Monday, February 27, 2012

The Check Just Needs Your Signature – Prayer Burdens



How do you feel about ruling and reigning with Christ Jesus when he comes back to earth for his thousand year reign? Most of us can handle the wedding, marriage supper of the Lamb and being a Bride, but the rest is in there too.


[ The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years ] And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (NKJV)

How can we, the Body of Christ, yep, the same one who has trouble volunteering to help plant flowers at the local assembly, ever get the training to be helpers to Christ and rule here on earth, for 1000 years yet.
Most of us can see being made without spot or wrinkle, although sometimes I think that is a stretch too when I look at me…. One wrinkle from the garment goes and two more appear.


that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NKJV)

But that’s what His Word says.

So how do you suppose this uncoordinated Body is going to be able to reign with Him?
I love Paul Billheimer’s books. In one of them he speaks of prayer being our “on the job training”. He likens it to a check which needs two signatures to be valid. God already signed His part of the check and by prayer we sign our part of that check. On the job training in the Kingdom of can be super interesting and joyful when we see the hand of our Lord moving on behalf of those we know and love.

Do you even have thoughts that don’t do away, impressions that someone you know needs prayer? Do you find yourself thinking about a certain situation or perhaps seeing someone struggling? Sometimes the Lord will nudge us to go and “share the truth in love” with a person. More often than not, when you “see” something off base or a place where a friend is slipping and straying away from the truth in God’s Word you have been allowed a “peek” just so you will pray about that situation. You are to pray until that burden lifts. OK, I am speaking “Christianeze” here and I usually try not to do that.

What I mean is that something will be on your heart and popping into your mind here and there. Maybe the Lord will speak in His still, small voice and ask you to pray. You are to pray and keep praying until you sense a breakthrough. You will not necessarily see anything different in the person or circumstance although sometime you might.

How do you pray? I feel the best way to pray about something is to pray God’s Word over that situation. Yes, the Bible. Find appropriate scriptures for the situation and pray them out loud on behalf of that person or situation. Tear down that stronghold in their life by the blood of Jesus that was shed on Calvary for them.
I find a Bible word search really helpful. There is one online that I love now that I found out you can change the default Bible (I plugged in New King James Version). It is as follows:

You can put in a word or two and it will pull up scriptures pertaining to those words. Take your pick as sometimes it is quite a buffet.

Praying for the “burdens” the Lord gives to you also helps us become more like Christ. It helps our character to strengthen and grow. God also uses those scriptures to come alive for us in our lives and circumstances. Yes, it requires sitting down and doing something but how many of us couldn’t use a little growth in the area of discipline? I know I could!

These are the things which will matter 100 years from now, the things which will count for eternity and bless the Lord’s heart. “Standing in the gap” on behalf of another will help us to be ready to rule and reign with Him, teach us more about prayer and the Word and perseverance and it might just set a friend or loved one FREE.

Do you suppose there has ever been a time when you needed someone to have a “prayer burden” on your behalf? Hum…..I know there are many, many times when I have been “standing in the need of prayer”. Let’s accept this challenge. Talk to your Lord today and ask Him who you can pray for and what you should be praying.
It might end up being someone at work who drives you nuts, those neighbors down the block who stay up really late and play excessively loud “music”, maybe the kids who continually take short cuts through your yard, or your ex-spouse. Maybe it is that lady at church who is always sharing everyone else’s business under the guise of a “prayer request” or your pastor who is worn to a frazzle. Maybe the “burden” will be your child who is going through some serious rebellion right about now or your parent. Perhaps it could be the neighborhood drug dealer or the gals on the street way late at night, the tattooed guy on the chopper who roars by, his piercings swaying in the breeze…..

Ask God and I am sure He will show you, I am oh, so sure!

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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Things That We Lug Around that We Don’t have to Carry



In my mind’s eye I see a scene. It is sunny, a gorgeous day in Everytown. There are many, many walking on the streets which have the hanging baskets of pansies and petunias cascading down from the lamp posts. Bright sun is lighting the sidewalks but wait, there are nets all over, some people are struggling to take a step and becoming more and more entangled. The people with huge backpacks are having the worst time with their heavy loads and then laden down with the backpacks too. I see others who have taken off their backpacks who struggle to hoist them overhead, just as they do a huge hand comes down from the clouds to lift the heaviness from them. Wait, it is incredible, those who give their weighted down packs to that “hand” are no longer touching the pavement, nor susceptible to getting their feet all tangled up in those awful nets. They are actually floating, no rising off the pavement with flaps of their wings?   Wow, once they give that heavy and weighted down “backpack” to the “big hand in the sky” they can actually fly. They no longer have to walk from place to place but can fly above it all, above the congestion, crowds and those awful snares. They seem to have lightness and freedom and you can even see the release just looking at their faces. What is going on here?

