Lord’s Day Scriptures: God’s Beauty and Patience

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It’s difficult to remember sometimes, but God does make beauty out of ugliness, He does give beauty for ashes and He does bring healing from pain. I need this reminder daily! I want to know why now. I want to see healing now, I want to move on to the beauty now. But calls me to hope and believe and be patient and TRUST Him and His promises.

The wonderful thing? He gives us so much beauty all around us in His creation…and even in some of His people. I think He does this to help us see Him and to help encourage us to persevere, while we enjoy these little respites! 🙂

Thank you Lord!

“He has made everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a

(Daisies are my favorite flower and green is one of my favorite colors! 🙂 )

*I found this image on Facebook with no original location.*

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Lord’s Day Scriptures: God Supplies Our Needs

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Our God supplies our needs. He does. It may not always feel like it, especially when we mix or confuse wants with true needs, but He ALWAYS provides the things we really need. And what do we need most of all? To choose to follow Him. To choose to follow Christ. Our one, biggest, most important need is to follow Christ, to repent of our sins and obey and serve our Lord. That’s it. I may think I need this or that even just the basic needs, I may think I can’t endure anymore suffering, but the truth is that all I need is HIM!! I’m going to try to remember that this week!

There are riches and glory in Christ Jesus that we can’t conceive of. He’s the BEST, and the best for me…and for you!

Happy Lord’s Day!

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

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We’re trying to be healthier this year. Eating more fresh, organic and from scratch meals. Although I’ve always cooked most of our meals at home, I have taken shortcuts, so we’re working on making the time again for life without the shortcuts. It’s been hard, but definitely worth it. Actually we’ve been working on this for awhile, because it’s a process, or a journey, not a destination. Finally having that concept take hold in my brain is making a huge difference. I don’t give up if I slip up, I just keep persevering. The modern idea of a diet is NOT what we’re striving for, but healthier habits and realistic, every day living. So I was THRILLED to FINALLY find a healthier cookie recipe for splurges that aren’t exactly splurges!

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It’s protein packed, which means I can only eat two at a time maximum, and has no refined white sugar and no flour. And it’s still skrumptious! If you knew how many I’ve tried, you’d understand my joy!! Yummy!

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So here’s the recipe:

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a large spoon to drop batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (making sure you leave plenty of room in between each).
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes

I added about 1/4 cup flour because I was worried the batter was too wet, but next time I won’t. And I’ll under cook them a bit, because I like cookies that way.

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We bought these lovely mugs in Ireland about 14 years ago, and we still love them!

But they were so great I almost cried, since I’ve searched for sooo long! Not as sweet as you might be used to, but I think it’s easy enough to get used to, especially if you’re being more careful already anyway. Our bodies do adjust. I’m very happy with them and don’t need to continue my search. :>

I’ve also committed to being in God’s word everyday, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. That’s the real key to getting healthy…and everything else of course!

How do you build healthy habits?

**HERE’S where I found the recipe.**

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Lord’s Day Scriptures: Working For The Lord

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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, rather than people.”  Colossians 3:23

This such a good reminder! It’s so easy to forget why we’re doing what we’re doing, and to seek glory from people. If we’re seeking glory from people, our actions will be actions and activities that please people. But if we’re seeking glory from our Lord, our actions and activities will be those that please Him.

It’s so much easier and more fun to follow other people, friends, family, the world. So much less risk in that. And so much superficial glory. But is superficial glory what we truly desire? God offers us His true glory, but we must seek after Him, His desires and His plan. We have to be willing to take the risks…like seeking out only Godly activities, even if our friends and family think we’re too strict, or ridiculous. It’s really God we’re seeking to please, not them. It’s REALLY hard to be the one who’s different.

But it also means  sharing the Truth of who Christ is, why He came and why we want them to surrender their lives to Him as well. Because, if we truly love our Lord, and love people, we will talk to them, no matter the glory, but because we don’t want them to perish.

I want to see my friends, family and anyone else with me and my Lord in heaven, on the New Earth for eternity…so I’ll seek to please God, and try not to care about pleasing people.

To God be the glory, forever and ever!!!

**Picture credit to nickikoziarz.com via Facebook

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Lord’s Day Scriptures: I Am God

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I needed this reminder this week. When I’m struggling, when I’m dealing with health issues that keep hanging on, I need to remember that God is always here, He never changes, He is always faithful. This verse says so much, because my Lord is SO MUCH! “Know that I am God” is a sentence filled with so much encouragement and hope. He is true, fair, just, loving, holy, righteous, gracious, forgiving, never-ending, a promise keeper…the list goes on and on…and I’m so grateful and thankful!

