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We have been studying the names of God on Sunday morning during worship.  This past Sunday morning, one of the dear brothers in our congregation died. He worshiped with the Savior on the Lord’s day!    His wife also has cancer. They were hoping to take a short trip in April.   Please pray for her and the family.

One of the scriptures that the preacher lead us to was 2 Chronicles 16:12-13.  “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet.  His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD (Yahweh Rophe) but the physicians. So Asa slept with his fathers, having died in the forty-first year of his reign.”

When we or a loved one becomes ill, whether it be in mind, body, or soul, to whom do we turn to first?  Are we like in Matthew 6:33, seeking the kingdom of our dear Lord and His righteousness first?  This is a decision we all must make every moment of our lives.

When the answer to our request of the Great Physician, Yahweh Rophe, is no, then we must accept the will of the One who made us.  If we are trying to live in the will of our Father, then we must understand we are dependent on His provision.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year thee and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.”  But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.  Therefore, “to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4: 13-17)

We are not insignificant to our Creator.  He knows our needs and I have to believe He is sad when we do not seek Him first before His created beings.  God gave man great abilities to do great things.  With all that man can do, we are still unable to heal as God can heal.

Before we left worship this past Sunday morning, the brother of the man whom had died read Psalm 33: 12-22.  I will leave you with this passage as well.  Remember…..”But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you”. (Matthew 6:33)

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.  The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From His dwelling place He looks out on the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.  The king is not saved by a mighty army;  A warrior is not delivered by great strength.  A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.  Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness,  to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waits for the LORD;  He is our help and our shield, For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name.  Let Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us,  according as we have hoped in Thee.”

Soothing Sore Throats

This past month has been difficult for the young men in our family.  Sinus infections and strep throat have both invaded our home.  In an effort to provide healing nourishment, I tried a new recipe.  It stated that it was good for colds and sore throats.  The recipe did not disappoint!

This recipe was not only nutritious, it was quick to prepare!  With all the illnesses making their through our communities,  I hope you will give it a try.

Coconut Chicken Soup

1 quart chicken stock

1 ½ cups whole coconut milk or 7 ounces creamed cocounut

¼ tsp dried chile flakes

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt or fish sauce

Several green onions, very finely chopped (optional)

1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro (optional)

Bring the stock to a boil, skim any foam that rises to the top and add coconut milk or creamed coconut, lemon juice, chile flakes and ginger.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt or fish sauce.  Ladle into soup bowls or mugs and garnish with onions and cilantro.  (We personally like it in a mug to sip on.)

Powerful and comforting remedy for colds and sore throat.

Learning New Skills

Lately I have been trying to learn new skills, such as saving seeds, preserving food without canning, etc.  I grew up on a farm where we canned our vegetables and butchered our chickens and hogs.  These skills have not been used in a LONG TIME!!

My sweet husband purchased a water-bath canner, jars, and the standard Blue Ball canning book to help me re-investigate the lost art of preserving food. He had purchased a case of apricots, hence the need to learn how to preserve this great gift!

I am finding there are a lot of others learning or brushing up on skills that have grown cold.  “Getting back to the land” so to speak.  It is a growing community that are learning to lean on one another in these tough economic times.

There is a new website I just discovered that has a great amount of information that I hope you will check out.  It is called Food Storage and Survival. http://foodstorageandsurvival.com/ Right now they are having a huge giveaway of products we are familiar with.  Besides the giveaway, there is a terrific amount of lessons that one can learn from.

Another great tool that we are learning to use is a dehydrator.  It has been fun!  So far we have made “cranberry muffins” and they disappear like they were cookies!  The whole family is looking forward to what the next experiment might be.

Prudence is a word I have been studying and this word fits into my thoughts for today. Being “prudent” is a skill we ALL need to learn!  Two verses of Scripture that I would like to leave you with today are:

Proverbs 19:14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
1Timothy 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

God bless you in the adventure of learning new skills!

Great Giving Challenge Contest Entry: NV 4 PIF.

Beloved by all who knew her!

Dearest Reader,

As the seasons are changing once again around us from summer to fall, there was another change in our lives this past week.  Our beloved Grandmother went home to be with God. 

She loved the seasons that God gave us to enjoy on this earth and always prepared for them accordingly.  There was one change she was always preparing herself for…Heaven!  Grandma was a great example of not living for this world.  While I was growing up, I recall the many times I stayed the night with her.  She ALWAYS read her Bible before going to sleep.    We spent time discussing God and his Word.  She taught us as she went about her daily duties, cooking, sewing, working, etc. 

Grandma was still trying to memorize and put God’s Word on her heart at 93 years old.  When we spoke, she would ask, “How is the memorization coming?”  I would know that she would be referring to our own memorization of God’s Word.  Her Bibles were well-worn and “marked up”!  Very rarely did she miss her time spent with sisters and brothers of the church.

Running around with Grandma was fun!  We would go visit her friends, take food to those in need and she always had time to listen.  I know I talked her ear off!!! 🙂  She was a faithful friend and trustworthy.  If she said she was going to do something she did it!  After my Papa passed away (38 years ago), we would take her with us on vacations with our family.  She always added a new dynamic to the trip.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful memories we have of our beloved Grandma, but there is simply not enough room!  Let me leave you with thoughts that were impressed upon me at a young age:

Psalms 90:12     So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 7: 1    A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Psalms 116: 15    Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.

May you EAGERLY seek the things not of THIS world, but things ETERNAL!  God bless you as you seek HIS face!

http://www.swearingenfuneral.com/funeral-schedule/m.obituary/17/view/1230

My Favorite Season

I am so thankful that God gave us the seasons. While I have lived in places that only seemed to have two seasons, summer and winter, fall would have to be my favorite.  The changing colors in the leaves, the cooler days, and the sweet smells of the outdoors is refreshing.

One of our first meals of the fall is Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash.  Because acorn squash is harvested in the fall, it is a dish that has to “wait patiently” most of the year to be enjoyed.   I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 acorn squash (3/4 – 1 pound each)
5 ounces bulk turkey sausage (I have used pork sausage as well)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP chili powder (use less if you don’t like spicy)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste ( I usually leave this out when adding full TBSP of chili powder)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (Have used pepper jack cheese)

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet or dishes with butter.
2) Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking dish/sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with butter; heat over medium heat. Add turkey sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt, and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10-12 minutes.
4) When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking dish/sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted. ENJOY!

If in a hurry, prep your vegetables early for quicker assembly!

Tasty Seafood Meal

Like many people, we are trying to eat healthy and on a budget. I found a wonderful recipe that meets our personal family requirements. We like seafood. The fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and basil in this recipe help to use your garden vegetables you may have grown.

Tonight was the first time I served this dish and it was met with welcome delight! This dish is versatile. Early preparations of vegetables hastens the meal to the table.

I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy a family meal together.

Pasta with Scallops, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

1 pound fettuccine pasta ( I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced ( I used 6)
2 zucchini, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more depending on taste)
1 cup chopped fresh basil
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 pound bay scallops
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1.  In a large pot with boiling salted water cook pasta until al dente.  Drain.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil, add garlic and cook until tender.  Add  the zucchini, salt, red pepper flakes, dried basil (if using) and saute for about 10 minutes.  Add chipped tomatoes, bay scallops, and fresh basil (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes or until scallops are opaque.  Be careful not to over cook, as the scallops will become tough.

3.  Pour sauce over cooked pasta and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.