Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why I Never Use Profanity


It's grievous to hear a professing Christian use profane words, or use God's name irreverently. The Bible says that one day we will each have to stand before the Lord and give an account for every idle word spoken. Every Idle Word.

That's a little mind blowing, but it is right there in scripture. Profanity is defined as 

Profane [proh-feyn,]

adjective
1. characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.
verb (used with object)
6. to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily.
Synonyms
1. blasphemous, sacrilegious, impious, ungodly. 2. temporal. 3. unhallowed. 5. low, mean, base. 7. desecrate.

I wonder if

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bundle Up in the Cold Assists Your Immune System

Have you ever heard the old saying, "You'll catch your death of cold"? This was a pretty common phrase several decades ago. 

There is a actually a scientific reason why

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cold Season

November has been beautiful in our area with blue skies and beautiful leaves everywhere. Our new house is coming along and we're getting it a little bit more organized.

We've been doing well fighting off the various coughs and colds that are going around.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Healthy Substitutes for Deli Meat

Lunch foods have always been my biggest culinary challenge, health-wise and budget-wise.

Trying to eat healthy on a budget takes planning and work. I am trying to steer my menus away from

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Video! Battle of the Bibles

I love truth and I am so excited to share this video, "Battle of the Bibles" by former evolutionist, turned Creationist, Dr. Walter Veith. 

The Bible says, "Do not be deceived by the devil, but rather expose his evil deeds."  

As Christians, we are basing our eternity on God's Word, so it's vitally important that we make certain that this book, upon which we're basing our eternal destiny is truly the Word of God. 

Dr. Veith says, "The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we are dealing with a direct translation that gives as accurate a rendition of the original words as possible, or are we dealing with a dynamic equivalent translation that places the original words in a new setting that often reflects the paradigms of the translators? In the latter case the translation may turn out to be dynamic, but often anything but equivalent."

The truth is that God is unchangeable, and so is His Word.  
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. - Matthew 24:35
 I hope you will find the video profitable in your search for truth and uplifting to your faith in Christ Jesus.

Total Onslaught: Battle of the Bibles


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Peace of God

I've been looking forward to blogging again, but many things in my life have taken priority that it has been a season for waiting and not writing. Nothing that was too hard for my God, though. And all things have been working out for good.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Almost Home

Hello dear readers :)

It's been a long and winding road, but we are finally almost home! We found a house and closed the deal on July 9th. We're homeowners again! This is the third home we have owned in our family.

But we have been staying with dear friends for the past 2 weeks because we had to be out of our rental house by June 30th. Words don't describe how grateful we are to them for sheltering us during our homeless period.

We had to put all of our belongings into a storage unit. Minus several items we sold and donated.

But moving day is fast approaching! We will be moving in this Saturday. Just two more days! But because the house needs some repairs, cleaning and new carpet, we're waiting until the new carpet's in before we begin living there. So we'll continue staying with our friends until this Monday or Tuesday and then we'll really move into our new home. And with beautiful new carpet! :) What a blessing that will be. Another blessing is that our new home is only a couple of miles from our old home, which means we get to stay in generally the same neighborhood and shopping area.  SO happy about that!

As I learned in every other trial and hardship, God has been faithful and true and he is taking care of us. Staying with friends is a balancing act. How much to be around and how much to leave them undisturbed. We have tried to strike a balance but it's still tough to do. We treasure these dear friends and thank God for them daily.

Thank you for your prayers for us. I'll update as I'm able to. Have a blessed day in Christ!



Monday, June 1, 2015

Back to Square One

We got the home inspection last Saturday. I was sick with a 24 hour virus that day and had to miss it. But my husband and sons got to go and my husband looked a little overwhelmed when he got home. There were soooo many things that needed to be fixed. I asked him what the inspector thought was biggest thing wrong with it and he said the tobacco smoke. 

The next morning I woke early and innocently thought I'd just map out a course of action to tackle the smoke problem. I had no idea I was about to stumble upon the information that I did. 

From the research I gathered, the consensus from most people is that homes with more than a little tobacco smoke damage are a ton of work and often end up with causing more trouble than they are worth. Sometimes even resulting in breathing problems. Some people develop asthma and chronic coughs from living in a home that previous occupants smoked in. 

The microscopic particulates that permeate the indoor environment permeate everything and seem to become virtuously a permanent part of the home. Smoke smell can be diminished, it can be masked and it can even be deodorized - meaning you might be successful at removing the smell. But those nasty particulates are still there. 
Granted, some people report that they felt they had conquered the problem in the homes they were in. They reported no smell, etc. But the majority reported problem after problem and terrible trouble both financially and emotionally. 