OK. The scriptural basis for this would be much, I am including just a few below.
In Isaiah 40:31 we are told that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.
I love the use of the word “shall”, not might, maybe or perhaps but shall. It shall happen, period. Do not listen to the enemy when he tries to get you to doubt the word of God. This is a great promise (set of promises) and you can take them to the bank as they shall happen.
In Psalm 124:7 David mentioned that our soul has escaped as a bird from the snares of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we have escaped. Good word picture and notice that David doesn’t say might or possibly will but that our soul had escaped. And that the snare is broken, this indicates to me that the snare is not functional and I am not going to be snared again.

 In Psalm 141:10 David says let the wicked fall into their own nets while I safely escape. I am sure David had much experience with this one and can give us hope from his experiences of escape.
In Matthew 18:7 we are given a wonderful picture of a compassionate master (God) Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” (NKJV)
Is our debt to God forgiven? I can say an empathic YES, if you have asked His forgiveness and been given a “new life”. 

If you haven’t then there is definitely no better time than right now. Jesus paid a terrible price on that cross. He did it just for you (and for me). He is God and without sin. He can totally set you free if you but ask. Please ask Him to forgive you and be your Savior to know this awesome gift, even today.
Our debt is forgiven, ALL of it. If we sin after we are “saved”, and who hasn’t sinned daily, HE is righteous and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, we need to bit ask. Our heart’s desire should be not to sin but to walk as close to our Jesus as possible.

What’s up with the backpack so often filled with boulders? I am defining bounders as things that should be given to Jesus, things which are not ours to carry.

For example: those people you hurt really badly “back then”. Maybe you had an affair and hurt not only your spouse but also the person who participated with you. You are still feeling condemned, even though you have asked forgiveness. This comes back to haunt you over and over in the daytime and even in the night when you wake up. Maybe it interferes with your sleep. This would be a boulder.

The enemy is the accuser of the brethren, that means you, if you are part of the Body of Christ and “born again”. This affair or any other thing he might try to condemn you with is made “white as snow”. The blood that the Lord Jesus Christ shed at Calvary was for ALL your sins, past, present and future. Yep, the affair is no surprise to Him, yes, it broke His heart but he died to set you free. Can you give that to Him and allow Him to take that “boulder” out of your back pack? He already died for it. There is no further price to pay. There is nothing you did that was a surprise to Him since He knows the end from the beginning.

Whatever is in your backpack He says that the “bill” in paid in full. Not by you being good, not by anything you (or I) can do or did, but by Jesus, period. The enemy will tell you that your sin was worse than anyone else’s and that there is nothing that can set it right. I guess we get a choice at this point to either believe the enemy or the Lord Jesus Christ. That looks like a pretty simple choice.

That is what those people were doing when they took off the weighty backpacks and handed them upwards to that big hand coming down from the clouds. GIVE those boulders to the Lord. His blood has made you a new creature. You are covered with His robe of righteousness.
You no longer have to listen to the condemnation of the enemy. There are times when I even agree with him. Yes, I did do those things and I was a creep but Jesus paid my penalty, the DEATH penalty just for me! Quote scripture like Jesus did in the wilderness. Satan cannot stand to hear praises or the Word of God and he will leave. The Bible tells us to submit yourself therefore to God and resist the enemy and he will flee from you. The promises in the Word work.


[ Humility Cures Worldliness ] Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NKJV)

When you “rise up with wings of eagles” you truly are above the sidewalks, congestion and the snares that would otherwise entangle your feet. No mystery here, you fly above all of that and come closer to God in the heavenlies. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a glorious, smart and tactically wise thing to do. Again, this is another promise from the Word of God. His Word is faithful and true.

This is going to be at least two parts because I haven’t yet touched upon “burdens”. Burdens are things which w are supposed to carry. Burdens in prayer, things the Lord gives us to stand strong in the battle ground for, lots of times on behalf of someone else.


