The Great Divide - Error vs. Truth in Our Churches

After having to live through story after story of unbiblical Pastors leading their congregations to defy the government orders and have gatherings at their churches - the President has now deemed it ok to congregate once again.  President Trump got the CDC to list churches as essential, so the closing of them can never happen again and so that all churches can now reopen without fear of violating Romans 13.

I honestly have been alarmed that a large number of Pastors and leaders of Christian churches in America thought it was ok and their "right" to defy the government and their leaders by congregating.  Romans 13 explicitly tells us that God is not OK for the defiance of rules, regulations, orders, etc from our governing bodies.  Yet, you have so-called leaders of God's people leading them to violate the Word of God in disobedience and thereby sin!  The blind leading the blind...  They have truly shamed the church as as whole by their behavior and brought a reproach upon Christians.

We refused to gather because even though the Ohio governor didn't place any restrictions upon churches in Ohio, he did request they don't:

Out of respect to our great governor of Ohio, we considered our fellow man and remained at home doing online church.  Only now, after the President has declared it is ok, would we resume.  However, the power is still ultimately up to the state, we do still believe in that right?

This pandemic and all that we have seen has truly shown where the church lies.  We have a bunch of Pastors that don't know their Bible and can't rightly divide the Word of God and would lead their people into error.  Notice you will be mocked if you obeyed Romans 13 and stayed home.  Mocked for doing right - truly, calling "good" evil and their "evil" good, because that is what disobedience is.

I'm reminded of the Israelites who murmured for bread.  God simply gave them a rule - don't gather more than needed, it will rot and don't gather any on the Sabbath.  Did they listen? NOPE!  Times have changed, the story line has changed but people haven't changed.  They think they know better than God's Word.

Exodus 16:4
Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no

Exodus 16:26-28
Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.  And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws

I applaud all the Pastors and church leaders who obeyed their government during this time despite it being against the religious "rights" of the Constitution.  God's Word of Romans 13 trumps any country's constitution.  Even though we were denied our constitutional rights, we should still hold firm in obedience to those that rule over us in government.  We have no biblical grounds to do otherwise.

Related Post: Can Christians Defy and Overthrow Government?

Organizing Recipes

I finally organized all my printed recipes into ONE binder, yes a very big binder!  I've been meaning to do this for a long time but only made the time this past week.  I do plan on organizing even further later when I type of copies of my favorite recipes in my cookbooks and print those out.  At that point, I will need another big binder most likely.  I also have some really old recipes in a cabinet that I no longer make (fatty food) and I may pull those out and type them up and print as well.  That way, if my daughter wants my recipes, she can have a digital copy and print her own one day.  I even have tons of recipes on my computer that I've never printed out or even tried before.  But that's for another day!

Here are the categories I made:


The Law of Blessing From Obeying Gender Roles

I've learned that whether or not you are a Christian, there is a law that seems to happen that whenever the man and woman step into their proper roles - the result is a blessing.  I dare you to try it.  I've done this for 20 years!  If the man fulfills his Godly role of being the provider and the head of the home and loving his wife as Christ loved the church and the woman fulfills her Godly role of being the keeper at home and in submission to her husband and respects him and his decisions - you can't help but be blessed!!

During this time of quarantine we can see so many women acting like they are literally dying by 1. Being home and 2. Being home with their kids.  These women are so unaware of what they were made for.  Their children FEEL that they are unwanted, I know because I was one of them with a mother like that.  Let me tell you something women that are like this, listen to me and listen close.  It is time for you to SURRENDER.  You are called to sacrifice yourself for your husband and children.  You can't be selfish, it will only hurt the ones you are supposed to love the most - your family.  Let go and surrender your agenda and serve your family!

We are called to a life of service as women.  We can't let our own pursuits take over to the point that we are serving self and neglecting not only the very people we are responsible for; our children; but the very thing we are created for!

After 20 years of living on one income and being in my role as a woman and my husband in his as a man, I can look back and see the wonderful law of blessing that God has put upon this type of unity.  It's as if no matter how 2-income couples try their hardest to get ahead, they have to work extra hard for it than we did.  Sometimes God has just handed us things on a platter for free.  Was it just because we were His children?  I don't think so because I know unsaved couples that saw this law of blessing performed in their lives because of the proper unity of roles.  There is just something about obeying the natural roles that applies to everyone!

In reality, the "law" is actual obedience to God's Word and thereby comes the blessing.  God created us in the roles He did and they work in perfect unity when performed and if we do the opposite, we can't expect that this law of blessing will reside upon us because we are in disobedience.  It's time to get this law of blessing working in your family today!  No career is worth disobeying God for and neglecting your home, husband and children.  Disobeying this very basic role for which you are made is only going to hurt you and that, quite possibly, for all eternity.

Happenings This Week

My life is virtually the exact same as before this pandemic, minus missing physical church services and going shopping other than groceries.  Life has actually been way busier for me as I'm cooking and baking more to utilize what we have on hand to meet our cravings.

Some things I made (all homemade) worthy of note were: Cincinnati chili, Pintos/Onions/Potato Stew, Chicken/Kielbasa Jambalaya and then for desserts - blueberry muffins and cinnamon rolls.

