Thursday, October 31, 2013

True Encouragement

Psalm 119:74
They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; 
because I have hoped in thy word.

Though it is necessary to encourage others with the thoughtful word and deed,
it is not only the beautiful flowers on the table,
it is not only the note in the mailbox,
it is not only the phone call,
it is not only the paycheck,
it is not only the pretty present.

The true encouragement for God's children is to see others 
who are trusting God's Word and showing that trust in their actions.

As I thought on this verse for the past week,
I was increasingly thankful for those individuals and families that challenge me.
Their love of God and trust in Him as manifested in their daily behavior
encourage me to keep growing in my own walk with God.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are You Wasteful?

 Proverbs 18:9 
He also that is slothful in his work 
is brother to him that is a great waster.

Yet another convicting Proverb this week.
I hate waste.
We eat leftovers.
We squeeze the toothpaste until it can't be squeezed any more.
We drain the old condiments into the new condiments
(I never thought I would do this when I was growing up).
I keep the trailer as cool as possible in the winter.
I hunt for coupons, sales, and coupon codes to save a buck or two.

I tend to ignore my tendency to be slothful.
I tend to ignore the fact that I do not always choose 
the most profitable activities for my limited 24 hour day.
I tend to sacrifice the Best Activity to a Good Activity or even a Poor Activity.
I tend to waste time looking for "lazy ways" to finish hard jobs.

God sees it all as waste.
He has entrusted me with each day

Am I making the most of each moment?
or am I distracted by ease, pleasure, amusements?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Work

After a drizzly morning,
the sun came out and yesterday was a beautiful day for some cleanup.

I removed the trellis and beans from the garden - 
dug in the compost I had collected. 
There are still some carrots and lettuce.

I cleaned out the gutters in the front of the trailer.
They were full of leaves and the gravelly substance from the shingles.
Hubby is going to work on the seams this weekend - Hopefully.

I dug out some simple decorations for fall.

I enjoyed the last pieces of nature before winter.

And today,
Preparation of the church prophet's chamber for a guest this weekend,
a hillbilly rake job (that is mowing the leaves),
a walk with an encouraging friend,
and a dress to cut out.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thank You

Thanks to all who participated and have yet to participate in the Friday Forum.
There were over 60 hits to that blog entry in the past 3 days.
Living in a small town,
and involved in a small church,
your participation and encourage and contact was a great blessing to me.

I actually learned something different from the blog than I intended.
As I read your contributions,
I realized that there were certain occasions that draw a ministry meal, 
and this is as it should be.
But I was convicted not to wait for the sickness, the death, the birth - 
I am sure that there are some folks that need a ministering to this very week ...

And today's work ...
garden cleanup ...
I took a chance at a fall garden and lost ...
we had a good frost a number of nights last week ...
despite my attempts to cover my beans ...
they were lost.

Don't fret though, February is right around the corner :)

Safe Spices

Most single spices are gluten free and therefore "safe."
The problem comes when you buy a mix, a marinade, a blend ...
often times there is a binder added that turns the spice into an enemy.

I am a big fan of "Italian Pork."
It is easy.
It is delicious.
It feeds a BUNCH!

I was buying Italian Dressing mix to use in this dish
and all was fine.
But then, the company changed their recipe - 
and the gluten and wheat appeared :(

But now I make my own :)
It is cheaper ...
and I always have it on hand!

Zesty Italian Dressing Spice Mix
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp celery salt
2 Tbsp cajun seasoning

2 Tbsp = 1 packet

I printed the recipe on a card and stuck it on my jar
so a refill is quick and easy.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Forum: Ministry Meals

My morning is a little busier on Friday, since I need to be out of the house by 8:45;
thus I do not usually post on Fridays.
Perhaps you would like to be involved.
Perhaps you can help me.

My brother used to like to propose a "Bizarre Question of the Day."
I hope mine won't be so bizarre but will be fun and informative.

I promise that if the idea flops - the Friday Forums will end in December.

Question of the day:

What is your "go-to" ministry meal?
What is the ministry meal you received 
that was the greatest blessing?

A ministry meal is one that you take to shut-ins, sick folks, families with new babies.

All answers will be posted in the comment section :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Freezer Full

I am a little late on the blog post this morning.
I had a job that had to be tended to ...
60 lbs of chicken.
Ever heard of Zaycon meat events?
That's the reason that I had 60 lbs of chicken!

I am thankful that it was cool enough to leave the meat in the car last night - 
because it would have been a chore to make room for it in the fridge,
and I did not feel like taking care of it last night after church.

I am thankful that I finished emptying the bags and trimming the fat
about 5 minutes before the trash collectors came,
so that all of the mess could be hauled away this morning.

