Catch the Foxes

Enjoying the snow, while praying and the fox appeared on this path

Enjoying the snow, while praying and the fox appeared on this path

It was a standoff.  The biggest fox I’d ever seen… and me…

We’ve lost countless chickens, ducks, turkeys, and even a couple newborn baby goats to fox attacks. They come to kill, steal, and destroy under the guise of the dark.

They can sniff out a bountiful farm a mile away, even sending a few lead foxes to scope out the place before the attack. Then, before dusk, they inch their way closer to their prey- all the while hiding (very sneakily) so as not to get caught.

Yesterday, I took a walk on my prayer path through the newly fallen snow, with the Lord.  I was marveling at each intricate snow flake, the beauty of His creation and then I saw this past summers hornets nest. “Lord thank You for this time of rest on the farm!  Thank you that I don’t have to worry about poisonous snakes, hornets nests, or poison ivy!”

No sooner had that prayer been spoken to the Lord, when the biggest fox I’d ever seen stood directly in front of me.  It was staring right at me! If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it was a wolf or a coyote it was so BIG! Any predator looks bigger than life when face to face, the red hair gave him away.  Foxes usually come out at dusk and forage for their kill until just after sunrise.  It was broad daylight–he took me by surprise!

Thankfully, I terrified him and he ran away… Then I did!

After I collected myself, I asked the Lord, “What in the world was that about?” He very gently and sternly showed me…  We can never take a rest from guarding our lives from the schemes of the enemy.  He is always on the prowl looking for ways to kill, steal, and destroy from what is rightfully ours.

We need to guard the perimeter of our home, family, marriage, and (figuratively speaking) our vineyard. We can never take a break from guarding our lives.  If you give the enemy an inch- he’ll not only take a mile…he’ll take everything. . .

In the beginning it may be one fox, then two- then they bring their whole pack.  It’s at that point, a lot is a stake…Dale has had to stay up all night waiting to capture a pack of foxes! But he got ‘em!

Isn’t that how the enemy is in our life? Comes when we aren’t watching, he’s sneaky and looks for opportunity to devour us. We have to be on guard all the time, always patrolling the borders around our home, marriages and in our children’s lives.

This morning I asked the Lord to reveal any area of my life that I’ve not guarded and have given the enemy entrance to.  I asked Him to reveal any area of compromise, or sin.

My eyes were closed in prayer when I saw a set of scales—I felt the Lord whisper to my heart that, “everything I think, do, or say glorifies Me or your flesh. Weigh everything on those scales, Sharon—everything.”

Every dollar I spend… book I read… movie I watch… word I speak… every thought glorifies Him or my flesh.  If it doesn’t glorify Him, it will bring compromise into my life and to the fullness of His will becoming manifest.

The little foxes will come to the most bountiful farms. Guard your borders and if you ever find yourself  face to face with a fox- Having done all, STAND. He will flee if you command. Take charge, don’t let the enemy think you’re bait!

Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” 

Romans 16:19-20a, “For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

Our chickens in the snow

Our chickens in the snow

40 Day No Complaining Fast

Meeting with  the Lord three hours every morning for the next 40 days-May it be a sweet aroma unto Him

Moonlit sky on the Glasgow Farm

My 40 day fast ended abruptly before my head hit the pillow, on the first day! Yep, my plan was to… fast from complaining. I was pretty excited over the possibility of reigning all those negative thoughts… then I woke up on the first morning- and our pipes had frozen!

I stood with my blow dryer, blowing hot air on to pipes while Dale sawed huge holes out of our drywall to find where water was flooding behind walls.

The phone rang, I turned the blowdryer off. Someone was unhappy with their circumstances and were complaining- profusely… My thoughts were flailing… I got ready to stop myself because of my fast… but… then- I took the bait and went along with the complaining. How quickly my high hopes and ambition failed me!

Dale’s computer died. It wasn’t even its appointed time. It was still in its prime… Poor thing, he had to work on mine- which put me behind. My thoughts started to complain, but then I remembered- I was fasting!

That night, I had a rip roaring fire in the wood stove. I opened the door to load wood but my dog wouldn’t move. His back end pressed against the scorching hot stove door and caught fire! A large stream of dark grey smoke rose toward the ceiling. The fire alarm sounded, “Fire, Fire, Fire!” He ran. I chased him with a wet towel… He was fine. We both sat back down, by the fire. The house smelt horribly of burnt dog hair.

I said,“Lord, I failed terribly at reigning negative thoughts today. I don’t have the ability to do this in my own power. What would you suggest for the next forty days knowing my weak minded condition?”

I’d been reading in Exodus, so He spoke to me through it. I had just read Exodus 29 where Moses and Aaron were to offer a morning and evening sacrifice- an offering made by fire to the Lord of their first fruits.

