Friday, February 28, 2014

Alisa's Super Moist Roasted Chicken

My sister, Alisa, and her daughter, Ali, took an extensive health class last year.  They learned so much about eating healthy and building up your body.  Alisa has a food blog that she is slowly adding all her favorite recipes and I wanted to share it with you. {My daughter, Cassi, also has a great one called Live Right Be Healthy.}

Alisa has told me numerous times how healthy bone broth is for good digestion, strong teeth and bones, and overall health.  It is so easy to make and makes all soups take so much better.  I try to have several cups of it a day.

I have been using my roasted chicken recipe for many years now and I love it.  If you like to eat the skin and the skin to be crunchy, use my recipe.  However, Alisa's roasted chicken is guaranteed to always be super moist, the fall apart moist, and it doesn't make a mess of your oven!  {As I took it out of the pan to put on my bread board for this picture, the wings fell off as you can see!}

What you need ~
 1 whole organic chicken
 1/4 to 1/3 cup melted ghee {I melt mine in a stainless steel measuring cup}
 Garlic powder
 Sea salt

 Equipment ~
 Large baking dish with lid

What you do ~
 Preheat oven to 300º
 Remove anything that is inside chicken
 Rinse chicken and pat dry with several paper towels
 Place chicken in oven-proof pan {one that has a lid}
 Use hands to coat chicken with melted ghee
 Sprinkle entire chicken with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper
 Place in oven, covered, for 2 hours
 Remove lid, increase temperature to 350º and cook for additional 30 minutes.

 After chicken is cooked, drain off all of the liquid into glass jar. Once the liquid cools, put lid on and refrigerate for later.  Allow the chicken to sit for 20 minutes before eating.

Remember to save all of the skin that was not eaten and the bones for making bone broth. Store bones and skin in freezer if not making broth immediately.

Ingredients from Trader Joe's: whole organic chicken
Ingredients from iHerb: ghee, organic thyme, organic garlic powder, Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt, organic pepper
Find iherb products HERE {Use code RIG870 for $10 off your first order!}

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, 
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is Being Overweight A Sin?

Is being overweight a sin?  I asked this on my facebook page and got many replies.  Some thought it was and some thought it wasn't.  Ken thinks being overweight isn't a sin.  It is what led to being overweight that is probably sin. 

I was overweight in college.  I admit I was a glutton.  My college friends and I would go on eating binges at least once a week and eat until we were sick!  I hated myself for the lack of self-control I had and I weighed about fifteen pounds more than I liked.

When I watch shows like the Biggest Loser, they show what these obese people eat in a day and it is an enormous amount.  They are definitely gluttons and would probably admit it.

I guess it comes down to each person's own conscience.  They know whether or not they are being a glutton which is a sin.  Here is a great quote by S. Michael Houdmann about food and our relationship to it ~

God has blessed us by filling the earth with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and pleasurable.  We should honor God's creation by enjoying these foods and by eating them in appropriate quantities.  God calls us to control our appetites, rather than allowing them to control us.

Self-control is a difficult thing in this day and age.  We live with the motto, "If it feels good, do it."  It is so easy to give into our fleshly appetites and forget all about discipline.  I know it is very hard to lose weight but we should never give up the battle.

Cassi, my daughter, saw the question and emailed me her response ~

I believe it's between you and God.  First, what is being overweight?  There are healthy weights that seem overweight to others.  If you work out, eat healthy, don't over indulge, and there is no act of sin in your eating habits, then "no" overweight is not a sin.  However, the majority of people are obese/overweight because of sin, but who are we to judge.  We are called to love, rebuke when necessary, but always do it in love.  I think with weight problems, it has more to do with the roots of being overweight than being overweight itself.  Cut out the roots, the main sin issues for overindulgence and you'll more than likely become a healthy weight.  All this to say, most of the time, being overweight is a sign of other sins, hurts, addictions, etc.