 

So I’ll keep working on being still and try to remember that HE IS GOD! That he’s in control, has a plan and know what’s best for me. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. Because He loves me more than I can know! :>

 

Be still and know that He is God this week!

 

 

Graphic by Point of Grace

 

 

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Lord’s Day Scripture: The God of All Comfort

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Reading God’s words brings me such comfort…and joy…and hope. He promises so many times that He will always be here…for little ole me. That He loves me. And knows what is best for me. And not only knows, but gives me the best things for me. And that one day all of this suffering will end…AND I’ll be with Him FOREVER. Now THAT’S a promise!!   :>

 

So…I try to hold on. Even though it’s often a struggle. And I’d rather escape all of the trials and daily pain…physical and emotional. But, for now, I still have a job to do. To show others who Christ is, and that I need Him, but so do you. We all need Him. So, I’ll try to be patient And wait. Because the right time will come. And then I’ll rejoice, FOREVER.

 

So in the meantime Lord, thanks for all of that comfort You’re offering. Because I really need it!!

 

Have a great week!

 

 Photo Credit: Facebook and Sweet to the Soul

 

 

AProbervs31Wife.com

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Book Review: The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

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I’m going to postpone my outfit post until tomorrow because I really NEED to get this review posted! Thanks for your patience! I was actually ready to write this post a while back, but needed to write this one first, according to the timing from when I received it. So…then I felt I needed to reread this one in order to refresh my memory. Let me tell you…it was NOT a chore!

I knew the minute I put the book down following the first reading, that I wanted to reread it…and soon! So I was glad to do it, but it has postponed this review. I assure you you though, it will be worth it!

I have been a HUGE Beverly Lewis fan since I first read her first adult Amish fiction novel/series,  “The Shunning” 14 years ago, especially because I related to Katie Lapp, an adopted redhead, just like me! And Beverly Lewis’ still really appeals to me. Thus my love for Plain people began.

I was SUPER excited when this one popped  up in Bethany House Publisher’s list for the  month, and I quickly picked it just in case waiting 10 seconds would mean I would miss out! What if our library didn’t get it? How long would I have to wait to read it? And this way, I own it already, YAY!!

**  {I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for writing a review}

Okay, on to the review:

Beverly Lewis is my all time favorite author, so I expected to like this book. But there’s never a guarantee, and I actually didn’t love one of her books (out of the many others I did/do love), not sure why. But, let me tell you, this story was like magic for me! We get to revisit Hickory Hollow and Katie Lapp and her family, which we haven’t done since October Song a while ago. And it was so wonderful and heartwarming, especially the healing that this community (as well as outside it) needs and receives.

I love the relationship between Rebecca and Jenny, Mary and Jenny and of course Andrew and Jenny. Andrew has become one of my favorite male leading men in Lewis’ books! I just adore him and his sweet patience with Jenny! He is such a strong, loving and patient guy any girl would be blessed to have in her life. And Ella Mae is always the best! There’s a reason they call her “The Wise Woman!” Her sweet relationship with Jenny is just as heartwarming as her relationship with Katie was.

The best part of this book? Coming full circle with Katie, Dan, Mary  and Bishop John’s characters. I think I’ve waited 14 years for this book and resolutions that come for them. And the ABSOLUTE best part? The gospel is crystal clear! It’s one of the reasons Beverly is my favorite author, she makes the gospel message clear in each one of her books, that it isn’t about how good we can be, our works, but what Christ did for us to save us from our sin.

Ella Mae – “Because sometimes when you tell the truth, you can start a fire.”

“Jenny remained in a contrite position, asking for forgiveness, knowing she must trust in divine wisdom and not ‘unto her own understanding’.”

I also loved hearing about Wycliff Bible Translators Deitch Bible. I didn’t even know they were working on it, and the entire Bible is now finished! I appreciate the need to get every people a Bible in their own language, that they may better be able to see their need for God and to receive His wisdom!

I could go on and on, but I may have already given away too much, so I’ll leave it here. I HIGHLY recommend this book to you as a great read, but more importantly, a God honoring read! Jenny Burns is a loveable, relatable, genuine character we can all see a bit of ourselves in. And this story of reconciliation and reconnection is a message for us all!

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Welcome Home Wednesdays

Book Review: A Simple Change

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Photo Credit: Bethany House

I recently became a book reviewer for Bethany House Publishers, yay! A book lover receiving free books and reviewing them? Sign me up!! I couldn’t have done this before I had a blog, so God’s perfect timing is once again, well…PERFECT. In a few weeks I even get to preview the brand new Beverly Lewis book. She’s my FAVORITE author!! Squee!!

Every month they send me an email with a few different books to choose from. Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one! :> But when I got the last one, I thought I’d picked one, only to see the BL one have my choice made for me. Then a follow up email said I could choose 2 this month! I’m getting them both!

