Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Forgiveness is NOT


What Forgiveness is NOT
To understand what forgiveness is, we must first see what it is not. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of the will. Forgiveness involves a series of decisions, the first of which is to call on God to change our hearts. As he gives us grace, we must then decide (with our will) not to think or talk about what someone has done to hurt us. God calls us to make these decisions regardless of our feelings--but these decisions can lead to remarkable changes in our feelings.

Second, forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgetting is a passive process in which a matter fades from memory merely with the passing of time. Forgiving is an active process; it involves a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action. To put it another way, when God says that he "remembers your sins no more" (Isa. 43:25), he is not saying that he cannot remember our sins. Rather, he is promising that he will not remember them. When he forgives us, he chooses not to mention, recount, or think about our sins ever again. Similarly, when we forgive, we must draw on God's grace and consciously decide not to think or talk about what others have done to hurt us. This may require a lot of effort, especially when an offense is still fresh in mind. Fortunately, when we decide to forgive someone and stop dwelling on an offense, painful memories usually begin to fade.

Finally, forgiveness is not excusing. Excusing says, "That's okay," and implies, "What you did wasn't really wrong," or "You couldn't help it." Forgiveness is the opposite of excusing. The very fact that forgiveness is needed and granted indicates that what someone did was wrong and inexcusable. Forgiveness says, "We both know that what you did was wrong and without excuse. But since God has forgiven me, I forgive you." Because forgiveness deals honestly with sin, it brings a freedom that no amount of excusing could ever hope to provide.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 206-207.

Food for Thought
Praise God for his gracious gift of forgiveness to us! The Scripture says "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Eph. 4:32, emphasis added) You will probably have an opportunity to extend forgiveness this week. When you do, try to remember what forgiveness is not, and fix your eyes on the full and gracious forgiveness that God has given you in Jesus Christ.

Stormbringer's Thunder: Book Review of "The War on Christmas"

I love sharing other great blog reviews on books I have read and this one is fabulous. I really loved how he worked in the video questions into the review. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

Stormbringer's Thunder: Book Review of "The War on Christmas": This is a modified version of my review from "Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman" . What's it all about? What's...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The War on Christmas: Review

Christmas has always been a huge holiday at our house. We start making our Christmas lists in late October and start saving for those perfect gifts to hand out on Christmas day. We decorate, go caroling, bake tons of food and visit with the homeless. As I said, Christmas is big in our home. So when I saw this book I immediately was a little intimidated. New Leaf Publishing is known for their straight forward, biblical gospel message no matter the topic at hand and I knew this book was not going to be the exception. Just take a look at the video below and you will get a small glimpse into what you can expect from Brodie:




 The War on Christmas is real and it is going on right now.  From the bell ringers saying "Happy Holidays"  and to every other "politically correct" statement you can make about Christmas, without actually wishing anybody a Merry Christmas or having any mention of Christ without coming across as offensive. It sickens me to see what Christmas has turned into and how few of people actually still stand up for the gospel during this holiday.  I loved how this book delves into our traditions and how they started, the view of paganism surrounding this holiday and the reasons why Christmas has become so offensive to our country as a whole. More importantly though Brodie gives you suggestions on how you can defend Christians beliefs and values during the Christmas season.

I used this book as part of our homeschool study with my kids. Reading a chapter a night and then discussing it as a family. The book has 23 chapters along with a introduction and conclusions. My kids really loved how they touched on who Santa Clause really was and what he has become today in popular culture.My ex-husbands family made the mistake of buying into the Santa phenomena and it came back to bite them in the butt. He is still a nonbeliever and partially due to that lie of a make believe Santa and now a make believe God. With our kids we told them the truth from the get go of who Saint Nicholas was and how the Santa Clause traditions got started, so when we reached this part in the book they were very pleased that they knew this already.


This is a fabulous book to get geared up for the Christmas season and a great gift idea as well to help those not forget the real reason we celebrate this season. 

Want to purchase this phenomenal book: It is available for order now at Answers In Genesis, New Leaf Publishing, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.


About the Author:

Bodie Hodge has been a writer, speaker, and researcher for Answers in Genesis since 2003. He writes and speaks on a host of topics including The Fall of Satan and The Tower of Babel. He is passionate about providing biblical answers to believers, seekers, and non-believers.


