"Be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes 5:18

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Make Ahead Freezer Burritos

Makin' stuff today!
Thought I'd share about the burritos. I don't know why I never thought of doing this before, it's so easy, cheap and helpful.

I'm also taking our left over grilled chicken breast from our Memorial Day BBQ and making a Pasta salad with chicken, fresh red tomato, feta, and basil. This is for lunches this week, and hungry kids who need food constantly.
If I'm feeling spunky, I may make pancakes to freeze.

For desserts, I'm making pudding pops (pudding poured into popsicle makers), brownies and cookies. Trying to get some baking in while it's still cool.

Sorry the quality is bad.. and the sound. I shrunk it to make it faster loading.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Faith and Her Sister Suffering

What is faith?
I woke up with these thoughts just pouring into my mind like someone watering my soul (thanks Lord..love how you give to your children even in their sleep:). Sometimes, the simplicity comes back to me and I love it.

We talk about faith a lot, we throw the word around like we do the word love. I don't think we understand what they really mean.

Someone wise told me a few years ago when I was feeling God call me to take my kids, who were being homeschooled, and put them in public school. She told me that God does whatever grows our faith. His goal is to grow our faith in him.

Well, if God just came down and showed himself to me now, would I have faith in Him? No, why?
Heb 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Heb 11:17
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Yet He tells me:
Heb 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

So, without my having faith, I cannot please God. Basically it's related to what I talked about in my vlog yesterday as well. We are part of a story for God's glory, he is wooing us back to himself. He has not made us to robotically love him, our faith is the "magic" that allows us to love him in a situation where we logically should not or we cannot see tangibly or hear audibly.
People say they have faith, or that they lost faith. Well, what they have or had may just be a nice little rundown of what they think or thought. Or they may have truly made that leap to believe in Him.

That faith is kinda easy though don't you think. "There is a big spirit up in the sky that loves you and has your best interest at heart. He watches you when you sleep, does things good for you and protects you." Sounds as easy as believing in Santa if you ask me. A lot of people come to God on these terms. Sometimes it's not their fault, their childhood is pumped with one sided messages about God.

THEN...life hits.
THEN comes the bad stuff. Some Christians refuse to go there at all, they may stretch to some middle ground where tough stuff happens and they start spewing "it's okay, I'm all good, God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him." They are right but many times they have not had something really really hard happen to them.

They have not had a child die.
A parent die in a state of no faith.
A spouse take away suddenly.
An illness where they cannot function as they use to.
Complete and utter loneliness.
They have not been abused or demoralized.

So, along comes pain....

At this point their faith is tested. Their original faith in God is put to question. Here is where a proper understanding of God and his purposes is crucial. In a day of trial or testing, they will support us through this and allow us to bend a knee and worship in the middle honestly looking at God for who he is FULLY.

See, I believe, as Randy Alcorn concludes in his book "If God Is Good" that pain and suffering have a very specific purpose in the story of God. He did not start out right, fail and then have to correct course. He did not fail at all. He intended for things to go as they did for one very important reason.
God could have kept things all good. He could have chose to make that the plan. We would hardly have had a choice toward his goodness then. You know? I mean really, what's not to like? He is good, he brings us good, we live in good...all things are hunky-dory...except we don't fully understand Him.

For, by God allowing suffering he allows us to for one time in eternity, see a small glimpse of the opposite of Him. Suffering, death, selfishness, immorality, pain..all of these are the opposite of God's character of goodness but how could that goodness shine bright to us if we did not see the darkness for a while? People ask how we can love a cruel God. I ask how you cannot love that plan of wanting us to see Him fully. If we come to him in pain, in a suffering world, we have true faith. This is loving suffering, but I don't think we can see it if we don't come okay with his plan. If we come angry and rebellious and thinking we know more or better, we won't see.

That person remains in suffering forever. Not just eternally, but now. They are miserable. If they truly think and reach out to see who God is, which does mean seeing his side that we disagree with that I mention here on my old blog, and come to him (which takes humility as all the scripture states) their suffering will have purpose. It will be the catalyst of their faith. Their faith will be refined over and over and over. They will enter eternity knowing more about their God than they would have had he not allowed them to experience suffering. They will rejoice and their reward will be so much sweeter, their eternity more full in the full knowledge of who God is.

