Happy Resurrection Morning – Jesus Rose from the Dead As He Said He Would – Coming Again for Us As Promised – Watch and Wait and Share the Good News -

MP900433127Mark 16:1-7 – The Bible (KJV) – And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

________________________

Acts 1:10-11 – The Bible (KJV) - And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

John 14:1-6 – The Bible (KJV) - Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

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Weeds OUT OF CONTROL – A Year of Relaxation and Fun ENDS in Nightmare Yard Project – Catfish for Lunch – Life Is Good -

GardenIt’s not like the yard was entirely neglected for almost a year. Steve worked on it many days, with a few hours of help from me once or twice; but, apparently, this was not enough. Steve told me that he has been neglecting the yard ever since he met me.

Such a bad influence I have been. Today I decided to make amends. I dedicated one hour to helping him pull weeds.

The first photo to the left is a garden framed in Steve’s handcrafted stone, and is one of many like it on the property. Each of them is similarly grown over with weeds taller than the actual planted flowers. The sight of towering weed stalks was a shock to me this morning, as I strolled out the door to begin my work. I realized immediately that this was not going to fun. I’m really into fun now. I like it a lot.

Flower BedSteve took my picture Flower bed without weedsstanding near the patio in an area plagued by gigantic tree-like weeds. These sturdy, nasty-looking growths came out with little effort, compared to the gut-wrenching, two-handed tugging required by most of their blood brothers scattered all around the pool area. Once I finished pulling out the weeds there, I took another photo of the same place, showing the beautiful Lantana bush that was struggling beneath the shade of those monsters.

Steve DancingI worked for 50 minutes. I was starving for food and completely exhausted. Steve, on the other hand, was dancing to the music blaring from his karaoke machine, as he worked tirelessly in the distance. (He thinks he’s a teenager, I guess.) Chelsea, our Bichon Frise, was dancing, too.

I piled all the weeds I pulled into a plastic packing box. I stomped them down several times to get them all inside with the exception of a heap of weeds that rose over the brim. I spent a few minutes snapping photos as I worked.

(I need to help Steve another day, or two, and I probably will. Probably. Will. If… Uh.)

Weeds piled in plastic box with my gloves on the top

Weeds piled in plastic box with my gloves on the top

By this time, I should have been cooking, but showering had to be my first priority. Detesting sweat, I thought of nothing else, even though my stomach was growling after expending all that energy.

Cooking was a pleasure. Did I say that I was really hungry after working outside? Yes. My usual work is sitting in front of a computer clicking the keys.Dinner

Steve stopped working when I called him in for a lunch of fried catfish, portobello mushrooms with cheese on top, slices of tomato, cucumber and pear. Life is good.

 

 

 

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What About Our Relationship with the Lord – Are We Secure As Believers or Does God Stop Fellowshipping with Us – (Letters to a Friend Series)

1 John 1:9 – The Bible (KJV) – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Question Mark YellowSome teach that this verse is telling believers how to receive restoration of broken fellowship with God. This teaching puts the onus on us to keep our relationship with God in good standing. If this is the case, we are obliged to become introspective, always watching ourselves to be sure nothing we have thought, said, or done, or not done, could have caused God to stop fellowshipping with us.

ALTERNATIVELY…

Read the entire first chapter of 1 John with some knowledge of church history, and be freed from this unreasonable burden.

Gnostics had infiltrated the early church. They did not believe that salvation came by Jesus dying on the cross, and they did not believe that they had sin. John addressed the Gnostics, contending with them, and offering them the gospel in 1 John 1:9.

I found an article online that explains in depth the beliefs of the Gnostics and the result of our misunderstanding 1 John 1:9.

Why did the Gnostics claim to be “without sin”?