Disclosure: I was given an advance copy of The War on Christmas: Battles in Faith, Tradition and Religious Expression, edited by Bodie Hodge, for review purposes. There was no requirement for me to write a favorable review

My Amazon Review
My Barnes and Noble Review
My Google+ Review

Friday, October 18, 2013

Popcorn Pumpkin Balls

                                                        Photo from StormTheCassoulet.com

Sometimes you find a recipe that’s just too adorable to pass up!  Having been kids once, we remember that not all fun things to eat are completely and totally nutritious — but if they are CUTE, that makes up for it.  And these little popcorn balls that are masquerading as pumpkins are IT!

What’s in them:
½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn

Here’s how you make them:
In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.
Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.
Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.
Use Tootsie Roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape Starbursts into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

October 18, 2013
punkPopcorn
Photo from StormTheCassoulet.com
Sometimes you find a recipe that’s just too adorable to pass up!  Having been kids once, we remember that not all fun things to eat are completely and totally nutritious — but if they are CUTE, that makes up for it.  And these little popcorn balls that are masquerading as pumpkins are IT!
What’s in them:
½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn
Here’s how you make them:
In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.
Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.
Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.
Use Tootsie Roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape Starbursts into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.
Thanks to StormTheCassoulet.com for this fun recipe! 
- See more at: http://yesterlandfarm.com/blog/pumpkin-popcorn-balls/#sthash.HYy2221A.dpuf

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

October 18, 2013
punkPopcorn
Photo from StormTheCassoulet.com
Sometimes you find a recipe that’s just too adorable to pass up!  Having been kids once, we remember that not all fun things to eat are completely and totally nutritious — but if they are CUTE, that makes up for it.  And these little popcorn balls that are masquerading as pumpkins are IT!
What’s in them:
½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn
Here’s how you make them:
In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.
Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.
Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.
Use Tootsie Roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape Starbursts into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.
Thanks to StormTheCassoulet.com for this fun recipe! 
- See more at: http://yesterlandfarm.com/blog/pumpkin-popcorn-balls/#sthash.HYy2221A.dpuf

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

October 18, 2013
punkPopcorn
Photo from StormTheCassoulet.com
Sometimes you find a recipe that’s just too adorable to pass up!  Having been kids once, we remember that not all fun things to eat are completely and totally nutritious — but if they are CUTE, that makes up for it.  And these little popcorn balls that are masquerading as pumpkins are IT!
What’s in them:
½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn
Here’s how you make them:
In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.
Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.
Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.
Use Tootsie Roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape Starbursts into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.
Thanks to StormTheCassoulet.com for this fun recipe! 
- See more at: http://yesterlandfarm.com/blog/pumpkin-popcorn-balls/#sthash.HYy2221A.dpuf

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

October 18, 2013
punkPopcorn
Photo from StormTheCassoulet.com
Sometimes you find a recipe that’s just too adorable to pass up!  Having been kids once, we remember that not all fun things to eat are completely and totally nutritious — but if they are CUTE, that makes up for it.  And these little popcorn balls that are masquerading as pumpkins are IT!
What’s in them:
½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn
Here’s how you make them:
In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.
Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.
Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.
Use Tootsie Roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape Starbursts into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.
Thanks to StormTheCassoulet.com for this fun recipe! 
- See more at: http://yesterlandfarm.com/blog/pumpkin-popcorn-balls/#sthash.HYy2221A.dpuf

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stop the Mommy Wars. Knock It Off!!

knockitoff
Spread the word!

Share this update on Facebook:
I just pledged to be the best mom I can be … and to help other moms do the same!
www.KnockItOffMoms.com

 
I have done it as long as I can remember.

Honestly, I did it even before I was a mom.

I compared myself to others.  I either came out better than or less than.  I used that as my measuring stick for way too long.

It didn’t serve me well at all.  It made me insecure and judgmental and that’s not good for my friendships or my family.

 If I had to go back and give my younger self wisdom, I would say, “KNOCK IT OFF!

Stop comparing. Stop judging. Stop measuring. Stop trying to come out on top.

Start accepting. Start being authentic. Start letting God define you instead of the world.

The No More Perfect Moms book is a call to love our real life.  When we’re able to love ourselves and our real life, it sets a foundation for loving others.

