Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement/motivational #coffeehour’

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

 

Bath time was such a fun time when we were parenting our little Bryden…a time when we played, splashed, giggled and in between all of that we snuck in some rub-a-dub scrubbing in the tub time!

Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

It had only been a week since their last bath, but they were beginning to stink and every time I pet them, I could feel the dirt on their fur. So in the midst of my already planned-out day, I determined to wash both Sparky and Alvin. I always begin by taking off their collar so I started with Sparky. By the time I picked him up he was shaking pathetically but still very compliant.

I began to rinse him with the spray nozzle and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The water was literally brown, like solid brown! I shook my head in disbelief, and a little disgust when I realized I had let him sleep on my bed last night! Ugh, now I need to change my sheets. This cleaning was revealing the need for more cleaning.

As I lathered him up, and the soap turned a light brown, it struck me that bitterness and un-forgiveness is much like this: it’s hard to see at first but the more settled it gets and the more is seeps into our heart, soul and mind, the less we notice it…until one day it just begins to stink and the dirt oozes out and into a lot of our relationships.

We’ve got to get to that point of desiring to let it go and let Him wash us white as snow. Oh, what a feeling when we do let it go. There is a sense of freedom, an ability to move about our world so much easier, just like my little Sparky after a bath who dances around and truly smiles from the feeling of being cleansed.

And the beautiful thing about the One who cleanses us…He’ll do it over and over and over again!
Love,

Evinda

P.S. Join me today at 6:00 PST on our F.B. Live to talk about the reasons we have a hard time connecting with family over the holidays because of disconnection.

 

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power & to an amazing Thankful Thursday with Trench Classes United.

I love poetry; it has always brought comfort in hard times.  It’s the thought that goes into the lyrical rhythms that occupies my heart.  Writing has always been my happy place where I can sink in and express myself without judgment.  So enjoy a little magically delicious melody. Put on some comfy clothes (preferably yoga pants, an old comfy shirt and some fuzzy socks… my personal faves), grab a venti extra hot Hazelnut Latte and stay a while.

My Happy Place

 

The best kind of magic is faith;

It’s where I dwell, where I feel safe
It’s where my heart can just be

It’s where my eyes can see

It’s where my life feels whole

It is the comfort where I just know

The solidarity within Him, and the love that surrounds Him

It’s a gift of hope a treasure to be hold

A love to be shared a story to be told

Of solace within Him for a weary heart

And aspiration for the burden, a light in the dark

Yes, the best kind of magic is faith

It’s where I dwell, where I feel safe

It is with faithfulness in Him I take refuge; for He is my anchor; He is my glue

My roots run deep in the soil of God’s love
Built up in Him acknowledging true trust

Strengthened in the heart; overflowing with thankfulness

A love, a respite, a hope, a life truly blessed

 

Thank you so much for stopping by…

Love, Kat

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in for a moment of truth.

 

Lately I’ve caught myself in someone else’s car…in other words I’ve really struggled with something they’ve done, and I know better than to do that!

It’s like this tug of war in my mind and if I continue to participate, it becomes so much easier to focus on their wrongdoings, and inevitably, I’m the one who loses. Why? Because it prevents me from doing what’s right!

Let me share from first-hand experience these two powerful truths with you today:

 

Holding on to grudges turns life into a daily grind!

 

But when I go to the One who forgives ALL, and picture Him right beside that one who has hurt and disillusioned me, my mind and heart are simultaneously and instantaneously moved to a new direction…letting God be God, and allowing Him to take the gavel from my hand!

 

When correction brings a change in direction, that’s divine intervention!

Coffee Hour friend, do you need a change of direction? Do you need to let go of a grudge and get out of the daily grind?

Please accept this invitation to learn to Living Forgiven and Forgiving, because a life lived forgiven is worth living!

 

 

Love,

Evinda

 

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and to Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Today I’d like to share something with you that our Father gave me just hours before my mother-in-law’s celebration of life, words that soothed my sorrow and calmed my soul. I pray that if you are reading this today, especially if anyone you have ever loved has gone on to eternal life, that you will find comfort in the hope of heaven.

1st John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

I shared it with my husband who cried after reading it, and I told him I didn’t know if the family would allow me to share this message, but I was intent on giving each one of them a copy of what I truly believed He had given me.  He said he would ask.

I stayed in the background as all the siblings gathered around Uncle Bob who was also the minister for the service, and in a matter of minutes I heard my name called: “Kim, how long is what you want to share?”

My heart pounded as if to tell me to wake up. “It’s two minutes, but with crying, probably four.” I tried to smile.

