Preparing for Soaring Food Prices

Spaghetti Squash Seedlings

Spaghetti Squash Seedlings

California is experiencing the worst drought in history. They supply America with more vegetables than any other state. 11 States have been declared disaster areas because of the dry conditions. This should sound an alarm to pray and prepare. Pray for  families who will be out of work, family businesses that will close, ones who can’t afford  escalating costs of food…and prepare by planting gardens.

We can grow our own gardens to help offset soaring prices of food for our families and those we know in need. I planted seeds indoors this past weekend for a spring garden. I’ll plant my summer seeds indoors in a couple of weeks.  Just tonight we ate Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. The squash was as fresh as when we picked it out of our garden seven months ago. It’s rewarding to grow your own produce and enjoy it all year. Even though this has been a harsh winter my kale is still growing- amazing. It is being said by public officials that this drought could have cataclysmic impact on food prices.

The California Farm Water Coalition said that the hardest hit crops will be tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, cantaloupes, garlic, peppers and corn. Many other foods will be affected but these are at the top. Purchase some organic tomato seeds now and  plant  in the next week indoors. Plant transplants after danger of frost (when will that be this year?).

Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” KJV

The kale hasn't minded the snow this year or sub zero temperatures

The kale hasn’t minded the snow this year or sub-zero temperatures

Spaghetti squash from our summer garden

Spaghetti squash from our summer garden

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Storage of Winter Vegetables

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai recipe

 

 

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

1 spaghetti squash (slice open and bake for 40-45 minutes in 375 degree oven)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 cup baby organic corn- I usually use zucchini instead of corn.

scallions or chives to taste

15 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 chicken breast, sliced thin and chopped

parsley to taste

2 organic eggs, beaten

olive oil, coconut oil or sesame oil

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar- add when finished

salt to taste

Sauté all vegetables in couple tablespoons oil for 5 min’s on med high. I usually cook the onions, garlic and carrots first then add the others. Don’t over cook them.  Add shrimp and chicken, sauté for an additional 5-7 minutes. Add beaten eggs and cook on medium high until done-fast. Don’t over cook. Scrape the spaghetti squash out and into the skillet of vegetables. Stir all well. Add oil when the pan looks dry, go easy. Turn heat off. Put heaping helping on each plate, top with sliced avocado and scallions or chives.

You can substitute any vegetable you have for the one’s suggested. You can also omit the eggs if you want. Sesame oil gives a more distinctive flavor.

Blessed is He Who is Not Offended by Me

LampIf you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31 Encouragement Today Devotions, welcome!

John the Baptist was a burning and shining lamp; inwardly burning with love and zeal, outwardly shining in all holiness.

~Jesus said, “Among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.”

~ The angel told his father, Zacharias, that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and that he would go in the spirit and power of Elijah.

~The Holy Spirit revealed to John the Baptist that the One whom He descended upon would be the Messiah.  John witnessed this with his own eyes at Jesus’ baptism. (John 1:32-34)

Yet, when Herod imprisoned him in the awful, putrid dungeon for days upon end with no relief, we read in Luke 7:18-28 that John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was indeed the Coming One or if they should look for another?  Can you imagine?… Oh my goodness, I can’t!  John the Baptizer, who was called the forerunner to Jesus, who was filled from the womb with the Holy Spirit, the burning and shining lamp- falling prey to doubt and despair!!

To answer John’s questions… Jesus told his disciples, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

John’s entire life was lived to foretell the coming of the Messiah.  And he lived his calling to the fullest.  He lived his life as a burning and shining lamp…  But his current circumstances made him tremble.  I LOVE what he did!  When in doubt- he sought Truth.  Truth always frees us.  You can imprison a body but not the spirit. As long as we know the truth- the truth will set us free.

Jesus says to us all, “Blessed is he who is not offended” when circumstances are hard and answers are not in sight.  He loves us.  He loved John the Baptist.  Many times we’ll never know the answers to why things happen.

John the Baptist lives on as a memorial and example for other burning and shining lamps- to seek Truth when circumstances make us doubt.

How we respond in those times are of the highest importance to God.  He watches to see whether in our darkest hour, if we will respond to Him who is invisible- more than to the visible around us.  For faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward!  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise!

When a trial comes, confront it with truth like John the Baptist did and it will free you. When this life is over we want Jesus to say that we were a burning and shining lamp; inwardly burning with love and zeal and outwardly shining in all holiness-who sought TRUTH at all cost.

