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.