March 28, 2018

The Pearly Gates

One day, on the day our earthly existence ceases, we all will have to stand before the pearly gates and give an account of ourselves. I hope you are ready . . . 

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." ~ Psalm 100:4

1. FAMILY -- I'm thankful for new family members! And a spiritual family willing to pray for me!
2. HEALTH -- Insurance insisted that we have Hep C bloodwork and I thank God I don't have it, nor HIV or AIDS! I'm also thankful for some advice and reminders from a new doctor about my state of emotional health which I wrote down in my "reminder-binder" as Stephanie calls her Documented Faith-book. 

A. Remember! I can't control what others do, only my behavior!
B. Use "I" statements -- I like it or I don't like it when and then explain why. Don't use statements that begin with "YOU" as those negatively attack the other person.
C. Be nice to myself. When I get upset, take some time-out, cry, and then MOVE out of the negative space. Do good to myself and go be with supportive people. 
3. ROADS -- We watched a television documentary on the early history of automobiles and the American road system. There were very few paved roads in the United States when Henry Ford began manufacturing his cars (1901). Most were just packed trails of dirt which would turn into mud-pits once they got wet. Then Sunday, our pastor taught us about the "Righteous Road" and how to avoid the ditches on either side -- one being "legalism" and the other "license." I'm so thankful for good roads! 
4.  ADVICE = I heard a 70 year old woman say today, in order to teach your children to see humor in every day situations, ask them to tell you something funny they saw at school that day. I bet that would also work for teaching thankfulness to your children by asking them daily at the supper table, what they are grateful for. 
5. SIGNS OF ROYALTY -- Like the Princess and the Pea story, what sets me apart from the crowd? What do I do or not do that would tell the world that I follow Christ. Well, one thing would be my speech.  Do I cuss and swear like an old sailor? No. I was told growing up that "damn" you and its cousin "dang" were taboo because it showed contempt for people made in the image of God.

James 3:10 says: "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing (cussing). My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

I used to put myself down and it really bothered my husband, so he told me one day that I shouldn't do that because I was made in the image of God and was the beloved Daughter of the  Heavenly King. I'm a slow scholar sometimes and was reminded of that all over again in the ladies Bible Study where I learned about the attitude of gratitude. So that fall, before our harvest party at church, I bought each one of our Bible study ladies a visual reminder from our local Dollar Tree store and handed them out to each one -- a lavender colored, royal heart tipped SCEPTRE (staff). I've kept mine in the utensil crock next to my stove, so that every time I reach for a spoon or a spatula, I'm reminded again of who is it that I belong to! 👸 ♕
I was told this week that I have a rare moral compass that points straight north. I KNOW the direction it points to and it is my Father King.  I try to keep myself aligned with him, however, I'm far from perfect. Like I told my son one time after he complained that I expected him to be perfect, I'm not perfect, but I would like to see some progress in the right direction.  ↻ smile! 
6. SUGAR-FREE RECIPE = I've been working on a recipe for Cornmeal Mush. I got tired of eating cooked oatmeal (Thank you, Lord, for the oatmeal and variety!), so wanted to branch out and experiment with other cooked cereals. I have lots of cornmeal in my refrigerator (keep it in the frig, so it doesn't get rancid/stale), so decided to figure out how to make microwaved cornmeal mush because all the cookbooks I have here at home made it on the stove. So here's how I make it:

2 bowls, both big enough to hold 2 cups of water without spilling and one microwave safe
2 pats of salted butter
1 whisk, 1 fork, 1 spoon
liquid measuring cup -- 1 or 2 cup
1/2 cup uncooked cornmeal
stevia or honey and milk
microwave, 2 pot holders and/or a bowl cozy

