Friday, July 21, 2017

Sour milk on my cereal

How to get through a day

If life gives you sour milk, eat ice cream!

Among the good blessings in life, we discover some surprises aren’t good. Like pouring sour milk on a dish of cereal, we never know when frustrations will seep in to soak up our energy and distract us from our goals.

With gratitude I enjoy breakfast …
  1. Coffee—a staple in my diet
  2. Cereal—variety or combination of rice, wheat, corn, barley and oats
  3. Nuts—pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds
  4. Fruit—fresh or frozen blueberries
  5. Milk—if sour and there’s no fresh milk on hand, ice cream makes a rich and smooth substitute
Sour milk ruin your breakfast cereal? Start fresh and substitute ice cream!
Sour milk ruins cereal, so start fresh and substitute ice cream! To fix the breakfast blunder: strain and pick out cereal to dispose, rinse/save the blueberries/nuts, add fresh cereal and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
VoilĂ —a blessing in disguise!

Words sour, substitute, purpose and accomplish inspired me to take this picture and motivated me to write.  

And then questions came to mind:
  1. “What does your daily routine look like?” a friend asked, knowing I’d made a career change to work from home.
  2. “What do you hope to accomplish in this life before you die?” came up during a class studying a man of integrity, Martin Luther, who translated the Bible so it could be printed for everyone. 
His last written words were, “We are beggars: this is true.” from Holy Ponderings of the Reverend Father Doctor Martin Luther, translated for Project Wittenberg by James Kellerman

I push forward to accomplish purposeful goals and keep an open mind to where the Lord may be leading me. And then I sin.
Sin can be summed up as all the things we say, think, do, and don’t do, that fall outside of God’s holy will for our lives and end up separating us from God. —Lutheran Hour Ministries
All of us should watch out for various ways Satan tries to trick, confuse, pull us into his lies and distasteful ways. Our own and also other people’s sin cause us to suffer all kinds of unpleasant consequences: sad situations, horrible circumstances, harmed or broken relationships.

So, what do we do about the sour moments?

Do not swallow the sour milk. Sin is more than we can handle and fix on our own. To be strong we should quickly pick up our heavy sin and give it to Jesus, saying, “I’m sorry” to Him and also to each person offended. Seek help, change direction, work hard at not repeating mistakes—it’s called repentance which receives God’s mercy.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10 ESV (whole chapter)
Love others because Christ first loved us. Thrive on every ounce of the Holy Spirit’s fruit to face difficulties caused by darkness coming from another person, poor health, or natural disaster.
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1 ESV (whole chapter)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV (whole chapter)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:23 (whole chapter)

Like strained sour milk, rinsed fruit and rich ice cream, let the merciful love of God save the day.

The Holy Spirit creates faith and comes to us in the water of Christian Baptism and the Word. Once received, always there—stronger than evil which the Truth of Scripture exposes.

When sin is repented, it is strained completely out through Christ. Jesus, Our Substitute has accomplished what was necessary. God looks into the hearts of believers and sees not our sin, but sees His Son who took away the sin of the world. More about repentance and forgiveness: click here

To top it all off, we are covered by the richness of the Holy Spirit to smooth over our conscience.

Out of thankfulness, we study the Bible with friends regularly in church. To follow God’s perfect recipe, complete with instructions for life: we drink, eat and inwardly digest the Good News which sustains and holds us safe.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 ESV (whole chapter)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. … Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding… Proverbs 3:5,13 ESV (whole chapter)

Explore God’s purposes for allowing us to experience disappointing hardships.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV (whole chapter)
  1. Our loving Heavenly Father desires all people to be saved.
  2. He expects us to ask questions and examine Scripture for guidance and wisdom. 
  3. Reminder to reconnect if we’ve wandered, procrastinated, or have become arrogant and lazy about faith matters.
  4. Pray The Lord’s Prayer as it may relate.
  5. Find a church and talk with a Pastor.
  6. If you love God with your whole heart; just trust He’s working it for good. 
  7. Reminder to: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. … So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:2,10 (whole chapter)

The power of the Holy Spirit

  • Educates and opens our eyes to realize we need our Savior; then leads us to repent and strive to change
  • Offers relief from fear and comfort for pain
  • Lifts depression—replaces it with contentment and joy
  • Grants freedom to be faithful
  • Makes clear methods to improve self-control
  • Allows us to receive forgiveness, goodness and kindness
  • Equips us to forgive others (even when thy have not admitted guilt); then permits us to be good and kind toward them
  • Strengthens us to patiently, mercifully, bear with the faults and burdens of others
  • Encourages and motivates us to be gentle, peaceful and loving

While I can’t escape sour milk moments, in an average day my routine may include:

  • Sleep about 7–8 hours until I wake for the day
  • Stretch and tone up for about 40 minutes
  • Listen to Worldwide KFUO and other internet radio stations
  • Pray, read and listen to prayers, various devotions and Bible
  • Sing or listen to hymns (a form of prayer) via You Tube or
  • Work creatively in some form such as sketching or writing in this blog
  • Business at FreshRetroGallery Etsy and Handmade-Amazon: plan, design, research, development, product creation, photography, graphics, promotion, purchasing, maintenance, organize, bookkeeping, customer service, print labels, package, take shipments to the Post Office, continue education
  • Home—organize, shop, meals, laundry, clean
  • Exercise—long walks or swim laps; use stepper
  • Socialize in person or online
  • Relax with a novel or Netflix
I expect additions and changes in my daily routine:
  • Vocations and family experiences make life full
  • High-gear pre-Christmas business shipping rush
  • Church, theater, concerts, museums, travel, extending/receiving invitations, celebrations, book club, dates, festivals, special organized activities and events
  • Opportunities to volunteer or give special offerings.
  • Health issues and appointments for myself or to help others

Please click center arrow to play Lutheran Service Book hymn: From God Can Nothing Move Me from Heirs of the Reformation: Treasures of the Singing Church 4-CD Set

Dear Lord, thank You for the love Christ has shown to me through His death and resurrection. May that love motivate me to continue in my Christian faith, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name. Amen. — prayer from Mustard Seed Devotions

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