From my understanding, it is not unlike mold spores, which are even more dangerous. The particles are airborne and extremely hazardous to your health. 

Therefore we decided, quite soberly and sadly, that we would rather lose the money we just invested into the inspection, than take on a problem that could ultimately cost us very dearly in terms of health and untold troubles. We are all relieved to be free from a potential nightmare. Lesson learned!

So on with the search we go. We now have 30 days to be out of this house and into another. 

So we are praying for a miracle and trusting God to meet our needs. And even if we have to live in an Extended Stay Hotel temporarily, and go through all the trouble and expense of moving into storage and then into a home, we will still praise him. He is so worthy to be praised! 

Genesis 18:14 - Is any thing too hard for the LORD?


Friday, May 29, 2015

We Got It!

After 3 harrowing weeks on this real estate roller coaster ride, we finally went under contract last night on the house I showed in my last post. I'm so thankful for the Lord's grace toward our family.

This last week has been stressful. The house needs work and isn't as nice in person as it looked in the photos. But we are hoping we can fix it up ourselves.

Sooooo many houses we have toured have had such tiny square footage and odd layouts. Some have had multiple levels, ugly yards and other features that we found just undesirable. We weren't trying to be picky, but really, I guess we're kind of picky. Buying a house is so huge. We just want to make the right choice without too much  compromise. 

Our agent said that most homes only have about 85% of what a buyer is looking for in a home. And we were fine with that. But the majority of the homes we were seeing had a much lower ratio —  somewhere around 65%.  Probably due to the housing price boom in our area. Our price bracket meant we were looking at homes too small, in less desirable locations, and almost all of them had some sort of major deficit on things that are very important to us.

It was like showing up late to a buffet and trying to fill our plate from slim pickin's after the good stuff was already taken. And that scenario only represents the decent homes in our price range. 

There have been plenty of homes that were so bad they were a whole other scenario. :-) With those it was like coming to a garage sale and trying to pick through someone's dirty laundry. Hmm, should we pay top dollar for this crusty sock or these moldy drawers? Decisions, decisions. 

It was amazing to see how many people will completely wreak havoc on the home they live in and then just put it up for sale. Truly unbelievable. How can someone trash up their own dwelling and then put it up for sale in that condition? It's like they are saying, "Here you go. YOU clean up our mess. You'll get the house, the scum, the dirt and the whole broken down ball of wax all for one amazingly high price!"

That is a seller's market. 

And I recommend it to no one! Had it not been for the problem we encountered with that new property management forcing us to lease again or move, we definitely would have waited till autumn or winter to buy. 

But God knew what he was doing. And he has ways of closing and opening certain doors to help us and guide us on the path he would have us to go. 

So as our journey progressed, we kept looking at houses and praying. And then praying some more. Every good house was being swept out from under our feet by higher bidders. 

We just couldn't compete. It was looking like we were going to have to get a not so great house or be homeless.

Then along came this house.

We put in an offer on Saturday, May 23rd. It's a long story. But the seller put us through FIVE days of nonsense and stalling before he finally accepted our offer.  

So not only did we get the house for $18,000 under list price (which was already $15,000 lower than comparable homes. AND we did it in a seller's market! No, we didn't do it - the LORD did it. Truly he is our shield and strong tower and he knows those whose hearts are trusting in him. 

Once we put some sweat into bringing it to it's full potential, it will immediately be worth $34,000 more than we paid for it. 

Praise the Lord!  Only HE could do such a thing for us. And just in the nick of time!

As it turns out, we'll be able to put all new flooring in before we move in as well.

The next three weeks will be spent on home inspections and the process of escrow and closing. And then the big moving day. The house is about 9 miles from where we live now so it won't be too long of a haul. 

Thank you dear readers for taking time out of your busy days to pray for me and my family! As the Lord leads, I would appreciate your prayers for us to have a peaceful closing and moving experience. 

May God bless you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

On The Precipice

Today we will find out if the house we put an offer on will be accepted by the seller. It's a 2003 home that is a little distressed. But it is in a nice neighborhood with plenty of room for our family. It has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, plus a loft. It has 1,960 square feet of living space and a 700 sq ft basement.

I love the covered front porch and tile roof.




It has a double sided gas fireplace. (The railing that's visible above is the loft.) 

I'm not sure what I would do with that see through area above the fireplace. My husband wants to frame and fill it and put the tv up there on the other side. I think that area is perfect for some kind of sculpture or flower arrangement.



