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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

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Archive for the ‘Contributor: Elsie’ Category

Encouraging Words on God’s Promises

Posted by Cinda On April - 30 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Change is everywhere these days. In fact, do you know anything that doesn’t change, except God’s Word? Buildings decay. Plant life dies. Weather shifts. Our attitudes, health, and relationships continually vary, but GOD’S WORD IS CHANGELESS!

Oh? You beg to differ? God didn’t answer your prayer?

cookingjoyLet’s take a look at some of God’s PROMISES…
John 15:7 “IF you abide in Me, ask what you will!”
Matthew 11:28,29 “COME to meTAKE My yoke…”
Proverbs 3:5,6 “TRUST in the Lord… and He will…”
Isaiah 40:31 “WAIT on the Lord, shall renew…”
Jeremiah 33:3 “CALL unto Me and I will answer…”
Acts 16:31 “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and…”

Note that the condition is always OUR PART, not on His ability to perform or fulfill His promise. Nothing ever changes that. But don’t forget, God doesn’t always give us what we ask for. He is too wise for that. Since He knows the end from the beginning He gives the strength we need to live through the trial rather than remove it.

Take a look at what Joseph went through. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers and landed in prison in Egypt. Then, you might ask, why didn’t God keep Daniel from the lion’s den or Paul from shipwreck? God is a Master at taking us through problems rather than removing them. WHY? Because He knows the end of the story, we don’t. I’m sure that neither Joseph, Daniel nor Paul would exchange their experience for the end result. Many of us would say the same.

When you go through a heavy trial, remember, GOD’S PROMISES NEVER CHANGE! It’s up to us to trust and believe in Him who is bound by His Word. We can depend on Him to walk with us through it.

“Camp” on this: Through trials, we learn to trust in God’s sovereignty and hopefully allow Him to develop our character; to be conformed into the very image of Jesus Christ. No matter what you are going through, trust God with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5-6) and believe that His purposes for your life are far greater than you can imagine. Jeremiah 29:11

Author: Elsie
Coffee Cup Friends • All Rights Reserved

Originally posted on November 12th, 2008

It’s All About Jesus!

Posted by Cinda On March - 28 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

jesus4He is the First and the Last; the Beginning and the End; the Alpha and Omega! He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all! He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times. He always was; He always is; and He always will be… Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and eased pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom. He was dead and brought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings Peace. The world can’t understand Him. The armies can’t defeat Him. The schools can’t explain Him. And, the leaders can’t ignore Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him. And, the people couldn’t hold Him. Nero couldn’t crush Him, Hitler couldn’t silence Him, the New Age can’t replace Him, and Oprah can’t explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God. He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful and pure.  His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me! He is my Savior, He is my guide, and He is my peace! He is my joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord, and He rules over my life.

I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the over-comers, and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this on for size…

His goal is a relationship with ME! He will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

jesushealsWhen I fall, He lifts me up! Then I fail, He forgives! When I am weak, He is strong! When I am lost, He is the Way! When I am afraid, He is my courage! When I stumble, He steadies me! When I am hurt, He heals me! When I am broken, He mends me! When I am blind, He leads me! When I am hungry, He feeds me! When I face trials, He is with me! When I face persecution, He shields me! When I face loss, He provides for me! When I face death, He carries me Home! He is everything for everybody – everywhere, every time, and every way.

He is God. He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine! So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this… God said it and that settles it! He is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul. EVERY day is a blessing! Love the Lord and think Him for all that He has done in your life!

IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS! Use every opportunity to celebrate His birth, His life, His death and resurrection. Then, live and pray in Resurrection Power! There is absolutely no other way!

JESUS IS LIFE. LIFE EVERLASTING!

Submitted by Elsie / CCF Contributor
Copyright © 2010 Coffee Cup Friends
All Rights Reserved

On Lent

Posted by Cinda On March - 28 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

lentWe are in the season we call LENT. Each Gospel records the happenings of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. Jesus had instilled into the minds of His followers that He wouldn’t be with them much longer. He had taught them about His Father God, lessons on how to live and what to expect those last weeks; what He would suffer and about rising from His grave in three days.

In our own hearts, what does Lent mean to us? Is it merely a time when we refrain from something that we enjoy, or is it a time when we reflect on the actual times in Jesus’ life, prior to His death and resurrection?

What is your love life with Jesus like? Would you like to refresh your thinking during those days with Him? Then I suggest that you turn to the last several chapters of each of the four Gospels.

Sneak in close. Sit in the circle with His followers on the Mt. of Olives as He teaches them. (Matthew 24 and 25; and Luke 21) Follow them on their way to the Garden. Can you sense their apprehension and feel the tenseness in the air as Jesus prays. (Matthew 26; Luke 22) Step up close to Him as He stands before jittery Pilate and the angry mob. (Matthew 27 and Luke 23) Walk with Him to the cross. We can hardly imagine what He went through, in those days we call Lent.

