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Gift from God

Lydia June Easter and proud Grandma

Lydia June Easter- Gift from God-Proud Grandma

Margaret Morgan is the winner of the cornucopia basket!! Email me your address!

Our daughter Hannah and her husband, Jake had their first baby this past week. We have been thanking God everyday for Lydia.

Hannah’s labor was quick, but hard.  Immediately after Lydia was born she was taken to the NICU, she had Meconium aspiration. She was released to a normal room in less than 24 hours. I’ve been with Hannah most of the week and now preparing for a marriage conference tomorrow where Dale and I are the keynote speakers.

 

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking in Buffalo, NY at the Women Standing Strong conference. The theme of the weekend was Breaking Down the Walls. Oh MY how the Lord ministered to us all.  Before the Israelites could come into the Promised Land the walls of Jericho HAD to come down. We all have walls that we build around ourselves from time to time. Sometimes we build them because of past disappointments, sometimes because we’re too afraid to trust God. . .

What walls have you built around yourself thinking you were protecting yourself when all along they are preventing you from the greater blessing? Lord, show us the walls and help us to take them down. We want everything You have for us and nothing less. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Still praying for last weeks prayer requests. I’ve got three prayer warriors praying over these. My heart breaks for you and the things you’re going through. May the Lord strengthen you and give you peace that passes all understanding.

 

     

Pray Until Something Happens

 

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Pray Until Something Happens Story

Last weeks winner of 3 books, DVD, candle jars and seeds is Kim- you posted on 2014/09/18 at 4:24 PM.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately,

“My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure;and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens! When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. … When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. … When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. … When your money looks funny and the bills are due, P.U.S.H. … When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H.

What mountain do you need GOD to move? Your finances? Job? A relationship? Sickness? Your ministry? Tell me in the comment section below. Your request will enter your name to win this cornucopia full of fresh fall gourds, some from my very own garden. Cornucopia means, horn of plenty or abundance of something. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Last week we prayed for your prayer requests. Many answered prayers have been coming in!! Thank You Lord! We need each other! The power of prayer is incredible.

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

     

Love- The Antidote for The Poison of Unforgiveness

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

If you are visiting from P31′s devotion today, welcome!

Raging anger morphed him into someone I’d never seen.  It was horrible. Just minutes before, we were having a civilized conversation.

His body racked with pain.  Morphine,  alcohol, and other drugs were his best friends.  Doctors couldn’t find the source of his pain.  He looked desperately to me. “Help me, Sharon, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I prayed with him and when I opened my eyes, asked him the question that led to his rage, “Is there someone you need to forgive?”  He became fidgety.  His voice got stronger and assertive.  “Well, yes but that has nothing to do with, anything.

I asked, “Who can’t you forgive?”  He rolled his eyes, got out of his chair, and morphed into a mad man. Profanities shot from the secret place of his heart.

Gently I said, “Can you forgive them?”

“NO!”  He screamed. “Leave me the %^%$# alone! You have no idea what you are asking!”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes, I do. I’ve had to forgive. . .”

When Satan gets a foothold (a door) into our life through anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness- it’s destructive.

He (Satan) wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Give him the opportunity and he’ll wreck our life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the secular world knows that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause untold physical and mental issues.

What lives within the secret place of our soul, ultimately defines our life.

Every day, many times (even hourly) I have to go before with the Lord and give Him my burdens, grievances, and hurt.  I open the Word desperately searching for answers and He always provides.  He’s faithful.

The more time I spend in the secret place with Him and His Word, the more His attributes become mine.  I see others through His eyes and not my own. I can forgive as He forgives because He gives me His ability.  His love consumes me and I am able to live above my circumstances and not be controlled by them.

Oh, love- His love “is as strong as death. . . Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8:7a).  Bitterness, unforgiveness. . . can’t live in the presence of Jesus’ love.  It conquers all!

His love is the antidote for the poison of it.  The secret place of our heart is sacred to Jesus. We can’t let unforgiveness reside there.  It can cause serious issues.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus tells us, “ what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. . .”  If we bury resentment in the secret place of our heart, it will come out one way or the other.  What lives within the secret place of our soul- ultimately defines our life.

Is there someone you need to forgive?  Someone you can’t love?  Get alone in a room. Shut the door.

1. Ask Jesus to help you by the Helper, Holy Spirit 2. Forgive (meaning to release from judgement) them 3. Tell Satan (out-loud)- “In the Name that is above every other name JESUS… The Accuser (Satan) has no power over me and I’m free.  FREE INDEED!”

There’s also a test I use on my heart.  Think about the person that you may have an issue with. Pray that God will pour bountiful blessings on them and that He will prosper them in everything they do.  If you can’t pray that, go back to step #1.

If they live near by, bring them a plate of cookies (8 of my favorite recipes)or invite them to a homemade German Pot Roast dinner with all the trimmings! If they live far away, send a card or call them on the phone in a kind, humble spirit.  An act of love is powerful.

