Treasured Lessons from my Mother – Lesson 4

“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the World.”

Well, my Mother always spoke to the Devil! “Get thee behind me Satan!”  I learnt at a young age that there is evil and there is good but if I would trust in God, who is more powerful than the Devil, I will be fine.   It was more than just saying “Get thee behind me Satan!”.  I learned as a little girl that my mind was always tossing up good and evil thoughts, seeking to fight back against temptations to be disrespectful or disobedient.   I knew at a young age that there was a special blessing of long life, joy and peace if I choose to obey God and not my feelings.   I learnt that the Devil had no control over me, unless I let him.

There was a little song we learnt at Sunday School, which in my view, was quite popular.

It goes like this:

“Get thee behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I don’t want anything to do with you today.   Get thee Behind me Satan, Get thee away.  I want to be a Christian Soldier and I want to learn to pray”.

My Mom, knew the word of God, so she knew that the one who lived within us was mightier than the evil one. She knew that we (those who truly believe in Christ), through the Holy Spirit, can overcome any temptation, hence we can boldly say “Get thee behind me Satan”!

Application: May we be mothers who read the word of God and seek to understand and believe it.   Part of understanding God’s word is applying it when having discussions with our children, when disciplining and guiding them towards safe living, living outside of the devil’s clutches. Assist your children in memorizing this verse: 1 John 4:4;  “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the World.

More lessons on Saturday…..

Worship Expressions – Saviour

 

He was wounded for me and it is touching to admit; he did it all for me.   What a demonstration of LOVE, Sacrificial, selfless love.  For me He endured the pain, the mockery and the shame.

I sing today, I sing out loud, He Arose! My Saviour Lives today!

I worship a Saviour who has gone to the deepest depths to redeem man.   I serve a Saviour who risked it all for me.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about, and shout about.

A Holy God left his glorious comfortable home in heaven and stepped into man’s corrupt environment to connect with us, to reach us and rescue us from a path of destruction.  He desires to call us his children, he wants our company, our fellowship and our worship. I worship a Saviour who has walked this Earth, experienced our pain and resisted temptation.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about and shout about.

He was betrayed by the Evil one, delivered to those who accused him falsely. He was beaten mercilessly, still he came to extend mercy.  I worship a Saviour who extends Grace to every man, woman and child.

It is a Saviour with such love that I speak about, sing about, and shout about.

So, for me, Easter is not just a memory, it is not just an exciting, religious moment, but it is a reminder of how great a gift I have received, ONLY because my God and Saviour dared to stoop so low, from heaven’s glory to earth’s corrupt domain.  He accepted our faults, our sins as his own, He took the Blame.

Because of such sacrificial love, I can choose to follow Christ and not be controlled by the Devil.   I can choose to be free from fear, resentment and anything from my past, that may keep me back from experiencing meaningful living.

I can worship a Saviour who loves me enough to die for me and I know that he is interested in my affairs, in spending time with me, in helping me to grow and to overcome every obstacle that comes my way.   I can experience true intimacy with the most powerful being of this universe.

I am certainly thankful for what he’s done, what he has given up.

He is truly Saviour of this world and His name is Jesus, the Resurrected King!

Carrots and Cantaloupe are good for us

Last Tuesday I blended carrots and cantaloupe together and enjoyed a refreshing drink; no sugar added.

Why, carrots and cantaloupe?  Well, for one, they were the only available fruits in my kitchen, at the moment, and as far as I knew they were good for me.  Every now and then however, we need to refresh our knowledge of what these fruits provide, so that we can maximise on their use.  So here are a few reminders or, for some of us, this could be news.

Let’s first look at carrots.  How can they be eaten and what benefits do they have for our bodies?

  • Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack (carrot sticks), or in a vegetable salad. They can also be blended with other vegetables to make a nutritious drink (like I did).    They can be steamed with other vegetables and boiled in soups of all kinds.  I have also seen carrots used in cakes and buns.  I love grating the raw carrot and mixing it into the rice immediately after the rice has been cooked.  I am sure there are many other ways to use the carrot, maybe you would love to share.
  • Carrots are great source of fiber. They also provide vitamin A (beta-carotene), one of the B Vitamins, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. By now you should know that fiber is very important to having a healthy bowel movement.  It also helps us to feel fuller longer and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Vitamin A, helps us to maintain healthy vision and is important for growth and development as well as healthy immune function.  What about Biotin?  It is one of the B-vitamins and plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins. The other vitamins K1 and B6 are responsible, respectively, for bone health and for converting food into energy.  As we say, last but not least, carrots also provide Potassium, an essential mineral, useful for keeping the blood pressure under control.