It has a nice big kitchen with Maple cabinetry and a pantry. Laundry room is small, but at least it's not in the basement! 



No formal dining room, but there is a large space adjacent to the kitchen for our dining room table. My husband wants to rip the flooring and that half wall out and put in hardwood for a seamless flow.

The loft is bright and cheery and overlooks the entrance and front room and has built in storage. 
Down the hall are the bedrooms and bathrooms.



It also has an unfinished basement for storage and/or finishing.



The previous occupants did not take very good care of the home and it is in need of a thorough cleaning and a little fixing here and there. 

The window blinds are covered in grime and even though the carpeting was steam cleaned (and still damp when we viewed it the other day), if we got it, I'd have it professionally cleaned again! :) 
The interior of the home has a prevailing marijuana smell, so I don't know how that would be remedied. Maybe an enzyme product sprayed around.

But all of the things wrong with it are things that we can remedy ourselves over time. 

The yard is good sized, although it looks larger in the photo than in real life. I'm amazed at how the wide angle camera lenses can distort a photo and make the space appear MUCH larger than is true to life.  In the photo below, it almost looks like the yard alone is a quarter acre. 


But when we got there it is an average sized yard. The whole property is .21 acres, so that gives you an idea how big the yard is. 

But still, it is big enough for us!  :) And it overlooks a wide open field with a few cattle. Very peaceful.

We think it would be a fabulous yard for our family. Just big enough to play some Croquet, plant some flowers and a garden.

And enjoy the sunsets on the big patio.  
(The pergola is also in need of repainting and sealing.)
The view from the kitchen window would be so nice.


The exterior paint on the garage door is in really rough shape. 
Worse than the photo shows. 


It's hard to see in the photo, but the front door paint is also badly in need of paint. 
But these are easy fixes that I'd actually enjoy painting myself.  
My guess is that the builder didn't use quality paint when this home was being built. 



It is a lovely house that we would enjoy calling our home. 
But we are prepared that if this house is not what the Lord has for us, we will still say, "blessed be the name of the Lord." 

He is still greatly to be praised. 

Our situation grows more urgent with each passing day. 

We are relying on and trusting in the Lord to provide a way where there seems to be no way. 

We have 33 days to be out of the home we are in now. 

Thirty-three days to buy a home, close, and move in! Or perhaps find another rental home. Or liquidate as many of our belongings as possible, place the rest in storage, buy a travel trailer on Craigslist and live in that over the summer until we find a home. That would be the most drastic option. But at least we would own it and not throw money away on rent. 

However this turns out, we are trusting in God's provision and love for us. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

We're Keepin' On

Thank you so much for your prayers for my family and our housing situation!

We got the news this morning that the house we wanted so badly went to a higher bidder. We sort of figured it would because this seller's market is absolutely crazy. It's like Black Friday and people are losing their minds to win the bid.  

My husband had the day off today and will be taking the next 2 days off as well, so that will ease the  pressure from me quite a bit. Our agent showed us four homes today and my husband and kids didn't like the one I liked. The rest were all at the top of our budget and will likely be involved in bidding wars, so I felt like they were a waste of time even viewing. 

It's amazing how many people have odorous homes. I'd say around at least half of the homes we see pump their homes full of air freshener to mask the odors. I always have to get out of those homes quickly because the toxic chemicals give me a headache.

So come along with me on my house hunting journey and I'll share some pictures of the homes we're looking at.

The runner up home I told you about is still available, amazingly enough!
And it has no odors, no air fresheners, and smells just normal. Like normal fresh air. This says so much about a home, to me. Especially one that we need to move right into with little time to fix up. The only problem is my husband and sons don't really like it. :(

It has a 3 car garage and good curb appeal. Pretty, right?



The back yard was lovely and green with sprinkler system and a great deck. Plenty of room to bbq and the rest of the yard has three big trees. I like it.


I could work with this kitchen (after repainting it).
It's got good cupboard space and a good "working triangle".


A cute powder - laundry


A display niche and real hardwood floors on the main floor. 

 It is also in a very nice neighborhood, which is important and just minutes away from some good friends. 

I think the mural throws my husband and sons for a loop, though.
But it's just paint that we can easily paint over.
It's a tri-level home, not our favorite style, but it is newer and in very good condition. 


What do you think of this one?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Houses, Houses...My Head is Spinning

Our agent showed me four homes yesterday and 6 homes today. I think I am officially overwhelmed. 

We haven't been through the home buying process since 2008 and it has changed. They have internet "portals" now with live MLS listing updates. They do a lot of texting and a lot of electronic signatures. Gone are the days of sitting down in the agent's office and being shown the contract carefully. Now it's emailed. And we have to go over ourselves. Terrible way to buy and sell something as important as a home. 

