Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughts on "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian

Although I have read the book and done the study guide before, I chose to do it again when some of my on-line friends were doing it. I realized after starting it again that the last time I did it was when I was still working full-time, so that was at least 6 years ago! I think it is time to refresh myself as it wasn't long after reading and implementing lessons learned from this book that Chad's and my marriage took a major turn for the better and not only did we draw closer together, but I drew closer to God.

I just wanted to share some insights from chapter one.

On page 29, it says:
Something amazing happens to our hearts when we pray for another person. The harness melts. We become able to get beyond the hurts, and forgive. We even end up loving the person we are praying for. It is miraculous! It happens because when we pray we enter into the presence of God and He fills us with His Spirit of love.
This really stood out to me because I have experienced this in a number of different ways. The first time I really experienced it was when I began praying for my old boss. I dreaded going to work every day because I would have to deal with him. He even targeted me and was slandering me in his "reviews" of my work. I had to go so far as to get a union rep to counteract the accusations and put my rebuttals in my file. I came to realize that the only way I was going to survive going to work was to not only pray for me to have the strength to endure, but to also pray for him. It didn't take long until I was truly concerned for his soul.

On a few other occasions, I have had to pray for a friend who hurt me deeply--so deeply I never thought I would be able to "get over it". I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to do this on my own. Although I had "forgiven" her with my head, it was hard to say I had forgiven her with my heart. Every time I started thinking about how much she had hurt me, I would turn around and start praying for her. It didn't take as long as I thought it would for me to truly forgive her in my heart. It is a miracle that I can now talk to this friend without getting upset.

I truly urge you to try praying for those who have hurt you. And when I mean pray, you don't pray that God change them into who you want them to be, but for Him to work in their lives and that His will be done.

Another part of chapter one that really struck me was the first paragraph on the prayer at the end. It could truly have been me writing those words. I felt so honest and open while praying the prayer. It has taken me a long time to come to the place where I can honestly say that I need the help that I asked for as I read that prayer. I am pretty sure when I did this book 6 years ago, I didn't truly mean it when I read this prayer. Now, it is my heart's cry. I will share just the first paragraph with you.

Lord, Help me to be a good wife. I fully realize that I don't have what it takes to be one without Your help. Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things. Take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation. Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace, and joy (Galatians 5:22-23). I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment. Only You can transform me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul: Lesson #3—Generosity

Dinner: Chicken ‘n Stuffing

Verses: Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Deuteronomy 14:29; Matthew 25:41-46; Daniel 4:27; Luke 14:13-14; Proverbs 14:21, 31, 19:17, 22:9; 28:3, 27, 29:7, 31:20

Read Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Why do you think we should not harden our hearts or shut our hands to the poor? Our attitude toward the poor should be a reflection of our gratitude of God’s gifts to us.

What can we learn from verse 9? We should help the poor even if we might not get any compensation (example: no tax write-off, repayment, etc.)

How are we to give to the poor? Willingly with a happy heart

In what way may we receive something back? God will bless our giving.

What is the importance of verse 11? We need to always remember the poor because they will always be around.

According to Deuteronomy 14:29, who are we specifically supposed to provide for? Lay people (Levites) and widows. I believe, in this current day and age, that single parents, for any reason, are included in the “widow” category because it is very difficult to raise and provide for children. We also need to remember to look to 1 Timothy 5 for guidelines on who to help. If a “widow” is not trying to provide for him/herself and is able, then the church is not supposed to help.

Matthew 25:41-46 gives us even more reason to help the poor. Why? When we give to the poor, we are giving to Christ.

The following verses enlighten us to why God wants us to take care of the poor.

Daniel 4:27 live longer/better

Luke 14:13-14 be blessed

Proverbs 14:21 be happy

14:31 basically how we treat others is how we treat God (Matthew 25:41-46)

19:17 God will repay

22:9 be blessed

28:3 even if you are poor yourself, give to the poor

29:7 the righteous are concerned for the poor

31:20 the “virtuous woman” (who we should strive to emulate) takes care of the needy

I want to share some statistics with you that I read in Beauty Secrets of the Bible by Ginger Garrett[1]. On page 40 she says (in reference to Deuteronomy 14:29),

In a global world, everyone is “within our gates.” How are we doing at feeding them, in contrast to ourselves? Consider:

* America spends $100 billion a year on fast food.

* Combined, Americans are carrying a total of 7 billion excess pounds on our bodies.

* Nearly twenty percent of American children go hungry.

* Six million children die each year, mostly from hunger-related causes, in developing countries.

* For what Europeans and Americans spend on pet food every year, we could eradicate hunger worldwide.