The following article has an interesting historical and biblical perspective:

1 John 1:9

 

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Good News – LORD – Such Good News -

NewspaperGood news – LORD – such good news -
So few really know what to believe -
How good the good news was -
And is – and will always be – the
Gospel so sweet -
So simple -
A gift to
All who
Believe -
Jesus -
Savior
Lord of
Lords -

One Savior – One Lord – Jesus Christ -
One Holy life – One death for sin -
Our sins – His death – that we deserved -
Jesus carried the cross and bore
Our shame -
Our blame -
He became
Sin for us -
If only
We
Believe -
Receive -
Unfold -

crown or tiara isolated on a white backgroundYes – unfold the benefits of our inheritance -
Life – liberty – healing – prosperity – eternity -
All lost because of sin – recovered
Holy Spirit – our union with Him -
Enjoy -
Partake -
Royal
Children -
Of Christ
The King -
The good
News
Bring -

By Carol Ann Hoel © April 16, 2014

_________________________

Ephesians 2:8-9 – The Bible (KJV) – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 1:17-23 – The Bible (KJV) – That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

1 John 4:15-19 – The Bible (KJV) – That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

 

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Spaghetti Squash – Easy to Prepare – Simple Fare – Serve with Butter or Marinara Sauce – or – whatever sauce you have on your shelf – or No Sauce at All -

This one is already baked.

This one is already baked.

Wash the squash. Stab it in several places to prevent explosion. (I’ve never had one explode, so I cannot tell you what that would be like.) Stick it in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake it for 40 minutes. It will probably take an hour, but after 40 minutes, start watching it. I add 10 minutes and check it again until it’s done. When spaghetti squash is raw, the color is bright yellow or pale yellow, and the shell is hard. When it is finished cooking, the shell will have browned a little and it will dent easily when squeezed, but it won’t have a cave-sized dent as this one does. I have already cut this one in half and cleaned it out, and this is why it has caved in. I forgot to snap a photo of it while it was raw, so I put the halves back together like a whole squash.

Spaghetti Squash - after bakingCut the finished spaghetti squash in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon, and use a fork to pull the strands of squash from the sides. The insides look like yellow strands of spaghetti. I have already pulled out the squash and put it on our plates. I could have scraped more out, but our plates were full.

 

Spaghetti Squash with ButterI like spaghetti squash with Spaghetti Squash with saucesalt, pepper, and a fat glob of butter. (I know. I’m awful. All those extra calories.) My husband prefers marinara sauce, but I didn’t have any on this day. I had Classico Alfredo Saucebrand Alfredo Sauce, which I served over his squash. Spaghetti squash needs no sauce at all. Salt and pepper and dine. So why do I put butter on it? I like butter, I guess.

 

 

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Hee Haw – Chelsea Speaks – Listen Up and Don’t Forget It…

Chelsea's New BedI love to eat. I drink until I’m full. I hear what I want to hear. I see what I want to see. I like people that like me. Yes! I’m the same as you! I want my dish on the table next to yours.

Bichon Frise, Pet

Chelsea has been drinking from a water glass for several years. Really.

I want a tall glass big enough for my snout, and I want it full of your best beverage. I want your plate and you may have mine. Do all this for me and I’ll act like the happy pet you think I am.

 

 

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Make Cooking Simple – Use Whole Chicken – Quartered potato, Sliced Red Bell Pepper, Broccoli Florets, Walnuts – Be Healthy and Include Some Alkaline Foods for PH Balance -

Knife and Chicken in BagI buy a whole chicken and cut it in half. It’s simple to cut a chicken in half. Hold it by one leg with a sharp knife in your other hand. Balance the chicken on a cutting board on its neck cavity with its tail up. Grasp it tightly so that you can cut along the right side of the middle, avoiding the center bone. The rib bones break easily as you push the knife all the way down. Don’t to try to cut through the very center. When you get through to the bottom, lay it down and spread it apart, revealing any part that still must be cut. Cut through any remaining part. Freeze each half in a separate bag so you may use one at a time as needed.

Baked Chicken

I have never cut badly before, but this time I missed the middle line . Notice how there is more breast. The other half will have less breast. DUH!!!

