Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Spiced Pine Cone Potpourri Recipe
In a plastic garbage bag:
Small Pine cones- as many as you want
1 full container of ground cinnamon
1 small bottle of apple (or) cinnamon spice oil
1 of each for a stronger fragrance-
* These can be found in the candle section of your local chain store (like Walmart) or craft store (like Michael's)
Place your pine cones in the plastic bag and pour the ground cinnamon and the oil (or oils) over the pine cones. Tie the bag closed tightly. Shake for a few seconds to distribute the oil and cinnamon over each. Set aside in a closet or some other out of the way area. Each day for one week go and give the bag a mighty shake.
After one week you scented pine cones are ready to use. Place them in a basket or bowl and your room will smell fantastic for months. When the pine cones begin to lose their scent you can reuse them- using the same technique or go out in the yard and collect a new batch of pinecones.
Since you are using all natural ingredients you don't have to worry about the muck they put in the commercial scented pine cones (shudder) who knows what they use in those. Ohh and you might want to place the bowl or basket of scented cones in an area where the dogs and cats can't get at them and use them for paw batting practice or chew toys. It won't harm them but what a mess you will be cleaning up when they have had their fun. We are trying to create a cleaner environment; not trying to create more work for ourselves!
* If you love the smell of pine you can simply use the pine oil over the pine cones instead of apple or cinnamon oil. Replace the use of a container of ground cinnamon with a container of ground cloves. Everything else applies the same.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
~Luke~ Physician & Quiet Quillman
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Dear Luke ...
Did a tear drop onto Luke's papyrus as he wrote? Did it smudge ink as he reminisced on Mary's words and in his distant mind hear a cooing baby Jesus?
Maybe Luke worked deep into the nights.
Maybe the candlelight's flicker brought ambience to every recollection as Luke lingered over his notes and penned the most beautiful Gospel, one of the most beautiful books ever written.
Maybe the crackle of his fire reminded him of the one that warmed the precious Infant.
Surely Luke smiled when his stylus scripted across the sheet. The thoughts of Jesus, a newborn crying His arrival into the world He would save, must have been overwhelming.
How do you write with goosebumps?
Some sixty years after Jesus’ birth, Luke recorded for eternity the most eloquent, detailed account of the conception, birth, childhood, and ministry of our Lord. 24 Chapters total.
Luke likely labored over his work for months, writing from his notes and the Holy Spirit's prompting. The results are the third Gospel and the book of Acts, a record of the inception and growth of the Christian Church.
We know so little about Luke.
Yet we know all we need.
There are only three references to him in the Bible:
14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings
2 Timothy 4:11;
11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry
24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers
But through them and his writing style we can sketch a glimpse of the man whom God used to write more words of the New Testament than anyone else.
He was a Gentile, a Greek.
He was a close traveling companion of Paul, perhaps his closest, a physician beloved by Paul. (Colossians 4:14)
Luke no doubt shared in Paul's persecutions and trials, all the while repeatedly doctoring the mighty apostle to recovery.
Tradition holds that Luke was a native of Antioch and that he died unmarried and childless at the age of eighty-four.
He is believed to have written each of his books while Paul was imprisoned, first in Caesarea and finally in Rome.
That is where Paul wrote the most telling of words:
“Only Luke is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11).
Luke was a Greek writing to fellow Gentiles, reassuring them that Christ came for all mankind.
Luke's work is unique in that it emphasizes the manhood of Jesus in all its perfection, purity, splendor, and sublimity.
Jesus was the model for us all.
The Gospel of Luke displays a keen interest in individuals, social outcasts, women, children, and social relationships, especially situations involving poverty or wealth. These features tell us something about Luke as a person and his unique understanding of Christianity.
The famous “we” passages beginning in Acts 16:10 reveal that Luke was eyewitness to much of Paul's ministry. Yet Luke makes clear in the introduction of the book of Luke that he was not witness to the events of his Gospel but had “investigated everything carefully from the beginning” (v. 3).