Here are a few things I do when I’m faced with a trial:

    Trial+Truth= Triumph

  1. Pray and believe that you will be triumphant. “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)And yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”(Romans 8:37) Declare these truths with determination and confidence as you petition the Lord!
  2. Quickly access your dilemma. Is it life threatening physically or spiritually? If the answer is no, then take a deep breath and say, thank you Lord. You can do this, even if it’s brutal! If it is life threatening you can do it to- it’ll take more prayer!
  3. Focus on one problem at a time. Example: Our daughter was scheduled to have her tonsils taken out at the same time our car was broken down through vandalism. We got a call from the hospital on the same day that the glass company called to say the car windows kept coming in broken. The hospital said that our insurance company had decided 4 days before surgery that her tonsils were a preexisting condition and would not cover the procedure even though it had been previously approved. I decided to not focus on that issue, instead I asked my friends to pray.
  4.  Ask for help. Do you know what gets in the way of us asking for help? Pride.  “His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God.” 2 Chronicles 26:16  We need to ask God for help and help from others when we have needs.  It’s humbling to ask for help depending on what kind of help you need. If you can’t ask, pride is in the way and God hates pride.
  5. Read the Word. This is where you find TRUTH. In any trial Dale and I are facing, we read the Word.  It is our faithful road map.  Holy Spirit ALWAYS gives hope and answers through His Word. The more problems we have- the more we choose to read it.              Does God Still work Miracles? 

What do you need help with  to get through your trial today?  Prayer. . .do you need to ask for help…time in the Word? Write what you need in the comment section. We’ll pray for you. The comment enters you to win two books, Jesus Calling, The Prisoner in the Third Cell(this is a MUST read) and a TARGET GIFT CARD!Winner drawn next week.jesus callingThe Prisoner in the Third Cell

The Minions of Hell Tremble

Sunrise on the Glasgow Farm

Sunrise on the Glasgow Farm

 

If you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31′s Encouragement for Today, welcome!

TODAY is monumental. After 40 LONG days- Dale’s kidney stone finally left his body!

Why in the world did it take so long? Thousands of people prayed for him.  Some even fasted while praying.  He was anointed with oil by our elders.  We had great faith.  We believe nothing is impossible with God.  We’ve seen Him work miracles many times… Why did it take so long?

Job was a righteous man who loved God and lost everything.  In his desperation, he too wanted to know why. Why God? (Job 6:26-27).

David was crowned king and immediately had to run for his life- for YEARS.  In his desperation, he too wanted to know why. Why God? (Psalm 44:23-24).

Jeremiah was an amazing prophet of the Lord.  No other prophet quoted the words of previous prophets any more than him.  He was tortured and ridiculed.  In his desperation, he too wanted to know, why. Why God?  (Jeremiah 20:2, 38:6).

When Job, David, Jeremiah and Dale were desperate- they all did the same thing.  They sought God with all their heart.  And it was there that they encountered God in a way that they couldn’t have before. Sometimes the purposes of our desperation are to usher us into the secret place of God’s heart.  When Dale was at his highest level of pain, his spirit was so drawn to Jesus- that he couldn’t not keep his gaze on Him.  He encountered Jesus on a level that he had never experienced.  He said he wouldn’t take the last 40 days back for anything.  Job, David and Jeremiah said the same thing.

When God makes you desperate for Him and you have beheld His Glory in the secret place… everything in life changes.  You are changed.

One night when Dale was in his worst pain, intermittently he would talk about Jesus and the pain He endured for us.  At 2:00 in the morning, while Dale was in writhing pain, we took the Lord’s Supper together (I’ll never forget that night).  It was a terrible night and a glorious night. Our eyes were fully on Him and we beheld His glory in middle of the pain.  Desperate circumstances brought us into another level of glory that was unspeakable!

Dale said he’s a different man than he was before.  His glory changes us.

Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless you bless me.”  (Genesis 32:26).  What that says is, “I’m going to come after Jesus.  I’m going to chase after Him with everything that is within me and I’m not going to give up—ever.  I’m going to hold on to the promise.  I’m going to stay in His face.  I’m going to seek His resurrection power in this circumstance that isn’t resolving.  I don’t understand why this hasn’t been answered but I’m not giving up until it is.  As long as I have breath in my carcass, I’m coming after Jesus with every ounce of strength I’ve got.  I must gain Christ!

