Archive | November, 2014

Before Amen – Week 2 – You Are Good, I Need Help

30 Nov

Blog - 1 Peter 57

Before Amen is a Bible study I am currently participating in with Proverbs31.Org.  It’s not too late to join and I promise you will be blessed.  I am learning so much about prayer.

Do you struggle with prayer?  I do, but this simple little prayer Max talks about makes it come to life in such an easy way that anyone can follow.  He told us in a video on Monday about his prayer life and how he struggled with prayer so that is why he wrote the book.

This second week we delved into a bit more of the pocket prayer we learned about last week.  You can read about that here.

Psalm 25:7 says, “You are good, LORD and Psalm 86:5 (NIV) says, “You LORD, are forgiving and good.”

Max Lucado reminded us that the God we know in the Bible cannot be contained, and how He has authority over your world, my world, our sleep patterns, our eating habits, salary, traffic in our commutes, arthritis in our joints, etc..  He reigns.  I just can’t help thinking about the song You Reign by Mercy Me .

One of my favorite quotes this week from Chapter 3 was “Before you face the world, face your Father.”  Ah yes.  What a difference the day is when we start our morning with prayer before anything else.  I have laid in bed each morning this week waking up before 4 and that is really early for me when the earliest I wake up is at 4:45.  This Sunday morning it was 3:30 and I laid there with a little hip pain from a trip this week, and just thinking about my Father and how I could add to that “You are good”.  Here are some things I added to this part of the pocket prayer:

  • You are Mighty
  • You Are
  • You are my Counselor
  • You are my Savior
  • You are my King
  • You are Awesome
  • You are my Lord
  • You are my Abba
  • You are my Healer
  • You are the Prince of Peace

Those are just a few and just so powerful with this short little prayer.

One of my nuggets or take away verses from this chapter was “our toughest challenges are simple oil changes to God.”

Chapter 4 is titled I Need Help and continues the pocket prayer.  In the study guide for Before Amen Max asked what he called a “million-dollar question”.  “Are you willing to utter these three words, “I need help,” even if we have to choke them out?”  This was significant for me.  Have you had a time in your life when you could not choke out a prayer?  I have, and I wish I had this simple prayer at that time.

The photo above was our memory verse for the week.  Can you cast all your anxiety on Him?  I believe I can.  I believe now if there is ever another time I can’t choke out a prayer that I can go to Him and say “Father, you are good, I need help.”  How about you?





27 Nov

Blog - Psalm 6930

As you gather with your family and friends today, I wish you a safe and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  Give thanks today for all the blessings in your lives.

Here are a couple of quotes I found I wanted to share with you as you pause to give thanks today:

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  William Arthur Ward

“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” — Shakti Gawain

Mom’s Pumpkin Bread – Thanksgiving Memories

26 Nov


This morning as I finished my pecan pies and cornbread, began dicing onions and celery and was savoring the smell of pumpkin bread, I was enjoying the privilege and blessing of being able to cook and to be able to afford food and cook in a newly remodeled kitchen.  I was enjoying the birds outside my kitchen window in one of the bird feeders my husband gave me when I retired, and all of a sudden I got a bit melancholy dicing those onions and the tears began to swell – no it wasn’t fro the onions because they were sweet onions.  About that time the phone rang, and it was my husband.  God’s timing is perfect.

I love, love, love my Mom’s pumpkin bread.  It is so delicious with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee for breakfast.  I don’t know where Mom got this recipe – perhaps on the back of a can of pumpkin, a magazine, friend, etc..  Here it is:



3 1/3 cups sifted flour                                                              2/3 cup raisins or dates

½ tsp baking powder                                                               2 2/3 cups sugar

2 tsp soda                                                                              2/3 cups salad oil

1 ½ tsp. salt                                                                           4 eggs

1 tsp. cinnamon                                                                      2 cups can pumpkin

½ tsp. ground cloves                                                               2/3 cup water

2/3 cup nuts

Heat oven to 350.  Sift and measure flour, add powder, soda, salt and spices.  Toss nuts and fruit in flour mixture.  I do this in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and oil at slow speed.  Add eggs (1 at a time), pumpkin, flour mixture and water.  Beat until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or 1 greased bundt pan.   Bake approximately 1 hour.