Now, for the highlight on this whole picture, like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence… Read how Jesus poured out His heart and prayed for His followers in the true Lord’s Prayer. (John 17)

Author: Elsie, CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Coffee Cup Friends

No Expiration Date

Posted by Cinda On March - 3 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Hebrews 13:5b “I will NEVER leave thee or forsake thee!”

expiration_dateAs I picked up a container of milk in the dairy department, my friend said, “Did you check the expiration date?” I did the same thing as I chose my brand of margarine. Then I picked up a couple items for which I had coupons.

As I handed my coupons to the checker when leaving, she looked at them and said, “I’m sorry, these expired two days ago, you can’t use them today.”

A short time ago our air conditioner went out. When the repairman came, he said, “The warranty has expired. I will have to charge you for this call.”

Aren’t we thankful that there are no expiration dates on God’s promises? We often make vows or promises, then act as if they have expired. Not so with God’s Word. His promises never change. When He says, Come unto me.” He means COME! Anytime! OR, “My Grace is sufficient.” It really is! OR, “Acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.” Experience shows us, He does! OR, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He is!

When He says, “My peace I give unto you” and “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” He never stamps an expiration date on it with an “IF.”  (Scripture reference: Matthew 1:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Proverbs 3:6; John 14:2,27)

GOD’S PROMISES HAVE NO EXPIRATION DATES AND ARE ALWAYS UNDER WARRANTY!

Author: Elsie, CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ www.coffeecupfriends.com

 

Break it Down! Isaiah 26:3

Posted by Cinda On November - 22 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

bible&coffeecupYOU – Lord God
WILL – Promise of performance
KEEP – Assurance of possession
HIM – Anyone
IN – Protection
PERFECT – Without soil, sin, imperfection
PEACE – No disharmony
WHOSE – Anyone
MIND – Thinking, though life
IS STAYED – Without movement
ON THEE – Lord God
BECAUSE – Result of…
HE – Anyone
TRUSTETH – Complete belief
IN THEE – Lord God
and Jeremiah 33:3:
CALL UNTO ME – Lord God
I WILL ANSWER THEE – a promise
SHOW THEE – You will see
GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS
WHICH YOU DO NOT KNOW!

Author: Elsie / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ coffeecupfriends.com

Not Old – Just Older!

Posted by Cinda On July - 11 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

friendship4Don’t say you’re old,
just older It happens every day…
And all of us keep equal pace
No matter what we say.

Each twenty-four hour period
Takes us farther into life,
Some days are bright and sunny
Still others filled with strife.

Does life begin at forty?
Or are we halfway through?
God holds the key to our last days
Maybe many, maybe few.

So who can say just how or when
We’re really getting old?
Could it just be a state of mind?
Or are we merely being told?

OLDER! I really like that word.
Years give more time to grow.
So while the hours are ticking by,
I’ll find more seeds to sow!

Author: Elsie / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ coffeecupfriends.com

Editor’s Note: WOW! I love this thought that with each and every hour that ticks by, we have opportunities to sow more seeds for God’s Kingdom. And, when we waste our time, we have lost precious opportunities to invest into God’s Kingdom! Let your conscience (heart / Holy Spirit) lead you. Not everything we do seems productive, but remember, we live under grace, not legalism. The danger comes when we waste our time on those things that have become our idols (watching TV or playing video games or other similar activities) and are not engaging in (or investing in) those things that fulfill Mark 12:30-31.

Finishing Well – Goals on Purpose

Posted by Cinda On September - 9 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

olympicrunnersWhen watching the Olympics, we observe the deep commitment of each participant. Their performances are beyond what most of us could even think possible. Repetition of the coaches’ detailed instructions is upper most in their minds. Their aim? To finish well. To win the prize! We are also aware that each participant has a coach and often have a last minute word or touch from them before going into action. From their coach, they receive final words of instruction and encouragement to proceed. I think Paul the Apostle must have been a sports person, too. He said, “I press toward the mark – for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Most of us are aware that life could be defined as a contest and demands perseverance and integrity with some goal setting. If we want to finish well, it depends largely on what we do with what we have and determination to follow through! Each of us is also in the race of life. What are our goals? Our purpose? Of course we want to win. Have we gone to God, our Coach, asked for His help and direction on how to proceed? Are we as persistent as the Olympic contestants?

You may say, “I’m not sure how I touch base with God and get my instructions. How do I follow? Some details please!” Aren’t we thankful that God knew our needs for daily life and put some coaching instructions for us in His Manual, the Bible?

Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “They that wait upon the Lord … shall renew their strength … they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary … they shall walk and not faint.” And, David tells us where his challenge is, “My soul wait thou only on God: for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
Finish well? Sure we can! Not for a Gold medal, but for the glory of our Lord.

Remember, while running the race…
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
“Holding forth the Word of Life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Philippians 2:16
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Author: Elsie / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ coffeecupfriends.com

The Tree – My Tree!

