Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Creation: Part 7

Day 7:
We are now on the last day of creation. The last day of the very first week ever.
God had a plan to make an amazing and beautiful universe, and he was now done. What would happen now?
Genesis 2:1-3- Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
God rested. Was God tired? No. Did God need rest? No. This all-powerful God who made everything that we hear, see and feel, sat back and just enjoyed the beauty of what he created.
But why did he create all these different things? What is their purpose?
Revelation 4:11- Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
God created everything for his pleasure. He made them because they make him happy. The same reason your mom makes a wonderful meal or you draw a lovely picture.
Exodus 20:11- For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The seventh day was blessed by God. He didn't bless the other days- just the seventh day. There's something special about this day to God.
Mark 2:27- And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
God made the seventh day for man. What was God enjoying on the seventh day? I bet he was enjoying the fact that Adam and Eve were going around looking at things He created and praising and worshipping Him for them.
Isaiah 66:23- And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
God wants worship from His creation. And He said that the Sabbath was the perfect day to worship Him. But how? How do we worship God?
Acts 13:44- And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
We go to church and listen to the Words of God. But there's more.
Ephesians 5:19-20- Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
We sing to God and we give thanks to Him for all that He has given us and done for us. Did you know that God likes to hear you sing? He doesn't care how nice the song is, or how well you sing it- He just wants to hear you sing to Him and about Him.
And He likes to be thanked for the things He blesses us with. That's how we worship God. And what better place to worship God than at church, where everyone is gathered together to sing and praise Him and hear His Word?
But what did God do after he finished creation? Is He still up there resting? No. He watches and leads and cares for His creation.
Luke 12:24,27, -Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
God feeds the birds, and takes care of the flowers. And He watches over you!
Proverbs 5:21- For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
I Peter 5:7- Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Philippians 4:19- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God knows what you need. He cares for everything that He created! God rested on the seventh day and He enjoyed the worship from His creation. And He offers rest to all those who will come to Him.
Matthew 11:28-30- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
What a wonderful God! He created everything in six days, and gave us the seventh day to rest and worship Him. He takes the time to watch over us and provide our needs. We should praise God for all that He has given us and all that He does for us.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Creation: Part 6

Day 6:
We are almost done with our creation study. We learned what God created on:
Day 1- Heaven, Earth, Light, Dark, Time
Day 2- He formed the earth, created an atmosphere with air
Day 3- He made dry land appear, created plants, and seeds
Day 4- Sun, Moon, Stars
Day 5- Fish and birds
And now, we'll find out what God made on day 6.
Day six rolls around and God looks at his beautiful world. There's light, seasons, plants, fish, birds, stars, planets, and a lot of other wonderful things! But, God still wasn't done. There was something else that God wanted to create- Land animals.
Genesis 1:24-25- And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Have you ever been to the zoo? You can spend all day at the zoo in New Orleans and you can't see all the animals that they have. But, did you know that they don't even have every kind of animal that God created?
God created 2 legged animals, 4 legged animals, 6 legged animals, animals with trunks, animals with spots, animals with strips, animals with fur, animals with skin, animals with scales, he made a lot of animals! And just like he did with everything else, he made each animal special. He gave the elephant a trunk. He gave the giraffe a long neck. He made the tortoise with a shell. He made lizards with sticky feet. He made frogs with long tongues. He even made the nasty creeping animals- like beetles, ants, and roaches.
He gave each of these animals the ability to have babies that look just like them. He made the food they needed on day 3 and the air they needed on day 2. And everything was ready for God to put his animals where he wanted them.
But God wasn't done. He had one more very special piece of creation. He wanted something to worship him. Something with a free will that would look after his creation. What do you think that was?
Genesis 2:7- And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
He made humans! We were the last thing that God created. He gave us a spirit, soul, and a body, just like God has- none of the animals were created with a soul. That's what makes man so different and special- our soul.
Genesis 2:18- And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
God knew that he wanted more than just a man. He knew that man needed something else to help him. God knew this, but he wanted Adam to know this. So...
Genesis 2:20- And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Could you see Adam coming up with names for all those animals!?!? But, Adam noticed something when he named them- there were always 2 of them. There was the cow and the bull, the stallion and the mare, the peacock and the peahen. But there was only one of him. Perhaps Adam wondered if God realized that he was the only one. We don't have to wonder if God knew- he already told us. But now that Adam knew, God was going to fix it!
Genesis 2:21-22- And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
God gave Adam a wife. The woman is probably the most different creation in all the universe! She is the only one that came from another one of God's creations. She was made with a very specific purpose. She was made to love Adam.
Genesis 2:23- And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Humans were made to need each others company. God made us to have a desire to be around other people. He also gave us the desire to care for things and to worship him.
Genesis 1:27- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
But God didn't just want 2 people on the entire world forever.
Genesis 1:28- And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God made us with the ability to have babies. But, he gave us a job. He didn't give the animals a job. We were to subdue the earth and have dominion over the animals. Do you know what that means? We were to take care of the earth and the animals.
Then, God told us how to take care of it.
Genesis 1:29-And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
God said that he made fruits and vegetables for us to eat. When your mom says to eat your veggies, she's telling you exactly what God told Adam and Eve.
Now, God looked at everything he made and he knew it was complete. Everything he dreamed of, everything he planned for was there. Do you know what God said about that?
Genesis 1:31- And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Creation: Part 5

