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.