Archive for March, 2008

March 28, 2008

From the Inside Out

This is the topic of my newsletter this month. I’m currently working on it. Every month I feel the strain of getting the newsletter ready; this is because I choose the topic carefully and also the articles with a lot of prayer.

This is a topic I think will speak to alot of people. My aim is to show that change starts from the inside. Sometimes, the change is slow to manifest on the outside but as long as it has started, it will in time.

Do you have any comments on this topic? Please let me know.

March 28, 2008

You are Special

You are who you are for a reason
You’re part of a perfect plan
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason
Our God made no mistake
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved
Because there is a God.

By Russel Kelfer – culled from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, p. 25
March 28, 2008

Red Lipstick

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Friend to Friend

When my three children were young, it was a challenge to keep track of where they were. My husband and I baby proofed the house as best we could, used gates and hoped for the best. I’ll never forget the day that Preston and Kennedy were accounted for in the play room, but Hunter had wandered off. I called for him, but got no response.

Curious, I headed for the front stair case and listened for his little two-year-old voice. I checked his bedroom — no Hunter. I checked Preston’s room and Kennedy’s room – no Hunter. By now, my heart was racing as my concern grew. When I headed into my bedroom, I heard faint noises coming from the master bathroom.

Our bathroom mirror gave me all the information I needed. Hunter had gotten into my red lipstick and it was everywhere! I wanted to laugh — I wanted to cry! He was unaware of my presence as he continued his creative lipstick artwork on my walls and on the linen closet door.

On a whim, I ran to get the camcorder.
Stifling laughter, I crossed the threshold of the bathroom and confronted my little chubby-cheeked ‘red lipstick-all-over-his-face’ boy. He immediately hid his scandalous tool behind his back…thinking I was none the wiser. I asked him what he was doing, to which he replied “Nothing.” In my best trying-not-to-laugh mommy voice, I continued to ask him a series of questions and he continually denied any wrong doing.

Sometimes I wonder how many times I go before the Lord in prayer while trying to hide my red lipstick behind my back. How many times have I thought I was pulling one over on Him? Just as simply as I saw the tangible evidence of Hunter’s red face, God sees our hearts and knows what we’ve been up to. He sees pride, anger, gossip and bitterness. He sees hurts not forgiven, sins not confessed, the habits we cling to, the shows we watch and the literature we read that don’t honor Him. He sees our failures and lovingly longs for us to allow Him to clean up the mess we’ve made.

A few years back, after reading 2 Corinthians 7:1 and Psalm 51, and seeking God’s heart in prayer, I was inspired to write the following song:

Purify My Soul
By Gwen Smith

know my heart and You know my ways
Yet You love me just the same
I know that You are able
You are God, it’s true
Help me Lord, just as I am, surrender all to You
Purify my soul
Cleanse my heart and mind
Restore to me Your gentle, loving arms
Purify my soul
So I can go and be a true reflection of Your holiness

Create in me a clean heart
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away, Lord from Your presence

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
Lord, Your love surrounds me — encompassing my soul
Mold me as a potter molds the clay
The freedom of forgiveness liberates my life
Renew in me a fire, in the name of Jesus Christ

© 2000 Audio 31 Music / Sunday Best Music (ASCAP)

What is your red lipstick today? Are you ready to hand it over to God?

To find out more about Gwen Smith, click here or read her blog.

This article was taken from the daily devotional of Girlfriends in God.

March 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Lord, I thank you for the gift of your son, for the freedom to come before you without fear or hesitation and for the assurance of your love.

I thank you for life and the privilege to live it for you; my life would be meaningless without You in it.

I am grateful for the opportunity to reach out to others through my monthly ezine. Creating and sending it out this month was hectic, but I felt the hand of God on me through it all.

March 18, 2008

Rain or Shine

By Angela M. Baker-Bridge

Rain or shine, Martha’s outlook was always the same, dismal.

It had been a difficult year since her accident. Once a very strong, self-sufficient woman, Martha now could barely get through the day without the assistance of others. Most days she refused to get out of bed.

“What’s the use?” she would yell while looking at the ceiling of her bedroom. “I don’t want to live like this God! Why didn’t you take me too? The people in the other car were innocent strangers. I was the one speeding. I should have died, not them!”