What I'm having trouble with is trying to choose between our priorities, because not every home hits all the criteria.  There is always a mix of them with some omitted... great location, great kitchen, great yard, great condition, good layout, master 5 pc bath, storage space/unfinished basement, garage space, etc.

When a house is missing one or more of these features, my mind starts doing loopty-loops trying to reconcile which combination would work best: 

do we want to live further out in an awesome house or closer in with a lesser one?  
Do we want to pay top dollar to get more square footage and have a dreamy back yard but sacrifice newer flooring and trim? 

Do we want to have a formal dining room but have the laundry in a dark unfinished basement? My biggest dislike is having laundry in a basement. I mean, what kind of architect thought that homemakers — or anyone — would enjoy trudging up and down one or two flights of stairs to a basement while carrying mounds of laundry... multiple times per week?  They had to be out of their minds. So when I see laundry in a dreary, dark basement, I cringe. It's almost an instant loser.

So this afternoon, my head started aching with all the decisions to be made. 

The only one I keep dreaming of is the one I showed you yesterday with the dreamy kitchen. Everything about it just sends me into a tizzy of dreamy excitement at the thought that it might actually be ours to live in and enjoy.  

They are supposed to make a decision today. 

And I'm on pins and needles. 

We threw in a last ditch effort at getting it this afternoon with my husband offering to give them $2500 in carpentry services on their next home. 

That house also has the laundry room upstairs by the four bedrooms. 
Swoon


And a 5 pc master bath with soaking tub and separate shower. (And private toilet room.)
Double swoon.



And a dreamy little fountain pond in the lush and private backyard. There is much more to the yard, but this is the only picture available. 


And this is the adorable and charming dining area adjacent the kitchen. 
So bright and cheery. I love that it has a regular glass door to the back yard instead of a sliding glass door. 



Yes, it's true.

Good or bad, I have fallen in love with this house! 

Even if we don't get it, I'm still shamelessly in love with it.

But...
I've also given it to God. 
I even picked out a runner up home (in the same neighborhood for $28,000 less) if this one should go to another. :-) 

Thank you so much for your prayers! 



Friday, May 15, 2015

Time for Flitterin'

I may not be around Blog Land much in the next couple of months because we are going to be moving soon. We've been looking at houses to buy for the last couple weeks and hope to be moved by the end of June. 

The property we've been leasing changed management and the new company refused to give us a month to month lease. So we either had to sign new a 12 month lease or give notice to be moved out by June 30th — whether we have somewhere to live or not. 

Fun times, right? :-)

So....I am trying to keep an even keel on this roller coaster ride of stress and emotion. It's a seller's market and it's hard not to feel panicky. 

I'm clinging to Psalm 127 —Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.

My comfort and assurance is firmly planted in God. He is our provider. He can see the future and where we will be living, so I don't have to stress it. But I do find that this truth must be continually  communicated to my nerves!

Meanwhile, the reality of a seller's market skew the multiple factors that go into buying because of the small window of time. Kinda makes my makes my head spin. 

So I thought I'd show you some of the houses that we're choosing from this week (or maybe it's the other way around in this market!). Pray for us as you feel led!

This is the house I'm going to see today. 
It's also close to a freeway for my husband to zip out for work each day. 

 It has a private lake stocked annually with fish (for catch & release), 
community swimming pool, clubhouse and a beautiful neighborhood. 
The taxes are good, but the HOA fees are hefty. 



 This next house I toured with our agent yesterday and it was awesome. It's just a couple blocks from the other one and near to the freeway. What I love was the upstairs laundry room, 5 pc master and beautiful fenced yard with a big deck, professionally landscaped yard and little stone fountain/pond. We put an offer in last night and we'll know by tomorrow at 3p if we got it or not. Competition is high, but the Lord can do anything! 


With a big gorgeous kitchen with lots of storage, granite counters and upgraded appliances that stay. This one tugged at my heart when I saw it. It's only had one owner and they left a hand written note about how many happy memories they've had in the home and how awesome the neighbors are. There was also a little Red Robin nesting on the front porch light. I love this one. 


I'll update when I can and let you know if we got one of these or if we'll have to keep looking. 
Hope you have a blessed day in Christ!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

6 Ways to Prevent & Treat Mommy Headaches

It's hard to be a good mom when you have a splitting headache. More and more people are experiencing migraine headaches which can be debilitating. You cannot properly take care of your family or your home when your head is pounding.