Yes, we raised one wise daughter! ;)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, 
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Ephesians 5:16

***HERE is the blog of a woman who has found victory over her unhealthy eating patterns and said, "Freedom to control eating food instead of being controlled by eating food is unbelievably freeing."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The World's Vs. God's Design For Women

God has a magnificent and wonderful design for women which will fulfill their creative purpose, maximize their uniqueness, make them a blessing to the world and bring fulfillment to their own lives and glory to the name of God.  His design for them is completely opposite of what women are being taught today.  

Instead of being taught to be sober {to be moderate, self-controlled, thoughtful, and to learn to make wise decisions and judgments}, they are told to "live it up" during their younger years, get drunk, be taught in humanistic institutions devoid of any of God's Truth and wisdom, and just have fun. 

Instead of being taught to love their husbands, they are being taught to love whoever they want.  If they aren't happy in one marriage with one man, try another one.  They are not being taught that if they do not love their husbands, they are being disobedient to God's command and are walking in sin.  {Please women, love your husbands. Become a "husband lover."  Make yourself easy to love, like Jesus.}

Instead of being taught to love their children, they are being taught to farm out their children for somebody else to raise.  Do not take the time to love them, to discipline them, to feed them healthy food, to teach them about self-control, and most importantly, to teach them about Jesus and how much He loves them.

Instead of teaching them to be discreet, now they are taught to be bold, outspoken and independent.  They are encouraged to speak their mind often and loudly and show men that they are just as good as men are and even want to act and look like them.

Instead of being taught to be chaste, they are taught to be immodest, showing off their bodies, turning guys on, being mean girls who dress to entice other women's husbands and boyfriends, forgetting about others, and just thinking about how empowering they can be.  They are taught to focus on fulfilling their physical and lustful desires instead of purity, goodness, and modesty.

Instead of being taught to be keepers at home, they find their fulfillment and satisfaction outside of the home.  Don't ever be dependent upon a man or stuck at home having to take care of children, cooking, and cleaning.  These are demeaning jobs and their worth is much greater than this.

Oh, and never be obedient to their own husbands.  Be obedient instead to their boss.  He knows what is better for them than a husband would.  Never be submissive to a husband, only to a boss for this is Satan's plan and his plan is always better than God's plan.

The aged women...teach the young women to be sober, 
to love their husbands, to love their children, 
to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, 
good, obedient to their own husbands, 
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:3-5

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Anonymous Mommy Needs Help

Hello mommies, I'm struggling with how little my husband helps with my daughter's care and household. I know he works outside the home but I never get a break. He seems to be able to eat several hot meals a day, shower, and have downtime...while I will go days without a shower. We are totally out of balance and resentment has definitely set in for me. I am angry all the time with him, irritated, annoyed, and feeling stuck. I don't want our marriage to be over, I need what LITTLE help I get but how can I make this resentment a little less overwhelming. I truly have enough emotional baggage just caring for my very sick little I don't need to add being po'd at my husband all the time...but I cannot seem to shake it or help it. "Date nights" and "me time" have been off the table for while I appreciate those suggestions they are not feasible for us/me. I just want to feel better, and stop feeling so angry. HELP!

Dear Anonymous Mom,

I am sorry for your seemingly overwhelming struggles. Having been through that period of my life with four children under six years old and being sick, I can empathize with your feelings and situation. No one can fully put themselves in your shoes, and if you are a Christian, you must depend upon the Holy Spirit to carry you through this.

The key to obtaining more help from a spouse is to first create awareness. Awareness is the tool that all of us need to see what we are doing wrong and to make corrections. I assume that you have told your husband multiple times that he needs to help more and that you are at the end of your rope, but remember, awareness has multiple layers. It is one thing to hear “My wife is asking for help” and to actually register the words correctly “My wife needs my help.” You can see the message is just slightly different but in the brain the second “needs my help” creates the mental pathway that a reasonable husband will try to begin giving some sort of help. 

Getting that second message registered is often harder than it looks, especially if a husband or wife has strong fleshly habits. These habits have built into the brain a defense mechanism that will not allow the truth to sink in, unless you can beat the defenses with various forms of positive communications. Nagging and being moody over not getting help will be counterproductive negative communications that will only bring reinforcements to his mental barriers. This is why “winning a husband without a word by your godly behavior” proves so effective. 

