Sunday, November 6, 2016

Olive Garden Salad recipe

Dressings:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 TBS corn syrup or honey
4 TBS grated parmesan
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh parsley
1 TBS lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a container.

Salad:
Pick your favorite lettuce or lettuce blend
Red onion slices
Black olives
Banana peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Croutons, if wanted

Take your favorite blend of lettuce (I live one with baby spinach and radicchio) and put it into a large bowl.
Add a half of a red onion, sliced into long pieces.
Drain the black olives and the banana peppers (I like to use whole olives and banana pepper rings). Leave them sitting in a colander while you mix up the dressing to ensure that the liquid drains completely out of them.
Throw in the cherry tomatoes and the Parmesan cheese.
Toss all ingredients together with the dressing.
If you want croutons, add them to your salad on your plate. If you put them into the salad they will get soggy! If you're going for gluten free then leave them out completely.
This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Golden Sceptre book review

After reading Pastor Bob Leib's first book, At His Feet, I was very excited to read his second book.
In his first book, Pastor Leib goes through the story of Ruth, a Gentile woman living in a Jewish world, and uses her life as an example of how the believer should be submissive to the Lord, and the blessings that come along with submission to His will. 
His second book, The Golden Sceptre, goes through the only other book in the Holy Bible named after a lady- Esther, a Jewish woman living in a Gentile world. This book deals mainly with the Christian's life in Christ, and his journey through the world having a "different nature". There's a lot of history and prophecy expounded upon in it's pages.
But, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
This book has so many other devotional topics in it that you get an amazing study on some of the deeper things found in the Scriptures- such as Adoption, Eternal Security, The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, Salvation, the Rapture, and so much more!
Be prepared to be challenged, edified, and some times even amazed by the content contained in this book. Who would have ever though that such a short book of the Bible that doesn't even mention the name of God could have so much hidden within it's story! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

There's a Murderer in the Church (video sermon)

A church in the Bible is a group of people who have asked the Lord to save them. It is not a building. It is not a place. When the Lord says that He will build His church He is talking about saving the souls of people, not erecting a building.

There are some ways we should act, or behave ourselves, in the congregation of the Lord. Today, church etiquette has been forgotten. We aren't to be stumbling blocks to other Christians. Christ is the rock of offense, but Christians aren't suppose to be purposefully offensive to others.

Christians should be able to find friends in the church. Christians should be able to find encouragement in the church. Christians should get  rebuked in the church. Christians should find fellowship in the church.

But, some times there's a murderer in the church. There's something in our church that's killing off the Christian. And, it's not what you're thinking.

The first murderer is starvation. I Peter 2 says that newborn babes desire milk, and as new Christians we should desire the sincere "milk" of the Word of God. But, there's some churches that don't feed their members the Word. There's some pastors that have nothing but Spiritual babies that haven't been growing because they're being starved Spiritually.

The next murderer is strangulation. I John 2 says that there are some that aren't of us. They're the thorns that spring up in the church and strangle the Christians that are trying to grow in the Word. They cause strife, backbiting, bitterness, and destroy the work of the Lord in the hearts of God's people.

Another murderer is scandal. Pastors and church workers who get caught up in sin, and then go about trying to justify their sin. Now, church leaders aren't perfect. When they sin, they are suppose to go to the Lord and ask forgiveness. If they sin against another member in the church, they are to ask that members forgiveness! Scandals knock out some of the strongest Christians among us.

Simulation is another murderer in the church. People want to live in the fantasy world of Hollywood and video games and fictional characters in books. We live in a world where stores try to make you visualize what isn't there. Christians get sucked into desiring a counterfeit instead of working and living in the real world. We are to bring every imagination into captivity- keep them in check!

The world needs to see something real. Real love. Real forgiveness. A real reason to go on! Not a plastic Christianity.

There are many murderers in the church. More than have been named here. Are you keeping company with a murderer? Are you watching a murderer creep through your congregation? Have you been the victim of an attempted Spiritual murder?



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What's Happened To The Next Generation?

Throughout the history of the kings of Judah you see the rise and fall of many good kings and many wicked kings. One king will be very evil, and yet, have a son that loves the Lord and tries to do right; and another will be a very good king, and his child will be known as one of the most wicked rulers of his time!
What is it that is happening to the next generation?
Judah had a king whose name was Uzziah. He was a good king that loved the Lord. But, because of the blessings of the Lord, he became prideful and thought of himself as more than he should have.
He went into the temple of the Lord and tried to burn incense to the Lord, which was something that only the priests, the Levites, were allowed to do. For his sin, God made him a leper while he stood there in the temple with the censer in his hand.
But, I want to follow the time line through the next two generations. His son, Jotham, ruled in his place while he lived in a several house, and then was crowned king when his father died.
2 Chronicles 27:1-2- Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.
Jotham was a good king. He tried to do right in the sight of the Lord. But, we see two things that occurred during his reign- he never went into the temple, and the people of his kingdom were corrupt.
Perhaps, Jotham was too afraid to enter the temple because of what happened to his father. Leprosy was a walking death sentence. There was no cure. A person who contracted this disease was sent away to live in isolation until they died.
Hebrews 10:25- Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Paul warns us not to forgo church attendance. Why? I believe we will see later on in our story.
Whatever the reason, Jotham wasn't an example to his kingdom in this respect. Yes, he obeyed the Lord. Yes, he tried to do right by his people and his God. But, he didn't show them how to go before the Lord and ask His guidance.
Next, I see that Jotham allowed corruption in his kingdom.
The people did yet corruptly. Maybe Jotham kept the corrupt people out of leadership postitions, but that would only work while he was in charge. If the corruption wasn't taken care of, it would soon pass down to the next generation of leaders.
Moving on through history...
2 Kings 16:1-2- In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
Jotham's son, Ahaz, was the next to take the throne. But, unlike his father, Ahaz was a wicked king.
How could a man who tried so hard to do right have such an evil child? The Bible says that Ahaz offered his children as human sacrifices to false idols, and he worshiped many false gods all over Jerusalem and Judea.
What happened? I believe it may have been due to the two things that Jotham allowed himself to slide on- not going to the temple, and allowing corrupt people to prosper.
You see, Ahaz wasn't taken to see the glory of God. He didn't get to view the holiness that was expected from the priests of the Lord. He didn't see the care that went into copying the law of the Lord for future generations. He missed out on the precious promises that God made to His people.
And, there were evil people throughout the kingdom who had wicked children that could become friends with the future ruler. These friends would influence the character and thought pattern of this young prince.
Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Iron sharpens iron. A good friend, a wise friend, a godly friend will encourage those characteristics in those they hang out with. But, a devious person, a conniving person, a wicked person will influence others in this path.
Ahaz not only turned to idols, but he ensured that his kingdom would follow him.
2 Chronicles 28:22-25- And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.
Ahaz not only sacrificed to false gods, and made places of worship throughout his kingdom for these false gods, but he also closed the doors of the temple. He made it difficult for those who wanted to serve the Lord to be able to.
You see, Jotham didn't go to the temple; Ahaz closed the temple.
Jotham didn't get rid of the corruption; Ahaz embraced the corruption.
The things we allow in our lives are the very things that will dominate and rule our children's lives.
Song of Solomon 2:15- Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have  tender grapes.
Our children are still young and tender. That next generation will be spoiled by the little foxes that we let slip through and influence the vines. Are we at fault for destroying the next generation because we like our "foxes"?
What's happening to the next generation in your home?