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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Holiday Challenge – Number Five: Remember the Poor

This challenge is rather late, and I apologize for that.  Some of you may still have opportunity to put some of these thoughts to use, but perhaps it will challenge you to make changes for next year.  At any rate, I’m inclined to say that this challenge is not for the faint of heart.

Challenge Number Five - Remember the Poor

“Have you ever considered how the Lord Jesus Christ would have you "celebrate His birthday"?  Be honest.  Have you considered what He would do, what He did do when He was on this earth, and the sort of people to whom He delights to minister?”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – In the Wrong Order

July 20, 2007

In the Wrong Order

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

We read this verse a few weeks ago in our family Bible reading. My dad pointed out the importance of the order of progression here.

In thinking about that, it crossed my mind how the devil likes to get that turned around backwards. He seems to get a great deal of mileage out of turning things upside down and backwards. He also gets a lot of power in the lives the people who turn things around from the order that God ordained. Think about women taking charge of their husbands and/or churches, children becoming the main focal point of the home, sexual relations before marriage, exalting the pastor instead of Christ, etc. Much joy and peace that God intends us to have by following His order are lost when we turn things around backwards.

In looking at the above verse I started from the end and considered how you can see right from this verse why so many churches are far from the order and peace that God wants for them.

In most Bible believing churches "multiplying" is the emphasis. Pastors, deacons, Sunday School teachers, pastor's wives, youth pastors, etc. all push for more numbers. "Bring more people. Invite your friends." "Let's see if we can all invite one person to church next week." "We need to have a 'Bring A Friend Sunday' and everyone bring at least one guest to church." And so it goes.  [Dec. 2011 note: My dad found out from personal experience that they efforts don’t usually bring desirable results.]

But, according to the verse above, what is lost when the order is reversed and the multiplication is put in first place by man or the devil?

People who are constantly being nagged to increase numbers and attend "visitation" usually don't have much comfort of the Holy Ghost. They are more likely to be living under guilt or a compulsion to push the people around them to perform better. They also tend to live with frustration toward the ones who won't "perform" according the requirements.

Next they usually are walking in the fear of man rather than the fear of the Lord, and the man they fear is usually a pastor or "great man of God."

The saints stop being edified because the emphasis is on increasing the membership role, not feeding the sheep and lambs.

The church most certainly does not have rest. They are usually exhausting themselves and each other with the large selection of “ministries”, “outreaches”,
“visitation”, programs, etc. which they feel driven to perform so they will “grow”.

All this because the multiplying is not put in God's order - last - but in man's and the devil's order which is first.

[Dec. 2011 note: This has been graphically illustrated for us in the “seeker sensitive” churches where what people want has become all-important in order to accomplish growth – multiplying.]

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Holiday Challenge Posted

Challenge Number Three of the Holiday Challenge is no up.

While I realize that some of these challenges are going to be too late for you to incorporate this year, I still plan to continue posting them till they are done, Lord willing.  The one I just put up is about reducing the level of activities that you participate in.  After all, if you are supposed to be celebrating Christ’s birth, why not focus more on Him and less on the “festivities of the season”?  This is one thing that you may still have time to adjust in some areas.

Challenge Number Three – Simplify Your Holiday Activities


1 Peter 4:3-4 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

“What is this madness that people get into for a month or more prior to Christmas?  They are running to parties, shopping, attending events (recitals, plays, programs, cantatas, practices), shopping, cooking and baking in excess, shopping, etc.?  What does all that have to do with the Lord Jesus Christ?…”

“…Maybe it's time to choose a simpler plan for your "celebration".  Not only will it save you money; you will also have time to focus more on your family (especially your children whom you claim you must have Christmas for); you will be less emotionally exhausted; and most of all you will have more time, energy and resources to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Wouldn't that be a novel idea.)…”

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running In Vain? - A Holiday Challenge

If you know what our position is on the Christmas holiday you are likely to think that you know what this is about.  Try again.  It is not what you think! :-)  Please take the time to look it over before you write it off.

Do you claim to celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ?  Silly question, right? The commercialism and the lack of focus on Jesus Christ is something that has been a particular burden on my heart this year.  Consequently, it seemed like a good idea to lay out some challenges to my fellow believers to attempt to get those of you who do celebrate to consider what you are doing, and why. Furthermore, it would be good to give up some of the things that are either contrary to sound reasoning (to say nothing of scripture) or excessive either in cost or behavior.  Under the present circumstances worldwide, there is great virtue in simplifying your celebrations and making a point of spending less; or spending in a manner that takes Jesus Christ as the example.