If they do not, they suffer here, and for eternity, and I hurt for them.

Let us not forget that God suffered too. He did not just decide that we should suffer, he decided that he would too. In fact, I believe he suffered more than we ever will. He chose the worst time in human history to come and die. He died a death not many men will have to know so his physical pain was at probably the worst it could have been, and he chose that. Yet more than this...he descended and broke fellowship with his Father for us. Knowing that He and the Father are one, could we not even say he broke himself wide open for us? It's too much to understand. We cannot imagine the pain of almighty God breaking loving fellowship with His Son because we do not have the capacity to understand love like that, perfect completion like that and how it was broken for even a moment. Though it was only for a time, he did choose it.

So, when you really break it all down, God choose to suffer so we could see Him for who he really is. That IS LOVE. That is not a cruel God who should be screamed at in our anger and selfish discontent.

I also really think understanding Heaven, our reward, helps strengthen us as we suffer here. If you look forward to singing hymns all day, then yes, I can understand why you don't want any of this. Reading Heaven, by Randy Alcorn changed my walk with God.

I just feel it's appropriate to end these thoughts today with Paul's words. Even what Paul suffered is more than I ever will. He did what I want to do, come face to face in my heart with the God who gives and takes away and bow to call Him holy. Not out of blind stupid submission, but out of an understanding of his righteous motivations of love I cannot comprehend.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

wow...."Save the Date!" "Mark Your Calendars!"...really??

Is that how glory comes down? "save the date!" or "mark your calendar!" ?
I'm just up a little sleepless...
reading this. wow.

"... the Holy Spirit
has abandoned all churches, those still
following any church on May 21, 2011 are
not saved. Nevertheless churches teach
their members that:
1. They as confessing members of their
church are safely in Christ’s care.
2. No man can know the day or hour of
Christ’s return. Therefore, they are certain
that Christ will come as a thief in the night.
These dear people do not realize at all
that they, themselves, are in spiritual
nighttime, a condition that guarantees that
when Christ comes they, themselves, will
be destroyed in the Day of Judgment. How
awful! It is the true believers who know
the time (the hour) and much about
Judgment Day (the day). They are not in
the nighttime of spiritual darkness."

I am no bible scholar, but I hear fear in these words.
Oh, how the enemy loves to shame the people of God. For this is indeed embarrassing. I know we will all get knocked for it unfairly. I don't blame them. Though they don't realize we are not all in this boat.
I read the whole article and the logic jumps from verse to verse where he wants it to go with no congruent study. Claims that the tribulation started in 1988 and that the Holy Spirit left the churches then.
I can testify to that not being true. I said in my vlog that Christians don't have joy and love. I should have clarified that many don't. I'm blessed to be surround by many who do. Our church is a living testimony of the grace and truth of Christ. The Holy Spirit at work. No human efforts can conjure up this kind of care for each other, forgiving each other, striving together, seeking God's glory, loving and upholding one another. I know there are other churches who have this character of Christ as well, alive and serving each other.
There are many false gospels springing up, even among the churches, but for him to claim the Holy Spirit has left the church goes against my experienced testimony of what I've seen myself.

The enemy loves when we scatter in fear. He loves to see us responding like crazy people, shaming the name of Christ and the child-like simplicity of the gospel.
Like I said, I'm no scholar, but I'm starting to think that when men study too much with the wrong motives know less. It can be tempting to study the word for figuring it out the best, being the one who's "got it" backwards and forwards. Yet, if the word is not living moving and active in your heart, filling your soul with Joy for God's truths, his amazing love for his people, His longing to be reconciled with his creation, it's not getting us very far at all.
I look to the testimony I've seen to disprove this and I look to the character of God who would not allow one man to have this glory of being "right".
The discussion however, will be interesting.

