Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Communication and Prayer

The other day I talked about communication and Building Each Other Up.  I still have communication on my mind but today its about communication and prayer. 

Have you ever been in an argument that escalated because of a misunderstanding or hearing someone wrong?

This is something that happens to us all the time. A little disagreement can escalate much more than it needs to because our communication gets muddled. 

I know that sometimes it just happens. Things get misheard or misunderstood. But I have learned that it is not always as simple as that. 
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12

Marriage is ordained by God. He designed it with a purpose. If you are currently in a marriage relationship you must believe that you are with that person for a reason, you chose them for whatever reasons you did, and you are together as part of God's plan. 

The devil hates marriage. He hates the picture that marriage paints for the world of the way God designed man and woman.  God made man in his image, then when he made Eve she was taken from man and created. So God made them man and woman. Different, but still made in Gods image.  Men are made like God in their strength and power and well manliness really. And women show God's loving, gentle, nurturing side.  But together they show a whole picture of God. Both sides coming together. 

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. 
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone? 
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18:19-20

God has brought you and your spouse together for a purpose. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He knows that if he can destroy your relationship he can bring so much more destruction than if you stay together. Just think about all of the things that could happen if he gets in and destroys your marriage. Lets be honest, divorce messes kids up. Sorry if I am stepping on toes but really if we are honest we all know that it does. So by the simple act of destroying our marriage the enemy gets at our kids, and their kids, our parents, and also those that are close to us. 

The enemy is really good at this form of attack.... or we are just easily distracted and allow it to happen.   
All too many times a pastor has fallen into a trap of the enemy and has been adulterous and it destroys a church. It damages the people in the church and those that are on the outside of the church too. 

My dad and I have had many conversations where we are looking straight at each other, no distractions, no extra noise in the room. Suddenly, it gets harder to hear him, there is a ringing in my ear, there is a missed word and it throws the whole conversation.  The same thing happens to us all the time when we are talking on the phone or on skype talking about spiritual things. The line goes from being perfectly clear to being muddled and fuzzy or will cut out completely. 

Yes it is easy to make excuses and say that it is just a bad connection or whatever it takes to make us ignore what is really happening. 


Communication is key in a marriage. The enemy likes to make it so:
a- We don't hear each other properly. 
b- We hear but take it the wrong way because of insecurities and lies that we are believing. 
c- We stop talking to each other all together. 

To fight against these attacks : 

-We need to pray over our communication and that the lines of communication would stay clear and open and that the enemy would not be able to get between us to allow deceit.
-We need to ask our father to speak through us and shine His love on us and our spouses. Ask that He guard our ears so that we would hear His truth and His voice and find security in Him. 
- Pray that He would help us to keep trust in our relationships so that we can be open and honest with each other. That we would be able to talk about things even when it is hard. 
- We need to pray that God would help us be firm and strong in our relationships, that He would help us to remember why we are together and that He would show us His plan for us together as a couple. 



Friday, 25 January 2013

Deliberate Love - Build Each Other Up

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Proverbs 12:18

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a sharp word causes anger.
Proverbs 15:1

The mind of the one who is right with God thinks about how to answer, but the mouth of the sinful pours out sinful things.
Proverbs 15:28

Pleasing words are like honey. They are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but a sinful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

He who watches over his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23


 It is better to live in a desert land than with a woman who argues and causes trouble.
Proverbs 21:19


God has given us many proverbs to live by about how to communicate with the people around us. Over and over again we are told to think about what we say before we say it. To be kind and thoughtful in our words and not to tare one another down. 

As a child I remember repeating a verse over and over every time I said something rude or hurtful to my sisters. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up." (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Then my parents would make us say 10 nice things about the person we had hurt. 

It seems like it would be an easy thing to do, but some times it felt impossible. In the heat of the moment and the embarrassment of getting in trouble, it was hard to think of nice things to say about the other person. 

I was reminded of this last night after being frustrated by something hubby did. In my head, there was a fight that raged on, even though Mr T had no idea what was happening. Have you ever had that happen? You sit there stewing and arguing with them in your head, saying hurtful things, them saying things that make you more angry. Then suddenly you end up more angry at your spouse (or anyone really) and they have no idea how it got to that point. 