I’m not a morning person and I would never choose to rise before the sun does, ever. So I decided that I would sacrifice those hours to Him. I would rise at O’dark-hundred every morning for the next forty + days to spend three hours alone with Him.

I started this past Sunday. I thought it would be impossible to get up, but He woke me before the alarm sounded. Then yesterday and today were the same — He woke me before the alarm… as if He’s excited about our time together.

The hardest part of getting up is that our house is FREEZING! We heat by a wood fire and by wee morning hours it’s just a few glowing coals left. The temperature in the house is 40ish degrees until the fire gets going. I load the wood and then we start to talk, Him and I.

It’s getting pretty exciting… How ironic that my sacrifice starts with us starting a fire together, kinda like in Exodus. The forty days will be over on Good Friday- and this year, Good Friday is even the first day of Passover! I can’t imagine what it will be like in 37 days. If you see me out and about you notice me glowing like Moses you’ll know why! His Shekinah Glory is EXPLODING!

Oh that my sacrifice be a sweet smelling aroma unto Him!

The Overflow of His Shekinah Glory


Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God…”  Sparky and I the night he caught on fire

Sparky and I the night he caught on fire

Valentine’s Day Recipes and Movie

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

This year, make Valentine’s Day memorable for your entire family without breaking the bank!

There’s no need to venture out to a restaurant and subject yourself to the movie theater, when you can make it even more special at home…

This past week Dale and I watched an amazing movie that I want to share with you. It’s a love story. Quo Vadis is a romantic and powerfully heart- gripping film that was created by MGM in 1951. It beautifully portrays the conflict between pagan Nero, his Rome, and early Christianity in a stirring love story between an agnostic Roman general and a Christian woman. Can you sense the tension yet?

The Apostles Paul and Peter are both characters in this moving film.
It’s directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Produced by Sam Zimbalist and adapted from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s classic 1896 novel- Quo Vadis.

It’s a three-hour movie! But, don’t worry- you won’t get bored! The first two hours are setting the scene for the final hour. Be awake and fully alert for the finale. You won’t want to miss a second. That’s the part when you’ll literally be sitting on the edge of your seat. (Oh and have a tissue or two nearby.)

Its rated PG, but there are moments that wouldn’t be good for younger children to see; Christians eaten by lions and burned at the stake as sport in Nero’s Coliseum. However, it is NOT a scene to fast forward through. It is one of the most POWERFUL moments to see on screen when the lions are unleashed into an arena full of Christians. (GULP/GASP…)

At first fear grips them. Then they start to sing and worship. The entire stadium is in awe and amazement. The scene is a testimony even to this day that we are to worship even in face of death, hardship and persecution. Oh King Jesus, help us all to worship on the hardest day of our life!

I shouldn’t say more since I don’t want to spoil anything for you. But there’s more- so much more. The love story is. . . epic.

MGM spared no cost in making this film. Thirty-thousand people were used in one scene. It is a story of immortal combat. Once a man has the zeal of

the Lord within him- the fire within cannot be quenched! He can and will endure anything for the sake of love.

A few important questions to ask ourselves…

What will I be doing when persecution presents itself? How will I choose to give glory to God even in the face of suffering?

My suggestion for Valentine’s day evening is to enjoy a homemade simple dinner at home and  rent Quo Vadis from Amazon for $2.Quo_Vadis_-_Be_-_1951

I don’t have cable or watch television shows so my review of a movie may be different from yours but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

Here is part of Movieguide.org summary of the movie Quo Vadis:

“QUO VADIS was made in the days when major studios like MGM were willing to invest absolute fortunes in unabashed Christian epics. It was like spending an AVATAR budget on a movie with the message of COURAGEOUS.It’s the story of the Christian martyrs in Rome contrasting gross pagan excess with Christian love and compassion. It deserves a Plus Four Acceptability for its profound Christian message but slight caution should be applied to young children because even tastefully done images of martyrdom can cause young children anxiety.

…On that road, General Marcus Viniculus (Robert Taylor) returns to Rome after conquests in Britain. Emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov) has him camp his troops outside the city and wait for a spectacular entry to provide the proper conquering hero victory procession for the entertainment of the Roman citizens.

Marcus is instructed to wait in the home of retired General Plautius, whose whole household is Christian, including Lygia (Deborah Kerr), a hostage the general adopted as his own daughter. Marcus mistakes Lygia as a slave. His bold advances show a very low regard for women. Marcus is frustrated and puzzled that Lygia is not thrilled by such an important general as himself showing interest in her. Her Christian values don’t fit his pagan concept of male/female relations.

Marcus’ victories are celebrated with a massive spectacle. Because all hostages are at the mercy of the Emperor’s wishes, Nero rewards Marcus with the gift he desired, Lygia.