Day 5:
We have learned how God made this beautiful world in which we live. He started with light, day and night, and time. Then He made the earth into a ball with an atmosphere. He made dry land appear with plants and seeds. He put beautiful stars in the universe with the sun and the moon. But if you listened really close, there was nothing but water bubbling. There was no other sounds. The earth needed something, and God knew what it was.
Today, we will learn about the fifth day of creation.
God's world was now ready for living creatures! There was air to breathe. Water to drink. Plants to eat. The sun and moon to keep the seasons and times. Everything that living creatures needed to be able to survive on this planet. What do you think God made first?
Genesis 1:20- And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
God made fish! There's so much water on this planet! He made big fish. He made small fish. He made fish with scales and fish with shells. He made so many fish! Why? Because, God likes to make things special. He made all the stars different from each other, so why not make all the fish different, too? We still can't name all the fish in the sea. Marine biologists are scientists who study ocean life. Did you know they are still finding new fish that we have never seen before?
Why do you think God made so many different fish? Well, did you know that everything God made praises him? Even the fish!
Nehemiah 9:6-Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Not only did God make fish on day five, but He also made birds. There are so many different kinds of birds out there! Again, God made little birds and big birds. He made birds that sing so pretty! Birds that soar high! And even a few birds that can't fly! Birds with beautiful colors! He made a lot of birds!
Genesis 1:21- And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
God even made the whales on day five! Whales are special fish. Did you know that? You see, all fish and birds lay eggs to have babies. All, that is, except the whale. God made the whale different, special. Why? I guess he wanted to mess people up!
Some people like to think that there is no God. And they make up stories to try to make people believe that there is no God. This story is called evolution. Birds did not evolve from fish. God made them both on the fifth day.
There are some scientists who don't want to believe that God made everything how He said in Genesis. They like to say that God messed up because whales don't lay eggs! Did God make a mistake? Nope! He knows what He's doing! But these scientists want to say that whales aren't fish. Are whales fish? Let's see what the Bible says.
Jonah 1:17- Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
What kind of great fish swallowed Jonah? Jesus says what it is.
Matthew 12:40a- For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;
The great fish that swallowed Jonah was a whale! And God made all the fish on day five, and all the birds, just like Genesis tells us.
Genesis 1:22- And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Here, God is telling the animals to make more! He not only wanted little fish and big fish, crawfish and lobsters, crabs and shrimp, starfish and clams, jelllyfish and sharks, but he wanted parrots and finches, ostriches and eagles, flamingos and penguins! And he wanted them to have babies! He wanted them to jump in the seas and soar through the air! He wanted them to praise his name in the seas and in the skies! He wanted a beautiful earth full of life!
Now, God made fish to have little fish. And God made birds to have little birds. God knew that a mama bird could take care of a baby bird better than anything else. And God knew a mama fish could help a baby fish! So, that's how he made it! A bird doesn't have to learn to hold it's breath to take care of a fish! And a fish doesn't have to learn how to fly to take care of a bird! Isn't God smart!
Genesis 1:23- And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Day five. Boy, was the earth full now! It had lots of life! But was God done? Nope! Remember, there are six days of creation.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Creation: Part 4