A few excerpts from the introduction:

In Galatians 2:2 the Apostle Paul writes regarding his visit to Jerusalem, And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.  This verse was brought to my attention in another context the very same day that I started writing this article.  (God is like that, and I love Him for it!)  It seems to me that there are so many Christians who, in the area of celebrating "Christmas", are running in vain…

I urgently desire to see my fellow believers be more purposeful in what they do, especially when claiming that it is to the glory of God.  Because of this, I am introducing a variety of challenges so that you may choose one or more that you feel you can truly accomplish.  There will be some that are more challenging than others.  Please prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you to do…

You don't want to be like the people Jesus describes in Matthew 15:8, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Continue reading this challenge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Willing to Give Thanks

Nov. 26, 2008

Willing to Give Thanks

Leviticus 22:29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.

I read this verse recently in my Bible reading and it stood out to me since Thanksgiving was approaching here in the U.S. There is a tendency now these days to refer to Thanksgiving as "Turkey Day". This shows an attitude of the heart in the people who do so, and I hope that it is a tendency only in the unbelieving. They are not willing to thank God Almighty for His goodness, mercy and grace to all, so they do not want to call the holiday by it's intended name. (Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.)

The very name 'Thanksgiving" implies an action - the giving of thanks. As the children of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, we should be willing and eager to offer thanksgiving unto our God. As New Testament saints, we should have the will to offer the sacrifice of praise.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

This Thanksgiving, may we offer at our own will the sacrifice of praise unto the Lord, "the fruit of our lips giving thanks unto his name"!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Praise for the Future


November 14, 2007

Praise for the Future

Another year almost over! Where has it flown to? How amazing it is that a whole year can pass so quickly now! The older I get the faster they seem to go. I've heard older people talk about this in the past, but somehow as I get older myself it is becoming a reality to me more than before. The precious moments are flying away never to return. Things I would have done, could have done - things I should have relished and enjoyed more - they are over and past and it cannot be now. Mistakes cannot be retrieved either. It is all sealed in that unforgiving thing we call yesterday. Thank God that He does forgive sins, though! (1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

Thanks be unto God that this life is not an end in itself! We who are His children through faith in Christ Jesus have a good hope of the future! Imagine...a thousand years to live on this earth in a perfect, sinless body - and in the company of our Lord and our fellow saints. This is something to look forward to! Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this year let us thank God for the blessings in store for us. The blessings of the past are great and surely we should thank Him for them, but we have much in the future to thank God for as well. We really are blessed and privileged to know so much about our future with Him!

2Thessalonians 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.


A poem to go with this post:

I Shall Dwell Forever

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Random Links for A Cloudy, Rainy Day

My ham and lentil soup.

I haven’t done a link post for awhile, and since I’m a little behind on posts I thought I’d try to put one together today.  It’s a cloudy, dull November day here (though not cold yet), but we had a little rain which is always welcome here these days of drought!  Praise the Lord for every bit we get!


Mommy’s Kitchen – Here is a neat cooking blog my mom discovered and declared useful.  I haven’t explored it much yet, but it looks like there are a lot of good “home cookin’” recipes here. :-)

Homemade Soup Recipes – Mmmm soooooup, that warm comfort food that makes a cold day seem a little less chilly.

Did someone say chili? A chili for every taste – more or less.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at TasteofHome.com – Did I mention that I’m getting hungry?  I think we need to have some grilled cheese sandwiches soon!  Until then they are  grilled cheese sandwishes. ;-)

More Grilled Cheese, Please!

Old Time Cooked Banana Pudding – I never met “banana puddin’” till my family moved to the South (Tennessee, to be exact).  I’ve only ever had the instant mix, pre-fabricated food type banana pudding and I was not impressed (my apologies to my Southern readers).  But, I have to say that this sounds like it would be quite good, plus it sounds like you could or should serve it warm, which seems more appealing to me.  I thought there was probably an old fashioned method for this. (Now if I could only find some good vanilla wafers that didn’t have stuff in them that we don’t like to eat.)

An assortment of Winter Dinners.

Apple pie dish – for a yummy winter treat, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kitchen Tip – Covering A Pie

Here’s one way to cover a pie for transportation or storage to keep things off of it and out of it without ruining the top of it.  This is especially useful for pies with soft-ish tops that plastic wrap or aluminum foil would stick to and mar.