Place a half chicken in a baking pan. Salt, pepper, and if you like, sprinkle garlic powder on it, also. It is ready to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check it at 50 minutes and add minutes until it is brown and the drippings are sizzling. Today I added a quartered potato to the pan. Usually, the potato will be done when the chicken is finished, but this time I had to take the half chicken out Cut Chickenof the pan when it was finished cooking. Plan A failed, but Plan B worked fine. I finished cooking the potatoes without the chicken in the pan. I turned the broiler on for a few minutes to brown the potato slices and continued baking at 350 degrees for five more minutes.

While the chicken and potato are baking, slice the peppers and cut the broccoli florets off the stem. (I do this only because my husband doesn’t like broccoli stems. If you like them, cut them in pieces, also.) Wait until the chicken is nearly done to stir fry the broccoli and red peppers in a wok or a fry pan with a small handful of walnuts or cashews. Fry to a tender crispness. Add half a teaspoon of garam masala or curry powder, to taste, and toss to coat. Wok with Broccoli and Red PeppersFig Spread Soy Sauce and Garam MasalaRice VinegarOptionally, sprinkle a little soy sauce over it, a splash of rice vinegar, and a few teaspoons of honey or pepper jelly, or, as I did today, a little fig spread. Toss again. We like the sweet and sour flavor.

Chicken DinnerDinner is served:

DID I MENTION ALKALINE FOODS?

I hate to talk about it, because I’m not an expert. Since I’ve learned about the importance to our health of a proper PH balance in our bodies, I make sure that my husband and I eat alkaline foods along with the acidic foods that we eat. According to Dr. William Davis, who wrote the Wheat Belly book, our brain will aid our bodily systems in maintaining that highly important PH balance at any cost. If it cannot find the alkalinity needed for proper balance from the foods we eat, our bones and organs must give it up for the cause. Why would this happen? I don’t know, exactly, but if the doctor is right, PH balance is imminently more important than our bones and organs, because the extreme negative impact would happen immediately. What would that extreme negative impact be? Death. Our bones and organs will not fail from their losses until later in our lifetime. Frankly, I’d like to keep my bones and organs right up until the end. For more on this phenomenon, read the good doctor’s book or research this issue in some other way, and please, share it with me. I hope this is not true. If it is, I would have liked hearing about it while I was still young. (I am old by any standard except that of my indomitable spirit that is determined to remain young.)

Raw Broccoli and PeppersWe all know we should make room for fruits and vegetables in our diets, if only for the sake of nutrition. The only alkaline foods in this dinner were the broccoli and the peppers. Chicken is acidic. Potatoes are iffy. Sometimes they are acidic and sometimes they are alkaline. Americans are too acidic for our own good. We don’t eat enough alkaline foods.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fiction Writers Learn What They Need to Know to Create Great Fiction – Understand the Issue of Point of View (POV) and Write Fiction with Excellence -

Authors choose the point of view (POV) that works best for their stories. Understand the POV issue and tell your story skillfully from the best point of view for its presentation. As a result, you will produce clear and understandable fiction.

blue eyePersonally, I didn’t know anything about POV when I began writing my novel, Buddy for David. When I heard about this issue, I searched my manuscript diligently to determine what POV I had used, hoping I would not find confusion caused by flipping from one POV to another. I found that I had written in the Third Person Omniscient point of view. 

Don’t feel there is no hope for a writer with a lot to learn about the craft of writing fiction. Learn as you write. Practice as you revise and rewrite.

BASIC EXPLANATION OF POINT OF VIEW (POV)

Point of View Example Function
First Person I watched my neighbor leave his doorway. I was convinced that he was headed to the same place I’d seen him go each morning for a week. The protagonist, or another character, tells or reveals the story from his or her own perspective, limited by his or her own personal experience and possibly biased or erroneous knowledge. Notice use of the pronoun I.
Third Person Omniscient Cindy’s neighbor left his doorway, feeling very insecure, headed for a secret meeting with seven dangerous conspirators at a little known restaurant in downtown Chicago. Story told by an all-knowing narrator that may reveal anything or everything, including thoughts and feelings of any or all the characters. Notice that information flows in abundance from this omniscient perspective.
Third Person Limited Cindy’s neighbor left his doorway. She assumed he was heading for the same place she had watched him go each morning for a week. The story unfolds via the perspective of one, two, three, or several characters, each one limited by his or her own experience and possibly biased or erroneous personal knowledge.
Second Person You watched your neighbor leave his doorway. This point of view is rarely used in fiction.