Well, last night that started to happen to me. And I was stopped in my tracks by that verse that I said too many times to count as a child. (Thanks mom and dad for being so "terrible" and enforcing it even when we hated it, and for making that verse stick)

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. So, I stopped. And in my head I started to list all of the amazing things that hubby is and does that make me love him so much. And wow did it help. 

Honestly, it was hard at first because I was angry. So the first one ends up being something stupid like, "I like his eyes". Then slowly as you actually start remembering that you do really love them and your just angry with them right now, it starts to get easier and easier, and your mood gets better and better. 


So I offer you this challenge today. (I am doing it too) :

~Next time you say something hurtful to your spouse, friend, sibling, parent...etc, stop and apologize and tell them at least one of the things that you love about them. Build them up instead of tare them down. 

~If you are fighting with someone. Start a list in your head about how wonderful they are. Write it down if you have to. And then later, when you are patching things up, remember to tell them about it. Tell them why you love them, what makes them so special. 

~Even when you are not fighting with a loved one, make sure to build them up. Try to tell your spouse, daily, something you love about them. It really helps to rekindle the romance, make you more appreciative, and shows them how much you really do care. 



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Called, Directed, Useful

Imagine if you will:

A church full of people. The pastor is up at the pulpit preaching and teaching to a room full of listening ears. Off to the side there is a section of the church filled with people not watching the preacher. Their eyes are focused on a woman in front of them. 


Her hands are moving gracefully as she interprets the words of the preacher. Countless sets of eyes are watching her so that they too can hear from God. She is being the hands of the Father as He speaks to His bride.


This woman is a teacher, she has brought with her a group of students that are learning to sign, to communicate with their hands. She calls one of them up to the front to take over for her. He hesitates but goes up anyway, likely assuming that she will feed him the signs that he does not know. She cannot expect him to do what she has done, he barely knows half the words being spoken by the pastor. 


The young student attempts to interpret the words of the pastor but is failing. He feels the pressure of being the person in charge of getting Gods message across to those who cannot hear it with their ears. 

He tries to get his teacher to come back up and take over. She refuses. He pleads. And again she refuses. A third time he begs, and she still refuses. Can she not see that all of the Deaf with miss out if she does not take over. 

Desperate and failing, he drops his hands to his sides, and tries to utter a prayer. All he manages to get out is "God help me." 


Immediately he feels the feeling of hot oil being poured over his body, starting from his head and spreading over him. His hands come up and signs start to flow. Signs he has never seen before. Signs he doesn't know himself. 


The Deaf congregation sit watching as this young student goes from complete and utter failure and discouragement, to dropping his head in failure. Then they watch in astonishment as they see a transformed man, as he signs fluently and finishes out the service interpreting for his teacher. 



The followers of Jesus were all together in one place fifty days after the special religious gathering to remember how the Jews left Egypt.  All at once there was a sound from heaven like a powerful wind. It filled the house where they were sitting. Then they saw tongues which were divided that looked like fire. These came down on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they began to speak in other languages which the Holy Spirit made them able to speak.
Acts 2:1-4





The student in the story was my father. He has spent his life interpreting for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He signs like he himself cannot hear. But mostly, he signs like it is a gift. 

Watching my dad interpret has always been something I have enjoyed. His hands flow, it is like watching poetry. I have seen many interpreters in my life but when dad signs it is a completely different thing. It is his tongues, God blessed him with this language so that he can use his gift for the glory of God. 


Wouldn't it be nice to have a gifting like that. Something that is so obvious to you and to those around you that you are constantly reminded that it is a gift and meant for Gods glory. 


Hubby and I were talking last night about his career and what he wants to do with his life. He talked about my dad and how easy it must have been for him because he knew what he was called to. But I am sure that it wasn't that simple, there was probably lots of doubt and questioning at times and it wasn't always easy to stick with it when coworkers were frustrating. 


Hubby grew up on a farm and ever since he can remember he has wanted to be a farmer. A few years back his parents sold the farm and moved to a big city. It was totally unexpected and threw him through a loop. Since then he has struggled with the jobs that he has had because he always thinks about what it could have been if he could have farmed.  Given the choice, and enough money to get started, he would still farm. Hubby still looks at his jobs as a means to an end, with his end goal being us on a farm. 