Homeschool Room Re-Do

We had purchased the last 2 years of homeschool curriculum for our daughter, grades 11 and 12.  I now have materials to school Preschool-12th grade in this house.  I had no idea how I was going to fit these new books on our already full shelves, there just wasn't any room.  I also have several bookshelves downstairs of non-homeschool books.  Here was the dilemma:

The new books needing a home:

The lack of space to store them:

Those toy food items with prices on them are our math "store" right now.  You can see I have no space to put anything else.  But, I knew with organization and God, anything is possible!  Prayers go a long way as you will soon see.

I also had our craft cabinet in the garage since we moved here, 3 1/2 years ago almost.  I really wanted it in the house and specifically in the homeschool room.  Just didn't think it was possible..  Well, I moved the small bookshelf beside the desk work area and them moved the easel where the bookshelf was AND my husband brought up the white craft cabinet.

Now, tell me how is it possible that I actually brought MORE stuff into the homeschool room, yet I condensed it, even have leftover empty containers AND space opened up on my bookshelves to fit the new books?  If that wasn't enough - it literally feels like we have more space in here!

There is still a lot more organizing I want to do of the things on the black bookshelves and I may even be able to bring in our science supplies that are in the garage!  I also plan to put a big bulletin board or posters on the wall by the bathroom, where I currently have the human body sticker poster.

I can take any child, any age, any grade and school them in this room!  I thank God for that ability.  I have less than 12 years of schooling for my son, 2 1/2 years left with my daughter and then hopefully more with children God will give us through adoption.  It has been a long journey since we started but the Lord has been with us all the way!  We're almost to the finish line with our daughter!!

Burned Dryer - Out with the Old

14 years ago we bought a used dryer for $99 and well... it caught on fire and thankfully the Holy Spirit nudged me to go check the dryer, ok, several nudges before I finally listened - to save the house just in the time!  It burned the back wires, thermostat, element and metal before I turned it off.  The top of the dryer was so hot, I almost burned my hand.  We were going to fix it but the appliance repair said it was too dangerous and to get a new one.

Since it took a few days to deliver, I took the opportunity to do a deep cleaning on my laundry room.  I cleaned everything - like look at the dirty wire racks:

Nice and clean now:

We still have the washing machine we bought 14 years ago used too, I think its from the 80's originally.  All we've had to replace was the dogs (hooks in the agitator) and those are $3.

I got the rug in New Mexico, I would decorate my whole house in this decor if I could!  Absolutely love New Mexico!

My Star Magnolia Tree

I'm calling it a tree as I've seen some experts say it is indeed a small tree that will reach 20 feet.  I didn't know what this "bush" was when we first bought this house but I noticed that it would bloom every March these beautiful, fragrant, white flowers and then, in a short time, they would fall off and then leaves would grow. 

Almost 8,000 Americans Die Every Day

I was looking at some data, the most recent I could find from the CDC was 2018's data.  It is pretty much the same every year and here are the numbers:

On average...

2.8 MILLION people die every year in the United States!

7,708 people die every DAY in the United States!

150,000 people die every DAY in the World!  That's almost 55 million people dying every year in our world.

Death is inevitable as we can see.  The sad part is that in the US, the most deaths occur from Heart Disease, which is generally a preventable disease with proper diet and exercise, as is Diabetes (type 2) and lack of proper diet and exercise is a contributor to others in certain ways.

Chart by

Close to 48,000 people COMMIT SUICIDE every year in the United States!

*These numbers are BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic will only add to these numbers.  Currently COVID-19 has killed 2,112 people in the United States and 33,833 in the world.

I believe this will help us put all of this in perspective as most people don't realize that every day we live in this country, 8,000 people die!  A couple million die every year.  We need to prepared to meet God, you never know when your time will come.

Can Christians Defy and Overthrow Government?

There are many accounts in the Old Testament of God's people defying the government and resisting.  We can think of Moses, right?  What a revolution of escape that was, could it be compared to the American Revolution where Christians fled controlling rulers?  However, with Moses' story, GOD destroyed Pharoah's army, the people actually didn't fight for freedom physically.  In the American Revolution, we didn't take the first shot (or so they say).  They wouldn't let us just go without a fight.  We have a right to self defense. Then, what about Daniel or the 3 Hebrew men?  They defied government.  Rahab did.. I think you see the idea.

But some may say, that is OLD Testament, we are under the NEW testament.  True, but we are reminded in the NEW Testament of these great defiers in Hebrews 11 are we not?  God viewed them in a good way.

What is happening right now in America is that leaders are ordering us to stay home for what reason?  For the GOOD of the nation and our fellow man.  They aren't doing this for evil.  This isn't a comparison to Moses or Daniel or even the Hebrew men.  Could it set the precedent in the future to try and take away our rights?  Yes, but that doesn't mean we DEFY the government right now when they are looking towards the good of mankind.  It would be wrong to do so as we are shown throughout the New Testament, especially in Romans 13:

Romans 13:1-7
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 

Those scriptures clearly show us that we have no place to rise up, when there is nothing happening but good.  American rights are not being trampled on right now, let's not read into this and think everything is a trojan horse.  Sure, it could be but biblically right now, you have no authority from God to defy your government.  They are acting upon the good and protection of health, as best as we can perceive.

