Saturday, December 31, 2011

Family Year End Review and Goals

The close of the year is a good time to take stock of the year past and make goals for the year ahead.  We all have dreams and goals but the difference between the two of those is action.  Dreams remain nothing but idle fantasies without action.  Goals on the other hand, are accompanied by a plan and a time limit. 


So in order to make some goals come into focus and have a chance at becoming a reality, my husband and I are going to sit down today and chat about the year behind and the year ahead.  I thought I'd share some of the questions we'll be going over today and maybe they will inspire you to do your own "State of the Union" study on your marriage and family life during the past year.


Just for Couples
  1. How do you sense God moving in your lives and guiding you as a couple?
  2. Is your marriage growing and getting stronger?
  3. Are the children doing well or having struggles?
  4. What changes do you want or need to make in the coming year?
  5. Where do you feel God is challenging you and your spouse as a couple?
  6. Where do you sense God challenging you individually?
  7. If you could do any ministry with your spouse, what would it be?
  8. What gifts has God given to you individually?  What gifts has God given to you and your spouse as a couple?
  9. What about your marriage would you like to change during the coming year?
  10. What needs to changed during the coming week?
  11. If you have kids, how has your relationship with your spouse changed since adding children to your lives?
  12. How has your relationship changed as the children have grown older?
  13. What do you like about the changes that have happened since having children?
  14. What do you  not like about the changes that have happened since having children?
  15. What do you appreciate about your spouse?
  16. What would you like to change about yourself in order to better care for your spouse?


Similarly, we are going to have the same kind of talk with our kids, asking similar questions only designed for them.
For Families With Children
  1. How do you sense God moving in your lives and guiding you?
  2. Is your faith growing and getting stronger?
  3. Are you having any struggles that we can pray with you about?
  4. Where do you sense God challenging you?
  5. What personal changes do you want to make in the coming year?
  6. What would you like to change during the coming year?
  7. What needs to change during the coming week?
  8. What gifts has God given to you?
  9. If you could do any ministry, what would it be?
  10. How would you like to use those gifts for God in the coming year?
  11. What do you like about the changes that have happened in our family in the last year?
  12. What do you not like about the changes that have happened in our family in the last year?
  13. What do you appreciate about your brother?
  14. What do you appreciate about your parents?
  15. What would you like to change about yourself in order to better care for your family members?
There are enough questions here to really get your "dream juices" flowing. If you schedule a time to talk and dream, be sure to schedule plenty of time for conversation so that you don't feel rushed. It's also important to begin and end your time together with prayer. You may even want to light a candle at the beginning as a symbol of God's guiding light and constant presence in your marriage and in your lives.


Later on we'll be watching a football game, having snacks and playing board games. I got a brand new game of Cranium from a seller off Craigslist for $5! We've wanted this game for a long time but they are so expensive in the stores. What a blessing to have found a brand new one that someone didn't want for next to nothing!  We're looking forward to trying it out tonight.  Don't know if we'll be staying up till midnight, but the kids really want to, so we'll probably try. 


I hope your New Year will be filled with the blessings of God and that you will seek his will above all else in the months ahead! New years can be troubling for those who don't know the Lord.  As we head into 2012, let's lift up the leaders of nations and pray for peace and grace.  Our country especially is in need of earnest prayer and petition to our Lord. Certainly God's wrath is kindled against it's continual blasphemy and godlessness that takes place here every day. One thing is certain, and that is that the Lord God is slow to anger and great in tender mercies. No matter what the coming year brings, my strong tower and safety is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Just as the arc was to Noah, so is my Saviour to me.


The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
-Proverbs 18:10 


Happy 2012 everyone!

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Breakfast for Dinner

    For dinner tonight, I wanted to use up some of the Christmas ham we have in the fridge so I made a Denver Omellette in the oven.  This is a great recipe that uses all the same ingredients but saves you the time from having to make each individual omellette.  I served it with blueberry muffins and hashbrowns along side. Turned out sooo yummy!


    Here are the recipes:


    Oven Denver Omellette


    8 eggs
    1/2 cup half and half (or cream)
    1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
    1 cup diced cooked ham
    1/4 cup finely diced onion
    1/2 cup diced green pepper (or mushrooms)


    Pour into a 9" square greased casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.


    Blueberry Muffins


    2 cups flour (can use all or part whole wheat)
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    Mix until all ingredients are moistened.  Scoop into greased muffin tin and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.


