Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Women's Health

I came across this pamphlet about women's health and I loved all the information it contained. The herbs suggested aren't very expensive and can be bought directly from the manufacturer- Herbs ETC.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Funny Happenings- You Stink!

I was walking around my house in a sweater because it was cold outside. I had just gotten out of a nice hot shower, and I was feeling pretty good and clean.
My niece ran up and threw her arms around me and gave me a great big hug, "I love you so much!" Then she stepped back, wrinkled her nose, and added, "You stink!"
I wasn't expecting that. I thought I smelled like my soap and shampoo. So, I walked up to my son and pulled my sweater out and asked him to smell it. "What does this smell like?"
He took a deep whiff, shrugged his shoulders, and responded, "Like Dad!"

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Day I Was Crucified book review

The Day I Was Crucified is an amazing book! It's the story of the crucifixion as told by the Lord Jesus Christ. This book takes you into the unseen world of God on the day when Christ suffered to pay the sins of all.
The book is broken down into two parts.
Part 1 is the story told by Christ. It begins by telling you where certain players in the story are at the beginning of that day- Pilate's wife, Judas, Mary, and even the two thieves and Barabas. Then it goes on to tell of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane looking at the cup filled with centuries of sin and rebellion knowing that His perfect being must accept what lies therein.
Part 1 ends with Christ talking to Mary Magdelene in the garden. He's telling what He felt when she realizes who He is. How He has to go to His father, but He gives her a commission to tell others that He has risen.
Part 2 is a blending of the story as told in all four gospels with dates and times included. It is told from the standpoint of someone viewing the events of that day. It begins two days before the Passover Feast, and ends in the same place as Part 1 does.
I had a new respect for what Christ did for me, and a new understanding of exactly what my salvation cost Him when I finished reading this book. I highly recommend it to all who would know a little bit better just how much Christ loves them.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Some Gates (video sermon)

In the Old Testament, a prophet named Jeremiah wrote a few hundred feet from the bottom of Golgotha (Calvary) "Is it nothing to you, all ye who pass by?". Jeremiah was prophesying about Christ hanging on that hill. God's son on the cross who paid for our sins, and is ignored by so many. Is it nothing to you?

The book of Nehemiah tells us that Jerusalem has 10 gates all the way around it. God wants you to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  These gates were made for very specific purposes. And, each gate has a spiritual application to the life of the believer.

The first gate we're going to focus on is called the Sheep gate. It has no bars. Anybody can come in that gate- whosoever will! If you will ask God to save you, the Good Shepherd will accept you into His flock and you can enter New Jerusalem at the sheep gate.

The sheep gate was built by pairs of Levites. Men who served the Lord working side-by-side. But, there were also women at the gate. It wasn't just holy men who were working the gate. Women were allowed there.

This gate was built by homes. It wasn't separated from everyday living. It wasn't visited on special occasions, or specific days. It was passed by on a daily basis. Your Christian walk isn't only in the church. You live it daily, everywhere! You represent what it stands for each place you go.

Another gate is called the Fish gate. Once you pass through the sheep gate, you become a fisherman. It's now your job to go tell others about Christ and His salvation!

There's the Old gate. God never changes. His way of salvation doesn't change because the next generation thinks it should. Calvary saves sinners today the same way it saved the people in the book of Acts! God uses the Old Book- the King James Bible! He sends people down the Old paths- the way narrow and straight! God uses the Old gate because it works!

There's a Valley gate where sometimes we all have to walk. Great men aren't born; they're made. You can't prevent God from allowing suffering in your life, but you can control how you respond to it. The valley is full of uncertainty and darkness. Sometimes we don't even know which way to turn. It's normally in the valley that we end up making mistakes. God knows we aren't perfect, and He's made provision for the missteps we make when we're in the valley.

There's a Dung gate. This gate is where you drop off all the waste. Take all the crap that slows you down and distracts you and drop it at this gate. You can make a change! You don't have to drag all those mistakes with you. You don't have to carry all the regrets of past failures. There's a place for you to drop those- kneel at Calvary's tree and walk away free!

Everyone makes mistakes. People are gonna mess up. Don't talk about them. Don't beat them up with it. Help them out! Encourage them! Remember that you could be there if not for the grace of God!

The Water gate is where you get refreshed! God gives us Living Waters from which we can freely drink daily. Read your Bible; pray everyday!

The Horse gate is where you go forth to the battle. Each day you will face the world, the flesh, and the devil. Temptations aren't going to leave you. You will battle them everyday. But you can always come back and stop by the Water gate to get refreshed!

The King will return through the Eastern Gate.  The Eastern gate is the one the King is going to come through when He returns during the Battle of Armageddon.  It's been closed up by the world. But, that won't be a problem for Him!

No matter which gate you find yourself walking through don't forget you're never alone. Someone's always watching. Problems are always waiting. But, don't fret! There are plenty more gates that you can visit! And God can use any gate to serve a purpose for His will in your life.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Ratatouillie recipe

1 lb chopped yellow onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb chopped zucchini
1 lb chopped yellow squash
1 lb orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 ob red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb egg plant, peeled and chopped
olive oil or lard
2 springs thyme
1 sprin rosemary
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chicken bone broth
1 lb fresh diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400*
Saute each set of veggies (except tomatoes) in olive oil or lard. Do not saute together; saute each individually.
Place veggies (except tomatoes) in a baking dish with thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and stock.
Bake at 400* for 1 hour.
Drain liquid into a pot. Place veggies back in baking dish.
Cook the liquid until it is reduced in half.
Add the tomatoes to the veggies and pour the liquid over top.
Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cowboy Story (poem)

Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty, and the clouds were grey and dense.
As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen and the snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt with heavy heart
From the sound of that ignition he knew it wouldn't start.
So, Jake did what most of us do if we would've been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later frozen stiff in that old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roamin'.
But when he saw heaven, he was shocked! It looked just like Wyomin'.
Of all the saints in heaven, his favorite was St. Peter.
Now, this line ain't needed, but it helps with rhyme and meter.
So, they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keepin' score- in heaven time is free!
"I've always heard, "Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayers.
But, one time I asked for help. Well, He just plain wasn't there!
Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square. I know all men are brothers.
Or, does he randomly reply without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe it's the time of day? The weather? Or, the season?
Now, I ain't tryin' to act smart. It's just the way I feel.
And I was wonderin' could you tell- what the heck's the deal?"

Peter listened very patiently, and when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, You're the one!
 That day your truck wouldn't start, and you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time with hundreds of us trying!
A thousand angels rushed to check the status of your file,
But, you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a while!
And, though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota.
He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in North Dakota."