I am thankful for a freezer full of meat ...
along with corn that my folks brought last week.

Now we are planning an open house picnic for our church family - 
I imagine that we will have grilled CHICKEN ...
and corn ...
and we will add some baked beans, chips, and of course, dessert!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Silence is Golden

Proverbs 17:27-28
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: 
and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: 
and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

How quickly my mouth gets me in trouble.
It can backbite.
It can gossip.
It can boast.
It can try to "one-up".
It can tear down.
It can degrade.
It can discourage.

A wise woman knows when to be quiet.
A wise woman knows when to limit her words.

Is your daily speech edifying?
Is it vain?
Does it label you as a wise woman?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lifts my Spirits

You know that I just love fresh flowers.
The bright colors,
the scent,
the life ...

I am enjoying this new arrangement.

I put a single rose in the bathroom for our guests last week -
an attempt to add to the B&B feel.
I may be addicted - 
trying to figure out if I can afford $3 a week to keep the vase full :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Baking Cake

I am not a real cake lover.
For years, my birthday cake was always a Carvel Ice Cream Cake.
Unfortunately the chocolate crunch is off limits now.
I also found an awesome cake for my wedding - 
if you are ever in the Hudson Valley of NY - 
check out the Pastry Garden Poughkeepsie, NY.
Beyond that, usually I would rather have a cookie, bar, or bowl of frozen yogurt.

I have not had great success baking cakes and typically revert to a trusty box mix.

Last week, I branched out and made from scratch cupcakes for my father's birthday.
Aren't these cute?
I didn't do the piped icing, but they were still fun.
Cakes made with lemon-lime soda (or pop, or cola).
The fun ingredient seemed to keep the gluten-free cake lighter.

I also had success with a gluten-free, dairy free carrot cake for the church dinner.
Again, the carrots kept the cake moist.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Almost daily, I am thankful for the technology that makes life easier. 
On Tuesday, one of my guests noticed my dehumidifier.
Within moments, he had accessed a news story which linked that appliance with a recall.
What a blessing to have that information at the click of a button.

This morning, I am planning gluten-free, casein-free recipes for a church dinner.
Again - a wealth of help just a "google" away.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Garlic Bread or knock off Olive Garden Bread Sticks

Also - I am thankful to have the puzzle finished to frame in my bathroom.
Yes, my guests helped with that as well!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Joy or Grief

Proverbs 17:21,25
 He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: 
and the father of a fool hath no joy.
 A foolish son is a grief to his father, 
and bitterness to her that bare him.

There is something far worse than a home void of children.
There is something that seems more painful than infertility.

Oh the sadness, grief, and pain associated with a foolish child.
Not just immaturity ...
not just silliness ...
but foolishness!
The foolish child is 
an embarassment,
a burden,
a trial ...

The only way to avoid this foolishness is with Biblical discipline and correction.
The path of "least resistance" which many parents choose will not do it.
Parenting is hard work.
Parenting is not convenient.
Parenting is not for cowards.
The rewards of doing right are worth the effort.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sensitive Skin

Well, I did not think that I had sensitive skin ...
until I made my own deodorant.
It appears that for many people,
the baking soda is just too abrasive.

Now what?

I figured I was not the only one looking for a gentler substance.

I found the solution online.

Homemade Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

4 TBSP coconut oil
1 1/2 TBSP beeswax beads or grated beeswax
1 TBSP Shea butter
4 tsp clay (I used Bentonite)
20 drops essential oil (about 1 tsp)

Put coconut oil and beeswax in double boiler and melt slowly.
Add shea butter and whisk 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add clay.  Whisk until mixed.
Add essential oil and stir well.

Why go natural?
with all of the talk about the government healthcare
(which hubby experienced in Canada),
I think it is best to stay as healthy as I can!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cooler Weather ... Warm Soup

Hubby and I have been fighting the "creeping crud" this past week.
There is nothing like a warm bowl of soup when you just feel "icky."
Unfortunately, many companies stick gluten in their canned soups.
We love that Progresso clearly labels their soups for us.
There are also many organic/all-natural soups that accommodate our diet.

But why search for packaged soup,
when I can make it just as easily myself.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/4 c butter
1/4  c flour
2 c milk
2 c chicken broth
1/2 c chopped onion
1 1/2 c broccoli (I used about 16 oz)
1/2 tsp salt
2 c shredded cheddar

Combine all but cheese on stove top and simmer until onions are cooked.
(I sauteed the onions before adding the remained of the ingredients).
Add in cheese and cook until melted.

We served with bacon pieces and Texas toast - may do homemade croutons next time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Spent yesterday tidying the outside of the house:
mowing, weeding, scrubbing the back deck.
Today and Monday will be inside tidying.

