It’s Truly Amazing!

All About Grace

The grace of God is pretty amazing and although words can try to describe what it is all about, it is still hard to get the full capacity of it’s meaning.

All About Grace

I many times in my Christ-following journey I have ‘fallen’, turned away or neglected to put my trust in Him, not to mention that I probably sin every day. But truly, I stand in awe at the reality that God only sees me through the blood of Jesus, not my sin. Whoo,… Click To Tweet

We don’t have to think that grace is just a New Testament thing either…look what is written in Jeremiah 31:2-3…

“Thus says the LORD: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest,
the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Secrets of the VineMiss Leah, a friend from a retreat I spoke at last fall,  reminded me of a lovely little book from Bruce Wilkinson, “Secrets of the Vine”. I have a copy but hadn’t looked at it for a very long time. So while on the treadmill it has become the riveting read that is making my 30 minute workout zippity-do-dah along.

I was taken aback at the insight from the Vine-dresser (he who tends the vineyard,) who doesn’t discard the unproductive vine that has not produced. Bruce Wilkinson, at one point asks the dresser if he just cuts off those muddied vines and throws them away. In the vine-dressers words he says “oh no, they are much too valuable to do that.”

No, those vines aren’t just discarded. Instead, the vine-dresser carefully lifts them up (for they have fallen down, gotten covered in mud and started to mildew), and rinses them off in the bucket of water (carried along just for this purpose.) In the lifting up, the dresser gently ties the rinsed off vines, twining them into the trellis. Before long they are once again beginning to be productive.

Hey there friend, I don’t know about you but I have been a wayward girl, and I know wayward people. People who once loved God but then sin began its deteriorating process and they too fell, got muddy and began to mildew. I/they are given up for ‘lost’ or ‘back-slidden’. Thankfully there is that Christianese saying that says “God loves us too much to leave us the way we are” or something like that.

The Lord has given us the ability to make choices, which means the freedom to make mistakes, to slip and fall. However, like any good parent, He disciplines us. We either respond to His loving rebuke and turn from our sin and poor choices or we will keep reaping the consequences. Bruce Wilkinson says it this way: “The discipline doesn’t have to continue! It’s all up to me. I will only experience pain as long as I hang on to my sin.” Or I will only reap those consequences if I continue along my sinful way!

Wow, these words from Hebrews 4:14-16 are so awesome…

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When I think of prodigals, I think that they might just believe that they are too far gone. Maybe caught in the trap of working for their salvation. That’s when it is easy to say, ‘well I blew it so there’s no hope for me.’ Isn’t that just one of the enemy’s great lies!

So how can I/we help those beloved prodigals believe that God loves them too much to give up on them?

That they can quit wallowing in their sin and come home even if they are really stinky from the miry cesspool they have been dwelling in?

How do they come to realize that Christ died for them even while they are steeped in their sin?

…grace, God’s grace…lived out by us…extended toward them, me, you, my son, your daughter…

Will you remind me when I begin to let that sly dog, judgement come creeping in, to tell him right where to go?

Will you remind me that I am a product of God’s never-ending love?

Will you remind me that my son may only see a glimpse of God’s grace because I have extended it to him without payment?

Yup…freely given and Lord I pray freely received…

I Told You I Love Quinoa!

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Red Quinoa-Kale Salad

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Cook as per directions…

2 Cups Water or Broth

1 Cup Red Quinoa

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While cooking:

Dice 1/4 Sweet Onion

1/4 Red Bell Pepper Chopped to your desire but I prefer smaller pieces

1 – 1/2 Cups Chopped Kale (I used the curly leaf)

1/4 Shredded Carrot

1/2 Cup Frozen Corn

After the Quinoa is cooled, fluff it up adding it to a large bowl and add the vegetables above.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Balsamic vinegar and Olive Oil dressing

or make your own

1/3 to 1/2 Olive Oil with 1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

I also like to add 1-2 oz of Hemp Hearts.

Mix well and chill.

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Before serving sprinkle with finely shredded Parmesan Cheese giving a final mix.

Garnish with Sesame Seeds

Serve with crackers and I really like the nut thins as a nice complement! Enjoy!

 

 

When the Scoffers Come!

1Pet 2.1

1Pet 2.1Ever have those conversations that leave you thinking or screaming “What in the world was that all about?” I have and the hardest part of it all is that it was someone I love who railed against me and left me feeling worthless!

Some of you know what I’m talking about here! But when it comes from those we love, ouch, it sure does bite. I was left devastated, giving in to negative thinking for a brief period of time.

