Friday, December 27, 2013

Is The President Our Neighbor?

     This is a question I ask myself many times.  Are those in leadership considered our neighbors?  I cannot help but recall the story Jesus gave, about the good Samaritan.
     In light of my opinion that they are my neighbors, I have to take stock of some things.  Am I, as a Christian, called to mock those in leadership?  Am I called of the Lord to jest?  Am I called of my Saviour to rebel against all authority?
     I understand that there are, indeed, times to "rebel."  When the authority before us seeks to step into God's authority in our lives, we "rebel" against the one seeking to overstep their authority, in order to obey God.  Such was the case for Peter and the other apostles:

"And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
(Acts 5:27-29)

     Yet, I have found it, too often than not, commonplace for folks to speak out against leadership.  I am not speaking in regards to when they warn people of the lies, the deception, the evils, and the wickedness of those in power.  I am talking about mockery and jesting.
     It saddens me that Christians would be more up-in-arms about civil government, rather than what goes on in their church(es).  Do I hear the cries of evils that are permitted within the church gatherings?  Do I hear folks despairing over the lukewarmness of the hearts of those meeting in the name of the Lord?  Do I hear pleas for people to awaken to the dangers of men and women who seek to lord over and dominate their brethren?
     Do I hear the concerns of believers regarding the heresies that are prevalent in the churches?  Do I see any warnings from Christians regarding the dangers of carnality and licentiousness?  Do I see any soundings of the trumpets; to warn Christians to be on guard for false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing?
     The overwhelming answer is "no..."  Save a few.  Honestly, most would rather judge those without than within.  Yet, through Paul the Lord says:  

"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." 
(1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

     Now, please understand.  We are called to walk circumspectly; to be discerning.  However, if we are all wrapped up in the affairs of the world, to the neglect of the church, it will be to the church's detriment.
     Should we not be more prone to pray for the repentance of the wayward?  Should we not be praying for God to give them wisdom?  Should we not be beseeching the Lord, (who has their hearts in His hands), to put men like Daniel in their midst?
     I recall three Hebrew men, who were contemporaries of Daniel.  The king erected a graven image of himself, to which all were to bow and worship at the appointed time.  Did those three mock and ridicule him?  Did they shoot off the lip, at how arrogant and "blah-blah-blah" he was?  Did they say, "We better keep him in check, lest he think he is a god!"
     No...No...No.  I do not recall them doing or saying those things.  What is recorded, is that they humbly kept their obedience to the Lord, by not yielding to the pressure to worship a man and his graven image.  What did that cost them?  It almost cost them their lives!
     What did the Lord do?  He met them in the fire.  He kept them from harm.  What did that testimony do to King Nebuchadnezzer?  He repented.
     How many stories have we heard, of men and women who faced the "consequences" of not yielding to corrupt government, all the while respecting them?  They threw no railing accusation(s), were not proud against them; yet, they firmly stood with Christ.  Many lost their lives.
     Have we forgotten that God sets up and dethrones rulers?  Any one in any authoritative position is a ruler, a judge; whether we like that terminology or not.  Why does God allow them in our lives?

"By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth."
(Proverbs 8:15-16)

     Why do we seemingly have so many of them?

"For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged."
(Proverbs 28:2)

     What are we to do about it?

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
(Romans 13:1-10)
 
 What are we not to do?

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord."
(2 Peter 2:9-11)

"Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."
(Jude 8-11)

     As Christians, what is our purpose?  Is it to govern government?  Or, is it to reach the lost for Christ?  Are we to be carried away with this life, or prepare for the next?  Are we to be consumed with the carnal, to the neglect to the spiritual?
     I enjoy learning about government and politics.  Yet, I realize most of it is carnal.  It is carried about with the wisdom of men.  Some of the mechanisms can be traced back to a Christian root, or to a general moral code.  All good stems from the Author of Truth.  I realize, though, that nothing will change, until hearts are changed.
     Why are we not praying more for our nation?  Why are we not lifting up our leaders, our neighbors, our enemies, our friends, to the Lord of lords?  Why are we not seeking the benefit of others?  Why are we consumed with our rights and pleasures?  Why are we not treating our enemies kindly?  Why are we not living out Christ's commands?
     We are succumbing to Satanic attacks, quite well.  We are not paying attention that we are in a very real warfare!  We pass much of it off as something else.  We ignore the fact that devilish activity is very much alive and real today.
     Why are we not seeing it?  Why are we not being discerning?  Why are we not being on guard?
     The devil has done a competent job at deceiving people; particularly saints.  He has effectively immobilized many Christians.  How can I say such a thing?
     Everything is going contrary to God's will.  Amongst Christians, it is taboo to stand firm on Christ's teachings.  To say that women are to be keepers at home, men to provide for their families, women to not be pastors, children to obey their parents, women to dress modestly like women, men to dress modestly like men, that there are certain standards that are non-negotiable...That is akin to "legalism."  That word is tossed around so easily today.  Why?  People do not want to be told how to live their lives.
     That goes right back to why I asked, "Is the president our neighbor?"  No one wants to be put under control.  Are we not to be praying for people?  Or, is he excluded?  Would you speak the same about your husband, your pastor, your councilmen, or any other person in authority?
     Maybe you do, or you have.  Is it justifiable?  Can you admit that your jesting and mockery is just with God's law?  Or, would you be convicted, like I have been, that instead of that behaviour, we should be praying and living examples of holiness?
     I am thankful for the concern of the morality of our nation and world.  Is it any surprise that this world is wicked, though?  I know God is not surprised at it.
     Does the mockery and jesting solve the problem?  Does it become a Christian?  Does it encourage holiness?
     I propose the notion that we should pray.  I know I do not do enough praying.  I propose the notion of praying for godly leaders; that those unsaved leaders would be surrounded by Daniels; that the leaders make wise decisions; that God changes the hearts of our leaders (from the president to the husband); that Christians would start living, thinking, loving, and speaking like Christians; that by the examples of the Christians, people would come to know the Saviour.  We absolutely cannot expect a godly nation, when Christians are not even living godly.
     It starts at home.  Who are the keepers of the home?  We women are.  How can we affect a nation?
   