Our first overnight guests in our new home arrive Monday.

Hoping to be over the "creeping crud" by then.
Our church has been "sharing" again.
You know ...
coughing, head congestion, sore throat ...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It Just Doesn't Have to Phase Me

The news media is swirling ...
Affordable Care Act
Debt Ceiling
Government Closure

I am thankful that my hope and safety do not rely on the United States - 
its government,
or its leaders.

 Psalm 20:7 
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: 
but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Don't Open the Floodgates

Proverbs 17:14 
The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: 
therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

I am ashamed that this verse really grabbed me this week.
I was reminded of the dikes in the old children's story-
a tiny hole can lead to a great flood.
My flesh knows how to pick a hole and then jump out of the way ...
but the results can be devastating.
While it may not have flooded my life yet,
the possibility is real.

The writer of Proverbs chastens me - 
leave the strife alone.
Don't pick fights.
Don't stir up dissension.
Don't purposefully hit someones hot buttons.
Just leave it alone.

Embrace the fruit of the spirit: peace and longsuffering.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Garden

It is a very cool October morning here.
Pleasant to be cool in the mid-morning ...
windows all shut tight ...
the coconut lemongrass wax scenting the house.
Oh, and a clean house!
It was looking a bit rough after last weeks desertion.

It was nice to make a warm meal last night to share with hubby
and to surprise him with fresh fall spice bars.

The cool weather is exciting
as is my little fall garden.

Excuse the picture - it was taken through the window because I wasn't dressed to be out.
The pole beans are growing
and we are hoping to pick beans before the first frost.
It is always a gamble,
but one I deem worth taking.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This week ... Mexican Flair

The crockpot experiment was great for last week.
I was gone most afternoons until 6:30 and 
it was good to have a warm meal ready for hubby in my absence.
It was also good not to be tempted to stop at Chick-fil-A every night.
for some grilled nuggets and fries!

This week, we enjoyed

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Corn

3 chicken breasts
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 lime - juiced
1 c cilantro
1 bag frozen corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 tsp cumin
salt/pepper to taste

Low 8 hours - high 4 hours.

The first night we served it with tortilla chips, garden tomatoes, olives, cheese and taco sauce.
Yesterday we used it for the "meat" of a taco salad.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Perfect Timing and a Rebuke

Regrettably, I allowed Bible memory to slack off while we were remodeling and moving this summer.
God rebuked me and led me to start the book of Philippians in September.
I am thankful for God's perfect timing!
We have been handing out tracts at the fair this week.
This is not an overly comfortable activity for me ...
but Philippians 1 has been a real blessing - 
verses about boldness,
about magnifying God in my body - 
a reminder that I am only responsible for my faithfulness, not the response of others.

I am also thankful for the boldness and rebuke of two younger women.
I have found few older women who have rebuked me and helped in my training,
but this week, 2 women joined me at the fair booth.
Their willingness and increasing boldness as the days pass is a pleasant rebuke to me.
What a blessing!

I am also thankful that God knows what we can handle.
Not only does our church have a presence at the fair,
but hubby's employer does as well.
The formula for a busy week with little family time.
On Monday, hubby left for work at 7:15,
I left for the fair at 3:15,
hubby arrived to take my place at the fair at 6:30,
and he returned home at 9:30 ...
Not a great schedule,
but God gave hubby some time off on Tuesday morning.
He was standing his employer's booth on Tuesday night until 9, so they gave him the morning off.
Not only that, but when I finished at 6:30, I could join him to hand out business cards.
God knows, understands, and gives help when we need it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Show Your Gratefulness

Proverbs 17:13 
Whoso rewardeth evil for good, 
evil shall not depart from his house.

I want God's blessings on my home.
Who wouldn't? 

The writer of Proverbs gives us one step toward this blessing ...

People do good things and bless me and my home often ...
Am I thankful?
Do I show my thankfulness?

Maybe I don't reward with evil exactly ...
but I thought about the times that I "use" people ...
take advantage ...
fail to show gratefulness ...
expect someone to do what I should be doing ...
fail to carry my share of the load ...

We live in a country where the welfare mentality is prominent.
It is easy to get sucked into the mindset that I deserve all of the good things that I receive.
I deserve nothing but Hell and destruction.
It is God's grace that saved me.
Gratefulness should be a natural outflow in my life.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Psalm 119:45 
And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Unfortunately, many people view Christianity
as a restrictive list of "dos" and "donts."
Not exactly the way the Psalmist saw it.

There is liberty when following God's plan.
Freedom from "people pleasing."
Freedom from worry.
Liberty ... Peace ... Rest