This was a cream cheese type pie and I didn’t want the top spoiled, but I needed to refrigerate it overnight (as I recall).

I took some plastic wrap and formed it into a loose ball and placed it in the center of the pie.  Then I gently wrapped another piece over the entire pie.  The ball in the center created a dome effect.  This might not work with meringue or whipped cream toppings.  However, whipped cream topping could probably be reworked in the middle.  Use your discretion.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kitchen Happenings – The New Stovetop

Ok, so this post is almost a year late, but last year for our anniversary my husband kindly replaced the old stovetop in my kitchen! :-)  The old one was not doing the job well.  I had about 2 and a half working burners/eyes – one didn’t work at all, two were slow or temperamental and one worked well.  So, you can see that it was a blessing to have a new one!

Here is a picture of my mom cooking on my old stovetop.  You can get a pretty good idea of the lay out.  Notice that I had all small burners, or eyes.  I couldn’t even use a large frying pan or pot due to the size of them.  The whole stove was rather small.  It was probably a mobile home model.

The new stovetop came from Home Depot.

In order to get it in Peter had to enlarge the opening slightly.

It took a lot of monkeyfuss, as my Gramma would have called it, but he finally got it in and quite even.  It was a challenge doing to lower work through those drawer openings!

Ta-da!  A beautiful new stovetop that not only works, but also has extra room, takes larger pans and has knobs that correspond with the locations of the respective burners, or eyes.  (By the way, check out that cool wood handle he made to replace an old plastic one that broke.  This lid belonged to my mom first and he fixed it over 4 years ago, but it’s still holing in there!  Great idea.)

And, the first person to cook on the new stovetop…..

Was Peter! :-)  This wasn’t calculated on his part, but he installed in on a Saturday and since he cooks breakfast on Sunday mornings (his idea), he ended up using it first.  Obviously he wasn’t too sad about that!  haha :-)

It has been a real blessing to me and was a great gift.  Thank you, hon’!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kitchen Tip – Putting A Cheesecake On A Plate

Putting a cheesecake on a plate without removing it from the bottom of the pan is perilous because it wants to slip all over the place or even go skidding off.  But, who wants to try to move a cheesecake from the bottom of the spring form pan to a plate?  Maybe a professional, but I’m not one and probably most of my readers aren’t either.  There may be a trick that makes it easy.  I don’t know it yet.  But, I do know a trick that will help keep the cheesecake from sliding around so much and yet you can leave it on the bottom piece of the pan.  Here is what I did, with tolerable results.  (I still recommend using caution when moving it or transporting it.)

(This was taken after the cheesecake was removed.)

I tore a piece of bread in half and put it under the pan to fill the area where it didn’t sit down into the bottom of the plate.  Then I mashed it down onto the bread as well as I could.

A stickier type of bread, or perhaps a thin layer on jelly on each side might make this method work even better.

This is how it looked after the cheesecake was completely removed from it.  Sorry I don’t have a picture with the cheesecake on the plate, or at least I don’t know where the picture is.  (If you could see my photo collection you would consider that last part an understatement. ;-)   )

Friday, September 2, 2011

Freezing Food for Easy Use --- and to Save Money

Since I usually am only cooking for two people these days, but sometimes for 4 or 6 or more, it is good to have a flexible method for freezing some food.  It occurred to me that it would be handy to freeze things like they do for commercial frozen food where you can reach in the bag and grab just what you want, or measure out the exact amount you need.  It also means you don’t have to take the time to thaw a large quantity when you are only going to need a couple of servings.  So, I started working on it and found some things that freeze well this way and work for my cooking habits.

The first step is to lay the food your planning to freeze out on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  You may skip the paper, but it will be harder to get them off.

[At right is a tray of kielbasa type sausages which we buy in quantity at Costco (a membership warehouse).  These can go straight from the freezer to the frying pan or into water to boil.  Cook over medium heat till heated through.  Raw sausages will take longer to cook than pre-cooked.]

Step Two – Place the trays in your freezer (in such a way that they won’t fall out when you open the door), and leave them there till the food is frozen solid enough to be moved to bags without fusing together again. 

Step Three – Move the food to plastic zip freezer bags marked with the content and date and store in the freezer.