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22:37-40)

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." 
(1 Peter 3:1-6)

     By us ladies living according to the pleasure of God our Father, we can affect our men...Who can then, in turn, affect the nation.  The children that are raised in a home that fears God (even if it is just one parent), can then go out and be useful tools for the Lord.  Maybe they will be like Paul, who was able to witness to a heathen king!
     I am so greatly burdened over the fact that the focus is off.  Name-calling gets no where.  Prayer goes right to Christ.  Christ intercedes on our behalf, to the Father.  Should we not be discussing these matters with Him?

"Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." 
(1 Timothy 3:11)


"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. Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." 
(Titus 2:1-3:8)

     What could happen if there was faithful prayer, that was according to the will of the Father?  We will only know if we do it.  What could happen if their was faithful living, that was according to the will of the Father?  We will only know if we do it.  Why not start?  Maybe it will take years.  Maybe folks will not change, like Pharaoh.  Yet, God still delivered, did He not?  Shall we not be found faithful?


     
      
   



Friday, December 13, 2013

Touched With The Feeling Of Our Infirmities

"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
(John 13:1-17)

This morning, I was reminded of this passage of Scripture.  God reminded me that I am to have a servant's heart, just like my Saviour.  He reminded me of many things.

Just like me, Christ knows what it means to suffer.  I know that when I go to Him with my burdens, He understands.  Yet, compared to Him, though, I do not know one iota of suffering! 

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
(Hebrews 4:13-16)

Christ knows what kind of things I feel, what things overwhelm my heart and mind.  Yet, He is reminding me to come to His throne, that I may obtain mercy and grace in my time of need.  There is no reason for me to go about constantly overwhelmed by the things burdening me:  He has the help I need.

So, even though there are things getting me "down," I know how I ought to behave myself.  If I keep that in mind, I will fare much better, than if I do what I normally do:  keep musing upon the problem(s).  If I keep in mind that Jesus served His disciples, His friends, those whom He called family; knowing that all His friends (indeed, His family) would forsake Him at His most trying hour, even going so far as to deny they knew Him; then, I can make it through my trial(s).  Compared to Him, I have it easy.  And yes, I do compare myself to Him, to keep myself checked into reality.

When I see what troubles me, and see what troubled (and troubles Him still) Him, I feel foolish.  Yet, I do no see Him upbraiding me for it.  I see Him telling me to come to Him with it/them; and, getting onto me for not giving Him my burdens!  

I see Him telling me what to do, and what not to do.  I see Him reminding me that He is my Heavenly Father, and that He knows best.  I see Him reminding me to have faith in Him.

All these reminders are a much needed, much soothing, balm to a stinging and worn heart.  It puts a fresh perspective in my mind, and gives me the refreshment I need.  Just speaking about it now, gives me the energy I need, that I have lacked for many months.

I hope that those verses help you out there.  I know I am not the only one who suffers.  I hope that you, too, will be encouraged with the Saviour's heart towards His blood-bought children.


Jesus washing feet 12
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Judgment Seat Of Christ, And How We Can Prepare For It

Whew.  The other night was pretty powerful.  We sat, captivated, by what this man had to say...

Wages of sin

     When standing before God, will you be receiving rewards, or judgment?  This is the question posed to the audience.  Saved or lost, it makes you take stock of your position.
     Saved:  you re-evaluate your faith.  You start meditating upon your Salvation.  You get motivated to tell others about their most dangerous plight!