As a reader, is there one point of view that you prefer above others?

Is there a point of view that you prefer as a writer?

Each point of view has its advantages and disadvantages in developing a story. A point of view that suits an author’s writing style and supports a strong presentation of the story is a powerful combination for successful writing.

For more information on POV, here is a link to a blog entitled Men with Pens. Read this excellent post: Fiction Writing: What’s Your Point of View?

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What We Believe about God Affects our Relationship with Him. Believe God loves YOU, because He Does Love You – (Letters to a Friend – Series)

Neon heartBelieve what the Bible says about God. Believe that God is good and His love endures forever.  Psalms 106:1 NIV.

 

WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM:


If we believe that God is unconcerned about our daily lives, we may find it hard to believe that God will provide our daily needs.

Loaf of Bread

If we believe that God is scrutinizing us to find our faults and punish us for our failures, we probably won’t draw close to him because we know we are not without faults and failures.

Crying child

 

If we believe that we may lose our relationship or fellowship with God if we fail, miss the mark, or sin in any way, we will probably feel alienated from God until we have repaired the breach.

Broken Heart

If we believe that God is angry at us, we may flee from His presence.

Sadness

 

Crucifix on a Wall
KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD AND BE FREE TO ENJOY HIS LOVE AND LOVE HIM MORE.

JESUS DIED TO GIVE US GRACE AND GRACE ABUNDANT. WE NEED ONLY BELIEVE AND RECEIVE.

 

GOD LOVES US with unconditional, unfailing love all the time. His love is not based on our behavior.

 

New Born Lamb
GOD HAS FORGIVEN US FOREVER BECAUSE OF JESUS.

God sent Jesus, His beloved Son, to die on the cross for us, to make us righteous, so that we might have a relationship with Him. The punishment for the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future, fell on Jesus at the cross. This was God’s plan from the beginning. God raised Jesus from the dead declaring that all our sins were taken away forever. Believe it and receive it.

 

Row of Jail CellsOUR SALVATION WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED BY OUR GOOD BEHAVIOR. NEITHER DOES OUR POOR BEHAVIOR CAUSE US TO LOSE OUR SALVATION.

 

ScaleJESUS LIVED A PERFECT LIFE ON OUR BEHALF. HE ACCOMPLISHED OUR SALVATION BY SHEDDING HIS BLOOD TO PAY FOR OUR SINS.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Let US reason together. We have logical minds given to us by our Creator. God deserves our praises. When do we praise God the most? When we feel alienated from Him? Or, when we feel secure in His arms of love? If we have an enemy, and we do, Satan and his gang of imps, what would be the enemy’s tactic to stop our praises? Move us from a place of security to a place of alienation. His tactic is to MOVE US. He cannot move God. He cannot physically bump us. HE LIES to motivate us into a spirit of fear and doubt.

 

LET’S NOT BE MOVED:

Mountain Crag

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

When accusations against us stir in our mind and heart, we may answer back, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” What will this answer engender in our heart? This affirmation of the truth will cause us to praise Jesus for all He has done for us.

MP900449097

 

Golden HeartsOn the cross Jesus uttered his dying words, “IT IS FINISHED!”

What was finished? Our salvation was finished forever by our Savior, Jesus, the Son of God.

Because of Jesus, we are the righteousness of God in Christ. We have the righteousness of Jesus as a gift forever.

 

DOES THIS MEAN THAT WE DISREGARD OUR FAULTS?

No, we praise Jesus for saving us from our sins. We are empowered by His love to walk in faith and trust. We are strengthened in his love to rise above the temptations that would draw us away from our love relationship with God.

 

____________________________________
What about 1 John 1:9? Coming soon…

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Hee Haw Series – Married and Loving It…

CoffeeShe says:              What do you want for breakfast, dear?

He says:                What are my choices, sweetie?

She says:              Toast or a pop tart.

He says:                You always say that.

