Sunday, May 1, 2016

Encountering God...


I've been reading about the life of Moses in my devotions lately. Moses asked God to show him His glory, and God graciously did so. There on Mt. Sinai, God descended in a cloud and stood with Moses and proclaimed His own name and character to Moses.  

I can't imagine it, standing there in the cloud of God's glory, and hearing God's mighty voice, the voice that spoke the word and this whole universe came into being. ( Psalm 29 is a great chapter to read if you want some further revelation about the power and majesty of God's voice. )  It was such a powerful encounter, that Moses stayed there in the presence of God for forty days.  When Moses finally came down from the mountain, his countenance shone with the glory of God.

The good news is that God desires a personal encounter with each one of us.  He wants to reveal Himself, His wonderful majesty, His great mercy and grace, His abundant loving kindness and His foundational, unwavering truth to you and to me. Moses asked God for this encounter, he obeyed God's directions, and then he stayed in God's presence.  In my own life, I say I want to know God more, I want a personal revelation of His greatness, His love and His mercy and grace, but I hurry through my time with Him all too often.  When I lay aside my own agenda and spend some unhurried time worshiping along to worship music, reading the Bible and journaling what God is saying to me, and doing the kind of praying that is less about getting through my list of prayer requests and more about heart to heart communicating, I come away both satisfied and longing for more.  

We all lead busy lives.  We've all got plenty of reasons why we don't have time to really seek God, to encounter Him in a deep and life-changing way.  Moses had millions of reasons He could have used as an excuse, millions of those stubborn, stiff necked people he was supposed to be leading.  The last time Moses had left them so he could go spend time with God on Mt. Sinai, that whole nasty golden calf episode had occurred.  Obviously, the children of Israel could not be trusted to be left to their own devices.  Yet, Moses obeyed God and climbed Mt. Sinai one more time, leaving the children of Israel down below while he met with God for forty days. Moses's example encourages and inspires me to trust God with my to-do list and to make spending time in His presence my priority.  

still following,



Friday, April 29, 2016

Learning to Love

By: Sarah MacKinney

I guess you could say I am on a "love soapbox." A few weeks ago in my blog I talked about what love looks like and as I was praying about what to share this week, I kept coming back to the phrase, "Learning to Love." When God so obviously puts something in my path over and over again, I believe it's Him showing me areas I need to mature in. We've all heard the words, "Love your enemies, pray for them, do good to those that persecute you." We hear them, we agree we should; but how often do we let those phrases go in one ear and out the other? It is so much easier to be kind to those who are kind to us, right?  And pray for the people who insult me? Well, that can't be right! Surely it was a typo in the Bible, a misprint perhaps? This can be a hard pill to swallow. When we have been hurt, insulted or let down; sometimes the last thing we want to do is pray for that person. But we are commanded in Matthew 5:44, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." I have found this hard to do many times in my life, but I can attest to the fact that although the progress may seem slow, God can change your heart. When we ask Him to pour out His blessings and to give us His eyes and His heart for those we struggle with; it happens. It may take time and it may appear to be a seemingly unattainable task, but slowly we find ourselves learning to love the same people we once thought it would be an impossibility to love.

Learning to love is a constant lesson. It's easy to love my kids and my husband, my friends and my family. But even the people I find easy to love, I should constantly be looking for ways to love them better. #love #family #relationships #inspiration #encouragement

Learning to love is a constant lesson. It's easy to love my kids and my husband, my friends and my family. But even the people I find easy to love, I should constantly be looking for ways to love them better. I pray on a weekly basis that God will help me be the wife and mom that my family needs. And this takes time and deliberate attention to achieve. Each person receives love in a different way, we aren't all the same. Some feel uplifted by encouraging words, some by spending one on one time together; still others feel loved when you help them with a project or give them a hug. I subbed this week for the 5th and 6th grade class at the local Christian school. I was curious to discover their love languages so I took a poll of their class and some of the teachers. Out of the 25 people I asked, only one of them said touch, nobody said acts of service, only 2 said gifts, 4 said positive words and the majority (18) said quality time. This is proof that we are all different and receive love in different ways.  I could ask 25 more people and the numbers and responses would be different. If you know me at all, it doesn't take long to figure out that encouraging words are my top love language. I could hear 10 "atta girls" and feel loved or get 10 hugs and the "atta girls" would mean more every single time. It is how I receive love best. I believe it is my job, our job, to discover the love languages for the people in our lives. Then strive to love them better!

