What is True Fasting?

25 03 2019

true fasting20190312_08392840 (3)

 

I wonder if we have missed something.  We like to do our “acts of religious service” and other religious forms of worship, etc, but are we really doing what God would like us to do?  We attend church and go through the motions of worship.  We fast on occasion.  But the question is, “Are we really doing what God is wanting us to do?” Are we like the Pharisees that Jesus was confronted with their behavior of religious piety?

Another question is asked about why God perhaps is not answering your prayers? We ask but don’t get an answer.  We feel ourselves empty and alone.

Here could be the answer you are looking for.  Read Isaiah 58:4-11 in the Living Bible.

I think this gives the answer.

I am going to try and do better!





Carry Your Candle!

9 03 2019

Candle1

Matthew 5:16 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

A couple weeks ago I saw a lady at the YMCA class I was attending.  I looked at her and thought, “I know this lady from somewhere.”  I did not get a chance to speak with her.  A few days later I saw her again at the YMCA but was able to speak with her.  I said “I know you from somewhere.  Do you work in a store somewhere close by?”  She said she had worked at a local grocery store for 20+years.  I used to shop at that store often.  I always thought she was a very friendly helpful cashier.  Even as I talked with her at the YMCA, she was friendly and kind.

I got to thinking that even if we never know who we are affecting in our daily lives, we do have an effect on them. As we go about our daily lives we encounter people all the time.  Sometimes we are in a role of helping them as we do our job.  Sometimes we are merely “passing strangers”.  But we are affecting people by how we act toward them and others and people observe our actions.

So we can make the world a better place by just our actions as we go about our everyday lives.  We have a great influence in creating peace, harmony, and good will.  We are blessing the world.  We are letting our “light shine before men”.

At a Youth Camp in Sri Lanka, where my husband and I were leaders, we had a simple candle ceremony.  Everyone was given an unlit candle.  At the end of the last meeting for the camp, the leaders lit their own candles.  Then in turn, they went and lit other youth leaders’ candles, then the youth leaders lit the candles of the young people.  Then we all walked out into the darkness of the evening carrying a candles.  We did this to show the effect each person has as he or she goes into the homes, schools, market places of “their world” and share good works that will glorify God the Father.

I want to improve on this in my own life.  I want to bring peace and goodwill to all people.

Go Light Your World

Kathy Troccoli

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

 

 

 





Prayer!

25 02 2019

africa-political-map

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 The Message (MSG)
8-11” We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.”
What a testimony about praying for others! Our prayers do matter in the success of reaching out to people with the Story of God’s love. Paul was a missionary who has his travels recorded in the Book of Acts in the Bible. He and his coworkers suffered extreme situations and adversities when telling the Gospel message in the towns and cities they visited. He states that the prayers of the Corinthians were a vital part in the success of Paul and his helpers as they travelled on their missionary journeys.
For several years recently I have prayed for the countries in Africa. I pray asking God for openness in the hearts of people who live there. I pray for the African Christians to feel the urgency and passion to reach out to others with the Gospel Story. I pray for the African Christians to be willing to cross into other countries as missionaries. I pray for Christians around the world to travel to the African continent and be a missionary there. I pray for the Christian workers who are there to be safe, renewed and effective in the work that they do. I also pray for the continent to prosper and that wars and famines would cease.
I believe as I join with other people who are praying that God will do great and mighty things that we don’t even imagine in that great and vast continent. Paul said that prayer is a crucial part of Christian ministry.
It is easy to do. Just get a map of what countries you want to pray for and start doing it daily. Check off the countries as you go through them.
Also, I watch YouTube/videos about the country I am praying for so I can better acquaint myself with the country. You can find a current YouTube/video for just about any country you would like. Some are short and some more detailed.
Some people are discouraged because they feel they can’t do much for the Kingdom of God. But by spending a few minutes praying for countries around the world, you are doing great things and vitally involved in reaching the Next Generation for God.

 





A fun story from the past weekend.

