Equipping the Saints website

Breezing in here to share a source of great wealth to me lately, the Equipping the Saints website. Are you struggling with hard things? Be encouraged by a site that explains how death to self takes faith to comprehend and experience. Learn about true humility, which only comes from Christ in us, when we abide in Him and stop struggling with being “good enough” or “doing enough” and just realize that until He takes over, we’re just good at getting in the way of progress! “Self” is a powerful enemy of the plans and purposes God wants to accomplish in our lives.

Here’s a quote from the site to whet your appetite!

“The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Him-self living His own life through us; ‘no longer I, but Christ.'” Miles J. Stanford

And something from the Lord to prick your heart,

John 15:4-5, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Here’s to fruitfulness that only comes from reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ!

–Mary

Does the Holy Spirit ever contradict the Bible? Part 2

judgegavelIf you missed yesterday’s intro, please check it out here.

How does the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth?

Check it out: The Holy Spirit does guide us into all truth. How does he do that, so we can trust it? As you read the following proof texts, notice how interwoven the Spirit’s work is with the word of God. They go hand in hand. 

2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Spirit was key in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, as such, he will not contradict them.

1 Cor. 2:13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

Don’t we prefer God’s wisdom over “Man’s wisdom” any day? We should. What does comparing “spiritual things with spiritual” mean? I believe it’s a direct insight into how to study the Bible with the Holy Spirit teaching…we are NOT to rely on man’s interpretation alone, rather we’re to use the Bible, letting it teach us by cross-referencing topics within the Bible. Get a concordance to make it easier and let the Bible define itself. We have learned how to do this in the past few years and there is no more rewarding study guide or commentary than the Bible itself. It is AWESOME! Watch it come alive to your whole family this way.  

1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”

Here’s the bit about there being counterfeit spirits and how to test whether you are hearing from the Holy Spirit or not. See the next verse.

Same passage, verse 6,

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The Holy Spirit–the spirit of truth, is proven true or litmus tested by what those (Paul, John, other Bible authors) godly men wrote, and we hear His words that He spoke through them when we read the word. It’s pretty black and white–if you won’t heed the scriptures that they wrote…you are not of God. (Another litmus test, you could say, of the “believers” in your life, do they heed the Bible or are they constantly correcting it, doubting it, attacking it?)

John 8:47 is another profound statement of the above. If we do not heed God’s word, we do not belong to God. 

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” 

Paul emphasizes this more, with rejoicing, in 1 Thess. 2:13,

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”  (emphasis mine)

And these last ones found in John chapters 15, 16 & 17 are just icing on the cake as we wrap up this topic of the Holy Spirit’s guiding, truth, and God’s word: 

John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

THREE Objectives of the Holy Spirit

Wow! Three of the Holy Spirit’s objectives are listed by Christ in John 16:7-8,

“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:” (emphasis mine)

The Holy Spirit’s first function is to “reprove the world of sin”…He points out sin, he doesn’t overlook it, or tolerate it…because he is HOLY. He helps us see our need for repentance and for Jesus, and then He grows us in the Lord.

John 17:14-17, again, words of Christ,

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  (emphasis mine)

What is the definition of truth? thy word is truth Jesus is talking to God the Father. “Thy” is referring to the Father’s truth, God’s word, which incidentally is another name for Jesus in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In another place, Jesus says he is the letters of the Greek alphabet themselves: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

So we go back to John 16:13-14,

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

We know that the Bible defines “truth” as God’s word, and through it, we are sanctified as Holy Spirit led believers in Jesus Christ’s shed blood at the cross for our sins, that he rose again and is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us this very day.

We need to remember that Christians are not immune to deception, nor are we immune to being unknowingly used as tools by the evil one. We read the opposite when we see Jesus rebuke Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan!”, and in the example of Ananias and Sapphira when Peter tells Ananias that Satan has filled his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. Even in the Old Testament there are examples for our learning, when God’s greatest leaders relied on their own perceptions of truth apart from and in direct defiance of God’s word to them, and were deceived resulting in lifelong and devastating consequences. Joshua and the Gibeonites, with their sob story and moldy bread, for one example (look it up!). We are even told that we aren’t to offer hospitality to false teachers (2 Jn 1:11-13)…not that we can’t share Christ’s gospel with them, but that we are “partakers in their evil deeds” if we invite them into our homes, sup with them, or even bid them godspeed! Obviously, the Lord directs us in scripture to take these things very seriously..so the next time you are praying for guidance, and you receive advice that doesn’t line up with scripture…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Does the Holy Spirit ever contradict the Bible? Part 1

judgegavelHow many times has someone said to you, “The Holy Spirit told me so!” Was it really the Holy Spirit? Let’s explore this.