The ideal is to always win your husband by being kind, considerate, gentle and treating him with respect as it keeps his defenses down and allows you to speak truth to him. If you are to win this battle, it is generally won by finding the weeds in his bad thinking and replacing them with the truth. What is truth? Well, besides you needing help, he needs to realize that not doing his fair share to help is really not loving his One-Flesh marriage. Even if he is married to a complainer, which of course you are not,he still must show you love by giving you hope that each day you can succeed and that things will get better.

Find the right moment to ask if you can discuss the issue with him. Instead of just blurting out, “Can’t you see I need help?” or whatever communications you have been using, find a time when you believe your husband is in the listening mood and go plop yourself on his lap or beside him, or take him upstairs to the bedroom by saying, “Can we cuddle?”

Once you are cuddling, start showing some affection with kisses and hugs, etc. Remember, all of this extra effort should not have to be necessary in a normal marriage, but you are saying that your marriage is on the ropes and needs exceptional communication’s skills to get through to your husband on this important issue. Rest on his shoulder and maybe say something like this: “You know Dan, I care about you very much and I want you to be happy, but recently I feel like I am at my wits end trying to take care of Emily and all the rest I have to do. Is there any way that I can get some more help from you? I know you are busy with work, and I can do most things, but can I ask you to just do three things each day that may make a world of difference for me and my sanity.”

Think through your list of things and be realistic with what you can get from him this first go round. Just getting him starting to think about how he can help and doing some things for you can begin the process of change.

Hopefully this family communication’s session goes great and maybe love making results to help confirm your love commitment to him and his commitment to you. Later that evening, ask him with a smile if you can post the three things on the refrigerator to help him remember. Then the next day in his lunch bucket, or somehow, get him a handmade card telling him how much better you feel just knowing that he is willing to help give you some relief and how much you appreciate it. Each time he does anything to help, don’t show him disdain for not doing more, but appreciation for starting the process of helping. Change does not come easy for some, especially if we have bad habits. But if you can get to this point you have climbed the mountain and are starting the easier decent in to getting what you need.

Perhaps you can picture many various similar approaches, all done graciously and kindly, but staying with the process until your husband has formed a new spirit of willingness to help and new habits. It is a shame that a husband cannot see when a wife needs help, or will not respond to her direct requests, but people are who they are, so wishing they were more mature will not make them more mature. Instead you have to help grow your husband, and if you are a Believer, God can and will help you with this process if you do things the way He says.

God says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives” {I Peter 3:1}. This is really communications and people management 101 that you will get much more change from a person if you are clear in what you need from them and you ask nicely, and respectfully, than if you scold or pout or are moody. Yes, we all wish your husband was different than he is, but he is your husband, the man you chose to marry because of all the good qualities he has. Make a list of his good qualities and try to focus upon them each day, and do not panic if things do not progress quickly. See if you can muster the strength to give this at least 45 days more, and watch and see what your man may do to change. Do not be afraid to encourage him, not nag him, and to praise him for the smallest of successes.

Two things to remember, first is that most wives hit this rock bottom time in their early marriage and child rearing years when all seems hopeless, and especially hopeless that we will ever have the husband we really thought we were marrying. I can guarantee from the personal experience of almost every mother I know that it gets better and our men usually grow up and mature into helpful, serving husbands. They just carry that bachelor and single approach into a marriage and it does not work when a family is being created so they must change and start helping. How we help with the process of awareness and change is vital, so remember this key principle ~

You can never get someone to change their behavior until you first get them to change their thinking. So long as your husband either does not see you need help, or believe you really need help, or can see that he has to give things up in his life so that he can help, he will never change. Explore with him gently why he does not help by asking questions without making accusations.

“Honey, why is it that you want to come home at 8 p.m. at night after your softball game and put your feet up on the couch with your beer and expect me to put the kids in bed? I am just curious as to what you are thinking?”

If said nicely with no accusations, you will force him to think about what a jerk he is being towards you and the kids. Keep asking questions instead of making statements. Questions that force him to think about his poor behavior and then ask, “If you were me, what should I be thinking when I get so little help from you? Should I just be happy I married this big lump of coal?” and walk over and give him a big hug with a big smile.

