Friday, November 22, 2013

Praise and Thanksgiving in Homelessness

This homeless man singing praises to the Lord to the song 'God of Second Chances' is too beautiful for words and a much needed personal reminder, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Passing on the Art of Bread Making

Be sure to play the music while you read ...

Give us this day our daily bread.  
~Matthew 6:11 (KJV)

 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  
~Isaiah 55:10 (KJV)

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  
~II Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”  
~John 6:26-27 (NIV)

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.
 ~Isaiah 33:16 (NASB)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  
~Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  
~John 6:35 (NIV)

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
~Acts 2:42 (KJV)

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  
~Luke 24:30-32 (NIV)

 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  
~Acts 2:46-47  (NIV)

 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death until he comes.  
~I Corinthians 11:23-26 (KJV)

4 1/2 cups warm water
4 1/4 tsp yeast (2 packages)
1 T Sugar
1 cup bread flour

Let proof, then add:
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cups coarse ground oatmeal
1 T gluten (if you have it)

Then add:
1 cup bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

Knead for 10-15 minutes adding flour as needed.
Let rise for an hour.
Punch down and form into loaves.
Let rise until doubled.
Bake in a 350 oven until brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped.

Rub butter on top and cool 10 minutes before cutting ... if you can.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It is well with my soul. Is it well with yours?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon -- from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.  I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"  My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  ~Psalm 42

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cleaning out ...

A few days ago I spent the entire day cleaning up and cleaning out my cabinets.  Today we had friends over and I made sure that the living room was vacuumed and picked up.  The kitchen was clean.  The table was set.  I showed off my newly organized cabinets and pointed out that the top of my fridge was no longer loaded with stuff, but instead had only a decorative cookie jar and my recipe box on top.

Later, somehow my and my husband's bedroom came up.  It's huge with a jacuzzi tub in it and a fire place.  The master bedroom was what sold us on the house.  I told her  it was a total wreck and even showed her our room with the plastic storage boxes filling one corner, the bed unmade, towels on the floor, and the three-year-old's toys all over the place.

I am currently working on cleaning and organizing our pantry when this thought came to me.  We spend so much time organizing and cleaning what others can see, but try to close the door to real mess.  If we make the part that everyone sees neat and tidy, somehow we think they'll believe that the rest of the house is the same way when it really isn't.

As Christians our lives are the same.  We want what the world and our friends to see to be neat, tidy, admirable, something they might want to emulate.  But what we show on the outside isn't who we really are.  Who we REALLY are is what we hide behind that door, like our office and master bedroom.  As humans, we have a tendency to shove the messy untidy parts of our lives into secret places where we can hide them. The problem with that, particularly as Christians, is that eventually we have to let others in to see ALL of who we are if we plan to truly serve Him.  Sometimes we don't even have to let people in because there is only so much space to hide stuff, then it starts to trickle out.

As servants and followers of Christ, we have to stop trying to hide things instead of dealing with them.  The Bible says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  (Luke 6:45 NIV)  You see, we can't hide it forever.  Eventually we have to let people in or it comes out on its own.  I hide quite a few things, or least try.  Those who know me know that I can be judgemental and critical when I fail to be humble.  I can complain and have fear when I fail to remember to be thankful for the amazing provisions of the Lord.  And he has provided so faithfully all these years!

So I am deciding right now to spend more time humbled before my Lord and thankful for all His blessings.  I am asking Him to prick my spirit when I judge or complain so that I will remember these words that I have written.  You see, the best motivation to clean out the junk that burdens us is the motivation of the something better and fulfilling taking its place.  I choose the better.  I choose the Spirit of the Lord.  I choose to toss out harsh criticism and judgemental thoughts for the indwelling Spirit of compassion and love.  I chose to dispose of complaining and uncertainty for the Spirit of peace.

You see, these things ARE choices.  And I choose to put on my new self.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday U.S. Marines!

Today is the 238th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps!  Please take a moment to pray for the safety of not only our Marines, but every brave and honorable member of our U.S. Military.

As a proud mom-ma, I especially covet prayers for my son, my Marine. He is currently stationed stateside. 

Turn up your speakers!!! 

I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33