“That’s the unrelenting determination of the saint who is embracing the Job crucible properly.  This kind of tenacity makes for what is called a dangerous Christian.  This is the kind of saint that causes the minions of hell to tremble in fear and trepidation- for they are beholding another Job.  They are beholding a man or woman determined to persevere in the face of God until He completes His purposes in their life.”    Bob Sorge

Once a saint emerges from the crucible, an unstoppable warrior rises from the ashes.  Oh my goodness…  God is our shield and there is no fear.  In our desperation, we find the entrance into the secret place of God’s heart.  (Psalm 91).  The shaking and pruning seem torturous but without it, we rarely find that entry way to the most secret place of the Most High.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Have you had a circumstance lately that you’ve asked God, why? Leave a one word comment below- we’ll pray for you! Your comment enters you to win these books and a Target gift card for your encouragement! Winners name drawn and revealed next Wednesday! He Gives His Angels Charge Over You

Recipe for gluten free matzo bread

P31devobookLiving_So_That_

Health Benefits of Lemon Peel

15 Sliced lemons in jar

15 Sliced lemons in jar

Lemon peel is one of the most amazing healing foods in the world. It is said to be an effective remedy in treating arteriosclerosis. It is believed to be the richest source of vitamin P.  Lemon peel also is said to help to regulate high blood pressure, fight cancer, shrink tumors, cysts. . .it can help with depression, fungal and bacterial infections and reduce cholesterol levels due to the polyphenol flavonoids.

Dale and I are eating lemon peel chopped in our salads, it’s delicious. I add it to yummy quinoa and rice salads. I have the best Moroccan Chicken dish ever, that I use lemon peel in as well.

Lemon peel benefits are endless, add them to anything and everything! Included- treatment for kidney stones! Hence this blog post, we’re eating them twice a day now!

Here are just a few summaries of articles on the benefits of lemon peel.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods:

Lemon peel consists of two layers: the outermost layer (“zest”), which contains essential oils (6 percent) that are composed mostly of limonene (90 percent) and citral (5 percent), plus a small amount of cintronellal, alphaterpineol, linayl, and geranyl acetate. The inner layer contains no essential oil but instead houses a variety of bitter flavone glycosides and coumarin derivatives. Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition, they are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids, and the important phytochemical limonene. The phytochemical limonene, which is extracted from lemons, is currently being used in clinical trials to dissolve gallstones and is showing extremely promising anticancer activities.
Article on the medicinal use of citrus issued by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences noted that:

Recent research has focused on the biological activity of compounds found in citrus species, including compounds called flavanoids, carotenoids and limonoids, especially in terms of their effects on citrus palatability and anti-cancer activity. Citrus flavonoids have potential antioxidant (prevents aging), anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activities, effects on capillarity, and cholesterol-lowering ability. The principal carotenoids in pink grapefruit are lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene-containing fruits and vegetables have been shown to contribute to a significant reduction in prostate and mammary cancer risk. Recent studies have further shown that limonoids inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cancer cells as well as reducing cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that, if ingested, limonoids may not be absorbed in the large intestine, and therefore could be distributed throughout the body, with beneficial effects.

Likewise, from University of California Davis on “The Potential of Citrus Limonoids as Anticancer Agents” observed that:

Vitamin C and flavonoids are antioxidants, substances that neutralize active oxygen species which can damage body cells and contribute to chronic diseases including cancer. Carotenoids, colored pigments in fruits and vegetables such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, also provide some antioxidant protection, but have other beneficial actions involving cell growth and vision. Folate is a B vitamin that is needed for the synthesis of DNA, and therefore is important for the integrity of genetic material in cells and the healthy growth of tissues. Recent information indicates that mild folate deficiency alters the structure of DNA in a way that may decrease the expression of tumor suppressor proteins. A survey of food folate sources showed that orange juice is the largest contributor to the food folate intake in the U.S. population. Recent research suggests that U.S. consumers may be getting another health benefit from orange juice and other citrus products — phytochemicals called limonoids — which appear to possess substantial anticancer activity.

A  2004 ScienceDaily  article reported on similar research:

Research by Texas Agriculture Experiment Station scientists has shown that citrus compounds called limonoids targeted and stopped neuroblastoma cells in the lab. They now hope to learn the reasons for the stop-action behavior and eventually try the citrus concoction in humans. Neuroblastomas account for about 10 percent of all cancer in children, Harris said, and is usually a solid tumor in the neck, chest, spinal cord or adrenal gland. The finding in citrus is promising not only for its potential to arrest cancer, but because limonoids induce no sideaffects, according to Dr. Ed Harris, Experiment Station biochemist who collaborated on the study with Dr. Bhimu Patil, a plant physiologist at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco. ”Limonoids are naturally occurring compounds,” Harris said. “Unlike other anti-cancer drugs that are toxic, limonoids apparently do not hurt a person. That’s the beautiful potential.” Patil calls citrus fruit “a vast reservoir of anti-carcinogens.” As a plant physiologist, he has succeeded in isolating and purifying a number of limonoids from citrus so that the biochemists could evaluate and compare their anti-cancer abilities at the molecular level. ”Limonoids are unique to citrus,” Patil said. “They are not present in any other fruits or vegetables. My goal is to find the direct benefits of citrus on human health.”
lactofermented_lemon_sharonglasgowcom (17)I ferment my lemons before consuming, it’s easier on digestion. Click here for recipe.

