Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul Lesson #6--Leavening the Family of God

Home Cooking for Body and Soul

Lesson #6—Leavening the Family of God

Dinner: Pancakes, Turkey Sausage, homemade pancake syrup (see below)

Verses: Luke 13:20-21; Leviticus 7:13; Matthew 28:19; 2 Kings 7:9; Matthew 9:30-31

Usually the symbolic meaning of leavening in the Bible is bad, but in one case, it is used to symbolize something good—something we should take note of in our lives. Before we read about it, think about the definition of leaven as used in the following verses. It means power, strength, mighty. Let’s read Luke 13:20-21.

What does it mean when it says, “it was all leavened”? The little bit of leavening she added affected all the flour.

How then, is the kingdom of God like leavening being put into flour? Just as a little leavening affects all the flour, we can touch the hearts of those we come in contact with; thereby, growing the kingdom of God.

Leavening expands by itself and not an outside force; it grows internally. What in the kingdom of God helps us and those we witness to grow? Holy Spirit

Meditate on this for a few minutes—a little “leavening” (witnessing) can grow the kingdom exponentially. We are being told to witness to others. This isn’t the only time we are told to share Christ with others. Let’s read Matthew 28:19.

One way to “witness” is to share the good news of what God is doing in our lives. Let’s look at 2 Kings 30-31 and Matthew 9:30-31. These men just had to share the good news!

What are some ways in which we can share our good news not only with friends and family, but with strangers? When people ask how you are doing, be honest and share why you are doing well. Create a blog and share your faith, blessings, etc. with all who read it. Mention it in your yearly Christmas letter. Leave tracts at restaurants, banks, public restrooms, etc.

We are making pancakes, turkey sausage, and homemade syrup for dinner tonight. I wanted to have a meal that used leavened bread and thought a breakfast meal might be fun.

Money-saving tip: Make your own pancake syrup. If you use regular sugar, it costs about 11 cents for a bottle compared to about $1.79 to buy it. If you use organic sugar, then it will cost more (probably equivalent to store bought regular sugar), but it will be organic. Also, you don’t have to worry about running out to the store just because you ran out so you’ll save gas money too!

Health tip: Make your own mixes to control ingredients and tailor to your needs. By making your own pancake mix you can use whatever flour you need and control the salt. By making your own turkey sausage, you are leaving out the preservatives.

Pancakes, Turkey Sausage & Syrup

Pancakes:

2 eggs 2 cups milk 1/4 cup oil

2 T maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla 2 cups flour

2 T sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 cup ground flax (optional)

1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt

Whisk eggs, then add milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and whisk again. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined (small lumps are okay). Pour onto griddle (amount depends on how big you want the pancakes). Flip when bubbles start to pop. Cook another minute or two.

Turkey Sausage:

2 T maple syrup 1 lb ground turkey 1 T grill seasoning

1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp poultry seasoning

Mix ingredients together. Form 4 large or 8 small patties. Cook in a skillet with a little olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side.

Homemade syrup:

2 cups sugar 1 cup water 1 tsp maple flavoring

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for approx. 5-10 minutes (until it starts to thicken a little) stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Syrup will thicken more as it cools. After it is cooled, add maple flavoring and stir. Store in refrigerator. (adding 1 T butter and/or vanilla is optional)

Kept Woman

I Am a 'Kept ' Woman

You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind,

But GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)

There were times when I thought I could go no longer,

But the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong,

But the LORD kept my mouth shut.. (Psa. 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough,

But GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.., (Matt. 6:25 -34)

When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up.

When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me!

I'm blessed to be 'kept '

Do you know a 'kept ' woman?

If so pass it on to her to let her know she is 'Kept '

I'm "Kept" by the Love and Grace of God

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul Lesson #5--Sweet as Honey

Home Cooking for Body and Soul

Lesson #5—Sweet as Honey

Dinner: Honey baked chicken w/ honey glazed carrots and biscuits (see below)

Verses: Proverbs 14:24 & 24:13; Psalms 19:10-11 & 119:103; Genesis 43:11

I was amazed to see the numerous references to honey in the Bible. I was equally amazed to see the significance “honey” has literally and symbolically. Let’s first take a look at some of the references and then at honey itself.

Honey makes things sweeter; therefore, any comparison to it would connote positive, healthful effects.

Proverbs 16:24 pleasant words are good physically and spiritually—like honey!

Proverbs 24:13 associates honey with wisdom

Psalms 19:10-11 God’s Word is sweet like honey; honey is healthy just as God Word is

Psalms 119:103 God’s Word is sweeter than honey which is really sweet

Genesis 43:11 used as a bribe; therefore it had high value

In many places Canaan, The Promised Land, is described as a place flowing with milk and honey.