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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CHOCOLATE DESSERTS - Low fat and Low Sugar


Chocolate Mousse – low or NO sugar and fat –
3/4 c fat free milk
1 pkg (1.4 oz) sugar free instant pudding mix CHOCOLATE (but is good with others too including lemon for something different)
1/2 c fat free sour cream
1 tsp almond extract (best buy is Safeway house brand – this could be optional but in my estimation it makes the dessert)
3 oz fat free cream cheese cubed
FOLD IN LAST 1-8 oz carton FREE (Southbeach) cool whip
1 tbsp cookie crumbs (opt)
Whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (or forget this and put all in bowl and mix with electric beaters - I do)
Original recipe then says to mix sour cream, cream cheese and almond extract - add pudding and mix well and fold in cool whip last - put into 6 little glass bowls and enjoy....
Filling may be put into graham cracker or any pie crust if you like. It is totally yummy for “FREE”.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
1 cup bread cubes (about 5 slices cubed - may use whole wheat or other whole grained bread)
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 egg slightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute equivalent – I used 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 packager of Stevia NOW
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla or almost extract – best with almond
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups scalded (cook until skin on top but do not boil) milk

Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, cocoa , extract, butter and egg.  Add milk slowly stirring constantly
Add bread cubes.  Pour into buttered (or Pam sprayed) baking dish (casserole size)
Set this dish in a pan of warm water in an over set at 350 F.
Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Yummy hot or cold.
Just the best! This recipe has been in our family for four generations now. I intensely dislike “bread pudding” BUT this one is wonderful!  I use a turkey baster to get some of the hot water out of the pan before removing from oven so I don’t have to try to take the inner dish out and get the pot holders wet and too hot.


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

Cole Slaw

My friend Vonnie asked what I add to my cole slaw after she posted a yummy recipe.

Sometimes I add crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges and diced banana.

Maybe sunshine tomatoes, onions and black olives.

Or chicken, toasted almonds and ranch dressing.

A good dressing is no fat sour cream thinned with a touch of rice wine vinegar OR some plain yogurt with a touch of garlic powder or salt in it.

Ranch dressing also works on cole slaw in addition to some of the fruit dressings like Neuman's light raspberry walnut.

We like cabbage much better than lettuce.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FEAR Looming Like a Horrible Storm on Your Horizon – There Is Help!




What if I have an accident on the wintry roads? What if I lose my job? What if my husband gets laid off? What if the kids get a horrible disease? What if someone is breaking into the house tonight?

We get to be really good at “what if-ing” if we aren’t careful. I am sure the enemy will whisper some of these ideas in our ears if we aren’t thinking them up ourselves. Is that your focus? Is that where your mind naturally goes?

In 1 John 4:18 we are told that perfect love casts out all fear. “Perfect Love casts out all fear….” My word picture might not be the intended meaning of this portion of scripture but it was very powerful for me. Who/what is perfect love? God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit are perfect love. God is love and there can be no one more perfect than God. The picture that came to me is my most powerful savior coming on my behalf and taking those dark, ominous storm clouds replete with lightening, thunder and throwing death at me… God came and cast them out – away from me to a place where they could no longer impact me – not with one tiny sprinkle or shiver. Jesus did it and they were gone!
Then I thought of the times recorded where Jesus was taken by the Holy Spirit (yes, the Holy Spirit) into the wilderness.

In Matthew 4:1 we are told of a temptation experience of Jesus.
How did our Lord, savior and prime example respond?  “It is written….” And he quoted God’s Word to Satan over and over.

Apparently Satan can argue with you and me but he cannot argue with God’s Word. It looks like that is a sure fire way to get the enemy to hush up and leave. All we need to do is have a stockpile of ammunition ready (God’s word memorized or maybe even a topical book of promises if you haven’t memorized yet) and use it.

When you are fearful, aren’t you really saying that your God is not big enough for your circumstances? Or that the promises he makes in the Bible are for someone else but not really for you? Knowing these scriptures helps you to see what he has promised on your behalf and to get them into your heart and mind so they are ready when you need them.

