Archive for August, 2007

God’s Kitchen

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13 KJV

I saw this statement on the cover of a magazine “A Balanced Life Begins in the Kitchen”. I thought how true this statement is but it does not begin in our kitchens; it begins in God’s kitchen. I made a big salad last night and I put some of it in a bowl to eat for dinner. I picked up the bowl to go sit down and eat it and I’m not sure what happened but the bowl and all of its contents ended up on the floor upside down.

It was as if someone had knocked it out of my hand. All of the ingredients; the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, croutons and bacon bits were all over my kitchen floor. I had made a vinegar and water dressing with sugar so all of that was also on my floor. Needless to say, my floor was very sticky and I had to immediately mop it with hot sudsy water it so it didn’t attract roaches and ants.

If a balanced life really begins in our kitchens, I would have been extremely upset and I probably would have lost my temper and thrown something when the salad and the vinegar and water fell on my floor. However, a balanced life begins in God’s kitchen. He is the one who softens our hearts to make us into the kind of Christians that He wants us to become. Instead of getting angry and letting it upset me, I started laughing because I realized that it was simply an attack from satan to keep me from writing about God’s kitchen.

Jesus has already prepared my heart for difficult situations and crises so I was able to laugh it off. He has been working on my heart for years to make me tenderhearted, compassionate, forgiving and usable for His service. However, I am far from being the person He wants me to be but He knows my heart and He knows that I love Him and want to please Him. I fail Him and when I do, it breaks my heart. I want my life to be pleasing to Him. When He looks into my heart, I want Him to see a person who is caring and loving.

I used to have a terrible temper. He has already forgiven me of all of my sins and has taken away all of the resentment, anger, hatred, sarcasm and criticism that I had buried deep in my heart for many years. This seasoning salt only comes through the cleansing atoning blood of Jesus. We must be prepared and seasoned with compassion for others and with a willingness to forgive people when someone hurts us.

Have you been to God’s kitchen? Have you allowed Him to season your heart with compassion, kindness, tenderness, and unconditional love? If He hasn’t seasoned your heart, then anything that you do is meaningless and in vain. Everything that we say or do must come from a heart that has been properly seasoned through the power of our risen Saviour. He is the only one who can take a hardened heart and melt it into a heart filled with compassion and unconditional love for others. What condition is your heart in today?

Joanne Lowe

It Starts at Home

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4–9 KJV

When I turned on the television to watch the news yesterday, there was a cartoon show just getting over. On this cartoon show, the characters were fighting with each other. This is on a show that is supposed to be for children. We wonder why some children become violent, disobedient, sarcastic, and disrespectful, not only to their parents but also to all authority figures when they grow up. It is because they have seen these character flaws on television and in the home. Some children grow up thinking this is normal and how it should be and other children grow up thinking that it is cool to do these things.

In many homes, the children are forced to hear their parents yell at each other, curse each other and sometimes see their parents hit each other. There is no place for the children to go to get away from it. If they go to their bedrooms, provided they have a bedroom, the yelling and cursing is so loud that it is like being in the same room with their parents. I personally know several people who had to endure such horror when they were children.

I have received many emails from people who have told me that they were frightened of their parents when they were children. We, as parents, are human and we are not perfect. We will have disagreements with our spouses but O dear friends; don’t say these things in front of your children. If they hear you putting your spouse down in front of them, they will follow in your footsteps.

Wait until you go to your bedroom and then take your spouse’s hand and pray together. It won’t be easy to do this, in fact, it will be impossible to do this is your own strength. However, if you will immediately ask Jesus to help you to keep quiet in front of your children, He will be faithful to help you.

One of the things that we should remember is that if both parents have accepted Jesus as personal Saviour, then not only are they husband and wife, they are also brother and sister in Christ. If you can’t pray together as husband and wife, pray together as children of our Heavenly Father.

It doesn’t matter if we are twenty years old, fifty years old, or one hundred years old, we are still His little children and He loves each one of us equally. God is not impressed with all the degrees we earn. He does not call us doctor or pastor or by any other name. He calls us by our first name. He also does not play favorites and it hurts Him and makes Him very sad when we fight with each other.

