Friday, February 20, 2015
As I was reading in chapter 20 of the book of John, I noticed that there are three types of encounters with Christ;
Jesus appears to Mary and He gives her a Message.
Jesus appears to the disciples and gives them a Mission.
Jesus appears to Thomas and gives him a Mandate.
Let's take a look at each one:
Jesus meets Mary Magdalene early in the morning in the tomb as she's standing there lost in grief. He shows Himself to her, but she doesn't recognize Him, so He calls her by name, thrilled at the sight of Him she wants to hold on and not let Him go...but He wants her to serve Him. She is given a task she must complete. She must tell the disciples about Jesus' impending ascension to the Father. She is the one chosen and entrusted with this important Message.
Jesus meets with the disciples later that same evening as they are locked away in fear. Thomas is not there. Jesus comforts the rest of them with His gift of peace, He reveals Who He is, He breathes on them and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit, and then He explains what He wants them to do. Armed with the blessing of the Holy Spirit they are now expected to step outside of their fear...He is sending them out of that room and into the world...because they have a Mission to accomplish.
Jesus meets Thomas eight days later. Thomas is present with the other disciples this time but he is filled with doubt. Jesus greets them all with His peace and then turns His focus onto Thomas. This doubter is called upon to touch and see the scars of Christ, He highlights Thomas' need for proof and then He gives him a strong Mandate to obey regarding his attitude...stop doubting and BELIEVE!
All of these encounters with Jesus are up close and personal. Do you long for such a meeting with Him?
Perhaps, like Mary, Jesus is right there with you in your grief but you have not recognized or perceived His presence. Perhaps, like the disciples you're in fear of what's coming next. Perhaps, like Thomas you're in doubt and waiting for God to prove Himself to you.
Are you ready for a Close Encounter with Christ during this season of Lent? Perhaps, as you open your eyes and your ears and your heart to Him, He will reveal Himself to you. He will comfort you. and He will meet you where you are.
Are you ready to be sent forth with a Message to give?
Are you seeking to be sent out on a Mission for Him?
Are you in need of a Mandate regarding your current attitude?
Whether you are in grief, in fear, or in doubt,
God will meet you right where you are.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
Do I feel passionate about my relationship with God? Am I living a wholehearted life? What things do I feel like I need to change about my spiritual life? What areas of my life are suffering due to complacency?
These are a few of the questions that I'm asking myself. At the end and beginning of each year is a great time to take stock of one's life. An inventory if you will. Start with the most important relationships and move out from there.
Personally, I start with God...
How have I treated God over the past year? What type of relationship do I have with Him? Is He first in my daily life and not just on the papers in my journal? How is my prayer life? How often do I praise and worship Him? How can I serve Him better? How often do I express my gratitude toward Him?
Then I have to check in with me!
How have I treated myself over the past year? Is my body a temple dedicated to God's glory? Is my mind filled with excess frustration or fear? Am I telling myself the truth about my gifts, talents, body, health, etc? Am I working to improve my skills?
After that I move on to my husband...
How did I treat my husband? Does he feel valued and loved? What is important to him? What he is struggling with? What are his personal goals and dreams? How often do I let him know how much I appreciate him?
You get the idea, don't you?
Go through each relationship with a few questions. Then you can move on to your work/ministry, hobbies, goals, dreams...what have you. Take inventory of your gifts and talents. Ask yourself questions and take the time to thoughtfully and prayerfully answer them. Get out your Bible and learn what God says about how to interact with Him. Take some time to learn what the Word says about you as a person and as His child. Pray about your purpose and your calling. Listen to His still small voice.
For me the year 2015 will be a year of PASSION. A year of wholehearted focus on being and doing what He has called me to be and do. A year of putting my all into whatever I'm doing and whoever I'm with. A year of living life to the full!
I'm a woman, a wife, a mother, and soon to be a grandmother. I'm a counselor, a singer/songwriter, a worship leader, a co-host on a talk show. I want to do all that I'm doing with intention, without reservation, with PASSION!
As you listen to God's word for you
allow Him to speak into your life as never before.
Allow Him to set the tone
for this New Year of your life and beyond.
May you be blessed beyond
all of your expectations.
And may 2015 be your best year yet!
Friday, December 26, 2014
Normally this recipe is made with saltines on the bottom layer. Since I'm gluten free I couldn't use the regular crackers and I haven't seen any gluten free alternatives here in Belize. However, I recently found a gluten free Rice Biscuit Cereal and decided to see if they would work in this recipe and they did!
Oh my goodness does this treat live up to it's nickname. I couldn't stop eating it until it was all gone! I have to add this to my Christmas treats for next year!!!
Easy Gluten Free Toffee
3 cups Gluten Free Rice Biscuit Cereal (or Rice Chex)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips (apx 2 cups)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Line cookie sheet with rice chex
*In a saucepan using medium heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil, slowly pour mixture over rice chex and spread with a spatula to cover. (Don't worry about being perfect!)
*Bake for about 5 minutes
*Remove from oven and cover with chocolate chips, let them sit for a minute or two and then use a spatula to smooth out the chocolate.
*Top with nuts and/or salt
*Refrigerate until set. Then cut or break into pieces.
I used the nuts with a bit of salt sprinkled on top...YUMMO! Enjoy!
I used the nuts with a bit of salt sprinkled on top...YUMMO! Enjoy!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Personally, I think Tom is one of the most creative people on the planet...but, perhaps, I might be biased! He was asked to do some artwork for the set of Divaz Next Door which is a local talk show on PlusTV, a Christian TV station, here in Belize. Here are some photos that I put together showing the evolution of his artwork!
His initial concept
He wasn't happy with the direction of this one...
So he changed direction.
Cirilo's preparing the set
The table was custom made by Pastor Scott Stirm and his son Shane.
all set and ready to go!
And it's show time!
We had an informative talk with Mrs Arzu about the Garinagu people of Belize
Saturday, October 25, 2014
After months of repeatedly calling the city to remind them to do their pick up of yard clippings they finally showed up today! There was so much debris throughout our community they had to send a backhoe and a dump truck out to do the collection.
As you can see it's been so long since the last pick up
that we actually had a tree growing out of the pile in front of our house.
Tom went out to thank the driver and chat with him.
They had a four man crew out working.
One driving the backhoe, one driving the dump truck,
and two helping to load the backhoe when needed.
There was a snake in that pile!!!
As they finished up in front of our home we thanked them and clapped. We pray it won't be another year before they come again. All up and down the street in all three phases of the area we live in there are piles of yard waste and overgrown bush. The jungle just keeps growing back if no one clears it. And that makes a breeding ground for snakes and vermin that becomes hazardous to all the neighbors.
We're grateful that it's finally cleared. It looks better and it's much safer for us all!