Monday, August 31, 2009

Memo from God

MEMO FROM GOD ~ Author Unknown

Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes you need to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill my promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life.

1. QUIT WORRYING Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to me. And although my to-do list is long, I am after all, God. I can take care of anything you put into my hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME Once you've given your burdens to me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on my list. Problem with finances? Put it on my list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For my sake, put it on my list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with me and forget about them. Just let me do my job.

5.TALK TO ME I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please don't forget to talk to me OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in me that I know what I'm doing. Trust me, you wouldn't want the view from my eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7.SHARE You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes me a little longer than you expect to handle something on my to-do-list? Trust in my timing, for my timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for my sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only - to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes my heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget that!

With all my heart I love you,
GOD

Friday, August 28, 2009

Leaving a Legacy

What will your legacy be? What will people say about you? Above all else, let us all set our sights on the prize of hearing our precious Lord say to us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".



I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weeknight Dessert Recipe

What You Need!

8 OREO Cookies, divided
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
3/4 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided

Make It!

BREAK 1 cookie into 4 pieces; reserve for garnish. Crush remaining cookies.
BEAT pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. Stir in crushed cookies and 1/2 cup COOL WHIP. SPOON into 4 dessert dishes; top with remaining COOL WHIP and reserved cookie pieces.


Enjoy!
FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Announcing New Fall Bible Study

Our Fall Bible Study starts September 6 and I just cannot wait!

The FLO Ministry team gets teased by our husbands about our “Kumbaya” meetings, but the FLO Bible Study is SO much more than getting together for an emotional pick me up. We do have moments where all the ladies seem to weep on cue and we do have moments where we gather around a sister who is hurting or who has an acute need and we pray for her. I suppose we have even had moments when breaking out into a chorus of Kumbaya (or Breathe or Pass it on) would have been appropriate…..but we have not as of yet passed a lit candle between us singing “Go and light your world” to conclude a meeting. Still, our husbands’ teasings are a reminder of why we have the FLO Bible study in the first place….men and women are different.

As women we are relational by our very nature and it is natural for us to go to other women for advice and direction. As Christian women, we desire to have Christian homes, to raise Christian children, to be helpmates to our husbands, to be a positive influence in the workplace, in our home, in our church, and in our community. Unfortunately, we do not always get godly advice when we go to the women in our lives for advice on marriage, parenting, and how to be a positive influence. All too often the advice we receive from friends, family and co-workers is from a “worldly” point of view…one that is “self” driven rather than “Christ” driven. While the Bible Study’s main function is to bring women together to cultivate a deeper relationship with Christ and to grow and mature spiritually, it also provides us a place where we can open and honest about our struggles and needs and get advice from a Christ driven perspective.

The group has grown and expanded to include women of all ages and I have been privileged to watch these women minister to each other. I have witnessed tremendous spiritual growth in some women and have watched as some experience our Father’s love for the first time…or for the first time in a long time.

We always have room for one more, so please make plans to join us on Sunday nights at 5 starting September 6 as we begin Angela Thomas’s “A Beautiful Offering”.

Hugs!
K

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dandelions

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13

Chidlren have fun blowing the seeds off dandelions and watching them float away in all directions. Sometimes the children are disappointed when the fun is over; they want the heads back in one piece so they can experience it all again. But no amount of glue could put a dandelion together again in the way it was created. This dispersal of the dandelion head occurs for a reason: it maximizes the chances of one of the seeds finding a suitable place to set down roots and continue the life cycle. The simple act of letting go and allowing the forces of life to propel it is an integral part of the life process for dandelions.

When life blows us in new directions or propels us into a new stage, we often become uneasy. We may try to cling to the familiar rather than holding on tightly to life and allowing change to carry us along new paths. Fear of the unknown overwhelms many of us, preventing us from enjoying life in all its abundance. However, God calls us toward new horizons, new adventures, and new paths.

We may feel at times as if we are being blown apart, just like the dandelion head. God, however, already has a place prepared where we can put down roots and bloom afresh.

Life's winds blow us to new places and toward new growth.
- Meg Mangan

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

GAD or GOD?

I Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Are you a chronic worrier? Do you worry about bills, the future, health, debt, marriage issues? Has worry so consumed you that you have become "a fret machine"? If this describes you, perhaps you have generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD - a condition marked by a perpetual state of worry about most aspects of life. According to David Barlow, professor of psychology at Boston University, "the key psychological features of GAD is a state of chronic, uncontrollable worry." A little anxiety is normal, but constant worry is not.