Feminists who consider Christian’s attitudes about marriage to be a form of bondage should see this movie. The Romans treated women like sex objects for sale, while Christians considered women partners in having and raising a family. Nero had his wife and his mother murdered.

Peter Ustinov’s Nero is a truly disturbing character. Like Hitler he justified the senseless killing of thousands in pursuit of his own warped sense of greatness. His decision to burn Rome, so he could rebuild it as he wished, was horrific enough. He then blamed it on Christians and made a spectacle of feeding them to lions and burning them on crosses before a Coliseum full of spectators.

As Nero becomes more and more crazed, Marcus begins to see the purity of Lygia’s Christian faith and values. Also, the words of Paul and Peter ring out with moral and spiritual clarity. He decides to take a stand, but Nero sentences him and Lygia to death in the Coliseum. Only a miracle can save them.”

Another movie I LOVE is the 1948  Joan of Arc- read my review here. 

Is Date Night Mandatory? 

Yummy Gluten Free Valentine cookies, Valentine’s Day Goodiesvalentine-105valentine cookie-pancake-eggs 018

Valentine breakfast recipes!

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

When God Interrupts Your Plans for His- Just Do it!

Sparky in the snow covered field at sunrise

Sparky in our snow covered field at sunrise- If you’re visiting me from P31 devotions today, welcome!

We’d been cooped inside the vehicle way too long!

The kids were fighting. Everyone starving… but the good news? We were only 10 minutes from home. Until suddenly I realized… I needed one item from the grocery store. Yeah. . .

I reassured them, “I only need one thing and I’ll be out in less than four minutes.     I promise. Set the timer!” They wailed louder.

I ran in, got the one item and found an empty check out line. I was making excellent time. I would probably get back in less than four minutes. I love exceeding expectations! I grabbed my bag from the cashier and darted for the door. They could see me from the vehicle… Surely they were happy to see the plan going as I had said…

Until I got to the door…

A man laid on the floor in the doorway and the grocery store manager knelt by him. I knew my clock was ticking and my vehicle could explode if I didn’t get to them instantly… but I had to, you know… stop.

I laid my bag on the floor, bent down, and looked into the man’s eyes. He couldn’t say anything. The manager said, “We just called the ambulance. They’re on their way.” I asked the man if I could pray for him. His eyes seemed to say, ‘yes.’ The manager closed his eyes… The man on the floor and I stared at each other as I led him to the throne of God!

Tears filled his eyes, but no words came. I said, “Do you know Jesus?” He didn’t nod. This time he didn’t even say yes in the expression of his eyes. I said, “God loved the world so much, that He gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” I got up and got ready to run to my vehicle.
The manager said, “He’s trying to say something to you.” I couldn’t understand what he wanted to say, but the Lord heard. The Lord knew…
I never saw the man again. I don’t know the end of his story. Was he a Christian and just needed someone to minister to him? Did he hear his Savior calling him for the first time? Was this a wake up call wherein he became a radical believer and brought thousands to Christ after this day? I don’t know! But I do know this… that sometimes (actually most always) ministering to strangers isn’t convenient, unless we’re ready to be interrupted by the unexpected.
I thought it was strange that the guy evidently dropped there immediately after I walked through the door coming in. God surely had a precise plan for this guy. There are God set-ups everywhere! We just fail to be a willing part of the plan sometimes. You never know how God is going to use you. You might bring someone to the Lord who’s going to bring millions of people to Him! That’s definitely possible in this age- more than ever.
Andrew brought Peter to Christ and Peter brought thousands.
A stranger walked into a shoe shop where D.L. Moody was a salesman and led him to Christ. D.L. Moody led a multitude to Christ in the 1800′s.  D.L. Moody made a pact with himself to tell at least one person a day about Christ. If he got in bed and realized he hadn’t told anyone he would get up and run into the street to find someone to tell.
Shouldn’t we have the same enthusiasm?! I mean, The King of Glory is so glorious within us that we shouldn’t be able to contain Him. He should explode from inside out!
Oh yes! Getting back to my family waiting for me… My vehicle didn’t explode simply because I didn’t make my four minute deadline. When God interrupts my plans for His, the right action is always- Just do it!  A couple minute “God detour” could lead to who knows where.  He is GOD. His plans are higher than ours.

The next time God interrupts your plans for His- Just do it!

God has already put people in your path and they’re still waiting for you to tell them about Jesus. Just do it! Don’t wait anymore, time could run out.

