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This blog is a place for me to share thoughts, recipes, things I learn from my Bible, links and anything else I happen to want to post. It is in essence an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. I hope you enjoy it!
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Blood Entertainment

This post seemed like a good one to put on this day considering that tomorrow is Hallowe’en.  This is a subject that Christians need to address.

Feb. 20, 2006
Blood Entertainment?

Some years ago we were visiting in the home of a pastor. I don't recall how it came up, but in the course of conversation with his wife she made the statement that she loved gory movies. I have this recollection of her exclaiming, "I love to see the blood fly!" with a considerable amount of zeal. To be frank, I was shocked. I would have never thought it of this nice young mother of several small children.

Sad to say, bad as it is, this is not the only type of blood entertainment that many Christians enjoy today. Computer/video games, fiction books, and even artificial blood such as that sold at Hallowe'en have all worked their way into Christians' lives. Paint ball wars emphasize the killing aspect very intensely and are very popular among some Christians.

One question we could ask is, "Should Christians find this type of 'entertainment' appropriate?" That may be a good question, though it leans more toward the legalistic side of the issue. To me the real question is, "Does this glorify GOD?" How people feel about it does not really interest me. What does God say about blood?

Genesis 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

In speaking of the shedding of innocent blood and unsolved murders, God told Israel, Numbers 35:33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.

The Jerusalem church elders wrote to the Gentiles, Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Psalm 72:14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This is not intended to be an in-depth study. It is intended to get you to start thinking for yourself. Consider the above verses. Does it sound to you like blood is very important to God? The blood of animals, man's blood and the blood of Jesus Christ are all spoken of in a very serious context. Can it glorify God for His children to use blood as a toy or for entertainment? Does it make a difference when it is artificial or "digital" blood? Does it make a difference when it is "only pretend" (as in movies and paint ball)? These are not popular questions and will doubtless offend some.

It is a curious thing that as our cultures degrade and devalue life, they become more and more entertained by the shedding of blood, death and killing. Blood has become a toy, a play thing. It is actually not surprising in the secular world. More often than not, bloodshed accompanies the decline of nations. The Roman empire exulted in violent and perverse blood sports as it sank into decay. But...in the Lord's church how should it be; among God's own children? Is this behavior fitting to ...a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people... (1 Peter 2:9)?

I encourage you to study the subject of blood in the Bible. The verses given here are just a small start. God has said some very interesting things about blood. Seek to follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit in this matter. He will only lead you to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Memories of Meals – Some Great Pizza

We have some friends who have us over occasionally, sometimes inviting all six of us at once (my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and us).  You gotta love folks who are hospitable enough to invite over 6 adults for dinner. :-)  It’s not as common among Christians as it once was, in my experience.  We usually do take something to help with the meal, but that’s fine with us! :-)

Earlier this year when they had all of us over they made some fabulous pizzas!  Wow.  I still get hungry thinking about them.

They started with their homemade pizza dough and all these great ingredients.  They raised the dough properly…

…then they piled on all this good stuff!  I see fresh spinach, fresh mushroom, ham (or Canadian bacon?), ground beef (pre-cooked) and the sauce.

This is the second pizza with one end without cheese since one of their family can’t eat dairy much.

 

The finished product!  Was it ever delicious!

All those yummy veggies and meat and cheese.  Well, it was a feast, and more like a cross between a casserole and a pizza! :-)  (Now I’m all hungry!)

Thanks, M. family, for such a great food memory, and for your hospitality! :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thankful Anyway!

Today the world was “possibly” going to end according to Harold Camping.  I would be glad if it did.  Although I still have a thousand years to live here during the Kingdom reign of Christ , I’d be glad to move on to the next stage, which for all believers in this era includes new, resurrected bodies without the old stain of sin!  Even, so, come Lord Jesus.

We also heard again today that the dollar is “tanking”.  Again.  Whatever “tanking” means.  It’s allegedly done this several times already.  The U.S. government has made some really bad choices over the last years that have effected the economy and will continue to do so as time goes on.  And, we’ll continue to hear both rumors and facts about it. 

