Worry vs. Trust, Seven-Day-Challenge

Here’s a review for those who took the “WAIT! I-am-a-child-of-God-I-will-not-worry-this-time- challenge.” For full post, see here.

Repeat after me:

Day 1: God isn’t surprised by your difficulties
Day 2: You shouldn’t be either
Day 3: God loved you enough to die for you
Day 4: Dying to yourself is the best way to live
Day 5: God has it all worked out
Day 6: Get out of His way
Day 7: Great trust brings God great delight

Why Day 3?  God loves me (and mine) and He proved it.

But here is how God has shown his love for us.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

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Hands of Proof, painted by Hyatt Moore (see here)

Last week a new friend remarked in passing: “Buddha and God — all the same thing. No biggie.” 

Really? No biggie? I see a conversation brewing down the line. It may begin with the question: “How did Buddha show his love for you?”

Why Day 3?

Here’s why. He loved me enough to die for me.

I can choose not to worry any given moment. With three daughters and a wanna-be-contractor husband and double college tuitions this Fall, I’m given lots of moments. At any given moment, I can say, “God loved me enough to die for me. I think He loves me enough to take care of:_________________________________”

You fill it in. Your blank can be as long as you like:______________________________________________________________________________________ . . .

Christ’s love on the cross. He’s invited the world. Have you RSVP’d?

Next question: Do I live like I’ve RSVP’d? Today I choose trust over worry. It may not last more than a minute, but I’ll choose it again (and again.)  God knows my dusty frame * and keeps inviting and inviting.

Coming this week: Free ebook on God’s Invitation to His Table – one way to invite your friends. It’s why we’re here; it’s why we trust. Stay tuned:

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* For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
Psalm 103:14

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Tuesday’s O, Taste & See: Testing, Testing

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It’s one thing to say God’s got it all under control. It’s another to live it. Like I believe it.

Yesterday I threw (you) the gauntlet: Try not to Worry for Seven Days. Read it here.

What to remember each day this week – easy as breathing — here’s Day 1 and 2:

Day 1: God isn’t surprised by your difficulties

Day 2: You shouldn’t be either

How do I know? Jesus told me:

I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating? Aren’t there more important things for the body than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?

Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothing.  But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon in all of his glory was dressed like one of those flowers.

If that is how God dresses the wild grass, won’t he dress you even better? After all, the grass is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. Your faith is so small!

So don’t worry. Don’t say, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we wear?’ People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you need them. Matthew 6:25-32

See? He knows what I need. What you need. What your kids need.

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Just so you know, He keeps me honest, too. (Testing, testing.)

Friday I wrote Monday’s post. He gave me the list of seven. Saturday morning I heard from Bethany in Ecuador. Fever. Dr’s visits. Tests.

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All day long I spoke to myself, “Why, my Father knows all about it…” That’s right, Lord, You do. Please heal Bethany. I don’t want to worry. I was a little anxious until I heard late today – bacterial, not viral. I think that’s better. The MD-Man-in-Plaid said it was. She’s hungry and grumpy and we continue to pray (and not worry, mostly.)

 

 

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Testing, testing. God isn’t surprised by difficulties. Neither should we be.

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good in spite of fevers and fears and sleepless nights and growling tummies; blessed is the one who puts their trust in the One Who loves us best, helps us through the tests, and covers us with His wings.” Today’s (and maybe tomorrow’s) Psalm 34:8

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Thankfully, Mark said this wasn’t a bad report. He speaks Spanish/Medicine. The hungry child learned how to make tortillas. They look more like pancakes to me. Just need a few chocolate chips (when she gets to feeling better.)

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Link up Tuesday’s Tasting of God’s goodness in your life (tests included!)

Use this pretty button and join in the tasting celebration:

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A Godly Notion, Easy as Breathing (Guest Posting at OneDayLighter)

I’m thinking I need to write a series on Worry. One should write on one’s expertise; I’d say I’m an expert. Got that from Mom. I used to say, “Mom, stop worrying!” And she’d reply, “I’m a mother. That’s my job.” I didn’t think she was very spiritual.

Then I became a mother. Now my girls say, “Mom, stop freaking out.” And I say, “Just wait.”

(Today I’m Aly’s guest blogger over at her lovely site: OneDayLighter – take a load off and visit this new friend from Nashville.)

See here.

 

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Feast on Friday: Lori’s Summer Salad – Yum!

Lori and Leonard are gardeners. They love their garden. They eat from their garden. They would share (I’m sure) but they live near Chicago. They do send photos. Naturally they have a lot to celebrate when the sun comes out and the lettuce pops up. Lori just shared her favorite salad and it is something to celebrate! I don’t garden. Well, I’m an accidental gardener. It’s an accident if things grow. But I live across the street from Trader Joe’s which helps me be healthy and make pretty salads.

Lori swears by Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinaigrette which is found in the cold salad greens section (Lori directed me there from Chicago–I didn’t even need my GPS– and she was right.) Sooo incredibly delicious. Thank You, Mr. Joe and Lori. Sometimes it pays to listen to your younger sister.

