Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quote for the Day

"Whatsoever we ask which is not for our good, He will keep it back from us. And surely in this there is no less of love than in the grantings what we desire as we ought. Will not the same love which prompts you to give a good, prompt you to keep back an evil thing? If, in our blindness, not knowing what to ask, we pray for things which would turn in our hands to sorrow and death, will not our Father, out of His very love, deny us? How awful would be our lot, if our wishes should straightway pass into realities; if we were endowed with a power to bring about all that we desire; if the inclinations of our will were followed by fulfillment of our hasty wishes, and sudden longings were always granted. One day we shall bless Him, not more for what He has granted than for what He has denied." (H.E. Manning)

Found in the book "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" P. 58


Spiritual Lessons 

(excerpt from Maid Arise! Chapter 5)

Today, our world seems deficient of Christ-like men. Even Christian circles are lacking godly young men.
We could blame men for this problem, but we must admit, we as young women are not encouraging them toward such a goal.
The American culture (and most of the World's) mocks manliness, chivalry, responsibility and strength in men. Not only are they ridiculed for their godliness, but they are encouraged to be effeminate and weak.
Only a few months ago, my mom and I were shopping last minute for my brother Jeremy’s birthday. We happened to pass by the “Barbie” aisle and mom saw in the corner of her eye a “Ken”. “Ewe! Look at this Ken!” We walked over and were thoroughly disgusted. There stood Ken with hands on hips, his long styled hair slightly curled in towards his face, wearing a pink plaid shirt. He was the very epitome of our culture’s effeminate man. Society presents effeminate men in many ways. The heroes in movies, celebrity musicians, television stars, teen magazine models, fiction book characters, T-shirt graphics, and apparently in children’s playthings.
Feminism has taken hold of girl’s hearts (in Christian homes as well) and women act resentful toward real men. We are taught by society that leaders, or patriarchs, are tyrannical control freaks that beat women into slavery, destroying her “unique spirit”…in essence: monsters. In truth, we were created to be a helper of men, and right now, more than ever they need our encouragement to be men.
Of course men are responsible for themselves, and I’m not advocating the “hen peck syndrome”, where women belittle men, ranting that men must rise from their stupor and quit being 'sorry good for nothings'! I am talking about treating our brothers and brothers in Christ respectfully as men of God. Showing our admiration when our brothers act godly; our society already pulls them down; they don’t need us to.

The Lord expects a lot from our brothers and brothers in Christ. God would have mature and godly leaders of homes who protect and provide for their families. This is a noble calling.

How do our brothers perceive masculinity? Is their view aided or hindered by us? Do we see our brother's opinions as unimportant? Do we treat him like a child? Yes, I’m talking about younger brothers, too. Our culture encourages and teaches a “Me first” attitude in siblings by sowing seeds of sin in our hearts through the movies, literature, and other media outlets. It is another way to tear down the family. When this attitude gains a foothold in our hearts, it leaves very little room for Christ to work in us.
We can build our brothers up, or tear them down. We can encourage them, or turn them away. For many of us, our brothers are the men in our lives, and we are given the opportunity (much to the chagrin of some) to practice on them as we learn to support our future husbands.
I told my girls during our Girls for Christ Class: Ask yourself before you do anything to or for your brothers: Does this build them up? Personally I have decided not to say or do anything that is not an encouragement to my brothers. Easier said than done. Is smacking them playfully encouraging them to be chivalrous? Convicting!
We have an incredible influence over our brothers in Christ! We cannot take this lightly. This includes the way we tease. We must remain ladylike, pure (in action and how we are perceived), discreet. This leads to accepting their chivalrous actions. When they open the door we should cheerfully be thankful and accept it. Or when they offer their hat or coat, or when they offer their place in line. This is needful to encourage chivalry. We don't want to make it awkward for them. We don't want to tease them about it either, for the next time, they will (teasingly) not serve you.
We girls, in our Girls for Christ class, took up the challenge to show our brothers love. We were kind no matter what, we were alert so we could cheerfully help them when the opportunity arose. We tried to be considerate of their feelings. We tried to show love by little acts of service and notes. We understood that love does not expect anything in return, not even a thank you. And we were blessed by the results. What wondrous opportunities we have to serve and “practice on” our brothers! And if we do not have brothers this can be applied to our Dads.

This can mean being supportive in big things, such as his choice in his future career…but I’m also talking about the little things too.

 I’m the eldest out of seven. I used to love being in the spotlight, I loved talking, and I loved telling my siblings what to do. When I was young and I’d play with my dolls, I would set the plot, be the main characters and “let” Chris be one doll. Some favorite stories of my parents reveal some of my forward personality.

