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Keep On Learning

Hosea 4:6″My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge[of My law, where I reveal My will]. Because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.”

As most of you know I love to be in the kitchen creating foods and baked goods. Lately I have been canning and baking for friends. It brings me so much joy to share with others. The responses from them have confirmed to me that this a talent that God has given me. I have dreamed of being able to afford to do this all of the time and give it away, or to find away to cover my costs and maybe make a little extra money. But right now that door is not open. What am to do in the wait? Should I just allow the dream to die, be “destroyed”? I thought about another dream that was placed in my heart years ago, to preach and teach. At the time I had no idea of how to even begin to make this happen. But I did know God had put it in my heart, and that it was a dream that would bring Him the glory. I also knew that when the time was right He would open the door. Yet I knew that I could not just sit around and wait.

Is there a dream that you have, that allows you to use one of the talents that He has gifted you with? A dream that from where you are standing today just seems like it is not possible? That has some obstacles to you achieving that you feel overwhelmed? The scripture above states that “My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge” could it be that our dreams are destroyed by our lack of knowledge? Or by us “rejecting knowledge” thinking we already know or posses the skills and talents, because they are God given? When I had felt confident that it was God who had given me the dream of preaching and having a ministry, I asked one of my trusted leaders, what I should do. I remember her saying to me look at all the skills and knowledge you will need and finds ways to grow in your knowledge. I knew that God had gifted in public speaking, even as a child I had been able to get up in front of crowds ( I had done some acting through a talent agency as a preteen and teen) . I was already a leader (lay pastor) in my church in a few areas. But on her good Godly advice I searched for ways to gain more knowledge. I joined a world wide organization called Toastmasters. They are a recognized public speaking and leadership development organization. I competed in public speaking contest and won a few times and lost a few times. Lots of new skills learned while I waited for God to open the doors. I also studied His word more. Today I have been gifted with a Women’s Ministry in my home church (S.E.W, Spiritually Empowered Women) and just recently I have been offered to preach at another local church on a frequent basis. (Thank -you Lord for the open door) So what about the cooking and baking dream? If God’s word, says that lack of knowledge is what destroys His people, and stops them from being His priests ( chosen in sharing Jesus, and meeting the needs of others to bring glory to God) 11 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Then clearly we need to keep on gaining knowledge, and not just for us but for our children. This past week I signed up for a class on safe food handling in Ontario. When I am done I will have be certified by the government as a safe food handler. That is me gaining knowledge so that while I wait for an open door and God’s perfect timing I do not let the dream be destroyed.

What ways are gaining knowledge is that your God given talents, and dreams are not destroyed?KEEP ON LEARNING ! Remember God’s laws through the learning. Jesus (Mathew 22:36) says the greatest law or command is to love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and second is to love your neighbor as yourself. In other words don’t hurt or step on others, to get what you want. Lift others up, if your rise to the top, leaves a trail of hurt and destruction of others dreams or tarnishes their character, manipulates them to use their resources to promote yourself, you likely will not see the dreams you want, have the favor of the Lord or come to be.

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Looking For Stability

Isaiah 33:6 “And He will be the security and stability of your times, a treasure of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;The fear of the Lord is your treasure.”

I have always enjoyed the roller coaster rides at amusement parks. As a child one of my favorite summertime traditions was to go to Crystal Beach Amusement Park. I remember eagerly hoping that this year would be the year I would be tall enough to ride the Comet. It was the biggest roller coaster there. You can see the ride from front seat view here. https://youtu.be/xVL3Oy1nmsE . As fun as roller coaster rides are I don’t enjoy when my life feels like I am on one. I prefer to have stability. A nice calm life that is not marked by wild ups and downs. That is no easy task, especially right now, if I focus on the world and the daily news updates about Covid 19. Just turning from news source to another is like a roller coaster ride. Each source seems to be contradictory to the other and even to themselves from one day to the next. It’s no wonder that confusion, fear and division is so rampant. What can we do? Who should we believe? Confusion, fear and division.. hmmm sounds like the Biblical description of satan. I need security and stability of my times. I want the “treasure of salvation, WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE” . But where is that treasure found? “The fear of the Lord is your treasure.”

Fear? I thought I was not to have fear, and why be fearful of the Lord? When we understand who God is, the Creator of everything, our protector and the one who is love, then our fear of God is not based on being punished by God or what He will do to us. It is about fearing being distant from Him and His love, His care and His protection. It is all about our perspective and our relationship with Him. Think of a great big dog, this big dog is your friend. He loves you and you love him. You have a bond, you trust the dog and he trust you. You do your part to keep the dog healthy and safe and the dog wants you to be safe too. He knows of dangers that you may not because of his sense of smell being greater then yours. If you are waking and the dog senses or smells something that could be dangerous he will try to pull you away from the danger. If is is something or someone he thinks could harm you he may growl, just to let the threat know he will protect you. When you hear the growl you are not afraid of the dog. You are confident that he is your friend. Now if you suddenly became fearful of the dog and started to run away, the dog would chase after you. He does not like you running away from him, away from the protection he wants to give you, the love he wants to give you. As you are running you are not seeing the path you are taking, you lose your footing you fall, you get hurt, maybe you get lost, you become exhausted, the burden of being confused about where to run, how to avoid dangers, is too much. All the while the dog is chasing you trying to bring you back to his safety his protection and his knowledge of what why to go to stay on a good path. But you just see the dog as the one to be afraid of. In a similar way, Father God our Lord and Savior wants us to walk with Him. He wants to provide us with His superior “knowledge and wisdom” of how to navigate through life. That provision will give us peace, it removes confusion of what to do and where to go. We can enjoy the adventures of life with stability knowing He will protect us.

Therefore, let His still small voice and words be your guide louder then the bombarding and contradictory messages that bring confusion and fear. Let the only fear you have be fear of being distant from God. He will give you “knowledge and wisdom, and security and stability of your times” .

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I Wonder Who That Was?

Hebrews 13:2 “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! “

One of the reasons that my home is part of my blessed life is the kitchen. It is not massive, actually our home is not that big, but it has lots of cupboard space, an island and allows me to make and bake all kinds of yummy foods. I belong to a social media group, that it’s primary purpose is to spread kindness!! What a great concept, eh? People post kind things that have happened to them around town. Occasionally, someone will post that they are looking for something or ask for recommendation on a service. I have no idea if the creator of the page realized how the idea lines up so much with the Biblical scripture above, in that it reminds us to be hospitable(kind) to strangers. It really helps to brighten my social media feed.

Last week a lady had posted that she was looking for a place to purchase homemade soup, as the place she usually buys from is not making soup due to covid 19. I seen that we had a mutual friend that attends my church so I stepped a little bit out of my comfort zone and messaged her. I offered to make and bring to her some soup. She was so happy and so was I. We got to text talking afterwards and shared some of who we are and where we are in life. She is younger then me and parts of our life journey are very similar, so I was hopefully able to encourage her and let her know that I was willing to be there for her, if she needed it . I know she encouraged me to keep using my God given talent of cooking and to connect with others.

The following week I came upon the above scripture, and started to think. I am confident that this young lady is not an actual angel. But maybe what I did, entertained an angel? Part of the Dictionary definition of entertain is ” to hold the attention of pleasantly or agreeable;divert; amuse. to have as a guest.” What a wonderful thought. That is a Biblically sound thought. The Bible tells us that God’s Angels have some very important roles. The word Angel means “messenger of God” They are called mighty one’s who do God’s work. They battle satan, they bring us messages from God, they patrol the earth as God’s representatives, they act with authority, they bring revelation, warnings. instructions, provide physical provisions, assist in answering prayers, give encouragement, come at important times and some continually praise God. They are not our friends or relatives who have died. They were made as Angels and will always be angels. But we may entertain them. The vision I got in my head was of one of the Angels who patrols the earth, seeing me preparing and give soup to the young lady, and it caught the angel’s attention. It stopped him from patrolling. He watched and was entertained!! Then I though of when I have been watching something that I find entertaining, I share it with my friends. If they are around I call them to come and see with me. Maybe the Angel that took notice and stopped called other Angels to come and watch it with me. A group of Angels, watching what I was doing, being entertained!! Also I thought of when I have watched a really good movie, how later I talk about it with my friends and encourage them to check it. What if the angel who was entertained by my simple act, goes and talks about with other Angels, and with God? Saying something like, Today while I was patrolling the earth I was stopped and took interest in Angelina’s act of making soup to give to this young lady and encourage her. It was so entertaining to see the thought and care that she put into making the soup, to please a stranger. You should have seen it!, next time you are out patrolling the earth you should go and see what she is up to. God, that was pretty cool how Angelina made that soup, and used one of the talents you gave her to bless another, eh? I know this may not be true, but it could be! The above scripture says that we may entertain Angels and not even know it.

I want to entertain Angels, I want to grab their attention and maybe one day unlike this time the stranger could actually be an Angel. Even if none of this happens I know I am doing what God wants and He is watching, and it makes me feel good to share with others. Therefore, “Don’t FORGET to show hospitality to strangers,”

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Oh Yes I Will!!

Isaiah 15:13 “For you said to yourself,I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.” 15:14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.” 15:15 ‘Instead you will be brought down to the dead, down to the lowest depths.”

Monday had come and gone and the statement and proclamation I had made to myself that I will get back to healthy eating and exercising on that day had not happened. I am confident that at some point in life all of us have become determined about something that we want to do or achieve in life. It can be things like weight loss, get out of debt, mend a relationship, move somewhere, stop a bad habit the list is long and personal. We really want it to happen. When we say it to ourselves, or if we are bold enough to say it others we 100% mean it. It truly is our will, and our hearts desire to make it come to be.

Yet, just like me, the day that we determined to start comes and goes, and if we do start we don’t see it through to victory. We can come with a multitude of reasonable explanations as to why. I did not have time, this event happened that was more pressing, it’s too hard, I was faced with too many temptations, again the excuse list is long and personal for each of us.

God does not want us to FAIL!! He does not want us to FAIL to start or to achieve or goals!! So what could be the disconnect? Why do new set dates, to start come and go and either, we do not start or we start but do not see it through to the finish or achieve or dreams? The above scripture verses 13 and 14 are the words that satan said. They all start with I WILL. In verse 15 we see God’s response of failure. Why would a loving God call out failure? It is important to remember that satan is one of God’s angels. He is a creature created by God. Although we are not and never will be angels, unlike angels we are created in God’s image and in the future will be higher then angels (1 Corinthians 6:3 “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” ) Satan’s desire is to separate us from God and the purposes and promises that we inherit because we are His children. God’s desire is for us to be humble to Him, to go to Him, and in doing so we gain His strength and His favor. I WILL statements are proud and boastful, showing and proclaiming that we can do it on our own. Look where that got satan, a great big FAIL!!! When we change our proclamations to God Will, He will rid of us our excuses ans give us victory. How? His word says that, in our weakness He is strong, He will go before us(so if it a relationship that He wants us to mend He will soften the other persons heart) He will make away, He will give us all that we need, no weapon forged against shall prosper and there are many more verse that state how with God we will have the victory !!

Want the victory? Give up the I WILL and proclaim GOD WILL!! There will still be work on your part, a big part of that will be continually going, in humility to God and listening for Him to direct you, praying for His strength often and asking for His favor. But with God all things are possible. He loves you and wants you to succeed.

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You Are Never Alone

Hebrews 2:18 “Since (Christ ) himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.”

Many times in my life when I have been going through some of my toughest seasons, I have felt alone. In my mind I believed that it was not really possible for anyone to understand what it was like to….. experience being sick the way I was, abandon the way I was, the loss that I have ( you put whatever it is your “no one really knows what it’s like” here.) When we are feeling this way we long for someone who might have experienced what we are going through. We see this longing in the development of support groups. Which I believe are great resources. Most of theses groups are designed to have specific criteria to membership. Criteria that also highlight the belief that only someone who has been or is going through the same life experiences can fully understand what it’s like. We long to connect with others who can identify with what it’s like, who can give us wisdom of how to cope and move forward and where we can share some of our raw emotions that we believe only they can handle or comprehend. The truth is people can try to have empathy, and even those who have been or are going through similar life events will never be able to experience or feel them the same as we do. We are all unique, events that appear to be the exact same will bring out different responses, some may become angry, others sad and even in those emotional responses or actions will be different. So then are we right in thinking and feeling that we are alone? For those of us who have accepted Jesus ABSOLUTELY NOT!! How can I say this with absolute confidence?

The above scripture states that Christ has gone through suffering and testing, therefore He can help us. I can almost hear you saying but Jesus never………(put whatever you think He never experienced that you are right now or have) when He was on earth.Now I want you to look at your event, the one you are alone in experiencing. Can you think of it and say 1 part of your body is not going through it with you. No, when we are going through something our entire body is affected. I suffer from migraines, when I have a migraine I can not think the pain is only present in my head, not my feet so I should go for run. My migraines impact all of the what my body can do. As believers we know that Jesus is alive in us, He is part of our body, our mind and our soul. It is this truth, that also gives us the confidence that He is with us during the event we are going through and experiencing it all . He is right there with us because He is part of us. As Jesus was fully a man, born as a baby He also unlike angels or other spirit’s that can come to earth is able to recall life in body form and all of life’s hurts and joys. This truth and knowledge gives us confidence that we are never alone! He has wept, he has become angry, disappointed, had loss, been abused in human form. Just as we acknowledged earlier, when we are going through those hard storms we long to find someone who can handle the raw emotions, He can. He has also been there and has the tools that we are looking for to get us through it.

You are NEVER ALONE! Go and talk to Jesus, express you raw emotions and ask Him to help you. Pray for the tools. the strength or whatever you need to overcome the situation. He is right there with you ALWAYS.

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Want Help? Be Bold

Hebrews 4:16 “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and grace to help us when we need it most.”