She says:               Come on now. What do you want?

He says:                 Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and strawberries.

She says:                We could go out for breakfast, dear.

He says:                 You always say that. What’s for breakfast?

She says:                Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and strawberries.

He says:                  Okay. Which restaurant?

Rose 2She says:                You pick. You know I love to please you.

He says:                 I know. You are the best, sweetie.

By Carol Ann Hoel © April 7, 2014

 

 

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Oh How You Love Me – Oh How You Love Me

HeartIs there any wonder why I love You so -
Jesus – Lamb – Lion – Servant – King -
You are the source of my joy -
My Provider -
Keeper of
My sanity -
My comfort -
My strength -
My laughter -
You – Jesus

HeartIs there any wonder why I think of You -
Jesus – Lamb – Lion – Servant – King -
All day long -
All Night long -
When shadows
Fall – When sun
Rises -
I am
Addicted to
You – Jesus

By Carol Ann Hoel © April 6, 2014

_________________________

Butterfly 2Song of Solomon 2:3-4 – The Bible (KJV) – As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:8 – The Bible (KJV) – The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

Song of Solomon 4:16 – The Bible (KJV) – Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

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I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again…

New Born LambJohn 10:11:18 – The Bible (KJV) – I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

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Cooking Again – Sirloin Patties, Fried Eggplant, Steamed Broccoli, and Rice Pudding with Golden Raisins – Easy to Prepare and Serve

Sirloin Patties, Broccoli and EggplantRice pudding with golden raisins was to be our dessert, but I prepared it first, so it would have time to cool. This is a slightly modified version of my grandmother’s farmer’s rice, but this time I measured the ingredients to make a more authentic recipe.

Rice Pudding with Golden Raisins

Rice Pudding with Golden Raisins

Recipe for pudding: Use a medium to large sauce pan. Do not turn on the heat until the corn starch has been mixed in.

3 Cups of cooked Jasmine Rice (any kind of rice will work)
4 Cups of whole milk
1 Cup heavy cream
(May substitute 5 cups of whole milk, or any combination of whole milk, cream, and half and half)
4 egg yolks
Golden Raisins – optional
1 shy tablespoon of cornstarch
1/2 Cup of honey or to taste (substitute sugar to taste)
1 or 2 tablespoons of butter
2 (or more) teaspoons of vanilla, to taste

Rice Pudding Cooking

Rice Pudding Cooking

Add the milk and cream to the rice and stir. Add the egg yolks and stir them in. Add the golden raisins, if you like them. Add the cornstarch and stir it in until dissolved. Add the honey or sugar. Turn on the heat to medium low. Stir frequently until the mixture begins to move in the pan, just before it boils. Do not allow it to boil. Take it off the heat and add the butter and vanilla. The consistency will be only slightly thicker than in the beginning, but it will thicken as it cools. Cool and serve.

Broccoli slicedI prepared the broccoli to be steamed ahead of time so that I could turn on the heat under it as soon as the eggplant was nearly done. Notice that I trimmed off the outside of the stems to make the broccoli more tender.

Broccoli Trimmings

Broccoli Trimmings

My husband doesn’t like broccoli stems. He won’t eat them even if they are tender. I do like them, so I don’t mind giving him extra florets while I enjoy the stems. It works for us. If you don’t like stems, cut them off.

Gluten-free flour makes a good coating for eggplant.
(Wheat flour works well also.)
Eggplant WholeEggplant slicedSlice the eggplantEggplant dipped in gluten-free flour first and then peel it. (You may find it easier to peel it first. I get a cramp in my hand when I try to peel the eggplant first.) Next, dip each slice into a plate full of flour. Shake off the excess flour and Eggplant fryingplace the eggplant slices into hot olive oil or bacon grease. (I used oil). Do not crowd the slices in the pan. Turn as needed. (If the oil or grease begins to smoke, turn down the heat.) Remove each slice that is nicely browned and add additional slices until all are finished.

Sirloin Patties - RawHere are the beef patties ready to be cooked on the outside grill. Not knowing how to use the grill has served me well. I do not intend to learn how, because my husband does all the outside grilling for me. Not a bad deal. I like it.