I am so grateful that I know the Lord, and that I know His Word. Because of this knowledge, I can combat the lies of the enemy when he comes pointing fingers and scoffing at me. You see I know it isn’t that loved one that I am battling, it is the enemy of my soul who wants to see me rendered ineffective.

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God’s Word really is a healing balm…

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NASB

I am so thankful that the Lord reminded me of this because I let myself get angry! I was devastated and hurt. Not only that but my ministry was also attacked. How could that be?

You see the devil loves when he can pit us against one another and cause us to back-bite and curse one another with that poisonous venom that threatens to kill us emotionally and render us completely useless. He is the ruler of this earth and for a season he longs to make us hate one another.

If Jesus came to show us love so that we could love one another then the devil does just the opposite! He stirs us up with negative thoughts of one another and we kinda get paranoid which is described as causing you to falsely believe that people are trying to harm you. But the verse above is what we have to remember more than anything. And that hurting people hurt people.

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So what will you do the next time the accusations come to taunt you and put you on the defense?

Will you retaliate and think of all the bad things that person has done and caused?

Will you get on the band wagon and rally the troupes in hopes of getting others to take your side?

Will you get into a shouting match with that one and tell them just what’s on your mind?

When conflict comes our way, we actually have an opportunity to put that ole devil in his place…by not giving in to our emotional reactions, instead, acknowledging the situation for what it is, applying the truth instead of succumbing to the deception.

All these things can help us to see that the person who seems to be against us is actually the enemy who is out to get us. We may just be a target for their pain and frustration. Certainly that doesn’t make it right!

2 Corinth 10-5So to take every thought captive means that all the negative thrown at us must be weighed and measured with the Word of God. We may see a few things that could be true about ourselves but seriously, we are not going to drink the poison of our taunters.
Here’s what I must remember to do when I fall into a situation like this…pray!

Then, I must forgive.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

It does take time to move beyond circumstances like these. But I know when we extend forgiveness and let go of the pain we have given over to the Lord, He will heal our broken hearts and hopefully restore and reconcile the situation. You may or may not have the relationship you once had but then again maybe you will have a better relationship than ever before?

What do you have to lose?

The pain and recollection every time you run into them, especially if it is a family member.

What do you have to gain?

Peace, peace knowing that God is working even if for right now it doesn’t look quite like it!

Hearty Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Bread 4

I have always enjoyed hearty, grainy breads and this one is just delightful with a slab of butter and your favorite jam, honey or your favorite nut butter! You will enjoy with a morning beverage.

 

Oatmeal Bread 4

 

I found a very nice organic six-grain flour at our local ‘Country Pantry’ that is comprised of Wheat, Rye, Barley, Corn, Millet and Buckwheat. It is a lovely fine grind as well.

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I love to use my KitchenAid electric mixer only to mix my bread dough. Maybe yours is handily accessible and even on a portable stand. Mine is not, packed away in its box waiting to be used!

First Step…

4 Cups Warm Water (no more than 105 degrees)

2 Cups Almond Milk (I use plain unsweetened but any milk will do)

2 Tbsp Yeast (2 packages)

1/2 – 3/4 Molasses (you could use honey if you don’t care for the flavor molasses gives)

8 Cups Flour

Add warm water and yeast then gently mix  for several minutes. (I use my wire whip attachment for this step.) Let rest for about 5 minutes and then add your almond milk and blend well.

Here is where you will add your sweetener which the yeast loves as it begins to make it grow! You can now add in your 8 cups of flour and whip until it is well mixed and the consistency of a thick batter.

You will then let this rise for an hour.

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Second Step…

2 Tbsp Salt

3/4 C Butter or Coconut Oil (I mixed mine)

5 Cups Rolled Oats

5 Cups flour (you may need a little less or more and flour for kneading)

Add the oatmeal and then sprinkle the salt around on the top and very thoroughly mix the oats into the batter.

Begin to add your flour until the mixture is of a good kneading consistency. Not too sticky. You can now empty your bowl content onto a floured counter or board and start kneading in the rest of flour. The consistency will be somewhat stiff! Remember, kneading is good therapy!

Oil your bowl and add the ball of dough swiping the dough through the oil and flipping it over so the top is well oiled. Cover the bowl of dough with a light, dampened cloth and let rise for about an hour.

Step Three…

Punch down the dough once again and let rise another 40 minutes.

It is now time to shape the dough into 4 loaves. With a large knife you can slice the dough in half and then in half again.