Posted by Cinda On October - 9 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

stormy_weatherThe storm was severe. The force of the wind was wrenching the tall trees. I watched THE TREE- MY TREE from my easy chair at my window, just inside the Retirement Village entrance where I live. I asked God to keep it from blowing down. “Please Keep it, I asked.” Then I saw a huge branch from near the top fall to the ground. Soon after, the storm subsided. All seemed well.

Through the years that tree had brought an inner joy to me. I’d watched it as the leaves and little branches fluttered in an easy breeze, or on a windy day it would lean in one direction and then another. Sometimes it would bend under a heavy gale and my concern would rise. I loved that tree almost without realizing it … as much as one loves things.

Several days later, I glanced out my front window to take in the beauty of the early morning sunrise. In unbelief, I caught sight of huge tree trimming equipment near My Tree. My heart sank. “Oh no, please don’t let them take it down,” I prayed. Then my hopes were raised a little. “Maybe they are just going to thin it out for preservation during future storms”, I thought.

The ambitious workers began at the top, thinning and trimming. More and more large beautiful limbs were dropping to the ground. I couldn’t believe they knew what they were doing. That lovely tree began to resemble a skeleton. But the cutting and sawing continued. When they were finished, it looked like a grotesque cripple. No longer a stately semblance of the tree that had once graced our entrance. It had been stripped of its beauty and I was sad. The Kleenex box nearby had a few less tissues at the end of the morning.

Now, I still look out at it, crestfallen and grieved, but with hope that someday it will grow again into some semblance of its previous beauty – but not within my day!

In a similar mode, I thought of a friend I had known years before. Someone had told an untrue story about her. That was a stormy day in her life. The trimming equipment had been set in place. The story was repeated as truth and went like feathers in the wind. Her character was being maligned like my dismantled tree and the branches began to fall. This stalwart character lost the charm of her personality. Like the tree, her beauty had inched away. Would it grow back with God’s direction?

We probably are not tree trimmers, but sometimes we can be character trimmers without being very thoughtful about it. Dismantling a tree is temporal. Dismantling a character affects a life. Just as my tree looked grotesque and disfigured, so a life can be turned into disappointment and shame. Let’s never be responsible for such thoughtless acts.

Psalm 119:19 challenges us to “Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable unto God.”

P.S. Two years later, My Tree has grown almost to its original stature. I’m not so sure about my friend.

Author: Elsie / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ coffeecupfriends.com
Note: Elsie wrote this in August 1998 and revised in May 2000

How Great Thou Art

Posted by Cinda On May - 25 - 2005ADD COMMENTS

(The following articles was written in 1986 when preparing to move from California to Friendship Village Retirement Center in Tempe, AZ.)

At 3:00 a.m., I lay in bed thinking about our future and planned move to our new retirement sight in Tempe, Arizona. There would be many adjustments and changes in the coming months.

moon_starsI finally rose at 4:15 and with a cup of steaming coffee in hand, I sat down to read. The beaming rays of the full moon shone through the open door to our living room floor. I put on my slippers and walked outside and beheld its beauty. It was bright enough to read a large print book. I looked up and the sky was fantastic! The stars sparkled and as I wandered around to the back yard to observe the full sky, it was marvelous in my eyes. The sparkling radiance of the morning star looked like it had poked a hole in the sky to spread its rays. I just stood trying to grasp, at least in a measure, the greatness of our Creator.

By 5:00 a.m., the moon hovered low in the western sky. It shone through gauzy clouds illuminating them with bright silver etchings. All this was displayed through thinned-out branches of a tall oak tree. The star formations were just as brilliant and the beauty of the night sky was enthralling. How I wished I could capture this on canvas, a magical moment in time. Instead, I asked the Lord to burn it into my memory. (He did!)

At 5:30 a.m., the sky was beginning to lighten. The moon was gone and only a handful of stars were still visible. 6:00 a.m. Now it was light. However, the sun had not yet appeared. An airplane high in the heavens crossed the sky, leaving a trail tinged with early morning light. A crow called out to its mate and in the quietness of this early hour, one could hear the traffic from the freeway a mile or so away. Man was begging to stir in a new day, on this beautiful planet of God’s wonderful creation – and so very unaware of the wonders all about him.
During the hours of brilliant moonlight, even the heavens declared God’s glorious creation but with the coming of sunlight, all gives way to it.  The stars fade out and the sky takes on a new hue.
So with the coming of the Son of God. All else will fade away and He alone will be the light and attraction of all our existence.

I was reminded of the almost incomprehensible chapters in Job 37-42 and the words of Psalm 8:3-4. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visit him?

Lord, please forgive me for ever trying to run my own life. In your sufficiency and great power, I place myself for all my remaining days.  With the words of the song writer I sang, “How Great Thou Art!!!”

Certainly a Hand from above orchestrates the events of this world.

Author: Elsie Young / CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved @ coffeecupfriends.com