Day 4:
This world did not happen by accident. There was a creator with a plan. The creator was God, and he made everything we see in six days!
Day one- heavens, earth, light, dark, time
Day two- forming the earth, air, and an atmospere with an ozone layer
Day three- land, plants, flowers, and seeds
Today, we are talking about the fourth day of creation.
When God created the universe, there was a lot of space! It's so big out there that we can't even measure it! God didn't want this black void in the universe. He wanted the universe to be just as lovely as the Earth.
Genesis 1:14-15- And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
He created something to go in the universe to help us. They would help us tell time and give us direction. But, that wasn't all they would do. What were the lights in the heavens?
Genesis 1:16-18- And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Have you figured out what those two lights were? The sun and the moon! The sun was created to rule the day. When the sun comes up the day begins, and when the sun goes down the day ends.
The sun would also make seasons. It would help plants. God created the plants on day three, but there was something that they needed more- and he created that on day four!
You see, the earth travels around the sun and it wobbles slowly back and forth as it does. This wobble makes the days hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It also makes the lovely spring and fall seasons!
Not only did God want a beautiful world full of plants, but he also wanted those plants to grow, change, and produce. For plants to do that they need water, air, sunlight, and weather. Apple trees can't produce apples is they haven't had enough cold days. Orange trees can't have freezing cold days, but they do need cool days. So, God, in His wisdom, created seasons that could be times and planned for by the sun.
The moon helps with the tides. The moon has a gravitational pull on the Earth that makes the waters in the ocean move. We need these high tides and low tides. God knew that, so he created something that would help control the tides.
The moon, also, shines so lovely at night. The moon is like a mirror that reflects just a little bit of the sun's light. It gives us just enough light to see in the dark, but not so much light that we can't see the multitude of stars that God had put in the heavens.
You may think that God went "Pthhhhhbt" and those were the stars, but that's not exactly true. God has a plan for everything. His creation is very special to him. He not only made each and every star, but he named them.
Psalm 147:4- He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
Do you know the names of all the stars? I don't! I don't think anyone does, but God does! He cares enough to name every star.
Not only did he name the stars, but he made them all special.
I Corinthians 15:41- There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
God makes all his creation just the way he wants it. He made the sun a beautiful, hot ball of light. He made the moon a lovely, calm night light. He made the stars different and beautiful in their own ways. And he made you just the way he wanted you, and he cares enough to know the name of every person on this planet!
Psalm 33:6- By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
Genesis 1:19- And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
The fourth day. All the wonders of the universe were created special, unique, and different by God. All of them were created with a plan in mind. And all of them were created in 24 hours on the fourth day!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Creation: Part 3

Day 3:
God made all that we see around us. Everything we look at, or hear, or touch was made by God. He had a plan for how everything would look and work. His plan started with time. Let there be light. He created the light and the day and night. He started time on Day one. Then he created the world with an atmosphere. He made water all over the world, and air for us to breathe on Day two.
But God didn't just want water animals on His earth. He had in mind a beautiful world with all different kinds of things, and some of these things needed something other than water to live on. We could live on a boat in the water for a while, but we would want to go somewhere else eventuallly!
Genesis 1:9- And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Perhaps the water started to bubble. I'm certain it moved as dry land rose up. All the water started to create waves that rolled off the Dry land. God made the world to have both water and dry land. That was what was needed for His plan to work.
Genesis 1:10- And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And he named it "Earth". Imagine that! God named our planet! This beautiful world would, from then on, be known as Earth. And the water would be known as "seas".
Psalm 95:5- The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
If you looked around, however, you would have seen nothing. It was like a desert. There was land, but that was all. For God's creation, there had to be more! He knew just what he needed to do!
Genesis 1:11- And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
At the voice of God the land started to change. There were little sprouts coming out of the ground. Some grew tall into trees. Some grew beautiful flowers of all different colors. Some grew food to eat. Not only did God make all these plants, but he gave them beautiful colors and designs that made them different from each other.
Genesis 1:12- And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
But there was one thing more that he gave these plants. He gave them the ability to produce more. God made seeds! Seeds that when you planted them would grow another plant just like the one you took the seed from. A tomato seed would grow a tomato plant. A flower seed would grow a flower. A tree seed would grow a tree. That way His creation could continue for as long as it needed to.
This is the first living thing that God created. It needed light, water, and carbon monoxide to coninue living. God made all these things in the first two days of creation. God always provides what we need even before we know we need it!
Genesis 1:13- And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Some people think that God made the world, and then let it set for billions of years before he made anything else. But that's not what the Bible teaches! The Bible says that God made this world with all the plants on Day three. Just one day; 24 hours. And the evening and the morning were the third day. Not billions of years. Just one day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Creation: Part 2