Since the food is loose and not all stuck together you can take out as much as you need at a time.  This really works well for certain foods and makes a healthy “fast food” “repertoire” for you to choose from.

Here are baby carrots that I froze this way.  They may freeze from raw OK, but to speed up cooking I put as many as I want to freeze into a 2 qt. pot and almost cover them with water.  Then I bring them to a boil and turn off the burner allowing the carrots to sit in the water till they cool enough to handle.  This will partially cook them, but they will still be pretty firm.  I spread them on the lined cookie sheet, freeze them and later break them apart and put them into the freezer bag.  (I also save the broth from cooking them to drink as it contains added nutrients over plain water.  You could also use it for soup base.) 

To use these I usually add them to a dish of food that I’m cooking towards the end of the cooking time.  By the time they are thawed and the dish is done the carrots are done too.  For firmer carrots, add them closer to the end.  For softer, add them earlier.


You can freeze serving-size strips of raw meat (pre-cut, or cut by you) also by laying them close together, but not touching, on the sheets.  Once they are frozen and bagged they can be used without pre-thawing them as they will cook quite fast.  You can remove just the number you need for the meal without thawing a whole steak or roast.

Individual pieces of raw chicken can also be frozen this way for quicker thawing or immediate use in stews and such.  (Do not try to bake it without thawing it first.)


  Lastly, you can freeze broth for future use by pouring it in muffin tins and freezing it (don’t use the waxed paper for this).  It is important to freeze till they are solid!  Once they are frozen solid remove by popping them out of the cups one at a time.  Only run them under water (on the bottom of the pan) if necessary, being careful to only do one cup at a time and having your hand there to catch the frozen “cubes”.  Place them in the bag and return to the freezer as quickly as possible to avoid them melting and sticking together. 

You can either do an approximate measure or you can use an actual measuring cup to measure the broth the same way every time so you have an exact idea of how much broth is in each “cube”.  You can thaw and add this to recipes or add it directly to soups, stews, etc. when you need more liquid.  It is very handy, and it means you can buy broth in larger quantities and not have to worry about using it up before it spoils.  Or you can use up your homemade broth without it spoiling.  (Homemade broths can be used to make gravy as well, though I don’t recommend this with the store bought broths since they usually lack flavor in my opinion.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just for Fun – Silly Links About Meatloaf

Meat loaf is not one of my favorite dishes.  The only kind I ever really liked was made in the microwave, and since we don’t use a microwave any more I’m back to the old sort of liking some meat loaf. ;-)


Meatloaf Again?!?

New Superpower

It’s the Same Thing

Some Compliment

And, for those of you who really like meatloaf:

Crazy Meatloaf Recipe

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – For All Nations

My Gramma and mother with an African woman who learned to read the Bible (probably through Gramma’s help.)

March 20, 2006
For All Nations

Psalm 117:1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

It struck me for the first time recently that this Psalm is truely "international." Notice that it is addressed to all nations and all people.

Thus we see that even in the Old Testament, with the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants in place, all nations and people were still invited to praise the LORD. The reasons are that His merciful kindness is great toward us and His truth endures forever. (We can see in Naaman and Nebuchadnezer that all nations were welcome to praise Jehovah, and believe on Him.)

But, these things are true in any era and under any covenant. They are timeless and eternal. How great they are now through the blood of Jesus Christ which places us in the beloved and makes nigh those of us who were far off! Praise ye the LORD!

Ephesians 2:11 ¶ Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PART 2 – What Are We Feeding Our Children?

Read PART 1 if you missed it.

My sister-in-law with a friend, and no she wasn’t giving him the Coke. :-)

(Note: I do not necessarily agree with every conclusion or idea that these people put forth, but the overall message is sound and we have found it to be true on a number of levels for adults, let alone children.)

Nourishing Our Children – Timeless Principles for Supporting Learning, Behavior, and Health Through Optimal Nutrition – This page has a wealth of information that is essential for the modern parent to know.  There are so many lies being put forth about food and what we should eat, and yet children are looking malnourished – their eyes may be more or less sunken looking, they may be super thin or obese, their skin may be pasty looking or they look anemic, they may lack a look of vivacious health even when they are active, their hair may be limp and lusterless, they may have learning disabilities or thinking and emotional problems related to lack of proper nutrition – or, even worse, from the introduction of dangerous additives in their food.