It is hard to be happy with where you are when you are looking for something else. It is also hard to live and give everyday over to God if you aren't happy with where you are. We need to make the conscious effort to be useful for Gods purpose. We need to give ourselves over to His plan and purpose and not let ourselves get in the way.  


Yes, I do know that God gives us the desires of our hearts, but I also believe that there is a time and a season for everything. God's timing is perfect, we are where He put us, for a reason. If we are always looking to the past or the future we cannot have our eyes open for the present to see what it is that He has meant us for. 

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your strength. 
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us. And make the work of our hands stand strong. Yes, make the work of our hands stand strong.
Psalm 90:17


 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.
Exodus 9:16

Do not be ashamed to tell others about what our Lord said, or of me here in prison. I am here because of Jesus Christ. Be ready to suffer for preaching the Good News and God will give you the strength you need. He is the One Who saved us from the punishment of sin. He is the One Who chose us to do His work. It is not because of anything we have done. But it was His plan from the beginning that He would give us His loving-favor through Christ Jesus. We know about it now because of the coming of Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. He put a stop to the power of death and brought life that never dies which is seen through the Good News.

2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NLV)

Happy is the man who does not walk in the way sinful men tell him to, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit with those who laugh at the truth. But he finds joy in the Law of the Lord and thinks about His Law day and night. This man is like a tree planted by rivers of water, which gives its fruit at the right time and its leaf never dries up. Whatever he does will work out well for him.

Psalm 1:1-3

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Dissatisfaction

There is something about the monotony of life that can slowly steal away your joy.

Even when what you are filling your days with is something that you feel called to, or if it is something that brings you great satisfaction. Somehow, we can get to a place where we feel like we are just doing the same thing all of the time and not getting anywhere or really doing anything. 

I wholeheartedly believe that I have the best job in the world. You can ask my daughter what my job is and she will tell you that it is to take care of her and her brother. And if you ask if I like my job she will tell you that I love it. And I do. I love getting to be the person with the most impact on their little lives. I love being able to teach them and learn with them and play and laugh with them. I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

But, there are times when I start to feel the monotony setting in. A dissatisfaction settling into my soul. This normally begins when someone else talks about some amazing trip that they are going on or the new job they are doing, the new in their lives. 

A little seed of jealousy gets planted in me and it begins to grow dissatisfaction.

I know what I have been called to in this time of my life. I know what my purpose is. And yet this plant begins to grow and block the view of Gods plan and purpose. It casts shadows on the perfect plan of God and makes me grumpy and unsatisfied with where I am at. 

Eve was lead by the serpent into dissatisfaction with what she had. She started to desire more; more knowledge and to be more like God. And it lead her into sin and changed the rest of history forever.


Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Genesis 3:1-7

We need to learn to walk in satisfaction of our lives. To take joy in the everyday things that God has blessed us with. He has given us everything we need and more. He is our provider, our helper, our friend. And He will never leave us. 


Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
John 6:35 

And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11

You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways, 

Gracious in all His works. 
the Lord is near to all who call upon Him, 
To all who call upon Him in truth. 
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them. 
Psalm 145:16-19

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoince and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And your glory to their children. 
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands. 
Psalm 90:14-17

Blessings. 
Anita

Friday, 18 January 2013

Quick and Easy Chili

Just made this for supper and thought I would share.

This recipe originated from my Mother-in-law but has been shaped and changed by me and hubby through the last five years. We have added things but the basic ingredients remain.

Hubby isn't a big fan of big beans so this recipe uses lentils and navy beans but you can use pretty much anything you like.

Also, I know that you can buy beans packed in molasses or other things, but we normally just use the plain ones packed in water. I find it much easier to just use the beans from a can, though I do have a giant bag of beans that I picked up with the intention of using. It is just so easy to dump a can of beans in rather than having to soak and boil them before hand. ( Also I did actually try to cook lentils beforehand to use in my chili and they turned out horribly. It just ended up being a giant sloppy pot of nasty, so my opinion, stick to the can)


Quick and Easy Chili

1 lb ground beef
Finely Chopped Onion (as much as you like)
Chopped Bell Pepper
1 can Tomato Soup
1  can of tomato sauce (7 oz can)
1 can of diced Tomatoes, do not drain
1 can beans of your choice, drained
1 can lentils ( I never use the full can), drained
1 can of mushrooms (optional)
onion powder
chili powder
cayenne pepper


Brown beef. Add onion and bell pepper.
Stir in Tomato soup, sauce, and diced tomato. Add beans, lentils, and mushrooms.
Season to taste with onion powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Serve with buns or over rice.