All good posts should come to a happy end, and this one is Clean Up Timeno different. It will take me approximately an hour (or two) to clean up the kitchen after our breakfast and this meal. Oh me! Oh my! As I get this project underway, I’ll be thinking how nice it is that I only have to cook three times a week. We go out and party, party, party with our friends all the rest of the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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The Fat Green Frog – HEE HAW SERIES

(This is the beginning of my HEE HAW Series of nonsense posts meant to make you laugh. It will continue as long as I can think of silly stories. I hope you enjoy the first one. If not, there may not be another one. Just saying…)

 

photo credit: Jäger & Sammler via photopin cc

photo credit: Jäger & Sammler via photopin cc

THERE ONCE WAS A FAT GREEN FROG sitting on a lily pad in a pond. The frog believed that the pond was his very own until one day he discovered another frog. The other frog claimed that he owned the pond, and he demanded that the fat green frog vacate the lily pad forever. The fat green frog ate the other frog and said, “Now we can share this pond forever.”

Now the fat green frog was even fatter, and he had to find a larger lily pad to rest upon. While he was looking for another lily pad, he discovered another frog. Rather than spend time arguing, the fat green frog ate the second frog, too. Certainly now the pond would be his very own. But, alas, this familiar scene repeated again and again, until the fat green frog was so huge that he was too big for the pond.

The moral of this story is: Make friends with your neighbors, and do not eat them!

By Carol Ann Hoel © April 3, 2014

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How to Make Crispy Bacon – The Incredible Edible Egg – Breakfast for Two – You Decide – Crispy or as my Hubby prefers – Super Crispy

My husband likes super crispy bacon. If you prefer crispy bacon, here is the secret of cooking crispy bacon. I know it’s simple, but lots of people don’t know why their bacon doesn’t get crispy. So, again, here is the secret.

Bacon fryingThe bacon strips need to lie flat, so if your pan is not wide enough to accommodate full bacon strips, cut them in half. My pan is too small for a full strip of bacon to lie flat on the bottom of the skillet. If you want the entire skillet full of bacon to finish cooking at the same time, don’t line the sides of the pan with bacon strips, because the sides of the pan will not get as hot as the bottom of the skillet.

Bacon crispIf you want bacon to turn out crispy, it must be cooked slowly on low heat. At first the bacon will not seem to be cooking at all, but be patient. As soon as the fat begins to melt, start turning the strips. Turn them often. When they are nicely browned and no longer limp, they are ready to be removed from the pan. Place the finished strips on a paper towel to drain off some of the fat.

Bacon - mine - hisI line the sides of the pan, so my bacon does not all finish at the same time. My husband’s bacon must be cooked longer than mine, because he likes his super crispy. I say he likes his bacon burned. You decide. Look at the side of the paper towel with four strips. Those are my bacon strips. Look at the others. Those are my husband’s bacon strips. Mine are also crispy, but not AS crispy, or AS dark, as the others. (Click on the photo and you will see the difference better.)

Eggs FryingTime to fry the eggs. Yes, I really do it. I fry the eggs in the bacon grease. It’s not bad enough that we still eat bacon in these days of worrying about saturated fat in one’s diet, but then I cook the incredible edible eggs in bacon fat. I leave you to your own discretion. Eggs cook very well in olive oil. You see, I have this bacon grease already in the pan. It’s that simple.

 

Egg Bacon mine

Eggs Bacon HisBreakfast for two!

(No English muffin for me because I am allergic to wheat.)

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When Christians Miss the Mark, Sin, Fall Short, or Fail – What Then – (Letters to a Friend – Series)

Question Mark GreenHere we are merrily going along living the Christian life, when we suddenly stumble, slip, or fall. Maybe it isn’t sudden. Perhaps we are slowly backsliding into a weakened state, when finally we fall and we know it. We are sorry, yet, we feel helpless. What next?

Must we expect God to withdraw His fellowship from us until we make amends and ask God to forgive us? Even after confessing and asking forgiveness, some still do not feel right with God.

