Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

How to Get to Heaven

February 23, 2016

“But anyone who asks for mercy from the Lord shall have it and shall be saved.”  Acts 2:21

Most people never consider whether they will get to heaven.  They just assume everyone gets there if they’re good enough.  They figure God grades “on the curve”, and because in their own minds they are definitely in the top 50 percentile, they will surely make it in.  Others think God has a gigantic balance scales, and as long as one has more on the “good” side than they do on the “bad” side, they will be ok, (since they are always doing something nice for someone).  Still others think it just doesn’t matter, and they’ll find out about Heaven or whatever the afterlife is like when they get there.  Hardly anyone wonders what God thinks about the matter.

Think a minute.  Is Heaven a perfect place or not?  If its not, then what makes it any better than being here?  If there is still crime, violence, sickness, accidents, sorrow and pain, what difference does it make at all?  But most of us long for a perfect place where all the suffering of Earth no longer exists.  Longing for that perfect place at least suggests the possibility such a place exists.  If God is perfect, then His home surely is perfect too.  Think about your own home.  Would you let people track in all kinds of grass and mud and do nothing about it?  Would you let it be full of flies and roaches?  Would you let garbage pile up till the smell is sickening?  Of course not.  Then what makes us think there could be anything wrong in Heaven?  If there is nothing wrong in Heaven, why would we be there?  Are we perfect?  Are we totally good?  We know in truth, we aren’t.  So, we have to somehow pass through God’s cleanup process.  That’s what “being saved” is all about.  We aren’t thrown out with the dirt and garbage if we are “saved”.  And how does that happen?  We recognize our lack of goodness, indeed our badness.  And we ask for mercy.  That is the “narrow gate” Jesus talked about Heaven having.  We have to come in without armloads of good deeds, or mountains of arguments about how good we are compared with someone else.  We can only squeeze in with empty arms, and the grease called “Mercy,”  Let’s recognize what we are and ask for it.

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Caribbean Chicken Salad

July 6, 2011

O God of Peace, we praise you and give thanks for your gentle, guiding calm in our lives. We give thanks for safety, food, shelter, and nations where we are free to pursue those things.

Caribbean Chicken Salad

Marinate chopped chicken breast in favorite marinade.

Stir fry chicken and allow to cool.

Arrange greens on plate.  Put 2 tablespoons of pico de gallo in the middle.  Arrange chunks of fresh pineapple and slices of orange around pico.  Put chicken on top of pico and crush some “hint of lime” tortilla chips over all.  Pass dressing around the table.

Dressing:

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 TB sugar

1 1/2 TB oil

1 1/2 TB white wine vinegar

juice of a whole lime.

Shake together and put in small pitcher.

Enjoy this refreshing summer salad with rolls, flatbread or other bread, tropical fruit punch or tea.

Mexican Summer Salad

July 6, 2011

Mexican Blessing:

Christ the bread of life, come bless our meal, Amen.

Mexican Summer Salad

2 lbs sirloin, sliced thin

1pkg. fajita seasoning (add 2/3 cup water and one Tb olive oil

Marinate meat a couple hours, then cook on a tabletop griddle (I used a George Foreman grill) 

Put cooked beef in a dish, surround with dishes of:

lettuce, shredded cheddar, sliced olives, crushed “hint of lime” tortilla chips, sour cream and homemade pice de gallo (1 tomato finely chopped, 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped, 3 green onions, finely chopped, 2 TB cilantro finely chopped, and juice of one lime.)

Let each person put together their own salad as they like it.  Serve with warm, buttered tortillas if desired, and a glass of Sangria if desired (I buy Yago, don’t make my own).

Enjoy a fine, low carb (well, except for the tortillas) summer meal.

Ultimate Makeover

March 25, 2011

When I become convinced, in my mind that Jesus is real, I begin to make significant changs because I admire Him so much.

When I let Jesus into my heart, He does things in me that are life changing, full of joy, and everyone sees a new person.  What does the world see – someone trying to make positive changes in their life or someone whose whole personality has been radically changed?

What Makes Happiness

March 24, 2011

What makes happiness?

