Thursday Thoughts ~ 2.7.19

Our Thursday Thoughts quote is one that I have pondered often, given its author and the circumstances surrounding his death. Let me give you the quote, then I will share a brief story about the author of the quote.

 

Thursday Thoughts 2.7.19

In 1956 Jim Elliot and four other Christian missionaries attempted to share Jesus with the Auca Indian tribe (Operation Auca), located in Ecuador. All five young men knew the dangers of what they were doing because no outsider had ever survived making contact with this tribe of people. Yet, they all agreed that the only way for outside people to ever be able to have contact with the Aucas was to introduce them to Jesus.

For several weeks, pilot Nate Saint flew an airplane over the area where the Aucas lived and dropped gifts and supplies from the plane to them. The missionaries also used a loud-speaker to voice friendly Auca words to the tribe.

The time came for the men to attempt to make contact with the people of the Auca tribe. Their first attempt was successful and they visited with a man and two women. They ate a meal with the Indians and Saint took the man for a ride in the plane. The missionaries encouraged these three to bring others to meet them.

After several days of waiting offshore, the men saw two Auca women appear on the beach. The men began to approach the beach, but quickly realized they had been ambushed. The Auca warriors that appeared behind the women used spears to kill all five of the men.

Eventually, Jim Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth, her daughter, Valerie, and Rachel Saint, sister of Nate returned to the island, made friends with the Aucas and lived among them. Many were brought to faith in Christ and missionaries live among the Aucas (now known as the Waodani tribe) to this day.

Books were written and two movies were made about Operation Auca. Elisabeth Elliot authored a book and made the movie, Through Gates of Splendor. The other movie, End of the Spear, based on a book by the same name that was written by Steve Saint, was released in 2005.

Now that you know the story behind the quote, what are your thoughts about what Elliot said?

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I am offering Amazon links to Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor and Steve Saint’s, son of Nate, book entitled End of the Spear for your reading pleasure.

Fighting Fear With Faith

In 1996 my husband, Greg, and I were in transition. He was opening his first dental practice in a town about 25 miles from where we were living. We were living in the condominium I had purchased as a single girl and the impracticality of staying in the condo was obvious to both of us.

We listed my condo for sale and found a home to purchase that was one mile from his practice. We put a contingency contract on the home and prayed my condo would sell in time to purchase the new home. Soon, we were presented with a contract from a couple (aka Couple A) wanting to buy my condo. CELEBRATE!

 

Fighting Fear With Faith

 

Oh, but wait! The contract on my condo was contingent on the sale of Couple A’s home. We also learned that there was a contract (Couple B) on Couple A’s home that was also a contingency contract.

Every one of these contingency contracts had to go through perfectly and without a hitch in order for us to buy the home near Greg’s practice. Oh, there’s more. Every one of these contracts was set to close within 14 hours of each other. My anxiety and fear were at earthquake levels.

Recently I spent a week in Psalm 56 and HOLY MOLEY!! It is powerful. Psalm 56 offers us a picture of King David in a predicament of earthquake proportions. He has been captured by the Philistines and imprisoned in their country. He doesn’t know if he will live or die. He is fighting fear and desperation in his heart throughout the early verses of this Psalm, yet there is also hope and trust. Please click this link to read the Psalm or read it in your Bible. Don’t pass over the blessing you will receive by reading it thoughtfully and prayerfully.

David was in a mess and he was frightened and fearful. Yet, if you will look carefully at this Psalm you will discern that David was preaching faith to his heart. Go back and read the Psalm, breaking the verses into these sections:

  • 1 and 2 – I’m in a mess and I’m afraid
  • 3 and 4 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 5 through 7 – I’m in a mess and I want them to pay for what they have done to me
  • 8 through 11 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 12 and 13 – Praises flow out of faith and trust in God.

What caused David to have hope and trust? He knew God was for him (Verse 9).

God is for you, girls and boys! Think about it. GOD. IS. FOR. YOU!

What is the fear are you fighting?

What has been your reaction thus far?

How have your reaction and actions concerning this fear worked for you? 

