Uncategorized

Sin = Rebellion

In the 15th chapter of Samuel, Saul is explaining to Samuel why he did not obey the instructions of God. God had specifically told Saul to “Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed.” (vs.18b). But Samuel disputes Saul, telling him that he did obey God. Saul replies, “Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” (vs. 20 & 21)

Here is Samuel’s crushing reply: “Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” 

The Bible doesn’t state this, but I sense that Saul was quite proud of himself. He truly believed that God would be pleased that he had brought the best of the “spoil,” the King, the sheep and oxen. He brought these as a sacrifice to God, but it was not what God had asked him to do.  And because of his disobedience, the Lord rejected him and would not place him as king. 

 Stay tuned for Part 2 – Friday, July 31

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Recipe Monday: AUNT MARIE’S BANANA PUDDING

One of my children’s – in fact, our entire extended family’s – favorite desserts is my sister’s Banana Pudding. It is divine – and the best part – no cooking!

For a 9×12 dish: (smaller dish will only require 1 pkg. instant Banana Cream pudding & 1 Cool Whip

  • 2 pkg. instant Banana Cream pudding
  • 2 containers of Cool Whip
  • Bananas
  • Vanilla Wafers

Mix pudding according to directions, except decrease milk by 1/2 cup. Add 1 C Cool Whip. Layer vanilla wafers and bananas. Mix pudding and Cool Whip in blender and pour over layers. Refrigerate. Top with Cool Whip just before serving.

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Baptism is a Celebration

This blog was originally posted on September 16, 2013. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did as I re-read it. Blessings!

There are many different views and beliefs about baptism. It is a subject that even some Christians are not confident in discussing. If you “Googled” the word “baptism” I’m sure you would find hundreds of sites explaining baptism as they–the authors and/or sponsors of the site–understand it. Some sites are probably right, some wrong, and some partially right and partially wrong, Far be it from me to judge these sites and issue an edict as to who is right and wrong. But I will share my thoughts on baptism with you (hang with me – I’m going somewhere with this.)

From the Cowgill Personal Opinion Dictionary: Baptism is a public acknowledgment of a privately made decision to repent of your sins, acknowledge God’s forgiveness and accept Him into your heart. It is a visual representation of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.

But it’s also a celebration. As Pastor Tim Riordan, Senior Pastor of SonRise Church, stated yesterday, it is a celebration of what God has done for us, a celebration of a new life, a new beginning.

Yesterday was a glorious day of celebration as my husband of eight years, 363 days was baptized. Dave became a Christian many years ago and was “sprinkled.” But when Pastor Tim talked to us  a few weeks ago about baptism by immersion (no discussion here on the differences between immersion and sprinkling), Dave was ready to be baptized right then. It was a wonderful thing to watch yesterday as Dave gave his profession of faith and Pastor Tim took him under the water and brought him back up out of the water. The smile on Dave’s face was brighter than that of a child on Christmas morning. He exuded this confidence, yet remained humble as later he told me that as soon as he was out of sight of the congregation, he began to cry and was unable to stop for a few minutes. This gentle, ordinary man had been touched by the Divine and something extraordinary happened in his heart and in his life. He will never be the same.

It was also a glorious day of celebration as all my family were there to witness this occasion. My daughter, Kim and her boyfriend, Steven, my son Kyle and his fiance Angela, my grandson, Mack, my sister, Marie and her husband, Don, and the other most important man in my life, my dad. How it blessed me and Dave, who didn’t know they were coming, to have all of them there.

I want to encourage you if you’ve never been baptized to talk to your pastor and have him baptize you. It is an experience and a celebration that will change your life forever. Believe me, I know. I watched it happen yesterday.

Uncategorized

Mommie Thompson’s Bread Pudding

It’s Recipe Monday! I love sharing recipes, especially those that are my childhood favorites. I love receiving recipes, too, so send me some of your favorites.

Today’s recipe is my grandmother’s delicious Bread Pudding. And it’s so easy, even I can do it!