James 4:7 is a powerful promise telling us to submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us. That is a most powerful promise! It doesn’t say he might flee, or maybe in a couple of days he will go…. It says he WILL flee from you. I think the key is not our spouting off at him or ranting and raving but being submitted to God.  Realizing HE has done it all on our behalf and taking Him at His Word.

Here is the kind of fear we are to have, this and only this fear:
1Samuel 12:24 tells us to fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all our heart and to consider the great things He has done for us.

The psalmist speaks in Psalm 115:11 to those who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord, he is their help and shield. Sounds like another wonderful promise, doesn’t it?


“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (NKJV)


Maybe you can think back to recent times when things looked impossible, you were afraid AND God came through on your behalf in a creative and unexpected way. It never hurts to review those times of His faithfulness.

Now let’s take a look at His Word. There are many scriptures which speak of God’s promises and would help you stand against ungodly fear.

Will we never have troubles or times of trial? NO, but God will be right there with us, walking us through so that we are able to “fear no evil”.

Psalm 27:1 David is extolling the Lord as being his light and salvation and asks “whom shall I fear stating the Lord is the strength of his life.

David had much to fear in the natural. Saul pursued him and tried to kill him over and over. David, in spite of his choices and sin, chose to believe God and God’s plan for his life. His trust is reflected in many, many of his writings like the Psalm above. They are there today for us to think upon and hang onto in our stormy times.

Another most powerful weapon against fear is prayer, communication with the Lord Jesus Christ:
We read in Psalm 34:4 that David sought the Lord, the Lord heard him and delivered him (David) from all his fears.

Have you ever noticed that the enemy cannot stand to hear the praises of God? During a worship service or when you praise him privately? He usually leaves. Praise is also a big weapon against fear. Worship songs or choruses or scripture that you sing.

When I “what-if” I am really saying that my God isn’t quite big enough to handle the problem. I know from His Word that is not true and I know from experience. There is something about declaring that out loud too. There is really no better way that saying “it is written” and quoting a scripture which applies to your situation and circumstance.

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











Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fear, Good Fear, Bad Fear Is There Really a “Good” Fear


 

A fellow writer recently posted a piece about an armed robber going into a store with a gun drawn and encountering the owner of the store and a customer. The owner boldly told him, "In the name of Jesus, I command you to get out of my store," He demanded they lay down on the floor. They did not but kept telling him to leave. He got agitated and left. Fear led to boldness – and using her authority in the name above all names, Jesus Christ.

Bear suddenly appearing – healthy fear flight/ fight adrenalin reaction within our bodies

Mick and I were hiking in the middle of nowhere. Actually it was oil company property which had just been opened as State Trust Land during a few months of the year. We were in right after it opened up. This means that with the exception of a few oil pipeline crew members no people had been there for years. Pristine, wilderness, remote are just a few of the descriptive words which come to mind in painting a picture of Bosque del Oso, which means Forest of the bear – that should have been our first clue. We were totally enjoying the wilderness smelling of intense pine aroma with a gentle breeze blowing. The weather being perfect for a long hike – we were trying to find a small lake we’d seen on the topographical  map.

Suddenly I spotted a bear. I screamed “bear” – not too bright since my nickname for Mick is Mr. Bear or Cinnamon Bear from the days when he was a red head. He kind of glanced at me and noticed I was walking really fast, backward up the hill we had just come down. Then he spotted her. She had a “cub” whose rear end was just about as big as hers and she was slapping that rear end up a tree in front of us.

“Get back here and draw your pistol for Pete’s sake… quit running, she’ll chase you.”

“I am NOT running…..I’m walking fast.”

We both drew our guns and started walking backwards up the hill. She looked at the tree. Popped her jaws and began charging us, then seemed to remember “baby” and ran back to the tree. Soon she went into the woods behind the tree. We could guess she was circling around to come at us from behind. Pretty soon she was back at the tree.

Terror doesn’t begin to describe what kind of fear I had. We get the outdoors magazines. We have seen the photos of what brown bears can do to a human body.  We were looking at TWO brown bears, one for each of us. This was not the lion’s den. We were not here because we refused to bow down to the king’s edict. We never shot the guns - good thing as she would have probably felt threatened on the baby’s behalf and taken care of us.  We got out of the area leaving mama and “baby Huey” behind.

