Sunday, February 27, 2011

God and the GPS

        As we began our trip to Nebraska, Country Guy asked me to set the GPS to our destination.  Of course, he knows how to get there, we’ve been there countless times, but he likes to see the estimated arrival time as we travel. 
      It occurred to me that a GPS system is a little like God.  We enter our destination into the machine so it can calculate the best possible road to get us to that destination as quickly as possible.   It gives directions to get us started and then becomes completely silent to the point that we even forget it is turned on--until further direction, or a course correction is needed.  If we make a wrong turn, or get off the road for some reason, the GPS becomes vocal again saying ‘re-calculating’ and we realize it has been working all the time.  It now calculates the best route from where we are at this moment.  Since there are many ways to get to our destination this new route may be a totally different way than the one on which we started.  Our wrong turn may have taken us too far off course for us to return to the original without losing much time, so now the re-calculated route has been determined by GPS to be the best way for us to go.   That’s the goal and purpose of this handy gadget--to get us where we asked it to take us, using the best possible route.
      Isn’t that just like God?   Do we relax and trust Him to get us where we need to be as much as we trust our GPS?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Favorite Cleaning Products

     I was thinking this morning about how grateful I am to Robinson's Floor Covering in Terre Haute for getting me started using Host Carpet Cleaner.  They said I should never use Resolve or some of those other grocery store cleaners, because they leave a residue that actually attracts dirt.  (Our carpet which was flooded this week looks perfect, no stains, no odor, and no need to replace it!)  Since I had not heard of Host Cleaner until Robinson's told me about it, I thought that maybe you hadn't either.  My blog seems the perfect place to pass on this information.  Once I decided to do this I began to think of other cleaning products I have discovered, or tips others have given me, to make my life a little easier, so I'm including some of those, too.
     1. For the carpet cleaner to be really effective you need to have on hand, Host Pre-Clean for Carpets, Host Dry Carpet Cleaner (Shaker Pack) and Host Spot Remover, for really tough spots.  I have only used the spot remover once because I have found that spraying the carpet according to directions with the Pre-Clean and then packing the stain with the Dry Cleaner and letting it stand till dry, or even overnight works so well that I haven't needed the Spot Remover.   As I mentioned before, I order it on Amazon because that's convenient for me.
     2. Another wonderful cleaner I have used for years is Dirtex Window Cleaner.  This is the best product I have found to clean windows--so much better than Windex or any of the others!  I buy it by the case if I can, because I have so many windows.  It seems to mainly be sold in paint stores.  I recently found it at Lowe's, but it is not in the cleaning section.  Since I buy by the case, and therefore don't buy it often, I usually forget where I found it at Lowe's and have to ask.
    3. Another tip I am grateful for is to use liquid soap when taking showers.  The plumber said our hard water does not completely dissolve bar soap and therefore a residue is left on the tile.  Since switching to liquid soap, cleaning the shower has become so much easier!  Because I seemed to be getting a build up of deposits in my dishwasher, I recently decided to see if the same idea applied to liquid dishwasher soap.  So far it seems to be working much better.
     4. Guardsman Furniture Polish seems to be the best product I've found so far, that doesn't cause wax build up on the furniture.  If you have found something better, I would really like to hear about it.  
     5. Another product that is extremely useful is Oil-Flo Safety Solvent Cleaner.  I first bought this at a paint store in Nebraska, but since moving to Illinois I have not been able to find it.  I recently ordered it online.  It seems to remove most any really difficult stain, like oil and grease on clothing, without leaving a residue.   It removes sticky labels off jars, and has many other uses.  Here is a link, if you want to see what kinds of stains it will remove:
     These are the products I can think of right now.  If you have some helpful tips to share, please let me know.  It's all about helping each other to do the best we can with what we have, don't you think?

   Country Guy reminded me of another one so I am adding it today (3-3-11)  It is Bar Keeper's Friend Liquid Cleanser.  I used to only be able to find this at Rural King, but I have since discovered it at Wal-Mart.  This is like Soft Scrub, only milder, but seems to me to do a better job than Soft Scrub. It will remove most anything off walls, floors, sinks, counter tops, etc.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Also at Elevate 2011

      The basement carpet is almost dry and everything seems fine.  Praise the Lord!  I thought it would be good to have a little music to celebrate!
      This group, Sanctus Real, will be the headline group at Elevate 2011 in Martinsville on June 25.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