What about when it comes to people we find irritating? I'm guessing one person in particular popped into your mind when I said irritating, am I right?! Sometimes in our fleshy selfishness, we think "I would really love to help that person, but it won't be me, they get on my nerves!" Or.... "I really hope someone helps out that family,but I already helped them a few months ago so it's someone else's turn." Do you take the initiative? Do you step up to show love? When we love people, when we serve them even when it isn't convenient for us, we show the heart of Jesus. And when we get in the word and read about His love, when we learn about His character, then we discover how we should love. We never just "arrive" at loving people or become experts, it's a constant goal we should be trying to attain.  

You have opportunities every single day to show love to people and you have opportunities every single day to learn how to love. Watch the people around you, do they model love and kindness, or selfishness and negativity? Sometimes our peers are the best (or worst) teachers. Loving others means that at times you sacrifice your own needs or wants to help someone else. It means more than just saying we love others, it is showing them in our actions. Does this mean you say yes to everything and become a doormat for everyone? No. With learning to love comes learning how to establish healthy boundaries (but that is a whole other topic!). Sometimes it is easy to get tired and weary of doing good, but the Bible warns us not too because in the end we will receive a harvest. We will get our reward and it will be good! So I encourage you to make it a daily goal to learn to love people better. Some of the most beautiful people I know are not necessarily beautiful because of their outward appearance, they are beautiful because they love like Jesus. Don't you want to be that person? I know I do.

Sarah

Thursday, April 28, 2016

God already...

by Debi Baker


"20 See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you
 along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared."
Exodus 23:20 NIV

God has led the Israelites out of bondage; He has fed them and protected them.  In Exodus 23, God instructs them in the laws of justice & mercy and in the Sabbath laws.  In verse 20, He tells the Israelites that He is sending an angel out ahead of them.  This angel's responsibility is to take them to the place God has already prepared for them.

In advance...before the Israelites arrived...before we arrive...God is ready.  He has set His plan in motion.  All we have to do is be obedient and follow our Guide! #thursdaythoughts

I've read this so many times but last night it hit me differently!  Nothing God does is by happenstance!  He has a plan and a purpose for everything He does!  God was leading them to the Promised Land!!!

In John 14:3 NIV Jesus said, "3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."  Just as God sent an angel to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, He sent Jesus to lead us to our Promised Land - Heaven!!  What got me last night was the fact that, in both instances, God had already prepared the each place ... in advance!!!

In advance...before the Israelites arrived...before we arrive...God is ready.  He has set His plan in motion.  All we have to do is be obedient and follow our Guide!!!!!

As you go about your day today, think about where your Guide is leading you.  You can be sure it is toward the Promised Land.  

Have a blessed day!!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Look to the Lord

By: Shari A. Miller





It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you want!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

Woman to Woman Ministries

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Easy Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake

By: Melissa Baker

Recipe and image courtesy of www.Pillsbury.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken, cooled
  • 1can (10 oz) Old El Paso™ mild red enchilada sauce
  • can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet
  • 1/4cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (5 oz)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix chicken and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce.
  2. Separate or cut dough into 4 rectangles (if using crescent rolls, press perforations to seal). Spoon chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon of the cheese onto 1 long side of each rectangle. Roll up.
  3. Place seam side down in baking dish about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake 20 minutes. Carefully remove dish from oven. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to oven. Bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until cheese melts.
  5. Meanwhile, microwave remaining sauce in microwavable glass measuring cup uncovered on High in 30-second intervals until hot. Drizzle over enchiladas.