Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thankful Through The Trial

A continuation of my sister, Mindi Fredrick's, story.

As I sit here and marvel at the Providence of God, I was pondering a few verses and wanted to share them along with my thoughts.
I would never have asked for this path we've been on the last few months, but the blessings and mercies of God have been evidenced over and over. God knew just what he was doing when he placed us here, and He's taking care of us through this to bring us out better on the other side.
I'm so glad that God doesn't just let me wander blindly in my own wisdom, but intercedes oftentimes and nudges us towards his perfect will for our lives. The potter knows the clay, weak as I am, He still wants to use me.
For any of you who read my testimony on my sister’s blog , you know that I like everything planned to the minutest detail and things in perfect order. However, we all know life isn’t like that.
Finances was usually my biggest worry until these recent events have shown me what isn’t really important.
It amazes me that every need has been supplied even though we keep “getting down to the bottom of the barrel”. I was thinking about the widow that fed Elijah (I Kings 17:12-16). She wouldn’t have realized how much of a miracle it was every day had she not seen the bottom of that barrel each time she scraped out for that meal’s portion. The same situation occurred with the manna (Exodus 16). God gave them enough provision for each day (excepting the day before the Sabbath of course). This "pattern" was repeated in the Bible in different situations.
I wonder sometimes why God hands out just enough, rather than “lump sums”. Why not give everything that we will need for our lives in large doses. Well, then this came to mind.
Proverbs 30:7-9- Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
I think it’s the lottery/credit card mentality that we all seem to have as Americans. If I could just …. right now. God knows that like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), we’d simply waste it and not see each provision as a miracle and God’s blessing on us. So he hands it out, little by little, as we need it.
I thank God for the handfuls of purpose that he has continually used to meet our needs as they arise. God has certainly shown himself to us in so many ways these past few months.
We pray that He will bless all of you as much as he is blessing us right now.
Psalm 50:10-15, 23- For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Just sharing my thoughts about my AMAZING GOD! Hope you're having a blessed day!

PS - Dave's tube feeding is being delivered today. My insurance approved covering it! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

To view their story, get updates, or help out, please visit their site at YouCaring.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Healthy Minute- Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is not to be confused with table salt. Epsom salt is actually magnesium and sulfate. These wonderful little "salts" can be used in a variety of ways.

First, as a bath, they are absorbed through the skin helping with regulating enzymes, reducing inflammation, and benefiting your nerves and muscles. They can soothe pain in muscles and joints, help to heal cuts and bruises, and even draw toxins from the body. This is the easiest and most relaxing way to use this wonderful mineral.

Magnesium happens to be the second most abundant mineral in human cells, however most of us are deficient in this mineral. Magnesium is not absorbed through the digestive tract. Since the magnesium part of Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin, it can help those who's magnesium levels have dropped due to stress. The magnesium also helps your body produce serotonin and lower the effects of adrenaline.

Epsom salt has been touted to help your heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, and take the edge off of a migraine headache. The recommended use of Epsom salt in a bath is 2 cups, soaking for at least 12 minutes, and doing this 3 times a week.

Epsom salt is so versatile that it can be used for masks, compresses, facials, and even hair and body care. It can even be used in your garden to help your plants!

Epsom salt can also be taken internally to help with constipation and detoxification. You should speak to your doctor before doing this since there can be serious side effects from taking this internally, and you should always use food grade Epsom salt for consumption.

For more information, please watch the video below:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Funny Happenings-Squirt Guns

I am the oldest of 6 siblings. There's a good 17 years between me and my youngest brother. My husband is the youngest of 6, with 21 years between he and his oldest brother. This age gap provided a good amount of laughs, particularly when I started to date.
When Seth and I were dating, we always had a chaperone. It didn't matter if we were at church, at home, or some where in between- one of my siblings were always with us. It was at our home in Milton, Fl that this certain incident occurred.
My little brother, Luke, was going around squirting people with his water gun. He absolutely loved to catch you off guard and "get you". Seth seemed to be his main target. My four year old brother would wait for my 19 year old boy friend to lose sight of him so that he could pounce.
After a few hours of this, Seth got really annoyed and said, "If you squirt me with water one more time...."
Luke gave this little giggle and replies, "It's not water, Sethy."
Seth got this disgusted frown on his face as Luke smiled, "I filled it with my drool!"