I’ve signed the Knock It Off commitment. Will you? 

While you’re thinking about the subject, hop around to a few more mom blogs who are talking about this same topic today.  You’ll find other moms who are willing to Knock It Off here:

I realize how often I judge myself.
I realize how often I judge others.

Because of these realizations, I commit to:

  • Giving myself grace when I make mistakes.
  • Extending grace to other moms when they make mistakes.
  • Offering other moms the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to judgmental conclusions.
  • Recognizing that I cannot be and will never be a perfect mom.
  • Refusing the temptation to judge when other moms make different choices than I make.
  • Embracing differences instead of criticizing them.
  • Resisting the urge to compare my insides to other women’s outsides.
  • Making strides in honesty with other moms and living an authentic life.
  • Doing my part to stop the mommy wars, one “Knock It Off” decision at a time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Iron Sharpens Iron

 
Quick theology lesson for the day..

If someone steals from you, they have not done anything to you. If God gives you all you have, they stole from God... If someone was to kill you, they have not done wrong to you, since God made you...

If you hate someone that God has made, your not doing wrong against that person, but rather the God that created that person... All sin is against God, who is the Highest Authority to judge it all...

Remeber that when you think people are treating you wrong, or sinning against you... Even David, who killed a man and commited adultry told God.. "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge." Psalm 51:4

Remember that when you treat others bad as well...
We all need the rebuke at times :) Whose in your life that is helping sharpen you? Are you putting yourself out there to help others?

Do Not Be Afraid: Overcoming Memories

 
Do Not Be Afraid: Overcoming Memories

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


Recommended Reading
Numbers 13:26-14:9
When Joshua was preparing to take the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a promise: "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go." It wasn't just the task that had Joshua worried. It was also a thirty-eight-year-old memory.


Two years after the exodus from Egypt, the nation arrived at Kadesh where Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan. After forty days, the spies returned burdened with the fruit of the land -- and burdened about the warlike nature of the inhabitants. Ten of the spies warned Moses not to try to take the land because the giants that lived there would surely defeat them. To their credit, Joshua and Caleb disagreed, saying God would give them victory. For rebelling against God at Kadesh, the nation wandered in the wilderness thirty-eight years until that generation died off. Now Joshua would lead the second generation of Israelites against the next generation of Canaanite giants and their iron chariots.

Memories are powerful things. If God is calling you to do something, don't let a bad memory stand in your way -- "for the Lord your God is with you."

Take courage. We walk in the wilderness today and in the Promised Land tomorrow.


Read-Thru-the-Bible
Matthew 27-Mark 3

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids

Binding:Softcover
ISBN:978-1-4143-7160-3
Release Date:October 2013


What kind of fruit did Eve take from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? A. pear; B. apple; C. we don’t know.

What did Jesus serve the disciples for breakfast? A. fruit and cereal, B. fish and bread; C. manna and quail.

Learn a little Bible trivia while learning more about God’s message within the Bible. This One Year book features 365 trivia questions that lead into meaningful devotions about the questions. Each devotion also includes a For You section, which gives a simple application to kid’s lives. And the answer to the opening question wraps up the devotion and gives readers biblical references to read.

This book will keep curious kids on their toes and give them a reason to open their devotional and Bible daily. They can also use their knowledge to test family members each day. [The answers to the questions above are C. we don’t know and B. fish and bread.]



 
My Review: 

This was a great book the kids and I really enjoyed and was looking forward to. The book contains questions and answers that many kids and some of us adults, have about the Bible and the people inside it. Each devotion includes a question and answer along with Scripture to go along with the question and a short story or thought to get you thinking. It also includes how you can apply the daily topic to your life as well. I appreciated how the devotion was separated by first old and new testament, but then by further categories: miner, major prophets, law etc.   

The kids and I have really enjoyed going through this book and we have been using it in daily bible time each night. Althought the book says its for ages 14 and up,I have been using it a 7, 18,  and 13 year old and they have all greatly enjoyed it. 

My only real issue/complaint with the book is that the author did not state which bible versions goes with what verse and that was a little confusing at times for my younger kids. Especially when they are trying to follow along in the NKJV versions they own. That issue though did allow for a discussion on the different types of bibles and other issues with translations.