How much control do you have over whatever is causing you to fear? 

WHO has a complete understanding of your situation? 

WHO is able to comfort you and assure that you are loved and cared for AND work the situation out for your good? 

In light of your answers to these questions, what should your next move be? 

Dear reader, God is FOR YOU. Put your trust in Him and praise Him. Preach faith to your heart if you need to. Preach it 50 times a day if necessary. That is what I did when we were trying to sell my condo and God worked it all out. We sold my condo and moved to our new home.

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If there is a situation in your life that causes you to fear or you are uncertain what your next move is, I would love to walk alongside you as your Life Coach. Together you, Jesus, and I will face that fear and walk toward a place where faith kicks fear and uncertainty out of your heart. Visit my website by clicking HERE to learn more.

SDG/FCA!

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Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

I would love to recommend a wonderful book by James G Merritt. It has been such a blessing to me in my daily quiet time. If you are receiving this post via email, please click here to go to my website and see the link to the book.

Are Values Still Important in 2019?

 

If I asked you what values you consider foundational in your life, what would you tell me?

As part of my life coach training, I was required to develop a list of my core values. To be honest with you, I had never really given them much thought. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what the term ‘core values’ fully meant. I knew what values were, but it helped me so much to get an actual definition of core values into my head. So, in case you need that same definition, here it is:

Core Values are the values we hold dear that form the foundation of our lives.

Does that help you as much as it helped me?

 

Are Values Still Important in 2019?

 

Now that we have a working definition, may I share what I came up with for my core values?

Christ Follower

Integrity

Dependability

Humility

Generosity

Strong Work Ethic

Authenticity

Control

 

“The most important thing is to decide what is the most important thing.”

This quote by Bill Montgomery helped me look at a very long potential list of values and decide which ones describe me. The list was not exhaustive and I added a couple of words to it. I circled about 15 or so from the big list, then pondered a bit longer to pare the list down to what you see above.

Christ Follower is my number ONE, absolute core value, although it was not part of the original list provided to me. My faith in Jesus Christ informs every part of my life. It guides me in my relationships, actions, words, and thoughts. More than anything in this world, I want to live a life that reflects Jesus’ love and grace to other people and causes them to want Him in their lives.

May I share just a moment about integrity, which would be my second core value?

‘The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles’ is how integrity is defined. My ‘yes’ should be ‘yes’ and my ‘no’ should be ‘no. I want people to be able to believe what I tell them and not wonder if I am lying. There is an epidemic of lying in our world today, from the church house to the White House, as my Daddy used to say. I do not want to be part of that epidemic. If I am a follower of Christ my life should ooze integrity, and so should yours.

There are almost endless possibilities when it comes to core values and it is important that we can identify our own. If we can not, we have nothing on which to build our life.

This core values exercise is one of the ways a life coach helps their clients move from where they are currently to where God wants them to be. It is my pleasure to work with clients to discover their core values and help them develop a plan to live out those values.

What are your core values? (share them in the comments)

Does the way you live your life reflect those values?

What obstacles are preventing you from living out your core values?

If core values are something you would like to work on with a life coach, I would be honored to help you. Click over to my (newly redesigned) website and learn more about what coaching offers you. It would be my privilege to work with you.

SDG/FCA!!

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Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

 

 

 

Taking Christmas Into the New Year

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you had a blessed Christmas. Mine was busy and beautiful, exhausting and exhilarating, full of family, friends, food, and Jesus.

Two days after Christmas I spent many hours removing the ornaments and lights from my Christmas tree. Then there was the Great Pine Needle Sweep-Up of 2018. I do love a live Christmas tree, but along with the its beauty comes a bit of work. Honestly, I think I swept up enough pine needles to make another small tree. My husband dragged the tree out into our woods where it will become a hiding place for small critters. Although my mantel still has winter decor on it, most of the traces of Christmas are gone from my home.

 

Taking Christmas into the New Year

On the same day that I took my tree down, I came across a poem by Howard Thurman (1899 – 1981) that has taken up residence in my heart. I’m not usually a poem kinda girl, but this one velcro-ed itself to my heart and so today I share it with you.