Thursday, August 7, 2014

To Fly Again book review

To Fly Again is a book written by Gracia Burnham, the author of In The Presence Of My Enemies. This book deals with our reaction to trying circumstances.
Gracia Burnham has returned home to the USA after spending a year with a terrorist organization in the Philippines. She was kidnapped and hauled all over the jungle with her husband, while the terrorists demanded a ransom. Her rescue came at the expense of her husband's life.
How do we deal with loss? How do we respond to a tragedy that has turned our life upside down? How do we go on when there is so much anger and bitterness in our hearts?
When life spins out of control for us, we find out who we truly are. We may have to redefine ourselves.... What defines us in good times and bad is not what we have but who we are.
-To Fly Again, Gracia Burnham, page 34, 35 
Gracia shows us that these problems are something that every one in some way faces. They may differ from person to person. Their scars may look different in each heart or on each body. But, the pain they inflict on the mind and souls of those who endure them is something that each of us need to know how to get past.
Gracia helps to show how she learned to pick up her broken life and came To Fly Again.

Note: This book does not always use the King James Version.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Believer's Heritage- Joshua Blahyi

Joshua Milton Blahyi was born in Liberia on September 30, 1971. He was taken from his mother minutes after birth, and at the age of 7 handed over to the priesthood to be trained as a future priest. He became high priest in 1982.
In his tribe, is an unimaginable ritual. They would take a child, kill him or her, and then eat them. At 11 years old, Joshua partook in this ritual. He says he met the devil who told him that he would become a great warrior, but only if he continues this cannibalistic sacrifice yearly. Joshua says that this ritual is practiced in secret all over Liberia for the "benefit of the tribe".
Joshua grew up to become known as General Butt Naked, one of Liberia's most brutal warlords. He was given this name because he and his soldiers would charge into battle naked, except wearing boots and brandishing machine guns. They hoped that this would make the "enemy" think of them as animals instead of men.
He would have a child sacrifice before every battle that he and his men would go into. They believed that if they killed and ate a child before battle that would gain strength for the coming fight.
Over his years as warlord it is said that he and his men have killed over 20,000 people. During the 14 years of civil war, he was known as the most horrifyingly inhuman warlord in Africa's history. His crimes not only included murder and cannibalism, but also cocaine, diamond, and gun trading.
His soldiers, known as the Butt Naked Brigade, included many children. Joshua would crush cocaine and put it into the children's food. He recruited many children as young as 9 or 10 years old.
Joshua says that he had nightly conversations with the devil for 14 years.
In 1996, during a battle that wasn't going so well. Joshua decided that they needed a sacrifice. A woman brought a 3 year old to him. Something about this child caught his attention. This child was calm and peaceful, not screaming and struggling. This made a great impression upon the warlord.
After she was killed, he saw a blinding light in the shape of a man, and heard "repent and live, or refuse and die". That was the turning point in his life. He became aware that witchcraft and cannibalism were wrong.
He was in turmoil over killing this little girl, and left the Butt Naked Brigade. His men thought that he was losing his mind.
The military leaders in Liberia hoped that Bishop John Kun Kun in Monrovia could help convert the General. The bishop told Joshua, "All I want to tell you is Jesus loves you and He has a better plan for your life." After many visits, he realized that Joshua was truly scared and looking for a way out.
One of Joshua's favorite verses is John 3:16. Bishop Kun Kun told Joshua that God had the power to change anyone, even Butt Naked.
He is now a father of 3 and pastor in Liberia. The once notorious warlord is calling for the end of child sacrifice and cannibalism in Liberia. He is even willing to go on trial for war crimes that he committed. He says "if I can change, anyone can". Though he has changed, his name and reputation still bring fear to certain who hear it.
He knows that God has forgiven him, but there are still those in his country that have not. And even though his sins are under the blood, the consequences of all he has done remain. The killing still haunts him. And he still remembers all the evil that he committed.
Not everyone is happy about this change. He has had many assassination attempts on his life. He says if you went to his village and even spoke of the "sacrifice" you would be immediately killed.
His life has become about saving those who need help. He preaches, sings, and has started a rehabilitation center for those who wish to leave killing behind. He is doing his best to help change the country that once he helped to destroy.
You can learn more about Joshua Blahyi in the movie "The Redemption Of General Butt Naked".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Sleeping Church (video sermon)

Most Christian children grow up hearing the tale of Jonah being swallowed by the whale because of his disobedience to God. It's an exciting story that warns of doing our will instead of God's.  But, many adults don't think of it beyond that.