Let’s look at the second fruit, the Cantaloupe.   I must say, around my family, friends and associates, this fruit is not popular at all.   It is not my favorite either; I enjoy it best when it is mixed with other fruits, as in a fruit salad or blended.

The cantaloupe however, has nutrients for us as well;

  • They provide a range of antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes. The word “phytonutrients” was new to me, so I had to do some further research.  phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants, in fact “Phyto” is the Greek word for “plant”.  These nutrients are really chemicals which help to protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs and other threats.  Sounds like a good pest controller to me and maybe it is the secret to the healthy skin cantaloupes enjoy.
  • Looking closer to the nutrients provided to the body, in addition to the three benefits mentioned (antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes), the Cantaloupe offers much more;

It provides Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, as well as folate.  It also provides magnesium and fiber.  I believe by now you agree that we need to eat more cantaloupe.  There is even a bonus for you; the seeds are edible, they provide omega-3, fatty acids.

I encourage you to do much more research on your own, but I do hope that this little peek into the benefits of consuming carrots and cantaloupes would inspire you to make healthier food choices.

Sources;

https://draxe.com/cantaloupe-nutrition/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1

https://linwoodshealthfoods.com/ie/2013/11/20/why-dietary-fibre-is-so-important-for-your-diet/

 

Eight take-away’s from Billy Graham’s Funeral

On March 2nd, 2018, I watched the memorial service of Evangelist, Billy Graham and I found myself rejoicing but also shedding some tears as I was touched by a number of the moments shared during the service.  What a lovely service it was!

As a child, who grew up with a vibrant preacher Daddy, zealous about the Lord and his Word, I connected with Billy Graham’s Ministry.  I particularly liked the format of his Crusades and the simplicity of his messages.   He never compromised on the Gospel message, keeping it pure and real; he preached about heaven and he preached about hell.  And yet, he did not make the sinner feel condemned or worthless.   His preaching drew men to Christ.

As I sat and watched the live streaming of the Memorial Service, made possible by NBC News (Thank you NBC for such great coverage), I had to pause the video to grab a pen and piece of paper, so I could take notes; I just needed to capture some moments.  I knew instantly, that I had to write an article about my favourite points of the service, my take-aways. This is what this article is about;

“Eight take-aways” from Evangelist Billy Graham’s Funeral

Take-away number one

The first special item was a hymn sung by four women, the lead singer’s voice was sweet and melodious to my ear, capturing my heart and the song chosen, in my view, was perfect.  The song is known as “Until Then” Here are the words:

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

This hymn has another verse, but I chose to share just the two verses sung on that day.  I later found out that the lead singer was Linda McCrary-Fisher, she must’ve sang for the Billy Graham Crusades.  I enjoyed her very much.

As believers, we are travelling upward, and our troubles are just a stepping stone and as we travel and encounter difficulties, we should keep singing allowing the joy of the Lord to be our Strength.  Soon our eyes will behold the beautiful city, Heaven!  That’s where our beloved Billy Graham is now!

That song was beautifully done, melting my heart.

Take-away number two  Poem read by Gigi Graham (Billy Graham’s first daughter).

(It was written by their Mom (Billy Graham’s wife) when she was about 13 years old).  It is my honour to share this poem on this platform….wow!!

Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid, as we are inclined to do.

I do not need a handsome man, but oh God let him be like you.

I do not need one big and strong, or yet, so very tall,

nor need he be a genius, or wealthy Lord, at all.

But let his head be high, Dear God, and let his eye be clear,

His shoulders straight whate’er his state, whate’er his earthly sphere.

And oh God, let his face have character and a ruggedness of soul and

let his whole life show Dear God, a singleness of goal.

And when he comes as he will come, with those quiet eyes a-glow,

 I’ll understand that He is the man, I prayed for long ago.

This poem touched me deeply because it was a little girl’s prayer, that was completely answered.  This Poem describes Billy Graham perfectly. This is truly amazing!

Take away number three Anne’s (daughter) sharing on the significance of the date on which her daddy died, February 21st, 2018:  Her words…..

 “…I found out that February 21st, 2018 is the day when Jews focused on scripture reading that focuses on the death of Moses.  Moses was the great liberator, he brought people, millions of people out of bondage to slavery, got them to the edge of the promise land, and God took him to heaven, and then God brought Joshua to lead them into the promise land, to take them home.  And my father also, was a great Liberator, he brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and he gets us to the edge of heaven, the edge of the promise land and then God has called him home.  And then, could It be, that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promise Land, to lead us to heaven? And do you know what the New Testament name is for Joshua? It is Jesus!……………and I believe God is saying, wake up church, wake up world, wake up Anne, Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

I was amazed because, God is very strategic, he does nothing by chance, “Could it be?”

