Linda's Cozy Mysteries

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good to the Last Drop--by Nancy Williams, LPC

Nancy Williams has a new book coming out!  
"Secrets to Parenting Your Adult Child" 
Bethany House Publishers, Spring 2011
Read Nancy Williams on our Babes Website too www.babeswithabeatitude.com. 

Today is one of those great Spring days. Cloudless blue sky, temperature dancing in the high 70’s, a gentle breeze blowing the new leaves emerging on our trees. Vibrant colors popping up all over. I love this season so I took time this morning to sit outside with a fresh cup of coffee and greet the birds that came to serenade. Unlike some of you who jump out of bed and hurry into your day, I like to ease my way into my schedule and I can’t think of any better way than with beautiful weather, nature’s delights and a fresh cup of coffee.
Have you enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee lately? Not one from a pot that was left sitting on the burner too long. Not one you set aside and let get cold. Not a stale cup you’ve tried to re-warm. I’m talking about savoring a fresh brewed cup of coffee. Whether you prepare it yourself or visit a local coffee shop, freshness is key.
Making a tasteful cup of coffee begins with a coffee maker that connects to a strong power source. Then you need a clean pot that’s free of residue and without cracks that might lead to leaks. You’ll also need a filter to separate the grinds from the final brew. Then there are the ingredients—clean water and fresh ground coffee beans. We might have the same type of coffee brewing system; however, each of us can choose the blend of coffee that reflects our personal taste. Flavored? Decaf? Chicory? Mild?
Coffeemaker plugged in. Filter and ingredients in place. The “on” button tapped. Now it’s time to do what doesn’t come easily to many of us: wait. Not my preference, certainly. After all, when I want a cup of coffee, I’m typically ready for it right then. I don’t want to stand by and wait. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores know about our impatience, so they have coffee waiting for us to grab and go. The problem there? It’s not always fresh. Perhaps it’s true that some things are, indeed, worth waiting for. So, we wait.
In due time, cold water and ground beans brew into a sweet aroma and full flavored beverage. As you pour a cup, you realize it’s more than simply drinking a hot liquid. It’s the experience of letting the cup’s warmth permeate your hands as you gently savor each sip. In the morning, that first cup is a gentle nudge to greet a new day and prepare to experience what’s in store. Mid afternoon sometimes calls for a “pick-me-up.” Coffee after a meal invites companions to linger awhile and share a slice of life.    
While enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee this morning, I began to look beyond my cup to the process of living life itself. Can we experience a “fresh brewed” life?  Perhaps it starts with a well-made coffee maker connected to a strong power source. For me, personally, God fuels the energy I need to make life work day after day, as I stay connected to Him. Then I need to make sure my “container”—my mind and heart through which the essence of my life flows—is clean and free of past residue that might alter the
flow or affect the taste. I also need a good filter to sift out harmful impurities. Ingredients are the next consideration. How will I blend talents, beliefs, opportunities and relationships to create the freshness of life I want to experience? And what about choices? Do I merely settle for what others are having? Or, am I willing to explore possibilities and choose something that fits the blend of life I desire? Then, there’s the waiting. Whether I’m brewing coffee or allowing time for things to come together in my life, sometimes I must patiently wait.
Today’s a perfect day to savor coffee and savor life; to delight our senses and energize our spirits. God has blessed us with opportunities to experience life to the fullest. Now it’s up to us to brew a fresh cup each day, savor its richness and do all we can to make it “good to the last drop.” Enjoy!


Nancy Williams, LPC is a licensed professional counselor, life coach, speaker and writer. Send questions or comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net.





From Nancy's Tribune Column – Keeping Your Balance, Nancy Williams, LPC
 Print Date – April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Longing--By Linda Kozar

Uncle Joe and Aunt Rosalie 2010
Today, April 9th, my Aunt Rosalie passed away. Her death took us all by surprise. The whole family is mourning her loss. But God is sovereign and His ways, perfect. This evening, my sister texted me and told me to read the Babes daily devotion. This is it. . .

"He came and touched the open coffin. . .'Young man, I say to you, arise.' So he who was dead sat up and began to speak"--Luke 7:14-15.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and He can most certainly raise people from the dead. But He didn't raise everyone who died. And what glories they left behind when they returned to the land of the living! What a sacrifice to come back to earth from sublime and heavenly places!
Losing one we love is a pain like no other, and a yawning emptiness lingers for quite some time. We question God's decision to take our loved one away, not for lack of trust, but because we are so grieved by the person's absence. It seems the rest of the world continues as if nothing profound happened, while our world has come to a sudden halt.
But God also sends us peace and comfort in ways we didn't even know were possible. Over time, we are able to sort through our grief and discover new reasons to live with a renewed purpose. Nature sends us little signals that we're coming out of a storm, like a rainbow or a blooming flower found in a blanket of snow. Losing a loved one is a storm everyone will face one day, but God will be right there with you, holding your hand.
Beatitude Check
Jesus, who raised the dead can raise your spirit from the depths of grief. It won't happen overnight because the pain of loss is so great, but it will happen. God has a plan for your life and desires for you ot find comfort and peace once again. If you are grieving now, let God help you. He will carry your burdens.
God knew that our family would have particular need of this devotion today, but I'm sure there are many of you who could easily say the same thing. How many times do you open a book of devotions, or your bible and read your life in those pages? Or hear a song on the radio that describes exactly what you're going through? Praise Jesus--He knows exactly what we need. He is our daily manna, our bread of life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunshine and Lollipops--by Linda Kozar