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Lori's Summer Salad - Yum!
Author: 
Recipe type: side or main dish
Cuisine: summer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-7
 
This is as pretty as it is delicious! Enjoy adding what your family likes.
Ingredients
  • Leafy greens
  • Sliced red onion
  • Mandarin oranges (I forgot)
  • Sliced strawberries or raspberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Feta cheese (Lori uses Bleu Cheese)
  • Sprinkle with sunflower seeds
  • Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Layer and set out for everyone to ooh and aah
  2. Toss with vinaigrette and dig in

 

photo 1To make it a main dish, add grilled salmon or chicken or leftover Tri-tip. YUM.

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Happy Summer! I suppose if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, they could mail you some dressing, or you could open a bottle of champagne and you might not notice you didn’t have a Trader’s or dressing or salad.

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A Good Reason to Clean

The carrots cooking in orange juice overflowed in the microwave . . . my brand new, spanking clean, never-new-again microwave. The carrots tasted fine, unaffected by the mess. The carrot-eating guests never suspected what was left behind, pools of fine liquid gold dappling the once-pristine chrome interior. And I forgot, until this morning.

Cleaning commenced. The bigger the mess, the deeper the clean.

I missed the Housekeeping Gene, along with the Folding Gene and the Eating-Only-For-fuel-Gene. But big messes get my attention and I’m down for a thorough cleaning as long as I can finish in say, three or four minutes – five, max.

My small sins don’t get my attention as much as my big ones. God doesn’t measure, naturally. Sin is sin. Measure of maturity? Calling out my slightest deviance. Here’s a deviance or two:

Do everything without finding fault or arguing.  Then you will be pure and without blame. (Philippians 2:14)

There it is: pure, without blame. Cleaning needed most days.

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When faced with an “I can’t believe I did that (again)” sin, God jolts me into deep cleaning. I get out the cleanser, the brushes, the heavy-duty bleach, gloves even and get down to work. Tears plus bleach – a great combination.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t “works-salvation.” That work’s been done, finished, completo. But  work it is to work out our salvation. To care about God’s standard, to focus on holiness vs. my happiness, to humble myself to the One who didn’t need to.

So continue to work out your own salvation. Do it with fear and trembling. God is working in you. He wants your plans and your acts to be in keeping with his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12, 13)

Oh, yes. it’s work. And I need the deep clean more often than not. It can take a Big Mess in the micro to remind me.

Got a reason to clean? Join me, if needed:

“Lord, God – I’m so so sorry I grieved You just now, and I’m feeling like that dead cockroach I just swept under the fridge. Thank You for showing me my mess, and for providing the deep clean.  Convict me every time – big or small – I choose myself over You. Thanks for washing me white as snow. So very thankful. Amen.”

Better yet, join David:

“Wash away all of the evil things I’ve done.
Make me pure from my sin.

Take away all of my sins.
Wipe away all of the evil things I’ve done.
God, create a pure heart in me.
Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.” Psalms 51:2, 9,10

Grateful for new genes in Jesus. 

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The best part of God’s welcoming heart? He runs out to meet the sinner–”You’re home! So glad you made it. I was hoping you’d come back.” (Luke 15:11ff)

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Tuesday’s Taste & See: Passing the Platter

“You haven’t blogged me lately, Mom…” Here’s one for you, FMC (Favorite-Middle-Child) –

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Bethany’s been in Ecuador with Penn State, learning to teach English as a second language to 7th and 8th graders. As the faraway parents, Mark and I have it made. We catch up on Skype, What’sApp, and email. When I lived in Brazil for two years, my mom called maybe twice – both times in the middle of the night. She couldn’t quite get the time change down. Another missionary with a landline would pad down the outside hall corridor at the Wycliffe center, bang on my door, and rouse me to get the call. “Hi, Sue, it’s Mom. How are you?” So perky. “It’s two in the morning, Mom, I’m not great.” Poor Mom. Bit of a let down.

Bethany, on the other hand, keeps in touch and we’re loving it.

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Since fifth grade or so, Bethany’s thought she might teach abroad someday. Not sure where she got that idea. . .

Like it or not, kids pick up on things. Teaching abroad is one of the good things; I won’t mention the bad ones.

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God gives us kids to keep us honest. We may say, “Hey, I’m a Christ-follower. What He says, goes. Of course I trust Him with my life.” Then you have a kid. Need I say more? Then you have three kids and they hear you and see you and wonder, “Is this what it means to follow Jesus? Is it worth it? Should I go all in or stay on the sidelines and wait and see what happens in real life?”

Beth’s experiencing real life. More on her recent high’s and low’s later. Suffice it to say, she’s learning to lean and finding God sufficient. Mark and I aren’t there–funny how it’s still working. Better even.

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Want your kids to taste Jesus? Step aside. Watch Him work. First-person tasting is the best. In the meantime, we pass the platter and pray. Pray hard.