What possibilities does this statement open?
If, as most scholars agree, Luke wrote his Gospel around a.d. 60, it is possible that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was alive and about eighty years old. The captivating thought of Luke interviewing Mary is ascribed credibility by the fact that Luke lingers over the birth of Jesus like none other. He also includes a recitation of Mary's Song (Luke 1:46-55) that invokes at least twelve quotations of Old Testament Scripture. Luke's detail may have come from the very lips of Jesus’ mother.
Caesarea was only a few miles from Jerusalem, Jesus’ mother may have been still alive, at John's home in Jerusalem. Luke may have spent many precious hours with her, listening to her reminiscences of her Wondrous Son.
Respected scholar F. B. Meyer adds: “Luke dwells specially on the early incidents of our Lord's life, and some have detected in the Greek forms of sentences the direct recital of Mary as she recounted to Luke those sacred recollections which she pondered in her heart.”
Luke stressed the blessed humanity of Jesus and plights of women and children and the poor, sick, and outcast. From spending so much time with those closest to Jesus, Luke knew this is what the Lord would have wanted.
One of the most challenging elements of using the quill is finding a way to hide behind it. Luke got out of the way and allowed the Lord His rightful place out front. He served in the background, never directly referring to himself.
Luke labored without regard to himself or the persecution that raged around him. Luke was mighty in spirit because he did this by dying to self and living for the Lord whom he came to love more and more through the facts culled in interviews. He did this though his closest friend was in jail and ultimately under a death sentence.
"Only Luke is with me,” Paul says.
Nearby, Luke squinted at his notes, smiled, and picked up his stylus.
He is with us still.
Luke 1:46-55 NIV
46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."
Monday, October 29, 2012
Ohh Great Pumpkin
Did you know that the pumpkin is a fruit and not a vegetable? And that 80 percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October? This article explores some interesting facts about the common pumpkin and provides useful websites where you can find pumpkin recipes, original pumpkin carving ideas and school activities to keep kids busy during Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The name pumpkin originated from the Greek "pepon" which means "large melon." The pumpkin is a member of the cucurbitacae family which includes cucumbers and melons. Pumpkins were unknown to Europe until after Christopher Columbus sailed to America. They are grown around the world with the biggest productions being in China, India, United States and Mexico. Out of all the continents only Antarctica is unable to produce pumpkins. The Native American name for pumpkin is "isqoutm squash." Around 90-95 percent of the processed pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois.
Pumpkins are 90 percent water and contain vitamin A and potassium. 100 grams (3.5 oz) of pumpkin contain 0.01 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.0 grams of protein and 3100 pg of beta-carotene, an antioxidant. The seeds which are usually roasted are a popular treat and a good source of protein, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and other vitamins. Studies and research show that beta-carotene is linked with cancer protection.
Cooking with Pumpkins
Most parts of the pumpkin are edible. The seeds can be dried and eaten as a nutritious snack. The flowers, leaves and shell are also comestible. The first pumpkin pies were made when colonists sliced off pumpkin tops and removed the seeds, then they filled the pumpkins with honey, milk and spices and baked them in hot ashes.
Pumpkins are said to have originated in the Americas and Native Americans had multiple uses for them. They roasted and ate the seeds, dried pieces of pumpkin in flour, they ate the blossoms and made strips from pumpkins which they flattened and wove into mats. They also used pumpkin seeds for medicinal purposes. Today pumpkins have become a North American tradition and a staple especially during Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin is used for cooking in a number of recipes from muffins and bread to pies and custards. It is also used in soups, to make pudding and cakes. Pumpkin can be bought whole fresh or canned for a longer shelf life
In other parts of the world pumpkins are used for cooking in a variety of ways. In Italy pumpkins have different regional cooking uses, they are used as a savory stuffing for ravioli, sliced in small pieces and then fried or they are cut in pieces and then candied. In the Middle East pumpkin is used in desserts. In Thailand small pumpkins are served as desserts with custard inside. In India pumpkin is cooked with sugar, spices and butter to produce a dish called kadu ka halwa. In China pumpkin leaves are cooked and eaten alone or in soups.
