Tag Archives: blessings

Sufficiency of God

God’s care for his people is sufficient!  There can be no doubt.  Joy comes from knowing who He is, what He has done for us, what he has provided for us, and what we have to look forward to in serving Him.    I sat in amazement the other night in church as the teaching was on Approaching God from Psalm 131.  It was a very nice follow up to what I had previously that morning posted on my blog.  It wrapped up my thoughts and was like a gift handed back.  I just had to share it here with you.  Hope you will take the time to listen.

What Really Matters?

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For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.  Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.        2 Corinthians 2:15-17

Watching the news can be traumatizing these days.  It seems the world is falling apart and no one has control over anything.  There is conflict everywhere.  War overseas, tensions amongst Americans, divorce between parents, millennials not knowing when adulthood begins, sexual confusion tearing at the seams of the fabric of creation, growing numbers of cases of disease and outright moral conflict between right and wrong.  Where in the world do we find peace and hope?  Is there any?

If you haven’t noticed, I have been out of the loop lately.  My blogging has been a bit sparse.  I blame it on quite a number of things, from loss, to health, to not knowing what to say in times of constant turmoil.  I mean, what I want to say and what I should say are not in conjunction with one another and finding the right words were not coming as easily as they normally do.  That is however, until today.  Well, that’s only partially true…I started stirring with “blogger” thoughts last week, today is the first day I’ve had time to sit down and put them on the board.

A friend and I began doing a book study together.  Something that we both were excited to start for a few months.  We finally began and I have to say, I am thrilled.  Anything that can bring me closer to the Lord in study is a joy.  It gets me out of the “what is happening in this world” mentality, and takes me to the “thank you Lord for saving me out of this world” mentality.  Those little reminders to thank the Lord for life, grace, and eternal salvation bring a smile to my face, hope in my thoughts, stamina to continue on and keep me grounded in purpose.

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13

I often wonder what people think of when they consider their lives.  I mean, do they look at their lives and thank the Lord for what they have and for their future?  Or do they look at their lives and say, “I’m just not rich enough, happy enough, or wise enough so I need to make changes… so look out world here I come.  I don’t care who is in my way or who I destroy in the  mean time.  After all, my life is my life and I need to be happy and have it all.”  Crazy as that may sound, in my eyes, that is what I see in people when I look around.  I see it in relationships, in groups, in family, on TV and in movies.  I have wept, prayed, prayed some more and at times come close to shutting down, wanting to turn off all social media, electronics and lock the door from the world.   Right or wrong, it saddens me that the world is so brutal to human emotion.  That being said, as I write this it’s noticed that what was just said has one considering “I” and “me”.  This life isn’t about “me”, it’s about something greater than that.

The sadness I have felt over these issues however, has been overshadowed with joy in the last few weeks.  Why?  Well, its due to the simple fact that I am reminded,

For by grace you have been saved through faith.   And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.   Ephesians 2:8-10

In our study  we are reading about our purpose in this life.  Why were we created to be saved?  The answers are always present and sometimes it takes the nudge of the Lord during these times of distress to remind us of His plan for us and how we should be living.  Remembering this, takes the “me” out of living.

Am I speaking about you?  Do you have the hope needed to continue on in this life?  Consider it.  Consider where you are.  Consider how you are living.  Consider what could be holy vs. worldly.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought  life and immortality to light through the gospel…  2 Timothy 8-11

Does suffering for the gospel mean that we are unhappy?  No.  We don’t have the need for the fancy car, the perfect spouse, the perfect house, perfect job, perfect health, etc. etc.  Looking at the fact that God called his people out of a life of sin brings joy to believers, and a peace that nothing can compare to.  Just as I said above, we may get sad over the thought of the destruction of this world that was created so beautifully by God, yet we have joy knowing that there is so much more.

Prayerfully, my thoughts will continue to swell with blog worthy writing and a sweeping message of hope will be captured for others to embrace.   Have a blessed week/weekend and enjoy the sun this summer day.

End of Summer

It’s been a crazy summer. If you have not seen me lately it’s because we’ve been really busy. Praises to the Lord for the strength He gives to continue on. We are richly blessed and are thankful for every moment. As we close out summer and begin our school activities, I thought it would be fun to share a few of our special moments.

