Thursday, March 29, 2012

The SELF Issue – Self Esteem or a Different View of Why You are Precious and Valuable

Mitzi and Marijo several years ago......

Much is said now days about self esteem. How people are crushed and ruined with poor self esteem, how they can spend years in therapy because of incidents in their past which robbed them of “self esteem”. I am not minimizing the concerns here but simply looking at them from a bit of a different perspective I think.
The Bible has much to say about “self”.

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (NIV)

OK this says to deny himself or maybe that could be written our SELF. That sounds like maybe shining the spot light on someone or something other than ME. Oh, my. I wonder what else is said about this topic.

Titus 1:7-9 

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict …….(NKJV)

A Bishop is to be an example, someone who is not self-willed. That might mean someone who thinks of the good of others. And it also says self-controlled. Wonder what else the Word says about SELF?

2 Timothy 3:2-4 

2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (NKJV)

This one is talking about men during the final days, it looks like it is painting an apt picture unfortunately and it says they will be lovers of themselves, along with a rafter of other negative descriptions, rather than lovers of God.

This is getting pretty descriptive but there is still some more to pin point this description of SELF.

Galatians 5:19-21 

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

“Selfish” seems to be raising its ugly head again in these verses too. along with many “attributes” that most of us would not like to have.

I am going to turn this around and look at some of the good parts of “self” soon= but let’s take a look at some of the “promises” regarding selfish self.

In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; Every hand of misery will come against him. (NIV)

A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.(NIV)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.(NIV)

Romans 2:7-9 

7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek….(NKJV)

I think those are not things we’d want to claim for our own, are they?

Where is the hope? Where is the help?

Galatians 5:22-24 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.(NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.(NKJV)

The best hope is knowing that God created you to be uniquely you. He had something special in mind and thought you up, your personality and all those unique things which make you, you BEFORE you were ever conceived. He might not have chosen the circumstances around your conception if there was sin involved BUT that made you no less precious and unique to Him. You are one of a kind. God’s purpose for you is special and only for you. You do have a purpose. You were not an accident.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. (NKJV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. (NKJV)

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.(NKJV)

Looks like the Bible is saying that it is all about denying your SELF rather than exulting yourself. Letting go and placing your SELF into the most capable hands of Him who created you in the first place, he who made you unique, special and created you in His image.

Something to think about while you do the following:

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

And with the followuing promise how can we go wrong?

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified… (NKJV)

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c blanched almonds
1/2 c sugar
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c fat free sour cream
1/4 c sugar substitute
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almost extract (opt)
5 egg whites room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbas toasted slivered almonds
Preheat over 350 F
Generously coat a 9" springforn pan with 2 tsp margarine or butter and dust with cocoa powder (don't tap out excess cocoa, leave it in the pan)
In a food processer combine blanched almonds with 2 tbas of the sugar and process until finely ground
In the top of the double boiler over barely simmering water melt chocolate, remaining butter 4 tsp and stir occ until smooth
remove from heat. Place chocolate mixture in large bowl. Add almond mixture and sour cream. sugar substitute, egg yolks, vanilla and almond ext. and 1/4 c remaining sugar.  Stir until well blended.
In large bowl with electric mixer on high speed beat egg whites and salt until frothy.  Gradually stir in remaining 2 tbst sugar and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.
stir 1/4 egg white mixture into chocolate to lighten. gently fold in remaining egg whites until no peaks remain and no white streaks.
Plece in prepared pan and gently smooth top.
Bake for 30 min or until toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs AND cake has risen and top is dry.
Place pan on rack and cook til just earm.
The cake will fall dramatically - losen edges  with knife and remove from pan Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Biblical Solutions to Nightmares


I was having nightmares and the Lord took me through a process.  I was reminded of how Jesus faced temptation by the enemy and how he deals with it. He always used the Word of the Lord to make the enemy stop. “It is written….”
Matthew 4:7
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”
Matthew 4:6-8 (in Context) Matthew 4 (Whole Chapter) NKJV
Matthew 4:10
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
I used the above idea out loud in prayer before quoting some scriptures before bedtime. NKJV
Philippians 4:7
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV
Philippians 2:5
[ The Humbled and Exalted Christ ] Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. NKJV

