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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Just Trust ... and Refocus

I mentioned that Tuesday was a down day.
I needed to heed what I was memorizing and reading.
I needed to refocus and trust.
I don't feel like my faith was very great,
but then again ... all it takes is a grain of mustard.

I mentioned that I wanted to minister to young people.
On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for an answer to prayer.
On Wednesday,
an opportunity presented itself.
What a blessing!

God is waiting to bless,
I need only to "trust and obey."
So easy to say,
so hard to do.

I am also thankful for our snow day yesterday.
Nothing beats having company ALL day!
Hubby humored me and took me for 2 - 4 mile walks (I know it sounds like I am a dog).
The first one was fairly comfortable, the second was a lot more windy and cold.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

That's How We Roll

We started the morning in our typical fashion.
4:30 wake up call for a 1/2 hour workout.
During our 6:00 devotions, the text came through ...
2 hour work delay.

We were up, we were going ...
why not take a four mile walk in the snow
before heading to work at 9:30?

(this is not our home, but one along our walk - I call it the Kincaide house)

So we did.
So pretty, so quiet ... good couple time.

During the last 1/2 mile,
work was cancelled for the day.
Oh, and tack on a 2 hour delay for tomorrow.
I know, I know ...
the picture doesn't look worthy of all the excitement ...
... but that is how we roll in the south!

And of course, this calls for chili and cornbread for lunch!
Chili is in the crock pot and should be ready in time.

The grocery shopping will keep until tomorrow, or even Friday.
Today, I will enjoy our winter wonderland while it is here
and extra time with my hubby.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Psalm 2

Psalm 2:12 b
Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

It seems that every day that I work on verse memory
a new part of the memory work is a blessing.
Last week, Galatians 1 was a blessing as I acknowledge 
and seek to work on not be a man pleaser but to put God first in all things.

Today was a little bit of a down day.
My mother's heart (if you believe a non-mom can have one) was yearning to help a young person.
A grey sky with the promise of snow lacked the bright cheer of a winter sun.
Struggles of faith.
Struggles of trust.
Struggles from within and without.

He promises His blessings, His help
if only I trust.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Better Than I Deserve


I can't remember where I was when it was "popular" to answer the question
"How are you?"
with
"Better Than I Deserve"

It is a timely reminder when you might be tempted to answer with a nebulous "fine"
or with a laundry list of troubles.
Especially here in America, we are blessed beyond measure.
In the spiritual realm, we have the ability to be on a road to heaven
instead of facing the doom of hell which we so rightly deserve.

Both hubby and I were reminded in the past few days of how much we have been given.
While the physical provision is easy to see ... cars, home, clothes, food, financial blessing,
we are also blessed and thankful for God's provision of prayer warriors.
We are thankful for our family and friends who pray even when they don't know what to pray.
We are thankful for those who care beyond the physical needs for our spiritual health and well being.

I had a very specific prayer need this week -
not a physical need, but a spiritual battle.
I mentioned the need to hubby to add to his prayer list.
God sent a verse to encourage me in my Bible reading.
God sent victory at the beginning of the week.
God sent a test.
And at least this time, there was even victory in the test.

That is proof of God's provision through the prayers of His people.

I am grateful.
I am humbled.

Thanks for your prayers.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Just Leave the Excuses

"And she said, 'I will go.'"  Genesis 24:58

You have heard the parental phrase before ...
"Slow obedience is no obedience."

I have thought much about it.
How often do I drag my feet at following God's will and plan?

I would NEVER say "no" to God, right?
Of course, I wish it were so,
but in my own way I have many times.
I have said "no" by saying, "not now" or "it's not a good time."

Have you done it?
Have you known God's will but thought your timing was better?
God, can you change the circumstances?
God can you wait until ...?
God can you make it just as clear to everyone else?
" ____ is going on right now, it's not a good time."

Yes, there it is written in black and white.
It is easy to make excuses.

And here is the hero without excuses ...
Abraham's servant heads to the homeland to find a wife for Isaac.
He prays for clear direction.
God answers clearly and specifically.
The servant finds Rebekah and explains God's working to her and her family.
God's will is clear.
And then he plans to leave the next day with Isaac's bride.

Can you hear the excuses Rebekah could have given?
What about my family?
I haven't planned?
Can I just have another week?
What about ...?
I'm not quite ready.

But there are no excuses.
There is not even a record of a pause.
The hand of God was clear and her answer just as direct ...
"I will go."

What is God asking of you?
Will you obey?
or will you make an excuse?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Personal Transformation

No house pictures,
no garden pictures,
no yard pictures ...
it has just been too cold.
BUT ...
there is still a Tuesday Transformation!


With change often comes growth.
The rough, tear-filled month of December was a month of learning
and hopefully the start or continuation of meaningful change.

I have been made aware of some changes that I need to make.
I am also reminded that I have a gracious, long-suffering God
who is still there and still willing to change me.