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Starting out with Summerfest and Music.  Lindsey Stirling was amazing!

 

 

 

 

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How about a glass of wine and a little Shakespeare in the park overlooking the city?  Cheese and crackers anyone?
The night market was fun.  Listening to music, walking the vendors, and watching the ice sculpture slowly melt in the 80 degree evening.
The night market was fun. Listening to music, walking the vendors, and watching the ice sculpture slowly melt in the 80 degree evening.

 

 

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Who could believe we would once again venture down to Disney.  Especially when we said we would never go during summer.  We did enjoy several aspects however, that we would not have enjoyed had we not gone….
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Frozen Festival in the summer…..
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And seeing some friends of old!  What a great night of selfies, dancing, blue blinking lights and sore feet.  🙂

 

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Learning how to make several Korean dishes while listening to friends play the kids instruments.  
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Water park with the cousins.

 

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One of the best parts of summer was attending the North American Championships in Maxville, ON.  Ten bands competed for the North American Championship in Grade II…. 

 

 

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Meet the winners of the North American Championships….Yes!!!! Greater Midwest Pipe Band.   Well worth all of the travel and the work.  Something the kids will never forget.  Next year Scotland and the World’s?  
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Who could forget session in a local pub.  Playing fiddle with friends and classmates.  
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On stage with Liz Carroll at Irish Fest.  Playing just before a monsoon of rain, constant lightning, and wind gusts that nearly blew us over.  It did end up being a great night once the rain stopped.  Took longer for the lightning, we just avoided sitting on the metal bleachers.  

 

 

 

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Our daughter celebrated her 16th birthday which was not only her sweet 16, yet also her golden birthday.  It was a day of celebration with friends, a limo, dinner and a masquerade party.  

 

 

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Yes this is me..scaring a dear friend at the end of the Jurassic World movie.  It was  hilarious… and I’m sure if she would have thought of doing it to me, she would have!  🙂 
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And lastly, a fun night with mom and daughter attending a Saucy Suffragette party with our friends and Attorney General for our stat celebrating 95 years.  Should we be worried that the only thing we had to buy in order to dress time period, were the hats?  What a great night.

I hope dear friends that your summer was as full and as exciting with thankful blessings of family and fun.  I do hope to begin blogging more consistently in the next few weeks.  I have plenty of Feline Friday pictures to post.  🙂  And a great many thoughts of God’s ever present providential care in our lives.  God’s blessings to you all and to your families

Bottoms Feeders. Really???

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Swimming with the fishes…perhaps we should look beyond the definition and remember that sometimes bottom feeders are also the ones cleaning the tank.

Kindness and integrity are something that are rarely seen today.  I know the answer to the why question is sin.  It still astounds me however, that even as “cultured”, well rounded,  and advanced we are as a society and in our understanding of the world and one another we seem to lack kindness and integrity.  Lost somewhere between the  “all about me” and “life is good” mentality.

Last week I received an invitation from a former doctors office (of which I left 3 years ago).  The invitation was for  classes that were coming up  called “Eliminate Bottom Feeders”.  The minute I saw the title I was stunned.   Reading more of it I was flabbergasted at the “all about me” instruction I was invited to.  It read:

How miserable are you with the toxic people in your life?  ARE YOU READY TO BE A BETTER YOU in every life situation no matter who is in front of you?……..instructions to transform your life into one of simplicity and freedom……Best of all, you’ll learn the proven methods to attract positive, loving, and inspiring people into your world today.

I cannot write any more of what is on this flyer.  I’m frustrated just writing it.  Seriously?  The all about “me” worldly viewpoint once again protruding off the page.  Call me old fashioned, call me old or call me anything, however, this is down right what is wrong with our society and world as a whole.  We fight for ideology, we fight for justice (as long as it benefits us) and we fight for happiness (our own).  What ever happened to fighting for others for no good reason or for justice just because it’s morally the right thing to do.  Our culture seems to enjoy reality shows where people are glamified in their sins and any redeeming quality that does exist is overshadowed by laughter, criticism and hatefulness.

Is this what is wrong with our youth?   Is the next generation going to serve a purposeful place in society?  The questions should be considered.

