A good day!

A good day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The thief comes to steal...


Don't be robbed today of the simple joys of life...

Don't be robbed of your home---or angry with those in it, unhappy that things are not going your way or that your husband and children are not how you want them to be. Don't let Satan rob you of your happiness there, making you think that you don't have this or that. Don't compare yourself to others but be grateful for what you have and know they are a gift from the Almighty Himself.

Don't be robbed of your time---don't waste excessive hours with frivolous pursuits such as watching TV, being online, always being away from your home or other idleness that can spring up in a woman's life keeping her from truly caring for the very ones that you love. Guard your time carefully.

Don't be robbed by lies...the world will tell you that  you are wasting your time, that you need to look outside God and your home for true happiness. They will put you on 'their' path and lead you down the wrong paths. Keep yourself immersed in truth at all costs.

Love your children.....

Their smiles, their laughter, their questions, their hugs, their innocence, their smell, their thoughts, their health, their presence, their everything. They are God's gift to you. Care for them and educate them and raise them up in His ways. Enjoy life and share it with them, they are learning about the world through your eyes. What an honor we have been given! You are making memories today---rejoice in your special moments!


Love your husband...

Remember that he is not perfect, he is not  you and thinks differently than you do. He is God's gift to you. Love him in spite of his failings, love him wholeheartedly, extend to him the same measure of love, respect and forgiveness in the strength that has been given to you in Christ Jesus. Do something special for him today. A word of praise or encouragement, a massage, a gift, bake his favorite treat. Most men would die for their women, and we need to love them as our heroes (even when they might feel at their lowest). A noble wife rises up to the occasion to bless her husband with all her heart.


Care for your home...

Only a mother truly knows what is needed in the home. Perhaps the special meal, the socks that need darning, the gesture of love to cheer up a sad heart. Cleaning, decorating, planning, and reading to learn more about homemaking. Busy yourself with these things, and don't think that being home is boring!!!! There is so much to do and your are only limited by your own mind.


We have the blessed opportunity to start the day off as a clean white palette--new, fresh and clean, as we look forward to painting loveliness, creating order and putting our all into the our homes and our families. 

Guard yourselves, dear wives and mamas, from the thief!

And remember God's truth....

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy

I have come that they may have

life,

and have it to the full."


--John 10:10 
~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home~

Sunday, January 30, 2011

God knows...



"He knoweth the way that I take" (Job 23:10).

Believer! What a glorious assurance! This way of thine--this, it may be, a crooked, mysterious, tangled way--this way of trial and tears. "He knoweth it." The furnace seven times heated--He lighted it. There is an Almighty Guide knowing and directing our footsteps, whether it be to the bitter Marah pool, or to the joy and refreshment of Elim.

That way, dark to the Egyptians, has its pillar of cloud and fire for His own Israel. The furnace is hot; but not only can we trust the hand that kindles it, but we have the assurance that the fires are lighted not to consume, but to refine; and that when the refining process is completed (no sooner--no later) He brings His people forth as gold.

When they think Him least near, He is often nearest. "When my spirit was overwhelmed, then thou knewest my path."

Do we know of ONE brighter than the brightest radiance of the visible sun, visiting our chamber with the first waking beam of the morning; an eye of infinite tenderness and compassion following us throughout the day, knowing the way that we take?

The world, in its cold vocabulary in the hour of adversity, speaks of "Providence"--"the will of Providence"--"the strokes of Providence." PROVIDENCE! what is that?

Why dethrone a living, directing God from the sovereignty of His own earth? Why substitute an inanimate, death-like abstraction, in place of an acting, controlling, personal Jehovah?

How it would take the sting from many a goading trial, to see what Job saw (in his hour of aggravated woe, when every earthly hope lay prostrate at his feet)--no hand but the Divine. He saw that hand behind the gleaming swords of the Sabeans--he saw it behind the lightning flash--he saw it giving wings to the careening tempest--he saw it in the awful silence of his rifled home.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"

Thus seeing God in everything, his faith reached its climax when this once powerful prince of the desert, seated on his bed of ashes, could say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." --Macduff

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shameless plug :)





I made some Pure Glycerin Valentine's Day Soap.  These are great gifts for kids for Valentine's Day. :)  They are fragrance free and dye free.  You can find them on my website. :) 
wiseleyusedherbs.weebly.com

I will also have Eucalyptus and Peppermint, Lemon Poppy Seed, Oatmeal Cookie, and an Odor Grabber that is made with coffee (a natural deodorizer) and great for use in getting kitchen smells off your hands, that will be available on Feb 23rd.  You can check out my website for updates. :)

Haiti update...



Ryan is enjoying his time in Haiti.  He is happy to see old friends he made on his last trip.  They have been doing some construction work and spending time with the local people.  I miss him, but I am glad he is there doing what God has laid on his heart.  I hope to join him someday on a trip.


My husband has a strong desire for God's work.  I am blessed to be married to such a man.  This morning, he went to a friends there in Haiti to enjoy some fresh coconut milk and some of the flesh of a young coconut.  I personally don't like the flesh of a young coconut, but the milk is good.  Yesterday he got to take a hike through some of the back roads in Haiti.  He said he really enjoyed that.  The first picture is one of him on part of that hike.  Thank you for your prayers for him and the people of Haiti.

Friday, January 28, 2011

More soap and a recipe...


This is the Lemon Poppy Seed.  It has a light lemony scent that smells delicious. :)


This is the Oatmeal Cookie and it smells heavenly. :)  I can't wait for these to be ready to use!

Here is the recipe I use....