I prayed that the mind of Christ was in me, whether awake or asleep, and that He was guarding my mind and basically told the enemy he had no right to be there – some other scriptures I quoted were:
Romans 8:1
[ Free from Indwelling Sin ] There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. NKJV

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind
Lastly, I prayed the scripture below and reaffirmed that the mind of Christ was in me and the enemy had no place and I was trusting Jesus to do the rest. NKJV
Philippians 4:8
[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. NKJV
I was dreaming about people I had wronged before coming to the Lord. I had asked forgiveness, or in some cases was no longer able to contact with the person. The enemy was beating me over the head with condemnation and I would wake up feeling totally condemned. After praying the above, if I had a dream I would wake up and pray for the salvation of those I had nightmares about.  It all stopped really quickly.
Pray about this and see what the Lord opens up for you.
Lord Jesus, I pray that you would be with my sister/brother in a most mighty way.  That you would give her/him peace and sweet dreams. We bind the enemy in the most mighty name of Jesus and by the blood shed for us at Calvary.  Your mind is in us, while we are awake and asleep. Lord we love you.  Please set us free from the torment of the enemy.
Psalm 4:8
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. NKJV

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Oh, JESUS, You are my God!!
Mighty in Power, generous in grace
Unlimited in means
YOU are my God
Who stops all the "what ifs"
With a single declaration
I praise You in worshipful recognition
Help me to know
More and more
Who the great I AM is
And to relax, trust and rely
On the strength of YOUR arms

Come visit my blog!
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, March 22, 2012



Muddy tears cried with no release
Because I am in control
Those I love weighed by my grief
Because I am in control

Atheist’s heart now stubborn stone
Because I am in control
Rifled with fears of the unknown
Because I am in control

Praying to god IF he is there
Because i am in control?
Do you exist, how and where?

Help me, save me if you can hear
I’ve made a mess, please draw near
Because …….

Incredible lift beyond belief
Because I Am’s in control
Boulder weighted backpack gone, relief
Because I Am’s in control

Made me clean, pure, fresh, new and whole
Because I Am’s in control
Set me free and renewed my soul
Because I Am’s in control

Please come visit my blog at

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Positive Confession, Does It Have Positive or Negative Results…..

1 Timothy 4

Instructions to Timothy
 1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. (NIV)
Positive confession denies reality just as Christian Scientists and other mind sciences do.

1.   A Cult centers around a certain person with incorrect theology (e.g. positive confession, visualization, possibility thinking, some biofeedback and holistic things, metaphysics etc).
2.   The Occult refers to that which is hidden or secret.

The “Word Faith” or hyper faith movement states that faith is a force that both God and man can use. This is in error because God creates because He is God.

Faith isn’t an entity in itself. Our faith is in Jesus’ person and being.

Regarding hyper faith, God isn’t confined by laws and principles so that He has to do what we say. God is soverign. Man does not have the power to create by his spoken word. The Bible does not say that man is a god over this earth. What you say is not what you get (thank the Lord for mercy on this one! Praise God, my Lord is great enough NOT to give me what I say sometimes, sometimes He says “no”.)

We shouldn’t believe in unity with other professing members of the Body of Christ at the expense of TRUTH, Biblical truth.

Sorcery is the promise of Godhood. Pharmakeia is the Greek word for sorcery, witchcraft and drugs. This would include any attempt to manipulate the mind by any “mind over matter” techniques like alchemy, positive thinking and drugs.

Watch out for extreme focus on “self esteem” we are supposed to esteem others more highly than ourselves.

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. (AMPLIFIED)

We are supposed to empty ourselves and become a servant.

And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action. (AMPLIFIED)

Visualization is getting a detailed picture in our minds and “naming and claiming” it long enough (called by some “incubation”) and then you give birth to it and it will come to be in the physical world. This is not scriptural.
The size of the church does not demonstrate the truth of the message.
If it works it isn’t necessarily right or scriptural.

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (AMPLIFIED)

Numbers and financial wealth does not necessarily equal spiritual wealth or truth.

Positive confession is new age “scientific sorcery” of today. EW Kenyon taught this back in the 19th century and is considered the “father” of the Word-Faith movement.

There is no power in faith alone – it is who we place our faith in, JESUS.
Faith has to have an object (faith IN God).

Just because we believe something doesn’t make it true.