Other Pumpkin Uses
Pumpkin seeds produce oil that is used for cooking, as salad dressing or mixed with other oils. The oil is a good source of essential fatty acids that help maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels.
Veterinarians recommend canned pumpkin as a dietary supplement for cats and dogs with digestive problems. Pumpkins are also used as animal feed.
In 2007 in a research on type-1 diabetes conducted by East China Normal University it was suggested that chemical compounds found in pumpkin extract are very good for pre-diabetic people and for those who already have diabetes.
The Pumpkin and Halloween
Many centuries ago the Celts used to celebrate the end of the Celtic year from October 31 at sundown until November 1st by remembering their loved ones who had passed away. To honor them on this magical night they set on their porches and window sills glowing jack-o-lanterns carved from turnips and gourds. The original Jack-o-lantern was an old drunkard who played tricks on anyone who went his way, so says the legend of Stingy Jack. When the old man died neither heaven nor hell wanted him because he had been mean and cruel during his life. Afraid that he would have to keep wandering in a never ending darkness Jack turned to the devil to help him his way through the darkness, the devil tossed an ember from the flames of hell to help Jack find his way. Jack kept the ember in a hollowed out turnip and since then Jack is said to have roamed the universe with his lit Jack-o-lantern.
When European settlers, especially the Irish, arrived in North America they discovered the pumpkin which lent itself to carving the Jack-o-lantern and they thought it was easier to carve because of the larger size. Halloween, however, didn't catch on until the late 19th century. Since then pumpkin carving at Halloween has become a North American tradition and a fun activity for children and adults alike. In the United States, long before its association with Halloween, the pumpkin was associated with harvesting, hence Thanksgiving.
How to Select a Pumpkin for Cooking or Baking
The best selection for a pumpkin to cook or bake is a pie pumpkin or sweet pumpkin. Pie or sweet pumpkins are smaller than the type of pumpkins used to carve jack-o-lanterns and the flesh is sweeter and not as watery. When selecting a pumpkin, look for a stem that is one to two inches. When the stem of a pumpkin is cut too low, the pumpkin will quickly decay or may already be decaying at time of purchase. Pumpkins should be heavy, and pumpkins that are blemished or have soft spots should be avoided. A pound of raw pumpkin usually constitutes one cup finished pumpkin puree.
Other Pumpkin Facts
•The size of pumpkins range from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds, with the largest pumpkin ever grown weighing 1,689 pounds.
•In 2006 the total U.S. pumpkin production was 1 billion pounds. Top states in pumpkin production are: California, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
October is a lovely month
Wrapped in a flaming shawl
It holds the richest treasures
As the summer turns to fall.
The brilliant leaves swirl to the earth
Colors of orange and brown
Dipped in scarlet and touched with bronze
They fall silently to the ground.
The grass is dying, the flowers are gone
October is taking his stand
He is paving the way for winter
Leaving his mark upon the land.
He does his job so silently
Splashing the woodlands with gold
To be altered by ruthless 'Ole Winter
Who enters so careless and bold.
He will crinkle the leaves that you've colored
Causing a state of despair
And cover the day with a blanket of gray
Forgetting you ever were there.
But, although your radiant flame must die
And the delicate leaves do fall
You've paved the way for snowflake days
As winter drapes your shawl.