One of the most heartbreaking emails I have received was from a lady who told me that she was so desperate to leave home because of all the fighting and cursing she saw and heard at home, that she married the first man who asked her to marry him. She told me that she had only had two dates with him. She had never met his family. She didn’t know what kind of work he did, how old he was or even if he went to church. Needless to say, this marriage did not last because after they had only been married a month, he started beating her. She stayed with him until he beat her so badly that she literally passed out.

Jesus has called us to be peacemakers; He did not call us to be doormats for us to allow someone to beat on us. If you have an abusive husband or wife, I urge you, I plead with you to go to your pastor and get counsel. Don’t go to an agency unless you know for a fact they are Christians and love Jesus. What you need when you are hurting and being abused is to know what God says and what He wants done in your situation. Above all, keep praying for your spouse. God can work miracles and He does every day.

From the bottom of my heart, I ask you and beg you to love your children and set a good example for them. Otherwise, one day you may see them on death row waiting to be executed because they have killed someone. What will you say when you stand before a Holy God on the judgment day and He asks you why you didn’t raise your children the way He has commanded us to raise them? Please love your children, love your spouse, and especially love Jesus and show your love by your actions and by the encouraging words you say to them.

Joanne Lowe

God’s Computer

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof.”
Revelation 5: 1 – 5 KJV

I think God has a computer in Heaven and that He files things in His documents folder just as we file things on our computers. He has a folder for prayers from people who have asked Him for something. He has another folder for contacts, that folder is for people who have just talked to Him without asking Him for something. This folder has the least amount of documents in it because there are a lot less people who just talk to Him without wanting something from Him.

There is a folder for answered prayers. He has an address book folder. This folder contains every person’s address in the world. He has a pictures folder and in this folder is a picture of everybody in the world. Several times a day He opens the picture folder and says to each person’s picture “I love you”. He also has a personal folder in His documents folder and in this folder He keeps the names of the people who fellowship with Him every day.

I think that many times He gets lonely because He hasn’t heard from us so He opens His contacts folder and reads our last contact to Him. How sad and what a terrible reflection on us that our Heavenly Father is so neglected, forgotten and sometimes ignored that He has to read previous contacts.

I believe that it hurts Him when He notices the date on a file He opens and it says the last time the person contacted Him was a week ago. One day we will stand before Him and give an account of the way we treated Him, the way we treated His Son and the way we treated each other. That will either be a joyous day or a day of shame for us.

He opens the answered prayer folder and in there He has checked off the prayers that He has already answered but He notices that He has never received a thank You for the answered prayers. As He looks at this folder I believe His heart breaks because He sometimes feels that people don’t really love Him; they just want something from Him. May God forgive us for the way we treat our Heavenly Father!

Then He opens the folder that hurts Him the most, the address book folder. As He looks at the list, His heart is broken because many people on this list have never contacted Him. They have never accepted the sacrifice that His Son made for them when He died on the cross. Not only does it make Him sad because He hasn’t heard from all these people, it feels like a sharp knife that has been plunged deep into His heart because they have rejected His Son. When God looks at your address in His address book folder does He see a check mark beside your name saying that you have contacted Him?

More importantly, have you opened your heart to His Son, our precious Saviour? Is your name written in the Book of Life that Jesus opened? What is the condition of your heart right this minute? If Jesus were to come back for us even as you read this, would you be able to look Him in the eye or would you have to hang your head without making eye contact because you know that there is something in your heart that is displeasing to Him?

Just because we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and save us does not make us perfect. All we are our sinners saved by grace. None of us are perfect and all of us fail Jesus in some way every day. There are twenty four hours in a day. Can we honestly say that we have done the best we could for Him every day? I couldn’t say that because there is always another email I could have sent, another telephone call I could have made and another letter I could have sent. May God have mercy on us!

Joanne Lowe

You Don’t Have to Die

Monday, August 20th, 2007

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9: 35-36 KJV

For those of you who are so discouraged, defeated, lonely, hurting, frightened and abused and are thinking of committing suicide because you can’t take another day or even another hour of this sharp cutting pain in your heart, I have good news for you. You don’t have to die to get rid of all these devastating feelings. Jesus already died for you on the cross.