It is not how much faith you have but who you have your faith in.

Jesus is the son of God, the exact representation of the Father, whether we believe it or not.

Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? (AMPLIFIED)

God is our source of power. Faith is not our source of power. We are to pray His will, not ours.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (AMPLIFIED)

The mind of Christ is a servant’s mind and heart.

God answers our prayers on the basis of His sovereignty, mercy, love, justice etc. not because we said so.

You can’t come to Jesus without “negative” confession; I am a sinner, I deserve hell……

If your “faith” leads to a denial of reality it is WRONG (unbiblical).
Let’s teach and preach the cross.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marijo’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This may be made on Saturday, refrigerated and taken out Sunday before church. Then when you get home, let it bake while you make a salad.
3# chicken, cooked and boned
1 c. chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp chili powder
2 TBSP minced onion (or more if you love onions)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp tobacco sauce (optional)
1 can diced green chilies
4 c. tortilla chips – slightly crushed up
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

May use plain tortillas to lower sodium content and low fat/low salt cheese and soups.

Combine and heat soups with seasonings, onion and broth and mix well. Cover the bottom of a 9X13 pan with chips, then layer half  the chicken, half the sauce and half the cheese and make one more layer of all ending with the cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes  at 350 degrees, until cheese melted and lightly browned.

It is important for casserole to be refrigerated after layers are complete for the ingredients to melt and for the tortilla chips to soften.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Lord Jesus, I need You so
To be in Your presence
Before I go
Out into life's flow

Refresh and renew me I pray
Make this day
Specially Yours
Help me to walk narrow
Along Your appointed way.

Strive to Enter into HIS Rest - Home Group Bible Study Series #2

God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. There are many thoughts on what this actually means but the fact remains that God, the very creator of the world rested. His example is something every believer should make it a point to follow. Life is full of things to keep us busy, probably too many things if truth were told. Maybe one thing which should be penciled into our Day timers or typed into our computer calendars each day is time out, simply to rest.

Hebrews 4:9-16 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Our “task” as believers is:

1.     Surrender to God
2.     Faith placed in God

Cease from our own works and “Lean not to your own understanding”, taking time to rest in our Lord.

Proverbs 3:4-6 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)

Cease from trying to change ourselves, allow HIM to change us. The battle is the Lord’s. We must surrender the reigns of our life. HE knows how it is to be done.

Do we trust Him? Will we obey Him? That is our “job” - to trust and obey.

Isaiah 50:10“ Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.” (NKJV)
Lord, let me be of a clean heart – reveal to me my hidden uncleanness. Let my heart be right with You, obedient, trusting and obeying my Lord Jesus.

He will help us to accomplish this resting in Him. All we need to is ask for His help and hold our arms in the air for our heavenly Daddy to lift us up. Let’s try this during this very week.

Written by Marijo Phelps January 2011 partially from notes taken May 1980 speaker Edie Patterson.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God Gently Convicts and Corrects Us, Satan Condemns

Can we think of times in our lives when we have been corrected, humiliated and shamed? I am sure we all can. Then there are those times when we have been “called to task” by someone who was firm but able to do the job in a gentle and loving way so we ended up feeling we could do it and we would do it the correct way in the future.
God always whispers to our hearts His gentle rebuke and correction while convicting us or our wrong:
Child, child, you have not grieved me so much by your absence into busyness as much as you have robbed yourself of My Closeness and strength and renewal of your mind. You haven’t been still – then you overload. You sense out workings of that and it isn’t what you’d choose, is it? Be still and KNOW - that I AM God. I still love you, of course. Selah.

The Lord is gentle yet makes His point. He can make you understand where your choices are taking you but give you hope. He shows you his heart in the whole situation and gives you a remedy. He makes you feel like a toddler who tripped, stumbled and maybe even fell but was picked up by his/her daddy. Picked up and brushed off and encouraged to try and try again.

The enemy is great at condemnation, taking the truth and rubbing our nose in it so to speak. He is not beyond stealing, lying, killing and doing all that lead to destruction – ours.

Satan speaks with condemnation and condescension in his attitude and voice:

You sure have messed up not having your quiet times lately – God is walking away and leaving you right where you want to be – without him.

