Upon reading their papers, i was somewhat shocked to see one boy had written, “I have never been to a church.”   It startled me.

There is a cause.

As strange as it may seem to some of us who have grown up in and around churches, there are still even in America those who have never heard of the glories of Heaven or heard of Jesus Christ, who is able to save them from their sins.

My friends, there is a call from Heaven to all who know Christ to share Him. There is a call from the hurting, lonely hearts here on earth to you who have the answer the whole world needs. 

It has been said so many times, your life may be the only Bible some people ever read.  Are you ashamed to show the glory of the Gospel through your life and words? Then, let me introduce You to Jesus. There is a cause.

Take These Wings and Learn to Fly

It has been 15 years since i graduated from high school.  Some things stay with you. 

Room E-22 has stayed with me. 

The melodies and melodramas.

Mr. Rod Witte and his, “Leave the rest of the world at the door,” philosophy.

I am continually amazed at the lyrics, haunting melodies and lessons that have come back to my heart and mind through the years.  Praying recently, a particular song came back to remembrance.  Soon, i was remembering the building we sang it in, how i was so nervous about hitting some of the notes, my desire to truly convey my heart felt connection with the song and even the boy i had a crush on at the time.  But, whatever.

The point is this:  i find when a song does good for my heart, it will do the same for someone else.

That’s exactly what this song is about; sharing the lessons of living with someone else to help and encourage them.  It’s a musical enactment of the “older women teach the younger women.”  So, maybe that means i was once younger and now i’m getting older…. maybe not.  I wanted to share it with you though.  If you were in a school choir anytime during the last 20 years it may be quite familiar to you since it seems to be standard choir repertoire

What Lurks Beneath Your Water?

Recently, i had a conversation with a friend concerning the Christian perspective on sin and sinners. A statement was made that i realized was very true. Often, in Christianity we tend to take a harsher view on those who are blatant sinners than we do on those who are religious sinners.

Consider the snap judgements we make:

A woman comes in to your church and is dressed like she just left the hotel she works in by the hour (if you know what i mean.) As she sits her micro skirt lifts to the point of obscenity and you see needle marks and tracks. You see a sinner that needs to believe that Jesus can save her from her sins and must accept Christ’s work to be liberated from her bondage by sin.

Now, unless she prayed for salvation in the recent past before your seeing her; chances are you’re correct.

This young woman was brought out to church by a lady that has been coming for over 5 years. Let’s call her Minnie. Minnie always looks so nice and is so much fun at church ice cream socials. Minnie teaches the pre-school Sunday school class. You really like her.

What you don’t know about Minnie is that she habitually gossips at work; from which she regularly takes home small office supplies for use in Sunday School.

Her “stories” have hurt more than one co-worker. Even though they were later proven inaccurate, Minnie says she was just passing the information on. Minnie also pays only 6.5 percent of her increase in her tithe, while professing she pays 10 percent. She reasons that the rest is okay to go to her favorite charity, being that it is a good work also. She sometimes admits that her deeds and words are in violation of God’s Word. She is quick to say that such in others is carnal and sinful. But, as time continues, the guilt she feels after a particularly stirring church service fades away as she continues her subtle practices.

Now, the crux of the discussion was this; which is the sinner? Understanding that we are not perfected in the flesh at the point of salvation, but are a work in progress, at what point do we call sin, well, sin? Often, we are so lenient in calling sin for what it is in the life of those we know and care about. Often we file them under the category of “battles”.

It is always easier to what lies above the water. It is often difficult to tell what rocks are beneath the surface of the ocean until the tide goes out and they are revealed.

My mother learned this lesson the hard way recently. We were going out to a rock formation in the Pacific Ocean. The tide was coming back in fast and covering the sand barrier that lead out to the rock. I jumped up on a boulder and let the tide wave in around my ankles. My mother, ever cavalier, continued to run. What she couldn’t see was that a few feet in front of her the sand reef fell away and there were large boulders in its place.
Falling into the water she cuther leg and narrowly missed hitting her face on the edge of a rock not clearly visible.