I have been shown that I like to take charge.
While this is not always bad,
it is a fault if I am trying to lead when a man should be in the lead.
I have confessed to God the fault and apologized to those I believe I undermined.
It is a reminder to hold my tongue - to focus on the meek and quiet spirit.

I have been shown that I often take on more than I can chew.
This also could be phrased that I exhibit "pseudo-strength" when I should be asking for help.
This is not a new fault, but obviously one that I still need to work on.
There is a velvet Christmas dress from the late 80's with tear stains as proof
that I don't say "no" when I need to.
Even as a preteen, my desire to help and to be useful often leads me to collapse under unnecessary weights.
I am made aware of this fault again.

Both hubby and I have been made aware that sarcasm is rarely understood.
Sarcasm should be reserved for family and people who act like family (and maybe not even there)
because it often hurts others who can't read the sarcasm and/or won't ask for an explanation.

We are working on a critical spirit.
It is easy to critique without facts.
The need is to speak with truth,
To judge where sin is,
and to be silent when there is no knowledge.

Isn't it just like God to deliver the hard to swallow truth  in a "praise sandwich?"
He did it with the churches in Revelation.
Paul did it with erring churches that he wrote to correct.
In the midst of the December correction,
he led many people to remember something good,
something helpful,
and not just to remember, but to mention it.
He sent those "tokens for good."

I mention that because perhaps God has laid someone on your heart today.
Maybe God is correcting and rebuking that person
and He wants you to build that "Praise Sandwich."
Call, text, email, write, or appreciate someone in person - 
why not today?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Getting Closer ...

One of my challenges as a domestic engineer
is defeating the competition.
Sound mean?
By competition, I mean the restaurants that entice us.

Hubby grills a great steak - bye bye steakhouse.
Red Lobster - I can broil or fry a nice piece of tilapia or salmon,
and the gluten free options in the freezer section are REALLY good.
Got the pizza thing down.
Gluten free Italian at a restaurant is typically just BAD!
With the right Gluten Free Ciabatta bread, Subway doesn't stand a chance.

Mexican restaurants still have me beat in some areas
and Asian - well, they have some secret ingredient.

Over the weekend, I found a recipe that will satisfy our Asian craving between trips to P.F.Changs.
You want it too, don't you?
It is available here at Taste of Home

Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles

Ingredients

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce (I had an asian chili paste)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces uncooked multigrain spaghetti (I used 6 oz of brown Asian rice noodles)
1 pound lean ground chicken (I used ground turkey)
1-1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts
4 green onions, chopped

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk the first six ingredients until blended.
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chicken, carrots, pepper and garlic over medium heat 5-6 minutes
or until chicken is no longer pink, breaking up chicken into crumbles; drain.
Stir in peanut butter mixture; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 3-5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Serve with noodles.
Top with peanuts and green onions.
Yield: 6 servings.


For those who have tried to use the "Recipe Page" ...
I have updated it with all recipes from the blog ...
It appears that I had not made links for about 1 1/2 years 😒

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reader Forum: Focus in Prayer

Prayer is definitely a discipline to be learned and practiced.
You saw that one of my goals was to be more deliberate and focused each day.
I am so easily distracted (I think most people are)
I think that my method may be a prayer journal,
BUT ...
then I thought I would ask for help.
While what works for you may not work for me,
it may spark something that leads to a good answer ...
or since most of my readers are family and think like me,
it may be the perfect answer.

So here is the forum question:

How do you "attack" a lengthy prayer list?
How do you systematically pray for all of the needs on your heart and in your life?
Do you pray for certain things on certain days?
Do you pray through the same list daily?

There it is ...
HELP!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Another Token for Good

Yesterday was a down day - at least for me ...
about 3 pieces of discouraging news.

But at the same time,
God was giving hubby encouraging news
and solidifying that for right now,
we are in the right place.
God knows our needs - and even our desires - 
and is working them out in His timing,
often behind the scenes.
Sometimes He rolls back the curtain and shows us a little "peek."

Then today it was my turn.
I got to make some special deliveries,
and God used the visits to remind me of need all around,
to remind me that ministry is all around us,
that ministry cannot be put in a box.
He sent me encouraging people with encouraging words.

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for our good God with His tokens for good.
I am also thankful for protection from the cold -
for heaters, for walls and a roof, for warm clothes,
for a warm car, for warm food, for God's daily provision.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

And Refocus Again ...

Well,
I thought that part of my "woman's work Wednesday" would include volunteer work at the hospital in 2018.
This morning, I was one step closer ...
turned in vaccination records,
took flu shot,
had TB test started ...

...and then this afternoon,
they didn't need me.

And so now, I refocus.
I pray and seek where God would use me and my extra time,
the place where I can minister to people.

It is time to apply the word of the year - refocus.
It is time to remember that the answer "no" is not the end,
it is just a redirection.

Yes, I am disappointed,
but I happen (by God's design) to be reading a book dealing with disappointments and difficult times,
and it is time to apply the principles,
God is at work.

*UPDATE*
It turns out that volunteer opportunities are quite competitive.
Next time I go with a resume and full list of references.😄