McKinney's Oven

 

 

The Uninvited Guest

 

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

 

My husband came to the living room where I was waiting for rest of the family to assemble for family worship, but as he appeared in the doorway I knew that something was wrong. Both he and my fourteen year old son stood looking at me wide-eyed with nervous smiles. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked, ‘Well’ my husband said, ‘he is about this long, black and now I can’t find it’. ‘Snake?!!!!!!!!!’ I shouted, ‘yes’, he said. My son picked up a stick he was holding and tried to show me how long the snake was, about four feet long. He had not seen it either but had been told what to be on the lookout for. I had somehow always imagined a snake in my basement, which always seems snaky to me, but to find one crossing my bed like he was crossing the red sea, is another matter.

I have never been fond of snakes, and I have no problem with the snakes making a home outside, but for one to be in my room hiding, this really put a damper on my day. I promised that I would not sleep in that room until it was found. To date that snake has not been found. To feel like a hostage in your own home was a new feeling for me, as there are areas I refuse to go without my husband present.

This reminds me that we as Christians wrestle not against flesh and blood. The devil is evidently real, yet we cannot see him. He works underhandedly to try to trap his prey. He is always seeking ways to cause us to fall. He is definitely an uninvited guest in the midst. The bible tells us that we must rebuke the devil and he will flee from thee. What are your concerns today? Whatever they are remember that Christ says he will never leave us nor forsake us. I know that even with the snake sharing our home that I am safe and that my God is with us in the midst of it all.

 

TILL THE STORM PASSES BY

 

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,

While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place.

'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,

Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

 

Chorus

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,

Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;

Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,

Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

 

Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try,

For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"

But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise

Where the storms never darken the skies.

 

Chorus

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,

Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;

Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,

Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

 

When the long night has ended and the storms come no more,

Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore;

In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I

Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

 

Chorus

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,

Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;

Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,

Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

 

 

 

Wide Awake

 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

With a snake sharing my home, it has truly placed a new perspective on the text, be vigilant. It would seem like every hour on the hour I would awake to carefully check my surrounding area on the couch where I had decided to make my bed for the past few nights. It was not the most comfortable but I assure you it was as far away from the area that the snake was seen and I could find a resting place. At one point throughout the night while on watch my daughter who also shared the couch with me cried out in her sleep, threw her cover of and seems much shaken as though she had dreamed that the snake was on her. What actually happened was that, my 11 year old son had decided to share the couch with us and his leg was now touching hers. Every step taken throughout the house is one of watchfulness and concern.  

We need to be wide awake to the tactics of the enemy. He sits, studies us and watches to see our weakness and then he attacks. Sometimes one attack could prove to be deadly. He places temptations in our path to trip us through life. He never stops trying to get us to fall, never! It is his desire that we will be lost for eternity and so this miserable creature makes it his duty to taunt us, test us and hassle us as this is his job. He makes it a point to make the things of this world seem so appealing, that we would choose the world over Christ.

What is my duty? We need to be awake, vigilant and sober, seeking every opportunity to spread the good news of the gospel with people we come in contact with daily. Have we taken time to witness to those around us, our neighbors, our co-workers, our unconverted family members? What are we waiting on? Why not do it today? Why not be as concerned for those as we are concerned about that snake. I truly believe that Jesus is coming soon; we do not have much time left on this wicked, sinned cursed earth. We cannot afford to get comfortable. With the snake sharing space with my family and me, we are certainly not comfortable and assure you this will forever be a constant reminder that we do not need to get comfortable here. The words to this song rings in my ear this morning as I write,

This world is not my home I'm just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

O Lord you know I have no friend like you
if Heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do?
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Let us make it a point to make heaven our home.

 

 

The Life of Samson

 

Judges 13 2And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

 3And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

 4Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

 5For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

The Lord would have the wife of Manoah adhere to strict habits of temperance. Here we have the child taken before his birth and after. You mothers should place value on these things. The appetites of the mother are transmitted to the children. Many of you who indulge in things to satisfy appetite are taking the underpinning out of your house. There are men who might have had as clear a record as Daniel. Satan is playing his cards for your soul. We want to stand free and pure from the degradations of this world. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." Christ overcame in our behalf. We may overcome through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  {Te 292.1}

Samson’s mother was very obedient to the counsel given to her by the angel. Because of the calling he had on his life it was very important that she follow the instructions. We may not have angels coming directly to us as did she however; we have the record of these and more written in the word of God that we ought to be following. We each have a special calling on our lives. We are told in the book of 1 Peter 2:9 that we were handpicked by God: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; The people whom God is leading will be peculiar. They will not be like the world. But if they follow the leadings of God, they will accomplish His purposes, and will yield their will to His will. Christ will dwell in the heart. The temple of God will be holy. Your body, says the apostle, is the temple of the Holy Ghost.  {CD 72.2}

God had an important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be carefully regulated. The child will be affected for good or for evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse, but such teaching is false and mischievous. The mother is by the command of God Himself placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control.  {PP 561.1} 

God has an important work and a special calling on each of us. It is his desire that we follow strict habits of temperance.  He is expecting us to be disciplined in our way of life, the choices we make, what we eat and drink. 1 Peter 2:9 says Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: In order to be aware of the enemies tactics, as he studies us we need to be sober and alert at all times, because he hits when we are least prepared to withstand the attack. Many of us are not going to drink alcohol, but we sit and overeat, and when we do we are getting drunk. We need to learn how to exercise moderation and self-restraint in appetites and behavior. When a person is drunk they are unable to make the best decisions. Choose wisely what, when and how much you are going to eat today. Remember that God is calling you to be an example to those around you. Preach a silent sermon today.