For many people (at times, myself included), Christmas is over when the decorations are stored away. After reading this poem, I’m convinced that we do Christmas, and all it means, a huge disservice when we mentally tuck it away until next December. In truth, Christmas was only the beginning…..

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

For Jesus, Christmas was only the beginning. In His short 33 years He found the lost, healed the broken, fed the hungry, released the prisoner, and so much more. His earthly mission began on Christmas, and He left the Holy Spirit here to enable those of us who follow Him to carry on His mission. In doing so, we point others to Christmas….to Jesus.

As we journey into a new year I am seeking to take the work of Christmas along with me rather than boxing Christmas up until next December. I want the ears of my heart to listen intentionally to the words of others with the goal of making certain that person is really heard. My desire is to point other people to Jesus and His wonderful, life-changing Word. I want to do life face-to-face with people rather than through a screen and a keyboard, and I want to speak life into their souls. If God allows, I will take the work of Christmas into 2019 through loving, mentoring, speaking, coaching, writing, and serving my family, friends, and clients. I will write and speak and coach and wife (is that even a word in that sense?) and mother and mentor out of the overflow of Jesus living in my heart.

So, today my question for you is how are you taking the work of Christmas into the New Year? 

Hearing from you is a sweet blessing to me. Leave a comment below and share your answer with me and other readers. If you are reading this via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can leave a comment.

Happy New Year, friend!

SDG/FCA!!

One way you can take Christmas into 2019 is to sponsor a child living in poverty. Compassion International is the way that I have chosen to do this. Click my affiliate link below to find out more. If you are reading this via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can see the banner.

 

Sharing Life….Sharing Recipes

Recently I was tagged in a Facebook post from a precious young woman who has attended several of my Tasting Grace sessions. Her message about a recipe I had taught the women to make blessed my heart so much. Here it is:

So I made the banana pudding for Thanksgiving lunch at work today. One person told me it was the best he ever had. And another said that it was the star of the meal…the best thing there. Thanks for teaching me!! I plan on making it again next week for family Thanksgiving!

She came to my fall Tasting Grace session where I taught the ladies to make two desserts: banana pudding and pumpkin bread. I can’t help it, y’all. I love to bake, but I also just love to cook. Equally important is that I love to eat. You too? Which one or all three…bake, cook, eat?

 

Sharing Life, Sharing Recipes Banana Pudding

Do you know about my Tasting Grace events? Oooooo, let me tell you about them, then I am going to share the recipe for the Banana Pudding.

A few years ago the Lord turned on a lightbulb in my brain after seeing my friend and co-author, Jan, post on Facebook about something she was doing in her home church. Once a quarter she brought women, old and young, into their church kitchen and taught them how to make homemade dishes from tried and true recipes. In the post that brought about my epiphany the group had made homemade biscuits.

I thought, well shoot, I can make homemade biscuits and I bet there are a few women in my area who might like to learn how to make them. So, I tossed out an invite on Facebook and lo, and behold, I had a handful of women who wanted to learn how to make biscuits. It was a tasty success and the rest is history. I try to host Tasting Grace once a month, but it doesn’t always happen.

I charge a small fee for each class…just enough to cover the costs of ingredients. I begin each session with a short devotion time, then we wash our hands, don our aprons, and begin cooking. We laugh and share life while we cook, then we taste our creations. Each woman goes home with a copy of the recipe we made so she can reproduce it in her own kitchen.

I really believe this is what Paul had in mind when he instructed Titus to have the older women teach the younger women. So many young women (and some older ones) did not have stay-at-home moms. Consequently, they never had the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with their mom while she cooked. They likely never learned how to make many of the homemade dishes that are staples in the southern diet.

The Tasting Grace sessions have been such a blessing to me as I share my knowledge of cooking and baking, as well as a bit of Jesus and general life knowledge.

