Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

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.

Reflection and Progression

 

Picture taken from Omnibus III
Picture taken from Omnibus III

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 

Sitting in a chair facing my friend, who sits reclined back comfortably in her recliner we discuss our new book and what a wonderful author John Bunyan is.  His incredible allegory of the walk of a Christian in Pilgrims Progress. We usually meet once a week at her home (she is completely home bound and unable to do anything for herself anymore) and read a chapter or two of a book.  This week, we began a new book and because we both were enjoying it so much, decided to throw in a second day.  Our visits over the last 6 months have been pretty much the same, we visit first, her husband sweetly confirms she is comfortable and as he exits to his “man cave” office, she and I share a little more of our week and I begin to read.

As we began our new book, we were thrown a curve ball.  I began reading and when I finished page 16, I began reading what I thought was page 17 only to realize that the story didn’t make any sense at all.  I looked up to see that the page after 16 was actually page 23. Now, keep in mind that I cannot read on my own without having to read one page several times due to my Lymes and my friend cannot read at all and depending upon the day may have issues with processing information due to her corticobasil degeneration.  That being said, you can just imagine my dismay to find that in a neatly hardbound book there were no pages ripped out and yet pages 17-22 were missing.  We both sat there laughing not quite sure what to do.  We quickly realized that our time together that day may be cut short by a error in the binding of the book.

Upon further investigation, I found the rest of the pages… 10 pages further into the book.  So, as if it isn’t funny enough that we are reading Pilgrims Progress together, both of us having cognitive issues and both of us being more tired in the afternoon, I now was challenged with reading from right to left rather than left to right and my friend had to endure me stopping at critical parts of the story just to find my place.  Honestly, I kept thinking it would have made for a great home video recording.

Well, as it is with my memory these days, I completely forgot this when I went over to read to her the second day.  So of course, I began reading where I left off and of course ended up reading some of what we had already read earlier in the week amongst the new pages of the story.  Once again, we had to laugh and I had to regroup and figure out where my next pages were.  Were they 10 pages forward or 2 pages back.

Having Lyme makes life so interesting!  Seriously, I can relate to the frustration that was felt in the movie Still Alice… I am physically so much better than last year that I am not complaining at all.  Last year at this time I could not walk up a flight of steps without nearly passing out and I could not do anything for myself except maybe a shower, and that was not daily as I just didn’t have the energy for it.  I was in constant pain, my exhaustion was unexplainable and my energy level was at best good for only about an hour.  By mid afternoon my brain was so foggy that I could not process information, I was unable to drive as I forgot where I was going and when I drove I completely blanked out and couldn’t remember I had driven at all.  To go anywhere that needed walking I had to use a wheelchair.

After 10 months I had serious doubts I’d recover from this illness. You can imagine my my excitement when I found the doctor and protocol I had been looking for since being first diagnosed.  So in early May, my Integrative doctor agreed to let me try the protocol of the other doctor I found and by June I was going to the Highland games with the family and the wheelchair stayed in the garage.  I’m not saying it didn’t need to be brought out from time to time, but overall I was seeing improvements.  By July I was able to make an 8 hour drive to our cottage alone with my daughter and by September I was driving to CA with the kids.  The pain subsided within that first month and slowly my energy level began to increase.  The brain fog has also improved, unless of course I am extremely tired and have not slept well.  Learning my limitations, keeping track of my symptoms and making adjustments with my meds has been such a help.  Having two doctors who look beyond, listen to me with all ears and keep an open mind to the research I also do has been a blessing.

Your likely wondering why I went from reading Pilgrims Progress to my health.  Well, as we read on Thursday, I couldn’t help but to think about the characters in the story, what they stood for and how even though the book was first published in 1678, the allegory is so powerful for us today.  No wonder it is the second most widely published book in world to this day, second only to the Bible.  Although I enjoyed the book a few years ago when the kids and I read it together and studied it, I think after the last year I am enjoying it even more.