Day 2:
As we are learning, the creation of the world did not come about by accident. There was a designer, and he had a plan. God created the universe in 6 days. Everything we see about us was made by God.
On the first day, God made the heavens, the earth, light, day, night, and started time.
Today, we are going to learn what God made on the second day. God was looking at the earth. He was moving over the surface looking at it thinking what it would look like, imagining where he would put things. God gave the earth a shape. He molded the earth in a round ball.
Job 26:7- He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Then God placed the earth exactly where he wanted it. He hung it like a picture in the universe. He knew exactly where it needed to be. He knew exactly what it needed to have. And he knew exactly who and what would be living there. And he knew they would need air to breathe.
Proverbs 3:19- The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Genesis 1:6- And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
At first the earth was nothing but a ball of water. God wanted many different types of things on this earth. So, he separated the waters. He created an atmosphere. He places all the necessary gases that plants, animals, and people would need to survive in this atmosphere. Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, and other gases that would be used by plants and animals to breathe. Under a very powerful microscope, you can see that each of these gases are made in their own special way. They have little building blocks called atoms, which consist of even smaller building blocks called protons, electrons, and neutrons.
It sounds funny, but God made all these little building blocks just so he could create the air that we would need to survive! Today we usually call this the sky.
Genesis 1:7- And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
God wanted to keep all that air around the earth. He didn't want it wandering all around the universe! So he made a special lid to go around the earth and keep those precious gases where they needed to be. We call this the ozone layer.
Now, he starts getting things prepared for his next step. He has the waters on the earth which he already knows what he's going to put in them. And the earth formed like a ball. He has the atmosphere over the water so that his creation can breathe. And he has the ozone layer which will separate the earth from the universe. He has some very special things that will into that universe, too!
Genesis 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
God had finished this day of creation. Now, all he had to do was name it. Heaven. That was a good name. All these wonderful things that God created on the second day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Creation: Part 1

My husband was talking with a friend over the whole creation vs. evolution debate that seems to be floating all around our society today. If you aren't aware of this debate, or if you want to read more on the dangers of the belief in evolution, please click here. Because of this confusion, I've decided to blog about creation in 7 consecutive posts, followed by a blog entry on the fall of man next month.

Day 1:
Today, a lot of people like to believe that evolution is responsible for the universe. They think that some accident made everything just appear and begin to work correctly. The reason people believe this is because they don't want to think that they are going to have to give an account of what they've done with their lives. The problem is that would mean their lives don't matter; they're just another step in an evolutionary process.
But God says that their lives DO matter. He has a plan for everyone and he wants everyone to be saved. He died for everyone and wants their lives to mean something.
So, how did the universe come into existance? Well, the Bible tells us!
Genesis 1:1-2- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The first day of creation God was alone. He wanted to make other things. He wanted to have someone else. So, God made an earth without form and it had nothing on it. It was all dark. So dark that only God could see in it. How could God make a lovely world if no one could see it? Oh, but God is much smarter than that! He knew just what to do.
Genesis 1:3- And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And on the first day, he decided to make light. You might wonder how God made light if there were no sun, or moon, or stars. Well, God is light. He shines so brightly than he can light the entire universe! There's no part of the universe where this light didn't go. It was so bright!
I John 1:5- This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
John 8:12- Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
But God not only wanted day; he also wanted night.
Genesis 1:4- And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
So, in a way that only God can, he separated the light from the darkness. He told the light to stay over here, and he told the darkness to stay over there. And it was so- that means that even the light and the darkness obeys God.
God then thougth that he should name this creation.
Genesis 1:5- And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
He called the light- DAY. And he called the darkness- NIGHT. Two distinct things that would work together to creation something that God called a day!
This was the first day ever. There had never been a day before! This was the very first one! The beginning of time and space. And it all started with 3 words "LET THERE BE"!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- PCOS

