Tag Archives: Faith

Getting to Know Him

In his book, Prayer, Tim Keller says we cannot pray until we understand the One we are praying to. In fact, he says all prayer is responding to God. God is the initiator. If we find ourselves wanting to pray, God is drawing us, It follows that we have some knowledge of God to even have the desire to pray. That one we are praying to is the God of the Bible, who speaks His Word, and reveals who he is through His Word.

So, to understand and know God better we would want to spend a lot of time reading, studying and thinking about His Word. Sometimes our reading can be a little boring, even exhausting, we put off coming to the Word because it doesn’t seem to fit us or come alive.

I got to thinking today that maybe it’s really a heart thing with us. Our daughter is dating a guy that she sees almost daily. Every night she heads to her room early, where I often hear her on the phone with her guy, chatting away. They want to talk, they make time to talk — they give up TV shows and activities to spend time talking.

Maybe that’s a picture of how we would be approaching the Word of God, if our heart was really devoted to Him, if we were in close relationship. These thoughts today are making me take a deeper look and admit that there must be something keeping me from wholeheartedly saying, ‘I want to meet (talk) with God tonight.’

Do you find yourself skipping out on reading the Bible, getting to know Him better, and so end up with a boring prayer life?

Solution For the Troubled Heart

Wisdom from a Country Preacher series                                                                 

(Because of the high interest in my dad’s sermon notes, I decided the first Faith Friday post should be from his messages.)

Today we are talking about a troubled heart. I’m not talking about our heart that beats 70 times per minute, not the one you can have a leaking valve in or weak muscle. We’ve got surgeries and pills for that, in fact, we have medicines today for most everything — headache, pain, colds. There’s no pill for the troubled heart. The heart that is troubled is really our mind and emotions, our thoughts.

Notice John 14:1. Jesus tells his disciples, Let not your heart be troubled. Hmmm, Let not. So there is something we can do when troubles come and our minds run off with us. Verse 2, Believe in God.

The news, magazines, and talk shows try to tell us nowadays that our trouble comes from where we are raised, our parents, our affluence. Blame someone else. Jesus says we are responsible for our troubled heart. He says, don’t be troubled, believe in God.

What God? The God that created this universe, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Him we see God.

Jesus says in verse 2 to also believe Him. Believe in God, believe also in me. Follow him. Jesus taught us to believe in God as He did as He let them nail Him to the cross. Verses23-27 says,                                                                                                        23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When we believe in Him, He gives peace — even in troubles, even when we have a troubled heart. There’s no feeling as that of loneliness, being alone, unloved, forsaken. It’s the heart of an unbeliever. Jesus lives in us as Christians. We are never alone. He is our best friend. He says, I will come to you and be with you always.

We don’t have to endure troubles alone. Jesus is closer than a friend. He is there to assure us, comfort us, give us guidance, strength and hope.

Let not your heart be troubled — Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

 

 

 

Faith Fridays

Thanks for stopping by to see what Fridays have to offer. After announcing Tuesdays would be all about tea, I am pretty sure you may have guessed that Fridays will be all about faith. After all, it is the name of the blog.

Yep, my goal will be to every Friday bring something that will help you look to God, see a little more of Him, and know Him more as your Abba. Speaking of father, one of the posts I’ll offer on Faith Fridays is something I hold very dear. I’ll be dusting off some pretty special notes – hand written sermons of my dad’s – to share thoughts from them.

Dad Chamberlin

Dad was a country preacher in Western PA, pastoring small churches but delivering powerful messages (written by an unbiased daughter – do those two words even go together?). I’ve had those notes neatly packed away for years, promising that someday I’d figure a way to share them. And here we are, it’s coming to be.

Dad’s notes won’t be the only postings, there’ll be insights from my own study of the Word, book reviews, community care ideas and a few guest posts here and there.

Come on by on Fridays to get a fresh dose of faith. If you don’t want to miss any posts, be sure to sign up to receive an email each time there’s a post or ‘like’ on Facebook.

One more thing, God certainly does consider dates. It just happens to be thirteen years to the day that Dad went home to see Abba.

Sunflower tea set

Tea Tuesdays

Blogging is work! I have a new found respect for bloggers who daily or even weekly consistently post. It takes dedication, inspiration and time to provide fresh content that has value and informs.

The secret, it seems, is a passion for the topic, a plan and a schedule. Imagine that, a schedule!

I’m wading in again, sticking my toes in the water. It took some pondering, but I realized that my passions are already in my blog title- tea and faith.

And I’ve made a plan! Tuesdays will bring you all kinds of content about my favorite comfort drink, tea. A beverage that my mom gave me a love for years ago. We’ll talk about tea rooms, tea stories, tea history, and of course recipes.

And faith? Well, you’ll need to check in again on Friday to find out how faith will show in the blog.

It feels great to have a plan and a schedule! Not only that, but I’m counting on it to keep me on track to post wht will benefit you.

Here’s to Tea Tuesdays and stay tuned for Friday!

Wear the Cross for the 21 Martyrs

It’s nearly unbelievable to think what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ is the Middle East. I am calling all brothers and sisters to stand in solidarity with our martyred brothers and sisters in Egypt.
We are the nation of the cross. Wear your cross as a sign of unity of faith. Wear and share. Blessings.

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Faithpondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy…

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And the Winner Is…..

