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


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:








...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


     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!


"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.**

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