Once we went to a Renaissance Fair when Chris was about three and I was four. Our family wanted to see some jousting and sword fighting in the ring. Apparently, the knights would allow the boys to pick a sword and come and “fight a knight”. They tried to get Chris to join in but he was too shy. But not me! I grabbed the sword and happily “fought” the knight. :)
Then there's the home video of me ripping open Chris' birthday presents on his 6th birthday. And the story, when I was about 5, how I came up during a church singing special and stole the microphone so I could sing too.
I was continually embarrassed that Chris and Tim seemed so shy and hardly said anything when guests were over. So… I did all the talking.
When I was a little older and Chris, Tim, Faith and I started singing as a group, I picked the songs, the key, and who did the harmony…etc. I had the idea that no one wanted or was going to do it, so I took naturally to the part, my personality being a bossy one.
Then I was convicted, much later, that I was supposed to be treating my brothers like knights in training. They were supposed to be my protectors…one day being leaders and heads of homes. I stopped talking so much. And (amazingly!) Chris began speaking up for himself. Tim also became more social.
One day I told Chris I thought he should do the harmony for the special at church (instead of me). He seemed to have a natural knack for it. To this day I am usually melody since Chris does so well at harmony, and his voice is suited for it. Then he started making suggestions as to which songs he thought would be a good choice. I supported him by agreeing.
Today he does most of the arranging of harmonies and picks a majority of the songs we will sing, and I can smile and say that it has been a blessing leaning on him at nervous moments. I look to him when I forget my line and his steadiness always calms me when we are in front of people to sing.

This too, is a “little” thing, but it makes a world of difference in our relationships with our siblings, and I also believe encourages brothers to be men.  Not only that...but Chris has pursued street preaching. His first time He ever went out I was there to support him. He looked at me and gave me a knowing smile. He was once that shy boy that wouldn't talk. I was now the one feeling inadequate. I smiled back. I knew he could do it. I prayed for him and laughed to myself. Maybe my stepping back was actually a help in even this.
This is a “little” thing, but it makes a world of difference in our relationships with our siblings, and I also believe encourages brothers to be men.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spiritual Lessons 

Torrents of Grace

Satisfied with the things He has given and content to do without the things He has denied. What a joyful place to be. I have limited my social media because He asked me to, and He has shown me the things I would've missed if I hadn't.

They are all little things. Noticing details. Soaking in the sunny rays of moments and taking note to enjoy them.
                                                                                                                            Abigail Grace 
The other morning I was sitting outside on our little green porch, drinking in the early hours, when out comes Abbie in her nightgown, barefooted and her hair bed-bedraggled. She trotted past me, spotted the flock of chickens and raced down the hill to chase them, her blond wisps wildly blowing behind her. Perfect moment.

Time spent with friends, moments of quiet, the smell of mowed lawn, warm breezes, fresh rain, Abbie kissing the little kitty on her birthday card, meeting new people, learning who my family members really are, seeing acquaintances how Jesus sees them. Hearing His quiet answers. Sunrises at 5:00 am. Chaos at our dinner table.  Friendships. Asking and having Him provide, so quietly, so proficiently.

Of course I still have the inconvenient little ailments, the burdens, the hectic schedule, the responsibilities, the time to manage, or lack of it... Who doesn't? But it is all peace when given to Him. These little hardships can be contentedly pursued and life can be relished when it's His life and I seek His will and follow Him. Life isn't a battle to be fought. I don't have to seek the status of functioning. But I can live above survival mode and revel in my every moment.

When you find that weariness depresses or amusement distracts you, you will calmly turn with an untroubled spirit to your heavenly Father, who is always holding out His arms to you. ...He will never leave you in want. A trustful glance, a silent movement of the heart towards Him will renew your strength; and though you may feel as if your soul were downcast and numb, whatever God calls you to do, He will give you power and courage to perform. Our Heavenly Father, so far from overlooking us, is only waiting to find our hearts open, to pour into them the torrents of His grace.” ~ Francis Fenelon

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your heart, 'Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee, with the consequences'? Oh! but you say, ' I don't know what He will want next.' No, we none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands."
By Catherine Booth (In the book Joy and Strength P.44)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

"The one misery of man is self-will, the one secret of blessedness is the conquest over our own wills. To yield them up to God is rest and peace. What disturbs us in this world is not 'trouble', but our opposition to trouble. The true source of all that frets and irritates, and wears away our lives, is not in external things, but in the resistance of our wills to the will of God expressed by external things."

(By Alexander Maclaren) Taken from the book Joy and Strength 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Health and Beauty 


Sugar....that controversial granule that makes everything taste yummy. Though we health-conscious- people hate to admit it, sugar is addictive and without it, so many dishes are found wanting.