There are several situations that have recently transpired in in the last week where I’ve had to look around and consider how to handle individuals that have taken the “me” attitude.  In dealing with those situations, with those individuals I have considered just turning them away because as the class title states, they were bottom feeders.  Anyone who knows me however, knows that doing that is not in my personality.  I have had to consider in each situation the attempt to overshadow the “me” concept with love, forgiveness and kindness.  I’ve prayed over my own heart and asked for guidance in my reactions.    In order to understand more clearly I  also  looked up “bottom feeder” and this is what it said:

bottom feeder –  leech, or in other words a total lack of responsibility to provide for oneself. Relies heavily upon friends, neighbors or anyone really for sustenance.

This of course allowed something to lay upon my heart with great pressure.   That if someone is a bottom feeder, and they are going to rely on others for sustenance, can’t we assist them by being a good example and steward in what it means to give back?  I mean, if they are going to rely on us, perhaps that is God’s way of blessing us with opportunity.  Perhaps, that is where He will use us in our service to Him.  Just maybe, that person is someone that needs to see kindness so that they too may go out one day and bless another with the same.   What if we as a society, stopped watching all of the “me” media and reality shows with our children and rather, began to outsource our energy to brighten someone else’s day with a kind gesture, a kind word, or a smile.  What about a meal for someone who is unable to cook, weeding someones garden because they aren’t able, taking in a neighbors garbage can when it blows in the street or even opening a door for someone who is struggling whether it be due to little children or a disability?  What about a prayer and an email to someone you know needs the encouragement?   Most of all what about forgiveness?  The posibilities are endless.  Remember, bottom feeder are also the ones that are cleaning the tanks.  They are of value and they could be your blessing.

Our culture also tries to make our children and one another believe that every relationship is a fairytale.  That every day you wake up you should be singing, laughing and never complaining.  I’m sorry to say that you can read self help books till the cow’s come home and you will never find that to be true.  If all that is taught is what is in the movies or on reality TV about what they call “true” happiness, one is surely to be disappointed.  In fact, maybe that’s why so many people are on antidepressant drugs.   Perhaps, rather than instructing one another on how to rid ourselves of people who drag us down, maybe we should begin sharing with one another how we have dealt with struggles in our own lives. You never know, it just may assist in the mind set of someone who has a lack of coping skills.   Life is full of challenges and we cannot escape them, we need to learn to cope with them.

John 16:33English Standard Version (ESV)

33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  There are boundaries to everything, and there are priorities.  We should not be forsaking our families attention for that of others.  We do not put our families on hold so that we can attempt to “save the world”.  However, we should be able to balance our families and others who maybe don’t know what it means to not be selfish.  Even the example of serving our families can be seen by others.   When I was in College, one of our classes required us to read a book called, Give A Man A Fish and He Will Eat For A Day, Teach A Man To Fish and He Will Eat For A LifeTime.   A concept we have long forgotten.

As I ponder this week how I may assist in showing that which I know to be good stewardship to all those I encounter, I consider also what it means to be content.  Content with this life on this earth.  Contentment with illness, with family, with friends, with volunteering my time and with contentment in all things.  I hope that you too will consider where our society is today and the culture that is vastly becoming all of our reality.  How can we play a part in transforming just one person from being a “me” thinking individual to being a “difference maker”.

(I personally would like to have my own class…6 weeks in teaching others how to go beyond themselves in behavior and in thought.)  ha ha ha

ESV — 1 Timothy 6:1-10
6  Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants1 regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound 2 words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and3 we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

A Month of Paleo

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As a family, we decided that we all needed to be watching more of what we ate.  Keep in mind that we are already eating gluten free (3 of us are celiac), we eat very little sugar, and we eat all organic, grass fed, farm fresh foods.  You may ask yourself what else we could we possibly do.  Well, we decided to try a strict Paleo diet for one month.  Now, we are for the most part doing that with adding in a few extras like butter, and the rest of the milk we have plus a few cheeses.

We are finding it to be fairly easy, however, eating on the fly is harder still as I have to think about everything and we cannot just make or eat a GF muffin or GF bread with the turkey meat.  So, I’ve been coming up with a few recipes and buying lots of veggies to supplement some of our stand bys.

