Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Brand New Home

Ken and I walk around the neighborhood everyday for 45 minutes.  We kill four birds with one stone ~ fresh air, sunshine, exercise and good communication!  As we walk, we pass this home that was terribly abused by its owners.  It was a dump!  I think they were kicked out. 

You would be amazed at all the junk they had in their home.  Everything they had was dumped in the front yard and it was all junk.  They had to bring huge dump trucks to get rid of it all.  Now the renovation is going on.  They tented it to get rid of all the termites.  They tore out all the guts of the home and are painting it and putting in all new appliances.  It is fun to go by it every day and see what new things they are doing to fix it up and look pretty again.

Some people think that is what happens when you become a believer.  God gives you a good cleaning out and a renovation.  This process can take many years.  I have to disagree. 

According to Scripture, the moment we believe we become a new creation, old things are passed away {II Corinthians 5:17}.  Our old home is completely demolished, including the foundation.  A whole new foundation is set down {Jesus Christ} and on this Rock is built a brand new home! 

Our old home was crucified with Christ, buried with Him, we rose again with Him, and are now sitting on the right hand of God {Colossians 2:10-13, Ephesians 2:5,6}.  We have been rescued from the power of darkness and set into the Kingdom of His dear Son {Colossians 1:13}.  The Holy Spirit comes to live in you and gives you the power to live this new life!  It is truly a miracle.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Cheap Clothes Stain Remover

This is a fabulous stain remover for clothes. I have used it on every type of clothing. You simply add equal parts of ammonia, dish soap and water into a spray bottle. Saturate the stain with the mixture and allow it to sit for a few hours and then wash as normal. It has taken out every stain I have ever tried it on!

For mirrors, counters, and windows, I use this cheap and non-toxic all purpose cleaner in a spray bottle.  It works amazingly well!

For sinks and bathtubs, I love Bar Keepers Friend.  It is non-toxic with no smell as compared to Comet or Ajax and it cleans just as good.

HERE is my take on liquid verses powdered homemade laundry detergents.

You want to keep as many chemicals out of your homes as possible, including all the anti-bacterial products.   I have read that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air.  Open your windows whenever you have the chance to let fresh air in.  We always sleep with a window open.

My best tip for cleaning is to simplify!  Get rid of STUFF!  Throw or give away everything you haven't used for a year.  If you have plates you haven't used, give them to somebody who can use them.  If you have lots of clothes you don't wear, give them to someone who will wear them.  Don't have so many toys for your children.  Have them watch you and work with you.  This makes them develop a work ethic and develops their intellect!

These are just a few of my cleaning tips, simple and cheap! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hosting A Healthy Luncheon

My Bible Study group comes over here for a luncheon every several months.  I live only a half mile from the church and they all love my food.  I love having them also.  I like to feed people healthy.  Usually when they taste how good healthy food can be, they want to start fixing it for themselves.

I thought I would show you what I fix for my luncheons.  I had 15 women at this last one.  It is easy to feed big groups if you know what to fix and how to prepare it.

They always request my salad so I just make a big one and have some toppings for it.  Today I had parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, and my homemade salad dressing.  I love to have tomatoes and avocadoes.  I also roasted several chickens to put on top of the salad or eat it separately.

I always have some of my homemade bread with some butter to go with it.  I made a big pot of  quinoa and vegetable soup the day before to serve also.  I just use coffee cups to serve the soup in.

Afterwards, the women usually want my recipes and want to start eating better.  It is a good way to start them on a journey towards better health.  We have a good time talking and getting to know each other better.  There is something very special about eating a meal together in a home.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
I Peter 4:9

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Young Men Who Love God

This picture was taken before Jon and Alyssa's wedding.  It is a picture of the groomsmen with their arms around each other in a circle praying for the upcoming wedding and marriage.  It is an incredible picture.

The young men you see in the picture are godly, young men.  They walk with Jesus.  They are hard-workers and love others.  This verse exemplifies their lives ~

Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;  in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach. 
Titus 2:6-8

Many lament the fact that there are so few good men around.  There are good men around.  They may be few and far between {a remnant} but there are some.  Some have come from great families and others have overcome difficulties to become the men God requires of them.

So take heart, young women, if God can save your soul, he can definitely find the perfect spouse for you!

Mothers, train your sons in the ways of the Lord ~ Love God.  Love others.  Work hard.  Encourage them to get an education or a life skill that can provide for a family.  Go to church.  Help their neighbors.  Be men of God.  Love their wives and children. 

This world needs more men like these young men.  These are the kind of men I would like to see leading families, churches, and our country...