Was our fear good? Yep, kept us from wanting to get closer and take her picture, SMART fear. I don’t think I was prepared to become bear lunch.  However, I am not sure what would have happened if we’d taken authority in Jesus name and told her to leave. That didn’t occur to either of us at the time.

Daniel was in the lion’s den. I imagine he had a healthy fear of the lions. He didn’t fear the king or what he could do to Daniel, but rather, trusted in his King (God). He would worship no one else and his prayers to God got him thrown in the Lion’s den. Did God give those lions a full tummy so they weren’t interested? Did He send angles to hold their mouths shut? Did he give them a sudden craving for “salad bar” and an aversion to “meat”? We don’t know all those details - BUT Daniel was saved alive.

Fear of the Lord is another kind of “smart” fear.  


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. (NKJV)

Strong’s Concordance tells us this fear means fear or reverence – dreadful, exceeding fearfulness or exceeding fear. God is awesome and we should revere Him. He is not the man in the sky with the baseball bat just waiting to smash us if we “mess up”. He is not that mama bear. Although don’t mess with one of His kids or he might be protective like that mama bear.
Fear which indicates I don’t think God is in control – “bad” fear
When I am fearful about life and circumstances where I should be trusting God, that fear shows a lack of trust. He has given us many, many promises in His Word. We need to believe those promises and act like we believe in them.

For instance, when the Bible says:

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.(NKJV)

That doesn’t mean if times get rough and work is slow that we should stop tithing. That is a great time to personalize that scripture and put God to the test as it suggests. Keep doing what you know you ought in tithing and see what the Lord does in provision. We have walked this one out year after year and have never missed a meal or missed paying a bill. God is in control.

Another example of His promises would be:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJV)

This scripture doesn’t say we will not have tough or troubling times but that the Lord will go through them with us. If we panic and get consumed by fears and “what ifs” does that show we are trusting God at His Word? I don’t think so. We can lean on this scripture during those times, especially the “I will fear no evil” part.
This scripture comes to mind:

Matthew 28:19-20 

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (NKJV)
Does that mean that God will be with or us abandon us during tough times? Knowing some of His promises and even repeating that out loud helps us get them internalized. God doesn’t forget but I wonder how often we do and need this reminder.
One of my favorite quotes from my husband is “God is ABLE and we, well, we are but dust….”
That doesn’t give us an excuse but a head’s up so we can be ready when the tough times come. Let’s get into the Word and get ready!

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thoughts on “Works and Production” Oriented Society and Christianity



Thoughts on “Works and Production” Oriented Society and Christianity

I tend to be so responsible that my stomach has knots of "responsibility" in it. The positive side of this is I can yield and be obedient, giving the "ulcer" to God, along with the reins. The choice is mine it seems.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (New International Version)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are a very works oriented society. "You are worth what you produce" seems to be the standard from childhood up. Yet, we are truly valuable because we are created in God's image PERIOD. How to get that from my head into my heart  and being is somewhat of a mystery.  Somewhere in there I start thinking that God loves me because I am a "good kid", obedient and I "produce". This is not His message to me.

It is then the Holy Spirit shows me this isn't my production, that it comes from Jesus in me. It is Jesus in me as I get quiet, yield and take up my cross daily. My deeds are supposed to flow out of my love for Him who sets me free.

"Take up my cross daily", a bunch of slivery sounding words as vague as "die to self". How do you do either of them? I want steps and a plan.

Take up my cross and die to "self":

*shoot down "I did it!"
*blast the strut and puffed up ego
*kill pride over accomplishments
*realize it took SO long because I kept jumping off the table every time surgery began
*REST, knowing God isn't into "production"
*there is "produce" but it comes as Jesus' grows fruit in me. Jesus' steam and energy as I roll over DEAD to SELF 

I must : 

*cease to struggle and rest
* yield my will
*obey/act when God says
*put the ball in His court
* be amazed at what He is doing
* let Him change me
*be on His time table 

I am released from:

*fuss and struggle
* worry
* "I" did it with too much pride and responsibility attached
* production oriented worth

I am released to:

*minister
*be like Jesus
* have energy to pray and praise Him
* raise my arms and praise
* receive unconditional love
* be FREE in Jesus

Prayer: Oh, Jesus, this is SO good. Please help me to walk in this freedom. Thank You for sharing Your heart!

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cloudy Vision?



Cloudy Vision ?