There is a definite correlation between our wallets and our waists. God has commanded that we care for the physical needs of the poor, making sure everyone has enough to eat. You simply cannot convincingly ask God to bless your weight loss efforts if you are not attending to those who have nothing to eat. Honor God’s heart in this matter and see what He is willing to do in yours.

Because we are talking about giving to the poor and feeding others, I wanted to make a meal that is easily doubled and frozen so we can easily provide a meal for someone else. Chicken ‘n Stuffing is easily made in larger quantities and frozen. Just follow the directions for freezing, thawing and serving at a later time.

Money-saving tip: When turkeys are cheap, purchase one and cook it up (even if you only have to feed yourself). Eat what you want for dinner. Shred remaining turkey and put in freezer quart bags for later meals. Put the carcass in water and cook some more to get all little bits of meat off the bones. Use that water/broth and turkey to make a soup. Eat some for your next meal and freeze leftovers. We just did this and it has/will create 10 meals and that is for a family of 9!

Health-tip: Incorporate flax into your diet. Flax is high in Omega-3s. It also helps regulate leptin, which helps you lose weight and burn fat more efficiently. It is also high in fiber. You can add whole flax to cereal, granola, yogurt, etc. You can also grind it in a coffee grinder and add to breads that you make.

Chicken 'n Stuffing


6 cups cooked & diced chicken 3 cups homemade chicken gravy

2 cups sour cream 2 cups boiling water

8 oz of vegetable (mushrooms, peas, peas & carrots, green beans, onion, etc.)

10 cups stuffing mix (or bread) 1/2 cup butter

Assembly Directions: Mix together gravy, chicken, sour cream and vegetable. Place in a 9x13 pan. Mix stuffing with margarine and boiling water. Place stuffing over chicken, cover well.

Freezing Directions: Cover with foil or place dish in a freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions: Thaw and bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly around edges.

serves 8

Can easily be made to serve 4 or more. Just decrease or increase ingredients and assemble in smaller and/or more containers.

Chocolate Chip Flaxseed Cookies

1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup flaxseeds

3/4 cup natural brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar

1 egg 1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cups white flour

1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda

1-12 oz package dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. First, cream butter, flaxseeds, and sugars until well mixed. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flours, salt and soda. Mix thoroughly and stir into wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips.

Drop onto cookie sheet using a medium-sized melon baller or large spoon. Bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 22 large cookies

[1] Garrett, Ginger. Beauty Secrets of the Bible. Nashville: Nelson, 2007.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul Lesson #2—The Great Physician

Home Cooking for Body and Soul
Lesson #2—The Great Physician

Dinner: Teriyaki Beef or Chicken & Broccoli

Verses: 2 Kings 20: 1-11; Daniel 1:1-21; Genesis 1:29-30; Leviticus 11: 1-23; Deuteronomy 14: 3-21; Exodus 15:22-26; Jeremiah 30:17; Isaiah 61:1

Read 2 Kings 20: 1-11.

When Hezekiah found out that he was going to die, what did he do? Wept bitterly & prayed. How did God respond? God told him that He had heard his prayer and seen his tears and He would heal him.
What does this teach us about how we are to ask for healing? Humble ourselves, repent, pray.

God could have healed Hezekiah without any “help”. What did God tell him to do to receive the healing? Put figs on his boil.
Why do you think God used this method? He wanted to see if Hezekiah would be obedient.
Do we need to follow “natural” medicine to receive healing? No, God can use any method He chooses for healing. He might heal without any “help” (what we would call a miracle), with natural methods, or even with a physician’s help. The important thing to remember is to be obedient to what you are feeling God is calling you to do. All healing comes from God and only God no matter how He accomplishes it.

God is called the “great physician”. In Exodus 15:26 it says, “Jehovah Rophe which means “The Lord our Healer” or “The Lord that healeth thee”. Rophe=to heal- implies spiritual, emotional & physical. Jeremiah 30:17, Isaiah 61:1

Read Daniel 1:1-21

What did Daniel and his fellow Israelites eat for 10 days? Vegetables and water
How was their appearance affected? Better and fatter in flesh
Because these four men were faithful to God and ate how He had instructed, He gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom. And Daniel was given understanding of visions and dreams.

The Bible instructs us on how we should eat. Read Genesis 1:29-30 (herb and fruit that yields seed). An herb=grass, be green, tender shoot; grain=grass=herb. Leviticus 11:1-23 & Deuteronomy 14:3-21 goes into detail about what meats are acceptable to eat. If you would like more information on why I can share what I know and/or direct you to those who know better than I.

Read God’s Pharmacy handout. (see below)

I chose to do Teriyaki Beef or Chicken & Broccoli because it is a good meal that increases vegetable intake (could easily be done with no meat and more vegetables) and rice is an “herb that yields seed”. I like this recipe because it can be made quickly.

