At the Kitchen Table -by Lois Macdonald

The wellspring of a generous heart nourishes the lives of family and friends while sitting comfortably around the kitchen table. The very heart of the home. Where lessons are taught, encouragement is given, joy and laughter ring out, tears are wiped dry, loneliness and fears are defeated, judgment and criticism are unwelcome; and above all else, love flourishes.

-by Lois Macdonald

Whether polished and dressed in cheerful linens or cluttered with the latest jigsaw puzzle, the kitchen table faithfully reserves a place setting for family and friends. If the home is indeed where the heart lives, then surely it beats loudest and strongest from within these four busy walls. The morning begins with the family sitting comfortably around her, all arms supported on her smooth edges, children chattering while mom and dad grip steamy mugs of freshly brewed coffee. Goodbye hugs and kisses are passed all around and then, silence. At the end of each day, nighttime dims her lights as the soft murmuring of the dishwasher play its last song, and once again hugs and kisses go around, this time sending sleepy heads off to bed. As the moon gently filters across the kitchen floor, it stops briefly to admire the table, who even in her sleep, dreams of her family and friends. Deeply ingrained in her solid oak layers, the table has stored a lifetime of well-preserved memories and secrets that she will carry to her grave. Personally, I consider it a great honor and privilege to be invited into the very heart and soul of a home. Past all the formalities of the living room. That perfectly starched waiting area, reserved for the next unannounced mother-in-law visit. Just kidding. Still, the kitchen is that intimate place where freedom to be oneself reigns true and sharing “heart-to-heart” is never unfashionable. A safe-haven where the wellspring of a generous heart nourishes the lives of family and friends while sitting comfortably around the kitchen table.The heart of the home, where above all else, love flourishes. 

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Faith Stuck in Auto Pilot -by Lois Macdonald

Are you flying by the seat of your pants with your faith stuck in auto-pilot? Sickened by the lust and corruption polluting this world, the young man began the search for a better way of life. Fueled by faith not bigger than a mustard seed, he found Jesus and asked him to be his personal Saviour and Guide. Leaving all the baggage that he had accumulated from the past, he stepped out from the shadow of denial, into the brilliant Light of Salvation.

“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18).

Empowered now by the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, the new believer’s faith blossomed, and eventually bore fruit. Those who knew him before he became a Christian, could not help but see the incredible transformation taking place. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The further he navigated away from the world’s escalating immorality and brokenness, the more this young man’s life shone and reflected Christ’s goodness. He experienced peace for the first time. So much so in fact, that in time he forgot God’s warnings and set his faith to cruise in auto-pilot. Within the blink of an eye, they hit a wall of turbulence!

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).

Though well-studied in Christian theology, and though he sat in the same church pew religiously, the young man had grown complacent and needed a wake-up call. Like so many Christians, he preached but didn’t follow Christ’s mandate. To “love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The Spiritual gifts God had blessed him with, served his pride well, but seldom served the poor and weak of heart. They were given with clear instructions to be used for the “soul” purpose of spreading the “Good-News” of Salvation and sharing God’s unconditional love.

So I ask you, Without our lives reflecting Christ’s love and his mandate, we might just as well step back into the shadows of denial, that rule this corrupt world.

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Addictions and Spiritual Warfare -by Lois Macdonald

Addictions prey on our sinful nature, like fierce, ravenous lions. Skillfully isolating their targets; luring them further and further away from the safety and support of family, and friends. They appeal to the desires of the vulnerable, the depressed, oppressed, lonely, chronically ill, and broken-hearted. Baiting them with empty promises of happiness, and freedom from stress and pain. To overindulge in anything, will cause significant amounts of dopamine to be released into the brain, which temporarily mimics happiness or euphoria. Software developers count on this reaction to sell more and more video games, to our addicted children! Tragically, there is a point when these chemicals begin to interrupt logical thinking, sending the addict spiraling into a world of endless obsessions and possibly a crime. Any resemblance of joy is soon devoured, leaving a trail of destructive behavioral patterns behind. Broken relationships, lies, debt, shame, poor grades, and most often a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness. Continue reading “Addictions and Spiritual Warfare -by Lois Macdonald”

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LIVING IN OUR SHADOWS

They live in the shadows of our well-manicured streets
Never surfacing until the fortunate are fast asleep.
Their daily bread consists of stale righteous handouts
Guilt offerings left behind by the overindulgent.
Distant childhood memories are few and far between
Crushed by angry voices muttering,“ you don’t belong!”
Never tasting the sweetness of a welcoming home
Merely thankful for any shelter on bitter winter days.
I wonder if the homeless are really angels in disguise
Sent to test our willingness to care for those in need.

Poems in this Category: https://heavensjoylatte.com/weep-for-the-forest/

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GOSSIP. THE ART of IDLE CONVERSATION – by Lois Macdonald

Gossip is the celebrated art of  “idle” conversation. The irresistible small talk that takes a front-row seat at most social events. Disguised as a party favor (used in case of, heaven forbid, an awkward moment of silence) in truth wears a hazardous warning label underneath his stylish cloak. This Deceiver loves to invite himself to our lunches with friends and co-workers. He smiles as he hands out samples of juicy tidbits seasoned with slander. The more often we partake, the more we crave it. The new Thesaurus describes gossip as, “yack, yak, yackety-yak.”

