Lovely Family

Friday, 19 December 2014

He Asked Me For A Drink



Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
(John 4:7)


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Dear Lovely Readers,

Today, how will you react when the Lord asks you for a drink?

Will you maybe ignore His Voice, avoid His Words, 'block' His request, or attempt to drown Him out with Christmas Carols and Shopping Malls?   Will you excuse yourself because you're too tired/busy/inconvenienced, then politely decline by being 'helpful' enough to point Him to another source of refreshment? 

Your thoughts may actively lead you to wonder, "Why would He be asking? 'Shouldn't He be the One giving instead? Isn't He The source of provision in my life?

Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  
When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  
Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  
(Matthew 25: 37-39)


But the Lord DOES ask and WILL ask.  THAT is part of His Righteous Character.

Jesus asks each of us for a drink. 

And yes, we all DO hear Him.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God,
and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’
you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
(John 4:10)
 
This week the Lord asked me for a drink.

I also heard it but I admit that I didn't really 'know' the gift. 

Instead, I complained a little under my breath (because I myself claimed the need to be watered), I was uncomfortable with the sudden request (after all, it was totally not in my schedule), but I did, nevertheless, oblige, and (eventually) served the drink with a smile.  

This 'drink' My Lord asked me for this week was in the form of someone in need.  And, this particular person's need for love, peace and joy was so great that it completely overwhelmed my entire household.  But, by God's Grace, we welcomed them into our life and sustained their physical, emotional and spiritual need.

And the King will answer and say to them,
‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these
My brethren,  you did it to Me.’
(Matthew 25: 40)
 

So now, I'm coming to realize that the 'drink' Jesus will ask of me is, and always will be, completely for HIS Kingdom's sake.

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 14:17)   
 
And I'm beginning to know that sacrificing the time and effort to offer it, is really such a 'gift' for me, because it not only benefits MY life and MY purpose here on earth but for all eternity.

 

“For everyone will be seasoned with fire,

and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it?

Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

(Mark 9:49-50)

 

With every drink the Lord requests from us, comes the purposeful opportunity for me and my family to minister.  By the use of the gifts HE has given us and the flowing of 'Living Waters' of HIS Holy Spirit, which we freely received by His Grace, we are able to season others and in turn be seasoned in ourselves, while we wait to receive and inherit His ultimate Gift.   

 

For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23)

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Always Striving, Never Reaching?


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Dear Lovely Readers,

Have you ever found yourself working to exhaustion trying to belong, accomplish, and arrive to absolute perfection (especially this time of year)?  If you're anything like me, then you may be someone who constantly shows much grace for everyone else's normality and occasional mistakes, but for yourself cannot abide with anything less the 120% at every turn. 

I've recently discovered this and am coming to terms with the truth about myself.  I unnecessarily put way too much uncalled-for pressure on every area of my life:  on each family relationship and friendship, on my parenting skills, on my church service, on my work habits and of course, last but not least, on my intellect and physical beauty. 

But what has all this constant striving gotten me exactly? Simply a lot of FRUSTRATION and (yes, I daresay) FEAR

Two things I would have never thought a person who loves the Lord would daily live in.  But the actual facts of my daily life seem to all point towards these products.  Shall we take a closer look?

FRUSTRATION

....because I just don't read as many books as I should to catch up on lost time educating myself about every single subject, therefore I keep buying more books and piling more guilt at my bedside.

...because I just don't have a shiny clean bathroom/kitchen/floor every single day of the week, and oh goodness the worst is when on busy occasions I run out without even having made the bed.

 ...because my growing to-do list, which I write for myself, is never all checked off completely each day to the minute I planned it to be accomplished.

...because my children have to breakfast on cereal or instant oatmeal instead of on eggs and fresh baked bread, homemade preserves and fresh squeezed orange juice each weekday morning.

...because of so on.... and on....


For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
(2 Corinthians 10:18)
 
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.
(Titus 3:5a)
 
Not according to our works,  but according to His own purpose and grace
which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
(2 Timothy 1:9b)

For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
(Ephesians 2:9-9)

FEAR

...of saying "Thank you, but No" to friends, family, church invitations or ministry opportunities that I know would totally not work in my family's schedule, well-being or even within my current energy capacity.