       As we went to bed last night we were counting up our drying machines.  We have 4 ceiling fans running, 4 floor fans, and 3 dehumidifiers!  It sounds like a tornado in our basement!  But the carpet is drying nicely.  There does not appear to be much, if any, staining.  The jury is still out on the possibility of  replacing the bedroom carpet since it is not yet completely dry, but we are feeling very thankful when we consider the major disaster that has been avoided!  The weather forecast is for at least 1/2 inch of rain and then 2-3 inches of slush tonight!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Blessings

              For those of you following the saga of a country girl and guy wanting to go on vacation I thought I would post a follow-up to this morning's info.  The foundation builder arrived and said he was sure the drain that goes around the outside of our foundation and under the floor was plugged.  This all empties to one spot, so he said our house would be sitting in standing water if the drain was backed up.  We called the plumber to see if he could discover the problem.  Otherwise, the foundation guy's solution would be a back-hoe, driven through our yard and digging in my gardens.                                                                                                                       
Blessing #1—hundreds of hickory nuts stowed away by chipmunks have                 now been removed from our drain and it is free flowing.  Country                     Guy said at least 100 gallons of water gushed out when the acorns                  were removed, and it was still flowing an hour later!

Blessing #2—no back-hoe will be needed!!
Blessing #3—our son provided us with 2 more dehumidifiers so our carpet             is drying.
Blessing #4—Last week the idea came to me to order 2 more containers of             Host Carpet Cleaner—even though I still had some.  I am hoping it             will keep the carpet from any permanent water stains. (I highly                          recommend this carpet cleaner.  I order it through Amazon.)
Blessing #5—I just heard we have rain or showers predicted for our area for             the next 6 days!  Can you imagine the water we would have had in    
            the basement if we had gone to AZ without discovering the problem? 
            Or what if I hadn’t knelt down to pick up those flower blooms 
            yesterday when I was watering and we had left without even                           knowing  about the water already in the basement!
Blessing #6--We may get to spend some time with our daughter and her                    family who just discovered she has 2 kidney stones the doctor is                     going to break up on Monday.

    So even though we are disappointed to not be going to AZ, we are grateful the Lord is still watching over us and knows much more about what we need to be doing than we do.  We truly are blessed!

Disappointments and Blessings, Again!

     Can this really be happening!  We were to leave this afternoon for a week in Arizona visiting my sister's family.  Yesterday as I was watering the plants in the basement I knelt down on the carpet to pick up spent blooms from the Christmas cactus, (see picture in previous blog).  When I stood up I realized my knees were wet!
     As I began to explore areas of the carpet it became apparent we had a major leak.  The last time we planned to leave town--3 weeks ago--we had an ice storm, and now we have a flood!  It seems we may not be meant to have a vacation this year!
     We have lived here almost 9 years and have never had moisture in the basement.  We are now in the process of trying to figure out where it came from, and what to do about it.  Dan, who built the house, came over yesterday and decided to bring in the foundation builder to see if he could figure where the water is coming from.  We are now waiting for him to arrive.  Since it rained several inches on Monday, we are thinking the drain around the basement wall may be plugged--maybe by an animal burrowing in. Hopefully, the problem will be something like that which can be easily fixed.
     Yesterday we vacuumed several gallons of water from different areas of the carpet.  We went to bed hoping we might still be able to go to AZ today, but as we checked the carpet this morning we were still able to get water from it when we vacuumed!  It looks as if we will have to cancel our trip.  Again!
     We are grateful, though, that we discovered the water before we left.  Can you imagine the mess if it had been standing for a week before we found it!!  So we thank the Lord even in circumstances we aren't excited about and know that, as He always does, He will work everything together for our good because we love Him.  Sometimes it takes a little while to get back to that realization!  :o)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Preparing for Disaster, Natural or Otherwise