This week we will look at the life of Samson.

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Did You Know?

 

 

Did You Know?

The king did not compel the Hebrew youth to renounce their faith in favor of idolatry, but he hoped to bring this about gradually. By giving them names significant of idolatry, by bringing them daily into close association with idolatrous customs, and under the influence of the seductive rites of heathen worship, he hoped to induce them to renounce the religion of their nation and to unite with the worship of the Babylonians.   Prophet and Kings

Let us first look at the name change.

The Meaning of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah

 

 Hebrew Name

Meaning

Babylonian Name

Meaning

Daniel

God is Judge

Belteshazzar

May Bel protect his life

Hananiah

Jehovah is gracious

Shadrach

Command of Aku[1]

Mishael

Who is he that is God

Meshach

Who is what Aku is?

Azariah

Jehovah has helped

Abed-Nego

Servant of Nebo[2]

 

 

How significant is your name? I am a Christian. Whenever I do something that is not pleasing to God and I say I am a Christian, I am misrepresenting the character of Christ and being a poor witness. I am telling the world by the way I live that being a Christian is just a name. With their very lives at stake these young men would not allow even a name change to change who they were and whose they were. There are certain names that once you hear it called you very quickly associate it with someone of royalty, wealth, and possibly people who are troublesome. What happens when your name is called? What is it that people associate you with? Have you ever given it much thought?

Then there are those who give names to their children without much thought as to their meaning. It may be that it sounds good, or it is traditionally used in the family. Before naming your child why not look up the meaning to see what the name means. It may help you to change your mind and may help that child. Even Saul’s name was changed to Paul while on the road to Damascus, signifying a change in character.

…by bringing them daily into close association with idolatrous customs, and under the influence of the seductive rites of heathen worship. PK  Babylonian custom compels every woman of the land once in her life to sit in the temple of love and have intercourse with some stranger. The men pass and make their choice. It matters not what be the sum of money; the woman will never refuse, for that were a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. After their intercourse she has made herself holy in the sight of the Goddess and goes away to her home." That is unless she decided to continue as a full time priestess. The man was not paying for sex, but rather making an offering to the Goddess for allowing him to participate in the sacred ritual. A Brief History of Religious Sex

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, Be not deceived evil communication corrupts good manners. Daniel and his friends remained faithful in spite of all that was going on in front of them. In spite the fact the king did everything to make them comfortable and at ease in his palace they were not interested. It was not worth their soul’s salvation.  

 

Laws of Health

 

  

Ephesians 6:12 

 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

 

Daniel's parents had trained him in his childhood to habits of strict temperance. They had taught him that he must conform to nature's laws in all his habits; that his eating and drinking had a direct influence upon his physical, mental, and moral nature, and that he was accountable to God for his capabilities; for he held them all as a gift from God and must not, by any course of action, dwarf or cripple them. As the result of this teaching, the law of God was exalted in his mind and reverenced in his heart. During the early years of his captivity Daniel was passing through an ordeal which was to familiarize him with courtly grandeur, with hypocrisy, and with paganism. A strange school indeed to fit him for a life of sobriety, industry, and faithfulness! And yet he lived uncorrupted by the atmosphere of evil with which he was surrounded.  {CG 166.4}  Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat and drink and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is caused by violating the laws of health; it is the result of violating nature's law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health.

Intellectual power, physical stamina, and the length of life depend upon immutable laws. Through obedience to these laws, man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” and of “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. {CSA 56.4}

These laws of health that Daniel and his friends lived by are listed below for you. They are now known as New Start. Many of us can use a new start today.

1.       Proper Nutrition

2.       Exercise

3.       Water

4.       Sunlight

5.       Temperance

6.       Fresh air

7.       Rest

8.       Trust in God

Many of us are taking our problems into our own hands and not consulting God. We need to trust him for all things. Being our creator he knows what is best for us. Why not submit to him today as did Daniel and his friends? He was there for them while they faced the fiery furnace, while Daniel faced the loins den, and while he went through all his other trials and he will be there for you. Give God a try today.

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Communications

 

 

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1 Corinthians 15:33  

“Those who would have that wisdom which is from God must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears, lest they hear that which is evil and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts. And they should guard their tongues, lest they utter corrupt communications and guile be found in their mouths.”  {Adventist Home 404.1} Is it really possible to close our eyes and ears so as not to hear or see any evil? We live in a real world and these things are all around us. How do we avoid evil?