The idea that we can be Spirit-led even when the “spirit” is contradicting God’s word is embraced by many today, and along with it, the authority–much less the credibility–of the Bible is under attack. The danger here is in crafting a “god of our own imagination”…I guess it all boils down to: What is truth? People everywhere subscribe to a “version” of their own truth, but in a study of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit’s purpose and working in a Christian’s life we see that it’s all very straight-forward. If you believe the Bible…

Recently some friends and I were discussing this. I said, “How do we know what is truth, if we do not have an authority to turn to? We can’t rely on the Holy Spirit alone, especially if it contradicts God’s own words.”

This was interpreted as me saying that the Bible trumps the Holy Spirit. That the Spirit is incapable of guiding us into all truth and that the only way to stay out of hell was a literal reading of the Bible…

I should have clarified that the Holy Spirit will NEVER contradict the Bible, God’s words. Yes, the Holy Spirit is capable of guiding us into all truth–that is scriptural! So, hell aside, what did I mean exactly?

I meant that people get into trouble when they dismiss the relevance of the Bible, and rely on what they sincerely think is the Holy Spirit. Maybe they are being led of the Spirit..but the Bible tells us that there are “spirits of truth and spirits of error”…without knowledge of the Bible and how the Holy Spirit works in a believer’s life, we are ripe for deception by “other spirits”.

This is KEY: Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Paul is so serious  here, that he repeats this strong statement in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Equally strong warning is found in 2 Cor. 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

A few years ago, this was a new concept to me…that there could be “another Jesus”…a counterfeit of the REAL Jesus. Not only a counterfeit Jesus, but a counterfeit gospel, presented as if it was the gospel of Christ. Along with this warning, we find many many others in the New Testament, in John, 2 Peter, Jude, 1-3 John, and in most of the Pauline epistles. So let’s take it to heart. There are many deceptions out there masquerading as the REAL deal. There is safety in no man, not even in seminaries or Bible scholars, or your beloved pastor, only in God and outlined clearly in his words to us–the Bible. In the end, WE are held accountable, and thank God for pastors and teachers–we’re sure blessed by many, but even the most godly of men can be sincerely wrong, so know the Book–it will reveal truth about our God and Savior,  and cover all the bases.

Tomorrow we will delve DEEP into scripture to see how exactly the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth!

 

The Great Science Debate

KJV_BibleLast Tuesday we popped up some kettle corn and gathered round the computer for what’s being called “The Debate of the Century”. It was 2 hours and 45 minutes of Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye the Science Guy tackling the question, Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins in Today’s Modern Scientific Era?

The disappointing thing about the debate was that they didn’t get very far on the topic specified, but still, we were euphoric by the end, because Ken Ham did a fantastic job of presenting the validity of the Young Earth Creationist viewpoint and how scientists have been using the Bible for centuries to make valid predictions in the field. He had an impressive line-up of video presentations, including live interview clips by Creation scientists (such as Dr. Raymond Damadian who revolutionized modern medical technology with the invention of the MRI scanner) to back up his data. Most of all, we were impressed with Ken’s humble, gracious attitude and his heart for truth. He unashamedly admitted many times that he takes the Creation account literally, and presented the gospel at least 3 times during the debate…with scripture.

Ken Ham also pointed out the two kinds of science, a differentiation widely ignored by mainstream science. That is, that there is a big difference between historical science dealing with origins, and observable or operational science. Mainstream science wants to claim that there is no difference, hence their claim that an evolutionary worldview is essential to proper scientific understanding and procedure…which is not true at all.

