Sunday, January 27, 2008



One of my favorite things about the cold weather is cooking things like chili, homemade soup or stew. Stew is probably one of my favorite dishes. Everyone knows what “stew” is…it is the meat and vegetable dish that you put into a pot, simmer to a slow boil and then (yum!) eat.

There is another definition of the word “stew” :

WEBSTER DICTIONARY: “a state of being agitated, disturbed”.

Have you ever heard of the saying: STEWING IN ONE’S OWN JUICES. This saying is not referring to the juices boiling on the stove but rather allowing trouble and agitation to simmer, to continue in a disturbed state of mind.

We tend to overlap the two different meanings of this word “stew” . When we try to describe our troubled emotions, we often use cooking terms.

Do any of these sound familiar?

• I’m steamed! (An upset person)

• I am BOILING mad! (A very angry person)

• Their mind is fried! (A person who rages excessively)

• This place is like a pressure cooker. (One may describe their office as this)

• We are turning up the heat now. (Meaning to put pressure on)

• Somebody ought to light a fire under him. (A way to motivate someone)

• If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. (Describing someone who can’t handle the pressure)

• You are really cooking now! (Someone who is making progress)


We have all felt it. It is that rush of emotion that seems to flood through our veins. It is like a volcanic eruption that is screaming for release. It is that pot that has a lid that begins to rattle as the contents begin to boil over.

• Perhaps it comes from the car that cuts you off in traffic

• Maybe you feel it when you step on a toy (barefoot) in the middle of the night

• It happens when your husband doesn’t understand you


In the book of Numbers (chapter 20) Moses got mad at the people of Israel. They were tired of wandering in the desert and they complained to Moses about the lack of water. Moses and Aaron gathered the people together and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water then gushed out, and the people and their animals drank from it. (Read it in Numbers 20:9-11)

Anger is not something new. It has been around since the creation of Man. Where does this anger come from and how can we overcome it? Four things about anger for us to consider:


I tend to be very impatient and often times I will get angry when something unexpected detours me from my agenda. Waiting 3 minutes in a fast food line that I thought should have lasted 45 seconds can turn impatience into anger quickly.

Anger is what we feel when things do not turn out the way WE want it to.

PROVERBS 14:29 “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.”


Imagine as you are in the kitchen cooking your stew for dinner, glancing over to the refrigerator where your two year old has just taken the jug of orange juice out, he begins to pour it in a cup but misses, and pours orange juice all over the floor. Just at that moment, your five year old comes yelling, “Johnny just broke the lamp!”

All these things happening at the same time may give you the feeling of losing control and the quickest and easiest way to regain control is to get angry!

PROVERBS 29:22 “An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.”


Getting angry is like putting your foot in raging water. At first, it may feel good, but if you are not careful, you will find yourself a mile downstream! How many times has anger led you to say or do something that you regretted later on?

JAMES 1:19 “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger”


Have you ever walked away from a pot of stew and it boiled over? You took all the time to put in all of the good stuff (potatoes, vegetables, seasonings) but when it boiled over…it became useless. What boiled over was wasted and you could not use it. Our anger is very similar to that. We can put in all of the good stuff (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) but when anger stews up in us …what spews out of our mouths and out of our attitude will not be useful!

Ephesians 4:26, 27 “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. (27) and do not give the devil an opportunity.”

THIS WEEK: take a test about your anger. In my blogspot last week, I asked a question of how others see you when you are angry. The poll results showed that 50% say that others see you as “simmering: I’m hot but under control”. When you find yourself angry this week, stop and ask yourself “why am I angry?” and “how does my anger affect me and others around me?”

The Psalmist David was an adulterer and a murderer. However, David did not stew in his failures. He repented wholeheartedly - and he could say, "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness" (Psalms 30:11).

The fastest way to “turn off the stew” is to trust in God’s forgiveness and God is ready to forgive at ALL TIMES!

I hope that this week’s devotion will help you to keep your anger under control, and that you will realize that even in our weakness of anger, God loves us and will forgive us when we ask and repent.

Thank you for being a WOMAN WHO TAKES A STAND. Post your comments on this devotion and share a testimony of how God helped you overcome a time of anger.

love and prayers, Laurie

YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this weeks poll: “Is your life in a rut?”

