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Savannah and Mimi pulled out the flour, butter, chocolate chips, and eggs for baking cookies. Donning matching aprons they chattered about the yummy confections they soon would enjoy. Bowls, measuring cups, spoons, and baking sheets clattered onto the counter.
Mimi flicked a pinch of flour into Savannah’s hair. “Mimi!” She grabbed her own and tossed it onto Mimi’s face.
Following Mimi’s recipe, Savannah carefully spooned flour into the measuring cups and with the handle of the spoon scraped away the extra flour.
“Mimi, why do we make the flour level with the top of the cup? Why can’t we use more butter and especially more sugar?”
“This helps the cookies turn out the same every time we baked them. The flour, butter, and sugar are like the the ingredients God used when He made us. He says He made us and knew us before we were born. He declares His works are wonderful. He called us by our names.”
Savannah mumbled how some people sure needed more sugar. Mimi chuckled, “Whatever is in our hearts is what is spoken from our lips. Jesus is love. If Jesus fills our hearts, more love and joy flow from our lips.”
“But, Mimi, a lot of people are just mean. It’s hard to talk back to them in a nice way.”
Savannah measured teaspoons of baking soda and baking powder. “Stick your finger into the baking soda and taste it, Savannah.”
Sputtering and running for water she yelped, “Mimi! That’s awful! Don’t put that in the cookies.”
“Ah, but if we leave it out, our cookies will be as flat as paper.” Mimi described the baking powder and baking soda as necessary in very small amounts to help the cookies rise into fluffy, soft treats. She also warned how too much, only one spoonful more, would cause the cookies to taste bitter.
“Wow! That doesn’t make sense, Mimi.”
With sad eyes she turned and faced Savannah. “Sometimes people have too much bitterness in their hearts. Often this causes them to hurt others with their words or actions.”
Savannah added the chocolate chips and stirred them into the batter. “Mimi, what makes a person have bitterness in their hearts?”
“Pain happens in all our lives. I had cancer and my medicines made me lose all my hair. Sally’s daddy left her and her mother, and she never sees him anymore. Sweetie, you know how hurt you felt when Katie told lies about you to the other children in your class? Those are bitter-like life stories. Some people let the anger, hurt, and bitterness stay in their hearts. It grows until it is like poison in their hearts, then they want to make others hurt the way they do.”
“Mimi, you had bad things happen in your life like your cancer, but you try to make other people feel loved and happy. Is it because you have the love of Jesus in your heart?”
Before Savannah could speak again, cookie dough plopped onto Savannah’s nose. “Oh! No you don’t!” And Mimi wore dough her nose as well.
As they scooped the dough onto the pans, Mimi gazed at Savannah “Even with Him in my heart, if I feel hurt or angry, I try to choose to speak and act in kindness.”
They slid the pans into the oven and Savannah wondered why the cookies needed the heat for all those minutes instead of just a couple. “Just the right amount of heat makes the cookies firm enough to hold but still soft enough to eat. Too much heat burns the cookies or makes them hard and bitter. Not enough heat and the cookies are too soft to hold and they still taste like uncooked dough.
“We have heat in our lives too. Remember how you felt when you lost your puppy? Mack cannot walk, because he broke his back. He says he is not handicapped and instead does what he wants to do while sitting. How about twenty-three-year-old Anna who died when her car crashed? Her mom and dad tell others their story, because they rejoice knowing they will be with her again one day. These are the heat in our lives. We can choose to let Jesus use the heat in our lives to help us become more like Him. We can choose to stay in pain from the heat, and then we become hard-hearted and bitter.”
Beep! Beep! The timer shouted, “Time is up!” Mimi slid the pan out of the oven and onto the cooling rack. Savannah swayed back and forth, bouncing up and down with impatience until she could sink her teeth into the sweet treat. She knew from experience biting into one too soon blistered her tongue. Sometimes waiting brings great rewards.
Sliding the spatula under the cookie, she lifted the still warm cookie into her hand. Sinking her teeth into it she grinned at Mimi. As she Swallow she held four fingers in front of her face, and Mimi held out the dish to her. “Want some milk to go with those?”
Chocolate chip cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or M&M’s
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
Place rack in center of oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl mix together butter and sugars until creamy.
Slowly beat in vanilla extract (but fresh vanilla beans make the best) and eggs.
In a separate bowl stir together dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips or M&M”s.
Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
If possible use an ice cream scoop and place scoops about two inches apart on the pan.
Bake 12-15 minutes depending on desired softness or crunchiness.
Transfer fron pan to cooling rack after two minutes.