The parents are not always at fault.  They think they are feeding their kids a “pretty good diet”, not knowing that the food they think is “good for them” is so processed and stripped of nutrition that, although their bellies are full and they are sometimes even fat, they are not healthy.  Only if it gets to the point of serious brain malfunction or physical problems do they realize that there is a problem.  It is time to Wake Up, as this page says.  There is much information here, but when you stop and think about what they are saying much of it only makes sense; after all, this is the way people did eat in the past before “super-processing” of food came into common practice.

Be sure and read this page at their site for the basics on good-for-kids-and-you foods that are lied about by the present food cartels:  Top 10 Facts You May Not Know About Your Diet

A few to get you interested:

3. Saturated fats and cholesterol are vital for optimum health… (Yes, it’s true!)

6. Modern soy products are dangerous…

4. Foods from grass-fed animals are important for good health…

9. Not all “organic” foods are healthy…


By the way, if you can’t imagine how food can make that much difference in a kid’s behavior I’d like to tell you about a cat. 

Some friends of ours had a cat that had a nasty temperament  - was ornery and mean and probably “violent”.  The wife/owner read about the proper way to feed dogs and cats on raw meats and vegetables rather than the highly processed food product sold as cat food, and decided to try it.  That cat calmed right down and became a pleasant and respectable member of their pet population.  How much more important do you supposed a proper diet is to the development of a human baby and child? 

Proper nutrition is really of vital importance for anything to be healthy, and as with animals, small kids and babies cannot always tell you that they don’t feel right.   If proper eating could help the behavior issues of a cat don’t you suppose that it might make a difference in some children as well?  This is not to say that they will stop being sinners.  They won’t.  But, there may be things in their diet that are irritating their bodies and brains in ways that God didn’t intend and thus causing emotional disorder that leads to behavioral problems.  It is something to think about.



These things are very thought-provoking, and in light of the present world situation I think it is of interest that there is a grass roots (no pun intended) movement toward growing more of our own food needs; buying local, grass-fed, raw and otherwise more healthy food products; and learning to enjoy less more.  World situations make it seem that the Lord’s return is imminent and this turning toward older more simple ways makes me wonder if there is not a desire rising up in some people for the very thing that God Himself will shortly bring to pass.  I certainly know that the Kingdom is a time when agriculture will be emphasized and personal ownership of food sources will be the norm.  And, that food will be wholesome and pure as God intended it to be!  No more GMO, praise God!

Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

If that doesn’t make you want to shout for joy after what you read and heard in these two posts on food, you might want to check your pulse and see if you’re still alive. :-)  (Unless you are not a Christian born into God’s family through Jesus Christ.  Then you need to go here and do some reading: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

PART 1 : What Are We Feeding Our Children?

An East African boy enjoying traditional Tanzanian food.  Original photo taken my by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover.


Is this how meal times in your house sound?  Fake, Fake, Fake

Here are some very important links regarding the nutrition of children’s food.  Please, please read this if you are a parent or help with the feeding of children in any way!  Our food supply has been terribly messed with and corrupted.  The babies and children are going to pay the highest price for that because it is effecting their health and their development.  You may not be able to make a lot of changes at once, but it is important to know what is good and what is not and to make strides in the right direction in the area of feeding your family and loved ones.

(Note: I do not necessarily agree with every conclusion or idea that these people put forth, but the over all message is sound and we have found it to be true on a number of levels for adults, let alone children.)

What Are You Feeding Your Children? – One woman’s journey from “healthy” junk food to nourishing foods for her family, here is a video discussing the additives and things in food that can actually harm your children or cause allergic reactions. Please consider doing what this lady suggests - changing you family's eating habits gradually for the better.  Some people make this process unnecessarily hard by demanding or thinking that all these changes need to be addressed at once.  They do not.  You CAN change the way your family eats one step at a time.  And, may I suggest that, as Robyn obviously did, you include your kids in the process.  Tell them why you need to make the changes and educate them so they will understand and hopefully agree!  Kids are lot smarter about these things than some parents think.  When they find out there is trash and bug killer in the food they may be   more angry than you are.  Who wants fish genes in their tomato anyway?  Make it a family project to improve the diet and find out why.  (Be forewarned, though; as one friend of mine found out, the kids may be more diligent at checking ingredients than you are!) 

In case you think the kids can't get excited about this subject, check out this lecture on the subject from an 11-year-old homeschooled boy: What's Wrong with Our Food System.