October in History
The Television series "The Twilight Zone" premeired (1959)
Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida (1971)
Alexander the Great defeated Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC)
Yosemite becomes a National Park (1896)
Ford Model T motor car goes on sale. It was only available in black and cost $850 (1908)
Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz first appeared in newspapers (1950)
The Royal Navy commissions its first submarine (1901)
President Lincoln declares the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day. (1863)
Frank Robinson becomes major leagues baseball's first black manager for the Cleveland Indians. (1974)
Buster Keaton was born (1895)
Actor Charlton Heston- Best Known for "The Ten Commandments" was born (1924)
Mexico becomes a republic (1824)
Russia launched Sputnik I into space (1957)
The World Series was broadcast on radio for the first time (1921)
Bulgaria declared independence from Turkey and Ferdinand I became Tsar. (1908)
Thomas Edison showed the 1st motion picture (1889)
The first Physician's Assistants graduate from Duke University (1967)
Edgar Allan Poe died (1849)
In the Netherlands KLM Airlines was established. KLM is the oldest airline still operating under its original name. (1919)
Chicago fire began (1871)
In Britain, the Conservatives were re-elected to government (1959)
The general public was first admitted into the Washington Monument.
Singer and songwriter John Lennon of "The Beatles" was born in Liverpool, England. (1940)
Pope Pius XII died. (1958)
Uganda gained independance from Britain (1962)
The actor and director Orson Welles died age 70 (1985)
The U.S. Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland. (1845)
The Boer War in South Africa began (1899) and ended on 31st May (1902). It was fought between Britain and the Boers.
The Bayer Company started selling Asprin in Germany (1903)
A volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha, an island in the south Atlantic, resulted in the whole population being evacuated to Britain (1961)
Apollo 7 is launched at Cape Kennedy. The crew are Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham. (1968)
Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space. (1984)
The very first Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany (1810)
Christopher Columbus discovered America (1492)
The U.S. Continental Navy was created. (1775)
The first World Series in baseball is won by the Boston Red Sox. (1903)
The Austrian doctor Sigmund Freud published his book about psychoanalysis, entitled 'The Interpretation of Dreams' (1900)
Martin Luther King Jr was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
"I Love Lucy" premiered on television. (1951)
U.S. Department of Transportation was created (1966)
Marie Antoinette was guillotined for treason. (1793)
Cuban Missile crisis begins. (1962)
Mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (1931)
Thomas Alva Edison died (1931)
Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Lord Home) became the British Prime Minister after Harold Macmillan resigned. (1963)
The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia. Secretary of State William H. Seward had agreed to buy the region for $7,200,000, about 2 cents per acre. (1867)
The Senate passed a bill making Martin Luther King's Birthday a national holiday. (1983)
The Revolutionary War ended. (1781)
The first edition of the Sunday Times was published in London (1822)
Thomas Edison invented the incandescent electric lamp. (1879)
Nelson defeated Napoleon's fleet at Trafalgar (1805)
The New York Metropolitan Opera House opened (1883)
25,000 women marched gin New York City demanding the right to vote. (1915)
The United Nations came into existence. (1945)
Anna Edison Taylor is the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. (1901)
U.S. forces invade Grenada. (1983)
Johann Strauss the Austrian composer was born. (1825)
The painter Pablo Picasso was born (1881)
The Erie Canal opens, connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River. (1825)
The "Gunfight at the OK Corral" occurs. Wyatt Earp, his two brothes, and "Doc" Holliday, have a shootout with the Ike Clanton gang. (1881)
The Erie Canal opens. (1825)
President Theodore Roosevelt's birthday. The "Teddy bear" was named after him. (1858)
France presented the U.S. with the statute of Liberty. (1886)
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is completed. (1965)
Harvard College was founded (1636)
The New York Stock Exchange crashed on what came to be known as "Black Tuesday", starting the Great Depression (1929)
First successful television experiment by the inventor John Logie Baird (1925)
Dr. Albert Schweitzer received the Peace Prize (1952)
Gen. George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1953)
The U.S.S.R. tested a hydrogen bomb that had a force of 58 megatons (1961)
Magician Harry Houdini dies from complications of a ruptured appendix. (1926)
Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was assassinated. (1984)
Nevada became the 36th state. (1864)
Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole (1956)
Friday, October 26, 2012
The Stuff of Scars
"And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" John 1:42 NIV (which, when translated, is Peter).
Both Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) mean "rock" or "stone".