American "rights" are a luxury and something we are blessed with, as we live in a utopia of freedom.  If the government should ever take those away, does that mean that Christians everywhere can rise up and overthrow the government and start a war for freedom?  That is an answer I can't say that I have at the moment but it would do good to think that at any time God could take our "rights" away because the nation as a whole has forsaken God and allowed all manner of wickedness to reign!  We aren't promised this utopia forever.  We are the most spoiled nation on the earth and we have put out more filth from Hollywood than anyone.  Truly, America is very similar to the Babylon spoken of in Revelation 18, I don't know of another place so blessed and so wicked.

We don't know what we may face in the future and these new times are bringing up questions we've never really had to answer before in this fashion.  Many fought and died for us to have the freedom we have today in America.  Why are we squandering it by bringing on the wrath of God as we allow such abominations as we have today?  It isn't the government we need to fear - it is God!

1 Timothy 2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 

God placed our rulers in government there and we are to obey them AND... PRAY for them!  If we pray for them, it will be better for us.  Make it a point to pray for our leaders.  If you don't like your governor because he is evil, MOVE - it's a free country.

Ecc. 10:20
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

Pray for the government leaders.  Fear God.  Pay your taxes.  Keep yourself obedient to the law of the land.  That is the plan God laid out for those that represent His name as Christians.

Frugal Blonde Brownies

This recipe makes a half-sheet full of blonde brownies and they are really good.  I needed something I could make that would last a few days since I can't buy any packaged desserts or cookies and my family wants a dessert (so do I 🤣).

The Power of Women & Family in a Crisis

Nicholeen Peck really said this so well that I wanted to share her video clip!  She said my thoughts lately on how great it is that the world has mothers and children at home for the first time ever (in modern times) collectively.  Great things are happening despite all the sickness and dying.  Let this crisis change you and make you realize that God instituted the family for the instruction of the children.  Mom, you were made for this!

Podcast Episode #2 - Coronavirus Continued

I did a quick, 13 minute podcast to say a few things that were on my mind to share with you all!  I've included the scriptures I quoted in the podcast below.

Click here for Episode #2

1 Peter 2:13-17

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 

Psalms 146:3-7

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry.

My 1st Podcast! Episode 1 - Let's Talk About Coronavirus

I just recorded and uploaded my first episode on my Podomatic.  I hope you all listen and enjoy.  I did make a few mistakes, like mistook Moses for Noah on one part and then some difficult to pronounce words for this southerner 🤣

Preparation is something God has shown us throughout the Bible, it isn't fear or panic or lack of faith!  Click below to listen:

Episode 1 - Let's Talk About Coronavirus

Coronavirus Survival Beneficial Posts

I've taken time to collect a lot of posts that I think could be beneficial to you all during this time that a lot are staying home and need help with frugality or homemaking.  I hope to blog more in the future but for now, here is a compilation of posts that should help:

Cleaning Related:
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner (I still use this, tea tree oil is the disinifectant!)
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner
Homemade Cleaners

Food Related:
Homemade White Bread
Homemade Tortillas
Homemade Pie Crusts
Homemade Salsa
Homemade Bean Dip
Smoothie Recipes
Freezer Cooking Q&A

Herbal Health Related:
Colds/Flu/Bronchitis/Strep Natural Treatment (*Latest and best post)
My Medicine Cabinet
Cold Remedies
Cold/Cough Remedies
Bronchitis Remedies
Stress Relievers That Work

Utilizing Small Freezer Space
3 Months Meals in Freezer Organization

How I've Saved Money
Frugal Tips From Readers
What Cheap Meals are Made Of
Example Grocery Budget
126 Meals for $30 and $50

General Homemaking
Homemaking Skills to Learn

The Abandoned Post - Keeper at Home

Homes all over America, and even the world, have had the most crucial post abandoned - that of the Keeper at Home.  In times past when women were at their post as keepers of their homes, there was less divorce, less juvenile delinquents, less psychiatric issues, less adults trying to find love in all the wrong places and on and on.  Women were at home and there was always someone there to have the home ready, meals to eat and to care for the sick.

Now, when faced with a virus and schools closing, we have a surge of women demanding somebody else do their job yet once again.  They're demanding the government step in and provide childcare.  You can't possibly ask a mother to stop working and stay home with her kids!?  For a lot of children, their parents don't provide even their basic food, they depend upon the schools and now they're demanding the government continue to pay for their children's food since schools are closing.  Ultimately it is up to the father to provide but since woman has decided she wants to be a man and do his work, guess she'll have to man-up and deal with everything that comes along with being a man.

Women need to return to their posts at home!  There needs to be a keeper at home.  Why do people think this isn't important but now we can all see it is actually extremely important.  If women had been at their post, there wouldn't be so much chaos right now in so many homes.  Guess what?  Homes need a woman fulfilling her Godly role AT home!

Proverbs 14:1

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

It isn't just working mothers that abandoned this post, there are even women who are AT home but are not keepers at home.  They are lazy, wasteful, selfish, spend all their husband's hard-earned money, they won't learn to do homemaking skills, they sit around on Facebook or watch Netflix and get fat, unattractive and neglect their husband's needs and their children!  There are actually women that work that do MORE than some lazy homemakers - it is true.