Jesus paid it all

     Lost:  do you squirm?  Do your hands have a cold sweat?  Do you get clammy?  Do you shirk off the religious mumbo-jumbo?  Do you flee to the One who can save you?
     Oh, how much we Christian ladies need to be revived!  Yes, we have a call as a help meet to our husbands.  Yet, if you are saved, we are ambassadors for Christ.  "What can I do, as a stay-at-home-wife/mother?"  That is a very good question!
     I know that, for a fact, we can pray...pray...pray...pray...and pray!  Think that you are wasting your time?  That is a lie from the devil.  God tells us to be constantly in prayer!  Whether you are cooking, cleaning, preparing for bed, running errands, have alone time...You can pray!
     You can smile at the grocery store clerk when purchasing your wares.  Do you realize that smiling is a lost art?  I cannot tell you the many times people have noticed and appreciated my simple smile!  When they ask why I am happy...I can tell them why:  "Because, my sins are gone!"
     We can minister to our friends and family.  We can listen.  Let them share their heart.  Then, be courageous to point them to truth.  Do not badger.  Yet, be firm, and consistent.  Do not think that telling them multiple times throughout their lives will annoy and be considered as nagging.  May they have to plow us over to get into Hell.
     We can be loving, yet consistent in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Consistency is key!  Yes, they will see us fail...Fall...SIN.  Yet, let them see Christ even in our shortcomings.  May they see how He picks us back up, to once again be on the right path.  May they see the relationship they wish they had with God!
     We can live different than the world!  Our homes should be quite the contrast than the rest of the world's homes.  When they come, and are uncomfortable, may their discomfort be due to being in the presence of God, not our bad attitudes.  May they be uncomfortable in the presence of an holy God, yet strangely drawn to such amazing love!
     Ladies, every thing we do in this life as a Christian, will be reckoned with Christ.  Will we receive reward?  Will everything be chaff:  to be burned with the wood, hay, and stubble?  Will we have to answer for our neglect or sinful dealings?  With every idle word and deed, every sinful thing, Christ will confront us.  We will not lose our relationship with Him, but we will be held to account.  We will suffer loss, or reap gain.
     We can support men who are evangelizing the world!  Whether it be the evangelist in a foreign country, or our husbands at the workplace, we can support them!  We can PRAY, we can cook, we can send financial support, encouraging letters, gifts, other things they need.  Many of these men have families, who could sure use some love.  Consistent love can energize a soul to continue, in the midst of a dark world.
     Ladies, we can do a lot.  We do not need to only depend upon our church to meet the needs of the church's supported missionaries.  There are so many others that we can individually help!  No matter how insignificant you think it is, every way we help is important!
     Do you honestly think Satan kicks back and does nothing for a while?  He is with whom we war.  He hates God, and God's people.  He has an entire world empire at his disposal.  Have you never experienced spiritual warfare?  Has it never debilitated you?
     Let us keep on guard!  Let the Word of the living God fill you.  Be in constant communication with Him.  Listen to what He has to say.  Stay safe under His care!  Listen to solid preaching and teaching, study His Word.  Let your conversations with others be as such that Christ would not walk away in discomfort or disgust.  Fill your minds and hearts with Him.  Will people think it strange?  Yes.  Both the lost and the carnal Christian will be uncomfortable.  Let them.  Truth sets free, not comfort.

Lead me in thy truth

     Let us be the support from the home front that our Christian soldiers need!  Though the men may be on the front lines, we can be keeping the camps.  If everyone was out on the field, who would be keeping everything stocked and guarded?  We can do those things!
     Who will nurse the injured?  Who will feed the hungry?  Who will encourage the weary?  Who will protect the supplies?  WE CAN!
     This is my earnest plea.  Women, we have to wake up!  We have to think of eternity!  There is a very real, very literal, very hot, burning Hell beneath our feet.  Many a loved one, a neighbor, is in there...right now.  Many today will be there tomorrow, or even tonight.
     We cannot allow our minds to be diverted from the reality.  God wants us to be seeking after the lost!  EVERY THING WE DO IS SO THAT THEY CAN BE REDEEMED!  The way we live, the way we think, what we say--all of it--witnesses to the world about Jesus Christ.  May we not become distracted in the doing, that we forget the "why."
     I am pleased when I am obedient to my Father.  I know it pleases Him.  I also know it shines His light in this world, that is oh so very dark.  Ladies, let us take pleasure in pleasing the Father, and being lights to a lost and dying world!
     Oh, I could go on and on.  Maybe another time I will.  I urge you to listen to the message.  It is lengthy, but listen anyway.  Let the preaching ignite your soul a'fire for God.

Don’t waste your life



Wise-Woman-Builds

Graced Simplicity




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Delicious Roasted Chicken Dinner

     Yesterday, I was blessed to make a fabulous roasted chicken dinner!  It was very easy, and very delicious.  So, I would like to share it with you!
     I found the recipe in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.  I tweaked it to suit my desires.  We were not disappointed!

What You Will Need:

1 Whole Garlic Bulb
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Whole Chicken
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 LB Butter
Veggies:  Celery, Carrots, Onions, Potatoes...Be creative!  (I just used what I had.)
Seasonings:  Rosemary, Thyme, Real Salt, Pepper, Dill...Again, be creative!