I'm doing a blog post on this subject because I know a few people who are suffering through this. I'm hoping that this will answer questions, raise awareness, and give you a few options.
PCOS is the short title for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (also known as PCOD). Medical professionals still aren't certain of what causes PCOS. The symptoms vary from person to person and may include abnormal and irregular periods which last for weeks, or longer, acne, weight gain which is difficult to lose, hormonal imbalance, infertility, and excessive hair growth to name a few. There are also cysts that grow on the ovaries and can be very painful if they rupture.
Medical treatment for PCOS may recommend birth control pills to regulate your hormones and menstrual cycle (I know of a lady who used this method, but her body became dependent on the pills).  For women who are trying to conceive an anti-estrogen medicine may be prescribed. It seems that most of the treatments work on balancing your hormones. In other cases, the doctor tries to regulate the body's insulin. As with all medication, there are side effects, so be sure to question your doctor about these.
There are some natural alternatives that are available. The combination of Maca and Vitex has been helpful to the lady's that I know that are trying to help their PCOS. Together these two herbs help to regulate the body's hormones. Another combination of herbs in one bottle that helps to regulate hormones is called Female Harmony by Crystal Star Labs.
Along with these herbs, you should also take a good look at your nutrition. The weight gain and the insulin resistance could be controlled through your diet. What kind of foods do you eat? Are there artificial ingredients or preservatives? Does your food contain enough vitamins and minerals? Or, do you go about your day and "forget" to eat an adequate amount? All of these things can have an effect on PCOS.
I wrote a post on what to eat after our body has been through a traumatic event- bone broth, gelatin, cod liver oil, probiotics, and exercise. I believe that those recommendations would also help with PCOS. Along with this, you would want to add Magnesium and Chromium to your diet. Both of these wonderful minerals help with blood sugar, blood glucose levels, and insulin.
If you are suffering from PCOS, I pray that the Lord gives you guidance and wisdom, as well as his grace!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Bake recipe

8 to 10 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup lard or olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS paprika
2 TBS garlic powder
6 TBS hot sauce
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup lard or olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS paprika
2 TBS garlic powder
6 TBS hot sauce
2 cups cheese
1 cup crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 500*, and spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix together the first set of lard (or olive oil), salt, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the potatoes and stir to coat.
Dump potatoes into the baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
Use the same large bowl and mix together the second set of lard (or olive oil), salt, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Now, add the chicken and stir to coat.
Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400*.
Dump the chicken on top of the cooked potatoes, and place back in the oven for 20 minutes.
In a skillet, cook your bacon (if you haven't already got it ready).
Remove the potatoes and chicken from the oven. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon then return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on if you just want the cheese melted or crispy).
It can be served with Ranch Dressing or green onions.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

America's Cheapest Family book review

Since the time I got married we've always had to be careful with our money. It seemed there was so little coming in and so much going out! Because our lives depended upon wisdom in our finances, I've always been on the lookout for things to help me in this area. Who couldn't use a little more wisdom, right?
I found a great book to help with that- America;s Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Money by Steve and Annette Economides. This book holds a wealth of information, tips, and guides to help you get the most for your money, as well as help you avoid buying things that could end up being a burden in the long run.
There are tips on buying groceries, budgeting, what to look for when buying a car, as well as how to keep your utilities low or how to get the best deal on a mortgage. They also include a section on purchasing clothing, finding recreation, taking vacations, and savings and investments, plus more! I, personally, loved their chapter on teaching children about money management.
If you're looking for a guidebook, or just browsing for advice, this book is one that will certainly help in either area of life. And, the best part is that it's written by a couple that practice what they preach, and have been living it since the 1980's. You can visit their website at America's Money Smart Family to find out more, or view their other money saving books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Believer's Heritage- Gipsy Smith