Even though my Tasting Grace Bible study published two years ago, I have not said much about it recently. So, I thought now might be a good time. The Tasting Grace Bible study is a 4 week study focusing on mentoring. It also tells how you can start your own Tasting Grace ministry in your church or home. We included lots of devotions, recipes, and instructions for starting Tasting Grace. Try pouring into the lives of the women in your circle by teaching them something you know….it might be cooking or it might be a craft. See if you don’t find so much satisfaction in touching those lives.

So, now for the Banana Pudding Recipe. This is made from scratch…no boxed pudding in this recipe. I must preface this by saying my family does not like meringue, or as my Daddy called it, “calf-slobber”. Because of that I make a homemade whipped cream for the topping on the pudding. The recipe for this is included below. There is also a download that will let you print the recipe. Mmmmm, mmmmm. This dessert is so good you will make it over and over.

 

Leah's Banana Pudding

 

Leah’s Banana Pudding Recipe        

Pudding:

1 ½ cups sugar

⅓ cup cornstarch

4 cups half and half

8 egg yolks

6 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring

4-6 bananas, sliced

1 box vanilla wafers

 

Whipped Cream Topping:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla flavoring

 

To make pudding: In medium saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch. Add half and half and egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.

Place ½ of pudding in bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with layers of vanilla wafers and bananas. Repeat using remainder of pudding, bananas and wafers.

Topping: In a mixing bowl beat whipping cream at high speed. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over pudding. Serve warm or chilled.

SDG/FCA!!

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A Fresh Perspective on Joy

Has God ever given you a fresh perspective on an issue that you have struggled with for, oh, decades? That is exactly what He has done for me in the past few weeks with the issue of joy, and I thought someone else might need to hear about it.

I’ve written before about my struggle with JOY. I simply do not always feel joy in my heart. I’m not talking about happiness, which is very fickle emotion. No, I’m talking about joy, which is not dependent on circumstances. You know, the-JOY-of-the-Lord-is-my-strength kind of joy. I just have not always felt it very often.

 

Fresh Perspective on Joy

 

 

This past month I have been reading the newest book by Max Lucado (see link below) entitled, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World. The book uses Philippians 4:4-8 as its anchor verses. We all know these verses. I’ve read them a million times in my almost 54 years, yet I have seen them with fresh eyes and a new perspective. May I give them to you and ask you to read them as if you had never read them before?

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

I would like to share two lessons with you that I have tucked deeply into my heart from my time in this Lucado book. The first is the crucial importance of thanksgiving. Paul admonishes us to present our requests to God by prayer and supplication, AND with THANKSGIVING. Y’all, I am so guilty of rushing to the asking part of prayer without first attending to the thanksgiving portion. If being thankful to God was not crucial to this issue of anxiety and peace, Paul would not have put it in.

So, how has being reminded of this changed me? Thanks for asking. Now when I pray I begin with thankfulness. And, before I voice any request, I begin with something pertaining to that request for which I am thankful. It might sound like this: Lord, I thank you that you have sustained my friend who is going through chemo thus far, and I ask you to continue to give him strength and encouragement. It’s really that easy and it has given me a shot of joy that I did not have previously.

The second lesson the Lord has taught me is perspective. In the book, Lucado talks about Paul and all that he endured in his life. Y’all, Paul did not have an easy life, yet Paul wrote the classic treatise on joy (the book of Philippians) from a dark, dank, critter infested hole in Roman ground. God pretty much smacked me upside the head and said, “Leah, if Paul could have joy in the midst of and after all he endured, surely you can find joy in the midst of your easy life.”

Well, what do you say to that? It is hard to continue to whine about a lack of joy when God puts it like that, isn’t it?

Anytime I share what the Lord is doing in my heart, it is in hope that you will find encouragement for your journey, as well. God will never leave His child like they are. His goal is to change us to look more and more CHRIST-LIKE. This is one way He is doing just that AND working out my OneWord2018 in my heart.

I hope you have a great day, friend. Oh, and I hope you are praying about attending the Come Away {retreat} 2018. Excitement is building and I am praying that God prompts the hearts of 9 beautiful, amazing women to attend Come Away. Are you one of those women? Click HERE to read how Come Away changed the life of one woman.

SDG/FCA!!!

 

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