Overwhelmed by suffering and persecution, the first-century Christians were driven out of Jerusalem and scattered throughout Asia (I Peter 1:1-7). Many of these Jesus-followers were experiencing feelings of distress because of possible danger or misfortune. Peter encouraged these believers not to be filled with anxiety but to cast all their worries upon God (5:7). He wanted them to realize that it made very little sense for them to carry their worries when they could cast them on God who cared deeply about what happened to them.

Are you a chronic worrier? Let God be responsible for your anxieties. Stop worrying and start trusting Him completely. - Marvin Williams

When every worry, every care
To God in faith is brought,
We have no place whereon to found
One single anxious thought.

Worry is a burden God never intended us to bear.

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-Up


What You Need!
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped 1/2 lb.
(8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pkg. (13.8 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust

Make It!
HEAT oven to 400°F. Brown ground beef with bacon and onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Return meat mixture to skillet. Add VELVEETA; cook until melted, stirring frequently. Cool 10 min.

UNROLL dough onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Press into 15x8-inch rectangle; top with meat mixture. Roll up, starting at one of the long sides. Rearrange if necessary so roll is seam-side down.

BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until golden brown.


Enjoy!
FLO Ministry Team

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Nature of Discouragement

Taken from Psalm 16:7-11 by Charles Stanley

Discouragement is a powerful, destructive force. Before we can understand how to rid our lives of this deadly landmine, we must recognize its harmful nature.
Understand that discouragement…


1. Is something we choose. Nobody else can make us discouraged; it is a choice that we alone make when facing disappointments.
2. Is universal. Everybody will face periods of disappointment and discouragement from time to time. This simply cannot be avoided, because we live in a seriously flawed world that is filled with equally flawed people.
3. Can recur. Sometimes we think we’ve settled an issue, which later resurfaces when we least expect it. Or, we may have old emotional wounds that are torn open by something a person says or does.
4. Can be temporary—or it can destroy our life. The choice is ours. If we refuse to deal with discouragement head-on, we are opening the door for it to completely dominate our life.
5. Is conquerable. With the Lord’s help, we can choose not to be discouraged. If we don’t believe discouragement can be conquered, then we’re actually saying that God doesn’t want His children to have a rich and fulfilled life.

Are you stuck in the throes of discouragement? If so, it will simply be impossible to experience the peace and inner joy that God wants for His children. Let Him help you out of that lowly state: start by believing that the Father wants to lift you up and get your life back on track with Him.

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

Check Your Vineyard!
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom - Song of Solomon 2:15

Commentary explains:
As a vineyard worker herself (
Son 1:6), this woman understood the danger a fox brings to a vineyard of grapes. History confirms that foxes destroy vineyards by eating the grapes. Fitting to the symbolic nature of poetry, the vineyards represent their intimate relationship and the little foxes represent anything that threatens to unravel that relationship. Just as foxes would destroy vineyards (remember Aesop’s “The Fox and the Grapes”?) stress, financial chaos, pornography, out-of-control children, workaholism, or over commitment in ministry can destroy the physical intimacy for a married couple. What do you do with little foxes? You trap them and get rid of them. Too many married couples try to keep up their vineyard and keep the foxes happy at the same time. But foxes are crafty and relentless. They won’t leave you alone until you deal with them. She begs her lover to get rid of these pests, lest their love be spoiled.

Little foxes do not only destroy the marriage relationship. Little foxes can devour you completely…one little bite at a time. BIG foxes like sickness, death, loss of a job, “back sliding”, etc. are easy to spot and we are quick to call Satan’s hand when he tries to send big foxes into our vineyard. HOWEVER, the little foxes can go unnoticed…for a time. We try to keep things running as they should and often find ourselves at a loss as to why things are “out of sorts”.

When you find you are feeling “out of sorts”, check your vineyard. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of the little foxes Satan has placed in the vineyard of your life! If you find little foxes in your vineyard, call them out! They are just as dangerous as the big ones! They eat the fruit in your vineyard…the fruits of:
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

So, check your vineyard. Send those little foxes packing.

Hugs, K

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School for the Christian

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” ~ II Timothy 2:15

Christian Back to School Tips by : Julia Bettencourt

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. (Rest in the Lord)
As parents we all know the benefits of getting our children to bed early on a school night. They need that added rest in order to get up early in the morning. A good night’s sleep will work wonders on your attitude the next day and it will help your whole disposition. Resting in the Lord will also make you fit and ready for the day. It will recharge you.