Watch for PART 2 coming soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just for Fun – Links to silly stuff

Here is a little humor to lighten your day (hopefully). :-)

Texas Style Hot Sauce

Texas Style Doughnuts

Texas Style Salad


Silly Cakes – Some people have too much time on their hands.


Baby Blues

The Project


Table Clearing Dilemma (This reminds me of my brother. haha  He thought it was terrible to touch the “gunk” on someone else’s messy plate.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Random Meal

Tonight my husband and I had:

Chicken breast with garlic, onion and sage seasoning.

A few pieces each of homegrown okra – cooked with the chicken.

A few black olives that needed to be finished off – also cooked with the chicken.

Tortillas, warm with butter.  (Tortillas were bought raw and home cooked, which is still way better than pre-cooked.)

Sugar baby watermelon – also homegrown.

It was a bit of an unusual combination, but I was busy baking, which overlapped the dinner preparation time somewhat.  I really needed to get the tortillas cooked and used up, as well as the okra.  The watermelon also needed to be finished off.  So, it was a little of this and a little of that. :-)  But, it was turned out well.  Warm, freshly cooked tortillas and butter are really good together too, by the way.

What was for dinner/supper at your house?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

History In Food - Mesopotamia

Photo property of The Silk Road Gourmet.

My family has had an interest in foreign foods for a long time. Here are some interesting recipes that will allow you to eat a little history. The majority are from Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, but there are some others as well. (Note: Disclaimer on some ingredients. If you really want to make the recipe, try substituting something that seems like a good alternative.)

From The Silk Road Gourmet:  “The worlds' most ancient recipe collection was actually found on cuneiform tablets from Ancient Ur. These are currently at the Yale Library. Here are some adaptations.” So, here are some recipes that Abram and Sarai might have eaten, more or less, when they lived in Ur of the Chaldeas! How about that? :-)
Lamb with Licorice and Juniper Berries
Lamb and Carob Stew
Roasted Barley and Herb Pilaf
Mersu with Cheese
Mashed Turnips with Herbs
Mesopotamian Wildfowl Pie

Babylonian Apricot Jewels – I’m not sure why these are called Babylonian. There isn’t much explanation here. But, they look and sound good (with some modification), and apricots are an ancient food in that area.

Date Cookies – Why these Mesopotamian/Iraqi cookies are listed at an Asian site, I am not sure, but here they are, nonetheless.

Mesopotamian Barley, Lentil and Tahini Soup

Cooking Ancient Recipes – This collection includes two other areas of the ancient times as well as Mesopotamia. Just a word of warning: one of the recipes calls for blood. We, as Christians, have been forbidden to eat blood. 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.

I hope you enjoy trying some of these recipes out and learning something about this part of the world that is so important to the history both of the world and of the Bible.

Links – It’s All About Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. They are not only delicious, they are nostalgic for me. My Gramma made them. Maybe both of my grandmothers made them. My mom has made them. I have made them for my own family and have probably made them for my husband.
But, why limit them to cookies? Just for fun I thought I’d see how many different snickerdoodle recipes I could come up with and here’s the results! :-)
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Snickerdoodle Cake
Snickerdoodle Muffins
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
Snickerdoodle Chex® Mix
Snickerdoodle Cheese Cake
Snickerdoodle Pie
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Dip
Snickerdoodle Pie Crust (This recipe calls for gluten-free packaged cookies. Use your own snickerdoodles if you don’t want the packaged ones.)
Snickerdoodle Trifle (This recipe is full of poison, er, I mean dangerous chemicals with all the sugar-free ingredients and Cool Whip. However, with a few changes – regular pudding mixes and real whipped cream – I think you could make it more health friendly instead of diet friendly, whatever that is.)
Toffee Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles
Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
Peppermint Snickerdoodles
Gluten-free Snickerdoodles (That should make someone happy!)
And, last but not least, my own Gramma’s recipe:
Gramma Hoover’s Snickerdoodles

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Home Maker In Training

Today is my niece’s seventh birthday (on U.S. time), so I thought it would be fun to put up some pictures of her.  She is an eager learner of cooking, along with other home making skills.  These pictures were taken at various ages and stages over the last few years.



Tea time for brother and friend.

Child Care


Ironing her dolly’s clothes.

Cleaning up the kitchen with her brother, Danny, and mama.

Making Home Pleasant


Growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Happy Birthday, Dolly! :-) May you be a happy little home maker to your family again this year.