The following comments are taken from an article written to men by Dave Daubenmire asking where all the real men are today. If you read this, let me warn you that he can be offensive but he sure does get his point across!

We are nothing more than sniffling, powerless, pampered, pabulum eating, weak-kneed off-spring of the King of Kings. I question if most of them are even saved. Wake up Christian!! The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells inside your mortal body!! It is time to come out of the closet.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love
I Corinthians 16:13,14


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Doodling His Name

My kids were all home this past weekend.  They all went to our favorite happy hour place on Friday night {AMAZING fish tacos}.  Afterwards, they went to get frozen yogurt.  Steven told me that Erin sat on Ryan's lap and Alyssa sat on Jon's...

Steven is dating a girl up in dental school.  They laugh a lot and enjoy being together.  He wanted to know if once people get married they still laugh with each other.  I told this to Erin as we were driving down to an all day retreat with Carol Hopson.  She replied, "Ryan has gotten more funny and we laugh even more with each other!"  

During the retreat, as Carol was giving one of her incredible messages, I looked over at Erin's paper and on it she had doodled Ryan's name with a heart by it...

That night as Cassi, Steven, and I were sitting around talking, Steven said that when he was golfing with Ryan that day, Ryan told Steven how happy he is being married to Erin.  He said that she is an amazing wife and he loves married life.

Alyssa has a Pinterest board labeled "Food 4 Husband" and is always pinning yummy looking food.  Jon loves to eat and she knows it!

My children give me good blog material.  They show me over and over again how incredible God's ways are when put into practice.  They both LOVE being married and are doing it right.  They don't argue.  They aren't competitive with each other.  The wives let the husbands be leaders and the husbands love their wives.  Marriage is easy when you do it God's ways.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
I Corinthians 13:3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walking On Eggshells

Do people have to walk on eggshells around you?  Especially your husband?  Is he afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing for fear of "hurting your feelings" or making you angry?  My friends, this should not be.

We were at a marriage conference recently and a couple was interviewed.  They said they were going to get divorced a year ago but went through a marriage seminar and are better today.  The husband admitted it was all his fault.  He just didn't understand his wife and was a bonehead.  She agreed.

He rated the marriage a seven out of ten now.  She said she couldn't yet rate it because it still goes up and down.  Ken and I watched them the rest of the day.  He was trying so hard to be kind to her.  He put his arm around her at one time and she took his arm off of him.  She is not loving him and accepting him as he is and the way she should.

I would love to mentor her.  She still doesn't get it.  She thinks she won't be happy until he is perfect.  She is blind to any fault in her marriage.  I use to be that way.  Ken would make me happy for awhile but if he spoke to me in a voice I didn't like, I would get angry at him.  It was pathetic!

I mentioned this to Cassi and she said, "Yeah, you weren't very fun to live with."  Don't make the same mistake I made with my family.  Love them just the way God made them...warts and all!

Learning to not get offended, to accept others just the way that they are, and not to judge others is a much better way to live.  Choose to be joyful.  Choose to be happy!  If someone gave you a million dollars to be happy for a month, you could do it.  Do it because God commands you to be joyful.  Others are drawn to happy people.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:  let them ever shout for joy, because thou defends them:  let them also that love you name be joyful in thee.
Psalms 5:11


Monday, March 26, 2012

Menopause Is No Excuse!

Here is a comment from a man on the topic of sex after menopause ~

I am a 55 year old male. My wife and I have been married for six years. We are Christians. My wife had not been married before we met and, or course, having been raised in a solid Christian home and committed her life to Christ as a child she had lived a celibate life all those years. I was married for twenty years and lost my wife about ten years before we married.

We have a wonderful relationship but about two years into the marriage she went through menopause. All physical contact stopped, with the exception of a hello or goodbye kiss and hug when one of us is going somewhere. She feels dead from the neck down.

We have not had any intimacy of any kind in three years. I was asked when it happened, after struggling to just be intimate every few months, to no longer talking about it or even asking her. She said she just wasn’t interested, that she still loved me, but that sex was no longer of interest and she didn’t want to talk about it anymore because nothing was changing.

I have sought medical guidance from some of the top specialists in the nation and all of them say the same thing; that this is what often happens and there is nothing that can be done. Their suggestion (from three major specialists at major medical schools in different parts of the nation) is that I just need to learn to accept it and take lots of cold showers. And boy, we’ve all run out of hot water at times, well I think our home must be about to run out of cold water!