A clearer understanding of our salvation adds light to this issue…

These promises are always true:

John 5:24 – The Bible (KJV) – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

We shall not come into condemnation. That’s what it says.

Hebrews 8:12 – The Bible (KJV) – For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

No more means NO MORE…

We must assume from reading these clear scriptures (and many others) that any alienation or lost fellowship with God is real only to us and not recognized by our loving Father in Heaven. We may feel put off, but fellowship with our God is entirely possible, because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Confusion about the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is not the one that reminds us of our shortcomings. He reminds us of our redemption, salvation, and righteousness that Jesus provided.

The Holy Spirit reminds us of our righteousness in Christ.

Many suppose that the Holy Spirit reminds Christians of their failures, but it is the World He convicts of sin, the sin of rejecting Jesus, the Savior of the World.

The Holy Spirit reminds the World (unbelievers) of sin,

He reminds Believers of righteousness, and

 He reminds Satan of judgment

Who is the Accuser of the brethren? Is it the Holy Spirit? No, it is the Devil. He accuses us, and inwardly we feel it. Don’t receive it. Don’t believe it. We are forgiven, FOREVER.

The Holy Spirit reminds believers that we are forgiven and made righteous by the blood of the Lamb.

This is what Jesus said to his disciples about the Comforter, the Holy Spirit that He would send:

John 16:7-11 – The Bible (KJV) – Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Analysis:

Jesus explained to His disciples exactly what the Holy Spirit would do. Keep in mind that Jesus is speaking to His disciples, referring to them as YOU (Old English YE). Jesus breaks it down by mentioning to whom each part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry pertains:

(1) To the World: Of sin, because they (the World) believe not on me.
(2) To YOU, speaking to the disciples (old English YE): Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
(3) To Satan as the prince of this world: of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The Joy of the Lord is our strength. We must not let condemnation take away our joy.

When we fail, we THANK our Lord for His forgiveness. We know that we already have it, because of His finished work on the cross. We are forgiven, whether we ask for it or not, because Jesus already paid for our sins. How precious He is!

If I haven’t convinced you that we already have forgiveness, and you still believe you must confess and ask forgiveness to restore fellowship with the Lord, BELIEVE that you receive it, and you will have it.

Praise to Jesus, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

_____________________

COMING SOON: What about 1 John 1:9? We have always thought that this verse tells us that we must confess our sins and ask forgiveness to maintain our fellowship with God.

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Oh Jesus – Forever You Love Me

heart candySo often – LORD – I disappoint myself -
And I think I disappoint you -
But then I remember
That You knew me
Before You saved me -
My failures are no surprise
To You – Oh Jesus -
Forever You love me -
With great pleasure – LORD -
I love YOU

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Understanding the Difference between Consequence and Judgment – (Letters to a Friend – Series)

Definitions:
Consequence – a result or effect of an action or condition
Judgment – a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment

___________________
crown or tiara isolated on a white backgroundDo New Covenant Believers Reap What They Sow? Yes, in the positive sense – We Reap Rewards for Faithfulness.

Remember that Jesus received our judgment for sin on Calvary. We will not be judged again for our failures, but we will be rewarded for faithfulness in allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us. Negative works of the flesh will not be rewarded and will manifest as losses in eternity. Our works will be tried by fire; all wood, hay, and stubble will burn, and the jewels, works of the Spirit, will shine brightly forever. (See 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.)

CONSEQUENCES are what naturally happen as the result of an action or condition. Some actions or conditions may manifest positive consequences, some, negative consequences.

Speak negatively about others and earn a reputation as a gossip, and there will be no future reward for this.  (The negative consequence is not judgment. We are not judged, because Jesus received our judgment himself)

Commit a crime and very likely go to prison for breaking the law of the land. There will be no reward in heaven for committing a crime. (The negative consequence is not judgment. We are not judged, because Jesus received our judgment himself)

The above consequences, and many like them, may be erroneously attributed to divine judgment, but they are all consequences. Consequences sometimes are hard to live with, but believers have a wonderful promise concerning the negative consequences of life.