    Hash Browns


    4 potatoes, peeled and shredded
    Olive oil
    Salt and pepper


    After peeling and shredding potatoes, place them in a clean dish towel and squeeze out excess moisture. The secret to crispy hash browns is to get the potatoes as dry as possible.  Next, heat skillet over medium-high heat.  When it's hot, add oil to cover pan and then add potatoes, spreading in an even layer around the pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and heat on Med-Hi.  DO NOT STIR.  When they're golden brown on the bottom turn to the other side and cook till golden.  Serve with ketchup or sour cream. 


    My family and I loved this dinner!  Cooking the muffins and the "omellette" in the oven replaced their traditional counterparts (omellettes and pancakes) which allowed me to concentrate on cooking the hashbrowns on the stovetop.  Best of all, everything turned out so deliciously good!  I'm going to put this this meal on our monthly rotation!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Broken Vessels

    Christmas time is often promoted as "family time".  But what about those whose family are far from them or worse, have no one?  I wonder if those who say this so nonchalantly feel that the holiday of Christmas is not for those with no family.  Should these people just try to fade into the shadows like an unsightly scar on society?
    It is God who structured the family. And when the family unit is functioning at optimum levels, it is a beauty to behold.

    It is God who structured the body. And when I see the body of a fit, toned, well functioning athlete, it is a beauty to behold.

    But what of the blind man? God said he made him that way for his glory. (Jn 9:3)  What of the lame?  Paul asked God to remove his infirmity and God said that His grace was sufficient. When we look around us at "ideal athletes" and then down at our shriveled legs, it's tempting to say "Why me, Lord?" 

    There are many people with troubled family situations. It's not ideal, but God says he's still sufficient. If we could change it we would. But we cannot and therein lies the frustration that can become a daily reality.

    Many children are growing up without their grandparents which is not the ideal situation. Grandparents can be such a wonderful part of their grandkids' lives. But when God has closes door, there is a choice to make: we can keep pondering the injustice of it all or we can "glory in it". 
    2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
    These aren't lofty, unattainable goals. This is the reality that believers have in Christ Jesus. When we focus on what we've lost, we will be miserable. When we focus on the sufficiency we have in the Lord and the breath we have in our lungs that He has given to us for each new day, we can stop bemoaning our sorrows and start rejoicing in them.

    I'm in awe of what God is doing in my life - He gives us power to glory in distress and persecution.

    Just God

    Someone recently said that since God is the God of peace and love, their current trial could not be from him. I began to think about Job. The trials that came upon Job were all with God's express permission.  So it is where we ourselves are concerned. 

    Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
    God was moved against Job. He gave Satan permission to try Job with utter heartbreak.  In human understanding this is puzzling.  But God's ways are infinitely higher than our ways. Were God's actions toward Job loving? Based on the fact that God is holy, just and true, I can only conclude that, yes, they were.


    Then Job reminds us of something we should have hanging on the wall - that we came into this world with NOTHING- no children, no husbands, no money or clothes. And when we leave, we'll take exactly what we came with. Are we willing to give him everything - even our children? They are His anyway.


    Job 1:21-22 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.


    The man with wealth, family, connections, health and God has not one whit more than the man who has just God. Is life with just God - without the people, wealth or possessions which he GAVE us - enough? Just God? If our lives were to boil down to JUST God, will our response be to worship the Lord as Job did?




    Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped


    People think roughly 40,000 thoughts per day.  How many of those 40,000 thoughts are we saying, "Thank you Lord for what & who you have given and what & who you have taken away. Blessed be Your Name." ?

    We all wonder what challenges lie ahead and those of us with troubles in our lives hope they will be made "whole" again.  We should still pray for God to heal broken relationships, dreams and hearts. Hoping is good and praying is right.


    But here is the truth: if you have God at the center of your life, He is enough.

    Just

    God.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Christmas Busy-ness

    We have been busy busy this Christmas season.  My oldest son has branched out and is teaching an art class twice a month to 10 fellow homeschoolers.  He has done really well so far and I'm proud to see him conquering his fears.  It's not easy getting up in front of people and speaking and he's doing a smashing job.

    At the start of each class he reads a scripture that pertains to art and then briefly expounds on it.  The first class he read Psalm 91 and spoke of how the heavens and all of creation show God's handiwork.  God is the originator of all art and we simply attempt to recreate the beauty that the Lord has created in the first place.

    The second class (he's only done two so far) he asked the class if anyone knew what the first sculpture was.  Nobody knew.  Then he read the verse in Genesis that speaks of forming man out of the dust of the earth and that the first man, Adam, was just a sculpture until God breathed life into him.  Isn't that awesome?!