I’ve also sought pastoral guidance from a number of trusted sources and they agree that nothing really can be done unless she is willing. They do, of course, remind me that it is a sin to withhold affection from your spouse but also understand that you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do.

This has been very hard for me. My frustration has been great and I am to a point where I can hardly get through a day without severe struggles with my thoughts. And, it has surprised me how angry I often feel when she does nothing to bring that out in me.

After brain surgery when I was 45 years old, I was pushed into early menopause. Sure, there are some struggles in the sexual arena during menopause, but that doesn't give us a reason to stop!  There is something called lubrication, serving others, and obeying the Lord's commands to us, whether we feel like it or not.

I wanted to know from this man if his wife has an older woman in her life that can confront her in her sin. She is NOT loving her husband. She is not serving him and pleasing him. She is only thinking about herself and what she wants and how she feels which leads down the path to destruction.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence {SEX}: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife.  Defraud ye not one the other.
I Corinthians 7:2-7

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Preparing For "The One"

How does a young woman prepare for her future husband and how will she know when he is "the one?"

She will prepare for him by growing deep roots in Jesus.  Studying His Word consistently.  Being involved in a good Bible believing church.  Making godly girlfriends.  Walking more and more in the Spirit by choosing to be kinder, gentler, controlling her emotions and moods, more joyful, more loving and friendly, more generous, etc.  The more like Jesus you become, the better wife you will be when you meet "the one."

She will know he is "the one" when it is easy.  You simply enjoy each other's company.  You miss each other terribly when you are apart.  You love being with him.  You love him just the way that he is and you refuse to try and change anything about him.  You want to support him in whatever he does in life.  You want to make him happy for the rest of your life.  You will fight for your marriage and not allow the enemy to tear it apart.  You can't wait to say, "I do!"

Pray.  Pray before you meet him.  Pray after you meet him daily for God's direction.  God said all we need to do is ask for wisdom and He will give it to you.  Ask and you will receive.  You want God to pick out your spouse.  He does a really good job!

Then, when you marry "the one," live your life loving, serving, and pleasing him.  Refuse to allow any negative thoughts ever to be planted in your mind.  Love him for who he is today.  Make his life heaven on earth.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law...If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22,23,25

Saturday, March 24, 2012

All There Is ...Really

My blog post on She Loved Her Son was translated into Russian and got quite a few hits.  I knew this because I can see where people are coming from to read my blog through my stats.  I thought Sandy would like seeing it being read from people all over the world.

She sent me a note that read ~

I can't tell you how much that meant to me. If someone in another part of the world could hear the hope that is in Jesus, I would be soooo happy!!  After all…. That is all there is.. Really..

This is from a mother who lost her son three short months ago.  She gets it.  Death has an amazing ability to put everything into perspective.  She gets to see her son again.  She is eternally grateful for Jesus and His work on the cross so she can spend eternity with her son.

Jesus is all there really is...Without Him, we would have no hope.  This life would be all that there is...Get all you can because this is it!  I am so happy that this is not all there is to life.  We can have abundant life the moment we believe in Jesus because He puts eternity in our hearts.  Our outer man is decaying but our inner man is being renewed day by day.

Sandy ended her note to me by saying,   Miss my boy desperately…..  She will always miss her boy.  Losing a child has to be the worse thing that can happen to anybody.  That is why God sent His only Son to die so that we can live, so her son can live.  Thank you Jesus.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my Word, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;  but is passed from death unto life.
John 5:24

Delicious Fruit Smoothie

This is a wonderful way to start off the day! 

1 cup of kefir or yogurt

2 cups of frozen berries

1/2 cup of juice

1 frozen ripe banana

A squirt of stevia

Blend it well.  We have a Vitamix which makes it like ice cream.  My grandbaby loves this!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Keep Your Body Well Oiled

This country has been on a low-fat diet craze for many years and new research has proven that this is not a healthy way to live. Our body needs healthy fats just like our car needs good oil. This article is written by a heart surgeon on what really causes heart disease. The bottom line is processed, dead food is the culprit. The farther our food source is from the way God made it, the unhealthier it is for us and all this junk food we are eating is causing inflammation in our bodies which leads to many diseases.

He says the best fats for you are grass fed butter and olive oil. I would add that it should be extra virgin olive oil. All the other oils are very processed. I also think organic coconut oil, ghee, fish oil, avocado oil, and avocados are very good for you. Here is a post on 52 ways to use coconut oil. I use it in my deodorant, peanut butter cups, and yummy chocolate that my grandchildren love and so do I! It's my favorite dessert. 