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Great Woman

II Kings 4:8- And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
This is the only woman in the Bible who is called 'a great woman'. There are many ladies in the Bible that we should aspire to be like. Certain characteristics that they possess will make us into the women that God wants us to be. And, if they possess these characteristics, shouldn't we examine what they are so that we may incorporate them into our lives?
The first thing I see is that she had self-control.
II Kings 4:26- Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
She was in anquish of spirit here! Her one and only son who was miraculously given to her by God was dead! And yet, she held her emotions in control. How many times have we freaked out over the smallest things? Self-control is definitely something that the Lord would like to see in more Christian ladies.
The second thing she possessed was a knowledge that she should turn to the Lord with her needs.
II Kings 4:22-23- And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. She didn't seek out any doctors. She wasn't looking for the best physicians. She knew the answers she sought were only going to be found when she took her problems to the Lord. Another thing, she didn't burden her husband with her problems. Many times we want to unload our disappointments on our husbands, but this lady knew that that would do no good. Only the Lord's ears needed to filled with her grievances.
Next, we see that she was earnest.
II Kings 4:24- Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.
There was a great urgency to her request. She had been up nursing her sick child for quite some time, and as mothers we know that can be very draining! She had a desire to get to her destination no matter what her body was feeling, and we all need that as mothers!
She was humble.
II Kings 4:13- And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
Man! That convicts me right there! I would have a list ready. But this lady wasn't looking for fame or riches, she was looking to be a blessing to others just for the sake of being a blessing. Would to God there were more ladies out there like that! Can you imagine how they would upset this world?
Fourthly, she was prayerful.
II Kings 4:33- He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
Okay, it says "he", but do you really think she was just sitting in the other room twiddling her thumbs? How often have we gotten so stressed out in the day, and yet, we never stopped to pray about it? Do we think that God is too busy? Or, is it the fact that we are too busy? God died for us! He wants to hear about our day! He wants to help us through it! But, we have to let him know we want that help!
And lastly, but definitely not the least, she was thankful.
II Kings 4:37- Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.
Human nature normally isn't thankful. It's very self-righteous and thinks that we deserved the good and the blessings that have come our way. Ten lepers were healed by Christ, and yet only one thought to say thank you. I'm sure the others were thankful in their hearts, but Jesus wanted to hear it! And, it's the same for us today- he wants to hear a thank you from us every now and then!
This woman was great in God's eyes, or the Bible wouldn't have said it. God gave her the increase from what she already had! She had taken the time to ready the room and the things that were necessary for the work of the Lord. We are not to make promises that we will do such and such a thing if the Lord does what we want, but rather give back from what we have already.

Friday, November 27, 2015

What? Me Lascivious?

Lasciviousness! It is a Bible Word- appearing in the New Testament six times. It was mentioned by Christ, Paul, Peter, and Jude.
It is a Big Word- 14 letters long. It is a Bad Word- spoken of with great condemnation in the Word of God.
Today many women professing to be believers in the Lord are carrying themselves in a lascivious way, mostly by ignorance. Over two thousand years ago, believing women fell into the same trap.
Notice what happened, as described in I Timothy 2:9-10- In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
These ladies were professing godliness, but not practicing it. Their clothing and jewelry was not pleasing to God. The ways of the women of the world were slowly infiltrating the church.
What is lasciviousness? According to Webster's Dictionary, Lascivious means loose, wanton, lewd, lustful, a tendency to excite lust and promote irregular indulgences. According to the Barnhart & Thorndike Dictionary, it is simply defined feeling lust, showing lust, causing lust.
Today I could shorten these definitions down to one four-letter word: sexy.
Being sexy or trying to be sexy is a sin. We are not taught to be sexy, but to be holy both in body [physically] and in spirit [emotionally and mentally]. Read I Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:34- What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not our own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
Marriage is the place for physical intimacy. Showing or causing lust outside of marriage is wrong. It is lascivious.
Women and teen ladies must realize that their anatomy can cause lust in men. By dressing incorrectly, or immodestly, a woman can trigger lustful thoughts in a man.
Consider David's sin. II Samuel 11:2-5- And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
What's the big deal? Since the sexual revolution blossomed in the 1960's, our country has slid down a deep decline into a moral abyss characterized by nakedness and nudity. Immodest clothing and a sexy demeanor have become the normal of women today.
In 1960 the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta reported five major Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's) in America. In 1999 they reported thirty. Some of these are incurable and fatal. No one can tell outwardly who has these diseases. A very handsome, muscular young man could be diseased. A very attractive, young lady could be diseased.
Sixty percent of all teens say they have fornicated by the age of 18. Almost 1.5 million teen girls become pregnant every year. Half of these teen girls abort their babies. Ninety seven percent of single mothers live in poverty the rest of their lives. Not many of them find a good man who wants to marry them.
Here is one of the saddest facts: one out of three teen girls who becomes pregnant is impregnated by an adult man. What does this teach us? Adult men can be stimulated by teen girls.
It is atrocious the way teen girls dress today. It is not uncommon to see them with tight shorts, bare legs, bare mid-rifts, bare shoulders, and low cut tops. This causes lust. This is lasciviousness. Most teen girls do not have a clue of what today's fashions do to men.
Men are instructed in Proverbs 6:25- Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
Matthew 5:28- But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This is a difficult command for men to obey today. Men are over-stimulated today by lasciviousness. It seems that everywhere a man turns there is an improperly dressed woman or a picture of an improperly dressed woman. No Christian woman should dress, look, or act in a lascivious way.
Consider these Scriptures:
Mark 7:20-23- And he [Jesus] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, Lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Ephesians 4:19- Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Lascivious people are described as being past feeling. Some ladies who say they are believers in the Lord have no shame, guilt, or conviction about dressing or acting improperly. Are they past feeling?
Galatians 5:19-21- Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Lasciviousness is a work of the flesh that could cause a person to lose some or all of their eternal inheritance.
I Peter 4:2-3- That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
Lasciviousness may have been something we did in our past, but we should not in our present.
II Corinthians 12:21- And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
Lasciviousness should be repented of. It is sin. It shows lust and causes lust. It causes people to be carnal, fleshly, and worldly minded. Life is too short to waste it on lust. Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Romans 8:8- So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
How should a Christian lady act? Consider these instructions:
Titus 2:4-5- That they may teach the young women to be sober, to live their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Proverbs 31:30- Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

- Pastor Kohl

Monday, November 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Balancing Your Body

There are three different states that your body can be in- alkaline, acidic, and neutral. Knowing how each of these states affect your health can help you to understand why certain things are happening in your body.
In an acidic body, the balance of the intestinal flora can become tipped in the bad bacteria's favor. Candida can easily thrive and grow out of control. And your body is depleted of minerals very quickly. If the blood's PH gets too acidic, it can lead to central nervous system depression, and even death.
The blood requires a PH level of 7.35 to 7.45, which is just into the alkaline range. When the blood starts to get acidic, the body pulls phosphates from your teeth and bones to bring the alkalinity back to where it should be. This can lead to teeth prone to cavities, and weak bones.
In a severely alkaline body, the nerves can become hypersensitive. Muscle spasms and convulsions can occur, sometimes violent enough to cause death.
The body requires balance. The PH scale ranges from 0 to 14. We need to keep our body in the neutral, or 7 range. Anything that has a PH below 7 is considered acidic, and anything above 7 is considered alkaline. The acidic scale needs to be looked at as ten times for each one letter. So, soda has a PH of 3, which makes it ten thousand times more acidic than water.
Your body has three ways of keeping you in that perfect neutral setting: buffer systems, carbon dioxide release, and elimination of hydrogen ions. These three things occur without you even thinking about them (like pulling the phosphates from your bones as mentioned above).
We can help our body perform it's job and keep ourselves in optimal health by eating foods that help keep our body in the neutral zone.
The typical Western diet of animal foods (meat, dairy, etc) and highly processed grains leads to a very acidic body. The best way to help your body balance is to incorporate a good amount of alkalizing fruits and vegetables. You can have all the meat and dairy you like if you eat just a little more fruits and veggies to balance it out.
Drinking lemon water, or water with a little Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's brand with the "mother") in it can help to bring your body back to the middle ground. Just please know that there is no "over night fix" that you can do. It's going to take time a dedication to bring your body to the neutral PH position and keep it there.
This is not an exhaustive study on this topic. If you want more information, please watch the video below. If you're interest is piqued, I encourage you to do more research on your own.

