Posted by: Judy | January 27, 2023

Good News Friday

*Movies: “Accidentally Ever After” “The King’s Speech”

*The park has a food truck come in twice a month. This time was Rock Star Hot Dogs. I enjoyed their Fat Elvis Burger, which was a burger with cheddar cheese and apple smoked bacon. Yummy.

*Fireplace/heater – less expensive than my house heater

*Changed the batteries in my smoke detectors

*Aunt Jemima Pancakes, added a bit of pumpkin spice. Yummy.

*Fresh navel oranges, shared by neighbors in the park

*Beautiful blue Arizona skies

*Being able to see the Superstition Mountains from where I live. The view of the mountains to the north and east is spectacular.

*Sweet neighbors shared a box of Thin Mints with me. An open box is an empty box or an opportunity to practice self-discipline. LOL!

*In the sun, it’s delightfully toasty.

*Church

*Mac and cheese with spaghetti sauce, sweet corn, and green beans

*Beef broth – warm, delicious, and filling

*Made brownies using the 1/2 avocado for 1 of 2 eggs substitute and added some coconut – yummy

*Rise Up Bakery deliciousness – Classic White bread, Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Ginger Spice cookie

*House heater works, needed with the temp around freezing

*Friendly employees

*Lunch at Kneaders with a dear friend

*Turkey sandwich on Country white and raspberry cheesecake tart

*Church class, with friends, learning to manage my finances

*God’s grace

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | January 26, 2023

Week Four Learn of Me

Jesus calls us to repentance and to Learn of Him. What does repentance mean?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “1. The act or process of repenting.” That’s obvious and unhelpful. “2. Remorse or contrition for past conduct or sin.” That’s really just feeling guilty or bad. Ah, now the first definition comes into play: act or process. Feeling remorse is a starting point, the beginning, and it’s meaningless without what follows. “3. The act of repenting; the state of being penitent; sorrow or contrition for what one has done or left undone.” Not much better than the first or second explanation. Clearly, the dictionary is incomplete in its understanding of repentance.

Funnily enough, Wikipedia, which is notorious for its biases, understands better, stating that the remorse is accompanied by a commitment to change.

The commitment is meaningless if one doesn’t follow through.

Feeding on Jesus shared: https://feedingonjesus.com/2023/01/19/exceedingly-sorry-is-not-enough/

How often have I expressed sorrow and wanted to change but failed to follow through? I could for a while, but sooner or later, I’d stumble and fall again. Why? Because my thinking hasn’t changed.

If I’m sincere, then I will change.

That isn’t to say that I’m insincere when I make the same mistake over and over. It sometimes means I like the necessary knowledge to follow through. I’m also really good at rationalizing. A flaw. I’m working on it.

Forgiveness is about the person forgiving. Corrie ten Boom, who survived a concentration camp, while her sister did not, says that “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.”

Repentance is about the person who needs forgiveness.

Too often repentance is seen as a punishment. Yes, it’s painful. Change is painful. Growth is painful. Staying the same is more painful.

God lovingly provided a way for us to release our sins: Jesus Christ. He pays for them, a debt we cannot pay no matter how much we try to do and be good. That’s what’s grace is for.

Repentance doesn’t spare Jesus. He already paid the price. The question is whether or not you will pay it too. He has offered to pay the price, but you must live with the consequences.

I had a time in my life when I wondered how long I would have to pay for the things that happened to me. As an abuse survivor, there are things that will stay with me for the whole of my life. I didn’t feel freed from sin; I still felt sullied, marked, living with never-ending consequences. I didn’t understand the difference between what Jesus suffered for me and consequences.

First I had to learn that being abused was not my sin. That belonged to the abuser. So why was I living in a nightmare? Consequences.

I didn’t need to seek repentance for what was done to me. I did need to repent for blaming myself. I did need to repent for the anger at God and myself and the innocent people I envied. I still need to repent for holding myself accountable for things I didn’t do but blame myself anyway.

Repentance opens the door to embracing Jesus’ teachings. Repentance allows me to follow Him, to learn of Him, to become more like Him.

Matthew 11:28-29 KJV

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Yes, I’ll visit this again and again. I’m learning. This helps me learn of Him and become more like Him.

Posted by: Judy | January 25, 2023

Friday is Chocolate Cake Day

Celebrate with a story.

Chocolate Cake for Two

The second novella in the series.

Welcome back to Holiday, USA, small town America, where nothing happens, except holidays… and maybe a little romance, if the hero and heroine trust God.

Freed, after being wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Henry Weaver needs a fresh start. The “Help Wanted” sign in the cupcake shop window couldn’t possibly be the answer to his prayer.

Holiday Sweets, a specialty cupcake shop, is Annie Sweet’s heritage. Everything would be perfect if only she could find competent help. An ultimatum demands Annie make a painful decision.

Choosing God is rarely the easy way, and sometimes the way to Happily Ever After appears impossible…

http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Cake-Two-Holiday-USA-ebook/dp/B00HYLK0P8/ref=sr_1_1

For those who prefer paperback, Holiday, USA Anthology 2014

All four novellas published in 2014 are available in their entirety in paperback, including the covers on the back, for those who enjoy collecting a series.

http://www.amazon.com/Holiday-USA-Anthology-2014-1/dp/150773459X/ref=sr_1_6 

Posted by: Judy | January 24, 2023

Chocolate Cake for Two Quote

Posted by: Judy | January 23, 2023

Giving and Receiving

Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

It grates on me when people harp on about it being better to give than to receive. What most don’t recognize is that they are twisting what Jesus said.