Daily she cried out in anger to God, daily he remained silent to her questions and plea.

One morning, her son called earlier than usual. “Mom, I’m calling to let you know the agency is sending over another aid today. You have to stop being so difficult. We cannot keep going through aids. Please try to cooperate and not scare her off on her first morning.”

Martha sighed, “I can’t help if the aids are incompetent and thin-skinned. Whatever, I really don’t care who you send.”

“Mom, that’s not enough. Promise me you’ll behave.”

“Fine, as long as she doesn’t tell me what to do or get in my way,” Martha snapped.

An hour later, Cathy arrived smiling and carrying a bouquet of daisies.

“What’s with the flowers?” Martha suspiciously asked when Cathy entered her room. “And make sure you don’t lose the key to my house.”

“Good morning Miss Martha. I’m Cathy, your aid. I’m so pleased to see you, and excited to be assisting you. I found out from your son that your favorite flowers are daisies; mine too, so I stopped to get these for you. There isn’t anything better than a bunch of daisies to brighten a room or day.”

Surprised, Martha asked, “Why are you excited about working here and specifically with me?”

“Miss Martha, I guess you don’t recognize me. I’m little Cathy Anderson, Pastor Anderson’s daughter. You were my Sunday school teacher when I was ten-years old.”

“Oh yes,” Martha nodded, remembering her favorite little student.

“Because of you I accepted Jesus as my savior. Whenever things would get tough for me in life, I would think of you and the verse you made me repeat every time I was afraid to try something new. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.*” Because of you, I was able to endure the pain of Dad’s death. Because of you, I’m in nursing school right now. So, when I saw your name on the patient’s list, I begged for this assignment. God told me you needed me. So here I am. It’s my turn to encourage you not to give-up, no matter how bad things look.”

“Oh,” was all Martha could say with such a huge lump in her throat.

“So Miss Martha, do you still like almond tea? I hope so, because I brought a few tea bags with me. The water should be ready about now.”

Cathy left the room singing, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Martha wept.

“Thank you God for allowing me to live… and to know that I did impact someone’s life. Little Cathy is here to help me! Maybe I really can get through this… with her help, and with YOURS.”

© 11-15-07_________________________________
*”I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 (KJV)_________________________________
Married to a minister for 30-yrs, Angela has two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. She’s passionately creative with a versatile portfolio. Out of hurt and pain, Angela writes from her heart and life. She touches others as she gives God the glory. She married a former pastor in ’03.
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March 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday – on Tuesday

I have a lot to be thankful for this week; the Lord has been merciful. Certain things happen every once in a while to remind us of God’s faithfulness.
My Thankful Thursday is late because I’ve been ill and the Internet at home was acting up. But I always look forward to it so I decided to post even though it’s so late.

I’ve been forced to just lie quietly at home. I thank God for healing and for the reminder to BE STILL.

Last week, as my mum traveled round on a mission awareness tour of Nigeria, her vehicle was waylaid by armed robbers. Only by running into hiding, were they able to escape with their lives. I cannot thank God enough for the disposition he blessed my mum with. The experience should have been a traumatising one, instead, the Lord shifted her perception so that to her, it was more like an adventure playing out. I’m saying a heartfelt thanks because not one hair on her body was harmed. Jehovah Jireh certainly does look after His own.

I also thank God for my country. Life in Nigeria is not the easiest, yet we are happy. My mum was able to get a good look at the robbers and she said that from the look of them, they were neither touts nor rogues. According to her, they were well dressed and had the looks of University graduates about them. It was easy for me to identify with that. Unemployment seems to have skyrocketed. Yet a few years ago, Nigerians were rated as the happiest people on earth. It can only be the ever-present joy of the Lord.

I’m grateful for the gift of good health; it is the Lord who keeps one healthy and I just want to appreciate His faithfulness in that department.

I thank God for Denise who has been a constant source of inspiration. There are very few blogs I visit that Denise hasn’t been to and dropped an encouraging word or two. I am sincerely grateful to God for the gift of such a woman.

Finally, I’m especially grateful for the raise I got. It was unexpected as it was useful.