That comment was not met with laughter like I had hoped.

“I’m only kidding,” I quickly responded.

My youngest sister-in-law suggested to Uncle Bob where to allow me to share, and just like that I was part of the service.

When it came my turn to share, I very shakily made my way to the podium, and introduced myself and began to read from my heart, stopping occasionally to catch the tears, or swallow the tears and sometimes both confident in the truth of the words written through me just hours earlier:

Dear Beloved Mother-in-Law…

How do we do this, bury you and say good-bye today

We need to accept you are already gone… absent but present in a new way

You no longer need a walker, for you have new feet that help you run

There’s no more arthritis, or any medication for you are now with God’s Son

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

You are now in a place where there is no more pain and no more sorrow

You are clothed in joy unspeakable forever, for our every tomorrow

You are able to look upon us, and see us all gathered here

Every single one of those who have come from far and near

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

I can almost hear you say please don’t cry for me; put a smile on your face

I am with you in a new way because I have gone on ahead to a better place

So as you gather here today, please try, try, try to laugh more than you cry

Think of all the wonderful memories shared between you and I

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

She’d want us to remember we don’t need a reason to gather as family

To continue doing it even more for that is her gigantic legacy

She’d want us to grow even closer, set conflicts aside, love unconditionally

That is what she did…often choosing love over grudges for the sake of family

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

Yes, it’s true that love and sorrow can co-exist, both so powerful in their own way

The deeper the love, the greater the sorrow; only time will lessen it, each new day

For our loss is heaven’s gain, and oh what a fun angel heaven has received

And when I think of how you are now…my soul is oh, so relieved.

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

I love you deeply, beloved mother-in-law…and to have been loved by you is an honor I will carry with me until I see you again.

Go ahead and put the name of your loved one in there…doesn’t it add hope to the loss?

All my love

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join us for a few minutes and a Monday’s Mantra to encourage your soul! Come on in and join us for a conversation about time management and prioritizing our time and we are still on the parable of The Good Samaritan as taught in Luke 10.

“We each have 24 hours in a given day; how we choose to spend each moment determines how spent we are”! EL

Let’s face it; one of the top objections, aka excuses, for not neighboring, let alone being mindful of others is time…because we’re just too busy. So let’s sit here for just a bit. We need to have the eyes of our heart opened. But that can’t happen while we’re on the run! When you open up your eyes in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Do you check social media or do you check in with God?   

I love what Jullien Gordon, a millennial (Generation Y) expert says about this topic of “busy.” she distinguishes between a workaholic and a high performer by saying the workaholic or the busy person wants to look more important while the high performer looks for important work! 

In other words, when we’re busy being busy, we miss opportunities to neighbor because we don’t even recognize them. We’ve got to take the time to make the time, just like the Samaritan did!

Ephesians 5:15-17 suggests to us to “be careful how you live,” in other words, be mindful of how we invest our time.  But how do we stop being so busy at being busy? Could it be that our priorities are a bit out of alignment because of the way we begin our day? As I rewind the clock of my spiritual journey, I can honestly say that I am most productive when I get plugged into my source of energy first thing in the morning, or the rest of the day seems to go awry. 

Psalm 90:14 says it perfectly: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Have you ever tried to eat a meal while on the run? I can’t help but giggle when I get that picture. We can’t sit and soak in His steadfast love if we don’t sit…and just be!

Oh, I can hear you now…but I have no time in the morning to meet with Him…oh, Coffee Hour Friend, you can’t afford not to because the crazy thing is, if/when you put Him first in  your day, He will multiply your productivity! Does a car run with no gas, or oil, or water? Does a light turn on without being plugged in to its source of power? Well, we are called to be lights…plug in first thing and see what happens!

Love,

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Up and Out!


Thanks so much for joining us for Coffeehour @ chicklitpower and Trench Classes United! Welcome to Monday’s Mantra. Grab your coffee, or your favorite break time beverage and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots as we wrap up “How to neighbor” with the final words of verse 35: and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” For those who are new to this series, we are talking about the parable of The Good Samaritan and all the principles we can learn to live by from these few verses in Luke 10.

When the Samaritan left, it wasn’t like he had a cell phone and could call the innkeeper and have any balance sent to him by snail mail! Oh, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to listen and watch this conversation take place. Not much detail is given about their conversation but it is safe to presume that the innkeeper agreed because the Samaritan leaves with the promise of returning. 

