Saturday, November 29, 2014

Following the Recipe

For Thanksgiving, with both sides of the family, people bring certain parts of the meal each year.  Recipes are followed to ensure that the dish that is served is as delicious as the one prepared the previous year.  The chocolate chip cake has been one of our items to make and take. 

For years, I would take out the recipe for the cake to make sure that I made it just right.  Even though there are not many items in the recipe, I still wanted to make sure that I made it in the correct order and used the proper measurements to make the cake.  At times, I have tried a different brand of cake mix or pudding, but I keep returning to the original ingredients for the best taste. 

Since I have made the cake so often now, I no longer need to use the recipe.  But if I were trying something new it would definitely be an advantage to have written instructions to follow for the desired results to have the best chance of occurring. 

There are also “Recipes for Life” to follow in God’s Word.  They are not limited to special holidays or seasons of the year.  Some will be easier to memorize and apply over time and others will need to be read and practiced often to see if all of the “ingredients” and “measurements” are correct.  It will be important not to substitute or eliminate items that God has given so that what we do will consistently bring Him glory.

A few recipes for life:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:9-13

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8

 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:12-14

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
I Peter 2:17

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
II Peter 1:5-7

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tis the Season for Giving Thanks

The coming of November signals the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching.  Between church, home, and school, the kids bring home craft projects, learn poems, stories, and songs, and hopefully are taught the significance of the holidays in the process.

Thanksgiving encourages us to focus on God’s provision; the people, places, things, and circumstances that come our way; and to express thanks.  Sometimes in the busyness of preparation, gratitude may have a tendency to take a back seat if we are not intentional about making it a priority.  Thankfulness takes time…time to notice and speak words of gratitude, appreciation, and encouragement to cashiers in the store, at the cleaners, at Starbuck’s (that one’s for Larry), the lady at the cleaners, the car mechanic, the ones who hold the door open for you to walk through, the ones who hold the door open for you to walk through, those who clean off tables and wait on us when we eat out, our family,  and so many others who serve and bless us.  It is important to take a moment to thank God and others for their provision, gifts, and service.   Whether it is written, drawn, or verbal, we need to express our thanks and continually develop an attitude of gratitude that we pass on to future generations.

Oh, for the day to come when our hearts, words, and deeds depict that every day is Thanksgiving.  With overflowing gratitude for God’s goodness, may we be willing to share our words, time, talents, resources, and love generously during this season of thanks and giving.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:30

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:2

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
I Chronicles 16:8

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
I Chronicles 16:34

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
Psalm 57:9

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
Psalm 79:13

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:57

Saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:12

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not Even on My Bucket List

Before I ever had my first stem cell therapy, I remember specifically praying that what I was choosing to do would not only be beneficial to me but would also bring healing, hope, and a better quality of life for others as well.  I wanted God’s story through me to bring Him glory every chance I had to share it.  God’s answer to that prayer is one of the main reasons that I want to be willing to talk to people when they call, email, or ask questions about stem cell therapy or other ways to improve their health. 

Then the telephone call came to ask me to consider being filmed for a commercial and documentary about Celltex Therapeutics and stem cell therapy.  Oh, my!  My first thoughts were:  OK God, I know that talking apparently doesn’t seem to be much of a challenge for me, but this is a whole new ballgame and way out of my league and comfort zone.  This isn’t even on my bucket list!  So the praying and preparation began.

The day came, and Larry and I headed for the recording studio.  After arriving and introductions being made, I met with the producer and then headed to makeup.  Then it was time to film.  The room had lots of people, cameras, monitors to view the filming, computers, lots of cords and wires, bright lights, and the whitest walls I ever remember seeing.  One of the men even brushed the wall to make sure there was no dust on it.  After seeing the white wall, I did hope that my hair would show up on the screen and not just blend in with the wall.  After sitting in the chair and being talked through the process, we were ready to go.  The man came with the slate (I asked my friend in Hollywood, Cathy White, the technical name) with my name on it!  With the “3-2-1, click of the slate, go” the filming began.  Since it is a 30 second commercial, there were people who timed each segment for the allotted limit.  I taped some parts more than once to reduce a few seconds.  After filming the commercial, we taped for the documentary which will also include other stem cell recipients.

This past Monday morning, I received a message from a friend that said she had seen me on the Celltex Therapeutics commercial during the morning news.  Celltex also notified me  that the commercial will air on KHOU, KPRC, and KTRK from now until the end of December.

Things I was reminded about during the process:
*It’s good to have helpers in new situations.
*It takes people with different talents and skills to complete a project. 
*Teamwork is important.
*It’s beneficial to know the goal and keep it in focus.
*It’s nice to have do-overs and second chances when you want to make things better.
*When you are passionate about something, sometimes you need to risk being vulnerable to share it with others.
*God asks for availability over ability.
*God’s provision is more than anything I could ever ask or imagine. 

So that’s a wrap.  I’m now waiting for God’s, “3-2-1, let’s go” for the next adventure, whether it’s on my bucket list or not. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:19 

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 
Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, November 8, 2014

With Wings and Prayers

After a month of preparation to move, a 13.5 hour flight, and 2+ hours in customs, Scott, Abby, and Mary are now home in Houston.  Larry and I are so appreciative of your prayers, love, friendship, encouragement, and support for Scott and his family during these days as they answer and pursue the next chapter in God’s call and provision for their lives. 

Please continue to pray for:
* recovery from jet lag – 8 hours is a big time difference
* God’s wisdom, peace, joy, blessings, and contentment as many decisions are made
* a home so they can be moved and settled before Baby Boy arrives in January
* an amazingly smooth adjustment for Mary as she encounters new people, sounds, places, foods, schedules
* joy in the journey

What sweet words and songs we have heard these days from Mary.  I will never tire of hearing, “There’s Granddad!”  “Hi, Grandmom!” multiple times a day.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
Jeremiah 29:12

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19