NOTE: I am not associated with PHion. It is just the best video I could find that explains PH.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Believer's Heritage- John Charles Ryle

John Charles Ryle was born in 1816 in Macclesfield, England. His father, John Ryle, was a private banker and he was raised among the wealthy of his time. He went to prep school at the age of seven. He said that he learned more evil in the next two years at that school that during the rest of his life.
After prep school, he went to Eton. Another school where he learned that arguments were settled with fist fights. The only good that came was when he had to study the Articles of Religion in order to enter Oxford University. John wasn't raised with any type of religious doctrine, and this study is where he attained his doctrinal views.
While at Oxford, he played cricket, hockey, and rowed. These sports allowed him to gain an understanding of discipline, and he encouraged his own sons to play. It wasn't until his last year of schooling that he buckled down and studied in order to graduate.
It was during his time at Oxford that John Ryle asked Christ to save him. He arrived late to an evening prayer service in 1837. The Oxford Parish Church was having a lesson on Ephesians 2. When the reader read verse 8- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:- John knew what he had to do. He said this was when he accepted Christ's salvation for his soul.
After he graduated Oxford, Ryle went back home. He was a rich, single gentleman who seemed to have everything. At the age of 21, he suffered a lung infection. Then the banks collapsed and he found himself without anything in the course of one day. John was rather bitter about this loss. It was only time that taught him God could work His will through loss. It was because of these that John began to faithfully read his Bible.
John wanted to earn some money and this was his primary reason for entering the ministry. He was ordained a Bishop in 1841. He started his ministry in the poor area of Exbury, a place full of swamps and snakes. The people didn't see their need for anything spiritual. John dutifully worked this area for two years as preacher and doctor for the poor there. God was able to change John's heart so that his desire for money waned and his desire for the salvation of souls grew.
It was in 1844 in Suffolk that John took the time to read the Puritan and Reformer writings that gave him the basis for his ministry. He preached to rich and poor alike the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, pointing all to the "old paths" which lead to the Savior.
John learned that loss was part of life. He married his first wife in 1845, and lost her in 1847. He married again in 1850, only to have her become sick 6 months later. He nursed her for 10 years, often taking an open carriage ride for 30 miles just so he could be home with her at night. But, she passed away in 1860 leaving him with 5 children; one from his first wife.
His third wife, Henriette, married him in 1861. She had good health and was a musician. They were married until 1889.
He pastored throughout rural England for 38 years. He was not only a pastor, but a writer and an evangelist. He preached at conventions and gave lectures under the Church Association in Picadilly. It was here that he preached "Why were our reformers burned?" I believe that it was partly his experience with loss that enabled him to understand why God would allow such things to happen.
His writings started with tracts, then went on to include books, hymns, and commentaries. His first pamphlet was prompted by the death of 100 people caused by a bridge collapse. Again, God used loss to encourage John along in His will. He wrote around 300 messages in pamphlet form. He said, "My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of men; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth."
He became the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool in 1880. John was now 64 years old. At the age where most men were retiring, John started a new ministry that would span another 20 years! He died just a few months after retiring in 1900 at the age of 84 in Lowestoft, England.
He was known as a one-book man who was said to have bled the Bible. About the blessed, old Book, John Ryle said, "It is still the first book which fits the child's mind when he begins to learn religion, and the last to which the old man clings as he leaves the world."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Paula The Waldensian book review

This book is the story of a saved little girl in a family of unbelievers. Paula challenged us as we read this book to love the Lord more and think of others before we think of ourselves. It is a story of a young girl who is following the Lord Jesus, loving Him, and obeying Him despite the fact her parents are dead and she is living with her uncle’s family. She chooses to be kind and loving in every circumstances she finds herself in.
I can't tell you how many times I found myself crying through this book! Author Eva Lecomte has a way with words in the book Paula The Waldensian. It took me a few tries before I was able to read it out loud to my children without tearing up and having to stop and gather myself,
This book is very hard to find to buy, however, I did google it and found a pdf form that I downloaded to my desktop. Amazon sells it for around $12. Also, try reading it from the internet.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Apple Crisp Pie recipe


1/2 cup butter, softened

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt


6 cups Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

10 tablespoons quick cooking oats

6 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

To make the crust, beat 1/2 cup of butter with cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined; scrape the sides of mixing bowl occasionally to incorporate all the butter and cream cheese. Beat in 1 1/4 cups flour, the white sugar, and salt on medium-low speed until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until the dough begins to clump together, about 30 more seconds.

Lay out a 24-inch piece of waxed paper on a work surface, and scoop the dough out onto the left half of the paper. Form it into a ball, and flatten it into a 6-inch disk; fold the right side of the paper over the dough disk, covering the dough. With the rolling pin on top of the paper, gently roll the dough out into a round crust about 1/8-inch thick; peel off the top half of the waxed paper, turn the dough out onto the prepared pie dish, and fit the dough into the dish. Peel of the remaining portion of waxed paper.

To make the filling, mix together the apples and lemon juice in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together until thoroughly combined, then mix the flour mixture with the apples. Pour the apple filling into the crust.

To make the topping, combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and the oats; with a pastry cutter, cut in 6 tablespoons of butter, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Spoon the topping evenly over the apple filling.

Bake in the preheated oven until the apple filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. If the crust begins to look brown after about 20 minutes of baking, cover the crust edge with a strip of aluminum foil.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Funny Happenings- Eating Bugs

Living in the South allows us a rather diverse palate. We enjoy a variety of ethnic foods, including Cajun. A lot of Cajun cooking incorporates seafood into the dishes, and because of this my children are use to eating a variety of fish and shellfish.
While over at my brother's-in-law house we were enjoying some of the local seafood. He and my husband were cracking open oysters to grill with butter, garlic, and parmesean cheese. Inside I had cut up some french bread, and was working on beheading, peeling, and deveining the shrimp. We were going to put them on some kabob poles and wrap them in bacon to grill.
My little nephew came in and watched me for a second and then asked, "What are you doing to those bugs?"
I chuckled a little and told him that I was getting them ready to cook. He had eaten shrimp before in many different dishes, but had never seen them in their original "fresh" state.
About 5 minutes later he walks up to me again with a puzzled look on his face and questioned, "What do bugs taste like?"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

There's Good Things In The Fire (video sermon)

In Daniel 3, the heathen king, Nebuchadnezzar, threw the three Hebrew children into a fiery furnace. If you are familiar with the Bible, you know the story- God was with them in the fire and they weren't hurt. They came out having a testimony that they served the Living God.

Many times we want to find a way to avoid the fire. No one likes to go through the fire, but there are good things that can come from going through the fire.

First, the Hebrew children's shackles were burned off. They were bound before they went in, but God used the fire to free them from their bonds. We may not like the fire, but it may be the only way to remove what has us bound in our Spiritual lives.

The fire can also reveal the Son in our lives. The Hebrew children weren't sure that God was going to save them. They said they wouldn't bow either way. But once in the fire, they could see that God was with them. And, so could all those around them! God was revealed in a personal way to them and all those who watched them go through the fire.

It can release the sinner. Their time in the fire was the reason that Nebuchadnezzar passed the law that no one could speak against the Living God. They had to go through the fire for all nations to get the word of this powerful, saving God.

Fire can destroy, yes. But, it can also warm us, give light, reveal, and more. Just because you're going through a fire doesn't mean you're going to be destroyed. Just because you're going through the fire doesn't mean it's because of something you did wrong. Some times, God uses the fire to bring about some amazing things in our lives and the lives of those watching us.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Redemption (poem)

He died for my sins on a cross, so they say,
In His holy body He bore them away.
So cruel a death, such an innocent, He,
As the nails through His flesh were driven for me.
My sin, oh the shame, that He must have felt
As His back in the courtyard I beat with a belt.
The crime it was mine, but the sentence He paid.
As the lash I laid on, He entreatingly said,
"My Father, forgive. Don't remember his crime
For, Father, it's done in ignorance this time."
But so that this act my ne'er be diminished,
He lifted His eyes and said, "It is finished."


Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Value Of The Basics

1 Chronicles 15:2- Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.

David learned a valuable lesson the hard way that every generation needs to learn. The lesson that David learned was that the basics work every time, even if they seem to be outdated. David wanted to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem so that he could experience God’s blessings to their fullest. The mistake David made was that he copied the Philistines way of moving the ark instead of following the basics that God gave in moving the ark. This mistake caused a man to lose his life. However, David learned from his mistake and went back to the basics and was successful in his attempt in bringing the ark of God to the city of David.
In our modern times, many have left the basics of God’s Word because they seem to think that the basics are outdated. In this day of technology, the basics may not seem to work as well as technology, but the basics will beat out the results of technology every time. The basics are the foundational principles of God’s Word that will bring the greatest blessings on your life if you will follow them. Here are some observations about the basics that will help you in your daily life.
First, the basics are always safe. The reason why the basics are always safe is because they have been tried and proven. When you try a new way, you don’t know what the new way will produce or where it will lead. If you want to be safe in life, then you would be wise to follow the basics.
Second, the basics are always relevant. Here is where many people make a mistake. Many people feel that the basics are outdated and won’t work in today’s technologically advanced world. That is where they are wrong. The basics are the foundation upon which everything is built. God is not saying not to use today’s advances, but only use today’s advances if they don’t take you away from the basics. The basics will always be relevant because Scriptural principles never change.
Third, the basics always produce good results. When David got back to the basics, that is when he experienced his desired results. The best results in life always come when following the basics. The basics may not be flashy, but they always give you the results you want. In the sports world, the team that follows the basics is the team that usually wins the championship. They may not always be fun to watch, but they win the championship that the team desired. Your greatest victories in life will come when you follow the basics.
Christian, have you been tempted to leave the basics? Don’t allow the new age temptations to pull you from the basics of the Word of God. The basics in business will make your business the best that it can be. Following the financial basics will help you to do the best with the money that you do have. The basics in Christianity will produce the best Christians. The basics in church building will always produce the strongest churches. The basics that made a nation strong will always keep that nation strong. Never leave the basics, for in them lies your greatest blessings.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Spiritual Fitness

Many times my healthy minute posts are about your physical well being. But, today I'm going to focus on the spiritual well being. Our spiritual self needs just as much care as our physical self. We need to feed (read the Bible) and exercise (pray and study) and grow in grace (faith through troubles).
One of the more difficult things to manage as a Christian is doctrine. There are so many people out there that tell you what God wants from you, or what He demands of you, that Christians many times just take their word for it. God wants you to study- II Timothy 2:15- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. That means that God wants you to search it out for yourself, not just take somebody's word for it.
The words "rightly dividing the word of truth" tell you that there are some divisions in the Word of God. You can read any passage of Scripture and get some practical knowledge or guidance from them, but you cannot apply them to your life doctrinally.
I'll give you an example: God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Now, if you try to apply that doctinally to you, you may find yourself avoiding anything that grows on trees. You may laugh, but there are Christians out there who do this with all sorts of verses! They say, "Well, God told Adam not to eat from the tree, so I'll avoid eating everything that grows on trees and that'll cover my bases. I'm obeying the Scriptures!" Wrong! You are applying something doctrinally to yourself that was never written for you.
Another example: Paul says that women shouldn't adorn themselves with gold or the plaiting of hair (I Timothy 2:9). Now, many Christians out there say that women shouldn't wear jewelry or braid their hair. They kind of leave off the part where Peter repeats that, but says "the putting on of apparel" (I Peter 3:3). If Peter doesn't want you wearing jewelry or braiding your hair literally, then he's against you wearing clothes. Wrong! You have to rightly divide. When what your wear, or what you look like, becomes more important that who you are in God's eyes then you are going against God. That's what Paul and Peter were trying to communicate.
So, how do we rightly divide? How do we study? How do we become spiritually fit?
First, we pray. We pray for God's wisdom and guidance before we ever approach the Word of God. We ask Him to show us what He wants us to see. Every Christian has a personal walk with God. He tells each of us what He expects from us personally. That may not be what He expects from your neighbor, or your pastor, or even your spouse. Ask for wisdom!
Next, we study. Get a concordance and search a word. Find every scripture that has that word in it. See what they all say. That's how you study. You will begin to see the big picture- how God has put everything together. How the pieces fit. A greater, defined understanding of each subject you search out.
Third, we see who God is speaking to and when He is speaking. The book of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews chapter 1 that it is written to the Jews in the last days. A Christian in the church age cannot apply anything in that book doctrinally to themselves! God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son- don't try that! God isn't speaking to a Christian in the church age! Rightly dividing means seeing if something is written to you, or if it's written to someone else- read the address before personally following the letter.
You can't pick up a letter at your neighbor's house addressed to him from his wife that says "I love you" and think that it was written from her to you! It's the same with God's Word.
And lastly, obey. God will show you what He wants from you. Some things may be easy; some things may be difficult. But, each time you accept the light that God gives you, He'll give you more. He'll draw you closer. And, you'll grow in spiritual fitness!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Funny Happenings- Cajun Honesty

One time, Ti Claude was went fer da job. Dey was give him da job application ta fills out which he don did.
When he was come ta da question, "Have you ever been arrested?" He was wrote NO.
Da next question, intended fer dose what answer da previous question yes, was, WHY?
Not realizing dis, Ti Claude was answer da question, "Ain't never been caught."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

These Are The Garments book review

There's a local store here that sells used books. When they don't sell after so long, they put them in a free bin outside the store. I found this treasure of a book in there!
These Are The Garments by C. W. Slemming is a study of the garments worn by the High Priest in the Old Testament. He goes over every color, texture, and piece worn by the Hight Priest as Moses stated in the Pentateuch.
When God says something, it is for a reason. And He was very specific in the description of what the High Priest was to wear. C. W. Slemming brings the meanings of each color, stone, and article in such a way that we see how Christ was pictured in the very outfit that God specified way back then.
IF you're looking for a wonderful study that will open your eyes to the beauty of God's ways then I suggest this book. You will definitely get a blessing and walk away with a new appreciation for who God is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lace Cookies recipe

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
11 TBS butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together.
Melt the butter.
Beat the eggs, cream, and vanilla together.
Combine all ingredients.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350* for 5 to 6 minutes.
Allow to cool before you remove.

Note: The cookies will spread out and form small holes between the sections of oats giving it the appearance of lace. If you don't grease the pan, they will stick and you'll have to throw the pan away!

Monday, October 5, 2015

What About Your Sin (video sermon)

What happens to our sins when we get saved? Do Christians still sin? What does God do with our sins after we confess them? According to Joyce Meyer, a saved person becomes sinless. But, if you are saved and honest you know that isn't true. Because Christians don't become perfect the second they ask Christ to save their souls. According to I John, we make God a liar when we say that we don't sin.

The truth is that we are sinners by nature. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we are all sinners, and in Romans 5:12 that death has passed upon all men because of it. That's the whole reason that Christ came to die for us. He paid the price for this sin nature. You accept Christ as your Savior and your debt for sin has been paid, but that doesn't mean that you don't stop sinning- because you're a living human being with a sin nature. There's nothing righteous about us; we claim Christ's righteousness!

Now, John in I John 1:9 we are told to confess our sins to God and He will cleanse us from them. He puts our sins under His Blood and we are no longer held accountable for them. God says in Hebrews 8:12 that He won't remember our sins when we confess them. He won't bring them back and throw them in our face again. Psalm 103:12 says that He throws them as far as the East is from the West! Satan and our flesh will remind us of our sins, but God forgives and forgets!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Herein Lieth Love (poem)

A man child was born in a stable they say-
Herein lieth love.
He came to this earth a ransom to pay-
Herein lieth love.
His blood was the price of redemption for me.
He paid the cost while nailed up on a tree.
He was in bondage to set me free-
Herein lieth love.