Special Notes:
1. We love Aylmers fire roasted diced tomatoes. They add a wonderful flavor to the chili.

2. I on occasion add really shredded carrot to the chili to add a little extra veggies to it, it is undetectable.

*3. Tonight while enjoying our chili, Hubby delved into a bag of sea salt and lime tortilla chips. They were such an amazing complement to the chili it was unbelievable. I actually skipped eating the chili with my rice (which I normally really enjoy), and just ate the whole bowl like it was salsa on those tortilla chips.  (totally decreases the health value of this meal but seriously it was delicious) *



A warning before you view the pictures....chili is not the most attractive looking food. But don't let the looks fool you, this stuff is delicious. 





Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Swallowed by a Fish

I have the most amazing group of moms that I have the pleasure of meeting with every Tuesday morning at our church. I started going when Little A was a few months old and have loved it ever since.  The group of ladies changes but they are all wonderful and have been used to bless my life so much.

It has been so wonderful to have women that are struggling through life being mothers, wives, and followers of Christ. They always have questions or comments that fit so well with the things that have been on my heart or driving me crazy also. God has used each one of them and the speakers that come in,  to teach me and grow me into a better follower. The time I get to spend with those ladies is often what keeps me sane and helps to fill me up since I often miss a lot of the sermon on Sundays with a toddler and baby that are often tired, grumpy or hungry.

Right now we have a special speaker in for the next few weeks talking to us about Godly Parenting. Today was a wonderful session about Obedience. It really hit home for where we are at with Little A entering the Testing Twos.

During the morning the main thing that kept coming into my head was the story of Jonah and his disobedience to God.

We all know the story of God sending Jonah to Nineveh to proclaim the message of the Lord. Jonah says no and runs away. He gets onto a ship headed for Tarshish and while he is at sea the Lord sends a great storm on the sea. The boat threatens to break so the crew starts throwing things overboard and praying to their gods. Jonah, asleep in the ship is awoken by the captain who wakes him up to call on his god. The crew casts lots to see whose fault it is, Jonah fesses up and tells them to throw him overboard. They don't, the winds pick up more. They finally throw him overboard and the sea calms immediately. Then God sends a huge fish to eat Jonah. Jonah is in the fish for three days and nights before it vomits him onto dry land. God again send him to Nineveh where he finally goes and spreads Gods message. Nineveh repents and calls on God.  Jonah is angered by Gods forgiveness of the people of Nineveh and he sulks and goes out of the city to watch and wait for its destruction.


One of the things the speaker pointed out this morning was the difference between compliance and obedience. The biggest difference between the two is the attitude with which they are done. Often our children will do what they are told but will take their time doing it, do it with attitude, or do it halfheartedly, that is compliance.  Obedience is doing what is asked quickly and with a happy heart.

Jonah, completely disobeyed the Lord the first time around. He ran away from what God told him and he was punished for it.

Then when he finally does what he is supposed to it seems like he did it out of compliance and not from a place of obedience.

When I read through the story I can see Jonah acting like an angry child. First he runs away. Then he apologizes   Then he goes to Nineveh and stomps his feet all the way there, reluctantly does what he was told and then slams the door angrily on the way out. Then he sits and pouts and is angry with God for not doing what he wanted.

At first when I thought about Jonah and his disobedience I could see my daughter in it.  And then, slowly, it hit me and I could see myself all over it.


How often do we completely run away from what God has called us to do? We allow fear and doubt to lead us into disobedience and they hold us back from stepping out in faith. How often do we miss out on seeing the amazing hand of God move in His power, because we failed to follow? (How many times should we have been swallowed by a fish?)

I feel like it is so much easier to call ourselves on our complete disobedience to God than it is to realize when we have done what was asked but did it with angry hearts. Often when we do step out and follow God we do it out of compliance and not out of obedience. We, like children, roll our eyes and grumble under our breath because its hard, uncomfortable or embarrassing.



