Saturday, April 27, 2013

2 Kings 6:8-23

There is a lot to learn from 2 Kings 6:8-23

The first things that caught my attention was the protection, unseen, that was around Elisha. If God protected Elisha then you know we are protected now. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But there is more than just that once instance of protection. Let me go step by step on what the Lord revealed to me.

I have learned that the Lord will use this to help others but that He also ALWAYS has something He is trying to teach me too. So before I start let’s agree in prayer
         Dear Lord, I ask that you open our eyes to the Truth You are trying to show us in these passages.
         That if it’s encouragement you are sending, we accept it and give you praise and thanksgiving; standing on Your promises.
          If it’s conviction, then help us to set our pride down, repent and begin to draw on the Truth You are giving us so we can move forward and see our prayers answered for protection.
         In Jesus  Name, Amen

The king of Aram was at war with Israel, he made plans to surround them and kill them but time after time they were warned. Elisha heard the Lord and warned the king of Israel every time, saving them.

So here’s the first thing I see – Elisha knew the Lord so well that he could go boldly before the king of Israel and tell him what the Lord had to say. Elisha was so connected to the Lord that the king always believed him and made the changes that were needed to keep his land and his people safe.

Therefore, Elisha’s life, the way he acted, dressed, spent his time must have shown his commitment to the Lord. The king knew he could trust what Elisha had to say, he was trustworthy. I don’t imagine Elisha went to wild parties, had premarital sex, cussed up a storm, stole, disrespected elders and those in leadership positions, walked in pride, lied, etc.

I have to admit that there are times I get too busy or have the radio or TV on while I’m cleaning or on the web. Now there is nothing wrong with this as I usually have Christian radio or TV on BUT when I have it on all the time I’m not leaving room to hear from God. He wants to talk to me (to you) about things. He wants to give me people and things to pray about. There are many things He will give me IF I’m listening. Can you imagine God telling one of us about an impending attack on our family, neighborhood or something bigger and we are too busy to hear him.

Okay, the next thing.
Now the king of Aram decides to get Elisha. He sends horses and chariots and a ‘strong force’ to get Elisha. And notice, they ‘went by night’ to surround the city.

Let me ask you, when you are doing something you should not be doing isn't it usually in the ‘dark’? That dark could be another city where no one knows you, a bar on the other side of town, even in your own home with the curtains drawn. Evil dwells in darkness, where no light has come in. It is easier for the enemy to sneak up on you in the darkness. This is another reason I need to know God, really know who He is, and to obey Him. Because when that darkness tries to come in you want His light to expose it so you have the victory over the darkness, the harm that is trying to come against you, your family, and your country.

Okay, so ‘the servant of the man of God’ saw this army with horses and chariots around the ‘city’. Doesn't say Elisha’s home, it says ‘the city’. So many people could have gotten hurt or killed while they went to get this one man.
The servant  asked Elisha what they should do, he was afraid.
Now notice what Elisha tells his servant and what he prays:
                “Don’t be afraid….those who are with us are more than those who are with them”
Now remember a ‘strong force’ was sent by the king of Aram, but Elisha was unmoved, he knew he had the best protection. I believe Elisha was concerned for his servant and wanted to see the fear leave him so Elisha prayed – ‘open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see’. Elisha wanted his servant to see what he saw.

Now let me ask this. How close must Elisha have been to God to SEE the unseen in our world? Do you think Elisha was like we are today and spent most of his time in front of a TV, playing video games, sleeping, eating, whatever your distraction is (I know they didn’t have TV’s, video games, etc.  back then but there were other distractions).
I want to know how to see God’s protection, His angels, chariots and horses! Now I’m ahead of myself…..

So after Elisha prayed for his servant to see, God opened the servant’s eyes and he saw ‘the hills full of horses and chariots of FIRE all around Elisha.
This ‘mighty force’ had an added element – FIRE and it was not burning up the horses or chariots. What power!!
I believe it was because of Elisha’s faith that he was able to know, see and pray for his servant to see this. A faith so strong he could see the unseen in this world. He did not fear! I would not fear if I saw this kind of protection around me, my family, and my country. And you know what, I believe that same protection is here for me, for us; if we would just believe and grow in our faith. What if we would listen to the Lord and take the time to sit at His feet instead of giving in to our fleshly desires? Believe me, I’m guilty here and I want to change.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we have to do this ALL day and night, that would be silly as we do have responsibilities that the Lord has given us – provide for our family, provide for the orphans and widows, we need a place to live and a car to drive or bus money – so yes we have to work BUT what we need to ask ourselves, what I have to ask myself – once I am done with my 8 hour day, once the weekend is here, etc. What am I doing with that time? Oh and you can spend time with God at work and hear from Him there too – every task you have to do you can quietly give it to the Lord, asking Him to give you wisdom and to bless the work of your hands… just can’t sit down and close your eyes all day!