Without a receiver, there is no giver.

Being a giver too often becomes a point of pride, a place of superiority, a backhanded belittling of the receiver.

In the verse before, Jesus says, Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

Jesus is the receiver.

When someone touts the importance of being a giver, they are, in essence, insulting Jesus’ being a receiver.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I fear that in our need to be a good giver, to follow Acts 20:35, we focus on giving and fall into believing that receiving is a weakness. We fail to recognize the need to be a good receiver, as Jesus was.

How often do we, usually unwittingly, try to out give Jesus, to be nicer than Jesus?

The woman who washes Jesus’ feet with oil is berated by the disciples, who say that the oil could have been used better, in their point of view. Jesus praises her, accepting her sacrifice, her gift to him. He was the perfect receiver.

We cannot out give Jesus. He gave everything. Even if we lie down our lives for Him, we still can’t give as much as He gave. Giving good gifts doesn’t make up for our sins.

Do we ever consider the possibility that perhaps it is better for us to give our sins to Jesus? He willingly accepted those “gifts” but even He shrank, for a moment, asking the Father, “If it be possible, remove this cup from me. It was possible, but not if we wanted to be saved. He was a willing receiver. In that case, it was truly better for us to give than for Him to receive and suffer our sins and death so we might not die to sin and death eternally.

Jesus received our sins, even if we don’t give them to Him. He gives us forgiveness only if we receive it.

Jesus taught the importance of giving to those who are weak. We are all weak. Some of my post powerful opportunities to give have appeared at times when I felt weak, with nothing to give. The opportunity helped me to see that I had more to give than I’d realized.

Jesus is the perfect giver and receiver. Follow Him.

Posted by: Judy | January 22, 2023

Inspiration

“Don’t bother too much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them; when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behavior.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Posted by: Judy | January 21, 2023

Saturday Silly

Posted on SM:

Do you ever just forget to hide your expression

for a minute and then you’re like

Woah! I did not mean to make that face out loud.

Posted by: Judy | January 20, 2023

Good News Friday

*Movies: “Fly Away Home” “The Bouquet”

*Chatting with my neighbors

*Updating my computer, needing a bit of help, being able to text the sibs, and having my old brother give me good advice.

*Pansies are still alive and pretty.

*Blessed rain

*Church

*Grilled cheese sandwich on Rise Up’s Classic White bread

*Made brownies, substituting one of the two eggs with half an avocado. I’d do it again.

*Spinach salad, with dried cranberries, avocado, parmesan cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan chicken

*Fresh citrus, grapefruit, Texas pink grapefruit, tangelo, and orange, thanks to friends and neighbors

*Visiting with a dear friend

*Grill night, cheeseburger with mushrooms, baked bbq chips, and brownie

*Midweek study at church is always uplifting

*Fireplace/heater

*Homemade 2-ingredient fudge (from The Hillbilly Kitchen) to share with class

*Financial Self-Reliance class, supportive group

*Schwan’s Crispy Taters

*God’s grace

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | January 19, 2023

Week Three Learn of Me

Mid-week study at church: Take-Away: Know: You are a child of God. Follow the Covenant Path you’ve chosen with God. You are a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

This scripture hit me hard when I read it, this week: Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Yes, the promise isn’t made specifically to me, by name, but the Bible is God’s word, and if I want to know what He expects and promises, I need to read His words and promises.

Bridget A. Thomas’ post on the Shepherd: https://bridgetathomas.com/2023/01/12/following-the-shepherds-lead/

I’ve already had to adjust some of my study plans, or at least be more lenient, but my focus remains the same.

In my studies this week, I came across Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

In Aramaic, it translates as “And Jesus grew in his stature and in his wisdom, and in favor with God and men.

Jesus beckons to us, “Follow Me.” The above lists the four areas of our lives: Physical, Mental (emotional), Spiritual, and Social. Somehow, framing my education/learning new things/goals/expanding my world in terms of becoming more like Jesus – He isn’t asking me to do anything He hasn’t done – gives me a different perspective. Perhaps it’s simply because I’m older and wiser and recognizing that becoming like Him doesn’t mean I need to be staid and serious.

“The Chosen” series has helped me develop a broader definition of being like Jesus.

Posted by: Judy | January 18, 2023

Reading List 6-10

6Letter for Two (Autumn Collection: A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 4) by Sarah M. Eden contemporary romance. Such a sweet romance! Loved it.

7Silver Cascade Secrets (Autumn Collection: A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 4) by Rachelle J. Christensen contemporary romance. Suspenseful and included a couple yummy recipes at the end.

8. Chocolate Obsessed (Autumn Collection: A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 4) by Annette Lyon contemporary romance. Delicious and a fun, suspenseful tour of New York City.

9The Paradox of Love by Teri Harmon Western romance.

10. That’s DeBatable by Staci Stallings young adult Christian romance. I savor Staci Stallings’ stories. She possesses a gift for touching on concepts I’m struggling with and helping to broaden my perspective. The insights and inspiration I find in her stories are invaluable. 

Older Posts »

Categories