Let us by no means fall asleep, we should probably mark on every day of our calendar "the day of his coming?" Remember, and pressing on free of fear, motivated by truth and love.
I have this verse written in wipe-y marker on our dining room window. Have for a while now. I love this verse:
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. John 2:28

Friday, May 20, 2011

Random Coffee Talk: Our View of God

Thanks for watching, now listen to this. ALL of it, it's great and entertaining. These are the types of things we need to be hearing. "A slave to what is right"...so good.

..and on that..
Does this mean that we don't sin? No, it means that we do not continue in sin. We are not able...praise God. We are convicted and forgiven, and continually in freedom.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Unexpected Encouragement

I'm going through a heavy time right now. God has challenged me with a mission I don't want to take on, a trial I don't want to pass through. I can't see my path out the other end yet and I certainly don't know what waits for me on the other side of it.
So, my head is heavy today. Decided to drive into town for crickets and sandwich bags. Mom's do those weird errands you know. Mostly needed to drive and think.
I listened to my Sara Bareilles cd Rick got me. She is not a christian artist but I found this song to be such a love song to Jesus for me. Only one word changed in my heart. Where she sings "babe" my heart sang "lord" and it has really helped me today.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Show and Tell From The Dig

Finally get to my show and tell blog from the Dig! The girls and I went durring spring break and we did not even get to go through everything. The girls had fun for a few minutes but were done within 30 min or less. Mama is a die hard so they went and sat in the van with their MP3s while I kept at it for a bit.
I'm actually splitting my sharing from the Dig (Goodwill Outlet) in two different blogs. Most of it is here, and the t-shirts are over at Creative SAHM as I am using them for making bags.
The Glassware:
I don't usually focus on glass ware there often. However, I was interested in containers for collecting dried flowers, dried citrus and such for potpourri making. I found a few fun things in the process.
A multi purpose jar that Caed can use for the tadpoles from the river, or a fish. He brings in nature all the time so this made a good habitat jar for his adventures.
We spent our Anniversary in Cambria, and it's one of mine and Ricks favorite get aways. So I could not pass up this lovely wine glass that simply stated the town name.
Also while we were away we did one wine tasting (in Templeton actually) at Wild Horse. Our friends had served a Pino Noir from them that was AMAZING, and we had a free tasting coupon so we tried some of their other stuff. However, since our coupon made the tasting free, we did not get a glass. SO, when I spotted this, I got it for our memory time.
Vintage jam jars traditionally used as juice glasses, these were a great find and they can make good flower vases for small flowers too. I also found a few other vases/containers.

These were possibly vintage also. Two of them say juice something or other, and one is a old milk looking one with a cow on it. I wanted them for flowers. The item in the foreground is a melt and pour with a great handle. I want to work with some wax later on for candle making so I grabbed that too.
The Clothing/Shoes:
Emma grabbed these converse. Three of them (one below) were real converse which is a great shoe even when worn a bit. She loves converse so she put some on right away. I had to have her stop in her tracks to take the below picture. Oh, and on a side note from above, I also found this mirror and picnic basket.
It's not every day you get playing card converse shoes....
I found a Levis jean jacket. I've been looking for one for a while.
Levi jeans in great shape. A little small but it will motivate me.

Lots of fun trendy tops for the girls.
Emma found this one herself. Mommy thought it was pretty cool!
This one was for me, loved it.
....and a one size fits all cover up for the beach or pool, just in time!!!

a few tops for mommy.

The Vintage:

This vintage treasure was fun! It was homemade but I still loved it. Saving it for the girls or a smaller me.

This old Fire King bread pan was like nothing I'd ever seen. It had design (shown on the end above) all the way around. It was beautiful. It just needs a really good scrub to get all the burn off. I think it's too pretty to just sit in the cupboard for occasional baking. I intend to use it as a serving dish.

I also grabbed what I think is an old green avon perfume bottle (not sure, just loved it), a tin measuring cup with strawberry design (I'm keeping my seed packets in this on a shelf now), and a old cheese or meat slicer.

wish you could see the pretty design on the bottle, but you can't.