Cold Process Coconut Oil Soap
16.9 oz distilled water
6.9 oz lye
24 oz vegetable shortening (soy and cottonseed oils)
16 oz coconut oil
8 oz olive oil
whatever fragrance you want (I use only natural fragrance and essential oils)
If you are already making soap, you should know what to do with these ingredients. :)

I had a rough day yesterday and I would appreciate your prayers.  It started with a migraine (from tension) and it's still here this morning. :(  I smashed my thumb bloody getting firewood.  My brother called me drunk and cussed me out for 2 hours.  (I just couldn't hang up)  I am missing my husband.  I'm hoping today is a better day...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The road uphill...

"Walking in the midst of the fire" (Daniel 3:25).

The fire did not arrest their motion; they walked in the midst of it. It was one of the streets through which they moved to their destiny. The comfort of Christ's revelation is not that it teaches emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow.

O my God, teach me, when the shadows have gathered, that I am only in a tunnel. It is enough for me to know that it will be all right some day.

They tell me that I shall stand upon the peaks of Olivet, the heights of resurrection glory. But I want more, O my Father; I want Calvary to lead up to it. I want to know that the shadows of this world are the shades of an avenue the avenue to the house of my Father. Tell me I am only forced to climb because Thy house is on the hill! I shall receive no hurt from sorrow if I shall walk in the midst of the fire. --George Matheson

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade soap...


I am trying my hand at soap making...let me tell you, it's fun!  The above soap is a Eucalyptus and Peppermint blend.  They are drying on the rack and will be ready in about 4 weeks.  Today I'll be making Lemon Poppyseed.  I hope it turns out. :)  It's my first time attempting a cold process soap and it's not as scary as I thought it would be.

I better get a move on...lots to accomplish today. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saying goodbye...

I had to say goodbye to my husband this morning.  He left for Haiti.  I dropped him off at church and standing outside in the drizzly cold waiting for him and the team to leave I couldn't help but think about what God is doing in our lives.  We have come so far from our lives being like the cold drizzle I was standing in to what the weather is like in Haiti right now, warm and sunny.  My husband and I have been together for 17 years and God has done a wonderful work in us.  Christ is the center of our marriage now.  He wasn't back then.  Things get hairy when we forget to keep Him in the center.  But, by God's grace, we are quick learners and straight away put Him right back where He belongs, as the head and center of our lives.

My husband's best friend, who is also going on the trip, hugged me goodbye and I realized how sweet that hug was.  God was telling me how important it is to have godly people in our lives.  They are there to encourage us, watch out for us, keep us accountable to His will, and just plain live life with.  We have been blessed to have him and his wife as friends now for 10 years.

I pray during this time of separation, that I can look within myself and get serious about His will for my life.  In this season of my life, His will for me is to care for my family, love my husband and be his helpmeet, encourage others, and when the opportunity arises to win the lost and disciple the winners.  I want to be better at all those things...

Please keep my husband, our family, and the team in your prayers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Power is developed by resistance...



The moment we get anything from the Lord worth contending for, then the devil comes to seek us.

When the enemy meets us at the threshold of any great work for God, let us accept it as "a token of salvation," and claim double blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed by resistance. The cannon carries twice as far because the exploding power has to find its way through resistance. The way electricity is produced in the powerhouse yonder is by the sharp friction of the revolving wheels. And so we shall find some day that even satan has been one of God's agencies of blessing. --Days of Heaven upon Earth

It seems when anything is godly in our lives, satan wishes to remove it.  But, because it is godly, it is worth the resistance.  As the above says, we should consider that satan can be one of God's agencies of blessing...so if you feel as though you are facing much resistance, you may be headed in the right direction...facing satan head on...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fresh homemade yogurt...


Yesterday I made homemade yogurt and it is so much better than store bought.  In order to make it you need 1/2 c plain yogurt from the store to use as a starter.  I used an all natural yogurt which only ingredient was cultured milk.  Of course you need to make sure the yogurt you use has live active cultures in it. :)  I hope you give this a try when you see just how easy it is!

Homemade yogurt

1/2 c all natural store bought yogurt
1 qt milk of  your choice

Heat milk to 110 stirring constantly with a whisk to make sure heat is dispersed throughout.  Take off heat and make sure the temperature reading is still 110 and then whisk in your yogurt starter.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour into jars and wrap with towels.  Set on shelf near woodstove for about 6 hours. (That's what I did)  Now you may pour it into a qt thermos and wrap with towels and leave on counter for about 6 to 8 hours.  Or you can pour it into smaller jars and put in a cooler with some hot water added to the cooler about 1/2 way up the jars.  Or you could put it in jars and if you have a gas oven put it in there with just the pilot light lit...it's up to you. :)  I keep mine plain, but you can add some sugar and vanilla or fruit to yours.  I use mine for smoothies so I add my honey and vanilla then.  You can also drain it through a cheesecloth overnight in the fridge and have cream cheese for your bagel when you wake up. :)  All made with your own hand...gotta love that!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good ole fashioned corn bread...



Ole Fashioned Corn Bread
1 1/4 c flour (I used gluten free blend)
2/3 c sugar
3/4 c corn meal
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
1/3 c oil
3 T melted butter

Combine wet ingredients.  Add dry.  Bake in 8x8 (I bake mine in cast iron) pan at 350 for about 30 min.  Enjoy!  We do. :)  If you bake in cast iron, be sure to preheat your pan in the oven as the oven warms up.  Then take out and pour corn meal batter into it and put back in oven.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grow in His strength...



"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange God with him" (Deut. 32:11, 12).

Our Almighty Parent delights to conduct the tender nestlings of His care to the very edge of the precipice, and even to thrust them off into the steeps of air, that they may learn their possession of unrealized power of flight, to be forever a luxury; and if, in the attempt, they be exposed to unwonted peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them, and to bear them upward on His mighty pinions. When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them. --The Song of Victory

"When God puts a burden upon you He puts His own arm underneath."