Although not a biblical reference, the following is probably based on the above references. In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for Rosh Hashanah (the New Year). They serve apples dipped in honey to symbolize the feast.

Now let’s look at honey itself. According to Prescription for Nutritional Healing honey:

  • is made up of 35 percent protein
  • contains half of all amino acids
  • is a highly concentrated source of many essential nutrients, including large amounts of carbohydrates (sugars), some minerals, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins C, D, & E
  • is a natural antiseptic which is good for burns and wounds
  • is great for sweetening other foods/drinks as it is approximately twice as sweet as sugar; therefore you need less

According to Natural Medicines and Cures Your Doctor Never Tells You About, honey seems to fight fungi, bacteria, and inflammation. A study done at the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, N.Y. showed that an ingredient of honey stops precancerous colon changes in rats.

Beauty Secrets of the Bible by Ginger Garrett tells us about “Honey’s Sweet Little Secrets”—honey contains 24 sugars, 11-21 amino acids, 18 sugar acids, 11 minerals, 5 enzymes, and at least 4 different proteins. She also shares a recipe for “honey tonic” to nourish and plump. She shares that honey helps the skin attract and hold moisture as well as counteract the effects of pollution. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and skin irritations such as razor burn and acne. It helps rebuild collagen and elastin which are needed to fight visible signs of aging.

Honey Tonic: Apply 1-2 drops honey to wet fingertips and massage onto wet face. Do not rinse. Pat dry.

Finally, I looked up honey on Wikpedia.com.

  • gels that contain honey are being used to treat drug resistant strains of MRSA and diabetic ulcers
  • honey is a poor environment for growth of microorganisms and bacteria
  • it is being proven that antioxidants in honey reduce damage done to the colon in colitis
  • honey is great for sore throats and coughs—mix it with lemon juice, consume slowly and it will coat the throat which lessons discomfort as well as heals because of the antibacterial and antiseptic qualities of honey
  • honey may also reduce odors, swelling, and scarring
  • honey prevents a bandage from sticking to a wound
  • it has been shown to effectively treat conjunctivitis in rats
  • honey is sometimes used to alleviate allergies (if local honey is used)

Money-saving tip: Buy in bulk, but make sure you check price per unit. Shop around to find the best prices. It may be a lot cheaper to buy from local farmers and you can bet foods are fresher, and probably have less pesticides than food from big farms.

Health tip: HONEY! See above reasons.

Honey Baked Chicken with Honey Glazed Carrots & Biscuits

Honey Baked Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/3 cup butter, melted 1/3 cup honey

2 tbsp prepared mustard 1 tsp. salt

Arrange chicken in a baking dish. Combine rest of the ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes.

Honey Glazed Carrots:

3 to 4 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup honey

2 28-ounce bags (the large ones) of frozen carrots Dash of curry powder

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add water, thawed carrots, honey and curry powder to the butter and stir to coat the carrots in the butter. Heat through.

Sky High Biscuits

3c. flour 4&1/2 tsp. baking powder 2 Tbsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cream or tartar 3/4 c. butter 1 egg - beaten 1 c. milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Cut in butter till mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add all liquid ingredients at once & stir quickly. Turn out on to floured board & knead 10-12 times. Roll to 1 inch thick (I roll to about 3/4 inch). Cut with floured cutter. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. serves 6

Chocolate Pudding

3 cups milk 1/3 cup cornstarch 2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa dash of salt 3 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla


In a two-quart sauce pan combine the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mix very well. Gradually add the milk, whisking it in until the mixture is smooth. Heat the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring the pudding to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. The pudding will thicken as it cools. You can pour the pudding into a pretty serving dish or small individual cups. Store in refrigerator.

serves 6


A Husband's Prayer Warrior

I saw this on a forum and wanted to share it. It looks like it originally came from some email devotion, but I don't know for sure.

A Husband's Prayer Warrior
by Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

Friend To Friend
Of all the roles and responsibilities that God has given us as wives, the position of prayer warrior or intercessor is perhaps the greatest of all. An intercessor is a person who intervenes or prays for another person. It was derived from the Greek word, enteuxis, which means to go before a King with a petition or plea on behalf of someone else.

In essence, it means the same thing today. We go before the King of Kings with a petition or plea on our husbands' behalf. What we accomplish on our knees in the invisible realm will ultimately affect the strength of our marriage in the visible realm. There is no other person who is more called or more qualified to pray for your man than you.

In the Bible, God describes the marriage of a man and a woman as a visual example of the spiritual union between Jesus Christ and the church (all Christians). Believers are called "the bride of Christ" (Revelation 19:7). We are walking, talking, earthly examples of the heavenly relationship between God's Son and those who believe on His name. God instructs men, "Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25).