Psalm 37:7 - Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

2. GET A HEALTHY BREAKFAST.
(Have Prayer and Bible Study)
The experts all agree that giving a child breakfast before school helps in knowledge retention, test scores, and overall learning. As Christians we need to get a healthy breakfast of Bible study and prayer. Having some type of personal devotions will fuel you for the day.

Psalm 5:3 - In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

3. FOLLOW THE RULES. (Use the Bible as Your Guide)
School couldn’t be productive if it weren’t for the rules. We can all remember some of the basics. No fighting. No talking during class. No chewing gum. As Christians we have the best rule book of all. It covers all the basics. We need to use it as a guide on a daily basis. All of those do’s and don’ts in God’s Word are there to help us live productive lives.

Luke 11:28 - He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

4. DEVELOP GOOD WORK AND STUDY HABITS.
(Develop Good Bible Study Habits)
Children that develop good study habits are the ones who sail through school without major problems. We as Christians need to develop good study habits when it comes to God’s Word. Knowing the Word is what is going to make or break us. We’ve got to know the Word of God in order to live it.

II Timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

5. TRY YOUR BEST.
(Do Your Best for Christ)
Teaching our children to do their best will bring results and they can be proud of themselves. It’s rewarding to do your best. As Christians we need to strive to do our best in whatever we do. After all we are doing it to honor God.

Colossians 3:23, 24 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

6. GET ALONG WITH YOUR CLASSMATES. (Fellowship With Other Christians)
When children are taught to get along together at school it causes such a good atmosphere for learning. When we as Christians get along with each other and fellowship with one another, it causes more productive lives, which helps further the cause of Christ.

I John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

7. GET TO KNOW YOUR TEACHERS. (Know Christ More)
One of the first things a student needs to learn is what is expected of him from his teacher. How does that teacher deal with homework? With classroom policies? With grades? We need to know what Christ expects of us. Getting to know God will help us serve Him better.

I Chronicles 28:9 - And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Let’s try to remember to follow these tips. We should want to be a prepared and productive student of the Lord.

So, are you ready for the school of life?
His Forever,
Christa

Monday, August 10, 2009

This Little Light of Mine.....

.....I'm gonna let it shine....
That was the basic idea behind our sermon yesterday morning. "Are you shining your light or are you dimming the light in your world?"
Well, it's Monday again and I have a full 5 days of "work week" ahead of me in which to shine...or not.
Another verse of that children's song comes to mind.... " Won't let Satan blow it out. I'm gonna let it shine."
Let's pray
Father God, as I enter another week, let your light shine in me. Let me be a shining example of your love and mercy and grace. Help me to live my life in such a way that I am set apart as Your child. Put a guard on my lips against gossip and hurtful words; and on the tone of my voice so that my words are gentle, uplifting and affirming when I speak. Help my attitude to shine for you. Finally....help me be alert and aware of Satan's schemes and lies so that I don't allow him to cloud my thoughts, darken my attitude, and blow out my light.
Amen
I truly hope that you have a wonderfully amazing week!
Hugs!
K

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

Overdraft Protection

God is good and He’s good ALL THE TIME!

All of us can relate to a bank account with overdraft protection. Overdraft protection is something offered by a bank so that in the event of OUR human error, the bank can make it appear to everyone on the outside that we have plenty of money in our account and that all is well. If you’ve ever had to use your overdraft protection, you know that it’s not a pleasant experience because for every ‘protection’ or use of that service, you are penalized with a fee. As you know, those fees aren’t cheap, but it sure does help save face when it APPEARS that you have plenty of money in your account to take care of a check you’ve written.

The same can be said about God. He is our ultimate overdraft protection! He totally makes up for our shortcomings. He paid the ultimate price with His son by allowing Him to take the penalty for our sins on Calvary. Just like overdraft protection at the bank, there is no price to be paid to have this protection in place. We are promised that once we are His, nothing can pluck us out of His hand…we are guaranteed Heaven.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

His Forever,
Christa

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kids in the Kitchen

Birthday Fun Cups

Ingredients:

3 tab butter or margarine
1 pac (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies® OR
6 cup Ready-To-Eat Cereal Cocoa Krispies™
Pudding, ice cream or frozen yogurt
Ice cream topping, whipped topping and/or chopped nuts

Cooking Instructions:

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Divide warm mixture into sixteen 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray. Shape mixture into individual cups. Cool. Remove from pans.
4. Before serving fill with pudding, ice cream or frozen yogurt. Top with ice cream topping, whipped topping or nuts, if desired. Serve immediately.