There is a little plant, small and stunted, growing under the shade of a broad-spreading oak; and this little plant values the shade which covers it, and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which its noble friend affords. But a blessing is designed for this little plant.

Once upon a time there comes along the woodman, and with his sharp axe he fells the oak. The plant weeps and cries, "My shelter is departed; every rough wind will blow upon me, and every storm will seek to uproot me!"

"No, no," saith the angel of that flower; "now will the sun get at thee; now will the shower fall on thee in more copious abundance than before; now thy stunted form shall spring up into loveliness, and thy flower, which could never have expanded itself to perfection shall now laugh in the sunshine, and men shall say, 'How greatly hath that plant increased! How glorious hath become its beauty, through the removal of that which was its shade and its delight!'"
~Streams in the Desert

My heart has been burdened the last couple days.  I just want God's will.  If it's His will for the oak to be chopped, then I pray there would be a proper departure.  One that is not as abrupt as the axe to the oak.  I am praying for lots of things and I pray you all could keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade chocolate syrup...


Homemade Chocolate Syrup
1/2 c cocoa
1 c water
2 c sugar
1/8 t salt
1/4 t vanilla

Mix cocoa, water, and sugar in sauce pan.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 3 minutes stirring to keep it from crystallizing.
This is what you get...it's not the best picture, but you get the idea. :)


It tastes really good!  Just like Hershey's, but without the corn syrup or preservatives. :)  Enjoy!

God in everything...

"It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good". (1 Sam. 3:18)

See God in everything, and God will calm and color all that thou dost see!" It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ, as Lord and Master of our life, is brought into our grief and gloom, "HE will compass us about with songs of deliverance." To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath, taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us, and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the blessings they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.--H. W. Smith.

I thought this was a good devotion.  This line especially, "Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us."  It can be difficult to be patient and loving when you are being annoyed by bad behavior (my mom) or someone is troubling you.  I tend to struggle with these sins....spirit of bitterness, envy, and having a critical spirit at times. I tend to bruise easily emotionally.  I need to let God be my barrier between me and the world.  The bruises should be much less that way.  It is usually because I don't see God in everything.  "I" tend to get in the way sometimes and when that happens, it's very difficult to see past.  It is my prayer to see God in everything.  I am repenting of those sins and working diligently on carving those out of my heart.  I am thinking on Philippians 4:8...When someone hurts me, I want to see God in it.  When someone does something ungodly, I want to see God in it.  When someone puts me down, I want to see God in it.  I don't know how to fully do that, but I'm working on it...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A precious lesson...

This weighty burden thou dost bear,
This heavy cross,
It is a gift the Lord bestows,
And not a loss;
It is a trust that He commits
Unto thy care,
A precious lesson He has deigned
With thee to share. 

~Annie Johnson Flint

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Haiti...

My husband is leaving next week for Haiti again.  I'm really gonna miss him.  He is looking forward to doing work there and seeing people he hasn't seen for a while.  I am praying for him before he goes and while he is there.  Will you join me?  I am praying that God will use him in whatever way necessary while there, that God will do a great work there in Haiti, for his protection from disease, that God will bless his heart, and that he will be an encouragement to the Haitians.  Pray for us while we stay behind.  It is hard to be without him.  I will try to busy myself with things around the house, like finally get my quilt done, and get some rest in so I can be refreshed for when he returns.  I am hoping to someday, if the Lord wills, to go to Haiti with him.  But, only God knows if that will be possible or necessary. :)

Yesterday I went to the doctor to officially find out about my pulmonary function tests.  Good news...it's is not COPD, which I was in great relief of.  It is Asthma. I was prescribed a steroid inhaler to reduce the inflammation of the lung tissue and to get my breathing under control.  I am very excited to be able to breathe again. :)  This morning marks my first dose and by 4 weeks I should be getting back to normal (whatever that is lol)  It seems the rest of my issues (Myasthenia Gravis, Celiac) are stable and I'm feeling pretty good. :)  Praying that that stays the case for the rest of the year.  I want to focus on other things than my health and being in pain all the time. :)

It's a rainy morning here, but the temperatures are mild so I won't complain. :)  After all, we can't just have sunshine all the time or we would dry up and wither away.  A little rain in our life is good.  But, after so much rain, I'm ready for some sunshine. ;)

I pray each of you continue to listen to that still small voice.  God is speaking and working.  Stay connected. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The breaking of the storm...


"And there arose a great storm" (Mark 4:37).

Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man's hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm. The history of manhood is always rough and rugged. No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer: "O God, take me, break me, make me."

A Frenchman has painted a picture of universal genius. There stand orators, philosophers and martyrs, all who have achieved pre-eminence in any phase of life; the remarkable fact about the picture is this: Every man who is pre-eminent for his ability was first pre-eminent for suffering. In the foreground stands that figure of the man who was denied the promised land, Moses. Beside him is another, feeling his way--blind Homer. Milton is there, blind and heart-broken. Now comes the form of one who towers above them all. What is His characteristic? His Face is marred more than any man's. The artist might have written under that great picture, "The Storm."

The beauties of nature come after the storm. The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm, and the heroes of life are the storm-swept and the battle-scarred.

You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts. Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley, or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood? Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept and the battle-scarred?

The wind that blows can never kill
The tree God plants;
It bloweth east, it bloweth west,
The tender leaves have little rest,
But any wind that blows is best.
The tree that God plants
Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
Spreads greater boughs, for God's good will
Meets all its wants.

There is no storm hath power to blast
The tree God knows;
No thunderbolt, nor beating rain,
Nor lightning flash, nor hurricane;
When they are spent, it doth remain,
The tree God knows,
Through every tempest standeth fast,
And from its first day to its last
Still fairer grows.
~Streams in the Desert

This devotion reminded me of the saying "Strong winds make for deeper roots"  God is growing my roots deeper in Him.  I really am thankful for the strong winds and storms in my life.  They have lifted me to the sunlit summit....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A must read!