The SONLIGHT is coming through
HE always does
When we purpose to seek Him


Please come visit my blog at http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flowers Sent Too Late Or Maybe Just In time


My closest friend wrote me a letter. Her teenage nephew has died suddenly, unexpectedly during an overseas trip. Her letter told me of his death and how she regretted the things she had never said to Ryan, things she thought but had never expressed to the person who needed to hear them most. Sort of like giving a corsage the day after the big dance, or perhaps even like sending flowers to a memorial service. The time was past and there was no going back.

She then went on to talk about our friendship and the little things I had said or done that had special meaning for her. I got tears and choked up. I had never guessed those were her feelings nor that a little comment I made way back had impacted her in that way.

My challenge to all of us is that we take time. Sit down, think of those in our lives who have impacted us, been there for us and helped us along life’s road. If this was that very last time to say something to them, what would you like to communicate?

Maybe you could go to the local book and stationary store to get a box of cards, you know, the encouragement and friendship kind? Just think of those you assume know how you feel. They just might not, you know.

Sit down, write that person a note and share your heart. That’s what writers do, isn’t it, how much more important to share those thoughts and encouragements with close friends and family members. Give them a blessing. Give them a verbal bouquet. Winter has been here long enough, it is time for flowers even if it is only at the tip of your pen.

Hey, you could also get the real thing to go with your written sentiments, flowers to brighten their day. Dedicate a poem or short story to them if you aren’t the kind who can tell it like it is. If you have a family member who is a “shut in” you could think about a box of cards that encourage. Sit, right now, and address the whole box. Write something special on each one, something you remember about them, some wisdom they may have shared, some character trait they modeled for you over the years and write the whole box to be mailed one a day for twelve days or however many cards there are in the box.

You have no idea how this could positively impact someone’s life. I will never forget the comments Paula made in her letter to me on the occasion of her nephew’s death. And to think that I might never have known what she felt and thought otherwise, if she hadn’t taken that time of reflection.

We can all think of someone who we appreciate. Today is the day to let them know just how much! Don’t wait, don’t think you’ll do it tomorrow but get busy and bless someone you love right now.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine O' Mine




Your mama didn’t know
When she labored much
To give you your life
That some day God
Would use you so
To truly bless this wife

Your mama didn’t dream
As she kissed
Your toddler tears
That she was raisin’ you up
To be a wonderful man
Who’d bless me many years

Your mama didn’t know
As she cried
And you went your wayward way
That our incredible Lord
Would capture your heart
And she’d live to see that day

Your mama never dreamed,
Or maybe she did,
Of the man you would become
New clear through,
Repented, changed and cleaned,
By our precious Holy One

Your mama’s there right now
Living with Him
Who died to set us free
Realizing the reward
Of prayer, hard fought
To give life to you and me.


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



Saturday, February 11, 2012

TO MY VISITOR FROM PLATTEVILLE

I have seen that I have a visitor from Platteville on more than one occasion.

I have very fond memories of Platteville as that's where my grandparents lived all the years I was growing up. The house to be 28 South Chestnut and now, I believe is 50 South Chestnut and a lawyer's office. We came for holidays and sometimes in the summer to have fun with dozens of cousins.

Thanks for coming to my blog! If you read some of my series about when my sister got polio you will see things which also took place in Platteville.

Blessings!

Marijo (Mary Jo)

Throw Your Trash into Orbit or Something Even Better….


We crossed from Minnesota into Canada. It took about five hours due to a very young border guard and his posturing. He didn’t like the prescription that was housed in a box and labeled by the pharmacy at the hospital and sent a pill off to be analyzed.  We waiting patiently, or not so, while pulled over to the side of the line.

From the border crossing on things went better. Canada was clean and beautiful. Each province had a theme and a place to dump your trash on the journey.  This became a family affair as we watched a car pull into the “trash stop” ahead of us. After watching signs that said “you are now 2 miles away from being able to feed froggy”, we saw two enthusiastic grade-school children get out and pitch bags full of drink cups and left over lunch wrappings into the frog’s mouth.

As we traveled on, we saw the incredible waves of glistening, golden wheat, as far as the eye could see, almost like ocean waves across Saskatchewan.  Even the door into a museum was a work of art. It had no hinges but a top and bottom peg placed about ¼ of the way in.  One gentle nudge of your index finger opened those massive doors without a sound.