The training that Daniel and his friends got prepared them for the trials that were ahead of them. They were taught to be discipline in what they ate, when they ate and with whom they ate. They did not spend their pass time hanging out and wasting time. There was no television during that time, but I imagine there were other means of entertainment that he along with his friends may have participated in from time to time, so long as it lined up with the word of God. Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. They were trained to pray often, study their Bibles and to rely on God for wisdom and strength, the supplier of it all. Do you think that it was a coincidence that these boys stood firm to their beliefs? No! Obviously they stood together because they got the same training at home, and possibly they were friends. Evil communications! When we allow our friends, family members and possibly that which we see and hear to influence us for evil. I can recall how many times I did what my friends suggested knowing that it was not right, yet, wanting to please them and not let them down. I had gotten good training at home, my parents believed in good Christian education, I was taken to church weekly, morning and evening worship was a definite part of our daily routine, we were taught to memorize scripture, my parents did their best to keep us pure and so everywhere we went was monitored; Yet, in all of this, we to strayed. Why? Could it possibly be evil communications in the form of friends, radio and television? Not all of our friends were Christians, and as much as my parents tried to control this when we went to school we had friends who were not Christians. We would sneak and watch television programs we knew better than to watch when they were around. We simply did not have a relationship with God. This is what separated Daniel and his friends from their peers, their relationship with God. We knew of him, but we did not know him.

The spirit that possessed Daniel, the youth of today may have; they may draw from the same source of strength, possess the same power of self-control, and reveal the same grace in their lives, even under circumstances as unfavorable. Though surrounded by temptations to self-indulgence, especially in our large cities, where every form of sensual gratification is made easy and inviting, yet by divine grace their purpose to honor God may remain firm. Through strong resolution and vigilant watchfulness they may withstand every temptation that assails the soul. But only by him who determines to do right because it is right will the victory be gained.  {Prophets and Kings 489.3} 

     What a lifework was that of these noble Hebrews! As they bade farewell to their childhood home, little did they dream what a high destiny was to be theirs. Faithful and steadfast, they yielded to the divine guiding, so that through them God could fulfill His purpose.  {PK 490.1} 

     The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and children today. The life of Daniel and his fellows is a demonstration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.  {PK 490.2} 

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Is it a Blessing or a Curse?

 

Take heed that no man deceive you…Mark 13:5

When I think of Daniel and his friends and how disciplined they were it truly brings me to think how many times I myself have failed God in my choices, as an adult. I have a friend who whenever she comes to visit she feels she must bring gifts for my family and I. So she would bring grocery bags full of food. I do appreciate her acts of kindness; however, it is guaranteed that some of the food will not fit the Daniel fast list. There would be things like chocolate cookies, cookie mix, macaroni and cheese, and lots of other so-called ‘goodies’.  As soon as she gives me the bags I look through and pick out those things that we do not eat. She seems never able to understand why we do what we do, not that I have not tried many times to explain that there are certain foods that may not necessarily be unclean but that will affect our frontal lobes. To take the food would be deceptive and would make her feel that I do not have a problem with the food she brought. Now I know that some of you will argue that I am refusing a blessing. Is it possible that what may seem a blessing may be a curse? I cannot pretend that we are going to eat the food because, “Even a mere pretense of eating the food ...could be a denial of my faith." You see I determined almost ten years ago that we would live on the Daniel diet for a lifetime. It is only through constant prayer and fasting that we can remain strong, disciplined, and focused.  Daniel and his associates had been trained by their parents to habits of strict temperance. They had been taught that God would hold them accountable for their capabilities, and that they must never dwarf or enfeeble their powers. This education was to Daniel and his companions the means of their preservation amidst the demoralizing influences of the court of Babylon. Strong were the temptations surrounding them in that corrupt and luxurious court, but they remained uncontaminated. No power, no influence, could sway them from the principles they had learned in early life by a study of the word and works of God.  {PK 482.2} 

To think that it was the training that they got as children that kept them from temptations during their time of captivity, really is a very sobering thought to a mother of three. The training that they are now receiving in my care can determine their eternal destiny. Many of us wish to give our children whatever they want, whenever they like with no thought as to what they are becoming. A lack of discipline, as parents, in our personal life results in undisciplined children. Our children, neighbors, co-workers, friends and family are watching us. What is your influence? We can be that silent sermon and the only Jesus some will ever see. It is my prayer that God will find us faithful when he comes.  

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Dare to be a Daniel - Jan 12, 2010

 

Daniel 1:8

 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

 Have you ever wondered why you do things you do? What makes you the person you are today? Growing up my dad would bring home really nice treats for us at the end of his work day. We welcomed him with a song that went like this, Daddy come ooh da, Daddy come; we would sing that song over and over until he gave us the treats in the bags. Meanwhile he would be smiling air to air as he teased us. Sometimes it would be glazed covered donuts, coconut, apple or pineapple tarts or candy bars. He never disappointed us kids. It took days of prayer to get rid of the habit of candy bars and to this day that sweet tooth is still with me.  It takes lots of prayer and fasting to take the urge away not to end my day on a sweet note of cakes and cookies. Habits are formed early in life that can truly determine our destiny.