Monday, January 21, 2008



Recently, I received a new purse. I love shopping for new purses but I hate switching from one purse to another. One of the reasons for my displeasure is the task of cleaning out the old purse - when it comes to cleaning it out I discover all kinds of interesting things. (lint, used tissues, pens that don’t work, a toothpick, an old grocery list, Anna’s permission slip for school, old receipts, a half eaten snicker bar, lots of loose change ...)

What is inside a woman’s purse can tell a lot about her. Some women need very big purses (aka: a small duffle bag) while other women can get away with carrying a small clutch bag. Purses can hold very important, valuable items while at the same time be a trash collector for items not needed or wanted. This may seem like a very unusual intro to this week’s devotion, but I was thinking about how much a purse can be linked to a woman’s identity.

If you are anything like me, before you can leave the house, you must locate your purse.

“Where’s my purse?” “Has anyone seen my purse?”

These are often words you can hear me hollering as I search room to room for my purse. Why is it so important for me to have this before I leave the house? That is simple…because inside my purse are the treasures that help me during my day.

My Purse Treasures
A few months ago, I mistakenly left my purse at a local restaurant. I did not discover my error until the next morning when I began to go on the room-to-room search for my purse. Since my search left me empty handed, I began to backtrack my steps and narrowed it down to where my purse had been left. Luckily for me, an honest employee had found it and management had it locked up. Not so lucky for me, is that it took me two days to finally meet up with the manager of the Restaurant to get my purse back. I was so relieved to finally get my treasures back…


The first thing I looked for in my newly found purse was to make sure all my cash, checks and credit cards were in place. It was as I had left it. These are some items that can tell a lot about a woman. A look into a checkbook can tell someone where his or her heart belongs.

2 Corinthians 9:5 “Therefore, I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.”

Paul is pointing out two types of givers in this passage. The first are those who give out of generosity and the other is the one who gives out of a grudging obligation. The one who gives with a grudging spirit is also the one who gives the very bare minimum. Reading further, Paul tells us that we should give, as we purpose in our heart, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver.

What does your checkbook say about you? Are you more cheerful to give to Wal-Mart then to give in the church offering?


The second thing I checked for was to be sure my cosmetic bag was all there. It contained my favorite shade of lipstick and the hand cream that I had purchased in Paris last spring. Certainly, these were items that I can live without but not having them for two days caused me to long for them.

Have you ever longed for something?

Genesis 3:23-24 “therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. (24) So He drove out the man, and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Can you even imagine the feeling of longing and sorrow that Adam and Eve must have experienced as they looked back over their shoulders to the Garden, knowing that they could never return to the paradise lost?

We often think that we long for things of the world (from lipstick to power, position and wealth to just mention a few). These things will not truly satisfy us. Our true longing is in what was lost in the Fall of Adam and Eve - to return to paradise. A longing to experience the peace and the love from a well that never runs dry. Only God’s love is perfect and His love will never fail us.

Psalm 42:1-2 “As the deer pants for water brooks, so pants my soul for you, O God. (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

What image are you longing for? What the world offers or God’s Image?


Another lost treasure that I was glad to find were my keys. My key ring not only held my key to the car but also to the house and many other important places. To be without my keys would cause a huge inconvenience.

Matthew 16:18-19 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (19) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

No doubt, we need our keys so we are not locked out. More importantly than car keys, we need to possess the “keys to the kingdom” , which is the Truth of the Gospel. Keys can give you entry into your car or your house, but the power of entry into the Kingdom of God lies in the hands of every individual who hears God’s Word. It is up to each person to accept or reject Gods love and Truth.

Have you unlocked the Truth and accepted God’s love and forgiveness? He is standing at the door, waiting. He said if you will knock, He would answer.

It is my prayer that you will examine the treasures stored in your heart, this is by far more important than the treasures in your purse. If you have lost your treasure I pray that God will use this purse illustration to reveal to you His love and forgiveness and His desire for you to:

1. Give with a cheerful heart
2. Know that you were created to be in His image
3. Realize that you possess the key to enter His Kingdom, all you have to do is accept Him and accept His forgiveness

Thank you for being a WOMAN WHO TAKES A STAND.