The next province had trash containers which looked like a satellite and the slogan was “throw your trash into orbit”. The signs told you how far it was to the next trash/rest stop. It was quite clever and looked like it was working well. This was a beautiful country.

Years later, I was reflecting on that beautiful Canada road trip. I sensed a question coming into my mind.

Do you have any trash you’d like to throw into orbit?

What?

Do you have any trash you’d like to get out of your life?

In thinking about this, I realized we have all done things which have broken God’s heart. We have made choices which have hurt those closest to us and hurt ourselves. I began to think about promises which are ours for the asking.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NKJV)


Very interesting in that if you go far enough south you end up going north again, but you can go east forever and never end up going west…. That is a long way away!

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NKJV)


Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (NKJV)


HE has given us many priceless promises and we don’t have to pay for them, Jesus already did.  All we need to do is ASK. HE is never too busy to answer. HIS answer is always YES!

Today you can ask a question which will change your eternity. Is today the day you will ask God’s forgiveness?

He promises to do something much, much better than tossing your “trash” into orbit. He promises “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)

I would ask you a question, how bad can it be to be on a first name basis with the creator of the universe? How wonderful can it be to be FREE and forgiven?
Will today be YOUR day? The choice is yours.

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

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paula's Song

PAULA'S SONG

Last night I dreamed the strangest dream
For the Bride, Rapture finally came true
We were full of joy,
Gathered round your feet
Singing songs of praise to You.

Suddenly I saw the Great White Throne
Rivers of people
Came into view
I saw so many that I know
Coming to final judgment before You.

I saw my friend of many years
Sobbing with a tortured cry
It was only for a moment
She paused
And then she caught my eye

"Jo, you knew all along
I hadn't been born anew
Why didn't you tell me
While there was still time
What I needed to do?"

"Oh, you told me about Revelation's predictions
And how it was happening in the current news
And how it had been predicted
Two thousand years ago
How the end was coming into view

You told me you'd met Jesus
And that He was your friend
I told you we'd all get there
Somehow
In the end

You'd come over to dinner
And like a little child
You'd ask the Lord
To bless our food
All quiet, meek and mild

But, Jo, you never told me
He DIED for me
You never told me
'Bout Calvary
Or the significance of that tree

You never came right out and told me
Or laid it on bold
That I needed
His forgiveness
And to come into His fold

I knew you quit drinking
Through Jesus you said you'd changed
But life changes
A lot of things
We all get rearranged

You talked of His lasting peace
And I was glad you'd found your place
But you never talked facts to me
About sin
Repentance and grace

Now I stand before Him
And finally find out my fate
Jo, you were my best friend
And now it is just too late!"

By that time I was sobbing
Lord, please turn back the time
So I can share with her
The scriptural ways
You came to call me Thine.

Just then I awakened
And was lying in my bed
And realized in my sleeping time
These thoughts by Jesus
Were put in my head

Oh, my friend
It's not too late
Forgive me for waiting so long
I half tried a thousand times
But those half tries were all wrong

Please let me share with you
Before it is too late
About how Jesus
Is knocking now
At your heart's very own gate.

The Bible says we all have sinned
And there's four things we must do
In order to be forgiven
And given God's gift
Of abundant life anew

Acts 17:30 says "repent"
Be sorry is what we must do
Sorry for sins
Committed in the past
That's the first step to being born anew

John 3:36 says we must believe
Believe Jesus is God's own son
And that though God
He came to die for us
Our eternal life He won

First John 1:9 says we must confess
And for all our sins take the blame
He is faithful
To forgive and then,
Cleanse us from our shame

And John 1:12 says we must receive
Receive Jesus to become sons of the Lord
Repent, confess, believer
And receive Jesus into our hearts
To get our eternal reward

Right now you might be asking
How I know all of this is true
I answer because
I know Jesus in my heart
And I know He's reaching out to you!

All you have to do is in faith reach out
And pray to God above
Ask Him to forgive you
To come into your heart
And fill you with His love

I can tell you now
It's been 3 years since Jesus and I first met
Though I messed up
Many a time
Jesus has never failed me yet!!

(It has now been 37 years and this still holds true!!)


