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Verse of the Day
Friday
Apr182014

The Banquet

What if you were invited to a pot luck dinner and forgot your dish? What if the host said, "Nevermind, join us anyway. There's plenty of food!" I would feel like a total troll. Who does that? Evidently me. I would eat less than the other guests and make sure that I was close to the end of the serving line. In fact, I may even leave early or late so that no one knew I didn't have something to share. It would be difficult to fully enjoy the experience.

It is uncomfortable to receive when I have nothing to give.

But is it what we bring to the table?  Never has been.

But is it about what we bring to the table? Never has been.

The table has been lavishly prepared by the Lord. Even our gold-embossed invitations were orchestrated by His design and stamped my His royal hand. We have two feet on a body that walked to the feast, and even those were knit together in our mothers' wombs with His string and knitting needles. We had nothing to do with it.

So why not delight and rejoice in the beautiful bounty? Cast away the guilt and unworthiness; that is fact and He invited us anyway.

Throw off the stains of former selves; He loves anyway.

Look forward and not back; the aroma of the feast is calling and the arms of the host are open.

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare

a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say,
Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:6-9 (NIV)

Beth

Wednesday
Apr162014

Easter

With only a few days left until we celebrate Easter, here are some things you may want to incorporate into your celebration.  Most are easy to do and inexpensive, so take some time out to create something and spend time with the Creator!  

 

We have done quite a few subway art pics through the seasons.  If you haven't done it yet, purchase a nice frame, print out the different pics and change them for the seasons!  Since I finally have a fireplace mantel, I am displaying mine there along with a banner across the front.

Print and frame this picture by going here.


 

I loved these inexpensive treat bags you can make on your own!  Go here for the download and instructions.

 

 

A little bit of Mod Podge, some inexpensive peat pots, download the bunny and you have some pretty sweet little containers to fill with whatever your heart desires :)

 

What a fun way to spread the true message of Easter in your neighborhood and surprise some little ones - I LOVE this!

 

And one more printable for your mantel or wall - click on the pic and it will take you to the source website, then just print and frame!

 

There is no love better than this...

 

Remember the loving sacrifice our Lord made for us as you spread the Love of Christ to others!

Easter Blessings to you, my friends!

Monday
Apr142014

Jehovah Shammah- Practicing the Presence of God

(A special note: the blog post on Friday, 'Random Acts of Kindness', was published before it was completed!  I'm sure it made no sense, but rest assured we will finish it and repost it in the near future!  Thanks for grace :)

 

This year my name for God is Jehovah Shammah- The Lord is There.  

This past Fall I took on a new teaching position.  After five years out of the classroom, I was assigned to teach 4th grade, a completely new experience to me and not one without challenge.  As I studied the list of students assigned to me, I realized that surviving this year would take more than my own efforts. And so I earnestly began to seek God every day for the strength to do the job He had assigned me.

It was then that I realized the necessity of practicing the presence of God.  Jehovah Shammah became my name for God in 2014.  My prayer life deepened and expanded in new ways.  Each day, whether easy or hard, I would look for ways that I could see God's hand.  Ann Voskamp writes in her book One Thousand Gifts, "Wrestle with God, beg to see the blessings, and all the faces become the face of God". This became my deepest longing.  That each day I would see Him in the faces that challenged me the most.



But how to do this?  This is the question I struggle with the most.  How to keep myself in a place where no matter what comes my way that day, I see it as a gift and not a challenge to my peace?  The answer that comes is not always an easy one.  For in the midst of the stress and chaos of each day, the only peace can come from the Giver of True Peace-Jehovah Shammah.  God is there. He is there in my classroom.  He is there in my family.  He is there in the midst of whatever circumstance comes my way.  The giver of every blessing big and small is with me wherever I go and just waiting to strengthen me with every good gift.