It was Easter Sunday after getting home from church, I was preparing dinner for my family and some neighbors we had invited. It was an open invite that I was not confident if they would come. Hubby was out building in the barn while I cooked, and I got a text from a sister in Christ. I had just recently met this girl, but God had called me to connect with her immediately. We exchanged phone number and I told her to text or call whenever she wanted to. As soon as I seen the text I knew that this was going to be a disruption to my dinner plans. It was very clear she was in crisis. I knew very little about this girl, except that she believed in Jesus, and God had called me to connect with her. As we exchanged texts and I tried to continue to prepare dinner, the seriousness of the crisis was being reveled. To be totally honest, I was struggling with what to do. I knew our neighbors were going through a tough time, and this was the first time I had invited them to dinner, yet this girl needed some help too. She needed more then my text attention, yet so did my dinner prep. So I stopped and I prayed, God where do you want me to put my attention. He led me to call the young girl. As the initial conversation continued I sensed that maybe she was needing was a place to enjoy an Easter dinner. I knew she did not drive so I would need to pick her up. I would need to leave in the middle of dinner prep and invite a person my husband had not even met. Out to the barn I went and asked him how he felt about it. Although he was not excited, he trusted that if I felt it was the right thing to do then I should. Years ago my sister in law had asked to bring an older gentleman who was a regular customer at her work for a holiday dinner at our home and we all enjoyed his company. So having a stranger for dinner was not completely new. I called her back to extend the invite. But as we talked I noticed some changes in her communication. She was slurring words and not making that much sense. Then she confided that she had taken enough pills to end her life. That she no longer wanted to live. What was I to do? I did not know her last name, I had no idea where she lived and I was scared for her life. I managed to get her address, and last name and I also got her to agree to call an ambulance. I did not want to get off the phone but knew that for either one of us to be able to call and get the medical attention she needed that was what we would need to do. As I was on the phone with her trying to gather the needed info, I was praying. I was going boldly to God to help me be able to get the information from her, and show His mercy and grace in saving her life. We agreed that we both call for help and then I would call her back.

I hung and called for help, which was a bit of challenge as I was trying to explain that I did not know exactly where she lived, who she lived with and was not even confident that she had given me the correct info including her last name. After giving them the info I was feeling so overwhelmed, the enemy started coming at me with you are a fool to believe she took the pills. Now the police will think you are an idiot. What if I gave the wrong info and she did pass away? So I prayed for God to give me words to say to her and for God to direct the help to her quickly. This was defiantly at time when His help was needed most. This lovely girl a child of the precious God who He had called me to, needed His grace and His mercy to save her life. She had made a decision to end her life, it was her choices that got her to her life being jeopardized. So I went boldly to the throne for her. Then I called her back and we spoke until the ambulance arrived. Bythe grace and mercy of our Lord this girls’s life was saved.

That is how wonderful our God is, even when it’s our own choices and decisions that have led us to our crisis, we cam go to Him boldly. We can ask Him with confidence that He will hear us, and receive His mercy, His grace and His help.

I am so grateful that her life was saved and that God put her in my path. That she knew she could call me and that I would listen and get her the help she needed.

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Keep on Going.

Proverbs 24:30 ‘ I went past the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. 31: “I saw that it was covered with weeds, and it’s walls were broken down.”

A few years ago I had to get a new to me car. I actually did not want to give up my old car. I enjoyed the way it handled, the way I felt when I sat in the seat and the overall design of the car and how dependable it was. It always started on the first try. But it was rusting out, both my hubby and our mechanic said one day I would be driving and the rust would cause the car to split in two. My husband knew how much I loved this car so he found a replacement that was a little newer of the same vehicle. My old car was retired and sat in the driveway for a few weeks, before we took it to the scrap yard. When I parked it there all of the internal parts of it were running good, other then the rust it had no issues. The day had come that my father in law(he was down from Nova Scotia) and my husband were taking that car to the scrap yard. The faithful car did not want to start, once started it was making noises that showed that something was really wrong internally. Fluids were leaking, it was over heating and spewing smoke and chemicals, rattling, whining and clunking. Then it took it’s last gasp and died, needing to be picked up by a fork lift to be put on the scale.

Nothing traumatic had happened to my car while it sat there. If you looked at when I parked it and when we went to take it to the scrap yard, not much had changed in it’s appearance. Yet the time of idleness had caused all sorts of internal issues. It had caused many of the working parts to just die, and be useless. It easily over heated, spewed out all kinds of toxic fluids and smoke. It was clear from the start of the drive that no one could trust it. It would not be dependable to get me or anything that I wanted to transport safely to the destination.

Similar to when my car sat idle, when we become idle in spending time with God, by praying, reading and sharing Him with others, the enemy comes along. It doesn’t take long, for us to start spewing toxic words. We can quickly over heat with anger. Poisonous and destructiveness start to flow out of us to everyone and everything in our path. We are no longer dependable or trust worthy and therefore God can not give us all of what He has in store for us. We may look exactly the same, but internally we are so different. We have no protective walls or boundaries that God gives us. We are easily offended, engage in activities that will lead to our spiritual death.

Therefore keep on going forward, learning, praying and sharing God. Use common sense of what and when to share to plant His seed or pull out weeds in your life and others. If you happen to be at a point like my car where you feel like your just can’t keep on going. God will come like the fork lift and lift you up, you just need to ask.

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Walk Away From Doubt.

Philemon 1:22 (amp). “At the same time prepare a guest room for me [in expectation of a visit], for I hope that through your prayers I will be [granted the gracious privilege of] coming to you [at Colossae] “

There are a few things in my life that I have been praying to happen for a long time. One of the big ones for me is that my family and I will all attend church together and be following Jesus. It can get hard during the waiting time, more so when it is about someone/something that is dear to us. When I first started praying for them I had zeal and spoke with confidence that what I was praying for would happen. When I had conversations with others I talked with no doubt about my prayers being answered. But some where along the line, (the waiting line) my words began to change. I started to express fear about what might happen if my prayers were not answered. My mind would run down a deep rabbit hole of “what if’s?” I started to imagine all sorts of calamities. Fear would rise up in me. What had changed from when I first started praying? In my physical world nothing had actually changed. My family were and are still the great people who, I love dearly. There have been no tragic events and God’s power to reach them has not changed. I changed, I began somewhere deep in my mind to let a small seed of doubt to enter. That tiny seed, opened up the door of fear, and my imagination, to all sorts of bad scenarios. What can we do when that happens? When over time we start to let a seed of doubt enter or thoughts and change our actions or words?

When Paul wrote the above scripture/letter to Philemon he was in the Caesarea Maritima prison. Yet we see here that Paul was remaining hopeful and encouraging Philemon, to prepare in expectation of God answering Philemon’s prayers for Paul to visit. When we pray what are we doing in expectation of those prayers being answered? If we think of when the doctor tells us that we are pregnant. Most of us begin to prepare for the birth, we do all sorts of things to get ready. We prepare by making room for this child to come in our homes, decorating rooms, in our finances, we purchase items that we will need and we see dr’s to check on how things are progressing. During the 9 months of waiting when people ask about or comment about us being pregnant, we don’t deny that we are pregnant and speak negatively about the unborn child. We do the prep work waiting for the child to come. So what prep work are you doing while waiting for the answer to prayer? What are the things that will change when that prayer is answered in your life. Start making plans for when that happens, use your imagination to visualize the event of answered prayers. (Often when the church is not overflowing with people I put my purse on the seat next to me. I imagine that my purse is my family members sitting beside me. I visualize them worshiping with me. During my drive home I often think of conversations we will have about how God spoke to us through the sermon.) Keep going to the Great physician to check and ask to see what is going on in the spiritual realms to bring forth the answers to your prayer. (like how you go the dr to see how your unborn child is doing.)

Move away from doubt and move into expectation in both your actions and your words. Trust God to hear and answer your prayers.

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What Are Your Triggers and Defining Moments?

Luke 22:61&62 , 61: “At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 62: “And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. “

We all have words or sounds, that are triggers that bring us back to places from our past. Some of them are great memories and others are not. Those words are often tied to the emotions that we experienced with them. Some may even have both great and bitter memories attached simultaneously. They can bring us back to times when we have failed, or the things that we just want to erase from our past. They can be some of the most defining moments in our life. What are we to do with them is the question, how are we to look and react today when they resurface?

Before I became a Christian, I spent many Friday nights at the club with my friends, drinking and dancing. I have always loved to dance, and enjoyed music that brought that desire to life. I have many great memories made with friends from those nights at the bar dancing. Those times were also a time in my life that I was making some not so good choices in life. I was spending money on things that I should not have, I was not respecting my body, in the ways that I dressed, my consumption of alcohol and the language that I was using was not Godly. So all though there are many great memories, it is also a time that I wish I had been wiser and holds many memories that I wish were never created. Naturally, we had some songs that were a given for all of us go dance to. Today when I hear those songs I am often brought back to those moments. Some of which are among the most embarrassing and shameful things that I did. They are also great reminders of how far I have come in my growth with Jesus, how much I have changed.

The above scripture tells us of a trigger that Peter would have in his life. Peter lived in a time when roasters would have been everywhere. The crowing of a rooster would be a regular event in his life. (roosters crow all times of the day, not just in the morning) That means that as Peter was going out and preaching the gospel, often there would be roosters crowing. Peter could have heard the crowing and suddenly be reminded of the time he had denied Jesus, transported back to “weeping bitterly” and full of shame. It could have caused him to stop doing what he was called to do. He could have seen it as an event that disqualified him from preaching. A defining moment that left Peter sitting in shame and remorse. Yet he did not allow this to happen. Why?

I am inclined to believe that the crowing also took him back to the encounter he had after Jesus resurrection. When Jesus had a one on one conversation with him and instructed him to feed his sheep. (John 21:17) It likely reminded Peter of the grace and forgiveness that Jesus had given him. The trigger of the rooster, showed and helped him to recall how he was no longer the same person who denied Jesus but was now standing firm and preaching the good news of Jesus. Instead of letting the crowing be the defining moment of his life, he made it be God’s grace and mercy.

When you have those triggers pop up in your life, the ones that crow and the enemy tries to use, to remind you of your old self. The ones that bring can trigger shame and guilt, use them to remind you of how far you have come. To reflect on the grace, mercy and love that Father God has given to you, and to spur you on to spread the gospel.

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Keep Talking with Endearing Words

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

This year my husband and I will celebrate 10 years of being married. I am grateful that God connected us. Marriage is not like a fairy tale, it is work. As humans we by nature tend to be selfish, in marriage we must deny our selfish nature, and put the needs of our spouse before our own. When I think back to when we were in the beginning stage of our relationship, we would talk for hours. We made sure to speak words that were endearing to each other. We were considerate always, growing in our love for each other, wanting to discover more and more about who each of us was. Now it seems that we are not as curious and considerate as we once were. I think that is normal, that we begin to believe we know everything about them. But this is not truth at all. People learn new things everyday, they try new things, discover new things that they like or don’t like, gain new wisdom about themselves, the world and so much more. Honestly, when we think about our selves we know that we are constantly learning more about who we are. So to think that we know everything about another person is just ego. We can also stop talking endearingly to each other. we can begin to just talk about things, chores, work, our family activities but lose the sweet words. If we are not mindful our words can turn from sweet to sour.

If we look at today’s scripture, we can use it as a net for catching words that do not build up our spouses. That does not mean that I only speak about things that are wonderful. It means that when I speak about the hard parts of our marriage or life, that I do so in a way that builds and strengths my husband and our marriage. Giving and being able to receive constructive criticism is vital in good relationships. It means that we are speaking word that are going to bring us closer together, and heal any hurts not cause new ones.

I want to be the wife who and person in life who speaks words that encourage, exhort and show grace according to the other person’s needs. That means I need to listen to know what they are needing. Not what I need. It’s not about self. Marriage is about agreeing to put your spouses needs above your own. It’s so contrary to the worldly views, that have us singing things like, “What have you done for me lately” It is important to understand that we all go through different seasons, and have different needs during that season. Sometimes we need to be alone, other times we need physical closeness, sometimes we need to be reminded of how far we have come, and other times we need words to compel us to get moving forward. It is so important to understand that we can not be everything for spouses and they can not be everything to us. We need God and we need other friendships.

How do you speak to others? Are your words to those closest to you spoken with kindness? Do you speak like you did when you first met each other? We are not perfect, unkind words spoken in the heat of the moment happen, but should not be the norm.

As a wife I am to not be the nagging wife. I have chosen to trust my husband to hear me when I ask for something to be done that he will do it when the time is right for him. I know he wants to get things done, cares about our home and wants to honor me. So I don’t need to nag him. I don’t want to be the angry or complaining wife. I want to have contentment and show that contentment with what we have and what we are doing. This part is a struggle for me at times, I love to be outgoing and social,and my hubby is more of an introvert. But I know he loves me and he also puts my needs into consideration. So he goes places that he does not want to go for me. He knows that I love to go an try new things so he also encourages me to go to places with my friends with no guilt about going. When I see that I am starting to engage in any negative words, I go back to the above scripture and get the needed attitude adjustment. That means I am always watching and guarding my heart and my thoughts, because or mouth is the tool that speaks what is in our hearts and minds.

Today I challenge you as I also challenge myself to speak the enduring words you spoke when you first met. To reignite the curiousness you had to learn all about your spouse, to be more active in listening to their needs. Speak words that build them up and your relationship up. Don’t hold on to hurts. God’s word tell us that his mercies are new everyday(Lamentations 3:22-23) , I am grateful for that and want to show that same mercy to my husband.

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What Is Your Harvest?

Galatians 3:16 “Now the promises[in the covenants] were decreed to Abraham and his seed. God does not say, “And to seeds(descendants, heirs),” as if [referring] to many [persons], but as to one, “And to your Seed, ” who is [none other than] Christ.”

One of the blessings in my life is that we have some land to make gardens. We have numerous flower gardens and a fairly large vegetable garden area. All of the gardens come with rewards and tasks. The vegetable garden has been a lot of hard work, but is a labor of love. Our property has a forest area on one side and there are many large trees on ever side of the property, the back yard is down a hill, and the ground is mostly sand or clay. We had to find a spot that would not become to flooded if there was major rainfall, gets the most amount of sun, and then begin to work on the ground. A few trees needed to be chopped down to give us some of the needed sun, the grass and weeds needed to be removed and the ground cultivated. The first year we tried using a small electric rototiller and actually broke it. Since then we have purchased a STIHL KombiMotor and the Mini-Cultivator attachment. It has not disappointed. We also have purchased a few yards of top soil, and triple mix and some peat moss that have been tilled in over the 3 years since we started. Next year we will be adding some manure. The weeds continue to find a way to the garden and removing them is never ending. The 1 year we bought plants and since then we to try use seeds that I had kept from some of the harvested veggies and some seeds from heirloom vegetables I bought at the local farmers market. I start the seeds indoors and then do a gradual exposure to the harsh outdoors to ensure they become hardy, and wait for the last frost before putting them in the garden. We also need to water them if there has not been any rain, watch for insects and have had to put chicken wire all around and even put up a scarecrow. We also now add marigolds to help stop the critters. We have lots of wonderful birds, and wild life but they like to eat my garden.

This was the first year we had him up, My hubby made him, I think he looks awesome !!

The harvest from the garden has been getting better each year as the ground becomes more fertile. I hope that this year besides having lots to eat during the summer, I am able to can more from our garden.