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.1 Chronicles 29:13

Caught In The Middle – Book Review

25 Nov

I loved this book. I love this author. It is an easy read and filled with God, love, and surprises you do not expect.  Although this was the third in the series, I did not realize that when I chose it, but it was like picking up a brand new novel and you don’t realize it is a series. It was great reading as a stand alone.  After reading this one, I’m going to go buy the first two and read more about the characters.  This was my first book by Regina Jennings and loved this historical romance and her writing. .

This book is about a woman, Ann Tillerton who grew up abused and murders her husband.  Ann has run from society and is a buffalo hunter.  She runs into an old friend on a train while on a mission to locate a cook who she does find, but the cook runs and leaves Ann with a baby.

Nick, the family friend is a well respect business man in the town and Ann has previously saved him on the train so he tries to help finding her housing and giving her work.  Nick soon finds out how easy it is to follow God when things are going good, because they go downhill and he has to make decisions on what his actions will be and the consequences of them.

The character, Ophelia added some messiness and hatefulness plot to the story.  She was what you expect of a snob and did that well as she ignored Ann even speaking about her to Nick as if Ann were not there.

This booked is packed with politics, high-society, wilderness adventures, love, adultery, conflict, corruption, murder, abuse,religion, excitement, romance, and Texas.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through their book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Before Amen – Week 1- What’s Your Prayer Life Like Today?

24 Nov

I am part of the Proverbs 31.Org Bible study and we just began a study on Max Lucado’s Book Before Amen.  There was so much this week it is hard to choose what to write about, and just where to start.   Can I just say WOW and WOW!

I loved the memory verse this week.

blog - matthew 66a

It says to go away by ourselves and shut the door.  Love praying on my sofa or on my knees in front of it, but I also found this week I love praying on my closet floor.  Yep I had to clean the floor a bit to organize all the shoes but I did it, and as suggested I took the 4-minute challenge and took my timer in and so here I go for 28 days.  How about you?  Here’s a link to sign up.

I love the part of the verse that says, “God sees everything…”.  He sees it all.  He sees every fear, every tear, every worry, every hair on my head, every star in the sky, the birds in the air.   My prayers are significant.  My prayers are not insignificant to God.  Did you hear that – they are significant!  NOTHING is insignificant to Him.

When we go to our closets or where ever you pray each day, Max provided a simple prayer to follow and you can add to it as you go.  It is called a pocket prayer.  I found myself saying it all week in many classes while I substituted at different schools as a teacher.  Here it is.  It’s simple – tell your Father why He is good, pray for yourself and why you need help, pray for others and why they need help.  Lastly thank Him for whatever is on your heart.  Start simply and build upon this one.

“Father You are good, I need help.  They need help.  Thank You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.”

Max talked about being a prayer wimp and how his brain wonders from here to there, how he can fall asleep praying.  Can you associate with that?  Do you struggle with prayer – being busy, feeling awkward, unbelief because of things that have happened in life?  I can.

“Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client.”  Max Lucado

We can pray anywhere, anytime.  I find myself praying all day long.  It might be standing over a sink of dirty dishes thanking God for them and the food He puts on our table.  You might find me folding my husband’s underwear and praying as I fold each piece, or ironing his shirts.  Many times laying in bed during the night or awakening I lay there and pray.  Our grandson was here a week ago spending the night and ended up in our bed, and as he laid his little head on my stomach, I found myself touching his head and praying for him head to toe as I moved my hand down his precious little body.  I pray on my sofa in the mornings for my Bible study sisters and my family – sometimes simple prayers, sometimes gut-wrenching prayers and tears.  Now I’m finding myself praying the pocket prayer at school, when I am in a checkout line, or a service station – just pray for whoever you come in contact with throughout your day – even those people trying to run you off the freeway.

In chapter 2 we were reminded that our Abba, Father is like our daddy and He awaits for us to come to Him just like a little child running to their daddy.  Max said, “Forget greatness; seek littleness.  Trust more; strut less.  Make lots of requests, and accept all the gifts.  Come to God the way a child comes to Daddy.”  And another of my favorites, “Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray.”

Lastly, one of the things this past week that blessed me and I hope it does you too was the webcast.  You will hear Max here telling us how to handle our problems.  He told us to cup our hands in front of us and to reduce the problem down to a sentence.  For example, you could say my health is serious, I have no solutions and then turn it over to Christ. Lift that problem up to Christ as you lift up those cupped hands and say “Father you are good.  I need help” and then slowly lower your hands.  He told us to stop taking our problems to the bar or friends.

 Blog-Philippians 46

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