    Then we got our Christmas tree put up and it looks beautiful.  I bought some ribbon at Costco this year and just tucked it in all around the tree and I think it turned out nicely. We got an artificial "slim" tree on craigslist last Christmas.  First time we've had a fake tree in years. But it was a bargain at $25.  In our last house we had an 1 1/2 acrs of fir trees and cut our own Christmas trees which was really cool.  The price that a fresh tree costs commercially anymore is ridiculous, so we're happy to use a fake one. :)

    Last Friday we attended a wonderful Christmas symphony at a local church.  The choir sang beautiful Christmas carols and we had such a nice time together.  Going to musical performances is one of our favorite family traditions especially at Christmas time.

    I chose to do photo Christmas cards this year and I'll be honest...I'm a little disappointed with how they turned out, which is really my own fault.  I cropped the picture too close up and the photo size I chose was just too large. bleh. This was my first attempt at doing this so if I do this again next year, I'll know better. 
    We are nearly finished with our Christmas shopping and tonight I am attending a gift exchange party for moms.  My family thinks there should have been a gift exchange party for all the families instead of just the moms.  Maybe next year we will plan something like that. It sounds fun, but I don't know if we could fit all the families comfortably in one house. 

    For us, Christmas has been a little different each year.  Some times we have only had our little family, other times we've enjoyed a big family gatherings.  Now that we live in a new state, we are getting to know new friends and enjoying a whole new twist on the holiday season.

    What is important to us is that our children feel safe and secure no matter where we are.  Relocating as much as we have has its advantages but there are definite drawbacks.  One of which is the task of forging new friendships over and over again.  I never realized how emotionally taxing that can be. 

    But I praise God for the wonderful husband I've been given and our children who have been so flexible and loving through it all.  There love and strength are what I'm most grateful for this Christmas.



    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Get the Metal Out of Your Mouth

    Quack, Quack, Where’s The Duck?

    Originally, a “quack” was a dentist who used silver fillings. Silver fillings are also known as amalgam fillings which contain mercury. Mercury was known as quicksilver in the United States. But interestingly enough, it was known as “quacksilver” in Europe.

    In 1848, the American Society of Dental Surgeons required its members to pledge NOT to use mercury amalgam in filling material. And when member dentists in New York City used mercury, they were suspended for “malpractice by using silver mercury fillings.”

    According to Morton Walker, D.P.M. (author of Elements of Danger and 70 othe
    r books related to alternative health), the suspended fellows refused to give up their toxic ways because mercury offered an easily malleable, inexpensive filling material. They formed a new, competitive organization—the American Dental Association!



    Mercury is a known toxic metal and has been linked to birth defects, autoimmune illnesses and neurological illnesses including depression. Mercury can cross the blood-brain and placenta barriers and startling new research has linked the presence of Mercury in the brain to one of the major structural markers in Alzheimer’s disease.



    Some quick facts about mercury:
    1. Mercury is the most-toxic, non-radioactive element on Earth.
    2. A silver colored mercury amalgam filling normally contains 52% mercury.
    3. On average, an amalgam filling weighs 1 gram and contains 1/2 gram of mercury.
    4. The typical adult carries ten amalgam fillings containing about 5 grams of mercury.
    5. 1/2 gram of mercury in a ten acre lake would warrant issuance of a fish advisory for the lake.
    6. Running shoes with mercury lights in their heels were banned by the Minnesota Legislature in 1994 because they contained a 1/2 gram of mercury in them and this was considered dangerous to public health.
    7. Germany, Austria, Denmark and Sweden ban the use of mercury amalgam fillings in pregnant women and children and complete bans are scheduled to be phased in.
    8. The state of California requires this warning in all dental offices with a staff of 10 or more that use mercury amalgam fillings. “The people of the state of California have determined that the use of dental amalgam causes birth defects and other health problems.”
    9. Legislation is now being proposed in Minnesota for a similar “Informed Consent” law to protect all patients
    This is just the beginning of the story of mercury in millions of mouths causing illness and death. This is one of the important things I've learned that I wish everyone knew about. Now YOU know.

    I found a wonderful, mercury-free dentist through www.iaomt.org. There is a plethora of information on that website, as well as information on how to find a certified mercury removal dentist in your area

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Overruled

    I urge you to please watch Overruled. It is perhaps one of the most important issues we are facing today in the world - a parent's God given right to raise their children the way they see fit is being threatened from every side. 

    It is a frightening thought that there are political forces at work to steal our children away and overrule the decisions we make for them as their parents. 

    Watch the movie and support parentalrights.org.  Please pray that God would hear our cries and protect our parental freedoms and rights!