Rodney Smith was born in Wanstead, England on March 31, 1860 to Cornelius and Mary Smith. His family was poor and couldn't afford to give him an education. To make ends meet they would sell baskets, tinware, and clothespins. They lived in a gipsy wagon.
Cornelius would play his violin at the local taverns while Rodney would dance and collect money. Even though they were around these rough men, Rodney never smoked or drank. His father, however, was in and out of prison for various offenses, usually because he couldn't afford to pay fines.
One day, while in prison, Cornelius heard the gospel from a prison chaplain. When he went home, he tried to explain the gospel to his wife who was sick with smallpox. Her dying words were, "I believe. Be a good father to my children. I know God will take care of my children."
Rodney was still a young child when his mother died, but he never forgot seeing her burial.
Cornelius made good on his promise to Mary. All six children grew up to enter into the ministry.
Cornelius got together with his brothers and they met a local innkeeper who had a copy of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Hearing the story made them decide that this was the ministry that they wanted to be in. He was invited to the Latimer Road Mission where he started to attend regularly with all his children. It was here that he accepted Christ as his personal Savior.
Rodney ran out of the church thinking that his dad had gone crazy! But, he soon began to see the power of prayer in his father's life. Once when they had no food or money, their father fell on his knees and prayed and then began to sing with the children. They were interrupted by a knock on the side of the gipsy wagon. The town missionary said that there was groceries for them at their relatives house in town. It took a wheelbarrow to bring the load of groceries home.
Rodney wasn't saved until he was 16 years old. He was able to hear Ira Sankey sing, visit the home of John Bunyan, and witness the faith of his "new" father. It was at the foot of a statue of John Bunyan that Rodney decided he wanted to live for Jesus.
A few days later, at a chapel, Rodney went forward for the invitation and received Christ as his personal Savior. Somebody whispered, "Oh, it's only a gipsy boy." This statement would later become how he was affectionately known.
He got a Bible, and a dictionary, and carried them everywhere he went. He said, "One day I'll be able to read them, and I'm going to preach, too." He taught himself to read and write. And he would practice preaching to a turnip field.
He would sing hymns to the people he met and became known as the singing gipsy boy. At 17, he attempted his first public preaching on a corner near where the family gipsy wagon was parked. Not long after, William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) asked Rodney to preach. Rodney sang a solo and gave his testimony. Mr. Booth invited him to be an evangelist for the Mission.
He married Annie Pennock on December 17, 1879. She was one of his converts from a Mission in Whitby, England. Their first child was born in 1880.
It was in the town of Hull that Rodney first was called Gipsy Smith. He would meet at a local Ice House, and soon had around 1,500 people gathering to hear him preach. But, Satan began to discourage him.
When Dwight L. Moody visited England in 1881, Gipsy went to hear him. He was greatly encouraged by this visit to London.
In December 1881, Gipsy moved his family to Hanley. He stayed always came back here and considered it his second home. He was gathering large crowds not 6 months after starting his ministry there. The local people warmly accepted them, and brought them gifts. Gipsy accepted the presents, which was against the Salvation Army's policy, and so he was dismissed from them. His eight assignments for the Salvation Army had yielded 23,000 proclamations of Salvation.
The next chapter in Gipsy's life found him in Cambridge, which became his permanent home. He would regularly travel to Hanley to minister to the people there. The crowds grew to be around 4,000 people. Once, they caused the floor to collapse under them injuring 70 people.
He visited Sweden in 1883 and again in 1884. His daughter was born during one of these visits. He was invited to appear on the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and because of this invitation he began to travel extensively for the years of 1886 through 1888.
In 1889, He visited America. He met a Dr. Prince who opened his church in Brooklyn to Gipsy for a three week crusade. The auditorium was packed and between 300 to 400 people accepted Christ as their personal Savior.
Next, he travelled to San Francisco and preached to large crowds there.
When he returned to England in 1900, he became the assistant in the Manchester Wesleyan Mission. He did a ten day campaign there where the Holy Spirit moved so mightily that people left the local theatre and bars to come hear him preach.
His took more than twenty-five more trips to America, preached in Canada, Scotland, and even went as far as Australia and New Zealand multiple times, and down to South Africa to spread the news that sinners need a Savior. Among those who heard his preaching were Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, President Grover Cleveland, and a 70 year old Fanny Crosby who also sang one of her hymns at his meeting, and he received a letter from Queen Victoria herself.
He preached in France at the beginning of World War 1, and for the next 3 years ministered under the YMCA to the British troops there, often visiting the front lines.
In 1922, during his sixth trip to America, he was preaching to around 6,000 blacks in Nashville, Tennessee. Once while preaching to a black only congregation in Dallas, one woman yelled out, "What color are we going to be in heaven? Shall we be black or white?" and Gipsy replied, "My dear sister, we are going to be just like Christ." This resulted in a loud "Amen" all over the hall.
Gipsy's wife, Annie, died in 1937 in America. He, himself, went home to be with the Lord while traveling across the Atlantic on August 4, 1947.
Gipsy smith wrote several books and songs during his lifetime and preached all over the world and through two world wars. It wasn't the size of the congregation, the nationality or race of the people, or even the famous people that came to hear him preach that kept Gipsy going. He would preach to any and all denominations, rich or poor, young or old, in tobacco warehouses and war ravaged cities, and it is said that he never had a meeting without conversions. He once said, "I didn't go through your colleges and seminaries. They wouldn't have me. But, I have been to the feet of Jesus where the only true scholarship is learned."
Gipsy's life shows us what we can accomplish if we use our lives for Christ's ministry. Our education and status in life mean nothing. We are all sinners in need of a Savior who can become a mirror that reflects Christ's grace.
The world says I'm dreaming, but I know 'tis Jesus
Who saves me from bondage and sin's guilty stain;
He is my Lover, my Savior, my Master,
'Tis He who has freed me from guilt and it's pain.
The world says I'm dreaming;
Let me dream on, My sins are gone;
Night turns to dawn, Love's light is beaming,
So if I'm dreaming, Let me dream on.
- Rodney "Gipsy" Smith

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Compromising Christian (video sermon)

When Peter was writing his second epistle, he mentions Lot who lived among the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah and Peter calls him a just man. He was vexed by how they were living, and yet he chose to remain there. Why would a just person continue to live in and raise his children in such a wicked environment?