This book is a great read.  In delves into the lives of men and let's us peek into what they are really thinking.  The author is a Christian woman who went out and surveyed a lot of different men and wrote a book about it. To me it was a cross between Created to be his Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl and Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. As you read it, you feel as if you are just chatting with the author.  It is an easy read and not so complicated to where you can't retain the material.  I highly recommend it...

A peek inside...

Ch 1--Lightbulb On! How I woke up to what I didn't know about men
Ch 2--Your love is not enough.  Why your respect means more to him than even your affection
Ch3--The performance of a lifetime. Why your Mr. Smooth looks so impressive but feels like an imposter
Ch4--The lonliest burden--How his need to provide weighs your man down, and why he likes it that way
Ch5--Sex changes everything. Why sex unlocks a man's emotions
Ch6--Keeper of the visual rolodex.  Why it's so natural for him to look and so hard to forget what he's seen
Ch7--Chocolate, flowers, bait fishing. Why the reluctant clod you know really does want romance
Ch8--The truth about the way you look. Why what's on the outside matters to him on the inside
Ch9--Words for your heart. What your man most wishes you knew about him

If these chapters have grabbed your interest, I suggest you get this book and give it a read.  I learned some new things and appreciated the honesty of the men she surveyed.  It really did help me understand the captain a whole lot more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Herb talk---Garlic

Garlic

Overview:

Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when the Egyptian pyramids were built. In early 18th -century France, gravediggers drank a concoction of crushed garlic in wine they believed would protect them from the plague that killed many people in Europe. More recently, during both World Wars I and II, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene. Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and possibly lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to improve the immune system. Garlic may also protect against cancer.
While the science is not conclusive, research shows promise for garlic in the areas of cancer protection and heart-related risk factors for patients.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy free radicals -- particles that can damage cell membranes, interact with genetic material, and possibly contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.
There are several types of garlic preparations. Most clinical studies have been performed on aged garlic extract (AGE) or enteric coated, dried garlic tablets. The conditions for which garlic is showing the most promise include:
Cardiovascular disease
Studies report that garlic consumption may decrease the progression of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is associated with several factors, including raised serum total cholesterol, raised low density lipoprotein (LDL), and increased LDL oxidation (free radical damage), increased platelet aggregation (clumping), hypertension, and smoking. Garlic may help decrease LDL and total cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterols (high density lipoprotein, or HDL), decreasing platelet aggregation (helps the blood flow more easily), and decreasing blood pressure. Recently, garlic was also found to decrease two other markers of cardiovascular disease, homocysteine and C-reactive protein.
Garlic may also reduce blood pressure. Numerous studies have reported that oral garlic is associated with reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Common cold
A well-designed study of nearly 150 people found that garlic helps prevent and treat the common cold. In this study, people received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during "cold season" (between the months of November and February). Those who received garlic had significantly fewer colds than those who received placebo. Plus, when faced with a cold, the symptoms dissipated more quickly among those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebo.
Cancer
Garlic may strengthen the immune system, helping the body fight diseases such as cancer. Laboratory studies suggest that garlic may have anti-cancer activity. Studies that follow groups of people over time suggest that people who have more raw or cooked garlic in their diet are less likely to develop certain types of cancer, particularly colon and stomach cancers. In fact, a review of 7 studies researchers found a 30% reduction in risk of colorectal cancer among people who had a high intake of raw or cooked garlic. Dietary garlic may also protect against the development of breast, prostate, and laryngeal (throat) cancers.
  • A large-scale study, called the Iowa Women's Health Study, looked at the garlic, fruit, and vegetable consumption in 41,000 middle-aged women. Results showed that women who regularly consumed garlic, fruits, and vegetables had a 35% lower risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Garlic may help the immune system function more effectively during times of need such as in cancer. In a study of 50 patients with inoperable colorectal, liver, or pancreatic cancer, immune activity improved after they were given aged garlic extract for 6 months.
  • Studies also suggest that aged garlic supplementation may reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, including fatigue and anorexia (lack of appetite). Further, results found that aged garlic decreased heart and intestinal damage commonly seen with certain chemotherapy agents.
While these results are promising, more research is needed to better understand whether dietary intake of garlic and other plants in the same family (such as onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots) truly help protect against cancer.
Other uses
  • Laboratory studies suggest that large quantities of fresh, raw garlic may have antiparasitic properties against the roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, which is the most common type of intestinal parasite. Garlic for this purpose, however, has not been tested in people.
  • Fresh garlic contains allicin, which is reported to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Some studies have reported that garlic consumption may kill bacteria known to cause ulcers, but there are also studies that report no effect on this bacteria. Several studies report that topical application of garlic may help treat fungal skin conditions, such as Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis.
  • Preliminary studies show that garlic may help combat fatigue. More research is needed.

Plant Description:

Garlic is a perennial that originally came from central Asia, and is now cultivated throughout the world. It can grow 2 feet high or more. The most important part of this plant for medicinal purposes is the compound bulb. Each bulb is made up of 4 - 20 cloves, and each clove weighs about 1 gram. Garlic supplements can either be made from fresh, dried, aged, or garlic oil, and each may have different effects on the body.

What's It Made Of?:

There are several important components of garlic that have been identified, and many more that have not. Alliin is an odorless sulfur-containing chemical derived from the amino acid cysteine. When garlic bulbs are crushed, alliin is converted into another compound called allicin. Allicin appears to be one of the primary active compounds that gives garlic its characteristic odor and many of its healing benefits. However, allicin is not absorbed effectively by the human body.
To combat this problem, aged garlic is fermented to break allicin down to usable compounds. These compounds are water-soluble sulfur compounds (S-allyl cysteine and others) and a small amount of oil-soluble sulfur compounds. The sulfur containing compounds in aged garlic give the supplement its reported benefits in cholesterol levels, heart disease, and cancer.