Daniel and his friends were given the choice to eat from the king’s table. The average 14/15 year old would jump at the opportunity to eat such delicacies. The truth is most people would feel it an honor. I imagine he had the choices of today available to him, and was offered the best meats, rich desserts, wine and soda.

There are a few foods that need to be avoided if you decide that this is a diet that you want to follow:

       Meat

       White rice

       White flour

       Fried foods

       Caffeine

       Alcohol

       Carbonated drinks

       Refined sugar or sugar substitutes

       Margarine

       Shortening

       Fats

       Foods with preservatives or additives

Those that you mau want to include can be found on Keffie's Blog

I can see the onlookers now mumbling among themselves about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They must have been the talk of the town. Imagine being invited to eat at the Presidents home and all on the menu are foods you do not eat. What would you do? Do you think it would be an insult to the president? Who would you rather be loyal to, the God of heaven or your President?

There were many reasons why Daniel and his friends chose not to eat from the king’s table and what kept them during these hard times. Some of them are listed for you:

·        A portion of the animal eaten was first offered as a sacrifice to pagan gods and one partaking of it would be regarded as offering homage to the gods of Babylon.

·        They decided to remain faithful to God regardless the circumstances. The approval of God was dearer to him than the favor of the most powerful earthly potentate--dearer than life itself.

·        They refused to blunt their spiritual & moral nature by indulgence in appetite;

·        Their constant prayer life kept them strong.

·        They realized that a single departure from principle would have their sense of right and wrong, which would have led to other wrong acts and to complete apostasy. The first wrong step would lead to others, until, their connection with Heaven severed, they would be swept away by temptation.  {PK 483.2}

·        The Babylonians ate unclean meats.

·        The beast had not been properly killed according to the Levitical laws found in  Leviticus 17:14 and Leviticus 3:17

·        The use of luxurious & unhealthy foods & drink was contrary to strict principles of temperance;and they knew that their own physical and mental power would be injuriously affected by the use of wine.  {PK 482.1}

·        For Daniel & his friends there was the added desire to avoid flesh food from their diet.

·        They had been properly trained by their parents to habits of temperance, according to the Bible.

.        He might have even have argued that, dependent as he was on the king's favor and subject to his power, there was no other course for him to pursue than to eat of the king's food and drink of his wine; for should he adhere to the divine teaching, he would offend the king and probably lose his position and his life. Should he disregard the commandment of the Lord he would retain the favor of the king and secure for himself intellectual advantages and flattering worldly prospects. PK 482

  Let us briefly take a look at the biblical principles found in the book of Leviticus which says;

It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. Leviticus 3:17

For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. Leviticus 17:14 

Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of itself or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food. {Counsels on Diet and Foods 374.4}The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system.  Could you know just the nature of the meat you eat, could you see the animals when living from which the flesh is taken when dead, you would turn with loathing from your flesh meats. The very animals whose flesh you eat, are frequently so diseased that, if left alone, they would die of themselves; but while the breath of life is in them, they are killed and brought to market. You take directly into your system humors and poison of the worst kind, and yet you realize it not.  {CD 385.1}

Make a commitment today that you will do your best to please God rather than man, no matter the outcome. It may mean being ridiculed by both friends and family, teased, talked about, mistreated, disowned, looked on as being strange, laughed at, you may even suffer persecution on the job, even cut off. I would much prefer to be cut off from family and friends than to be cut off from God. To take such a stand means being totally connected to God, seeking directions for you life in his words. May God grant you a blessed day today and may you Dare to be a Daniel.

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Jan 11, 2010  "Purpose"

 

 

1 Peter 4:12, 13

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Many times when we find ourselves in trying situations where our faith is being tested, we wish that God would rescue us before the ordeal was over. Daniel and his three friends did not wait for God to rescue them they stepped out on faith. Here the Bible gives us an example of four Hebrew boys whose faith was strong and with every trial that they faced their faith grew stronger and stronger. Not once did they display any signs of fear or discouragement. The first test they had was a dietary one. They refused to eat from the kings table. Don’t think for one minute that their lives were not threatened. They were told how their King Nebuchadnezzar was known for his acts of violence and how he would treat anyone that defied him. You see, when Daniel and his friends chose not to eat the Kings food that was a major concern for their caretakers because that would make them look really bad. The story is told about King Zedekiah, the youngest son of Josiah, who tried to escape from the Babylonian siege at night.  When he and his sons were caught, they saw the cruel actions of Nebuchadnezzar, who blinded Zedekiah after he witnessed the murder of his sons (Jeremiah 39:5).  How cruel and wicked.  Nebuchadnezzar was also known for burning people alive as we see in Daniel chapter 3, when Daniel and his friends once again did not wait for God to rescue them. The Hebrew boys refused to bow down and worship the king. They told King Nebuchadnezzar without wavering that even if their God did not deliver them out of the fiery furnace they would not worship him. We know the story well and so we know that God did deliver them out of the fiery furnace. Each trial brings us closer to God. It is a humbling experience to face trials that are of a public nature. I am sure that they were ridiculed and laughed at. Can you imagine the gossip? I imagine before going in the fiery furnace there was quite a snicker among the people. These young men had to have a purpose. It was their hearts desire to be faithful to the true God no matter what.  

