Tag Archives: gifts

TASTE AND SEE – Five Minute Fridays

Taste and See

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; 
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8 NIV)

Today the first thing I saw was daylight peeking through the blinds. Six am. Time to rise.

Next I saw the rain starting to fall on the porch outside my office window. A blessing for the farmers as it has been dry this spring.

Then I saw a post about a blind woman – although she cannot see with her eyes, she has tremendous insight into herself and how she can function without eyesight. Janet Perez Eckles has written a best-selling book called Simply Salsa.

To see – is to look at something whether by our eyes, or ears, or by touch, taste, or smell. Can I use my senses to understand God’s world? Am I open to His leading?

The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

God’s gifts – if only I see them.

Prayer: Help me to see your gifts – using all my senses. Help me to be conscious of the needs and sensitivities of others. Help me to be aware of all that You have to offer. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Time is up.

What will I “see” today? What will you “see” today?

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays. I am linking to the Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Fridays. Today’s word is SEE.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.

On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat-out.

What can you write in five minutes flat? {—> click to tweet}.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: SEE

“ASCENCIAL” TRUTH – Sermon

“Ascencial” Truth – Sermon

by Rev. Harold Morgan

This weekend was the 24th of May Weekend – celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday in Canada. Our minister, Harry, spoke about kingship, and ascension to the throne. In the secular world there is much pomp given to the ascension of a king/queen. Gifts are given and received.

The Ascension of Jesus is the crowning of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In Acts 1 we get a different picture of His royalty. He lived as a carpenter, had no armies and spent his ministry in servanthood. He died for all of us. He rose from the grave. Then He returned to earth to reveal Himself for 40 days. Then He ascended. Then at Pentecost, He gave his disciples a gift – the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus had said, while on earth:

 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

Then He withdrew His visible presence. He went back to where He had started – with a view of humanity that connected us to God.

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8 NIV)!

In His ascension He took back what He originally had. And He went back with more.

That was the theological part – which I hope I got right.

Here are the real implications of the Ascension:

Jesus is now not limited to time or space.

While on earth He did have limits of time and space.

Jesus receives our prayers.

On Ascension, He took back the prerogative of God. He IS God! But now we can pray to Him.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13 NIV).

Here is the Ascencial Truth (Harry made up the word ascencial) – Jesus opened the gates of Heaven – so we might enter in. (I love the song by Robin Mark. See it at the end of this post)

“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe” (Ephesians 4:7-10 NIV).

We were captives of Satan but Jesus freed us to be captivated by Him. We are His. We need to know Him and love Him. And He even took us to Heaven with Him.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NIV).

How cool is that! Wow! We are seated with Jesus. We are yet to see the whole fullness of this but we do get glimpses, don’t we?

Jesus Gave Gifts to Men

Just as in the temporal world when a new king is crowned there are new jobs opened to those who know the king. So, too, Jesus apportioned jobs to each of us. Paul lists some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians. We are to serve the body of Christ by using the gifts given to each of us.

Here is a list of the ones from Ephesians:

Apostles – those who have vision and entrepreneurial spirit for God.

Prophets – those who call us to account and are the balancers. They ask questions like, “are we right doing this?”

Evangelists – those whose love for Jesus makes them want to spread the Good News.

Pastors – shepherds who show concern and comfort for others. They are the encouragers.

Teachers – those who explain what is said in the Bible.

All of these only operate under the Holy Spirit. We cannot be followers of Christ without the Holy Spirit in us. It is impossible.

And that is the “Ascencial” Truth – Jesus’ Ascension is important. Video Podcasts – Part 1 and Part 2

CAST YOUR BURDEN ON CHRIST

Cast Your Burden on Christ

by Jan Cox

This morning two passages of Scripture struck deep into my heart. I had read from Philippians 1 and 1 Peter 4.

In Philippians, Paul is in jail, in chains, yet he is praying not for himself but for Christ’s church and His people.

And the word I have seen the most often in Scripture this week is LOVE.

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 The Message).

So – how do I love? That is my prayer to Christ. Show me how, where and when to love His people.

“There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to make show of Him and not use Him. He loves to be worked. He is a great laborer. He always was for His Father and now He loves to be a great laborer for His brethren. The more burdens you put on His shoulders, the better He will love you. Cast your burden on Him” (Charles Spurgeon, Christ in the Covenant).