My advice to you is simply to get back to the way God intended us to eat food. Sure, it is more expensive but there are a lot of things you could probably cut out of your lifestyle to eat healthier. It will probably help cut down medical costs in the future.

It also takes time to buy fresh food and cut it up. I go to Jimbos {my healthy food store that I love} every couple days and buy all my fresh vegetables to make my salads. I am mentoring one young woman who just texted me and told me she is LOVING getting into this homemaking stuff! She is dehydrating her own nuts. She roasts chicken now and makes soup out of the stock.

When you realize how important eating healthy is to your family's health, you make the decision to take the time to do what it takes to feed them healthy.  
As you do this, you may even learn to enjoy it!

A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, 
 and pomegranates; a land of olive oil, and honey.
Deuteronomy 8:8

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Soft Answers Turn Away Wrath

This is a principle I have been putting into practice lately and it works!  I get angry emails from readers if I delete their comments or write something they disagree with.  I have tried responding in a gentle way.  It has worked every single time except one.  I think she was a very angry woman and didn't want to have anything to do with what I write.

People outside of this blog have gotten upset with members and church members.  Every time I decide to respond in a gentle way, it has worked out so beautifully.  I keep reminding myself of God's principles.  We are to be at peace with all men.  We are called to love others.  Learning to respond in a soft way is a very good thing.

The more I put God's ways into practice, the better life becomes.  Since I am a teacher, I am going to be held much more accountable.  I don't want to disgrace the Word of God.  Am I perfect?  Am I the perfect wife and mother now?  NO!  I never will be but I am sure a lot better than I was even a year ago.  We should always be growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God and looking more like Jesus to those around us.

We gave one couple we are mentoring the word "Peace" as their word for the year.  They had very little peace in their marriage when we met them.  They have something they are working towards now and it is working out great.  Peace in a marriage is a goal to be sought after.

Ask your family how you are doing?  Are there areas you need to work on?  Learning to not respond in anger and get offended isn't easy.  It takes a choice to act upon God's Word and what is right instead of feelings.  Don't let your feelings run your life.  Let God's Word and the Holy Spirit run your life.  Everyone around will benefit.  And just remember, You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!

A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger
 Proverbs 15:1

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Love Never Fails

The following comments are taken from an article from the Huffington Post ~

These women are done. They say they aren't happy. They say they aren't in love with their husbands {or any other man -- they aren't having affairs}. They say they simply wish they were no longer married to him. They aren't fulfilled. They wonder if this is how they are doomed to live the rest of their lives {and God-willing, most of them have another 40+ years ahead of them}.

The common factor amongst all of these women is that they say that their husbands are really solid, good, nice men. They are not victims of physical or emotional abuse. They are not married to felons. They are not married to alcoholics or drug addicts. Their husbands are not having affairs. In fact, they tell me, there really isn't anything "wrong" with their husbands ... they just don't want to be married to them anymore because they have fallen out of love. It's actually a depressing conversation. When did we all become so unfulfilled with life?

It goes on to say that these women wish their husbands would have affairs so they could divorce them.  This behavior happening in the secular society is to be expected.  They aren't taught to love others and to keep their vows, but I am seeing it happening a lot among "Christians."

Many women are married to very good men, yet their supposed happiness is more important than obeying God.  The thing is they will never find true happiness apart from obeying God.  We are called to love, serve, and please our husbands.  The more a woman decides to live that way, the happier she becomes.

Too many women think that divorce is the answer.  They are fooling themselves along with the many secular women who feel this way.  They are trading one set of problems for another and usually, worse problems.  They will never have the joy of growing old together, shared experiences, and well-adjusted children.  They have allowed selfishness to run their lives instead of love.  Selfishness is from Satan and breeds unhappiness.  Love is from God and breeds happiness.

So if you are like one of the many women who are "unhappy" in your marriage, decide to be happy in your marriage.  The choice is in your head, not your circumstances.  Remember those very important vows you said to him on your wedding day.  Be a vow keeper.  There are many women out there that would love to have your husband.  Hold onto him tightly and never let him go.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breaking Their Will

Whew!!!  When I wrote Pray For Michael Pearl, I received several long comments and emails telling me how wrong Pearl's disciplining methods are and I shouldn't be supporting them.  I deleted the comments because I don't want any Pearl bashing going on on my blog.  There are many other blogs that do that.  I only want to support them. 

