Posts Tagged ‘scriptures’

He Wasn’t Making Biscuits!

Mar 25

by Victoria Robinson

Being a southern girl, I love to make the perfect biscuit. My favorite biscuit recipe yields a buttery biscuit that has a nice crispness on the outside and a flaky and fluffy inside. And … this is very important … a beautiful tall biscuit! You can click on this link to get my recipe. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuit Hearts One of my signature designs in the kitchen is cutting all sorts of foods into heart shapes and my biscuits are almost always cute hearts. Which brings me to the true point of this devotional. Focusing on hearts. Our spiritual hearts.

When we talk about baking, the subject of sifting flour will inevitably come up. Sometimes you need to sift flour by itself and other times it is necessary to sift with other dry ingredients such as sugar, leavening, etc. Jesus talked about sifting when he told Simon Peter he would be sifted as wheat. Just as in baking, sifting can produce a better product, the sifting of Simon Peter would produce a better person.

We also see two other examples where God referred to sifting in the scriptures. In both cases God was sifting a nation. In both of these example we see God declaring He was going to sift the nation of Israel.

Girlfriends, God wasn’t making biscuits when He was allowing Simon Peter to be sifted like wheat. He was concerned with something far more important—the making of a spiritually strong person. The same was true when God sifted the nation of Israel. Is God sifting you today? While the process of being sifted is painful—the results are far greater than a perfect flaky hot biscuit fresh out of the oven. The results are heavenly!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that just as Simon Peter became a stronger follower of our Lord and Savior, we would also allow God’s sifting process to strengthen us.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” ~ Luke 22:31-32 NIV
 
Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire. His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err. ~ Isaiah 30:27-28 NKJV
 
“For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground. ~ Amos 9:9 NKJV

A Polite Conversation With Him

Jan 07

A Polite Conversation With Him 010712 2by Victoria Robinson

What in the world does learning how to use etiquette in conversation and learning how to converse with our heavenly Father have in common? Actually, quite a bit. Conversations with Him are what we think of as prayer. In the 1896 etiquette book, The Secret of a Happy Home, Christian author, Marion Harland, speaks of the satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener.

“Undoubtedly there is a momentary satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener. When the auditor is a friend, and a trusted friend, whose sympathy is genuine and whose discretion is vast, there is a comfort beyond description in unburdening one’s soul.”

Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Fortunately every one of us has a trusted friend we can unburden our souls to. King Solomon told us, “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The friend  he is referring to is Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord and Savior gave us detailed instructions on having a polite conversation in prayer with our heavenly Father. He told us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

“Some people are always bored. May it not be because they look at everything animate and inanimate from a selfish standpoint, with the query in their minds, “How does that affect me?” The old definition of a bore as “a person who talks so much of himself that he gives you no chance to of yourself,” may apply not only to the bore, but to the bored. When you find yourself wearied and uninterested, be honest enough to examine yourself calmly, and see if the reason is not because your vis-a-vis is not talking about anything which interests you especially. Should he turn the conversation upon your favorite occupation or pastime, or even upon your personal likes and dislikes (which, by the way, might be an infinite bore to him), would he not at once become entertaining?”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Listening to the other person is an important key to polite conversation. Nobody enjoys chatting with a boorish person who only is concerned with prattling on about themselves. Your heavenly Father is not interested in having a one-way conversation with you. Besides, if you are not listening during your prayer, you cannot possibly attain His wisdom for your requests. Conversing with our heavenly Father must always include listening. In her 1860 book, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley gives us instruction on the importance of listening while conversing.

“It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.”
Florence Hartley, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness 1860

Genuine praise is another important aspect of good conversation. Marion Harland gives an excellent example of developing the habit of praising the one you are talking with.

“Ten girls whom I know formed a society for the repression of unkind criticism. The members themselves to try, as far as in them lay, to speak kindly of people when it was possible for them to do so, and when impossible to say nothing. At first it was hard, for self-conceit would intrude, and it is hard for one girl to praise another who dislikes her. Little by little the tiny seed of effort grew into a habit of kindly speech.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

This story is reminiscent of the hardness that can develop in our hearts and hinder us from praising our heavenly Father during prayer. The enemy of your soul will always point out why God is not worthy to be praised. A direct contradiction to the Scriptures! The psalmist tells us, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just as Marion Harland reminds us that no true lady complains while conversing with others, neither should we bring our request to the Lord in a complaining manner.