Tonights meal is stuffed cornish hens with rice.  Ha, that’s not paleo you say!  Well, actually it is.   Stuffed with veggies and nuts, and the rice is actually cauliflower that has been shredded.  It smells delicious and it looked great.

Stuffing –  I chopped up and sauteed the following veggies:  Carrots, small red and orange peppers, garlic, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, baby bella mushrooms, 1 large leak and 1 cup of pecans.  (I actually only used 2/3 of a cup of the chopped pecans in the stuffing, and the rest of the cup I put into the “rice”.)

Using sea salt, I salted the inside cavity of the hens and stuffed them with the above stuffing mixture of veggies and pecans.  See below:

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“Rice” – 1 head of cauliflower shredded in food processor.  Add 1 large stalk of fresh basil and about 4 garlic cloves,  both chopped, and the rest of the pecans.  Then I sauteed in a little butter, 1 tsp. sea salt and about 1/2 pint of homemade chicken broth.  Just prior to serving, I added a goat cheese that was like a feta.  Keep in mind that the pecans turned the cauliflower a light tan color making it looked like either a fried rice or brown rice.

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Can you say Yum?  🙂

 

Abiding in His Love

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But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2Corinthians 4:7-11

I’ve written it before, and I think it needs to be the reminder in our home right now.  Praise God for the glory of His word to teach us, build our character, shape us, and connect us to Him.

For the love of God is eternal, unconditional, just and perfect!  May we always remember, live by, abide by and stand firm in His word.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving… a time of the year when the smell of the food tantalizes the memory bank of years gone by.  From childhood memories of family Thanksgivings at a grandparents house, with cousins, aunts and uncles and laughter sprouting from every corner to the memories that we are making today.  From the turkey that baked all day to the traditional recipes passed down for generations.  The potato dumplings dance in the pot and the whipped cream salad chills out in the freezer just waiting for their hour to be presented to the mouth watering family patiently waiting for their once a year feast.  Our days are quieter than they once were, yet the joy and laughter still roars though the house bouncing off  of the walls, reminding us that what’s more important than anything is the things that we can be thankful for.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

With times of uncertainty, we do ourselves great disservice if we cannot be grateful for the blessings that we have been given by the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Some of the things I am thankful for are:  (in no particular order)

  1.  A husband who has always provided for our needs and who continues to do so with every morsel of his being.  For a man who trusts the Lord in everything he does and who loves me and cares for me ’til death do us part’.

  2.  I am thankful for my children who are growing up making the Lord a first priority in their lives and whose laughter warms their mother heart.

  3.  For family and friends who stand by us when we need them the most.

  4.  For a loving God who saved me out of the ashes to call me one of His own.  Praise God… For once I was lost, and now am found.

  5.  I am thankful for the years we have been able to enjoy a cottage, where we could hang our hats and relax while the world went on without us.  (Even though the realtor is coming tomorrow… sigh)

  6.  For the roof over our heads and the food that we enjoy at the giving of the Lord.  (Even though we had a day of cold showers due to the hot water heater having issues and the fact that the kitchen sink is broken.)

  7.  For the gift of safety when traveling.  (And for the nice police officer that did NOT give me a ticket even though I was speeding to get here…)

  8.  For the snow that reminds me of the changing over of seasons.  (Even though I got stuck in the ditch going down the driveway and then got stuck half way up the driveway due to the great amount of snow.)

  9.  For the healing in my body and movement.   (Even though I’m tired and achy…)

  10.  For the many friends that I have met through this blog.  You keep me smiling and keep me going.  🙂

The last few days have been spent working to get the cottage ready to sell.  Cleaning out closets, cleaning up after mice that thought they would take up residency since we haven’t been here in a few months, cooking and preparing for today.  Now that today is here, I find myself relaxing in front of a fire watching the snow fall gently from the sky and trees while also smelling the turkey that warms itself in the oven.  How could one not be grateful.  We are blessed and there is no question about it and no reason to complain…. about anything!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  It is with great hope that your day is filled with thoughts of thankfulness, no matter where you are or what you are doing, that you will find something to be grateful for.

 

Rejected or Rejoicing?