Notice Matthew Henry's commentary (late 1600's) on this verse that say sit so well:

1. A good wife is a great blessing to a family. By a fruitful wife a family is multiplied and replenished with children, and so built up. But by a prudent wife, one that is pious, industrious, and considerate, the affairs of the family are made to prosper, debts are paid, portions raised, provision made, the children well educated and maintained, and the family has comfort within doors and credit without; thus is the house built. She looks upon it as her own to take care of, though she knows it is her husband's to bear rule in, Est_1:22. 2. Many a family is brought to ruin by ill housewifery, as well as by ill husbandry. A foolish woman, that has no fear of God nor regard to her business, that is wilful, and wasteful, and humoursome, that indulges her ease and appetite, and is all for jaunting and feasting, cards and the play-house, though she come to a plentiful estate, and to a family beforehand, she will impoverish and waste it, and will as certainly be the ruin of her house as if she plucked it down with her hands; and the husband himself, with all his care, can scarcely prevent it.

Wow!  I've always believed that if my husband puts in 8 hours a day (he actually does more than that) of work on a job, I better be putting that amount of work into my "job" at home!  We can not afford to abandon our posts ladies!  We are the hand that rules the world - we fashion and form the future generations' work ethic and morality.  Your children will be the best representation of you to others.  What goes on at home, shows in the children outside the home.  It isn't just the children, they say behind every good man is a good woman, and how true that is.  Women hold it all in their hands - they will make or break their homes.

*As with anything, there is the exception - widows and divorced or unwed single mothers, although some put themselves in that predicament and have to face the consequences.  We should, as I blogged about - be making sure the widows and orphans are taken care of during these times.

Free PDF of 6 Things God's Sheep Do

I quickly created a 13-page PDF of the series I just wrote, "6 Things God's Sheep Do".  I've also included the links below to each post if you would rather read them that way but I think the PDF makes it great in one ebook.  This series was weighing on my heart to write for a few months and I pray it helps other women realize the importance of examining ourselves and making sure we are truly God's sheep and to actually DO these 6 things!

Here are the 5 parts of the series blog posts:

126 Meals for $30

I thought this was a great video to share with you all, in case you are going to possibly be without work due to the coronavirus closures and need frugal meal ideas.  This lady fed her family of 6 for a week on $30 and she shows you exactly what to buy and each and every meal of the week how to make it!  I've also included a link to another video with the same idea.

126 Meals for $50 -

Part 5: 6 Things God's Sheep Do

So far in this series we did an overview in Part 1 here and then in Part 2 here we went into detail on the 6 things God's sheep do and in Part 3 here we talked about wealth used for self and lastly in Part 4 here we talked about what pure religion is.

The 6 things that God's sheep do as we discussed already are:

  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
  3. House Strangers
  4. Clothe Those Without
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Come to Those in Prison

We've talked about all the details of these 6 things and it can ALL be summed up in one word - COMPASSION!  If you have compassion, you will be doing these 6 things.  God's sheep have compassion because God does - he is touched with the feelings of our infirmities!

What is compassion exactly?

Webster's defines it as sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. defines it as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. And Berkeley sums it up in 3 words - TO SUFFER TOGETHER.

God's sheep have sympathy for others' distress and they want to help them!  We suffer together!  If you don't have this, you aren't His.  Notice what God says in this verse:

1 John 3:17

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

The love of God just can't dwell in you if you don't help your sister (or brother)!!  Compassion helps others.  Compassion goes out and reaches the lost.  Compassion is what is desperately missing in the church today.  We have been consumed by SELF - self love, self pride, self ambition, self success, self worship, selfies, self, self, self!  The church is full of goats who think they're sheep but Matthew 25 clearly shows us how that will end when he divides them based upon the 6 things above.  What will you be classified as?  A true sheep of the Lord or a deceived goat?  I will leave you with some verses on compassion in the New Testament:

Mat_9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Mat_14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Mat_15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

Mat_18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

Mat_18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

Mat_20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Mar_1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Mar_5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Mar_6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Mar_8:2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

Mar_9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Luk_7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Luk_10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Luk_15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Heb_10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

1Pe_3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Part 4: 6 Things God Sheep Do

So far in this series we did an overview in Part 1 here and then in Part 2 here we went into detail on the 6 things God's sheep do and in Part 3 here we talked about wealth used for self.

The 6 things that God's sheep do as we discussed already are:

  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
  3. House Strangers
  4. Clothe Those Without
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Come to Those in Prison

Let's look at James 1:27:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 

PURE religion is going to church?  Oh wait, nope!  Pure religion is actually about OTHERS - to visit the fatherless (that's kids with no father and/or orphans) and widows (women whose husband has died) in their affliction... and then to keep yourself unspotted from the world.  We like to concentrate on the 2nd half of that verse as good holiness Christians but we neglect the other in looking to orphans and widows!  I love how Adam Clarke remarks on this verse:

True religion does not merely give something for the relief of the distressed, but it visits them, it takes the oversight of them, it takes them under its care; so επισκεπτεσθαι means. It goes to their houses, and speaks to their hearts; it relieves their wants, sympathizes with them in their distresses, instructs them in Divine things and recommends them to God. And all this it does for the Lord’s sake.
Reader, what religion hast thou? Has thine ever led thee to cellars, garrets, cottages, and houses, to find out the distressed? Hast thou ever fed, clothed, and visited a destitute representative of Christ?