So what is so bad about sugar anyway? My brothers would argue that there isn't anything bad with fact that sugar is an essential to living. Why do we health nuts go through torturous pains to avoid it?

After having several debates on the subject with both of my brothers I decided I needed to arm myself with some facts. I needed to stop believing other people's advice as fact and learn exactly why I do give up sugar. I thought I'd share. :)

What is sugar?

Sugar comes in many forms. Sucrose, or common table sugar, is a disaccharide which breaks down during digestion into the simple sugars glucose and fructose. Glucose is the primary sugar in the blood; fructose is the primary sugar in fruit and high fructose corn syrup. Other common disaccharides are maltose (malt sugar) and lactose (milk sugar).
                                                                                                                       maple syrup -- a sugar alternative

White sugar verses Natural Sweeteners

White sugar is refined sugar. Only during the last century has man's diet included high percentages of refined carbohydrates. Our ancestors ate their foods in the whole unrefined state. In nature, sugars and carbohydrates – the energy makers – are linked together with vitamins, minerals,  enzymes, protein, fat and fiber. In other words, sugar and  starch support life. But refined sugars and flours are counterproductive to life because they are devoid of many of these elements. Digestion of refined carbohydrates calls on the body's own store of vitamins, minerals and enzymes for proper metabolization. For example, when vitamin B is absent, the breakdown of carbohydrates cannot take place, yet most B vitamins are removed during the refining process.

The refining process strips natural grains, vegetables and fruits of their vitamin and mineral contents! Refined carbohydrates have been called “empty” calories, but as Nourishing Traditions [1] points out, they should be called “Negative” calories since they deplete the body's necessary reserves. ( 21, NT) Consumption of refined sugar (and flour for that matter) only withdraw and do not refund nutrients. Our nutritional “account” can become depleted. Different people may feel the effects of refined sugar/flour sooner or later than others, but inevitably the effects will be felt by us or our children who will inherit our health, or lack thereof. For example, to metabolize only one molecule of sugar the body requires around 56 molecules of magnesium. It is easy to understand why consumption of this unnatural refined sugar has led to widespread magnesium deficiency in our modern society, which also leads to high blood pressure, neurological, immune disorders and many other issues. (112 GAPS [2])

Rapidura -- a sugar alternative
Sugar does not only harm diabetics. Many Hypoglycemics are advised to eat something sweet when they feel the symptoms of low blood sugar. Dumping sugar into the bloodstream creates a temporary relief. But the consumption of “negative” calories in refined sugars and flours deplete the body's reserves, while producing a roller coaster effect of high and low blood sugars. High blood sugar sets in motion a harmful process called glycation, the bonding of amino acids to sugar molecules that can cause terrible damage to the lens of the eye and the nerves around it. This can take place in anyone who eats sugar, not only diabetics.  (22, 37 NT) Apart from causing the blood glucose roller coaster and damaging the gut flora, refined sugar also has been shown to impair the immune system. (111 GAPS)

Staying away from refined sugar all together, and having a limited diet of refined flour is a good idea for everyone. Whole foods are what our bodies prosper on; physically we cannot consume great quantities of sugar without negative results. It is interesting that with the increase in sugar consumption so has all the modern diseases. In 1821, the average sugar intake in America was 10 pounds per person, per year; today it is 170 pounds per person. (23, NT) The average of an American's caloric intake shows that more than half the diet consists of sugar, white flour and vegetable oils. (23, NT) This means that less than half of the diet must provide all the nutrients to the body that is under constant attack from it's sugar/flour/bad oil intake. And we wonder why America is plagued by diseases?

                                                                                                                     Date Sugar -- an alternative to sugar
But I Like Sugar...  

Yeah, I know. Practically the rest of the world does also. In fact, my brothers point out that it makes life enjoyable. Everyone eats it, why are all the health nuts crying out against it? What's the big deal? Well, it's not only my brothers that say sugar is one of life's simple pleasures...

Remember, eating is one of the real pleasures of life...for most people, sugar helps other things taste better...Sugar calories are not different from other calories, from calories obtained from protein, startch, fat or alcohol.” (25, NT)

That is a quote by Dr. Federick Staire, former chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University's School of Public Health.

What? You mean there are doctors saying that sugar is okay? Well yes, but what you didn't know is that Harvard's Department of Nutrition receives the bulk of its funding from the Food Industry, an industry thriving off of it's sugar profits – sugar, the cheap, easily produced, stored, long lasting sweetness conveniently masking over-processed concoctions labeled “food”. Sugar preserves packaged processed foods by tying up the water in which spoilage bacteria grow.