  1. Take one whole bulb of garlic, snip off the top (just to where you can see the actual garlic), and remove any excess paper.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place snipped bulb of garlic in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil (about 2 TBS), fold into tent, and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Trust me, it will be hard to not open the oven:  for it will smell so delectable!
  3. Squeeze out all the deliciously roasted garlic into 1 LB softened butter.  Butter is an absolute must!  Salted, or unsalted, is your preference.  I went with salted, because that is what I had on hand.  Mix and mash well.  I used my hands to mash well. :)  (Do not worry...If I invite you over for dinner, I will be more respectable than that...I will use utensils. This butter is just for Dear and I, and we do not mind my home-grown mixing tools.)
  4. Heat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place prepared veggies (I used celery, carrots, and onions.) in roasting pan.  Place 2 cups chicken broth with the veggies, and mix well.  
  5. Use 2 TBS garlic butter under the skin and all over the chicken.  Sprinkle generously the seasonings you so desire, all over that soon-to-be-blessed bird.  (I used dill, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and Real Salt...I did go light on the salt.)  
  6. Place prepared whole chicken on top of veggies.  (I have a roasting rack with mine, and that is what I used.  If you do not have one, no worries.  Just place it right on top, or in the middle.)  Place dish in preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. When timer goes off, lower temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for an additional 40 minutes.  When that time is done, pull out of oven and immediately cover (tin foil, or towel...I used towel).  Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  8. Now, you can leave the dish as-is, or put onto a platter separately.  Either way, it is delicious!

     I served this dish alongside a salad with homemade dressing.  It went quick!  We do still have some leftovers, but not for long!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Surprise Recipe, That Turned Out Good!

Last week, on my Facebook page, I shared this picture:


I asked folks if they wanted to take a gander at what was in the bowl, and folks guessed right!  

Garlic!  Yum!

I then asked if they wanted to know for what purpose I was using it.  I got a few responses.  Of course, no one can really know the purpose, without a few other pictures:


Mushrooms...


Turnip...


Rutabaga...


Celery...


Carrots...


Onion...


Potatoes...

...Wanna take a guess?

If you guessed roast, you would be right!  What kind of roast, is up for debate.  I never thought I would make the kind of roast I made last week.  However, it was delicious!



My prep work, and handy iPad to show me the way...


Another view of the prep area...


Of course, the deliciously necessary spices!



And, the center of it all:  beef heart!

     Yes, folks, beef heart.  I *thought* I had purchased a cut of "regular" beef at the local grocery store.  I was tired, looking at the lesser-priced cuts, and grabbed what looked like a good deal.  Obviously, I did not read the label.
     Not one to want to waste food, or money (and I can do both quite well), I decided to look up ways on how to cook beef heart.  I finally decided to tweak a recipe that I found on The Pioneer Woman, for a delicious roast recipe I had used once before.  I will link it on this article, so that you can follow the directions she gives.  You will NOT be sorry!
     I took one turnip, one rutabaga, one yellow onion, half a container of sliced crimini mushrooms, five yellow potatoes, four carrots, four stalks of celery, a whole lot of garlic, the seasonings listed in her recipe, and simply followed her recipe!  I wanted to really load up on the veggies and seasonings...JUST in case we decided we did not like the beef heart.  Well, I guess we did...Because it is all gone!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Unwrapping of Christmas," A Documentary By Caryl Matrisciana

     Ahh, it is that time of year, again!  Some of you may already know what I think about it, and others may not.  Regardless of which, I desire to share with you some of what I have recently learned.
     I believe it is vitally important to know history.  History teaches us our background:  family generations, country failures and triumphs, etc.  It is good to be reminded of history.

"Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her."  Matthew 26:13

"Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."  Mark 14:9 

     These verses are just two in an example of how history helps!  When I searched the term "memorial" in my online concordance, it came with 32 references.  When I searched the term "remembrance," it came with 53 of them!  I know that God gave Israel many observances of which to follow:  to remind them from whence they came, WHO was their deliverer, WHO was their God, and much, much more.
     We, as Christians, remember the Lord's sacrifice when we partake of the Lord's table.