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I didn’t say it was low-cal!)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 T vanilla

Toast 4 slices of bread; tear into small pieces. Beat 4 eggs. Mix 1 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, 2 T vanilla, 4 beaten eggs and bread pieces. Bake at 300 degrees until golden brown.

Easy-peasy! Good for dessert or for breakfast and always with coffee!

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Spiritually Perfect?

“Today, Edwina, we believe God wants you to know that …

God sees you as you truly are, – a holy child of light:

I see you strong and whole. I see you blessed and prospered. I see you courageous and confident. I see you capable and successful. I see you free from all limitations or bondage of any kind. I see you as the spiritually perfect being you truly are.”

About every day or so, I receive a message through FaceBook from a “devotional” that is meant to be encouraging and uplifting. It implies that the message is from God when it says, “we believe God wants you to know…” I have no idea who writes these posts or if they pray before writing them. There are times when they miss the boat entirely, and times when the post “hits it on the nail.” And there are times, like today, when the post is a little of both – right and wrong.

You see, I believe God does see us as children of light. In fact, John 12:36 tells us: “As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”

And I believe God sees us as we truly are – not as the world sees us, or our friends or even our family. He knows our hearts, our desires, our longings. And yes, He sees us as strong and whole, blessed and prosperous, courageous and confident, capable and successful. He sees us free from limitations and bondage. “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows.(John 10:10 Amplified Bible)

But I don’t agree that we are spiritually perfect. Not me, or you, or the Pope or no one else. We are human, we err, we sin. Simple as that. We will only obtain spiritual perfection when we reach heaven.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Uncategorized

The True Courageous Heroes of America

Unless you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with no internet, no TV, no iPad, and no iPhone then you know that Bruce Jenner, who now calls himself Caitlyn, was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the EPSY Awards ceremony on Wednesday night. I will not call him Caitlyn – that is a female name and he is not a female – no matter what anyone says or what type of medical procedures he has had performed.

I don’t know who the judges were that decided to give this award to Bruce.  But they must have forgotten to check their dictionary for the definition of courage before deciding who should receive this award. Surely, they would have chosen someone who truly deserves the award.

My Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty; having or characterized by courage :  brave <a courageous soldier>.”

It didn’t take courage for Bruce to say that he is now a she.  He might have been a little nervous, but the publicity he has received (and isn’t that what it’s all about?) far outweighed any nervousness. He didn’t face danger or difficulty like our police officers face every time they go out on a call. Or our fire fighters who rush into burning buildings, giving no thought to their own safety as they search for survivors. Or our soldiers on the front line, who lead their teams into enemy territory, their only thought –  to protect the men and women behind them while they search for their comrades – or for the enemy.

One example (among thousands who gave their life for our country) is Patrick D. Tillman. I’m sure you remember him. Patrick walked away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to fight for his country during Operation Enduring Freedom. It was said that his decision to walk away from his football contract “made him a hero to many of the people he admired.” “I was told he admired me but it’s the reverse …,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stated. “Pat’s journey, that’s the American dream and he sacrificed that. That to me is a real hero.” The Army stated that he was fatally shot on April 22, 2004, while fighting “without regard for his personal safety.” He was leading his team to help comrades caught in an ambush.

Or what about our wounded warriors? Severely wounded in combat, some losing an arm, or a leg, or both or all four, and they come home to less than a hero’s welcome – if they get a welcome from America at all. And then they hear that this man is getting an award for courage. Look closely at this picture. On the front row are four heroes who lost both arms. One of those men also lost a leg. On the right, at the end of the second row, this hero lost both legs.So did the young man behind him. Below, read what has been said:

wounded warriors

“The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team™ (WWAST) is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and educate others while enhancing the health and welfare of Wounded Warrior Amputees.

The WWAST represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. These men have sustained severe injuries resulting in amputation, and through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again, playing against able-bodied teams in exhibition games across the country.

Their armor now includes prosthetic legs and arms, along with extreme perseverance and attitude. Together they are the WOUNDED WARRIOR AMPUTEE SOFTBALL TEAM.”