Happy Valentine’s Day- Free Book!


reneebook
 My sweet friend Renee has a newly released book A Confident Heart DEVOTIONAL.
Grab it FREE today only! It’s a 60-day Devotional e-BOOK.Downloads available in the U.S. at the links below: Amazon - click here

B&N – click here

CBD - click here

iTunes Store – It’s there too!

If you don’t have an E-reader, you can also download a Kindle E-reader App on your computer.
Find out more about the FREE Reading App in the Kindle store.

Renee Swope and Sharon

Renee Swope and Sharon

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Love, Sharon

 

In Every Circumstance of Your Life. . .

A vacant Hornets nest on the farm

A vacant Hornets nest on the farm

“In every situation and circumstance of your life, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know.” John Piper

Last weekend I spoke at Calvary Baptist Church in Oshawa, Canada and at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. Many decisions were made for Christ and many amazing stories happened on the journey. I wish I had time to tell you all about them, but I don’t! I’m getting ready for another retreat this weekend with Centreville Presbyterian Church in Warrenton, VA. Then, we’re leaving for NYC for a couple of days to see our daughter Jennifer.

I love John Piper’s quote, full of truth! Thank you for sending it to me Barbara Curry!

May the Lord bless you in great and mighty ways. tractor with ice

 

 

Vanishing of the Bees

Thank you for praying for Dale! He is well! I can not thank you enough!

We’re not TV watchers, we don’t have cable or a satellite dish- but once in a while we’ll watch documentaries on Netflix’s instant downloads.  We watched   Vanishing of the Bees, I recommend it. It’s a great watch if you care about the future of your health and food.

Bees have been in business of  pollinating flowers since the beginning of creation, so that we can have food. Without them there will be no grapes, apples, pumpkins, beans. . . and the list goes on. The promised land was flowing with milk and honey. We should too, if we’ve doing the right things.

This past spring Dale and I put up our first hive. By the end of summer, honeybees were covering our field. It was a beautiful sight. I pray  they make it through this dreadfully cold winter. We didn’t touch the honey this  fall, so they could survive on it their first  year.  We’ll put up more hives this spring and in a few years, Lord willing, we’ll be flowing with milk (our goats) and honey!

Honeybees not only pollinate our fruits and vegetables, they produce a treasure chest of nutrition and medicinal remedies in raw honey that are powerful. The list of raw honey’s beneficial functions is a long one. Honey increases calcium absorption; can increase hemoglobin count, can help arthritic joints, fights colds and respiratory infections of all kinds; can help to boost gastrointestinal ulcer healing; works as a natural and gentle laxative; aides constipation, allergies and obesity; provides an array of vitamins and minerals; and supplies instant energy without the insulin surge caused by white sugar. Many have found raw honey helpful for its positive effects against allergies and hay fever, and one or two teaspoons last thing at night can help with insomnia. As an antiseptic, honey is also a drawing agent for poisons from bites or stings or infected wounds, and has outperformed antibiotics in treatments for stomach ulcerations. . .

Proverbs 24: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Our  honeybees arrived at our local post office in this box. When Dale picked them up some of the bees had gotten outside of the box. The post office didn't seem concerned at all.

Our 6000 honey bees arrived at our local post office in this box. When Dale picked them up some of the bees had gotten outside of the box. The post office didn’t seem concerned at all.

Setting up the hive. Organic sugar water in the spray bottle. No stings setting up the hive and none all summer.

Setting up the hive. Organic sugar-water in the spray bottle. No stings setting up the hive, nor all summer

honey bee

 

The Trial, Truth and Triumph Remedy

 

Edward our French Alpine Goat waiting to be fed this morning

Edward our French Alpine Goat waiting to be fed this morning

We watched as our only working vehicle hoisted onto the back of the tow truck. I stood by the side of the road while Dale ministered to the driver. He was a kind man, he asked if we needed a ride, we just smiled and shook our heads, no. We were an hour from home.

We walked to a nearby grocery store and sat at their outdoor tables. We looked at each other. We had no car to drive home, who would have thought? While we sat carless, I sent out a request on Facebook to see if anyone had a spare car that we could borrow.

We wanted to be wise with our money so we choose the cheapest place ever to fix the car. Week after week passed and the car wasn’t finished. That’s what happens when you choose cheap labor, they get backed up. Weeks later we got a call, no it wasn’t ready. They said we needed to come and cover our car because there was a leak. I was perplexed, what leak?

We drove into the parking lot. I looked over at our long lost car, and was shocked! My mouth dropped open! What in the world?! A little leak?!?! Three of the four windows were gone or broken! I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Dale didn’t seem too bothered, I was. It was vandalism and the shop didn’t have insurance to cover it! How? What? Why? No! This is not right! Were my screaming thoughts!

