Black bird

I love how the GOD of ALL creation can use anything…. ANYTHING to speak to us.

I’ve been wanting to go on a GOD-date again. (That is where I get away from the normal day to day to spend time with GOD. But it’s been hard because I don’t drive. Hard to believe that I haven’t since February 2019!) Anyway, I have been praying for an opportunity to get out of the house and maybe even get to the beach again.

Well today was the day! Yay! Praise GOD my friend was going to be able to take me over the hill to the beach! I knew it was going to be chilly so I was going to take layers. I had mostly purples but felt like I was supposed to take my black UCSF sweatshirt too.

We took our time getting there since it was overcast. But by 2:00pm ish the sun was out and we were finding our way to the Capitola Beach.

There were sea gulls, pelicans, a black heron that was fishing near the shore and some pigeons. The out of nowhere, a little black bird came walking past us. After I said, “Well, hello little black bird.” We both instantly started to sing…”Black bird singing in the dead of night…”

https://youtu.be/Man4Xw8Xypo (Listen to the Beatles, Black bird)

I had to look up the song because we couldn’t remember the words. It’s crazy, the Beatles and Paul McCartney should not be worship worthy songs. BUT GOD….the GOD of ALL creation is able to use ALL things!

Are you you singing in the dead of night? Are you singing in the deepest areas of pain? Worshipping GOD when ALL looks hopeless? Are you worshipping GOD when your wings are broken and you are unable to fly? Are you worshipping GOD when you are unable to see what lies ahead?

Could it be that if you worship that you will see that what you have been waiting for is right here. You are free in Christ to fly, spread your wings and fly into the light. Take your light into the dark.

I found myself worshipping GOD on the beach. I was wearing black. I was the black bird. I need to worship in my suffering more. I need to be willing to take me light into the darkness more than I do too.

How about you? Do you feel challenged?

Challenging you to create a Psalm

At the beginning of August, I started reading a Psalm a day. Weeks before, I was asking God to increase my confidence in Him. I decided to use an older Bible that I had not used in a while and when I turned to Psalm 1, I read many notes that I had written in the Bible years earlier. One of the notes reads: “Confident believers are happy because their faith is adequate to provide them total trust. (The Upper Room Disciplines 2000, May 29).” What a great confirmation that God was going to increase my confidence in Him.

Also, a Women’s Bible study came available right around then, “A Sweeter the Honey Study of the Psalms”. I signed right up. It was filled with so many good and tasty treats from God’s Word, Yummy! (Taste and see that the LORD is good, oh the joy of those who trust in Him. Psalm 34:8). It was really a blessing and truly a help to increase my confidence in God.

One of our assignments was to write a Psalm. We were given a tool (below) based on Psalm 18. The day that the ladies in my class shared our Psalms, I challenged my Facebook friends and family to create a Psalm of their own. Several people asked me for tips and tools to start their Psalms, so here they are.

  1. Pray that God will help you.
  2. Be honest with yourself and God – open up.
  3. Take down notes of Bible verses that minister to you, your life verse or other verses.
  4. Be creative – whatever that looks like to you.
  5. Spend time silently with God asking Him to speak to you.
  6. Listen to things that others say that encourage you or speak to you.
  7. Use the tool below as a guide.
  8. Have fun!

Believe it or not, you might be surprised with what comes through your writing time. After I read mine aloud to the group, one of the leaders said, “What a beautiful Psalm of Confidence”. So I renamed it. I had not told her that I desired to have more confidence in God. But that is what came to light in the finished product through the process of writing.

This is just a tool. I will add my picture Psalm as well as my written Psalm below. Some of the ladies in my class wrote Psalms similar to the template, but others started with it and ended up with something far different. One lady set her Psalm to music and another lady had an Ebenezer (Rock of Victory or Memorial stone) which she had written on. You can paint or draw a picture, put together a collage of pictures or words. You can write a song or a story. Spend some time asking God what He would like you to do. I don’t draw very well, but I am inspirited (excited) that my picture actually looks like a treasure chest! Be creative!

Psalm 151 A Psalm of _________________ (your name)

  1. I love You, O Lord, my _____________________________(What/who is God to you, eg. Savior, Refuge, Counselor). The Lord is my _______________________, my ______________________ and my ____________________ because He _______________________________ (Write something God has done for you) I will praise Him.
  2. (Explain your situation, distress, enemy,….here, and write how it makes you feel) ____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  3. I trust You Lord with ______________________________________________ (Your situation, future, enemy, …) and know that You will hear me. Lord, give me victory over ______________________ _____________________________, give me strength for the battles/suffering that may lie ahead; and give me grace and mercy as I wait upon You.
  4. Lord, You delivered me by _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
  5. Lord, I praise You _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

A Picture of my drawn Psalm: The LORD is my Treasure, my very Great Reward:

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A Psalm of Confidence – Psalm 151

Beloved LORD and My God, my confidence and hope are in You. You are my Rock and my Refuge; You are my Shield and my Buckler. You are my Path and my Guide. You are my Light and my Life, apart from You there is nothing. You alone are my Provider, my Inheritance, my very Great Reward.