    Why I'm No Longer a Vegetarian

    When I was little, I saw some funny looking stringy, dark things in the chicken leg on my dinner plate.  I asked my daddy if they were veins and he made some kind of joke and gave me  a vague answer.  But I knew they had to be veins...and boy was that gross!  :-)

    Years later, as an adult, I started avoiding eating meat. I ate it only on rare occasions and thought I was much more sophisticated and wise than those around me (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

    To boost my inclination, I found the media saturated with anti-meat-ites as well as many books purporting the same. These people glorified animals to a level almost equal to  that of humans.  Naturally the humane treatment of animals is important to God and he will hold accountable anyone who mistreats an animal. 
    Proverbs 12:10
    A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

    Psalms 50:10-11 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
    Back to my story...about 15 years ago I read what God said on the matter . You can find out what God says on almost every important matter in his book, the King James Bible. 

    1 Timothy 4:1-3
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    The most prominent group today that forbids marriage is that of Roman Catholicism; their priests are not permitted to marry.  According to the Bible, that too, is a doctrine of devils. God created man to need a wife. A help meet. 

    The next part of the verse deals with the main part of this passage because it is expounded on in the following verses.  The command to abstain from meats. Here, God reveals that he created them to be received with thanksgiving!  Amazing.
     
    When God created the animals, he knew that he would one day give them as meat.  He had in mind the essential nutrients and fats they would provide. 

    There is a great deal of media that seeks to proclaim that meat isn't essential to health. Obviously before the flood it was not.  But something happened after the worldwide flood of Noah's day (of which only God knows the reason) that caused God to say:

    Genesis 9: 3-4
    Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

    The end Timothy 4:3 speaks of those who "believe and know the truth". Can't the seared consciences of the wicked hear the truth? Not according to 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."


    1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:


    Again, it is reinforced that God's creatures are good and we should be thankful and not refuse to eat meat.

    1 Tim 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    When we pray over our food, the Bible says it becomes sanctified.  Sanctified means "made holy". I find this amazing.

    1 Timothy 4:6 ¶ If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

    This is why I'm writing this article, to "put the brethren (fellow believers in Christ) in remembrance".  Notice, it does not say to remind everyone - only the brethren.  So if you're reading this and you are not a believer you will likely have a hard time with this article. 

    Those who are in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, I encourage you to remember your Creator and obey him in all things.  He can be trusted implicitly. 

    2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

    1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.


    And finally he underscores the whole matter by telling what really needs to be refused - and it's not meat. :-) What should we refuse? Old wives fables!  These are lies that are passed down from one foolish wife to another.  If we're going to put our energy into anything, let it be exercising ourselves unto godliness!  What is godliness? 


    1 Timothy 4:8  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.


    Did you know that godliness profits ALL things?

    Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines GOD'LINESS, n. from godly. Piety; belief in God, and reverence for his character and laws. A careful observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, proceeding from love and reverence for the divine character and commands; Christian obedience.


    Good works are not a ticket to get into heaven. Only faith pleases God. So why should we practice godliness?  Out of obedience and devotion to the Saviour. 


    Why does a mother sing lullabies to her baby?  Why do children pet animals?  Delight. Just pure, unadulterated joy.  That is why we serve our Lord.  And we serve him by serving one another.  If we have no love for serving one another, we should examine our love for the Lord Jesus.

    Notice how the verses in 1 Timothy 4 have encompassed a lot of topics surrounding the issue of vegetarianism.  If you have been deceived and the "wisdom of this world" has caused you to abstain from eating meat, I encourage you to study the Scriptures and learn the truth. 

    So why am I no longer a vegetarian? Because God said meat is good and abstaining from it is a doctrine of devils.  God's word is always true, so anything that does not line up with God's word is false.

    This is the hard reality that has a wicked generation shaking their fists at the sky.  But God is merciful and patient with us and when we seek him with all of our hearts, we will find him. 

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Recognizing the Season We're In

    It would be pretty vexing to wish for snow in the summer or plant veggies in the winter.  Wanting something we do not have...the Bible calls it coveting, and it's a sin. 



    The Lord gave us four wonderful, earthly seasons. I love them all!  He also gave us different seasons of life. When we try to live in a season outside of His design, we are inviting trouble.  But when we walk wisely, and recognize the season we are in, we can really save ourselves a lot of grief.

    Longing to do things that our current circumstances don't really allow for can cause us to be unfruitful and can even lead to depression.  Depression is terrible because it is like living in chains.  Some of the most miserable and unuseful people I've ever met are wallowing in depression. It must be a truly horrible state of mind and women can be quite prone to it. 

    But in the Word of God, we find so many ways to combat these foes.  When the Bible is read by someone full of faith, it produces the fear of the Lord.  That's the beginning of wisdom!  When we walk in the fear of the Lord and wisdom, we are better able to process our lives and view our thoughts and our desires through the right lenses. 

    Life's Changing Seasons

    When our children are still in the nest, we are in a planting season.  If we recognize that, then we will be able to pour ourselves into our children while they are young and it will be not be grievous, but an absolute joy!  They need you right now, mama. 

