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    Thanks for dropping by Coffee Cup Friends, your Online Reading Room! Here, you will find stimulating writings by our top-notch team of writers. You'll find everything from short inspiring devotionals to life-changing articles. So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the time you spend with us. Be encouraged, restored, and informed. Blessings on your day, Cinda

    P.S. After you have explored Coffee Cup Friends, be sure to visit my other website, www.mrsprep.com where you'll learn what to do in times of crisis and be prepared for whatever life brings!

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Archive for the ‘Contributor: Peg’ Category

Showers of Blessings

Posted by Cinda On June - 26 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

sneezeComplete strangers can unite in a split second when the occasion of a sneeze demands the chorus of response “Bless you!” You may be surprised to discover the roots of this age-old custom.

Dr. John D. Garr* says, “The ancients believed that something really happened when they spoke a blessing. They understood that the God they worshiped was a God of blessing. They were also convinced that the God of blessing had given them the power to bless and they constantly used this gift that God had given them to bring His blessing into the lives of others.”

It’s as simple as that. It is God who blesses, but when we yield ourselves to receive His blessings, we can also be His instruments of blessings to others. Only one who has been blessed can bless another. We will briefly look at just three aspects of a blessing:

The Blessing Itself
The personal blessing of God is found in “The Aaronic Blessing” “The Lord (Father) bless you and keep you. The Lord (Jesus) cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord (Holy Spirit) turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6:24-26

The One Who Blesses
The individual who pronounces a blessing is standing in the place of God. He is a channel through whom God Himself is blessing. Since God has commanded that a blessing be spoken over His children forever, we need to speak God’s blessing in our homes and wherever Christians gather.

Blessed to Be a Blessing
God blessed Abraham so he could be a blessing to all families of the earth (Genesis 12:2-3). Anyone can receive this blessing through Jesus Christ. When we accept by faith God’s blessing of salvation from sin and death through Jesus, we immediately seek to bring others to Christ. The blessed are called to bless.

One sure way to be blessed and to be a blessing to others, Dr. Garr indicates, is to participate in intercessory prayer. Think of the people and nations you can bless (even your enemies) through your prayer life.

The chain of command is this: God gives this blessing directly to men in the form of His grace; it is then transferred to others through spiritual gifts as the gift of grace is released to one who receives it and, in turn, blesses others; and then all give thanks to God to whom the praise is due.

Think about it: God wants us to be instruments of blessing by extending His grace into the lives of others… What a blessing!!!!
*More information on this subject can be found in Dr. Garr’s books, Bless You: Restoring the Biblically Hebraic Blessing and Blessings for Family and Friends at www.HebraicCommunity.org or you can obtain a copy by calling 1-678-615-3568 or writing Hebraic Christian Global Community, PO Box 421218, Atlanta, GA 30342.

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Coffee Cup Friends

A Prayer of Surrender

Posted by Cinda On June - 15 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

A Prayer for the Annoying People in Our Lives
Correction: A Prayer for “Me”

prayer07Father, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are upon You.
I look to You for insight, wisdom,
counsel, strength, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord in this matter
so that the Spirit of the Lord may be
fully operative in my life to sanctify me according to Your will.

May You cause me to
abound and increase in love for the brethren and for all mankind;
so that You
may be permitted to establish my heart to be
blameless before man
and holy before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Amen

Light Your Lamp

Posted by Cinda On June - 12 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

newspapersAre you concerned about global news? Even if we hide from global news, there is enough in our local newspaper to realize that something has happened in our world to displace love.

Do not be concerned. God sent word by His prophets, millennia ago, and now speaks through His Son, Jesus Christ, that we are not to be anxious about tomorrow. However, that does not mean we settle down in some corner of our world, face the wall and hope the world will go by as we eat plum pudding.

What does it mean for the Christian, the follower of Jesus, the Son of the living God? Jesus told us that our surroundings would get darker and darker, but that our flame of light was to get brighter when that happened. (John 8:12) Trust will rise above falsehood. Righteousness will rise above evil. Justice will prevail in His kingdom and of such, we are.

Therefore, trim your wick, O Church! Add your oil to the fill line and turn up your passion for Jesus Christ. If you don’t have passion, repent. Ask Him to give You HIS passion for a lost and hurting world. Then shine Your light – His truth into this dark world. Make a difference!