This unselfish act has freed me from sin-
Herein lieth love.
To heaven now, freely, I may enter in-
Herein lieth love.
The thirty three years from manger to cross
were all lived to show me just what it cost
Our God to redeem those that are lost-
Herein lieth love.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Believer's Heritage- Anna and Susan Warner

Susan Warner (1819-1885) and Anna Warner (1827-1915) were born in New York. Their father, Henry Warner, was a lawyer, and their mother was a wealthy socialite from Hudson Square. Both of their parents lineage could be traced back to the Puritans. Their mother died while they were still young, and their father's sister, Fanny, came to live with them and raise them.
They were well to do until the "Panic of 1837". This left the family drained of finances due to lawsuits and bad investments, and they moved into an old home on Constitution Island, across from the military academy West Point.
It was after this that the girls came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and became members of the Mercer Street Presbyterian church. This is where they met their good friend and fellow author, Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, who was their pastor's wife in the 1850's.
The girls wanted to help their family's financial situation and so they started writing. They both became well known Christian authors of their time writing around 106 publications. It was in one of these, a novel titled Say And Seal, that the famous children's hymn Jesus Loves Me was born. Susan was writing about a little boy named Johnny Fox who was dying. In the story, his Sunday School teacher sings him a little song. Susan asked Anna to write the song that would be sung by the character.

Jesus loves me- this I know,
For the  Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong-
They are weak, but He is strong.

Jesus loves me- loves me still,
Though I'm very weak and ill;
From His shining throne on high,
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Jesus loves me- He will stay,
Close beside me all the way.
Then His little child He'll take,
Up to heaven for His dear sake.

 The three familiar verses of Jesus Loves Me were then penned, They were changed by William Bradbury when he wrote the melody that they were to be sung to, and they have been sung by children around the world ever since, with the added chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Susan and Anna started teaching Bible classes for those who were going through the military academy. For forty years these ladies taught the cadets that went through. Though both were only civilians who lived near the military academy, they were buried in the West Point cemetery will full military honors. Their home has become a museum to their remembrance which is still maintained by West Point.
Their far reaching effects are best seen in the story of the PT-109, a torpedo boat, commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy in 1943 (who later became president). During World War II, PT-109 was rammed and sunk near the Solomon Islands. Eleven of the survivors swam from island to island until they found Olasana Island where they found coconut trees and drinkable water. Some native's from Australia found the survivors who sang them the song Jesus Loves Me written by the ladies who taught the cadets so long ago.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inside The Man

Along Paul's journey, there were many men who walked with him through the ministry. I have often wondered where I would have fallen if I had been alive back then. Would I be one of the faithful who helped Paul along the way? Or, could I have been a stumbling stone that knocked others off the path?
There was Luke, the Beloved Physician, who stayed by Paul almost until the end. And there was Timothy who was trained by Paul to take over discipling those who turned to Christ. There were Aquilla and Priscilla who ministered to Paul and helped Apollos. And many others.
I want to focus on two whom I think are like many Christians today.
The first is Demas. He's mentioned 3 times in the Bible. The first two are where Paul extends his greetings to others in the church. He is working with Paul, the first man to have a missionary movement. He is learning from the guy who was taught by Gamaliel and then by the Lord Himself!
But, the third time he's mentioned in II Timothy 4:10a- For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; He's turned his back on the ministry.
What happened? He was with one of the greatest evangelists to ever preach and he found something in the world that he wanted more.
I see many Christians today like him. They start out on fire for God, and slowly learn to desire what Satan dangles in front of them.
The next man is John Mark. He shows up in Acts just after Paul and Barnabas' first missionary journey. In Acts 12, as Paul and Barnabas were leaving on their second trek, they take John Mark with them. He didn't last long though, before he was returning home and abandoning the missionary duo.
In Acts 15:37, he wants to go again- And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul didn't want a quitter coming along to drop out again. The argument over this one boy caused the missionary duo to split. Acts 15:39-40- And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
Things didn't look too good for John Mark. Even Paul thought he would be worthless in the ministry. But, there was another man named Barnabas who saw some potential in this young man. And he was willing to look past his mistakes to disciple him in the way.
The last mention of John Mark is in II Timothy 4:11- Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Paul had completely changed his mind about John Mark. He finally saw what Barnabas could see all along and told Timothy, "He's profitable."
It really doesn't matter how you start. What matters is how you finish!
The Corinthians couldn't see that. They argued in I Corinthians 1:12- Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. It's not the man! It's the God behind him. The man will make mistakes, or quit, or find something else to love. The man may fall down and need someone to guide him. But, the God that the man serves is the same one that Paul served.
What is inside of you? Are you loving something more than God? Did you quit somewhere along the way? Do other's look at you and see someone who is worthless to the ministry?
I Samuel 16:7b- for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Ask yourself what God sees! And have to courage to be what God sees, not what man thinks he sees.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Helichrysum Oil

Helichrysum is a yellow flower that is native to Southern Europe. The oil that comes from this flower is quite rare, and hence, very expensive, though it has a long shelf life. But, the most remarkable thing about this oil is how versatile it is.
I've been using essential oils for years now and I love the benefits that I see while using them. Mostly I stick to the well known peppermint, tea tree, and oregano. But, Helichrysum caught my attention (after I was able to recover from seeing the price)!
The most notable is it's ability to help thin the blood. It's known as an anti-coagulant and is very helpful for people with a risk of heart attack or high blood pressure. It is said to work immediately, and can also help with hemorrhaging and aid to clear blood clots.
The next thing that caught my attention was how it helps the nervous system. Helichrysum helps to strengthen the nervous system and with extended use can help protect against disorders that result from aging. It helps relieve anxiety and stress!
It can also be used on the skin to help protect from microbes and fungal or viral infections while helping the skin retain moisture, making it soft. It is also said to help varicose veins!
Internally, it helps to thin mucus and can clear congestion and coughs. But, it also helps on a cellular level by stimulating the removal of dead cells and the production of new cells. It also aids the spleen and liver while relieving inflammation.
Plus, there have been no observed negative side effects from it's use.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Oyster Rockefeller Soup recipe

4 TBS butter
4 TBS flour
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cloves minced garlic
6 finely chopped green onions
2 finely chopped celery stalks
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup spinach, frozen and defrosted or fresh
4 oz cream cheese
12 oysters
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1/2 cup grated parmesean
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
Bacon crumbles

Cook butter and flour over low heat, stirring constantly until blonde. This is a roux.
Add cayenne, salt, garlic, onions, celery, parsley, fish sauce, lemon juice, spinach and cream cheese.
Mix well, letting cream cheese melt into ingredients. Add the heavy cream, milk, butter, along with the oysters and allow to cook until heated through.
Combine the parmesean, bread crumbs, and bacon crumbles and sprinkle on top of each bowl as you serve.

Monday, September 7, 2015

You'll Come (poem)

You'll come when you're weary and troubled.
You'll come when your sorrow has doubled.
You'll come when you've tried and failed the test.
You'll come to Jesus, and He'll give you rest.

You'll come when you've lost a beloved friend.
You'll ask of Him your bereavement to end.
You'll ask Him to make all the pain go away.
You'll ask Him to turn your night into day.

Why not come before all these have started?
Why not come before peace has departed?
Why not come before of your joy you're bereft?
Just come, and you'll wonder why you ever left.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Believer's Heritage- Lottie Moon

I saw a play about Charlotte Moon when I was in high school, and it really stuck with me. This is not the same one, unfortunately, but I think you may enjoy it.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The God We Can Know book review

I received this book for free when I ordered my kid's school books this past time.
The God We Can Know is sort of like a devotional written by Rob Fuquay that expounds more on the I Am sayings of Christ. There are accompanying guides and other materials that can be used along with this study series that can be gotten here if you so wish.
The first thing I noticed about this book is that it does not use the King James Version. In stead, all the scripture comes from the New Revised Standard Version. As such, I found that this was very weak, or milky. Not something that an advanced Christian can really sink his teeth into.
However, it does give you something to ponder, or maybe search out on your own if you should so desire. The questions at the end of each chapter give you some guidance on how to study deeper.
This book may be good for a young Christian who wants to further their understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ, though I would advise that each verse be looked up in the King James.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Shield of Faith (video sermon)

In Ephesians 6 we are told about the spiritual armor of the Christian. Paul lists out the different items, but he emphasizes one above the others- the shield of faith. Why are we to take this one above all?