    There are so many women who try to "do it all".  They leave their children and fill their schedules to impact the world around them while their real world, their home, their family, their children - go starved for their undivided attention and care. 

    Mothers, our ministry is at HOME.  Our ministry is not at church - unless it is something our children can do right beside us and with us. 

    Knowing the season we are in and that in time, that season will be over and a new one will begin can be bittersweet.  I feel an ache sometimes when I think of the time when my children will all be grown with homes of their own.  I will miss them more than words. 

    But I know the Lord is kind and good and I trust him. I pray that once they are grown, they will include us in their lives and we can enjoy a rich heritage of love and family to bask in when I'm in my golden season. 

    But right now is the time to prepare for that harvest.  Prayer is my biggest and most powerful tool and I use it often and with authority.  I pray for their futures, for their salvation, for their spouses-to-be, and for our family as a whole.  I pray that the enemy would not have access to their souls and that the Lord would protect and shield them round about.  I pray that God would give them ears to hear and eyes to see and would use them in ministry for God's glory and His Kingdom.

    Know the season you're in and be happy and productive in it.  For it will soon pass.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    1. A time to be born, and a time to die;
    2. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3. A time to kill, and a time to heal;
    4. A time to break down, and a time to build up;
    5. A time to weep, and a time to laugh
    6. A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    7. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    8. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    9. A time to get, and a time to lose
    10. A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    11. A time to rend, and a time to sew;
    12. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    13. A time to love, and a time to hate
    14. A time of war, and a time of peace.
    What a wise an amazing passage of scripture this is. I think we sometimes entertain foolish notions that we can somehow avoid or detain some of the unpleasant ones like war, mourning, weeping and losing.  But if you live long enough, the Lord will bring about most of these times in our lives sooner or later.  I think modern technology sort of lulls us into a false sense of security.  But if you're a believer, your security is in the Lord Jesus Christ who promised to never leave or forsake you.  Troubles will come, so be prepared.  We must praise Him the good times and praise Him in the bad.


    We can see in the life of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that he was always aware of what season he was in.  He waited patiently for 30 years until his ministry time had come and respectfully admonished his mother for trying to bring it to pass prematurely.


    John 2:3-4 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.


    When God brings about a time in life that we wonder about - such as refraining from embracing, mourning, losing and weeping - we must stay grounded in God's word  and thereby take comfort, that all things must come in God's time.  We must learn to recogize the season we are in to make the most of it.

    When it's a joyous season of prosperity and blessing, we need to bask and dance in it's wonderful glow and warmth. 

    When it's a difficult season of pain and loss, we need to humble ourselves under the potter's hand and trust that Lord is cultivating patience and longsuffering in us. 

    One thing that is timeless and defies all seasons - we can always praise the Lord.  Whether in joy or in pain, when we let patience have her perfect work, that is when the Lord can really use us. 

    How is He using you?

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    The Cayenne Miracle

    Have you heard about cayenne? Did you know that it is not just a hot spice in your kitchen but a powerful, life saving medical remedy?
     
    After reading this article, I hope you will put Cayenne pepper on your shopping list and then start learning how to use it. You never know when it could mean the difference between life and death. If I had known about cayenne years ago, I could have helped a loved one whose brain was hemorrhaging right before my eyes.

    This is a very informative article.




    Another interesting resource is a book I just finished reading, by Dick Quinn called "Left For Dead". In it he documents his own true and amazing story of how after having a heart attack, an angioplasty and a double bypass surgery, his doctors could do nothing more for him and essentially they left him "for dead".

    After becoming desperately weak and on the verge of death, he remembered someone he met who had urged him to take cayenne.  He figured her suggestion to be quackery but in desperation one day, he filled some spare capsules he had at home with some regular kitchen cayenne powder and took a few.  He was astonished at the resulting strength and vitality he gained in a very short time.

    Cayenne's is definitely created for blood and heart health. Isn't it amazing that God made the color of cayenne red just like blood?  Like a hint to point us toward its best purpose!

    Elsewhere in Quinn's book, we learn about how a Soy Lecithin "flush" can clear up arteries.  My husband and I did this flush and afterward my husband said he felt much better. For a few years he'd had elevated blood pressure especially after physical exertion.  But after the Soy Lectihin flush, that feeling has not returned. A doctor visit confirmed that his blood pressure is now normal.   We praise God for this amazing and natural product. It tastes similar to malt in my opinion. We just stir it into our morning juice and drink it down. Super easy and just amazing benefits. 

    We found Soy Lecithin at Sprouts Farmer's Market but I'm sure it's available at most health food stores.  It's actually kind of pleasant tasting, too. 