I am Your daughter, You have chosen me. In You alone will I trust; I will not lack anything and I will not be put to shame. Oh I long for the day that flesh and distractions no longer get in the way of a sweet time with You. Then I will fully know You and Your great love for me.

Thank You LORD that You hear me, that You communicate with me and respond to me. You hear me when I cry and You answer me.

God, I need You! Unless You come through, there is no hope (Tikvah) and the enemy will have won. He mocks me saying, “she will never recover from her ‘sacrifice’ or from debt she has accrued and will accrue.” The enemy taunts with lies saying I am not hireable where I can receive a decent wage and benefits. He says no decent vehicle will be found for me to own, and there’s no place to call home. He says all the men who follow You are married or too busy to want to be with “the likes of me”.

I praise You LORD, You catch me in a net of Your mercy and grace so that I will not fall into the enemy’s web of lies. I praise You LORD, Your Word illuminates the darkest places and brings truth to light.

LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the enemy. Help me, LORD my God, for I rely on You, and in Your name (Ha Shem) I have come against the vast lies of the enemy. LORD, You are my God; do not allow the enemy to be victorious in his plot to ruin me. Do not allow anyone to look at my circumstances and say that it is because You do not exist or that You do not care.

LORD You are the Cornerstone and Foundation. You are an Anchor in the storm. You are the All-Powerful Creator God and Conquering King. With one command from Your mouth, LORD the enemy will be put to death.

Abba Father, LORD Jesus, Holy Spirit, You love me, You have a very good plan for me and You are in control! I am confident that I will see Your goodness in the land of the living.“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” May those who do not know You see what You have done for me and know that You alone have moved on my behalf.

So, consider yourself officially challenged by me to create a Psalm to God. Please share with me (and others) what you end up creating. May I also encourage you to give others the same challenge??? You never know what will come of it!

Also see the story and the Psalm from the “Sweeter than Honey Bible study continued… Challenged to write another Psalm.

Up for a Baking Challenge

I enjoy a good challenge every once in a while. Do you?

Around November of last year a friend and I were out shopping when we came across a kit to make a pineapple upside down cake. I looked at the ingredients and didn’t know what a lot of them were so I put it back on the shelf. I’ve made a pineapple upside down cake before and I don’t recall it having unknown ingredients. Anyway, as I was putting it back on the shelf, I said, “Wouldn’t a coconut and pineapple upside down cake taste good?”  I got a, “Uhhh Yah!” out of my friend.

Well, I had just had surgery a little less than a month before that conversation and I was no where ready for a baking challenge.  I shared my idea with several ladies at church and they all agreed that a coconut pineapple upside down cake would taste good.

Between not feeling up to baking and not feeling creative, I kept putting off looking to find a recipe. Then one of the ladies told me that she was having to go on a low-potassium, low-sodium diet and she was having a hard time finding recipes.  Actually, several of my friends have been placed on the same diet, so I felt a challenge to help them come up with something yummy to eat.

I looked online to see if I could find any recipes and was surprised that I couldn’t find any…well until today when I actually thought of looking up “pina colada” muffins…Go figure, I have already made my own recipe! Haaa Haaa!

Here it is: Low-potassium, low-sodium, Processed sugar-free, Coconut Pineapple upside down muffins! (long name!)

1 C Quick Oats

1 Cup Shredded Wheats (or other low-potassium/low-sodium cereal) Shredded/broken up

1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1/2 C Coconut Sugar

1 t baking soda

1/4 t salt (optional)

1 C Butter Milk *(See notes)

2 T melted unsalted Butter

2 T melted coconut oil (Or use 1/4 C Butter or 1/4 Coconut oil if you don’t want to mix them)

1 – 2 t vanilla

1 egg


Topping

1/4 – 1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1 C Unsweetened Pineapple (or 1 1/2 C Frozen pineapple – Trader Joe’s brand is good)

*If using canned pineapple, reserve the juice and use it as part of the liquid and reduce the amount of buttermilk. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, mix regular milk in with the pineapple juice and allow it to sit for 3 to 5 minutes. The acid in the pineapple will curdle the milk to make buttermilk.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Grease or butter your muffin tins (this makes 12). Distribute the coconut from topping as evenly as possible between 12 tins. Brown the coconut in the oven for 2-3 minutes (watching it so that it does not burn). Once you pull the muffin tins out of the oven, distribute the pineapple evenly on top of the coconut in the 12 tins (2/3 ring fits perfectly or 4 pieces if cut up).

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the egg and the rest of the wet ingredients mixing well. Once combined, add the mixture on top of the coconut in the 12 tins. Bake for 18-23 minutes watching to make sure they don’t burn.

When you take them out of the oven, let them sit in the pan for about 15-20 minutes before taking them out.  I had to scoop some of the coconut from the tins onto the muffins, but other than that, they looked delicious!!!

img_20161001_183156 img_20161001_202455

It was worth the challenge. I hope my friends will enjoy the special treat.

Have you been given a challenge that you have not completed for some reason? I encourage you – no, challenge you – to complete it.  Please share with me how it turns out.  Do you have a challenge for me? Let me know.

God bless you!