It's common to reach for Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or other various over the counter drugs to numb the pain. And while they do help reduce pain, they also

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Kindness of God

Have you ever noticed the gentle ways that God causes us to wake up each morning? First, the sun begins to rise ever so slowly. (Actually, it's the earth's rotation that makes the sun appear to rise. But, a rose of any color...).

Anyway, the sun begins ever-so-subtly to absorb the darkness around us. Unless you sleep with blackout curtains, your eyelids perceive the light and it begins to

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eggs In A Nest

Ever since I saw this breakfast being cooked in Moonstruck, I couldn't wait to try it out at home. It just looked sooooo delicious, especially to an egg lover like me. 

So far, I have made this several times in the last month with different kinds of breads and it is just as yummy as I hoped it would be. It is seriously scrumptious.  This morning my husband declared this meal his favorite non-meat breakfast.

But it gets better — you don't need many ingredients. In fact, in the movie, it looks like she only used bread, butter, and eggs. I added some toppings to mine, but I'm sure it's just wonderful in it's puritan form, too.


Eggs in a Nest

Sour Dough Bread
Real Butter
Large Eggs

Optional toppings:
Feta cheese
Tomato slices
Avocado slices



First just pull out some of the center of the bread to make a hole. 

Melt a good amount of butter (about a tablespoon) in a hot pan and fry the bread slices in the butter. 


Lift the bread up on a large spatula, melt more butter and flip.
Crack an egg into each hole and let cook for a couple of minutes.


Next, flip them over (like you would with pancakes) and cook on the other side for another minute or two.


Plate and top with Feta cheese, tomatoes and avocado slices. 


This is an easy breakfast but it looks a little fancy. 
Eggs in a nest — fast, healthy and absolutely delicious!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Healthy Chocolate

Chocolate is a staple at my house. Just a bite every so often and I'm good to go. And while chocolate itself is healthy and an antioxidant, the sugars and other added ingredients of grocery store chocolate are not. 

And fancy chocolates can get expensive. I bought a "specialty" chocolate bar at Sprouts for my husband as part of his Valentine's Day gift and it was over $3! Not my idea of a budget friendly treat. 

My solution: make my own at home using 4 simple, healthy ingredients: 

Coconut Oil
Cocoa Powder
Raw Honey
Celtic Sea Salt

optional add-ins include:

Shredded Coconut
Chopped raw nuts
Almond Butter
Peanut Butter
Dried cranberries

In terms of health, coconut oil outshines all other oils and has too many health benefits to list here. 
Raw honey is superior to processed and retains its many trace beneficial properties. 
Cocoa powder is loaded with health benefits and is a known antioxidant. 
And a pinch of celtic sea salt adds flavor balance and does not cause a mineral unbalance in the body as table salt does

An added bonus is that you can whip up a batch any time in the comfort of your own home. I love that phrase, don't you? "In the comfort of your own home." It's such a blessing to have a place to call home. :)

So these are the ingredients I used to make my healthy chocolate:


Then it gets really complicted. 
You dump them in a bowl and stir. :)


Sprinkle in any optional add-in ingredients you wish. I used shredded coconut. Unsweetened gets preferential treatment, but this is all I had so I used sweetened. 
Didn't bother my conscience a bit. :)

 

I then pressed the mixture into a silicone mold and chilled in the refrigerator. 


To the left over chocolate in my bowl I added about 1/3 cup almond butter and pressed into another silicone mold I had. 
Into the fridge it went to chill. 



In half hour or so they are ready to pop out and enjoy. 



Friday, April 17, 2015

Quick Lasagne

I normally make Lasagne with a long simmered meat sauce, but when I just want to get dinner fixed fast, I have no problem taking shortcuts. :-)

This is such a friendly meal to make and fairly easy. It assembles in under 30 minutes and I usually have the ingredients just hanging around in the fridge and pantry begging to be layered together. 


 Lasagne can be made with as many or as few different cheeses as you would like. I like to imagine how the first Italian wife must have stumbled upon this masterpiece one day in her kitchen. Maybe she was in a hurry and didn't have time to cut her noodles into the smaller sizes of fettuccine or spaghetti, and just made wide slits. Looking around her kitchen, she used leftover meat, cheeses and sauce and layered them together.  

In the same way, I like to invent or adapt recipes in my kitchen. So I swapped out the traditional mozzerella cheese for Monterey Jack in my lasagne tonight. I also used cottage cheese instead of ricotta. 

I had a stray tomato looking for a home so I sliced it and added it to the top. 