 Tell us their name in the comment section. We’ll pray for them and you.  Your comment will enter your name to win a pair of pearl earrings for yourself  as well as a Bible for them.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The two winners from my Keep it Shut post are Mary Lou who Submitted on 2015/01/13 at 9:51 AM and Patty who Submitted on 2015/01/08 at 6:41 PM loneprlears7bible_medium 

Keep it Shut

kis.book_-662x1024

Sunday morning fights. Ugh…

Kids fighting, shoes missing, and Dale and I who are usually in crazy love- nearly ready for separation before we walk inside the church on Sunday morning. Yikes!

This past Sunday wasn’t a lot different. I wanted to go in late and leave early so as not to touch any of the “sick” folks carrying that horrible flu bug. Yeah it’s the one with the high fever and has been going around lately.

I’m speaking at a retreat this coming weekend and can’t get sick. I gave my rules before entering…  “When the last song starts- we leave. Agreed? We can’t talk to or touch ANYONE.”

The last song started… I texted him to remind him of our plan and asked for the keys. He didn’t give them!  I gave him the look.  It didn’t work.

By the time the car doors shut we were arguing.

Why do I do that? The poor man had barely done anything wrong and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Have you ever had a fight so uncalled for that by the end of the day you can’t remember why you were so mad?!

Oh my goodness- my fight with Dale was just wrong.

That afternoon I was opening my mail and got a package from one of my most precious friends and prayer partner, Karen Ehman. It was her newly released book, Keep it Shut.  

How appropriate was that? I needed to learn to keep it shut and here was the tool to help me.

I started to read.  Oh my goodness… the book is full of wisdom and practical help for mouths like mine. I don’t know about you but I need to learn to Keep it Shut! 

Here are a few of her guidelines for choosing words more wisely.

1. Trade Places. Imagine you are hearing rather than speaking your words. How would you feel if what you are about to say
were addressed to you?

2. Leave some things left unsaid.

3. Temper your tone. What we say may not be wrong, but if the tone is off, harm can be caused and the meaning misconstrued.

4. Consider your countenance.

5. Believe the best before assuming the worst!

6. Don’t get historical, rattling every offense off the person has done.

7. Choose Your Timing!

You’ve got read this book. I’ve only got two copies to give away.

Dale and I made up before the night was over…  We’re in love again. Thank You Lord. I learned several invaluable lessons on keeping my mouth shut! I hope you win- so that you can too!

You can even take a “test drive” and read a chapter- for free!  Just click here! The book is about the power of our words in every area of our life.

To enter to win the book, just describe a situation in the comments below that makes it hard for you to “keep it shut.”  If you’re in a hurry- just say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner next week!

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

In Michigan this past June at the 6 week video Keep it Shut Bible Study recording! w/ Melissa Taylor, Lindsey, KAREM EHMAN, me and Kim

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Buy Keep it Shut HERE!  RANKING #1 best seller in Christian living on AMAZON!

Merry Christmas

The Glasgow Farmhouse

The Glasgow Farmhouse

May the Lord bless your home with His peace, presence and  power this Christmas. May He do more that you could ever think or imagine with your family. Lord be glorified in our weaknesses and consume us with Your love this week! You are the King of kings and Lord of lords!! Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Luke 2: 2-202 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,  an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Here are a few popular Christmas links on my blog:

8 Recipes for Christmas cookies (gluten free and travel approved)

Directions to Make Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

Luminaries to Light Path to Your House

How to make live Evergreen Christmas wreath

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Holiday desert-Caramel Pecan Cake

Homemade Marshmallows

Give and It Will Be Given to You

Union Station in the long line of cars

Union Station in the long line of cars

It was the last weekend before Christmas…  I was waiting in the endless line of cars at Union Station in Washington, DC to pick up our daughter, Jennifer.  She had traveled from New York City to spend the holiday with us.

When our five daughters were teenagers I started the tradition of taking each one individually to pick out their Christmas gift.  It served a threefold purpose; 1. Teenage girls wanted clothes, but are impossible to please. If they picked it- they would like it. 2. It gave quality time with each daughter. 3. There were no fights.  Actually, the tradition of going separately started because of past history of fighting while shopping.

Each daughter got the same amount of money- and still do.  Some spend theirs at thrift stores (to extend the amount of items received), while others choose one item for the allotted amount from a nice store.

Well, I had Jennifer’s amount tucked safely in my purse like a golden nugget.  We were going shopping with it.  I had no other money coming in before Christmas so this had to be saved for her.  All the other daughters had already shopped for their gifts.

Horns were honking.  People were hollering out of their car windows.  God forbid, there was a car who had broken down at the front of the line- holding everyone up.  A tow truck was backing up toward it.  I could see people flailing their arms at the poor guy with the broken down car.