On Thursday we read about Christian meeting the Interpreter and what he finds in the Palace prior to going any further on his journey.  Within the Palace there are a number of rooms.  One of the rooms was rather small and introduced were two children, Passion and Patience.  The characteristics of the two were such:

Passion was seen as being discontent; wanting of all things now, and at that moment Patience was quiet; willing to wait for that which is yet to come

In the story, the Interpreter explains:   “These two lads are Figures; Passion of the men of this World, and Patience of the men of That which is to come:  For as here thou seest, Passion will have all now, this year; that is to say, in this world;  so are the men of this world:  they must have all their good things now, they cannot stay till next year, that is, until the next World, for their portion of good.  That proverb, A Bird in the Hand is worth two in the Bush, is of more authority with them, than are all the Divine testimonies of the Good of the World to come.  But as thou sawest, that he had quickly lavished all away, and had presently left him nothing but rags; so will it be with all such men at the End of this world.  

Christian replies:  Now I see that Patience has the best Wisdom, and that upon many accounts.  1.  Because he stays  for the best things.  2.  And also because he will have the Glory of his, when the other has nothing but rags.

Interpreter:  Nay, you may add another, to wit, the Glory of the next World will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone.  Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience, because he had his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion, because he had his best things last; for first must give place to last, because last must have its time to come; but last gives place to nothing; for there is not another to succeed:  He therefore that hath his portion first, must needs have a Time to spend it; but he that has his portion last, must have it lastingly:  Therefore it is said of Dives, In thy Lifetime thou receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou are tormented.

Christian:  Then I perceive it is not best to covet things that are now, but to wait for things to come.  

And in conclusion, I want to end with the beginning of what Interpreter has to say next:  “You say truth:  For the things that are seen are Temporal; but the things that are not seen are Eternal:  

I have to admit that last year when I was diagnosed, I wanted my body to heal and for my life to go back as it used to be.  I wanted to go back to being the super mom who could get up in the morning, make breakfast, school the kids, drive them around town for their activities, pull weeds out of the garden, help my friends paint their houses, stop for groceries and spend long hours in the kitchen preparing dinners for my family, all in one day.  I wanted to be able to plan out events for the homeschool community or prepare classes as I once had in our co-op classes.  I wanted to be organized without losing things.  I wanted healing at that moment.  I tried to be patient, and I even prayed that the Lord use my illness for His good will.  Yet internally, my mind wanted desperately to have my life back.

In reading the above exchange between Christian and Interpreter, I was seeing myself as being like that of Passion.  Although my heart longs to be more like Patience, I know that my human nature as a sinner is more like that of Passion.  As the months drew on and  now another year, I am learning more and more the importance of the lessons of Patience.  The story has resonated in my mind ever since our reading on Thursday and I know it’s through the Providence of God that He continues to teach this weary being of lessons He needs for me to learn, sanctifying me so that perfection may still yet be seen.

If I had received the blessing of quick healing, would I have followed the leading of my heart to go see my friend who was already home bound?  Would I have understood what it was like for those who have no or limited social interaction with others?  Would I be reading Pilgrims Progress with a friend who needs to be reminded of the eternal blessings yet to come?  Would I have understood that I truly had sisters that took time out of their days to help me cope in my own loneliness?

Honestly, I think not.  If God had allowed me to follow my own way, just as Passion, then I am quite certain my short lived illness would have been placed in a box on a shelf where dust would settle only to be forgotten.  I would have gone on with my days wanting to be something more and someone more than I am meant to be.  I would have likely filled my days with things that have no real meaning other than for self.  My friend would still be sitting in her recliner, yet I would have missed the blessings of seeing her smile, her sense of humor with her husband and our wonderful discussions that come out of our readings.  I would have missed an opportunity to serve another who was and is desperate for her own healing and for understanding as to why her life has taken the turn it has.

As I continue to read through Pilgrims Progress I look forward to seeing what the Lord once again has to show me.  I hope that as you read this post, you too may consider reading along with us.  I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Luke 8:15
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

 

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.

A Little Perspective

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.   2Corinthians 1:3-4

In studying JOB, I have come to understand more clearly the value of trusting God, His Word, and His mercies that are offered to His flock.  Calling out to him over the last year, whether my day was filled with pain or exhaustion, I admittedly had moments where I complained over my circumstances, yet I also knew and had faith that God had a plan.  I was comforted in knowing that He would utilize my situation to His glory and that nothing I go through in this world is too great when I have Him by my side.

I have a picture with a beautiful poem about the Lord carrying us in our times of trouble and the picture has one set of footprints walking in the sand.  Although I enjoy the concept of Him carrying us through this life, I think I would rather consider Him as a partner walking beside me like a seeing eye “friend”.  Pointing out obstacles, directing my footsteps, guiding me down the path of life leading to His narrow gate.  Nurturing me along the journey so that in the end He will be glorified.