Daniel and Moses alike were educated in the learning and science of the land of their captivity.  Daniel sets an example for believers, we can learn the teachings and philosophy of the world, but we don’t have to accept them.  Daniel’s learning gave him the opportunity to be a witness for the true God.  In the same way, God can use our service in this world as a way to reach those who are lost. What is your purpose? Can the Lord use us like he did Daniel? Some of us he cannot trust because we constantly mess up. Today we have a new start and a new day to be faithful to God. Eat right, live right and be a witness for him. May God bless you as you go throughout this day, and like Daniel have a purpose.  

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I give you Jesus

Daniel 2:23 “I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, for you have given me wisdom and glowing health.”

Imagine being kidnapped by the riches country and you are only a teenager. Nebuchadnezzar told Ashpenaz, one of his officers, to select the most promising among the exile youth and to train them in Babylonian culture. He wanted them for future service in his kingdom. Daniel and his friends were going to be re-educated, new names, homes, music, dress, language, food, and friends. You are kidnapped by ungodly men who worship other gods, who threaten to kill you if you don’t worship their gods. These boys had many reasons why they could compromise and do what they were being told to do, instead of what they were taught by their parents. Being so young, maybe 15-17, with no experience of being away from family and friends, about 1000 miles from home to be exact, authority demanded that they do what was required of them, it was an order from the King himself and, there was even a chance that they could make the King angry, there was a chance of advancement, to be accepted by their peers and they could have felt forsaken by all. They were subjected to the severest temptations that could ever come by the youth of today, yet he was faithful to the religious instruction he received in his early life.

Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat from the kings table. Babylon was a highly religious society with, continual animal sacrifice and rituals.  Since the King was also a religious leader, the food from his table would have been sacrificed to the Babylonian gods.   The food provided to Daniel and his friend’s was part of the King’s very own diet, to reject the food outright would be an act of rebellion.  Daniel and his friends needed to be very careful how they approached the subject. Daniel 1:8  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. In the first eight verses, we see what separated Daniel from most of the people living in Jerusalem.  He sought to please God, regardless of his circumstances. Try to imagine the perspective of this young man, he was taken to a foreign land, away from parents and family, forced to submit to a violent and pagan people, yet he had purpose. Daniel knew who he was and who God was. Daniel knew if God was willing, God would make a way.  Daniel, did not just wait for God to rescue him, he stepped forward in faith.  He gave God the opportunity to work, by asking for an exception. After 10 days of eating the way they were taught at home, fruits, vegetables nuts, and grains, their health glowed. These young men allowed God to use them and they decided to be obedient even if there God had not come through for them.

Many of us choose daily what to eat with no thought as to what the instructions are found in the word of God.  We know that we are not eating the right foods because we do not feel or look good. We have chosen to eat what we want, where we want it and how we want. But what does the Bible say? Genesis 1: 29 tell us that God wants us to go back to the original diet that was given in the Garden of Eden. And God said behold I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of the all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. The instructions are clear; Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. To Be Cont.

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Jan 9, 2010

Morning Manna

 

Exodus 16:4 

 

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

I truly felt my body calling out for a cleansing, yet, I ignored the plea and went about my routine. As is my custom, I prepared bread that week for some friends and neighbors. When I got to my friend’s home she ran out to say that she had something for me. And you guessed it right, two grocery bags filled with fresh fruit and vegetables. I could not believe it, not only did I feel I needed one but now God was telling me that I had no excuse. Now I love all fruit but my absolute favorite for my cleanse, is grapes. There were so many grapes in the bag I had to freeze some for smoothie. How many times we ignore God’s calling the same way. We know that he wants us to spend more time with him in his word, yet we race through life, going about our own routine, trying to get to work and making sure the children are on the bus stop on time. The Bible says we must be still and know that he is God. My son Vince likes to be reassured of our love for him. You can always find him hugging or clinging to either me or his dad. He never lets go until he receives a kiss and a hug. Night time is no different as he plants himself between us in the bed and kisses and hugs and waits too get his in return. He never leaves until he finds out if it is possible that he sleep in the middle or on the floor at our feet. Our God never lets go and he to needs to be reassured of our love and affection for him. He is a jealous God and wants us to cling to him to find out what are his plans for us for the day and for our lives. Morning and evening and at noon time Daniel found time to pray to God.