I found this excellent commentary that really sums up what pure religion is, it is from Preacher's Homiletical:

Visit.—The Greek word implies more than “go and see”; it means “look after,” “care for.”
It is in ministering to the spotted that we best keep ourselves from the spots.
Religion on its practical side is doing something for somebody, and that proves to be the secret of keeping ourselves clean.
Religion then is just this—when seen on its practical side—keeping ourselves free from contamination by finding spheres of Christly service outside ourselves.
We must keep ourselves clean for service.

Our church is full of families that have adopted, even multiple children in some families!  It is an amazing thing to see Christians doing their part in that regard.  The widows in the church are surrounded by help on all sides.  It is evident that these 2 parts of James 1:27 are being performed as it should be evident in every church.

If you adopt an orphan, you are performing many of the above 6 things - you are feeding a child that needed food, giving them drink, housing them, clothing them and taking care of them when they are sick!  Yet, there are so many children that need this and nobody wants them.  God help us.  We'd rather have material things than children.  That has always made me sick at my stomach.  I've never been understanding of people that dislike children!  God sure likes them and He chose to call them a blessing!

I've given a few more commentary on this verse below:

John Gill - to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction; and not only to see them, and speak a word of comfort to them, but to communicate to them, and supply their wants, as they may require, and according to the ability God has given.

Matthew Henry - It is very remarkable that if the sum of religion be drawn up to two articles this is one - to be charitable and relieve the afflicted.

Alexander MacLaren - ‘visiting’ means more than calling on - namely, looking after and caring for.

John Wesley - The only true religion in the sight of God, is this, to visit - With counsel, comfort, and relief. The fatherless and widows - Those who need it most. In their affliction - In their most helpless and hopeless state. And to keep himself unspotted from the world - From the maxims, tempers, and customs of it. But this cannot be done, till we have given our hearts to God, and love our neighbour as ourselves.

Part 3: 6 Things God's Sheep Do

So far in this series we did an overview in Part 1 here and then in Part 2 here we went into detail on the 6 things God's sheep do.

The 6 things that God's sheep do as we discussed already are:

  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
  3. House Strangers
  4. Clothe Those Without
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Come to Those in Prison

I've always believed that God doesn't give anyone wealth for them to go buy enormous amounts of luxury things. I believe God gives wealth so that they can help others. If God has given you more money, or even a substantial amount such as a millionaire, you would naturally help more people than the average person could. Surely, a Christian who comes into wealth, will see that God has blessed them so they can bless others in large ways.

Pleasure is ruining a lot of Christians! We have laid in our American bed-of-ease for far too long with no care or concern for the above 6 things. The sheep have turned into goats and they will be surprised, as Matthew 25 shows us, when they say: "Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?" If you don't do these things for your sister (or brother), you aren't God's sheep. There really is no pass given in these verses - God has clearly outlined what your character as a true sheep of God will be - one that is about helping others and that is unselfish.

Matthew Henry says it very well in this commentary:

When I was in these distresses, you were so selfish, so taken up with your own ease and pleasure, made so much of your labour, and were so loth to part with your money, that you did not minister as you might have done to my relief and succour.

Dear God don't let us ever become so loving of our money that we can't part with it to help another have relief!  God didn't give us money to meet just our needs and wants, He gives us extra past that to help others.  I notice a lot of the time that the ones without much actually give more.  A poor sister may give all she has or give what she really needed to someone else.  Then, the rich sister with plenty to spare, won't even give a dime.  However, you can be rich and give as well - just look at Bill Gates!  What a heart him and his wife have.  What a great thing to be able to be in a position to relieve so many.

Jeremiah 5:28
They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 

This verse pretty much sums it up - they are so full of themselves they could care less about the hurting!  Notice it says they OVERPASS the deeds of the wicked - they're far worse than the wicked because they live in the lap of luxury and don't care for the hurting - specifically the orphans and needy.  God's sheep are NOT like this!!

Matthew Henry says it well:

They have become great in the world; they have waxen rich, and thrive upon it. They have wherewithal to make provision for the flesh to fulfill all the lusts of it, to which they are very indulgent, so that they have waxen fat with living at ease and bathing themselves in all the delights of sense.
The fatherless are often needy, always need assistance and advice, and advantage is taken of their helpless condition to do them an injury. Who should succour them then but the great and rich? What have men wealth for but to do good with it? But these would take no cognizance of any such distressed cases: they had not so much sense of justice, or compassion for the injured;

Wow!  They become wealthy and they spend it all on themselves.  What a waste!  Indulgent - Fat - Bathing themselves in delights - Selfish.  It would be good for a lot of us to quit fattening ourselves up and get to work helping others!

Isaiah 1:23

Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 

Give me, give me, give me!  This isn't the spirit that God's sheep have.  They don't run after themselves and stomp on the most afflicted.  This commentary from Matthew Henry sounds just like Washington DC politicians:

They love gifts, and follow after rewards; they set their hearts upon their salary, the fees and perquisites of their offices, and are greedy of them, and never think they can get enough; nay, they will do any thing, though ever so contrary to law and justice, for a gift in secret. Presents and gratuities will blind their eyes at any time, and make them pervert judgment.
Those will have a great deal to answer for who, when they should be the patrons of the oppressed, are their greatest oppressors.

The last part of that really says it all - They should be "Patrons of the Oppressed" but yet they are actually the greatest oppressors!  God's sheep aren't like this!  God's sheep will rather look to the oppressed than oppress them.  Notice how God has given the same theme throughout the Bible showing us examples of what His sheep DO and DO NOT do.