1. Pour 1 cup of tap-warm water into each bowl.
2. In the non-microwavable bowl, while you are stirring the water with the whisk, dump in the cornmeal and whisk until all the cornmeal is wet and there are no dry lumps. This step is important as it reduces the cooking time. 
3. Next, throw in the two pats of butter into the microwavable bowl, place into the microwave and nuke the butter and water for 2 minutes. (While I'm waiting, I do my leg exercises like leg lifts and balancing on one leg at a time for a count of 25.) After the bell dings, I remove the bowl with potholders and stir in the wet cornmeal with a whisk. Use a spoon to scoop the last bits of cornmeal from the bowl and stir it again in the microwavable bowl with the whisk. This will be the last time you can use the whisk.
4. Nuke it again for two minutes and remove to stir the mush with a fork or tablespoon. It will have begun to congeal at the bottom of the bowl, so you need to break it up with the stirring utensil -- I break up the lumps by cutting them with the side of the fork or spoon and then mashing them with the back of the fork or spoon. Stir it again.
5. Replace bowl in microwave and heat it again another 2 minutes. It should appear congealed at the sides with a little liquid in the center by this time (if it doesn't, after stirring, cook it at 2 minute intervals until it does). I remove the bowl from the microwave and place it into the bowl cozy, then stir in milk,  and some sweetener (honey, some of the fruit-sweetened jam, a mashed banana or stevia) with my spoon. Yum! 
At my local Walmart, I also discovered that Post has an unsweetened, spoon-size shredded wheat cold cereal, so I bought a box to try it. Good for the weekend when we're rushing to get out of the door. smile! Thank you, God, for the companies who are providing me with nutritious, low-sodium, unsweetened food that I can eat! 

March 10, 2018

A Peculiar Princess!

"Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men." ~ Psalm 107:23-31. 

I always wanted to have girlfriends just like my mom did, but I was for the most part a social misfit. I've always had trouble making and keeping friends, however, I'm learning that I'm a . . .

1. I'm A Peculiar Person! -- Did you know that the term "weird" means witch-like? Some people use the term thinking it means strange, but it does not and as a Christian, I am certainly not witch-like, because I am following God. I don't know what I would have done during the hard, sad times of my life, if he wasn't there to support and carry me through them (Thank you, Daddy Lord, for doing that! You are so good and kind to me!). Sometimes I feel like a real social misfit, just like one church website I read said:  

"Ever feel like a character from Rudolph’s Island of Misfit Toys? Feel like an outsider who often finds yourself living on the margins, chronically misunderstood by all the other toys who aren’t on Misfit Island?

We want to belong but a lot of the time, we feel like a jack-in-the-box named “Charlie”.  We get pushed to the margins. Not quite in. Not quite out. Sort of in “no man’s land”.

Let’s discover some truths which not only make being a misfit toy in the Kingdom of God more bearable, but actually beautiful and encouraging, because people who understand they are misfit toys might just be Jesus’ favorite kind of people."
I had to read these Bible verses to understand what a PECULIAR person meant according to the dictionary and the Bible! And the hardest thing then is, is learning to EMBRACE my peculiarity because I AM HIS! AMEN?

Exodus 19:5, KJV. = Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Deuteronomy 14:2, KJV. = For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Deuteronomy 26:18, KJV. = And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments


Titus 2:14, KJV. = Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.


1 Peter 2:9, NJV = But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light!

2. Good Health  -- My life is far from perfect and I'm amazed that I find myself drawn to my gratitude blog to make myself feel better when I'm blue.  I recently have had two sleep studies and will probably have to have a c-pap machine. sigh! And this week finds me battling cellulitis in my right foot. But I am thankful for doctors and antibiotics! 
3. God's Gonna Fix It = I'm thankful for my cousin's rendition of this song. 
4. Yay! 3 Pounds Lighter = Visited the doctor for my follow-up this afternoon and when we came out of the building to get back into the pick-up, we discovered we had a really flat tire. I am so thankful for the guy in scrubs who came by and helped my husband change the tire. He went above and beyond his duties as medical personnel to assist us. Didn't catch his name, but God knows who he is and I'm asking God to bless him today!
5. Happy Birthday, Dear! = Sir D, my husband's birthday is today! I'm so thankful that God brought us together 36 years ago on a blind date! 👑