The Israelites had difficulty seeking God daily. Can you imagine each day for forty years being fed manna from heaven, Angel’s food? Daily, God rained food from heaven for them. They were given specific instructions, gather as much as you need and do not take more than you could use for the day or it will spoil. May did collect more than they needed and true to the word in the morning it was spoiled, worm infested and totally repulsive. God’s daily provision was a test to see how much they trusted and obeyed him. The only day that he instructed them to take twice as much was the preparation day or the day before the Sabbath.  They were also instructed to collect it before the heat of the day. As the day got hotter the manna melted away. God wanted to show them that it was important that they realize that they needed his strength before the days problems began. As the song writer says Trust and obey for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. True happiness and contentment comes from trusting and obeying. Give your all to the master today. Allow him to help you to get it right this time. Why not get on your knees in prayer where you are right now and commit your ways to him.

Dear Lord, this is a new day and you have given each of us a new clean start, help us to allow you to help us to take advantage of this gift you have given us, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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One Day at a Time

 

 

We are only human and we make mistakes. Each day we are given a new start, a new beginning that we can make things right with our God, our family, our diet or lifestyle, our________.  We determine whether we are going to allow the new day to bring success or failure, by simply committing our way unto the Lord. We can do nothing on our own. Philippians 4:13 says Through Christ I can do all things.  It is of utmost importance that each day we commit our ways unto the Lord. We need direction from him as to where he would have us to go and what he would have us to do. One of my favorite authors says it this way. Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, "Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee." This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ. Steps to Christ 69-71

We each struggle, some of us with the same things, others with different evils. Our help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth to overcome whatever is keeping us from reaching our goals in life.  Some of us are struggling with what to eat, eating late, skipping meals, overeating, a lack of drinking water, insufficient  exercise or maybe a few of us to much, maybe excessive television watching. Whatever you are struggling with, we have help, there is hope. Bring everything to the throne of God no matter what it is and he will help you to overcome. Remember ALL things work together for good to them that love him. When we call on Jesus, all things are possible, and mountains that seemed too high become small hills.  What are you struggling with today and need deliverance from? Why not get on your knees where you are right now and ask the Lord to take full control of the situation. A friend told me that while he is at work, whenever he goes on his break he takes toilet paper, lines the bathroom floor and kneels in prayer. He is willing, able and ready to give us the victory today, we need simply to trust him more. Order my steps Lord, today I need you to help me to make the right decisions for my life. I give my all to you.

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Pruning

John 15:2-3 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Pruning is a promise of God to those who yearn to be more fruitful for him. None of us like the thought of being pruned, though, do we? But what’s the alternative? Have you ever seen an abandoned fruit tree left to its own? Its branches are spindly and weak, and the little fruit it produces is usually deformed and wormy. Like it or not, we need pruning. God’s word is his pruning tool of choice, but affliction is often necessary to remove the dead, sickly or barren branches. When He sees attitudes and behaviors in our lives that are harmful to us and keep us from being all we are designed to be, He will allow trials and afflictions in our lives ~ not to harm us but to train us and make us more fruitful in days to come. The trimming away of the old branches forces new and healthier ones to develop, which in turn, allows us to produce larger, higher qualities, and more valuable fruit. Isn’t that what we all want?

We have each had our share of problems. What’s funny is that when we are going through our trials we seem to feel like no one else will understand. We feel like we are the only one going through this situation. It would be wise for us to realize that whatever we may be facing someone else has gone through it or something very similar.

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The 8 Doctors

 

 

The caller was excited she had heard something on the radio program that sparked her interest. She went on to say that her doctor had asked her to get on medication because her cholesterol level was so high. However, that day after listening to the radio program she saw a glimmer of hope. Marlene? What can I do? Is there hope for me without having to take medication everyday? I do not like taking medicine, she went on to say. Without hesitation she eagerly signed up for the six week vegetarian cooking class and with an eagerness about her like a child she attended each session, anxious to learn how to cook and eat right. Each week we explored the New Start program and how God wanted to bring healing to our bodies. As she applied the principles she learnt, she shared how she was feeling and how much stronger she was getting. At the end of the six weeks class as she had her cholesterol levels checked, I think I could still remember the shouts of joy. Marlene, my cholesterol is normal! Praise the Lord! Six years later and her cholesterol level is still normal.

The book of Exodus 15:26 says, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. What were the diseases of the Egyptians? Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay, atherosclerosis, obesity and more. These are the same diseases that we are dying from today because we choose not to live and be obedient to God’s word. We are given a beautiful promise here all we need to do is follow. Will you choose to be obedient today?

8 natural remedies God has given for our health, which if followed will prevent disease and promote spiritual benefits. If these 8 laws are followed our bodies & mind, will be strengthened, thus preparing us for God’s ministry. If we follow these counsels, the Lord will richly bless & guide us.