Available Forms:

Garlic supplements are made from whole fresh garlic, dried, or freeze-dried garlic, garlic oil, and aged garlic extracts.
Not all garlic contains the same amount of active ingredients. There is a wide variation in the amount of important components in both fresh garlic and commercial supplements. The amount of healthy compounds present depends on where the garlic is grown as well as how the product is prepared. Some experts believe that the wide variation in the quantity of active ingredients in garlic preparations explains why there is some variability in how well the substances lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and fight infection in different people.
Aged garlic products are made by fermenting garlic. Several clinical studies support the use of aged garlic for cardiovascular disease prevention. Aged garlic is high in sulfur compounds that are easily absorbed and have beneficial effects on heart disease and health.
It is important to read the label on all garlic products carefully. To get the most beneift, use standardized garlic products. Also, follow the directions of a qualified health care provider with knowledge and experience in herbal medicine.

Precautions:

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and that can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
Garlic is considered to have very low toxicity and is listed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Side effects from garlic include upset stomach, bloating, bad breath, body odor, and a stinging sensation on the skin from handling too much fresh or dried garlic. Handling garlic may also cause skin lesions. Other, more rare side effects that have been reported by those taking garlic supplements include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aches, dizziness described as vertigo (dizziness), and allergies such as an asthmatic reaction or contact dermatitis (skin rash).
Garlic has blood-thinning properties. This is also important to know if you are going to have surgery or deliver a baby. Too much garlic can increase your risk for bleeding during or after those procedures.

Possible Interactions:

Garlic may alter the function of certain prescription medications. If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use garlic supplements without first talking to your health care provider.
Antiplatelet medications -- Garlic may exaggerate the activity of medications that inhibit the action of platelets in the body. Examples of such medications include indomethacin, dipyridamole, Plavix, and aspirin.
Blood-thinning medications -- There have been reports of a possible interaction between garlic and warfarin that could increase the risk of bleeding in people taking this blood-thinning medication. Therefore, when taking medications that may thin the blood, such as aspirin and warfarin, you should not use garlic supplements unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
Protease inhibitors -- Garlic may reduce blood levels of protease inhibitors, a medication used to treat people with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Protease inhibitors inclue indinavir, ritinavir, and saquinavir.
As always, speak with your doctor before starting any herbal treatment. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

He putteth forth...



"He putteth forth his own sheep" (John10:4).

Oh, this is bitter work for Him and us--bitter for us to go, but equally bitter for Him to cause us pain; yet it must be done. It would not be conducive to our true welfare to stay always in one happy and comfortable lot. He therefore puts us forth. The fold is deserted, that the sheep may wander over the bracing mountain slope. The laborers must be thrust out into the harvest, else the golden grain would spoil.

Take heart! it could not be better to stay when He determines otherwise; and if the loving hand of our Lord puts us forth, it must be well. On, in His name, to green pastures and still waters and mountain heights! He goeth before thee. Whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him. Faith's eye can always discern His majestic presence in front; and when that cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move forward. Bind this comfort to your heart, that the Savior has tried for Himself all the experiences through which He asks you to pass; and He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that they were not too difficult for your feet, or too trying for your strength.

This is the Blessed Life--not anxious to see far in front, nor careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, nor weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time.
~Streams in the Desert

Feeling much better this morning.  I got some sleep last night, which always helps.  Also had a good talk with the captain.  I am realizing that I put a lot of pressure on myself, which isn't very productive in my walk.  I have slowed down my brain to focus on things He has laid on my heart (see 14 marks of a wise woman), to hold on to the love I do have from so many people in my life, to not think about the pain my mom has caused, to continue to speak truth to myself, and to be an encouragement to others.  That is my mission in this season of my life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

To be a soldier in His army...

God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you? --C. H. Spurgeon

To be left unmolested by satan is no evidence of blessing.~Streams in the Desert

I love when I seek the Lord when things are going on in my life that leave me restless and feeling down and I can always find Him...

Falling, but not staying down...

I have been working on having a meek and quiet spirit. I feel like I am failing some.  I feel like I can't get it right.  I try.  I do. But, when it comes down to an opportunity to practice it, I fail more times than I succeed.  I will say that I am aware of such and I am thankful for that because now I can try harder when the next opportunity comes.
I just feel like I have anger or sadness brewing inside me.  I think it's probably from a lot of stress that has occurred already this year.  I was hurt by my mom when she said bye to our relationship and that it was my loss, finances are a bit tight right now, feeling out of sorts with how well I'm doing at being a good wife, etc.  I feel like satan has been whispering so much evil in my ear and it's driving me crazy!

I know, I know.  I need to give all that stress over to Him.  I do, but then I pick it up again. ;)  The blessing of this blog is that I can write it out and that helps me give it over and not pick it back up.  I can get it out of my system so to speak.  I have prayed about this and I may have fallen, but I will get back up.  I know God takes our hand and helps us back up.  I know not every day is sunshine and rainbows. I know we all have times like this where it seems to be a bit more cloudy.  But, shucks, I was enjoying the sunshine very much.

I desire to be a woman of purity, humility, meekness, gentleness, and joy.  Trying desperately to not let satan steal those things from me.  Praying for peace in the valley...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies...gluten free.


I made these today and they are yummy! They melt in your mouth. :)  I made mine gluten free, but you can use regular flour.  Try 'em!