Here are the comments in his book To Train Up A Child people seem to have the most trouble with ~

{It is funny.  I was just reading the comments that people sent me and they didn't send me the comments in the context that the Pearl's wrote them...Figures.  I will give them to you in the whole context.  ALWAYS make sure you check the context before you believe everything people tell you.}

However, if you are just beginning to institute training on an already rebellious child who runs from discipline, and he is too disturbed to listen {This is the part they somehow left out.}, then you must constrain him.  If you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate.  And hold him there until he has surrendered.  Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring, and are unmoved by his wailing.  Hold the resisting child in a helpless position for several minutes, or until he is totally surrendered.  Accept no conditions for surrender - no compromise.  Your are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign.  Your word is final.

They are very clear that there should never be bruising of a child.   A child that is out of control, rebellious, and refuses to obey needs some stern discipline or he will be in grave danger as he gets older.

We never had to get to this point.  The first time our children had a temper tantrum or refused to obey us, around 18 months, Ken and I would take turns telling them to pick up the toys {or whatever they were refusing to do} and then give them a swat on their bottom if they wouldn't do it.  With all four of our children, it took almost four long, difficult hours.

Finally, they submitted, picked up their toys, and we cuddled with them.  We won the war.  They never had a temper tantrum after that, were mean to their siblings, and obeyed us quickly.  They knew we were boss, not them.

So I am very tired of people misinterpreting what the Pearls teach.  Parents NEED to get control of rebellious children quickly.  The earlier you stop rebellion, the easier they are to raise.  This makes it a whole lot easier on teachers, coaches, bosses, etc. 

No, it is not easy but it is so worth it to have obedient, happy, and disciplined children.  My children were a joy to raise.  May you experience the same with your children!

I will chasten him with the rod.
2 Samuel 7:14

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul
Proverbs 29:17

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Men's Sexual Nature

No, I am not an expert on this because I am not a man but I am married to one, I have two sons, and a father. I have read books about it, Ken and I talk openly about it, and Dennis Prager talks about it a lot on his male/female hour. He admitted that a man's sexual nature is a heavy burden for men that want to live good lives.

This is difficult for young women to hear. They want their husbands to only be attracted to them. Lindsay Harold described it perfectly: "It's kind of like you can see a really awesome looking dessert in the menu at a restaurant, but you're too full or it's too much money to get it, so you go home and eat dessert there later because looking at that menu made you hungry for something sweet. 

When men see a woman's beauty, in makes them hungry for sex. Not necessarily hungry for sex with her, just for sex in general. It reminds them of the beauty and satisfaction of marital intimacy. That's normal and there's nothing wrong with that.

The proper context for sex is between a husband and wife. So when a good man gets hungry for sex from seeing women out there in the world or just from thinking about sex, he comes to his wife to fulfill his desire in the proper context where it is pleasing to God, and also where it builds and strengthens his relationship with his wife. Every time he engages in marital intimacy with his wife, it strengthens his desire to be with her and not any other woman because she is the one who fulfills that desire for him. The desire for sex can crop up at any time for any number of reasons, but his wife is the one he desires to fulfill it with."

Understanding a man's sexual nature is important to understanding your man. Dennis Prager always says that if you married a man who is faithful to you, give him a lot of hugs, kisses, and thank him. It is most men's nature to want to have sex with a lot of different women. If they are godly men, however, or even men of integrity, they know that is not what they are suppose to do.

I have many friends who are upset because their man will glance at a beautiful woman walk by, not lust but glance. That is in their nature to do that. Dennis was saying that just because a man may get somewhat excited by a beautiful woman for ten seconds, he forgets about her ten seconds later. He married his wife, because he loves her and wants to be with her.

So just because your husband likes a lot of sex with you and enjoys glancing at beautiful women, doesn't make him a sex pervert. God created him to be attracted to women.  That doesn't mean he doesn't have to battle his sexual nature, learn to control it and not allow it to control him, but if we are married, we need to understand this battle and be sympathetic with them and not condemning.

We have our own battles. Most women battle their emotions. We must learn to control our emotions and not let them control us. Many of us battle with wanting to control and change our husbands. Don't allow this to happen.

So love on the husband the good Lord gave you. Satisfy his sexual need so he doesn't need to go roaming elsewhere. Let him be open with you about his sexual nature. It will cause him to feel closer to you when he feels you really know him and understand him. In this way, you can help him in this battle to be holy.

Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one with another,
 love as brethren, be tender hearted, be courteous. 
I Peter 3:8

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Struggling With Sin?