After I got dinner in the oven, I washed all the dishes because I believe in the "clean up as you go" method. Makes for a much less frightening kitchen after dinner's over. :)\

Next up was a quick tossed salad that I placed in the fridge while the Lasagne baked. And an hour later - voila! - dinner's ready!  :) 



Beef Short Ribs

Last night's dinner entree was beef short ribs and they were yummy! 


I think this is the second time I've attempted to make ribs and both times I have done so in the oven. The thought of making them always intimidates me because they are unfamiliar territory for me. I run to google and look up how to make them and then I remember with a smile that are easy peasy, so long as you've got the time to do it. 


I imagine they'd be great in a crockpot, too. But I haven't tried that method as of yet. Since I knew I'd be home all day, I just went with my oven routine. :)

First I marinated the ribs in bbq sauce 




Then into a 300 degree they went to slow roast for about 4 hours. (I started them around 2pm.) 
During the last half hour of cooking I brushed layers of bbq sauce over them every ten minutes to give them a nice thick glaze.  



While the ribs were getting happy in the oven, I got out my trusty corn meal and some fresh Napa cabbage to prepare some coleslaw and cornbread.


I baked the cornbread 1/2 hour before I put dinner on the table so it could be served warm. It turned out golden brown and yummy. (For extra moist cornbread add an extra egg!)



 My coleslaw was made by slicing the cabbage as thinly as possible and mixing it together with a simple dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. 


Then I made some stuffed eggs while the cornbread was baking. 



I made the bbq sauce from scratch about a week ago from this recipe. If you've never tried making your own bbq sauce, this one will not disappoint. It is delicious! I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry and it was so simple to whip up. I put it into a canning jar and stored it in the fridge. I expect it to keep for about a month.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Tax Day

It's April 15th and you know what that means: time for Uncle Sam to dig into the pockets of poor Americans.  Have you gotten your taxes all done and mailed? We are good to go on that front. My husband just taught our oldest son how to file his tax returns. Wow, they grow up fast!

So tonight, the chef (that's me) gets the evening off and we are going out to dine out at our local Sonic Hamburger stand. Do you have one of these places in your neighborhood? If you do and you like their burgers, they are offering half price cheeseburgers tonight on account of it being tax day.

There are several other tax day promotions going on at places like McDonald's, Burger King, Hard Rock Cafe and Boston Market.  (Just google it for details on the deals.)

It may not be much compensation for the annual government gouge, but considering these retailers are not at fault, it's awfully nice of them to serve up some special deals, isn't it?

Have a blessed day in Christ!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Does God Hear Your Prayers?

Have you ever wondered if God hears your prayers? The bible is God's word directly to mankind. It tells us that we can know whether He hears your prayers or if his ears are closed to them. Here's what Scripture says on the matter:
John 9:31 - Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
According to this scripture, who does God hear?

Anyone who is a worshipper of God and does his will.

Who does God not hear?

Sinners.  Sinners are those actively sinning. They know what they are about to do is wrong and do it anyway. They rationalize it. They say they are weak. They say they can't help it. There are a lot of excuses they have come up with to keep on sinning. They are sinners.

Notice that this verse does not say that God doesn't hear the heathen or unbelieving. It just says he doesn't hear sinners. Who are sinners? Sinners are those who know to do right and do not do it. A The difference between a Christian who sins and an unbeliever who sins is that a believer stumbles into sin (unintentionally, absent mindedly, accidentally) and an unbeliever sins with intent.

Unfortunately, popular preaching today says that Christians are sinners and that we're just "sinners saved by grace". But if this were true, then, according to the verse above, God would hear NOBODY. Instead, this scripture accurately divides people into two categories — the sinner and the saved.

Romans 6 declares that we WERE sinners. Past tense. That we were once slaves to sin, but NO MORE. If a Christian is still sinning (deliberate acts of disobedience) then something is wrong. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

 
Proverbs 28:9 - He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Is your ear turned away from the law? Have you ever witnessed children whose hearing was suddenly faulty when their parents called them?  Their hearing was just fine. They just "turned away their ear" because they didn't want to answer. God's law shines light onto sin and makes sin "exceedingly sinful". If your ear is turned away from hearing God's law, then your prayers are like an abomination. Strong words.
Proverbs 15:29 - The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Who are the wicked? The wicked are those who do not fear God. The wicked are people who sin on purpose. God says he is faaaaaarrrr from them. The righteous are people who fear and obey God. In other words, when there's a hard choice before you, do you choose right? If you do, you're pleasing God and in turn, his ears will be open to your prayers. I don't know about you, but I need God to be near to me.
Psalms 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
How does your heart regard iniquity? Do you let it influence you? If you give thought to it and have desire toward any thing that God calls sinful, then God will not hear you. Have you ever noticed that when some people pray, nothing happens, but when another person prays for the same thing, God is quick to answer? (This reminds of the passage in the book of Job when God told Job to pray for his friends and then he would forgive them.)
1 Peter 3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that DO evil.
Again, a clear-cut case of the righteous being heard, and the evil doers/sinners not being heard. Think of it this way — what if your husband was just a little unfaithful to you? (We all know there is no such thing as a little unfaithful, right?) What if he said he just couldn't help it? You'd be pretty insistent about that being hogwash.

