celebrate life

I was delighted to get the call with my friend’s chipper voice on the other end of the line. She didn’t even say hello. She just cried out,  “It’s time for cheesecake!” And my answer was quick and to the point. “Time and place please!”

It started years ago over lunch. We’d shared a nice sandwich and we weren’t truly hungry, but as women often do, we discussed the possibility of dessert. Then she began to tell me the story of her breast cancer scare.

“That does it,” I exclaimed. “It’s time for cheesecake!”  I rushed to the counter and brought back two large pieces. (People should never share a slice of cheesecake; but enjoy a full slice each!) Her story ended well, but still, every now and again, we eat cheesecake together.

What do you do to celebrate life?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10, NIV)

I am convinced that Jesus loves cheesecake.

Prayer- Thanks, God, for special treats that celebrate your goodness.  Amen

Toasted

I put a slice of bread into the toaster, as usual. It seemed to take a long time to cook. Finally, I left my eggs to their own devices and checked out the toaster.  I couldn’t find either bread or toast. It took a while but it eventually showed up under a kitchen chair.

That toaster had spewed the toast several feet away. Because it landed on the floor, I threw it out. By now the eggs were overdone and my coffee cold.. This scenario repeated itself for a few days, until I finally figured out that the bread I used was too light for the springs of the toaster.

How are we doing in the toaster? When the crisis of living hits us do we spring out of  the heat it as soon as possible? Find ways to manipulate the circumstances to our own liking? Tell a tall tale or two? Run to the nearest gossip to share our problem? All of these get us out of the heat all right but they land us in a place where we are of no use to anyone, not even ourselves.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13, KJV)

Prayer – Lord, we know the right thing to do. Help us do it for our own self-respect and most of all, for you. Amen

Serious Grief

God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of the usual funeral rituals.”I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I’d been told. (Ezekiel 24:15-17, MSG)

And every time I read it, I ask myself these questions. Do I have that kind of obedience in me? Why/ why not? Why do I prolong my personal pain by neglecting God’s words to me?

And then I pray something like this.

Prayer – Lord God, Father of the entire universe, oh Lord God, help me to be as obedient as Ezekiel… because I want to serve you wholeheartedly, more than anything in the world. Help me to live that way, dear God.  For Christ, who did. Amen

The Last Five Pounds

“I’m tired of losing the same five pounds over and over.”  I guess my friend was tired of my whining. This is her reply.

“Then don’t lose them!   If you lose something then you usually look for it and then you find it.

Try releasing it to Jesus in prayer and worship and watch him get the glory. It may not happen overnight or as quickly as you want but it will happen in His timing.”

How will you use this wisdom in your own life? It applies anywhere from pounds to people.

Think of the bad attitudes, the cranky relatives and the size twenty slacks that keep turning up in our vicinity.

This is the only finding we should be worried about.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, NIV)

Prayer – Father God, steer us in the right direction so that the things we keep looking for all lead to you and your will for our lives. Amen

Steve Harvey

They say confession is good for the soul and if that is true, Steve Harvey’s soul must be in great shape! Imagine being in front of huge audience, in person and round the world on social media. You announce the winner of the Miss Universe Contest, 2015 and read out the wrong name!

Yes, that happened to Mr. Harvey but as soon as he found out that he made a mistake, he immediately admitted that the error was entirely his own fault.

That kind of character is extremely rare in today’s world. It was just are rare in Bible times. Take a look at Saul.

“What have you done?” Samuel asked.

Saul answered, “My soldiers were leaving in all directions, and you didn’t come when you were supposed to. The Philistines were gathering at Mishmash, and I was worried that they would attack me here at Gilgal. I hadn’t offered a sacrifice to ask for the Lord’s help, so I forced myself to offer a sacrifice on the altar fire.” (From 1Samuel 13:11-12 CEV)

Results: Saul lost his place as king, while Steve Harvey is expected to host next year’s Miss Universe.

Prayer – Lord, give us the courage to take the blame when we are guilty. Amen