“My Lord and My God”

Today’s ‘Days of Praise’ devotional was, as it is every day, uplifting and thought-provoking. I thought this was especially so. from https://www.icr.org/articles/type/6

My Lord and My God

“And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)

Thomas has been called “doubting Thomas” because of his initial reluctance to believe in the Lord’s resurrection, but neither the Lord nor the other disciples ever viewed him in such a light. His later ministry, as the first missionary/martyr to India, speaks clearly of his great faith.

It is only in John’s gospel that we have any specific insight into Thomas’ character. When the other disciples sought to dissuade Jesus from returning to Jerusalem, it was Thomas who urged, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). Thomas understood the dangers awaiting them but was ready to go wherever Jesus desired him to go. In the upper room when Jesus spoke of going away, Thomas, still willing to go with Him anywhere, was the only one to ask, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Then, just a few hours later, the Lord had been crucified, and soon “the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19) as they hid themselves in the upper room.

But Thomas was not hiding! The Scriptures do not say where he was when Jesus appeared in their midst, but he was not hiding there like the others. He may well have been out working or witnessing, doing whatever he could to follow the Lord, but he (like the others) had failed to understand Jesus’ promise that He would rise again.

When the other disciples reported that they had seen the resurrected Lord, Thomas, realizing the tremendous significance of such a miracle if it were true, insisted he must see the proof firsthand. Then, when he saw the Lord, he showed a higher comprehension of what had taken place than any of the others, as he whispered in awe: “My Lord, and my God!” HMM

Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle Offer

Just sharing an offer I got in my e-mail this morning. This is the bundle that changed my health life, and was worth every penny of the outrageously reasonable price. I highly recommend this. Also, through these offers, I have never been disappointed with the quality; and I know my e-mail address and info is safe.

  • Kathy



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9 Ways to Pray for Afghanistan by Jen Evangelista

As are many of all of you, I am following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart. I was struck by this post from Jen Evangelista, outlining the burden she received from God to pray for Afghanistan. The entire rest of this post is shared from https://www.graceincolor.com/pray-for-afghanistan/  Please visit her site.


By Jen Evangelista  

It’s been a tough couple of weeks.

We are facing a continued and invigorated battle with COVID-19, even among our children, which is particularly distressing to me as a pediatrician. We watched Haiti torn apart (again) by a devastating earthquake. Many are dealing with the aftermath of a storm called Fred… and waiting for the arrival of Grace.

And now, we are utterly shaken and grieved by what we see happening in Afghanistan.

This is not a political post, but rather a call to prayer. Honestly, I have been so distracted and have been hurting so deeply for the Afghan people that even my prayers have been jumbled. I can’t even imagine a scenario in which my despondency would extend so far as to pass my baby over a wall into the waiting hands of strange men in uniform in a desperate attempt to save them.

Yet, mothers are doing just that.

This is why I wanted to write out a few things I’m praying for in particular related to this current international crisis. Maybe it will help you to pray for Afghanistan as well when you get overwhelmed.

NINE WAYS TO PRAY FOR AFGHANISTAN

1. Physical protection and provision for the innocent. Pray especially for the women, children, and vulnerable men who will be left behind. They are at particular heart-breaking risk.

2. Spiritual strength and peace for believers, who are standing strong in the face of persecution and probable death. May they hold tight to the gospel and keep their eyes on the One who has already rescued them.

(https://www.9marks.org/article/afghan-pastors-ask-for-prayer/ and https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/afghanistan-afghan-pastors/ are two good articles for more specifics on this)

3. US civilians and other foreigners, as well as the US supporters who have risked their lives and families to aid the US through this war. They are desperately trying to get out of the country. Pray for wisdom for their maneuverings and mercy for their exit.

4. American troops on the ground working tirelessly to quite literally save lives, some who are inevitably feeling the burden of accepting those precious children mentioned above. Pray for their physical health and strength as well as emotional endurance.

5. American soldiers currently stateside who have served these people and the families of those who have lost loved ones in that land over the course of these past 20 years. They are now hurting in ways we can’t understand from this dreadful loss of a war they have faithfully fought.

6. Our children and teens as they are dealing with the news of this tragedy on top of Haiti, hurricanes, and a pandemic. Even though it’s distant geographically to us, it is affecting us. Pray for our kids.