None of us are exempt from hardships with difficult people.  Injustices are worthy of anger.  It’s healthy to get angry over injustice.  But, anger can never be allowed to rule over us.  We can’t open the door of bitterness and unforgiveness to dwell within.  We must guard the secret place of our heart from everything that pollutes.

Now, to get back to the story with my friend…

He FORGAVE and is a new man!!  He was tormented for 40 years and is now free!  What lives within the secret place of his soul, now gloriously defines his life. He’s a new man with a peace that passes understanding!

Do you or someone in your life struggle with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness? Leave a one word comment below and we will pray. Your comment will enter you to win three of my favorite books, a DVD, the glass candle holders shown and seeds from my zinnia plants here: The Unburdened Heart  by Suzie Eller, A Tale of Three Kings  (A Study in Brokenness) and The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond and DVD Les Miserables. gift

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

     

Rachael’s Woodland Baby Shower

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Rachael’s baby shower was this past weekend!  Her baby is due November 4. It’s a boy! They haven’t announced his first name yet. Hence his last name “Curry”  strung at top of cake between two branches. Organic gluten free cake. Made with all natural dyes. I curled organic chocolate to make trees on the cake.  Wilton tip 233 piped frosting to look like grass for the animals to stand on and tree tops.  I used Wilton tip 48 for the rest of the frosting. We had lots of tree stumps ready for fall splitting and used one to set cake on.

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Rachael, her sisters, niece and me. Rachael’s the one in the red dress in the center! Her sister, Hannah is due to have  baby, Lydia- next week!!! We are SO excited!!!Her mother-in law gave Hannah’s baby shower last month. Hannah is on the end.

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Homemade Beatrix Potter flags decorated the table- thanks to Grandpa Dale!

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Hannah prepared the meat, cheese and fruit platter.

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Jennifer made buckeye acorns. The flower arrangements were freshly pulled carrots, radishes and fresh basil from the garden displayed in mason jars.

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Dairy free Punch. Pureed raspberries, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ginger-ale.

PIMG_0029 Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(15) Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(44) IMG_0010IMG_0015 Friends and family came from NYC, NC and all over VA to come to the shower!

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Chrissy- childhood best friend

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Mother-in-law, Barbara Curry, Rachael and her sister-in-law, Laura

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Rachael and Grandma Shanaberger

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Aunt Dawn, Rachael and Grandma Marilyn

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Aunt Susan, cousin Danielle, Rachael and cousin Lauren

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Selena and Rachael. Heather  hollowed cabbage out and filled with spinach dip- served with vegetables.

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Rachael due November 4 and her sister due Sept 18 and they didn’t plan it! Heather, their oldest sister had her baby in March. BLESSINGS!!!!

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Her friends and family showered her with blessings all day! It was a perfect shower!

     

3 Ways to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

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“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”Bonhoefer

My heart aches for our family (Christians) who are enduring the horrific persecution in Iraq.  News stations have reported  brutal murders, beheadings, and tormenting acts against Christians living in the country of Iraq.  Most have had to flee their homes or risk rape and murder.  Many, upon fleeing their homes have died on the journey over the mountains because of starvation.  If they can’t leave their homes, they’re tortured and killed.  Mosul Iraq is said to be completely barren of Christians.

One report said, “Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

The writer of Hebrews (in chapter 13 verse 3) tells us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Jesus knew that His followers would endure persecution. He endured so much persecution for us.  The early church endured persecution at such an intensity that most of us have a hard time relating to it.  But, this was the situation from which Jesus gave instructions to His followers by saying, “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23).

I want to be equipped and ready to follow the Lord, to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him just like the Christians of Iraq. Oh my goodness friends, could you do what they are doing? Yes, we could. But it would be grueling, oh how they need our support!

Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…”

Paul wasn’t speaking figuratively.  He was prepared to die for the King of Glory, who had literally laid down His physical body for him. These blessed Christians in Iraq are willingly sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For Christ they are willing to die, to be mutilated, to suffer. My heart explodes for them as I know yours does.

Three Ways  to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

  1. Increase awareness on social media about the persecution in Iraq. Many are putting up a symbol nunsymbol1on their social media, it’s the Arabic letter “nun.” It’s the first letter in the word Nazarene.  It is being painted on properties owned by Christians so that the terrorists can identify them.  The people are using this symbol as profile pictures, so as to “identify” or “remember” those who are suffering in Iraq- and even boldly associate themselves with those  Christians.  This is a brave act of “remembering those who are suffering as if you, yourself were suffering.
  2. Pray privately and corporately for the deliverance of the people of Iraq.  Gather a small group together for the sole purpose of prayer for the persecuted. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.…”  Let’s gather together and lift up the Christians of Iraq.

3. Support a trustworthy organization working to help persecuted Christians who have been hurt or are without shelter or food. Voice of the Martyrs,Crisis Response International Samaritans Purse  and Christian Aid are just of few that I know who are working the field diligently and need our support to help those in need.

Jesus himself prophesied of “wars and rumors of wars…” (Matthew 24:6a) but he adds instruction for us in this- “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”