One of our questions in our study asked whether we have ever encountered God in a way that transformed our understanding of or attitude toward Him?  We were then asked to share the experience and tell how our view of God was changed.

My answer was yes and I went on to explain.  Our move to our current location was not an easy transition.  We moved to a state that we had never stepped into, knowing absolutely no one, and to top it off it was in the winter.  We lived in a two bedroom apartment for two months while we sought out our current home.  The kids had school and were making friends, my husband had work and new relationships to nurture while I had a realtor once a week.  My days were very lonely.

I had left behind a volunteer position at the kids school that kept me working every day as the school librarian, room mom for one class, a bible study that I had been a part of for 10 years, childhood friends, college friends, family and ladies that I had befriended after our third move.  My involvement with our church included VBS, women’s ministry, fundraisers and the meal delivery service for our brothers and sisters within the church that I was in charge of.   I  was running with kids to Karate classes two days a week, baseball three days a week, dance classes 3 days a week, boy scouts  and brownies every other week and our weekends were spent at a cottage.   To say that I was busy is an understatement.  In fact, one of my friends gave me a mug for my birthday that said, “Note to self:  Stop volunteering for stuff”.

In my loneliness, I found that going to the Lord was giving me encouragement.  In my times of human weakness, however, I sought out to find purpose for myself in our new town.  I thought I needed to be a part of something, other than just looking for a house for the family.  So after a month of spending one day a week cleaning the apartment, grocery shopping and doing laundry, another day going out with the realtor, and the rest of my week spent sitting alone reading the word of God, I went in to our new church and requested a list of activities and groups that our family could be a part of.  I distinctly remember breaking down in tears in front of the secretaries.  Not sure what else to do, they presented me with a list of people to call and activities that may interest us.

One by one we reached out, seeking out purpose, more for myself than the rest of the family.  After all, they were meeting people and making friends.  I was the one who was trying to find my niche.  Each time we reached out, we hit a dead end.  Either the groups were full or after receiving information we decided that the group was not what we were interested in.  Once again, I remember finding myself in tears.  As our second month approached, we had found our house and we were waiting for it to be completed as it had been a new construction.  One more day would be added to my loneliness as I no longer had my day with the realtor.  Another moment of tears.  I remember asking God why and I also remember complaining.

One day, as I was reading His word, I was struck by the time I had to be with Him.  I’m not sure exactly what took place, however, I felt this peace that I had not known since our move.  I came to the realization that prior to our move, my time with Lord was when I could fit Him in, between projects and activities.   I scheduled my time with Him based on what worked for me.  In the two months of being in the apartment I realized that all I had was time to spend with Him.  He had become my best friend, my caretaker, and my encourager.  He was walking beside me and was giving me comfort in my times of loneliness.  I was not alone, I just didn’t have perspective.

I remember thanking Him for all that He was doing for me and my family.  For giving us all that we needed.  Even though we were in a two bedroom apartment and ate dinners at a table in the living room by the couch.  We all have said that they were the best two months we’ve ever had as a family.   As a family, we grew closer, enjoying our time together since we didn’t have any extra curricular activities vying for our time.

I would say that during that time I encountered God as I had not known him before.  The focus in my years prior to our move were spent trying to do all the good in the world, doing all that I could for my family and for others.  I spent time with him when He fit into my schedule, praying while I was driving and in my quiet time upon waking and before bed.   After our move, I had refocused my attention, turning my daily schedule into a time of continued worship of Him.  To my pleasant surprise, my Heavenly Father was there waiting for me and He met with me giving me peace, understanding and perspective.  He didn’t ask me to wait until He had time in His schedule, He was ready and willing to offer mercy, grace, and love when I needed it the most.

Rather than seeing Him as a Holy God who was too busy to notice whether or not I took time out for Him, I realized He was a Holy God who is a jealous God that needed me to take that next step in knowing Him.  I was transformed!  I don’t mean that I became a christian at that point, I knew I was a christian and had been for many years.  I was however, growing in my knowledge of Him and who He truly was.  Humbled by His time with me and my recognition of His Almighty character, I prayed that He would lead me and open doors when He was ready for me to once again serve outside of the home.  I said that prayer in church one night and at the end of the service a woman approached me asking me to be a part of a prayer group.  Timing was everything.  Once again, I thanked Him, knowing that all He wanted me to trust in Him and His plan for my life.   Each experience I have endured since the Lord called me by name has helped me to grow closer to Him and has given me new perspective.

