Parable of the Cast Iron Skillet

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under A Messenger's Blog

Being from small-town Mississippi, I have had many, many, MANY meals prepared in a cast iron skillet — the big black ones that fry everything — from catfish and fried chicken to pork chops and hot water cornbread. Delicious. And what’s more, the cast iron skillet is respected in kitchens worldwide. Most importantly, it’s respected in mine.

But if you think you’re gonna just go into Wal-Mart and buy one . . . well, you can. They’re not that expensive. But if you think you’re going to come straight home and start to fry up some delicious fish, think again. Your skillet must be SEASONED. Not in a “put some salt and pepper on it” kind of way.

Seasoning a skillet involves oiling your skillet up and putting it into the oven at an extremely HIGH temperature for several hours. It goes into the oven a sort of grayish color and comes out much darker if not straight up black. There will be smoke. There will be fumes. And obviously, there will be heat. But once it’s done, the skillet will provide an optimal non-stick surface, that is known for its even distribution of heat, which facilitates great cooking.

As I write this, a long and extremely painful divorce process seems to be coming to an end. There has been no shortage of heartbreak, sleepless nights, loss of appetite, racing thoughts and anxiety. Part of the way I’ve dealt with the heat of this is by pouring my energy into this project — allowing God to transform my pain into something that serves the greater good.

And while this situation tests the boundaries of what I think I can take, through it all, I can say I feel that I have been “seasoned” — much like a cast iron skillet. I feel stronger. Tougher. To some degree, non-stick even. I feel like the time is coming when I will be removed from the oven and allowed to cool for a while. And when that happens, I’ll be primed for some great cooking from The Author (God).

You too, are dealing with some challenges — some situations you wonder if you will survive. You wonder: if you do survive, what will you be like on the other side? Well, The Author is seasoning you for great things. You are being prepared for the next phase of your life — and when you come out on the other side (operative word: WHEN), you will come out with a greater sense of calm. You will have seen tremendous storms, and cheap viagra online they won’t scare you so much anymore. Your strength will become an anchor for those who witness the way you withstand the heat, and the way you allow yourself to be used for the greater good.

So in the midst of your seasoning, and hot and painful as it is, focus on these things:

  • First and foremost, remember what Jesus taught us: Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. My translation: There’s NOTHING that The Christ Within you can’t bring you through. NOTHING.
  • Stay focused on doing the best you can with each day. Your best isn’t going to be the same every day, but if you can go to sleep knowing you gave your best, then you have earned a good night’s rest.
  • Be cheerful, even if it’s hard. Meet the day with a gentle smile.
  • Be grateful for what you have in the moment, even the small things. Thank God for that great cup of coffee. Savor it. Thank God for your time with your children, even when they misbehave a bit.
  • Surrender your situation to The Christ Within, and let it go. Your problem may be bigger than you, but God is bigger than it. God doesn’t work in a linear way, which means you won’t always be able to see how God’s going to bring you through. You just have to trust and have faith.
  • Help others. One of the simplest and easiest ways to get your mind off your own problems is to help someone else solve theirs. Don’t meddle, but if the Inner Voice of the Author guides you to help someone, do it. It’s good for your soul. And it allows you to sow seeds of healing — and remember, as you sow, so shall you reap.

In the midst

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of your seasoning, there are many things you will not be able to control. But what you can control are your choices. YOU choose how you move through the process. YOU choose the attitude you have in the midst of it. YOU choose who you are being in relationship to it. Choose wisely. Choose from love. Eventually the heat will die down.

And then, my friend . . .  THEN, it’s time to COOK!

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UPDATE: Read "A Message From God" Online!

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under A Messenger's Blog

A-Message-From-God-CoverI don’t know what took me so long to figure out that there was a better way to enable people to read the text of “A Message From God.” But at least I’ve figured it out and now, reading online it is easier than ever before.

