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THE U IN JESUS Tags: Christian.

 

THE U IN JESUS 

Before U were thought of or time had begun, 

God stuck U in the name of His Son.. 

 

And each time U pray, you'll see it's true, 

You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.  

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name, 

For U, He was born; that's why He came. 

 

And His great love for U is the reason He died. 

It even takes U to spell crUcified. 

 

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand 

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan? 

 

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew, 

And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.  

 

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension, 

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention. 

 

"Go into the world and tell them it's true 

That I love them all - Just like I love U." 

 

So many great people are spelled with a U, 

Don't they have a right to know JesUs too? 

 

It all depends now on what U will do, 

He'd like them to know, 

But it all starts with U. 

 

Kathy Lawrence Tender Loving Care photo image-ed381407fd02e2d8e804cedfdcbbd.jpg

I Know My Sheep.  Kathy Lawrence photo image-619a537b1d38f0f662a231664a606.jpg

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christmas. Tags: Christmas

Book of Esther Bible Study LESSON 10: I Seek God's Guidance Tags: Bible study Old Testament Christian life Christian women Christian women online Book of Esther

Book of Esther Bible Study LESSON 10: I Seek God's Guidance

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One of the very first times I knew God was answering my prayers had to do with me giving up control to Him. My husband and I had entered the time of parenting teens—when they are stretching, pulling back and trying to find their way in independence. Old forms of parenting no longer worked. Offered rewards. Warnings. Threats. It all becomes a new world when the age digits move past a dozen.

One of our children was struggling with the nuances of high school; the independence accorded those students by the teachers; the higher expectations of self-motivation. My child was lagging farther and farther behind, dragging through the day, unable to figure out how to catch up.

It wasn’t a crisis. There was no physical or mental danger involved. But it was a stress that I felt uniquely incapable of understanding or knowing how to handle. After weeks of angry nagging, feelings of incapacity as a parent and more than a few tears, one dark night, I simply gave it all to God. I acknowledged that I had no idea what to do. I released it; lay the issue at Jesus’ feet and asked that He carry the burden.

The next morning, my child was up, dressed and ready for school before I was even out of bed. Could this be my teen? The one I had to drag from bed each morning? I knew then God had heard my prayer and that my husband and I were not parenting our children alone. I was simply to love my children with Jesus as the focus of our lives. I learned the importance of seeking God’s guidance.

Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king (Esther 4:16).

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Although this verse does not say that prayer was involved, all scholarly commentaries I have encountered indicate that the fasting done by Esther, her maids and her community of believers was accompanied by prayer. Prayer was not mentioned because back then fasting was nearly universally accompanied by prayer. There was no fasting without prayer; no reason to fast unless you were seeking God’s guidance, power or presence.

There are two types of people when it comes to worry and food. There’s that group (generally thin people) who lose their appetite when they’re worried. The idea of food makes them feel sick. So they basically don’t eat until the object of worry has been resolved.

Then there is the rest of the world which I’m part of. We eat everything in and out of sight when we’re worried. It’s not a matter of hunger. It’s not even a matter of appetite. It’s a matter of the physical comfort certain foods give us; the energy food provides; the activity it requires to keep our hands and teeth busy while we wait for the object of worry to resolve.

But take a look at Scripture and how often fasting and prayer are linked. The cool thing about fasting and prayer even for those of us with “hands-on eating compulsion” is that they are linked in a good way. Giving up food causes you to think about food even more. Although that sounds problematic, in reality it means that our attention is thus all perfectly focused in a tidy packet which is then easier to refocus on God. With that tidy packet of focus, you can spend more time in prayer—seeking God’s will and receiving it.

obedience-is-better-than-sacrifice

Scripture is filled with examples of people who fasted. Sometimes it was for specific occasions (2 Samuel 12:16) or holy days. Sometimes it was for safety (Ezra 8:21) or power (Acts 13:3). Sometimes it was an act of repentance (1 Samuel 7:6) or for mourning (2 Samuel 1:12) or before making decisions (Acts 13:2-3; 14:23). And it did not always involve fasting from food (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

Are we guided by prayer? Do we recognize our need for God’s help? Are we asking for and giving prayer and guidance to others? And while we are praying (and fasting), are we doing it for our personal sense or in order to spend time with our Lord?