God's got a cure for the sinner who claims he "can't stop". He says to simply remove the offending body part. If you're sinning with your eye, pluck it out. If it's your hand, chop-chop.

God's serious about sin. These are drastic measures to deal with sin, but he said it would be better to enter life (eternally in heaven) than be cast into hell with all your body parts intact. Whew!

Pulpit preachers do not warn the flock faithfully on this issue. It is despicable, but many clergy are ravenous sinners themselves. They will counsel you, but they will agree that it's just the "sin nature". And although popular, the Sin Nature teaching is completely unbiblical.

It may be unpopular to say that you can stop sinning (deliberate acts of disobedience toward God), but it's scriptural!

But God gives us all a choice whom we're going to obey and whom you're going to believe - God or man.

God gave his Son's blood to save us and free us from sin. The gospel is the POWER of God. This means that believers have the power to do God's will. When we read the Bible, and believe God, we renew our minds to our saved condition. The Bible says that I'm a new creature. The Bible says I don't have an "old man" anymore.

The Word of God is sharp and powerful and can "update your operating system" so to speak. I have read Romans chapter 6 carefully and I believe every word of it (and the whole Bible). The Bible says that when you repent and trust in Jesus, you are a blood bought, born again child of the living God. And it is the power of Christ within you to live a righteous and holy life.
James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Again, whose prayer availeth (profits, makes available) much? A righteous man's. Confess your faults...a fault implies a failing, a weakness or an error. This is different than a deliberate sin. A sin as I've said before, is a deliberate act. Have you ever accidentally robbed a bank or kissed anyone other than your husband? The courts differentiate degrees of murder by intent. Unintentional murder is dealt with differently than first degree murder. It's all about prior intent before the act.
Isaiah 59:2 - But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Are you seeing a pattern here?

The thing that hinders prayers is sin.

It separates us from God.

When you cross your conscience in a deliberate act of sin, you cut off the prayer line.

If your heart is toward the Lord, seeking the Lord, walking in Truth, taking the narrow way over the wide gate, turning from what is abominable to God and doing what delights him, then you are obeying him. This is the power of God to every one who believes! And it's exciting! God's power is awesome! And his ears will be OPEN to your prayers. It is very exciting to know that my prayers are reaching the ears of my Father in heaven!

Walk in holiness, dear sisters in Christ. Shun evil, and fight the good fight of faith. Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bedroom Care

There is a wonderful book for homemakers by Cheryl Mendelson called, "Home comforts: The Science and Art of Keeping House" that is full of pretty detailed homemaker stuff - have any of you read this? If not, I would encourage all domestic divas to get your own copy.

If you're like me, you appreciate books that organize the information by category so you can jump right to the subject you want information on, which this book does beautifully. Granted, it is not a skimpy quick and easy read. The author goes into great detail, and often times more detail than I would prefer. But the I find the details she offers always seem to make sense.  In other words, the details don't seem to be there just to fill up the book, but rather explain the whys and hows, which makes it much more bearable. (My tolerance for pretense and fluff is painfully low.)

Of particular intersest to me was the chapter on bedroom care on page 660. She points her readers to the age old custom of airing out the bed (& the room if possible) for an hour every day or more. Most of us fall into one of two camps: those who get out of bed and rarely make it up and those who get out of bed and make it right away. I'm from the second camp, but both are wrong. Who knew?


Cheryl writes:
"Each day when you arise, air the bed. Open the windows, if possible; throw the bedcovers back over the foot of the bed. (If the bedding will otherwise drag on the floor, stand a chair at the foot of the bed to support it.) Let the bed stand this way, unmade, while you shower and eat breakfast. The bed should air for at least an hour if you are going to work, or even longer if you are staying home. This helps immensely toward keeping the bed feeling and smelling fresh until you next change the sheets."