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Coffee Cup Friends

Bird Talk

Posted by Cinda On June - 10 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you…” Job 12:7

loggingI come from a long line of loggers. Although they made their living cutting trees and selling them to be ground into paper products, I simply like dead branches trimmed so they look symmetrical, not hanging every which way and creating difficulty when mowing the grass.  So, upon completing my iced tea and procrastination; I grabbed my pruning saw and headed for my lilac bush. That limb simply had to conform even if it was all that was left of grandmother’s landscaping.   No sooner had I grabbed the targeted branch with one hand and positioned the saw with the other, when two birds flew out of the bush screeching and fluttering wildly, totally distracting me. Mother robin was hysterical. Perching on the roof of a near by shed she scolded me away from her little ones who were safely tucked away in a nest that had been invisible just minutes earlier. Smitten with every fiber of my being, I relented, quickly retreating to the shed to hang up my weapon. How I admired the tenacity of that mother!

bird_nestPouring another glass of iced tea, so I could ponder that encounter, I reflected on my own “nest” and the little ones that had been under my protection at one time. How I wished I would have done more squawking in order to expose the negative culture and its harmful influence. I should have given the “enemy” no rest.

Upon confession of my own shortcomings, I marveled at an amazing Creator who had built such keen instinct into this little feathered creature. I prayed for parents today to guard steadfastly their little ones from anything that would threaten them or steal them away from knowing Him. Oh, and you know what else? The term “bird brain” took on new meaning!

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor • All Rights Reserved • Coffee Cup Friends

Encouragement for the Downtrodden

Posted by Cinda On May - 21 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

lavender

Dearest,
Let me tell you how the Creator of the Universe sees you.
You are like a beautifully transparent and delicate little flower.
The Master planted this little flower in a certain spot,
intending that it should bloom and flourish.
Instead, it has been trampled on and ground into the dirt.
The Master Gardener has noticed that the beauty and purpose
for which He created you is not being fulfilled.
You may be wondering where He is.
He has not passed you by, nor has the abuse you have received gone unnoticed.
He bends down to touch you and to restore life to you.
He digs in the dirt that surrounds you and firms up the soil
making sure your damaged roots will get the nourishment they need to
stabilize,
sustain
and strengthen you for the new life His touch longs to bring.
His hands gently smooth the soil around you as He takes the face of this little flower
and turns it towards His and smiles and says
“Peace. Be still. I’m here.
I’ve loved you from the day I formed you.
I was there.
I watched you from afar,
knowing one day you would call me to your side
and I could show you how much I love you.
No one can take my place and no one will.
I have loved you with an everlasting love
and I throw my banner over you because you have asked Me to.
You are safe with Me.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
I am yours and you are Mine.
Walk with Me.
Talk with Me often
and you will experience the peace that only I can give you
and for which you have hungered for so long.
I am Sufficient for you for I AM God, the Holy One of Israel.”
Therefore, on this day know that He smiles on you,
His little flower,
His beloved Creature
and He has only strengthened you through the washing of the rain and snow in your life.
You have a destiny which,
when you give yourself to Him completely and don’t look back,
He is waiting to fulfill.
Trust Him.

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
Coffee Cup Friends
All Rights Reserved

Afraid of Living, Scared of Dying

Posted by Cinda On March - 28 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

reflectionThere was a season in my life when I experienced an overwhelming fear of death. What was odd was that at that same time I was also afraid of living. It wasn’t the process of dying that loomed larger than life, it was death itself. Where would I spend eternity? I was so conflicted.

Somewhere deep within, I knew there was an appointment, called death, which I was destined to keep and one for which I would definitely be on time, even if I couldn’t schedule it in my planner or on my calendar. I had also gleaned from somewhere in my childhood that there was a judgment day a-coming. I didn’t have that scheduled either. Both were out of my control. However, this fear of life (defined as this process before this predictable death) seemed immediate and needed my attention.

Growing up, I learned that Jehovah (Yahweh), the Hebrew’s God, was the Creator of all that exists. I also believe that, at just the right time, He came in the flesh as a baby, born of a Virgin and in the familiar words of the Apostles’ Creed, “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” and it is from there that He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I never doubted the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. But, what I hadn’t been taught or at least didn’t apply, was how to live in the nasty here and now. I had set all my expectations on pie in the sky, by and by.

At this juncture in my life, afraid to live and scared to die, this poor soul cried out to God and He heard my cry. He set my feet on solid ground “from the mire to the choir” and gave me a new song to sing, a song of deliverance.

Like so many today, I was looking for peace. This is why I share my story. But God, in His wisdom and love, caused me to realize my search was really for Him. What I longed for was to get my mind wrapped around the truth. Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, the Bible stated. Then, surrendering this well-intentioned, but truly misguided quest was my next step. God alone, through Jesus Christ, was the answer. He made life livable for me. I know He can for you as well. My heart wanted a viable existence free of fear. That was a legitimate need. God met that need in the person of Jesus Christ. All I needed was to turn to Him and accept His provision.

Let me put it another way. God says in Jeremiah 2:13 that His people have committed two evils. One, they had forsaken Him; the fountain of living water. And secondly, they had fashioned or hewed out cisterns (a large tank-like structure for holding water) for themselves. He describes their efforts as “broken and empty” and not able to hold water. Without water, death is sure.