The above scripture tells us that Jesus is the seed that was born of the promise to Abraham. Just like the seeds I have planted in my garden, first I need to accept the seeds to be planted. We must first accept Jesus as our Savior and welcome Him to live in our heart. The seed of Jesus is always good and will produce a harvest of great bounty, and all good things in our life. It will sustain us in hard times, comfort us, bring peace and joy, wisdom and blessings beyond our imagination. God’s desire is for all to have his full harvest of goodness available through Christ. The ground ( which is our heart and our lifestyle) needs to be cultivated, nurtured, watered and cared for. Similar to how to my veggie garden is a work in progress, that change from hard clay to growing a large harvest of vegetables takes time. There is work involved. Weeds need to be removed, some God will remove for us and other we will need His strength in us, to remove them. We need to be diligent in reading and obeying His word to be watered and grow. Just like my garden has taken time and each year the harvest of good vegetables has grown, so will our harvest of the goodness and promises grow each year. God is not a genie in bottle. His promises are never ending, but there is more to it then just rubbing a bottle the right way. He knows that we need to become hardy, (like my plants to be ready for the outside) ready to accept all of His goodness or it will just rot away. Once you accept Jesus, fully surrender, listen and obey in your friendship with Him, allow Him to weed out the bad parts, or direct you how to do it, watch as your harvest grows more and more each year. Some of the work will be hard, but the rewards will be amazing.

I would love to hear some of the weeds that God has removed, and some of the harvest that you have received from Him.

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I Want The Power.

2 Kings 3:15(b) 16 & 17, 15(b) “While the harp was being played the power of the Lord came upon Elisha,” 16. “and he said, “This dry valley will be filled with pools of water!’ 17. “You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty of water for yourselves and your cattle and other animals.”

Recently I have been struggling with energy issues and frustration waiting for some doors to open. I have been waking up and feeling tired but not able to sleep, just an overall feeling of being depleted of energy. I will say that it has been pretty humid here and I have also been battling migraines, but even when they are not present I just can’t seem to get going. My mind is full of all these great plans and ideas of things I want to get done, but my body is not co-operating. This overall lack of power or energy, then gets my mind racing. It opens the door to the enemy to start me thinking about the plan that I believe God has given me for my life. (I believe and have been told by many other people that I will be preaching at churches, and other places as a guest to help people find and live the blessed life they desire. To show them how to break free form bondage and know Jesus.) In these times of no energy, I have started questioning will this ever happen, will I be able to physically do it. I hear the enemy saying things like, who do you think you are? Look how long you have been believing this and it has not happen yet, you won’t be able to do it. I have been getting up praying, reading my Bible, studying it and still not finding the energy or power I need. I started to feel the weight of depression sneaking in. Despite all my head knowledge and believe in the power and hope of Jesus, it was not being manifested in me. I don’t think that I am alone in this, I am sure that this has happen to many others. Then a few days ago God, who hears our prayers and answers brought me to the above scripture. It was a game changer. It reminded me of something that I had not been doing. With the closure of my home church from Covid-19 and our home having limited amounts of internet data available, I had been choosing not to stream the worship part of my church service and jumping on when the sermon portion started. Additionally, one of my favorite places to listen and sing my Christian music is in my car, and Covid-19 has limited my going out in my car.

The above scripture states that when the harp was played the power of the Lord came upon Elisha. I wanted, I needed some of that power. So I made sure to listen to some christian music. Honestly, it was a game changer. I have been feeling more energetic. I have a new power alive in me. My mind was filled with renewed hope, the enemies voice was silenced and Gods word in the music was on repeat. In some ways such a simple thing to do listen to worship music, but what an incredible impact it had on me both physically and emotionally. I really believe that the Holy Spirit was prompting me to listen to the music. What happen when I was obedient was not only did I feel like my dry valley of energy was filled, like the dry valley in the scripture, but I was asked to preach this Sunday at one of my local churches. I did not see that coming. Many of the churches in my area including my home church remain closed because of Covid-19. Those that are open, have only been open for a few weeks after many months of being closed. In my mind I could not see this actually being a time when I would be invited to preach. Yet God opened that door. Just like in the above scripture, where it says you will see neither wind or rain, yet the valley will be filled with water.

Are you in a dry valley of any kind? A dry bank account, a dry relationship, dry health, dry joy, whatever it is for you, and you want the power and the valley filled with living water of Jesus, then crank up some Christian music. Stay listening and singing along until like Elisha the power of the Lord comes upon you. When that power is on you, God will give you wisdom of how to fill the valley or He may just do it for you. God loves to bless His children, He still performs miracles today. You may not even see any sign of it changing and then suddenly it is.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Also would you please pray for me as I preach this Sunday. That I would hear and speak the words that the Holy Spirit gives me with confidence and that the people would grow in their relationship and understanding of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Thanks in advance for those prayers.

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Why Would God Allow This?

2 Chronicles 13:5(b) & 6. 5(b) ‘This is what the Lord says;You have abandon me, so I am abandoning you to Shishak.” 6 “Then the leaders of Israel and the King humbled themselves and said “The Lord is right in doing this to us.”

Since I have become a Christian I have heard and been asked many times “Why would God allow this to happen.” by friends that are not living Christian life’s. I have even wondered why God would allow certain things to happen. The truth is we likely may not know the answer to this for somethings while we are alive. On some occasions, after coming through the trial or circumstance that has caused me to ask that question, I can see why God allowed it. The trials have caused me to learn more about myself and areas that I need to work on, a new level of empathy for others, opportunities to see God’s hand at work and so much more. This is explained in Romans 5: 3-5. But today while reading my Bible the above scripture jumped out at me.

The Back ground to the scripture is this:

  • It was being said to Rehoboam, who was King of Israel and the leaders of Israel.
  • Rehoboam had followed God and in 2 Chronicles 12:1, it states that he was firmly established and strong because he followed God, but once he was strong and established he abandon God.
  • He was on the run from Shishak, and had already lost his fortified towns to them
  • It was spoken to him and the leaders by a prophet, Shemaiah

I started thinking and placed myself in Rehoboam shoes. He was right in the middle of his crisis, had already lost his home, was fearful for his life and was told this is because you have abandon God, so He is abandoning you. Would I humble myself and think, yep God is right in doing this to me? Or would I get upset with the messenger? In today’s world we likely are not running for our lives from warriors, but we may experience money, relationship, or health crisis. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we often can see that it is because we have abandon Godly ways of living (this is not always true, but very often is). We have not followed Godly principals in money management, showing love to others and ourself in relationships, or treated our bodies like temples by exercising, eating healthy, and avoiding things that are dangerous to our health. Then when the crisis comes we say Why Would God Allow This?

How does the story end? God in reality had not abandon them, He was right there waiting for them to turn to Him. When they humbled themselves and prayed God gave them relief.( 2 Chronicles 7) GOD DOES NOT ABANDON US!! HE IS THERE WAITING FOR US TO TURN TO HIM. That is how free will works. God will allow us to make mistakes and suffer the consequences when we do not follow His ways, but we can call on Him for help and get some relief.

So the next time we start to question Why would God allow this? let’s take an honest look and ask ourselves was I involving Him in all the choices I made that led to where I am? If not be humble and say like Reoboam and the leaders did, “The Lord is right in doing this to us.” Then pray asking for forgiveness and some relief. He is right there waiting for you to turn to Him and He will answer. It may not be the help you wanted, but it will give you some relief.

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Remove Your Veil

2 Corinthians 3:16-18, 16.” But whenever anyone turns to the Lord , the veil is taken away.” 17. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 18. “And we all; who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

It will be ten years ago this September that I married my husband. It was one of the best days of my life. Our wedding was not huge or elaborate but it was perfect to me. In typical Angelina fashion, I was late getting to the church. In my defense, the delay was not because of me this time. I have also been working on applying the principal, 5 minutes early is on time. ( sometimes I am successful) I remember when I arrived looking down the aisle at my soon to be husband and feeling so overwhelmed with joy. I actually was shaking and crying with tears of joy. He stood there waiting for me to come. To proclaim to the world (ok, to me it was the world) that he loved me, that he would protect and honor me no matter what. That even on my worst days He would be by my side. I could be completely honest with him about my hurts, fears, and the things that I was not proud and his love would still be there. I looked down the aisle at his eyes and they were calling me, to come to Him. I could remove the veil and show him and share with him all of me. I did not need to hide behind the veil that I used with others. He loved me and would love me flaws and all. After exchanging or vows I would be transformed into Angelina Taylor, wife, sister, daughter, (at the time I had not connected with my birth Mom and brothers and my adopted Mom had past away). I would become part of a new family.

The above scripture tells us how God is waiting for us, calling us to Him. Similar to how my husband was waiting down the aisle for me. That God wants to be connect with me. That through Jesus our veils are removed and God’s love is poured over us. That we have freedom, to express all of our emotions, to be raw and vulnerable and that He will be there with us. To give us healing, acceptance and love. That we can expect to be the recipient of His glory. The glory of joy, strength, wisdom and faithfulness. The glory of being transformed into His image, the way He see us and designed us to be. That we can have our veils removed to see the love He has for us, and experience the best relationship imaginable. Similar to how I was transformed after the vows I exchanged with my husband, we will be transformed into His daughters/sons, family members with all the rights and the inheritance that He promises. All we need to do is turn to Him, He is standing there waiting for us to respond to Him. To accept Jesus and become and receive all the blessings that come with that acceptance.

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Easy Fruit Dip

Strawberries are in season in my area right now and I do love them and all most all fruit. The other day I had a dear friend over and made this dip along with some fruit for us to nibble on well visiting. I sent some home with her and her grandchildren loved it. They asked her to get the recipe so I thought I would share it with you. It’s simple to make, only needs a few minutes to chill and is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tub of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 package of Jell-o instant pudding ( I used vanilla but you can try other flavors)
  • 1 cup of stabilized whip cream or use 1 tub of freezer whipped cream thawed

Directions

  • In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, whipped cream and the pudding mix until completely combined. It will still be gritty but have no lumps. Once the pudding dissolves the grit will be gone.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for 30 minutes. Now enjoy with your fruit.

It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Simple and delicious.

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Mistakes and Flaws That is Me.

Song of Solomon 4:7″ You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”

I admit I have days were it seems that everything I try to do just does not work out at all. I love to cook and bake and the times when I have company coming ,that is when everything seems to go wrong, or when I have somewhere important to go, that is when I will get a big pimple on my face, or not get a good sleep and shows on my face. One small thing can start me on the list of things in my head that I see that are flawed about me. Truth is I have many flaws, lots of scars (emotional and physical)and have made many mistakes. Being alive does that to all of us. The people I love also have scars and made mistakes.

How do you look at yourself and others? Do you see all the flaws? Have you lost the ability to see the beauty in yourself or them? I have found that it is easy to get trapped in the replaying of the lists of my own flaws in my mind. It takes more effort to see the good things about me. Additionally, when someone I love upsets me I can get caught up in thinking of their mistakes. In the above scripture Solomon shows us how to truly love both our self and others. He loves his wife so much that he does not see any flaws in her at all, to him she is all together beautiful. In 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” So the moment the list starts to play in your head, stop it. Replace it with all the good things about yourself and others, look at through the eyes of love and be like Solomon who saw no flaws.

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The Day I Had Always Dreaded. Father’s Day.

Psalm 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, and defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

Father’s Day,I had always dreaded this day. As a small child at school we were given time to create great gifts for our Fathers. As a teen I would hear stories of how my friends had cool Dads and ones that they knew would protect them. I even heard stories of how they were worried about what thier Dad’s would think of their boyfriends. As an adult I seen how Grandpa’s showered my friends children with wisdom, fun times, love and great stories. But that was not my life. Fathers Day was a reminder of how unlovable I was, unwanted, and in my mind it grew to unworthy. This was my fatherhood experience, unwanted by my birth father( placed for adoption at birth), unwanted by adopted father (after the marriage of my adopted parents failed he no longer was a part of my life) , and sexually abused and abandoned by the men my Mom brought into my life. I know that I am not alone in the dread of this day. For many years I would go from determined to prove that I did not need a father, to trying to win fatherly love from others. In being determined, I was actually full of anger, resentment and bitterness. This way of living resulted in me not trusting most people, not letting anyone in and not being able to receive or give love to others or even to myself. Trying to win it, resulted in me being willing to accept behaviors that are unacceptable. I felt unworthy of love so bad treatment was what I deserved in my mind.

Even after I had accepted Jesus into my life I had some baggage that I carried over to my relationship and view of Father God. So many wrong thoughts of who He was. I can actually recall thinking at one point, that it as long as I had Jesus and the Holy Spirit I was good. I did not need Father God. Secretly, I thought it makes sense that Father God would send His son to suffer, that is what Dads do they cause their children to suffer. I admit I had a hard time as a new Christian understanding that they were all one in the same.

Then I found the above scripture, “A father to the fatherless” That was me!! He knew that there would be children like me. He cared enough to write about me in the Bible. A father who loved me unconditionally, that I had an identity of being His daughter. What did that mean? I searched it out in the Bible. It meant that I had a Dad that was my protector, that favored me, that I was the apple of His eye, that He was always with me, that He would give me joy, peace, wisdom and an inheritance. But most of all it meant that I was LOVED. I was Worthy and I did nothing to deserve it. I was born His child right from my birth. I may not have known it and certainly did not feel it when I was a child, but it was the truth. All I had to do was accept that he was my Dad, and that he sent Jesus to give me access to Him.

If you are like I was dreading Father’s Day, filled with issues from the absence of, poor treatment of your earthly Father, know that you have a Father, who loves you. He can heal all of those hurts, He is not a replacement, but was your Father all along.

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Do Not Be Discouraged!!

1 Corinthians 16:58″ So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is useless.”

Some days I feel like none of the work or things that I do even matter. That it is all pointless. I remember feeling this way, even more so when my children were younger. No matter how many times I said something to them it was like it went in one ear and out the next. Since I asked Jesus into my heart, I often feel like the seeds that I try planting for Him are not producing the fruit that they should. I believe that this is true for most of us at some point in our life. That we can start to feel that nothing we do matters, that it’s all useless,

The above scripture reminds me and encourages me that everything that I do that demonstrates a Godly life is useful. Sometimes it takes years to see it. I recall a number of years ago, while talking with my daughter on the phone, she said, “Mom, you were so right about the difference of washing your floor on your hands and knees.” It is a small thing, and my point is not about the actual act of washing your floors on your hands and knees.( wash your floors how ever you desire) nor am I saying that washing your floors this way is Godly. The point I am making here is, for years she would say, I don’t see the point of doing it that way. She refused to listen to my why, and I thought she was not listening at all. Then one day she proved me wrong. She was listening and she did try and she liked the results. The same thing can be true with more important things in life. Our words and actions that show Godly character and living can matter to people who we do not even know.

