Saturday, April 18, 2015

It’s a Family Thing - Martin Wiles

So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. Hebrews 2:11 NLT

I have two. One came nine years after my birth, and the other around two years later. Since I was nine when my first brother was born, I cared for him in limited ways that gave Mom and Dad a break. He and my younger brother were always good buddies since they were close in age. As they grew older, my middle brother and I became good friends and enjoyed common interests and activities. My younger brother and I share little in common except heritage. Nevertheless, they are my blood relatives, and this in itself molds a common bond between us.  

Jesus had brothers and sisters. On one instance, his family sought him out thinking he had gone crazy. As they stood outside the house where he was teaching and requested to see him, Jesus told the crowd that anyone who followed him was his family. Through the sacrifice of Christ, those who receive him are made holy—not in practice but positionally in the eyes of God. When God adopts us into his family, we become brothers and sisters of Christ and in Christ. We join the family and receive all of the family benefits—and challenges. 

I remember occasions when my brothers fought with each other, tearing up Mom’s living room in the process. This went on until they were in their late teens. I thought they were acting stupid, but, then again, I probably did some dim-witted things along the way as well. Yet my brothers remained close. They hung together. After all, they were family. They shared common blood that ran through their veins. 

All who have received Christ as Savior are also part of a large family. Our looks vary, we come from various cultures, we sometimes fight and act stupid, we might occasionally even betray each other, but we all share common blood and are on the same mission. The blood of Jesus, shed for the forgiveness of our sins, runs through our veins, and the call to share his love haunts our every move. I must love them all. After all, it’s a family thing. 

Have you joined the family and begun the mission? 

Prayer: Thank You God for giving us a common bond in Jesus Christ. 

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Cheesy Noodle Casserole - Martin Wiles



CHEESY NOODLE CASSEROLE

Ingredients
2 POUNDS WIDE EGG NOODLES

½ CUP BUTTER

¼ CUP PLAIN FLOUR

1 TEASPOON GARLIC SALT

1 TEASPOON ONION SALT

6 CUPS MILK

2 POUNDS BLOCK VELVEETA CHEESE (CUBED)

2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER

½ CUP DRY BREAD CRUMBS

Directions
COOK NOODLES AND DRAIN.

MELT BUTTER, STIR IN FLOUR, GARLIC, AND ONION SALT UNTIL SMOOTH.

GRADUALLY STIR IN MILK.

BRING TO A BOIL AND COOK FOR 2 MINUTES OR UNTIL THICK AND BUBBLY.

ADD THE CHEESE. STIR UNTIL MELTED.

THEN STIR IN NOODLES.

POUR MIXTURE INTO 2 GREASED CASSEROLE DISHES.

TOSS BREAD CRUMBS AND BUTTER ON TOP.

BAKE AT 350 FOR 25 TO 30 MINUTES OR UNTIL BROWN.


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Flashback Friday - Martin Wiles

Faithing Finances

“What will you do?” “Where will you go?” “How is having no income better?” All questions asked by concerned people when I resigned. I wasn’t sure of the answers.

I was pastoring a small church in Low Country South Carolina. They were doing the best they could with pay and my wife was trying equally hard to stretch it. But the longer we stayed the more debt we accumulated. 

After months of intense prayer, I resigned. Read more...

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Priceless Doll - Alisha Ritchie

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6 NIV

She was the most beautiful doll I’d ever seen. Given as a Christmas gift from my aunt, I loved this porcelain doll with all of my 7 year old heart. She had long, golden hair cascading down her shoulders and back and wore a fancy pink dress trimmed in blue. She was just the right size for carrying—everywhere. To this day, I still have the doll tucked away safely at my house. 

I visited a local antique shop the other day and was surprised to see the very same doll. But she wore a price tag of only two dollars. Two dollars? Surely the doll was worth more than that? 

Believers sometimes fail to recognize our value in God’s eyes. Poor self- esteem or failed relationships can cause us to doubt our worth and purpose. We may see ourselves as having very little value. But God tells us something completely different. 

Moses addressed the Israelites as they prepared to destroy their enemies Just as God chose the Israelites to be His sanctified people, we too can be part of His cherished possession. This verse confirms God’s intense love for us. So much so that He calls us holy or sacred to Him. He values us not because of what we can do for Him but because of His wondrous goodness and grace He chooses to lavish on us. 

Stop viewing yourself in a negative light and see yourself as God intends—a beautiful masterpiece treasured by God Himself. We all make mistakes and will feel bad about ourselves from time to time. But those negative thoughts demean our value and blur the perspective of how God truly views us. None of us have time to waste seeing ourselves like the depreciated doll at the antique shop. 

Pray that God will help you see yourself as a treasured gift, just as I see the gift of my priceless childhood doll.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and cheriedurbin.)

Alisha Ritchie is a wife, mother of two wonderful children, Physical Therapy Assistant by profession, dedicated church member, and Sunday School teacher. She resides in the small town of Stanfield, North Carolina, where she enjoys writing, spending time with her children, and ministering to others through her work and small group Bible studies. You can read other devotions she has written on www.christiandevotions.us.



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