Tag Archive | Trials

Popcorn Faith

I love popcorn!  Yum, yum, yum!  You start out with the hard kernals and some oil.

Add some heat, give a stir now and then, and..

Voila’!

Add some salt and butter, and…

POPCORN!!!!!

You know, if you crack the kernals, the popcorn won’t pop.

That’s because the shell needs to be intact for the right amount of pressure to build up, to heat the water inside, to allow it to escape as steam immediately when the kernal pops, leaving behind the hardened mass of starchy foam we call Popcorn.  Get it?

Well, it’s the same with our faith.  For it to pop, sometimes God has to apply heat and pressure.  We call it trials.  The Lord calls it discipline:

‘ “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11

The Popcorn Prayer: Oh, Father, thank you for loving me and for sometimes disciplining me.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Help me to hang in there when the heat is on and to believe that later it WILL produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for me when I’ve been trained by it. (Hebrews 12: 11)

And Father, like the popcorn has to have enough moisture to respond to the heat for the kernal to pop, I need enough humility to respond correctly to the trials in my life.

Help me to be HUMBLE, Lord.  And patient, and thankful for all you do.  Transform my faith from a cold kernal to a warm, salty treat that pleases you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

To see videos of cracked popcorn popping-vs-whole, click HERE

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Cream ‘O Wheat Faith

My thoughts this morning at the stove, “The Cream of Wheat might not like the heat, but without heat, I get no breakfast treat.”  (It rhymes. 🙂 )

And sometimes, when God’s cooking up something special for us, he has to apply some heat.

“…because the Lord disciplines those he loves… Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:6a, 10-11

Are you feeling some heat?  You might not like it,but remember– you’re never alone in the flames:

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“God doesn’t always give us answers, but He always gives us Himself.” ~~ Chip Ingram

“…and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.  Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.”  He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Click here to read the rest of the story in Daniel 3)

An old, old devotional, Streams in the Desert, is recommended reading in the heat.  This excerpt was especially encouraging to me when I was in my own furnace once.  Read it  here . ( If you can’t now, bookmark it for later.  It’s really good.)

And, speaking of recommended reading, the link on the right, “I’m Suffering!” is chocked FULL of encouraging words and articles.  Great for bookmarking, as well.

Let’s pray:

“Oh, Father, thank you for loving me.  You know what’s best for me and I know I can trust you during the hard times.  Every cook knows without heat, the bread don’t rise, and You’re the best cook of all, so help me to trust that you’re cooking up something really good in/with my life when I feel the flames.

Give me patience in the oven.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Finally 🙂 Here’s Louis Armstrong singing “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”  Enjoy!!!

Step by Step

The Incline Trail, Pikes PeakSometimes life can be difficult.  The trail ahead can seem impossible to climb.  But it’s do-able if you take it step by step.  And sometimes looking back to see how far you’ve come can encourage you to go on.

” You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.” Psalm 18:36

“Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.”  Proverbs 4:26

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”  Hebrews 12:12-13

Smiling in the Rain…

Rainy July]Sometimes I feel like the flowers must feel these days out in my midsummer garden — confused!  Like them,  stubborn clouds can block the sun for days and driving rains just pound my face into the mud.

But as I write this, the clouds part and out pops the sun. Through the water drops on my window pane, I see that beauty still remains.  Persistent as the clouds, the flowers still bloom.  The sun sparkles off the their 0710091426a[1]wet faces and they shine.  Hovering inches above the mud, some of them, they’re still bright and cheerful.  That’s how I wanna be…

… cheerful in the rain, smiling in the pain. Tho forced to the ground, quick to rebound, like a flower in the rain.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans  15:13Daisies, standing tall after driving rain

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2