Grab your mouse for a second. Scroll up there toward the top where it says, “Read it NOW.” Go ahead, I’ll wait. You’ll see a pop-down menu — one item for each chapter of the book, starting with “About Me” and ending with “A Breather.” Click on any one of them and you’ll jump straight to the chapter of your choice. I hope this works out better a few different ways:

  • No more scrolling through the PDF to find what interests you.
  • Each page has its own URL, so it’s linkable (hint, hint).
  • Each page has that neat string of social networking icons at the bottom, so if you’re reading “How To Inspire Others” and would like to Tweet, Facebook, Digg, or MySpace just that chapter, by all means, go for it.
  • At the bottom of each page are links to both the previous chapter and next chapter. So, if you choose, you can easily follow the intended order of the book.
  • Each chapter has a comments section at the bottom. These will be screened, but if something you read sparks a dialogue, well, that’s the whole point.

For the record, you can still view the PDF document on Scribd. And of course, we can email you a free PDF of the eBook that you can print and bind should you ever want to . . .  gasp . . . NOT look at a computer screen!

Thanks for your support of this project. It continues to grow and touch lives around the world — people from all different ages, ethnic, social and religious backgrounds. If something you find on this site inspires you, chances are it can do the same for someone else, so

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by all means, share.

Thanks and peace be with you!

Lee

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Prayer Requests: An Update

May 13, 2009 by  
Filed under A Messenger's Blog

About a month ago, I posted a call for prayer requests here. Time for some testimonials. Check out this exchange from the comment section of that post . . . and keep reading for a few more thoughts from me.

On April 29, one reader submitted this:

Prayer request for my 19 year old son who doesn’t reply to my emails, phone calls, or text messages. I have no idea where he is, what he is doing, or if he is okay. Please pray that God will send someone to watch over him and keep him safe.

There's no telling how many silent prayers there were, but I posted this in response:

Heavenly Father, speak to this young man in his heart, let him be aware of your presence and love. Guide and protect him, keep him safe. And touch this mother’s heart and soul — give her peace. In Christ’s name, Amen.

About a week later, she posted this:

Thank you. It worked. He is coming home.

And in gratitude, I responded:

Heavenly Father, thank you for deliverance and

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wisdom. Thank you for your continued guidance and healing for

this mother and her family. Remind them that you are always with them and have always been with them. Touch their hearts with grace and a spirit of forgiveness. Open their minds and hearts to hear Your voice as it speaks The Truth — and may that Truth make them free. In Christ’s name, Amen.

———-

So we extend the offer again: If you have a prayer request, make it known in the comment section below. Not that my prayers are any more special than anyone else's, but I'll post my prayers in response — hopefully other readers will too. And again, it's important to pray with your whole being.

One more footnote: As I've mentioned here before, I'm going through an extremely painful divorce right now. I've never doubted whether The Author is walking with me on this path, but I have wondered exactly what He wants me to do along this road. Suffice to say, when I learn that this blog/project has helped reunite a family . . . well, it's humbling, hopeful and it helps me see more clearly. And I thank God for that!

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No Competition

January 16, 2009 by  
Filed under A Messenger's Blog

I’m a writer, so I love double entendre’s like the title of this post, which happens to be about other projects that carry the same title of “A Message From God.” That said, let me remove any confusion: In saying “No Competition,” I am not saying that this project is better than any other “Message From God.” That’s why mine is entitled “A” Message From God, not “THE” Message From God. And by extension, I’m just another messenger, one of many.

Now, for the fun part. The Author instructed me that this project was to be given away at no cost to the reader. An interesting side effect is this: I’m not selling this book, so I’m not in “competition” with any other project called “A Message From God.” In fact, from time to time, I’ll profile some of the other projects called “A Message From God.” And we start with one I found out about today from a reader who was looking for something else:

Hi Lee -

Perhaps you can solve a mystery for me:

I happened to be flipping thru channels on my TV and briefly listened to a conversation between a woman and a minister about the woman’s son having survived a terrible accident and telling his mother to “tell people about Jesus”.  At the bottom of the screen appeared a web link for www.amessagefromgod.net – which I went to, expecting to find information about a book written by the woman.  Instead, I found YOUR book at that site.

On amazon.com I found a listing for the book with the same title written by the woman I saw on TV.

Is your book also the one listed on Amazon under a pen name (or is Lee your pen name?)?