Our insurance deductible was higher than the windows. So we ordered the windows and paid for them ourselves, of course. Now by the time you factor these windows into the equation it is no longer a cheap place to fix your car (no, we won’t be going back).

The guys from the glass shop called. They said they’d never had this happen, but each window that they ordered for us, broke! The holiday’s seemed to delay everything, more.

We finally got our car back yesterday!

When I think about all the deaths of our sisters and brothers in Sudan this past week or all those suffering the effects of cancer and disease or families devastated by divorce, my little car situation is nothing—Absolutely nothing on the richter scale!

Problems affect all of us at one time or another. The secret to getting through them successfully is to put them in proper perspective.

When a trial comes, confront it with truth and you will be triumphant.

The Trial, Truth and the Triumph- Remedy

  1. Pray and believe that you will be triumphant. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”And Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. ”Declare these truths with determination and confidence as you petition the Lord!
  2. Quickly access your dilemma. Is it life threatening physically or spiritually? If the answer is no, then take a deep breath and say, thank you Lord. You can do this, even if it’s brutal! If it is life threatening you can do it to- it’ll take more prayer!
  3. Focus on one problem at a time. Example: Our daughter was scheduled to have her tonsils out in the same time period. We got a call from the hospital on the same day that the glass company called to say the windows kept coming in broken. The hospital said that our insurance company had decided 4 days before surgery that her tonsils were a preexisting condition and would not cover the procedure even though it had been previously approved. I decided to not focus on that issue, instead I asked my friends to pray. We still haven’t gotten the bill to know the end of the story.
  4. Ask for help. Do you know what gets in the way of us asking for help? Pride. “His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God.” 2 Chronicles 26:16 We need to ask God for help and help from others when we have needs. It’s humbling to ask for help depending on what kind of help you need. If you can’t ask, pride is in the way and God hates pride.
  5. Read the Word. Dale and I almost always have a Bible on hand. In any situation we are facing, we read it- right then and there. By the side of the road, in the hospital, while we’re waiting. . . Holy Spirit ALWAYS gives hope and answers through His Word. The more problems we have, the more we need it. At this very moment Dale is in excruciating pain with a kidney stone that won’t pass. We’re reading the Word constantly, it’s the best medicine we have!

Winner of last weeks drawing… Carina who Submitted comment on 2014/01/08 at 5:51 PM! book and gift card await you! Send me your address!

When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow on Your House

Hartwood_snow_modThe howling, frigid wind whipped and beat the house mercilessly last night. The old spruce tree bent and screeched against the house so much I couldn’t go back to sleep.   

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things, things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

So, I talked to Him.

 I should reword that…I was pleading with Him and it had nothing to do with the storm outside my window.

You know, like the disciples did when the windstorm came down on the lake and the boat they were in filled with water.

The storm raged and the disciples were afraid. They pleaded with Jesus to help them, and He did. (Luke 8)

He calmed the storm and then asked, “Where is your faith?”

I felt like Jacob struggling and fighting my petitions before Him last night.  Then, His words were clear. “Where is your faith?” I sensed Him say.  I stopped struggling and asked, “Why, why does it have to be so hard?”

No answer. 

God uses hardships, disappointments and failures to strip our self-reliance away so that we will put our trust in Him alone.   Sometimes the process is grueling.

At the close of Jesus’ sermon on the mount He said,  ”Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears theses sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The storms, floods and winds will beat on our house, but we will not fall.   He is always faithful.

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things- things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

 New Year’s resolution:  Memorize Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). He says that for those who hear His sayings and do them they will not fall when the floods come  and winds blow and beat on our house.   

Jesus’ Desire for Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Jesus left the portal of glory to be born in a manger into the least of the clans of Israel, an oppressed nation and through a messy lineage! He had no place to call home, was ridiculed and crucified all for the sake of LOVE- to do ALL the will of His Father!

Jesus’ whole life was a life of sacrifice. He asks us to do the same. He says to us today, if you are my disciples deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me. What does that mean to us today, on Christmas Eve?

Christmas wasn’t meant to be a day of self-gratification. It’s a time to think of others. What is Jesus asking us to deny today? A selfish attitude. . .

What cross is He asking us to pick up? It’s the thing we don’t want to do but know it’s the right thing to do.  It’s the hardest thing.  But if you do it with the right attitude it will glorify Him. It’s just between you and Him, you don’t need to tell anyone else.

Are you supposed to hop in the car and make that trip home? Are you supposed to invite someone to Christmas dinner that you don’t want to? Is He asking you to give a gift that you don’t want to give? Is He asking you to give something of yours away to another person? Are you supposed to make a call and forgive someone? Love someone you don’t love. . . Be at the hospital visiting. . .Bring goodies to someone tonight. . .