Take-away number four – The passage read by Anne

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; it says;

“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

I listened to this passage, soaking it all in; I was more than comforted!

Take-away number five – Ruth’s (daughter) Testimony – “My Father was not God, but he showed me what God was like that day”

Ruth spoke about getting divorced and then running of and marrying again against the will of her parents and her children.  She described herself as willful, sinful and stubborn. The moment for me was when she shared about deciding to return home to her parents, after making a mess of her life, and being worried about what they would say; she felt she was a failure.  Ruth went home nevertheless and was greeted by her dad, who was waiting for her in the driveway.  As she came out of the car, he placed his arms around her and said, “Welcome Home”.  In her own words; “There was no shame, there was no blame, there was no condemnation, just unconditional love”.  Ruth saw God that day in her Father and she was never the same.

This may just be my favourite take-away of all.

Take away number six – Shared by Ned Graham (Son) – F.A.T.

“My Father was F.A.T.”  I thought to myself, ouch, that sounds raw.  But then he explained the acronym F.A.T., he described his father as; Faithful, Available and Teachable!  As listeners we were all encouraged to be F.A.T.

Take away number seven –  Franklyn Graham (Son) His best memory of his father

“I cannot remember my Father without remembering my Mother.” His words.

He admired how his parents loved each other.  He spoke about his Mother’s death, almost 11 years ago, and described it as “a big hole in his (Father’s) heart”.   He reminisced on the last few days of his mother’s life, how his father would come into the room and sit beside her, and they would stare at each other for hours.

“He loved her, and she loved him”

“My mother was a part of my Father’s life at every turn.”

Take away number eight – The Bible, the infallible word of God.

Franklyn shared how his Father believed in carrying his bible to the pulpit and would always preach clearly stating what “the bible says”. What really stood out to me was the simple gospel message presented by Franklyn, Billy Graham style.

“The best news ever declared is that God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish but should have everlasting life”.

“A man Christ Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.”  “Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.”

Check out the link, you got to hear the simple profound message shared on that day.

There is so much more that touched my heart, but I would leave it here.

I will treasure the memories forever!

 

 

 

You are my inspiration! Thank you!!

I started this blog on my birthday, September 25th, 2017,  to be exact, and today five months after, I know more than ever, that I made the right decision.

I prayed about it, pondered on the idea because I never wanted to just do something because it sounded good.  I try to please God in every decision I make.   I have not done so every time, but I can say most times.

This blog gave me an opportunity to breathe, to exhale, to share things as the Holy Spirit would prompt and nudge me to.   I have been blessed by your feedback, online as well as offline, I have been truly inspired by your kind words.

Please know that I appreciate you and the fact that you are taking the time out to read what I write.   My goal is to make sure each post is sound, inspirational material that brings glory and honour to my Saviour and King, Jesus Christ.

If you have not subscribed and you think it is something you would like to do, please scroll down, looking at the right side of the page, you would see a button for subscribing.  It is easy, just read and follow instructions.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at anytime at fleurjerry4@gmail.com.   I would love to hear from you, pray with you or just chat about God’s grace and his unexplained power, that allows us to overcome all odds.

Once again thank you for visiting!

Intimacy with GOD; Becoming more intimate but less familiar

Recently, I was brainstorming a bit, as I examined myself trying to identify signs that I am either just familiar with God or I am truly enjoying an intimate relationship with him.

Signs of familiarity

  • Trusting him now then doubting again
  • Refusing to take that step of faith
  • Allowing fear to control my actions
  • Thinking I can spend time with him later
  • Asking his forgiveness for the same sin over and over

Signs of Intimacy

  • True repentance when I do wrong.
  • Spending time with him because I look forward to it and desperately want to do so.
  • Missing my personal quiet time with God when it does not happen
  • Submitting to his wisdom and guidance and making sound decisions as a result
  • Experiencing worship that is deep, that takes me away from the cares of the world and my current circumstances.
  • Entering into his glory where my body and mind is renewed and I break out in adoration and tears, as I think about all the great things about his Character and how valuable I am to him.

If you were to do this assessment, which category would you find yourself?

 

Pursuing Change – Personal Life Changes

Have you ever been in that place where you desire to change, and you keep wondering, when is it going to happen? Why is it so hard to change?  Should I just give up on me? Does God really Love me and is He listening?

I am talking about those deep issues of the heart, habits and personal weaknesses, that are deeply buried in your heart.  You struggled with these areas since you became conscious of you.  You feel trapped and exhausted, longing for deliverance, longing for a new you.