An yet, evidence against sugar continues to mount. Refined Sugar has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, eating disorders, mental disorders, and even shortened life in animal experiments. p.23 But the uneducated public continues to consume these sugars. The Food Industry (Americas largest industry) is not going to inform you. They need vegetable oils, white flour and sugar to produce junk food. They profit by your ignorance of health.

So What to Do?

Try replacing white flour products with a variety of properly prepared whole grains (ie: sprouted or soaked grains) and organic flours. Limit sweets to occasional desserts and use natural sweeteners. Of course this is easier said than done, but your persistence will reward you with your own improved health as well as your childrens. Our children will inherit our health, our gut flora...we should care. We can't rely on the “experts”, or what everyone else is doing. It's our health, our children's health; we are responsible.

It IS possible to survive without refined sugar. In fact, life CAN be enjoyable without refined sugar.                                                           
                                                                                          Raw Honey -- an alternative to sugar

Some “Natural Sweeteners” to look into would include: Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, Rapadura, Stevia, Date Sugar, Blackstrap Molasses, Malted Grain syrups, Sorghum syrups and naturally sweetened jam. (See my Sorbet recipe  and check out Nourishing Traditions as well as GAPs recipes)

Always avoid, Fructose and Fructose Corn syrup, concentrated fruit juice or “raw”, “natural” sugars.

A Helpful Note About Sugar

 Eating sugar accompanied with fat (cream, butter, eggs) will slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream while providing fat-soluble nutrients that nourish the glands that regulate our blood sugar. Also, using honey in baking can be done. When a recipe calls for one cup sugar, try using the same amount of honey. Of course honey is heavier and a different consistency can occur in your baked goods so it does require some experimenting. But for the most part, honey is a wonderful alternative to sugar in baked goodies. Also, sugar can hide in the “chemical” ingredients on the back. A good tip is that anything ending in -ose indicates a sugar.

 Stevia -- an alternative to sugar                  Blackstrap molasses -- an alternative to sugar           Jam -- an alternative to sugar 


[1] NT: Fallon, Sally Nourishing Traditions.1999 Washington DC; NewTrends Publishing, Inc., 2001. Print

[2] GAPS: Campbell-McBride, Natasha Gut and Psychology Syndrome. 2004 Cambidge: Medinform Publishing, 2014. Print 

Quote of the Day

"Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee." (Psalms 143:8)

"The minds that are alive to every word from God, give constant opportunity for His divine interference with a suggestion that may altar the courses of their lives; and, like the ships that turn when the steersman's hand but touches the helm, God can steer them through the worst dangers by the faintest breath of feeling, or the lightest touch of thought."
(By Richard H. Hutton)
[Taken from the book Joy and Strength P. 145]

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

"I have seemed to see a need of everything God gives me, and want nothing that He denies me.  There is no dispensation, though afflictive, but either in it, or after it, I find that I could not be without it.  Whether it be taken from or not given to me, sooner or later God quiets me in Himself without it.  I cast all my concerns on the Lord, and live securely on the care and wisdom of my heavenly Father.  My ways, you know, are in a sense, hedged up with thorns, and grow darker and darker daily, but yet I distrust not my good God in the least, and live more quietly in the absence of all by faith, than I should do, I am persuaded, if I possessed them."  ~ Anonymous, 1810, Daily Strength for Daily Needs, 148

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Make allowance for infirmities of the flesh, which are purely physical. To be fatigued, body and soul, is not sin; to be in 'heaviness' is not sin. Christian life is not a feeling; it is a principle: when your hearts will not fly, let them go, and if they 'will neither fly nor go,' be sorry for them and patient with them, and take them to Christ, as you would carry your little lame child to a tender-hearted, skilful surgeon. Does the surgeon, in such a case, upbraid the child for being lame?" Elizabeth Prentiss

(Taken from Joy and Strength P. 137)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Practical Homemaking

                                                       Culinary Entrepreneurialism  

                                   (without poisanous oleander seeds!)

(Gluten Free Coffee Cake Slice) 

Ever since I was young I have had what some might call an entrepreneurial flair.  :)  My siblings still laugh at the odd ways of gaining money that I conjured up.  There was the egg dying machine....the weed killer, my child's fantasy book with color illustrations, the parade, the sock creatures,  and the poisonous oleander seeds I sold for 10 cents a pod.  To this day, when I come up with a good idea, my siblings groan.  And I thought I should be thanked for all of the unique child-hood memories I created.  

Thankfully I have moved on from the poisonous oleander seed market and started on something a little more appetizing.  Baked Goodies!  I have started to bake for Hutto's Highland Haven and sell my culinary creations at Annie's Apple Orchard every Saturday morning.  