In watching Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer recently with my daughter, I am reminded that sometimes we need to be in a different place, focusing on something other than ourselves to gain perspective.  Not unlike what God did with JOB.  JOB had his own thoughts and considerations in defending himself pridefully with his friends, yet it took God’s audience with JOB to show him a new perspective that included who he was in comparison to who God was.   Isn’t that so like the life of a christian?  When we stray from the herd, our shepherd uses His staff to to gently remind us of our place in the flock.

I challenge you reader to look at your current affliction and look for opportunities to give you a new perspective.  Preferably, allowing God to be a part of that process.

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

 

Waking up to Snow

 

Snow is here.
Snow is here.

The Compassion of the Lord – Isaiah 55

55 “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.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
hand I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Joy Through Affliction

 

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Can I somehow relay to anyone through my words how much rejoicing has been going on in my heart the last few months and especially yesterday?  I mean, even though my Lyme symptoms have returned, my joy in Him has not subsided.

Psalm 4:7   You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

Psalm 71:23  My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.

My husband and I have been married for 21 years next month.  During that time we have had many trials, heart aches, and afflictions overwhelm our relationship.  Through every timely attack, we have managed to cling to one another.  Oh, it’s not always been easy, and for the first 12 years it was especially tough in our home.  I remember my early walk with the Lord, knowing and understanding fully who He was, as being a lonely venture.  Lonely in that God’s timing for my husband was not in sync with His timing with me.  I prayed for those twelve years that God would change my husbands heart, that He would show my husband His Word and Grace so that we could grow together.  At times, God likely heard my prayers to be more like begging.  Pleading for the release of my husbands hardened heart so that he would hear God’s calling and crave to know the truth as I was learning it.  Let’s just clearly say, it was a long 12 years and the support from others to continue on was at times quite at odds with scripture and felt more like worldly advice  attacks.

At the bible study I attended weekly during that time, an older, wiser Titus 2 woman who was in our leaders group reminded all of us through a devotional that sometimes we need to release our wants and desires and give it up to the Lord, for as we know all things are in His timing.  That our will was not always His will and that we needed to trust Him.

Wow!  Wait… hold the presses… I knew that!  Yet my daily prayer for 12 consistent years had been pleading my will upon the Lord’s heartstrings.  I was begging for something rather than trusting and praying for God’s will to be done in my husbands life.  Why had I not asked God for my own patience?  Why had I not prayed for acceptance of where God had my husband at that time?  I remember beating myself up about my own prayers and how selfish they were.  I wasn’t trusting God to just do as He needed.  It was that day that I went home and got on my knees and asked for God’s forgiveness in not trusting Him.  I repented for my lack of patience and asked God to give me strength to wait upon Him and His timing for my husband…. If that is what the Lord intended.  I did not know if my husband would ever accept Christ nor if God would ever even call upon my husband to be one of His flock.  I just knew that I needed to trust the plan God had for us and to stay true to Him and all that He is.

Two weeks from the day of that prayer, my husband was asked by a personal friend who he respected, if he wanted to begin a bible study with him.  My husband accepted the invitation.  We went to the store and bought him a study bible and he began studying God’s word.  I kid you not, I stood in amazement.  I have to say that for a period of time, God allowed my husband to continue serving the prince of the earth while also learning about God’s truth.  There was a true battle of good vs. evil at work.  At the final turning point,  the crushing lowest point of my husbands life, he began to see that he could not be of both worlds and the Lord began to strengthen my husbands desire for truth and soften his once hardened heart.  He admittedly prayed about hypocracy and that he no longer wanted the sinful part of his life.  He asked God for help in getting rid of the sins and continued temptations that were trying to overtake him.

John 3:5-8  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 born of the spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it 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.”

God did not turn a blind eye.  He helped my husband see the errors of his ways, and gave him the nourishment of truth that he so desired.  The ever present Holy Spirit walked with him giving him an unknown desire for learning the scriptures.  As time went forth, the fruit of God’s work in his life was being seen and his life was reflective of a life being lived out to serve our heavenly creator.