I have always found it immeasurably comforting that Jesus gave Simon the name "Cephas," or Peter, before Cephas had done much of anything. Before Peter had even determined to follow Jesus, let alone serve him and love him as the Christ, before Peter had muttered his denials of knowing Jesus or had one of his moments of blurted insight, before Jesus had reason to call Peter "Satan," Jesus called him the "rock" (John 1:42).
What does this say?
First, I believe it shouts of God's sovereignty. God knows who we are before we know ourselves. God can use us in spite of ourselves. God is sovereign over our failures and our successes. But secondly, it reminds us that we are more than the sum of our blunders and failings, as well as our victories and our bright spots. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Before we had a chance to prove ourselves, before we had a chance to fall on our faces or say something smart, God knew that He would need to die for us, and did.
Peter is the disciple that makes many of us feel okay. He is a loud statement to the hopeless, to the skeptic, and to the guilt-ridden that the Father can take our doubt, our regret, the hopelessness of our past or our present, and create in us something solid by giving us Himself. In Peter we also find that pains of regret and faithlessness may leave scars, but that scars can be powerful reminders of the living hope we profess: the Word that will not wither (See 1 Peter 24-25). Through Peter, God encourages the weary. Through our scars, Christ heartens us to see a God very much in control.
Even so, when we look at our own moments of faithlessness or foolishness, our scars of humiliation, or the bitter sting of missed and lost opportunities, it is hard to see much beyond regret and remorse, even if we know Christ has forgiven us. Can there be more to see in the weight of our past, the pains of childhood and the wounds of life, the glimpses of guilty motives and poor behavior? The testimony of Scripture is that yes, very definitely, there is.
For arguably, Peter's passion for Christ was largely shaped by that which the pain and humiliation of denying Jesus rightly reminded him: "If we are faithless, God remains faithful, for God cannot deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:13). Our scars are similar. Some of my own scars simply remind me that I am alive, living within a fallen world, participating in this fragile thing called life. Some remind me that I am not an island, that I need people, that I desperately need a savior, that I need God in all that I face. Still others remind me that I am healed and being healed. But all of my scars can remind me, as they did Peter, of the sovereignty of God and the weight and responsibility of the hope which I profess. "Do you love me?" asks Jesus. "Yes, Lord," responds Peter. "Then feed my sheep."
When Jesus appeared to the gathered, frightened disciples after his resurrection, he said to them, "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see" (Luke 24:39). The frightened disciples had gathered together to discuss the rumors some had heard that Christ was alive and out of the grave, risen from the cruel death they witnessed days ago. They were disoriented and afraid, and Jesus said to them, "Look at my hands and my feet." And to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side" (John 20:27). To his closest friends, Jesus said, "Look at my scars, see that it is me. Recognize me by my scars; they will point you to God."
Christ was recognized by the scars that marked his body, and shouted of his love. As the powerful lyrics of musician Michael Card exclaim, "The marks of death that God chose never to erase/ The wounds of love's eternal war/ When the kingdom comes with its perfected sons/ He will be known by the scars."
Like our own, but far beyond this, the scars of Christ point us to a sovereign God who goes great lengths to touch our disfigured world and scarred souls with his holy hands. As the prophet Isaiah proclaimed long ago, "He was crushed for our iniquities. By his stripes we are healed." No doubt, it was this piercing reality of Christ bearing the scars of our sin, carrying our pain, and taking our shame, that Peter bore in mind as he dynamically instructed, "Throw all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares about you" (1 Peter 5:7). For Peter, of all people, knew.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Preserving Autumn Leaves
Collect and preserve autumn leaves to bring the beauty of the season into your home.
As the fall foliage starts to change, consider turning autumn leaves into decorative home accents. Colorful maple leaves in rich fall reds and coppers make beautiful centerpieces. Pile them into baskets and bowls and clusters them around lamp bases. Create leaf collages to frame or mount in shadowboxes—the possibilities go on and on.