    I have been hearing more and more disturbing news from many different sources and I'm beginning to be concerned.  Can you believe riots and the disruption of the school system in Wisconsin over such a small thing as asking the members of the teachers' union to pay a larger percentage of their health care!  What if truckers decide to strike?  Are you prepared for the disruption in the food chain that would be caused by that?  Or how about a natural disaster happening near you?
      A couple of weeks ago we had an ice storm in the area.  Many thousands were without electricity so they couldn't heat their homes or cook, or refrigerate their food.  Many people tried to purchase generators, but found the stores were sold out.  The shelves of the grocery stores were emptied quickly.   One person said they went to 3 grocery stores before they found one that had any bread left, and none of the 3 had milk.  They had been cleared out by people preparing for the storm.  They were told there would be more if the delivery trucks could make it in the next day, but what if they couldn't, or wouldn't?  I remember reading that grocery stores' supplies last about 3 days and then they need new shipments to replenish their shelves.
      We have become much too reliant on well-stocked grocery stores and well-run utility services.  We must begin to think about what it would take to be somewhat independent of these things--at least for several days, or weeks.  I believe it is imperative that we have enough water and food on hand to feed our family for a few weeks.  It may even be time for us to learn how to grow some of our own food to supplement what we have on hand.  We buy insurance to prepare for any disaster--healthcare insurance, life insurance, car insurance, house insurance, but then we leave the most important thing--our family's survival--to a hope that the grocery store will always have the food and water we need, or that the government, or someone else, will show up with food when we need it.  Why not consider a few weeks supply of food and water as insurance, too?  Unlike other insurances, the money would not be wasted if no emergency presents itself because you can consume the extra food you have purchased.  Just keep rotating what you buy.  I believe most disasters would not have been nearly as catastrophic if people had taken seriously the responsibility of preparing their family for an emergency before it happened.
    One of the survivalist blogs I found when I was searching for ways to prepare had some very helpful ideas.  (Some of the posts on the blog contain much more information on survival than I am interested in.)  But I think this link has some good suggestions to help us determine what kind of supplies might be needed in order to be prepared for any disaster, either natural, or otherwise, that might come upon us unexpectedly.  Check out the list and then let me know if you think of other things that would be helpful.   Minimum list of supplies
     I would love to hear your comments.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


    My friend, Cindy, sent me an email today on the remarkableness of WD-40.  I thought you might like to have it for reference, too, so I have cut and pasted most of the contents from the email and posted it here.  I love having this kind of info, but then I can never think where to put it so that I can find it again.  Here on the blog seemed like a great place to store it.  Before posting it I thought I should make sure this is really true so I did a little research and found a WD-40 website which actually lists 2000 uses for it.  (I didn't check each of these uses against the master list so you might want to before you try them, just to be sure.)  I have posted a link to the WD-40 site on the Links page, if you're interested.
     "WD-40.  Who knew?  'Water Displacement #40'.  The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile  parts.  WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.  Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound.  They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.  The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts.  Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.  When you read the 'shower door' part, try it.  It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door.  If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass.  It's a miracle!  Then try it on your stove top ...  Voila!  It's now shinier than it's ever been.  You'll be amazed. Other uses:   1.   Protects silver from tarnishing.                                                                                 
   2.   Removes road tar and grime from cars.  
   3.   Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.  
   4.   Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.  
   5.   Keeps flies off cows.  
   6.   Restores and cleans chalkboards.  
   7.   Removes lipstick stains.  
   8.   Loosens stubborn zippers.  
   9.   Untangles jewelry chains.  
  10.   Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.  
  11.   Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.  
  12.   Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.  
  13.   Removes tomato stains from clothing.  
  14.   Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.  
  15.   Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.  
  16.   Keeps scissors working smoothly.. 
  17.   Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.  
  18.   It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor!  Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring.  It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get  them off.  Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.  
  19.   Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!  Use WD-40!  
  20.   Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.  
  21.   Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers...  
  22..   Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.  
  23.   Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open..  
  24.   Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.  
  25.   Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.  
  26.   Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.  
  27.   Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans  
  28.   Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.  
  29.   Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly. 
  30.   Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.  
  31.   Removes splattered grease on stove.  
  32.   Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.  
  33.   Lubricates prosthetic limbs.  
  34.   Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).  
  35.   Removes all traces of duct tape.  
  36.   Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.  
  37.   WD-40 attracts fish.  Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.  Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.  Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.  
  40.   Use it for fire ant bites.  It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.  
  41.   WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls.  Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.  
  42.   Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash.  Presto!  The lipstick is gone!  
  43.   If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the  moisture and allow the car to start.  

   P.S.  The basic ingredient is FISH OIL."


Friday, February 18, 2011

Indiana Flower and Patio Show

      Have you ever been to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show?  What a treat!  The first time I went, which was when we were building our house 9 years ago,  I was absolutely amazed at all the work the landscapers did to prepare for the show!   How did they get those 20 foot trees to bloom at just the right time and then transport them to the State Fairgrounds Pavillion in cold weather without shocking the blooms?  The huge boulders and the waterfalls were amazing!  And the blooming tulips and hyacinths and daffodils were a sight for tired winter eyes!
      Here are three pictures taken at last year's show.