One woman responded to my post No Longer Broken  ~

The way my sinful nature struggles to get hold of me breaks my heart, over and over again. My sin breaks my heart, and I hope that won't change. Sure, I got a new nature through Christ, but I will never arrive at the point where I'm done and perfect; not here on earth. Until then I will remain broken. God is close to those who have a broken and contrite heart. To me, brokenness is a good thing. It doesn't equate being defeated, but rather realizing my dependency upon God.

This was Ken's response to her ~

I fully understand your Romans 7 struggle with your old nature. I lived there for too many years and it was a comfortable place sensing God's grace and mercy, yet a frustrating place of knowing hundreds of God's promises yet rarely seeing them come true in my life.

Our movement from the wilderness of life into God's promises came when we began to realize that God by His very nature could not make promises unless they could come true in our lives. To recognize that if God's promises were not coming true, it was most likely my failings, not the failings of the power of His Word.

If you want to move from those sins that "continually beset you" and move from a place of brokenness where God can stand you on your feet and you can say with Him, "I am a child of God, a saint, who is dead to sin, freed from sin and alive in Christ Jesus," then you can only get there by believing what God has already done for you. One cannot try harder to not sin and find any significant change, but one can begin to recognize who they are in Christ and say,
"I do not do those things anymore because Christ has set me free from sin and brokenness."

I think there are many like you who somehow feel that they disrespect God if they do not stay broken and contrite, and yet the overwhelming weight of the New Covenant Scriptures tells us to focus upon what God has now done for us instead of wallowing in our past or present sins. You do not want your child to think of him/herself as unworthy, sinful, and unable to overcome their weaknesses. You instead want your child to never forget God's mercy and where they came from, but to step out by faith into the new life of all of God's promises. God wants the same for us, and tells us so ~

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,  for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature,  for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, ... so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
{Heb 5:12-14: - 6:1, 12}

If one struggles to believe God's promises can come true in their life today, they can instead become obedient to God's commands to eat the solid food that leads to righteous living. It's just easier and more fun to live with God by way of promise than by command. That is the difference between the Old and New Covenants. We have a New Heart, we have the Spirit and person of Christ living within us. Let us not call Him impotent to help us overcome our sin and failings.

Therefore, we worship Him in humble adoration for all He has done!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Are Fevers Bad for Us?

Most people seem to be deathly afraid of fevers.  At the first sign of a fever, they take a drug to lower the fever.  People, you need to be much more afraid of the disease that is causing the fever and allow your bodies' own defense mechanism to fight the disease! 

I encourage you to read this article carefully to help you dispel all the myths about fevers that you have been taught.  Here is one compelling sentence from this article ~ As long as we remain captive to the medical myth that nature made a mistake in causing fever to arise during illness, our children will be put at risk.

I wonder if most auto-immune diseases and cancers are a result from not allowing the body to fight off diseases from childhood.  When you have a disease or infection, your body produces a fever to kill it.  Dr. Mendelsohn, who was a pediatrician for 30 years was the one I sought for advice whenever my children were sick.

I never took my children's temperature when they were sick.  I never gave them a drug to bring it down.  Dr. Mendelsohn writes that even fevers as high as 105 degrees won't hurt the child if they are able to keep well-hydrated.  In cases of poisoning or sunstroke, he recommends getting to the hospital or if the child can't stop vomiting. 

When you try to bring down the fever, you stop your body from fighting the disease and you are putting chemicals, like Tylenol, in your body that cause liver disease. Other countries and natural doctors in this country will even sometimes try to cause a fever in a body that has disease in it, because they know the benefit of a fever.

When my children had fevers, they usually just wanted to be cuddled.  I would give them lemon and honey water and make them as comfortable as I could.  The fever eventually broke and they were fine.  Dr. Marshall believes a healthy body can fight any infection except an infection in a tooth.

The key word there is healthy body by building a healthy immune system.  Most people aren't very healthy.  Now, remember, I am not a doctor.  I am just giving you what I have learned and experienced.  Absolutely go to the ER if your child is exhibiting any troublesome symptoms.  Do your own research and start believing in the body's incredible ability to heal itself instead of resorting to drugs.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: 
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Psalm 139:14

Sistas' Famous Cookies

These cookies are AMAZING!!!  My sisters make them for everyone ~ basketball teams, soccer teams, football teams, teachers, gifts, etc.  They are especially good right out of the oven.  Debbi used them at an auction at our high school and got a huge bid for them.  Then she had to make hundreds of them that year to fulfill the bid!

This recipe is doubled since they are usually made for so many people!

Dry Ingredients

4 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Important Step!  MELT 3 cubes {sticks} of butter.  
Room temperature just doesn't make them as good.