Then I saw him running down the line of cars…  He must have passed 30 cars and then he stopped to knock on my window. I rolled the window down. “Ma’am, my car broke down and the tow truck driver won’t help me unless I give him money.  I don’t have any.  Do you by chance have the amount I need?”  Why in the world did he pick my car?!  It was probably the worst looking car in the whole line up and the oldest!  I was missing a hub cap.  The top of the car’s paint was chipped off and peeling.  There was a dent…  All I could think was, “Lord, not my golden nugget saved for Jennifer?! You wouldn’t ask for that would You?”

Reluctantly, I reached inside my purse and pulled out Jennifer’s gift money and gave it to the desperate man.  He said, “Thank you.  My mom is dying of cancer.  She is waiting up there for me by the car.”  I said, “I’ll pray for your mom!”  He received the prayer, we fist pounded and then he ran to the top of the line.

About that time I saw Jennifer waving at me. She got in the car… I was so sad I had used her money.  After arriving home Dale said to me, “Sharon, someone gave us an envelope this morning at church.”

I opened it and inside was the EXACT amount that I had given to the guy in line at Union Station!

Jesus?!?!  I was stunned.  Then the verse came to my mind, “Give and it will be given to you, shaken down and running over. . . “ The next day there was money on our counter when we got home that wasn’t there when we left! Jesus?!!

When we give as unto the Lord He always takes care of His peopleHe always provides what we need.  What an honor to give to people in need!  What an honor to give to ministries who are bringing in the lost and encouraging believers to the highest call of God in Christ Jesus.  I am blessed beyond words to be a speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries.  And now, we are doing an end of year giving campaign.

Would you consider giving to Proverbs 31 ministries? Maybe even making a monthly pledge?

Your support will help make ministry possible to over two million people through social media, Bible studies, and many other avenues. He will bless you for your contribution!  He is faithful to His word. I’ve experienced His faithfulness!

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:38 (ESV)

Make a Plan to Stay Out of Trouble

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I love sitting by the fire

… Hot pizza oozing with five yummy cheeses was twenty minutes from my door. The people working in our barn deserved a feast.  I on the other hand, shouldn’t eat pizza.

I mean I could eat the whole thing, by myself!  Really, I could! That’s the problem.

Quickly, I knew I had to make a plan to stay out of trouble.

I whipped up a healthy organic salad and toasted a piece of sprouted grain bread and ate it- fast.  The smell of fresh, hot pizza filled the kitchen- but I wasn’t tempted.  No sir-ee. My plan had worked. I didn’t eat one slice!

After lunch, I was gloating over my victory and the Lord whispered to my heart, “If only you could be as quick to make a plan to stay out of trouble when other sin crouches at your door!”

Ouch!

You’re right, Lord!

I don’t know about you, but I do that which I know I shouldn’t and don’t do what I should!  AH!!

Speaking of making a plan to stay out of trouble- Joseph is the man with the plan (read it in Genesis 39).  He’s handsome, young, and in charge of Potiphar’s entire estate, except for his wife.  But when Potiphar is not around, his wife tempts Joseph to go to bed with her!  What does this man of God do?? He doesn’t yield to the temptation and He makes a plan to keep out of trouble. 

1. He makes sure he isn’t in the house alone with her, ever!

She got so mad at him that she lied to her husband and told him that Joseph had attempted to make her go to bed with him!  Because of her lie- Joseph was sent to prison!!

Oh my goodness, what a story.

In the end Joseph gets out of prison and is put in charge of ALL OF EGYPT!

What a testimony to us allOh that all men (and women) would be as strong as Joseph and make a plan to keep out of trouble by not going online and looking at things they shouldn’t or by yielding to other temptations that lead to sexual sin!

If we don’t make a plan to keep out of trouble, the sin that crouches at our door will be too hard to resist!

While I was contemplating all of this… one of the guys working in the barn came in to get warm by the fire.  He was once a drug addict.  I asked him, “What’s your plan to keep out of trouble when temptation knocks on your door?”

He said, “First I have to stay in the presence of the Lord, all the time. Secondly, I can never allow myself to become idle or complacent. Thirdly, when temptation comes, I call a recovered addict who has walked a similar journey- who is also saved by the blood of Jesus… and they talk me out of the ridiculous thoughts of yielding to sin that so easily enslaves.

He left, I stared at my fire and prayed.  I asked the Lord to reveal to me the sin which so easily enslaves me.  Then, I wrote down a few plans on how to stay out of trouble.

1.  Next time sin is crouching at your door, make sure that your plan is in place.

Make a plan to keep out of trouble!

There were extra slices of pizza left after lunch.  Someone asked if they could take them to church, I said- “Please do!”  I need no temptation knocking on my door!

Genesis 4:7 tells us, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Winner of Gingerbread kit is Sarah who posted on 11/25/2014 at 12:16 PM! Email me your address!

My Praise is a Weapon

Paul and Silas had been beaten with with rods, put into a prison inner cell and stocks fastened on thier feet. It was midnight, oh yeah it was midnight and they starting praying and singing to God, and the other prisoners were listening( people are listening to us in our midnight hour).