I agree with what our pastor said a year or more ago - that America has turned their back on God and He has consequently withdrawn their wisdom (remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom), and apparently given them over to strong delusion that they should believe a lie.  There are “powers that be” in this country who have been believing some amazing lies and acting upon them for some time now.  What the actual end of it all will be is hard to know for sure, but there are plenty of theories flying around and we hear dramatic reports on a regular basis now it sometimes seems.

So….what does that have to do with us as God’s children?  Should we be “shaking in our boots”?  Should we be living in fear?

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Philippians 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t possibly do some expedient things in preparation for the future? 

Proverbs 6:6-8  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

This is the typical sort of storing that rural people have been doing for thousands of years.  Collecting the harvest at the end of the growing season and storing it away by various methods.  My mom has been doing this all of my life.  Some useful staples are also in order for a “well stocked” pantry (not a massive hoard).  But remember the words of our Lord Jesus as well,  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:24-34

So, it’s a balance, and a moderating point.  Don’t be lazy or a sluggard, but also don’t get so distracted with collecting stuff for the future that you become the servant of mammon instead of the servant of the Lord.  Our FATHER will take care of us, and “…he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

My natural, fleshly tendency has been to panic at the possibility of disaster.  (Note that I say the possibility, not the actual occurrence, because often it’s the rumors and allegations that frighten us the most.  They are much more common in life than actual disasters in my experience.)  Consequently, the fear and trembling that is going on around the financial situation in the U.S. frightens me sometimes.

But, you know what?  Today was too pretty of a day here where we live to be spoiled by the threat of what’s coming.  Besides, my Lord is already there.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  He not only knows what is coming, He is already there because He is the I AM – every aspect of our timeline is “the present” to Him.  And, He knows all about it.  I don’t.

So….by God’s grace and enabling power, I choose to be thankful instead of threatened.  Because of His merciful kindness, I choose to trust instead of tremble.  Because of His great love wherewith He hath loved us, I choose to rest instead of running.

Tomorrow, or tonight might be different, but that is my desire.  So, instead of giving you a long list of horrors to come and enumerating all the possibilities and telling you what you “ought” to do about it, I thought I’d like to share some blessings that I’ve had recently.  This post is going to be pretty long, but hopefully it will bring comfort to someone and help you also count your blessings.

I am Thankful for:

A great-grandmother who loved to read God’s word. (I’ve been working on some old family photos and found this one recently.)

This beautiful new Bible that my friend Beth sent me in Sept.  It arrived on a day when we were having high drama due to potential natural disaster (wildfires being caused by dry lightening), reminding me that the Lord can and does send blessings in the midst of difficulties.

A new (**quiet**) computer!  (Thank you, my dear husband!) :-) 
And, for my husband too!  (Yay for being married three years minus one week!)

Beautiful, velvety, purple morning glories that bloomed with very little water. :-)

Watermelons.  Who knew that they would thrive in intense heat with less water than most vegetables? Yum! :-)

 
A gorgeous skim of green on our yard after so very, very long a time!  (The drought in Central Texas is not broken, but we were highly blessed with three inches of rain a few weekends ago! Thank you, Lord!!)

The glory of green growing things!  In our own yard – today! :-)

Cardinals that remind me of so many other blessings – my Gramma, a dear friend now with the Lord, my husband, our pastor, and more. (My husband took this right in our yard from our dining room window earlier this week.  There were actually three males and two females.)