Our children are ages 16, 13 and 9, and we figured there would be some evidence from Bill Nye’s argument for evolution that we’d have to research and debunk. On the contrary…I can’t tell you how many times the kids hit the pause button and spouted off the real science behind the manipulated facts Nye presented as solid evidence. I guess all of those creation seminar dvds and Apologia textbooks have been worth the hours spent studying! If you watched the debate and have questions, the Answers in Genesis website put together an “Answers” page, that provides answers for everything Bill Nye brought up during the debate. We were also disappointed that Nye didn’t seem to take this discussion very seriously, nor did he address the questions Ken Ham had for him. He kept saying that if Creationists gave one piece of evidence for an out of place fossil (using the secularists’ own dating methods), he’d be so grateful, science would be so grateful.  Ken Ham gave him that evidence, and even a picture of it in his slideshow–45,000-year-old wood in 45-million-year-old rock! Bill Nye willingly ignored it. Now he is calling for Ken Ham to build an exact replica of Noah’s ark and see if it is seaworthy for over a year. The interesting thing about the ark, is how it affected early Naval architecture. I’ve linked to more info, if you are interested.

If you would like to watch the debate, I am not sure how much longer they will leave it up for public viewing, but the Answers in Genesis YouTube Channel still has the debate available, as well as the Post-Debate Commentary, which we also highly recommend watching.

Estimates are that at least 5 million people from 190 countries were tuned in at one point or another to this debate…that is amazing coverage. And the debate is bleeding over into conversation all over the internet. My take-away from that? This topic of creation vs evolution has been silent due to secular censorship for far too long—and people want to discuss it!

One last important note. There are many Christians that believe God created the world via the big bang or that evolution can be explained into the creation story. To this, Ken Ham asks…how could millions of years of animal death, disease, predation, extinction and other natural evils such earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis, as evidenced in the fossil record, come before man’s sinful fall in the garden and God’s subsequent curse? There really is nothing about evolutionary origins that is compatible with the Biblical account.

And that’s my .02 cents about the big debate!

Overcoming emotional hurts with Christ’s help

I often get letters, behind scenes, expressing great anguish and crippling turmoil over familial hurts that seem insurmountable and are accompanied by pleas for help. I just wanted to answer this one publicly and with virtual hugs. It’s okay. Jesus understands. And you are not alone. Here’s my story.

First, I want to tell you, I understand. I understand the being overwhelmed, the agony, the injustice, the “no one can understand and possibly everyone things I’m over-reacting”. The not being able, much less willing, to put yourself out as a target when those “archers” responsible are in the same vicinity! I felt the same emotional turmoil for years, whenever I was around a certain someone. Those were hard but growing years. I’m so thankful for a godly mother’s counsel, and her strong shoulder on which I cried many times.

Like you, survival meant keeping a distance and meantime in the civil distance, with much prayer and a lot of maturity in both the other person and myself, I have been able to put the hurtful things that happened behind me. I NEVER thought I’d be able to be around that person with my guard down, but happily I am. I pray that over time and with God’s healing between you and this other person, total renewal (love, forgiveness, trust) will be gained. Until then, you are wise to listen to your loving heavenly Father and protect your fragility, build yourself up in the confidence and strength that comes from the Lord.

1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Our heavenly Father will equip you. Perfect love casts out fear! Pray that Jesus will give you an overwhelming love–unconditional with no past recriminations hovering–for this person. A love that will cover their human failings toward you.If you are like me, you will have many kneeling-before-the-throne sessions, weeping, praying for the burden to leave. But the joy isn’t in the burden leaving, as much as it is in surviving it by God’s grace and coming out on the other side scathed, but healed, and enabled to help spread the message of hope that you’ve experienced firsthand.

The Lord gave me that for my situation. I wanted to bawl for joy when he crushed that last wall I’d built for my sanity and protection, and let me just feel love and compassion for the one that had hurt me so, with no history tainting it WHATSOEVER. I even cleared the air with them, and apologized for my part in the problem, not hinting at anything they might have done. It is so over–and I am free and so incredibly thankful to have that horrible, crippling angst of a burden rolled off my heart. To be able to be around them with no hurts between us any more is a MIRACLE! He is faithful so just keep hounding the Lord for peace and healing on this–even if your loved one never changes–I believe you will get to the point of having a Jesus-love for him or her that can see past their faults and sins and even let this unfair treatment of you and hurtful words roll off of you because you are SO bathed in Jesus’ affirmation and love, blood-covered and GRACED out, that you’ll hurt more for this other person than yourself when those darts hit their mark.

Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

But, in the meantime, do keep your distance so you can focus on healing and commit to pray hard for this perfect work. I can’t explain how all my hurts, anger, insecurities, jealousies over the injustice of it all (false rumors, etc.) were completely vanquished and it wasn’t overnight…but it definitely happened and it was all Jesus. I think of this person now with so much love, sometimes with tears as I pray for their precious family. What a blessing!

Having read all of that, I hope you get a message of HOPE and can see that I’m not judging, because I’ve been there. Perhaps I didn’t have as much to forgive in my situation, as you do in yours, but Jesus can handle it.

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Psalm 27:1, “The  LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

The blessing of total forgiveness is that forgiveness will come much easier for you down the road when others hurt you. The more like Christ we become, the more dead we become to self, and “dead people” don’t get offended or hold bitterness or grudges. I would much rather be dead to “self” and alive to Christ. For more on this, you may want to read my Dying to Self series. For now I’ll leave you with Galatians 2:20,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

God bless you and heal you as you seek His ways in all you do…

Gluten-free, egg-free Brownies and Blondies

These recipes are for my gluten-free friends…Mary B, you especially!

This is my friend Jane’s specialty. She is allergic to eggs so she came up with this fudgy delicious substitute to regular brownies. The secret ingredient will most likely surprise you…canned beans! There are many recipes for gluten-free Black Bean brownies and White Bean Blondies on the internet, but these don’t have eggs.

IMPORTANT: in my opinion, these brownies need 24 hours in the fridge to meld the flavors to perfection. In fact…the first time I made them I was really disappointed. We ate them while still warm from the oven, and they really didn’t do much for me. In fact, blech! But by the next morning…WOW–they were amazing! Everyone said so. So take my word for it, and save the majority of them till the next day. (because I know you will have to sample at least one straight from the oven…)

You can thank me later for that tip. *Smile*

Another IMPORTANT thing: you will need a food processor or good blender for this recipe.

Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup chocolate chips (we think dark chocolate is best!)
  • more chips on top for presentation, if desired (you will so desire!)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Drain beans. Combine all ingredients (except chips) in a good food processor, or blender, and blend till completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour the mixture into a greased 8×8″ pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the brownies 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Then let them cook 10 minutes or more before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Chocolate Chip Blondies

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas or white beans
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F. Drain beans. Blend all ingredients (except chips) until very smooth in a good food processor or blender. Mix in chips and pour mixture into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chips over the top. Bake for around 30 minutes. They will look a little undercooked when you take them out, but they will firm up as they cool, and you don’t want them to get hard.

A note about Gluten-Free…

Those of you that are deathly allergic to gluten know what is and isn’t allowable. I do not claim to know the ins and outs of Gluten-free…so before making these and blessing all your GF friends with them…do some research. For instance…I know that gluten-free oats and gluten-free chocolate chips exist…but I don’t know if that’s just because the GF movement is taking advantage of the fact that most normal people don’t have any idea that chocolate chips contain gluten. ?? I know gluten is found in some very strange things, like certain soda-pops. So use your discretion.

If any gluten-free folks can shed some light on the ingredients in this recipe, I’d sure love to know!

Thanks, and enjoy this healthy recipe!

 

Cookbooks and Food Miracles

Today I picked up a large cooler full of ground venison from the meat locker. Tonight we’re celebrating “red meat in the hoose” by utilizing The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook…her bacon-wrapped and bbq-tomato-gravy slathered meatloaf (page 150) to be exact. And her PW’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes (page 146) made from Yukon Gold potatoes from our very own garden. I haven’t been immersed in such a delightful cookbook since my mom gave us the Two Chicks from the Sticks cookbook. Another must-have. Hint. Many of our best-selling farmer’s market recipes have come from that last one.

But the real reason I’m blogging tonight (besides having t.i.m.e. and no one else competing with me for our one and only computer…) is that we had another miracle recently! We have them quite often actually. I wish I had time to blog about each and every one.

This miracle occurred one chilly morning a couple weeks ago. I was down at our field pens, doing chores for the 30 little chickies we’re raising…when a hunter pulled up. He’d been hunting and successfully bagged his buck and wondered if I could come take a picture of him with it. Just FYI, we’d met him the previous weekend when he’d kindly let us know he had permission to hunt the forested area north of our property. So he’d be driving through our place in the wee hours of the morning and didn’t want us to be alarmed. Heh, if he only knew how familiar we are with the “wee hours” of the morning, getting up at 3:55 am every day to milk. But I digress. Nice guy, from out of state. He waited on me to run up to the house and pull my banana nut bread out of the oven and then we were off for a photo shoot.