May we be consumed by His LOVE today, to do all His will just like Him.

Prayers Needed for Bob

Matthew 8:16-17

Matthew 8:16-17

Thank you for praying for Bob. He’s in ICU in stable but critical condition. The day after his surgery all his numbers started to gravely decline. We almost lost him. The day after his surgery they did exploratory surgery to find out what was going on. There was no blood flow to vital organs. They found issues with his colon (not cancer), so they removed it. His liver and kidneys are struggling from the lack of blood flow that day.  His kidney’s are barely working, he’s on a ventilator and his body is exhausted from the trauma- would you keep praying!

 I want to tell you a story about an 88 year old man that I prayed for a couple of years ago. It will increase your faith! I got a call that this man (whom I had never met before) had had a stroke. Blood pressure was almost non-existent when I got to the hospital. He was pretty much dead. No brain activity. We (his family and I) prayed circles around him with scripture. I quoted Isaiah 53:5 “and by His strips we are healed.” I left the hospital thinking, maybe  he’s ready to meet the Lord. I came back the next day, he wasn’t in his room. The nurse said, they’ve released him to rehab! I found him in hall in a chair, we locked eyes. Immediately, he grabbed my arm TIGHTLY, with tears in his eyes he said with all boldness, “BY HIS STRIPES I AM HEALED.” Holy Ghost goose bumps covered me! He was a godly patriarch of his family- they still needed him.
WE NEED BOB! WE NEED GODLY PATRIACH”S leading our families ! Please continue to pray for Bob’s healing! Thank you!!

Pray for Dale’s Step Father, Bob–He’s in Surgery

BobOne of the greatest men I’ve ever known is Dale’s step-father, Bob Mateer. A couple of weeks ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he’s in surgery to remove it right now.  Would you pray with us? It’s a six-12 hour surgery, it’s pretty invasive.  They’re taking out 60% of his pancreas. We’re praying for full recovery from cancer and no side issues because of it!

We love him more than words can describe. He’s priceless. He’s the epitome of the grand and noble family patriarch that you read about in books.

You’ve just got to hear a short story about his conversion to Christ.

He had a high finance position at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City- then left for an even better position in LA, CA. He had all the money he and his family needed and more—they lacked nothing of material worth.

One day Bob had lunch with a Campus Crusade man  at a country club, that man introduced him to Christ. The man asked if he could pray for the food and then asked the whole country club if they would join him! The country club was not accepting of the prayer but Bob was.  He was immediately enamored by Jesus. He wanted to know more and more of Him. Quickly he accepted Christ as his personal Savior and Bob’s life was never the same.

Everything in the tangible world lost its importance to him. Money didn’t have a hold on him, Jesus did.  He wanted to dedicate his life to further the kingdom of God. He decided to leave his high finance job, the only life he knew and luxurious lifestyle to impart wisdom to the body of Christ.

He left California and moved his family to Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA to become a professor of high finance.  He came for a fraction of the money he was accustomed to. But he was doing the will of His Father- and he was happy.

Bob is one of the most self-sacrificing people I’ve ever known. He has spiritual wisdom that surpasses us all by far. He is the definition of a servant. I glean something from him every time I’m with him.

Thank you for praying for him today and in the coming days.  The surgery is expected to take 6-12 hours. His recovery is intense.

James 5: 13-15

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. ..Is anyone among you sick? …let them pray over him…and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”

How to Cook a Perfect Turkey

 

Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder

Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder-Whiffletree Farm

Cooking a perfect turkey is simple if you follow all the steps below. Every step from thawing, brining, long slow roast to letting it rest is critical for perfection! The turkey will fall off the bones when you take it out of the oven! We had to prop the legs up for the photo because it fell apart.

1. What size turkey should you buy: How many people are you feeding? The general rule is one pound per person. This gives enough for leftovers.

2. How to thaw a turkey– Keep in the original packaging.  The guidelines for refrigerator thawing are as follows;

Turkey Weight Thawing Time
Up to 12 lbs 1-3 days
12 to 16 lbs 3-4 days
16 to 20 lbs 4-5 days
20 to 24 lbs 5-6 days

DON’T thaw on the counter, in water or in the microwave- you don’t want food poisoning.

3. If you want the turkey succulent follow my directions on how to   Brine a Turkey. Brining a turkey makes a huge taste difference and tenderizes it. Take the turkey out of the original packaging for the last day and a half of thawing time and put into the brine. The brine actually helps to thaw it.