I am starting off with Blueberry Muffins, Coffee cake, and Pies.  The best part is I am offering these Gluten free also!  I have wished that a local someone would offer tantilizing gluten-free yummies...and so five years later after a hard, sometimes tearful, experimenting journey with gluten-free recipes, I have become that local baker offering tantilizing gluten-free yummies!  

If you are in the area please order your baked goods (by Friday 9:00 am) and stop by Annie's Orchard this Saturday!  

Giant Berry Muffins $3.50
Coffee Cake $6.00 (or $2.00 a slice)
Pies $20.00 each 


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Knight #4

Spiritual Lessons

Here is this weeks Knight.  I hope these are as encouraging to you as they have been to me.  It is a blessing to realize that godly men appreciate the kind of women we aspire to be!  It's also assuring to know that such young men exist...  Like this Knight admonishes...we don't have to settle for less than who He has planned for us!

To see the questions I asked these young men please see this post.

Knight # 4
Age: 17
The two highly contested questions were as to whether young women should stay at home and whether external beauty should be primary focus.
First off is the mentality that if you stay at home you will never find a husband. That is completely false. I have seen too many great marriages that defy that and far too many bad marriages come from the world's 'traditional' approach.
The other misconception is that not moving out must lead to inactivity and 'dreaming your life away'. Having sisters, I can tell you that home is an essential place of preparation for marriage, both in observing the example of parents and in learning life skills.
Also the Bible never says anything against young women being entrepreneurs. The Bible example, the Proverbs 31 woman, 'Maketh fine linen and selleth it; and deliverith girdles onto the merchants'. Private enterprise and business such as I have seen from various Christian young women in the area, is in my mind productive and also helps prepare for the running of a household.
Secondly as to whether beauty should be your focus. While I would say that there should certainly be a prudent amount of cleanliness and tidiness, that falls under being a good steward of your body and shows an orderly character.
I also believe that there is a certain amount of danger if beauty becomes too much of a focus. Men, Christian or secular are naturally attracted to beauty, and if beauty is the only attribute used to attract a husband, a husband who is only interested in outward is what you will get. You want to be married to a man who has his priorities straight and puts God first.
I will move onto the last question as to expectation of a future wife.
First, to be a saved, conservative Christian of course, under which a lot of other points could fall. (Modesty, submission to her husband, disciplining and training up children in the Lord). Also a homemaker and a homeschooler, who would let God decide how many children she would be blessed with.
There is my opinion from what I have seen in the Bible and observed in life and I hope it helps. In closing I would just say that God has the perfect spouse in mind for all who he wishes to be married. Don't settle for anyone less than who he has planned.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

"The crosses which we make for ourselves by over-anxiety as to the future are not Heaven-sent crosses.  We tempt God by our false wisdom, seeking to forestall His arrangements, and struggling to supplement His providence by our own provisions.  The future is not ours.  Let us shut our eyes to that which God hides from us in the hidden depths of His wisdom.  Let us worship without seeing.  The crosses actually laid upon us always bring their own special grace and consequent comfort with them...But the crosses wrought by anxious forebodings are altogether beyond God's dispensations; everything seems hard and unendurable;... All this comes of not trusting to God and prying into His hidden ways.  'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' Our Lord has said, and the evil of each day becomes good if we leave it to God."
 ~ F.F. (Traveling Towards Sunrise) 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Practical Homemaking/Recipes

I have never made sorbet, and probably never would have tried, if it weren't for the fact that with warm weather comes the ice cream season.  Here in Idaho, Spring has finally come and so everyone has been eating ice cream...except me.  I was so desperate I went to the "Frozen Health Foods" and hoped that by some miracle I could eat something there.  Well, miracles do happen....but not in this case.  Being dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and carb-free I guess I was being a little silly to expect anything.  But, while scrounging through every Health Food Freezer, I found sorbet.  Inspiration!  Of course I couldn't eat that sorbet since it had sugar and brown rice syrup....but what if I made my own?  

Strawberries are something I just added to my diet.  And so today I made strawberry sorbet.  It is superb!  (I saved some so that tonight, when the family eats ice-cream, I don't have to be left out!  I think being left out is worse than being deprived.)

So here you go, a GAPS legal sorbet!