John 15:1-11  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that  does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you,  unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so I have 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.

All of those years since, I and others have seen a complete transformation.  Out of darkness came a blessing of light that has touched the lives of so many.   He has over that last 9 years, become the man I prayed for him to become.  He may live in this world yet he too is not of this world.  He was called, he heard, he acted.  He has not taken the gospel for granted.  He studies, he craves the word, and he longs for truth.  All in God’s timing!

John 15:16-17   You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  These things I command you, so that you will love one another. 

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed  by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

You may ask what in the world this has to do with my joy.  Well, yesterday my beloved husband was blessed with the induction of becoming a deacon in our church.  This is not a role to be taken lightly.  For many months our family in Christ has been praying over those being called into this position, and we have been praying that “God’s Will Be Done”.

1 Timothy 3:8-13  Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.  They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.  And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.  Their wives must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.  Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their  own households well.  For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.  

I was asked by several people yesterday how I felt to be a deacons wife.  Honestly, I am not sure I should feel any different.  After all, my husband has been called to a role he is meant to serve in, and I am gladly sitting by supporting him, just as I have been supporting him our entire 21 years of marriage.

Romans 12:3  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself  more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  

If I have to admit to any feeling, it would be joy.  Joy over the transformation  that has carried my husband out of death and into Life.

John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am not overly joyful about titles, yet I am overjoyed at the knowledge I have of where we have been and where we are today.  I am also overjoyed at knowing that God’s timing is perfect, in every way and that my husbands serving heart embraces God’s will.

Romans 14:16-18    So do not let what you regard as good to be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God  is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved  by men.

Since I know he reads my blogs, I want to add one more thing:

Honey, I love you and am pleased to be on this journey with you.  Together,  we can support one another through all that comes our way with the strength of  Jesus Christ.  I love you!

I know that I am not alone in saying congratulations.  🙂  

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Jim would be proud that you have been a willing servant for He who rescued you out of death to give you Life and that you continue to trust in His will over all that comes your way.  I knew when I saw you helping Jim with his final walk toward everlasting peace with the Lord, that your were meant to serve your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  With this last year being so tough, you never wavered taking care of me.  

Thank you My Love, and yes, I am pleased to say I am a deacons wife!   

 

 

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 quite 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

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

Why bother…?

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(This painting hangs in my kitchen… It’s so me!)

Why fermentation?  Why canning?  Why grow your own food when you have grocery stores on every corner?  Why go through the work?

Oh my, so many questions.  I’ve heard it all.  I’ve even heard, “Sherry you are too sick to be doing all of that”, or “I did all that when I was younger and see no need to keep doing it.  I hated doing it then with my mother why would I do it now.”  Well, the primary answer to everyones “why” about this topic is this:

Neighbor, “Yeah we have so many tomatoes this year that Sally (name changed) is thinking we should make some pasta sauce.  We just aren’t sure what to do with so many.”

MY husband, “Oh yeah.  Can the sauces so you have them this winter.  It was great this last winter when Sherry was so sick and I prepared the meals, those canned sauces really helped out when I needed them.”

Neighbor, “Maybe they can help one another and do the canning together.”

Said and done!   Two verses come to mind when I consider this conversation exchange.  The first is from Proverbs 31:10- 18  “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.  She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.  She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.  She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.”  Keep in mind that as I type this I am aware that it sounds boldly prideful on my part to consider this verse and my husbands conversation.  However, when you realize that the title of this portion of Proverbs is titled “A Woman Who Fears The Lord” you understand that all that I do is pleasing to the Lord.   I understand who the Lord is and why I am here.