Romans 8:28 – The Bible (KJV) – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We have a loving God. He hates wrongdoing, but He loves us, so much that He gave us His beloved Son, who paid the price to save us. We cannot save ourselves. God wants to bless us, and He is the God of second chances. Praise Him for taking away our judgment and giving us His unconditional love.

 

 

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Learning to Cook without Wheat Gluten – Breaded Catfish and Stir Fried Ching Kung Choy – Apple Slices with Crunchy Peanut Butter

Catfish and Stir Fry with Ching Kung Choy and Walnuts. Apple Slices topped with peanut butter for dessert

Fried Catfish, Stir Fry with Ching Kung Choy and Walnuts. Apple Slices with peanut butter

Not only do I have trouble finding gluten-free restaurant foods to order, it’s difficult to find gluten-free ingredients and recipes, also. I am learning to cook without wheat flour. Until just recently, I fried fish without any coating. Now I dip it in gluten-free flour. The taste and texture are different from fish fried in wheat flour or cornmeal or a combination of the two; yet, it is very tasty. It’s crispier, but a different kind of crispiness. My husband and I like it. The small dessert dishes contain apple slices with crunchy peanut butter on top.

Ching Kung Choy, Walnuts, Curry Powder, Jalapeno Jelly

Ching Kung Choy, Walnuts, Curry Powder, Hot and Sweet Pepper Jelly

You may not be familiar with ching kung choy. Today was my first experience with this Asian vegetable. It is very similar to bok choy, which most grocery stores carry. In fact, it looks like baby bok choy, but it may not be that. I cut off the bottoms and then cut the white portions from the green. I split the white parts in two and tore the green leaves in two. I melted butter with olive oil in a wok and tossed the ching kung choy and walnuts until they were crispy tender, sprinkling curry powder over it, and stirring in a generous teaspoon of hot and sweet pepper jelly. The butter gave the olive oil a very rich, sweet, nutty flavor. Maybe the nuttiness came from the walnuts. Hmm.

I set aside the stir fry and dipped the catfish in gluten-free flour, which I salted and peppered first. I fried it in olive oil, turning both fillets a few times.

This dinner didn’t take much time at all. I am finding that I have to eat less, if I want to lose weight. Maybe the apples with peanut butter were more than I should have had. Oh well. Tomorrow’s another day.

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Do We Reap What We Sow OR Is This an Old Covenant Principle – (Letters to a Friend – Series)

BibleWhen I learned that the ministry of Jesus embraced the last years of the Old Covenant, my understanding of the four books of the gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, changed. Things Jesus said that once seemed contradictory to the gospel message made perfect sense.

When the rich young ruler came asking Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus reminded him of the commandments.  The man said he had kept all of them from his youth. Jesus loved the man and pointed out one thing he lacked. Jesus told him to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow him. (Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 10:17-22)

When I first read this account, I wondered why Jesus didn’t tell the man to believe on Him and his sins would be forgiven. He had told some others that their sins were forgiven. Here is the reason: This man believed that he was already perfect and without sin, because he thought he had kept all the law all his life. Jesus told him that there was one thing he lacked. As long as this man believed that he had kept all the commandments, he couldn’t see his need for a Savior. Jesus exposed his need.

THE OLD COVENANT OF LAW: Under Law, man was obliged to keep the entire law perfectly. The Old Covenant principle of man’s sowing wrongdoing and reaping the whirlwind of God’s judgment was mitigated for Old Covenant believers by animal sacrifices offered to God as payment for sin, a foreshadow of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus would shed His blood, in the fullness of time, to forever settle the sin debt.

Crucifix on a WallTHE NEW COVENANT OF GRACE: We have a better Covenant today. Jesus reaped the whirlwind of God’s judgment for us on the cross. Our judgment was once and forever put on Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

When trouble comes, it has not been sent by God to punish us, because Jesus has already been punished for our sins. There is no condemnation for believers in Jesus. We have forgiveness, favor, mercy, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us live godly lives in Christ Jesus. God loves us and does not punish us for the sins Jesus has already been punished for. Rejoice and be glad. We are greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved.

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