Wednesday, March 26, 2014



November 21, 2013
The Taste Berry
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

I will give thanks to Your name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness, because Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your name (Psalm 138:2).

Friend to Friend

Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began every prayer with praise. One brutally cold Sunday, his people filed into the church, wondering what the preacher could possibly find to praise God for on such a miserable day. Alexander Whyte stood, bowed his head and prayed, “O Lord, we thank Thee that it is not always like this.”

Are there times when you don’t feel like praising God? Honestly, our feelings are irrelevant when it comes to praising God. Praise is not about us. Praise is all about God. Praise is a deliberate choice and a learned habit that produces contentment and an attitude of gratitude.

In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” In this verse, “learned” means to be “educated by experience” and the word “content” means, “contained.” Paul’s contentment was the result of the resources contained in his heart. In other words, Paul used his circumstances as tutors in the school of praise.

Paul learned how to give God praise even when he was beaten, ridiculed, in prison, and facing his own death. Paul’s attitude did not reflect his circumstances. Paul made a deliberate choice to praise God – no matter what. Why? Because Paul knew that even when he did not understand God’s process, he could trust God’s heart.

Let’s pretend for just a moment. Suppose I went to my local bank and tried to cash a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that when I presented that check to the teller, she would have burst out laughing. She knows what I have in my bank account. Now suppose Bill Gates walked into his bank and presented the teller with a personal check for a thousand dollars. I can assure you that the teller would not burst out laughing. In fact, she would promptly cash that check because she knows what Bill Gates has in his bank account.

When we come to Jesus Christ, all of His promises are credited to our spiritual account. And there is a money-back guarantee on every promise of God. That is why we can praise Him – no matter what.

Praise invites God to take up residence in the middle of whatever mess we are in.

Psalm 22:3 “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Praise produces trust in God and strengthens our faith.

Psalm 42:11 “But, O my soul, don't be discouraged. Don't be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God!”

In Africa, there is a fruit called the "taste berry" that literally changes a person's taste buds so that everything tastes sweet and pleasant. Sour fruit, even if eaten several hours after the taste berry, becomes sweet and delicious.

Praise is the "taste berry" for every Christian. Praise is more than emotions or spoken words. Praise is more than singing songs or lifting up hands in worship. True praise is the celebration of God, His power, His works, and His greatness. Praise is the fruit of a committed heart and the tool of a life completely surrendered to God.

When we are discouraged, praise reminds us that there is hope in God.

When we are afraid, praise reminds us that no matter what happens, God is with us.  

When we are lost, praise reminds us that God has already been where He is leading us.

When we are confused, praise reminds us that heaven is not in a panic.

Right now, girlfriend, lift up your head, and praise your God. He is with you and He is more than enough.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Questions" by Steven Curtis Chapman

I may have posted these lyrics before but they are very applicable right now too.
Who are You GodFor You are turning out to be
So much different than I imagined

And where are you God
Cuz I am finding life to be
So much harder than I had planned

Know that I am afraid
To ask these questions
But You know they are there

And if you know my heart
The way that I believe you do
You know that I believe in You
Still I have these questions

Like How could you God
How could You be so good and strong
And make a world that can be so painful

And where were you God
I know you had to be right there
I know you never turn your head

You know that I'm confused
By all this mystery
You know I get afraid
But if you know my heart
As completely as I trust you do
Oh you know that I trust in you

Is it true
that for every tear I cry
You cry a thousand more
Cuz you weep for those that weep

And are you, just holding yourself back
From crushing all the pain and evil in this world
For reasons we just can't understand for now
But isnt there a day of redemption coming
Redemption is coming

Quickly Lord, come quickly
Lord, come quickly

So who am I God
That you would raise me from the dust
To breathe your life and your love in me
You know that I believe

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Elijah pics

First dentist appoinent, some random ones and his 3rd birthday (Olympic theme...get it? He was born in Russia, the Olympics were in Russia, his party was during the Olympics...)

Also, thank you for the notes and emails after my "isolation" post. I wanted to bring awareness for not just me but many many people that struggle with the same thing but for different reasons. We all (and I mean me too) need to step out of our own little world and realize there are hurting people. The end. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014


I have held off writing this post because...well, you'll see. 

Right after the stroke there were cards galore, packages, visits, meals, etc. If you gave one of the above, THANK YOU. Every bit of it meant more than you'll ever know. But now...there is one person that continues to send cards (thank you!!) and one personn that is now coming by weekly (thank you!!). There are a few others that have visited, sent cards and made phone calls (thank you!!)

Now, before you think I'm ungrateful (one of the reasons I hesitated in writing this post), think about all the interaction you get with others. At work, at the grocery store, at Walmart, on the phone, with your neighbors when you get the mail...I don't have that. I'm not throwing a pity party, just telling it like it is. 

I am partaly to blame. Phone calls go both ways. But I can be hard to understand on the phone and I hate having to repeat myself. I am losing touch with people and it makes me sad. My mom is also close by and would gladly take us anywhere but that is not the way it should be. If that makes any sense  

I am SO grateful for Elijah. So grateful. But I am a very social person. This is probably the hardest part of the stroke. 

This is not a plea for visits, calls, cards, etc. (another reason why I hesitated in writing this post) Just keeping it real.