“But if you do not feel this, for politeness’ sake refrain from making your listener supremely uncomfortable by your complaints. No true lady will so far forget her innate ladyhood as to be guilty of this rudeness.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

An extremely descriptive picture of the perils of complaining while praying are found in the book of Numbers. The Israelites were whining about not having meat and my oh my did they ever get their request granted! The Lord said, “The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Polite conversation sometimes involves forgiveness. The person chatting with you may say something offensive and it is important for you to overlook the words that have wounded your heart. The Lord instructed us that prayer also involves forgiveness. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our prayers will be hindered if we approach God and have unforgiveness towards others.

Dearest girlfriends, let us endeavor to develop polite conversation when we pray.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. … ~ Psalm 55:22 NLT 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
 
If you are having trouble, you should pray. … ~ James 5:13 CEV
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:3 NKJV
 
“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” ~ Numbers 11:18-20 NIV
 
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 NIV
 
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
You can read these antique etiquette books from the library of Girlfriend’s Café by clicking on the links below.
 The Secret of a Happy Home
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness

The Pain of Disappointment

Jun 10

by Victoria Robinson

The prophet Jeremiah once inquired of God, “I am badly injured and in constant pain. Are you going to disappoint me, like a stream that goes dry in the heat of summer?” There can be great pain when we are disappointed. Consider some of the people before us who had to deal with disappointment.

  • Naomi experienced the disappointment of losing her husband and sons and even changed her name to Mara which means bitter.
  • Amongst tremendous other woes, Job had to endure the disappointment of fair-weather friends.
  • The widow living in Zarephath who had tended to Elijah’s needs, and whose son became ill and died.

Strangely enough the Word of God clearly states, “For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed.” So how in the world does this truth come together with the pain of disappointment we see over and over in the Scriptures? Needless to say, all Scriptures need to be looked at in light of the entire Bible. While there certainly will be disappointments, the final outcome of our lives can be victorious. Every example of disappointment listed above does have a great ending.

Clearly all of our disappointments towards God are a result of not accepting His will. There is however another form of disappointment that can actually be good. That is when we are disappointed in our own sinful actions and turn to our heavenly Father in repentance. Make no mistake that sorrow without repentance does us no good. The apostle Paul said, “For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.”

Dearest girlfriends, lets us place our trust in our heavenly Father when we are faced with the pain of disappointment.

I am badly injured and in constant pain. Are you going to disappoint me, like a stream that goes dry in the heat of summer? ~ Jeremiah 15:18 CEV

For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed. ~ Romans 10:11 TLB

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” ~ Ruth 1:20-21 NIV

The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” ~ Ruth 4:14-15 NIV

… But they were disappointed, just as I am with you. Only one look at my suffering, and you run away scared. ~ Job 6:20-21 CEV

After Job had prayed for his three friends, the Lord made Job twice as rich as he had been before. Then Job gave a feast for his brothers and sisters and for his old friends. They expressed their sorrow for the suffering the Lord had brought on him, and they each gave Job some silver and a gold ring. The Lord now blessed Job more than ever … ~ Job 42:10-12 CEV 

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” ~ 1 Kings 17:17-18 NIV 
 
“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”  ~ 1 Kings 17:19-23 NIV
 
For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT

And so the Lord says, “I’m laying a firm foundation for the city of Zion. It’s a valuable cornerstone proven to be trustworthy; no one who trusts it will ever be disappointed. ~ Isaiah 26:16 CEV

… Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. ~ Isaiah 49:23 NIV

Ministering in the Throes of Agony

Mar 09

by Victoria Robinson

Are you a girl who when in the throes of agony really shines or do you curl up in a fetal position? There once was a widow, (No, she did not live in a shoe!) who found herself in the throes of agony. Her husband had died and now here she was broke, without food and had a son to care for as well as herself. Along comes a man named Elijah. Instead of caring for her, he instead ask her to make him some food. Now I know the scriptures admonish us to practice hospitality and share with those in need, but really girlfriends would you give food to a stranger over your own son. Yet this is where this faithful woman put the needs of others above herself and divinely ministered in the throes of agony. She prepares Elijah’s food with the very last of her provision only to find the Lord multiplied what she had and kept her, her son, and Elijah supplied until the drought came to an end. Later in the story we see how the Lord used Elijah to save her son’s life. Quite a payback from our gracious Lord!

