Search CCF

    Welcome

    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!

    Categories

    Monthly Archives

Archive for the ‘Contributor: Kimberly’ Category

Free From the Ties That Bind INTRO

Posted by Cinda On April - 29 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

chainsSIX STRONGHOLDS THAT CAN HOLD US CAPTIVE!
Did you know that God desires to use you for kingdom purposes?
If not it is time to get a clue.  Here is some of my favorite Scripture:

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn {in} Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Now mind you this was a prophetic word written some 700 years before the Messiah was to come.  It indeed has indicated the coming One who would bring the Word, with healing for the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners.  Now fast forward to the New Testament, what Jesus left the disciples with was to go and do likewise in My name.  You know every time we bring the Good News of the gospel to the world there is the potential for amazing change in that person’s life should they accept it.  But here is where I want you to envision just why you are here at this time “for such a time as this.”  Every single one of us has a sphere of influence.  I like the picture of a stone being dropped into water and the “ripple effect” that takes place as the stone hits the water’s surface.  Let’s use that to reflect on the fact that every thing we do has some sort of impact on someone within our sphere of influence.

morningstretch3I am going to start with a typical day.  You may get up with your spouse in the morning, that being your first encounter.  Then it could be your children.  I am going to stop here and we will see just how much influence we have right here.  Please, I know that we all have days when we really don’t want to see or talk with anyone!  Whether it be good old PMS or stubbing our toe on the way to the bathroom.  And there can be aches and pains that can be highlighted by tossing and turning all night, whew!  I am sympathetic to the kinds of things that can start the day off on a sour note.  But here is a tough truth for you (and me), we have a choice to make–right from the moment our feet hit the ground–to share our love and blessings with those we share life with or we can lend a thud to their day.  Can you see the huge impact you have on your family?  How much better to send them on their way encouraged with a blessing and knowing just how much they are loved.  So now we continue on to see who else we impact through our day.  There are the neighbors, our friends, work relationships, people we meet in the grocery, and the post office…and that ripple just continues to spread wider and wider.  That just amazes me!

Will you think of yourself as a “Change Agent” (Agent of Change), which reads according to one of Mirriam Webser’s dictionary editions: a change agent, or agent of change, is someone who intentionally or indirectly causes or accelerates social, cultural, or behavioral change.  That’s it!  Have you figured it out yet?  You are here for a specific reason and it is not about you!  I love what it says in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Now that we have a glimpse of our purpose we need to look at reality and see that all does not always go according to Hoyle!  For we all have stuff in our lives that has played a role in making and shaping us.  Hopefully there is a lot of good, positive stuff.  But for some of us it has been a journey through the pit.  In too many cases the pitfalls we have experienced or are working through have become stumbling blocks that may have developed into strongholds.  Check out the meaning of a stronghold in the Hebrew: castle; defense; fortress; be hunted; net; snare.  Interestingly enough, we see that it is a good thing for the most part.  After all king David declared that God was his fortress and high tower, but what about those last few meanings, to be hunted, a net and a snare.  If you have been caught in the snare of blocked goals, unforgiveness toward another, generational sin, unforgiveness of ourself, not believing who God says we are and pleasing man over pleasing God, stay tuned.  We are going to see how these strongholds have or can keep us from moving forward into the abundant life God calls us to live for Him.

Next time I will share with you from a time when I almost gave up on God.  It was one of the most difficult times of frustration and disappointment in someone I love very much.  But…God!

Author: Kimberly Dawn
Coffee Cup Friends
All Rights Reserved

Father to the Fatherless

Posted by Cinda On March - 10 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Father_and_Daughter“Father wounds” are very painful and they can take a very long time to heal. We have been airing a program on our radio station that has naturally, because of upcoming Father’s Day, made father the focus. Rightfully so! One day a year we can honor the man (in some of our lives) that served to be that marvelous example of love, provision, admiration and respect. As I said, in some of our lives. I think it is truly wonderful when people speak of their fathers with the utmost of respect and admiration. But on the other hand, there have been too many poor examples of that fatherhood role exhibited by those who claim the title of Father, Dad, Pop, Papa, etc.