Satan makes you feel hopeless, condemned; like the lights were turned off and no one paid the electric bill. He makes you feel unworthy (and though we are, we have Jesus who can, will and does forgive if we but ask) Satan makes us feel we are in an unredeemable position. Satan is the accuser of the brethren – the liar the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy.

SO next time you hear a little voice, pray, and discern where it is coming from. If it is the Lord you have hope and can be forgiven. If it is the other guy, you can tell him to go where the Lord Jesus Christ said he should go.
Below are some scriptures relating to this which you can always hold close and use when you have times of struggle, when the enemy comes to condemn or when you need the forgiveness of God.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.(NKJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
If what you hear is full of condemnation, leaving you with no hope there is also a remedy.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV)

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Fruit of the Spirit – I Had Much to Learn

Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Fruit of the Spirit – I Had Much to Learn

It was a couple years after I had come to the Lord and shortly after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We were in our church service and a young man had just given a very encouraging “word” to the Body and I was shaking my head. But Lord, I just heard him talking about getting so drunk Friday night that he couldn’t drive home, how can You use him to give a word to the Body? Yet it seems encouraging and “right on”……

I talked to my friend who was more mature in the Lord and we discussed some things which led me to do a word study on the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
There are various places in the Word where the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are described and I will list one of them here:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (New International Version)
 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
And then there is the part about the fruit:

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I began to think about all of this. Fruit involved branches and vines and roots. In the natural, fruit takes time and there is a growth process. Without a good root system and branches on the bush or tree there isn’t much hope of good fruit. I was living in an area famous for its vineyards; besides the good stock of plants there has to be great soil, fertilizer, sun and water for the crop to be a good one. There was much to think about here. For my spiritual life to produce fruit I needed to be in the branch and with good roots – attached to and getting nourishment from those.

Some other scriptures which came to mind were:

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

And then there were those lovely verses about pruning that I just hated to stumble across when I was going through it but I knew they were valid and full of truth:

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

It was evident that for fruit to grow there had to be a growth process complete with staying close to God and in His Word AND having unfruitful things “pruned” our of my life so I could grow bigger and better fruit. It appears that the Fruit of the Spirit in my life was not instant and had a lot to do with my choices, yielding and growth in Jesus.

And I began to look at the gifts again. I must admit here that I had felt pretty special when my heart began to thump and I knew it was not me… and the Lord laid something on my hesitant heart to share out loud in a group. Actually there were times when the voice inside would say “wow, you must be pretty special and mature for the Lord to use you to bring forth a “word”… I already knew that was the enemy trying to trip me up with the same thing that got him kicked out in the first place, PRIDE. I was praying about that and the Lord really answered that prayer.

That still, small voice which belonged to my Jesus began a tiny dialog that went something like this:

Marijo, when someone gives you a Christmas gift what did you do to deserve it?

Well, nothing really because it was a gift. They gave it to me because they loved me and wanted to do something special for me.

OK, why do you think they are called “gifts” of the Holy Spirit? And why do you think that those they flow through are mature or special?
Now this was getting a little personal and closer to home… Ah, Lord where are You going with this?

Daughter, when I want to share in a group all I need is a willing one, one who will say YES at that moment and overcome hesitance and fear and allow my gift to flow through him or her. It really has nothing to do with that person’s wisdom or maturity.

Oh….. my…… floodlights began to light up my “thinker”. So, you could use me because I did say yes at that moment. You could also use that newly saved young man because he said yes, at that moment. Never mind that he had been drunk Friday night. Never mind that I had used “prayer request” as an opportunity to “share” some gossipy thing earlier that day.

Lord, lord, you really did answer my prayer about being a touch prideful because you gave me encouraging “words” for your body. But my goodness….
SO a gift is given to whomever the Holy Spirit gets to say yes at the time of need? It can be whatever gift you think is best for Your purpose at that point in time and it has nothing to do with the receiver but everything to do with You, the giver. You want to bless others and do it through a yielded, albeit, possibly immature and sinful vessel…..

At this point I could imagine my heavenly Daddy looking at me with a huge grin and nodding His head and thinking “yep” she is learning, maybe slower than some but she is getting it!

And the fruit, well the fruit do indicate a measure or maturity and becoming more like the vine who is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
At this point I could imagine my heavenly Daddy about to pop a button…. And all because this errant child with often times skinned knees caught a glimpse of lesson number one on page number one…..

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.