When He died for you, He not only took your sins on Him, He also defeated Satan. It is Satan who is attacking you with all these feelings of terror and agony. Sometimes Satan will use people who are wonderful people but they have allowed Satan to lie to them. When you think you can’t go another hour, I tell you on the authority of the Word of God and from personal experience that you can go on. You can live a victorious and productive life if you will only trust Jesus to take these feelings from you.

I spent over forty years feeling suicidal. There was not one day that went by that I did not want to kill myself. I thought that I was garbage and had nothing to contribute to society because of so many unkind things that had been said to me and all the abuse that I had to bear. One day, I realized that what I went through was nothing compared the horror and abuse that our precious Saviour endured, not only while He was here on earth, but also as He hung on that cruel cross.

Jesus loves you so much and He is leaning over you with His arms stretched wide and a heart full of compassion. He is waiting for you to run into His arms of mercy, tenderness, and understanding. If you have never given your heart and life to Jesus, please, I beg you with all of my heart to do it right now!

Don’t let Satan keep you defeated another minute. Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I write this because I know how it feels to be lonely and desperate and afraid of everyone and everything. Ask Jesus to hold you on His lap of unconditional love and compassion. He will be faithful to gently and tenderly kiss your tears away with His compassionate understanding.

There is no one like Jesus! You will never have another friend like Him. He will never leave you, not even for one minute. You’ve tried everything else and have been disappointed every time. Step out on faith and put your heart and life in the hands of our precious Saviour. You will feel a joy, peace, contentment and happiness that you have never known!

Are You Showing His Picture?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” John 14:6-9 KJV

I believe if we will listen with our hearts that we will hear Jesus saying to us “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?” I think we hurt Jesus very much when we don’t take the time to get to know Him. Yes, we know that He is our Saviour but do we really spend enough time with Him every day so that we know what is in His heart? Do we rejoice with Him when someone is saved and do we hurt with Him when people reject Him?

I have a dear friend who every time I see him pulls out his wallet and says “Let me show you my wife’s picture. We’ve been married for sixty years”. He knows that I have seen her picture countless times over the last ten years and he is not a forgetful person. He just loves his wife so much that he brags on her and wants to show her picture to everyone. When he says this, he has one of the biggest smiles on his face that I have ever seen. I believe that when Jesus pulls out our pictures that His eyes light up and He smiles and says “Let me show you the pictures of My loved ones”.

I’ve been thinking about the way my friend shows his wife’s picture to everyone he sees and I realized that a lot of times we are guilty of not showing our dear Saviour’s picture to people. There are times that they don’t see Jesus in our smiles; instead they see our frowns. There are also times that they don’t hear compassionate, forgiving and loving words from us; instead they hear critical, condemning and harsh accusations that we hurl at them. May God forgive us for not showing the picture of Jesus in our words, our expressions and in our deeds!

I think when Jesus was here on earth that He smiled when He talked about His Father. Jesus not only told everyone about our Heavenly Father; He also showed by His actions and by His words the picture of God. Jesus has set the example for us to follow and now it is up to us to walk in His footsteps. I have heard and read many times about people trying to please their parents so that their parents will be proud of them. It is far more important that we please Jesus so that we can make Him happy. Jesus has been hurt enough because of us. It is time that we concentrate on making Him happy.

When people look at you, do they see the smiles of Jesus on your face or do they see the hatred of satan? Are you showing His picture to your spouses and to your children by the way that you treat them and the things that you say to them? All of us like to show the pictures of our loved ones to people. Let’s start showing the picture of Jesus on our face, in our actions and in our words. Of course, if you have never asked Jesus to forgive you for your sins and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour, people will be unable to see Him.

If you haven’t asked Jesus to forgive you, come into your heart and save you, do it right now before it is too late! One day it will be too late for you to say “yes” to Jesus. One glorious day the trumpet will sound and Jesus will come back for us with a shout of victory. Are you ready to go with Him when He comes for us? Have you made room for Jesus in your heart?

Joanne Lowe