Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dig in!

One of the interesting side effects that the anti-cancer medication I am on can produce is a change in taste. Things just don’t taste the way they are supposed to. An apple doesn’t  taste like an apple, and spicy things (which I love!) really have no taste, but just a very unpleasant, intense, sharp sensation in my mouth! (No Bueno)
This phenomenon has led me to develop a couple of new “habits.”
First, I have begun to do what what Robert calls “explosion cooking”. Now, I liked to cook ok before, but now it is like preparing for an art show for me. Trying to achieve a suitable “right” flavor takes a lot of space, time, ingredients and well, shall we call it...“creative energy”. 
When the inspiration hits me, he will walk in the door and say, “oh no explosion cooking again!“ ( I think he is just worried that he will have to clean up because I cooked! That’s fair, right?)
Sometimes, I get it all done and taste the newest culinary experiment and it’s pretty good!
Other times, after lengthy “creative sessions” , I will take a bite only to discover it tastes nothing like I thought it would. All that time and shopping only to be disappointed! Ugh!
The other thing is that I have come to thoroughly enjoy a certain show where a certain “Guy” visits restaurants all around the country and tastes their unique specialties. 
Now this is coming from a girl who NEVER liked to watch cooking shows before. In fact, they bugged me! 
But after analyzing my strange attraction, I realized it is twofold.
First it gives me ideas for my “explosion cooking.” 
Secondly, when the host of the show describes the food, I feel like I am trying to connect to what those words mean. To somehow jolt a memory of what those things taste like!
I like the way he uses adjectives that describe the different flavors and textures he is partaking of.
Now when I cook, I ask my family members to do the same thing. They have gotten really good at it , using such descriptive words and phrases as “this has layers of flavor “ or ” first you get a kick of spice, then you are hit with the mellowness of the avocado”
Even, “great crunch!” is a helpful and appreciated review.
(They really are sooo tolerant of me! haha!)
Anyway, this whole thing got me thinking...
There is a passage in Psalm 34:8  that says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”
Interesting use of words. Obviously we don’t physically partake of Jesus.
I believe what the psalmist is saying here is, that we must have a personal experience with God, before we can join the club of those that can truly proclaim His goodness.
No matter how many shows I watch of “The Guy” eating and describing food. It will never replace my own tastebuds savoring those flavors, firsthand.
When I hear of someone that has no peace in their life, I want to tell them that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. That He gives peace that passes understanding. And the peace that He offers, is not the sort of temporary peace the experiences of the world provide , but rather a lasting, settled, abiding calm. A stick to your ribs....peace.
 But, no matter how many words I use to describe Him and this supernatural peace, unless one experiences it for themselves, they will never be able to understand what I am saying to be true.
For those that are constantly looking for a new “taste” to fill their empty hearts. Running here and there taking a bite out of this experience and that one, all in an attempt to satisfy an never ending craving. To you, I want to say, Jesus alone fills that emptiness and void, For truly, in His presence is FULLNESS of joy. ( Psalm 16:11)
But again, until one receives Him, these truths are just like the pictures and words on a diner menu. Colorful, illustrative..but meaningless until they are brought to the table in and savored in real life.
If you have been one who has heard about God. Believe in His existence and have even seen His hand perform undeniable and amazing things; yet, you realize that you lack a personal knowledge of Him, receive His invitation to dinner i
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev 3:20
May your hungry heart find full satisfaction in encountering the One who truly satisfies.
Jesus said, And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”
For those of you who are ready to open the door to God, below are some materials on beginning that life-changing relationship with Him today, by Pastor Greg Laurie:

How do you start a relationship with God?
  1. Realize that you are a sinner. No matter how good a life we try to live, we still fall miserably short of being a good person. That is because we are all sinners. We all fall short of God's desire for us to be holy. The Bible says, "No one is good—not even one" (Romans 3:10 NLT). This is because we can not become who we are supposed to be without Jesus Christ.
  2. Recognize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. The Bible tells us, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while were still sinners" (Romans 5:8 NLT). This is the Good News, that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die in our place when we least deserved it.
  3. Repent of your sin. The Bible tells us, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away" (Acts 3:19 NLT). The word repent means to change our direction in life. Instead of running from God, we can run toward Him.
  4. Receive Jesus Christ into your life. Becoming a Christian is not merely believing some creed or going to church on Sunday. It is having Christ Himself take residence in your life and heart. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door [of your life] and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in. . ." (Revelation 3:20 NKJV).
If you would like to have a relationship with Christ, simply pray this prayer and mean it in your heart.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ has now taken residence in your heart! Your decision to follow Christ means God has forgiven you and that you will spend eternity in heaven. The Bible tells us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 NKJV).
Register your decision to follow Jesus Christ and receive free materials to help you grow.
To put your faith in action, and grow in your relationship with God, here are some important first steps:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Hebrews 11:1 says:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Today, God showed me some “unseens” that I’ve been hoping for.
The PET scan that I had last Thursday reveals that of the three lymph nodes that I had that were cancerous, all three are today:
The primary solid mass tumor in my right lung that originally measured 3.2 by 5.7 centimeters is today referred to as a “minimal hazy opacity”. 
Virtually unseen.
The metabolic “glow” that cancer tumors emit, has reduced from a level of 16.5 to 1.6 today. 1 is considered normal.
Unsure of what this all meant, the nurse at the Cancer Center told me to get on my dancin’ shoes..
So if you want to.,.please join me in a “Thank you Jesus happy dance” right where you are! 
Can I just say....
 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Faith is not power. God Almighty is THE Powerful One. 
Faith simply allows weak pilgrims who are passing through this imperfect world in imperfect bodies, easier passage, as we stretch our feeble hands up to His. As He firmly grasps hold, we are lifted above what we can see and inspired to trust in Him and all that He has promised.

God’s ways are not our ways.
He has different paths and promises for all HIs children
But He has promised all of those who are HIs own, that He would never leave. That He would love each unfailingly and complete the work He began in every one of us, until the day we meet HIm face to face. On the days we think are good and the days we days we think are bad, He is always good. You can trust in that.
Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservations. --Elton Trueblood
There are so many of you that have encouraged my faith during this time. You have dared to boldly ask God to heal me and you have assured me time and again of His unfailing perfect love that casts out fear. Thank you for leading the way in shining the light of faith that brightens the path to the Radiant One.
He is altogether LOVE-LY!
An unseen Hand now guides my days 
His touch is never far away .
Though trials may mock and tempt to fear .
This unseen Hand is always near
I’ve felt His touch and known His care
His love protects me everywhere.
Trust not my soul in what you see
But in pierced hands, who set you free.
Enjoy....How much ” HE loves us!”-( David Crowder)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who Am I?

A few years ago, a group of friends gave me a card and all signed it. One of them began her sentiment with, “Lisa, you are......
Well, that’s how it ended because she never completed her thought or that sentence.
I’m not sure what she intended to write there, (:-/ ) but it has become classic laugh line among us to say each other’s names and then say: ”you are...”  leaving it at that.
(We are obviously easily amused.)
It seems like we humans are constantly defining ourselves to others and ourselves doesn’t it?
If you’re like most people, you probably find yourself responding either inwardly with a thought, or verbally with a word or two, to the variety of stimuli that comes your way daily.
“I like candy, but I don’t like licorice. I am pretty good at parallel parking ( thats for the 1% of you) I stink at scrabble. I like my hair. I hate my hair. I can dance. I can’t sing. I am ugly. I feel pretty. I understand algebra. I’m not very smart.”

I think for many, much of this self-defining process takes the form of what we perceive we are not.
But, I like my friend’s approach....She was at least going to attempt to focus on what I was.
And that is good advice for all of us.
However, the definition of who we are is left up to ourselves or others, discouragement can quickly set in. We are flawed in even our best estimations, simply because neither of us have the right perspective or all the information. 
Nope. If we are gonna play this word game and win, we need to use Master’s dictionary. Only it provides the whole meaning of our identity.
Let’s listen to a few definitions of who He says we are in His Word:
1.Feeling like you just don’t belong? Reject that notion and join a club who only acceptance policy is knowing Jesus. It’s doors and His arms are always open to you, His child.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6
2.Are nagging thoughts that say, “you just don’t measure up”, leaving you lacking and puzzled? Find the missing piece to contentment by placing your life squarely in Jesus’ mighty hands. 
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:9-10
3. Think you are never going to amount to anything? That your life just isn’t worth that much to anyone? Decline that worthless idea and value this priceless truth:
“ were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  but with the precious blood of Christ, “ 1 Peter 1:18
Today, continue to let God complete the sentences of who you are in Christ.
Which above all things is greatly loved!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
Here’s some audio inspiration to go with these thoughts!
I really think you will be encouraged..:-)
Jason Gray “Remind Me Who I Am”