I think you get the point that although you are making requests and asking good questions that may lead to changed thinking and in turn changed behavior, you are doing it in a kind, gentle and God honoring way. Don’t get me wrong, your husband sounds like a big six year old who has never grown up and is not prepared for marriage, but guess what? He is your big baby and God will help change him if you follow one of God’s main principles “to win him by your chaste and godly behavior.” As you deal with him in kindness, but still showing him the right way, God can enter into your relationship and propel him forward to changed behavior. 

And guess what, when we change behavior and begin to mature and grow as individuals, it is usually only then that we can look back and see what type of jerks we were with our selfishness, our moods and our poor behaviors. Be careful that you too follow this process of change and renew your strength in the Lord and give this a 45 day try to change your man by lovingly and specifically helping him see where he can help you. Then if that does not seem to work, go find an older godly women who can coach you regularly, or maybe another couple whose husband is helpful to his wife to help mentor the two of you. Never lose hope, and do not stop questioning and seeking help until you are sensing things are on the right track.

*** Helped written by Ken

Monday, February 24, 2014

Come Home, Mothers!

Life in America is becoming more and more like life in ancient Rome according to Jerome Carcopino who wrote Daily Life In Ancient Rome. Rampant feminism led to demoralization in Rome. Women feared having children for fear of losing their good looks, thus many marriages were childless.

Women vied with their husbands in physical strength. Women didn't want to be domesticated. They didn't want to be in the home. They wanted to be dominant and defiant.  They charged into all areas where only men had previously been allowed to go.

They quit sewing, playing instruments, and singing and put all of their energies into rivaling men in every sphere. Some plunged into legal pursuits and politics. They practiced gluttony and drunkenness. They broke their vows of marriage and instead lived with the motto, "Live your own life!"  They wanted equal rights and equal everything. They wanted to lay aside femininity and become men. Women vacated their kingdoms, their homes.

Paul wrote in this environment. He wrote against all of these things. He calls believers to live lives that are completely opposite from what society is telling them to do. Authority and submission in a family brings harmony. When God's divine plan is followed, the whole marriage relationship is right.

There really is nothing new under the sun. People continually bemoan the devastation immorality is having on our society. Most societies of old practiced prostitution, homosexuality, sexual immorality of every kind, feminism, etc. This is not new. However, we, as Christians, are not called to participate in this plan.

God's plan for women is to be help meets to their husbands.  He calls women to have children and raise them to love Jesus.  He wants the mothers to be at home raising their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord so His name is not blasphemed.  Come home, if at all possible, dear mothers. Being a wife and mother is your high calling from God.

Older women...teach the young women to be sober, 
to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, 
chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, 
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:3-5

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Be Like The Bereans And Search The Scriptures

You must know the Bible if you are going to understand Truth and not be swayed by pastors who teach things contrary to the Truth.  I just listened to this pastor who spoke about submission.  This other blogger raved about him and said this message changed her life so I thought I would see what he had to say. I believe he is born again but I disagreed with a lot of what he taught on this important topic.

He taught that God bends the Truth.  He took examples from the Old Testament.  We no longer stone our rebellious children.  Women aren't untouchable during their periods.  Has no one ever told him that we no longer live under the Law?

Then he said a husband and wife mutually submit to each other according to Ephesians 5.  They are equal partners and over time one of them will naturally become the leader, the one who is better at it.  He said husbands are to submit to wives and wives to husbands.

Where does it specifically say husbands are to submit to wives?  What about Titus 2 where older women are told to teach young women to be obedient to their husbands?  What about wives being commanded to submit to their husbands in everything?  What about the husband being the head of the wife?

Sure, what he said is much more appealing to women.  Mutual submission.  Sounds great.  Husbands are called to love, serve, and please their wives.  Hopefully, godly husbands will act this way.  However, they are never called to obey their wives or allow their wives to lead.

The pastor said that Bill Gothard teaches that husbands should exercise full control over all of the financial areas in the marriage. If this is true, this idea has little biblical support as a husband need not manage the checkbook to retain his leadership role.  If the husband prefers, or believes that a wife is better suited to managing the checkbook, he may delegate this role to her. It is a good leadership model for  a husband to recognize his wife's talents and strengths, but he should not be delegating to abdicate his role as head of the marriage relationship.