That brings us to the final characteristic of how to neighbor who we neighbor, which is almost exactly the same as what starts the process: Keeping our eyes open. It’s a form of focus, if you will. It rings in this truth: when we are about His business, He’s taking care of our business, as promised in Matthew 6:33.

Proverbs 16:3 tells us to commit our work to the Lord, and our thoughts will be established. Wow, so few words that pack such a powerful punch. In other words, we don’t have to chase our tails and go around and around the same mountain, but if we turn our focus upwards, He will lead us onward! The moment we take our focus off of our Guide, we begin to walk sort of caddy-wampus, at least I do.  

The other day, as I was riding one of the longest escalators in L.A., I looked up to the tall, and taller and tallest buildings, breathed a big sigh of contentment and asked, “What do you have for me today, Lord?” And within two hours He showed me. I had not one, but two divine appointments. 

Take a moment and ask yourself: What are two things that get in my way of keeping my eyes open to the needs of others around you? Go ahead, be honest; no one’s going to judge you! 

So how do we do avoid the distractions, or set aside those things which concern us to be more available to neighbor? I think it begins with understanding that we don’t have to do it alone. We have been promised a Helper. In John 14:26, Jesus tells the disciples – and you and I are part of that crowd, that He will send the helper, the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. What a comfort! 

All we have to do is resolve in our hearts to acknowledge and accept that help; in other words, live like He’s alive in us. The word root for resolve is “reso” and the Greek translation defines it like this: “to partner with the Holy Spirit”! I don’t know about you but I find that affirming and confirming and comforting. 

Oh, what would our worlds look like if we lived like HE is alive in us?

Love,

Evinda

kim L

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Heart Service, Not Lip Service!


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklitpower and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join us today for a little break, a little something from my heart to yours! Let’s get back to Luke 10 and the parable of the Good Samaritan.

So we’ve been sitting in verses 33 and 34 for a few Mondays and have discovered five characteristics that model how to neighbor. Today, we will look at the sixth one. In verse 35, Jesus tells us that when the Samaritan departed the next day, “…he took out two denari, gave them to the innkeeper and said to him, ‘Take care of him”…. 

It’s interesting that Jesus uses the story of the good but despised Samaritan to make clear to us how we should neighbor who we neighbor. The more I read into this parable, the more I see that Jesus looks at the heart; it’s all about the attitude of the heart. Did you know that a denari was the equivalent of a day’s wage for the Samaritan? The Samaritan left the innkeeper with two days’ wages and didn’t even flinch! Jesus asks that whatever we do or give, to do and give freely. In other words, we need to check our attitudes which flow from the heart. Let’s look at the attitudes of the other people involved in this parable:

The lawyer actually treated the wounded man as a subject to discuss and debate, perhaps with the thought of even tricking Jesus. Now, let’s bring this closer to us: How many of us sit around talking about the needs of others without doing something about it? This is lip service, not heart service! Isaiah 29:13 talks about this: “Therefore the Lord said, ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men’”… The Lord has the video camera into every crevice of our heart!

The thieves harmed and wounded the man, treated him as someone to use and exploit. We should never use someone’s loss for our gain in any way; in other words, when someone is down, do we take advantage? Or when/if we help someone who is down, what is our motive? Another motive that can be kind of sticky is pity: When we help our less-fortunate neighbor, we need to do so with a sense of respect. Respect Jesus style isn’t earned: It’s letting someone be who they are right where they are! We need to remember to do a heart check! Philippians 2:3 reminds us of this very thing: “Let nothing be done of selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” 

The priest and the Levite, aka, the religious ones, treated him as if he weren’t even there, a potential problem that they didn’t want to involve themselves with or in. Oh, how true it is that the church is really a hospital and all of us its patients! Shouldn’t we be asking Jesus to help us see what He sees, how He sees when He sees? When we come upon our neighbor, if we don’t make the time to take the time to learn, to listen and to remember, have we really neighbored? 

And then there is the innkeeper who gets to serve for a fee. Does it always have to be about payment?  To do something without the expectation of payment is a dual blessing, and often it’s difficult to distinguish who gets blessed more, the giver or the receiver. Acts 20:35 reminds us of Jesus’ words; that it is more blessed than to receive.

Oh, how blessed I am to know that though I have demonstrated each and every one of these attitudes, I, just like these in the parable am not condemned but a work in progress as I strive to be a better neighbor, a better representative of Christ!

Happy neighboring, friend.