I believe, it is my purpose on this earth to encourage you, while I encourage myself, to be patient, yes after all these years, be patient and maintain the right perspective and attitude through the journey.  Don’t let your frustration blind you to the growth you have already experienced and the lessons you have learned.  If you want to experience true purpose and a fulfilling life now, you need to EXPERIENCE CHANGE!!

Sometimes we hinder ourselves and seek to look for someone else to blame

So, you recognize that you need to make a change, but you do not accept full responsibility for your behavior because you think someone else is responsible for the way you are.   Let’s suppose you experienced some form of abuse as a child, verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually. The pain of your past dictates how you think and behave, even when you are not aware.   There are those natural responses that happen like reflexes and you only make matters worse by getting angry with yourself, not understanding that you need to understand how your experiences have shaped you and taken control of you, so that the shifting can take place.

The painful facts remain, you have been abused BUT the hopeful facts persist, it is of the past, blaming the one who abused you would not help, directing your anger and hurt to others who care about you, would not work, encouraging self-pity and depressing moods would not help either, it would destroy you.

Here are some steps to follow if you really want to experience change:

  1. Accept that you have been abused – You need to admit that it has happened, don’t deny any aspect of it. Don’t down play it to protect the person.  You must admit it to yourself and to whoever matters, meaning the persons in your life who need to know the truth.  It is painful just to admit it, even so to confess it.  But it is necessary for change to commence.
  2. Recognise the thoughts and behaviours that are flowing out of your belly, because of what happened. – Anger, anti-social behavior, resentment, jealousy (comparing yourself with others who appear to be well-balanced individuals who were not abused), unstable emotions, self-hate, doubts about your future etc.    It is very very important for you to identify these thought patterns and behaviours.  Point them out, write them down.  You can no longer point to others and blame them for your actions.  You need to take responsibility; it is only then change can happen.
  3. Work towards change – Change certainly would not happen if we sit on our beds saying, “I have a problem and that’s that”.   Recognizing you have a problem is great, but doing nothing about it, is suicide.  You do not need to remind yourself of your problems every day.  You have already recognised where change is needed, so it is time to sow those seeds that would bring you healthy fruits.

These steps can help;

  • Begin saying to yourself “I am going to do this!” “Change is possible!”
  • Identify the people, things and activities that are making it difficult for you to change and gently remove them from the important places in your life. E.g.: Do you have a friend that is bitter, critical and angry, always seeing doom and gloom? Oh, no, this person cannot be your best friend, the one who gives you counsel, you need to do something about that fast.  Maybe your church condemns you and you need to find a church that would not condone sin, but would seek lift you up, building you up in a holistic way.  Maybe it is your activities that need to change, maybe your activities are allowing you to focus too much on yourself and less on others.
  • Then, adopt new friends and activities that would provide a nurturing network for you as you seek to change. There are tons of good books to read, start a library of inspirational stories and articles, check out blogs like this one, there are many sound, forward-looking inspirational blogs out there.   It is also important to begin focusing on others and their needs, make someone happy, do something to make a difference in someone’s life.
  • You may start well and meet some obstacles, you simply start again, stopping is not an option when you want to experience change. Keep going; we often make great starts and allow ourselves to become discouraged along the way, but there is always room for starting again.  Sometimes, it is possible that the project or activity we started wasn’t the best idea and you need to try something else.  That’s o.k, it may mean that you lost $100.00, but it is all part of the journey.
  • Recognise your progress and believe it to be progress no matter what others say, you know where you have come from and the little progress you have made. Let us consider punctuality.   Imagine you have been arriving to work late every day and for the past month, you were early 5 days out of twenty (just an example), you can focus on the 15 days you were late or the 5 days you were early. Considering that normally you would’ve been late all 20 days, being early on five days is progress.  Here is another example, you have not been spending your hard-earned monies wisely and you decided to start preparing monthly budgets, you look back and for the last three months, you prepared monthly budgets, but you did not use them.  Failure? NO!  You actually prepared the budgets.  YAY!  The next step is to begin using them, at least partly, them completely.   You just can’t stop!
  • Sometimes, counseling is necessary, embrace this as well. It is great to hear others analyse your situation and give you their perspective of hope and guidance necessary to overcome.   I recommend God-fearing counselors.
  • Finally, seriously consider giving God the permission to direct your affairs, your life. Give him control over you, submit your rights to his righteousness and let his supernatural power, truly create that change that is real and lasting.   We should not run from him but run to him, simply because he really knows what is best for us.  Sit at his feet with the word of God and just bathe in his presence.  Enjoy his abundance, his glory and his beauty.  Let  Him saturate you and transform you.   And as you submit to him, trust that even when you cannot see around the bend, you can rest in his future for you.

Have a wonderful Journey!