Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Speak Truth To Yourself

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH 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
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, not only died to save us from the punishment of our sins, but to live in us in order to reveal the image of God to the world. The apex of Christianity is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" {Colossians 1:27 and also Romans 8:29 and 2 Corinthians 3:18}.
God does not intend you to live according to the dictates of your fleshly nature, but to yield to His life that dwells in you {Galatians 2:20}. The understanding of this truth changes the way we live. It changes the atmosphere of our home.
As a young mother, I started off living according to my feelings. Sometimes I was up. Sometimes I was down. What an inferior way to live! Then I discovered the truth of Philemon v.6, "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."
What does this really mean? When you invite Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord and to come and dwell in you by His Holy Spirit, He comes in {Revelation 3:20}! He doesn't come in as half of who He is, but all of who He is! That's amazing!
When Christ comes into your life, you have "EVERY GOOD THING" in you that is in Jesus. He doesn't give His patience to some people, but leave it out of you! He doesn't give His joy to some people, but leave it out of you. He is who He is and can be nothing less, and He lives in you!
This truth is astounding. It is life-changing. However, you will not experience it until you acknowledge it. Perhaps you have had a sleepless night with the baby or young children. You feel tired and lousy. If you make this your confession, you'll feel even worse. Instead, acknowledge that God is the strength of your life. "Thank you, Lord, that you live in me. I thank you for your divine strength which is strengthening me today." You'll be amazed how God will enable you to get through the day when you didn't think you could make it. {Of course, you'll try to take a little nap in the afternoon, if you can!}
There are times when the children get out of hand, you get angry with them, and start shouting. What are you doing? Giving into your frustration and fleshly anger. You don't have to do that--YOU ARE THE MOST PATIENT MOTHER LIVING IN YOUR CITY! I beg pardon, you reply! Yes, Christ lives in you, and there is no one filled with more with patience and longsuffering than Him. Acknowledge His longsuffering in you. "Thank you, for your patience, Lord. Thank you that I'm filled with patience because you live in me."
What will happen? You can now deal with the situation in a calm spirit. You can only do either of two things--scream and yell at your children, or acknowledge His longsuffering that is in you! One or the other! Which do you choose?
What about when you feel down in the dumps and full of self-pity? It doesn't take hard work to feel like that, does it? But that is the flesh. Is Christ full of self-pity? Is He disgruntled, complaining and morose? No. Joy is His character. Hebrews 1:9 tells us that He is filled with joy more than anyone else. And He lives in you. Start thanking Him for His joy that fills your life. Don't listen to those feelings. Keep confessing the joy and your feelings will soon catch up with your confession.
You must acknowledge Christ's life in you for it to become effectual. The word "effectual" is energes meaning, "active, operative, powerful." It is the same word "powerful," that is used to describe God's Word in Hebrews 4:12.
We don't have these wonderful attributes in our own flesh. We only have them because of the life of Christ that dwells in us. I think the saddest indictment to Christianity today is that we do not embrace the fullness of Christ's death upon the cross for us. He died to not only save us from our sin, but from our day to day fleshly nature by dwelling IN US! He wants us to exchange our fleshly life for His righteous, joyful, and restful life.
Which way are you living in your home today?
This is a devotional written by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies.  You can order a subscription to her magazine for free.  It is wonderful!

Hearts 4 Home, Spiritual Sundays

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Not Your Body!

The biggest argument the pro-choice {pro-abortion} group uses is that others shouldn't be telling women what to do with their bodies.  I have news for them.  When a woman gets pregnant, the baby is NOT her body.  You are not your mother's body.  The baby is a completely separate, entire human being.
They have to be so blinded to use this argument.  The time to decide to not be pregnant is before you get pregnant.  Once you are pregnant, another human being is being created in your body.
One famous movie star was on a talk show recently and went off about how upset she is that contraceptives are no longer being given out for free in her state.  She then said how terrible it was that they were "forcing" women to have ultrasounds.  It is so terrible to convince women they are carrying a living human being with a beating heart???
Someone very close to me went and saw her doctor when she had only been pregnant for six weeks.  They heard the fast heartbeat and saw the ultrasound picture of the baby's head and SIX weeks pregnant!  It is a baby, not tissue.  Once an egg and sperm meet, a human being is being created.  They cannot get around that.
Their arguments are losing steam.  They hold no weight.  Human life is precious and should be defended.  To say that it is their body and they should be able to take the life that is being created within them is a lie from the pit of hell.  They are blinded by the Enemy of their souls.
May we continue to have solid arguments in favor of life and be able to state our case clearly.  May hearts change as their eyes are opened and they see that what women are carrying in their bodies is a precious life which should not be terminated.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed,
and in Your book they all were written,
the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16
P.S.  The picture is my amazing mom with my very precious grandbaby.
For some reason my post Celebrating Halloween didn't go through the GFC reader yesterday so if you are interested in my views on Halloween, you can click on the title.

Women Living Well, Wise Women

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Celebrating Halloween

Should Christians celebrate Halloween???

I loved Halloween as a child...the costumes, the parties, the trick-or-treating.

When I was college, I studied the history of Halloween and decided I didn't want to celebrate it anymore.

When my children were young, I started celebrating it again...making their costumes, going to the church festival, and trick-or-treating.

Later, I was convicted about it again and quit celebrating it. We'd go to Disneyland with the kids that night or go out to dinner.

The pastor at my church sees it differently...We have a big fall carnival at our church. He tells us if we are having a neighborhood Halloween party, go there instead and be a light...laughing, loving, serving, and talking with our neighbors. Hand out candy with a warm smile and kind words.

I agree with him...The Bible doesn't say to not celebrate Halloween. I completely respect Christians who don't want to celebrate it. I also respect those who want to celebrate it. I think this is where our freedom in Christ comes into play.

I have learned to major on the majors and give grace on the minors. Let others do what they feel led to do...Show grace and love. Celebrating Halloween isn't sin in my eyes.

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings
I Corinthians 9:19-23

P.S.  I told my sisters I was writing about celebrating Halloween.  They asked me what I wrote.  I said, "I did, then I didn't.  Then I did, then I didn't.  Then my pastor told me to, so I did!"  Just a quick recap! ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Festive Pumpkin Stew

This is a "one of a kind" dish.  Our family garnishes the pumpkin with kale, and fresh whole cranberries to form a wreath around its base on a white platter.  This stew is our traditional meal on the night when our family gathers to trim the Christmas tree. 

1 medium-size, nicely-shaped pumpkin
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow or brown onion, coarsely chopped, about 3 cups
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 lb Albacore or Ahi steaks, cubed, about 5-6 cups
3/4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 medium yams, peeled and cubed in 3/4 " pieces, about 4 1/2 cups
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed in 3/4" pieces, about 6 cups
2 green bell peppers, chopped in 3/4" pieces, about 2 1/2 cups
1 1/4 cups dried apricots, halved
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, chopped. or 1 14 oz. can tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup corn, fresh, frozen or canned, drained
1/4 cup sherry

If using a pumpkin, wash and dry it.  Carefully cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin, making a "lid" that can be replaced.  Remove the pulp and seeds and set aside.  You can save the seeds to be toasted in the oven.  They're very nutritious.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large skillet with a lid or a 6-qt. soup pot, cook the onion in olive oil on medium-high heat about 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cubed fish or chicken.  Cover and continue to cook 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken stock, yams and potatoes.  Stir, then cover and cook another 8 minutes.  Add the green pepper, apricots, salt and pepper.  Stir, cover and cook 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, corn and sherry.  Spoon into the prepared pumpkin, or, if not using a pumpkin, cook until just heated through and serve.

If using a pumpkin, fill it with stew and replace its top.  I like to set my pumpkin in a 9" cake pan to help stabilize it.  It's alright if the pumpkin is bigger than the cake pan, it will soften and form to the pan as it bakes.  Place the cake pan with pumpkin in a roasting pan and put in the oven to bake 20-30 minutes, just until pumpkin begins to soften and turns a beautiful warmer shade of orange.

Serves 10-12.

Recipes like this and others can be found in Tracy Hill's
new book Delighfully Free
You can visit her website at

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Amazing, Unquestioning Love

Call The Midwives is a British show on PBS that I have been watching recently.  It is only a make-believe show but sometimes something happens that is so profound even in a make believe show that you have to share it with others.  {Several women have told me this is a true story which makes it truly amazing!}

There was an older white couple and the wife was pregnant.  She told the midwife that she married her husband because he was so kind and generous, not because she loved him.  He was always doing everything he could to show his love for her.

When the midwives delivered her baby, they delivered a black baby.  The midwives were very nervous about bringing the father in to see the baby.  When they finally brought him in, he looked at the baby and then asked to hold him.  He lovingly stroked the baby's hand and cuddled him.

We see him a little while later bringing the baby in to see the midwives because the baby was sick.  There was a voice then that said that he never asked any questions but loved the baby and his wife unconditionally and with unquestioning love.  He won his wife's love.

It reminds me of Les Miserables when the priest took in the thief who ended up stealing from him.  When the police brought the thief to the priest, the priest told the thief he forgot to take the candlesticks.  The priest's love eventually changed the thief into a completely new man.

God's love is like this.  He loves us unconditionally and unquestioningly.  He accepts us just as we are with all our sins and faults then makes His home inside of us.  He makes us into a new creature and convicts and changes us.  His love changes us.   May we use our love to change others.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

Monday, October 22, 2012

He Doesn't Want Sex

They haven't been married for very long.  They are both young and healthy.  They both love Jesus and are so very precious.  They both work hard and are fun to be with.

The problem...he rarely wants sex.  He is addicted to pornography.  She is miserable.  She was even contemplating divorce...

I tell her that we are not here on earth to be happy but holy.  {True happiness, however, is a by-product of holiness.}.  She is commanded by God to love her husband...period.  He is trapped in an ugly, destructive sin.  If she leaves him, it will only get worse.

I told her to love and serve him as God commands.  To win him without a word.  Mostly to pray for him.  She has a lot better chance of helping him by loving him than by being angry.

These are hard words but she appreciated them.  She knows they are Truth.  She doesn't want to give up.  She loves him and is willing to fight for him because that is what she has decided to do.

Many men, even Christian men, are addicted to pornography.  It is everywhere.  Sexy women are everywhere.  You can get it with a click of a mouse.  We must not let Satan win this battle.  We must continue to do spiritual battle for our husbands by loving and praying for them.

If they want to be held accountable, great!  If they want help, great!  For those who don't, remember God is the God of the impossible.  He came to set the sinner free...Free from what?  SIN.  Believe Him and rest upon His promises and His strength.
Love suffers long and is kind.
I Corinthians 13:4

Marital Oneness

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Battling Sin In Your Life

Our pastor had trouble with a raccoon.  Every morning he would wake up and trash would be all over the place.  He finally decided to put the trash on his balcony.  Low and behold, the next morning he woke up and trash was everywhere. 
He then decided he would get a bat and go out at night and battle him.  The first night, the raccoon hissed and growled at him so he ran inside.  The next night he went out and showed that raccoon who was boss and started swinging at him.  He did that every night until the raccoon finally gave up.
This is how we must battle sin.  Never give up.  Don't let it get its way in your life.  Read Romans 6 and how many times it tells you that you are dead to sin and freed from sin and start believing it.  Confess your sin to others and ask them to hold you accountable.  Pray and memorize Scripture pertaining to your particular sin.
Sin is extremely destructive and takes away the peace and joy in your life.  It is a worthy battle to fight and one you can win!
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,
but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:11

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bad Religion In America

In his book Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation Of Heretics, author Ross Douthat argues how the prosperity gospel’s mantra of “pray and grow rich” is a cult of self-esteem that reduces God to a life coach.  He goes on to say that many pastors today teach about God's love and grace to their congregations but fail to teach about sin and our need for a Savior.

The church today is weak instead of powerful because it compromises with the world.  It decides what it wants to obey in the Bible and throws out the rest.  It is difficult today to see much difference between believers and unbelievers.  Their marriages look the same.  They dress the same.  They are entertained by the same things.  Their children are growing up to be just as rebellious as the world's children.

This is just plain wrong.  We have forgotten to be salt and light.  Our marriages should be strong and happy.  Our dress should be modest.  We should be entertained by the lovely, the pure, and the good.  Our children should grow up walking with Jesus in Truth.  And the most important characteristic should be that of truly loving others.

We no longer read or obey the Bible.  If you are not loving and pleasing your husband, you are living in disobedience.  It took me a long time to realize this but I am so glad that I did before it was too late.  True freedom comes in walking in obedience to God's word.  All of His Word.  The Bible says we blaspheme His Word when we walk in disobedience.

Many Christians walk in disobedience today and are blaspheming His Word.  Women who don't love and obey their husbands, are not pure, chaste, and keepers at home are blaspheming His Word.  As we allow God to work powerfully inside of us and walk in obedience to Him, we are being salt and light to a very dark world and showing others the power of God in our lives.

Start reading the Bible and obeying it.  It is the most amazing way to live!

But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Did You Marry Mom?

This was the question Steven and Cassi asked Ken recently.  Steven had asked me earlier about the beginnings of our relationship.  I told him we argued quite a bit after we got engaged and then a lot after we were married.  They couldn't understand why we would get married if we argued all the time.

Good question.  That is all I saw.  I had never been taught that we shouldn't argue.  I didn't know arguing and quarrelling was so condemned in the Bible.  I wasn't taught to pursue peace with everyone, especially my husband. 

My children don't argue.  They have been taught differently.  They have been taught to pursue peace with all men.  They have figured out that there is nothing good that comes from arguing.  Even arguing with your neighbors or relatives about politics shouldn't characterize your life.
So Ken told them he married me because he knew I would be a good mom and I had a heart for the Lord.  Thankfully, he could see the good in me and stuck it out with me.  Was he perfect?  No.  He had a lot of things to change about him also, but I have learned at my old age that God does a much better job at changing someone than we do.  We can't change anybody, except our self.
When you don't have any good role models in your life and aren't taught what a good marriage looks like, it is difficult to have a good marriage.  This is why the Bible commands the older women to train the younger women.  They need help like I did.
The above picture was taken at Alyssa's wedding.  Ken can honestly say that he is happy he married me now.  I have become the wife that he has always wanted with the Lord's strength working inside of me to change me.  I praise God for His amazing grace and ways.  He is so good and worthy of all of our praise.
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Proverbs 5:18

Unvieled Wife

Monday, October 15, 2012

Handling An Angry Husband

Women can cry tears when they are hurt, depressed or frustrated, but men have been taught from childhood not to cry.  He may want to lay down and cry away the hurt, but as a man he feels he cannot.  When a man is hurting emotionally, he may erupt in anger.  Don't take it personally or react to it.

So many men have pain from childhood.  They learn to deal with this pain through anger.  A lot of men have probably seen their dads react the same way.  Their dads had a lot of pain.  We, as women, do cry when we experience pain.  It is our way of dealing with our pain.

Men are taught to be macho and not cry.  Personally, I wouldn't want to be married to a man that cried a lot.  I want my man to be tougher than I am but we must allow them an outlet for their pain.  If we see them reacting in anger, if we realize this is the way they react to pain, it will help us know how to deal with it better.

If the anger is out of control, do not attempt to reason with him.  Walk away and wait until he is calm.  Give him time to cool down just as we need time to to cry it out sometimes.

Pray for him.  Pray that God will take away his pain.  Sympathize with him and love him.  He isn't perfect but as He grows closer to the Lord, if he is a Christian, the more he will overcome his anger and learn to deal with his pain in more constructive ways.
 Love...bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:7

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Rules For Matrimony

If you are rude to my parents, you must pay them $7,000.0 each time.

If you gain ten pounds, the marriage is over.

If you watch more than ten hours of television a week, I will divorce you.

These are all new stipulations couples are putting in their prenuptial agreements for marriage.  Gone are the days when you vow to love them for better or worse, richer or poor, in sickness and in health.  I can almost guarantee you that the marriages with these stipulations won't last.

Sure, you want your husband to treat your parents well.  You don't want your spouse to gain weight and get heavy.  You want your husband to spend more time with you than he does watching television.  The common thread between all these statements is that it is all about you and your desires.

Loving your husband for better or worse, richer or poor, healthy or sick is about truly loving him sacrificially no matter what storms may come.  I was very healthy until I was 30 years old and in a terrible car accident.  I am so thankful I have a husband who has been committed to me through sickness and health.

This is the kind of love that God has called us to.  It is not based upon feelings or circumstances but loving others just the way they are with no expectations or stipulations.  Is it easy?  No, nothing in life worth having comes easily but it is so worth it!
There are no guarantees in life.  Sickness, financial ruin, disappointments, etc. come to most people.  This is why we must cling to our Rock and trust in His handling and plan for our lives.
Therefore a man shall leave his father
and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
 and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

P.S.  I am on twitter now at Lori Alexander@laalex2 if any of you are interested.  Every morning, I will be tweeting something to encourage you in your marriage like ~
Don't use the word "divorce" under any circumstances. It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You made a commitment to this man before God for better or for worse.

Alabaster Jar, Better Mom, Metamorphosis Monday

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Drink Deep And Full

Drink deep and full of the love of God and you will not demand the impossible from earth's loves, and the love of wife and child, or husband and friend will grow holier and healthier and simpler and grander.
Oswald Chambers

When you know who you are in Christ and fill your mind with the wisdom and knowledge of God, you won't expect as much from others.  You will learn to be content with your life.

We easily demand the impossible from earth's loves ~

We want our husbands to adore us and always say nice things to us.

We want our children to fill our lives with fun and meaning.

We want our friends to love us the way that we are and make us happy.

This puts a lot of expectations on our relationships.  We are trying to find fulfillment and satisfaction from others instead of from God.  When we love people the way that they are and accept them with their faults, life is much better and they will enjoy you a lot more.

The less we expect from others, the happier we will be with life.  Learning to be content and joyful despite circumstances is a goal worth pursuing.  Life will always be hard and trials will come to everyone.  This is why we must seek those things which are above and put our trust in God alone.  He is a big God and He alone can handle all life throws at us.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1

Spiritual Sundays, Simple Things Sunday, Inspire Me Monday, Hear It On Sunday

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ironing His Own Shirt

The Romneys were interviewed recently at their large vacation home.  Chris Wallace told them he noticed there were no maids or servants around.  The Romneys told him they like to do the work themselves.  Mr. Romney even ironed his shirt that morning.  He was helping his wife make breakfast and helps clean the dishes after meals.  This is a family that is not afraid of hard work.

More and more Americans seem to be afraid of hard work.  We are raising a generation that feels entitled to things they didn't work for.  This is a very dangerous path we are presently on.  I want to make it very clear that I am not opposed to helping those truly in need but our present welfare system has destroyed families.  People have made it a way of life instead of something to use in troubled times.  Here is a fabulous article by Randy Alcorn about helping the poor which we are commanded to do by God.
God wants us to work hard.  It is good for us.  When we work hard for something we appreciate it.  Work gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Sure, the Romneys could have many people to help them around their home but they have decided to do it for themselves.  The Bible is full of admonitions to work and not be lazy.  Don't expect others to pay your way through life.  God rewards those who work hard.  Teach your children from a very young age to work and to do it cheerfully.
For even when we were with you,
we would give you this command:
If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
II Thessalonians 3:10
In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free Morning After Pill

New York City is going to start giving girls as young as 13 years old the morning after pill since free condoms aren't working and there are many teenage pregnancies and abortions.  The girls can get these pills without parental consent.  Thankfully, there is a way for parents to opt out of the program altogether but NYC parents seem fine with the whole idea.

These girls can get a pill that can have dire consequences without their parents knowing but they can't get a Tylenol or aspirin.  Something seems very wrong with this picture to me.  Have parents given up?  Don't they care about the mental, emotional, and physical health of their precious daughters?

There is no easy answer to this.  As society gets more and more sexualized and families are falling apart,  our children are going to become more and more damaged as they try and fill the void left by not having a solid support system such as a warm and loving family.

Girls will give into the next cutest guy to get the love and affection they are craving or they will just be following the examples they see on television, movies, and in songs.

It's a battle out there, parents, for the soul of your children.  Train them in the wonderful ways of God from a very early age.  Tell them that their worth comes from a powerful Creator who loves them unconditionally and has a wonderful plan for their life.  Don't let this society eat them alive and then spit them out broken and ashamed.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
I John 4:4

Frugal Days

Monday, October 8, 2012

Should The Man Always Pay?

Yes, I believe he should always pay.  Men are created to be the protectors and providers and by always paying shows he takes that role very seriously.

I just heard that most men like the women to pay at least half.  They are becoming more and more selfish and falling farther away from wanting to protect and provide for a woman. {Part of the problem exists, I believe, because women don't want to be protected and provided for anymore.}

A new study said that when household jobs are split between men and women, the divorce rate is 50% over those who have clearly defined roles.  These roles are that a woman's main job is to take care of the home and the man's is to provide.

These are ideal situations and I know life isn't ideal but we should always strive for the ideal.  Life works better for men and women where there are clearly defined roles.  The woman's main role is to be a keeper at home and raise children if she has them {the nester and the nuturer} and the man is the provider and protector.  These roles are clearly spelled out in Scripture and God's ways always work best.

The majority of little girls love playing with baby dolls and mothering them.  If you asked them what they want to be when they grow up, many would say a mommy.  Young women are no longer comfortable responding this way.  They want to be a nurse or teacher, etc. which are all  honorable professions but  being a mom, in my opinion, is the best.

So, what do you think...Do you think a man should always pay?
But if any man does not provide for his own,
and especially for those of his household,
he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 
1 Timothy 5:8
Young woman...To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:5

Wifey Wednesday

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To All My Trolls

For a long time now I have had two bully sites often visiting my blog.  It seems their whole purpose is to sabotage Christian fundamentalist's values.  It took me awhile to realize this.  I was getting many dissenting comments on my blog that made my blog not such a fun place to visit.  I finally figured out what was going on and had to put my comments on moderation.  Much of the following is adapted from something Ken recently wrote to a disagreeing friend which captures the spirit of what I need to lovingly say to my detractors, affectionately called my trolls.  

The picture above is of my two cats who patiently watch me eat breakfast just to pounce on any scraps that I may inadvertently miss.  It seems that some people are so set on destruction that they grab every little thing to attack, distract, and try to destroy the heart intent and meaning of what I am sharing. If I get up from the table they pounce on my food and eat it because they have no compass based on the authority and integrity of God's Word.

We can go round and round with their mean comments, but I have learned to effectively use the delete button and not publish their distractions.  Their non-conservative bias is obvious, along with their inability to see, believe or understand the authority of God's Word.  Often their thoughts have a good basis in objectivity until one realizes the foundation on which they stand is the quicksand of an era moving away from God; "and everyone did what was right in their own eyes." Intellectual arguments will not change God's Word. It is called God's Word because that is what He intends for mankind and we will all be held accountable for living by it... to the degree of knowledge we possess concerning the scriptures.

There is so much I disagree with my trolls on, and they obviously disagree with the time tested wisdom based on God's Word. That's OK for us to disagree, and to realize that we cannot meet in the middle because our circles do no intersect. The scriptures are filled with warnings to not exult man's wisdom {which they call objectivity} over His wisdom and His exclusive right to be God.

Ken and I do not claim to speak on His behalf, nor do we think we know it all. My blog is intended for the followers of Jesus Christ who choose to live their lives according to faith in God and His Word, and those who are seeking. I unapologetically believe  God's Word in a much more literal and all inclusive way than my detractors will accept.

I do not know if my trolls throw out all of God's Word, or if some truly love God and are saved by His grace, but have bought into a mindset that a conservative faith is somehow destructive to people and our society.  They cannot reconcile some things in God's Word with how they perceive an "advanced and accepting society should live."  We do not disagree that there are some things that are hard to comprehend in God's Word and that is why both

Ken and I have made it our life's ambition to know His Word intimately. Context will resolve most issues with the scriptures, especially the understanding that God takes mankind through history and grows up a people who love Him and desire to be with Him throughout eternity. A cave man's ability to know God's will, an Israelite's  ability and a modern day Christian's ability will be different because of the degree of knowledge that God has granted each historical dispensation by His Word.

I can see my trolls affirming that statement and wanting me to go further and say that because slavery is in the Bible is wrong, polygamy, mass wars, kings and kingdoms, all evolving to a much better understanding of the heart of God, that somehow we will some day appreciate that God created the new modern era of "love wins all."  Many, and some who call themselves christians, want to redact large portions of the scriptures to boil it all down to "the Words of Jesus alone." If that is not enough, because it misses their goal of loving acceptance of all manners of life, they will even say, "we just do not know exactly what Jesus said because it wasn't written down until long after he died, but we know that Jesus loves sinners and died for all peoples!"

No way, no how, never never, will we who believe in God's Word buy into a system that allows each person to create their own understanding of what is true or not true about God and His desires for mankind. Perhaps we have a faulty premise that our God chooses a personal relationship with us, and to have such a personal relationship He would speak clearly to us in His Word, not some book that He expects each person to carve up and redact to meet their own world view. We fundamentally believe God to be loving and powerful enough to not leave us with confusing instructions, and further more He says:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16

I do not want my trolls to misunderstand, but they will, that Ken and I have no ill will towards them.  Actually,  we are often amused and entertained by some of their comments, and find it fascinating that particularly one troll can be so prolific in what they write, just to have it find the trash can without being published, and often not even read.  It is amazing how many ip addresses and false email addresses the same troll can use to disguise who they are. If the comments are somewhat objective and modestly fair, I have no qualms with publishing them.  But to spew unkind attacks and liberal  rhetoric all over my blog in the name of making me more loving and open minded is not happening. 

For some reason it makes no difference to the trolls what purpose a blog has, because their purpose is destruction, just because they disagree. Just as I have the power to delete, they too have the power to not read the words of strong believers. No, something attracts them to the words of joyful, loving, committed believers who have proven lives of success living full out for Jesus.  Is it the words they detest, or are their lives so miserable they want everyone in the gutter with them, wallowing in the mud and filth of their language?  

 If we get to heaven and find out that somehow others who are not students of God's Word were more enlightened than we are, then so be it. I can hold my head low and humbly acknowledge that apart from Jesus I am nothing. I am called to do my best for Him, and to please Him in all things. This is the mission of our lives.  The purpose of my blog is to train Christian women in the ways of God's Word, sharing how my disobedience led to destruction and my obedience to a fabulous marriage and a life filled with joy. 

There are many others out there who may agree with the trolls, but few who hold Jesus in as high an esteem, or with the desire to truly please Him in all things. It is most likely at the cross of Jesus we fundamentally disagree, and for that, I have no arguments that can convince the detractors. Only an urging to read God's Word and let God Himself speak into their lives.

With all my love, my hopes and my prayers I ask God to bless your lives as much as He has blessed me as I try to live in obedience to every word He has died to give me. Yes, when you find Jesus with His nail scared hands embracing your life completely, only then will much of what I write begin to make sense to you. Until then, I only ask for your kind tolerance of a different world view.  The same tolerance you so strongly advocate for your non-conservative worldview which has yet to be tested by time, and I fear is the ultimate destruction of the family and society as we know it. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Delightfully {Gluten, Dairy, And Sugar} Free

This is a guest post from my very good friend, Tracy Hill, who has spent years creating this incredible cookbook.  Eating gluten free has changed her life and has given her incredible health.  She is a fabulous cook and a perfectionist at whatever she does.
Gluten is a tremendous problem to many people, some of whom don't even know it. There are many cookbooks today that feature gluten-free recipes. But we shouldn't stop there. Refined sugar is a huge problem also, and many people cannot tolerate dairy. My cookbook, Delightfully Free, addresses all three of these and is one of only a few to do so.

In recent years, more people are realizing that there is a real connection between the foods we are eating and the pandemic increase of obesity and disease. The focus has moved beyond the low-calorie, low-fat diet to seeking a level of nutrition that will help address symptoms like problematic digestion, brain fog, low energy, headaches and even aggressive behavior in children, mood swings in adults and inflammation which makes us susceptible to arthritis and disease. We know that medication is not always the answer. Not only are we understanding the dramatic way food affects us, we’re discovering that a large part of the equation involves eating gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugars.

In my own experience with family and friends we have seen the dramatic, undeniable effects, both good and bad, caused by what we eat. For example, we have witnessed the most remarkable improvement in aggressive behavior and other autistic symptoms by simply removing gluten, dairy and, in some cases, eggs from the diet of autistic children. This has made the difference between not being able to cope socially and now being able to go to school and be successful. Knowing what to eat, what not to eat and why, has made all the difference.

So many of the people I come across now eat gluten-free, dairy-free or both. Most also recognize the need to lower their intake of sugar. But we still want to eat the delicious foods we love like lasagna, fettuccine with creamy garlic sauce, luscious quiches, moist, flavorful muffins and soft, warm cookies fresh out of the oven. Those packaged ones from the health food stores just don’t cut it! What we need is a new version of these foods that is healthy. So, let’s compare chocolate chip cookies. When we replace regular chocolate chip cookies with my healthy ones, we have a cookie that will fuel the body instead of wage war against it. The traditional chocolate chip cookie is made of bleached, processed white flour, refined white sugar, refined brown sugar and the unhealthy forms of fat from butter, margarine and shortening (some of which are hydrogenated). Not only are these devoid of any nutritional value, ALL of these ingredients wreck havoc on our bodies.

Happily, my chocolate chip cookies are made of almond meal (100% almonds,a valuable, nutritious food high in protein and omega 3 and omega 6), coconut flour (very high in fiber, low in carbs, metabolized as energy not fat, and a good source of protein), coconut palm sugar (natural and low on the glycemic index and high in nutrients), agave nectar (a natural plant derived sweetener with an equally low glycemic index) and grapeseed oil (one of the healthiest, beneficial oils with a very high smoke point). Here, you have a delicious cookie, which is also a nutritious food. Even people who are not “healthy eaters” love them and can’t tell that they are gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugar. Another great example is my Black Bean Brownies; their main ingredient is an entire can of black beans. My elegant Chicken de Provence sauce is creamy and rich but it’s made out of cauliflower!

My hope is that this collection of healthy recipes, along with my blog at Delightfully Free, will help you and your family to improve and preserve your health and quality of life while enjoying the foods you love for the seasons you celebrate. Let’s put the joy back into cooking and eating, free of the stuff that makes us sick...
Delightfully Free!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
I Corinthians 6:19,20

Unwasted Homemaking

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just Preach Jesus

Don't preach hell and damnation.  Don't tell them they are sinners in need of a Savior.  Just preach Jesus and let them fall in love with Him.  Preach the Good News.

Tell them that God loves them so much that He sent His Son to earth.  He was born to a virgin and lived a sinless life.  He spent His life loving other people and healing them.  He told them the good news of salvation.  He healed the lame, the blind, and the sick.  He raised the dead to life.

He lived a materially poor life but rich in relationships.  He loved and served people.  He wanted them to know His heavenly Father and that they were so loved by Him.  He came to pay the penalty for all of our sins.  All He asks is that we believe in Him and love others.

He spoke to "unworthy" women, prostitutes, tax collectors, and outcasts.  No one was beneath Him.  He touched those full of leprosy and loved the unlovely.  He didn't rush around trying to accomplish this and that.  His mission was to serve people, help them, and point them to the Truth.

The religious leaders hated him. They persecuted Him and crucified Him on a cross.  As He was dying, He asked that their sins not be held against them.  Yet, death could not hold Him down. On the third day, He arose again and went among the people and showed them His nail scarred hands.

He wants all to come to know Him and have eternal life.  He doesn't want any to perish.  He has prepared a mansion for those who love Him.  Love Him.  Believe in Him!

The Lord is not slow about His promise,
as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
II Peter 3:9

Monday, October 1, 2012

How Was Your Honeymoon?

People often talk about their honeymoons in such glowing terms.  How was your honeymoon?  Was it all you dreamed about?  Mine sure was not.  We went to Palm Springs and I was basically upset with Ken the whole time.  He wasn't living according to my plan...
We go into marriage with so many expectations.  When those expectations aren't met, we are very unhappy.  There is another way, however.  My two married children enjoyed their honeymoons.  They enjoyed each other.  They love being together.  One isn't always mad at the other one.  They are starting their married lives out right.
No, marriage isn't easy and honeymoons can be awkward.  There are a lot of, sleeping in the same bed, listening to them snore, sharing a bathroom, etc.  Living a life pleasing to the Lord, however, is learning to serve and please others, even your husband on your honeymoon.
My honeymoon would have been so much different if I had learned these lessons at an early age.  So much of my married life would have been different.  I would have been SO much happier!  It is ironic that the more we forget about our desires and wishes and try to serve and please others, the happier we will be.
The picture above is a picture of Alyssa and Jon on their honeymoon.  They have been married for a year and a half now and are still madly in love.  They are fun to watch.  All couples in love are fun to watch.  Ryan and Erin have been married for 2 1/2 years now and still are crazy about each other.
Teach your children how wonderful marriage is as they grow up.  The greatest way you can do this is by modeling a great marriage to them.  It is a very special gift you can give them and in this way, I bet they will have a wonderful honeymoon also!
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.