This is often the case with the human soul. When all the rocks are visible, the sin is evident, one can readily identify the dangers. Yet, sometimes the foundation of sand that you know is there is washed away to dangerous pitfalls. The appearance of a religious life, like the covering tide, is sometimes the perfect cover for the pitfalls and boulders lying where the eye cannot see it.

So, then, again – who is the unbeliever? The woman who has become tired of her sin and is looking for a reality in serving God, through the blood of Jesus Christ? The one who professes Christianity and lives a very religious life, yet, does not believe that God is able to truly free them?
It is said the one who will not submit to God is guilty of the sin of unbelief.

A popular quote states, “To thine own self be true.” In considering this conversation later i realized i have done just such in my judgements of others. But, rather than focusing on what is going on in others lives, should I not tend to my self? Should i not be certain that the little foxes that would destroy the fruit of my own soul be purged?

“To my own self be true.” Let me be tender to those who need me. Let me judge rightly the spirits, so I may guard my heart. Let me be careful with introspection, so as not to glaze over my own needs for a Saviour. Let me be tender to the guiding of the Holy Ghost that i may be found spotless through the cleansing of the blood, at my Saviour’s return.

When Peace Like a River Attendeth My Way

I have a quote (which i believed was anonymous) at the end of most of my emails. Recently, i learned where the quote actually came from.  I also learned that i got it a bit mixed up on my email.  The quote is commonly credited to a “Souza Barros”; i  have yet to find out just who that is, the only literary work of said Barros that I found seems to be in Italian. Anyhow….

A-hem!  … and i quote:

“Dance like no one is watching,
Love as though you have never been hurt before,
Sing as though no one can hear you,
Live as though heaven is on earth”
— Souza Barros
 
Until today – i never even knew that last line existed.  I cannot tell you the peace it brought to me to read it.   There are many quotes that have stuck in my head to strengthen me over the years – being the literary goose that i am.  This one never really goes away though.  It is able to be applied to any situation i have found myself in.  That last line though- what a line. My thoughts after reading this went something like this:
Live as though Christ is right beside me; strengthening, guiding, correcting.
Live as is expected of a King’s Kid.
Live as though the promises of Heaven are yours now; no tears or sorrows, the blessings of my Father, an abiding love.
Live as though i can see the face of my Saviour ever before me.
 
I dance when i’m alone.  okay, so i get caught dancing a lot when i’m not so alone too.  I sing constantly.  I refuse to ever stop loving.  I just believe when you choose to truly love someone, even if they do not return that love. A friend will always be a friend, even if they are not always treated with friendliness.   Then, we come to it… “Live as though i can see my Savior’s face. Live as though I am perfectly kept by His abundant promises.  Live to the full potential of my birthright.   Live as though my Father knows me and loves me. Sublime.  Serene.  Secure.
 
 

Have You Been Here? I Am.

A remark came to me that I seemed a bit down.  No, not down, though gravity has taken its grimy little hands and given a strong tug on my myo-facial muscles over the past few years.  Just, been trying to keep my shovel in the hands it belongs in.  When you truly love someone, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let them make their own way.  You can’t live for anyone but you.  Maybe this sounds like a stream of incoherent babbling… maybe it is.  But, if you have ever loved someone and had to watch as they made their own decisions, that you knew would hurt…. then, you know what I’m trying to say.

This song was one I heard as a child.  I was in middle school when the high school performed the play, “Friends Forever”, by Michael W. Smith.  It’s been in my heart for all these years.  I would have uploaded me singing it, but lucky for you, I can’t at the moment.

Got Recipes?

We could use your help building our Culinary Adventures pages.  Do you have a great recipe you discovered one day while trying to use the odds and ends left in your refridgerator?  Maybe, your mom had a great dish she made and passed on to you?  Email your recipes to us:  thecookiegirl@live.com

Today, we added a gluten-free brownie recipe that really defies the notion that gluten-free is taste free.  Check it out and then send us yours!

Gooey Gluten-Free Brownies

Gooey Gluten-Free Brownies