I don't care who you listen to, just make sure their teachings align with the Word of God, including my words.  Don't just take what I teach and believe it.  Search the Scripture yourself to make sure what I teach is biblical.  Don't just listen to what you want to hear.  Make sure it is Truth and not something made up to tickle people's ears.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:11

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Barbara's Parent's Marriage

This is the sixth post from Barbara, my mother-in-law, who comes from a family of six children who all grew up to walk in Truth, something that is very rare today ~

My parents were newly saved at the outset of their marriage.  My dad's upbringing was Christian, to the point where he accepted Christ at about age 13, but wandered far away until his early 20's.  My mom's home was not Christian.    Dad was brought back to the Lord through coming across an old Bible of his, where he wrote that at age 13 he "gave his heart to God."  I guess my mom followed right along, which she was good at.   

All through their marriage, as far as I could tell, she helped him become the great dad he was by being wonderfully, biblically submitted to him.  I never once heard her argue with him, or say anything cross to him.  Only once in all my years of knowing them did I ever hear Mom say anything remotely negative about Dad, and that was to murmur a complaint one day about how he whistled for her to come and she had to stop what she was doing and come see what he needed her for.  

But she always came when bidden.  And she modeled it in practical ways, such as the music played in our home.  She loved classical, but Dad didn't; so we hardly heard it played in our home.  I never heard her complain, and only found out about it years later; and her quiet model of submission strongly impacted me.  

My dad was a romantic, as I later found out after my mom died and my dad sought to remarry {He did so within a year, a good sign of a good first marriage}.  I remember Daddy walking through the kitchen and patting Mom's behind; I guess he knew that sex begins in the kitchen!  In any case, they had their share of the marriage bed with six children {and one miscarriage}.  When Daddy found a second wife, I watched him romance her, and figured that's what he'd done with Mom.  It was sweet to watch, and I got to appreciate a side of Dad I hadn't really seen.

Daddy always made sure we thanked Mom for the meals and helped out with the dishes.  Later on, he bought her a dishwasher when they became available and affordable.  In looking back, I think he wanted to make her life rearing six kids to be as easy as possible.  I have the sense throughout my childhood that Daddy made sure we held Mom in the greatest of respect; we were never allowed to speak back to her, or to him, for that matter.  

He always made sure we lived in the best home his meager income could afford: twice we lived on a lake {in Florida}, and other times not far from the beach {He loved the water, being a former lifeguard}.  I think now that it must have pleased Mom to live in a new house three times while raising children.

In one of those new houses, in muggy Miami, Florida, my parents' bedroom was the only room in the house that had an air conditioner.  As a kid it didn't phase me; but now as a married adult, I can see why they did it, for more than reasons than to just combat the warmth and humidity of the Florida air! 

In retrospect, after being married myself for 34 years, I can see that my parents wanted to please each other, and set aside special times for each other.  They loved ice cream, especially the Dairy Queen kind.  Every now and then one of them would sneak out to the DQ and bring back their treats to eat after the kids had gone to bed. {But we kids could tell by the paper cups in the garbage the next day!}  I would guess that underneath it all we kids knew this was a good thing for them to do.  They also went to the local university football home games with other adults from church.

Let thy fountain be blessed: 
and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Proverbs 5:18

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Marriage Full Of Weeds

She wants out.  She is fed up with her husband.  
This is the comment she left recently on one of my posts ~

My husband is a selfish man who lives as a bachelor with no regard for me or our child.  He has chosen him and his circumstances over us, every time.  One time we were locked out of the house, on a freezing cold snowy day.  We tried to break into the house.  My keys were inside so we couldn't start the car either.  We called him and he said he was still bowling so he could not come home.  We were having a certain problem and he told me I just needed to fix the problem.  He has always refused to go to counseling.  I feel like his maid, his mother.

Our marriage is an over grown garden full of weeds.  I am ready to leave him.  I am so tired of not being able to count on him to have my back.  He is more like a brother, one that I don't like, than a husband.  I just want out!  