1.  Be a friend of God.  Talk to God.  Trust God.

2.  Be grateful.

3.  Love and give.  The fragrance remains on the hand that gives the rose.

4.  Work toward goals that come from the heart.

5.  Learn new things and develop new skills.

6.  Make time to do things that bring enjoyment.

7.  Make time for people who bring joy.  Cultivate nourishing relationships.

8. Laugh.  Make a place for humor and share it.

9.  Capitalize on strengths and talents.

10.  Put beauty in life.

11.  Establish boundaries.

12.  Recognize choices.

A Prayer for Help to Forgive

March 12, 2011

Lord, I know unforgiveness blocks Your living water in my own soul.  It cuts off the flow in my spiritual arteries.  What am I to do?  I see things and hear things that stab my heart.  Immediately I must bring them to You.  You saw what I saw.  You know I feel what I feel.  I am to leave this in Your capable hands.  You know what I cannot know.  You see into the heart of the other person, and You will deal with them in love, as is necessary.  I am to let go and just love.  I can “just love” by praying for their good, and by saying and doing good to them if and where I am able.  I am to think their good by remembering that You love them and You are bringing about good in their life.  Help me have Your thoughts and an attitude that pleases You.

The 45 Minute Solution

March 2, 2010

When confronting “the blues”, dullness, boredom and the like, I was once given a transforming recipe by a mature and wise pastor.  I call it the 45 Minute Solution.

First, spend 15 minutes a day reading the bible.  Ask the Lord to speak to you through the bible, and you can even ask Him what book of the bible to read.  Personally, I like the gospels, epistles and psalms, but I have never read a book of the bible where I didn’t find a little nugget of gold that met my exact needs at that moment.  Just be aware that God will speak to you if you ask Him and your soul is open and willing to hear Him.

Second, spend 15 minutes a day pouring out your heart to God.  Ask Him for everything you need, lay all your burdens before Him, and don’t forget to thank Him for all the ways you have seen Him help you.

Third, spend 15 minutes a day encouraging someone else’s faith, sharing the hope the Lord has given you.  You can do this through spoken or written words.  You can’t encourage someone else without the encouragement strengthening you, too.  As an old proverb says, the fragrance remains on the hand that gives a rose.

Try this for a couple of weeks.  I promise it will be life changing.

Church and Excuses

February 20, 2010

People who wouldn’t touch church with a ten foot pole say its because of the wrongdoing of religious people through history.  Now, these same people wouldn’t want to be judged solely by the behavior of their  children, but they will refuse to enter God’s house because they don’t like His children.  These same people probably wouldn’t want to cut themselves off from their billionaire uncle simply because his children’s behavior was disgraceful.

In-Laws, How to Share a Loved One

February 20, 2010

In this culture we don’t have a say in choosing who our children will marry, and they may very well marry someone with emotional issues or someone who hates their new in-laws.  Whats a parent to do?  I wrote this little scene after listening to families struggle with new additions who aren’t connecting.

I have a baby tiger in my garden.  It is not at all tame, and it appears to have some old, unhealed wounds.  I have been trying to get close, but it growls and hisses.  Sometimes, when I speak gently to it, I can draw closer, and then it bites or gives me a nasty scratch.  I don’t hate it when it bites and scratches.  I know it is what it is.  Its not tamed, and its protecting itself.  I do wish I could get a vet to look at its wounds, or an expert who can help me tame it.  But I can’t do those things, for it doesn’t belong to me.  My child, whom I love very much, has brought it into my garden.  So for the sake of my child, it is welcome.  I hope someday it will become used to me, and the growling and hissing will stop.  It may never let me touch it, but perhaps we can both be in the garden in peace.

Dogs and Heaven

February 20, 2010

If you have ever owned a dog, you have probably experienced one of two rather disgusting episodes.  Either your dog tangled with a skunk, or it rolled in something so sickening you gagged as you had to bathe it.  Did you ever think of all the theological implications of this situation in relation to God and his humans?

People often ask “Why doesn’t God just let everyone into heaven?”  We could logically ask why we don’t just let all our reeking dogs into the house.  Humans all have a stench called sin, and we have to be cleaned and deodorized before we can be let into God’s house.

People often say “I’m a pretty good person, not like most people”.  Would we go around smelling skunk-sprayed dogs to try to determine which smelled better than the others?  They all stink too much to be let inside.

Some people say “I would never go to church–there are too many hypocrites there.”  Should one smelly dog refuse to go to the groomers salon because its full of other smelly dogs?

God does provide a way for us to be cleaned.  All it requires is for us to ask his forgiveness and we are completely deodorized, because of the price Jesus paid to have it done.  However, like some dogs, we may come when we are called, or we may run away and keep on running until we become lost forever.

We don’t get into the master’s house because we’ve been good enough, or do great tricks or look adorable–we get in because He loves us, calls us and cleans us up.  Humans have a problem called pride.  We don’t want to ask God’s forgiveness.  We would rather try to earn our way in.  We don’t want to admit we’re all beggars, completely dependent on God from start to finish.  In this case, we would do well to be more like our dogs.  They aren’t ashamed to beg.