Sadly,my husbands “Granny” passed away before I got to meet her. The stories that I have heard about her makes me confident that she lived to glorify the Lord in everything she did. She left a legacy that she did not get to see. I have been so inspired by her handling of the trials in her life and her loving attitude towards others. Although I never met her I feel like I know her. It is not uncommon in my home to hear phrases that she said being repeated. She has planted in me ways of coping with difficulties that she likely had no idea were even going to be useful. I am going to be so excited to meet her in heaven, to share with her how she helped me, encouraged me and strengthened me in Lord.

Do not be discourage,keep on doing the work, be enthusiastic about your life and all that God has given you. Share through your words and actions the joy of living for God. It is all useful, even when you think it doesn’t matter, it does, even when you think the people you want to hear are not listening or don’t care, they may remember when it matters in their life. Or just like Granny, your words and actions may matter to someone who you never even met.

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A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is more desirable than great riches;to be esteemed is better then silver or gold.”

It did not take long after we had moved from suburbia to our new rural small town to experience and learn a few new things. Small town, rural living comes with challenges that I never even imagined, things that I had never experienced in my life. Experience certainly can give you a change of perspective. In my mind our rural life would be one like “Little House on the Prairie”( If you have never seen this show, check it out. It is old, but so good.) or “Gilmore Girls”. I real sense of community, everyone knowing and caring about each other. friendly hello’s, baked pies and enjoying the great outdoors. But reality was, deer flies, ticks,biting midges, wolf spiders, and of course the question of “What’s your name?” That question was not new. The expected answer was what was new. In the suburbs when I met someone new, name exchanges were usually only first names. I can actually say that I had met many people that I never knew their last name. It seemed almost irrelevant, they way they interacted with me was more of my concern. Did they treat me good, did we have any common interests, basically did I enjoy being around them. In my new small town the expected answer to “What’s your name?”, included your last name. Small towns tend to be filled with more generational families. Makes me think of the song, Small Town by John Mellencamp, where he says “I was born in a small town, likely die in that same small town”. For a short period of time, I noticed that after I gave the answer, peoples interaction with me was different. They quickly ended the conversation, as if I had said something offensive. Initially I thought that it was just that people were busy, or a little less friendly then in the suburbs. Then one day a lady I met gave me some clarification, and some wisdom. She explained to me that in my small town there was a family that had the same last name as me that had earned a bad reputation. The wisdom she shared was that when I answer the “What’s your name question, I should immediately follow it with the statement of I have no relatives out here. Sure enough once I started saying that the reactions of people changed. It was so bizarre to me.

The above scripture explains the importance of having a good name, and how valuable it is. I experienced judgement based on my name, that I had to overcome. I have now made many connections and friends in our small town. I try to show love to the people in my community, at Christmas I give out tins of goodies to my neighbors, and the small local business to show my gratitude for them being there, I run a women’s ministry, and I try to always be kind. I think, or at least I hope that I have established a good name in our small community.

It was through my loving others as Jesus example that I was able to overcome the judgement associated with my name. I was able to earn a good name because of Him. Whatever judgement you are facing in life because of things that are out of your control, be confident that you can earn a good name for yourself despite them. We all also need to be aware of the judgement’s we are making about others based on the things that they can not control and loving them, opening up our hearts to them to discover who they are as individuals.

This experience also made think of and investigate last names in the Bible including Jesus. I was amazed to discover that most of the people in the Bible including Jesus did not have last names. They are referenced as son or daughter of their fathers first name or by occupation. Wonder how that would work in today’s society? Just something to make to make you think.

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It’s Time To Stop Wishing.

Psalm 33:22 “Let Your [steadfast] lovingkindness, O Lord be upon us, In proportion as we have hoped in You.”

It’s time to stop wishing. A wish is defined by Oxford dictionary as ” feel or express a strong desire for something that cannot or probably won’t happen.” But Hope on the other hand is defined as “A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.” In essence by wishing I am saying that I don’t expect what I want to happen to come to be. I am done wishing for things, I am going to hope for things. The above scripture says that we can request and pray that God would give us His lovingkindness in proportion to what we have hoped. God’s loving kindness comes from the Hebrew word checed it is connected to to the idea of covenant or solemn oath, promise or commitment by God. It translated in different parts of the Bible as mercy, goodness, kindness, faithful love, and it used to describe God’s character of love that encompasses, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, favor and grace. I need that and want that. By saying I am hoping instead of wishing I am calling to God to activate all of those things. The above scripture tells me that I can expect to receive from God to the equivalent (or same proportion) as I have hoped in Him to deliver on His promise or covenant with me. So I am going to hope for big things to happen. God’s word in Mathew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said,” With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I am no longer going to use the word wish!! I will not wish for good health and healing, I will not wish for me and my family to be prosperous and live long, I will not wish for the favor of the Lord on anything, and I will not wish for my hearts desires to come to be. I will HOPE instead. I am not going to be diminishing God’s, power, His faithfulness to His word, His mercy or His Love for me and others, by wishing.

I when I read this scripture and this revelation came to me also thought about our everyday use of the word wish. In places such as “I wish you a happy birthday, or we wish you a merry Christmas. If the definition of wish, being something that is not likely to happen, I am saying that I do not believe you will have a happy birthday, or merry Christmas!! Then I even thought of how we say ‘wish upon a star.” Man, the enemy is so good at deceiving us, taking us away from God and His goodness for us. A star was what the wise men followed to find Jesus. They knew that God had many promise to be fulfilled by His birth. They were not wishing when they followed that star they were hoping for God to fulfill His promises of a savior.

So I am done with the word wish!!!! About a year ago my husband and I created a wish list of things that we were going to be mindful of praying for on our home. I am taking it down from our fridge and renaming it OUR HOPE FOR LIST. I aslo will not be wishing anyone a Happy Birthday Or Merry Christmas, because I will Hope with EXPECTATION for that to happen.

GOOD BYE WISH, HELLO HOPE!!

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Victory Is Yours!!

Psalm 60:12 “Through God we will have victory, For He will trample down our enemies.”

What or who is stopping you from reaching your dream or goal? God says that “we will have victory”, we will reach that goal or dream and that “He will trample down or enemies.” YEAH VICTORY IS OURS!!

But how? Do you even know who your enemy is in achieving that goal? When I think about that honestly, not looking for the easy excuse, but truly searching I am usually shocked by the answer. Why am I shocked? Because the answer is often me. The easy answer can be things like, not enough money, not smart or educated enough. I am too old or too young or I can say this person or system will never allow me. Those statements are easy and often supported by other people. Think about it, if someone said they really want something but gave anyone of those reason, you likely would accept that as truth. Yet more often the deeper truth is those are not the enemies it things like fear, commitment, or believing lies that we were told. If I want to have victory in a battle I need to know who I am battling.I must identify my enemies. Then I can go to God and ask Him to fulfill His word of giving me the victory. I can be specific, praying for Him to trample my enemy of fear, to deepen my commitment to achieve the goal, to change the wrong programmed words that are stuck in my mind, or to give me wisdom and words to say that bring the systems or people that oppose me to either be removed or to change their opinion. Then I need to be willing to take the steps to gain the victory!! God can remove and trample them but if I don’t make an effort to achieve the goals then I will never know that the enemy is gone.

STEPS TO VICTORY

  • Identify the enemy. Search this out truthfully. It is often us and our poor thinking about our limits and abilities.
  • Pray to God to trample and bring down the enemy. He says He will. Be specific, ask Him to change the way you see yourself, the words that may be programmed in your head that are not how He sees you, or if it’s an actual system or person that they be removed or have a change of opinion
  • Then start working or walking it out, believing that you will have the victory.

I am not saying that it will be easy, you will have work to do. But with God you will have the strength, you will gain wisdom to succeed and He will trample down your enemies. Even when it seems impossible God can make a way. I had always wanted to have a great mother daughter relationship, with me being the daughter. When my adopted Mom passed away I thought that this dream died. But God connected me with my birth Mom, and now I have the relationship I longed for. I still had work to do, I had to be willing to connect. I need to be a good daughter, loving and accepting. I had to put myself out there and take a chance of being disappointed and hurt. I had to change my mind from thinking things like, she didn’t want me as baby, she won’t want me now, or if my adopted mom didn’t love me, neither will she. I had to be walk through the fear of rejection. God can make dreams that seem dead, past their worldly expired time come to be. But we still have apart to play. Sometimes, our part is getting out of God’s way, when it has to do with others, and being patient while He is doing the trampling. I have learned this the hard way, many times. My running to rescue a person, that God is trampling down to bring them to the change they need to make has only caused me many heart aches.

I am always here for you. I am willing to pray for your enemies to trampled down and you to have the victory. Do not hesitate to send me a message asking for prayer or help.

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I am Just a Broken Mess!!

Luke 22:19-20 19:”And he took the bread and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Recently our 32 year old pick up truck broke down. Yes I typed that right our pick up truck is 32 years old!! It is not our everyday vehicle, we use this truck when we need to pick large items or bring things like dirt and gravel to our home. As it is summertime, and we are doing lots of work and gardening on our property this is when we use the truck the most. So the truck was brought down to the barn to be repaired. It started at as what my hubby thought would be an “easy job”, but with each attempt at fixing one problem any one was created. Rusty parts are easily broken. When I went into the barn as a person who is not mechanically inclined I looked at the truck, and it looked like a broken mess. At one point the radiator fluid had poured out all over the floor, earlier it was oil that was being poured out everywhere. To some people it would have seemed that truck was not good for anything that it was useless. It was broke and poured out!!!

The truth is we can feel like our truck, broken and empty, that we have nothing left to give, that we are useless. That broken truck taught many things. New knowledge was gained during the repair that can be passed on to help others. I learned that just like in life when we seem to finally have fixed one area in our life a new one can suddenly appear. At points tools were discovered that helped to remove things from the hard to reach places, tools that created threads and removed broken threaded parts. Parts that were no longer useful were removed and new ones put in. Just like in our life when we are doing things that are not useful for our goals we need to take them out and create new patterns (habits or ways) or as in the truck new threads. When may need to try new ways to reach the hard parts. They are hard for us because they things we have believed or relied on for a long time, that are not cohesive to the life we want. A few times along the way of fixing truck we needed to ask for help. Just like in life, we may need to ask for help, there is no shame in asking. In asking we gain knowledge, and then we are also able to be the person to help someone else.

Jesus broke the bread and poured out into the cup in remembrance of himself. We can learn a lot from Jesus about how our brokenness can help others. How through being broken can facilitate us pouring into others. Jesus allowed himself to be broken from life here on earth, and his blood to be poured out to save us from our sins. Do not think that just because you see yourself as broken means that you are useless, or beyond repair. Our brokenness allows us to experience the healing power of God in a new way. We are given a new opportunity to see God at work in our life and learn new things about God’s character. It gives us new knowledge and new ways of living a Blessed Home and Life.

Our truck is now running great and yesterday it was used to bring dirt and gravel to our home. You are never beyond repair when you allow Jesus to work in your life. Just like the truck brought us dirt and gravel when it was fixed, you can bring Jesus to others by sharing how He fixed the parts of you that you seen as broken.

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Homemade Whipped Topping

That plastic tub of frozen whipped cream you buy at the store is easy to make at home. It is really just what is called stabilized whip cream. You can make it and use it right away, keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it. It does not deflate which is what will happen if you just whip, whipping cream. There are many uses for stabilized whip cream. It is used in the making of many dessert recipes and is able to piped for the topping of cupcakes, frosting cakes or when you need to transport whipped cream from one place to another.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1tsp gelatin (unflavored) I use Knox
  • 1 tbs cold water
  • 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbs of confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or get creative and use other extract flavors
  • Optional gel food coloring to make it the color you desire.

DIRECTIONS

  • If it is warm in your home, put your bowl and beaters in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes before hand. Gather all your ingredients.
  • Put the unflavored gelatin in a microwave safe bowl . Add the Tbs of cold water and let stand for 5 minutes. It will be very thick.
  • Put the thickened gelatin in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds, long enough for it to return to a liquid. Check it at 5 seconds, then every few seconds after until it is liquid.
  • Pour you heavy whipping cream into your cold bowl. Beat with the cold beaters on HIGH until it begins to thicken, then add your confectioners sugar. Add your extract and continue beating until thick. Do not beat to the point of soft peak forming.
  • Do not stop beating add the liquid gelatin in a slow thin stream. If your gelatin has thickened put in the microwave for a few seconds. If you do need to reheat your gelatin, or if your gelatin is hot, add a small spoonful of your whipped cream to it, to bring it to temperature. (Think of when you make custard and do not want scrambled eggs.) Then using a steady thin stream add all of it your whipped cream.
  • Continue beating until soft or stiff peaks form whichever is your desire.

STORING

FREEZE IT: You can store in single size portions, by piping or spooning on wax paper and freezing then put them in a container and in your freezer. Or just place in a container like the one you purchase in the freezer section at the grocery store.

IN THE FRIDGE: Cover and keep in the fridge for 4 days.

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Healing Starts from the Inside

2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

A number of years ago while in hospital recovering from a bowel surgery, my incision ripped open. The incision opening was about 4 inches long, 5 inches wide and 4 inches deep on top of that it was filled with infection. My stomach was a wide open mess. I was unable to keep any food down and I needed nutrition to fight the infection along with the antibiotics. The doctors used a vacuum type machine attached to my stomach to make sure that I healed from the inside to the outside. They knew that our bodies will naturally try to close the outside skin first, leaving a big mess underneath. The also fed me through an intravenous line that went right to my heart. Then was pumped through my body. If you were to look at me then it would appear that I was wasting away, that my life was ending. That the situation was hopeless. But a lot was going on inwardly that was going to cause my healing. Day by day my incision was being closed from the inside out, my body was being strengthen through the feeding to my heart and the antibiotics were removing the infection.

God works on us the same way. Our outward circumstances can be overwhelming. We may look at it and loose heart, thinking that there is no way to recover. That our troubles are just going to cause our lives to be wasted away. But when we move our focus to God instead of the outward circumstances we find hope, help and day by day we are renewed. As we look at things from His perspective and allow Him to minister to our heart, we begin to heal. That heart ministry, changes us, it gives us wisdom of how to change the circumstances, He strengthens us to make the changes, and He gives us hope that we will be victorious. Just as the intravenous food was through a line that went right to my heart, God feeds us right at our heart. When are hearts are being fed it pumps through our body and strengthens all of it. For a time our circumstances may not be changed at all. Yet we will be changing inside. People may question why despite the fact that we are still in the exact same place as far as our troubles go, we are not full of despair. Why we have not lost heart. The simple answer is because inwardly we are being renewed day by day to face and change the circumstances.

Allow God to feed your heart, to minister to you by renewing your strength day by day and to give you hope that your troubles will be gone. As we heal inwardly, or outside circumstances will change.

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How Did I Get Here?