I’m a foodie and I can attribute my borderline obsession with food to my husband.  He comes from a long line of amazing home cooks and has picked up all the ‘tricks of the trade’ by observing his mother and memere (grandmother) in the kitchen.  Out of hundreds of meals produced by his hands, I can only count on one hand the number of meals that I haven’t liked.  Some of my favorites are his chicken saltimbocca, ‘milkshake’ chili (and no, there’s not actually milk in it), asparagus and shrimp risotto, and Texas burger (with fried egg on top).

It only makes sense that one of our favorite tv shows to watch together would be food-related.  We enjoy watching Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives, Good Eats, Kitchen Nightmare, Lidia’s Italy, but our all-time favorite show would have to be Chopped.  If you’re not familiar with the show, let me take a minute and explain.  Four professional chefs are each given a basket of the same 4 very random mystery ingredients and have a set amount of time to create a course of a meal incorporating all of the given ingredients.  Three judges decide the chefs’ fate and after each course is tasted and critiqued, a contestant is chopped and sent home.  After the appetizer round, it’s down to three contestants, after the entree round, two, and finally, the dessert round determines the winner.  The winner receives $10,000 and the coveted title of Chopped Champion.

Last week, I was watching an episode where it came down to two very competent chefs.  One was a French woman who so badly wanted to use her prize money to visit her grandmother who raised her who still lived in Europe.  She was super driven and relentless, to the point where she decided to stay in the competition after suffering serious burns on her legs as a result of accidentally spilling a pot of boiling water after falling in the kitchen.   The other contestant was a man who didn’t really give details as to how he would spend his money and he made it quite clear that he really wasn’t expecting to win.  He was an outspoken Christian and during his interview clips which were woven sporadically through the program, he made it clear how accepting Christ into his life had really changed him for the good.  He viewed cooking not only as his occupation, but as a way to serve and minister to people.  Anyway, before the winner was announced, it showed the two talking in the back room.  He told her how great she did and stated that she deserved to win.  To his surprise, he was the one chosen as the winner!  The French chef was chopped and was on her way out when he yelled ‘Wait!’  She turned around with a bewildered expression on her face.  He told her that he didn’t expect to win and wanted to buy her ticket to go see her grandmother.  She broke down in tears and threw her arms around him, so grateful for the selfless gift.  I sat there watching with tears in my eyes…even the judges had tears in their eyes!  It was such a beautiful expression of love and service!  This man not only preached about his faith, but he lived it out with such grace and humility.

http://youtu.be/X6d-XvOxq54 

Five Unusual Signs of Blessing

‘Gblessing stoneod bless you.’  I’ve said that to people, have you?  What do we mean when we say that?  I think I’ve meant – ‘may everything go your way’.

But some of the ways Jesus described blessing in the Bible seem to be a little different.  In Matthew 5, in what is called the Beatitudes, Jesus refers to a whole range of people being blessed that I wouldn’t think of having a blessing  —-

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit
  • Blessed are those who mourn
  • Blessed are the meek
  • Blessed are the peacemakers
  • Blessed are you when people insult you…because of me

Jesus puts us in a topsy-turvy world with these words.  Maybe blessing will bring about circumstances that humble us, so that we are poor in spirit.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about mourning, so we can understand comfort.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about strife, so we can learn to be peacemakers.

Our self-centeredness makes us want exactly what we want.  What God is about is having a close relationship with Him and making us more like Him   Sometimes that means having the opposite of what we think will be a blessing occur to us so that the blessing can follow.

So, when you are going through troubles it might just be God blessing you, you just haven’t seen the end results yet.

Stacy

Last year while living in Columbia, I had the great privilege of attending a Bible study led by Stacy, a very Godly woman in my church.  What I loved most about the way that she taught was seeing the genuineness and realness of her relationship with the Lord.  He really was living and present in every aspect of her day.  I enjoyed hearing her pray because she talked to Jesus like He was so many people rolled into one.  Sometimes it sounded like she was communicating with her father, sometimes to her best friend, other times to her trusted counselor, and there were even times where if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought she was speaking adoringly to her husband!

In the beginning of Matthew 22, Jesus states that the greatest commandment in all the Law is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Through Stacy’s teachings, through her passionate prayers, through her caring spirit directed towards every lady at those meetings, and through the way she adored her Lord, I got a glimpse as to what that commandment looks like when it’s lived out in daily life.

The Dichotomy

We’re so stuck on our outward appearance.  Watching TV and movies, you’d think
that’s all there is to life.  But there is this great dichotomy happening within
and without each of us.  Do you feel it?  Paul, the writer of the 2nd letter to
the Corinthian church years ago, understood it.  Listen to this from the 4th
chapter of his letter – he says in verse 16 Even though on the outside it
often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is
making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 

He understood the feeling and he correctly diagnosed it.  Outwardly we are wasting
away, coming up against all sorts of things – physcially and emotionally.  BUT
God is working at the same time in the deep places of our being.  He’s working
to make us a new being – one that ‘looks’ like Hm, more like his love, his
compassion, his peace, his joy, his wisdom and so much more.

That is the great awakening that we Christians must realize.  When culture and our human
nature beckon us to focus on the immediate, the physical, the unfairness of it
all, the outward we need to catch ourselves.  We need to become concsious of
what we are thinking and change that thinking to focus on the inward.  Seek God
and ask how Him how he wants to use this immediate situation, whatever it is, to
make us more like him.

When we seek or come to Him – God promises to show  up, take our hand, lead us and bless us. Read Psalm 73 and you’ll see that it’s true. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2073&version=MSG

Oh God, I love your Word it is so life-giving!