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Lyn Cooke Christian Blog and Commentary

Lyn Cooke

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Lyn is a wife, mother and yes, a former beauty queen.  But don't let the title fool you, she's just a country girl at heart.  And that heart is for women to get into the Bible!  Lyn has a zeal for God's Word that is contagious. She has written and taught Bible Studies for over 10 years.  Lyn is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.  She writes at www.confessionsofaformerbeautyqueen.com.

 

It is one of the devil's oldest tricks to discourage the saints by causing them to look back at what they were. No one will make progress with God until he lifts up his eyes and stops looking at himself. We are not to spend our time looking back and looking in - we are told to look forward!  Our Lord is more than able to take care of our past. He pardons instantly and forgives completely.  His blood makes us worthy - all we are and all we have is by the forgiving love of God!

A.W. Tozer

 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 6:25-26 RSV

 

I am an expert in borrowing trouble. Perceived trouble, that is. Nothing that has actually happened. But it could. Maybe.

 

I am also imaginative and slightly dramatic which means when I worry, it's in technicolor!

 

For the last couple of weeks I have stewed over one particular issue which is totally out of my control. It not only weighs me down, it stirs me up!  I have prayed and prayed and today these words from Matthew came like a soothing salve to my soul.

 

What a relief to remember Who holds the future! 

 

Today's challenge:   Cast my burden on the One who even cares for the birds and focus only on today.

 

 

It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him, and mind the present.   ~ G. MacDonald

 

 

 

I told the story of Thanksgiving yesterday. It's been years since I told the story of pilgrims and indians sitting down together and enjoying a harvest. I smiled to myself as I remembered my daughters making construction paper hats with big buckles and feathers and cornucopias and children eating on paper plates shaped like turkeys.

 

I haven't thought about that original Thanksgiving in a long time. And it's the first time I told the story in Spanish.

 

A friend from Mexico asked me why so many people are cooking sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie and turkey.

 

I told her a little bit about American history. About a three day feast where indigenous Americans and Englishman came together and broke bread and gave thanks for the harvest. All that God had provided.

 

She smiled and thanked me for telling her the story.

 

And I can't get it off my mind. That reminder of why we go through the motions of preparing a feast every year.

 

I take so much for granted.

 

Like speaking Spanish.  I've done it so long that it seems ordinary.   Commonplace.   It's not.

 

There's really no reason why I should be bilingual. My family doesn't speak Spanish.  But from the time I was 9 years old I was welcomed into the homes of dear Cuban families who had immigrated in the early 1960s. to Florida.  They taught me their language and I learned about salsa and Celia Cruz.  About ropa vieja and platano frito.  About Cuba in its hey-day.  About losing your country. Your home.  And moving to a country who does not share your culture or your language. These families have left indelible marks on my heart. They helped shape the person I am today.  

When I've traveled to Puerto Rico and South America people have asked me if I'm Cuban. I always smile because I do feel a little bit Cuban in my heart.

 

Learning Spanish created a bridge into another world.  Not at all ordinary for a little farm girl from north Florida.

 

My friend from Mexico reminded me of this.  Of all the gifts God has given me.  And I am so grateful.

 

 

 

*Salsa- a popular music of Latin American origin (the Cubans claim they invented it)

*Celia Cruz- Cuban singer/performer who is one of the most popular salsa artists of the 20th century. Often called the "Queen of Salsa". 

*Ropa vieja- literally means "old clothes" but is a popular Cuban dish of shredded steak in a tomato sauce. 

*Platano frito - fried plantain

 

I found this little poem in one of my favorite daily devotions.  It so hit home with me.

 

These days {as I mentioned in an earlier post}, I don't feel like I am much of a blessing. I've even told the Lord so!  I have had seasons when I felt like I could reach out and touch God. His presence was so tangible to me!  I've had seasons when His word blossomed before me and became three dimensional. Reading the Bible was invigorating and exciting!

 

This is not one of those seasons.

 

But I come every morning to my little rocking chair and my time-worn Bible to meet with Him.  I come because He has lead me out of the dark valley of depression and the grip of addiction. I come because He has pulled me out of a pit of sin that I dug all by myself. I come because He has rescued me from more disasters than I can count. I come because He has wrapped me in affection when I felt utterly abandoned and alone. I come because He has thrilled me with unspeakable joy when I least expected it.

I know He is real. I know He is good. And I know He loves me. So. . .  I come.

 

As I read these words I realized that regardless of how I feel or what season I'm in,  as I spend time with Jesus, He changes me.  I become more like Him.  I take on His fragrance, His sweet perfume.

 

Others will know that I have spent time with Christ.  I will wear His perfume.


A Persian fable says: One day a wanderer found a lump of clay so redolent of sweet perfume its odors scented all the room.  "What are thou?" was his quick demand, "Art thou some gem from Samarcand, or spikenard in this rude disguise, or other costly merchandise"?

 "Nay, I am but a lump of clay."  

"Then whence this wondrous perfume---say!"  "Friend, if the secret I disclose, I have been dwelling with the rose."  Sweet parable!  And will not those who love to dwell with Sharon's rose, distill sweet odors all around, though low and mean themselves are found? 

Dear Lord, abide with us that we may draw our perfume fresh from Thee.    

                                                               Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Streams in the Desert


Blow upon my garden that the spices thereof may flow out.  

Song of Solomon 4:16

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Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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