My life was in a “no water” situation. I was thirsty and dry, yet trying to live life the best I knew how. I had carved my own holding tank. So, if a piece of the puzzle, such as peace, was missing, then I would pursue peace. Wrong. I had forsaken God. I wasn’t drinking from His fountain of life-giving water; I was thirsty because of my own efforts. I was pursuing the wrong god and overwhelmed by my weary existence. I was in a desert experience.

True peace came when I pursued the Prince of Peace, Jesus, and not the fleeting peace that I might carve out for myself. Oh, what a difference a living relationship with Him makes. Now I embrace life and when death comes, I will be with Him, forever. My life and my death are now in His trustworthy hands. He is my peace.

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Coffee Cup Friends

Reality Regained

Posted by Cinda On March - 10 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

This morning, while sitting on my patio in northern Minnesota and greatly enjoying the sounds of a variety of fowled friends at the bird feeder, I was crying out before the LORD.  My intense prayer time was shrouded with the ominous times we find ourselves in; my lack of knowledge that loved ones have a saving relationship with Jesus; the concern that God would yet have mercy upon our nation and cause the righteous to rule so that the people might once again rejoice. The tears were plentiful.

geese3Suddenly, a very soft sound arose from the southern sky. I sat spellbound with my head in my hands, sobbing, yet quietly straining to identify the noise. Forever more! It was a flock of geese flying north. Why anything would want to go further north was beyond my comprehension, but it was undeniable. Geese have a certain, clarion call that identifies them, long before they become visible.

I ran over to an open spot under the trees trying to catch a glimpse of them in the heavens. Their honk grew louder and they seemed right above me, but because I am legally blind, I could only rely upon my memory. I recalled their “V” formation – leader out in front, working hard, creating wind drafts for the rest of them and then they would trade off and someone else would take the lead. I went back to my prayer chair to just sit and soak up the beauty of the moment. It was one of those times when the Creator of the universe seemed so near.

In that flash of reality and with a heart overflowing with gratitude, I knew that the One who gave these fowled friends their instinct to go north at the same time every year and then again (with greater intelligence, I might add), to go south at the proper time, was also more than competent to handle my requests. If He can order the geese when to relocate, is anything too difficult for Him? What a sweet release swept over me. Like the flapping wings of those fowled friends, my prayer had taken wings and a sweet peace swept over me. With a childlike simple trust, my burdens had been released by this timely object lesson from my Heavenly Father’s hand.

gooseWhether it is the welfare of a nation, or the welfare of a single child, I know He is able to perfect (bring to completion) that which concerns me today. Halleluiah! What a Savior!

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor / All Rights Reserved

Untangled

Posted by Cinda On February - 26 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Peg 2013Recently I had the incredible opportunity to break my cabin fever, a syndrome which comes to those who experience too much winter. I was invited to stay with my daughter “down south”. Well, it was only 300 miles south, but I was headed in the right direction for some rest and restoration.

Since I knew I would not be going out of her apartment alone, the days would seem long, so I planned accordingly with tons of stuff to fill the gaps. You know the expectancy of finishing the latest issue of your favorite magazine before the next one arrives. Well, it was with that sort of urgency I started day number one.

However, last minute instructions on how to use the appliances, or dimmer switch concluded with “…and oh, if you can, would you try to get this jewelry untangled?” I looked down on the countertop and there in a heap was something that resembled an ornament of some sort. The mass was so intertwined; I couldn’t tell how many complete sets there were.   As I pondered my assignment, and the overall purpose of life itself, I wondered if this was really the way I wanted to spend my life. However, hoping to accomplish at least one thing beneficial for my gracious host, I got serious.

There was some semblance of beauty in it, but how could I, who was legally blind ever straighten it out? I turned on some quiet music, grabbed a near-by precision instrument known as a bobby pin and prayed to the God of the impossible to help me pull off something I knew full well would never succeed without His help.

As I gazed intently on every strand that I released from captivity, I began to feel something transpiring deep within me.  It was as though God was going to show me something. I began to pray, “Lord, how like Your body, the Church… then I corrected myself and said, “Lord, forget that, how like me! I’ve listened to this, that and other’s words and some of them have twisted my thinking, taking me away from Your path. I’m among a conglomeration of beads, bangles, crystals and even diamonds, but I’ve become useless. I’ve lost Your purpose for my life. Straighten me out, Lord, untangle the pieces, loop me through here and pull me through there until I once again drape as a thing of beauty in her proper place, forever bringing You glory.”

jewelry_untangledOh, the joy, the surety that came as each strand of jewels fell into its rightful place to display its original beauty. I knew the Lord had heard my prayer and at the beginning of this dedicated week, He would untangle me as well. What a satisfaction to be able to present the finished product to my daughter. I thought of a day that is coming when the Bridegroom will present His bride to His father. All “strands” will be hanging in place, fit for the Master’s use. I wanted to be ready.

“You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”  (Isaiah 62:3)

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved • Coffee Cup Friends