There is someone who wants to destroy that living example, and his name is Satan. Jesus said, "The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10). He desires to destroy the God ordained and designed institution of marriage. He began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and continues his destructive tactics even today. Satan is not very creative, but he's very effective, and he uses the same temptations and tactics today that he used in the first marriage on earth. Satan has proclaimed an all out assault on the family and he begins at the top -- with the husband and wife.

So many times, we fail to see the real enemy in our marital struggles. The writer of Ephesians explains, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). When I am having a conflict with my husband, I need to stop, take a deep breath, and think...who is the real enemy here? While there is a spiritual battle raging all around us that we can't even see, there is an even greater reality that our five senses detect. It is a battle that is not to be feared, but one that is to be recognized and fought the only place where it can be won -- in prayer.

Let's Pray:
Dear Lord, I pray for my husband, from head to toe.

His Head --That he will look to You as Lord of his life. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
His Mind -- That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
His Eyes --That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13, Mark 9:47)
His Ears -- That he will hear Your still small voice instructing him. (1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 32:8)
His Mouth -- That his words will be pleasing to You. (Proverbs 19:1)
His Neck -- That he will humble himself before You and be strong, courageous, and careful to do everything written in Your Word so that he will be prosperous and successful. (James 4:10, Joshua 1:8-9)
His Heart -- That he will love and trust You with his whole heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Proverbs 3:5)
His Arms -- That You will be his strength. (Psalm 73:26)
His Hands -- That he will enjoy the work of his hands and see it as a gift from You. (Ecclesiastes 3:13, 5:19)
His Feet -- That You will order his steps and that he will walk in Your truth. (Proverbs 4:25, Psalm 26:3)

Now It's Your Turn
Consider asking your husband for some specific ways that you can pray for him today.

Look up each of the Scripture references above and make the prayer for your husband specific to his particular needs.

Find one friend with whom you can pray for your marriage. Commit to pray for each other's marriage on a regular basis.

Monday, February 16, 2009

From Feminism to Housewife

I have been reading Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald and am almost done with it. Although I don’t know if I would have bought this book for myself, I am glad that I made this my choice of book when I won a contest that allowed me to pick from five or six titles.

Since I am a former feminist myself, I was quickly drawn into this book. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I even told the older girls that we were going to have reading time while the younger ones napped just so I could make sure I had a chance to read it every day (of course a set reading time is good anyway!).

I wanted to share something from the ninth chapter that really touched me. It seemed to be my heart’s cry.

If you’re standing on the edge of the precipice, listening to the siren song of feminism, let me urge you to stop your ears. The lure may be sweet, but the trap is bitter. I lament the years I wasted trying to “find myself” when I could have been dying to self. I regret the relationships I hurt while trying to prove myself to others when I should have been laying down my life for the brethren. You don’t need to waste years just to see for yourself if the forbidden fruit is really rotten. Biblical womanhood has so much more to offer that you don’t want to waste a minute of time throwing your gifts and talents away on pursuit of your individual goals. There is much to be passionate about as we pursue biblical womanhood! Kindling this passion and fueling it for the glory of God is our life’s calling, and no side road (however tempting) is going to lead us to contentment and joy. . . Feminism is as old as the Garden of Eden and simply recycles the same tired line: “God was wrong; taste and see—I can give you something better.” But Satan’s rotten fruit will not satisfy our deepest hunger. That can only be filled by the passionate love of the Bride for her Groom as she serves Him with all of her heart. What a calling! And what a faithful God we serve, Who does not leave us to our folly, but calls us out time and again. From wretched desperation to passionate adoration: it’s the story of the Gospel! This is our heritage in Christ. Let us not forsake it.

I could have written this. I do sorrow in the years I lost when trying to fulfill the premise that “You can do anything and be anything you want to”. People told me I had great talents and abilities that I needed to pursue and make something of myself. They told me that I could be successful in whatever career I chose. Not that they meant to, but they made me feel like I needed a career to be successful at all which only helped fuel the other feministic thoughts I was being fed on a daily basis.

I regret the number of relationships I hurt and/or destroyed because of my false thinking. It was just last year that I felt like I had to apologize to my former fiancĂ© about how I had treated him and didn’t show him the respect he deserved. Although I don’t know whether or not he even read the letter with my apology in it, I now have peace about that situation. I only wish I could contact everyone who was affected by my thoughts, feelings and actions and apologize to them as well.

If you chose to make the journey out of feministic thinking, I want to warn you that it won’t be easy and it won’t be a short journey. It takes a number of years to “undo” how you have been living. I still find myself struggling with some of the lies that Satan told me and I believed. Although for the most part I think I have succeeded, I need to be careful and constantly re-examine my thoughts and feelings on certain subjects. This was made real to me when I was reading Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. There were so many times I would get upset with what she said and have to put the book down. It was only through prayer and digging into God’s Word myself that I was able to see where my thinking was wrong, and she was right (that being said I still don’t agree with her on everything).