How I will respond to her is how I respond to all women I mentor.  I will not try to get her to change her husband through different tactics but through the tactics spelled out in Scripture.  I will address her to try to see where she may be part of the problem and encourage her to become the godly woman God wants her to become.

I know there are some of you who can relate to her desperation.  What would you tell her?  Yes, he sounds like a selfish man but I would ask her if she is a selfish woman.  I would ask her if she has a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God.  Is she submissive to him and shows him respect even though he doesn't deserve it?  Has she tried to win him by becoming a more godly woman?

This marriage probably began with two people in love.  After the warm, fuzzy feelings wore off, she probably began focusing on his faults instead of his good qualities.  She began having contempt for him instead of respect.  This is a fallen world.  She will never find a perfect spouse.  If she can't respect this spouse because of certain weaknesses, she will never be able to respect any spouse. Thus, the vicious ugly cycle begins and the marriage goes downhill.  She shows him contempt and they both begin treating each other with contempt, instead of with gentleness and forgiveness.

  The Bible says that when a husband is disobedient to the Word, win him without a word.  I would beg her not to leave him.  He has done some wrong things but nothing worthy of divorce.  We want out too easily today.  Life is hard.  Marriage is hard but that doesn't mean you should quit.

Work on yourself and allow the Lord to work on him.  Love him even when he doesn't deserve it.  We are not very good at being living sacrifices and servants to others, especially our husbands.  If she began loving, serving, and pleasing him, I am sure she would draw him to her and he would want to protect her.

You may tell me I am a dreamer and this way doesn't always work.  I have seen it work too many times to discount it.  I believe God and His promises.  It may take a long time but I believe she would eventually win her husband to herself and they could have a strong, good marriage.  Please don't give up whoever you are.  Fight for your marriage.  Your child needs a daddy.  You will very much appreciate having a husband in your old age that you have grown old with.  It will be worth the fight.

What therefore God hath joined together,
let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:9

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do Christian Colleges Prepare Women For Marriage?

No, I don't think Christian colleges prepare women at all for marriage or child raising.  I think all Christian colleges should offer courses like this course at the Masters College.  This is the course description ~

Titus 2:3-5 instructs the older women to "admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God will not be discredited."  This passage implies that the younger women learns how to ~

Use time management skills in her home.
Manage the family finances.
Cook nutritious meals.
Practice hospitality.
Joyfully submit to her husband.
Raise her children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord"
{Ephesians 6:4}... that the Word of God will not be discredited.

Can you imagine what a great start women would have in being wives and mothers if they took this class??!!!  Cassi really wanted to go to this college and major in Home Economics.  Ken wasn't interested when he saw the price tag of almost $20,000 per semester when he knew I teach her all of those things for free.

I still think it would be a fabulous idea if all the Christian colleges offered these courses as requirements for all women just as Bible classes are required since the majority of them will one day be wives and mothers.  Also there are very few older women teaching the younger women these skills anymore.  What do you think?  Don't you think this is badly needed in our colleges?  I think many young women would love to take courses on these very important life skills.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Flirting With Sexual Sin

Many Christians want to compromise with sexual sin.  They don't really want to be that holy or set apart.  They want to flirt with sin and see how much they can get away with.  God tells us in I Thessalonians 4:3 what His will for us is in this area, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication; That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence {sensual longing}, even as the Gentiles which know not God."

God wants us to be holy and set apart from sin.  When young people ask, "How far can we go before marriage?" they are asking the wrong question.  It should be, "How can I be holy and more excellent in this relationship before marriage?"  Our aim in life should be to learn how we "ought to walk and to please God, so we would abound more and more," not "How far can we go away from God's ideal?"

We live in a sex crazed society.  God tells us that sexual sin should not even be named among us, not even a hint {Ephesians 5:3}.  He warns us to flee sexual immorality and to keep the marriage bed undefiled {Hebrews 13:4}.  So instead of trying to figure out close you can get to sin, make it your goal to see how far away from sin and how close to obeying God's commands you can get.

