And this one from the equally loverlee Marion....
SHE NEVER SAW THE CAKE
Cindy glanced nervously at the clock on the kitchen wall. Five minutes before midnight.
They should be home any time now, she thought as she put the finishing touches on the chocolate cake
she was frosting. It was the first time in her 12 years she had tried to make a cake from scratch and to be honest, it wasn’t exactly an aesthetic triumph. The cake was… well lumpy. And the frosting was bitter as
if she had run out of sugar or something.
Which of course she had.
And then there was the way the kitchen looked. Imagine a huge blender filled with all the ingredients for a chocolate cake – including the requisite bowls, pans and utensils. Now imagine that the blender is turned on. High speed. With the lid off.
Do you get the idea?
But Cindy wasn’t thinking about the mess. She had created something, a veritable phoenix of flour and sugar rising out of the kitchen clutter. She was anxious for her parents to return home from their date so she could present her anniversary gift to them. She turned off the kitchen lights, and waited excitedly in the darkness. When at last she saw the flash of the car headlights, she positioned herself in the kitchen doorway. By the time she heard the key sliding into the front door, she was THIS CLOSE to exploding.
Her parents tried to slip in quietly, but Cindy would have none of that. She flipped on the lights
dramatically and trumpeted “Ta-daaa” She gestured grandly toward the kitchen table where a slightly off balance two layer chocolate cake awaited their inspection
But her mother’s eyes never made it all the way to the table.
”Just look at this mess”, she moaned. “How many times have I talked to you about cleaning up after yourself”?
“But Mum I was only…. “
“I should make you clean this up right now, but I am too tired to stay up with you to make sure you get it done right,” her mother said. “So you’ll do it first thing in the morning.”
“Honey” Cindy’s father interjected gently, “take a look at the table.”
“I know – it’s a mess” his wife said coldly. “The whole kitchen is a disaster. I can’t stand to look at it.” She stormed up the stairs and into her room slamming the door shut behind her.
For a few moments Cindy and her father stood silently, neither one knowing what
to say. At last she looked up at him, her eyes moist and red.
“She never saw the cake” she said.
Unfortunately Cindy’s mother isn’t the only parent who suffers from Situational Timbercular Glaucoma – the occasional inability to see the forest for the trees. From time to time we allow ourselves to be blinded to issues of long term significance by Stuff That Seems Awfully Important Right Now – but isn’t.
Muddy shoes, lost lunch money, and messy kitchens are troublesome, and they deserve their place among life’s frustrations. But what is a little mud – even on a new carpet – compared to a child’s self esteem? Is a lost dollar more valuable than a youngster’s emerging dignity? And while kitchen sanitation is important, is it worth the sacrifice of tender feelings and relationships?
I am not saying that our children don’t need to learn responsibility or to occasionally suffer the painful consequences of bad choices. Those lessons are vital and need to be carefully taught. But as parents we must never forget that we are not teaching lessons – we are teaching children. That means there are times when we need to see the mess in the kitchen – and times when we need to see the cake.
1 Corinthians 13:8 – Love never fails.
Tuesday the 18th August
THE QUILT HOLES
I faced my Maker at the last judgement, I knelt before the Lord
Along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like
the squares of a quilt in many piles, an angel sat before each of us sewing
our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labelled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich colour and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials and illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often bee held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering light up to the Father in hope that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgemental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth; my life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.
Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image; the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. “Every time you gave your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.
Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.”
May all of our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through! God determines who walks into your life… its up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.
When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot. All you do is simply say the following small prayer.
Father, bless all my family and friends in whatever it is that You know they may need this day. And may their life be full of Your peace prosperity and power as he/she seeks a closer relationship with you.
Struggling with Prayer
Have you ever struggled with prayer? Have you ever bowed your head, bowed your knees, and shot all your prayer bullets in less than a minute or two? Have you ever heard about people praying for hours and secretly wondered how in the world do they do that?
How can you go to the next level in prayer? How can you become a person of prayer who really connects with God and sees Him answer?