I don’t mean to sound sarcastic about this, I really don’t, I am however standing for those of us who either had poor examples of fatherhood inflicted upon us or didn’t have a father at all such as myself. Now listening to the gentleman on our program give the most illustrious talk about the man he looked up to and admired with the utmost of respect, his father, made me long for that missing link in my life. I really cried to think that there can be an earthly man that fills that mold of ‘father’ so wonderfully as the speaker’s father did. Wow! The respect and admiration was more than evident as he shared of losing his father and spending those last days with his hero.

Okay, you are thinking what is this girl’s problem that she can’t be thrilled for a shining example of an earthly father. Really, I do think it is wonderful but my heart is empty for the father that I never had. I always heard what a wonderful man he was but funny, that wonderful man couldn’t take care of my mother and me. I was always told he was such a pioneer type, rugged and fun-loving, but I have only seen pictures of me with him as a one-year old. I understand he came from a family of good fortune but mom went to work to support us because that great guy that my father was couldn’t hold a job. When I wrote an aunt to see if she had anything wonderful to share about my father she told me he was a disgrace to her family and poor excuse for a human being. Argh, there was no love lost there! Needless to say, my image of this wonderful man was somewhat skewed and the whole scenario of fatherhood seemed quite a mystery to a little girl who remained curious and longing for what she thought others had and she had not.

sadness02It took many years of very difficult circumstances to realize that I was looking for ‘love’ (father love) but that I was going at it all backwards. At the age of forty-two my life took a ‘right’ turn by realizing that I had a root of bitterness I wasn’t even aware of that had settled itself deep in my heart. It was twelve years earlier that I had opened myself to the gift of salvation and received Jesus Christ into my heart. But that didn’t make my life ‘happy.’ A series of circumstances brought about by my pride, dysfunction and strong will found me miserable and ready to give it all up. It is rather remarkable to think that God had a different plan. And part of this journey was acknowledging that the pain in my heart was (for the most part) due to anger toward a man I never even knew. Quite an amazing thing to think about how someone you never knew could have such an impact on your life, but he really did. It was in large part because of the Freedom in Christ ministry that I was able to release that bitterness and begin to see that I have a perfect Father now. I still have twinges of longing for “God with flesh” like when you want a great big hug from arms that can just pull you in and hold you so you can snuggle your head into his chest and feel the comfort of all comforts. For now that can’t be, but someday, I am going to run to my Abba Father, my Daddy and He is going to embrace me and never let me go.

brokenheartI am longing for that day! And friend, if you have that emptiness in your heart, that hole that just runs on empty because there was no father love to fill it up, I have an answer for you. Will you let the Father of all fathers begin to fill the hole with love that will begin to heal as a balm does on a wound? He is the Father to the fatherless, the husband to the widow and He will never let you down, leave or forsake you! Cry out to Him right now, something just like this:

Father in heaven, I am longing to have this hole in my heart be healed. I have looked for love in all the wrong places and have paid dearly for my poor choices.  I am so tired of running from one thing to another as I look for whatever it takes to keep the pain from overwhelming me.  There are times when I just want my life to end, finished.  As I look up to You, will you receive me just as I am and forgive me for doing my own thing as I searched for something to bring me happiness?  Forgive me for the mess I have made of my life and help me to have a clean, new beginning with You.  Thank you that by Your Son Jesus, I can come to You and You will hear me and answer and You won’t turn away from but will welcome me into Your family.  I look forward to the plan that You have had for me since I was being formed in my mother’s womb and I am going to trust You to be my guide as I learn to love and live for You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friend, you will never regret making this new beginning. Welcome to the family of God, you are now a child of the Most High God! If you made the decision to receive the free gift of salvation will you let someone know? This is truly a reason to celebrate, for your life will never be the same!