Grab one of the 1/4’s and pat it out on the floured board or counter to press out the air bubbles. Then fold over the dough pressing it as you go and fold the other side over and press together. Fold your ends down and under and place in your lightly greased bread pan.

 

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating you can let your loaves rise for about 25 minutes. Pop in the oven (not too close together) and bake approximately 50 minutes. The loaves will be golden brown and when tapped will sound sort of hollow.

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Tip your loaves out on racks to cool Completely. (Remember, if you put them in bags to store before they are cool they will sweat and make too much moisture.) But be sure that you don’t put them away until you have yourself a nice warm slice with some butter and honey drizzled on top with a cup of tea or coffee!

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A Cold Winter’s night and Fresh Stir-Fry

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By the time winter starts to draw to a close, one gets craving fresh anything! So be it with some fresh sauted veggies on a bed of quinoa that made a very satisfying supper.

Quinoa Dinner1

This is kind of a no brainer stir -fry dinner but here you go:

2 carrots sliced fairly thin
3/4 cup of thinly sliced brussel sprouts (I slice top down)
2 Tbsp Olive or Coconut oil

Start this sauteing in the oil and a large skillet on a med heat. Here is where I added a shake or two of sea salt and a shake or two of Emeril’s Bayou Blast Essence.

As veggies begin to cook you can get your quinoa cooking:

2 cups of water
1 cup of rinsed quinoa

Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables to the skillet and cook until tender but not mushy. A bit of a crispiness is nice as it makes yummy texture.
Here’s what I added:

5 large mushrooms sliced top down
1 cup of pea pods
1/3 of a sweet onion sliced
1/3 of a sliced pepper (I used an orange one)

You will want to stir this every now and again while it cooks.

Your quinoa should sit for a few minutes before you put a serving on a warmed plate and then add the sauted vegetables. Then enjoy!

This will make 4 generous servings.

Valentine Special for You…

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Here’s a sweet deal for you who might be wondering just what this Zeal Wellness is really all about! I would love for you to try all three flavors of Zeal Wellness so I’m giving one box of six bottles away to someone! All you have to do is leave a comment about Zeal and I will put your name in a drawing to receive not only some Zeal samples but also a little something from the Gift Shoppe!

Time to get ZEALOUS about good health!

#ZealforLife #Goodnutritioncounts

Valentine special '15

Grace Goals

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Grace Goals Course

I want to introduce you to a blogger friend of mine whom I have shared with you before and who has offered her wonderful devotional “Trust Without Borders” which I believe has been for ‘such a time as this’ (at least in my world), Arabah Joy.

Arabah has just released her latest project for us “Grace Goals” and it is going to bring an excellent start to your new year!

If you would be interested in checking this out for yourself, you just need to click on the image above and discover what in the world Goals is all about.

Arabah is a woman of the word yet struggles just like the rest of us to walk in the Spirit day by day. I personally love her transparent style and I believe you will too.

Let’s join the journey together and be blessed by this new release from Arabah Joy!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time…

Prince of Peace

Ah yes, the lyrics are in my head, “It’s the most wonderful time, it’s the hap…happiest time of the year”.  Is that really true?  Is it really the most wonderful time of the year for you? Personally I waver back and forth between good and sad!  I have had some good Christmases and some very sad ones.  Most of the difficult ones have come as a result of poor choices I have made in my life.  At those places I was either a little girl in an unhappy family setting, a lonely runaway when I didn’t even know it was Christmas and then in a marriage that was very difficult where my family suffered from the results of alcoholism. These were times when I had no hope, because Christ was not in my life.

Is Christmastime a Difficult Time for You?

There have also been times when even as a believer that Christmas has been sad or difficult.  I have a prodigal son who has caused much sorrow because of his poor choices.  For many years we have seen him come and go without any change in his lifestyle or he continued to add more “stuff” to the baggage he continues to carry. This makes for sadness for his family as we watch him struggle to keep his head above water.  These are times when all the sentiment and family time just doesn’t take away the pain of watching a loved one flail through life.

Prince of PeaceHowever, deep inside the recesses of my heart, I really do have peace and joy.  And it is because of the Christmas story.  An incredible expression of love that was lavished upon mankind as the Creator of ALL. He humbled Himself to come as a little baby, being birthed in a lowly manger just so that we could once again be in fellowship. He restored what was broken in the Garden of Eden.