Now, I also must admit that the human side of my being, living in a self indulgent world also realizes that homemaking has become a taboo word for women.  The thought amongst our peers is that we were either too stupid to make it doing anything else (and yes I’ve even heard of one persons interpretation of my being a stay at home mom described as “not being highly educated”) or we have an overbearing husband who chains us to the house without allowing us to have a mind of our own.  That being said, I have to also admit that worldly thinking can and does creep in sometimes.  My worldly thought on the conversation was this, “Thank you Lord that my husband appreciates the sacrifices I have made.  I was not at the pool, tennis courts, golfing at the club, sitting down watching soap operas (are those still running?) or going out spending money with friends buying designer clothes and enjoying lavish expensive lunches (as many of my friends did at our last place of residence).   I will consider this my paycheck… A wonderful compliment from my husband.”  Now, being that I started it out as a sort of thanksgiving prayer, one would assume this was not worldly, however, I would argue with you that it was very selfish on my part to look to myself with pride expecting praise from someone for something I’ve done and sacrifices I made.  Really?  I’ve made no sacrifices, this is my JOB as a wife and mother.  Going to the Word of God you see that Proverbs 31 has much more to say past verse 18.  And, it’s all to please the Lord.    Does that mean there is no laughter and fun?  Of course not.  There is great joy when you all sit down together for a meal, or when the aroma of dinner tantalizes your husbands nose when he walks in the door, and the pleasing look in his eyes when he knows that he doesn’t have to worry about one more thing after a full day of work away from those he loves.

Gardening, canning, fermenting, and housework is done to please the Lord.  Not to please anyone else.  Now, in pleasing the Lord, I am also pleasing the family.  It’s a win win.

The second verse was from Titus 2:3, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”  Again, God honoring to teach the younger women (Sally) how to please the Lord by also pleasing, preparing, saving money and working for the good of the family.

Now, that I’ve shared what’s been on my mind the last two days, I need to share why it’s been on my mind.  Yesterday began canning day.  With the harvest coming in from our own garden and the local CSA it’s time to begin preparing for winter.  Oh we enjoy enough of our harvest now, however, we also enjoy it all winter long.  The first comment of my being too sick actually came to reality when I was on my feet all afternoon without sitting down for a break and by dinner time my right leg was numb and I felt like I was again dragging my right foot.  Oh swizzle sticks!  (as the little girl next door says)  Today is a new day and we will try again.  Taking breaks this time so as not to overdo.

Yesterday I canned the two day project I was working on.  Chicken Stock.  Yes, I canned it.  I did some reading and educated myself so as not to ruin anyones day with illness. I made my chicken stock the day before, cooking it in the Nesco all day.  Then I poured it into jars, refrigerated it and skimmed off the fat the next morning.  I then put it back into a stock pot (2 – 3/4 gallons of it) just to the boiling point, poured it into clean hot pint jars, added a tsp. of salt and placed on the lids and began the canning process.  Because water baths are not sufficient enough for chicken stock, I used two of my pressure canners at 10 lbs. of pressure for 20 minutes.  I made 23 pints of stock.  (See previous post last fall on making the chicken stock.)  Disclaimer:  I would NOT can any chicken that comes from the traditional conventional marketplace.  I would only can organic, non-GMO fed chicken stock that was homemade with all organic ingredients using pure unadulterated water sources.  

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After the chicken stock I moved on to making fermented salsa.  I took the beautiful ripe organic tomatoes from the CSA (mine are not done yet), one very large onion, a large bunch of cilantro and about 10-15 garlic.  I put them all in the food processor and gently processed them down to a mildly chunky state and poured it all into a bowl.  I took clean jelly jars and a few pints placing 1 tsp. salt and 1 TBS fresh whey in each.  Then I scooped the salsa into each jar leaving 1 inch space at the top.  Wiped each clean and put on the lids.  I then shook the jars to mix in the whey and the salt.  Placing them on the counter on top of a towel I then unscrewed the lid of the jar so the air would be able to flow.  I will leave them on the counter from 3-7 days, burping the jars each day to release the fermented gases before putting them into the refrigerator.

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Fermented foods have been a long tradition in many cultures and is wonderful to help aid in digestion.  We see the importance of eating yogurt, this is the same only using fresh organic vegetables.   Each month my doctor wants to know if I am continuing to eat my fermented veggies, juicing, kefir and kombuccha of which the answer is always yes.  We both agree it helps tremendously.

Today, I will be creating and making fermented beats, fennel, cabbage recipes which I will share at the end of the week.

 

P.S.  I am college educated with a 4 year degree. 🙂

 

Thank you Lord for the blessing of a family to care for.  Thank you for the knowledge you have provided regarding health, nutrition, foods, and the human bodies response to unnatural man made resources.  Thank you Lord for the daily strength that can only come from you as I open my eyes each day feeling weary.  It is only through your almighty grace that I continue on.  Lord I pray that I can honor you through all that I do, say and think.  Help me to keep my focus on you and you alone so that all I do on this earth will be glorifying to you.  Amen…