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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eat Cake

Dear Friend:

Think of your favorite frosting on a cake. Frosting you crave! As you are thinking about it your mouth should be watering and you want some. Hmmm Good!
As you think about that let me tell you a funny thing happened to me in the grocery store today. I was standing in line and got to talking to this lady. She told me about her daughter and how she has had some hard times in life recently. The advice she gives her is “life is like a cake, the outside of the cake is the frosting which represents the earth and everything in all creation and sometimes that frosting is so good that we just eat that and forget about the cake. We sometimes don’t get to the cake which is God. We need to remember the cake is always there for us and won’t go away so take the time to eat the cake too!”

The Israelite had hard times in their lives especially when they were in slavery in Egypt. But this was their lament. Psalm 18:6 in my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
Through experience the Jews knew the struggles of life, but they also knew in distress that if they called up the Lord he would hear. Do you have that same assurance?

Look past the frosting of the earth and all it offers and remember the cake the middle the solid part. Don’t forget to “EAT CAKE” with the frosting.

LET’S PRAY: In my distress (list that distress) I call upon you Lord; to you I cry for help. From your temple you will hear my voice, and my cry and it will reach your ears. Thank you Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Eating the frosting and the cake,
Elaine

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sleepless Nights

Dear Friend:

A man has two sons and the younger son wants his share of the estate and the Dad gives it to him. The son goes off and wastes all the money. He was eating, drinking and being merry. Out of desperation he takes a hard labor job. As he works hard labor and is treated like a slave with not much generous compensation he begins to remember that his Dad, a businessman, treated all his employees with much more care. He treated every worker no matter where they were in the company with dignity and respect. His frustration gets him to think I can suck it up and go back to Dad and say “I am not worthy to be your son, but I am willing to work for you.”
The Dad all this time has been having sleepless nights filled with terror over his son’s absence. What is he up to, is he even alive? He waited and waited for what seemed like eternity to hear from his son. He did decide that he would not run after his son and force him home. He wanted him to come of his own free will.
The day comes when the son is walking up to the company and the Dad looks out the window and sees him coming. The Dad runs to the elevator and goes down and runs to the son and embraces and kisses him. The son can’t believe it! He still chooses to say “Dad I am not worthy to be your son, but will come and work for you.” The Dad realizes he really has had a heart change gets on his cell phone and calls someone to come bring him new clothes, orders some food and proceeds to throw a party that day. The Dad announces to all the employees “my son was lost but now is found; I thought he was dead but he is alive.”

The joy of a Dad seeing his son alive is so great and he chooses to give him GRACE. That means the son did not deserve anything but he chooses to give him everything and no strings attached.

Here are some questions to ask yourself from this story.
Where were all the sons’ friends he met along the way? Did they take advantage of him and then they saw the money ran out and abandoned him? Why did the Dad give him the money in the first place? Should the Dad have taken him back so easily and with a great homecoming?

This is a modern rewrite of the story “The Prodigal Son.” Did you know prodigal means wasteful? The wasteful son received grace from his Dad. At what moment in our lives did we finally stop running away from God and turn and run into his arms. I’m sure the son had “SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.” We ask God to forgive us and then have a heart ready to serve him.

Are you running into the arms of God today or running away? What is the Father’s response? IT IS ALWAYS FULL OF LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, MERCY AND GIVING.

LET’S PRAY: Father in heaven I want to walk with you and not run from you. Thank you for always being there for me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Refreshed from a good night of sleep,
Elaine

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get It?

Dear Friend:

I was reading on my bottle of daily hydrating, exfoliating mask called “WHEN HOPE IS NOT ENOUGH*”
Philosophy*: how we treat our skin is how we should treat others. Compassion, gentleness, kindness, consistency, efficacy and care go a long way in helping us reach our goals in an ever changing world.

Wow! What does Jesus have to say about hope? I always say hope stands for HE OFFERS PEACE ETERNALLY.
Here is something to really read this morning that truly is from God:
Romans 5:3-5 but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, HOPE. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, when he has given us.

Pray: Jesus thank you for being my hope and giving me a heart by the Holy Spirit. Help me to love and care for others today so that it may change the world for you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

There is hope! I leave you with the words of the label, how we treat our skin is how we should treat others. GET IT?

Hopeful,

Elaine

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For You

Dear Friend:

Quick note for today. Romans 8:31-32
• 31.What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32.He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
God gave up his son FOR YOU. That means God is available for you 24/7 without a doubt. He cares and wants to be part of your day. Let HIM in.

Pray: Father in heaven “help I need you.” I am sorry I didn’t call on you sooner. I thank you for caring. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Being still,
Elaine

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Batman Begins

Dear Friend:

Did you see the movie Batman Begins? It tells the story of the beginning of how Bruce Wayne’s parents died and the journey that happened because of their murder. He wanders off as a young adult in anger and frustration because of that critical childhood event. He lands in prison and while in prison this dialogue took place. A man walks in to his prison cell and Bruce says “who are you?” The man answers “a man that can offer you a path.” Bruce asks “what makes you think I need a path?” The man responds “someone like you is only here by choice and you have become truly lost.” Bruce asks “what path can you offer?” The man starts to talk about a group that wishes to serve true justice and that has chosen the path that has led them to be called the League of Shadows.

Situations in life bring us to the same critical point where we are sitting in a room (feeling like we are in prison) and we find ourselves asking the same questions. Who is God? God says “I can offer you a path.” We ask “what makes you think I need a path?” God responds “someone like you is only here by choice and you have become truly LOST.” Finally and hopefully we may humbly and sincerely ask “what path can you offer?” God responds with his truth and justice of the plan for mankind. In the book of Romans 11:33-36 Paul writes:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
YES. YES. YES.