You Are Loved…

This extravagant love, poured out in the form of a baby, then child, then man, the Christ, was God’s greatest work from a desire to once again have fellowship with us.  As it tells us in Genesis 1:26,27,

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 

We have been created in God’s very own image!  That is sometimes too big for my comprehension but…I have accepted this truth and accepted the Christ who came yet was crucified, died, and buried (defeating death) when He rose on the third day! All for those who will receive the loving offer of redemption through His shed blood.

John 1.14 Christmas

Christ Our Hope!

So in the midst of your Christmas, I pray you will know the peace that surpasses even the difficulties (and there are so many things that try to rob this peace from us), whether death of a loved one, divorce, prodigals, sickness, financial loss, hunger…remember, Christ is the one who fills us completely with His peace and purpose in spite of the former mentioned.  Click To Tweet

With love and a blessed Christmas to you all!

 

At The Heart of Worship…

Worship

WorshipWorship…it is a very big topic with a lot of varying opinions about what, why, where and when we do this thing called worship!

I have come to know that my soul purpose here in this earthly existence is to point to Jesus, that is why we… Click To Tweet

(Thank you Frances Chan for making that very evident in Crazy Love.)

With that being said I want us to think about your most favorite person on earth. You know what I mean don’t you…the one you long to be with, can’t get enough time with and can’t wait until the next time! Well now let’s make that person our Lord. Let’s base this whole worship concept on who it is that we adore.

This is a fascinating definition of worship by apologist, Ravi Zacharias:

“is the submission of all of our nature to God,

it’s the quickening of conscience by His holiness,

nourishment of mind by His truth,

purifying of imagination by His beauty,

opening of the heart to His love,

submission of will to His purpose,

All this gathered up in adoration…is the greatest of human expressions.”

~Ravi Zacharias

Love it, an intellectual defining of worship as only Ravi can define! But we aren’t all there with the lofty understanding and sometimes need a down to earth picture of what this worship is all about.

As you can see from Ravi’s point, this is a something you do or we can say that the out-flow from us makes this worship a verb form of the word. Or I like to think of it as a ‘response’ to the Father’s love. The more I get to know Him, the more I want to worship Him in everything I do.

In my everyday living, loving, serving, this is it...this is my response to a God I'm madly in love with, and… Click To Tweet

But what about the musical aspect of worship? Oh I love my worship music! After all I host a radio program for two hours every weekday filled with music that points to the King! That brings Him glory and expresses my love for Him.

Now here’s the thing, music is something I can do a lot of the time because I sing all day long. I wake up with a song in my heart. But I want to say that how I live my life for Him, every moment of every day is really my expression of love for Father!

Pouring my heart out before Him as I express my hearts desire to know Him more!

Singing along and worshiping with this great group of ‘worshipers’ is one amazing event! I love the element of deep focus on the Lord that musical worship brings into my heart. Oh how I look forward to a day when this is what we will be doing forever, gathered with the Saints in worship before the throne of God!!!

Revelation 7.9-12

I don’t know about you but, I think we need to practice the worship thing while we are on this side of eternity! So let me ask you…

  • When do you know you are worshiping God? Does it feel like a result to doing something, like warm fuzzies?
  • How can you practice, this in your everyday living? Careful, I’m not talking about a works based thing here.
  • Remember, worship is a state of the heart. Go back and read Ravi’s description before you move on.

The result of a changed heart from experiencing His presence when we draw near to Him with an adoring heart creates an out-flowing love for others. It brings us to that place called ministry, called caring without thinking about it. Worship is my time with God in whatever form that takes in our individual lives. And on this side of the journey, I am always thrilled when I can pull a bit closer knowing it is transforming me to be more like Jesus.

And another aspect you may want to investigate is that Worship is a Tool! And in the Bible there were the worshipers who went before the soldiers to accomplish a certain task before the battle would take place. Quite fascinating especially how we can apply that to our services today that open and close with worship.

Will you let the Lord pull you a bit closer by opening your heart to His? He wants to reveal more of who He is to you and as you draw near He does just This is the stuff that changes us from the inside out, friend!

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.”   Psalm 73:28 (NASB)

KD Love and Grace Smaller

Kimberly serves in ministry at Psalm FM Radio in the “Icebox of the Nation” where she hosts a daily music program,”Vertical Connection”

Living northward with her husband, mom, dog and cat is a must while indulging her grandsons with lots of woods to venture in when they visit.

Kimberly loves to encourage and challenge through her words and whether speaking or writing her love for Jesus is evident.

“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much;” Luke 7:47a