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
In early days in a discipleship group, I never felt like my prayers were eloquent enough. I somehow got the erroneous idea that to “really” pray, I had to sound like William Shakespeare. It was so freeing to learn that God is not impressed with my eloquence or disappointed in my lack of eloquence. He simply wants to hear me pray humbly and reverently from the heart. He wants me to share openly and honestly with Him. He wants me to tell Him what is going on in my life, what I am struggling with, what I am afraid of, and where I need His help. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us”( Psalm 62:8)
Remember, God is not watching the clock when we pray. He is not saying “You know, I would have answered that prayer if you had gone another 45 seconds.” Don’t get too hung up in the time issue. Talk to God like you would talk to a best friend. That is what He is. “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24)
PRAY THE WORD
God loves His Word. If you want to know the will of God, read His Word. The will of God is found in the Word of God. John 5 :14-15 tells us that we can be confident that God will answer prayers according to His will. So, if you simply pray scripture back to God, you can be assured that He will answer that type of prayer.
A good place to go for prayers in the Bible is Psalms. David was known as “a man after God’s own heart.” He has LOTS of honest, humble and heartfelt prayers in Psalms that you can claim for your own and pray them back to God.
My friends, prayer is not given to us to be torturous and a source of guilt and condemnation. It is given by God to connect us to Him. The King over the universe longs to hear from little old you and me. WOW!
The Bible tells us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) The way you do that is to call on God as soon as you wake up in the morning and never hang up the phone. Talk to Him all throughout the day. Share your every trial and every triumph with Him. It makes all the difference in the world and will draw your heart close to the King.
Blessings – Marion
Friday the 7th August:
One of River Valley's more visible families would have to be Julie & Doug and their wonderful impressive tribe of children. Julie has just shared with me, a reflection written by her oldest daughter Talitha. Talitha is well known to RVC; she has shared a Sunday message on more than one occasion, as well as conducted a ministry trip with the support of RVC. We welcome any contribution from her. Enjoy....
A few weeks ago the Lord said to me,
“We are in revival, so act like it. And even if we weren't, act like it, and we will see revival”.
Lockdown doesn’t stop revival in the Kingdom of God. There is no barrier or wall that Jesus can’t walk through. I feel the Lord is saying to not lower our expectations for revival just because we are in lockdown, but to be even more excited and hopeful than ever before, that Jesus will do ‘far more abundantly than anything we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Anything is possible for us who believe.
“As the crowds emerged from the village, Jesus said to his disciples “Do you not say, “there are yet 4 months, then comes the harvest?’ Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” John 4:35
How can we position ourselves for revival? What can we intentionally do or change in our lives that will actually position our hearts and lives for the revival that we are praying and believing for? Ask Holy Spirit to reveal these things to you. Ask Him, “How do you want to use me in this revival?”. Pray for creative and divine strategy and solutions, because He knows the answers.
The Kingdom of Heaven is near, and the harvest is ripe. People are still hungry for truth, searching for hope, and desperate for real love.
In the last few weeks we have seen so amazing testimonies of divine appointments, healings, baptisms, salvations and people being set free and falling in love with Jesus, the One who saves and heals. And it won’t stop. Nothing in this world can stop the Kingdom of heaven being established on earth.
So keep praying and keep believing as we go from glory to glory. And let’s keep our minds set on the things above, remembering all His promises and keeping our gaze on Him. Circumstances do not determine truth. Jesus does. He is so good and so faithful. He will never leave us or forsake us. There is always hope, and freedom in Jesus.
Wednesday the 5th August
I don't know about you but I am really enjoying these weekly reflections that Marion Drake is sourcing for us. Here is the next instalment from her....
Another Daily Nudge
by Karl Faase
The movie “Saving Private Ryan” has many confronting scenes. The most moving scene for me is the very last one. Private Ryan is now an old man. With his family in the background he is visiting the grave of Captain John Miller; the man who led the mission to save his (Pvt Ryan's) life. All these year later Ryan stands at Captain Miller's graveside and wonders if he has lived a life worthy of the death of Miller and the others who died to saved him. Private Ryan’s elderly wife walks up to him and he turns to her and pleads for reassurance. “Tell me I am a good person” he says. “Tell me I’ve lived a good life.” Here is a man trying to justify the loss of another’s life in place of his own.
This is the dilemma of all of us who grasp the Christian message of Jesus, who gave His life for you and I. While God does not ask us to earn our place in heaven, we do hold the knowledge that another died in our place and we should live to honour Him.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God will go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Love your Almighty God