Dearest Girlfriends, I pray we would be steadfast in ministry to others even in the throes of agony.

Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”  ~ 1 Kings 17:8-24 NIV

Discretion Is the Better Part of Valor

Feb 23

by Victoria Robinson

Shakespeare wrote, “The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life.” More importantly, King Solomon wrote, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

According to the Collins English Dictionary the word discretion means: The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid social embarrassment or distress. This describes a godly lady.

Are you a lady of discretion or are you behaving like a pig with a gold ring in your snout? Doesn’t sound very beautiful yet this is how King Solomon describes a lady who does not show discretion.

A lady of discretion …

  • Does not say everything that is on her mind.
  • Does not speak ill of others.
  • Does not spread rumors.
  • Does not boast about her accomplishments.

Dearest girlfriends, let us seek to be beautiful ladies of discretion.

Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. ~ Proverbs 2:11 NIV
 
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. ~ Proverbs 11:22 NIV
 
Keep what you know to yourself, and you will be safe; talk too much, and you are done for. ~ Proverbs 13:3 CEV
 
It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent. ~ Proverbs 11:12 NLT
 
A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. ~ Proverbs 11:13 NLT
 
As the Scriptures say, “The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done.” When people boast about themselves, it doesn’t count for much. But when the Lord commends someone, that’s different! ~ 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NLT
 
I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. ~ Proverbs 8:12 NIV

M ♥ Y ♥ O ♥ B

Feb 03

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, it does not pay well to mind other people’s business, so why is that we sometimes easily find our ourselves making a “career” of it? The book of First Thessalonians admonishes us to, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business …” Yet, instead of minding our own business we focus on the habits, shortcomings, success, etc. of those around us. Even the disciple Peter fell into this trap when he asked Jesus what would become of John. Jesus quickly let’s him know that he should mind his own business. He tells him, “… what is that to you?”

We are told over and over in the Scriptures to not focus on others, but instead look inward at ourselves. In the book of Galatians we are instructed to test our own actions and not compare ourselves with somebody else. We are not to be busybodies, but to be busy with our own lives. I do not know about you girlfriends, but I have a fulltime job attempting to make sure I behave myself without worrying about anybody else.

Dearest girlfriends, let us concern ourselves with leading our lives in a godly manner and not being busybodies.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV
 
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. … When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” ~ John 21:20-23 NIV
 
But you deserve to suffer if you are a murderer, a thief, a crook, or a busybody. ~ 1 Peter 4:15 CEV
 
We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:11 NIV
 
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. ~ 1 Timothy 5:13 NIV
 
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. ~ Galatians 6:4-5 NIV

Who’s Misleading You?

Jan 17

by Victoria Robinson

Ultimately you know who the misleader is—the enemy of your soul—Satan. It is nonetheless important to consider who he uses to do his bidding. It could even be your very own friends. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.” The apostle Paul warned us when he said, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

After Jesus had fasted and prayed for forty days, the devil tried to mislead Him by telling Him Scripture. Hmmm… scary thought that the devil uses Scripture himself to deceive. Just because a friend, preacher, or teacher uses Scripture does not mean they are not leading you astray. You must examine the Scriptures yourself to understand the truth. This is also your only defense against the enemy. Jesus knew the Scriptures and spoke them back in correct context to the devil. Girlfriends, don’t go about being defenseless because you are not aware of the Word of God.

It is essential to examine your life and recognize who might be used of the enemy to mislead you. Jesus did this when He told his good friend Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

What about you? Have you ever been the misleader in your friend’s life? Anytime you do not have in mind the things of God, you influence on your friends can be damaging to their souls.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be alert at who’s misleading us and be careful not to be an instrument of the enemy to mislead others.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 NIV
 
… “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has revealed to me: All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: “‘They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’ ~ Jeremiah 38:20-22 NIV
 
 The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading. ~ Lamentations 2:14 NIV
 
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ”‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” ~ Matthew 4:5-7 NIV
 
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11 NIV
 
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” ~ Matthew 16:21-23 NIV
 
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. ~ 1 John 3:7-8 NIV

I’ve Got an Idea!