How Does It Feel to Fall into the Depths of Depression?
The darkness slithers up behind you, and like a beast opens wide its mouth to devour you… heart, soul, mind, and body.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” John 10:10a
He crushes the joy.
He snatches away hope.
He snuffs out all light.
And then I plummet into darkness.
Tired of deceit.
Tired of denial.
Tired of defeat.
Weary of pretenders.
Weary of hypocrites.
Weary of liars.
Finished with drama.
Finished with pretentiousness.
Finished with impurity.
Quit with barnacles.
Quit with slugs.
Quit with leeches.
Empty of hope.
Empty of peace.
Empty of joy.
I flail in darkness.
I crouch in fear.
I weep in despair.
But God clasps me in His arms.
He lifts me out of the darkness and the miry clay.
He smooths away the tears from eyes.
He calms my anxious heart.
He puts a new song in my mouth.
A song of praise to Abba, Father God.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
For the help of His Presence.” Psalm 42:5
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”
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God alone is our source for truth and life. The devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. He is cunning, he and his demons. The powers of darkness and and the powers of God battle for control of our thoughts, because thoughts become actions. Jesus is the only truth. Jesus is the only life. Jesus is the only way to God. We are in a spiritual battle.
12 For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)
“Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’ “John 14:6 (NASB)
Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (AMP)
And again He declares,
“I will be against anyone who goes to mediums and wizards for advice. Whoever does this is being unfaithful to me. So I will separate them from their people.” Leviticus 20:6 (ERV)
“If a man boweth to astrologers, and to false diviners, and doeth fornication with them, I shall set my face against him, and I shall slay him from the midst of his people (and I shall cut him off from the midst of his people).” (WYC)
Do not be deceived. Understand that mediums, astrologers, spiritists, wizards, and diviners work by the powers given to them from forces of evil. They are the tools through which Satan works to deceive us. God abhors putting anyone or anything between us and Jesus.
Understand, God ABHORS, HATES, DESPISES anything associated with these behaviors. He says we are whores and prostitutes if we participate in any related activities .
“… he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.”
2 Chronicles 33:6 (AMP)
“He practiced magic and witchcraft and ·told the future by explaining signs and dreams [divination; augery]. He ·got advice from [dealt with] mediums and ·fortune-tellers [spiritualists; spiritists; Deut. 18:9–13]. He did ·many things the Lord said were wrong [L much evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes], which made the Lord angry.” (EXB)
“What good is it to mouth the words, “Lord! Lord!” if you don’t live by My teachings?” Luke 6:36 (VOICE)
“My little flock, don’t be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father’s great joy is to give you His kingdom.” Luke 12:32 (VOICE)
I urge you to be on the alert for those books, movies, and activities that may deceive you into becoming comfortable with behaviors unacceptable to Jesus. Examine your choices. Bring them before His standard. Choose that which leads you into a closer, more glorifying life to Him. Be transformed from appearing like the rest of the world. Stand out. Stand above the ordinary, for we serve an extraordinary God.
AMP Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved. For Permission To Quote information visit http://www.lockman.org/
ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League Internationa
EXB The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.
NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserve
WYC) 2001 by Terence P. Noble
I feel such anguish. Brushing streams of tears aside as this is an issue personal and tender within my heart. Oh! How can we reach those who have no hope? Hope in God, even in the darkest of circumstances, overcomes the evil of the spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-13 (NASB)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Lord, Father God, ABBA, hear our pleas for your love to go forth and bring hope and life to those hurting such that they attempt or commit suicide. Surround the loved ones of those who have died by their own hands with your love, your grace, and your mercy. Help us to be your voice and arms of hope, encouragement and love. Lord, thank you that you came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Thank you for overcoming death and that you live. We know you are not surprised by this, because you know the number of our days. Thank you for creating us, because you wanted to pour out your perfect love on us, and for us to love you. Teach us, lead us and embolden us to share your love and hope with others.
Kate Spade is an internationally recognized designer and celebrity. But what of the you and me’s? As of this writing, from January 1, 2018-June 7, 2018, there have been 18,388 deaths by suicide in the US. *
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Sometimes my heart hears Jesus’s sweet voice gently directing me to be His voice, His hands, His embrace. My heart sounds like Moses or Jonah spilling forth all the reasons He should choose someone more capable.
And then my heart hears, “You. I, your Lord, am giving you the desire of your heart.”
“Delight yourself in the Lord;
And he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him and He will do it.”
Psalm 37:4-5 NASB
Well, my heart’s desire is to be His servant and to be a reflection of His love. He lives within me.
Heart’s desire: check.
Ability to do it: check.
