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Harolene
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Posted By Harolene

Tonight as I was thinking about a good word to bring to you I actually had someone ask me to post about cornbread! I was ready for this! :) 

Tonight for supper I made a big pot of spicy chili and a pan of cornbread using my now famous cornbread pan! So this is especially for you if you are feeling tired and less than shiny!

It's so old that I don't ever remember it not being in the kitchen. It is heavy, the outside has blackened from years of use over gas flames, but the inside of that pan is slick, seasoned, it is perfect for making my cornbread. I have a coffee mug that I bought at the Disney World Brown Derby Restaurant, it is my favorite mug and my morning coffee does not taste the same from any other cup. There is an over-sized tee-shirt it is old, sporting some thin places and definitely ugly, but it is my favorite sleep wear. There are some letters from the way past that I have put away and carefully take out occasionally to read and then return to their special place. I own several Bibles, but my favorite is my old Dake Bible, it is worn and coming apart, there are passages marked in various colors, but that Bible always knows exactly where to open anytime I reach for it. What is my point? These old, ugly, worn items make me feel good; they comfort me and work when I need them to work. Everyone in the house knows that there are two things of mine that you definitely don't touch, they are the scissors I cut hair with and my cornbread pan. I have a set of Rachel Ray pans that have orange handles that are soft to the touch and the pans are bright and shiny, but when I make cornbread I reach for the old pan, which I keep hidden, but handy, in the cupboard under the stove.

The reason this is important to me is that sometimes I feel like the most ragged, ugly, useless person in God's Army. I feel I am the one that is put under the cabinet to hide when company comes over, like I hide my cornbread pan. No matter how ugly it is, if I want to make a pan of bread, I reach under the stove, turn the flame on under it and let it heat to the point that when I pour the batter in it immediately sizzles and browns the bottom so that when I slice it, it slides right out without sticking to the sides!

 

 
Posted By Harolene

Looking at the men Jesus chose to walk with Him I think they all look more like cornbread pans than shiny new cookware. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."  King James says it this way: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

I don't mind being the old, ugly, blackened pan that is hidden from public view if when God wants to do something special He will reach under the cabinet and use me, knowing that everything I have gone through in this life has made me seasoned and ready for use. I want Him to be able to count on me, to know that I can take the heat and serve up whatever He wants me to do.

What better calling in life than to be God's cornbread pan? I can't think of anything right this minute, so my advice to you is instead of being upset at all the hard times you have to endure, just consider that you are being “seasoned” for a better purpose…God’s cornbread!

 
Posted By Harolene

I worked on an article for over an hour, the subject was 'Strength'. I decided to take the computer upstairs and finish it, so I settled myself in my bed and propped it on my knees to finish writing. I don't know what happened next maybe I had said something that God didn't approve of me saying, but as I was getting my last scripture, the one that brought it all together, my computer froze, and I mean I couldn't make it budge! The little indicator that it was waiting just kept making a circle and I couldn't change pages, minimize, or anything that would help me get back to the article! I had to force quit so that when I went back to my page the entire article was gone! No way to retrieve it. I could have gotten upset but decided it must have been providence, God's will, that's when I realized I would have to do something else! There was a time when if that happened to me it would have sent me into hysterics and I would have gotten very upset, but I have lately practiced a calmer approach to things that are upsetting, and the prayer I prayed will be familiar to a lot of you, it is called the "Serenity Prayer" and begins, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."  James 1:2-4 "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. V. 12 Any one who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life." We tend to be fickle in our love lives and also in our friendships, we think a person is "cool" one day and a "dud" the next, I am surely glad that it isn't that way with Jesus! Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." He loved you before you were ever born and still today He reaches through eternity to us, to invite us to come and live with Him for ever in His Father's house, heaven!" Words from a musical by the Gaithers "His Love Reaching" come to my mind right now, I feel so touched while I sit here typing remembering all the love we in the Choir felt as we sang the words which fit here perfectly, "His love went on longing, and His love went on reaching; right past the shackles of my mind, And the Word of the Father became Mary's little boy and His love reached all the way to where we are." Let Him reach into your heart and life to make all things new again, and if you reach crisis status the way I did last night, just remember to say the prayer penned by Reinhold Niebuhr, and simply give God a chance to work serenity, courage, and wisdom, in your life, and keep the faith, fight for it!

I will end this with Matthew 6:34 which were Jesus' own words, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

 
Posted By Harolene

Proverbs 25:11,KJV says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. In the Message translation it sounds a IMG_2511little different, 11-12 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend's timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

In thinking about responses I have gotten from you on various subjects, I decided to answer some questions that have been asked right here right now. For lack of space, I can't answer them all, so I picked three that have recurred from different ones of you, and will do my best to answer them. If I missed yours, let me know. And just so you know, I will never refer to any information in a way that you would be recognized, and there are many of you who do write, you wouldn't be alone!

To you, who is in desperate need of a miracle, when Jesus was asked why they (the disciples) couldn't perform miracles, Matthew 17:20  “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”  Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” I realize it's hard to believe for a miracle when you are in the midst of a crisis, recently I talked about 'standing' and sometimes you just have to believe the sun will shine again during your most bleak hour. What? You said "that was in the olden days, this is now, miracle don't happen" Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. June 29, 2015 would definitely qualify as 'forever'!

Now to you who have a broken heart; I have heard about divorces, break-ups, betrayals, and I have been there in all counts, so I definitely empathize with you. I know my Father and His Word says, Psalm 147:3 He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. Psalm 34:18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. I have had the breath knocked out of me both literally and emotionally, it's hard to tell the difference when you are sobbing so hard you cannot catch a breath, I have taken comfort in these words and so will you.

 

 
Posted By Harolene

To you who didn't feel mom's love, I can't identify with it because I had a mother who loved her family beyond measure, but I feel your heart. It leaves a 'hole in your soul' that can't be filled when you have to wonder, “why wasn't I loved? Was I an accident?” I am convinced that some people should never have given birth because it seems they don't have the capacity for love, but YOU my dear, were no accident and you are special to God! Psalm 139:15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. I don't know why, it was her problem, not yours.

There are so many questions about how God “feels” about different situations and the SCOTUS decision this week and I don’t have a wonderful answer that will make everyone happy, so let me say this, God is the judge of everything and every person and if I can live according to His Word to the best of my ability then I am not going to worry about what anyone else does, it isn’t any of my business.

I hope that “this was for you”.