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

It had happened again! I had received a text from my son, and soon the texting conversation had turned into a phone call that had both of us being angry and hurt. I know that neither of us wants this ongoing battle, we love each. Yet, here I was again, sad, frustrated and wondering How Did I Get Here? Have you ever been there? A person you care about, someone you love, that you never want to see hurt, and that you know feels the same about you, and despite that you have just both hurt each other? Sadly, for a very long time this scenario was repeated over and over again. We just were not connecting, despite the love we had for each other. I would pray to God for wisdom of what to say that showed my love, and then it would happen again. I kept thinking about and asking God, How Did I Get Here?

The above scripture says “A gentle answer” the dictionary meaning of gentle describes it as “moderate in action”. The meaning of moderate is average in amount. Then it happened, after praying God reminded me, most people care more about you hearing them, then hearing what you have to say. You are in control of your answer and sometimes no answer is the best answer. If I did not want to be constant battle with my son, I needed to be gentle, moderate in action, by saying less or nothing at all. Using words that deflect, change the the direction of conversation. When I became hurt by something he said, that likely was said out of frustration, I would deflect, not react. I learned a key question to ask, one that showed I was listening and could change the direction of the conversation. The question is WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH BY THAT STATEMENT? It causes the person to stop and think. It is a gentle answer, or response to his words. I have also learned that the scripture that says to bridle your tongue, also refers to bridle your fingers. (as in your texting.) I do not need to respond at all to text messages especially ones that are sent to provoke an argument. The truth is, sometimes the people we love the most and know that we do, will express their hurt from the activities of their day towards us. We are in control of the wars we want to go into. We can decide for ourselves if we want to engage or not. Sometimes the battle is not a good idea because no matter what, someone loses in a battle. I love my son and I love me, I never want either of us to be a loser. So I do not go into battle with him. I have also learned to set boundaries of what I will accept, that show my love for me. When people say things that are not acceptable or abusive I do not engage. When they are someone that I want to continue to have a relationship with, I go back and express my hurt to them. I do not do this while they are still angry. At that time my words are pointless, they are not in the right space to receive them, the are too self absorbed. When I have come back later and told the person how hurtful their words were, they have been apologetic. On occasion when they have not been remorseful, I have had to evaluate for myself if they are worth having in my life, because they are not showing that they care about me.

This change has worked. I am happy to say that over the last while I have not finished a conversation with my son, thinking How Did I Get Here?

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Why Is it So Bitter?

Psalms 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

I have often wondered why it seems that some people can go and hear a sermon or pick up the Bible and not enjoy it. I understand that it’s through the call of Holy Spirit, but I also know that it is Jesus desire for all to be saved. So what could be contributing to some not seeing that God is good? Why is their appetite not increased to see how good God is? That there is a Blessed life available to them, a refuge from the hurts of the world. Why does it appear that they take a taste and not see the good?

I began to think about after I have brushed my teeth, then I take a taste of something. It can be something that I have always really enjoyed, yet that first taste is not good. The overpowering flavor of the toothpaste remains in my mouth. It prevents me from tasting and seeing how good the food really is. If we are filling our mouth with worldly ideas, tasting so much of evil ways it can remain in our mouth. So that, when we take the first small taste test of changing from a worldly appetite to a Godly one. (What we have allowed ourselves to become accustom to, even if we hate the outcome of that way of living it lingers in our mouth.) It has formed us to be comfortable with that taste, it has developed our palate into worldly desires. Which oppose God. It prevents so many from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.

So sit long enough in His word, listen long enough to the preacher, to truly get the taste of the goodness. A small taste, just reading one scripture will likely not give you enough to clear your mind to see how good God is.

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What Is Important

Jeremiah 9:23-24 “This is what the Lord says, “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

God loves to watch us grown in our wisdom and see us gaining new levels of awareness of Him. He loves when we come to Him to know Him more. It makes Him happy to show us, how His love for us will never fail. You are important to Him. It may seem when you look at world events or your specific trial, that He is far away. But don’t be fooled, by the lies that the enemy or the world will tell you. He is always close to you, never doubt His love for you, or the world. You and the world are His creation. God wants us to to be excited and delight in Him as He is excited and delighted in us. He calls us to value the things in life that have eternal significance. To live a full life because you live for Him.

We need to be aware of those who are boastful about worldly things and titles, but do not speak of spiritual things. Outside appearances and titles do not bring peace. They may bring us temporary pleasure, but only through Jesus can we find true peace,love and acceptance. All that worldly knowledge and boasting, all those riches will not save one soul. But spreading the love of Jesus, bringing it the hurting, the ones looking for answers through accumulating possessions, the ones turning to alcohol or drugs to cope, the ones who the world does not value enough to listen to, that is what matters the most.

When we desire to see justice and righteousness reign, we should be looking to Lord, for He will bring it to the earth. Why,? because His word says that he delights in doing so.

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Will You Join Me ?

1 Chronicles 12:32 “Of the tribe of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, two hundred chiefs; and all their relatives were at their command.”

Today as we go through Covid-19 and see so much violence, hatred and division, I pray for our leaders. I pray for Political leaders, church leaders and all leaders to be like the tribe of Issachar. To have understanding of these times and what we should be doing. When this scripture was taking place many people had left Saul’s Kingdom and came to David, making him King. They knew God had anointed him, they were familiar with God’s word, and had new revelation of what was the right action to take. I pray that our leaders will have knowledge of God’s word and His direction.

My heart hurts for what the enemy has been doing to people. How he is leading them to hatred and division. How through Covid,he is causing isolation, depression, increase in divorce, anxiety and even division of the body of Christ. I cry out to God, for Him to use what the enemy has planned, to be turned into good for the kingdom. My plea is for people who have not been walking with Jesus, would leave their way of thinking, and just like Saul’s kingdom did come to know God and His ways. I call out for the Lord to bring many with great skills and knowledge to unite together as His followers. To bring forth leaders prepared to fight for justice, change and against Covid and all of it’s side effect. Leaders who will come against fear, hatred racism, and a falling economy. Leaders who take a stand through love leading away from worldly views, and into Gods’ Kingdom.I ask God for new warriors that fight the spiritual battles need to bring others know and accept Jesus. That these warriors who be finding new ways to show love that align with the times. That they would have knowledge of how reach them and love them in practical ways. That all Christians would be united in seeing themselves as part of the war to find the lost. That even those who see themself as not significant not equipped would step forward as David did with Goliath. That they would have new revelation of the talents they have to bring the win for the Kingdom. Just as the men who left Saul, also left many of the comforts they had in that kingdom, I pray that we Christians would be willing to leave some of our comforts. I pray for all of us to be willing to be a little uncomfortable to bring God’s word, peace and healing to those who are hurting, living in fear and using negative coping mechanisms.

Lastly, I pray for that as these new people come to the Kingdom, that they be met with open arms. Just as David opened his arms to those who left Saul. That church leaders and the congregation would recognize the skills and talents that the new people are bringing, and not be like Joab was seeking revenge for past actions. Joab killed Abner.

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Victory Over Trauma, and Sin

Mathew 5:30 “If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, then cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body then for your whole body to go into hell.”

Trauma leaves many different types of wounds, some are visible scars and others and more psychological in nature. The psychological carnage of trauma, unlike physical scars can show up in our responses to new advents in our life. The new events can take us back to relive the original hurt. A well documented example of this is soldiers who return after war, when hearing a loud banging sound that reminds them of the sounds of war, they go immediately back to being a soldier in a war. As a child, I was told I was a failure and would not amount to anything, and that nothing I did was ever good enough. For many years when I would receive constructive criticism, I would respond inappropriately. I would lash out at others or more often I would lash out at myself. My responses were sinful. They were not led by the Holy Spirit, but led by my emotions. Do you have any trauma that brings you back and causes you to react in ways that are sinful? What are we to?

The above scripture can help us. For a long time I would just try to stop the sinful responses. I would ask God to help me stop yelling, or verbally attacking the person. I would ask for God to stop me from turning to self destructive behaviors or thoughts. This would work for a period of time, and then I would return back to the old ways, or find new sinful ways of responding. Truth was I was like a rotten fruit tree, I would pick off the rotten fruit and attempt to throw it away. But I was not dealing with the root of the tree, that was rotten. The above scripture tells me I need to cut it off, not just pick off the rotten fruit, or new rotten fruit (sinful behavior) will grow. Jesus paid for our healing on the cross. Picking off the fruit does not acknowledge the price He paid for our healing or allow us to experience the full freedom that He gives us.

Cutting the roots out likely will be hard work,but the truth is removing the rotten fruit continually over our lifetime is a lot more work. We have our helper, the Holy Spirit, who is also our comforter and we have God who says He will never abandon us. If we want the true freedom that Jesus paid for us, the one who says by His stripes we are healed, we need to cut out the root issues. Not just pick off the rotten fruit.

I am always praying for your victory over sin, for you to live the Blessed life and have the Blessed Home that you deserve and desire. If you have any prayer request please do not hesitate to send me a message.

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What About My Children?

2 Chronicles 6:4″ Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promises he made to father, David For he told my father.

As a child I was not taught about God,Jesus,or the Holy Spirit. My home was far from being a good Christian environment. I was placed for adoption at birth. My adopted Mom had not been raised in a Christian home. She was a hard working, tough and hurt survivor. I don’t believe she had ever learned to receive or give love in her childhood. I don’t think she liked herself or had experienced any true healing from her hurts. She used things as a way to try to escape that hurt. A spotless home, hard labor, financial security, (she was great with money and could turn a dime into a dollar), she also admittedly struggled with alcoholism, was quick to anger, and until my children had not experienced any joy in her life. When I was caring for her during the last part of her life, I asked her if she had any regrets, her response was me. She said yes Me, that there may have been a reason she could not have children, because she never really loved me. At the time, I only looked at that statement from a selfish point of view, later I thought about her, and how sad she must have felt.

As a result of this upbringing, I did not bring my children up in a Christian home either. I made many poor choices. I brought men into my children’s lives who were not worthy to be there. I did not teach them to trust God, to pray, to read the Bible and obey it. I taught them so many worldly ways. I did not teach them how to overcome temptation with God’s help. I poured love into them, made many great memories, encouraged them to dream and set goals to achieve those dreams. I taught them about perseverance and independence, how to treat other but I left God out. I could not teach them what I did not know or understand. Then I accepted Jesus into my life. I realized all the wrong I had taught, and all the right I had missed. I also learned that with Him, they could have so much more, and that it was never too late. They were at the rebellious pre-teen stage when I fully surrendered to Jesus. They had experienced many disappointments in life, some form people they had trusted. They were not living Christian lives. they had not experienced His love and healing. Even if your children were brought knowing Jesus, life still happens, hurts still exist. The enemy still attacks (maybe more so, as he wants them out of God’s kingdom). What can we do as parents? We can look for God’s promises for our children in the Bible. We can pray them over our children. We can believe for those promised things that are not happening, into being (Romans 4:17). In the scripture above we see Solomon praising the Lord for the promises that God had given to his father being kept. I hope, pray and believe that my children will one day be praising the Lord for the promises that I found in the Bible for them and prayed over them coming true for them.

Here are a few of the promises God has for our children, that we can pray over them. There are many more and the Holy Spirit may whisper ones that are specific to your children.

  • Isaiah 54:13 “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
  • Isaiah 59:21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them” says the Lord:”My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of children’s offspring ” “says the Lord from this time forth and forever more.”
  • Psalm 102:28 “The children of your servant shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.”
  • Psalms 112:1-2 “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! 2.” His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generations of the upright will be blessed.”
  • Isaiah 44:3-5 ” For I will pour water on the thirsty land. and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.4.They shall spring up among the grasses like willows by flowing streams.5.This one will say”I am the Lord’s another will call on the name of Jacob and another will write with his hand, “the Lord’s and name himself the name of Israel.
  • Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous who walk in his integrity-blessed are his children after him.”
  • Proverbs 14: 26 “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
  • Acts 16:31-33 “And they said “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”32: And they spoke the word of the Lord and to all who were in his house.33: And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds: and he was baptized at once, he all of his family

There are many more promise written in the Bible for your children. Find them and pray them over your children. No matter where they are in life we can pray for God to activate His promises. He is faithful. King David did not get to see his son Solomon receive the promise of him having the temple built. You may or may not get to see all of the promises before you pass, but you can trust God to be faithful to them.

I would love to hear about some of the promises that God has fulfilled in your children’s life, and to pray with you for new ones to come to be. Your testimony of them to others may just be what they need to keep on praying and believing.

Thanks for taking the time to read my daily devotionals. I hope that they encourage you to a have the Blessed Home, you deserve.

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WHY, WON’T THEY JUST LISTEN?

Romans 2:4-6″Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance and long suffering, not knowing the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and pentint heart, you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God,”

I so clearly can remember trying to teach my children not to run up and down the the stairs. I tried explaining to them that it was dangerous, ( I had learned this the hard way, and fell putting two of my teeth, right through my chin. OUCH!) I yelled at them, and many times after they ran up them I would make them go back and walk up and down them a few times. Despite all my attempts, I often would hear them quickly running up and down the stairs. The reason for me trying to stop them was out of love, I wanted to protect them. I knew that falling down those stairs could cause so much damage, broken bones, cuts and brain injury. I worked in brain injury rehab and had seen the long term effects of brain injuries. Every time I would hear their feet running up those stairs, I would experience frustration at them not listening, and hold my breath hoping not to also hear them screaming and crying as they had fallen. A few times after they had fallen ( ok, maybe it was more then a few, my daughter has a special skill of falling up stairs) as any good parent, I would run and comfort them. I could not change the consequences of the fall, but I could make them feel better and try to help them to heal. What they did not understand was every time that they hurt and were suffering, so was I. They likely ran up those stairs focused on getting whatever toy they wanted to take and head back to their friends with. If my words of “Don’t run up and down the stairs” even entered their mind, they may have been hoping to get away with it. That I would not see or hear them. If they did get caught they always said sorry, but it did not seem like it was long before they did it again. In their world, I was the one who gave them so many of the good things that they loved. I took them to the places they wanted to go and bought them the items they wanted. I spent time with them, stuck up for them when they were being treated unfairly and showered them with my love. Despite my being good to them they just would not consistently listen to me , about those stairs.

When we look at the scripture above we can see God’s character. He is good to us. He loves to shower us with so many good things. His goodness can be seen in that He is kind, despite our past sins. He is good in His forbearance in the sin we will commit today. His goodness is seen in His long suffering of knowing our future sins. Our sin and the consequences of that sin cause God to suffer, because He loves us. He does not want any of His children to learn the hard way. His desire is for us to listen and obey. I wanted my children to listen and obey to avoid them being hurt and needing to suffer the consequences.