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."  1 Corinthians 11:23-26

     Again, these verses are but a small example of a point I am trying to make.  History is important.  If we do not look at history, and learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it (the sins).  We can also look at history, and be blessed in repeating it!  It all depends on learning right and wrong.
     For example, if I looked at history and learned that many of my forefathers were drunken idolaters, it would best suit me not to follow that path.  However, if I looked at history and learned that they were hardworking, morally upright people, it would behoove me to imitate that pattern.
     If I look at history, and learn that they avoided certain activities, I would be curious as to why.  If they participated in certain activities, I would be curious as to why.  It is important to me to know the reason behind the actions.
     Just as such, God explains to me that when I show a loving submission to my husband, I am imitating the Church in relation to Christ.  He also tells me that the reason He desires me to be of a meek and quiet spirit, is because He finds it priceless.  He tells me many things, and explains many "whys" to them.
     So, because I desire to be noble like my forefathers, the Bereans, I study.  Maybe I do not study to the best of my ability; for sure, the Bereans put me to shame many times!  I constantly am amazed at my husband's ability to study the Word of God, the history of the Bible, the history of the Church, etc.  They are examples to me on what it means to dig into the Word.
     Therefore, I study why I do what I do.  I want to know why there are certain rituals that are observed, or impressed upon me to observe.  I want to know why certain things are elevated above another.  I do this type of study, not so I can get out of doing them, but to better understand and appreciate them.   I also study, again, not to get out of doing something; but rather understand why there are certain behaviours, moods, spirits, activities, associated with the activity(ies).  I want to know from whence certain things came.
     It is fascinating to learn about family traditions.  You learn, many times, where they originated, and why.  Some are simply for harmless enjoyment with those you love.  For example, my grandmother had a tradition to "butter up" the noses of her children (apparently, for at least, that is what my father told me) on their birthdays...Therefore, every birthday morning, I was awakened by the cold slab of butter being put on my nose by my mother or father....
     Other traditions are carried on in the family, without remembering the why.  What a shame!  It is always interesting to know, and important.
     We learn the history of nations.  Particularly, I have been noticing a great trend amongst my friends regarding the beginnings of the USA.  They have a great desire to see this nation come to a more Christianized manner; a more morally upright country.  They have not this desire only because it would be good, but also they see the bygone days when it seemed to have flourished.
     So, without further ado, I approach the focus of this post:  the history of Christmas.  It is my desire to persuade you; but only according to truth.  It would be absolutely fruitless, and downright arrogant, to try to persuade you, simply because it is my preference.  If you enjoy pink, but I prefer blue, I will not try to persuade you to like blue.  That notion is just juvenile.
     However, there are some things, of which, that are worth seeking to persuade you.  I would have to wholeheartedly say, the matter of Christmas is one of them for me.  I started learning about the history of Christmas many years ago.  
     I was always interested in the reason for many of the festivities.  They just never made sense to me, in a Christian manner.  Lights?  Trees?  Holly?  Reindeer?  Santa Claus?  Gift-giving from under a tree?  Ornaments on a tree?  Nativity scenes?  Time of year?  The list just continued.
     So, I decided to dig.  I figured, if the reasons were legitimate, and righteous, I would continue.  I would be more persuaded, and more knowledgeable, about my practices.  Just as I study the Bible to be better equipped to explain my faith, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," 2 Timothy 2:15, I want(ed) to study to learn why I participate (or do not participate), in certain activities.  God never called me to be a dummy.
     What I learned, regarding Christmas, honestly did not shock me.  It saddened me, but did not necessarily surprise me.  I already had a sneaking suspicion that this festival was not of God, but of man.  What I researched clearly confirmed it.
     I no longer, in good conscience, could participate in a festivity that was just a pagan festival; one that was whitewashed to look Christian.  I could not say the usual merry phrases, in light of what they actually meant.  It just grieved my heart to even say them.  (**As a side note, this is the same reason why I am very careful of even saying "Amen," to something; for, it means, "So let it be."  I do not want to be saying "So let it be," regarding something that I desire to see changed.)
     This festival is not harmless, in my honest opinion.  I also do not believe it is one blessed of God.  When the pagans in the book of Acts were saved, they destroyed their books of magic, and eschewed their previous lifestyle; which included past festivities in commemoration of their pagan deities.  They never sought to merge the unholy with the holy.
     If one briefly researches the Bible, and/or history, they will learn that because of that behaviour, they were persecuted.  Some lost their homes, their businesses, their livelihoods.  Some lost their families.  Some lost their lives.
     It was not until later in history that the emergence of seeking to merge the profane with the holy became prominent in "Christianity."  Up until that point, Christians who were actively seeking the heart of God did not corrupt God's way with Satan's way.  God used Paul to correct the Corinthian church, about a very similar matter:

"But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."  1 Corinthians 10:20-23