4. Rinse brine off turkey, pat dry and put into your roasting pan.  Add three peeled carrots and 2 medium quartered onions to the bottom of the pan for added flavor. Cover well with aluminum foil. Tuck the foil around rim tightly, this locks in moisture. Do all of this the night before  your turkey meal. When I go to bed I set my oven for 325 degrees so that it will be ready when I get up in middle of the night (3:AM).

5. Turkey baking time: Take upper racks out of oven. Preheat oven to  325 degrees F.

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
Hours
6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
Hours
6 to 8 pounds 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours

6. At 7:AM I turned the temperature down to 300 degrees.  Take foil off turkey when you get up and baste with butter. Put foil back on and every hour after take off and baste with  more with butter. Make sure you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thigh not touching bone.  When the internal temperature of the turkey is 165 degrees take foil off and turn the temperature up to brown the skin. This only took 15 min’s- I turned it up to 450 for speed. Don’t go do something else, keep your eye on the bird.  You’ve spent too much time on it to dry it out!  After it is beautifully brown turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees and let it rest in the oven to reabsorb any moisture it lost by puncturing it with the thermometer. 30 min’s to 1 hour before serving turn heat completely off. Continue basting turkey for moisture.

7. The turkey will fall apart. You won’t get beautiful photo’s because it’s falling apart.

8. To make gravy -pour turkey drippings into a skillet and turn up heat. Whisk flour of your choice  in and add water as needed. If you brined the turkey you WONT need salt. It is perfectly salted already. Enjoy!!

The pan wasn't big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight.

The pan wasn’t big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight

 

Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving table last year

Innumerable blessings have been bestowed upon the United States of America. Concerning these blessings President Lincoln wrote: “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” President Lincoln went on to set apart the last Thursday of November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

While President Lincoln established America’s official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, it was the Pilgrims who first celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in this land in 1621 and who set an example that many followed in the succeeding years.

As the Pilgrims gathered their harvest in the autumn of 1621 and looked back over the preceding year, they had so much for which to be thankful that they decided to set aside a day of Thanksgiving unto God, Whom they acknowledged as the Giver of all blessings and the only reason for their survival. It was indeed a miracle that they did survive their first year in the wilderness of New England and had a good harvest. Desire for a home where they could freely worship God, and the desire to “propagate… the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ” and be stepping stones for others to do the same, motivated a band of Christians later called Pilgrims) to set out on a hazardous voyage to plant a colony in the new world of America.

After sixty-six perilous days at sea, where the storms were so great that they were blown unknowingly hundreds of miles north of their intended destination, they reached Cape Cod. The captain attempted to sail south to Virginia, but the weather forced them to settle in New England. They later learned that the site they chose for a settlement – Plymouth – had been the home of the Patuxet Indians. Had they arrived a few years earlier, there would have been no place for them to settle, but a plague had mysteriously wiped out the Patuxet tribe in 1617, and no other tribe would settle in the area for fear of the same thing occurring to them.

Winter had already set in as they started to build houses to protect themselves from the unrelenting cold. Scurvy and other diseases began to infect the settlers due to the long voyage, lack of provisions, and unaccommodating conditions People began to die so rapidly that in two or three months’ time only half of the original 102 persons remained. While this was quite a tragedy, they still fared much better than the early settlers at Jamestown, who saw nine out of ten persons die in the first years of colonization.

During this dark winter in America, the Christian character of the Pilgrims shone brightly. At the time of greatest distress, there were only six or seven persons strong enough to move about. With the sick they “spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes clothed and unclothed them; in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least,

showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren. A rare example and worthy to be remembered.” 

Though half of their number survived, the prospects of the coming year looked very bleak – they were surrounded by Indians, some hostile, they were short of food and supplies, and they knew little of how to survive in the American wilderness. But to their astonishment, and gratitude to God, an English-speaking Indian named Squanto came among them, took them under his care, and taught them how to survive in the new land.

He showed them how to plant corn, assuring its growth by setting it with fish; he taught them how to catch fish and the times when they could find the creeks stocked with fish (for the Pilgrims had only caught one cod in the preceding four months); he taught them to stalk deer, plant pumpkins, find berries, and catch beaver, whose pelts proved to be their economic deliverance.

Squanto was also helpful in securing a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and surrounding Indian tribes, which lasted over fifty years. In the words of William Bradford, “Squanto… was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

 His life story is amazing in itself.

In 1605, Squanto, a member of the Patuxet Indian tribe, was captured by an English explorer and taken to England. He remained there nine years, during which time he learned to speak English. In 1614, Captain John Smith took him back to New England, but shortly after this he was again taken captive and sold into slavery at a port in Spain. Providentially, some local friars bought and rescued him.