This Week of Vegan Meals

We tried several new vegan recipes this week and they were ALL very good!  They all came from this new cookbook I bought from Nisha Vora - The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook.

The first meal I tried from this cookbook was Tofu Tikka Masala because we already love Chicken Tikka Masala, so we wondered how the vegan version would be.  It was absolutely delicious!  It consisted of tofu that has been marinated in coconut milk, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.  Then, cauliflower, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and lemon and lime juice with seasonings of cumin, ginger, garam masala, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, sugar and cilantro.  The best part was the cashew cream!  To make that, I soaked the cashews and then in a food processor mixed in soymilk, lemon juice and sauce.  All this served over basmati rice.

The next recipe we tried was Chickpea Vegetarian Biryani, which is another Indian dish.  This was by far my favorite because not only did I have seconds at dinner, I ate it for breakfast the next day and again for dinner the next day!  The dish includes chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetables (I used carrot/cauliflower/broccoli mix), raisins, cashews, onions, garlic and basmati rice with seasonings of cardamom, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and lemon juice and cilantro.  You make a homemade Raita sauce to put on top, which is cucumber, nondairy yogurt (I used unsweetened soy), garlic and ginger, cilantro, cumin and garam masala.  Some spices I left out because I didn't have were fresh mint, fennel seeds and serrano pepper.

Then today, I made West African Peanut Stew over basmati rice and this one was another winner.  It was sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peanut butter, kale, tomatoes, garlic and onions over rice.  Again, many, many spices like all of Nisha's recipes so far.  Coriander, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, cilantro, salt/pepper and lime juice.

Every recipe I've made in this book was a 5-star!  I can't wait to try even more recipes.  Nisha has a YouTube channel as well with great videos on cooking and a lot of ideas for batch cooking at the beginning of the week.

Part 2: 6 Things God Sheep Do

You can read Part 1 here that gives an overview of Matthew 25 and the 6 things that God's sheep do.

Let's review the 6 things God's sheep do:
  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
  3. House Strangers
  4. Clothe Those Without
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Come to Those in Prison

The above 6 things that Jesus defines His sheep doing are all for other people!  Selfishness has no place in God.  When you are truly are born again by the Spirit of God and have the mind of Christ - you won't be selfish.  You will think of others.  You will look out for your sister (or brother) in Christ.  Jesus did say that to "the least of these my brethren" in verse 40 we are to do these things, he was clearly talking about those in the faith, especially the least esteemed.  Oh, how opposite I've seen this.  I've seen the least esteemed treated with disdain, not allowed in the "best" seats and frankly not even invited.  God isn't like that and as we can clearly see here - His sheep aren't either.

Is your sister-in-Christ hungry, thirsty, needing housing, needing clothing, sick or in prison?  If you haven't ministered to her (or him for men), then you are not God's sheep according to Matthew 25.  Have we as women, become so focused on our own responsibilities that we haven't the time for doing these 6 things for our sisters-in-Christ?  I believe we are to help those within our sphere of life; those around you and in your circle.  A lot of people like to help people in Africa before they will lift a finger to help the sister sitting next to them at church.  God placed you where He did, in the town He did, for a reason.  That's your realm, your sphere and your territory of ministering to others.

If your husband isn't with you, you shouldn't be helping your brother-in-Christ alone.  I think that goes without saying but you never know these days.  Couples could do these things together and help a brother, but for this series, I'm concentrating on women helping women.

Feeding the Hungry
God has touched my heart many times in the past 20 years of being a Christian to bring groceries to a sister.  I can relay to you many times, some even late in the evening, that I went and bought groceries and took them to a sister in need without her asking.  Nobody knew I did these things, I didn't need glory or even need for others to know that I did them.  I cared about my sister and I obeyed the Holy Spirit!  I didn't even realize I was following Matthew 25 until recently because quite frankly, I never even heard Matthew 25 taught in church!  I've been in church all my life from birth (my dad was the Pastor growing up) and I don't remember a sermon or study on this very topic.  But isn't it amazing that despite not hearing it and despite somehow skimming over it in Bible reading over the years - that I still performed these things?  That's because when you are His, you do His Work, it is just in you to help others and have compassion on the hurting, sick and oppressed.

Give Drink to the Thirsty
This one is easy, how many times do we give someone something to drink if they ask for it when they are at our house?  I think we all could fulfill this easily.  However, it isn't just doing it sometimes, it is doing it whenever we are presented with it in our sphere.

House Strangers
If we do these things to those in the faith, then why would they be called strangers here?  I suppose maybe it means if we see someone who is a Christian that needs a home, like say their house caught on fire or they lost their job or got evicted.  But does this mean we physically house them in OUR home?  I think in earlier times this was normal but in our days, I don't think it is safe.  I would rather try and provide a place for them, like a hotel, so they would be housed.  I've always felt uncomfortable with anyone staying in my home besides my own parents.  I've heard too many stories among Christians where a child was molested by another "brother" that stayed with them in their home.  I always played it safe in this regard.  I don't think I have personally come across someone needing to be housed.  We live in America which is probably why I don't see this, but in other countries it is probably more common to find others needing housing.

Clothe Those Without
I've given away so many clothes to sisters, even currently, although I don't know that I actually gave clothing to someone naked and without.  I suppose when donating to charity or the Salvation Army, you are contributing in some way to fulfill this.  If presented with a sister (or brother), who was truly in need of an article of clothing, I feel that I would supply it but I can't remember a time where I've seen that.  

