Cherries, Goals, Joseph and Josh McDowell

My daughter recently had a birthday, and I was lacking in taking pictures of the food, so I will just tell you about it.

Her theme was cherries, so I decided to include cherries in every part of the dinner.  We had cherry coke and cherry koolaid to drink, cherry glazed pork roast and cherry coke bbq ribs for our main course, cherry applesauce and a tossed salad with dried cherries for sides, cherry muffins and cherry jello topped of the dinner off.  Dessert included  cherry pie cookies and a chocolate cake shaped as decorated as a cherry.  Cherry heads, cherry tootsie pops and cherry twizzlers garnished the table as well.

I had a lot of fun making these dishes, most of the recipes were new.  And, she was excited that cherries touched everything!  I think her love for cherries is waning slightly…probably just because we were inundated with them for awhile.  ;)

Anyone interested in the above recipes, shoot me a message!  :)

In other news…I know I have not done well with blogging every day as was my goal.  Gallbladders and floods got in the way.  BUT, I have to say that God is drawing me closer.  Definitely giving me new questions to tackle and research, which means I am digging into His word more, which is always a good thing!  I am by no means digging in as much as I could/should, but I am getting there…only because of Him.  In my gallbladder craziness, both food and exercise went by the wayside, but it actually helped me get back to normal living.  I found that overtraining leads to overeating for me, because the calories you burn can’t compete with the incredible hunger.  So, I am mixing it up, doing different cardio and strength routines, not getting stuck in a rut and not getting crazy hungry.  ‘At first there was no difference, but I am happy to say that I am finally seeing some more definition in my body AND shed a couple pounds (just a couple, but I am ok with that for now).  ;)

I recently finished UnDaunted.  It is a nonfiction book about Josh McDowell.  Josh McDowell is the author of More Than a Carpenter.  Josh learned to forgive the unforgivable, to trust the untrustable and to hope in something he didn’t quite believe all because of God.  The writing may not be the greatest, but the story is amazing!

My husband and I began watching Seasons of Gray~A Modern Day Joseph Story.  WOW!  So good!  We have to finish it tonight but I can already recommend it.

That is my eclectic post for the day!

:)

Christmas early?

I have never been one to begin celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving, and never ever before Halloween.  I was always a one holiday at a time girl.  However…this year, I am reconsidering.  If Christmas is the most important holiday…arguably over Easter, because while Christ was resurrected on Easter Sunday, He wouldn’t have walked the earth if He wasn’t born.  But God could do anything you say…yes, of course He could, which is why I put arguably.  I digress.  ;)  Without Christ we would have nothing, be nothing, know nothing, have no hope, have no future.  While the world is falling apart…near and far, I may have changed my opinion about starting the holidays too soon.  Perhaps celebrating Christmas as early as you want, or even ALL YEAR, may be just what we need to do.  We have a Savior.  He should be rejoiced.  And we should wait expectantly for Him to come back again.  So…let the Christmas music play and have hope in Christ!

Forgiveness

I am not an expert on things of the Bible.  I don’t think I pretend to be.  I am not afraid to admit that there are some things that are tough to swallow when following the ways of Christ.  However, despite all of that, I am eager to learn more about Him and I trust Him to know better than me.  His ways are higher than mine.  My lack of understanding is because of my imperfections, not because of His.

One of the things many Christians struggle with is forgiveness.  It is pretty easy to forgive someone for an accident, but I am talking true ‘lay down the sword’ forgiveness.  My biggest struggle isn’t forgiving people who hurt me, but rather people who hurt those I love, or people who hurt children.  But we must forgive.  And we must pray that they change.  We are called to minister to them just as much as we are called to minister to the little old lady next door who always bakes us apple pies.

Whenever I think about murderers, abusers, etc, I think of a few things.  First of all, it is not my place to judge where they will spend eternity.  While we are not called to condone, accept, or agree with their choices…in fact we are called to speak truth against their choices and hold them accountable…we are not the judges of their forever fate.  Second of all, I am far from perfect, and the deepest sins that Jesus knows about me are no better than the ones that we all know about public sinners.  Third, while some people are completely aware of the evil they do, others are not completely…some were raised from birth to think it okay to hurt those who don’t agree with them.  Some have not found Jesus yet and do not realize how wrong they are.  This doesn’t make them innocent.  No…none of us our innocent, but prayers and forgiveness are for everyone.  I also thank God that by His grace alone, I am not under the mindset that murder and abuse is the right path to take.  Finally I think about the length of eternity.  We cannot even comprehend the length of time eternity is.  And for someone to suffer for that long helps me pray for everyone.

Again, please know I am not condoning these people or their actions.  I have not been in the position to have to forgive someone who hurt my family in a severe way.  I have had to forgive people who have hurt my family in a less severe way though.  I don’t know how I would respond in the situation, but I pray that I would be able to forgive and love as Jesus would call me to do.  I am not at all claiming it would be easy.

When I think about people around the world hurting others, especially children, the only way I can make it make sense is if I relate it to “Divergent.”  Yes, my favorite movie!  There is a part of the movie where people are put under a trance and in this trance are programmed to do things that they normally would be against.  When they come out of the trance they are appalled at what they have done.  I think of the unsaved as being in the trance and if we can reach them, maybe they can come out of the trance, stop hurting people, and help save others.

In a world of Sauls, let’s pray for some conversions to Pauls.

11.6.14

Yes, yes, yes, I know.   Promises to be here every day.  I know.  But, I have been saving up verses and will tell you why in a moment.  I am not making any more promises to be on here every day, but I will try very hard to be.  ;)

We have had 3 pipe semi-flooding incidents in the last 3 weeks…none connected, all annoying, all time consuming.  I have been knocked down for the past week with gall bladder issues, which has made the eating and exercising thing a bit tricky.  Ironically it hit when I was eating my healthiest, but I am not usually unhealthy (I do not deprive myself of a good burger or milkshake on occasion, but I am generally not in those situations), we are the typical chicken, fruit and veggie family.  Boring, yes, healthy, yes.

So health first…I have not exercised in about a week.  Hoping to start today.  I hadn’t been sleeping…like, at all…so getting on a treadmill was daunting and lifting weights…well, let’s just say I feared dropping things on my head.  ;)  I have been great with calories now that I am afraid of food, which you would show on the scale.  I am not worried about losing weight right now…truly…but ya know, an added perk to being sick is usually losing weight.  I think I lost an ounce.  My body is just quite out of whack these days.

Enough about me, I have had some wonderful verses (yes, they are all wonderful) come to my email through my daily verse website and I wanted to share.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  2 Corinthians 3:6

Jesus is the only way we can enter His Kingdom and have eternal life.  Following every law to the “T” will not get us there.  Now, that does not mean you should break laws just because His forgiveness abounds.  If we are one with Christ and know the sacrifices He has made for us, we should want to make choices He wants us to make and reach even those who treat us or those we love the worst.

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.  1 Peter 2:9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

10.28.14

Yes I am still here!  Life just recently exploded (nothing serious, just time crunches all around)  :)

First of all, I want to start with this verse that came in my email a few days ago.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Talk about a convicting verse!  All of our thoughts and attitudes are judged by our SINLESS, PERFECT, Master and Creator.  If only we could remember that every day.  Remember that not only do we not have any right to judge another no matter how “bad” that person may seem, but how do we stand before our perfect maker knowing that He knows our innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets.  We are not called to judge, but we can hold each other accountable…there is a fine line there we must be careful not to cross.

Something else I have been convicted by for quite some time is prayer for children.  I have been a pro-life advocate for as long as I remember, but it goes beyond that.  We need to do everything we can for children all over the world.  Some of us can help them in a tangible way, some in a monetary way, some with prayer.  I feel that kids need to be the forefront of prayer…our own childrens’ eternity, babies not to be aborted, girls who are sold, children who are bullied, children who are abused, bullied, taken advantage of, and even killed.  Children need to know real love, real hope, real faith.  They need to know their loving Father through Him and through us, through prayers and through hugs, through warmth and through clothing, through kindness and through honesty, and through safety.  Let’s keep them in solid and consistent prayer.

Now, I also was supposed to put health and fitness on here too, so moving onto that, which is significantly less important than what I have typed above…BUT…we do need to take care of our temples, too…so here we go…

I have been doing pretty well with calories and workouts…I now have a Christmas party to add to the motivation list.  ;)  Even if your calories don’t change, you will feel so much healthier if you switch soda for water and add some green veggies.  Health is the key, remember.  Health and toning is the goal!  If you have ever heard the saying “Abs are Made in the Kitchen” that is correct.  Granted you have a bit more leeway if you are working out hardcore, but part of being toned is what you put in your stomach.  Some foods will help shed fat, while others will put a nice fat layer over those muscles you worked so hard to achieve.  Switching up workouts also keeps your muscles on their toes.  I have been adding some cardio boxing into the mix, which has been great!  Constant moving, squats, arm and back muscles active, and very fun!

OK, off to tackle the day!  Enjoy yours!

10.22.14

I absolutely love this piece of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, called “A Divine and Supernatural Light”

There is a difference between believing that God is holy and gracious, and having a new sense on the heart of the loveliness and
beauty of that holiness and grace. The difference between believing that God is gracious and tasting that God is gracious is as different as having a rational belief that honey is sweet and having the actual sense of its sweetness.

Day 8

I realized today that I need to get toned.  So I am mixing up my workouts to get different muscle groups moving each day.  Today my workout was interrupted a million times, but excluding those interruptions I got in about an hour of running and boxing.  Calories were good, food choices were mostly good and I did get my green tea in today!!!!!  :)

Prayer

I am convicted as I type this, as I know that I do not spend enough time in serious prayer with the Lord.  I do feel like I am in communication with Him throughout the day, but I need to fall at His feel, give Him my life, and praise Him continuously in prayer.  I need to know that He already knows my prayers, my wants, my needs before I come to Him and I need to pray His will be done and trust that He knows better than I.

How about you?  How are you in your prayer life?  Rev. Billy Graham (my father in law sent me the whole article that you can check out http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/michael-w-chapman/rev-billy-graham-america-just-wicked-sodom-and-gomorrah-ever-were) recently said, “I tell you, history could be altered and changed again if people went to their knees in believing prayer.”

How often do we believe that God will answer prayer?  How often to we truly trust Him to do His will, which may not be what we think the answer is?  How often do we pray beyond our bubble…praying for our leaders (whether or not we agree with them), our country’s future, our world?

I encourage you all to make it your lifestyle to go to the Lord in real prayer many times a day.

10.20.14

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:12

When I read this in my email this morning, I knew I had to share it today!  If we could all genuinely say this prayer every day…wow!  What a difference our lives would be and the lives of others.