When we look back in Genesis at the story of Lot, we see that Lot chose to live there. He chose to live towards Sodom because of how wonderful the possibility of life could be even though he knew the state of the men of Sodom. Why? He was a righteous man who made a choice.

Each Christian gets to choose to go along with the world or separate from the world. We get to chose our friends and our occupation. We are allowed to follow our desires if he want to because we have a free will. The compromising Christian chooses to be a compromising Christian; a backslidden Christian chooses to be a backslidden Christian. You have your free will to choose to live where you don't belong, just as Lot had his choice. His conscience was vexing him (really weighing heavily on him), but he decided to live with it.

Was he embarrassed by godly things? Most of us when we are out of the will of the Lord don't want to hear anything about God or Spiritual things. Was he ashamed of his position out of the Lord's will? Or was he more embarrassed by how the people of Sodom would view him if they saw him associating with godly men?

No matter if he was embarrassed or ashamed, he was definitely hiding something. Perhaps it was his righteous past, or maybe he was trying to keep the angels from seeing the wickedness of the city in which he lived. A compromiser always has to hide something to keep face. But, the problem is that those things can't be hidden forever; it will eventually come out.

When these things come out, then we are scrambling around to maintain our reputation. Lot knew the wickedness that the Sodomites came to execute, and yet, he called them "Brothers". He was trying to get along with the heathen like they were part of his family. We aren't suppose to be rubbing elbows! We're suppose to win them to Christ. We don't have to drink in a barroom to witness to a drunkard! But, the compromising Christian will find any means to justify his actions and his relationships in the world.

Trying to keep his friends in the world will encourage the compromising Christian to make unwise decisions. This Christian isn't going to ask God what His will is. He will try to find a worldly way to keep his selfish choice. If it's contrary to God's will, then you shouldn't do it! If you have questions about it then you should consult God. But, Lot thinks he can solve this problem with his own wisdom.

And now, Lot has lost his testimony with everyone. The city he lived in wouldn't accept him because his vexed soul wouldn't allow him to fully join them. His family laughed at him when he came to warn them, because his voice no longer carried any credibility. The daughters that left with him were ready to commit incest with him because they didn't think there was any better option (if Lot had said there was, they wouldn't have believed him). Once he started compromising, his credibility, reputation, and testimony were broken beyond belief, and it led to the loss of all his family except two daughters.

Why would Lot end up in this position? Because, Lot loved the world more than God! He lingered in Sodom so much that the angels had to drag him from the city. A compromising Christian loves what they see and desire in the world more than what they perceive to be in Christ. Lot lost everything; and in the end a compromising Christian will lose everything they worked so hard to acquire if they decide to hold onto the world instead of letting it go.

Lot lived, but his wife didn't. Lot held on so tightly that when he was finally forced to run from it, his wife couldn't let go. She became a pillar of salt because she just couldn't leave the world behind. The sad part of this story is that Lot probably lived the rest of his life in despair from the scars he brought onto his life from chasing his worldly desires.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Child's Confession And Prayer (poem)

A sinner, Lord, behold I stand,
In thought and word and deed;
But Jesus sits at thy right hand,
For such to intercede.
From early infancy, I know,
A rebel I have been;
And daily as I older grow,
I fear I grow in sin.

But God can change this evil heart,
And give a holy mind,
And His own heavenly grace impart,
Which those who seek shall find.
Then let me all my sins confess,
And pardoning grace implore,
That I may learn Thy righteousness,
And love my Savior more.

-Jane Taylor

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Funny Happenings- Steam Room Talk

My sister-in-law and I went to the local gym for some relaxing girl time. We spent most of our time going between the jacuzzi and the steam room, stopping for a quick cold shower between each rotation.
While in the steam room, we were joined by two chatty teenagers. My sister-in-law, Becky, and I sat there chuckling while listening to the two talk about the woes of teenaged life.
Finally, the one said, "I need to get out and see if my mom called me. If I don't call her back she'll get mad."
With that her friend just stared at her. So, she looked over at Becky and me and said, "I always think my mom is mad at me."
Taking that as her including us in this conversation, I said, "It's a girl thing."
Becky piped in, "Yeah, my daughter always thinks that I'm mad at her."
And then, it was my turn for another 2 cents, "And, I always thought my mom was mad at me."
The girl looked thoughtful and then replied, "Maybe so. I can't tell now that she got her eyebrows tattooed on. She always looks mad!"