1 1/2 c flour (I used gf flour blend)
1 t lemon zest
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

6 T butter softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1/3 c buttermilk
Glaze
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 T buttermilk
1/4 t vanilla
Cream butter, sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt. Mix with wet ingredients alternating buttermilk ending with four mixture.
Bake 350 for 11 min and add glaze. :)

14 marks of a wise woman...


Today I am sharing 14 marks of a wise woman. She...
  • Fears God, Proverbs 31:30.
  • “Openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness ,” Proverbs 31:26.
  • Is content to be a “keeper at home,” Titus 2:5. (This doesn’t mean she never leaves her house, but her focus and the bulk of her attention is on her home and family.)
  • Loves her husband and children, Titus 2:4.
  • Is focused more on inward character than outward adornment, I Peter 3:3-4.
  • Is modestly attired, I Timothy 2:9.
  • Is trustworthy, Proverbs 31:11.
  • Has a meek and quiet spirit, I Peter 3:4.
  • Is industrious, Proverbs 31:13-27.
  • Is giving, Proverbs 31:20, Luke 8:3.
  • Is discreet, Titus 2:5. (“of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses, curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate,”)
  • Is chaste, Titus 2:5.(“exciting reverence, venerable, sacred, pure; pure from carnality, chaste, modest; pure from every fault, immaculate; clean”).
  • Builds up instead of tearing down, Proverbs 14:1, Ephesians 4:29.
  • Is praiseworthy, Proverbs 31:28-31.
Do these marks describe you?

Now if someone asked your husband and children---would they wholeheartedly agree?

~From "A Wise Woman Builds Her Home" 

These are 14 marks that I strongly desire to have.  Some I achieve, some I need to work a little harder on.  But, by God's grace, it can be achieved.  Why not take one mark a week and work on it...in 14 weeks we should be more wise. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter wonderland...






Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. :)  I love seeing fresh snow without any animal tracks in it.  Eventually, it's neat to see the animal tracks and to realize just how much "traffic" comes through your property. :)

I slept much better last night, which felt really good.  Hard work makes for good sleep as they say.  I should be hearing back from the doctor's office today.  I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say and seeing what the next step is...I just want to feel better and I think when my breathing becomes normal, I will.

Today would be a good day to stay home and be cozy, but the captain is taking me into town today for groceries.  We simply ran out of time yesterday.  Hunter has loaded the wood rack and the house has been staying nice and warm.  Ah, that word load...tis a good word. ;)

In closing, can I encourage you to bless your husband today?  Ponder all the things he has sacrificed for your family.  Think on all the hard work he puts his body and mind through to provide for your family.  Let him know how much you appreciate him.  Do something special for him.  Your encouraging words can give him fuel to go out and conquer the world for you.  It keeps him going.  It makes him want to keep going in his daily conquest.  We as wives hold a lot of power in our words and actions.  Are we going to use that power to tear down or build up our men.  Me?  I'm going to build up my man to help him be the man God created him to be.  It does my heart good to see my husband "strut" around with a smile on his face because of the choice I made to encourage and bless him...which do you choose?

Monday, January 10, 2011

He keeps the key...



Is there some problem in your life to solve,
Some passage seeming full of mystery?
God knows, who brings the hidden things to light.
He keeps the key.

Is there some door closed by the Father's hand
Which widely opened you had hoped to see?
Trust God and wait--for when He shuts the door
He keeps the key.

Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet,
Or answered NOT as you had thought 'twould be?
God will make clear His purpose by-and-by.
He keeps the key.

Have patience with your God, your patient God,
All wise, all knowing, no long tarrier He,
And of the door of all thy future life
He keeps the key.

Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest,
To know of EVERY door He keeps the key.
That He at last when just He sees 'tis best,
Will give it Thee.

Beloved, whenever you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one.
~Streams in the Desert

There are doors that may seem to be shut, and they very well may be, but there are also doors that may be just opened a crack.  Enough for us to see what lies on the other side, but not enough to walk through it to get to what lies therein. God can leave a door cracked to encourage us to be patient, and not lose hope, for what's on the other side. He has also closed doors in my life that he later opened with His key.  While difficult, we must trust.  I must trust.  He knows which door to close and which door to leave cracked open. I can have joy in my heart when he allows me to see beyond the door, knowing what's on the other side is not closed off forever. :) I can rest and be at peace knowing He keeps the key...One year ago today, God shut a door, but has since opened it a crack...I love when God speaks to my heart and I can share it with you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Encouragement...

Another post that comes from the quiet whisper of the early morning...sharing what God has put on my heart.

If you have ever been encouraged by someone, you know how much good it can do for the heart.  It is like a soothing salve on a bruised spirit.

In turn, you know how important it is to encourage someone else.
"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people." ~Philemon 1:7

This verse talks about encouraging people with love.  The act of showing love refreshes the hearts of the Lord's people.  When we use a kind word, we show love.  When we give a much needed hug, we show love.  When we hold the hand of the one we love, we show love.  When we build someone up with encouraging words, we show love.  When words of wisdom are used, we show love.  When we make a meal for our family, we show love.  When we kiss a booboo, we show love.  When we are there for our loved ones, we show love.  Because God is love, when we show love, we show God.

Encouragement goes such a long way for people.  A little bit can last them a lifetime.  It's something that attaches itself to the soul of that person and helps shape them.  I know.  I have been encouraged by people I love and people I hardly know.  It sticks to you regardless of how well you know the giver.  It can mean more when it comes from someone you dearly love, but it still means something even if it comes from a stranger.

I want to be a Barnabas.  I want to affect the lives of others in a positive way for Him.  God has given me many examples of how to do just that.  He can use anyone to bless the lives of others.  I hope the ones who have encouraged me with their love know just how much it has blessed me...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Prayer...

"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me." ~C.S. Lewis

Herb talk---Edible flowers...

I know this post is a little early as there are no flowers growing this time of year.  But, did you know you can eat some of those flowers?  What a great way to use some of them up!