Visit the Sick
Having had a rough life physically, I understand the degree of hurt that you can feel when no one comes to visit you when you are sick.  For the majority of my sicknesses and hospitalizations over the years, no one came to visit.  There was about 2 times I remember someone came and that meant the world to me that someone actually cared enough.  During the other times no one came, I cried asking God why nobody cared enough to come visit me.  God told me that He had touched people's hearts to come but they refused.  Now, whenever someone we know ends up in the hospital, we go visit them.  A lot are shocked that we come and we tell them the story of how we felt being alone with no visitors!  So, it has become my mission now to make an effort to visit the sick, especially in the hospital.  Just this past year alone, we've been in the hospital visiting 5 times those we are close to.  One of the people we visited ended up passing away, a very dear friend of ours.  I remember what he said to us when we came to visit him yet again, he said: "I know that if anyone would come visit me in the hospital, it would definitely be you all."  He was hurt that hardly anyone came to visit him as he was slowly dying and I understand that hurt in some ways.  There is nothing like being in a hospital bed scared by your condition and finally see who your true friends are.

Come to Those in Prison
There was a brother in our church many years ago, that got away from God and ended up in jail.  Although, I couldn't go visit him, my husband did.  That's the only person I've known in prison who has lived in our town.  Currently where we live, I don't know any.

I tried to tell you what I've done in each of these situations to give you a better idea of what you could do.  God told us to EXAMINE ourselves.  We need to constantly examine ourselves against the Word of God - do we do the things God said we would do if we were His?  Do we refrain from things God said His refrain from?  Who are we really serving?

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. 

Feel free to leave a comment explaining what you have done or situations you have faced involving some of these.  I still have a lot more to share, so expect a few more posts on this series.

Part 1: 6 Things God's Sheep Do

I'm embarking on a series of posts about these 6 things.  We will give a brief summary in this post and then future posts in the series will go more into depth.

There needs to be a reformation within the churches before it is too late.  Too many people are being spiritually abused and oppressed.  Too many people are needing help and not finding any.  Too many people are hurting with no solace or comfort.  God needs us to do His Work and be His hands.

There are 6 things that Jesus said that His true sheep do.  What are they?

  1. Feed the Hungry
  2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
  3. House Strangers
  4. Clothe Those Without
  5. Visit the Sick
  6. Come to Those in Prison

These things are so important to God that we do, that He says if we don't do them, we'll actually be thrown into everlasting fire!  I think this should definitely cause us to stop, look at these verses and really think about this.  

Matthew 25:31-46 KJV

31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 

44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 

Notice, God separates them and calls those that do these 6 things SHEEP and those that did not GOATS.  Which one would you be?  The ones that did these 6 things are the righteous; the true sheep of God.  We need to heed this because we will be held accountable to God's Word.  We as women, need to understand and do these things if we want to truly be who God calls His sheep.  We can't sit back and wait for someone else to teach us, we need to study and understand the Bible.  Churches may not preach this, does that mean you get a pass with God?  No, you'll be a goat Jesus clearly says in Matthew 25!  Dig in the Word Sisters - be able to give people an answer when they ask you about these things.  Lack of knowledge in these things is so prevalent among women and one reason I started this series.

In Part 2, we will go further into depth.

Mother - Most Valuable Job EVER!

I absolutely loved Dave Ramsey's response in this call about mothers staying home with their kids!  He talks about how his wife hasn't made a dime in her life - she's been a (full-time) mother for 33 years and a grandmother.  Being a mother is the most valuable job you could ever have!!  Go Dave!

My Natural Approach to Colds, Flu, Bronchitis and Strep

I've been into natural health since I was a teenager!  Yes, it's been a long time and a passion of mine.  However, I didn't get into full-fledged herbalism until several years ago when I encountered a slew of health problems and got desperate and tired of being sick and tired!  I've gained a lot of experience, knowledge and practice with natural health and over the years found what works for us.

Whenever we get sick with a virus (almost always is a virus, rarely bacterial), this is my routine to help bolster our immune systems and get us through the virus as quickly as possible.  Sometimes it works the first day and knocks it out and other times I'm late giving the herbs and we suffer a bit more but still shorter than if I hadn't given herbs.  You can find the links to recipes for some of these in this post.

At the first sign - very first sniffle, sore throat or any other sign indicating we're on the verge - I start giving these:

  • Echinacea - a tincture combination of the whole plant (Purpurea) and root (Angustifolia)
  • Umcka - a tincture of Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sodisides 1x)
  • Elderberry syrup - I make this homemade and it lasts several months in the fridge
  • Thyme cough syrup - I make this homemade and we use it at night for coughs
  • Probiotics - keep gut flora healthy!  I like Garden of Life's Probiotics for Kids.
  • Mullein tea - as needed for chest congestion and coughs
  • Garlic/Onion Soup - I make a potent soup with garlic cloves and onions and it tastes good and packs a punch!

I give the Echinacea, Umcka and Elderberry 2-3 times every day.  I only give the probiotics every other day.  Then, I make sure we eat vitamin C rich foods and/or take some vitamin C.  We stay away from cow's milk during times we have a cold, so we don't get thick mucus.  If need be, we do the netipot or natural salt/baking soda water nasal spray to cleanse nasal passages (use distilled water only!).  If there is a sore throat, we do Throat Coat tea at the first sign of it.  We also do sage gargle rinses a few times a day and/or warm water salt gargle rinses.