Suddenly there was a great earthquake, it shook the foundation of the prison; and immediately all the doors were opened and EVERYONE’S chains were loosed.

Haha!!! I’m running around the kitchen, this is sooo good.

The keeper of the prison comes in, sees all the prisoners loose and falls down trembling before Paul and Silas saying, “What must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” He  washed their stripes and his whole family were baptized that very hour! Acts 16:25

In our midnight hour, praise is a weapon!!! It breaks chains and releases prisoners!!!

This video was filmed in our barn!! Turn your sound all the way up!

Winner from last weeks drawing is Sharon  who posted on2014/11/18 at 7:57 PM. Email me your address!!

I love Thanksgiving! Our organic, range free turkey is over 24 pounds this year! Here’s my recipe for making the perfect turkey! I’m also making my famous Homemade Marshmallow Fruit Salad and other yummies! When our  five daughters were little they used to dress up like pilgrims for Thanksgiving Day. Oh the memories, I love them.

Another Thanksgiving memory we have is making gingerbread houses the day after Thanksgiving. Click here to see last years! What’s your favorite memory of Thanksgiving? Your comment will enter your name to win a free gingerbread house kit.

thanksgiving

 

They're decorate the window at my kitchen sink

Gingerbread creations decorate window at my kitchen sink- one on end is a nativity

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.

Gift from God

Lydia June Easter and proud Grandma

Lydia June Easter- Gift from God-Proud Grandma

Margaret Morgan is the winner of the cornucopia basket!! Email me your address!

Our daughter Hannah and her husband, Jake had their first baby this past week. We have been thanking God everyday for Lydia.

Hannah’s labor was quick, but hard.  Immediately after Lydia was born she was taken to the NICU, she had Meconium aspiration. She was released to a normal room in less than 24 hours. I’ve been with Hannah most of the week and now preparing for a marriage conference tomorrow where Dale and I are the keynote speakers.

 

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking in Buffalo, NY at the Women Standing Strong conference. The theme of the weekend was Breaking Down the Walls. Oh MY how the Lord ministered to us all.  Before the Israelites could come into the Promised Land the walls of Jericho HAD to come down. We all have walls that we build around ourselves from time to time. Sometimes we build them because of past disappointments, sometimes because we’re too afraid to trust God. . .

What walls have you built around yourself thinking you were protecting yourself when all along they are preventing you from the greater blessing? Lord, show us the walls and help us to take them down. We want everything You have for us and nothing less. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Still praying for last weeks prayer requests. I’ve got three prayer warriors praying over these. My heart breaks for you and the things you’re going through. May the Lord strengthen you and give you peace that passes all understanding.

 

Pray Until Something Happens

 

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Pray Until Something Happens Story

Last weeks winner of 3 books, DVD, candle jars and seeds is Kim- you posted on 2014/09/18 at 4:24 PM.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately,

“My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure;and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens! When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. … When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. … When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. … When your money looks funny and the bills are due, P.U.S.H. … When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H.

What mountain do you need GOD to move? Your finances? Job? A relationship? Sickness? Your ministry? Tell me in the comment section below. Your request will enter your name to win this cornucopia full of fresh fall gourds, some from my very own garden. Cornucopia means, horn of plenty or abundance of something. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Last week we prayed for your prayer requests. Many answered prayers have been coming in!! Thank You Lord! We need each other! The power of prayer is incredible.

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Love- The Antidote for The Poison of Unforgiveness

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

If you are visiting from P31′s devotion today, welcome!

Raging anger morphed him into someone I’d never seen.  It was horrible. Just minutes before, we were having a civilized conversation.

His body racked with pain.  Morphine,  alcohol, and other drugs were his best friends.  Doctors couldn’t find the source of his pain.  He looked desperately to me. “Help me, Sharon, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I prayed with him and when I opened my eyes, asked him the question that led to his rage, “Is there someone you need to forgive?”  He became fidgety.  His voice got stronger and assertive.  “Well, yes but that has nothing to do with, anything.

I asked, “Who can’t you forgive?”  He rolled his eyes, got out of his chair, and morphed into a mad man. Profanities shot from the secret place of his heart.

Gently I said, “Can you forgive them?”

“NO!”  He screamed. “Leave me the %^%$# alone! You have no idea what you are asking!”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes, I do. I’ve had to forgive. . .”

When Satan gets a foothold (a door) into our life through anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness- it’s destructive.

He (Satan) wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Give him the opportunity and he’ll wreck our life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the secular world knows that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause untold physical and mental issues.

What lives within the secret place of our soul, ultimately defines our life.