    Cayenne is one herb we should all have in our homes. Heart disease is on the rise in our country along with circulation problems and high blood pressure. These are all things that cayenne can help.

    I could list all the things here in this blog, but it would be too long to do so.  Dick Quinn's book was available at our local library for free. That's where I first read it. But we have since bought a copy of our own now. We also recently bought Rachel Weaver's book, "Be Your Own Doctor" and she also gives many amazing stories and uses for cayenne.
    I think it's so important to take the time to learn about this king of herbs.

    It just makes good sense to do all we can to treat and prevent illness at home rather than entrust our health to failing and greedy health care institutions.

    How amazing are things God has given us! They grow right out of the ground for our health and happiness on this earth so we can live and grow and enjoy God's amazing creation.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Fabric Softeners and Hazardous Waste

    I absolutely love the smell and feel that Fabric Softeners give to my laundry.  I've alsways found the scents luxurious and comforting.  But until recently, I did not realize that the chemicals which make up both liquid and dry fabric softening products are toxic. 


    The ingredients of these products cause illness including cancer and brain damage.  The young and the very old are naturally the most susceptable to these dangers.  Take a look at some of the ingredients and their related toxicities:
    • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) hazardous waste list
    • Camphor: central nervous system disorders
    • Benzyl acetate: pancreatic cancer
    • Benzyl Alcohol: Irratates the upper respiratory tract
    • Ethanol: central nervous system disorders; Listed as hazardous waste by the  EPA  
    • A-Terpineol: respiratory problems, fatal edema, & central nervous system damage
    • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
    • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
    • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
    These chemicals require very heavy, very concentrated fragrances to mask their odor.  These are the fragrances that have always smelled so good to me, but I realize now they are a toxic hazard to my health and that of my precious family.  The health effects from exposure to these toxic chemicals include:
    • Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
    • Pancreatic cancerCentral nervous system disorders
    • Vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Headaches
    • Nausea
    • Blood pressure reduction
    But there are alternatives to achieving our desire for fabric softening and non-static clinging in our laundry and you likely have them sitting in a cupboard right now.  Baking soda and vinegar.  This dynamic duo seems to come to the rescue for so many every day household uses it amazes me. And these can be bought very cheaply at a warehouse club in large containers.
    To soften a load of laundry, simply add:
    • 1/4 cup of baking soda to the washing water 
    • 1/4 white distilled vinegar to the rinsing water
    For fragrance, simply add:
    • a drop or two of essential oil to the washer basin as it fills with water before adding clothes. (Lavender is a nice one but there are many to choose from.)
    Yes, the oils can be spendy. But isn't it funny how we tend to justify spending money on certain things but balk at others. For example, the Fabric Softener I used to buy at our local warehouse club runs a whopping ten bucks per jug.  But if a small bottle of essential oil costs that much or more, I wince at the cost, forgetting that it is used in miniscule amounts and will therefore last a very long time. 


    But more importantly, it represents better health and potentially a lack of doctor fees.  Not to mention the savings of cheap vinegar and baking soda which offset the purchase of costly essential oils.  Not that the oils are necessary, but they will make my laundry have the pleasant fragrance that I so love. Which in turn will make me happy. Aroma therapy is very good medicine. Combine that with the merry heart it gives me, (which doeth good like a medicine!) and you can't beat that.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Why Homeschool?

    When my parents decided in the 1970s to homeschool me and my siblings, homeschooling was illegal in every state.  I am glad that their concern for us and our well being was more important than the rules of man. 


    Governments want our children. That's a fact.  Don't believe me?  Read "None Dare Call it Education". It will turn your stomach when you realize how dumb you've been.  Or rather, how dumb the government would like you to remain.  This is one issue where ignorance is definitely not bliss.  Get informed. Read up on this subject. Your children will never get another opportunity to have another childhood.  They are depending upon you to do right by them.


    You'd have to live on a deserted island not to see the trash that the public schools are churning out of their programs.  And private schools don't churn out much better goods.  Contrary to what the Education Bureaus would like us to believe, the problem is not that they need more money because government schools are the Biggest Budget Buster of all time - coming in at an astounding 26% of government spending!




    All that money and what is the result?  Are kids are getting smarter? Are "school kid crimes" decreasing?  Are families are getting stronger?  No, they are not.  That final one - the one about families - that's the most important one of all.  Families are weakening.  Divorce is now common. Children are shooting one another! Preadolescents are engaging in immoral behavior that would shock the average adult. Why? God is not allowed in their classrooms. 


    "It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."
    Patrick Henry

    And parents are to blame, not the government. 


