Thursday, June 30, 2011

Only for My King: Chapter Titles

My next book is called Only for My King: a Song of Service and Surrender. I'll be sharing this study with my Bible study group this fall. I'll have printed copies available in September. Here are the chapter titles:


Each chapter explores the theme of serving and surrendering to God by looking at a Biblical character, a historical Christian, a contemporary Christian, and one of my friends. We'll see how people have served God through the ages and how people are serving Him today. The themes are not a list of things to add to your crowded To Do List; it is an encouragement to surrender your life to the Lord and ask Him to direct you in each of these areas, remembering that your King is also your Friend.

There are ten chapters with four daily readings in each. Every chapter will feature a hymn, and I'll include a suggested soundtrack of those hymns, all available at Itunes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Avocado Oatmeal Scrub

Sometimes an avocado looks great on the outside but isn't so great when you slice it open. Don't throw it away! Use it for Avocado Oatmeal Scrub!

about one avocado, scooped out and slightly mashed
(even if it's turning brown or the texture is all wrong for eating)
1/8 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp olive oil or almond oil
5 drops skin safe essential oil (lavender is nice)
1 tsp lavender flowers (or a slightly larger amount of lavender leaves if your herbs aren't blooming yet)
a few mint leaves

Process all the ingredients with a stick blender (chopping blade), blender or food processor. Refrigerate until ready to use (I use it within 12 hours).
To use: smooth over your body and then rinse off.

I find this procedure best when using a scrub: turn the shower on for a few moments before you enter it so that the environment is warm and steamy. Turn off the shower, enter the shower, apply the scrub all over your body. Then turn on the shower and rinse off.

Optional: add a little almond meal for a scrubbier texture.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Only for My King: the hymnwriter

Frances Ridley Havergal wrote “Take My Life and Let it Be” in 1874. Her life shows us her determination to put the Lord on the throne of her life. Frances was born on December 14, 1836 in Astley, England. She was a bright child, reading when she was four and writing poetry at age seven. Frances trusted the Lord when she was fourteen years old. She'd been longing to be a Christian since she was six, but it took her several years to be ready to make the commitment. “From then onward,” her friend and biographer Esther Enock wrote, “her real happiness lay in pleasing and serving Him.”

Frances used her gift of poetry to write hymns, sometimes composing music to go with her lyrics. You might recognize her hymns “Like a River Glorious” and “I Gave My Life for Thee.” She also wrote devotionals for children. She prayed as she wrote, constantly asking the Lord what she should write on the next line. Her career suffered several setbacks, including her American publisher's bankruptcy ( n exclusive contract kept her from choosing a different publisher), and the only manuscript for an entire hymnal of her work burning in a fire at her British publisher's building.

Frances wrote “Take My Life and Let It Be” while she was staying with friends for several days. She prayed that each of the ten other guests would be converted or find a new joy in the Lord before the party ended. Her prayers were answered, and on the last night of the visit, she wrote the words to the hymn. She took no credit for this success, but used the experience as an opportunity of new commitment to serving the Lord.

Though Frances never married, she certainly did not lead a solitary life. She constantly witnessed to others, whether talking to laundry maids or lecturing on Psalms at a fashionable school. She was especially concerned about those who follow rituals and rules without finding the joy of a relationship with Jesus. Frances used her music to create opportunities to witness, inviting friends over to play duets, or singing a hymn when asked to share her talent at a party. Frances willingly interrupted her writing when there was a chance to witness, seeing that as her first priority. Frances valued people. When she taught Sunday School classes, she remembered each student's birthday, and prayed for all her students for the rest of her life. Frances' readers wrote to her asking for advice on spiritual matters, and she answered them, sometimes writing over a hundred letters a month.

Frances lived a life of surrender and service, aware that she was consecrated—dedicated to the Lord and serving Him in her unique way.

For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. (Philippians 1:21 Amplified)

...It is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 Amplified)

Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

In what area of your life do you need to ask the Lord what to write (or do) next?
Use the Psalms below to ask the Lord to reveal His plan for you.

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. (Psalm 16:11)
He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name's sake.
(Psalm 23:3)
Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go, because I long for You. (Psalm 143:8)
I rejoice in the way [revealed by] Your decrees as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. (Psalm 119:14-15)

This is an excerpt from my next book, Only for My King .This 10 Chapter Bible study will be available about September 1st.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Only for My King: the hymn

I knew my next book would be a devotional about serving and surrendering to God. As I prayed about the chapter topics, I found this hymn. It's a summary of serving and surrendering! Read it slowly and ask the Lord which area of your life you need to surrender to Him today.

Take my Life and Let it Be

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love my Lord I pour at Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever only all for Thee.

--Frances Ridley Havergal

Check out the recording of this hymn by Jadon Lavik, on the album Roots Run Deep, available at Itunes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Treasured by the King

Here's a sneak peak into Only for My King, my next Bible study.

I love dishes. My kitchen cupboards hold colorful square plates and white rippled bowls we use daily. A nearby shelf displays an assortment of handmade pottery mugs for morning coffee or tea. Across the dining room the china hutch is full of special occasion dishes: a rosy pattern for afternoon tea parties, a wintry village design for Christmas feasts, and a delicate silver floral pattern for spring dinners. In July when the desert heat is unbearable, I drink my tea out of a vintage cup decorated with holly and unexplainably I feel cooler. Every piece is ideal for some specific use. Each piece gives me joy—yet much of that joy comes not from the outer beauty of the dish or cup, but from the fragrant food or drink it holds.

...We possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.(2 Corinthians 4:7 Amplified)

Followers of Jesus, like my dishes, are unique and beautiful in His sight. We are fragile human vessels holding the grandeur of God. Our joy comes from this treasure within us. We belong to a King who treasures us and places His treasure within us.

Only for My King will be available in September. It is a ten week Bible study on the topic of serving and surrendering to God.