If you have questions and are wanting answers that are easy to understand, this is the book for you. This is the perfect homeschool resource and would also be helpful in family devotions or nighttime family Bible time. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dig deeper into God's Word!

  Download PDF Sample: http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/FirstChapters/978-1-4143-7160-3.pdf

 
About the Author: 

Katrina CasselKatrina (Kathy) is author of The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best, The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible and several other books for the teen/tween audience. Katrina has a BS degree in elementary education from Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana, and a M.Ed. with a reading specialty from The University of North Dakota. Katrina has worked with children of all ages in a variety of educational and church settings. She and her husband have six children and live in Panama City, Florida. 

Disclosure of Material: "I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Publishing book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Worst Nightmare-Reach Out by Prayer

Reach Out by Prayer

For God is my witness ... that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 
Romans 1:9-10

I had one of the scariest moments of my life yesterday. I had taken my 6 year old son to a birthday party and my daughter who is close to 14 asked if she could stay home because she still had school work to do and housework to finish. Naturally I oblige my responsible daughter and tell her she can stay. She knows the house rules: no friends over, dont answer the door to anyone but family-not even friends, no posting on social media that you are home alone etc. I have never had one problem with her not being where she said she would be or with whom she said she was with. Shes always proven to be very responsible and trustworthy in this area.

Two hours later I come home. Front door locked, back door wide open,  of our large boxers gone, TV on, computer on-mid face book conversations with friends and no daughter anywhere to be found. So I look in all the rooms, back yard, double check the front  (yard hey maybe I missed her sitting on the porch swing), I've done that before. Still no daughter. So I go and ask her best friends, but no one has seen her or heard from her.

Right now full fledged panic is setting in.

No one has seen or heard from my daughter for over an hour.

I call my mom, my youngest brother, her dad, I talk to neighbors, get on her facebook, check her phone-Nothing!So I call the cops. Her friends start posting missing information on their facebook and hers,they start calling her friends I don't have number for, my neighbors are searching the areas ad asking their friends if they have seen her or anyone at my house, the cops are going through her room and asking me tons of questions. This is my worst nightmare. I have these mental images of all the things my baby girl could be going through: rape, beating, murder, fear, tears and I am no where to help her. I start wondering how far someone could have driven by now, could they have caught a plane, is she close by held up in someones house. I have this urgency to start literally kicking in doors of every sexual predator within a miles of my home armed and ready to take my daughter back by force. I am shaking in fear and begging God to keep her safe and return her home. I am a complete mess.

After 3 1/2 hours of searching, filling out a missing persons report, and pure dread and pleading to God, my little girl and her Uncle walk through my front door wondering what all the chaos is about. Seems my older brother showed up and decided to take her to a hockey game, each one thinking the other left a note and no one with a phone to call. I was lucky, she was lucky. My daughter was home safe and my prayers where answered.

 I laid there that night thinking of all those children who never come home. All the parents living in a a state of uncertainty, not knowing if or when they may see their child again.All the images that must go through their heads of the horror their child may be living out daily and I am incredibly thankful that I have God and the power of prayer. Let us as The Body of Jesus Christ, The Church, lift up prayer for these families.
It seems evil does not relent from happening. But we must never stop praying. Our Lord wanted us to pray without fainting or ceasing.

“Father, protect all the missing children from the adversary, our enemy who perpetrates such evil. I lift up these children up to you, to hide him in the cleft of The Rock, to be their Refuge. Be a Light around them, dear Lord Jesus, be there Rock, there Place of Safety, there Hightower, and Deliverer. Dear Father, please soften the heart's of those who have taken these children to release them. Let them be heartbroken when they sees the tears in these children’s eyes. Let them be unable to carry out their vile acts Lord. Let their hearts break for their captures as Yours breaks. You are our Protector, our Deliverer, our Rock, our Refuge, our Champion, our Protector, our Fortress, our Savior. Lord we pray all this in Your Sons name.”

Amen

God is our Refuge and Strength,
A very present help in trouble,
Therefore we will not fear,
Event though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into
the midst of the sea;
Thought its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its
swelling.
There is a river whose streams shall make
glad the city of God,
The Holy Place of the tabernacle of the
Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not
be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of
dawn.
The nations raged, the kindgoms were
moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
“The Lord of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our Refuge.”
“The Lord of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our Refuge.”
(Psalm 46:1-7)