Even our thought life should be taken captive to God, every thought {II Corinthians 10:5}, for out of our thoughts come our actions.  Christian brothers and sisters, stop flirting with sin.  Stop entertaining it in any way.  God doesn't give us these commands to hurt us but to help us and to make us more joyful, living the abundant life He died to give us.

God's ways will always be best.  If you are in a dating relationship or even engaged, stop trying to figure out how far you can go and seek to honor God in every area of your life.  If you are married, seek to honor God in your thought life as well as in all of your behavior {what you watch on television, what you read, what you listen to, etc.}

Let us be Christians who are sanctified, set apart, and holy unto God.  Don't sink in the mud and muck of this world.  Instead, give yourself a good hosing off and begin obeying God, pleasing Him in everything.  FLEE sexual immorality! {I Corinthians 6:18}

Monday, February 17, 2014

Getting Blasted!

Yes, I will write posts that offend some people.  I get blasted quite often!  Do I mind?  No.  See, I am the type that needs hard words to get it.  This is why I liked Debi Pearl's book Created To Be His Help Meet so much.  She clearly showed me my fault in my marriage and the changes I needed to make like no other book had before.

The quote from the man I used on this post was tough to hear.  Lots of women were offended. Recently, a young man told me he was frustrated that so many godly, wonderful single women were quite overweight.  Men are visual.  Gluttony is sin, so I put the two ideas together to write a post.

There are so many single women who want to get married.  My intention on writing that post wasn't to offend or hurt them.  I wanted to try to get them motivated to lose weight if their greatest desire in life is to be married.  Yes, many men like women with some meat on them but they still want them to be in shape and show self-control with their appetite.

I didn't say women needed to be beautiful as some people accused me of saying.  They argued that God looks at the heart.  Well, men aren't God and they look at the outward appearance.  However, women can do a lot to make themselves attractive to men whatever they look like.  Women who are joyful and positive are very attractive to men.

Sunshine Mary listed things that are attractive to men ~ a lot of smiling, classy and feminine clothing, self-control, friendliness, affection, appreciation and a thankful heart, a pleasant/friendly facial expression and tone of voice, honesty and truthfulness in a spirit of love, a desire to be his help meet and to bless and serve him, youthfulness/a feminine figure/ physical beauty {making the most of our appearance in a healthy, confident, and godly way}.  You can read the full list HERE.

My purpose for writing this blog isn't to offend or shame people but to make them think about their choices and lifestyle. I am very sorry if you felt offended or shamed after reading that post.  I may not always choose the best quotes or the best words but I only desire to help women become godly women who walk in obedience to God in all areas of their lives.  Many women don't like Debi Pearl's writing style as many women don't like mine.  I love hard words that challenge me, however, so I will continue to write them.  After all, Jesus certainly knew how to use words that were difficult to hear!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; 
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
II Timothy 4:2

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Are You Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Etc.?

People frequently ask us what denomination we belong to.  My preference is to say we are Bible believing Christians, period.  I don't really care for the label of denomination.  It seems it divides instead of unites the body of Christ.

Paul states in I Corinthians 1:10, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Ken and I have attended a Calvary Chapel the past five years.  Our pastor calls our church "the church without walls."  He has pastors from the nearby churches come and speak, then he encourages us to visit their churches.  He calls our church the "locker room" for it is a place believers come to learn Truth and then go out into the playing field and give others the Truth and be salt and light in our world.

He believes that in every church's mission statement, there should be a statement that says there will be peace among the brethren and we will actively pursue peace with all men.  Having different denominations among believers just seems to divide us whether you are Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, etc.  All those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who paid the penalty for our sin, died, and rose again so that we can have eternal life are brothers and sisters in Christ.  God's Word is our guide book.  Yes, some will interpret some areas of theology differently but that doesn't mean it should divide us.  We are one body and one church.