These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Matthew 15:8 


"Partial obedience is disobedience"
The speaker this morning said this and it totally resonates with what I am trying to say. 

When God tells us to do something it is not okay to do it our way. We need to be fully obedient in heart and body and step out to do what we were told. 

A few years back I had the pleasure of hearing Beth Moore speak about God telling her to brush a mans hair.  She fought and argued with God and then followed him. 
Please follow this link and listen to her story, no one could tell it like her and it is so worth hearing.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Share the Love

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:20-21

 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:9-10

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galations 5:13-15

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48



I was thinking about Love today since Valentine's is coming. 

I was looking for fun ways to shower my children and hubby with love and then while looking at multiple websites I opened up Biblegateway and their verse of the day (1 John 4:20-21) was like a smack upside the head. 

It is so easy to show love to those that love us. It comes so naturally. 
But God calls us to love our enemies, our neighbors, or brothers. And most of the time we fail horribly. 

We are always seeing horrible stories in the news about Christians and other religious organizations that are showing hatred. The only way to start to change that is to start really loving the people around us. 

That doesnt mean agreeing with their sin, it means looking past their sin and seeing the person that God created them to be. It means being Jesus to those he came to save. They are sinners, we are sinners, He came for us all. We all fall short and they deserve death just like us. 

We will be judged by God and so will they. 



The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. 
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 
John 8:3-11

Lets share the love today, and try to move toward living like Jesus and Loving the people He came for. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Dear

Just wanted to share this wonderful worship song with you today.

May your soul sing out to the Creator and may your heart scream out to know the one who made you. May He answer you where you are and bless you with His unfailing Love that is everything we could ever want or need.





You can find the CD for purchase at the Bethel Redding website. They have some wonderful worship CDs available for download. We often have this CD playing in the background while we are at home.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

After a blizzardy night last night we are stuck at home today, not that I am complaining since I didn't have any plans for leaving anyway. It's days like this where all I want to do is bake. And based on my friends status' on facebook, I am not the only one embracing the weather as a chance to bake.

The plan for the day is to make my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, then to make some Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins. Thought I would share the recipe with you so you can enjoy some of these tasty little treats yourself. ( I will post pictures once I have made them)

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
(Yields 12 muffins)

2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla 
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips ( or dark chocolate is also really great)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix together dry ingredients (leaving out raspberries and chocolate).
Beat milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients all at once. Add in chocolate and raspberries. 
Stir until just moistened and lumpy. 
Spoon into greased or lined muffin cups. 
Bake at 400 for 20- 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 

Enjoy. My family loves them, they are always a big hit.

EDIT:
Things I forgot to say:

1.  This recipe can easily be turned into any kind of fruit muffin you like. I have used it for plain blueberry muffins as well as for just chocolate chips.  Just substitute the raspberries and chocolate for 1 cup of your desired fruit or chip.

2. This can also be made using whole wheat flour. I have made them this way but hubby barely touched them. Little A still didnt seem to mind, but lets be honest she will eat just about anything.
For best results with whole wheat use 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat.


LittleA helping stir.
She always has to get right in there. 

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins. (smellovision would be great)

Same recipe sub. blueberries.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Written in our Home - Continuation

As promised, the scriptures we wrote in our home: 


Main hallway of our home, the center of our home:

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15

At the Front door:
The lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; He will watch over your coming and going both now and forever. Psalm 121:7-8

The plug in for the tv: (my prayer is that God will help those using our tv to make good choices, to feel convicted when they watch things that the Lord opposes)
The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them because they take refuge in Him. Psalm 37:40


The Master Bedroom Light :
Above all , love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

The light switch to our dining room and kitchen:
Do not neglect to show hospitality  to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 
Hebrew 13:2

The Light switch to our upper hallway:
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. .. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Joshua 1:3,5

In the Kids bedrooms:
In peace I both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. 
Psalm 4:8

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:18

The Bathrooms:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 
1 Peter 4:8

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Beauty



I have been wanting to talk about beauty for a while now and after the post the other day about Little A and being beautiful, I pushed this along a little. 