These men, and women, who came home with life-altering wounds, or those like Patrick D. Tillman who came home in a flag-draped casket, are the true courageous heroes. And I am ashamed – and all of us should be ashamed – that we’ve allowed one man to take the place of these true heroes.

Uncategorized

RECKLESS REBELLION

This blog was originally posted on August 13, 2011. The lesson is just as appropriate today as it was then – perhaps even more so. Please leave a comment, especially if you’ve ever gone through a time of rebellion against God.

or those of you who don’t know, my husband had surgery this week after nine months of illness. Dave came home one Friday evening in late October from a business trip and told me he felt like he was getting sick. Sure enough, before the weekend was over, he was very sick and diagnosed with pneumonia. From October to March, Dave had pneumonia four times. When he got sick again in March, I insisted he see a different doctor. By the end of that day, he had seen a new family physician, who ordered a CAT scan and upon reading the results, immediately sent Dave to a pulmonologist. He reviewed the CAT scan and told us that the lower lobe of Dave’s right lung was completely dead due to the pneumonias and would have to be removed. That began the wild ride from March until this week. Dave has seen three pulmonologists, three thoracic surgeons and one infectious disease specialist. He has had four bronchoscopies, three CAT scans, countless numbers of blood tests, and on and on and on. We were told it was cancer. We were told it wasn’t cancer. We were told “I don’t know what it is” many times. This week, we found out it was an almond. Yes, you read that right – almond. Apparently, sometime last October, Dave was snacking on almonds when he choked on one. That little sucker went all the way down his windpipe into the lower lobe of his right lung and lodged itself in a place where it partially covered the windpipe. Who woulda thunk it?

So, there’s the background. Go back to the day when the pulmonologist told us the lobe was dead and would have to be removed. I can remember sitting across from the doctor and hearing him say those words “Your lobe will have to be removed,” and I said to God, “OK, God. That’s it. I’m done. I’m tired of praying for healing and seeing nothing happen. So I’m done. I don’t care anymore. It doesn’t seem to do any good to pray for healing, so why should I?” (Dave has had back and hip problems for years, has been prayed for, anointed with oil, prayed for time and again and has not been healed.)
In I Samuel 15, Samuel gives Saul instructions from God to kill all the Amalekites. All. Don’t. Leave.  A. Single. Breathing. Thing. But Saul thought he knew better than God, so he saved the King of the Amalekites and the best of the animals for God. But that’s not what God wanted.
9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
When the Lord told Samuel what Saul had done, Samuel went and confronted Saul.
19 Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?”
20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”
26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!” (I Samuel 15:9; 19-26; emphasis mine)
Reckless rebellion? You bet.

Arrogant? Yep.

Ego? Bigger than the Grand Canyon.

Pride? Full of it.

Who was he to think that he knew better than God?

Who am I to think I know better than God?

Reckless rebellion? You bet.

Arrogant? Yep.

Ego? Bigger than the Grand Canyon.

Pride? Full of it!

How arrogant am I to think that I could manipulate God into changing His plans for my sweet hubby just because I was acting like a two-year old screaming in the store because Daddy won’t buy her that dolly she absolutely must have!
Let me go ahead and save some of you the experience: We cannot manipulate God. We cannot bribe God. We cannot coerce God. We can’t change His mind by throwing a temper tantrum. And we certainly can’t move Him with our lack of Bible reading or ignoring our quiet time with Him or not praying. This is the voice of experience speaking.
If you are still reading this long saga, you’re probably wondering if I resolved my issues (and if this blog is ever going to end). Yes, I did (and it will). In the far recesses of my mind I knew, all along, that I would have to repent and ask God to forgive me for being angry with him and for rebelling against him and his will. Here is the Good News:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

AND

“You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19

God’s love for us is so great and His grace is so amazing, that He forgives our sins and buries them in the depths of the sea and He does not remember the sin – ever again.
Whatever the sin that separates you from God, He is waiting, willing and faithful to forgive you of that sin. His compassion will draw you to Him, His forgiveness will restore your relationship and His love will make you whole again.
So, what are you waiting for?