Okay, so back to when you are not at work. This is what I have been guilty of – I come home and decide it’s all about me now. I have children and a husband I need to feed and spend time with, that is something I LOVED doing and it almost always included time in the Word or taking walks and talking about God in what we would see in nature BUT then once the kids were in bed I wanted to do what I wanted to do – give in to my flesh and eat popcorn or candy and watch TV ALL night until I could no longer hold my eyes open…..too tired for prayer or Bible reading or study. Or I would want to go out on the town and drink or go to a game and drink, not intending to drink too much…….I could give a lot of examples, some good and some not so good…..but my point is I put God last when he should have been first and I would have received my refreshment, my peace and my protection from Him. I may have seen those unseen forces by now!

Okay, moving on again J 
Elisha prayed to the Lord to blind the army and God answered Elisha’s prayer. With confidence in the Lord, with faith in God’s protection; Elisha walked up to this ‘mighty force’, this army sent to capture him and basically told them they were in the wrong place but he would lead them to the man they were looking for.
Can you believe this!
So they allowed him to lead them and once they entered the city Elisha asked the Lord to open their eyes. What a shock it must have been to have their eyes opened and find they were inside Samaria with the king of Israel and Elisha.

Another great lesson follows, at least for me.

This army came to capture Elisha which would have probably led to his life imprisonment or death. But when the king of Israel asked Elisha; ‘Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?’

(Okay, I don’t know why the king of Israel called Elisha ‘my father’. Anyone have any revelation on that?)

Elisha responded with, ‘Do not kill them……set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.’  WOW Elisha is responding with forgiveness, mercy and love, sounds like the Father.

He had good reason to have them killed or imprisoned but Elisha’s heart was right before the Lord. Elisha KNEW the Lord and His ways, knew what the Father wanted. Because of the way Elisha responded to this army the ‘bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.’ Can you say WOW again!!

Like I said, so many things to see and learn from these passages but this last one really blew me away and talked to me.

Elisha reached out to them in kindness, spared their lives, and trusted God for His protection. Elisha did not call them names or talk bad about them to the king, no he treated them like he would a friend. He had the king of Israel give them a ‘great feast’ and then sent them home to their master. Because of this king Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Maybe we should stop and think about some of our actions (I know I need to) because most of what happens to us individually is very tiny compared to an army coming against us. What do you think would happen if we treated those we see as our enemies, be those in our own families, in our churches, in our work place, etc…..if we started treating them as God commands us to; with forgiveness, mercy, love, compassion……so they see God is on our side, He protects us, He lives in us and because of that we can love and forgive as He does.

Put all this together and I begin to wonder how the tables would turn and the US would be spared from future attacks.

We do have an unseen army that God has sent to protect us. We do have a God that will answer our prayers according to His Word. BUT we need to KNOW Him, to know what His Word says, to study it, pray about it, and listen to God to give us revelation. We need to be in unity in the church.  How can we have denominational fights and not live any differently than the world? That’s not faith. We need to be able to talk to each other, study the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us without having these big disagreements. We need to get a handle on the scandals taking place in the churches, for Pastors to stop looking at preaching as a ‘job with a paycheck.’ I could go on and on but I won’t.
It is time for me to pray and listen to the Lord more on this because I desire to have the faith that Elisha had, one where I can see the unseen and know I/we are protected. To know I can pray and see the prayers answered and can be as forgiving to my enemies, sending them back where they came from amazed at the hospitality they received and then seeing peace cover the home, the land, how amazing would that be? Could people deny there is a God then? Where did we lose it? I want it back, how about you?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Private Selection Upside Down Cake Bzz Agent

As a BzzAgent we were able to try this cake for FREE!

This Upside Down Cake is so easy to make and great to have on hand for unexpected company.

I must admit I was a skeptic and didn't expect this cake to taste good. I mean how can you have a cake with such an amazing icing - caramel, coconut and pecan frosting!! I figured it would melt but it did not.

This is how it looks out of the box, you take the plastic cover off and either bake it or put it in the microwave. I chose to bake it.

I baked it for about 13 minutes. 
Then waited 2 minutes before turning the pan upside down. We ran a knife around the sides before turning the cake pan over and it came out in once piece, no problems.

This is how it looked!

and then the real test began

And it was YUMMY
this cake came out so moist and the icing was perfect.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrate Growing Older by Regina Brett

I received this in an email and wanted to share it.  It is by Regina Brett 

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.


38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift..

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Kroger Spring Dinners Review

This was an amazing meal

As a BzzAgent we had the chance to try
Kroger Moist and Tender Pork Tenderloin
Homestyle Mac n Cheese
Crescent Dinner Rolls
and a cake for dessert

The tenderloin was easy to fix. I rubbed spices on the pork and baked it for about an hour. The aroma was wonderful and it came out moist and tasty.

I did not like the mac n cheese, the consistency just wasn't what I like and there really wasn't enough for 3 let alone a family of 4.

I am now addicted to the Crescent rolls, as is my husband. This is one product I will probably buy twice a month.

The cake was good. The only problem was I had to microwave the icing so it would spread smoothly.

The fellowship we had during this dinner made it a perfect meal.