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel absolutely wonderful? 
No aches or pains--just a marvelous feeling of well being. And happy. So happy you feel like skipping.
I'm not done yet.
You have a good hair day. Your clothes fit. Your shoes don't hurt. Your children obey. You win at Monopoly. (I'm talking Boardwalk, Park Place and owning ALL the railroads and utilities). You score the perfect parking spot at the mall. You find $100 bill on the ground on your way into the mall. Everything you want to buy is half-price but when you get to the register, it's 75% off!
Stay with me.
You arrive home to find your husband cooking dinner. Afterwards, he takes out the garbage, cleans up the kitchen, sweeps, mops, then vacuums the entire house. Then you sit on the sofa together and actually talk. Well, actually he sits there and listens to you talk. REALLY listens. No bobble-head kind of listening going on.
Then your husband asks if he can read a love sonnet to you. It's so beautiful, tears well up in your eyes (tears of joy) but then he tells you he actually wrote it just for you--skipping lunch to toil over it every day for a month. AND he made a colorful toaster cozy for you from elbow pasta and dried beans.
At the end of the day, you lay your head upon your perfect lavender-scented pillow and instantly fall into REM sleep. You dream of puppies and rainbows and lollipops.
The end of a perfect day.
We all dream of days like that. But the reality is we only experience moments like that. The closest I ever came to a perfect day was winning at goofy golf. No seriously, I made a hole-in-one through almost the entire course without even trying! It was awesome!
But then there's heaven. . .
Heaven is an eternal day. There are no shadows in God's eternity. His days and His ways are perfect. Our idea of the perfect day here on earth is only a shadow of what God's has prepared for His people. THE perfect day.
So tomorrow when you spill a five pound bag of flour on the kitchen floor and the kids forget their lunch and you have to make a special trip to the school and the dog is sick and your car breaks down and you're overdrawn at the bank--THINK of that perfect someday in eternity and praise the Lord for your days here on earth with those you love. Our imperfect days test us--often to our limits, but cause us to grow in Christ, in perfect faith. 
Have a blessed day my friends. A sunshine and lollipop kind of day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Show Me Your Glory Lord--by Kate Young

I recently attended a 3-day conference where the glory of the Lord was very heavy. What does that mean to me? Well, my body pulsed with what feels like a low voltage of electricity. It usually starts with my hands tingling. Then it can progress into a pulsing in my hands and forearms. When it becomes stronger, I feel the tingling of that electric feeling all the way through my body to the point I can feel it in my toes. Sometimes, I feel it as a swirling in my torso so that my whole body feels like it is a flag waving slowly in a breeze. Sometimes my mouth, tongue or lips buzz. Sometimes I began to weep and sometimes I begin to laugh. It's all part of my experience of being in the presence of the Lord, knowing the holy spirit is filling me up as I worship Him.

I thought after this 3-day conference I would be so energized from spending so much time in the Lord's presence. It was such a shock that the following day, I spent much of my time in bed sleeping like I had not sleep for a week. The next day I needed to rest quite a bit as well. And on the third day, by the time we got to our prayer time at the end of our bible study, I was ready to fall asleep again! I was wondering by now, "What is WRONG with me??" I had no symptoms of sickness except this heavy fatigue.

God is so faithful to answer our questions. Ten days later, I am reading a book, The Supernatural Life, by Cindy Jacobs, and the words on page 168 jumped off the page at me. She said that flowing under the annointing tired her out physically. She could not handle the power flowing through her without considerable rest. And, it was confirmed to her by others went through the same thing. Ah ha! Here is my answer to my exhaustion. She also said she believed as with physical stamina, one could build themselves up with spiritual stamina. I suppose she knows this to be true being so farther along in her ministry than when this happened in the beginning of her ministry.

I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of the verses in Exodus 33 as I pondered all this:

Then Moses said, "Show me your glory".

And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. But," He said "you cannot see my face, for no one may see my face and live."

Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

I have learned that by the words of our testimony, the power of His word is released for others. If you would like to experience God's glory in a supernatural way, ask him just as Moses asked him. His Word also says you don't receive because you have not asked in James chapter 4. I can understand too why the Lord protected Moses in the cleft. The glory of the Lord is too strong for our flesh to handle all at once. But He is gracious to give us our portion and will increase it as needed for any situation. He never gives us more than we can handle. Thank you Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to baptize and indwell us when we ask.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An April Fool's Day Blessing--by Linda Kozar

Today, 17 years ago, I was busy giving birth to my April Fool's Day blessing--my youngest daughter, Lauren. If you don't own a copy of Babes With A Beatitude, here's today's entry about her. Would you please wish her a happy birthday?
Building Memories
"Through skillful and godly wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established (on a sound and good foundation).--Proverbs 24:3 (AMP)
My youngest daughter was born on April 1st, and as soon as she was old enough to delight in them, we enjoyed playing April Fool's jokes on her. In fourth grade she asked me to bring birthday cupcakes to school to share with her classmates during their lunch period and to bring her favorite fast food (Chick-fil-a) for lunch. Of course, I agreed.
Instead of her favorite food however, I handed her a regular lunch in a plain brown bag. I could see she was disappointed, but I winked at the teacher who had conspired with me to hide the real lunch. Surrounded by a long table full of classmates and friends, she pulled the sandwich bag out without much enthusiasm. But her eyes, wide as kiwis, stared in disbelief at a sardine, M&M, peanut butter'n mayonaise sandwich, complete with little fishtails sticking out the sides!
A smile blossomed on her sweet face, and between all the laughter and "eeews" of the other kids, she gave me a big hug. 
"Mom that was the best April Fool's joke ever!"
Beatitude Check
Caring for your family means more than just providing for their physical needs. Families thrive on faith, fun, love and laughter. Traditions build strong, abiding relationships--a reflection of our relationship with God the father. Build a strong relationship with your family today:)