Author: Kimberly Dawn, CCF Contributor / All Rights Reserved

Boundless Love with Loving Boundaries

Posted by Cinda On February - 25 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Lessons from a Schnauzer.  Oh, that little loving pup or ours is in some ways like my prodigal son, in that she is used by God to teach me more about Him.

schnauzer2Over Easter weekend, we had an incident that only happens thankfully once in a while.  I am always praying against this happening because I am fearful of the consequences.  Elsa, is a Schnauzer who is very true to her calling, she loves children and loves to ‘hunt’.  Schnauzers were bred to mind the kinder and keep the vermin at bay on the farms.  Even when she hears children on the Television or radio she perks right up and would love to join the kid party.  As to her inquisitive nature to hunt and chase after ‘vermin’ she would constantly be off to the woods and who knows that we would see her again.  She even thinks that she should investigate the deer that are always roaming through the property.  So in light of her natural calling we are not able to let her run free.  If we are out she must be hooked to something to keep her from doing her ‘Schnauzer thing’.  It sounds rather cruel but she knows that is the way it is and the leash has just become a part of her life.

Like our own human nature every now and again, Schnauzers like ourselves need to have a taste of freedom.  Elsa’s fling without the leash came on Easter Sunday as we were getting ready for church.  My daughter and I were the last to head out and I asked her where Elsa was and she thought possibly downstairs.  Knowing that the kids were not in the house I suddenly entertained a thought that I really didn’t want to.  I went downstairs with a heavy heart knowing that she was nowhere to be found in the house.  I hollered up to my daughter and said Elsa must be outside to which she opened the door and promptly tried to coax her back into the house.  All to no avail for all the coaxing in the world was not going to ruin this fling with freedom.

By the time I ran up the stairs and grabbed the leash and headed out doors she was springing  for the highway leaping like a lamb through the front yard and I imagined hearing her yelling, “I’m free, I’m free…”  I began to pray immediately to the Lord beseeching Him to not let her get hit on the road as the cars were coming up and down the hill.  Yes, she leaped across the ditch and across the road she went up the neighbor’s driveway.  I continued my praying, pleading with the Lord to please keep her safe and direct her homeward.  We were all calling for her as I am sure she continued in her little puppy mind, “I’m free, I’m free…”  Then, (thank you Lord!) she turned around and headed back home, darting past my son-in-law heading right to my oldest grandson, Zachary.  I said gently, “Grab her and don’t let go!”  Which he did and then they came over to me and I promptly took her and put her on her chain by the kennel.  She only uses the chain and kennel when we have to be gone for a time and have no one to watch her.  Or, sometimes just so she can be out and about when it is nice out.  Then off to church we headed.  I was praising God the entire way to church that He kept her from harm and returned her to home.

Well naturally my immediate application was regarding a loving God who gives us loving boundaries for our good.  For Elsa it is the leash and for us it is in the Word.  For a long time I resisted some of God’s boundaries because I wanted to maintain my freedom.  I realize now that I make enough mistakes as it is without thumbing my nose at a bunch of rules, regulations and warnings.  There is this sin nature that we wrestle with that is directly contrary to our Christ-like nature.  It is a battle that we will wage until we go home to glory.  But if we consciously live our life desiring God’s ways instead of ours we will provide less opportunity for the enemy to trip us up.

Paul tells us himself how he too very wrestled with doing
what he was not supposed to do in Romans 7:15
“For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

I am amazed that Paul would openly admit his struggles.  And for me it is freeing to know that a man of Paul’s character—although probably not very often—struggled with sin.  He understood sin’s character and the impact it leaves behind.  (I think we would call that a consequence.)

bible5Sometimes, we may only struggle with seemingly small issues and the Bible warns us with a blinking yellow light like the following verse: 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” And search the word fool and see the many ways the word shows up.  Like in Psalm 14:1 and 53:  that says only fools say there is no God; Proverbs 1:7 says that fools despise wisdom, and discipline; Proverbs 1:22 says that fools hate knowledge!  I could go on and on for there is much for us to learn about fools and foolish behavior.