1. Good nutrition – this is essential for our present & future health.
2. Adequate exercise – the best kind of exercise will be of a permanent pattern such as walking, jogging, lap swimming & hiking.
3. Pure water – 6-8 glasses a day of pure well or spring water between meals rather than during meals. Water is the best beverage; it should be the major form of our liquid intake.
4. Sunshine – Vitamin D from the sun is essential to health. This can be combined with exercise.
5. Temperance – being moderate in everything we do and avoidance of all that is harmful. Intemperance stimulates non-Christ-like passions.
6. Fresh air – this is becoming an increasingly difficult commodity to find, especially if we live in a sizable city. Exercise in the park or on the beach, or on a country road in sunlight, is recommended.
7. Rest – as eating, our rest should be regular. “Early to bed, early to rise” philosophy has no substitution. 7-8 hours of sleep is needed at night, without interruption. If disregarded, it will indeed take a toll later in life.
8. Trust in Divine Power – this is most important of all eight natural remedies. Each day we need our own ‘private’ devotions with the Lord. Morning & evening; we start with the Lord and end with the Lord. If followed or practiced it will strengthen our resolve to follow Lord and be a witness for Him. Also it will preserve us from much temptation. Trust in God includes the total surrender of the will to Jesus daily. Total surrender of our will to Jesus will allow the Lord to purify our hearts of all selfishness, pride, covetousness, ungodly passions, defensiveness, greed, rivalry, bitterness, impatience, judgemetalism, murmuring, hatred, deceitfulness, contention, vanity, and all non-Christ-like characteristics.

Miracles

 

John 12:32 

 

 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 

In an effort to reach a larger crowd than my living room/class room could hold, I was truly inspired to host the first ever Vegetarian Cooking and Tasting Extravaganzas show in a hotel.  I had been conducting classes in my home prior to this and could accommodate about 25 students per session. The British Colonial Hilton had recently opened in town and I really did not feel they would allow the use of the hotel. It was not the custom of hotels to allow individuals to cater to their own functions but because they had not been serving vegetarian foods they had no reason to tell me no.  A friend encouraged me to call knowing they would be looking for business, and he was right. Now, what I had not told him was that I had no money, not sufficient to put this kind of program together, or so I thought. It was just a dream. In spite the facts, I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to launch full steam ahead. With $50.00 to spare between my husband and myself, we knew that it would be insufficient funds to go to a hotel to book a room large enough to accommodate at least 100 people. However, I got an appointment anyhow.

 

The morning of my appointment, I had made a stop at a small convenience store after my morning run. A friend of mine worked there and I wanted to tell her and have her join my family in prayer for me as I headed to the hotel that day. I also wanted to share some of the excitement with her. Feeling the need to have another reason to go in, I grabbed the change I found in the car so that I could purchase whatever I could. I was able to get 3 oranges for the $1.00 I found. As I got to the check out my excitement was just bursting.  The first thing she wanted to know was how she could help. Very quickly she went into her purse and gave me $25.00 to help out. I told her she really didn’t have to give me anything because I would need her help in preparing the food, but she insisted. So, unknown to her, I now had $75.00.

 

Before getting dressed that Friday morning to go to the hotel we had our family worship and with so much to pray for we petitioned the throne of God. We prayed that we would find favor with the person whom I would meet with and that I would have sufficient funds to book the room.  As it turns out the young lady who interviewed me that morning was sent by God. Having graduated from the Adventist Academy I had taught at, she and I connected right away and she was excited about doing business with me and truly loved vegetarian food. Of course the most important thing on my mind was how much was this all going to cost. The price was $300.00 to cover the entire program, a beautiful room that could accommodate 100 people or more, even all the china to serve the food. It was unbelievable, but we know we serve a living savior and with God all things are possible, especially to those that believe. To book the date would be $50.00, so now I had change. I booked the room and left there praising God. The students who were in my current vegetarian cooking class sold 65 tickets, I advertised for free by radio and had no idea how many would show up. So with lots of help from family and friends we prepared food enough for about 150 people. That evening we had about 150 people who showed up at the door.

 

What is God calling you to do today but you are hesitant to make a move due to money shortage? It takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. He has promised in the book of Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Why not put him to the test today, and do something BIG for Him.

 

Touch of Faith

 

"Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God." Isa. 43:12 

Imagine spending all that you have, trying every product you could find and still get no results. I had tried every program I could think of looking for healing, wanting to lose weight. My doctor visits, what a waste of money that proved to be.  I could honestly remember spending my last dollar at a friends’ pharmacy trying the latest weight loss drug. Each time I went I needed no prescription because he was my friend and he was looking out for me, as a matter of fact he would call and let me know when he got something new and that I should try it. He knew how desperate I was to look and feel better about myself as I shared this with him whenever I went. Not once did I pay any attention to the manufacturers list of side effects, and there were many. I simply wanted to lose the weight. I tried the liquid diets, soup diets, over-the counter drugs, starving, this and that. It never occurred to me that every time I bought into these programs that I had fallen for the devils’ snares and that I may be disappointing my heavenly father. I had never honestly consulted him about how he wanted me to eat and live. I was simply living life the way I knew best. When I hit rock bottom, physically, spiritually and emotionally I was simply drowning in my sorrows and I knew that I needed a savior to rescue me. So I called out to the Master Physician and healer. As I got on my knees in earnest prayer I cried out to the one who had healed so many others before and I knew that he would not let me down.