If you aren't saved then you aren't even in the battle. But, after salvation it is still important for us to have faith. Things aren't going to go wonderfully all the time. Things in this world are going to get worse. We need to have faith that God is doing what is best for us through these troubles.

In Luke 18, Christ asks if He will find faith on the earth when He comes. God gets pleasure out of us having faith in him, and it is something that's very hard to find now-a-days. The centurion in Matthew 8 got Christ's attention because of his faith- not his position or his humility.

God is pleased by faith. No matter how else you fail Him, you can always please Him when you have faith in Him. Faith gives us understanding. Faith gives us strength. Faith enables us to continue on when all else give up. Faith puts a smile on God's face.

It's not historical. It's not a belief in facts. It's not something that you can view with your eyes. It's something that we can access at any time, in any place, through belief in our hearts.

Faith clings to Scripture. It's hoping in God while trusting in the Scriptures. It's believing despite the circumstances. It's looking past reason to accept what God has said.

Abraham believed God, and God viewed him as His friend. Why? Because, Abraham had faith to believe the impossible. God said it, and even though there was no physical proof, Abraham believed Him.

You are going to need a defensive weapon against the rationality of this world. We need faith to overcome the thoughts that the devil puts in our head that says God is not real, or God is a liar. Faith is needed to believe what God says even when we haven't seen the proof yet.

Faith is saying that God does all things well when our flesh says that He made a mistake. God sees more than we see, and it takes faith to acknowledge that He is going to work it out for your good. Without the shield of faith, we couldn't quench the fiery darts that the devil throws at us.  Those fiery darts don't make any sense if we don't have faith to believe that He can be trusted.

Faith causes action. It will spur you to do something. You won't die by faith if you can't live by it. Faith gives you the desire to accomplish something for Him, to work for Him. Faith allows you to see that your actions have eternal consequences.

Faith drives you past the comfortable. It takes you beyond the reasonable. It helps you endure the impossible. It encourages the spirit to overcome the flesh.

And, Faith will get you through the temptations. It takes the eye of faith to realize that what the world offers is not what you're actually getting. The world offers carrot after carrot and it's only through faith that you see those carrots aren't the wonderful things the world makes them out to be.

God won't suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. God will always show you a way out, but you'll only see that exit through faith. You may give in to the sin, but you don't have to. You can look past the temporary pleasure through faith.

Faith can lift a fallen saint. Faith can heal a broken heart. Faith can guide the blinded eyes. Faith can strengthen the feeble hands. Faith can give you the ability to take just one more step to please your Heavenly Father.

Above all, take the shield of faith.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Funny Happenings- Men Vs Women

I came home from work and sat down, exhausted, next to my husband with a cup of coffee. My feet ached, and I just wanted to relax a bit before getting to the hum drum of cleaning the home.
As I sat there thinking about all the things I needed to get done that day I said, "I've got to take a shower. I've got waffle mix in my hair."
"Really?", my husband said.
He didn't sound surprised, actually, and I couldn't make out what tone of voice he was using. The thought of sitting with waffle batter dried in my hair was not appetizing to me. "Yes.", I responded, thinking how gross I must seem.
He smiled, leaned over and said, "We should make out!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How Not To Worship

My family and I recently took a vacation to visit relatives up North. It was wonderful seeing all those faces after 12 years!
On Sunday, we decided to go to my aunt's church. It was the local First Baptist Church of the small town that she lived in. It was also a Southern Baptist church. I had attended a Southern Baptist Church sometime in the 80's and the 90's, but I was not prepared for this!
Upon entering the church, we were handed a pamphlet which welcomed us. Inside was listed the service opportunities, weekly and monthly offering amounts, weekly schedule, upcoming events, and a paper with the impending sermon's outline with sections missing for you to fill in.
Once we entered the auditorium, a few other things caught my eye- the band instruments on the stage, the  projection screen behind it, and the fact that there was no pulpit. As we entered our seats, I saw that there were no hymn books and the only thing on the chairs provided were offering envelopes.
As the service started, another shocking thing took place. The band started to play their contemporary Christian rock music and the lights dimmed. It was almost like a bar scene! I felt very awkward.
The song's words were displayed on the projector screen. I can read music, and if the notes had been there I could have sung along. But, there were just words to songs that I had never heard before, so I sat in silence. The songs that I did know were so jazzed up that I could hardly recognize them.
Then, the "message" was presented- How not to worship, and all I could do was sit and think of the irony!
1) Don't worship whatever way seems best.
The verses that were used were Exodus 32:1-29. The minister said that these people made an image to worship so that they could see God, that they weren't actually worshiping a false god. His point was that we should worship God the way He wanted us to.
He completely overlooked the fact that they were having an orgy during a rock concert while worshiping an idol and claiming that this was the god who brought them out of Egypt! When Moses came from the mountain he heard music, but Joshua thought it was battle cries- rock concert! And, as they approached the camp they saw that the people were naked. They weren't trying to worship the Most High God in their own way.
2) Don't worship with a careless and casual attitude.
I Corinthians chapter 11 was used here, but of course only a few verses were read. He said that the Lord's supper had become careless, and the were making cliques and ignoring the poor. He also said that they showed no respect for God because they didn't prepare or appreciate the opportunity to worship or the power of God.
I don't think he fully understood what this meant because he was using the ESV instead of the KJV. In I Corinthians 11, Paul is fussing at the Corinthians because they had turned the Lord's Supper into a dinner on the grounds. They weren't coming before a Holy God to  remember his sacrifice for their salvation. They were bringing foods to eat as they would have dinner at home, and some weren't getting any and others were eating too much. Paul said they should do this the same way the Lord did- each person only taking a little bit while remembering what Christ did for them. Also, they were to examine themselves before taking of the Lord's Supper. They were suppose to confess their sins to God or face judgement.
3) Don't worship with an ungrateful heart.
Numbers 21:5 was used to  show that an attitude of thankfulness makes worship work and brings a blessing.
I noticed that these points can be valid, but not in that atmosphere. The minister skipped over the parts that would offend his congregation while giving them something to encourage them to be better people.
Matthew 15:8-9- This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me; teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
This isn't what God expects from His church! Where was the blood that saved our souls? Where was the conviction of sin that brought the need of a Savior? These were great swelling words of vanity.
Psalm 24:3-4- Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hand, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
How can we approach the throne of a holy God when we don't confess our sins? Our sins separate us from God, yet that wasn't once mentioned. In fact, the point this minister made of Psalms 24:3-4 was that this was who could worship God, but he never told them how they could become clean and pure!
My friend, Jesse Kragiel, said, "David wanted to build a temple for God to replace the dust, old tent made of animal skins called 'the Tabernacle'. God wouldn't let him, but his son, Solomon, built it instead. At the end of Exodus, God was very specific in what the design of the tabernacle should be, but was silent when it came to the temple.
When the temple was completed, God told Solomon He would dwell there if Israel walked after His ways. Of course, they didn't.
The fact was, God never desired the big, ornate temple. His desire was the dusty, old tent that accompanied Israel tot he Promised Land. So, today, as better and bigger church buildings are built, and more programs and classes and support groups are being developed, we find less and less of God in our worship, and more of self.
I'm not knocking nice things, but don't let those facilities distract form God's presence. He desires humble, simple worship from a pure heart. And, if the focus of a church is anywhere else, don't be surprised when, like the temple in Jerusalem, the church falls apart."
Amos 5:21-23- I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
I believe the above verses describe exactly how God felt about that worship service. I left feeling spiritually dead. There was just enough truth to sound convincing and spiritual, but it was all worldly fluff.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summum Bonum- The Supreme Good

