Thursday, May 26, 2011

My First Cup of Coffee Is the Best

May 24, 2011---HEART THOUGHTS…from Helen

The first cup of coffee in the morning is the best! If you have a timer on your coffee maker, you can rise to the wonderful aroma of fresh brewed java. I like to heat our cups before pouring. As my arthritic fingers fold around the warm cup, the heat soothes the stiffness first thing at the break of day. In these latter days my taste buds really like half and half in my brew, but just to ease my conscience, I get fat free half and half. I know, I know, that defeats the whole purpose, but it makes me feel less guilty. When I sit down and sip the first sip, there’s just nothing quite as full flavored and satisfying early in the morning. The first fruits of the day…the first cup of coffee…the first thoughts in my minds turn toward having a little talk with Jesus. Thanking Him for the blessings of that first cup of coffee comes first. Now, I’m not a real hardened coffee aficionado and I don’t drink it all day nor in the evening, but I do like that first cup. None tastes as good as the first.

It reminds me of how the Lord instructed us to “Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil”… (Exodus 23:10). I rather understand that in a finite fashion. If I enjoy the first cup of coffee, the first biscuit out of the oven, the crusty hot piece of cornbread straight from the pan, the early morning tousled heads of grandchildren climbing in my lap, the early glow of daylight as the sun creeps in from the eastern sky, why wouldn’t the God of all grace, the Creator of coffee beans and cups and creamer covet the first and best of me, the crown of His creation? Think about it the next time you pour your first cup.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Elderly Examples

May 13, 2011
Daniel 9:2-3 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. “

Last night I read the streaming message on the bottom of the television screen that ninety-two year old Billy Graham suffers from pneumonia and is hospitalized in North Carolina. Always interested in his ministry and family, I prayed for all of them during this difficult time. Just this week I received his daughter, Anne’s, newsletter. I read with great interest all that goes on in AnGel Ministries. Also, the news media seems to seek out Franklin Graham more and more for political opinions. Praise God for the witness and godly example of this entire family. My family has been influenced by that family.

The Old Testament prophet, Daniel stands among the greatest of examples that God gives us when it comes to men of strong godly character in the face of overwhelming odds even in their later years. After seventy years in Babylonian exile, Daniel demonstrates how standing tall is done. The first three verses of chapter nine describe Daniel’s continuing character into old age. While studying that chapter this morning I thought immediately of a modern day Daniel…The Reverend Billy Graham.

Daniel knew his politics. Whether or not he sought out the political arena, he seemed to have been ‘thrown into it’ a number of times. I found it interesting that the news scroll that stated Mr. Graham’s physical condition, included the fact that he had met with almost every U. S. President in office during his ministry. I’m quite sure that whatever influence he had stands out in their minds, whether or not they followed any counsel he offered.

The prophet Daniel obviously knew God’s Word. He searched and knew the prophecies of Jeremiah so well that on his calendar, the time of his people’s exile was about to expire. So, what did he do? Daniel turned to the Lord God and pleaded for his people. Daniel, an old man, demonstrates the dire circumstances of a nation, and a people that need deliverance.

I cannot count the times The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seeks prayer for this nation and the nations of the world to come back to the Lord God Almighty. The overwhelming example of prayer through the years goes beyond the pale.

I am humbled and unashamed to say that the Lord God of Daniel and the Lord God of Billy Graham is my Lord and God. Will I follow their example to be a devout example and intercessor even into my old age?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


When Preacher Blalock prayed, we stood in a circle and held hands. I could literally feel the power of the Holy Spirit through the touch of this God’s aged saint.

We visited in his home on various occasions while we served our first church and Dennis attended seminary. J.C. Blalock’s wise and Godly counsel always encouraged us, but it was his prayers that strengthened us for ministry. Have you ever pictured how our prayers come to the Father? Perhaps you feel that some prayers never rise above the ceiling, or if they do they’re lost on the wings of chance. I found a passage of Scripture that speaks beautifully to that question. It shows me just how precious to the father are the prayers of His saints. Revelation 5:8, “When he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each of them had a harp, and they had golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Prayers in golden bowls rising as sacred perfume to the senses of God are our feeble utterances offered in faith to the Father, bringing Him pleasure. Amazing!

I can see Preacher Blalock smiling now from on High as he remembers filling so many golden bowls of incense. Perhaps he even enjoys the sweet smelling savor as our prayers rise even now.

O Father, accept these pitiful prayers as golden bowls of perfume offered on behalf of your present day disciples.