A poor woman, who for twelve years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden and  had spent all she had on physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable had met Jesus in a crowd. She had heard of the cures that Christ performed and felt sure that if she could only go to Him she would be healed. In weakness and suffering she came to the seaside where He was teaching, and tried to press through the crowd, but in vain. Again she followed Him from the house of Levi-Matthew, but was still unable to reach Him. She had begun to despair, when, in making His way through the multitude, He came near where she was. Here was her golden opportunity. She was in the presence of the Great Physician! But amid the confusion she could not speak to Him, nor catch more than a passing glimpse of His figure. Fearful of losing her one chance of relief, she pressed forward, saying to herself, "If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole." As He was passing, she reached forward, and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. But in that moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch she was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness gave place to the vigor of perfect health. With a grateful heart she then tried to withdraw from the crowd; but suddenly Jesus stopped, and the people halted with Him. He turned, and looking about asked in a voice distinctly heard above the confusion of the multitude, "Who touched Me?" The people answered this query with a look of amazement. Jostled upon all sides, and rudely pressed hither and thither, as He was, it seemed a strange inquiry.

Jesus insisted on knowing who had touched Him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward tremblingly, and cast herself at His feet. With grateful tears she told the story of her suffering, and how she had found relief. Jesus gently said, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." He gave no opportunity for superstition to claim healing virtue for the mere act of touching His garments. It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His divine power, that the cure was wrought.

After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gifts which the gospel offers are not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. So the Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God." Isa. 43:12. Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. The book of Revelation 12:11 says, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. We are to share our testimony with those we meet, give them hope of overcoming. Are you in need of healing today? I do not know what your problem is but Jesus knows every thing and he is willing and able to heal you. Call on him today; ask him for direction and I assure you he will direct you to the path of life. May God bless you today as you choose to live for him.

Packed!

Share on FacebookNot so long ago when you entered my living room, you would be overwhelmed by boxes packed and lined up high to the ceiling. It was evident to those visiting that someone was moving. Often we were asked, “Where are you moving to?” To be honest, we really did not know. We simply knew that we were moving and that God had something better in store for our family. We had been fasting and praying about this move for about a year before we started packing and selling. We paid of bills and were certain to consult our Father in heaven about everything.


Our first big move was to leave our hometown Nassau, Bahamas. This was really a whale of a move because we were home and this gives a sense of security and comfort. We felt God’s leading in our family to relocate us and give us a much needed new start outside of our hometown. Doors opened for my family to relocate to Dayton, Tennessee. We watched how God moved obstacle after obstacle out of our way and six months later we had packed and sold just about everything we owned.


Not long after we relocated again and this time the road led to New York. I was uncertain as to why the Lord would lead us to New York and I made it clear to him and my husband that I did not want to go. Many suggested that maybe I shouldn’t go and return to the Bahamas instead. However, God had other plans and it was evident. Every obstacle that seem to me was in the way, God removed.


We made our home in Bay Shore, New York, however we were not settled, as it was our hearts desire to reside in the country. It was our constant prayer that God would help us find a home away from the city. In truth Long Island is not a city, however it is not country, and we felt God calling us to the countryside. It was our prayer that God would give us something better. A few months later, we watched how God opened doors as my husband was asked to help out in the office at Camp Victory Lake in Upstate, New York. Once again prior to this request, we had many boxes packed and we were ready to move. We had made up our mind and we really did not know how God would move but we held on to the promises found in the word of God. Psalm 84:11. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. God has many ways of providing for his children that we know nothing of. He simply wants us to trust him. It has now been two years and we have been enjoying country living.


I am packing again, this time not for an earthly home but for the kingdom of God. I assure you it won’t be boxes this time, we won’t need any of what we have here for the home he has gone home to prepare for us. He has promised in John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. So why not pack with me.


Is your heart troubled today? God has a specific plan for you. We need to see seek him morning, noon and night as did Daniel to know what his plans are for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that he has a specific plan for you, yes you! For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Before you were born he knew what he had planned for your life. If you are experiencing some challenges in your life, you need to remember Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego who being very young were taken captive away from family and friends. There was nothing familiar around them, yet they praised the God of heaven. Problems and challenges are the building blocks for success. We are going to have adversity and challenges, this is what life is made of, and this is what will make you strong. Hold on, fasten your seat belts and allow God to take you on the journey of a lifetime. He will never fail you or leave you, just trust him totally. Let your problems become opportunity for success. He is preparing you for something better. Ministry of Healing page 471 says, “Trials and obstacles are the Lord's chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success.” Daniel and his friends never allowed their problems to overwhelm them. God’s children do not give up. Remember who you are and whose you are and make a promise to live out his plan for you. Deuteronomy 7:6 says, For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. God’s riches blessings come to those who do not compromise and those who choose to be faithful. Pack light because Jesus is coming soon. Promise that you will do what you can to be a part of that tremendous, magnificent gathering in the sky. Have a terrific day!

By: Marlene McKinney

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