Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gossip Kills – Deceitful Meat

Gossip kills, bread of deceipt
Written by Mary Carol Poggemann

God has a lot to say about the people who we eat with, those that we spend time with, our associates, our co-workers, and our friends.  He cautions us to be careful and to “consider diligently” what is before us; but, that caution doesn’t apply just to the food before us, it also extends to the ideologies that are before us.

Proverbs 23:1-3 (KJV) - When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.  Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

Have you ever sat down to dinner with someone who started out friendly and cordial; someone you thought a friend; but by the end of the meal, you were sick to your stomach?  You were not sick because of the food set before you; you were heart sick because of the poison that spewed out of your friends’ mouth during the meal.

Discontented people try to make others as miserable as they themselves are.  They tell you things you ought not to hear, they spread their malice like butter on the bread of your life, they seed your food with their hidden agenda.  They share the bitterness in their hearts and hope that you will share their misery and help them plant their seeds of discontent.

The unhappy camper may want to “vent,” or share a “prayer request.”  She tells how much she loves poor-so-and-so, but she believes you should know thus and such...  Then, before you even realize what is going on, doubt creeps in where none was before, suspicion takes over, and the next time you see poor-so-and-so, that malicious gossip pops up its ugly head and your realize that your relationship with poor-so-and-so is damaged.

Sadly, you just don’t see poor-so-and-so the same way anymore.  You realize that the food was fine, but the meal was tainted.  You weren’t invited to enjoy the table of Christian fellowship; you were invited to eat the poisonous bread of bitterness, anger, and deceit.  We just don’t need to tear down the people we love!

Beware the hidden agenda!  Your “friend” may try to make you feel special because she is sharing this information with you.  He may try to mask gossip by telling you that you have a “right to know.”  They may tell you it’s a “secret” and that they are only sharing it with you...   really.

Maybe she really is your friend.  Maybe you really do care about her.  Maybe she just needs some compassion or some help.  Nevertheless, I ask you to seriously consider this...  Your friend may need more help than you can give.  Her bitterness and desperation may spark enough doubt to send you into deep depression. 

Pray for your friend, but SAVE YOURSELF!  Do not associate with bitter, angry people, bent on tearing others down; they will eventually wear you down and take you down in the process.

I heard a saying...  “Bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  Don’t let your friend make YOU that “other person.”

My prayer for today...   Dear Lord, Thank you for your blessings and help me have a thankful spirit.  Help me to be compassionate to those in need without becoming a victim to their desperation.  Help me love them without falling victim to the poison of bitterness.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don't Be Like A Skimmer Bird

Written by Carisa Stahl

Recently while visiting another church the pastor showed a picture of a skimmer bird. They feed from the surface of the water.

He said the picture reminded him of a quote in the front of his doctrine text book in Bible college.

"The surface of the Bible is skimmed
 but the depths are ignored."
Too often that quote is too true, even with pastors preaching sermons. Sometimes we read our Bibles more than at other times. Sometimes we read it because reading our Bible is what a "good Christian" is supposed to do but it is not really our hearts desire. 

Not only should we be reading our Bibles but we should be studying it, memorizing, and meditating on it. 

I remember a big question in Bible college, "How much (quantity of verses) should we be reading? One answer has stuck in my mind, "If you don't have time to read a whole book a chapter is better than nothing. If you don't have time to read a whole chapter a verse is better than nothing." A much better answer that I heard many years later is, "Read till God speaks to your heart." Sometimes that could be a verse or two and sometimes it may be a few chapters.  It's always good to have a pen handy so you can underline verses that God uses to speak to your heart.

I have been in only one church in my life where the importance of reading your Bible through in a year was repeatedly stressed. Truthfully I think that for most people that is not a good idea. I feel that too often reading the daily quota of verses is just to reach the goal of reading the Bible through in a year. When you read to reach a daily quota is God really speaking to your heart? 

2/26/14 UPDATE to the above paragraph. I was having a discussion this afternoon with one of my boys. In the search for a Bible reading chart he said that what he read made sense. Even if you are reading for your daily quota of Bible verses you are familiarizing yourself with stories from the Bible and also where to find things in the Bible.
  • Psalms 63:1 "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;"
  • Psalms 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
  • Psalms 119:105  "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
  • Psalms 119:133 "Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me."
  • Psalms 119:148 "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word."
  • Psalms 119:162 "I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. "

Monday, February 24, 2014


Written by Carisa Stahl

For several years in a row my daughter Amy has chosen a word for the year. This year her word is, "Choose". Mary chose, "Constancy". I had no intention or desire to choose a word for the year. Back in January I was online and saw a news video clip where teachers had chosen a word for the school year. Their word choice was written on their hand and held up to the camera. The word NOW popped out at me and I felt that the Lord was prompting me to choose that as my word so I looked up definitions for the word, "now", chose the chorus from a Patch The Pirate Song, and chose a Bible verse and made a poster. NOW is not necessarily my word for the year, I am thinking it may be my word for the rest of my life.

Nine years ago I had health problems that put me in bed for a few months- barely able to even get up to the bathroom. Life was a struggle. Not feeling well is a good excuse for not accomplishing things. I still don't feel totally up to par health wise but I am realizing that I cannot let how I feel physically affect most of the things that I need to accomplish. 