If you knew ahead of time all the wrongs that a person was going to do against you, that they would slander you, rob you, repeatedly cause you to suffer, that you would be the one they ran to for help after they did not listen to your warnings how would you treat them? Would you change how you interacted with them. Would you give up on them? God knows all of this and still He loves us. He still keeps on trying to help us. He still keeps giving to us. When we acknowledge this we should be repenting. Our desire should be to honor, listen and obey. So many people see God’s forbearance and long suffering the wrong way. They will sin, be suffering the consequences of that sin, ask God for help, get help and then do the same thing over again. They may start to think that God’s ok with the sin because He does not respond with punishment. They change their conscience and develop a hard heart. They do not see how they are hurting God. Soon they are so far from hearing the Holy Spirit that they just do whatever pleases them, all of their fleshly desires.

Yet God keeps on trying to reach them. He sends them messages through His goodness and through other people to show them and cause them to repent. Similar to how I tried many different ways to stop my children from running up and down those stairs. I did not want my children to fall down, to suffer something like a life long brain injury. God does not want us to suffer in eternity of falling into Hell.

I wonder if God is at all like me, and is saying WHY WON”T THEY JUST LISTEN!!

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YOU ARE WORTHY!

2 Samuel 1:1 &9:” 1 “and David said “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake” 9: Again Mephibosheth lay himself face down and said “What is your servant, that you would be concerned for a dead dog like me?’

Do you feel like a dead dog? How do you see yourself? Do you focus on the things that are not perfect about yourself, about poor choices that you have made from your past? (Mephibosheth was crippled, he had no living family, his family name came with lots of shame, he was Saul’s grandson through Jonathan. He seen himself as a dead dog.) STOP disqualifying yourself, do not let your self image prevent you from asking and receiving your rightful inheritance from God. Your inheritance is based on your faith in His son Jesus. God’s goodness and mercy , and His willingness to help us has nothing to do with our being perfect, but is all about our covenant (or acceptance) of His son Jesus . When we choose to accept Christ in our life we become part of his family. He is our qualifier, He has made us worthy! YOU ARE WORTHY! Jesus’ death on the cross paid for all your mistakes, anything that you think makes you not eligible of asking and receiving God’s promises. So go and ask boldly for your needs to be met, your hearts desire to come true, (that He has placed in there.) God is good. He is always looking for ways to to bless His children, for Jesus sake. Similar, but even more so, then how King David was looking for someone to bless for Jonathan’s sake, to honor the covenant that they had made.

Make the decision to accept Christ has paid for all your sins, ask for forgiveness. Then start to proclaim and take your rightful inheritance. All of God’s promises found in the Bible are your, not because you have earned them, or deserve them but because God is good and He LOVES YOU.

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A LOT HAPPENS IN THE QUIET

1 Kings 6:7 “The stones used in the construction of the temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax or any other iron tool at the building site.”

My heart is hurt, I am so sadden by the death of George Floyd. I am sad that people are dying in ways that are completely preventable. My heart is heavy at the abuse of power in our world, the lack of compassion in so many people. The utter disregard for peoples lives and their cries for help. My desire is for all to live a blessed life. One where the presence of the Lord is sought by all, and in that presence we have understanding of our rightful inheritance of His blessing and favor. One where all of the skills, talents and gifting’s that He has for each of us is used to further His kingdom. One where the enemy is stopped, his chains are broken, and we live life in the freedom that Christ paid for on the cross. That is the purpose of this blog. To help everyone to achieve the BLESSED HOME that they desire and deserve. I believe that the way to achieving this is by following Jesus, reading God’s word, listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying. Today when I went to God’s word after watching the video of George Floyd’s death, the above scripture was were the Holy Spirit stirred me. So this post is what the still small voice opened my eyes to. I write this with some reluctance, as I do not know how it will be received by you. But here goes.

King Solomon was having the Lord’s temple built, and the scripture tells us that he did not allow any sound of iron tools to be heard. It was quiet. Why? It could have been in following Deuteronomy 27:5 that said an alter was to made without any iron tools used. Solomon may have been following this direction. Why was it important to God that it be a place of quietness, and were no iron stone was used to build? What happens when we are quiet? We can hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. The one who was left as a gift, to be our guider to truth, the one who is our comforter. The one who speaks for us when we have no words.

I have no words to say about how I feel about the whole incident with George, I don’t know what to do? But I do know I want to see change that grows God’s Kingdom. I want to be spreading love like Jesus did. Jesus who was quiet when being questioned by Herod. He was silent so that I could be saved, He endured His suffering and sin’s penalty of death to be finished for me. He showed His LOVE in His silence. Jesus loved and commanded us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mathew 22:39) This means I must get to know someone, spend time with them welcome them into my life . Jesus was willing to give up His own desires of living (he pleaded to God, to spare him, but also said God let happen what you want) . Am I willing to do that? My fleshly desire is too scream and yell and hate the cops who did this. I want to focus my attention on them? But how was the temple built? In the quiet. With no iron ax or hammer. Items that could be used as weapons. If my desire is to see the kingdom grow then I need to be loving. Luke 10:25-37 the parable tells us how it was the one who helped the man and showed him mercy, that he was the one counted as his neighbor. As a Samaritan, he put aside his own cultural and ethic boundaries to help the Jewish man. He did not go running to find the three robbers. Jesus did not put the focus on the three robbers, and speak about how to go using weapons to seek justice and sentence them. God tells me that vengeance is His to seek. But I am called to show love. Then I began to think about Paul, before his Damascus road experience. Paul was killing Christians. He was there at of the stoning of Stephen. How did Stephen respond, he prayed for Paul. That prayer was likely part of God giving Paul the Damascus road experience that change his life and so many became followers of Jesus because of him. Paul’s words speak to so many of us today as they are written in the Bible.

So what am I to do with my sadness and feelings of wanting to seeking retaliation as a Christian, as one who wants to see ALL come to Jesus, and live a blessed life? I am to put aside my fleshly desires, that do not show the love of Christ. I am to pray for the lost. The cops involved are lost. I need to pray for them. I need to be quiet and listen to the Holy Spirit. I need to allow the temple to be built without noise and iron ax and hammers, not wielding those types of weapons. I need to be willing to show them love, despite where society is culturally telling me to behave differently. I need to be helping the man on the road beaten, or in this cause George Floyd. How I do that is by praying for a change in the hearts of those who could do this to another person. The kingdom is built by loving those who are hard to love. Those cops are hard for me to love. I will never even remotely like or be ok with their actions, but change in the world comes by changing their heart. They may eventually have a testimony that is like Paul’s. As my understanding is that George Floyd was a kingdom builder, just as Stephen was.

Today, I ask you, as I am asking myself, if one of those cops showed up at your home or church would you be willing to be their neighbor, would you be willing to pray for them. Could you allow your mind to be quiet and not be filled with the noise of hammer(the hammer of a judge) and ax cutting them down, long enough to hear the still small voice of God. Who says I created this man, and love him, help him to see the error of his ways and show him my love and mercy.

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YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO DO IT ALL!!

1 Kings 5:6 ” So now command, that they cut cedar trees from Lebanon for me, and my servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants . For you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the men of Sidon”

I wish that I could do it all by myself. I want to be good at everything! I love to sing, but I am just not good at it. (ask anyone who has ever had to endure it). With my illness many things that I want to do my body just won’t allow. I can easily get started on beating myself up and feeling bad about my abilities because of that. But then I find scriptures like the one above, and I felt better. I love how God comforts me through His word. He reminds me that we are not meant to do it all!! King Solomon was the wisest King ever!! God had said that there had never been before, or will there ever be again a man as wise as him. ( that is a pretty awesome gifting.) God says that He will give us wisdom if we ask, but that wisdom was one of Solomon’s gifted talents. What did the wisdom tell him? It let him know that he and his kingdom were not as talented in cutting timber as the men of Sidon. His wisdom allowed him to be humble and ask for help, and to pay for that help a fair wage. God has given each of us special talents and gifts. We need to have the wisdom to understand that, and embrace our talents. We should also embrace the talents of other and just as Solomon did speak words that recognize those talents through compliments and encouragements. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help from others. It is recognition of God’s gifting in them. That does not mean we should not try to do things. Even doing things that are not are gifting, I still sing and worship God. ( fortunately for my friends who stand beside me at church still love me even though they have to endure my singing) But I will never be one of the one’s up on the platform singing. Around my blessed home I have a few special talents, I am great at breaking things, and stripping the threads of anything. Okay so maybe these are not talents to be happy about, but one of my hubby’s talents is to be mechanically inclined. His gifting to fix things is part of the blessed life I am privileged to have. I always say that he is like the elves in the fairy tale of the Shoemaker and the Elves. I can put the things that I break on his work bench and they return to me fixed. I do it this way as I do not want to be the nagging wife and demanding that he fix things until he chooses to do so. I am also blessed in that he usually gets to them quickly. There are times when things break that need to be fixed immediately and I do just tell him then. I do have some talents that he does not have, such as cooking, baking, canning, sewing and grocery shopping in ways to save us money. Each of us could maybe, do the others talents, but not to the same level. I could fix a lot of things with duct tape(call me Red Green) and he can cook a mean box of kraft dinner, but we know that the other is better at it some things . So we work as a team to make our home be a blessed home. I recently started a ministry called S.E.W. Spiritually Empowered Women at my church. Part of this ministry required some facebook knowledge that I did not have, and also has the offerings that are collected when we meet. As my role is to be the facilitator of the group, I gave these responsibilities to another trusted friend and member. I want to focus on the leading of the group. I was not meant to do it all! There is an old saying that says “it takes a village to raise a child” I think that is a good reminder of that we can not be all things for someone. I might be really good at helping my child learn to cook and my husband might be much better to teach them how to fix things. My friend might be better at helping them with deal with their frustration of how our home works. Sometimes the nature of a relationship can bring us to close to be objective. The point is we not meant to do it all!!

It is wisdom that guides us to know what are our talents and the talents of others. Yes keep searching and stretching to find and build on your talents. But when you need to go and ask for help. Embrace the talents of others, encourage them and give them the recognition they need. Let’s face it some things you just don’t want to take the chance of not having be done it by someone more knowledgeable.

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BBQ Ribs

The other day my daughter called me up looking for some advice. I must admit I love when she calls and I get to pass on a bit of my cooking knowledge. Cooking and baking is something that we both love to. Actually, when we have family celebrations and are in the kitchen together we work like a well cared for and oiled machine. She had just purchased a smoker and wanted to make smoked ribs. She remembered me telling her something one time about rib preparation, that just doesn’t seem to be as out there as it should be. I have to say that since, I started doing this to my ribs they are fall off the bone good. So today I am going to share the secret to making them. You can cook them how you wish, my daughter did her’s on the smoker, I do a combination of Instant Pot and oven,but the cooking method is all up to you.

HERE IS THE SECRET

Removing the silver skin. What and where is the silver skin. It is a small layer of skin that just before the meat on ribs. It is actually a membrane. Keeping it on prevents your seasoning from getting into the meat. The way to remove it is to slide a knife under it and then peel it back. In a perfect world once you start to pull it, all of it comes off right away. This rarely happens for me and it did not happen for my daughter either. But just keep on finding a spot to put your knife under and peeling it off. Once I show through the pictures, you will be able to easily identify it and know when you have removed all of it. So here are some pictures of me removing it the other night.


SEE HOW THE SILVER SKIN LOOKS.
SLIDE YOUR FINGERS UNDER AND PULL.
WOW!! IT SEEMS TO BE COMING OFF ALL IN ONE PIECE!

IT BROKE!

Once you have the silver skin removed you can add your dry rub. This my dry rub recipe. I triple the recipe when I make it and keep it in a mason jar in my cupboard. But you can use your own, or a store bought one.

  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
ALMOST TIME TO MAKE SOME MORE!

Before I put the rub on, to help it stick better, I put a small amount of Woodland Natural Hickory smoke on it.

My daughter did not have any. Since she was making her ribs on the smoker she had the wood chips she was soaking that she used the drain water from. This is optional.

THE COOKING OPTIONS

INSTANT POT

  • Cut the rack into 4 equal pieces
  • rub the rub on all sides of the pieces
  • put beef broth into your instant pot (just add the minimum amount required for your pot size) I have an 8 quart so for me it is 2 cups.
  • put your ribs on the instant pot rack to form a tee pee and secure your lid
  • on the manual setting select 30 minutes for side ribs 25 minutes for back ribs(this is for about 4lbs of ribs which is about 1 rack)
  • when it beeps done let them do a natural release for 10 minutes the finish with a quick release. This natural release time is like letting you meat sit, it keeps them moist and juicy)
  • Preheat your oven to 425
  • I like to line my pan with foil it makes clean up much easier. But you can skip this step.
  • using tongs carefully remove your ribs. They will want to fall off the bone. If that happens just put the meat on the pan.
  • cover with your favorite BBQ sauce
  • bake for about 5 minutes on each side

In the OVEN

  • preheat the oven to 275
  • assuming you have already put your rub on
  • put your rack of ribs on a pan(I would cover with tin foil to make clean up easier)
  • cover the pan with tin foil
  • bake 3 -4 hrs let them reach about 190 degrees (the USDA says they are done at 145, but bringing them up to 190 makes them more tender and juicy)
  • remove from oven put on your favorite BBQ Sauce on all sides
  • turn oven to broil and cook until they are nice and sticky

In the SMOKER

  • I leave my ribs to marinate in the rub refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hrs, but the longer the better
  • take ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before you are going to smoke them
  • set up your smoker as outlined by your manual. I always soak my chips for at least 1 hr before using them.
  • Prepare a spray mixture. I use a mix of 1 cup apple juice or cider, 1tbs apple cider vinegar, 2 tbs of Worcestershire. Shake to mix in your spray bottle.
  • once your smoker reaches 250 lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil
  • put your ribs directly on the grill on the highest grate meat side up and spray with mix
  • cook 1 hr then replenish your wood, water tray and flip the ribs and respray them and put them on the lowest grill closest to the wood chip box
  • after 1 hr , spray again, check the woodchip box and water box refill if needed. Keep repeating this until your ribs are dark brown and the meat is pulling away. About 2 more hrs
  • remove from smoker and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting (if you want to add BBQ sauce now is the time

ON THE GRILL

  • after you have rubbed your ribs marinate for minimum of 1 hr in the fridge
  • let them come to room temperature before grilling
  • clean and lightly oil your grill, put foil on the lower rack to catch drippings and prevent fire flare ups
  • heat the grill on high heat
  • put your ribs on the upper rack and turn down the heat to low setting
  • close your lid and DO NOT OPEN for 1 hr
  • brush with your favorite bbq sauce and grill 5 more minutes ribs should read above 145 degrees but 190 is the best temperature for tender juicy ribs

I hope you and your family enjoy these. If you have any questions just ask. Oh and don’t throw out those rib bone put them in a freezer bag to make bone broth with. I have great method of to do this on an earlier post.