...of not being beautiful enough, of getting wrinkles and grey hairs, and of course, of putting on any more weight.  So I remember not to lift up my eyebrows, check my head daily and yank potential grey out, and seriously obsess hourly over every calorie I may have eaten or drank (Eggnog can live in my memory this Christmas.  Aren't green smoothies and water with lemon slices festive enough?)
 
...that everything I say might somehow offend.  So, I hold it all in until I can't hold it in any longer, and I blurt out way too much way too fast, then go around apologizing for each word.

...of big bad scary critics or anyone who may disagree with me on any single thought I have, and therefore I don't freely express myself on paper no matter how much I desire to write, refusing to grow by sharing anything of my own, and so ending up never really fully enjoying my own personal blog *ahem* but using it instead to hide behind other much more successful writers and authors.

...of so on and on.....

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
(Proverbs 29:25)
 
Do no fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame.
(Isaiah 54:4a)
 
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
(Psalm 118:6)

"Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults."
(Isaiah 51:7)

What does the Bible tell me about all this?  So much! But I only just shared a few verses above.


Hello, my name is Nadine and today is the right time to become REAL (with myself). 

We all know that actions speak louder than words.  That is why I am writing this transparent post, because this year has been a beginning of some serious growth for me: growth in understanding the character He wants me to have, in trusting only in His approval for me, in developing His courage to act, and in increasing in His confidence to function. 

No need to hide in fear.  No need for extreme to-do lists.  No need for self-imposed high expectations.

I don't need to go on striving and reaching for the mountain in my own strength.

The Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet.
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
(Habakkuk 3:19)

I just need to lift my eyes up and receive my help from Him, Who is much stronger than I am.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121:1-2)
 
In His Strength I can reach even farther those things which He calls me to, and for the purpose of His Glory alone attain them.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10)

In His Strength, frustration and fear disappear, and the only product left for me is His blessing of PEACE.
 
The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with Peace.
(Psalm 29:11)

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

How Much More!


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If you then, being evil, 
know how to give good gifts to your children, 
how much more will your Father who is in heaven 
give good things to those who ask Him!
(Matthew 7:11)

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Be comforted and emboldened in your faith, this Christmas season.

With every gift you purchase and every gift you wrap
and every gift you place under the tree,
remember this:

God has gifts for you, and in quantities you never dreamed.
These gifts are infinitely more valuable than the tinsel 
and materialistic toys pursued so desperately by the world.

He has gifts of peace, strength, joy, fulfillment,
and a sense of significance in life
that will draw you out of bed each morning like a magnet.

He's looking for people who will come in simple dependence
upon His grace and rest in simple faith upon His greatness.

At this very moment, He's looking your way.
Look up and see.
And open your hands.

---- by Jack Hayford, Come...And Behold Him!

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Filled with Good Fruit


My heart is overflowing with a good theme.
(Psalm 45:1a)

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BAKED FRUIT-FILLED PUMPKIN

Wash small pumpkin

Cut & empty insides of pumpkin

Fill with fresh:
Apples
Cranberries
Raisins
Walnuts
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Ginger
Cloves

Close & Bake

Serve with a SMILE.

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Dear Lord,
Thank you for the Love, Joy & Peace you overfill my heart with.
May my worship to you and my attitude 
be an acceptable added aroma in your presence.
Help me to serve you by serving others daily 
with willingness, diligence, faithfulness and gentleness.
Keep my heart, Lord, always yours,
May I glory always in You alone.
In Christ I ask and in His Name,
Amen


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Thursday, 24 July 2014

"Elim" Moments


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Then they came to Elim, 
where there were twelve wells of water 
and seventy palm trees
so they camped there by the waters.
(Exodus 15:27)

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I have come just now from the wayside well,
Where the Saviour sat in noontide ray,
And the words of peace from his lips that fell
I shall ne’er forget to my latest day.

Refrain:
I am the fountain of life, said he;
Come unto me, come unto me;
Who drinketh the water that I will give
Shall never, never thirst again.