It is sometimes these grey areas that are not terribly obvious that can be used to trip us up and lead us astray.  All for the sake of “freedom”, freedom to choose what I will and will not allow myself to get into. I know that for years I have struggled with thinking I know best what is and is not good for me.  It is just crazy how a little time here or there can leave a lasting impression on us when we spend time where we probably should not.

There is this book of God’s Word that is full of practical wisdom that God Himself has given us to keep us safe and to warn us about old behavior patterns because in His loving-kindness.  He wants us to be safe and continue to grow more and more into Christ’s image.  There will be times when we will succumb to old patterns or we may take a risk and do something that could put us in immediate danger because we have not heeded the warnings from our loving Father.  We will suffer the consequences from blatant disobedience and sometimes we may just realize that we slipped without much thought as to what we did, we repent and we say, “whew, I am glad I didn’t continue down that pathway.”  So whether it is not ‘completely’ telling the truth, a little flirtation with the opposite sex, watching that thing on the television that stirs old feelings inside of us or reading the same, all of these little blinking yellow lights are flashing when we enter into the danger zones of life.  But, there is something that we can do to heed the warning signs.  For me it is this check in my spirit when I know that I shouldn’t continue down a certain pathway and the key is just acknowledging the danger sign, backing out, and praising God for His Holy Spirit that protects us in essence from ourselves helping us to crucify our sinful nature.  Freedom is wonderful but not freedom that bites back or is only fleeting!

“Father, my sweet little girl could have been a spot on the highway in her quest to run to places she had never been before.  I confess my desires can be much the same.  I ask forgiveness for ignoring Your loving boundaries that are in place for my good.  I know those earthly desires that can sometimes screams at me to just give it up for a season of ‘fun and freedom’ but I  have done this enough to know how easily I can get trapped and caught up.  I am grateful for your Word to me in Corinthians that says that “No temptation has overtaken [me] but such as is common to man and God is faithful, who will not allow [me] to be tempted beyond what [I] am able.  And with that temptation will also provide the way of escape also, that [I] may able to endure it.”  If we go off a bit too far You provide a way for us to escape.  Help me to be listening and willing.  Thank you Pappa for Your amazing love that only wants the very best for those You love!  Amen.”

Author: Kimberly Dawn
CCF Contributor • 2010 All Rights Reserved

New Year’s Resolution(s)

Posted by Cinda On January - 1 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

morningstretchIt is so funny how we look for a starting place to invoke change. I do not believe that most of us just wake up on a day and say I am going to quit this or that. Or, I am going to quit my job and start a business of my own (you fill in the scenario.)  Now if I am wrong let me hear from you! For most of us, change or the desire for change comes to somehow better our circumstances. We ponder what it is we desire to change for a time, and sometimes it is just a bad habit or a plaguing issue that we desire to be rid of, non-the-less it is still change.

The New Year is always a great way to jumpstart your planned changes. It might be to start a diet and exercise program. These are common resolutions. But, if you are like most people after a few weeks or say a month with no real visible change occurring, you just get frustrated and, well, quit. I think I have done this myself a gazillion times! Shoot off the starting line and fizzle out after a few weeks because of discouragement and then give it up. What is up with that?

This year I am trying a new approach to the resolution thing. I have decided I will resolve to do something right every day. And yes, I do have some goals.
• Being in the Word daily
• Watching my diet a bit closer
• Taking my supplements
• Exercising
• Being Kind

This is quite simple, if I get nothing else done but my daily Bible reading, then I have done one right thing in my day. I get to count walking the dog as my exercise and we can go a mile or more either walking out side and or on the treadmill. Suffice it to say that this would make for two right things in my day. Should I remember to take my supplements before I go to work then I can add another right thing to my day. Although I really don’t like to take supplements, I know that they are good for me and do help me to feel better.

scales4As for the diet thing, I wrestle with sweets/carb consumption. I know how detrimental sweets or too many carbs are for me and this can pose as one of my most difficult challenges. I have found that some days I can forgo the sweets and then there are other days I cannot get enough of them! So on the days when I can ignore sweets then I can add another right thing to my day.

This verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is such a convicting verse for me when it comes to dieting. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

Do you ever look at rude people and think how selfish and unaware they are of others around them? I am certain that we can all be that way at times but I do not want that to be how people see me. Therefore I have included on my list to work at being kind. There are so many folks that just need a kind word spoken into them. And who is to say that the word of encouragement would be used to change the course of that person’s day by just being kind to them? I can sometimes snap at my spouse and then wonder why he doesn’t want to communicate with me, why would he? So now I try to remember to ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to speak kindness into my husband.

In Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) it says: “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” And in Proverbs 25:11 (NKJ) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

KD2012bThen there is often the opportunity to engage in (or initiate) talk that is not positive about another person. Because I am making the choice to do “right things” I can now consciously make the decision not to go there. There is indeed much to be said for being kind. And by doing so, I can then add another “right thing” to my day.

So as I begin my day I am asking the Lord for the courage to do “right things” every day and as many as I can. You know, even if it was only one or two “right things”, I am progressing and feeling better about a heightened level of awareness as I go about my days, weeks and months to come! I hope this might help you with your resolutions if you too easily fizzle out after a few weeks into the new year!

Father, I confess the trap of not finishing what I start out to do. I have made hundreds of resolutions and gone bad on them time and time again. I am thanking You for shedding a new light on this for my new year! Holy Spirit, will You heighten my awareness and conviction so that I will desire to continue to do as many “right things” as I can. Let this alter not only my perspective but also the lives of those that I come in contact with for Christ’s sake! Amen

Author: Kimberly Dawn, CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2011 Coffee Cup Friends

Emotional Meltdown

Posted by Cinda On November - 7 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

dreary_dayIt was a day wrapped in disappointment! I am most thankful that I don’t have many days like that. But not today…this was a dreary, gloomy (sensing winter’s approach) day of emotional let downs. Two of my friends recently lost their loved ones and my heart was heavy for them at their loss of mom and sister. Then to top it off, an opportunity came to bless some gals that went south and for whatever reasons it just could not happen. Well my emotions were already tender and I responded with an inward look instead of upward. I began to play around in the pity pool for a time getting splashed with more and more disappointed as my ‘woe is me’ thinking which are just downright untruths began to flooding into my mind. Wow, I was really beginning to drown myself in self-proclaimed despair. I am this and I am not that…! Suddenly I didn’t think I had a friend in the world and I even began to doubt my abilities, capabilities and boy, one thing streamed right into the next. Only God knows where it could have ended up!

romans_8Then, I received a revelation! Just maybe God was protecting me, doing exactly what Paul says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I began to look at various scenarios that could happen if things went along as I desired for them to go and decided to–by faith–believe that these disappointments were not intended to discourage me but to protect and prevent dire things from happening? Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of that powerful Word from 2Corinthians 10:5 that ends with “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” This certainly changed my entire outlook!

You see, God has empowered us, He has given us tools to help when we get all wrapped up in our own ‘stinkin’ thinkin” and although sometimes difficult, our part is to acknowledge the enemy’s lies and then counteract them with God’s truth about who we really are! I really believe that we can all get in a funk like this at some time or another in our ‘everyday’ living, but the key is admitting where we have landed, that our thinking is is incorrect according to God’s standard and what He says about His children and then be willing to do something about it! Start by applying 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God,” then finish by…”taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit that teaches us in the way in which we should go. Continue to give me listening ears to hear His voice and then a willingness to respond correctly when I am headed in a direction that spells out CALAMITY. My heart wants to please You and I ask for grace when I walk contrary to Your excellent way!

Author: Kimberly Dawn, CCF Contributor
All Rights Reserved
Coffee Cup Friends