Money-saving tip: Shop the sales! Look at the sale advertisements and only buy what is on sale. Plan your weekly menu around what you can buy on sale. If the price is really good and you have the extra money, then stock up. Buy to stock your freezer/pantry. Always keep one extra on hand. When you need to get that out, then you put it on your list and you have a little while to watch for a sale.

Health-tip: see God’s Pharmacy handout. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Study the above mentioned verses for what God instructs for us to eat.

God's Pharmacy!!! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? ... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm cells to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Teriyaki Beef (or Chicken) & Broccoli

1 pound beef eye of round or chicken breasts
1 tbsp minced garlic 1 (1-pound) bag frozen broccoli
2 med. fresh onions cut into quarters 2 carrots sliced thin
1/2 cup Terriyaki or Soy Sauce

Cut meat across grain into very thin slices.
Over high heat, cook meat, garlic, broccoli, onions, & carrots.
Cook until meat is no longer pink.
Stir in sauce and serve over cooked rice.

serves 5

Deep Dish Brownies

3/4 cup butter, melted 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 3 eggs
3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8" square pan. Combine butter, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl, add eggs. Combine dry ingredients and then add gradually to wet ones, mixing throughly. Spread batter into pan. Bake 40 minutes. Do not over bake! Cool completely and cut into bars.

This recipe doubles easily. Just put into a 9x13 pan.


The following is something an on-line friend shared in a forum on the discussion of friendships. We had been discussing whether any of us have close friends or not. I came to the conclusion that most women have a hard time having close friends because they had been hurt in the past by "friends". I don't understand why, but it seems that women have either an extremely close friend or just "friends".

I thought my friend (who moved away) and I would be best friends forever.
We matured so much over the years, shared extremely intimate details of our lives with each other, and shared many hardships together. You would think that would bind us for life. didn't.
It just goes to show you, that the one true friend we have that will NEVER leave, and I mean NEVER!, is JESUS CHRIST!
God placed wome/people/friends in our lives at certain points. perhaps to teach us a lesson, perhaps to prepare us for something else, perhaps just because he saw a need there that we hadn't.
what I've learned through my separation of friendships, is that it is truly a blessing to forgive them. no matter what happened.
I held a grudge for years, and all it got me was heartache. now that i have forgiven her, i am at peace with the whole situation.

I guess I needed to hear that sometimes my friends are placed in my life for a reason. I can't dwell on the fact that I don't have a close friend. I need to appreciate and be thankful for every friend I do have. God has placed each one (past, present or future) in my life either because I needed them, or because they needed me.

So, thank you to all my friends. Thank you for being there when I needed you. Thank you for praying for me even when I didn't know you were. Thank you teaching me things. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. If you are a friend who I don't see very often anymore or don't talk with, please know that I still think about you and thank God for making you a part of my life. If you are a friend who parted ways because of a hurt done to you and/or me, please know that I forgive you and want only the best for you.

Love your friends. Let them know you love them. Cherish them and pray for them.

Friday, January 16, 2009

20 Things to Make Your Husband Feel Special

The following is a list that I read on Christian Parents Forum. The original poster said that some of the ideas came from a book, but didn't tell the title of the book. I do not know which ideas are hers and which are from the book, but all are good.

01 - Don't interrupt or correct him when he is telling a story.

02 - Compliment him in front of the children, your parents, his parents & friends.

03 - Be a concerned about your looks as you were when you were dating.

04 - Let him have sometime to relax when he arrives home from work.

05 - Develop a genuine interest in his work & hobbies

06 - Admire him for his strength & significance.

07 - If he wants to take a lunch to work, pack it for him.

08 - Try to come home & off the phone when he gets home from work & up in the morning when he leaves.

09 - Help your kids be excited about Dad coming home.

10 - Buy him some new socks & underwear on ordinary days instead of given them as gifts on holidays or birthdays.

11 - Keep your bedroom tastefully decorated & clutter free.

12 - Understand when he wants to spend time enjoying sports or hobbies with his friends.

13 - Keep his favorite snack on hand.

14 - Stick to your budget.

15 - Watch his favorite sports events with him.

16 - Try to go to bed at the same time he does, and understand if he falls asleep in the recliner after a hard day.

17 - Trade babysitting with friends so you have some nights at home alone.

18 - Keep lovemaking fresh & exciting & remember that he probably has more frequent desires than you have.

19 - Bake some homemade cookies for him to take to work.

20 - As yourself one question every day: "What's it like being married to me?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Believe

I saw this on Christian Parents Forum and loved it so I wanted to share!


A birth certificate shows that we were born; a death certificate shows that we died; pictures show that we lived! Have a seat . . . Relax. And read this slowly.

I believe - That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe - That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for love.