To the melted butter add ~

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla or a little more

2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients together and then blend them well using a hand mixer, Kitchenaid, or a strong son.

Add in 1/2 pound of chopped dark chocolate {They get the 72% kind from Trader Joes.  They said chocolate chips aren't as good, but I am sure you can use them.}

8 Skor or Heath bars chopped {This is the secret ingredient in my opinion!} Debbi chops hers up in small pieces and Alisa chops hers up in big pieces!

Blend in well.  You must now roll them in love {according to Debi...although Alisa leaves out this essential step and hers tasted mighty good!}

Alisa makes big, giant cookies and Debbi makes smaller ones as you can see in the picture. {I didn't get a picture of Alisa's.}  It may be that Debbi has made thousands and Alisa has made only hundreds!

Cook in a 375 degree preheated oven for 11 minutes.  They turn out perfectly in their 25 year old ovens when they are cooked that long, although Alisa likes hers slightly undercooked.

Debbi only cooks hers on one rack at a time.  If there is more than one rack in the oven, the cookies don't taste as good.  I think Alisa may use more than one rack at a time...

Now, as you can see, these are not healthy in any way.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I am VERY health conscious but these are SO good.  Just don't have them around the house TOO often, okay?

P.S. The first picture is how Debbi wraps them when she gives them to people.  Aren't they a gorgeous way to receive cookies!  People just love them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hardness Of Your Hearts

A good friend of mine has an incredible marriage story.  She was raised Catholic.  She married her husband but neither of them had a personal relationship with Jesus.  They had three children.  He started having an affair.

She wanted to know if she should divorce him.  A priest was preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah.  He told of the time when Abraham was begging God to spare Sodom if there were 50 righteous people in the city.  God told him He would.  Then Abraham asked if he'd spare it for 30,  then 20, and then 10.  God assured him that if there were 10 righteous people in Sodom, He wouldn't destroy it.

She figured if Abraham could plead with God, so could she?  She started pleading with Him to tell her if she should divorce her husband.  She found a Bible and started reading it.  She found Matthew 19 where Jesus was asked about divorce and Jesus said, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts allowed you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." 

That verse convicted her of the hardness of her heart!  Was she willing to soften her heart towards her husband and forgive him?

She realized all the things she had done wrong in her marriage and started trying to win him back.  He use to love giving her flowers, but she finally told him to save the money and stop buying her flowers.  {After she told us that, she looked at us and said, "Let him buy you flowers and appreciate anything he wants to do for you!"}  One day, she even washed his car as he got ready to go see his girlfriend.

Soon after that, he called her from a phone booth with his girlfriend and told her they had both said the sinners prayer.  He came home for good.  It took him five years after moving back home, however, to ask for forgiveness from her.  He became a strong believer and for the next 32 years they ministered to married couples!!!

He died six years ago and she misses him terribly.  She is so glad she didn't divorce him, but instead fought for their marriage.  She is glad God softened her heart and healed her marriage.  Think very carefully before you get divorced.  It is a very painful road. With God all things are possible.

Wherefore they are no more two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. 
Matthew 19:6

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Purity Before Marriage

How far is too far before marriage?  This isn't an easy question to answer.  As a teenager, I always wondered what that "line" was and how far was too far.  I knew intercourse was way too far.  My mom taught us that sexual intercourse was only for married people.  But there is a lot you can do before intercourse!  I have heard that teenagers today don't even think that oral sex is sex!  That, my friends, is sex and it is way too far outside of marriage.

Sex is not just a physical thing.  It involves our emotions and it should involve our spiritual side also.  The Bible states that after marriage the two will become one flesh.  Sex can create another human being.  Amazing!  It is a powerful thing.  It is a wonderful and beautiful act created by God.  It is not something that should be taken lightly or loosely, like our society has taken it.

Sex outside of marriage causes so much grief...venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancies, emotional pain, etc.  It should definitely be reserved for marriage but what can a couple do before marriage?

Some parents won't let their children ever be alone when they are with a member of the opposite sex. We enforced this rule when they were in high school but as they grew into adults, we didn't. 

Until a couple is engaged, my opinion is that they need to be very careful.  Some holding hands and a little bit of kissing seems acceptable to me.  Some would disagree with me and say you should even save your first kiss until your wedding day.  Maybe, but we didn't teach our children that way.

Once you are engaged, I think you need to get married very soon!  Once you know you are going to be husband and wife, it is very difficult to stay pure.  Both of our children had a four month engagement, just enough time to plan a wedding. 