Many people have wondered what the greatest thing in the world was. I remember having an argument about which was the greatest motivator- love or fear. We always want to know the highest, best, greatest, most supreme.  So, why would life be any different?
I've spent some time thinking about this question. What is the point of life? What is the greatest thing to strive for? It has brought me to prayerful tears as I pondered this question. From a worldly point, life seems to be nothing but trouble after trial after heartache. You wake up just to put your head down and work through the pain. Why? What is life's goal? The end game? The Summum Bonum?
As I pondered this question I thought about all the books out there written on various topics. But, it seems that most of them have one theme somewhere in their pages- love. To find that feeling. That meaning. That desire that drives you forward even when everything around you is falling apart.
I Corinthians 13:13- And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The Bible tells us that the greatest of three driving forces is charity. That made me stop and wonder. Charity is the benevolent goodwill toward or the love of humanity. Charity in essence is love. It makes sense, really. When people have nothing to love and don't feel that anyone loves them they kill themselves. Love is something everyone searches for. Everyone desires.
And then I began to really look at the whole chapter of I Corinthians 13. Paul tells us some things about charity, or love, in this chapter. And, I think if we could only grasp this alone we would live our lives much differently than ever before!
First he contrasts it with different things. Eloquence- Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (I Corinthians 13:1). Having the ability to love is better than having the power to rouse the souls and wills of men. That is a powerful statement! There are politicians that would love that power, and yet it is just noise compared to the power of charity.
Then he contrasts it to prophecy- And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge: (I Corinthians 13:2a). We pay so much for education these days. The number of schools and colleges in our country are immense! And yet, without charity (love), it's worth nothing. All those dollars are wasted!
What good is knowing the means but never getting to the end? Faith is a means to an end. Faith  is how we find God and learn of Jesus Christ. But it's love that connects our soul to God. You have to have faith to find love. Obviously, love is greater than faith! and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. (I Corinthians 13:2b)
Paul also contrasts love with sacrifice and martyrdom- And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (I Corinthians 13:3). There are people banking on how much they give to get them to heaven. There are those who do good deeds in an effort to gain God's favor. But, without the love of Christ it isn't going to profit them at all!
As if those contrasts weren't enough to get my head spinning! What is it then? What is this Charity? This love? What defines this Summum Bonum? Paul doesn't leave us hanging.
He mentions nine things: Patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, innocence, and sincerity.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. -I Corinthians 13:4-7
Charity goes beyond love in this respect. It's patient, passive, not in a hurry. It's willing to wait!
Charity is kind. It's active, doing the best for others without thought of reward. It's placing the happiness of others before our own desires.
Charity is generous. It doesn't envy. It won't harbor illwill to those who can do something better than we. It's accepting with grace that we each have our own special abilities in different measure and it rejoices when someone else can go beyond our own abilities.
Charity is humble. This love does and then quietly steps back and forgets. It doesn't wait around for applause or acknowledgement. This love steps willingly into the shadows and says nothing about it.
Charity is courteous. It doesn't behave unseemly. It's polite in society. It uses etiquette. It's being a lady or a gentleman- that is a gentle soul.
Charity is unselfish. It doesn't go seeking it's rights. It willingly gives up it's rights, ignores them, for the happiness of someone else. And that is hard! Looking every man on the things of others instead of on his own things. This type of love has found the happiness in giving.
Charity has a good temper. It's not easily angered. It's not easily provoked. The thin skin of our current society has been tempered into a noble character. The sin of our disposition is not seen in this type of love.
Charity is innocent and sincere. They don't think evil of those around them. They rejoice in the truth, even if it hurts. Even if it isn't what they wanted to hear. This love will accept it with a humble attitude.
It is better not to live than not to ever know this type of love! Whether the authors of romance novels know it or not this is the love they want to write about. This is the love that so many crave and seek! This is the summum bonum of our existance!
But how? We understand what it is and what it isn't. We know what it is greater than. But, how do we acquire this love? How do we adapt this into our character?
If we are to look the opportunities are always around us. Life is an education, an eternal lesson on how we an learn to love. Don't laugh!
What makes a football player great? Practice.
What makes an artist magnificent? Practice.
How does a writer perfect his skill? Practice.
What makes a person learn to love? Practice.
It sounds so simple. But, what was Christ doing in the carpenter's shop? Practicing. He was already perfect, and yet the Bible says that he learned obedience, and grew in wisdom and favor with God and man. Practice.
Each day we grumble about those who are rude around us. We begrudge the trials that come our way. We may even resent the temptations that hinder us. But, we never stop to consider that this is the hand of the Almighty moulding us into his loving image. Through these we grow more beautiful, though we don't see it. Every trouble adds to the perfection of becoming Christ-like. Goethe said, "Talent develops itself in solitude; character in the stream of life."
Through practice the light of God's love will shine through us as a glowing, dazzling, element that will bring lost souls to Christ. This is the Summum Bonum. This is the purpose of our lives. We love, because He loved.
If we had this type of love we would never think about lying to the object of our affection. We would never dare to steal any item from them. We wouldn't covet anything they had or could do because we would them to have the best and to be the best. We would definitely honor them in every action and decision we made. Our every thought and desire would be to encourage them to become the best person they could be.
The best part of this love is that it is eternal. Never ending. Forever. Charity never faileth: (I Corinthians 13:8a) The rest of the verse goes on to say that language will end (Latin, Greek, a thousand other ancient languages that are now gone), prophecies will cease (when Christ makes all things new), knowledge will vanish away (it becomes obsolete, something new always comes), but Charity- this amazing love- will endure because Christ is eternal. Because God is love!
The religions of the world can offer many things- peace, not life; faith, not love; justification, but not regeneration. Religion is not the answer- the answer is Charity, true love in it's purest form.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13.
I lived for myself, I thought for myself,
For myself, and none beside-
Just as if Jesus had never lived,
As if He had never died.
-Henry Drummond
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. -I John 4:8

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Anemia

Anemia is a condition in the body where you don't have enough red blood cells. The most common symptom of anemia is fatigue, or being really tired. Other symptoms include: paleness, shortness of breath during physical exertion, cold hands and feet, brittle nails and hair loss, dizziness, and headaches.
There are more than one type of anemia. Iron deficient anemia is the most known, and can be overcome with the addition of iron supplements or iron rich foods. However, there are also sickle cell anemia (a hereditary condition), anemia from vitamin deficiency (normally B12 or Folate deficiency), anemia caused by bone marrow or stem cell problems, and more. Aside from sickle cell anemia, most other causes of anemia can be corrected.
Iron supplements are available over the counter at any drug store, but if you're like me they'll just make you sick even when taken with food. The best way to get iron into your body is through iron rich foods like sesame seeds, apples, molasses, spinach, pomegranates, parsley, dates, liver, and oysters- to name a few. You don't have to walk around eating these items all day long or as a single snack. You can include them in some of your favorite meals to add a bit of iron to each meal time.
Another way to help with your iron levels is to take chlorophyll. It has ingredients that your body needs to build red blood cells. The more red blood cells your body can make, the less anemic you will be. Chlorophyll will also help to get oxygen from your lungs to your brain and body which will give you more energy! Many people have found that chlorophyll is actually the best way for them to over come anemia.
For more information, please watch the video below:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Funny Happenings- Predicting Death

One day, two young boys were throwing a baseball back and forth when they got on the subject of death. The one boy said that it was scary how death could show up and take you at any minute.
His friend, Benny, said, "Unlike most people, my grandpa told us the exact year, day, and time of the day he would die. And, he was exactly right!"
The other boy, Louie, caught the ball that was thrown to him and stared in disbelief at his friend, "Wow, that's incredible!" He exclaimed, and as he threw the ball back to Benny he said, "Was he a Psychic?"
Benny caught the ball and sticking out his bottom lip he shook his head, "Naw! The judge told him."