This has been on my mind from the beginning of starting this blog. It is a main part of pursuing the Proverbs 31 kind of life. 


Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, 
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 
Proverbs 31:30-31

Our society values beauty. It holds it in high esteem. It shows us that it is something that is to be longed for and pursued. That beauty can get you places in life and that without it you will fall short on many levels. 

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with what the world sees as beautiful. It is plastered everywhere we look and is talked and sang about nearly just as much. 

We all know the damaging effects of societies view of beauty. I think that it is the enemies number one attack against women. And all too often we fall into the trap with such ease. 

The Lord tells us time and time again how much He adores us. How He created us in his image, how we are made for a purpose, and made how we are meant to be. 

The bible also tells us that we should find our beauty from what is in us. 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4


Being that I recently had a baby I have really been struggling with finding beauty in the way that I look.  It really is hard to look in the mirror and say, "wow, I look good today" when your hair is a mess, your shoulders are covered in vomit and nothing fits the way that it used to. 

Not that it was any easier doing that before I got pregnant, or while I was pregnant.  Honestly, I could probably count on both hands the number of times that I looked in the mirror and truly felt beautiful (the way the world sees beauty). 

one of the many horrible looking faces I often ruin pictures with
When I got married, my parents tried to put together a slideshow of hubby and I as we grew up and then of the two of us while we were dating and engaged. Apparently, they had a horrible time finding nice pictures of me because most of them were of me making a stupid face. Somewhere around 14 I started making faces in photos. I got it into my head that I was going to hate how the picture looked anyway so I might as well just make it a purposefully bad photo. 

There was one day that really stands out, from my pregnancy with Little E, when I felt particularly horrible.(I have shared about this day before)  I hadn't gained nearly as much weight as I had with my first, but I still felt like a bus. My hair was doing crazy things because of my hormones, my legs were starting to swell and I just really felt horrible overall. We were trying to head to church, we were running behind (of course), and I could not find a single thing that fit me well. Finally I threw something on, felt horrible in it, and didn't even bother with makeup or much more than running a comb through my hair. 

As we were driving to church I rolled my eyes as hubby said that I looked nice and that the outfit fit well. I looked at my reflection in the car mirror and started to tear up as I tried to fix my crazy mess of hair. 

After church, hubbies grandparents took us out for lunch. I was hesitant to go because lets be honest, the less people we saw the better and my legs were throbbing.  As we sat and enjoyed lunch with his wonderful grandparents some people from church were being led to a table nearby. A lovely, kind and truly beautiful ( inside and out) woman, Karen, stopped to talk to me about my pregnancy and to tell me how amazing I looked. She couldnt believe I was as far along in the pregnancy as I was and she thought I was glowing, she sat down at her table and continued to comment about how great I looked. 

I almost broke down right there.  My face turned an Elmo color of red and I was in shock. It was so hard to take her compliments, they were so real and heartfelt but they were completely the opposite of how I had felt about myself all day. 

There are many times that I can remember from this last week alone, that hubby has told me I am beautiful. I know that he appreciates how I look and who I am as a person. 

But when he says it something t inside me yells, "no your not" or "how can he really think that, hasn't he seen your love handles(or whatever other body part is upsetting me at the time)"

That voice that I hear is not a voice of my own. It has been there for a long time. So long that I now hear it as my own voice and ignore the fact that it is not my own. The lies of the enemy have been spoken to me for so long that I have accepted them as truth. I struggle to see beauty in myself, both outer beauty and inner beauty. 

I know that there are countless women just like me who fail to see the Beauty of the Creator in themselves.  We listen to the lies. We accept them as truth. We question the creation of our Creator, who made us exactly how He wanted us to be.

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
    “You know nothing”?

Isaiah 29:16 (excerpt)

It is time to change that in myself.  It is time to shut down the lies and accept the real truth. 

I know that its a few days late for making resolutions, and I hate making them. So instead of making a resolution to change, how about saying a prayer today to bring change into our lives.  

If you are like me and you struggle to hear that you are beautiful. If you receive a compliment and then have a million lies telling you all of the other "horrible" things about yourself. If you look in the mirror and don't like what you see. Will you pray this prayer with me today. 