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Wearily pulling myself out of self loathing yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with a friend whom is no longer able to walk and is finishing out her young life knowing that she is fading away into the arms of her savior.  I was so blessed and refreshed by the visit, that I had to ask God’s forgiveness for the moments prior to our time together.   After all, I  had been questioning what good was going to come of such a visit when I was so tired from battling my pneumonia for the last 3 weeks.  I did not feel like smiling, I just wanted to sleep and rest in the comfort of my living room.  Venturing out into the cold was not appealing, even though I had an errand I had to run prior to the visit.  I pondered forgoing the errand and the visit.   It’s amazing how God uses times like those to touch our inner being, reminding us that there is so much to do and so little time for the joy of the Lord to be shared with others.  I came home physically tired, yet spiritually uplifted.   My original intention of visiting my friend was because I thought I was going to bless her, yet, God blessed me instead with a sustainable energy that kept me going for the rest of the night and He reminded me of the grace of humility.

There is no place for self loathing or a self serving attitude for Christians who know Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you , declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”      Jeremiah 29:11-14

For the last year, life has had it’s ups and downs with my diagnosis of Lyme Disease.  The loneliness of having a physical disability is only known by those who are also afflicted with such circumstances.  For this reason, I was determined that when I felt better, I was going to start weekly visits with my friend whom I had neglected prior to my own illness.   I remember having the need to visit her, however, I am embarrassed to admit that time was filled with so many other things to do that I never made the time.  I was just too busy, plain and simple.  Isn’t that so like our society today?  We spend so much time doing so many great things that have such little value.  Yet the things that mean so much, we brush aside thinking they are not of great significance.

I challenge you reader to consider your own life and ask yourself this question, “What have I done today that was not for my own gratification?”  If you ask yourself that question and find that you cannot come up with one thing, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try.  If you are only doing for others so that you will benefit, you have not challenged yourself enough.  Try taking time out of your day to do something for someone that will not have anything to do with benefiting yourself.   Let me explain.  If you partake on a mercy mission for someone else, make sure you are not thinking that it’s for your own benefit or self glorification that you are doing it.   True acts of kindness, love and humility do not come from knowledge, they come from the heart.  Outpouring unconditionally!

Last year there were several wonderful friends who took time out of their days to sit with me or write to me.  The fact that they thought of me and prayed for me was enough, but these women actually took the time out of their busy lives to let me know.  Unconditionally!  From guilt free quilting to those friday pizza nights where I would otherwise have sat here alone.  From e-cards of inspiration to the hand written notes mailed through the post, I was blessed by the giving of their time.  I can only hope that they too felt blessed by the love they shared with this lonely Christian in her time of need for fellowship.

My friend and I sat together yesterday and began reading a book.  Although my friend can no longer read and I am actually doing the reading, our discussions during and afterward were wonderful.  We began the first week with the first two chapters of the book and studying Psalm 13.

How long, O LORD?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?  

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep and the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.  I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.   Psalm 13

We both discussed how blessed we are knowing that we had the fellowship with one another, and the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ.  David, in writing this psalm, felt alone and abandoned by God, yet he trusted in His love.  He knew God was there or he would not have called out to him to begin with, but he cried out for the reassurance.   He just longed for the fellowship and comfort of the Lord to help with the loneliness  that was overtaking his physical being.  Is this any different than how we feel when we are going through trials?  As Christians we know God is ever present and we can trust in His love, yet we long for that physical fellowship.  It’s in our human nature to have that need, and yet, so many are left in their lonely state.

In both of my studies this week, the same question came up, “Why is it so important to establish a right view of God before adversity hits?”  (CBS JOB commentary)   Both my friend and I agree that in our circumstances we could not get through all that humanity and disease throws at us if we did not have trust in the Lord and trust in salvation.  In saying that, it does not mean we will not have tears and that we will not be discouraged at our current situation.  Just as David was discouraged, he still trusted in “steadfast love” which in turn allowed him to “rejoice in salvation”.   Rejoice…

Rejoicing in the everlasting love of a creator who has chosen us to be a part of his kingdom.  Rejoicing in his blessings of family and fellowship with other like minded brothers and sisters who will share in an eternal life.  Rejoicing in the blessing of vision to see that our sorrows are short lived in this world.  Rejoicing that Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of mankind to save.  Rejoicing in the Hope and Faith of healing and God’s everlasting care in our lives on this earth.  Rejoicing in knowing Him!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”    Romans 1:16-17

 

Faith or Works

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“But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  So then the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.”         Galations 4:22-24

The question in our study asked to record and explain the two images Paul uses to illustrate how the Law functions.   The two images were prison and guardian.  How could it be both?