Enjoy!
FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

FLO Fall Bible Study

The FLO Fall Bible Study will begin Sunday, September 6 at 5 pm.
I love the Fall Bible Study each year at Pearson. Not that this particular Bible Study is any better then the others we do throughout the year. I guess it has more to do with my frame of mind as the fall season approaches. For me, autumn seems to hold as much of a promise of a new beginning as New Year’s and Spring do for most people….maybe I just need more “fresh starts” than the average gal.
This has been a difficult year. Last September I was diagnosed with Cancer…on my vocal cords of all things. I had surgery in September of last year, then again in January, February, and April of this year. The threat of cancer has cast a shadow on every part of my life for almost a year now and to be honest, I am a little tired of it. I have struggled over the past 11 months with the darkness of fear….fear like I have never known in my life. I have had to trust complete strangers with my very life….and my voice. I have leaned harder on God than I ever thought possible. Many days, I did not even have the courage to lean on Him…He had to just pick me up and carry me. Through all of this I tried very hard to be very brave. Now that it’s over, I realize that I am absolutely drained. I am closer to my Lord than I have ever been. I understand more about Faith than I could have ever understood outside of this battle. I am more in love with Christ than I could have ever imagined possible…..but I am tired, and feeling a little empty.

All of this played a role in my choosing of the FLO Fall Bible Study. As with all things, I cannot imagine that I am the only one that has found herself empty. I cannot imagine that I am the only one who has felt she has nothing to offer her Savior in light of all He has given her. I cannot imagine that I am the only one who feels she must overcompensate for being flawed and scarred….and then feels paralyzed by the enormity of overcoming her imperfections. As I was skimming an excerpt from one of the Bible Studies we were thinking of doing this fall, my heart fell on the following phrase:

Maybe one of the most frustrating things about being a woman is living in the invisible ebb and flow of energy and emotion. When I hit the wall, my energy is gone, my heart is flat, and all I can see are my flaws. I can hear my poor spirit making a list: I should bake more and dust more and exercise more and give more and play more and pray more….just as I am falling asleep in my weariness.”

The excerpt is from “A Beautiful Offering” by Angela Thomas. Please make plans to join us in SEPTEMBER as we begin this study which reminds us that rather than requiring perfection, God simply requires our gracious obedience. In His eyes, your life, complete with mistakes, blemishes, and imperfections, is A Beautiful Offering.
Hugs!
K

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Morning Thoughts

As I reflect on our sermon yesterday I am in awe of how much GOD really IS IN CONTROL! I think a lot of time we take many things for granted, that when we set back and look at the big picture they are really God answering a question or a prayer for us. How many times do we ask Him questions only to forget what we’ve even asked and then get an answer from Him (because He NEVER forgets)? How many times have we been in a situation where we truly needed something and all of sudden we get it from unexpected sources? How many times have we thought if only I had…… and then somewhere out of the blue we have it?

This is not coincidental, this is God answering us. But the bad thing is that we aren’t always listening. It is true that we make our decisions on what we are going to do or say, and in our “human” ways these decisions are not always pleasing to God. Can we control ourselves? Sure we can, if we make ourselves. We have to work really hard at control issues and sometimes these come with many nights of not sleeping due to worry.

The greatest peace of mind there is, is knowing that even when we have lost control of ourselves, our family, our finances etc…. and it feels like our whole world is caving in on us, GOD IS IN CONTROL. He never loses control. We may at times push Him aside because of our desire to control things, but He is right there waiting on us to realize that we were not created to control everything. He is waiting on us to say:


“God, I know I have constantly put myself in front of you, trying to take control of my life. I have thought that I could handle any situation and make everything work out, but Dear Lord I come to you asking you for forgiveness. I realize that I was not created to control everything. I was created to carry out YOUR PLAN and to let you be the one in control. I am giving up my position as Pilot and taking my rightful place as your co-pilot.”

I challenge all of you to take a step back and allow God to be in control of your life. As our pastor told us “Do not lean your ladder on earthly things because they will not withstand the pressure. Lean your ladder on God, he can withstand anything."

Lovingly,

Christie