Thursday, August 30, 2012

Restoring Love

"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."
Psalm 51:12

One of my prayers is that the joy of my salvation in the LORD JESUS CHRIST would be ever new each day, ever deeper each moment, and never parted from me.  I never want it to be in the corner of my mind, as I go about my day.  I never want to neglect meditating upon what God has done for me.  I want to be always invigorated by His love, His salvation, for me.

copyright I Am The Clay 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chocolate-Coconut-Berry Ice Cream

     What to do when craving a treat, but the budget does not allow a spending spree, and yet the desire does not disappear? How to cope with that urge to splurge for chocolate? Make something with what you have!      

     Oh, how I love chocolate! Oh, how I love honey! Oh, how I love berries! Oh, how I love coconut milk! Oh, how much fun to blend the these things to make a delicious treat!

      So, when I shared on Facebook that last night's dessert was "homemade chocolate-coconut-berry ice cream," I thought I might as well share the recipe on here! I am sure I will make at least one person happy, right Kimberly?  ;)

Renee's Homemade "Chocolate-Coconut-Berry Ice Cream"

Coconut Milk
Frozen Mixed Berries
Raw Honey
Cocoa Powder

I took about 4 Tbs. of coconut milk, 2 cups of frozen mixed berries, 1 cup raw honey, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder, put it all in a blender, then voila!  You can add/subtract to your liking.  It was quick and delicious, and healthy!

copyright I Am The Clay 2012

Today, I am linking up with the following:

Growing Home

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 August Day Book

Outside my window...

...I see the beautiful sunlight, clear blue skies, and our in-much-need-of-repair wooden fence.

I am thinking... incomprehensible is the fact that Jesus loves me!

I am thankful for...

...Providential appointments.

In the kitchen...

...awaits dinner to be prepared.

I am wearing... comfortable nightgown.

I am creating...

...a new batch of deodorant.

I am going... church prayer meeting tonight.

I am wondering...

...what to do with the landscaping rocks we just got for free!

I am reading...

..."Conquer Your Fear/Share Your Faith" by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.

I am hoping... never lose the overwhelming gratuitous heart for Christ; to never lose the awe that His grace reaches me; to never lose the amazement of living under His grace; to never forget that He hid me from God's wrath when I knelt at His cross!

I am learning...

...that I have so much to still learn about God, Jesus, and His Spirit.

Around the house...

is cleanliness and orderliness, with a touch of whimsy.

I am pondering...

...what the Lord is trying to get us to see.

A favorite quote of the day:

"We are living on this side of the cross (in reference to the law [Judaism] and grace [Christ's atonement])!"

One of my favorite things... essential oils.

A few plans:

  1. Finish the organization of the grocery list
  2. Purchase more essential oils
  3. Purchase glass & wood mixing bowls
  4. Purchase glass jars with glass lids for those things I make with bentonite clay
  5. Finish the dress I started last year
  6. Keep searching craigslist for free stuff that we need/want (without going overboard)
  7. After finishing my daily readings through the Old Testament, (already finished the New Testament), start a study on the personality of Christ:  to get to know my Saviour better!
A peek into my day:

copyright I Am The Clay

Growing Home

Monday, August 20, 2012

Her Loving Father

The mind clouds,
The heart aches.
The world drowns
All that God states.

Fear grips the soul;
Overwhelms the senses.
You know Satan feels victorious
As your being tenses.

Crying out to God
Is all you know to do.
You implore Him to rescue
As Satan seeks to pursue.

You are immobile; 
You feel alone.
You are confused.
You feel withered to the bone.

You know God is the answer,
Yet you wait for some "feeling;"
Of relief, joy, 
Anything to keep you from reeling...

...Into despair, frustration, or doubt.
You do not wish to harm God with these things.
You know He died for you,
Saving you and placing you under His protective wings!

Your heart and mind know,
But yet you are locked by the flesh's grip.
You know Jesus Christ has been victorious,
And He will equip...

...You, if you but seek...
If you but kneel...
If you but trust...
And not "feel."

Oh, how the flesh is strong,
And the spirit weak!
You want to give Him your all;
This way is how you speak...

...To Him, who is able to deliver
You from the pangs of sin, 
The frustrations of injustice,
Of the pains within...