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Now is not the Time!

2 Samuel 10:1-3 “Now it happened later that (Nahash) the king of the Ammonites dies, and his son Hanun became king in his place. Then David said, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun just as his father did to me.” So David sent (a letter along with) some of his servants to console him in regard to his father’s death;and David’s servants came into the the land of the Ammonites. But the princes of the Ammonites(were suspicious and) said to Hanun their Lord,”do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?'” 2 Samuel 10:6 “When the Ammonites saw that they had become an object of hatred to David, they sent word and hired the Arameans (Syrians) of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maccah with 1,000 men and the men of Tob with 12,000 men (to fight for them).”

As we go through Covid 19 many of us are grieving the loss of so much that was our everyday life prior to this virus. We are grieving visiting with family and friends, loss of income or jobs, the ability to go into stores with ease, going to activities such as church, sports events, gyms, and so many places. Oh, and let’s not forget hairdressers! ( I really miss my hairdresser) Just as with any loss our grieving level is different and how we react is different. Hunan was grieving the loss of his father, and was also learning to walk out his new reality of being king. Just like we are learning to live through our new realities of life with the presence of Covid-19 and our losses.

What can we learn form the above scripture as we go through any type of grief? When we are grieving, it is not the time to be making decisions of who are our friends and who are our enemies. When we are in this state of mind our ability to see the heart behind others actions is not clear. We are hurting, and the actions or words of others done out of compassion and kindness, we just see wrongly. Hunan did not see David’s action to help console him and show honor to his father rightly. Grief is difficult!! Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to be our comforter. There will be many reason for us to grieve. Grieving is a process that all of us must go through in our life. Many of us will try to find distractions to avoid this process and not find healing and comfort. Oddly enough, it has been my experience that many people are much more comfortable with the feelings of anger and it’s actions, then they are with sadness, and it’s actions. Often, we will turn our grief into anger and focus on the actions of anger. Even our closest friends can out of lack, of knowledge of words to say or what action to take to help us grieve, can spur us to act with anger. Just like the princes of the Ammonites did. Recently I had a friend pass away from an accidental over dose, leaving her young daughter(in her 20’s) to deal with this grief. When Mother’s day came I tried to comfort her. Her Mom was someone who was always doing kind things for others. In the scripture Nahash was known by David for his kindness. I reminded my friend’s daughter of how her Mom was know for being kind, and encouraged her to do an act of kindness for someone around her. I spoke words, that I hope comforted her in her grieving, Words that honored her Mom’s character of being kind and spreading love. I could have tried to stir up anger in her, anger about how her Mom had obtained the drugs. But that would have not helped her to grieve. It would have distracted her from the grieving process. It would have stirred anger and not love. Part of grieving is reflecting on the people and things that we are grieving, and trying to find new ways that bring the goodness of them to remain in our life. Like we have seen with churches going to on line services, as a way to bring the good of going to church alive in a new way, or Zoom trying to create new ways of connecting us as we grieve our visits with family and friends.

When we are grieving, it is not the time to decide who are friends and who are our enemies. It is not the time to start fights and go in to battles with people or organizations that we have had good relations with and trusted before . These choices will result in the destruction of friendships, family and our grief will still be inside of us waiting for us to do deal with it. There is a season for all things, give grief it’s season. The deep heaviness of it will start to end, we won’t be the same, especially if it a person we are grieving. But if we sought it, we will have experienced God’s comfort in a new way, and found strength to move on from there. We likely always have a part of us that longs for the goodness of how life was before. But by avoiding making those choices, we won’t have caused those people who are trying to show us kindness, those making decisions and saying words to comfort and keep us safe to be turned to hatred. Which is what the Ammonities did with David (v6) After we have grieved, then we may be moved to fight for causes or seek justice. But finding justice or rallying for a cause will not replace the grief we need to go through, it only distracts us. We may believe that it will help us but truly that can only come from time and God’s comfort. So if you are grieving NOW IS NOT THE TIME for choosing to go to battle with others. It is a time to seek the HOLY SPIRITS COMFORT.

I am always here for you, I believe in you as does God! I would be honored to help you, if you need someone to pray for you or encouragement, just let me know.

#covid19 #dealingwithgrief #aseasonforeverything #nowisnotthetime #seekcomfort

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They are Just Too Far Gone! Why Even Pray?

2 Thessalonians 1:11 “So we keep on praying for you, asking God to enable you to live the life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”

As a member of Al-Anon, and someone who has been to many speaker meetings in Alcoholics Anonymous, I have heard some pretty crazy stories of people who are, or were in complete darkness and chaos. Quite often when the speakers tell their stories they speak of one person who seemed to never give up on them.( It’s important to understand the difference between not giving up and drawing some healthy boundaries. God has not created us to be abused and stepped on, He loves us and we need to love ourselves and love others. Just as God allows us to go through tough times that are of our making, we need to let others go through them too. A lot is learned during those tough times, and often those times are the catapult that is needed to make some growth and changes.) When I have heard some of the stories, and think of my own experiences that have brought me to the rooms of Al-Anon, it cause me to reflect and wonder about just how far down into the pit of destruction a person can go, or how much hurt those watching must be going through. I also think of how, to some people it would appear that the individuals are beyond help, that marriages are beyond being saved, that children and parents will never have a healthy relationship. Some of the stories, tell of how as children they were raised to be lovers of Jesus, with good morals and integrity and yet they started on this journey that brought them out of the will of God’s call for their life. Satan had used his his ways to grab hold of them and was intent on keeping them there. Dragging them further and further in to his pit. (Satan uses deception as an effective tool, but occasionally he is bold and we just don’t see it. Hard alcohol is a called spirits and just what kind of spirit do you think it is?)

So Just what are we to do, when we encounter those who seem to be beyond help? That have traveled so far into darkness? We can pray. But why pray, they are just too far gone. When we pray we have God’s full attention. When we pray it’s not about who we are praying for that makes the difference, it is Who we are praying to that matters. We are praying to God who is in control of all things, that made the whole earth and every person in it. Don’t ever under estimate your prayers. Although He may not answer us the way we want, your prayers put His mighty hand to work. Our prayers connect us with His heart. They can bring the light to someone in the darkness. When you pray for protection God sends his angels. When you pray for comfort, His Spirit comes to comfort. Our repeated prayers for someone who seems so lost is not all about getting God to hear us, it’s also fuels us so we can keep believing for that person. Doing so will not only help that person, but when God answers it reminded us of His faithfulness. You just might be the person, that becomes the one person who never gave up hope on them and part of their story of getting out of the pit of destruction. you could be the one who encouraged them not to give up on their marriage, on their child or family member. You may not get the recognition here, but one day when you are living in eternity, you will see how your prayers affected and protected many lives. So keep on praying, never lose hope, keep believing and keep loving that person in your heart, even when your boundaries cause you to be away from them. Do not let your heart become hard towards them. It is your heart’s cries that open up God’s ears. So as the above scripture tells us keep on praying, asking for God to enable them to live the life worthy of his call. Pray that they will start to live the life that was God’s will for them and that He will give them the power to accomplish all the good He has for them.

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Let’s Be Reasonable, Teachable and Open Minded

1 Samuel 25:17 “Now then, know this and consider what you should do, for evil is (already) planned against our master and against all his household, but he is such a worthless and wicked man that one can not speak reasonably to him”

Have you become so closed minded in an area of your life that you are not able to receive reason? Can people approach you and have a reasonable conversation with you? Are so determined about something that you have become “wicked” and unreasonable?

In the above passage, the man who was wicked and worthless was Nabal. King David had sent his men to him and asked for some food, but he refused them. One man who was Nabal’s servants spoke this passage to Abigail, Nabal’s wife. He knew that David’s men had been kind and protected them while they were watching the sheep, and that trouble was coming, (because Nabal had refused to share with David and his men). He also knew that he could not go and speak to Nabal and give him the warning and insight into why he should give food to David. If we look at Mark 4:25, it talks about having a teachable spirit. We should desire to have a teachable spirit.

We need to be open to reasonable conversations and be willing to learn, to take warning’s and then test the word out through God’s word. Nabal’s close mindedness caused him to die. Later on in the 1 Samuel 25 David started to allow his anger to seek revenge against Nabal, but Abigail was able to approach David. She spoke reasonably to him. She reminded of his godly character. David then decided to allow God to seek revenge on Nabal. David was spared form having a stain on his godly character because he was open to having a reasonable conversation. He was approachable, he was willing to learn and be corrected from Abigail, a women. Remember that women in David’s day women did not have the same authority or respect as they do today. His culture would have led him to dismiss anything that a women had to say.

Are you reasonable and open minded, having that teachable spirit alive in you? Are you approachable and willing to learn from someone who you or your culture deem not to be as knowledgeable as you? Right now, as we go through Covid 19 having a teachable spirit is vital to our mental and physical health. We need to be willing to learn. To gather information and use our God given wisdom and discernment to keep us healthy, safe and our economy prospering. Do not become so close minded, that you are not approachable. Not everything you hear will be right. But we can all learn a little something from everyone. I was once told when you hear something, take the meat that is good for you to eat and leave the bones. A pastor once told me that instead of becoming offended, first look at why you are offended, is it something you need to change, and don’t want to? Not all wisdom is understood right away, so you can put that knowledge on a shelf and when you are ready you can go back to it.

Let’s always try to be willing to learn form everyone and be approachable.

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I Give Up, Just Leave Me Alone

Mathew 14:13 “When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place.But when the crowds heard of this they followed on foot from the cities.” Mathew 14:14 “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd,and felt (profound) compassion for them and healed their sick.”

I wonder what Jesus was saying to God on that boat. He was clearly upset about the death of John. He wanted to be alone, just Him and His father (God). I think that he would have been crying out to God, complaining about the people of this world. Complaining about the one’s who had just murdered His cousin John, who was someone who He loved. I think He may have been saying, I change my mind, I don’t want to do this mission anymore. I am DONE with helping and teaching them. I just want to be left alone, and go back home. But by the time He got back to the shore, He was refreshed and ready to carry on. His heart was strengthen and He had compassion for the people once again. He was ready for the mission!!

Have you ever been so upset by something in the world, seeing an injustice that hurts you? Hurt by the very people you are trying to help? Have you ever just raised up you hands and said that’s it I’m done? Have you ever just wanted to hop on a boat or plane, or maybe run to a drink or a drug, anything to just escape the feelings and the people? I have felt this way many times and in my life. For me, my way of escape in the past, was to self isolate and think negatively about myself and the world. I would become depressed, my body reacts to depression by causing my digestive disease to act up. Literally, my digestive issues can be my the cause of my death. But I have been learning to be more like Jesus. More like how I pictured Him on the boat.

I think when we are ready to give up, to run to our poor coping mechanisms, that instead we should all try to react like I believe Jesus did. By going and spending some time crying out to God, giving Him all of our complaints. Waiting for him to comfort us and renew our mind. Asking for God to allow our eyes to see people (including those who have hurt us) as He sees them. Then maybe we can have “profound compassion” for them and allow God to use us to perform miracles that bring the glory to Him. Just like Jesus healed the sick, we might be able to help heal people.

#beencouraged #dealingwithburnout #livingablessedlife

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But I Wanted That!!!

1 Chronicles 22:7 “My son, I had wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. David told him.”

King David wanted to build the temple. But God had told him that he could not build it. God said to David that it would be his son Solomon who would build the temple. Since God was not saying no to the temple, we know that it was something that was a blessing to God. But David was not the right person for the job, in God eyes. How does David react? If we go to verse 14, we get the answer. 14″I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord.”

How do you react when you want something but it is not given to you? Something, that you believe your having would allow God to be glorified. In your mind, it would be a tool you could use to bring honor to God. Maybe it’s a promotion at work. Your thoughts are that if you had that promotion you could show your coworker’s how to handle leadership as a Christian would. The raise that you would get would result in an increase in your tithes. Or maybe what you want is to have an addition on your home. The addition would allow you to host more family activities, host a church group. Whatever it is that you want, just like David wanted. But the promotion is given to your friend, your neighbor gets the addition, whatever you wanted, you now see someone else you know getting it. When this happens we all get disappointed, just like I am confident David was. How do you handle that disappointment? Do allow it to fester and be the root of jealousy, and envy? Do you express excuses that attack the character of the either the one making the call of who gets it, or the person getting it. Do you start feeling sorry for your self, and begin a downward spiral, of a poor self image? Or can you be like David was? He accepted that even though it was what he wanted, he trusted that if God wanted him to have that job, he would have gotten it. So he did everything he could to help Solomon be successful. He came along side and helped him. Even when it was hard work to do that he did not stop. I wonder if part of that hard work was also getting his mind set right. God has a purpose and plan for your life. A plan that is good, for you. He knew you when you were being formed in your mothers womb, so He knows the areas of skills that you have. He knows what you are able to handle at this time. That promotion maybe yours down the road, that addition may come, but now is not the time. Or maybe He has something better for you. We can’t all be the ones who build the temple buildings, someone needs to be the singers, someone needs to be the cleaners, someone needs to work the media. All of these are just as important in God’s eyes. We are all called to different things at different times. When you want something and you are not given it, decide to do whatever you can to help the person to succeed. This shows God’s work in your character, that you trust His decision of who is the right person at this time. Your disappointment, may actually turn into your greatest blessing.

I am always here praying for you to have the blessed home and life you desire. Don’t give up, God’s got a good plan for you!

#dealingwithdisappointment #livingtheblessedlife, #bethebestyou #dailydevotionals

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Being Content Through the Journey

Psalms 106:14 “but lusted intensely in the wilderness And tempted God(with their insistent desires) in the desert.”

Do you test God’s patience?, or do you praise and worship Him? Do you remember all that He has done for you or do you just change the list of what you want, (insistent desires)? Let’s look at today scripture Psalms 106:14, and reflect on the journey that the Israelites made. I bet that when the they were in Egypt as slaves, all they wanted was out of there, out of slavery and free. I am thinking that they would have been crying out to God something like this. I don’t care where or how, whatever it takes I am willing to do it, if it’s your plan to get me out of Egypt and free from being their slaves. Have you ever cried out something like that? Maybe for you the want is different, it might be this job, lose this weight, stop this poor habit, fix this relationship. You fill in the want. When we look back at the Israelites, almost immediately when they were on the journey they began to complain, and change their cries to God. They complained about the journey. They always wanted more? They wanted it all right away, they showed little trust that God would give them His promise to take them to the promise land and little thanks for getting them out of Egypt. Yes, the journey was hard, but God was showing them He was with them every step of the way. He was providing them with all that they needed daily. But they just kept on changing their prayers and complaining to ask for more, not showing any gratitude for the plan, which was an answer to their prayer to get out of Egypt. It’s really easy to be like that, isn’t it? We all want good health, we all want financial freedom. good relationships, yet when God gives us the plan and starts on the journey, how do we respond? Initially, we may be all gung ho, eating healthy and exercising, not spending where we do not need to be, showing kindness, putting in the work to achieve the goal. Following the plan that God has provided for us. But how long before we start complaining? Even when we are seeing results, like the Israelites did, when they were out of Egypt. How long before we want to give up and just go back to the old way, old place. The one we hated, were willing to do anything to change. How long before we start to test God with or unbelief in that He will fulfill His promise to achieve the goal and meet our needs daily as we walk it out? Do you remember to thank God for the journey or do you just go to the complaining cry? Do you trust Him throughout the journey or are you always looking for compromises, the easier softer way, the magic weight loss pill, divorce papers, leaving the friendship, get rich quick schemes, compromising your morals to achieve the end desire. We can chose to trust and praise, or complain and never be happy with small victories during the journey. One will bring us joy and victory the other will bring us depression and leave us stuck right where we are. The Israelites spent 40 yrs in the dessert.