From Spain, he eventually went to England where he remained until 1619, when he obtained passage back to his home in New England. As Squanto went ashore at what was to become Plymouth, he found his entire tribe had been killed by a plague. He was the only survivor of the Patuxet tribe. Joining himself to a nearby tribe, he remained there until the spring of 1621 when he joined himself with the Pilgrims, determining to see them survive at the place where his tribe had not. 

Thanks to God, his instrument Squanto, and the character and determination of the Pilgrims, half of them had survived an unimaginably difficult first year. Moreover, they harvested a sufficient food supply for their second winter at Plymouth. Even though there was no surplus food, things looked much better than the preceding winter.

Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving and invited the nearby Wampanoag Indians (Squanto’s adopted tribe) to celebrate and give thanks unto God with them. Chief Massasoit and ninety of his men came and feasted with the Pilgrims. They ate deer, turkey, fish, lobster, eels, vegetables, corn bread, herbs, berries, pies, and the Indians even taught the Pilgrims how to make popcorn. The Pilgrims and Indians also competed in running, wrestling, and shooting games. Massasoit enjoyed himself so much that he and his men stayed for three days.

 It is easy to see where the American tradition of feasting at Thanksgiving began.

While many people today follow the Pilgrim’s example of feasting at Thanksgiving, they too often ignore the entire reason that the Pilgrims set aside a special day – that was to give thanks to Almighty God and acknowledge their utter dependence upon Him for their existence. While many today take ease in having plenty, never seeing a need to cry out to God, the Pilgrims relied upon God in their lack and thanked Him in their abundance. Their trust was in God and not in their abundant provisions. This was seen even more fully in the two years following their first Thanksgiving.

Shortly after their Thanksgiving celebration, thirty-five new persons unexpectedly arrived who planned to remain and live at Plymouth. These being family and friends brought much rejoicing, but when they found out they had no provisions it also brought a soberness. Yet their reliance was upon God, so they gladly shared their food, clothing, and homes. With the new additions, their food, even at half allowance for each person, would last six months at most.

Their provisions had almost completely run out when they spied a boat in May of 1622. They hoped the English Company who had sponsored their colonizing Plymouth had sent provisions; however, this boat not only did not bring any food (nor the hope of any), but seven more hungry people to stay in Plymouth. In their extreme hunger, as in times of plenty, they put their complete trust in God to provide.

No one starved to death yet, it would be over a year before famine was completely removed from their midst. During that time there were many days where they “had need to pray that God would give them their daily bread above all people in the world.”

That spring and summer of 1622 God miraculously fed them, even as the ravens fed Elijah in the wilderness. He provided because the Pilgrims had determined to walk in the way of their Lord Jesus. This was most evident in early summer when sixty “lusty” men (as Bradford called them) came to them for help. Even though these men showed no gratitude, the Pilgrims still gladly took care of them, for many were sick. They gave them housing and shared their meager provisions. This they did for almost the entire summer until the men left.

Like the year before, the harvest of 1622 proved insufficient to meet the Pilgrims’ needs. Outside help appeared doubtful, so the Pilgrims considered how they could produce a larger harvest. Through God’s wisdom they chose to replace the collective farming they had practiced the two preceding years (being imposed upon them by their sponsoring company) with individual farming, assigning to every family a parcel of land.

Bradford wrote: “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than other wise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use… and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and.”

As they were freed from economic communism and entered into individual

enterprise, abundance began to come upon these people.

The Pilgrims learned the hard way that communism doesn’t work, even among a covenant community. Bradford wrote that “the experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos

& other ancients, applauded by some of later times; – that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”9

The Pilgrims’ hard work, resulting from them being able to directly benefit from the fruit of their labors, caused them to plant about six times more crops than the previous year. While labor certainly increases our prosperity, there are other factors. God wanted the Pilgrims to never forget that it is the Lord that gives men the power to get substance or wealth (Deut. 8:18).

The Pilgrims had great hopes for a large crop, yet as Bradford wrote, “the Lord seemed to blast, & take away the same, and to threaten further

 

& more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat (for the most part) insomuch as the corn began to wither away.”

In response to this, “they set a part a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble

 

& fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was dear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn & other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.”11

An Indian named Hobamak who witnessed this event said to a Pilgrim: “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.”

The harvest of 1623 brought plenty to each person, with the more industrious having excess to sell to others. From the time they started a biblical economic system, no famine or general want ever again existed among them.

That autumn of 1623, the Pilgrims again set apart a day of Thanksgiving unto God. They had much to give thanks for and knew Who to acknowledge.

Each year when we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the heritage of that day and why the Pilgrims, as well as President Lincoln set aside a day of Thanksgiving. In the

words of Lincoln, proclaiming the second National Thanksgiving Day: this is “a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”

by Stephen McDowell

How to brine a turkey.

Dressing your children like pilgrims.