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Archive for July, 2008

I am a little preoccupied right now. I am trying to get ready for Camp Meeting. It starts on Monday but I will be going down on Sunday after church. My posts may be a little delinquent for the next little bit but I will be back. 🙂 I hope those of you who are in California and Nevada will be at Camp. I would love to see you all.

In the meantime please keep Timo Simoneaux in your prayers (see previous post). God is able to perform a miracle here.

Talk to you all in a few days!

Blessings

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I am asking all my blogger friends to pray again. This time for Timothy Simoneaux (read prayer request below). God has heard us so many times and I know that this will be no different. His healing power can reach across the nations through your prayers and touch Timo. You can visit Timo’s blog here. Please keep the family in your prayers. I know at times like this they probably feel very alone so far away from family. However, I know that God can bring them peace and comfort. Thank you once again for praying.

Timo

From: WORLD NETWORK OF PRAYER

Timothy (Timo) Simoneaux, a missionary kid from Africa, has bacterial meningitis. He has been unresponsive for five hours and is being air-evaced from Malawi to South Africa. They expect the plane to arrive within the next five hours. Please pray that the plane will arrive sooner and get him to South Africa. Please pray for God’s healing power to flow in Timothy’s body. Please pray that the family will have peace in this scary time.

P.S. To stay updated visit Tracie’s blog. She and her husband pastor in Conroe, Texas.  Vicki Simoneaux (Timo’s mother) is Tracie’s sister.

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As I was looking back through some of my archives I came across this from September, 2006. I wanted to share it with you again. Enjoy!

“Our Father which are in Heaven…”

Yes?

Don’t interrupt me—I’m praying.

But you called me.

Called you? I didn’t call you! I’m praying, “Our Father which art in Heaven…”

There, you did it again.

Did What?

Called me. You said, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” Here I am. What’s on your mind?

But I didn’t mean it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer, It makes me feel good. Like getting a duty done.

All right. Go on.

“Hallowed be Thy Name…”

Hold it. What do you mean by that?

By what?

By, “Hallowed be Thy Name.”

It means…it means…I don’t know what it means! How should I know? It’s just part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

It means honored, holy, wonderful…

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought what “hallowed” meant before. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”

Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?

What are you doing about it?

Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.

Have I got control of YOU?

Well, I go to church.

That isn’t what I asked you. What about the habit of lust you have? And your bad temper? You really have a problem there, you know. And then there’s the way you spend your money…all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?

Stop picking on me! I’m just as good as some of the rest of those phonies at church!

Excuse me. I thought you were praying for My will to be done. If that is so, to happen it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

Oh, all right. I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.

So could I.

I haven’t thought about it much until now, but I really would like to cut some of those things. I would like to, you know, really be free.

Good, now we’re getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can be won. I’m proud of you.

Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. “Give us this day our daily bread…”

You need to cut the bread. You’re overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this? “Criticize Me Day”? Here I was, doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups!

Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. You called me and here I am. It’s too late to stop now. Keep on praying. I’m interested in the next part of your prayer…………..Well, go on.

I’m scared to.

Scared? Of what?

I know what you’ll say.

Try me and see.

“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…”

What about Bill?

See? I knew it! I knew you would bring it up! Why, Lord, he’s told lies about me. Cheated me out of some money. He never paid back that debt he owed me. I’ve sworn to get even with him!

But your prayer? What about your prayer?

I didn’t mean it.

Well, at least you’re honest. But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

No, but I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for Bill! He’ll wish he never did me any harm.

You won’t feel better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you are now. But I can change all that.

You can? How?

Forgive Bill. Then I’ll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Bill’s problem, not yours. You may lose the money, but you will have settled your heart.

But Lord, I can’t forgive Bill.

Then I can’t forgive you

Oh, you’re right. You always are. And more than I want revenge on Bill, I want to be right with you………Alright, alright. I forgive him. Help him find the right road in life, Lord. He’s bound to be miserable, now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things he does to others has to be out of it. Somehow, some way, show him the right way.

There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.

You’re not through with your prayer. Go on.

Oh, all right. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just please don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?

Quit hanging around the magazine stand, video and music stores where unwholesome material is sold. Change some of your friendships. Some of your so-called friends are beginning to get to you. They’ll have you completely involved in wrong things before long. Don’t be fooled. They advertise they’re having fun, but for you it would be ruin. Don’t use ME for an escape hatch.

I don’t understand.

Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble and then you come running to me. “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

Yes. And I’m ashamed, Lord, I really am.

Which bargain are you remembering?

Well, when the woman next door saw me coming out of the “adult” bookstore. I’d told my mother I was going to a store. I remember telling you, “Oh, God, Don’t let her tell Mom where I’ve been. I promise I’ll be in church every Sunday.”

She didn’t tell your mother, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?

