"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 5, 2019
I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard about or seen someone's amazing results with weight loss, and the first question is always, "How did you do it?" Then I assume that I will have the same results if I do the same as they did. Time after time I've been disappointed and frustrated because what worked for them doesn't work for me. I have tried so many different diets these past thirty-five years or so, and none have given me the longed-for gorgeous body.
So many times we try what someone else has done, expecting the same results. Often those expectations get us into trouble, because we end up disappointed, disillusioned, and disenchanted. Then we either feel like giving up or will quickly jump head first into the next thing that we hear about; then the cycle continues. We get stuck in a rut, and end up sitting in the same place and never move forward.
Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome and defeat the accuser because of the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Sharing our testimonies and stories of answered prayers with others can build one another up, increase faith, and be great encouragement. Hearing what God has done for others helps us stand firm when we are discouraged or facing difficulties or needing God's intervention in a situation.
Years ago I sang a song entitled, "He'll do it Again." The chorus is: "He'll do it again. He'll do it again. If you'll just take a look at where you are now, and where you've been. Hasn't He always come through for you; He's the same now as then. You may not know how; you may not know when; but He'll do it again."
One thing that we can do when we hear the testimony of others, is allow it to encourage us and build our faith. One thing we can do when we remember back to what God has done for us in the past and recall prayers that He has answered, is allow it to remind us that He is dependable and trustworthy; and we can hold fast to our faith in Him.
What we can't do is listen and then try to copycat what someone else did, expecting the same results that they had; nor can we try and recreate how God answered us in the past, expecting Him to act in the exact same way as He did before.
The truth is, God wants us to listen and obey for ourselves. He is so vast and has unlimited resources and can answer in numerous ways that can always amaze and surprise us.
We also all need to operate in the gifts that God has called us to; because that is when and where we'll truly experience our greatest blessings. If we try to work outside of the place that God has called us to, thinking we need to be like someone else, then we will end up frustrated and stressed.
For example, God has called Jon and me to be givers. He has blessed our finances and provided funds so that we are able to bless others. Time and time again, God has prompted us to give to someone, and we do so cheerfully, not because of what we will get out of it, but for the pure joy of being able to bless others.
Not only have we given financially, but God has also placed it on our hearts to bless others from groceries and toiletries from the stock in our pantry. We've bought clothes and shoes for others. I've even paid for the meal of the person behind me in a fast food drive-thru lane. We've bought needed items for our church.
I'm not saying this to brag on me and Jon, but to to show that we try to always walk in obedience to God. Doing so is not a drudgery or hardship, but it brings us much joy and such pleasure. And time and time again, we've seen God's provision for us when we've had a need. The bottom line is, God blesses our obedience when we are fully walking in our gift.
But if someone hears our testimony of God speaking to us to give and of His provision to us when we needed it, then tried to copycat what we did, expecting the same results, they will likely end up disappointed and disenchanted. In fact, they may allow jealousy to take root in their heart, or even become bitter towards God.
On the other hand, if I tried to operate outside of my gift, expecting the same result and blessing as someone else, I'd end up frustrated and not enjoy the provision and blessing of God as I now do.
I attended church years ago with a couple who definitely had the gift of hospitality. They always had young people staying with them, picked up kids for church, and invited others to come to their home and share a meal. She mothered many young people who needed someone to love them and give them time and attention. He has been a Royal Ranger leader for many years, encouraging and teaching young boys and being a godly example to them. They thrive on doing all these things! And God has blessed them throughout the years for fully walking in their gifts.
I would be horribly uncomfortable were I to try and copy their lives and try to reproduce their gifts in myself. I would constantly be disenchanted and miserable and stressed. Why? Because that is not what God has called me to do. I wouldn't experience the fulfillment and blessing that they have.
The months that my brother-in-law was homebound due to brain cancer and was unable to pastor, there were people within the church who were called to be teachers and ministers and worship leaders who were able to step up and take up those roles that he and my sister had left vacant. They were blessed, the church was blessed, and my sister and brother-in-law were able to be at peace knowing that the church was continuing to be ministered to.
Not being adept at sign language and not being called to those positions, those were roles that Jon and I couldn't fill. Had we tried, the church would have ended up a mess! But I could go over during the day and stay with my sister and help with her husband's care; I could go grocery shopping for her; I could go pick up food for meals; I could help financially; I could help clean and do laundry; I could help her paint rooms in the house; I could sit with her and talk and be her sister. Jon did many things helping with Jimmy's care and helping my sister out.
At times we can even go so far as hearing someone saying that they prayed a particular way or said certain words and a miracle happened, so when we need a miracle we try to pray those exact same words thinking we can recreate those same results. The truth is, it often becomes more of a formula that we are trying to adhere to when we do this, instead of a heartfelt prayer of faith. Our focus is the words or doing something a particular way, instead of focusing on Jesus.
We each have to work in our own gifting and walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit. When we do so, we will experience fullness of joy and the blessings of God. Even when things are in turmoil or trials come, we don't step away from our gifts and callings, but we continue to listen and obey what God tells us to do.
Let's continue sharing and listening to testimonies of God's goodness and blessings and miracles and answered prayer; and let's give thanks for His greatness and for all that He has done! But let's also never try to copy the pattern of someone else, expecting the exact same results. May we each obey what God tells us to do, and find joy while doing so. Let God amaze and surprise us at how awesome and creative He is!
The Bible records many times that Jesus healed someone. It is possible there were some duplicates recorded that I never noticed, or that weren't recorded. But I think every recorded healing was different. One simply touched the hem of His cloak. One had to have mud from Jesus's spit put in his eyes. One trio were sent to the priest, and healed as they went. One was raised from the dead without Jesus even going to her.
All around the world, modern prophets are able to take part in healings, and many of them use different approaches. Some of them have tried to repeat techniques they've witnessed or heard about, and failed. It wasn't till they listened to God, and obeyed His instructions that the healings began. Even then, some prophets had to try dozens or hundreds of times, always expecting this time would work, before they were first part of a healing.
So, I don't suggest you try one method after another, or even keep trying till you can take part in someone's miracle. I suggest you pray with God, and listen to His guidance. If He directs you to someone who needs a miracle, obey. Until then, pray for one another because James 5:16 says (in part), "pray for one another".
Slow-Cooker Swiss Steak
1-1/2 pounds round steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup diced or sliced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 package brown gravy or au jus gravy mix
Salt and Pepper, dash of each
Place steak in slow-cooker. Top with mushrooms, onion, celery, and garlic.
In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, gravy mix, salt and pepper. Pour over steak mixture in slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low until steak is tender, 8 to 10 hours; or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
Serve over mashed potatoes.
Humorous Bible Riddles:
What kind of man was Boaz before he married?
Which Bible character had no parents?
Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?
Why didn't they play cards on the ark?
Euthless 2. Joshua, son of Nun 3. Samson. He brought the house down. 4. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once. 5. Because Noah was standing on the deck.
Worship gets you through the hardest times in your life,
because it shifts your focus from the problem to the Problem Solver. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon