Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maintaining the Temple

     As some of you know, we began home-schooling in August.  We have all learned a great deal since then about the studied material as well as each other.  I plan to post later about the process and challenges we faced as first time home-schoolers but today I want to share just one of the things that I have learned.
     When I left my job to teach my kids, it was for many different reasons.  One of the things I was excited about was leading a healthier lifestyle.  I worked twelve hour shifts, which left very little time to exercise and prepare healthy meals for me and my family.   Unfortunately, with the challenge and excitement of new school material, working out a schedule, and maintaining the house, I lost focus on healthier living, more specifically exercise.  We neglected physical activity almost every day for the first two months of school.  Although I am pleased with our academic progress I have felt very convicted about our lack of exercise.  

     1 Corinthians 10:31 says "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  It doesn't say, "you're okay as long as most of what you do brings glory to God".  Also, 1 Corinthians 6: 20 says "for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's".  For me that spells CONVICTION!      
     For too long, I let myself believe that we did not have time to exercise or cook healthy.  Yesterday, was day 1 of no excuses.  Directly after my quiet time, I woke C. (my ten year old son) and we went outside for a great workout.  We ran, did push-ups, sit-ups, and other exercises for about an hour.  We came back in and had a banana while I fixed pancakes (recipe below) and he did his devotional.  After breakfast, I was surprised when C. said he felt awesome, with an enthusiasm not typical of my video game playing, book reading boy.  Talk, about one proud (and sore) Momma!

So here is my new healthier pancake recipe as well as a few tips for less mess.

Healthier Pancakes
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup milled flax seed
2  tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups buttermilk
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 ½ tbs vanilla
3 tbs honey
1 tsp lemon juice
*optional walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat eggs with all wet ingredients.  Combine mixtures using a whisk only until lumps are broken.  Use spoon to mix thoroughly but do not over mix.  Cook on flat griddle at about 225°.  (Your griddle is ready when a drop of water will sizzle.)


Hang your recipe on a pant hanger to keep it clean and visible!
I found that a coffee cup works great for holding my utensils without making a mess and taking up much space.  I used my cup that I checked my eggs in since we have backyard chickens.

Something to think about...
Time and time again in the Old Testament God's people neglected the temple and brought judgment on themselves.  Although, we are not under the law, we should still take time to care for the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We may not bring judgment on ourselves but we bring poor health, laziness, and teach poor habits to our children. We do have time to make healthier choices and move more!  I hope this encourages you to be more healthy, thanks for reading, and God bless!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Family Ties

            Recently I had begun to feel a sense of guilt because I have a more meaningful bond with my church family than the family that I was born into.  I mentioned it to a dear friend of mine who reassured me that this is the way it should be.  My husband pointed me to Matthew 12:48 where Jesus is told that his mother and brothers were waiting for him and Jesus’ response was “who is my mother and brothers?”  This shows just how much he loved his disciples and also affirms how much we should want to be His family, even forsaking our own to be with Him.
            So what do we do when torn between our birth family and our adopted family?  We pray that one day they would join us, of course, and stay steadfast in the Lord!  Recently my wonderful pastor spoke about a relative who mocked him preaching the message of the cross.  I felt his pain as I have recently had to deal with this same issue.  Unfortunately, those who were close to us before we knew the Lord will often resent our spiritual growth. 
            If you are reading this and you are new to the family of God, please do not be discouraged when someone makes a “high and mighty” or “holier than thou” comment.  If anyone asks “Who are you to be talking about God all the time?”, first tell yourself, “I am a child of God, called to do His work, just a sinner saved by grace” and then if you feel led, tell them. 
            Once again my point is to not be discouraged when you make hard decisions to live a godly life.  It is inevitable that many will not be happy, especially if you don’t focus on them so much.  My friend, you were made to focus on God! 
            For those of you who aren't new to the family of God, let this be a reminder that you may be the only family that a brother or sister in Christ can reach out to.  Be an encouragement to those that are new to this wonderful family!  As for me, I am eager for this family to grow and see one spectacular wedding!  God bless you all!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Real Eyes-Realize-Real Lies

     I awoke this morning and rubbed my eyes to get used to the sunlight peeping through the curtains.  Unfortunately, it felt like I rubbed my right eye with a cheese grater.  I got up and fumbled for my glasses to look at my then throbbing eye but they weren't were there....must have sprouted legs, because I always put them in the same place (or in a few places).  When I checked all the usual places: jewelry box, under the pillow, tangled in the sheets, under the bed, and on my craft table...I was still blind!  If you know me very well, you know that I can't see my hand in front of my face, so this was not an easy feat.
     I thought about calling my husband to come and find them, and then thought about waking my son.  Neither seemed like a good idea, Shane had to work and I need my quiet time.  Ahhh, quiet time, and then it hit me...what else can you study when you wake up with an irritated eye and no glasses but vision and sight.  So I resolved to look again and there were my glasses!  Thank you, Lord for sight!
     Although God used my physical circumstances to guide me to this study, it is a spiritual vision that we as Christians need.  Even more than vision, we need sight.  What is the difference?  Well, in the references that I can recall, the Bible mentions "vision" as a dream or a prophecy.  I liken it to my childhood vision of being a criminal psychologist.  Sight, on the other hand is referred to as having the ability to see things in God's light.  You might have heard people talk of having spiritual eyes, that is sight, my friend!  Sight allows us to keep a vision in mind but not be distracted by obstacles.  It gives us the ability to walk by faith daily, all the while knowing that the days of little steps are leading us to our appointed destination.
     I recommend reading Daniel 1-4 ( ).  We all know the story of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego but did you notice that King Nebuchadnezzar was given a vision but he had no sight.  He called on other men:  magicians, astrologers, and sorcerors, but none could discern the dream.  Yet, Daniel a kidnapped and captive Jew was able to make sense of the dream.  So, what made Daniel so intuitive, intelligent, powerful?  Daniel 1:8 said that Daniel "purposed in his heart not to defile God".  His eyes were set on pleasing God, not the king, not himself, and not even his family back home, but God!  Daniel had sight that allowed him to look past his circumstances and do what God called him to do.  God blessed him with the ability to discern the King's dreams.  Surely, as a young boy Daniel did not plan to be captured and taken from his home.  Yet, he walked by faith daily. 
     As I mentioned before, I had a vision as a very young child that I would be a criminal psychologist, or something like it.  For most of my life, though, I lacked vision.  Through it all, God was using my circumstances to keep me on the path he had planned for me, even though I never saw it.  The devil had me distracted many times but the Lord kept me!  Now, I am almost finished with my degree in Christian Counseling (aka criminal saved by grace psychologist) and I am walking daily by faith.
     If God has given you a vision, don't let the devil distract you.  Don't believe the lies that you can't do it, and don't get lost in the vision, just purpose in your heart to please God.  Walk by faith in all that you do, because if your steps please Him, your walk will get you where He wants you.  If your path of faith doesn't lead where you expect, don't worry God always has better plans than we do.  Look at Daniel, he was held captive but rose to power...and Old King Nebuchednezzar, well he praised the God of Daniel!!!

2 Cor. 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

               While standing in a steady drizzle of rain, having my car battery tested, I reached up to take my glasses off and clear the rain drops.  The thing is, I had been wearing my contacts for several days.  At first, I thought this was just a little beam of humor to brighten my cloudy day.  Then the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I am always reaching up to take the glasses off.  I get in my habits that were set when I looked through the sin of my life, and I reach up to wipe off the spots that He has long since removed.
               So, why then do I hold on to those habits?  I look back at the car incident and I shudder to think at my initial reaction when the gauges went crazy and the lights started to flicker.  My first idea was to get to the parts store as fast as possible to run a diagnostic on my van, not to call out to God.  Now, I do not want to be guilty of over spiritualizing situations.  I don’t think getting out of the vehicle and laying hands on the battery would have been a great idea.  I don’t want my spiritual eyes shocked open!
               The first time I called on God during this adventure was after I had sought man’s help, after I had my van tested, bought a battery, and then had it retested, I prayed that the battery was the only thing wrong, and that I could make it home, and if it wasn’t too much to ask, maybe I could pick up some groceries.
               Looking back- through a few less spots- I see how God was with me.  He gave me the clarity of mind to get to the parts store, He gave me a very patient and kind attendant who “loves the rain”, and He enabled me to get those groceries, and make it back home to my family.  I just pray that the next time the unexpected happens that I rest in Him, instead of waiting to exhale when I hear that it is just a battery.    

“Lord, thank you for watching over me, even when I am not looking for You.  I pray that you would help me to see my life as You see it and help me to make the life I lead more pleasing to you.  In Jesus’ name, A-men”.