The key to leaf crafts though is to keep the leaves from crumbling, curling or turning brown. On an ironing board place the leaves between two sheets of wax paper with the waxy side on the leaf. Cover with brown paper (like a grocery bag) and iron on medium heat. The iron will melt the wax onto the leaf, preserving not only its shape but its color.
And after the season is over, store the leaves in a cool, dry place for next year.
Make pillar candles embellished with leaves the highlight of your table. Or arrange them on the mantel.
Plan the leaf pattern on a flat surface. Brush a thin layer of craft glue onto each leaf and press onto pillar candles of various heights. Arrange candles on a tray and surround with loose leaves. So Pretty!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I am a Jack O' Lantern
My light will shine so bright
For I am a Christian pumpkin
My symbols tell what's right.
My nose is like the cross
on which on Savior died
To set us free from sin
We need no longer hide.
My mouth is like a fish
The whole wide world to show
That Christians live in this house
And love their Savior so!
The story starts at Christmas
My eyes are like the star
That shone on Baby Jesus
And wise men saw from far
My color it is orange
Just like the big bright sun
That rose on Easter Day
Along with God's own Son.
And so on Halloween
Let's set our pumpkins out
And tell the trick or treaters
What God's love is all about!
"Pumpkin Carving Prayer"
~ childrens' activity ~
As I carve my pumpkin,
Open my mind so I can learn about You;
(Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do;
(Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your Love I will see;
(Cut eyes shaped like hearts)
I'm sorry for turning up my nose to anything You have given me;
(Cut a nose in the shape of the cross)
Open my ears so Your Word I will hear;
(Cut ears shaped like the Bible)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near;
(Cut mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let Your Light shine in all I say and do! Amen.
(Place a candle and light)
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A Different Kind of Halloween Tale
In the year 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony, a baby boy was born to a poor coal miner. As he grew up and observed the poverty of his father, this boy, named Martin, chose to pursue a different vocation.
He decided to become a lawyer and, in 1501, entered the University of Erfurt, where he excelled in his studies. As he came to the end of his schooling in 1504, an event took place which changed his life. While he was walking the campus grounds, a storm broke so forcefully that Martin fell on his face in fear. The thunder was deafening and lightning struck all around him.
Instinctively, he cried out to the patron saint of coal miners, whose name he had heard invoked during his childhood, "Saint Anne! Save me from the lightning. If you save me I will become a monk." Shortly thereafter the storm stopped. Being a man of his word, Martin withdrew from law school and entered an Augustinian monastery where he applied himself so diligently that he obtained a Doctorate of Theology within a few years. But the more he studied, the more troubled his heart became; for although he was becoming an expert in theology, he lacked peace personally.
The question he repeatedly wrote in his diary was: "How can a man find favor with God?" In search of such peace, Martin devoted himself to an exceedingly pious life-style. He would fast for ten to fifteen days at a time. When temperatures dropped below freezing, he slept outside without a blanket. Between his studies, he beat his body until it was black and blue and bleeding - hoping that somehow by punishing his flesh, he could rid himself of the thoughts and motives that he knew were not right (these were typical practices of the medieval church). He went to confession so many times a day that finally the abbot said, "Martin, either go out and commit a sin worth confessing or stop coming here so often!"
Martin was so introspective and continually plagued by what he knew of his own depravity and sinfulness that once, while sitting at his desk writing theology, he felt the presence of Satan so tangibly that he grabbed a bottle of ink and hurled it across the room to where he thought the devil was standing. The bottle crashed against the wall and left a mark that can still be seen today.
Finally, in 1509, Martin decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome in hope of finding the elusive peace for which he longed. He set out on foot and crossed the Alps. On his descent, he almost died of a high fever before making his way to a monastery at the foot of the mountains. There the Brothers nursed him back to health.
While there, a wise monk approached him and said, "You need to read the Book of Habakkuk." And so Martin did just that. He read Habakkuk. It was a good suggestion. Habakkuk was a struggler just like Martin, and like us today: If God is good, why does He allow suffering? If there really is a devil, why doesn't God just obliterate him? (When we throw out questions, we then plunge into our personal pursuits-and wonder why we don't get answers.)