    "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
    Abraham Lincoln



    The government has limited powers regardless of what many people think (and what the government would like us all to think).  The people are in a much stronger position and always have been. This reality was present in the days of Moses when Pharaoh realized that the Hebrews outnumbered the Egyptians many times over.  They feared the Hebrews might one day overthrow their authority and so they oppressed them and afflicted them even harder. (Exodus 1:1-22)


    "Education is useless without the Bible."
    Noah Webster



    Homeschooling is on the uprise and our government continues to try subtle ways to undermine it and gain control.  Why?  Why should the government want our children?  That answer should be obvious.  If they can get them when they are young, they will have their future loyalty.


    The real purpose of modern schooling was announced by the legendary sociologist Edward Roth in his manifesto of 1906 called SOCIAL CONTROL. Your librarian will easily be able to get a copy of this book. In it Roth wrote, (I am quoting) "plans are underway to replace family, community and church with propaganda, mass-media and education (of course he meant schooling)...people are only little plastic lumps of dough". Another insider, H. H. Cadard, chairman for the Psychology Department at Princeton, called government schooling approvingly -- "the perfect organization of the hive with the anthill". Cadard wrote further, "standardized testing would cause the lower classes to confront their biological inferiority, sort of like wearing a dunce cap. In time that would discourage reproduction of the ants on the anthill".


    Homeschooling is more than just an educational choice, friend. Our government is well aware of that. It is a choice of who will get our child's soul; a spiritual battle for the souls of children. You are fooling yourself if you think that you can send your children away to a facility and their loyalties remain in tact.
    The point is this: if your children are getting 8 hours of the world every day and only 2 hours of you, who do you think they will choose?


    The odds are stacked against you.
    Take thoughtful action.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Should Christians Tithe?

    When we, as Christian, look at an issue, our entire doctrine should be based not on what man says, but on what God says. And he gave us his words in the Bible.  Many churches preach tithing.  But what does God say? Should Christians tithe?
    The fact is that not only are we not required to do it, but it’s sinful to tithe.


    Why?  Tithing is old testament law. In Galatians chapter 5,  Paul said, “Whosoever of you are justified by the law are fallen from grace”.  When a person goes back  to the law - to keep the law in any part as an obligation or a duty - he’s stepping away from grace.  It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lost, but he’s stepping away grace. He’s falling from his position in grace.


    How does tithing cause a person to fall from their position in grace?


    Let me ask you this: if you’re tithing and you don’t tithe, would you feel guilty?  Would you feel like you’re cheating God or robbing God? (As the preacher said in Malachi 5).  If you say, “Yes, I would”, then you are doing a work in order to please God and make yourself right with him.  That’s all the law is:  doing what God said to do in order to make yourself right with him.
    When Paul came back from his third missionary journey to Jerusalem, the Jews there were keeping the law.  They continued to keep every aspect of Moses' law.  And they accused Paul of teaching Jews in outer areas that they didn’t have to keep the law.
    And so Paul explained to them that he was NOT telling the Jews  that they shouldn’t keep the Sabbath or that they shouldn’t tithe and obey all the laws.  He was telling the Gentiles that God didn’t give those laws for Gentiles, he gave them just for Jews. 
    So the church considered he matter, with all the apostles present, and they decided what a Gentile should observe out of the old testament.  They outlined exactly four things: they should abstain from fornication, idolatry, from eating anything that was strangled, and from drinking any blood.  Those were the only four things.  All those things existed as law to mankind in general before the flood, before Abraham, before Moses.  And so those were not part of the law. 
    Now, if tithing was something a Christian ought to do, then they would have said to the Gentile churches, “You need to collect on the first day of the week, 10% of your income and give it to God, to the church.”  But they didn’t say that. 


    If Sabbath keeping were part of it they would have said, “You need to worship God on the Sabbath" (or on Sunday - whenever they chose to do it).” But they didn’t do that.


    That burden was never placed on the gentile churches – ever – anywhere in scripture.  
    Read Ephesians, Collosians, Phillipians, I & II Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James. Of all the times Paul wrote to the churches, you have all kinds of exortations to righteousness and duty for a Christian.  But you never, never, ever have Paul suggesting that they tithe.
    In Corinthians, we even have Paul saying when you gather together on the first day of the week, to “set aside” and he tells them how to collect an offering.  But he never tells them to tithe in collecting that offering.  They’re to give willingly from a willful heart – he didn’t say how much.
    One of the sins of tithing would be that it wouldn’t be enough.  In other words if you’re a Christian and you really believe the world is lost, and you want to get the gospel out, would you just give 10% of your income to God and feel like you’ve served him?  I would think that you’d arrange your lifestyle so that you could give much more to missions than 10 %. 
    There is a big problem today wherein preachers with churches worth 1 million, 5 million or 40 million preach tithing simply because they need the money and have big bills to pay.  These preachers will use any method they can to keep money coming in.  This is a the deplorable motive of that Bible doctrine these days.
    The Bible is clear.  The question is, will we believe God's words or will we be followers of men?  Will we base our beliefs and subsequent actions on mens philosophies and teachings while we sit ignorant of what God teaches us from his Bible?  Or will we study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman (and woman) that needeth not be ashamed? 