We talked openly to our children when they were growing up and then gave them the freedom to set their own boundaries when they were adults.   We trusted them {our two that are married} and we trust our two that are not married.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of them and they walk in wisdom.

I only wish I was taught more boundaries.  Given the "wait until marriage for intercourse"  is much too broad and leaves lots of room for doing more than you should do.  I wish I would have been taught to only date and kiss someone I thought I might marry.  Save yourself for your husband!  I could have absolutely saved my first kiss for Ken...

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.
I Thessalonians 4:3-5

P.S.  I had to use this picture of my grandbaby I took the other night.  Yes, I forgot to clean off her face, but isn't she just the cutest little thing!

 {pretty, happy, funny, real},

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not Created To Be Abused

As many of you know, Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl is my favorite book to give to women who are struggling in their marriage, yet it has many detractors and is banned from the recommended reading list in some churches. 

This book radically changed my life and marriage as Debi gives a hard hitting, Biblically accurate portrayal of the role of the wife.  If you aren't a Christian, this book may not be for you, but God's principles do work for believers and unbelievers.  However, God's Holy Spirit works mightily in those who believe in Him to make these necessary changes.  

Whenever someone comes to me with criticisms of the book, I usually find they are inaccurate or petty criticisms, or they run away when I challenge them to give me specifics, unwilling to provide proof of their criticisms ~

Debi Pearl makes it sound like I am suppose to serve my husband all day long.  What about him serving me?

Yes, Jesus said we are to be the servant of all by giving us an example of this when He washed His disciples feet {which was the job of the lowest servant of the house} and exhorted us to do the same with others. 

Why is it we can serve others all day long, yet when it comes to our husbands, we expectantly wait to make sure we get our fair share in return?  This isn't the sacrificial life of giving that Christ and other biblical writers require of us.

Debi's teaching will surely lead to husbands abusing their wives, if they willingly submit to and obey their husbands.

This argument is used to throw out the whole concept of wives submitting to husbands.  Debi is very clear that no physical abuse should be tolerated in any way.  She encourages women to seek the arm of justice if this is taking place.  I have found that the more wives show love and serve their husbands, the more the husbands start wanting to love and serve their wives in return.

My experience with mentoring women the past eight years is that husbands come to adore their wives as their wives learn and put into practice Biblical submission.  I have not had one woman come to me and tell me their husband was now abusing them, since practicing Biblical submission.  These husbands are being drawn to their wives in a powerful and intimate way as the Bible promises the wives that they will win them {their husbands} without a word.

Debi teaches that wives are to be subservient to their husbands.

This is another criticism women have said of Debi's book.  Debi never uses the word subservient in her book, nor even alludes to it.  Submission is a "willing heart that seeks to please her man" not as his slave, but as his full equal, yet like Christ, she is willing to not grasp onto equality so tightly that she can no longer submit, serve, and shine Christ's love to her husband.

In fact, Michael Pearl writes in his new book Created To Need A Help Meet ~

There is nothing in Scripture that suggests the female gender is to be subjugated by the male.  Both were created to meet the needs of the other, which means that each voluntarily serves the other... Her assistance is first on a level of the soul and spirit, which may then result in gracious, voluntary service.

And herein lies what I think is the main issue.  Too many of us are still waiting upon our husbands to finally get it, to see that he too is to serve us, and he is to be our partner and friend. 

Yet we go about it all the wrong way, protecting our own interests, protecting our hearts, not willing to give of our time, our love, or our lives in an unconditional manner that Christ asks us to do for all.  We are to empty ourselves in this life into the lives of others, so should we not begin this journey by loving the man we are suppose to love most in this world?

There will always be those who disagree with Debi's writing style and approach.  I don't even agree with everything she writes, but the Bible is the only book that I agree with 100%.  I have yet to find a book that so radically changes marriages as her book does.

We as believers must not live in fear that we might be taken advantage of especially by our husbands.  Instead, we live by God's ways and believe His promises even when they seem slow in coming.  Countless men have been changed into incredible husbands and now serve their wives and families in loving ways, all because the wives took the risk to be vulnerable, let their husbands be boss, and serve them as they serve Jesus.  Is this not the heart of Christianity?

The heart of Jesus is to give, even if we do not receive in return, waiting patiently for God to change hearts and minds.  I challenge the detractors to look at their own hearts and try pleasing their husbands in everything with joy and a smile for 30 days.  If you do that, then come to me and tell me if Debi's message isn't powerful to change marriages.

If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.
Mark 9:35

Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends {or husband}.
John 15:13