7. The hardened hearts of the Taliban. Pray that they will have mercy on the weak and that God’s power washes over them. I’m not sure whether I am praying more for God’s grace or his judgment but my feeble heart can at least cry out in petition for their actions toward others.

(https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-pray-for-the-taliban/)

8. Protection from future terrorist attacks that may come due to this world-altering event. We can’t live in fear but we can openheartedly pray for protection for those we love and peace for what may come.

9. And most earnestly, we can and should pray for the advance of the Gospel for a dying world. This event in world history that we are watching in real time, just like so many others we have witnessed, did not take God by surprise. And we can join together and pray that even through this tragedy, he will be glorified and the life-giving message of the redeeming truth of the cross of Calvary will be poured out over a barren land.

God is still sovereign.

God is still good.

And you are not helpless.

Jen

Intercessory Prayer Workshop Opportunity

I wrote previously about my new excitement about my prayer journal. I’m still excited about it, and use it and add to it. If you don’t use a prayer journal, please consider starting one: it will change your prayer life, and your connection with God Almighty.

Here is an opportunity to enhance your prayer journal, or to get motivated to start one: https://arabahjoy.lpages.co/prayer-journal/

Use the above link to join the FREE intercessory prayer journal workshop on Tuesday, August 24th, hosted by AJ (arabahjoy.com) and Jen Evangelista. If you sign up, you will be eligible to watch the replay, in case you can’t make the original.

The invitation invites you to join them as they cover:

01
How an intercessory prayer journal can help you consistently pray for others

02
How to pray Scripture by identifying prayer points in a passage. (Hint: You’ll be able to start using these tips to improve your prayer life immediately!)

03
Simple ways to beautify your prayer journal using color, lettering, and other elements – no experience or art skills necessary 🙂
And much more!

When the Boughs Break

From this site: https://www.icr.org/article/12849/When+the+Boughs+Break


July 4, 2021
When the Boughs Break
“When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favor.” (Isaiah 27:11)

Like a mighty tree towering over the forest, God raises up a mighty nation from time to time, with a great leader, to accomplish some purpose in the divine plan. He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).

But when that nation and its leaders become proud, and its people become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, it becomes like a tree whose branches wither and whose core becomes riddled with insect-caused decay. Finally, the boughs break, the kingdom will fall, and down will come that nation, its leaders and all!

That happened even to God’s chosen nation, Israel, though only for a time, since God’s promises cannot fail. One after another, the mighty nations that God used to chastise His wayward people—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Rome, etc.—have in turn been judged for their own rebellion against the God who “made them” and “formed them.” God has warned that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

Is that about to happen to our beloved USA as well? The signs of self-seeking power and pride among our leaders and moral decay and spiritual rebellion among our people are widespread and growing worse. Our prayer should be that of the ancient prophet. “O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years,…in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2). “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6). HMM

The Key to Truly Knowing God

from https://www.oneplace.com/devotionals/daily-living-for-seniors/the-key-to-truly-knowing-god-senior-living-june-7-11736776.html

The key to truly knowing God

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
– Proverbs 12:1

The famous baseball player Ted Williams put up some amazing statistics in his days. In the 40s and 50s, he was known as a “natural hitter” because of the seeming ease with which he would make contact with the ball and send it soaring through the air.

Williams was once asked about his natural ability to hit. He replied, “There’s no such thing as a natural-born hitter. I became a good hitter because I paid the price of constant practice.”

Many people today want to have a close relationship with God and experience Him daily. But they’re simply reluctant to pay the price to do it. They see others who have an unshakable faith and know God’s Word up and down. But what they don’t realize is that those people have spent years in prayer and reading the Bible to build that kind of faith!

It’s impossible to know God intimately and walk closely with Him without spending time in His Word and in prayer. That takes diligence, discipline, and commitment. So make sure you’re ‘practicing’ your faith daily. Commit time and effort in knowing God more intimately by reading His Word and spending consistent time in prayer!

Prayer Challenge

Pray that God would give you the discipline and desire to grow closer to Him through reading His Word and prayer.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think many people are reluctant to put in the time and effort necessary to knowing God intimately?

What are some steps you can take starting today that will help you grow even closer to God through His Word and prayer?

National Day of Prayer

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer for the US. Below is information I received in an e-mail from IFA (Intercessors for America). When you click on a link for a resource, it asks for your e-mail. This has been safe for me, no sharing of info or spam. There is also an option to login and to sign up to pray. Those with accounts have access to all the resources. I have used several of their resources in guiding me to fervent, authentic prayer for my country.