Our spouses are one of his primary targets. They unknowingly produce an endless amount of material such as, “Husbands, do they actually know what the dishwasher is for, etc.?” Although this popular form of chatter is guaranteed to entertain, among its casualties lay the innocent victims who once trusted us to safeguard what was shared in confidence. At the root of his deception is the belief that airing a little dirty laundry is quite harmless. Meanwhile, the sour after-taste of guilt and shame should be reason enough to know we have been poisoned.

This verbal train wreck stands in complete opposition to what is taught in Scripture.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29.

So why do we do it? Well as Robert Palmer would say, bottom line, it’s “Simply Irresistible!” Satan tries to convince us that we will feel better about ourselves if we focus on the imperfections in others. He wets our sinful appetite with his lies while trying to turn us away from the feast of God’s truth and goodness.

Awareness and repentance are at the heart of recovery. What is “Simply Irresistible” is the truth found in God’s Word. It encourages and lifts the broken-hearted. It heals and restores shattered relationships. It is the solid foundation to begin building healthy relationships on. The more often we partake in its sweetness, the more often we will crave its pure taste.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3.

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The Ocean and Her Master -By Lois Macdonald

He watched as the ocean slept. Spread out like a satin sheet of raven black for as far as the eye could see, and then beyond. Moonbeams cascaded down onto her, porcelain surface, reflecting gold highlights and delicate silver across her flawless body. In an orchestrated gesture He invited the stars to release their treasury of shimmering lights and diamond dust into the wind. His breath sent them tumbling and swirling about, making intricate patterns, fit for a King. And the night and all its residents celebrated her beauty. “Then God looked over all he had made, and saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came…” Genesis 1:31. Darkness disappeared on the broad shoulders of the rising sun, escorted by a canopy of gulls joyfully announcing the day. The ocean stirred, then slowly raised her damp lashes revealing liquid pools of aquamarine and turquoise surrounding two portholes that led to the very depths of her soul. She bathed in the warm basins of salty foam that had collected around her feet. Then clothed herself in layers of misty lace that swayed back and forth, back and forth, leaving behind a trail of bashful ripples, that blossomed into majestic pearl studded waves. She heard her Master’s voice calling and moved closer to where He stood on the sandy shoreline.  He drew a line in the sand saying, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.” Job 38:11. Recognizing that this was the voice of Love, she curtsied and bowed her head.

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Love -by Lois Macdonald

Love transforms like a shimmering waterfall spilling down over the jagged wall of a mountainside. Polishing and anointing each scarred crevice until it becomes a thing of beauty. It is the keeper of promises, painting pastel rainbows across storm-drenched skies. It can be as subtle as a stolen kiss or as bold as a declaration, made while knelt on bended knee. Death cannot erase her memory, for love bears the sweet scent of rose petals whose fragrance lingers wherever she went. Love is never out-of-season season! by Lois Macdonald

Why do we love? “We love because he [God] first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV).

You and I are part of the “Greatest Love Story” ever told!

For More Love by Lois Read:
  1.  About Love: https://heavensjoylatte.com/about-love-by-lois-macdonald/
  2. Unworthy of Love: https://heavensjoylatte.com/unworthy-love-lois-macdonald/
  3. Love’s Heartbeat: https://heavensjoylatte.com/loves-heartbeat/

Spiritual Minefield -by Lois Macdonald

Are you walking through a spiritual minefield? Anxious about tomorrow and chained to the past. Drowning in a sea of confusion, weighed down by thoughts of negativity. If so, it is imperative that you put on the whole Armour of God [1]and fight the good fight. For you, my friend, are under spiritual attack!

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8-9.

He wastes no time hunting those who are already dead spiritually. But he has an insatiable appetite for the sweet blood of Christ and all his followers. This enemy’s favorite hiding place is in the subconscious mind. The most complicated organ in our body, rather like a conductor of an orchestra. A maestro working morning and night, listening unconsciously even while we sleep. When this “gray matter” of ours is uncluttered, it creates beautiful music. But when our thoughts get cloudy and seem darker than usual, the chances are that our music is sending the dogs running for cover! If left unaddressed, one by one each instrument will cease playing. The most courageous and healthy thing we can do if this happens is to seek professional help, including our pastor.

While it is seldom discussed, Scripture confirms that the mind is Satan’s favorite battlefield. We should not be embarrassed or surprised if we are under attack, for it is evidence that we are in a close relationship with God. All believers have the power to fight back in Jesus name! We can confront Satan by calling him a liar when he tries to feed us negative thoughts. Quote Scripture. He hates that!  “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name (Christ) they will drive out demons…” Mark 16:17. Dedicate your home to God and ask him to fill each room and those who come and go from it to be blessed. So, do not be afraid of the outcome of your battle for God has already won the victory!

 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

  In the end, “God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars” -by Elbert Hubbard.

[1] (Ephesians 6:10-18).

More Posts on Spiritual Warfare:
  1. https://heavensjoylatte.com/addictions-and-spiritual-warfare-by-lois-macdonald/ 
  2. https://heavensjoylatte.com/loneliness-the-silent-battlefield-by-lois-macdonald/
  3. https://heavensjoylatte.com/from-innocence-to-rebellion/

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