If Christ loves to be worked and we can cast our burdens on Him, then I need to pray that way. My burden this week is to love – so I will pray for Christ to show me the way to do that.

I read from 1 Peter – he talks about learning to think like Christ.

Here are some of Paul’s examples:

  • My own way – get rid of that type of thinking so I can be free to follow God and not what I want.
  • Stay wide-awake in prayer – watch and listen so I can see exactly whom to pray for and how to love (this can be emails, phone calls, people I meet, TV and the news).

So this is what I think I heard this morning:

  • Christ is my life
  • Pray to be shown whom to love
  • Get rid of my agenda
  • Watch and listen to everything God puts in my path.

What do you think? Can you listen to what God puts on your heart? Can you then burden Christ with that message to make it something you can work on together?

Prayer:

Father, I relinquish my agenda. I want to learn to love and I want to live in Christ. Keep me mindful of what is going on around me so I can be a good Intercessor and be Your hands and feet here on earth. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week. I have to skip some of these gifts as I am much further ahead that the ones I have written. So I will pick a few and then get closer to the date we are today. This makes 486.

  • Carissa (granddaughter) sat between Wayne and I during our Thanksgiving church service
  • A great group of women being in communion with God; a feast of love
  • A verse to memorize: Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even great things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
  • Hard Eucharisteo – Wayne’s Dad was sick for his own 90th birthday party.
  • Endurance when tired
  • Waking at 4am to travel (body confused for awhile)
  • Sun, Sprouts, barbecued chicken
  • Energy to clean dirt from patio, front porch, side of home
  • Meeting old friends
  • A Naturopath appointment; air-conditioning; air purifier; skin cream; DHIST
  • Mom in a new room at the Retirement Home – hurrah!
  • How bright and intelligent Mom is at 94; meds are working well
  • I can get down on my knees

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.

A LITTLE OIL

A Little Oil 

Read: Luke 8: 16-18

“Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Those who have will be given more; as for those who do not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them” (Luke 8:18NIV).

Spring rains began recently in our part of the country. As I looked out the window at an old rusty tin plate, it reminded me what happened to the tin man in the movie, The Wizard of Oz. He had been left out in the rain and rusted. He could no longer move his joints to continue his job to chop trees. Dorothy, the heroine, came along and lubricated him with oil. Ecstatic with his freedom he joyfully joined Dorothy in her search to find her way home.

Our lives are similar. God gives us ears to hear His word. In turn, we are instructed, just as His disciples were, to use this knowledge to direct others. We must use what we have been given or it will rust. Whoever listens to God and tells others will be given more. But, to those who hear and ignore His word it will be taken away.

In order to spread the news we must continually be ‘oiling our joints’. Scripture has been given to us to be read. God teaches us to pray, worship and be in community with others. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” ( Luke 12:48 NIV).

Let us use His Word to shine for others to see. Pick up your oil can, oil your joints and spread the Good News.

Thought for the day:

Are you using all your God-given gifts to help spread the love and good news of Jesus and salvation?

Prayer: We ask, O Lord, for Your guidance to help us use what You have given us to tell others about Jesus.

A SANCTUARY OF TIME

A Sanctuary of Time

Chapter Four in Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts is entitled “A Sanctuary of Time”. This chapter is so packed full of wisdom and holiness.

Here are a few nuggets to ponder over:

“Life is a Gift”

“Time is life – and if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time.”

Mornings for me were fraught with panic, trying to do so much in a little time. I never gave myself enough time to do what needed to be done, so therefore I ended up stressed and bad-tempered.

I love Ann’s words, “life is not an emergency”. I want to enjoy each moment, live it to the full. Even in writing this I am not stressing that it has to be done by tomorrow morning. I am letting the words flow by themselves.

As the past week has shown me – I need to start each day with God. As I talked about Wandering, then First, then Grafted – I have taught myself or God is teaching me that life is living – breathing each moment without tension – because I can rely on Him; because I can breathe in His promises; because I can live each moment grateful for little things.

I have reached over 100 in my gratitude list and I love to thank God for each gift He gives me. Today it was a little walk to the mailbox – light wind blowing, trees greening up, and the sun shone.

We do have the choice to be fully attentive to life – and we get there by getting into the right habit of giving thanks for each moment.

Are you aware of living? Are you present in each moment? Can you see the beauty of “right now”?