My answer to the how was to consider a plane in a holding pattern.  Number 3 in a line of 6 sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off.  As a patron in the plane, likely having sat on that plane for about 1/2 hour already at that time, one could feel as though they are in prison. Not able to get out of the seat, not able to use the phone, not able lay the seat back.  It is a requirement that one follows the rules of the plane at this time.  However, as the pilot, hearing and knowing that the holding pattern they are in is truly a protection from being hit by other planes and that waiting their turn is worth the safety of the crew and patrons on board.

How wonderful that the fulfillment of Christ’s death on the cross set us free from the imprisonment of the law.  If ever you’ve read the law laid out for god’s people of the Old Testament you would realize that it’s quit complicated.  One could easily feel imprisoned, especially since the Law did not give them freedom, it only gave them a recognition of their sins and their death to them.  Only the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of his death could provide life.   I wonder how many people that call themselves Christians understand this?  Being a homeschool mom, I have over the years met and observed many groups/people that practice much of the Old Testament Law.  I often wonder if they truly know Christ and understand that there is nothing they can do obtain salvation.  I wonder if they understand that the covenant made to Abraham in Genesis, came 430 years prior to the law.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Galations 12:1-3

This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it longer comes by promise, but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.  Galations 3:17-18

The understanding that we can do nothing to obtain salvation other than through the freedom in Christ is sometimes twisted by unbelievers so that they feel freedom in sinful behavior as long as they claim to believe in Christ.  I’ve even heard it said that if someone is a good person and they do good works and have lived a clean life they are saved.  Even if the person outwardly has claimed they don’t believe in  God.  I would argue and have argued that one is not saved through such criteria.

And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:29-31

So then what freedom does a person claiming to believe in Jesus have?  Can he or she knowingly still freely sin?  Are the 10 commandments null and void due to the coming of Christ?

NO!  

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  John 15:9-11

I am praying for them.  I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.  John 17:9

“Enter by the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  John 6:37

Can someone just say he or she believes in Christ and they are saved?  How do we know it’s genuine?  What about alter calls?  I have to be honest in saying that I myself find it hard to judge the heart of another.  Just as one of the two thieves on the cross deserved death, he was not baptized, he did not follow the law, yet he believed in Christ, genuinely, and Christ understood his heart.  He was welcomed by the Lord unconditionally other than his proclamation of faith.  Consider however, he did not have a life further to live.  He was dying alongside our Lord.  For healthy humans who say they believe, if they are genuine in their faith there is a change of heart and their lives begin to reflect that change.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  do not marvel that I said to you ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where is wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  John 3:3-8

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what shall a man give in return for this soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels int he glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”  Matthew 16:24-27

And again in Mark 8:34-36 the above is again repeated.  Ending with:  “For what can a man give in return for his soul?  for whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in his adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:37-38

Keeping God’s commandments, and doing good works are all a result of saving faith.  The requirement of the Law of the Old Testament as atonement for sins is no longer required since Christ died on the cross.  Good works by those who love Him however, still exist as a result of one’s faith in Christ.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothes and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  James 2:14-17

But someone will say to you, “You have faith and I have works.”  Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that God is one; you do well.  Even the demons believe – and shudder!  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God , and it was counted to him as righteousness” – and he was called a friend of God.  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.  James 2:18-26

Why has this subject been swarming in my mind this past week?  I’m not sure other than to say it is God’s providence that I have a blog to share with others.  To write about my understanding of His words and to share what I know with those who may not understand.  For we know not the way the Lord may touch the human soul.  Through a song, a friend, a family member, a loss, a tragedy, or maybe through a blog.

I hope you find your week to be blessed and that you can see Him.  May your hearts be stirred to know him more completely through His Word.