Every day, many times (even hourly) I have to go before with the Lord and give Him my burdens, grievances, and hurt.  I open the Word desperately searching for answers and He always provides.  He’s faithful.

The more time I spend in the secret place with Him and His Word, the more His attributes become mine.  I see others through His eyes and not my own. I can forgive as He forgives because He gives me His ability.  His love consumes me and I am able to live above my circumstances and not be controlled by them.

Oh, love- His love “is as strong as death. . . Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8:7a).  Bitterness, unforgiveness. . . can’t live in the presence of Jesus’ love.  It conquers all!

His love is the antidote for the poison of it.  The secret place of our heart is sacred to Jesus. We can’t let unforgiveness reside there.  It can cause serious issues.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus tells us, “ what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. . .”  If we bury resentment in the secret place of our heart, it will come out one way or the other.  What lives within the secret place of our soul- ultimately defines our life.

Is there someone you need to forgive?  Someone you can’t love?  Get alone in a room. Shut the door.

1. Ask Jesus to help you by the Helper, Holy Spirit 2. Forgive (meaning to release from judgement) them 3. Tell Satan (out-loud)- “In the Name that is above every other name JESUS… The Accuser (Satan) has no power over me and I’m free.  FREE INDEED!”

There’s also a test I use on my heart.  Think about the person that you may have an issue with. Pray that God will pour bountiful blessings on them and that He will prosper them in everything they do.  If you can’t pray that, go back to step #1.

If they live near by, bring them a plate of cookies (8 of my favorite recipes)or invite them to a homemade German Pot Roast dinner with all the trimmings! If they live far away, send a card or call them on the phone in a kind, humble spirit.  An act of love is powerful.

None of us are exempt from hardships with difficult people.  Injustices are worthy of anger.  It’s healthy to get angry over injustice.  But, anger can never be allowed to rule over us.  We can’t open the door of bitterness and unforgiveness to dwell within.  We must guard the secret place of our heart from everything that pollutes.

Now, to get back to the story with my friend…

He FORGAVE and is a new man!!  He was tormented for 40 years and is now free!  What lives within the secret place of his soul, now gloriously defines his life. He’s a new man with a peace that passes understanding!

Do you or someone in your life struggle with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness? Leave a one word comment below and we will pray. Your comment will enter you to win three of my favorite books, a DVD, the glass candle holders shown and seeds from my zinnia plants here: The Unburdened Heart  by Suzie Eller, A Tale of Three Kings  (A Study in Brokenness) and The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond and DVD Les Miserables. gift

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Rachael’s Woodland Baby Shower

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Rachael’s baby shower was this past weekend!  Her baby is due November 4. It’s a boy! They haven’t announced his first name yet. Hence his last name “Curry”  strung at top of cake between two branches. Organic gluten free cake. Made with all natural dyes. I curled organic chocolate to make trees on the cake.  Wilton tip 233 piped frosting to look like grass for the animals to stand on and tree tops.  I used Wilton tip 48 for the rest of the frosting. We had lots of tree stumps ready for fall splitting and used one to set cake on.

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Rachael, her sisters, niece and me. Rachael’s the one in the red dress in the center! Her sister, Hannah is due to have  baby, Lydia- next week!!! We are SO excited!!!Her mother-in law gave Hannah’s baby shower last month. Hannah is on the end.

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Homemade Beatrix Potter flags decorated the table- thanks to Grandpa Dale!

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Hannah prepared the meat, cheese and fruit platter.

baby shower acorns

Jennifer made buckeye acorns. The flower arrangements were freshly pulled carrots, radishes and fresh basil from the garden displayed in mason jars.

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Dairy free Punch. Pureed raspberries, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ginger-ale.

PIMG_0029 Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(15) Rachael_Curry_baby_shower_Hartwood_971420140907_0060_SM-(44) IMG_0010IMG_0015 Friends and family came from NYC, NC and all over VA to come to the shower!

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Chrissy- childhood best friend

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Mother-in-law, Barbara Curry, Rachael and her sister-in-law, Laura

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Rachael and Grandma Shanaberger

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Aunt Dawn, Rachael and Grandma Marilyn

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Aunt Susan, cousin Danielle, Rachael and cousin Lauren

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Selena and Rachael. Heather  hollowed cabbage out and filled with spinach dip- served with vegetables.

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Rachael due November 4 and her sister due Sept 18 and they didn’t plan it! Heather, their oldest sister had her baby in March. BLESSINGS!!!!

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Her friends and family showered her with blessings all day! It was a perfect shower!

3 Ways to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

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“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”Bonhoefer

My heart aches for our family (Christians) who are enduring the horrific persecution in Iraq.  News stations have reported  brutal murders, beheadings, and tormenting acts against Christians living in the country of Iraq.  Most have had to flee their homes or risk rape and murder.  Many, upon fleeing their homes have died on the journey over the mountains because of starvation.  If they can’t leave their homes, they’re tortured and killed.  Mosul Iraq is said to be completely barren of Christians.