...Your heart.  The years of not knowing
The tender touch of a father.
Mostly pain, fear, wrath, impatience...
Making your soul as a feather...

...Trembling in the wind;
Not understanding the gentleness, patience, and delight
That God has for His own.
For when you sin, there is a touch of fright;

Not wanting to incur the frustrations of your Father,
In regards to your sinful ways.
Yet, when you see Jesus in the Bible
It is as if to your heart He does say:

"Peace be still.  I AM the Good Master.
I AM your loving Father.
Do not see Me as an earthly man:
Full of sin and fodder.

"See Me as I say I AM.
Take comfort in my strong arm.
Those arms which desire to embrace you:
In purity, justice; not harm.

"Yes, you are to fear Me,
But not as a kicked dog.
I adopted you when I saved you.
I pulled you from the miry bog...

"...I cleaned you with My shed blood.
I clothed you in My righteousness.
I see my precious daughter when I see you.
When I look at you, I see Jesus:

"I see the Saviour who rescued you, 
When you called out to Me.
I see purity, I see the daughter
I cannot wait to see.

"In Heaven some day, we will meet face-to-face.
I know it is hard for you to comprehend
The love I have for you.
But, you can trust Me to the end.

"I will not give up on you.
Can you not recall?
All those times you were unfaithful,
But I was ready at your contrite call.

"I put you back where I wanted you to be.
I cleansed you, and set you free.
I gave you victory over sins
That hindered your communion with Me.

"I know that a good father is foreign to you.
I know you have difficulty understanding what many others do.
Yet, I will help you understand Me;
My daughter of the few.

"Few there be that find Me; 
But, you found that Well:
When you believed on the Saviour Jesus Christ
To redeem you from Hell.

"Living Water started flowing within
Your very soul that night.
That source shall never dry;
For it derives from Me, the Father of Light.

"I promise to never leave you nor forsake you;
You can trust Me.
You may not trust another,
For they can never be...

"...The Holy One of Israel; The Prince of Peace;
The Eternal Father; The Son of God;
The Great I AM; The Son of man...

"Do not fret; be not full of care.
Your help does not come from man.
I will comfort you.
I will dam...

"...The rushing flood of emotions
Seeking to o'erwhelm you.
The fiery darts of Satan;
His minions that wait for the cue...

"...To tempt you to sin--
Do not fear, for I AM here!
I AM your Father!
Victory is near!"

Thus these words seem to fill your heart
As you pray and read;
Seeking a refuge in the stillness
Of the presence of the One whose blood ran red...

...Down the cross of Calv'ry;
For you, for all people.
His nail-scarred hands will do you much better
Than the church building with the highest steeple.

Yes, the preaching of God does your soul much good;
When plagued with fears, frustrations, and recurrent sin.
Yes, you are but flesh; that God knows right well.
For you He did condescend.

Much comfort do you receive
When the Gospel of Christ is rehearsed to your heart.
Much comfort do you receive,
For He shall never depart...

...From you; remember, He dwells within.
He made His abode when He saved your soul.
He will work to make you as He says
in His Holy Bible.

Oh, the comfort that Book brings!
Oh, what peace floods the soul,
As you rehearse God's Word over and over
In your mind; the Word that made you whole!

So, always remembering when trials and tribulations come--
To go to where you will hear God talk:
The Bible, His Holy Word.
Then again, He will help you as you walk...

...With Him; for, He does not seek
To harm His daughter.
He seeks to perfect her:
He is her loving, perfect Father.

copyright Renee from I Am The Clay, 2012. Permission granted to use, at request.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Overcoming Temptations, Part 2