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Isaiah 55:1       (The commentary on this verse claims it is  addressing a deep spiritual longing to seek the Lord while he may be found.  The word Come is all one needs to do in order to find mercy in God.  ESV Study Bible Commentary)

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”  And let the one who hears say, “Come.”  And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17

Complaining, Venting or Whining…Cannot decide!

 

In Psychology Today, complaining, venting and whining are described this way:  “Complaining and whining can be distinguished by the nature of the dissatisfaction and by our motivation for expressing it.  Complaining involves voicing fair and legitimate dissatisfactions with the goal of attaining a resolution or remedy.  When we voice legitimate dissatisfactions but do so without the goal of attaining a resolution we are merely venting.  And when the dissatisfactions we voice are trivial or inconsequential and not worthy of special attention, we are whining.”  I guess I am slightly complaining in this post about what took place last night.  Or, I guess you could consider it venting as it’s over and done with so there is no goal of resolution at this time and to some it could seem like whining since the first part of this post is inconsequential since it was yesterdays issues.  Either way, here we go…

It’s been a year since being diagnosed with Lymes Disease and all of the wonderful          co-infections that come along with.  I am pleased to have come so far in my healing and really have nothing to complain about.  That being said, I would very much enjoy getting through a day without a headache.  For the last few weeks I have been getting these mild headaches that hit in the afternoons.  Most of the time I get through them with a little peppermint oil on the temples and back of the neck, however, last night was very different.  I was beginning to wonder if my husband should take me in to urgent care it was so bad.  Usually laying down with my eyes closed helps, yet last nights migraine actually got worse as I lied down.  Not sure what triggered it other than I was once again on my feet getting things done in the kitchen.   It took 2 Aleve (which I hate taking unless absolutely necessary), 1/4 of a melatonin and 2 TBS of liquid Magnesium over an hours time frame before I could lay down and fall asleep without the continual throb that was keeping me wrapped up in the fetal position.  Praise God I slept all night and woke up refreshed and surprisingly not tired.

Hence the reason I was unable to share what I accomplished yesterday as far as canning and fermenting.  Well, we tried something new and I am excited to taste the end result.

photo

Fermented Fennel, Onion, and Carrots – Taking the fennel and trimming it up, I then placed it in the food processor using the mandoline tool to slice it thinly.  Doing the same with the onion and mixing together in a large bowl.  I then switched out the food processor tool to the shredder and shredded the carrots.  After mixing all together I added sea salt and mixed thoroughly once more.  Gathering up some clean sterilized jelly jars I began spooning in the fennel salad mixture pounding each spoonful down into the jar with a wooden mallet.  Leaving 1 inch at the top I then added 1 TBS fresh whey and filtered spring water.  I will again leave these out for 3-7 days to ferment prior to putting them in the fridge.  Burping daily of course.  🙂

The second recipe I made was supposed to be a fennel jelly.  I thought maybe I could use the trimmings of the fennel to make a pepper jelly like sauce.  Well, after boiling it down all it smelled  and tasted like was apple cider vinegar.  So, rather than throwing it all out, I went out to the freezer to find something to resurrect the ingredients.  Well, it worked.  It is really yummy too!

Cranberry, Fennel Chutney Sauce

1 – 1/2 Cups Fennel bulb and fennel trimmings

1 – 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

5 to 6 Cups sugar (because I cannot do the sugar, I used birch tree Xylitol.  Next time I      would likely use only 4 cups as it was quite sweet.)

4 – 5 Cups cranberries, finely chopped

2 small onions, finely chopped

1 tsp. Cinnamon

I boiled down the Fennel, Apple Cider Vinegar and Sugar until it came to a rolling boil for about 5-10 minutes.  Then I strained out the liquid and placed it back on the stove adding in the cranberries, onion and cinnamon.  I again brought it back to a boil.  Turning off the burner I added natural pectin.  Unfortunately I hadn’t followed the pectin recipe and it clumped up, so for future I would have kept the fruit and onions in the final product.  This time however, because of the pectin clumping, I strained out the fruit pouring it into clean sterilized jars and put them into the hot water bath to seal.  Serving it over some cheese with some crushed walnuts will be a yummy winters treat for the family.

Still have to do something with the beets and the cabbage.  Maybe today!

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!  1Chronicles 16:11