Today, be encouraged, you can do it! (Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”) Trust God will give you all that you need,(Philippians 4:19 ‘and my God will supply all your needs”) and He will direct you the whole the time.(Proverbs 3:6 “in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”. In your times of weakness He is strong. ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is all you need.My power works best in weakness’) Praise Him for the plan, during the journey acknowledge all of the small victories and give Him thanks. Trust Him well you are getting to your goal.(your promised land)

If you would like me to add you to my daily prayers for God strengthen you well you are going through your journey please do so. I am always here routing for you!

#enjoythejourney #reachyourgoal #strengthinweakness #victoryisyours #beencouraged

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Looking For Someone to Blame

1 Samuel 30:5 &6 “David’s two wives, Ahinoam, from Jazreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabol from Carmel, were among the captured. David was now in great danger because all of his men were bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord.

All of men were in the situation, the home town was burned, their families taken captive they were all hurting, just as David was. But the men were looking for someone to blame. This looking for someone to blame left them still feeling weak and their plan of action to stone David would do nothing to bring the captured family members back. But not David “a man after God’s heart” He did not look for who to blame, he looked to God for strength and a way to get back what was taken. As we go through Covid-19 what are you spending your time doing? Are you focusing on who to blame? Are you sitting at home crying over what has been lost? Doing so, will not change anything for you except to make you more upset and weak. Which is a great opportunity for the enemy to come in, and sink you into his pit of hopelessness and despair, to feed anxieties,cause division and hatred and turn you against your neighbor, your friends and your leaders. Or are you going to God? Praying for Him to strengthen you, to strengthen our leaders and our country, asking for wisdom on how to regain what has been taken away by the enemy Covid 19? Have you taken stock of what has been lost? lost to you personally?(David lost his wives,his strength and his circle of friends, and was facing losing his life) stock of what has been taken from your community, (all of the town was burned) many of our business are closed, churches are closed, our economy is being shut down. Now that you have created your list, go and ask God for strength, and a way to restore it. What part does God want you to play in that restoration? To be confident that what you hear is from God remember the fruits of the Spirit, (Galatians 5:22&23 love,joy,peace,patience,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentleness, and self control) as God’s direction for you will always be in alignment with His word and glorify Him. Do not lose hope, as we know that God is in the business of restoring and His restoration is even better then was originally lost.

My prayer for you today, is that you stop looking for someone to blame, it changes nothing. That you would be compelled to pray and ask for wisdom and direction for you and your community, and our leaders. This is new territory for everyone, and decisions are needing to be made that none of us had to make before. Leaders in all differing places, government, churches, businesses are experiencing the same unknown. I hope that your desire would be to part of the change that shows His fruits to your family, friends and community. I will be praying for you!! If you ahve anything that you would like me to pray for an area that you are struggling with don’t hesitate to ask. I am always here routing for you to live the BLESSED LIFE YOU WANT!

#stoptheblame #bekind #covid19 #gettingbackwhatwaslost

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YEAH FOR BBQ SEASON!

As I have said before I love warm and sunny weather. It ignites many of the things that I love to do, gardening, walking, bird watching and BBQing (ok, to be completely honest I mean eating bbq food)

One part of my blessed life is my husband. He is my fix it guy when I break it, a huge encourager, and an overall great husband. He is also the bbq guy. I love burgers as does he. But ever since I was pregnant with 1st born(my beautiful daughter) I can not stand the smell of burgers being cooked in the house. I know I am not alone in this, as when I went to get buns the other day a few of us women in the bun aisle, got talking about this and we all were in agreeance. Actually,oddly enough one women said that her aversion also started when she was pregnant? So I guess it’s a thing.

I also seen a meme the other day that said, something like yes my hubby made us dinner on the bbq. All I needed to do was prep the meat, make the salads, prepare the condiments and set the table and clean up. It’s so awesome when he makes me dinner. The meme did make me chuckle, but I truly am grateful that he does the bbqing and he is great at it. So today I am going to share the art of making a good bbqed burger. I will be getting direction from him on the actual bbq part.

  • INGREDIENTS FOR 4 BURGER
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup of ground pork rinds they add a bit of fat, great flavor and help with keeping them together. They need to be finely ground . I use my KitchenAid Food Processor
  • 1 to 2 tbs of Worcestershire
  • 1Tbs of garlic(ok, let’s be honest garlic is something that no recipe should tell you how much to add, its a personal thing)
  • a medium chopped small onion
  • salt and pepper(to your taste)
  • 1-2 tbs of beef broth(use some from the recipe on the previous blog)
  • Spices to you liking. I use 1tsp of cumin, 1 tbs of parsley, 1tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of cayenne(we like a bit of heat)
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

Put all of your ingredients in a bowl and with your hands incorporate them all. Divide you meat into 4 equal sections. Make each into a ball, you want it to be firmly packed. Any air spots will cause your burgers to fall apart. Now flatted each ball into the size of burger you want. I do this be adding about 1″ to the size of the buns I am using. This allows for some shrinkage, and to still have your meat cover your entire bun. Speaking of buns I recently found a bun that we love, Demptsers Deluxe. The are the perfect size for bun to meat ratio and can handle a burger with lots of condiments. I then put them in the fridge to chill. (about at least 1/2 hr.) Hubby says that this helps them to not “puff up”” and makes it easier to put them on the grill.

BBQ INSTRUCTIONS:

  • open lid, ignite bbq, close the lid, let it heat it up to at least 400 degrees
  • open, scrape and clean the grill(I don’t recommend using a wire brush as there is a danger of bristles falling out and causing them to get lodged in your throat, but hubby says that he uses 1 and after using the wire brush he gives the grill a quick wipe with a cloth, being careful not to burn yourself or catch it on fire)
  • put the patties on the grill and close the lid
  • leave for at least 2-3 minutes this time prevents them from sticking, if the ware not sticking, and have a nice char mark,then give them a half turn to give a nice cross pattern
  • we like our burger cook well, but still juicy, so he watches when the burgers are still pink on top but the edges are browning and he can see that from the sides that the insides are starting to cook, then he flips them. He only flips them 1 x and tries not to push them down. But if they are starting to ‘puff up” too much then he does flatten them.
  • he does the same half turn as before once they are not sticking to grill.
  • when they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. (E. coli is killed at 155 degrees hence why I say 160 degrees.) They are done.
  • when almost done hubby let’s me know and I put some cheese on the buns and put them under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Now you are free to add you favorite condiments, and enjoy your burger. The condiment options are vast, some of our favorites beside the norm of ketchup, relish(we don’t like it) mustard(I don’t like it) is fried onions, homemade dill pickles and hot peppers, mayo,lettuce, tomato and hubby likes homemade sauerkraut. Let your imagination go her. If you like something don’t be afraid to add it.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask, or if there is something that you add to you burgers please let me know. I am always willing to learn something new.

YEAH FOR BBQ SEASON! #KitchenAidfoodprocessor, #bbqburgers, #Dempsterdeluxebuns,

I want to give my hubby a special thanks for his help in making this post, and for all the yummy food he creates on the BBQ.

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Living Beyond Your Surroundings

2 Samuel 9:5 “Then King David sent word and had him brought from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.”

What does it mean to live beyond your surrounding? and how do you do it? Let’s look at the above scripture. It says that Kind David was sending for someone, that someone was Jonathon’s son, Mephilbosheth. Mephilbosheth was crippled, and living in Lo-debar. He had every reason in those times to be an underachiever. He was an orphan,his family inheritance of being the grandson of King Saul was gone, he was crippled in his legs, and in was living In Lo-debar. Lo-debar translated means without pasture. He was living in an agricultural society in a town that had no pastures. In other words he was living in the poor area. Just like it would have been easy for him to become comfortable with his surroundings, so can it be for us. In that comfort we form our thoughts and our actions. What you surround yourself with soon becomes your normal and acceptable. When we moved from suburbia to rural life, I was astonished by the quietness and nature all around us. I did not realize how much noise there was in our old neighborhood until I had experienced the quiet here. The beautiful colored bird that come to our feeders is incredible. Birds I had never seen in my entire life. They are here in such abundance that I must make an effort to remember not to become so accustom to them, that I lose seeing there beauty. If you lived in an area that was know for and you were surrounded by daily shootings, it would seem to you that, that was just the norm. If you grew up in a family that was poor, and everyone drank excessively, that would seem normal behavior. These things that seem normal and acceptable in our mind can set us up, to not reach for or believe for our God given inheritance’s and purpose and plan for our life. If we start to achieve better then those we are surrounded by, to go beyond the norm of our surroundings, we will likely come up against some opposition. Jesus did!! In John 1:46″ Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I urge you not to let your surroundings, your normal prevent you from seeing yourself as God sees you, from reaching the plans and purposes He has for your life. Do not accept the limits placed on you by worldly circumstances to dictate who you are and what you are worth. Mephibosheth went from the pasture-less poor area to sitting at King David’s table. You can sit at the table of the King of Kings,(God) and expect all of your inheritance as His child. God has great plan for you. He loves you and wants to give you so much. He is giving you a great inheritance as His child. There is so much more for you outside of your norm. Open your mind, ignite your faith and accept that you are worthy. Yes there will be some work to get there. Mephibosheth still had to make the travel to the King’s palace. But just like God did for him, He will make a way for you, He will strengthen you. Believe in yourself, because God believes in you!! #reachforyourdreams, #livebeyondyoursurroundings, createyourbestyou,

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Frugal Food Preparation

Learning how to stretch our food dollars and prepare meals for our family that taste good, and is good for them has always been 1 of my passions. I value the time when my family and I can gather together at table and enjoy a meal together. It is a time when we can exchange the events of our day and things that are on our mind. There are so many things that can take place at the dinner table if we open our eyes to them. I think 1 day I will write a blog on this but for today I want to share with you a tip for making making good food at a low cost.

In my family we are all about the sauces on our food. A good broth is the start of many sauces, soups and stews. Sure you can buy broths, but making them is easy and then you control what is in them. No preservatives or chemicals. What I use to make my broths may surprise some of you. I use all the scraps from my food preparation, literally nothing goes to waste in my home. When I am making something that I use vegetables that need to be peeled, such as carrots,potatoes,parsnip, squash, radishes, garlic, onion , I put them all in a freezer bag, even the flaky skin from the onion. There is so much flavor in that onion skin. Any vegetable that has a core or stem that we often do not put in our meals such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery(and it’s leaves), fennel also get put in that same freezer bag. I pretty much throw anything in the bags that a lot of people throw away. When we eat meat that has bones, I save the bones in freezer bags even parts that normal get thrown out like feet necks and backs. I usually keep different meats bones in separate bags.(poultry, beef, and pork) We eat a lot of cauliflower so I often have a bag that is just cauliflower. Really what you put in your bags is up to you. I also occasionally kept the water that I drain from off when cooking. There is lots of flavor and nutrition in there plus often starch which will help to thicken your broth. When you bags are full, then you can make your broth. You can start with your bones and veggies from frozen or thawed and add any herbs that you like. Get creative here if you want. I have occasionally added chili powder or peppers, cayenne(we like spice) I usually add garlic, parsley. When using beef I add Worcesetershire sauce. Adding 1-2 tbs of apple cider vinegar helps to break down the ingredients. But does not leave a vinegar taste. Add salt and pepper to your liking .

Here is where things get a little different depending on your cooking method. You make your broth on the stove, in a crock pot or an insta pot. Whatever you have and feel up to using.

STOVE TOP METHOD: This is my favorite way as I find the flavor is so much better. But that is a personal preference. You need to get a pot big enough to hold everything in your bag and be covered by a least 3-4 inch of water or the drained water you kept(thawed). Partially cover the pot and start cooking on medium high. Once it comes to a boil turn down the temperature to a maintain a low simmer. About every 20 minutes check and skin off any foam or impurities that rise to the top. Just skim it off with a spoon and throw it away, also if your water is not covering the ingredients top it off with more water. You need to let it simmer for at least 12 hours, up to 48hrs. The longer the better but I would not go past 48 hrs. If you are nervous about leaving on the stove overnight you can put it in the fridge and in the morning put it back on the stove and continue on with your cook time. When your done strain it through a fine mesh.

CROCK POT METHOD: Place all your ingredients in your crock pot and fill with water or thawed water that you saved from cooking. Cover with lid slightly ajar, cook for at least 12 hours and up to 24 for poultry bones and 48 hrs for red meat bones cook it on low. But keep an eye on it don’t let it run dry. When cook time is done. Strain it through a mesh strainer to separate the solids from the broth.

INSTANT POT: Place all ingredients in the pot and add water(or saved thawed drained water) until it covers the ingredients by 1inch or you reach the max fill line. let it sit for about 30 minuttes. Put on the lid, lock it and seal the vent. Turn your pot to low pressure and time 3 hrs for poultry, 4 hrs for red meat. Let it release naturally. Strain through a mesh sieve.

With all methods chill in the fridge and remove the fat that comes to the top. If you want you can use that to fat.cook with). You can save your broth in the fridge, or my favorite you can, can it. It should be jelly like . But if it’s not, it’s still full of all kinds of good nutrition. (if you want to have lots of gelatin created just add some connective tissue tissue meat like feet, knuckles, neck ect ,next time)Bone broth can be drank on it’s on or use as a base for many sauces, stews and gravy. Bone broth has many nutritional values that help with joint pain, achiness and stiffness. The possibilities of use are mostly limited to your imagination. Use it when cooking rice or veggies you want added flavor in. The other day we had a smoked turkey I do not like the flavor of gravy made from smoked turkey drippings so I used some to make my gravy. I also used beef broth to make gravy for poutine, when we were having a burger with it as there would be no drippings. It’s added to my chilli, and pasta sauces. I hope enjoy making and using your broth. #bonebroth, #frugalcooking, #startofsauces