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“O, taste and see that the Lord is good and pass on that taste freely so that others find His goodness for themselves – and then let God do His work through all sorts of harrowing experiences so they learn to see for themselves – blessed, blessed are we who taste and stand back and watch our kids take refuge when refuge is needed.” Today’s Psalm 34:8

PS

This just in. Made the mistake of telling Bethany that brownies are in the oven…

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Honestly, Beth. You shouldn’t be reading this.photo 2

Sharing coffee today with Holley Gerth:
Feel free to join my link up party – share how you taste God’s goodness. Link back with this pretty button – code on the right. And share a comment on another’s link up. Welcome!

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Ready, Set, Rest – Monday Guest Posting with Jenni Mullinix

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When my friend and I entered the Nike Team in Training half-marathon in San Francisco, rest stops were definitely on our minds. We stopped at every porta-potty, just in case we wouldn’t see another one for a mile or two. It really slowed us up. But we weren’t interested in winning the race, we just wanted to finish it in a semblance of comfort. We also drank every cup of water offered along the way. More rest stops needed.

Jesus invited us all to rest in Matthew 11:28:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Read more here

Guest posting Monday over at Jenni Mullinix, LIVE CALLED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD (we share a common calling–you, too?)

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The Fault of My Eyes

When I can’t see God at work it’s not His fault. Anne’s monotype reminds me I may not be looking carefully enough.

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Hidden in Plain Sight by Anne Moore (follow Anne’s art on Pinterest or here.)

Where do you see God in your life today?  Take a moment to clear your eyes–your heart, even. Better bring sunglasses.

Blessed are those whose hearts are pure.
They will see God.

Matthew 5:7

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Feast on Friday: Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

Offering you a vintage recipe today – Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies. Vintage because they are tried and true and at the ready for any teenager, soccer party or company dinner emergency. I’m off to Jamaica You to get my hair cut and darling Beckie will get first dibs on the ones just out of the oven. Oh, yes, she loves me. I’ve messed up on making appts more than once. Food helps. Warm food helps even more. And yes, I still tip her.

photo 2Beckie makes beautiful plaques from rusty metal. Here’s a fav. I may just need to add it to my WelcomeHeart collection.

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Theses yummy bars come from the now vintage cookbook from Campus Crusade for Christ, Delectable Collectibles –no longer available except on Ebay. I left my first copy in Brazil, and thankfully found this one online.

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The fun thing about using a used cookbook is the penned notes. I wonder if Fritz really loved it. I’ll never know.

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Their hearts were in the right place.

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Today I one-and-a-halfed the recipe because kids under 20 will abound this weekend. That makes it a little too much for one sheet cake pan, so I put a little in a loaf pan and it worked.

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Easy to freeze; great for lunches.

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: delicious
Cuisine: American as chocolate chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Warning: these are easy to over bake. Best to underbake, according to cookie experts nearby.
Ingredients
  • ⅔ c shortening
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 4 t. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c coconut (opt.)
  • nuts (opt.)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 2½ t. baking powder
  • 2 t. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Melt shortening
  2. Mix melted shortening with the sugars
  3. Add eggs, water, and vanilla
  4. Add dry ingredients last with chocolate chips
  5. Place in 9x13 pan
  6. Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees

 

Picked up these fun little plates at Mission Thrift. They always bring a smile, no matter what’s on them.

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Bake some, eat some, serve some, freeze some. Some days need them all.

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Welcome Wednesday: God’s Availability–Good Self-Talk

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I know where to find the best coffee in San Luis Obispo, and it’s not a shop. I can stop by Katy and Ed’s anytime and coffee is served—just the right brew, temperature, flavor. Katy loves blue and white china. Drinking from her china makes any day better. I’ve dropped in for coffee and comfort about my kids, my husband, my friends, my remodel–yes, even about my appliances. Katy is a faithful friend who knows how to listen, pray and make coffee. If she’s home, she’s available.

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God is like that. He’s a faithful friend. He’s always home and available.

I hope you have a friend like Katy. Better yet, I hope you are a friend like Katy. Better even yet, I hope you know God’s welcomed you to sit down and dream and wail and laugh and, well, drink coffee. (I’m thinking He likes cappuccino with the art swirl.)

How do I know He wants to spend time with you…every morning (noon and night?) Here’s why:

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

We need this kind of “self-talk” no matter what kind of day we’ve had.

“The Lord is my portion, your portion–even though you just got a parking ticket you can’t afford or you have a child who’s not following the script or you’re stuck in a work controversy or facing a ministry that’s on hold–none of it matters because the Lord is my portion (self-talking includes repetition) –He’s everything that I need.” God’s available. It’s all part of His welcoming heart.

Not feeling it? Make some coffee. Call a friend. Tell yourself the truth. The Lord is your portion, His compassions are new morning, noon, and night. And then the next morning as well. Good verse to memorize, no? Yes. I want to see it on your coffee cup.

Find more encouragement today over at Holley’s coffee for your heart:

 

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