Flowers can brighten anyone's day. :)  I like them in salad.  For a quick pick-me-up this spring and summer, give these flowers a try....but make sure they are not sprayed with any pesticides!

Daisies
Roses
Hibiscus
Dandilions
Violets
Pansies
Nasturtium
Honeysuckle
Lilac
Clover
Sunflowers
Daylilies
and Zucchini and Squash blossoms

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sit still...

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days--these waiting days--as ill!
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if He waits, 'tis sure He waits to prove
To thee, His tender child, His heart's deep love.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord's will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could'st thou for Him fill?
'Tis hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
'Tis hard, 'tis true! But then--He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
--J. D. Smith
~Streams in the Desert

Feeling a bit jumbled tonight...trying desperately to sit still....

Good morning...

 This post is really just a hodge podge of stuff today...I've been pretty tired lately, I believe from my shortness of breath. (still waiting for final test results) So bear with me. ;)

It's a gloomy day here in central Illinois...but, there is sunshine in my heart. :)  It's cold outside, but it's warm in the house.

I am hoping to get the chicken coop cleaned later today...when it "warms" up. ;)  It's not my favorite thing to do in the winter, but it needs to be done.

My husband stayed up late last night to keep the fire going in the woodstove.  When he came to bed, he woke me up to tell me how much he loves me and appreciates me.  He said it was neat to him to see God work even in the beginning of our relationship.  We were not Christians then and he is in awe of how God blessed him with a godly wife anyway.  God can do great things! :)  And He does. That is truly a blessing I don't take for granted...

This year has started out painful, but I am reminded that even so, it is peaceful with Him by our side.  I have more opportunities to practice contentment.  I have more opportunities to speak truth to myself and family and not listen to the whispers of the evil one.  John 8:32.  I have the opportunity enjoy freedom.  Whether I continue in that freedom or slip back into bondage is a choice I have to make.  I choose freedom! 

I pray everyone enjoys their day...knowing that love that is given continuously or occasionally, continues on forever.  It continues on forever in the heart of those who receive it.  It cannot be taken.  It sticks to their bones like a good hearty meal.  It builds them up.  It never disappears.  It can't.  After all, God is love....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Songs of praise rise from affliction...



"Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints" (Rev. 15:3).

The following incident is related by Mrs. Charles Spurgeon, who was a great sufferer for more than a quarter of a century:

"At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. Vainly I tried to see the Hand which I knew held mine, and guided my fog-enveloped feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering. In sorrow of heart I asked,

"'Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?'

"These fretful questions were quickly answered, and through a strange language; no interpreter was needed save the conscious whisper of my heart.

"For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound, a little, clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window.

"'What can it be? surely no bird can be singing out there at this time of the year and night.'

"Again came the faint, plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious enough to provoke our wonder. My friend exclaimed,

"'It comes from the log on the fire!' The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak's inmost heart!

"Perchance he had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old since then, and hardened; ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up the long-forgotten melody, until the fierce tongues of the flames came to consume his callousness, and the vehement heart of the fire wrung from him at once a song and a sacrifice. 'Ah,' thought I, 'when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!'

"Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust in Him, and cheerful compliance with His will.

"'As I mused the fire burned,' and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me.

"Singing in the fire! Yes, God helping us, if that is the only way to get harmony out of these hard apathetic hearts, let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than before."
~Streams in the Desert

Funny how God knits things together...yesterday I read the scripture "But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." Ps 59:16
And this morning I came across the above devotion from Streams in the Desert...I think He wants me to sing! :)  Whether I sing from affliction or from the joy I have in my heart, I will sing praises to Him no matter.  I am singing a song of thankfulness today...I am thankful for so many things.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sorrowful, yet rejoicing...



"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:10).

The stoic scorns to shed a tear; the Christian is not forbidden to weep. The soul may be dumb with excessive grief, as the shearer's scissors pass over the quivering flesh; or, when the heart is on the point of breaking beneath the meeting surges of trial, the sufferer may seek relief by crying out with a loud voice. But there is something even better.

They say that springs of sweet fresh water well up amid the brine of salt seas; that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes; that the noblest psalms were the outcome of the profoundest agony of soul.

Be it so. And thus amid manifold trials, souls which love God will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy. Though deep call to deep, yet the Lord's song will be heard in silver cadence through the night. And it is possible in the darkest hour that ever swept a human life to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure God's will, nor only to choose it; but to rejoice in it with joy unspeakable and full of glory. --Tried as by Fire

I will be still, my bruised heart faintly murmured,
As o'er me rolled a crushing load of woe;
The cry, the call, e'en the low moan was stifled;
I pressed my lips; I barred the tear drop's flow.

I will be still, although I cannot see it,
The love that bares a soul and fans pain's fire;
That takes away the last sweet drop of solace,
Breaks the lone harp string, hides Thy precious lyre.

But God is love, so I will bide me, bide me--
We'll doubt not, Soul, we will be very still;
We'll wait till after while, when He shall lift us
Yes, after while, when it shall be His will.

And I did listen to my heart's brave promise;
And I did quiver, struggling to be still;
And I did lift my tearless eyes to Heaven,
Repeating ever, "Yea, Christ, have Thy will."

But soon my heart upspake from 'neath our burden,
Reproved my tight-drawn lips, my visage sad:
"We can do more than this, O Soul," it whispered.
"We can be more than still, we can be glad!"

And now my heart and I are sweetly singing--
Singing without the sound of tuneful strings;
Drinking abundant waters in the desert,
Crushed, and yet soaring as on eagle's wings.
--S. P. W.
~Streams in the Desert

Burdened...

I feel like I'm walking around with a burden on my back.  I know I need to lay it down.