     So, it was not difficult for me, once I learned the truth.  I now became accountable for the knowledge I had been given.  I could either ignore it, and keep on trying to make it work.  Or, I could accept it, and let it go. 
     One would think it would be easy to let something go, that you know is wrong.  It can be.  However, when one allows the pressures of peers to influence their decision, it can be difficult. 
     By the grace of God, He helped Dear and I to let go of the practice.  We were much alleviated from all the pressures associated with this time of year.  We were relieved to know the truth, and get to live by it!  
     However, we did receive flack from folks thinking us crazy.  I can understand.  Yet, when it came to choosing comfort or truth, we had to choose truth.
     What have we given up?  Well, we have received less gifts in our lives, from people.  We have given up feeling required to give gifts to every member of our family all at once.  We have given up lying to ourselves, and others, about the true meaning of Christmas.  We no longer had to do mental gymnastics to overcome the seeming discrepancies between the "spiritual" and secular meanings behind this season.  We gave up the world, and received freedom.  
     I hope that you are still with me this far.  I know I have talked more than I thought I would.  However, this is a matter I am willing to talk about, more than once.  Just as salvation is a topic I will gladly discuss over and over, this one is important to me, too.  To try and use a clearly wicked festival, that was then called "holy" to bring in the numbers, to bring God pleasure and glory, is not something I want to be held accountable for doing.
     We have received pleasure in being free to give more than during a required time of year!  I know giving should be practiced all the time, anyway; however, I have found that it is easy to save up for this time of year to give, or on a person's birthday, rather than whenever you think of them.  It is a blessing to us to give to folks as God directs us. :)
     We get to enjoy the beauty of winter, even though the beauty of spring, summer, and autumn have faded.  We get to be cozy at home.  I tend to do more baking and kitchen creations during this time of year!
     We have the pleasure of enjoying every day in honour to God!  Every day, He is with us.  Every day is an opportunity to remember His works in our lives.  Every day is a day of worship!
     We get to remember His coming down and taking upon Himself a robe of flesh, to redeem corrupted man.  We get to remember His amazing life on earth, and His more than amazing conquering at the cross!  Every day, we get to remember His feats.
     Every day, we get to marvel at the Wonder of wonders.  Every day, we get to be awe-inspired at His majesty.  Every day, we get to muse upon the fact that He intercedes for us, as I speak to you!
     Every day, I get to talk to the one who was born on the earth as a pauper.  He disrobed from His Heavenly glory, and put on a humble covering.  He lived a modest life, without any of the fanfare He received(s) in Heaven.  He died an embarrassing, humiliating, excruciating death.  He took on every single sin, and all of their wages, for us.  I get to think about that every day.
     I have received the joy in knowing that I commune with Him daily...every minute...every second.  He is always with me!  I get to witness to others about the living King in Glory, any time!
     I get to be in season, and out of season, with the glorious Gospel of Christ.  I can use any time of year to reach the lost, or to encourage my brethren!  At no time is a lost sinner interested in God, save the working of the Holy Spirit.  So, any time to share about Christ is just as good a time, to me!
     We have received so much more than that of which we let go.  We are joyous that God led us to the truth, and gave us strength to live by it!  No one can take that joy from us! 
     So, I am willing to be thought of as crazy.  I am willing to be viewed as strange.  I am willing to be mocked.  My goodness, I am not worth anything anyhow, except precious Christ who is within me.  Everything else is just rubbish.
     So, if you are still with me, and have the time, I would HIGHLY encourage you to spend just under 40 minutes watching a thoroughly good documentary.  It is well done, and by a very reputable source.  The lady narrating has done some documentaries exposing the New Age doctrines out in the world, and they were very helpful to Dear and I.  This documentary I am currently posting was done by her husband's film company.
     I hope that this video, and my post, encourage you to really take stock of the reason behind Christmas.  I hope that you will be open to the truth.  I hope that you are willing to be made fools for Christ.  I hope that you would be willing to give up something you enjoy, for the sake of truth.  If I am wrong, I will gladly repent.  Yet, I have to admit, I have not found one iota of a proof in the Bible that Christmas is anything other than wicked.





Monday, November 4, 2013

ANOTHER AUTOGRAPHED BOOK GIVE AWAY!


     Remember the author of "The Sparrow Found A House?"  Well, his mother is also a writer for Elisha Press.  She has written "The Reunion," which I read online for free.  Well, she has written another book, which is a sort of spin-off from "The Reunion!"
     This new book is called "Julie: The Redemption Of The Backyard Bully."  I have not read it, yet.  I do plan on reading it, though!  I have read "The Reunion," and was very blessed by doing so.  If you have not, why not take advantage of the opportunity?  Remember to grab tissues.
     I am happily sharing the news with my friends in the blog-o-sphere.  :)  If you need a refresher of my review of "The Sparrow Found A House," please click on the highlighted link.  Thus, my enthusiasm in sharing the latest give away opportunity!
     For six days, Elisha Press is graciously giving away an autographed copy of "Julie: The Redemption Of The Backyard Bully!"  To have a chance at getting an autographed copy, go sign up here.  The earlier you sign up, the better chance you have at winning!


   
HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE ELISHA PRESS PUBLISHERS:

"A Bully, An Icy Creek, & A Great Giveaway From Elisha Press:

'Elisha Press, a publisher of Christian novels particularly suitable for homeschool families, is launching a new title this week. Julie: The Redemption Of The Backyard Bully is an all-new spinoff on The Reunion by Rachael McIntire. Both books are recommended as read-aloud material for the whole family. Solo readers of Julie should be twelve or older.

Fans of The Reunion may remember Julie Greene, the Gladstones' troublesome neighbor who almost drowned in the creek. This new novel - longer and illustrated - tells Julie's story before and after that incident, through the now-aging eyes of "Grandma" Greene. How can a sullen bully learn to be a selfless friend? How can a jealous young lady learn to be grateful and contented no matter what life brings? What does it mean to follow Jesus in the practical work and play of daily life? All this and more is waiting for you within the pages of Julie.
Author Rachael McIntire says that many elements of Julie are based on incidents from her own life. Growing up in the 1960's, she experienced firsthand the challenges of that tumultuous time. Though the sixties are now long gone, the principles of God remain the same eternally. It is her hope that some of these principles may penetrate young hearts and minds through the story of the backyard bully and her redemption.
As part of their launch event, Elisha Press is giving away one autographed copy of Julie every day this week. By entering once, you'll have a chance to win each time. This is a 183-page softcover book with 19 black-and-white illustrations like the example shown here.
The sooner you enter the giveaway, the better chance you have to win - so don't wait! Click here and put in your email address to sign up.'"