Found a bag full of stretch tops for containers you don't have lids for.
Grabbed this for the glow in the dark stars. I don't know why it was tapped to a doll furniture thing. Caed has wanted some of these and I'm putting it with his birthday stuff.
A cute wine gift cylinder that is just pretty.
Small fish tank. Emma grabbed this for tadpoles or a beta fish. When you have kids who go through small pets, it's good to grab these cheep and just keep them in the shed or something till they get a whim or catch something.
A cute country shelf and a bag with a country welcome set. I found these separate and thought they went great together. I gave this to my friend Michelle because she loves roosters and does more of this theme.

A cute "God Is Good" thermos for Caed's lunches.
Greeting cards. Rick always tells me there are not enough masculine ones for him so these were good.
The girls found some books they wanted.
I loved this! It's a tooth brush hanger for the kids bathroom.
This was a real treasure for us. We needed another umbrella for the porch when it gets hot. We have one out there that had one pole break. I just pinned up that side so it can go against the window of the house and we can still enjoy it. However, we really needed another one because it gets really hot out there. This needs a good wash but it's in great shape still.

Christmas Stuff:

O0ps, sideways. Sorry. This was in a box and I opened the box and saw stained glass. I just grabbed it and thought I'd look at it more before I checked out. I had no idea what it was. I forgot however to check it so when we got home, we had a mystery item! I opened it and was thrilled! It is the most adorable Christmas manger scene!!! It plays "Away in a Manger" and the characters circle the manger. LOVE IT! The kids loved it too and wanted to hold it and watch it. It's going to make a fun memory item for Christmas.

A really nice nutcracker....and a sleigh. I picture this sleigh sitting on a table with a tangled mesh of white/white lights in it and lit up!

SO! That is it (actually there were some nice frames I found, a few games, and other small stuff I did not take pics of. Head over to Creative SAHM later to see the t-shirts we found for bags!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Before My Patriotism is Misunderstood...

I understand the expressions over his death. The cheering and the "ding-dong" chants. I get it. I expressed how I felt myself respond. I was not responding to any one person either, I was responding to the general reaction around me. It's sobering to see what evil can do in one man. It's sobering to see how people can react.
Understanding evil is why I believe in war. To cry for peace in a world of sinful men is naive. You won't hear me rally for it. Yet, understanding evil is also why I won't be joyous at the death of one evil man. Evil itself has taken another soul, created by God, knit together in a mother's womb. Evil is my enemy and evil, thy name is not Osama.
When we cheer this man's death we give him the power he wanted to have. We make him feared as he wished. Evil is like an underground force in sinful humanity that explodes out of certain places. You may plug one of it's springs, but you cannot cheer I'm afraid. It will rise up in a other place.
I also fear we tread of the slippery slope of taking on the character of those who do not cherish life or freedom. I saw a picture of the statue of Liberty holding up the bloody head of Osama, and talk of dragging his dead body through the streets. Who do we sound like? From their perspective, they justify their outrage, are we now becoming like those we abhor?
A sober patriot, and a follower of Christ should condone taking out the bad guy. I cheer the military (who btw deserve the credit for this more than any political figure), and I'm glad he has been taken out. Yet, as a Christian I think it's sad to have to take out any soul for the sake of evil. I hate the evil, I do not hate the man. I look to the victor of that evil and I will rejoice at his coming and ending this.
So, though my heart is faithful to the red, white and blue I don't feel jubilant today. I feel sober. I feel like I should keep my eyes open. I feel that this is the ultimate of what we are all capable of. We are killers, we are selfish and we are prone to increasing evil. I tell you, I would have shot him myself. I would have certainly taken him out. Then, I would have paused to realize what evil is capable of and ask God to tarry no longer.
I hope we can all be sober minded, keeping our integrity and value of life itself through this whole thing. To sorrow over evils power to take a soul, a very blinded man to the eternal grave. It is in these times when we can be deceived to relax our reflexes toward evil when it may very well be springing up in our very midst unknown to us all. Let's take it out when it has to be done, laud those laying down their own precious lives to do so, and move on knowing our battle is not over and it's not against men. It's against the enemy of our very souls, all of our souls.