One verse captured Martin's imagination: Habakkuk 2:4. "The just shall live by faith." He couldn't get it out of his mind. Having recovered sufficiently to continue his journey to Rome, he went to the Church of St. John's Lateran, a typical cathedral of that day.
There is a staircase there that is said to be from Pilate's judgment hall. The existing stairs are four parts: the special inner two are said to have been transported there miraculously from Jerusalem. The outer two are ordinary. The inner steps are not walked on. Here pilgrims mount painfully on their knees, a step at a time, saying prayers as they go. The pope had promised an indulgence to all who would undergo this rite.
As Martin repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, Habakkuk 2:4 suddenly came into his mind: "the just shall live by faith." He ceased his prayers, returned to the University of Wittenberg, and went on to explore the revolutionary idea of "justification by faith." And with great deliberation, on October 31, 1517, Martin drove a stake into the heart of the prevailing pagan concepts by nailing his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and started the movement known today as the Reformation - the single most important event in modern history.
Appropriately, he did this on Halloween. His name, of course, was Martin Luther. The church leadership didn't like the implications of his views and ultimately, at the Diet (council) of Worms (a town) they excommunicated him as a heretic.
He went on to write commentaries that are classics today; hymns like, "A Mighty Fortress is our God"; and translated the entire Bible into German, a classic which remains the literary masterpiece in the Germanic tongue.
Now; you know the rest of the story ... and how you came to have your Protostant roots.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
WHAT DOES THE HOLY WORD SAY?
Bible Word Study
If we will make certain that we study the Word every day, spend time in prayer and stay faithful in our lives, then we will naturally bear fruit. Our job is to stay connected to Jesus and allow His life and His love to flow out through our life towards others.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
What is a requirement for stewardship?
What is promised to a faithful person?
1 Samuel 12:24
To become a faithful person, what are we told to consider, or think about?
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Matthew 25:21
SOMEONE TO COUNT ON
We often praise God for His faithfulness. We're thankful that we can always count on Him to be there for us. But we rarely consider the fact that He needs us to be faithful too.
God needs people He can count on. He needs wise and trusted servants He can entrust over His household. In these last days, He needs faithful men and women to team up with, so He can show His power and goodness to the world more than ever.
If there is any one characteristic or virtue that causes a person to stand out from the crowd and to receive God's undivided attention, it is faithfulness. When the Lord finds a faithful believer, He focuses His undivided attention upon him. Therefore, we believers should desire to develop the fruit of faithfulness because God is looking for this character quality in His people.
OUR AGENDA OR HIS?
So many times the reason Christians get into trouble and have unnecessary problems in life is that they don't want to spend time seeking the Lord. They want to make their own plans, and then they want God to bless their plans. But it doesn't work that way. Cultivating faithfulness in the smallest things will build the strength in you to stand through the big challenges of life.
Take inventory ...
Take an inventory as to where you are at. Check to see that you are moving in the direction of your calling and your priorities. Check your priorities to see that they are Word-focused and are aligned with the characteristics and examples set by Jesus, the author and the finisher of your faith.
... and trust Him ...
Be patient as you fulfill God's plan for your life step by step. Even when things don't happen the way you think they should or when you think they should, faithfulness is what will bring you through to victory in God.
... no matter what the circumstances.
There are times when it may seem so much easier to do something other than what God has said to do. But, oh, the rewards of faithfulness! When we say yes to God and we're faithful to do what He says to do, He is so faithful to us, and life works out so much better for us than we could ever have imagined. The answers may not come overnight, but if you will not be weary in well doing, in due season you shall reap, if you faint not.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER ON
The Lord of Heaven wants to bring you into promotion, open doors of leadership and have you stand before kingdoms and declare God's greatness. Cultivating faithfulness in your life puts you in position to receive God's faithfulness to you in meeting your needs and brings protection from the attacks of the enemy.