About the time that I chose the word NOW I had a list of over 50 things that needed to be accomplished most of which can only be done by me. Most of them should be done NOW. I've accomplished a few but have many more to go and since then more things have been added to the list.

"How we live our days, of course, is how we live our lives."
Annie Dillard

I found the above quote last week which made me stop and think. If I am living my days by being a procrastinator and putting things off then that is how I am living my whole  life. That can lead to a lot of frustration because by not accomplishing necessary things as they come along I am only adding them to a continually growing TO DO list.
If you would like a PDF copy of my NOW poster (the fonts are varied sizes) please email me at with NOW in the subject line. 

My name is Carisa Stahl, mom of 6 which range in age from almost 15 to 32. No grandkids of our own so we've adopted 5 "grandkids" which range in age from 1- 9 years old.  I used to be a member of CBC where Mary is still a member.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hearts and Roses – Opportunities to Share Gods love!

Hearts remind me of Gods Love and give me an opportunity to witness.
Hearts remind me of
God's Love
and give me an
opportunity to witness
Years ago, I decided I would remember Christ's love for me, and His sacrifice on the cross, each time I see someone wearing a heart.  With Valentine’s Day coming up, lots of people are wearing hearts, so I’ve had some fun with this witnessing tool the last few days.

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Tips to Stretch the Grocery Budget

By Bill Branson (Photographer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Would God recognize
the food in your
grocery cart?
Hi!  Glad to see you back again today!  I hope you had a wonderful, and restful, day of worship.  I am praying that God richly blessed you on Sunday as He did me.

Saturday, I shared that we have had some financial issues and that we currently use an envelope system to keep our routine purchases under control.  Today, I’ll share some tips on how we stretch our grocery budget.

I don’t claim that these ideas are original; I’m sure you can find these, and many other, fine budget stretching tips all over the internet and in self-help books everywhere!  But, I am a strong proponent of repetition!  The more you see something in writing, and hear the words ringing in your head as you read, the more likely some of it will stick.  Sometimes, it’s not what is being told, but rather how it’s being told, that sparks my interest and helps me retain the information.

Stretching the grocery budget – Healthy food and clean drinking water is important to our continued existence.  So, a moratorium on buying groceries isn’t likely to be very effective.  That’s why it’s important that we consider our expenditures wisely and make good choices with our food dollars.  The first assumption I am making is that you, like us, need to economize on your grocery purchases if you want to eat on a regular basis.

1 Timothy 6:8 (KJV) - And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

  1. First, Set a budget, stick to it! – Sometimes, grocery shopping isn’t a matter of what you want to eat; but, rather what you can afford.  If you don’t know what you can afford to spend, you’ll end up spending too much.  Been there, done that!
  2. Inventory your food stocks – Know what you have on hand before you go to the store.  It will save you time and money when you get there.
  3. Check the ads – Check the ads at several of your favorite local grocery store so you can take advantage of sale prices.  You may want to stock up on toilet paper if it’s on sale, and it’s even better when you have a coupon for an extra dollar off!  You might plan chicken twice this week if it is a good buy.
  4. Plan your menu – Once you know what you have on hand, and once you’ve checked the ads so you know what’s on sale, you can plan nutritious meals for the least cost.
  5. Make a list – Write down what you need, what you want, and where you’re going to buy it.  If you are familiar with the prices at your local stores you’ll know who has the best prices on non-perishable and staple items.  Think canned goods, shampoo, and toilet paper.  There are a couple of no-frills stores around our area that offer up great bargains on non-perishable goods.
  6. Clip coupons – Coupons can save you money if you are so inclined and have the time to clip them.  You can maximize your savings if you save the coupon until the item goes on sale.  I love doing that!
  7. Eat a meal before grocery shopping – Hunger pangs have overthrown many a budget, and caused much culinary chaos.
  8. Count the cost - Keep track of how much everything costs BEFORE it goes into the cart.  When you reach your limit, go directly to the checkout, even if you don’t have everything you wanted to buy.
  9. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first – The fresh foods and perishables are generally at the perimeter of the store in refrigerated cases and so is most of the nutritional value.
  10. Avoid the center aisles and processed foods as much as humanly possible – I know this is a tall order; but dollar for nutritional dollar, you’ll get more bang for your buck in the produce section and the fruit and veggie section of freezer case.  Stay away from over processed foods, and junk foods, they wreak havoc on your health and your wallet.

These tips work for us when we work them; we are human, once in a while we find a bag of chips, or some cookies, have made their way into the cart; but most of the time we try to stick to these simple grocery shopping guidelines.

I’m sure you must have some tips and tricks you use at the grocery store.  Would you take a few minutes to share some of your great ideas with our readers?  Please write us a note in the comments section below and let us know what works for you and your family!  I would so appreciate your contribution to this topic; and I will reply to you as soon as possible!

My Prayer for Today…   Dear Lord, Thank you for your many blessings and for making our food dollars stretch.  Help us remember to eat as healthfully as possible, within our means, and to take care of the temple you have given us!