Dear God
You are the maker of the universe. You are the creator of all that is beautiful in this world. Father, thank you for making me beautiful. Thank you for making me the way that I am, and for making me for your purpose. 
Today I ask that you would show me your Beauty. And show me your Beauty in me. Teach me to see myself as beautiful and perfectly made. Teach me to accept the way that you made me and to not question your creation. I am sorry for hating something that you love. 
God I ask that your love would pour over me and that I would feel an overwhelming love whenever I hear the lies of the enemy about myself. Deafen my ears to the hateful things that the enemy spews about me. And open the ears and the eyes of my heart to hear from you. 
Father I ask that you would break off the plans that the enemy has for me. Break away the lies that I have believed and plant new seeds of your love. 
Thank you for making me and loving me more than I could ever imagine.  
Amen. 

If you prayed that with me, make it your prayer for the day, the week, the month. Whatever it needs to be. Just pray that God pours his love out over you and breaks off the lies of the enemy. And then be prepared for a battle. 

When we become aware of the enemies attacks against us, when we fight back, he will push back harder.  He will spew so many lies, so much hatred against you and the Beauty that God created you with. You need to be prepared for a fight. 

Put on the belt of truth and hold onto the sword of the word of God. Read and find the words of the Fathers love that you can hold onto. Let Him speak to you and fill you with His truth. 


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Questions about Salvation

Sorry for the inactivity lately. It has been a crazy time for us since being back from our Christmas Holidays. We had a busy week with hubby going back to work and Little A's 2nd birthday yesterday.



I was on Bible Gateway today and their verse of the day is 1 Peter 1:13.

I wanted to share this verse in context with you because reading it has reminded me of a few things.



Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 

 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 1:13-25

During our visit with my family this Christmas, one of the conversations that I had with my dad was about salvation. 


The question my dad posed to the group of us, was wether or not you are still saved if you walk away from God? If you don't live life the way we are called? If we are going to church but not doing anything else? If we only became christians for someone else or for fear of damnation?


Are we really followers of Christ if we dont live the way He called us to live?


Over and over Jesus called men to follow Him. He called the disciples and told them to follow Him, leave behind all that they had and follow. 


Leave their old lives to follow. Leave their sin.


So, again I ask. If we don't change are we really following?



I don't have the answers. I know that I feel like I fall short.  That I do not walk in the path I am supposed to. That I fall back into my old life, my sinful ways.  And I know that someday I will stand and be judged for that.  


I was raised by parents who led Sunday school and there was always four main things that they taught. 


- All have sinned.  (Romans 3:23)

-There is only one way to heaven.    (John 14:6) ( John 3:16)
         By His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53)
- Its a free gift.  (John 1:12)

- Say thank you. (Luke 15:7) (this was normally a day for partying and was always the best)

Dad would always use a great visual example for the kids about how there is only one way to heaven. He would set a chair on one side of the stage and one at the opposite side. He would place a child on the one chair and then say, "okay, get to the other chair."

The child would then attempt to jump with all of their might to reach the other chair. 
Of course it was impossible. 

So he would ask for another volunteer and allow them to attempt to jump from one side to the other. Again they would fail. 


Then he would put a small child on the chair and tell them to ask for help from one of the other adult helpers. The adult would then carry the child from one chair to the other. 


Our sin is the gap between us and God. We have sinned, and continue to do so, so we cannot reach God.  So Jesus bridges the gap.  We cannot, by our own strength, goodness, wealth, or otherwise, get to heaven on our own.   He is the only way that we can reach heaven.



One of the other things that my dad has told me many times in my life is that there is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. 

Its impossible. He loves us more than we can ever fathom. He created us for him to love.

We were the ones that screwed it up and we still do. 

And yet He still loves us. He loved us enough to send His son to die for us and He stands at the door and knocks, waiting, hoping that we will answer and let him in. 


All that to say that, I guess, what I believe, is that God's love will never go away. 

If we turn our backs, He will keep knocking. 

If we continue to sin, He will keep loving.  (and calling us to follow Him)

If we don't have a deep personal relationship with Him, He will keep pursuing. 

I think that if we receive Him and believe in Him, then we are called the children of God. We may be screw ups and we may fall short, but that doesn't mean He loves us any less, it just means that we will have a lot of "splanen to do" when we get to judgement day.