Friday, August 7, 2015

Total Money Makeover book review

When my husband and I first got married, we were living off of love. His first good money making job came after almost a year of marriage, and he was making $300 a week. This was in the late 1990's.
I was pretty pregnant with our first child, and I remember sitting in the trailer that we rented for $275 per month and praying that God would give me wisdom. We had to buy groceries, gas to get around, pay bills, maintain our vehicle, and we had a child on the way- which meant more expense.
God gave me the wisdom I asked for and we had our first budget. It may not seem like much to you, but we were living off of $20 a week groceries. I got very creative with Ramen!
When we moved to Louisiana, the budget wasn't as strict. I still needed wisdom, but I didn't know how badly. We were constantly in and out of debt. The moment we got the car paid off we had to buy another one. There were "emergencies" that had to be paid with a credit card. We didn't know any other way to live.
Recently, I borrowed Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey from our local library. This book has made such a difference in our thinking. We are trying once again to get out of debt. But, thanks to the guidance in this book, we have a plan that will help us stay out of debt.
Dave Ramsey gives a lot of tips along with the proven plan to help you get out of debt and stay out. He also has budget helping tips and tools online- my favorite is EveryDollar, his online budget system. If you're searching for something better than living paycheck to paycheck constantly having debt to pay down, I recommend this book.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Oat Groats recipe

2 cups oat groats
6 cups water
3 TBS butter
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook, covered, for 1 hour.
Turn heat off, but leave lid on for another 5 minutes.

Coat the inside the crock pot with butter.
Place all ingredients into the crock pot and cover with the lid.
Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
Stir, and serve.

Monday, August 3, 2015

I Know This Face (poem)

Where have I seen this face before now?
So familiar, it seems, but I don't know how.
I should remember this face from the past,
But o're my memory a shadow is cast.

There's something remarkable about this face.
Then why should I find it so hard to place?
Did we sit a table? Did we break the fast?
Did he win the race in which I finished last?

Some things like that it's not hard to forget.
Did he blow out fire that I had just lit?
Wait! Now I remember! He's just bowed the knee.
He prays to my Jesus, here, just like me.

A brother, beloved, he has turned out to be!
Memory now has returned unto me.
Now I can place this remarkable face-
We were introduced at God's Throne of Grace.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

God's Will For Your Life (video sermon)

As we read through the Bible, we see the lives of men of old who left all to serve God. They walked away from what they had known for their entire lives to start a new life serving the Lord. But how did they know what God's will was?

That is the most asked question- what is God's will for my life? How do I know that I'm where God wants me to be?

The first step in knowing God's will for your life is to know God- to be saved. You can't know where God wants you if you don't even know God.

Secondly, God wants us to become his disciple. We are suppose to take up our cross and follow Him, not walk away and live our life as we please. Jesus said that we are to deny ourselves- deny our desires, deny our wants, deny our ways- daily. You can't know God's will if you're busy trying to fulfill your own will.

Too many Christians today whine about not knowing God's will for their life, but they aren't really searching for it. They don't have a relationship with Him, They aren't willing to do the written things that He's asked of them in His word, so He isn't going to give you more until you obey what He's already revealed.

You cannot know God's will for your life if you are living in sin. Each of us know certain sins that are okay with the world, but are wrong in God's eyes- adultery, fornication, pornography, worldly pleasures, etc. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we are to give our bodies as a living sacrifice using them to prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. His will is that everything about us is pure and holy.

You can't have any further light on His will for your life if you are engaged in these sins. But, they aren't the only sins. They are the largest and most noticeable, but there are other sins. There are 10 commandments that lists them out boiled down to the simplest, purest form- don't steal, don't lie, don't covet, etc.

There are many verses in the Bible that tells you what God expects from you- those things are His will for your life. In fact, the Bible mentions God's will for your life around 23 times. These are the basic things that He expects from ALL Christians.

So, if I'm trying to live a clean, holy life and I'm obeying God's commandments, what is God's will for my life specifically? You can't go to the preacher, or your parents, or even your closest friends to find that answer. They don't know God's will for your life because it's personal to you. They can help to guide you and pray for you, but you will only find God's will for your life while you are reading His word and praying for His specific will- and He will tell you if you ask Him!

When Saul was struck down on his way to Damascus he asks God two things- who are you and what do you want from me? God has a plan for your life- it's not a puzzle or a secret. He wants you to know His will for your life. As you walk with Him and serve Him daily, He shows you the next step of His plan for your life.

When you pray and ask God for His will He opens the right doors for you. Only one door opens at a time. It is now your job to decide whether to go through the door or not. The open door is God's will- the next step in His plan for your life. But, you have the choice to go through it or not.

Read your Bible. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Pray. Observe the signs that He puts in your life. Seek guidance and prayers from those who have been living in God's will (they might see some signs from God that you've missed). Little by little, step by step, walking through each open door you will look back and realize that you found God's will for your life and you've been living in His will for your life.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Do you ever wonder what will be said about you when you're gone? How will people remember you? Will their words be kind? Will you be missed? Or, will there be a sigh of relief that you're no longer around?
There are people throughout history who have left behind a legacy, both good and bad. I want to look at three who are in the Bible. The Words of the Lord are going to last forever, and what is written about these three men will forever be written for all to read.
The first man is Demas. Demas is mentioned around 64 AD in the book of Colossians. Colossians 4:14- Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Demas is mentioned with the Apostle Paul. He went around helping to build churches and start the church age with one of the greatest missionaries of all times! He hung out with the right crowd. He worked in the right ministry. He had the right Bible.
But, when he is mentioned in II Timothy around 66 AD, Paul had this to say about him- For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; (II Timothy 4:10a).
What happened? In two short years, Demas went from travelling with Paul and Luke to having that legacy. Somewhere along the way, Demas allowed something in the world to get his heart. He started to love the world more than he loved Christ- that is his immortal legacy.
The next man is only mentioned once in the Bible. III John 1:9- I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
If you read farther down in the verses you'll see that Diotrephes not only kept the Apostle John's letters from the church, but he also forbade the members to have fellowship with certain Christians.
We don't know what position he held in the church, but we do know that he was a proud man. He thought he had the right to tell other Christians who they could and could not hang around. He thought he knew better than the Apostle John. He wanted to be the leader.
The Bible uses the word "preeminence". Colossians 1:18 says that Christ is suppose to have the preeminence in all things! For all eternity, everyone will know that Diotrephes loved himself above Christ.
The last person is David.
Everyone likes to remember David's sin, which will be forever in the words of God, but, David also killed Goliath!
Goliath was a giant around 9 feet 9 inches tall who wore brass armor and defied God and the armies of Israel. No one in all the Israelite army had the courage to go up against this beast of a man, not even the king!
But, David, a simple shepherd boy, knew what God was capable of. He knew that God would give him the victory because he had trusted God to help him when a lion and a bear had come after his flock. He knew that if he went in the power of God, that God would give him the victory.
I Samuel 17:46- This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcass of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
Despite what everyone was saying and despite what the circumstances looked like, David put his trust in God.
David had every reason to let someone else handle this situation. He was only there to bring food to his brothers. He wasn't in the army. He was only a shepherd boy, a child. And yet, he was a man after God's own heart. He loved the Lord will everything he had and that would be what people remembered most about him. All the kings that followed were compared to David and how he followed God with a perfect heart.
I Corinthians 8:3- If any man love God, the same is known of him.
Will you be the one that quit because they found something in the world that they thought was worth more than a ministry with Christ? Will you be known as the prideful Christian who hindered others in their walk with Christ? Or, will you be known as person who loved the Lord with all their heart and followed Him despite the circumstance, despite their own short comings, and despite what everyone is thinking or saying?
What will your legacy be?