This is like joining a book-of-the-month club where I choose the book. I may need more bookshelves for these new books. but I prefer physical books I can hold on my hand to e-books, although they are an option.

Now…to the book: A Simple Change by Judith Miller

I’ve read some of her books before, but don’t really remember how well I liked them, so this was starting fresh. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of the Amana Colonies. And that means I haven’t read her previous books on the topic, including the first in this series. They seem to have some similarities to Quakers.

The basic premise is, a young woman’s life is uprooted when her mother’s illness draws her parents back to their Middle Amana Colony for what may be her final days. They had previously left because they did not want to observe the practice of being separated for a year before they could be married. (I thought this part should have been explored a bit more. There wasn’t really much at all about this experience or how it affected their lives, leaving their families and everything they had known).  Their daughter Jancy must choose between the life she’s always known, including teaching at an orphanage and a possible marriage, and an unknown new life if she follows her parents to Middle Amana, either temporarily or permanently.

I loved Jancy’s devotion to her parents and the way she sees that some things are more important than what we want for ourselves. She never wavers in this! She’s very loyal, trustworthy and upstanding. I also liked the mystery aspect of the story. Beverly Lewis does this a lot, and I think it is one of the things people love about her books. The mystery and intrigue really bring depth to the story, and the “outsiders” help give opportunities to teach us about the ways of the colonies. Mysteries, as long as they aren’t TOO stressful, always bring excitement to a story and give our brains a workout.

That said, some of the explaining of their rules and ways still seemed a bit clunky and over-explained.  I feel like her writing style is similar to Wanda Brunstetter’s, which I’ve finally figured out is just not my personality style. A bit too stiff and overexplain-y for me, but still my second favorite Amish author, after Beverly Lewis, who writes in EXACTLY my style. I like books to read the way real people talk to each other, not as if we’re being taught something. It’s fiction, not non-fiction.

I was also disappointed that there wasn’t a Gospel message in the book, and nothing that helped people see the difference between a works-based religion as we see here, and a true, born again Christianity as the Bible teaches. This is a HUGE problem for me.  How can I root for Jancy to stay in the colonies when no one reads or studies the Bible or shows any evidence of following Christ? They don’t even have Bibles in the colonies in a language the people can read. I expect, and should expect, a Christian novel to have a clear message about what it means to repent of our sins, follow Christ and live a Godly life!

A good storyline and interesting characters, although we needed to know more about the parent’s past. I enjoyed the book and would read others by her and about this religion, but sharing the gospel and dispelling confusion about what Christianity is, is too important to ignore.  I care  too much about people and their eternal lives to ignore it.

“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38

Happy Reading!!

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Recipe Exchange: Resurrection Cookies and Other Resurrection Day Ideas

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Resurrection Cookies

Here’s the second try this year.

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Here’s the first try of the year.

I’m doing something a bit different today for the Recipe Exchange with Little House on the Prairie Living, because this is more than just a recipe for this week leading up to the death and resurrection of our Savior. SUNDAY was Palm Sunday, when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem, to the cheers of the crowds. TODAY was the remembrance of the Passover, when the lives of those who placed the sacrificial blood over their doorways were spared, with a Seder meal.

“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD–a lasting ordinance.” Exodus 12:13-14

FRIDAY we remember Christ’s horrible and cruel death, and SUNDAY we CELEBRATE His RESURRECTION. His LIFE brings us LIFE. He paid the price for MY sins, YOUR sins, ALL of our sins. Choosing to repent of my sins, receive His forgiveness and mercy and follow Him, was the BEST choice I EVER made!

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So today I’m sharing a recipe for Resurrection Cookies. They give true story of God’s love, sacrifice and forgiveness, while making a cookie resembling an empty tomb.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~Isaiah 53:5

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Photo credit here

 

Here are some other ideas to help us remember the true reason we celebrate this week:

A week long “journey” from Baby Be Blessed

Resurrection Eggs from Easy Fun School

And Easter Story Snack Mix from Clubhouse Magazine

And look at this sweet little plate I found this year, representing the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ!!

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As you can see in the photos of my two batches on two different days, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, depending on humidity and such. I promise you, EVERY other time I’ve made these, they’ve come out hollow! :>

 

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Resurrection Cookies

To be made the evening before Easter.

You need: 1c. whole pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites,
pinch salt, 1c. sugar, zipper baggie, wooden spoon, tape, Bible.

Preheat oven to 300 BEFORE BEGINNING.



Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.

Add 1 c. sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know this and how to belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.

GO TO BED!
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.

Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matt. 28:1-9

Recipe Exchange


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