Monday, April 30, 2012

New Every Morning

Ah Lord, your mercies are new each morning! 

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Irrelevance

When did I cross over the line of not just adulthood, but "older" adulthood?  It has happened so subtly that I didn't catch it at first. I sat next to a young, beautiful girl the last several days at a seminar away from my home town.  She was easy to talk to and we chatted about common interests, but then later when I asked her what she was doing for dinner that night after the meeting she said that she had family in the area and she thought they were coming for her to take her out.  The next day, however, she told me that her and another one of the ladies (young girls) in the room had gone to the mall together and out to eat as well.  I couldn't help but be somewhat hurt being as I ended up going out by myself.  I don't mean upset in that I wasn't included, in the fact that I felt irrelevant.  as in, I'm too "old."  She didn't say that, but I'm sure that's what she thought although not to my ill.. just a fact of life.  I went back to my hotel room the night before last and took a good look at myself in the mirror.  Today,  I heard her telling someone that she had graduated from high school in 2008 and I was taken back.  She was a baby.  I have one child older and one child her age exactly, so yes, I could be her mother... more than twice her age! I had thought her to be maybe 8 years or so older than she actually was... and I didn't feel so bad after all.   Because I realized, I wasn't irrelevant, I was just uncool... *giggle*


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cupecake Lessons

" And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. " Ephesians 5:2

What I love most about cupcakes is baking them and decorating them. I have several cupcake recipe books with all kinds of variations and decorating ideas. When it boils down to it though, it's not how cute and appealing they are entirely but what people think of them when they bite down into those cupcakes.

It's the appearance, flavor, and all the qualities of a cupcake combined that makes it good. There's a similarity between what makes a good cupcake and what makes our lives good as Christians.
  • Appearance
    The first thing I think we all notice about cupcakes before we eat them is their appearance. When I bake cupcakes, my kids have to look over all of them before they pick one. They usually take their time before they get the one they want and go on their way. They want the biggest, prettiest, and the one with the most icing on top.

    What do you look like as a Christian? Got your icing on just right? Are you a little lopsided? Are you showing Christ's love to others? Are you pleasing to be around? Are you bearing that fruit that we are to show in our Christian lives?

  • Smell
    The next thing I think we can tell about cupcakes when we pick them up is the smell. Do they have a particular scent? Do they have a pleasing aroma or even a burnt scent to them?

    What about you? Are you repugnant to others? Are you living your Christian life with that "sweet smelling savour"?

  • Sweetness
    As you bite into a cupcake one of the first things you are going to notice is the sweetness. None of us normally like our cupcakes not to be sweet. It's what is expected of them. If we wanted something that wasn't sweet, we'd choose some type of muffin.

    As Christians, we are expected to be sweet too. Sweetness shouldn't be something we are lacking in. We are to show Christ's love to the world and we do that by how we act and what we say. Words and actions that are not sweet don't further the cause of Christ.

  • Flavor
    Next as we bite into the cupcake, one thing we notice is the flavor. What does it taste like? Do you recognize any spices, flavors, or special ingredients? Do all the ingredients combine to make it taste good?

    As Christians we are reminded to keep our flavor as well. Matthew 5:13 says, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

    If we don't live our lives like Christians, how can the world ever tell the difference between us and those that don't know Christ? They won't be able to recognize our flavor.

  • Moistness
    While eating our cupcake, another thing that will stick out is how moist it is. There's nothing I like worse than a dry cupcake. Moisture is a vital part of how a cupcake tastes.

    As Christians, when we aren't allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us, we turn out pretty dry too. We don't accomplish anything for Christ and don't bear that fruit that we are told to bear.

  • Ease of Eating
    Cupcakes are made to be easy to handle. It's the biggest difference between a cupcake and a regular cake. You can pick the cupcake up in your hand and eat it. No forks necessary. I love cupcakes that have all those pretty decorations and I like making them that way, but sometimes it does hinder the ability to dive in and eat that cupcake.

    What about you? As a Christian, are you easy to swallow? How do your actions come across? Are you easy to be around or can you only be handled in small doses? Does your attitude get in the way?

  • Icing
    I know there are cupcakes out there that people don't ice and sometimes my husband will steal cupcakes off the cooling rack before I can get mine iced, but really it's not a cupcake to me if it doesn't have some icing on top. You can't have too little or too much icing on a cupcake. Also the icing has to be the right flavor to enhance the cake part of the cupcake.

    It is like that in our lives too. We need to have balance and some self-control. Our bodies are a temple and we have to be very careful what we allow into our lives. What are you topping your life with? Are the things you allow in embellishing you as a Christian?

  • Special Additions
    Don't you love those cupcakes that have that extra added surprise to them? Maybe it's a filled cupcake, or has something special inside such as nuts or a flavor you are not expecting. It's that extra special touch.

    How about you? Does your life have a few sprinkles or something special on top? Got any surprise fillings that you are hiding? Are you using your talents and gifts that God has blessed you with?

Conclusion:
The outcome of a cupcake all depends on it's preparation. It's the same with womanhood and even motherhood. You have to prepare yourself. What kind of batter are you going to be filled with? What kind of daughter, mother, or friend are you going to turn out to be?

For us as Christian women, there's got to be some key ingredients such as Bible study, prayer, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our batter should be all those things we depend on to help round us out and make us into those sweet Christian women that we are capable of being.

We have to allow our Creator to have control of the batter and of the oven settings or we may find ourselves dry, crumbly, and without any flavor. When we don't surrender to the Lord we can easily end up with the burnt smell of sin seeping through our cupcake liner or even come out half baked. Without yielding to the Lord's control it puts our lives in danger of running over the edges, stuck, and crusted to the pan.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Blessings - Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

(Picture from last year)

The garden now only lacks some pumpkins that I want to get planted in the next week or two.  This last fall at Thanksgiving my mother-in-law brought two of the cutest, big, round and flattish pumpkins for decorations.  They were white with super orange innards. Later I canned the pumpkin meat and saved all the seeds, so I'm hoping that we will get more of these beautiful pumpkins this year.

Now the garden consists of tomatoes, okra, pole beans, bush beans, cucumbers, yellow squash, banana peppers,  potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I love being self sufficient.. and watching things grow..

Someone Like You

Friday, April 13, 2012

Gardening

The garden has finally been fully planted!  We started 12 days ago with the tomatoes, okra and banana peppers and just last night finally put the squash and cucumbers in and planted all the green beans.  I love that we will have about a full month longer than the usual growing period due to our very short winter and lush, mild spring!  I am hoping and praying for a bumper crop of wonderful fresh veggies to eat fresh, to give away and to can.  The only thing lacking are some potatoes and we should be getting those planted by the middle of this next week.  I am so excited!  Our garden plot held three pigs for about three months.  We have finally butchered them and now we are hoping that the fertilized soil will bring huge, healthy veggies!