The story begins with Jonah getting into a ship heading for another place. The weather was nice, and this voyage was suppose to be just like any other. However, God was going to use this journey to get Jonah to turn from his wicked way.

Jonah buys a ticket and gets into a boat with rough, tough heathen sailors. It makes us wonder what Jonah was thinking? Did he think that because the weather was nice that he was justifying the whole thing? "If I get a ticket and find a ship, then it must be okay." Was he trying to convince himself that running from God was the right thing to do?

The storm came out of no where. The sailors were scared, and they were trying their hardest to fight against this tempest. There was talk of what god was doing this. Did some blame the devil for it? Someone was responsible!

The devil certainly does mess with us. He tries to get us out of God's will, and he'll use our own feelings and fears to do it.

Jonah was sleeping in the bottom of the ship. He had no idea what was going on out there on the deck. He was perfectly comfortable with his backslidden condition. The storm wasn't bothering him at all! You know, some times when we're out of God's will, we don't even recognize God's judgement in the situation; we've become too comfortable with our sin.

How many of us are sleeping in the church, comfortable with our "lifestyle" that we would let the world go to hell around us? Are we like Jonah in the bottom of the ship? What is God going to have to send our way to get our attention?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meatloaf recipe

2 lbs ground beef
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp Dale's seasoning
1 TBS cajun seasoning
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey

Mix the ground beef, pepper, Dale's, cajun seasoning, and bread crumbs with the the 2 eggs. Form into a loaf and bake at 350* for 1 hour.
Mix the ketchup and honey into a smooth sauce. Remove meatloaf from the oven and spoon the honey-ketchup mixture over the top. Place back into oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

This recipe can also be used to make hamburgers if you omit the eggs and the ketchup-honey topping.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

So Be It (poem)

So be it; 'tis Thy plan not mine,
And being Thine is good;
And God, my will shall yield to Thine
Ere it is understood.

So be it; I a child of dust
Will not oppose Thy way,
Move on, mysterious Will, I trust,
I love, and will obey.

So be it; and do Thou, my heart,
No childish questions ask,
Thou is God's counsels hast no part,
Crave not so hard a task.

So be it; yes, so be it, Lord,
No word have I to say-
O be Thy gracious name adored-
I love and will obey.

-Elizabeth Prentiss

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don't Follow Your Heart

There's a phrase going around that people think is "deep" and "wise". Disney puts it into a lot of their children's movies- just follow your heart, or let your heart guide you, or trust your heart.
While that may sound pretty nice. It's totally anti-biblical!
Our heart, our desires, will deceive us and lead us to a life of miserable wasted potential.
Jeremiah 17:9- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 
Why would you follow something that is desperately wicked? Who would think it was a good idea to trust something that cannot be truly known or understood? Do you really think it's wise to be guided by deceit?
Proverbs 28:26- He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. 
The wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, said that trusting your heart is foolish! A wise person doesn't trust their feelings, their desires, or even their emotions.
Children are the ones to look at because they tend to just let it all out. As adults, we try to control ourselves. I watch a little 4 year old sometimes. If he gets his way he loves me. When he doesn't get what he wants he has screamed "I hate you" to me. Does this child really hate me? I don't think so. But that's how your heart is. It will love something one minute and hate it the next. Why let that lead you?
Many people like to focus on the wonderful attributes of the human emotions, but they fail to look at the negatives. What happens when your heart is under conviction? When you confess your sins, yet the devil uses your heart to make you feel guilty? What then?
I John 3:20- For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
God has promised to forgive us! He doesn't change His promises based on your feelings. He doesn't change His promises based on His own feelings-  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6.
If you want true joy don't follow your heart! True joy is a byproduct of a right relationship with God. If you want joy, find out what God says in His Word (The King James Version) and then DO what He says!