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Friday, January 28, 2011

Monkey Chatter

Matthew 17:5
while he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Dear Friend:

Picture going to the zoo and visiting the monkeys that are caged, aren’t they always loud and chattering? You can’t think straight. I heard a therapist recently tell a client “You have to stop the monkey chatter in your mind.”The same thing can happen in our minds so we must find a way to block that “monkey chatter.”
We need a buffer to block out any distractions from our circumstances, electronics and busyness.

Jesus took Peter, James and John up high on a mountain to be alone. Jesus was getting them away from the monkey chatter. Do you have trouble with the monkey chatter in your head? If yes, maybe you’re asking, what can I do about it?
First we must find a place to be alone. You don’t have to be all alone; in this case Jesus led the four of them to a quiet place.

When we gather to be alone it is essential to pray. Remember you’re in the presence of God and finally be willing to listen. What is holding you back from meeting with God regularly? Monkey chatter can include all the excuses as to why, where and how you will meet with God. Do you have a place? Do you have some people who would meet with you? If not, who can you think of that would? Start picturing in your mind your place, time and with whom you will meet.

You know if you have a commute to work maybe right in your car is the place and time. I have a good daily devotional that is less than a minute. I can start my car sit, read and then go. As I drive you can put praise music on and think about what you just read. Good praise music talks about God and how wonderful He is and also invites you to be more like Him. Here is a song I love.

http://www.toddballardmusic.com/

Click on #4 Sacredly Holding (listen to them all but I really like #4)
What an experience Peter, James and John had. Don’t you wish you could have been there? I think it would have been awesome! Monkey chatter in our heads can become a bad habit but the good news is its reversible.

Let’s pray: Father help me to find time to be alone with you. In Jesus name. Amen
Stop the Monkey Chatter.
Elaine

Elaine James | Create Your Badge

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Showdown

Dear Friend:

Do you remember ever watching an old western movie when the showdown was about to happen between the good guy and bad guy? Usually before the showdown they agree where they will meet and the time. Then they get their guns ready and put them in their holsters.

I woke up one morning picturing in my mind me and my family getting ready for a showdown with the enemy (satan). We were to meet on a street in an old western town just like the movies show it and meet right in front of the sheriff’s office. As we walked out of our house and headed down the street to the meeting place I spoke out “this is our ammunition we are bringing with us:

His compassions never fail; his mercy is new every morning.”(Paraphrased from Lamentations 3:22-23)

Moving forward my next words was “the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” (1Peter 1:24b-25 NIV)

Yet more steps led to “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1Peter 2:24 NIV)

Steps more “seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and then all things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Kept walking saying “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)

One last verse “repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19 NIV)

We were all armed and ready. We won the battle. We were free from worry, anxiety, fears and negative critical thinking. We will continue to claim the victory because of Jesus.

PRAYER: Father in heaven thank you for showing me that we are in a battle but Jesus always wins!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV)

Free,
Elaine

Monday, January 17, 2011

Large Love

Dear Friend:

I got a text the other day from my Dad that said this “Large love Dad.”
I have gotten text from my Dad and they usually say “Love you God bless you Dad.”
So when I saw the word “Large” I was thinking how sweet he really wants to communicate His love to me. My heart kind of skipped a beat with delight.
Then I wondered “did anyone else in the family get this message?”, because it has been in the past where he sends out mass texts to everyone, including grandchildren.

My mind has drifted since that text and I ask “wouldn’t it be cool to have gotten a text from God with the same message?” How precious!
When I read the bible I find many times God has expressed His love to me. Do I read them with such joy and really receive it like I did this text message? Do you?
Ok confession time. After all of this thinking and anticipation of writing you this message I remember the day before I texted my Dad asking him what size t-shirt does he wear? Thus, the response he texted me “large love Dad.” LOL!
We just experienced God’s love and passion for his people when He brought the baby Jesus into the world in a manger in Bethlehem. Oh what a precious message, God parted with His son and gave Him to us. That’s large love! Let the message reside in your heart 24/7/365.

Psalm 36:5 God's love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.

Love from above,
Elaine

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Celebrating A Cancelled Christmas

Have you ever come across three words that you thought were so simple, but ended up meaning so much?

Three months ago my husband announced to our family “I am cancelling Christmas.”A question came to mind: “Does that mean we are cancelling the true meaning of Christmas too?”

This past year, the only words that my and husband and I had on our minds when we thought of Christmas approaching, was “our family needs alone time and the only way we felt we could accomplish that would be to get away.”

As any baseball lover knows, at the end of the World Series, the MVP always gets asked the question from a reporter “Rob James you have just won the World Series. What are you going to do next?” The MVP always answers “I’m going to Disneyworld!”

When we asked my baseball loving husband “Where are we going for Christmas?” he answered: “We’re going to Disneyworld!”

Twenty six years of family tradition was cancelled with airline tickets, a house rental and a rented van. With a sketchy itinerary, my husband, our four kids, daughter-in-law, girlfriend and I headed off to Florida for a Christmas vacation. On the plane I prayed “Lord, please don’t let us forget the true meaning of Christmas.”

We arrived in Orlando, got our rental car and proceeded to our rented house, but our GPS misguided us and we ended up lost in a town called Celebration, designed by Disney.

We corrected our directions and navigated our way to the entrance of our rental home neighborhood called Legacy Park. The directions instructed us to enter and find the subdivision called The Retreat.

Stop! Family time was awesome!

Did you catch those three names of the places? I get the chills thinking that my husband just made random reservations never realizing the name of the neighborhood or subdivision we would be staying in.

It was truly three divine words. A message from God! We were called to celebrate, have a retreat and leave a legacy.” We celebrated the birth of our Lord in a little town called Celebration, which just so happens to have adorned their town with several nativity scenes. We retreated from our busy lives which gave us time as a family to reunite, cry from laughter and love one another. We left a legacy with our kids celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

I have come to realize that sometimes 3 simple words may not be so simple!
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for mercy. Help us to find more ways to celebrate, retreat and leave your legacy.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23NIV)