Faithfulness to God produces a heart that is full of faith towards Him no matter what the circumstances. Determine to be the kind of person God can trust to follow through, no matter what the inconvenience or discomfort. Stand fast and show that you mean business with God. God never fails... and neither should you.
1 Samuel 12:24
Proverbs 20:6; 28:20
Psalm 31:23; 101:6
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
1 Samuel 2:35
1 Samuel 26:23
2 Chronicles 31:18
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Basic Home Remedies:
Using Baking Soda for HEALTH:
1. Natural Deodorant- Sprinkle or pat on pure baking soda on your armpits for a natural deodorant. This is most useful for those summer months when one tends to chaff.
2. Stinky Shoe Remedy- Sprinkle generous amount into sneakers or other shoes to help absorb odors.
3. Remove Splinters- Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the bottom of a bandage, and apply that overnight. In the morning, the splinter should be much easier to remove.
4. Antacid Use- about a 1/4 teaspoon in a small cup of water and drink to help reduce acid.
5. Mosquito Bites- Heres something I tried out this summer that worked really well. We had been outside alot and I had gotten a lot of misquito bites on my legs that were itching reallly badly. Mix a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply to the bites (helps if you haven't scratched them yet. In about 1 minute the itching stops and in about one hour the redness and swelling have gone away!! It was wonderful, and I used this remedy the rest of the summer with great results.
6. Cold Sore Remedy- Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply to cold sores at least two times a day.
7. Treats Burns- On your list of baking soda tips, put that it is good for burns.
I had a neighbour come over with a bad deep frying grease burn to her whole hand. I told her to put her hand over the sink. I had made up a liquid paste of baking soda and water, fairly thick and poured it over the hand. I said this will hurt just for the initial time I put it on, then will be ok. I then wrapped it in gauze to protect it and to keep the soda from going all over. She simply just needed to regauzed it daily.
The beauty of it is that there was no blistering and no scar later.
Monday, October 1, 2012
What Does the Holy Word Say?Bible Word Study
~ Safely Home ~
When our days are filled with sorrow
When there seems no hope for tomorrow,
Jesus lead us through the fire,
And lead us safely home.
When our way is filled with stones
And we feel so alone.
Jesus lead us through the fire,
And lead us safely home.
When cloud and rain appear, and we see no sun,
Clear our way and light our path. Show us you're the only one,
Jesus lead us through the fire,
And lead us safely home.
When we can't see the difference from friend or foe,
Direct us with your mighty hand and show us where to go.
Jesus lead us through the fire,
And lead us safely home.
When we finally leave this world and meet on heaven's shore
Cease our tears, still our fears, and banish our worries so we can rejoice forever more.
Jesus lead us through the fire,
And lead us safely and finally home.
1. In 1 Chronicles, we are told to give thanks to the Lord, call on His name and make known what He has done. Where do we make this known?
1 Chr. 16:8
2. Thanks be to God because He gives us what through our Lord Jesus Christ?
1 Cor. 15:57
3. According to 1 Thessalonians, when are we to give thanks?
1 Thess. 5:18
4. We are to enter the Lord's courts with praise and His gates with what? Ps. 100:4
5. For what are we to give thanks for God the Father according to Ephesians 5?
6. In the NIV, in Luke 14, what 4 places did the master tell his servant to gather folks to come into his banquet?
7. Do you know where this Passage of Scripture can be found?
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time"
(It's found in 2 Timothy 1:7-9)
8. If we are ashamed of Jesus and His words, what did He say He will be of us, when He comes in His glory?
9. Did you know that the Bible speaks of God's creation praising him? Well, it does.
It says in Isaiah 55:12 that the_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ will burst into song, and that the _ _ _ _ _ * _ _ _ * _ _ _ _ * _ _ _ _ _ will clap their hands.
10. Do you know where this Verse can be found?
"Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned".
(It's found in James 5:12)
How many different words can you make out of this one word?
~ THANKSGIVING ~
"The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief".
-T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)