So if you want to know what denomination Ken and I go to, it will always be a Bible believing church that doesn't try to avoid certain truths in fear offending some or manipulating His Word to fit into society.  We want to hear Truth as it is written and a church that actively seeks to live out it's high calling from God.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Self~Sacrificing Parents

This is the fifth post by my mother-in-law about her upbringing in which her parents raised six children who grew up to walk in Truth ~

In looking back, I can clearly see how my parents laid down their lives for us, my Dad being the strong, quiet leader that he was.  I remember when we were adolescents and entering a world of new struggles, Daddy would have to talk with us seriously upon occasion when we went astray.  

These talks usually happened in my parents' bedroom, with the three of us {Dad, Mom, and the guilty party} sitting on or around the big bed.  We kids came to call these talks "bedrooms sessions", where Dad did most of the talking, and Mom would sit quietly by {Was she praying?  Very possibly}.  As I only remember Daddy talking, it makes me wonder if Mom ever spoke on those occasions.  But I do remember her remarking after one lengthy session {I want to say 2-3+ hours?} how Daddy was like a dishrag after it was all over, and he would just lay on the bed, exhausted.  It must have taken a lot out of him, and his youngest didn't leave the nest til he was 62!

Dad and Mom made sure we kids had transportation to the things that mattered: young people's meetings at church, an overnight with a Christian friend, Bible quizzing competitions, sports activities at the Christian schools we attended, etc.  When we lived in a town next to the one our church was in, the church activities required a bit of a drive for them.  I never heard them complain.

They also made sure to encourage us in our giftings.  I loved tinkering around on a piano whenever I got near one; but it wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I finally got lessons.  A very big memory for me is when Daddy surprised the family {mainly me and Mom, who also played} with the purchase of a piano for me to take lessons, at age 16.  

He sat me down on the bench and said, "Now Barbie-girl, I want you someday to be able to sit down her and play anything you want to."  Thanks to their sacrifice of money and time spent taking me to lessons, I can play anything I want to.  Fortunately, I love worship/church music best, and my teacher taught me with that in mind.  I have been a church pianist at 5 different churches, and loved all of it.

In the area of working with us individually, Dad took our personalities into account, even in his discipline of us.  Child number five, a girl, was a very sensitive little thing, apparently.  In any case, Daddy didn't seem to punish her as much as he had the rest of us.  Or so we thought.  We must have broached the subject with him, because we recall him saying that he didn't need to punish her very much; he only had to look at her and she cried in repentance.  A quiet model lesson to us kids of being a good parent.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, 
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cassi Found Her Very Own Valentine

A year ago, Cassi couldn't stand the idea of kissing a guy!  Then she met Ryan the day after Valentine's Day.  Now, she can't stop kissing him!  Sure, she dated a lot of guys but none that seemed right for her.  She was waiting for the right one, the one God would lead her to.  The minute she met Ryan, she was attracted to him.  

Cassi has always walked with Jesus.  She was our easiest child to raise.  When I posted about her wedding, someone asked us if she was our most special child.  No, all of our children are special.  They all have unique personalities and gifts and we love them all dearly.

Since Cassi was our fourth, she probably got the least amount of attention growing up.  Ryan gives her a lot of attention.  He is always telling her how adorable she is.  He looks in her eyes and carefully listens to her when she talks.  He desires to understand her and make her happy.

Ryan wants to be the spiritual leader of his home.  He wants to please Cassi and raise godly offspring.  He wants to do things the right way, the godly way.  They are like two peas in a pod.  They enjoy doing the same things, simple things like puzzles and games.  They have a very special relationship.

I texted her two weeks after her wedding, "How are you enjoying married life?"  She quickly texted back, "I love it!  It feels like I'm having sleep overs with my very best friend every night! :)" 

So, all you young single women out there who are waiting for your Prince Charming, continue doing things God's ways waiting upon His perfect timing.  Cassi never kissed a boy until she was 24 years old.  She wanted to find a husband that she could enjoy life with and that had a sincere love for Jesus.  She found one!

When Ryan watched Cassi coming down the isle on Ken's arm, he sobbed.  He knew what a treasure he was getting in Cassi.  Cassi will be a faithful, loving, and devoted wife to him all the days of her life.

Who can find a virtuous woman?  
For her price is far above rubies.  
The heart of her husband doth safely 
trust in her so that he shall have 
no need of spoil.  She will do him good 
and not evil all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12