    It is amazing what happens when you just read the King James Bible apart from every doctrine of man, every denominational pull and practice. The truth emerges. I hope that you will do just that.  And soak in the words of God. 


    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    How to Open a Pomegranate

    Pomegranates are a great source of vitamin C, B5, fiber and they are also antioxidants and anti-viral.  But they are a pain to open!  Every time I've eaten a pomegranate it's a struggle to pick out all those little encased seeds.  Well I just learned an old Indian method to open one and I wanted to share it with you. It's a cinch!


    How to Open a Pomegranate


    Score the pomegranate crossways and wedge open with your knife. Break the halfs into quarters and then one at a time over a medium size bowl, hold each quarter, skin side up in the palm of one hand and hit the skin all over with the flat side of a wooden spoon with the other hand.  The seeds will fall out of the pods and into the bowl - all of them! 


    This method has taken the dread out of pomegranates for me.  I am off to make a pomegranate smoothie for my family now!

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Courageous

    My husband and I went to see the movie, "Courageous" this afternoon and it has to be the Kendrick brothers' best work yet. I think it's a movie that is life changing and I would like to see more like it.  The Lord sure has given these men an amazing gift of movie making. Every film they have done is intelligently written, has wit, humor, heart and good story telling.

    The story in their latest movie moves at a good pace and there is never a time when I was bored. In fact, I couldn't believe it was over two hours, it went by so fast.  And even though it was a drama, it was not so heavy that it was a downer at all.  They put truly hilarious comic relief steadily throughout the movie and we lauged out throughout the film.  But we also cried.  A lot.  There were only 5 other people in the theater with us (it was an early matinee) and sniffling and eye rubbing was abundant among us all.


    I'm not going to give away the plot or story line, but I will say that it's a must see film.  Every man should see the movie for sure.  I applaud the Kendrick brothers for what they're doing.  The film industry has needed them for a long, long time. I hope they make hundreds more films like these. Go see Courageous!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Making Greeting Cards

    I enjoy making my own greeting cards. It is much more economical for one thing.  Prices for greeting cards baffle me.  Some cost as much as $5 and $6 dollars and when you're on a tight budget, that is quite an extravagance.  Years ago when our family was young and our budget extremely tight, I decided to make my own.  The advantages include saying exactly what I want to and making it special to the person I'm giving it to. And every time I make one, it cost literally pennies and I'm saving money.


    I have different books that I use as references.  Some have quotes, some have scriptures by category.  And I sometimes reference websites such as Bluemountain.com for inspiration. I also use my own original poetry.


    The variety of ways to construct a greeting card are endless.  There are many books on the subject at the library to assist with learning techniques.  But a few scraps of pretty paper and some basic art supplies are all that's really needed to turn out pretty, unique cards. 


    One of my new found favorites is the use of watercolor paints.  Here's the card I just made for my husband's birthday.



    I printed out the words and then added color with this simple kids water color set.


    I designed the card on our computer card making program and then printed it out in black and white.  Our printer is laser and only does black and white printing, so any color it had was going to be up to me. So I blended some pretty water color shades together as I went and I think it turned out well.

    The moisture caused the paper to buckle a bit, so while it was still moist, I layed it face up on the bathroom counter and blasted hot air from my blow dryer directly onto the card. The warm air dried the paint and also flattened the card back down.


    Here is another card I made yesterday by printing out the words and adding my own artwork and color.



    There are a myriad of ways you can make greeting cards. Tearing paper and layering it is also a great way to give a card a look and feel of prominence.  Ribbons, eyelets, glitter, feathers and sewing stitches add a lot of charm and make cards even fancier. 


    I love plain and simple cards with a hand drawn look to them as well. (Like the shoebox variety at hallmark. ) If you have even a little artistic talent, you can draw simple figures of people, balloons, a vase of flowers, a puppy - things like that - and then fill the drawings with a little watercolor for a fabulous professional look. 

    Or you could print out some clipart and hand color them.  Hand coloring is a nice touch and gives the card a warmer sentiment than printing out in color, I think.  But in a rush, I've used our color printer in the past. 


    If you haven't tried making your own greeting cards, I encourage you to give it a try.  Your loved ones will feel special, you can express yourself personally in a way that no store bought greeting can do and you will have the added benefit of saving money!