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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thoughts and Meditations on Psalm 84 Amplified Version


1a How lovely are your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
Where does the Lord live/dwell? WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own… (NIV)


His tabernacle (dwelling place) is not only in heaven but in us too! According to the above verse, PS 84:1, WE are lovely.

1b My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord.

Where are the courts of the Lord, in Heaven, within us? Where His people are? Those courts we enter into with thanksgiving? If you’re homesick for them, does that mean you haven’t been there lately? Lord, I will endeavor to diligently seek You, even early in the morning.

2 My heart and flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.
My WHOLE being, Lord, longing for You, and singing out that longing!

3 Yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, oh Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.
If birds are free and safe to enter in and all they do is sing – how much more are we welcome, His Body and His Bride! Altar, laying down of oneself there and the altar becomes a house/dwelling place.

4 Blessed – happy, fortunate (to be envied) are those who dwell in your house and your presence; they will be singing your praises all the day long. Selah (pause and calmly think of that)
To dwell in his house you have to come into His city, His gates (with thanksgiving), His courts (with praise),and His house (worship with a clean heart). So if you DWELL in His house, your focus will be on HIM and you will praise. Selah. You calm and slow me down, Lord, I think I am buzzing too fast. Praise Him, this is three weeks later and He is calming me down!

5 Blessed – happy, fortunate (to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You; in whose heart are the highways to Zion. What greater strength is there than to admit our incredible weakness and have His strength be made perfect?

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV)

Oh, Lord, rewrite your love on the fleshy tables of my heart so it is truly the highway to Zion. I need You. I long for You!

6 Passing through the valley of Baca (weeping) they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills (the pools) with blessings. When you’re in a valley why do you cry? Because of sadness, due to repentance, from weariness? Then the Holy Spirit fills you to overflowing and your desert valley is turned to Eden because of Him and your yielding. If there are pools left, that means there was a great Holy Spirit abundance so that it couldn’t even soak in all at one time! There is beauty in trials.

7 they go from strength to strength – increasing in victorious power; each of them appears before God in Zion. Even our trying times will be seen as strengths (His strengths) as we learn to rely on and grow in Jesus. What do you have to be like to appear before God? You have to be Holy and righteous.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (NKJV)


We have but one advocate before the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ….

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (NKJV)


It is His garments, His robe of righteousness, His salvation. He died and we need to ask for this great gift.
Yielded, we cannot go wrong.

8 Oh, Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah (Pause and calmly think of that) We cry out and He hears us and He delivers us from all our fears! He hears, He hears, He hears!!!

9 Behold our shield (the King as your agent) O God, look upon the face of your anointed!  He takes the blows, He goes before, He quenches the enemy’s darts… a shield goes in front so don’t retreat but go forward. What more powerful agent is there than the King?

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand (anywhere else); I had rather be a doorkeeper (gatekeeper) and stand at the threshold in the house of my God than to dwell (at ease) in the tents of wickedness. I’d rather be with You (the gate/door to the Youth With A Mission base, where I was in training, was right by my work duty office, so I could really relate to this)  Jesus started speaking to my heart about this scripture on our field trip several weeks later. I was asked to consider working in the front office after training. My initial reaction was Ugh. I had just spent 10 years working in a doctor’s office. The Lord started reminding me of Ps 84:10 and gradually my excitement began to grow. I found out the gatekeeper was sort of a detail person, trouble shooter and organizer. That is how the Lord had wired me too!

11 For the Lord God is a Sun and shield; the lord bestows (present) grace and favor and (future) glory – honor, splendor and heavenly bliss. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  The Lord provides balance, warmth, radiance (for life and growth) also shade and shelter. Bliss, heavenly bliss, I could handle a portion of that! He will supply all my needs, “good things” if I walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of Hosts, blessed –happy, fortunate (to be envied) – is the man who trusts in You, leaning and believing on You. Committing and confidently looking to You, and that without fear of misgiving. I do commit all; my expectations, my future, my work, my budget, my well being, my love, my trust, my energy, faith, time, purpose, LIFE to You. I do lean, believe and look with confidence to You, Lord Jesus!  Praise You, for Your ways are perfect!

It was by saying YES to working in the front office of YWAM instead of going on a mobile team that I got to meet and get to know Mick Phelps. We just celebrated our 24th anniversary. Just think what I would have missed had I plowed on in my direction and joined the mobile team. Oh, Lord, thank you that I listened!

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