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Going the Extra Mile


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m so humbled to have you join me for a cup of encouragement in the journey of life which is full of opportunities to be a good neighbor as He puts people in our lives for a reason, and for a season. Some seasons are longer than others, and some are so quick that one must be prepared and ready to show kindness, listen, sacrifice and humbly! Today being Halloween is a perfect opportunity to practice some of these neighboring principles! Come on; grab whatever you’re having and don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith as my prayer is that what you read today will tie another knot in your faith.

Have you ever not done something and even found good cause to justify not doing so…and then shortly thereafter felt a little nudge tugging on your heart?  Oh, I have, and too many times to count.  Everywhere we look there are obvious and not-so-obvious needs needing to be met, brokenness needing mending, dysfunction needing education and guidance; in other words, there are plenty of opportunities to be His hands and His feet, to friends, strangers and enemies!

Let’s look at this next piece of this verse 34 in Luke 10 which reveals the Samaritan’s commitment as it relates to this parable. He has already done what most of us would deem plenty – he saw him; his compassion moved him into action of cleaning his wounds; thereafter, he put him up on his own animal, which meant he probably walked to the inn with his eyes on the beaten man while pulling his animal and then he “took care of him.” In verse 35, we read the words: “On the next day when he departed,” which tells us he stayed the night with him!

To many of us, this is a big stretch, a sort of stock in Spandex kind of stretch! ☺ But, really what it is, is the “extra” in “extraordinary”; the extra mile. Did you know that phrase “the extra mile” actually comes from the Bible? See, according to the law, the Roman soldiers could force a Jewish boy or man to carry their packs or burdens for up to one mile. This was a law! And by the way, their mile was just a tad short of the equivalent of our mile. I don’t know about you, but walking a mile requires some energy; I can’t imagine carrying something too!

Galatians 6:2 tells us that bearing one another’s burdens is fulfilling the law of Christ! And yet…we hesitate. Maybe instead of concentrating on excusing why we don’t, let’s look at why we should:

So why would we want to go the extra mile? Well, an easy answer would be “because Jesus says so!” But let’s dig a little deeper. When Jesus spoke the words “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” in Matthew 5:41, this was contra-culture; in other words, this statement was offensive to the Jews of Jesus’ day because a Messiah wouldn’t subject himself to such humility for a myriad of reasons…many of those reasons are still with us in our own culture today.  Why do you believe Jesus requires a “second mile”? Did you know that there are those in the church that desperately need someone to go the extra mile for them? And we don’t have to walk very far outside the doors of our place of worship to see that same reality.

It’s easy to love those who love us, to like those who like us. This is the equivalent of going that first mile, and if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us do this out of a sense of duty and/or love. But when it comes to a neighbor, a stranger and even an enemy, well, this is the opportunity to go the second mile or the extra mile. It is in this second mile that others are able to see firsthand the level of our commitment and our love for Jesus. Do you believe that if more of us consistently went that second mile, the church would experience a significant shift! Why? The second mile is the trial mile, and we all know that trials grow our faith, and make us more like Jesus!

Can I encourage you this week to be on the lookout for your invitation to go the second mile.

Love,

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Humility=Thinking of Yourself Less


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you chose to take the time to make the time to join us for a cup of encouragement in the faith journey! Grab whatever you’re having for your break, and don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith because my hope is that you will be able to tie a few knots in it as things written from my heart reach yours.

So far in this series about neighboring, we’ve talked about compassion, which moves us into action, and the fact that anyone who crosses our path is our neighbor in that moment, and about the gift of listening to our neighbor and then of course the sacrifice it requires to stop in the moment and be a good neighbor. Today I’d like to talk about something that actually goes hand in hand with sacrifice and let me start out with this quote from C.S. Lewis: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”! Isn’t that a good one?!

The next thing that the Samaritan did to love/serve his neighbor after he had bandaged him, or cleaned up his wounds with oil and wine, was to then “set him on his own animal”! (Emphasis own added)

It’s important to remember the historical backdrop: The Samaritans were known as “half-breeds,” half Jewish and half Gentile, and because of their idol-worshipping, were despised even more than the Roman conquerors. They were labeled as “unclean,” which is why Jesus uses him as an example for this parable; he was the least likely to help his Jewish neighbor for the Samaritans’ hate for the Jews ran as deep as the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans!

So what would our homes, neighborhoods and communities look like if we were to lay aside culture, social and economic backgrounds, or the whole popularity issue, private and public prejudices? What if we just reached out and treated any of these, aka, our neighbor as a creation of Christ? How is it that we deny ourselves the propensity of labeling others less fortunate than ourselves in a negative light, or deny the habit of ignoring the homeless, or humbly run to instead of run from the addict, the alcoholic, or stereo-typing the more obviously wounded, or the mentally challenged, the frail elderly? What if we were to bring them near to us, just as the Samaritan put this guy on his own animal?