She goes on to present some very good reasons for this practice:

"While you are sleeping, you breathe about two pounds of moisture, along with breath odors and flocks of microorganisms, into the air, your pillow and your bedding. You also perspire, perhaps a cup's worth, and exude skin oils and body smells. And you use up the room's oxygen and replace it with exhaled carbon dioxide. When there are two or more people in the bed or the room, these effects are multiplied. All this explains why, if you sleep with closed windows, the room has a characteristic stale morning smell (although you might not perceive it until you leave for a few minutes and then return.) Unless you leave the bedcovers pulled down and the windows open for an hour or two, the moisture you have left in the bed either does not evaporate or evaporates very slowly, which makes for an environment in pillows and mattress in which dust mites, molds, and other microbial life have more of an opportunity to multiply. Opening the windows lets in new air to dilute the pollutants (microbial and particulate), carry them off, and bring in fresh supplies of oxygen."

Um...yuck!

When I think back on all of the years and centuries that people did not have central air & heating and the average home was NOT air-tight. Whoever heard of cancer back then?  Ever watch an old movie or read in old books where people routinely opened their windows at night? Yah, I think they knew what they were doing. Doctors would prescribe fresh air as a remedy for various common ailments. My husband and I have been sleeping with open windows most of our marriage and now, I'm going to start airing out our beds daily. It's a pretty cool excuse for not making the bed, too, I might add.

Whenever the weather and temperature allows, our windows are open. In our previous house, our bed was positioned up against the window in the master bedroom and the sweet fresh air that billows in as I fall asleep is sublime and makes me drift off to sleep like a baby. Now our bed is up against a wall and I am really missing the fresh air wafting down on me.

So glad we're having an indian summer so I can throw open the windows at night and air our bed and bedroom out in the mornings!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Homemakers Need to Be Ready To Give an Answer, Too!

proofthatgodexists.org

If you're ever in a situation to direct an athiest to God, I recommend referring them to the website named above. It is simple, brilliantly constructed and has a pretty powerful impact, in that it "forces" the user to exercise logic and reason — the pillars upon which athiests have constructed their religion.

Just because we are housewives, mothers and homemakers doesn't excuse us from the Great Commission.  We can sprinkle seed wherever we go — the grocery store and other shopping venues, online forums, blog posts, comment boxes, and social media such as Facebook & Twitter.

Often the most committed atheists were once "christians". It's important to understand that a christian is not always equal to being Born Again. Christian simply means professing to follow Christ. There are non-born again Christians and Born Again Christians. But only the latter are saved and accepted by God the Father through Jesus Christ his Son:

John 3:7
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again. 

Is there visible JOY in your life? The reason that I am joyous has nothing to do with my situation or circumstances on this earth (because we'd all like to change at least something in our lives for the better) and everything to do with the fact that I am sealed and saved in Christ. My sins have been paid for, I have been washed white as snow and the door to my prison has been opened. I am free. THIS is the good news.

If you have not had time in the word of God today, I encourage you to simply open up your King James Bible (no other version for this exercise) and read Romans chapter 6. Read the reality of a blood bought Saint. Do you believe it? It is the literal description of the state you are in if you are saved. If you read that chapter and don't "update your operating system" (your brain) with the renewing of your mind, then you are missing the party.

It is because of the hope that lies within me and the glorious redemption bought by my Saviour, Christ Jesus that I can even smile. He is the reason that we are a witness to others. That we spread and share the good news of the Gospel. If you don't already have some, get yourself some good Bible believing tracts (recommended: Chick Tracts and Living Waters) and leave them around when you do your shopping, go to the library, Doctor & Dentist appointments, etc. You will be fulfilling your call as a homemaker AND the Great Commission!

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

This verse has a couple of interesting conditional phrases. The first is to answer those who ask. This suggests that someone has been prompted by something they have observed in you. What does this scripture imply that was observed? Hope.

A Sinner's life is fraught with doubt, trouble, despair and sadness. They don't have hope for their life here much less the one to come. But when they see a blood bought Saint exhibit Love in the face of  hate and Hope in the face of trials, it simply BEGS the question:

What is the reason for your HOPE??

The next conditional aspect for this verse is the spirit or attitude of the asker. A lot of people misread this verse to mean that the "meekness and fear" portion applies to the way the Saint is to give the answer. Wrong.

If you look carefully and read it with grammatical correctness, it is the ASKER who is to approach you with meekness and fear. That excludes the person who would ask facetiously, which is to treat serious issues with deliberate defiance or a flippant attitude.

Jesus said not to cast your pearls before swine lest they turn and rend you (rip you apart). Be wise as serpents, gentle as doves. Remember to use discernment when you give an answer and if the asker has meekness and fear (sincerely), be ready to give them an answer! :)

Have a blessed day in Christ!