My reply:

Interesting. Here’s what I know: Googling “A Message From God” will yield a ton of hits, my site only being one of them. I can tell you this: I registered the URLs: “amessagefromgod.net” and “amessagefromgod.org” back in October of 2006. Unless the writer you’re referring to (her name is Retha McPherson, and she seems to be from South Africa) owned the URL before that and let it expire, it’s been in my care since October 2006. Talk about unexpected publicity. . . .

So here’s what I’ve been able to discern about Retha McPherson’s “A Message From God:” Retha’s son, Aldo, was nearly killed in a car accident. After much prayer, he was revived — and apparently brought with him wisdom from God. He began writing what he buy female viagra online without prescription was being given, which had a transformative effect on Retha, a former Mrs. South Africa. She launched Retha McPherson Ministries, and, as I write this, she is likely in transit between New Zealand and Malaysia. A book came out of the experience, and she is on fire about how God is using Aldo and her family. For more, visit: www.rethamcpherson.com

I’ll defer to her website for details, but it’s pretty inspiring to me, and I’m planning to reach out. In the meantime, punch in your thoughts below . . .

Lee

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Resolve Not To Resolve

January 2, 2009 by  
Filed under A Messenger's Blog

A buddy of mine asked me what my New Year's Resolutions were. I told him that I don't do resolutions anymore. Philosophically, I have a problem with them. Mostly, it's that they have a fundamental flaw — namely, procrastinating doing something for your own benefit.

It's like, “My resolution is to lose 10 pounds.” But if losing 10 pounds was that important to you, why wait? To me, it just makes no sense to say on Dec. 26, “I'm going to get in better shape in 2009!” while cutting your third piece of pound cake that day.

Here's a resolution: Make no resolutions. If there are changes you want to see in your life, start working on them immediately. And avoid making big promises to yourself you know you can't keep. In fact, the older I get, the more I understand that lasting change comes in the little things you do.

Not long ago, I read an excellent book called “Eat To Live,” which basically advocates eating mostly green unprocessed vegetables to improve the quality of food you eat. The author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, makes the most compelling case for adopting a vegan diet that I've ever seen — for purely health reasons. In short, the human body is like any other machine — keep stuffing garbage into it,

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and eventually you'll be full of garbage. Stuff nutrient-rich foods in, and your body can heal itself, ward off disease and of course, shed pounds.

I'm not quite ready to give up meat yet . . . mostly because of bacon. Still, I made myself this commitment: When I go to the all-you-can-eat buffet at my cafeteria at work, I now go and make what I affectionately call “a big, gi-normous salad.” — mostly Romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, raw broccoli, a little salad dressing. This isn't the

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“Eat-To-Live” prescription, but stay with me.

Anyway, I make the salad, and before I even go get the other stuff — stir fry, burger, whatever — I go to a table and sit down and EAT THE WHOLE SALAD FIRST. I drink a glass of water also. Then, I'll go and get the other foods I like. But what happens is, that the salad — aside from being . . . you know . . . good for me, it starts filling me up, all while I'm getting fiber, nutrients, all that good stuff. And whereas I used to eat multiple plates of the not-so-good stuff, I'm now pretty much full after the first full plate. Oh, and I've managed to drop about 15 pounds and keep it off.

The philosophy is simple: Eat what's good FOR you before you eat what's good TO you. No, I don't always feel like eating a big, gi-normous salad before the rest of the meal, but it's a minor inconvenience if I get to be healthier, feel lighter and look better. But the principle here is still true: Small changes add up.

What does any of this have to do with “A Message From God?” You'll have to listen to The Truth written on your heart to discern that. But I firmly believe that it's time to rethink how we segment our lives into so many sub-categories and act like they have nothing to do with each other. I mean, common logic says there's no relationship between what you eat and how you interact with your loved ones. But if you eat poorly, it can affect your sleep, which affects your mood, which affects how you relate to your loved ones. You might be surprised how a small change in one area of your life can pay off in another.

What do you think? And I'm always open for feedback. Are there topics or concepts you'd like me to address here? Let me know by emailing me at messenger (at) amessagefromgod.net.

Ravivez Votre Relation Par SMS – Par Michael Fiore
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