Strawberry Sorbet 

1 pound strawberries 
10 teaspoons stevia
tiny pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon Hempmilk (or water works)
Squeeze of lemon 

Puree berries in blender.  Heat berries, stevia and salt until simmering.  Make sure to stir so it doesn't burn.  Remove from heat and add hempmilk (or water) along with lemon juice.  Freeze for several hours in shallow container or ice cube trays.  Blend before serving.  Serves 2.  
Tip:  Use as small of a spoon as possible.  It makes it last a little longer!  ;) 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Nothing is small or great in God's eyes; whatever He wills becomes great to us, however seemingly trifling. Once the voice of conscience tells us that He requires anything of us, we have no right to measure its importance. On the other hand, whatever He would not have us do, however important we may think it, is as nought to us. How do you know what you may lose by neglecting this duty, which you think so trifling, or the blessing which its faithful performance may bring? Be sure you will not be left without sufficient help if you do your very best in that which is laid upon you daily...give yourself to Him, listen to His voice and then go on bravely and cheerfully." 
(By J.N. G'rou -Taken from Daily Strength for Daily Needs P. 30)

Political/ World Issues- "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:"

Pray for Families of Women Killed for Faith
   May. 09, 2014 | Middle East

This Christian woman from the Middle East continues to pray despite the risks."On April 30 and May 1, three Christian women were killed in separate incidents by Muslim family members. A 38-year-old woman was shot to death by her two brothers shortly after they learned that she had been talking with a missionary over Skype and that she had a Bible. In a second incident, a man stabbed to death his 22-year-old sister when he caught her with a Christian CD. The woman had previously talked with her brother about Jesus. The man left his sister's body in front of a hospital before seeking treatment for his own hand wound at a government hospital. In the third incident, a man beat his daughter to death by hitting her on the head with a stone. He turned himself over to police and confessed to the killing, knowing that he probably would not face serious punishment. He reportedly told police that his daughter had continued to attend church despite his warnings. Please pray for those impacted by the women's deaths, their fellow believers, friends and loved ones. Please also pray for those leading this group of believers during this very difficult time."
Taken exclusively from the Voice of the Martyrs (

This is only one of many examples of the persecution that is being faced daily by Christian around the world. However, this particularly gripped my heart. So I wanted to share it with you as well. Honestly, I cannot quite fathom this completely- growing up in a Christian home, in a country, much blessed by religious freedom. My family, too, knows Christ. I am learning more and more, of the extremely precious value in this and yet how uncommon it is. Truly, I am blessed beyond words. So many only experience severe persecution or even death, from their relatives and others also, after converting to Christianity.

It is a relatively simple thing to say- we are willing to die for Christ. But it is another to live it. And although you may never have the opportunity to be literally "martyred" for the name of Christ, as these three women were, can you still say honestly that "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" (Romans 1:16)? And yes, I used the word opportunity. I thank the Lord for the encouragement in seeing others willing to sacrifice themselves for Christ. And though, I am not in a similar place, I desire also, to have this same heart. And yet, it would seem beyond ironic to say "I am willing to die for the name of Christ"...if we are not also willing to live for that same name. And so I challenge you. To be a laid-down life. To be a consecrated heart towards God. To live for Him, who died for us. He is worthy.

"Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body." (Hebrews 13:3)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

"As the violet abides peacefully in its place, content to receive its daily portion without concerning must we repose in the present moment as it comes to us from God, content with our daily portion and without anxious thoughts, sure that all things will be made to prosper us.
This is the kind of growth in grace in which we who have entered into the life of full trust believe.  We can have a growth without care or anxiety on our part.  We can blossom out into flower and fruit and become like a 'tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper'. (Psalm 1:3)." ~ Hannah Whitall Smith, God is Enough, 101

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spiritual Lessons

A Desert Flower 

Do you seem to be planted in a desert place?

I have felt that way the last few days.  I have been in a dry place...thirsting.  Of course the obvious solution would be Christ.  But sometimes He isn't that easy to drink.

I searched my heart and felt convicted of a few things.  When it all came down to was my meditations that were under attack.  I was full of my thoughts and they roared.  I couldn't hear Him.  He allowed the dryness to show me what I was missing.  

In my searching I came across Psalm 63:1-8 "O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is....Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee...My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips...

I stopped there.  Satisfied as with marrow and fatness.  I longed to be satisfied.  I was the the antithesis of satisfied.  I felt anxious...wanting...  "With marrow and fatness".  I smiled here.  I remember as a little girl reading the Palms and Proverbs and being amused with the Bible's allegories of "fat bones" and such.  But it made sense to me just now.  On my elimination diet I went through a time of having no fats. Did you know that healthy fats give the brain thinking power?  They also satisfy hunger.  I remember when I first had fat back in my diet.  I devoured it!  I licked the casserole dish clean.  I had never experienced relishing the actual fat...I consumed it and it physically made me feel happy and full and alert and...satisfied.   Christ says that our souls can be satisfied as with marrow and fatness.  

What kept me from this satisfaction?  I knew I needed Him.  I knew I longed for Him.  What stood in my way from consuming and relishing Him?  The problem was I was already full.  Full of my things.  And they were good things.  Innocent things.  And yet, it is simply vain words to talk of wanting Him when I deliberately fill myself with distracting (though innocent) thoughts of self.  