The drive was through pasture, a little rough. By the time we got done with the pictures, I could tell he was anxious to get the deer gutted and his deer stand dissembled, so I offered to help. That was a fun ramble through the woods to the deer stand…he pointed out a bobcat lair, among other interesting things I didn’t know were within a half-mile of my home!

The blessing of this adventure is that we got a large cooler of ground venison for our freezer! Because this guy was from out of state, he couldn’t take his deer home with him. He asked if we happened to like venison…we LOVE venison. Not only that…but less than two weeks before, I’d announced to my family that I was praying for God to dump some red meat in our laps so they better watch and see how He was going to provide it. We had been out of everything but our broiler chickens for a while, and I sure was missing the versatility of having ground red meat at my disposal. We just don’t buy beef from the store…we process our own beef here at home because we like to know what we’re eating! I’d even begun grinding some turkey so we’d have ground meat…but turkey is just meant to be roasted. An added blessing of venison is that it doesn’t contain any antibiotics or vaccines….which is a hallelujah side bonus! *grin*

We are truly thankful, and excited to enjoy this first meal made from this venison gift tonight. I guess I’d better go mash up some potatoes!

Have you got anything in particular you need to take to the Lord in prayer? Another thing you should know…the same day this hunter relayed his intention of giving us the meat from his deer, my in-laws stopped by with a grocery sack of beef from their freezer. What a double blessing! Meat to eat while we waited on the locker to process the venison. God loves to knock our socks off…but so often…we “have not because we ask not”…

What miracles has He done in your life recently?

Ginger Peach Lemonade Recipe

Farmer'sMarketLemonade2It’s Farmer’s Market season again! Every week amidst the last minute packaging of treats we bake, and whilst my husband and middle daughter are feverishly loading the vehicle for market, my youngest daughter and I are busy in the kitchen concocting the “perfect fruity lemonade”. This is a last minute affair because we want it as fresh as possible, you see. This is 8 year old’s contribution to the market–a lemonade stand.  You can pretty much juice any fruit and add it to a substantial amount of lemonade. Watermelon. Pink Lady apples. Plums and Oranges. Strawberry Kiwi. Cherry Limeade. These are a few of our favorite ones.

Well, we happened upon a real peach this past Tuesday night. My oldest knew we were planning on Peach Lemonade…as peaches are in full swing around here, and when possible, we love doing lemonade with whatever fruit is in season. She suggested “Ginger Peach Lemonade”. Oh man. Around here we lo-ove fresh ginger…

And a recipe was born.

Peach Lemonade with a hint of Ginger

  • 12 peaches, with pits removed
  • 2 cups Lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • around a gallon of water
  • ginger syrup: boil 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and about 3 inches of peeled and sliced ginger root till sugar is dissolved. Cool, remove ginger pieces.

I have a Champion Juicer–love it. Someone asked me if they could just throw the peaches in the blender…well, I’d say no, because a juicer separates the juice from all the pulp. But if someone with one of those fancy-schmancy Vitamix blenders wants to set me straight, please do so. It could work! I slice my peach halves into chunks that will juice easily and juice them all. You’ll get 16 oz (at least) of peach juice, depending on how juicy they are. Mix up a gallon of lemonade (your two cups lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and almost a gallon of water). Brew your ginger syrup…and mix all three delights together. Ta-da! Serve it up on ice for a fantastic summer bonus!

This sold out in the first 45 minutes of market…I’m making it again next week! Good stuff…and it’s so much fun to hear people’s comments.

“Wonder what flavor they’ll have this week?”

“I LOVE this stuff!”

“I come to the market just for my lemonade!”

My youngest daughter was able to save all of her lemonade money last summer and used it to purchase a lovely mandolin, which she now plays at market once the lemonade is sold out! Fun times.

I also have a Peach Lemonade Concentrate recipe that cans up great if you want to take a look at that one.

Happy Summertime everyone! Do you have a favorite fresh summertime drink? Do share it in comments!