After telling my mom how I feel, she said that if that's how I feel then bye. I don't even know what to say.  She told me to look in the mirror, but then I'd be shocked at what I saw. It wouldn't hurt as much if she didn't say she was a Christian. Painful times...

Frankly, I'm tired of all the hurt in that situation.  I'm ready to be unburdened and soar with the eagles.  I am thankful for love I do have that is shown to me.  I don't take any of it for granted.  I want to be more purposeful in showing love to my family.  I want God to be glorified in my life.

I am going to pick myself up and continue on towards the cross.  I hope to love and encourage others along the way and I hope to be loved and encouraged along the way, too.  This walk can be difficult alone.  But, I know I am not alone.  I have a God who will never leave me nor forsake me...

Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all. ~Thomas Brooks

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Can I be as that of the pearl oyster?



I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate "the pearl oyster"—A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot reject the evil, but what does it do but "cover" it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl! Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which otherwise would have harmed us. ~Charles Spurgeon

Monday, January 3, 2011

Taking care of business...

Today starts Hunter back to homeschooling...it was a good vacation for him, but he's not ready to start back yet. ;)  It's time to take care of business and reset our routine.  I go into church today to volunteer for a bit.  This afternoon I have an appointment for pulmonary function tests.  I'll be glad to get those over with.

When I return home, I have a lot of cleaning to do. I filled the sink with dishes yesterday and started them soaking and forgot all about them!  I've been pretty tired.  Today I'd like to do dishes, dust, vacuum, and mop.  I switched my grocery shopping days to Tuesday because Monday's were so hectic to me.  If you know me, you know I don't like hectic. ;)  Things should be slowing down now that the holidays are over.

In the spring, I will be making soap.  I'm looking forward to making my own natural soap.  I will also be making natural lip balm. Things I use myself, but would love for it to come from my own hand.

Next month, I'll be conducting a shooting class for 4H.  I'm the rifle instructor for now and I will be doing this class for three months, but then I'll be done.  Should be a good time...

I pray everyone enjoys their day...and if you are blessed enough to have sunshine today like I am....soak it up! :)

*UPDATE:  Had my pulmonary function test done and ended up having an asthma attack...did NOT enjoy that at all.  Ended up needing 6 puffs of an inhaler to stop it. Should know more this week about what the doc thinks I should do next.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Honor Him in the trials...

"Glorify ye the Lord in the fires" (Isa. 24:15).

Mark the little word "in"! We are to honor Him in the trial--in that which is an affliction indeed and though there have been cases where God did not let His saints feel the fire, yet, ordinarily, fire hurts.

But just here we are to glorify Him by our perfect faith in His goodness and love that has permitted all this to come upon us.

And more than that, we are to believe that out of this is coming something more for His praise than could have come but for this fiery trial.

We can only go through some fires with a large faith; little faith will fail. We must have the victory in the furnace. --Margaret Bottome

A man has as much religion as he can show in times of trouble. The men who were cast into the fiery furnace came out as they went in--except their bonds.

How often in some furnace of affliction God strikes them off! Their bodies were unhurt--their skin not even blistered. Their hair was unsinged, their garments not scorched, and even the smell of fire had not passed upon them. And that is the way Christians should come out of furnace trials--liberated from their bonds, but untouched by the flames.

"Triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:15).

That is the real triumph--triumphing over sickness, in it; triumphing over death, dying; triumphing over adverse circumstances, in them. Oh, believe me, there is a power that can make us victors in the strife. There are heights to be reached where we can look down and over the way we have come, and sing our song of triumph on this side of Heaven. We can make others regard us as rich, while we are poor, and make many rich in our poverty. Our triumph is to be in it. Christ's triumph was in His humiliation. Possibly our triumph, also, is to be made manifest in what seems to others humiliation. --Margaret Bottome

Is there not something captivating in the sight of a man or a woman burdened with many tribulations and yet carrying a heart as sound as a bell? Is there not something contagiously valorous in the vision of one who is greatly tempted, but is more than conqueror? Is it not heartening to see some pilgrim who is broken in body, but who retains the splendor of an unbroken patience? What a witness all this offers to the enduement of His grace! --J. H. Jowett

"When each earthly prop gives under,
And life seems a restless sea,
Are you then a God-kept wonder,
Satisfied and calm and free?"
~Streams in the Desert

Oh how I wish to be!  I am getting better as the years go on, but it takes work. There are blessings that come out of trials.  Blessings that stick with you and of which you like to keep to yourself.  I'm reminded that some things never change. God never changes. What a blessing that is!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The land is a land of hills and valleys...



Today dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown.  There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to posses it.  Who can tell what we shall find?  What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise?  But, here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, "The Lord thy God careth for it." "His eyes are upon it away to the ending of the year." (Duet:11:12)

All our supply is to come from the Lord.  Here are springs that shall never dry; here are fountains and streams that shall never be cut off.  Here, anxious one, is the gracious pledge of the Heavenly Father.  If He be the Source of our mercies they can never fail us.  No heat, no drought can parch that river, "the streams whereof make glad the city of God."

The land is a land of hills and valleys.  It is not all smooth nor all down hill.  If life were all one dead level the dull sameness would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys.  The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys.  Ah, so it is with us!  It is the hill's difficulty that drives us to the throne of grace and brings down the shower of blessing; the hills, the bleak hills of life that we wonder at and perhaps grumble at, bring down the showers.  How many have perished in the wilderness, buried under its golden sands, who would have lived and thrived in the hill-country; how many would have been killed by the frost, blighted with winds, swept desolate of tree and fruit, but for the hill-stern, hard, rugged, so steep to climb.  God's hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!

We cannot tell what loss and sorrow and trial are doing.  Trust only.  The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today.  It shall be a good, blessed new year!
~Streams in the Desert

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