To pray for specific legislative updates: https://prayforamericasleaders.com/legislative-updates/

MAKE THE MOST OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
For the first time in 70 years the National Day of Prayer observance will not happen on Capitol Hill.But barricades, security, and politics in Washington, D.C. cannot stop Americans from observing this day and praying for our nation.How can you participate? Here are three ways:First, we encourage you to join us on our National Day of Prayer webcast on Thursday at 12:15pm ET (details below).Second,  many of the people you know who celebrate the National Day of Prayer may be encouraged to know that praying for the nation is something IFA intercessors do year round. It is more than just a day. Take this opportunity to introduce the Intercessors for America network to your praying friendsClick here for a great download to share with others in response to this day of prayer. And third, stay on top of what is happening in your state with Pray for America’s Leaders new Legislative Updates. Click below and see what needs prayer in your state today! 
GO THERE NOW

We encourage you to join us on our National Day of Prayer webcast, featuring Pam Pryor, former State Department official, who will be sharing about prayer in government. Dave Kubal, IFA President and CEO, will be on-site in D.C. to offer live, up-to-the-minute observances and commentary. Click here to watch IFA’s National Day of Prayer program on Thursday at 12:15pm ET or you can connect by phone at (712) 775-7430.
May America Bless God!


Dave Kubal
President/CEO




INTERCESSORS FOR AMERICA
IFApray.org

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Recipe Friday: Sweet Potato Pie

Here’s an idea for a Christmas treat: sweet potato pie. I came up with this recipe because one of my food sensitivities is pumpkin (sad, right?).

But sweet potatoes make a great substitute. And, sweet potatoes are loaded with health benefits like fiber and lots of nutrients. So that I don’t boil away nutrients, I bake my sweet potatoes, then scoop out the flesh. I used 3 good-size sweet potatoes, which made for more than 2 cups. I used the extra as a side dish.

But the best thing about this pie is that it’s quite delicious. I like plenty of spice in my pie, and this recipe fits me perfectly. But you can go up or down on the amount, according to your taste.

For sweetener, I used sucanat, an unprocessed cane sugar. Palm coconut sugar would also be good, I think. If you don’t have these, regular sugar or brown sugar would be fine. When I made this pie recently, I used ¾ cups sucanat and 1 tablespoon powdered stevia: yummm!

You can buy a deep-dish pie crust, or make one yourself. I tried following the directions on a pre-made crust. It told me not to pre-bake if it was for pumpkin pie. Bleh. The crust, even after 65 minutes of baking, was doughy. So I recommend baking the empty crust until it’s almost done, like for 15 – 20 minutes. You’ll need pie weights or dried beans, so the crust doesn’t bubble up. A good pie crust recipe follows the sweet potato filling recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups sucanat (sugar) (OR ¾ cups sucanat + 1 Tbs stevia)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter or oil
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 semi-baked, deep-dish pie shell

Directions:

  • Mash the sweet potatoes completely, then measure out two cups into a deep mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt, and mix well.
  • Mix the milk in until it has uniform consistency.
  • Add the spices and mix well.
  • Pour into prepared pie shell.
  • Bake at 350° 60 -65 minutes, until toothpick tests done. (You’ll likely need to cover the crust with foil in the last 20 – 30 minutes of baking, to prevent over-browning.)

For a good pie crust, use this recipe from https://www.inspiredtaste.net/22662/flaky-pie-crust-recipe/ (they offer an interesting pie crust read, and a video for the whole recipe). It makes enough for a double-crust pie. You can use half for this pie, and freeze the other half for later. For my flour, I used all-purpose einkorn.

Ingredients for pie crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ice water OR ice water half-and-half with vodka

Directions:

  • Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.
  • Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).
  • Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).
  • Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle ice water over mixture — start with 4 tablespoons and add from there. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball.
  • Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

To make a single-crust pie:
Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Lightly flour work surface, top of dough, and rolling pin. Then use rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Be sure to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below; add a small amount of flour when necessary.
Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. To transfer dough to dish, starting at one end, roll dough around rolling pin then unroll over dish.
Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. (Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough). Then, use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the dish.
Fold edge of dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork (this prevent air pockets or bubbles from forming while baking). Line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil. (Be sure to push foil against the edges of the crust). Then, fill foil with dried rice, dried beans or pie weights. Refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Place pie crust onto preheated baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.