One report said, “Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

The writer of Hebrews (in chapter 13 verse 3) tells us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Jesus knew that His followers would endure persecution. He endured so much persecution for us.  The early church endured persecution at such an intensity that most of us have a hard time relating to it.  But, this was the situation from which Jesus gave instructions to His followers by saying, “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23).

I want to be equipped and ready to follow the Lord, to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him just like the Christians of Iraq. Oh my goodness friends, could you do what they are doing? Yes, we could. But it would be grueling, oh how they need our support!

Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…”

Paul wasn’t speaking figuratively.  He was prepared to die for the King of Glory, who had literally laid down His physical body for him. These blessed Christians in Iraq are willingly sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For Christ they are willing to die, to be mutilated, to suffer. My heart explodes for them as I know yours does.

Three Ways  to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

  1. Increase awareness on social media about the persecution in Iraq. Many are putting up a symbol nunsymbol1on their social media, it’s the Arabic letter “nun.” It’s the first letter in the word Nazarene.  It is being painted on properties owned by Christians so that the terrorists can identify them.  The people are using this symbol as profile pictures, so as to “identify” or “remember” those who are suffering in Iraq- and even boldly associate themselves with those  Christians.  This is a brave act of “remembering those who are suffering as if you, yourself were suffering.
  2. Pray privately and corporately for the deliverance of the people of Iraq.  Gather a small group together for the sole purpose of prayer for the persecuted. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.…”  Let’s gather together and lift up the Christians of Iraq.

3. Support a trustworthy organization working to help persecuted Christians who have been hurt or are without shelter or food. Voice of the Martyrs,Crisis Response International Samaritans Purse  and Christian Aid are just of few that I know who are working the field diligently and need our support to help those in need.

Jesus himself prophesied of “wars and rumors of wars…” (Matthew 24:6a) but he adds instruction for us in this- “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”

German Pot Roast w/ all the Trimmings

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

This German Pot Roast will melt in your melt for sure!

3-5 pds chuck roast

3-5  garlic cloves, sliced thin

onion, sliced

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

2 cups strong coffee

1 cup water

salt and pepper

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast

Onions, apple cider and extra water to cover garlic studded roast- let sit for 24-48 hours

Make two cups of strong coffee and water

Two cups of strong coffee and water
You're supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You’re supposed to put make slits in roast and add garlic to it before marinating. I forgot so, I added the garlic after marinading. It was still delicious!

You won't need a knife. Its so tender!

You won’t need a knife. Its so tender!

Balsalmic Roast 2

Make slits in roast, insert sliced garlic pieces into slits. Place the roast in a glass bowl and cover with one cup vinegar and sliced onions. The vinegar not only flavors the roast but also helps to tenderize it. Add a little more water to cover the roast. Refrigerate  for 24-48 hours.

Remove the roast from vinegar, pat dry and place roast in cast iron skillet on HIGH. Brown on both sides in iron skillet. Add the coffee and water- cover and cook on low on stove top with lid for 6 hours (I have made in oven as well, temperature on 300 for 6 hours).

Take roast out of liquid, it will fall apart. Oh my goodness this is  incredibly succulent and tender,  it melts in your mouth.

 

bread

Dill Casserole Bread

 

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 T. butter, melted

2 t. dill weed

1 egg

1 cup cottage cheese (I use curds)

2 1/2 cups self rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s)

(If you use regular flour you’ll need to add 1 t. salt and 1/4 t. soda)

 

Dissolve yeast in water. Mix all other ingredients. Let rise. Stir down. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Let rise- the longer the better! I let mine rise for 2-3 hours. Bake on 375 for 20-25 mins or until done.

 

potato salad

German Potato Salad

 

7-8 small to medium organic potatoes- chopped

salt to taste

8 slices uncured bacon-fry until crisp and save grease

1 red onion- diced and fried in bacon grease

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 heaping tablespoon flour

1/4 cup organic apple cider

1 bunch chopped chives

Fry bacon till crisp. Crumble, set aside and save grease. Add chopped onion to grease and fry until translucent. Add chicken broth, flour and apple cider to the mixture. Turn off heat. Put chopped potatoes into water seasoned with salt, in a pot. bring to boil and cook for 12 minutes. Drain water off. Add potatoes to other mixture and stir. When time to serve add the crumbled bacon and chopped chives. YUM!

Fry onions in bacon grease

Fry onions in bacon grease

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

Add cider, broth and flour to onion and grease mixture, stir and turn off heat

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

I forgot to add the chives to this! Chives make it taste fresh.

Serve meal with salad!