If you struggle with feministic thinking and want to change your mindset, let me know and I will pray for you. I know I coveted the prayers of other godly women when I was just beginning my journey.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Living in the Spirit

I wanted to share something that someone said in one of the studies I am doing. We were discussing "living in the Spirit" and what that means. I said We must walk alongside the Spirit. See what God is doing and join Him instead of trying to fit Him into what we are doing.

It must be one of surrender and sacrifice. We are to keep in step with Him, walking where He leads and making sure our stride matches His. In the military, anytime you walk with a superior officer, your stride must match his. This became such a natural thing for my husband that, even 18 years later, he still adjusts his stride to match the person he is walking beside. I think about that with the Holy Spirit. I used to think it was up to me to decide how I wanted to serve the Lord, and He would bless me. Now I understand that it is about changing my stride to match His. I must be the one who adapts to Him."



I like her description. God is our "superior officer". We need to walk with our stride matching His. It is only when we do this that we will be walking in freedom. We need to find what God is doing and become a part of it, not start something and make God a part of our plan.

Look around you and see what God is doing. See where He is working and see if you can become a part of it. When you are doing His will, He will bless you. You will find peace and joy. Go out and match your stride to His and serve Him as your "Superior Officer"!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul Lesson #4--Gardens of Life

Dinner: Garden Medley Pasta (see recipe below)

Verses: Genesis 2: 8-9; Genesis 3:8; Leviticus 19:9; Luke 13:18-19; I Corinthians 3:5-8; Proverbs 24:27

Gardens are heavily symbolic of life. Let’s begin in the beginning—Genesis 2:8-9.

  • Eden means delicate, delight, pleasure—in other words, a perfect place
  • God created a garden for Adam and Eve to live in
  • All food was in that garden
  • God communed with Adam and Eve there (3:8)

All this shows how much God loves gardens and how much they supply our needs.

Gardens provide for God’s people

  • Gardens provide food for us
  • Gardens help us help others—sharing our bounty (Leviticus 19:9)

Gardens help us learn that you can plant something small (seeds) and reap lots (harvest).

  • Luke 13:18-19
  • Mustard seeds grows to be 12 ft. tall
  • For the kingdom of Heavenplant seeds (instill doctrine) in people
    • We can plant the seeds, water the seeds and harvest the people, but only God grows the increase (same with vegetable gardens) I Corinthians 3:5-8
      • Different people can plant the seeds, water the seeds and harvest

Gardens teach us patience; we must learn to wait for the garden to grow.

  • Spiritually we need to wait for God to grow us
  • Just as we weed a flower or vegetable garden, we need to “weed” our lives
    • Bad habits, sin, etc.
    • Weeding is hard work and hard work makes us stronger—physically and spiritually

One final look at how gardens are symbolic is Proverbs 24:27

  • We need to get ourselves “right” (weeded) before we can minister to our family
  • Matthew 7:1-5—remove the plank from our own eye before trying to remove the speck from our brother’s eye

Money-saving tip: Eat what is in season. If you have a garden, you have a great supply without having to spend money weekly. Even if you don’t have a garden, in season fruits and vegetables are a lot cheaper.

Health tip: Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for us (remember Daniel?) Some people have been cured of cancer by going to an all raw fruit and vegetable diet (you can search the Internet to find stories. I am not professing to give actual medical advice.)

Garden Medley Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked chicken or ground beef 1 med zucchini

1 med summer squash 1 can/jar tomatoes or tomato sauce

1 onion 1-2 garlic, minced

1 lb whole-grain pasta, cooked

Sauté zucchini, summer squash, onion, and garlic. Add tomatoes and meat (if using) and heat through. Toss with pasta.

serves 6-8

Zucchini Crisp

8 cups cubed peeled zucchini 3/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

Topping:

1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup flour 2/3 cup cold butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine the zucchini, lemon jice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

For topping, combine brown sugar, oats, and flour in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the zucchini mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly and the zucchini is tender.

Serves 12-15

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Deliverer

I started reading the book of Jeremiah this week. I am reading one chapter a day and as I was reading Jeremiah 1 Saturday morning, this verse really spoke to me.
And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.--Jeremiah 1:19
We need to remember that no matter who (or what) is fighting against us, they will not prevail because the Lord is with us. It doesn't matter if it is someone who is physically fighting against us (as was the case in Jeremiah), someone who is trying to tear us down emotionally, or even powers or principalities attacking us--the Lord is with us! He will guide us, protect us, and deliver us for the oppression we are experiencing.

I think this is going to be one of the verses that I put up somewhere around the house so I can memorize it, meditate on it, and make it my own. What power we have in God; He is on our side!