It caused me to take a hard look at my life.  What was it full of?  What had He asked me to do?   Was I doing it?  I realized that in almost every relationship that I have, I was lacking in communication and connection.  I didn't have time to hear simple participate in the small worthwhile moments that make up our memories, to invest in people that matter, to be aware of other's needs.  Hours passed without me.  Weeks flew by.  All because somewhere down the road I stopped filling my thoughts with Him and started feasting on my own thoughts.  Because He is a just God He knows He can't force-feed His children.  Love is a choice.  

So I made the simple choice to fill myself with Him.  Of course with this choice came some sacrifice of other things.  Innocent fun things.  Things others can do, but were causing me to be distracted.  With this choice comes the small cost of solitude.  Choosing Him sometimes includes a loneliness in certain areas. And with my personality, being "left out" is the last thing that I want.  But.... I can say with total honesty that it's worth it.  He has already stepped in and started working in relationships.  He didn't reveal Himself suddenly or dramatically, but simply, quietly...and this morning I realized:  I'm satisfied. 

"Do you seem to be planted in a desert soil where nothing can grow?  Put yourself into the hands of the good Husbandman, and He will at once begin to make that very desert blossom as the rose... (Jer. 17:8)
It is the great prerogative of our divine Husbandman that He is able to turn any soil, whatever it may be like, into the soil of grace the moment we put our growing into His hands.  He does not need to transplant us into a different field, but right where we are, with just the circumstances that surround us, He makes His sun to shine and His dew to fall on us, and transforms the very things that were greatest hindrances into the chiefest and most blessed means of our growth."  ~ Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, 179   

Friday, May 9, 2014

Knight #5

Here is this weeks Knight.  I found this to be a blessing.  Hope it is to you as well.

To see the questions I asked these young men please see this post.

Knight #5
Age 26
It is true that a man wants his wife to be industrious. But being home or not being home is not the real question, because the woman can be industrious at home, as well as industrious outside of the home; and a woman can be as lazy at home, or outside of the home, in either case it's a matter of how industrious the girl is, not whether she's at home or not.
An industrious girl at home is especially nice because most men like a woman who has homemaking skills. That is, at least most good Christian men.

I think it is good for young women to have a ministry and outreach. As in the case of you writing this book. Or outside of home as in a missions ministry. But the true test is not that one is better than the other but God's will in each case can be different for each person.

I've heard of, and known, young women that go to college (to get a bachelor degree...hee hee), but their driving motivation was not to find God's will, but a husband. A godly man wants to marry a wife who is in God's will.
A woman was never intended to go out and find a man and this is not our example in scripture. Rebecca was home and God brought her the right husband. Christ came all the way and gave everything to win His bride. The important thing is to be in God's will, seeking Him first. Then it is in His hands and it is His responsibility. He is the greatest at creating love stories. And most people don't realize how important it is to be 100% sure that you are marrying God's will for your life.

It was never a concern of mine whether I would meet my future wife if she only stayed home. Again, it goes back to a matter of whether you are going to take matters into your own hands or trust that God is big enough to work in whatever situation. He will not lead someone to stay home and then not bring them a husband because they were obedient to His will. What kind of a sick fiend do we think God is?

But again, better not to marry than to marry outside of the will of God. Husbands are a big responsibility and most are very immature. No matter how old a man is he never really grows up until married. You need to be sure that the one God has for you is the one you marry. The real trick isn't finding Mr. Right but which one is Mr.. Right. Satan always throws his best at you before you find God's best. Don't settle. Better to not be married than marry the wrong guy. Be praying for your future husband too. He needs it.
Also a few good ways to know if the one is the right Mr. Right is –
#1 if there is confusion or you're unsure, stop. Stop and stop. Don't go forward if you don't have peace. Wait. It never hurts to wait on God's will and God's timing. If there is confusion or lack of peace, it either means wrong guy, or right guy with wrong time. In either case waiting is best. Also seek council from parents and others you respect. And seek council from the ultimate counselor – God. I've had many girls that said when it was the wrong guy, the Lord didn't answer them when they would ask for guidance. There was confusion and questioning. It wasn't until after they stopped and broke it off, that they knew the answer was no. Other young ladies have waited and broken it off only to find that he was the right one.
But there is another reason for telling a guy to wait. It will show you the character of the young man when a man is told no, or not now, and gets upset and mad. Disappointed is okay, if he wasn't I'd be worried there was no affection there. His response will show the character and commitment of the man.