 

Spring Adventures

Watering canIt’s feeling a lot like spring outside! And it’s been a long while coming, hasn’t it? I had my hands in garden dirt today, helping our local CSA farm plant 1,000 broccoli and cauliflower plants–perfect afternoon project for four families to tackle, made easier by many hands and a nifty transplanter implement new to the farm. I think I may have gotten a wee bit of a sunburn today–and some good ole-fashioned Vitamin D, while I was at it!

Baby chicks moved in last week–37 of them to be exact. The morning they arrived, we also had our 4 calves escape their pen, and a baby goat that needed warmed by our fire and bottle fed every 2 hours for a couple of days. Yep, spring has sprung.

Last night we offloaded 400 cattle from 4 semi trucks, and then herded them by horseback to a neighboring pasture…at dusk. My husband and I, our 3 daughters, and 3 cattle dogs. By the time we headed back to the horse trailer we could barely see each other on our bay and roan horses. We’ve ridden in the dark before, to the tune of 3:30 A.M. but never at night–we can’t wait till next time! Oh, and the chocolate rice krispy treats my oldest made for the truck ride over to this adventure rounded out the fun, not to mention how the girls baled onto the pick-up bed for the ride home. Happy!

Got my pansies planted just now, homemade noodles ready to roll out for supper…should I pop open a quart jar of home-canned turkey or beef to add in with gravy? Hmmm.

Now if our milk cows would only calve soon, we’d be in milk again. The laying hens are giving me 15-20 eggs a day. I’m telling you, THIS is living. Fresh air and SUNSHINE, greening grass and trees, flowers, loamy dirt to fill with veggie transplants, baby critters, girls on horseback, real food at the end of a long day’s work. I’m thinking I don’t deserve to have it so good. Thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessings!

How’s your spring shaping up?

 

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Does Baptism save? Is it a requirement of salvation?

Many churches teach that it is, and this belief is called “Baptismal Regeneration.” Does your church teach this? If you are Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, Mormon, Lutheran–the list goes on…it does.

So what is essential for salvation? Faith alone or faith plus water baptism, church membership, “good works” or whatever? What does the Bible say?

“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 2:8-9

If we look at the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, we can see this very clearly. Philip is whisked away to the desert where this Ethiopian man is struggling to understand what he’s reading in Isaiah. Philip starts right there in Isaiah and preaches Jesus to the man, as a result, the man asks if there’s anything to hinder his getting baptized. Does Philip urge him to wait and get it done by a certain denomination? No, he actually emphasizes that he needs to believe in Jesus Christ first, and then they hop out and take a baptismal “dip” in the nearby body of water. Let’s read it.

And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:36-37

Baptism…Church Membership…Salvation?

When a church ties salvation to membership or baptism, something is wrong. Please consider how many Bible verses point that the way to Christ is simply by believing that Jesus’ blood shed on the cross is all that stands between you and hell. That there is nothing you can do to earn or deserve His gift of canceling your sinful debt on the cross with His precious blood. To say that salvation involves anything more, is to add works to salvation. By doing so, I’m afraid that you’re falling into 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 territory, believing in “another Jesus, another gospel” and erring from the simplicity that is in Christ:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed’ Gal. 1:8

There are other “gospels” and other “Christs” being taught in churches, so be careful. Check these things with God’s word, our ultimate authority.

Verses to Consider

John 1:12-13 teaches that to believe on Christ is to receive Him, and that those that receive Him, receive the power to become sons of God. Verse 13 teaches that it is not by human administration or by anything that man can do.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:15-18 speaks very plainly that salvation is by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice verse 18, and that none of these verses have anything to do with baptism, or any reference to baptism.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

In John 6:29, Jesus says, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24, 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.

John 6:37, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:40, And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11:25, Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 8:24, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.

Acts 10:43, To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Acts 13:39, And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 13:48, And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Acts 16:30-31, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Luke 7:50, And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Romans 3:28, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:3, For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:5, But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Gal. 2:16, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal. 3:26, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:1, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 1:21, For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 John 3:23, And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

In Closing…

In the words of the famous hymn, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”

1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Ephesians 1:7, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Jesus saves, not baptism. We’ve seen above that the Bible teaches that salvation comes by undeserved grace through believing faith in Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our sins. Baptism follows salvation as an act of obedience by the believer, to identify with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, and as a testimony of their salvation.

Rejoicing in hope…Romans 12:12