I believe - That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe - That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe - That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe - That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe - That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe - That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe - That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe - That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe - That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe - That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe - That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe - That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe - That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe - That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe - Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe - That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe - That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I believe - That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe - That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Home Cooking for Body and Soul

Lesson #1—“Shall not live by bread alone”

Dinner: Chicken & Dumplings casserole

Verses: Deuteronomy 8:1-3; John 1:1-2; John 6:35; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; Philippians 4:13; Deuteronomy 31:8; Exodus 20; Proverbs

Read Deuteronomy 8:1-3. Verse 1, “live” refers to spiritual life. Verse 3, “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” We need to make sure to feed ourselves physically as well as spiritually.

Let’s look closer at verse 3, “man lives by every word the proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” What does this mean literally? Figuratively? Literally we need to make sure we read our Bible everyday to nourish our souls. Daily Bible reading will help sustain you in your times of need. Figuratively, who is the Word? Jesus Christ is the Word (John 1:1-2). Christ is also referred to as the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

How can we live by the Word of God?

  • Use it to fight the devil/temptation as Christ did in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-14
  • Use it to encourage you—Philippians 4:13
  • Use it to strengthen you and give you courage—Deuteronomy 31:8
  • To protect you—10 commandments—Exodus 20:1-17
  • Provide wisdom—the whole book of Proverbs as well as many other verses in the Bible

Can you think of other ways to live by the Word of God?

I chose to make chicken and dumpling recipe because of God providing for the Israelites with quail and manna. The chicken is in remembrance of the quail and the dumpling of the manna as manna was a bread-like substance. It was very tasty and quite nutritious (Exodus 16:31). These dumplings are made with spelt flour which is a whole grain that dates back to biblical times (Exodus 9:32).

In response to this study, I have decided to feed myself more spiritually than physically. Every time I have a craving for food and it isn’t meal time, I am going to try to feed myself spiritually by spending time with God instead of eating food. This should not only help me grow stronger spiritually, but also help me in my quest to lose weight. I am sure that I will sometimes fall to temptation, but if I remember Deuteronomy 8:3 and recite that to myself when I feel those cravings coming on, then I am sure I will be successful, because, that is the strength and truth of God’s Word!

Money-saving tip: Purchase whole chickens when they are on sale. Cook two (or more) at the same time to save on energy costs. Eat some of the chicken that night for dinner. Shred remaining chicken and use to make freezer meals or put into quart freezer bags and keep to use later when you want to make a casserole, soup or other recipe. When making one meal that doubles easily (and will freeze nicely), make two at one time and freeze one. Then on a night that you just don’t feel like cooking, instead of getting a pizza or going to a restaurant, heat up your home-cooked meal!

Health tip: Don’t use canned cream soups as they are full of sodium and preservatives. Instead, make quick pan gravy to use in their place. Melt a couple tbsp. of butter, whisk in a couple tbsp. of flour. Cook for no more than one minute. Then whisk in a couple cups of broth. You can use a combination of broth and milk for creamier gravy. You can then add whatever spices you would like. To make more gravy, use more of each ingredient.

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp salt

1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper

4 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. basil

2/3 cup milk

Sauté onion, carrot, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add flour, sugar, salt, basil and pepper. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt & basil in a bowl. Stir in milk until moistened. Drop onto casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover and bake for 10 minutes more.

serves 6-8

Brownie Pudding Cake


1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt
/2 cup milk

2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For pudding, combine all ingredients in medium bowl; pour into greasted 8" square baking dish. For topping, combine sugar and cocoa in a small bowl; gradually stir in boiling water. Pour over pudding. Do not stir. Bake 45 minutes. (Topping will sink and pudding will rise to the top). Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

serves 6-8

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ministry Blog

I finally got my ministry blog going! It took me a long time to come up with a name because the few that I had really liked were already taken. I then asked for opinions and the only opinions I received were all different from each other--no one voted for the same one! I then decided that I had to go with the one my help meet (Chad) had voted for--Gracious Daughter of the King.

I will be using this blog as a home for my "Home Cooking for Body and Soul" Bible study as well as other "thoughts" I have as I read and study my bible. I may also occasionally copy other devotionals here that I find very inspiring. I will post prayer requests and praises as well. Also, if you would like prayer for something, please feel free to leave a comment asking for prayer and I will pray for you.

My main goal for this blog is to reach women. I feel like I am being called to help support and uplift women in all stages of their lives whether it be as a teen, a single woman, a wife, a mother, a widow, a divorcee, etc.--I want to meet you where you are.

If you have any questions that I might be able to answer, I will gladly try to answer as best I can. I will not get into debates on issues. I will state my opinion and how I interpret the Bible and that is all. You can leave a comment with your opinion even if it is different from mine, but don't expect a debate to come from it. This is a place for encouragement, not debate.