As I stood and gazed on his earnest face,
How my faith went out to the love divine;
And the wondrous gift of his own free grace
He had kindly brought to a soul like mine. 

O the joy that came, when in tears I spoke
Of a wasted life and a heart oppressed;
O the calm, sweet light from his eye that broke,
As he drew me into the ark of rest.

Is there one who longs at his feet to bow?
Is there one who longs of his love to tell?
Will you come, oh, come to the Saviour now?
He is waiting still by the wayside well. 

--- Hymn written by Fanny J. Crosby

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cinnamon "Arroz en Leche" (Rice Pudding)


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Dear Lovely Readers,

Nothing quite says comfort food for the tummy and soul like warm and creamy rice pudding.
This delicious dessert that can be enjoyed anytime of the day
can be served to all ages and prepared in no time at all.
Your house will smell amazing and your family will run to lick the pot.

In our home we are all crazy about cinnamon,
which is why I try to add it to almost every dessert or baking recipe,
and definitely to rice pudding;
my hubby even adds a couple of sticks in the coffee machine every day
and his coffee is the most wonderful I ever tried!

Yes we are nuts about cinnamon and we think 
it's pretty much the best spice to flavor everything with,
but let me share with you briefly some great reasons why cinnamon 
is not only yummy but a super food that I think should never run out of any pantry:

Cinnamon lowers Cholesterol, boosts congnitive functions and memory, 
fights cancer cells, relieves arthritis pain, lowers blood sugar, 
fights bacteria, gives migraine and headache relief,
and does just about a billion other things......

So without delay, please enjoy the recipe I'm sharing below
and don't forget to give your loved ones a bit of extra cinnamon today ;)

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Cinnamon "Arroz en Leche"

1.5 cups rice
3 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Boil ingredients in small saucepan and simmer covered until rice absorbs water.

 1 cup of Horchata 
1 cup of milk
1/2 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 (more) cinnamon stick

Add the above five ingredients in a medium pot to melt sugar on low heat.
Add rice and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

1/2 can evaporated milk
1 egg

Whisk the rest of the evaporated milk and the egg in mug with a fork.
Add 2 tbsp of the milk from the pot into the mug and keep whisking well.
Gradually add the egg mixture to the pot, stirring frequently.
Continue stirring and simmer on low heat for 2 more minutes until thick and creamy.

1/2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla to the mixture until absorbed.

powdered cinnamon
sliced almonds

Serve warm rice pudding in pretty bowls garnished with a dash of cinnamon and sliced almonds.

(Note: as per hubby's request, I sometimes drizzle a bit of condensed milk
over each bowl before serving as shown in the picture above)

Now, thank the Lord and dig in!

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And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
1 Timothy 6:8

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Monday, 5 May 2014

Mother's Influence


 

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My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.
(Proverbs 1:8)

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 Memories of the childhood home usually centered on Mom--
how she cooked, soothed pain, and especially the moral standards that she taught.

A mother's influence over her children's attitudes
about themselves and others, about authorities, and about God lasts a lifetime.

Deterioration of moral standards in our nation
began with the neglect by Christian parents to properly train past generation.
Restoration of morality can begin only when Christian parents 
return to the responsibility of training their own children.

Christian women who love God more than the world
can provide a home environment where the laws of God
flourish and where satanic influence is exposed and countered.

I personally believe that every woman who understands Biblical principles
can begin with her own children, and by training them in those standards
can influence the revival of an entire nation.

It is possible that at this very moment a Christian mother is molding the values
of a future statesman, pastor, missionary, or honest auto mechanic.

She is a living example of Biblical womanhood
for her daughters to imitate when they are wives and mothers.

In addition, she and her husband may be training their sons
to be real men who value, respect, and protect women.

No matter what the children's future may hold,
their parents are actively implanting the qualities of godly character in their souls.

The children's race, economical status, or intelligence
are not as important as the lessons of self-discipline, 
honesty, trustworthiness, moral strength, 
courage, and respect for others that they are learning from their parents.


---by Virginia Ruth Fugate, On the Other Side of the Garden

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She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praises her.
(Proverbs 31:26-28)

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