My parents who were celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary today!  (This is a picture from their wedding.)  We were blessed to be able to take them out to eat, and to even eat outside (a rare blessing in Texas, for those of you who don’t know it).  :-)  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture at the restaurant. :-P

Sooo.  These are few of my blessings.  A very few.  How many of your own can you add to this list? :-)  Are you feeling better? :-)  I hope so.  I enjoyed putting this together to share with you.  God has been so good.  He still is, in fact. :-)

Psalms 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Barbecue Sauce Sweet Potato Chicken


I discovered that sweet potatoes taste very good cooked with meat.  I have cooked them with pieces of beef roast or steak, but here I cooked them with chicken breast.
This is one of those seat of pants recipes where I don’t have an exact recipe.  But, here’s the basic idea.
I cut the chicken breast in chunks, and probably cooked it by itself in oil a few minutes before adding the sweet potato chunks, adding water as needed to keep it moist and not burning.  I sprinkled them with onion powder and maybe a little garlic powder too, and added salt to my taste.  Then I covered them with barbecue sauce (and maybe added a teaspoon or so of brown sugar to sweeten it up if it was too sour) and cooked till done.  (This would also be good with pork, I think.)
I hope you try this out and enjoy it.  It was delicious! :-)  Try cooking sweet potatoes with beef too.  I suggest adding the sweet potato chunks a little after the meat has started cooking.  You don’t have to use the barbecue sauce with beef as it has a good flavor with just the sweet potatoes and some garlic and onion.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quote – Faith Is Rest

"Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son." Horatius Bonar

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Where Is Our Hope?

  Fruit photo by Elisabeth M.

May 10, 2006
Where Is Our Hope?

A friend of mine sent this in email. It is thought provoking and I thought I'd include it here.

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I've been pondering this verse as of late. "1Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

The Strong's concordance says "hope to the end" also includes setting our hope COMPLETELY ..on the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Wow. How often my hope is other places! Like, "I hope the weather cools down, or I hope I don't get caught in the snow or I hope bird flu doesn't get to ____." But my hope is to be fully, unto the end, focused on Christ's coming....wow.

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It doesn't seem like it is wrong to express ourselves that way, but we should always keep in mind where our hope is. In other words, when we say, "I hope we don't get a bad storm tonight," we should not be thinking in terms of chance or luck. Our hope should be in the Lord, and our thoughts should be that we hope He will spare us that, or whatever the situation implies.

Perhaps a better word would be "pray" - "I pray the weather cools down." "I pray I don't get stuck in the snow." And so forth. But, if we are going to say that, then we need to make sure we do pray for those things and not just talk about it! :-) 1Thess. 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

My hope is in the Lord
Who gave Himself for me
And paid the price
Of all my sin on Calvary.

- Norman J. Clayton

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – It’s Your Job Too

Dec. 31, 2007

It's Your Job Too

1Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

It runs in my mind that I have heard someone quote this verse as if it was the special responsibility of pastors. I have maybe thought this myself. But, in reading it again recently it struck me that this verse is addressed to "brethren", not "elders" nor "deacons" nor "pastors."

This means that all the brethren, and even all the saints, are responsible to do these things. Certainly women should not be teaching nor usurping authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12), but to warn other women may be appropriate and needful at times. Comforting the feebleminded, supporting the weak and being patient toward all men are good things that we all can do.

This misinterpretation is just another example of how Christians in general try to avoid the responsibilities God has given us by assigning them to pastors (or others). Of course, this is highly aggravated by the traditions of men surrounding "the pastor's role." These have led to a lot of false assumptions about what is "the pastor's job" and what us poor peons are "allowed" to do.

The Lord wants all the brethren to practice these things. If we did these things more faithfully more people would be helped and strengthened in the Lord. There would be more accountability to each other as well.

When you stop to think about it, it is not even possible for a few men to do all of this for all of the saints that are on the earth today. How can a pastor know and do all of this that needs to be done even in a smaller church fellowship? It only makes sense that the Lord would extend this responsibility to all the brethren! We are supposed to be brethren after all. Don't siblings in a healthy family do these things for each other? Certainly! As Christians these things should be done in the spirit of meekness, of course, but still they should be done.

Also, notice that this verse does not limit this to "them that are in your local church". The admonition is that we are to do these things, and to be patient with all men. Christians have become so blinded by the teachings on the "local church" that many don't feel the sense of responsibility to other saints in the body of Christ (universal) that they should have. This is laziness, and also gross neglect at times.

These are things to think on and to seek to obey. It may be that God would use you to help someone in one of these areas. 1Thessalonians 5:11, says, Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.