**Disclosure:  I do have an opportunity to receive my owned signed copy of this book, by the outcome of this give away.  However, my opinion of this book and publisher are MY OWN, HONEST views.  I freely am participating in this give away, regardless of the outcome.**



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Every Hope Fulfilled



I don't look back:  
God knows the fruitless efforts,
The wasted hours, 
The sinning, 
The regrets;
I leave them all with Him, 
Who blots the record,
And mercifully forgives, 
And then forgets.

I don't look forward, 
God sees all the future:
The road that, 
Short or long, 
Will lead me home;
And He will face with me its every trial,
And bear for me the burdens that may come.

I don't look round me: 
Then would fears assail me,
So wild the tumult of earth's restless seas;
So dark the world, 
So filled with woe and evil,
So vain the hope of comfort or of ease.

I don't look in, 
For then am I most wretched;
Myself has naught on which to stay my trust;
Nothing I see save failures and short-comings,
And weak endeavors crumbling into dust.

But I look up -- 
Into the face of Jesus,
For there my heart can rest, 
My fears are stilled:
And there is joy, 
And love, 
And light for darkness,
And perfect peace, 
And every hope fulfilled.

by Annie Johnson Flint

Copyright 2013 Molding Into A Lady

Raising Homemakers

Monday, October 7, 2013

Picking Back Up Into My Journals

     Today, I picked up my journal and decided to start writing in it, again.  Since about 12 years ago or so, I have neglected faithful writing in my journal.  I used to do it regularly; I guess once I met Dear, I had another source of communication. :)  Poor Dear.
     However, I have been noticing a common thread of late:  friends suggesting me to write in a journal.  Thoughts of "Maybe I should journal?"  Hmm...Methinks God is telling me something.
     I have to say, when I started it up today, it was refreshing!  There were many teary-eyed moments; for, much of what has occurred in my life of late has been strenuous.  I am selective of my sources of wisdom and confidence:  seeking only those I truly believe will help me be faithful in my walk with Christ, challenging me to go to Him, pointing me to Scripture, helping me cope according to truth.  Yet, I still needed to write.
     I do pray that I will remain faithful to it.  I remember the pleasure I had writing every day, or nearly every day, in bygone days.  Unfortunately, I threw many of those journals away, at the counsel of one whom I wish I never would have listened.  Instead, I wish I would have ripped out those pages that were of question:  those pages recorded many of the happenings of my life during my wayward years.
     There is one journal that my youngest sister brought to me last year on their visit to me.  As I read the pages, many memories flooded my mind.  Some were happy, some were sad.  It was very interesting to note the transition in my life of a young lady seeking to follow God with all her being, to a lady being seduced by the lusts before her.  It was as if one page was of a young lady following after God, and then I turned the page to find her fallen down.
     After I finish the current journal I am using, I plan to pick back up in the one my sister brought to me.  It will be interesting, because the last entry was years ago!  However, I think it will be exciting to see how God brought that young lady back to Himself.  :)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2013 October Day Book

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...

...Is the return of autumn.

I am thinking...

...About the peace of likemindedness between Dear and I.

I am thankful...

...That God has united our hearts!

In the kitchen...

...Are dishes waiting to be cleaned.

I am wearing...

...A comfy caftan.

I am creating...

...A well-stocked pantry.

I am going...

...To keep looking to Christ.

I am wondering...

...About all the details of our life's journeys.

I am reading...

...Genesis.

I am hoping...

...In Jesus.

I am looking forward to...

...Serving the Lord.

I am learning...

...That I have to think about how I say things, so that Dear understands my "woman-speak." :)

Around the house...

...Is a sense of in-between.

I am pondering...

...The workings of God in our hearts.

A favorite quote for today...

..."Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"  Genesis 18:14a

One of my favorite things...

...Is being in unison with Dear.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

1.  Fight the cold seeking to settle within me.
2.  Read the Bible
3. Pray

A peek into my day...