He wants me to be His willing vessel.
Thankful, I hear Isaah’s voice from within my heart and I answer, “Here am I. Send me.”
He blesses the needy through these human hands and voice. But, my heart overflows with His abundant joy and blessings to me.
Revelation 5:11-14New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Angels Exalt the Lamb
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
The New American Standard Bible mentions hands 1550 times. Did you know the Lord states we are written onto His hands? The Orthodox Jewish Bible translates it as engraved into His hands. The following verse in several translations demonstrate this love for us.
Isaiah 49:16 (NASB)
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;….
Isaiah 49:16 (VOICE)
Look here. I have made you a part of Me, written you on the palms of My hands.
Isaiah 49:16 (MSG)
I’d never forget you—never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands
God wrote your name on His hand. He tattooed your name on the back of the hands that created all things. He promises never to forget you or abandon you. Will painful events occur in our lives? Yes, but God vows to never leaves us. He pours His love, His comfort, His strength, and His peace into us.
In December 2009, I asked the Lord for an anchor verse for 2010. He led me to Psalms 31:14-15 (NASB).
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
The Message paraphrases it as the following:
Desperate, I throw myself on you:
you are my God!
Hour by hour I place my days in your hand,
safe from the hands out to get me.
Four months later the doctor diagnosed me with stage two breast cancer. But God prepared me for this journey and I knew that He planned for me to experience His joy throughout. If my life here ended by cancer I knew my life in Heaven began. I anticipated blessings beyond measure as the Lord carried me on this venture and he poured them into my life.
Hands first touched us at our birth. But God’s hands wove us and formed us in our mothers’ wombs. His hands held us, comforted us, strengthened us. Throughout our lives His hands will continue embracing us in our joys, struggles, and sorrows. He holds us in His hands into which He engraved our names. He will never forget us. He will never abandon us. He loves us.
“Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.”
The Voice (VOICE)
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
APRIL 22, 2016 BY JANKWILLISAUTHOR
CATEGORIES: BIBLE STUDY, CANCER, CHRISTIAN LIVING, CHRISTIAN SPEAKER, COMFORT, CONFIDENCE, DEPRESSION, DEVOTION, DEVOTIONS, EMOTIONAL, GOD’S HANDS, HANDS, HEALING, HEAVEN, HOPE, JOY, LIFE, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, PAIN, PEACE, RELATIONSHIPS, SELF-WORTH, SORROW, STRESS, TRAUMA, TRAVEL, UNCATEGORIZED
TAGS: BIBLE STUDY, CANCER, CHRISTIAN SPEAKER, COMFORT, CONFIDENCE, DEPRESSION, DEVOTIONS, FAITH, GOD’S HANDS, HEAVEN, JOY, LIFE, LOVE, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, PAIN, PEACE, RELATIONSHIPS, SORROW, STRENGTH, STRESS, SUICIDE, TRAVEL
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The kid dove for cover inside a corner of the remaining shell of the bombed out building. Bullets whizzed past him, bombs falling one after another from the smoke-filled sky. The twenty-year-old man-boy trembled with fear. A grenade rolled into the room and his buddy jumped on it before it exploded, dying to save his fellow soldiers. Then calm descended amid the stench of burning flesh, and the acrid smell of explosives. The thunderous sounds were replaced with cries for help, moans of pain, and ear-piercing screams.
A woman hobbled into the building, flailing her arms, wailing, grasping the kid by the arm, and begging in rapid German, but repeating, “Come! Come!” Sweeping together his pack he followed her into a nearby smouldering building and she pointed to a body in a puddle of blood, knees drawn, rolling side to side, and sobbing. The kid rolled the form to face him, gasped, and terror paralysed his thinking. Shrapnel pierced her womb and he understood her baby was coming.
He was an army medic, trained to treat the wounded of the war, but he knew nothing about delivering a baby. Recovering from his surprise he communicated using sign language, broken English and broken German with the other woman asking her to find the local nuns to assist him. His medical trained mind returned and he proceeded with saving both the mother and her unborn child. The nuns arrived and attended to delivering the baby. The kid focused on removing the shrapnel, stopping the bleeding, preventing infection and saving the mother’s life. Both mother and child survived.
This is one story of many of my daddy’s life serving in the United States Army, marching across Europe during World War II. He saved the lives of both Allies and enemies. He held the dying, comforted them, and wept for them. His unit in the 409th Battalion under Patton also freed the prisoners from a Nazi prison camp at the end of the war. This is a simple snapshot of my favorite military hero. I’m proud to be the daughter of Ralph Stuart Kaney, an American hero.