Monday, April 17, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years Of Being Smoke Free 1992-2017

I just realized that April 12 has come and gone and I missed it! The 25th anniversary of God's deliverance...the 25th anniversary of being smoke free!

It was April 11, 1992 and I was smoking four packs of cigarettes a day (I had been smoking since I was 15, and I was 31 at that point)!!! I had tried to quit smoking many times, but couldn't. Even though we weren't doing a very good job of it, John and I had committed our lives to the Lord, and were serious about getting our lives, and our household, in line with His Word. (Needless to say, we are still working on it!)

On the evening of April 11, 1992 I was sitting in a chair in the corner of our bedroom reading my Bible. I heard a voice just as clear as day say, "Throw your cigarettes and lighters away and wait 24 hours."

I immediately picked up all my cigarettes...I had an open pack, an open carton, and an unopened carton...and all my lighters and went carrying them through the house. John was in the livingroom and, when he saw me, he said, "What are you doing?"

Anyone who know my husband knows that he HATES cigarettes (he always has), and he hated me smoking them, but he was skeptical. He knew how many times I had tried to quit smoking before...and how often I had failed. He knew how awful my lungs were. Not only did I smoke like a chimney, but I had chemically burned the lining out of my lungs a few years earlier when I mixed sulfuric acid and Clorox in an attempt to unclog the toilet. I ended up in the hospital. After that I could hardly breathe most of the time...I couldn't even blow a balloon up for my children to play with!

Anyway, I threw the cigarettes away, and I waited. That 24-hour period was one of the longest...most awful times of my life, and I never thought I'd make it through it...yet, somehow, I knew, if I did, that the Lord had something very special waiting for me on the other side. I knew that He was going to do something very special for me!

Well, sure enough, the next night...on the evening of the 12th...I was sitting there reading my Bible. All of a sudden I had the most horrendous pain in my stomach. I looked up at the clock, and it was 11:00 p.m. I jumped up and had to get to the bathroom. I was there until 4:00 a.m. My stomach hurt so bad! It wrenched in pain, and I kept passing this black, tarry-like substance. When it was over, I KNEW that the Lord Jesus had, literally, cleaned me out, and, to this day, I've not been able to stand the thought of smoking another cigarette. I can't even stand the smell of one! It's been 25 years (and 5 days) and I still stand in awe of what the Lord did for me!

Do you have an addiction? If you do and you'd like for me to join you in prayer for deliverance from your situation, please, feel free to e-mail me privately at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com (please put PRAYER on the subject line so I don't delete it by mistake) and I will be happy to join you in prayer over whatever it is that might be holding you in bondage today. Be assured...the Lord is able! I've experienced it first hand! Blessed be the name of the Lord! And God bless YOU!

Until Next Time...

~Rebecca 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Resurrection Cookies

Photo Credit
This is a great recipe that can be used to teach your children the story of Resurrection Sunday...that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is not dead but has risen. We serve a Risen Savior......
 
You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zipper baggy
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape
Bible
 
Instructions:

These are to be made the evening before Easter.  Preheat oven to 300F.
*** (this is very important --- don't wait until you are half done
with the recipe). Place pecans in zipper baggy and let children beat them with the
wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested.
He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read: John 19:1-3
 
Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing
bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar
to drink. Read: John 19:28-30
 
Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus
gave His life to give us life. Read: John 10:10&11
 
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and
brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27
 
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.
He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
 
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff
peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of
those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
 
Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered
cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body
was laid. Read: Matthew 27:57-60
 
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven
OFF.
 
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66
 
GO TO BED!
 
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven
overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read: John
16:20&22
 
On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Five Minute Friday - ABANDON


Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, "...no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: ABANDON. 

Go!

Living life with abandon. During our children's' growing up years it's what we did. However any particular day fell...that's the way we went!

We viewed each day as an adventure and couldn't wait to see what opportunities and encounters that the Lord had in store for us and we were never disappointed. There were many of them. Our family was so free-wheeling! So spur of the moment! So full of life!

Oh, sure! We had a schedule that we tried our best to adhere to (that is what we referred to as Plan A), but we were always open to God's Plan B...and we had fun!

As the years passed and the children grew, things happened that changed all that. Life became far too serious. Our adventurous spirit was squelched and our free-wheeling, spur-of-the-moment ways came to a screeching halt. Life became hard and it became even harder to understand why. The enemy had had his way.

The ties that bound us together were stretched beyond capacity and broken. No more living life with abandon. Now just abandonment...lost in the endless pursuit of money and things...things that mean more to some than family loyalty.

It's sad, yes, but we're tired of being sad...tired of trying to figure it all out. Life's too short!

No matter what choices others choose to make, my husband and I are renewed and refreshed. We are committed to rekindling our spirit of adventure and to living out the lives that God created us to live...with abandon!

Stop!

Until next time.
~Rebecca

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Celebrating Purim

King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther
This evening we were invited to celebrate Purim with our daughter, Amber, son-in-law, Patrick, and our grandchildren, Audrey, Silas, Isaiah, Esther, and Mercy. Our youngest son, Anthony, and his girlfriend, Nicole, and our daughter's uncle and his girlfriend joined us, as well.

Amber made a delicious feast...soup, vegetables, challah bread, and hamantashen (Haman's Hats)...and Patrick read the beautiful story of Queen Esther from the Bible. After studying the holiday, and in keeping with Jewish tradition, every time Haman's name was read aloud, the children (AND the adults) would stamp their feet, shake their graggers, and boo the villainous character. It was a lot of fun!
The Evil Haman
To learn more about Purim and the story of Queen Esther, I suggest reading the book of Esther from the Holy Bible. The book tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Hadassah who is taken from her guardian, Mordecai, and forced to compete for the affection of the king. Hadassah wins the contest, is crowned queen of Persia, renamed Esther, and in the end, saves her people from certain death. Purim is still celebrated today to commemorate the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.
The Faithful Mordecai

  "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)