By Faith we respond in prayer:
Father help me to walk by faith in your plan and not my own. You walked in obedience to the cross and died for me. Lord I know I will not physically die on the cross as you did, but I understand that I must die to myself and my dependence on man and self. I ask you to forgive me for the times that I have chosen a path that came from some other source than you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

A new beginning,
Elaine

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blockbuster

Dear Friend:

Do you know what the word blockbuster means? I googled blockbuster on my computer and Alpha dictionary.com came up with a definition written by Dr. Goodword. he came up with the meaning:
A stunning new and unexpected event or object that generates enormous sales or revenues.

So that is why a great movie comes out and generates a lot of enormous sales and then we get a “Blockbuster” movie.

I was doing patient visits at the hospital and sharing how God blesses us in so many ways. Whenever I share the blessing of God with others I always use it in the context of the original definition which means to be given favor by God. It reminds me of the times Jesus was returning to the Father in heaven and his last moment with the disciples. Luke tells us in chapter 24 that they were troubled and there were doubts in their minds. They had trouble believing who Jesus was and why he came. But Jesus in His great mercy opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. He explained one last time that He came to die, conquer death and extend the grace and love of God to all. Finally he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

I have had trouble and doubt in my mind and that is a blocking. So I have come up with this question “what is blocking (my) your blessing.” It is my/our inability to believe that Jesus came and by his grace saved (me) us and left (me)each of us with the “Blessing” (favor) of God. Jesus is a “BLOCKBUSTER.” We need to pray more for those that are having their blessings, blocked. How I got to the word Blockbuster. I made up my own definition-the buster of our block is Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus the “Blockbuster.” Jesus left their presence. Yet they returned to their homes with great joy. They got supernatural joy! They could not come up with joy on their own strength. Jesus did that for them and he can do that for (me) us.
Jesus (Blockbuster)-one who brought a stunning event and it generated a lot of enormous revenue. (Revenue=blessing)

Let’s pray as Jesus did: Father in heaven open our minds so we can understand the Scriptures.
In Jesus name. Amen.

Looking to the Blockbuster,
Elaine

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brag Book

Dear Friend:

I don’t know if brag books are out dated. You know the books that you can put photos of weddings, newborn grandchildren, niece, nephew etc. I know they have electronic ones now that you put in your purse or car and pull out with the newest photos of your recent vacation or fun event you attended. They are great aren’t they? Actually today our cell phones are the modern day brag books. My daughter at a recent Jonas Brother concert took pictures and video with her phone and now with a touch of a button she can brag about Nick Jonas.

I was praying this morning for you. I just sense God saying “push through this worldly stuff (whatever you have going on, selling a car, house, financial changes etc.) On the other side when it is done there are things waiting for you to do.” God is with you and will continue to direct your path. He is never going to leave you. You do not have to guess or imagine what the outcome will be, step by step as he leads you it will all come together. TRUST HIM!

May we experience Love and peace on this journey of faith. As the Lord uses all our lives for His glory through the process He gets all the glory we are in the school of seminary when it comes to our journey of faith and trusting God. Tell your great outcomes of God’s power as you walk because you will see the miracles of things only He can do. Get out your brag book or your electronic whatever and brag about Jesus and His marvelous works. Psalm 115:1 not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. He loves you very much. As my daughter said to me yesterday “everything happens for a reason (as I was getting a speeding ticket).” I thought, “ a ticket… there is a good reason why I got a ticket?” That does not make sense. Not everything makes sense. But GOD KNOWS. So as I am writing this I am making a mental note to pray for that officer.

I am thinking that I will not always know the outcome of that cops life, but if God connected us for a moment, I can surely pray for him.

Let’s pray: Father in heaven help me to see your glory through my daily life. I want to be able to brag about your marvelous works. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

I leave you with Jeremiah 9:23-24 written on a plaque on my desk saying “let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches. But, let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”

Blessings,

Elaine

Monday, September 8, 2008

Traffic Jam

Dear Friend:

Are you gearing up for the fall and the kids going back to school? Is your schedule going to change this coming month? Do you have so much anticipation about your schedule that is like a traffic jam in your mind? If you are like me you have a schedule that is not clear yet. It is kind of like waiting in a pile up on the highway and you’re stuck just sitting waiting for the traffic to open up so you can get going. Sometimes when I am completely stopped on the road I can put this music up, clean and organize my middle section drawer, but then I am done with that and just want to get moving.

Things right now are bitter sweet, I love my summers, but it is time for things to open up in my mind and I can get going again. I imagine teachers are thinking just like I am.

This is a short sweet message for you to help you to allow the traffic jam to open up so you can get going. Here are some simple reminders.

Proverbs 3:5-6

1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart

2. Lean not on your own understanding (stop rationalizing and reasoning)

3. In all your ways acknowledge Him.

Guess what God says back to you if you do the three steps above.

My Child if you do the above I will make your paths straight. –God-

Proverb 3:7

1. Do not be wise in your own eyes.

2. Fear the Lord and shun evil.

Guess what God says back to you if you live by the 2 steps above.

My Child if you live by these things I will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

-God-

Pray: Lord fill me up with your personal promises. Thanks for helping me not to be double-minded. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN. TRAFFIC JAM IS OPENED UP, NOW GET GOING! -God-

Going,

Elaine