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Effects Of Sin

Sin is something that we don't usually see the effects of right away. And because of this, we think that we can get away with it. There's a story in the Bible that shows the progression of a sinner and his willingness and desire to commit the sin, but also the consequences.
David, the man after God's own heart was tempted. And he fell prey to this temptation because he made provision for the sin.
2 Samuel 11:1- And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
David made a provision for sin because he wasn't where he was suppose to be. The king was suppose to go with his army to the battle. He is the leader! But, he sent his army and he stayed home.
2 Timothy 2:22- Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Because David had made a provision for sin, he was now in a place for the presentation of sin.
2 Samuel 11:2- 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.
David went outside and was walking around on his rooftop, when he saw a woman bathing. David could have looked away, but instead, he found himself staring at the temptation.
Job 31:1- I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
David had plenty of wives. He could've walked into his house and fulfilled his desires in the right way. But he just kept staring, allowing the temptation to overwhelm him until he convinced himself to give in to the pursuit of sin.
2 Samuel 11:3- 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?
God had now just given David an out. He told him that she was the wife of one of his mighty men. This should have reminded him that he was in the wrong place and after the wrong thing!
Numbers 32:23- But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
How could David think that he could keep this thing a secret? Did he really believe that no one would find out?
David had his servants bring her to him. He gave in and committed the sin of adultery, and then sent her home thinking he had gotten away with it.
No, this would become the publicity of sin. Bathsheba was expecting David's baby.
2 Samuel 11:6- And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
David came up with this idea that he could still get out of paying the consequences of his actions. He was going to get Uriah to come home and give an update on the battle. Then, Uriah would go home and be with his wife. When she had the baby, Uriah would think it was his child born early.
That is the power of sin. It makes you think you are invulnerable to it's consequences. It makes you think the price tag isn't that much. You're pretty sure you can get away with it.
But, what happens when your plans don't work out? What happens when the man you cheated is so honorable that he sleeps outside the castle gate rather than go home to his wife?
David stoops to another sin- murder by the hand of the enemy. Sin had the power to defile the man after God's own heart.
2 Samuel 11:17- And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
David's plan didn't only kill Uriah. There were other casualties. Other people paid the price for David's sin and deceit.
1 Corinthians 6:19- 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 your own?
The Israelites, just like every saved person today, belong to God. David not only killed one of his mighty men and some of his own soldiers, but he killed God's people.
He was about to find out the pain that sin can cause.
2 Samuel 11:27- And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
David thought he had gotten away with adultery and murder. He thought everything was okay now that he stepped up and married her. But, he didn't make the sin right. He didn't nullify the effects of disobedience to God just because he took Bathsheba in after the fact.
Zechariah 13:6- And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Uriah was one of David's top 30 mighty men. He would have willingly given his life for David's. But, that didn't entitle David to Uriah's wife. David wounded his friend, and that's what makes the penalty of sin even greater.
2 Samuel 12:12- For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
Nathan the prophet came to David and told him the penalty would be four fold, because the sin was four fold.
It gave the enemy an occassion to blaspheme the Lord (2 Samuel 12:14). It would give the ungodly comfort in knowing that even David, the man after God's own heart, would do like them and therefore they would be less likely to repent. It caused disease in David (Psalm 38) which could be passed on to his other wives and concubines. And it destroyed Israel's chance at having peace (Isaiah 57:21).
A four fold sin would have a four fold punishment.
2 Samuel 12:6- And he shall restore the lamb four fold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
David paid four fold.
The baby that Bathsheba had died.
His daughter, Tamar, was raped by her half brother, Amnon.
Amnon was killed by Tamar's brother, Absolom.
And finally, Absolom tried to take the kingdom. David had to flee with his wives and his children. A battle broke out between David's army and Absolom's army. And David's son, Absolom, was killed before David could safely return home.
You see, sin's price tag isn't always visible. You may think you know what consequences you will pay for the sin you seek to commit. You may assume that the pleasure of sin is worth the payment. But, you will never see the curve ball that sin will throw at you after you commit it.
It's always best to avoid the position of being tempted by sin. And if you find yourself in that position, remember, God always has an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) if you're willing to take it.