21 02 2019

IMG_2361

 

Our youngest grandchild, who is 9 years old,  told us a few weeks ago that he had read in school about some children that were very hungry and were not getting enough to eat. He asked if we could go to the local organization called Feed My Starving Children again so we could help children who are hungry.  We had taken the grandchildren during the summer vacation. He said, “We need to go to help.”

So I organized it and President’s Day we went and packed food.  He worked so hard and was very pleased with the project.

That is a great way to teach the Next Generation about God’s love for the world and helping the poor.

Here is a picture of Sri Lankan Hoppers.  It is made from rice flour and cooked in a “hopper” pan over an open flame. It is eaten with meat curry or even butter and jelly. Very delicious.

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Teach your grandchildren when possible

21 02 2019

A great way to influence the next generation for God is to tell Bible Stories to your grand kids. Get a good Bible Story Book with colorful pictures and read them a story when they visit. Here is what we did one summer when we provided some child care for our grand kids. We created a club and taught them stories from a story cloth. Here is “graduation” as they take a picture, tell the story and hang it up.





Do What You Can!

11 02 2019

small gift bag 

I was standing with my friends around me.  They had gathered to pray for me and my family as we were to depart for a trip to do some mission work in a foreign country.  I was excited but also a little fearful.

A friend handed me a small gift bag and said take it with you to enjoy.  Then I was given a hug. When I looked in it later it was packed full of the things I so enjoy: colorful book marks, refrigerator magnets with cute sayings, pretty pen, etc.  I was so happy and blessed. I felt so loved and cared for.

We don’t need to do big things to be a blessing in the Kingdom of God.  Small things matter so much! We must do what we can as we trust God to lead us to make a difference in other people’s lives. We might not be a born leader, a rich benefactor, a skilled musician, etc.  But we can do what we can to meet the need of someone.

See what a widow did for Elijah.  She did what she could and God blessed her.

1 Kings 17:7-16 The Message (MSG)

violet cooking rice

 

Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought. Then God spoke to him (Elijah)

:“Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you.”

So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, “Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out, “And while you’re at it, would you bring me something to eat?”

 She said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’”

And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!

We don’t all need to be amazing to make a difference because the cumulative effect of a lot of us doing what we can adds up!

I need to remind myself of this!

 

 

 





What can I do?

6 02 2019

KEVIN 001 (39)

Elisha Provides Olive Oil for a Widow

          The wife of a man from the group of the prophets cried out to Elisha. She said, “My husband is dead. You know how much respect he had for the Lord. But he owed money to someone. And now that person is coming to take my two boys away. They will become his slaves.”

          Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me. What do you have in your house?”

“I don’t have anything there at all,” she said. “All I have is a small jar of olive oil.”

        Elisha said, “Go around to all your neighbors. Ask them for empty jars. Get as many as you can. Then go inside your house. Shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars. As each jar is filled, put it over to one side.”

       The woman left him. Then she shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her. And she kept pouring.   When all the jars were full, she spoke to one of her sons. She said, “Bring me another jar.” But he replied, “There aren’t any more left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

         She went and told the man of God about it. He said, “Go and sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

2 Kings 4:1-7 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Clay pots are interesting. I saw many of them in Sri Lanka. Vendors would sell them along the side of the major roads. They are still used in some places, but more for ornamental pieces.

Frequently when we look around at the world needing the knowledge of God’s love, we think we can’t do anything about it. Maybe we think it is for the ministers, missionaries, Bible teachers, and others who are trained to do the work. Because we are not of that group of people we think we can’t do much of anything. And if we don’t have much money to donate to those who are trained we think we can’t do anything.
But I think that the call from Jesus to reach the world with the message of God’s love and the story of Jesus comes to all of us. None of us are exempt.
I would ask you to read the above story and ask God to show you what you can do. He will show you! It might seem insignificant or small or unnoticed, but He can use you to be involved in spreading the message of His love.
I started praying for African a few years ago. I have a map and a list of the countries. I pray for one country a day.

Praying for africa2

What can I do?