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:16-18).

Remind you of another verse about praying in secret? Going into a closet to spend time alone with Jesus? Not for what others will say about our righteousness, but so that God will be able to look into our hearts and so that we will be able to hear His voice more clearly. More reason not to look gloomy. God desires our presence with Him. He desires us to seek us and when we do, He’s right there—in the closet with us. Not in the dark, but with His light shining brightly into and through us.

If Esther were here she would say this was her story. She knew the importance of seeking God’s guidance.

Who are we to God? When we recognize that God desires us to seek His guidance, we understand how He might see His women of faith. We can answer:

I am (like) Esther.

Esther found favor

For Thought and Discussion

  • How do you seek guidance from God? Through prayer? Scripture? Teachings by others?
  • Have you tried fasting and prayer? If so, what was your experience?
  • If you have not tried fasting and prayer, might you consider giving up an activity or a food or all food for a period of time in order to be able to focus more on God?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your guidance. We recognize that we can’t do life on our own. We need you to show us your way. Help us find more ways to seek your guidance. Amen.

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Carol Peterson is the author of the I am Esther Bible Study Guide, which is available from Ruby’s Reading Corner. She is also a regular contributor to the RUBY magazine. You can read more of her inspirational articles on her blog.

i-am-esther

You can find all of the previous lessons in the Book of Esther Bible Study HERE on the RUBY blog.

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Autumn Craft Collection from all around the Blogosphere Tags: Autumn Craft Collection Autumn Craft Collection Blogospher

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With every season there is so much to celebrate! Don’t you just love to bring a touch of the changing seasons into your home? We do, too, so we have gathered up a collection of quick and easy autumn crafts and home décor projects just for the readers of RUBY magazine.

You will find a variety of ideas here as well as on the individual websites and blogs we’ve included, so be sure to visit them and tell them that RUBY sent you!

Mason Jars on a Rope from Midwest Living

mason-jars-on-a-rope

This time of year we all have a few extra Mason Jars around the house, and there are SO many different ways to use them for both practical as well as decorative projects. This delightful home décor idea will bring a touch of autumn to your home! Check out the complete tutorial at www.midwestliving.com

Leaf-Embellished Painted Pumpkins from The Sweet Escape

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Pumpkins are not only abundant this time of year, but they come in all sizes. So whether you are setting up a porch or an autumn mantle display or if you are decorating your entire back yard, pumpkins are the PERFECT autumn accessory!

These leaf-embellished painted pumpkins can be made in any (or every!) color with pressed leaves applied with Mod Podge for an interesting, textured design surface. Find the complete tutorial on The Sweet Escape blog at www.thesweetescape.ca

Framed “FALL” Art

framed-fall-art

How simple is this project!!! But look at how striking it is with the letters to the word “FALL” framed and standing all in a row! Of course, if you have enough frames you could spell out the word “AUTUMN” or any seasonal greeting to offer a warm welcome to your home. Complete tutorial can be found at www.decoratingfiles.com

Autumn Textured Sweater Pillow Cover from Country Living

textured-sweater-pillow

Here’s a clever idea for upcycling an old sweater . . . . cut it up and make a pillow cover! Lots of texture in autumn shades, and with a sweater-fabric flower with a button center, you’ve got a simple and inexpensive splash of color for your home. You could make pillows from upcycled sweaters in all sorts of textures and colors with the complete tutorial on the Country Living website at www.countryliving.com

Fall Fabric Rag Wreath from Find It Make It Love It

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We’ve seen these “rag wreaths” in so many different colors, and they are so, so easy you just might want to make several. These beautiful wreaths not only bring some seasonal charm to your home, but they are a great way to use up bits and pieces of fabric scraps and strips, as well as ribbons and laces you already have on hand. You can find the complete tutorial at www.finditmakeitloveit.com

Fall Mason Jar Vases from My Anything and Everything

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Some white chalk paint, stencils, and a few of those Mason Jars we all have around the house and you’ve got a set of gorgeous autumn vases to dress up your entry or mantle this season. Complete tutorial can be found at www.mayanythingandeverything.com

Find more creative and inspirational articles in the OCTOBER issue of RUBY magazine!

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