I’m sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now, I thought that if I prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I like. I didn’t expect anything to happen like it did.

Okay. Go ahead and finish your prayer.

“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

No. But I’d like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life. And I can see how neat it would be to really be one of your followers.

You just answered the question.

I did?

Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of those sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there’s no telling what we can do together.

Lord, let’s see what we can make of me, okay?

Yes, let’s see!

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Ephesians 4:30-32

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)

I have been thinking lately, what makes people bitter about life? Was it a word ill spoken? Was it an untimely death of a loved one? Was it an unfaithful spouse? What is it that makes people go through life tasting sand with each bite of food they take? What is it that makes bitter people not see the beauty in each day or the joy in the laughter of children? Why would someone want to live a life so distraught and unhappy? We all know that when we are bitter that the person we are bitter toward owns us. They own our every thought and sometimes our actions. Is it worth that? I don’t think so. I would rather take that hurt or wound to the altar in prayer and leave it there. Lay that person on the altar and let God take care of it. He can do a much better job than I. I know it may sound simplistic and almost flippant…”well, just take it to the altar and leave it there”. No! It is not simple. Having to lay those things down and not pick them up again is no simple task when you have truly been offended or hurt in a deep manner. By not picking them up again I mean, not continuing to talk about it on a consistent basis. Here is a good “test”…can you hear that person’s name or talk about them without that old feeling of bitterness coming back up in your throat? Can you go through an hour, a day without thinking of that person? How long has it been since you thought of the wrong that was done to you? You know, we all have a chance in life to become bitter. How will we deal with it? I hope I choose to continue to take it to the Lord in prayer. I often say to people to keep washing it out through prayer. Sometimes it takes more than one or two prayer meetings. We may have to do it many times before we can feel totally free of the bitterness. But if that is what it takes then so be it. I don’t want to live my life centered around a hurt done to me by someone. There is no easy remedy for bitterness other than what we find in the Word. Psalm 119:165 says, Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them. That is a very stout scripture when you really stop to think about it. …and NOTHING shall offend them? How? By loving the law (word) of God. Is it really that simple? YES! “Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. We must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) If we love the law of the Lord it is easy to forgive. Fill yourself with His Word. Give yourself to God in prayer. Take a look back at the scripture at the beginning of this post. I believe that part of the answer to getting rid of bitterness (v.31) is found in verse 32…”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” When we take the focus from off ourself and begin to do good to others it is easier to “get rid of bitterness”. Try giving yourself away today. Please do not allow bitterness to take the joy out of living.

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Yesterday we took Communion as part of our mid-year renewal service.  The service was so precious and refreshing.  To remember what the Lord has done for me is a little overwhelming.  I can’t thank Him enough or praise Him enough.  Yesterday it was as if He walked into the Sanctuary and wrapped His loving arms around all of us.  We were blessed and renewed.  Thank God for Calvary.  I will cherish the old rugged cross and exchange it some day for a crown!  Looking forward to that day, but as I continue to live in this world I’m so glad I have Jesus!

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On our blogs we have had favorite teacher surveys and talked of people who we felt have influenced our lives the most. We’ve asked each other the question, “Who do you consider to have had the most impact on your life”? These are good things and people to talk about. We all have “heroes”. There are surveys out all the time about who the most influential men and women are in the world. However, who’s impact/influence has stood the test of time?

Socrates? He taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3-1/2. Yet the influence of Jesus 3-1/2 year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all time. Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies and oratories they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.

Though some would like to deny it, the most worthy impact Jesus has had in the lives of men, women and children through the ages continues even today. How is His impact on you, today, personally? Is he still the beautiful rose of Sharon, the lily in the valley, the power that is found in His name, the one who gives you a song in the night….?

There may be many people to whom we are thankful for the influence they presently have or have had on our life. However, I hope and pray that the most influential people in our life be those who are also most influenced by Jesus Christ! Better yet, is that we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are under the control of His influence we can become the greatest influence in the lives of others as well!

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Here is a recipe I fixed on July 4th and it was a smashing success. Since it is so hot these days you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Good to serve with chips in a bowl OR on hot dogs and hamburgers.

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chili powder

1 TBLS paprika

1 TBLS ground cumin

! tsp garlic powder

1 TBLS dried Mexican leaf oregano

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to your taste—we like it HOT)

1 tsp salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 (10 oz.) can Salsa de Chile Fresco (Mexican Tomato Sauce)

1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes

1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, undrained

1 TBLS balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet,brown ground beef and onion together; drain excess fat (I used extra lean ground beef). Add chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and fresh ground pepper; simmer stirring occasionally about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes and beans; simmer about 5 minutes and then add the balsamic vinegar. Pour into small crock-pot and heat on low about 2 hours OR until the gang arrives.

Top with: cheese, onions, sour cream…

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