Dec 17

by Victoria Robinson

In the funniest television show ever produced, I Love Lucy, Lucy Ricardo has always got an idea which usually leads to comical trouble. In one episode, Lucy has just followed through on an idea to help Ricky that ended disastrously. Suddenly, Lucy says, “I have an idea!” To which her best friend Ethel responds,  “How can you stand there in the middle of all this mess and utter those four horrible words, ‘I’ve got an idea!’?” While Lucy was never short on ideas, she was also faithful to follow through to make them happen. This however was unfortunate as her ideas always ended badly. Hilarious, but badly none the less.

Have you got an idea? If so, have you followed through and implemented your idea? Hopefully your idea will turn out better than most of  Lucy’s. Determining whether an idea has merit can sometimes be difficult, yet there are certain things to consider. First and foremost, does your idea line up with the Word of God? If not, that eliminates it immediately.

One of my favorite Scriptures is found in the sixteenth chapter of Proverbs. It says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” This does not infer that everything you endeavor to do will be successful, but rather you will have a successful outcome because God will direct you and help steer your direction. If your idea is wrong and you have committed it to God, He will make that clear to you through determining your steps and graciously help you avoid trouble. Conversely, if your idea is in line with God’s desires, success will follow.

Taking action on your idea is important. We can have all the faith that God is going to use the idea, but me must follow through. In the book of James we are told, “… faith without deeds is dead.” The apostle Paul saw the church in Corinth had a good idea regarding their giving, and yet he reminds them to not just be enthusiastic about the idea, but to take realistic action.

Dearest girlfriends, I want to encourage you to take the ideas you have, commit them to God, and see what wonderous things He wants to do though you!

… Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equalled by your realistic action now. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:11 TLB 

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~ Proverbs 16:3 NIV
 
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9 NIV
 
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. ~ James 2:26 NIV 
 
Dreaming all the time instead of working is foolishness. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:7 NLT

Are You Dumb as a Mule?

Dec 14

by Victoria Robinson

Do you run to your heavenly Father when He calls you, or do you need to be controlled by bit and bridle? If you are being difficult to handle, then I hesitate to say this, but, well… you  are just being dumb. There, I said it! OUCH! Hurts doesn’t it? When we refuse to come willingly to our heavenly Father, the psalmist says it is because we lack understanding, in other words, we are just plain dumb!

Being dumb involves lack of spiritual understanding. But that does not necessarily mean a lack of knowledge of the scriptures. It can mean we fail to understand what our heavenly Father is doing in our life. A mule may be thought of as dumb, yet they are actually a very intelligent animal and won’t put themselves in danger. Sometimes their obstinate behavior is due to their being frightened, unsure of what is being asked of them, or self-preservation. Are you as stubborn as a mule when it comes to obeying your heavenly Father? All of the traits of a stubborn mule can be attributed to lack of trust in their owner. Do you have lack of trust in your “owner”, otherwise known as, your heavenly Father? Remember, He paid the ultimate price for you!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would not be obstinate and need to be controlled with a bit and bridle, but rather we would willingly go in the direction our heavenly Father is leading us.

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. ~ Psalm 32:9 NIV
 
 
… a people without understanding will come to ruin! ~ Hosea 4:14 NIV
 
… Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. ~ Daniel 10:12 NIV
 
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. ~ Psalm 119:104 NIV

Does the Bible Read Like a Cookbook?

Dec 03

by Victoria Robinson

There are all kinds of cookbooks with the word Bible in their title. There is: The Cake Bible, The Meatball Cookbook Bible, The Sausage Cookbook Bible, The Slow Cooker Bible, The Pasta Bible, and The Pie and Pastry Bible, just to name a few. As an avid collector of cookbooks, I must confess I do not own any of these. There is just something about using the word Bible in a title for a cookbook that is a little unsettling to me.

The truth is most of us want the real Bible to read like a good cookbook. One of my favorite cookbooks is, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. When I read one of Julia’s recipes, I know it will be complete with no mystery as to what steps I need to take in order to accomplish success. If the recipes had not  been written with clarity, I do not have the option of contacting Julia and asking for help. The sad fact is, Julia Child passed away on August 13, 2004.

While I do not need to have a relationship with Julia Child to understand her book, I do need one with God to understand His book. Fortunately the author of the Bible is available to answer questions about the mysteries found in it. Yes, there are some Scriptures that are not as easy to understand as reading a cookbook.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to understand the mysteries found in the Bible.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. ~ 1 Peter 1:20-21 NIV
 
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ~ John 14:25-26 NIV
 
… but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 NIV