     I need not be ashamed for being the keeper at home for our family.  It is a rather silly idea for Dear to be in that position, since God did not create him for it.  It is a rather silly idea for me to go back to a secular job, considering all that being a keeper at home has to offer, all the blessings of God by being one, and all the opportunities to give Christ glory for being one!
     I know that if the Lord wills it, I may have to get a secular job again...if Dear passes and we do not have enough saved to sustain me; or, if I am unable to sustain myself at home doing some sort of home business; or, if I stay unmarried a while.  Now mind you, I do NOT wish to see Dear pass before me, but rather desire we go to the Lord together (preferably, during the calling away of the saints while serving Christ together!).  However, I know that my desires are not always lined up with Christ's desires, so I must be ready for whatever He does.
     Nevertheless, I need not be ashamed for what the Lord has called me to do:  be a keeper at home.  I used to be ashamed, but only when answering folks' questions as to what it is I do.  They did not agree with the decision for me to be one, since we had (and still do not have) no children.  Shamefully hanging my head, speechless at the naysayers, embarrassed around non-Christians and professing Christians alike, I simply tried finding ways to get them to agree with me by finding things that would appease them.
     However, the more I learn, the more mature God makes me, the less I care for their approval regarding something I have the wholehearted-approval from God and Dear!  Sure, having my peers' approval, sincere understanding, and even wholehearted-agreement would be splendid, but I realize that those desires are few and far between.  Do I still seek to please them?  Sure, sometimes I catch myself doing so.  Yet, I earnestly try not to do so.  I seek more and more to just live like God tells me to, be ready with an answer when questioned, then continue on in my life; all with meekness, too, (which can be hard to do when feeling as though I have to defend myself.  Easier to be meek when I realize God defends me quite well!).
     I would like to encourage my sisters in Christ to not hang your heads for what God has, in His perfect will, asked us to do if we love Him:  be keepers at home.  We all can list numerous things that fill our time, with or without children.  We can list innumerable blessings of living out a life as a keeper at home.  We can praise God together for the safeguards given when being one!
     I have seen Dear mature into the man he wants to be for the Lord, by what he sees God ask of him in Scripture, by God working in me as a keeper at home.  It was much more difficult when I was working in a secular job, and Dear as well.  Dear is unhindered in his stride in being a husband after God's pattern.
     I know that if something happened to Dear in which he was incapable of doing outside work, he would seek to do whatever he could in his handicapped position.  That is the kind of man God has made him, and I am HONORED to be his wife!  However, I would seek whatever the Lord would ask of me to help my husband, should that ever be our lot.
     When Dear comes in from working to provide for us, he can come home to a safe haven.  He does not come home to a mess (usually).  He comes home to dinner ready, almost ready, or ready in a while.  He can rest, (unless there are chores that he needs to do around the home that I cannot do, or he wants to do), we can enjoy one another's company, he can study more of the Bible (as that is one of his greatest pleasures!), he can enjoy a snack while waiting for dinner, etc.  There is no rushing around to get chores done so dinner can get done, then hurry off for bed so that we can get up to work our lives away outside our abode, never knowing each other well.  No, I can work at home, with a thankful heart, preparing to see my beloved come home and be blessed.
     Sometimes it can get overwhelming.  Sometimes I pout, get frustrated, or weep over it.  I would like to think it due to not being brought up with the mentality that being a keeper at home is a God-fearing woman's calling, or all the "tools" for the trade.  However, the blame lies with me.  Sure, Satan, the world, the flesh, etc., can tempt me to feel overwhelmed, situations arise that indeed are overwhelming; but, to give in to the temptation to sin is all my fault.  So, I must confess that sin for what it is, then get back up off my knees, and keep at it!
     So, maybe I did not get trained for this way of life, properly; I can learn.  So, maybe I am overwhelmed; I can take a break with God.  So, I feel embarrassed at times around those who disagree with my station; I can tell God and be encouraged.
     I can look around and count the blessings:

  1. Our marriage is strong, founded upon Christ!
  2. Our marriage is strong, for we obey Christ's commands!
  3. Our home is peaceful, for we obey Christ's commands!
  4. Our marriage can weather tempestuous storms, for we trust in Christ for salvation from them!
  5. Our marriage gives God glory, for we obey His commands!
     If I took more time, I could list more things.  The Lord knows that I am thankful when I rise each morning, for all that I have; for, He has provided it all.  Maybe anyone who reads this article can list some of their own, for I would love to hear of them!  
     When I doubt, fear, or am tempted, I just go back to God's Word.  If I try to find answers in man, I will be disappointed.  God is the only clear, sure voice.  He is the only person who can calm my unsteady heart and mind.  

Titus 2

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:  in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.  Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee."

   Today I am linking up with:

Growing Home


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Five!