We also wash hands any time we touch our eyes/nose/mouth and I disinfect door handles, faucet/toilet/sink handles and keyboards and mouses!  Also, we make sure to drink lots of water to flush it all out.  I make sure to have the house at at least 40% humidity in the winter, so constantly running humidifiers helps keep our membranes moist and will also help with congestion. 

Diffusing essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree helps purify the air.  If congestion is really bad in the nose but especially if in the chest, we do steam baths under a towel with boiling water and eucalyptus oil.  It not only helps open the passages, the eucalyptus coats the bronchioles to PREVENT bacteria from adhering!  If the cough needs help thinning during the daytime, we do use Guaifenesin tablets with lots of water.  At night, we use the thyme cough syrup to stop that tickle and if we wake in the night, we use more and/or Ricola original herb cough drops, which are my favorite.  You ought to read the story behind Ricola, but I will tell you the 10 herbs in the drops are: 

Lemon Balm
Linden Flowers
Wild Thyme

Other common sense things to do would be wash bed sheets and pillowcases dailyDisinfect your toothbrush daily with Listerine.

*I only give Tylenol or ibuprofen if there is unbearable pain or fever over 102.

Doing the above things, we have survived strep throat, flu, colds and bronchitis without prescriptions drugs or antibiotics.  If anything doesn't get better or shows sign of bacterial instead of viral, we see a doctor but it usually never gets to that point thankfully!

Keeping your immune system strong throughout the year as well helps.  You can do that by eating healthy foods, taking a multivitamin and watching your stress levels.  Also, we sanitize every time we get in the car - either from church or the store, etc.  Then, when we get home, we wash our hands.

Most importantly - PRAY and get some SLEEP!  

Removing Burn Stains on Stove Top

I've had these burn marks on the stove, probably a year or more and I've tried everything and just gave up and dealt with them being there.  I tried magic eraser, Softscrub, all-purpose cleaner and bar-keeper's friend and nothing worked.  I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore and set out to go to war with these stains and eradicate them.  Several places online shared about using baking soda and peroxide and though it did work some, I still had to do it twice (letting it sit the second time longer) and I had to scrub and use a butter knife for the parts that nothing was going to get off.  I'm so happy it is all gone!!  Talk about oddly satisfying - this made my week.

I put about 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl to make a paste. Then, I put it on all around making sure everything was covered and let it sit for 30 minutes. I scrubbed with a stiff cleaning brush and then used a butter knife to get up the stubborn burns.

Monthly Meal Planning & Shopping

We used to shop weekly, then we went to biweekly and now we do monthly grocery shopping.  We do make a trip to the local store whenever we need bananas or salad but everything else is bought once a month at Aldi and Kroger.  I made a meal plan for 4 weeks and then I went through the recipes and made a list and checked it with what we had on hand.  Here was the menu for this 4-week period, which is January 18th - February 14th.

I like to do a big casserole on Saturday and have the leftovers (L/O) on Sunday.  Fridays are pizza days, frozen or homemade.  I like to have a Mexican night on Tuesdays and then a meatless night once a week, either vegetarian meal or breakfast for dinner meal.  We only eat red meat once a week, unless we have a kielbasa meal.  On days we have appointments that may keep us out for a few hours, I don't plan a meal to cook; we eat out.  It is just less stress for me that way!  A lot of the meals are very easy, instant pot meals.

For breakfast and lunches we do oatmeal, burritos, PB bread, protein bars, quesadillas, tacos and whatever else we crave depending upon the month.  Snacks are fruits, vegetables, string cheese, nuts/seeds, PB, homemade muffins/breads/cakes, tortilla chips, bean dip, etc.

We spend $360 a month on groceries, mostly all food but I do buy some non-food items like paper plates, ziplock bags, hand soap and napkins.  Soap, shampoo, toilet paper and all those type toiletry items and vitamins/supplements, we have a separate budget for called our "necessities", and it doesn't come out of the $360 we spend on groceries.

Cash Envelope System

I was using plain, cheap white envelopes for cash purchases but I was tired of them tearing and getting all bent up in my purse.  I came across these from Clever Fox and I absolutely love them!  They're waterproof, tear proof and hold their shape very well and even come with budget sheets and a zippered bag to keep them in.

Last year we started going back to using a debit card and cash envelopes after I got tired of being a paycheck behind on paying bills.  Although we paid off our credit card twice a month, I just kept having stress about it not being money we actually had that 2 week period.  Some months I would spend more and be stressed if we would get enough to pay it off.  I never paid a dime of interest.  I also have received over $2,000 in cash rewards since having the credit card but at what cost?  I may get $50 back a month but it's so much easier to overspend when using a credit card - so it wasn't helping!

Now, we only spend what's in the bank and we only use cash for local purchases like food, gas, etc.  It is less stressful and I actually think it's fun to do the envelopes.  Even the kids take part by stuffing the envelopes when we go to the bank.

Here are the categories I have cash envelopes for, although I only use the first 6 categories regularly.  The others are occasionally or hopefully one day categories.

Cash Envelope Categories

Gas (Car)
Home Maintenance
Car Maintenance