Last year I got an iPhone.  When I got my iPhone it was sold to me by a not-so-great mobile phone guy who just wanted to make a quick sale.  It took me almost a year to realize that I had Siri.  All I have to do to do to find the answer to any question is ask Siri.  She will give me some type of response.  That is the way she is programmed.  It took me a year to realize that I had access to any question.........in my phone.  Then I realized an even greater truth.  I have more than Siri with me at all times..........I have Jehovah Shammah.  The Lord is There.  I never want to suffer needlessly simply by denying the power of God that is there for me as His child.  How do I draw on His power in my everyday circumstances?  By practicing His Presence as I go through my day, He becomes my Siri.  When I program myself to look to Him in the midst of every problem, then every problem becomes a gift, an opportunity to see God's power working in my day.  Just as Siri is programmed to give me quick answers, I need to be programmed to quickly seek the Giver of all answers for all of my needs.  

God is closer than my phone and never needs charging.  

Jehovah Shammah- The Lord is There.

Lisa

Wednesday
Apr092014

Good Seed, Guaranteed

"For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do." -Isaiah 55:9-11
  
Blessed are the feet that bring good news. (Isaiah 52) They proclaim good things. Peace. Salvation. Do you believe God will fulfill his promises? God declares in Isaiah that His Word will not return void. It will produce. Guaranteed.
 

 

One of the most precious acts of love we can choose for our world is speaking the Word. How can we weave it into conversations? How can we sprinkle it throughout our day?
 
When I was a college sophomore, one of my closest friend's roommates spoke a verse to me. We were in the oak grove, sitting on a bench facing the one of the oldest buildings still standing on campus. It was fall, and I was in a place of transition. In reply to something I said, she responded by simply sharing a verse,  "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." It is Philippians 1:6.



I did not know it at the time, but this verse would prove to be one of my most treasured encouragements for the rest of my life. It reminds me that salvation was my starting point, God doesn't give up on me when I make mistakes, and that He lovingly works on me as a process towards completion. It encourages me beyond measure and helps me to see others more like how He sees me...a work in progress.
 
May God bless this godly woman who shared this verse at a time when I needed it most. To her, it may have been just a brief conversation in the middle of a busy day. But to me, it was the Word that was engraved on my heart that day and has returned with a bounty of encouragement. It was a seed guaranteed to bless me. I thank God for men and women who plant seeds of the Word lavishly and often.


Beth

Monday
Apr072014

Mornings in Canilla

Dust.  This time of year, it seems as if it’s a way of life here.  It seems to cover everything.  I had a flashlight on this morning as I awoke and it reminded me of a steady snowfall in Pennsylvania.  My windows are closed, I face the back of the house…. and still….. I cannot escape the dust!  I sat there and wished that each particle of dust I was inhaling was nourishment for our bodies.  But reality quickly settled in making me wonder if the dust I inhaled throughout the night was pure dirt or a mixture of horse, cow and pig droppings.

The next observation I had came as I left the door.  I realized how many things I see in the mornings and don’t think twice about.  I watched my neighbor walk her granddaughter to the corner and then part ways.  The girl left on her bike to town and the grandmother left with her bucket of corn to take to the grinder.  Because I leave earlier in the morning now, I pass children on the street on the way to school.  They are clean and dressed, their hair done perfectly and carrying backpacks of books.  I enjoy seeing these kids as they smile and giggle at the American who is pedaling by on her bike.  I am heading to school as well, and greet the slightly older children who left their homes before dark as well to arrive at the school for classes.  The grandmother took her corn to grind for the day’s tortillas.  How easily I could keep my eyes narrowed towards a few things and not notice this world around me.  The dust is something I could easily do without, but the smiles of my neighbors and the joy of kids going to school…. I am very grateful for.

There are also men riding their bikes to town, men working on building walls and chopping wood, women making tortillas and tending to little ones.  Some are walking towards town, some are walking from town, but they are all on the move.  The morning is a great time here in Canilla.  A reminder to me that we all are heading towards somewhere.

I glanced up from the road to see mountains surrounding this valley.  No sign of life.  No sign of homes or people.  No sign of civilization.  And yet, there is civilization all around.  There is progression forward and a hope for these people.  If I only looked out, I would see trees and dust and could miss the world happening around me.  I know we all easily do this as well.  We get into our routine and go from one place to the next.  Be encouraged to see the smiles on the faces of those around you…. or better yet, be the reason for the smile on the faces of those around you!

Adrienne

If you would like to know more about Adrienne and her work in Guatemala, visit her site mytrustfall.com