This question almost makes me upset. Should girls stay fit and toned, and concentrate on being beautiful? No its not true. Yes, I think sadly physical appearance is important to most men. And I don't think someone should get married where there's no physical attraction. You should like the way your spouse looks. But this is not a #1 priority. You want a man to marry you for you. Not your body. If you try to get a husband by looking beautiful, what kind of shallow guy are you going to get? You want your husband to be attracted to you yes, but if this is what you base a relationship on not only is it shallow but also temporal. It is truly a trap, because what happens when you gain weight, get stretch marks, wrinkles and grey hair? Then you will be insecure. Always striving to keep up an outward appearance which is truly vanity. Proverbs 31:30 says beauty is vain but a woman that fears the lord she shall be praised. If you want to attract a husband put on the joy of Christ! And then you will attract the right kind of man and avoid all the drama of having to beat off all the young men that are only interested in pleasing themselves. There is nothing as beautiful and downright irresistible as a young women who shines with the joy and true beauty of Christ. I've heard it said that the best beauty products are free. Smile, laugh, and oh one more thing... Christ-likeness :)

Knight #6

Quote of the Day

"If we are so led by the Spirit, where we go, and what we do, is of comparatively little moment; we may be forced by the circumstances of our life into surroundings that seem full of peril, but if God sent us there, such surroundings can do us no harm, though they may dull our feeling of happiness. Only let us remember that if, by God's mercy, we are free agents, and can choose our own way of life, then it is simple mockery to talk of aspirations for the higher life, if we deliberately indulge our lower nature, by living in an atmosphere of worldliness, or by doing something which is, perhaps, quite innocent for others, but consciously works us harm." By George H. Wilkinson (Taken from Joy and Strength P. 130)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baby Chanel

Political/Worldview Issues
:For thou has possessed my reigns: thou has covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth..." Psalm 139 14-19

Photo: Doctors twice offered to abort baby Chanel due to her severe heart defect but her parents wouldn't do it.  They chose to carry her to term and delivered her by Caesarian section. Little Chanel was immediately taken to surgery and had a second one days later.  She survived both surgeries.  Although she will have to undergo more surgeries and treatments, she is a joy to her parents and big brothers.Say hello to Chanel.   This baby's parents were told twice by Doctors that they should abort her because of a severe heart defect.  Chanel's parents declined and decided to carry her full term and delivered her Cesarean section this last month.  She was immediately sent into surgery.  Only days later she had to undergo yet another surgery.  Chanel has survived both surgeries and yet faces many more treatments.  But to Chanel's parents and her big brothers she is a precious life...   Thank the Lord she had parents who could see beyond the "defects", beyond the "experts" advice, beyond human fear and selfishness and believed Chanel to be "perfectly and wonderfully made."      

Quote of the Day

"The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. God's will does not come to us in the whole, but in fragments, and generally in small fragments. It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation." 
(By F.W. Faber in the book Joy and Strength P.128)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you."  -- Francois De La Mothe Fenelon  (Joy and Strength, 127)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Practical Homemaking/ Recipes 

Necessity Being the Mother of Invention...

I offered to make dinner the other day for mom since she has been doing all of the cooking and baking while I was sick and now that I was feeling better I thought...I should help out.  Although, after making lentils and rolls I realized that I didn't have a bread that mom could eat with the soup. For those of you who are new... my mom is Gluten free and I also was/am.  :)  I recently have reacted to all sorts of foods.  But hopefully after I get a little farther into my elimination diet I can start sharing some really yummy GAPS recipes.  But for now... I will stick with Gluten Free Recipes!  :)  

So I decided to try biscuits... I didn't have some essential ingredients to work with.... and so necessity being the mother of invention I created a Gluten free biscuit.  Mom said she liked them so I thought I had better share.  (Mom is the Queen-Snob of Gluten Free Foods...if she likes it then it's worthy to share with other people!).  :)  

So here you newest creation.... :) Enjoy.  :) 

Gluten Free Biscuits

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 ½ cup white rice flour
1 cup almond flour
½ cup garbanzo bean flour

½ cup tapioca flour

2 ½ teaspoons xanthum gum
2-4 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 extra large egg at room temperature
2 cups warm water

Brush cookie sheet with olive oil and set aside. Blend butter and then add dry ingredients (including the yeast). Mix at slow speed to allow the dry ingredients to begin to come together with the butter. Add egg and continue to combine. Add water slowly in a steady stream. Thoroughly mix until you have manageable (but it will be sticky!) dough. Flour dough board and roll out. Cut with biscuit cutter at 1 inch thick (or however thick you like your biscuits...they will only rise a bit). Bake at 350 for 10 minutes in preheated oven. Makes about 2 ½ dozen little biscuits. Freezes well.