Copyright 2013 Molding Into A Lady


Monday, September 23, 2013

Soft Porn At The Games

     I just read an article that had been passed around on Facebook.  After reading it, I was encouraged that there are other people who see the same thing Dear and I had seen.  (I was thankful that it was not just the two of us being crazy.)  I am sharing it with you today, for I truly believe it is an issue worth discussing.
     One of the main reasons we stopped attending any games:  whether they be basketball, football, etc., was due to the cheerleaders.  Their antics, their dress, were too much for my husband who was seeking to keep the covenant with the Lord regarding what he saw.  Sure, he is a grown man.  Yet, you put something before his eyes, and expect him to be sinless, is insane.     
     Even women struggle with staying pure with what is put before their eyes.  Whatever it may be, if it creates a lust within us, draws us to sin in one fashion or another, we should not be viewing it.  Even as women, we should not be watching little girls (and adult women) parade themselves around in such a fashion; simply doing so gives a "stamp of approval" on something the Lord detests.  
     Also, cheerleaders aside, many of the fans and players were dressed inappropriately.  (Skin tight pants on the football players; butt slapping by the players; sleeveless tanks by the basketball players, showing parts of the body not needed to be seen...Need I go on?)  We simply could not, in a pure conscience before God, go to games where this type of dress was prominent and encouraged.
     The other reason we stopped watching these games was due to the violence.  We saw many people get angry, whether it be players, coaches, parents, fans, etc.  I often wondered what it would have been like had Christ immediately appeared at that game...
     We do enjoy ball games, though!  When a simple game of baseball is played amongst friends and family, for the fun of it, is quite enjoyable!  Other games can be a good source of healthy, fun exercise, and safe from immodest dress and angry behaviours.
     With all this being said (and, I am keeping it abbreviated), I am now sharing the article that so resonated with me.  I hope it inspires you to truly consider what you put before your eyes; on what you give a "stamp of approval:" whether by being entertained by it, or participating in it in some fashion or another; what you allow your family to see.  Just because we are redeemed by Christ does not give us liberty to do as we wish.

by Steve Higginbotham

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Studying Genesis, Part 1

     I am currently back at the beginning of the Bible in my reading time.  I have decided to do things a little differently this time 'round, to help me dig into the Word a bit deeper.  So, taking my time, I am truly enjoying little tidbits I never really noticed before, or had forgotten.
     For instance, did you know that God made the firmament, which is called "Heaven?"  Prior to making heaven, when He spoke, the thing He spoke came...Such as light.  Also, did you know that prior to God's curse, the serpent was upright?
     Today, I finished reading chapter five.  I was renewed in my fascination of the genealogy of Adam.  So, I took some paper, used stickers to hold them together (I have no tape or glue), and got to work!  I want to share some interesting facts that were, again, either refreshed or revealed to me this time:
  1. From my calculations, there were 1,656 years before the flood.
  2. Lamech (Noah's father) was the great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Adam.
  3. Lamech was 56 years old when Adam died, at 930 years old.
  4. Seth, Adam's son, was 857 years old, when Enoch was raptured by God when he was 365 years old!
  5. Noah's father, Lamech, died 5 years before the flood.
  6. Noah's grandfather, Methuselah, died the same year that Noah & his family entered the ark.
  7. Noah was 84 years old when Seth's son, Enos, died at 905 years old.
     Are not these things interesting!  I sure think they are!  It is fascinating to think that Noah's father and grandfather were able to hear him preach, for 120 years, before the flood.  I am curious as to whether Methuselah died in the flood, or prior to it.  It must have been a very sad time for Noah:  his father, Lamech, is noted to have had other children before he died; and, none of them entered the ark with Noah.
     What of Adam and Eve?  They were expecting the man child from Eve's seed to come and deliver them from the curse they were under.  When Cain was born unto them, it is noted that Eve proclaimed that the LORD had given her a man.  Was this the hope for which they waited?  
     How about when God cursed Cain, for the murder of his brother?  When Cain told the LORD that the curse was too much to bear, and he worried that when someone found him, they would slay him, do you know what God did?  He showed mercy, and placed a mark upon him--to keep folks from killing him!  
     Did you ever notice that Cain was noted as saying that he would be away from the presence of God, now that he was cursed?  Then, after Seth was born, it is noted that it was at that time men started to call upon the name of the LORD...Hmm.  Why did they not call upon Him before Seth's birth?  Was it because they could go to Him?  Just a thought, as I muse upon the parts I have read.
     When Seth was born, Eve saw him as the appointed seed in the stead of Abel.  I noted that later, Seth was so named by his father, Adam, because he was born in his own likeness and image.  Adam had been created in God's own likeness and image.  Now, Adam had a son that was like him.
      As I write these things down, I wonder about Cain; briefly.  I have not yet seen it mention how long he lived, nor if he survived long enough to be around when his father passed away.  If he had survived, would he have known about Adam's passing?  Was there ever any more communication between them?
     Methuselah is supposedly the one who lived the longest on earth, (at least, his age of passing is recorded at 969 years old...I know not another to claim anything longer.).  Yet, he died the same year as the flood.  There is never a mention of him entering the ark.  As we know, only Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives, entered the ark with the other creatures.  I cannot help but ponder if Methuselah perished, along with others of Noah's family.  How that must have pained them!
     Did you know that Noah was so named by his father, Lamech, because he looked to his son as the comfort the world was seeking?  Due to the curse of the LORD upon the earth, all were probably seeking comfort...Deliverance...from it.  Was this answer in his newborn son?  
     Well, these notes and thoughts are as far as I have gotten.  I plan on starting chapter six tomorrow.  Exciting!  

Raising Homemakers

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