     This thought just occurred to me:  I can list five things for which I am thankful to God, and do it on Fridays (which is absolutely fabulous!)!  Not only can I, but you can, too...Why don't you tell me five things for which you are thankful?  Here are mine:

  1. My salvation in Jesus Christ!
  2. My  8-yr. marriage to Dear!
  3. Our new home!
  4. The plants by which God (through folks) has blessed my heart!
  5. My friends!
You're next!  Just leave a comment, listing five things that have blessed your heart!  I can't wait to hear what they are!

P.S.  NO repeats!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Overcoming Temptations, Part 1

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
I Corinthians 10:13

"Temptation is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc. In the context of religion, temptation is the inclination to sin. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.
More informally, temptation may be used to mean "the state of being attracted and enticed" without anything to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation; for example, one may say that a piece of food looks "tempting" even though eating it would result in no negative consequences."
Wikipedia, 2012

     Boy, am I ever familiar with temptation(s)!  Just last night I struggled, and succombed, to it.  I am sure I will face some more today, too.
     I h-a-t-e temptation.  I l-o-a-t-h-e submitting to it even more.  I am beyond jubilant when I submit to God, rather than the temptation(s) bothering me sore.  When I allow God to be triumphant over it/them, what happiness!
     However, what shame fills me when I give in to temptation, which breeds sin.  I especially am loathe of myself when I sin in front of others; for, I have neglected to be Christ-like, thus giving opportunity for the name of God to be blasphemed.  Again, all too well do I know what it is like to be a cause of God's name to be drug through the mud.
     I know that there is mercy to be found in Christ, though.  I know that when I come to Him with a repentant, God-fearing heart, confessing my sin, seeking His forgiveness, seeking His grace to shun sin like the plague, to seek after Him like a deer panting after water, that He will grant my request; not for my honor and glory, though, but for His honor and glory in my life and that His light may shine brighter through me.  He is a most gracious Lord!
     I have to thank Him for being good to me.  He always gives me another chance to choose not to sin.  He always gives me another opportunity to see His strength overcome my weakness.  He always gives me ways to see that He is with me everywhere, and that all I need to do in times of temptation(s) is to call out to Him to rescue me from it/them, and He will.  I know that He will, for He has said He would and He always has.
     I want to be a vessel fit unto honor for Him.  I want to not bring shame to His name.  I want folks to see Him in me.  I want Him to be able to do much work through me.  I know that He is able to accomplish more for His glory in my life if I heed not to temptation and simply live righteously.
     Oh, though, how the flesh needs constant discipline!  I must daily choose to submit to God rather than the flesh. 
"Be not deceived ; God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweththat shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall ofthe Spirit reap life everlasting."--Galatians 6:7, 8  
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."--James 4:7  
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."--Galatians 5:16

     Living a life where I am in a constant mode of submission unto God is undoubtedly blessed!  When I look at the example of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, He was always submitted unto God.  Oh, how I seek to be like Christ!
     It is so easy to recite or look up verses pertaining to my problems.  Yet, it is altogether another thing to put them to use!  If I were to but meditate (keep in mind, think upon, mull over) upon those verses, meditate upon Christ's character, meditate upon the love of God, I am sure I would be much more likely to obey Him than fulfill the lusts of the flesh!  
     So, as I start my day today, I am purposely putting my mind into a state of discipline.  I will be thinking much more upon God's words, rather than rushing through them:  you know, read them, acknowledge them, then move on with my day; no, I will rather take some time T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G about what He is saying, before going off to another place in my la-la-land mind.  As I do my daily chores, run errands, etc., I will T-H-I-N-K about God's words, instead of other things that ought not fill my mind.  
     I will purposely choose not to set wicked things before mine eyes.  I will purposely choose not to listen to ungodly things.  I will purposely choose not to surround myself with things that will tempt me to sin against my God.
     It is not easy, in my flesh.  Oh, how well I know that fact!  I will never overcome evil in a sinful body.  However, there is victory in Jesus!  How sweet to know Him!
     He will show me what I may set before mine eyes.  He will tell me what my ears may hear.  He will give me those things of which I may surround myself.  He will shield me and strengthen me in the heat of battle, in the time of temptation.  
Today, I am linking up with:
Growing Home

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