The Samaritan’s eyes remained opened; he listened to his heart which moved him to continue to show compassion. He could have left him there after cleaning his wounds, but he didn’t. He sacrificed his own agenda, delayed his journey and re-routed his course, and at his own expense of his own resources: time, money. He humbled himself and put the guy’s needs ahead of his own, dared to associate himself with him, bee seen with him by putting him up on his own animal. Here’s something else to ponder: I wonder if by the time the Samaritan puts him up on his horse if the guy was coherent enough to recognize the help he was receiving. Remember by the time the Samaritan reached him, he was “half dead.”

Let’s exchange “half-dead” for our lowest point or points in life, when trials and tragedies really have us shaken, when our needs feel greater than our faith. Have you ever been in such a position? Do you know anyone right now who could use someone to bring them close?  This verse goes on to say that the Samaritan takes him to a safe place! The first place I think of when I think of a safe place is the church! When is the last time you reached out to invite anyone to a safe place, let alone a hurting neighbor? Isn’t the church a hospital for the wounded and sick?

What makes us different from that man in the road? Could it be the safe place we call church?

Humbly

Evinda

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Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Sacrifice, a Door to Wisdom


Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m so glad you could join us today for a little break! Grab your favorite beverage, your Strand of Faith and if you can, your Bible. We’re going to have a little fun today with the word sac·ri·fice!

When you see that word, what’s your first thought? Is it a positive thought or a negative thought?  This three-syllable word is definitely  a huge part of being a Christian but I know it causes some of us to cringe, kind of like the word submit, or confess…I can think of a few other words that bring refinement for our hearts and walks as Christians, but let’s stay on track. I found this really cool quote by one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis: “No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.”  So let’s see what this has to do with our learning how to neighbor those we come into contact with by returning to the story of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

The next thing we read that the Samaritan did for his neighbor is he poured oil and wine on him. Now you might be thinking, oil and wine, sounds like a salad dressing! ☺ Believe it or not, there is some great significance in these two elements but let’s discuss first the sacrifices we see here. Grab your shovels and let’s do some digging.

We’ve all heard it said that if you want something done, ask a busy person; however, many of us may lean on the crutch of being too busy to stop and minister to our neighbor. But if the eyes of our heart are truly opened, compassion will send us into action, and action often requires a sacrifice.

The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines sacrifice as: “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” What makes a sacrifice a true sacrifice is the cost and I don’t mean just monetarily!

What makes this sacrifice so sacrificial is the cost! It went against culture, against common sense and core beliefs!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s sacrifice? Have you ever been the one to sacrifice something? Keep in mind, a sacrifice doesn’t have to have a monetary value at all! Let’s look at the Samaritan’s sacrifices. The first sacrifice we see demonstrated here is the sacrifice of time, which we will get more in-depth in our upcoming Mondays. The next sacrifice we see is the Samaritan giving of his supply of oil and wine. Who knows how long the Samaritan had to go to get to his final destination, but this verse makes it clear: he didn’t even stop to think about it; he was moved into action and began doing the next thing, cleaning the wound…for a potential enemy!

Here’s an important truth to take with us in this parable and in our mantra to neighbor: We can’t give what we haven’t received!  Now let’s figure out what significance the oil and wine play in this parable as well as in our own lives. There are literally hundreds of scripture references with an incredible amount of spiritual significance about wine and oil in both the Old and New Testament. It was a common practice to clean wounds with oil and wine. The two most common symbolisms are the thread from the Old to the New and they are analogous to these things: The oil is representative of new life, in other words, our new life in Christ, which is now fit for…the wine, which is analogous to the Holy Spirit. Both of these ingredients, if you will, are essential to the exercise of loving our neighbor. We cannot love or serve our neighbor the way we are called to without being in Christ and prompted by His Spirit.

Romans 12:1 tells us we are to be living sacrifices. What does being a “living sacrifice” look like to you? I can tell you what it doesn’t look like: The walking dead! We are more alive when we are open to divine opportunities to neighbor, because it means we aren’t just living by our own agenda.

Each of us has certain talents and gifts that we are to offer up as a sacrifice unto others. This is the pouring out of the oil and the wine! Pray for opportunities to exercise a sacrifice this week.

I encourage you to dig a little deeper into this subject and read Isaiah 1:11-17; Matthew 25:14-29

Learning how to sacrifice what to sacrifice!

Evinda