      I hope you are free sometime during the week of March 12 through the 20th because this is a show you don't want to miss!   Here is a link to the website:   As the date gets closer there will be a webcam on the site that allows you to watch as the landscapers construct the gardens.  Hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baking Bread

      I love making bread!  The whole process gives me pleasure--especially the baking.  Can you think of anything that smells better when walking into a house than freshly baking bread?  It just says "welcome" and "come sit a spell so we can enjoy this wonderful treat together."
      I have been making bread since I was in high school (maybe even junior high) when my mom taught me how to mix the ingredients and knead them together.  Country Guy says one reason he married me was for my Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls.  :o)  If you've never made them, let me help you out.
      Let's start with my basic dinner roll recipe.
                  Dinner Rolls
                    2 pkgs. yeast
                    1/4 c. warm water
                    2 c. warm milk
                    2 eggs
                    1/2 c. or more sugar
                    3 t. salt
                    1/4 to 1/3 c. shortening (I use oil, or butter)
                    6 + cups flour (I like unbleached, or bread flour)
       Combine 2 pkgs dry yeast (or 4 1/2 t. if you buy yeast in bulk at Sam's like I do) with 1/4 c. warm water and set aside.
       Heat 2 c. milk till very warm (my original recipe calls for milk but most of the time now I just use 2 c. warm water because it's quicker.  When I do that I combine the 1/4 c water with the 2 cups and add the yeast to all of it in a large bowl.)
      Add the sugar and salt to the yeast and water (or milk, if you prefer.)   Beat the eggs till well mixed and add them.  Then add 3 c. flour and stir till well blended.  Add the oil.  Mix until well incorporated. Then add more flour a cup at a time till a heavy dough has formed. (I think the trick here is to not add all the flour but just enough so that the dough doesn't run all over the counter when you pour it out onto it.)
      Turn it out onto a well-floured surface and knead till the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as you knead.  (Kneading seems to intimidate many, so I am inserting this video I found on YouTube if you need help.  Mom & I think she needs to add more flour to the surface, but otherwise she does a great job demonstrating what kneading bread looks like.)

    After kneading return the dough to a well-greased bowl.  Turn it over to grease the top and let rise till double--approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down, turn over and let rise again till double--about 45 minutes more.

     You can now use the dough in a variety of ways--dinner rolls, cinnamon bread, cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls or split the dough and make a combination.  Shape into whatever recipe you choose and let rise one more time--about 45 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes if baking dinner rolls to longer for all the other choices.
     For Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls, roll the dough out into a flat rectangle (You may want to divide the dough in half and roll one section at a time--maybe even do as I do and make 1/2 peanut butter and 1/2 plain cinnamon rolls.)  When the dough is rolled into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, spread it with peanut butter and then cover with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.  (I use about 1 c. sugar mixed with 1 to 2 T cinnamon--I love cinnamon!)   Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Place these on a greased jelly roll pan.  Let rise for 45 minutes and then bake till brown. ( Approx. 15 minutes.)
      Remove from the oven, let cool a few minutes and frost with a powdered sugar frosting to which a few Tablespoons of peanut butter have been added.

     The extra time it takes to make bread is amply rewarded by the sighs of contentment of those you love as they finish a big plate of cinnamon rolls!  Try it and see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Earthly Father, My Heavenly Father and Me

      Today I was thinking about how much I am enjoying blogging.  As I was pondering why, it occurred to me that I love being able to share new things I am learning and discovering with others.  Blogging seems to be a great way to do that.
      As I was thinking about the enthusiasm I feel for new things and experiences, I was reminded of my dad.   Dad was always so enthusiastic about what he was doing, especially if it was something new.  I guess I may have inherited this trait from him.   I remember whenever Dad was working on a building, or had acquired a new piece of machinery, or was trying something he had not done before, he always wanted us to come see what he was doing.  He would tell us all about the project, describing many details we were not at the time interested in.  Usually we went with him when he asked us, but not always with the right attitude.  We went because we thought we ought to.  We selfishly were thinking of what we would rather be doing.  Dad has been gone for almost 10 years now and I often think how much I wish I could go back to spend that time with him, learning those things he so eagerly wanted to share with me.  He knew how to do so many things that very few people know how to do now, such as survival skills we are trying to relearn.  How much wisdom and knowledge I let slip through my hands!  How many missed opportunities!
     Today I was also reminded of my Heavenly Father.   I know He, too, is eager to show me what He has been doing and what He is now creating, but I'm often too busy to take the time to spend with him.  Or I do set aside time, but not always with the right attitude of being eager to learn instead of doing so out of a sense of duty.  I often want to spend my time selfishly.  How much wiser I would be, if I would let Him show me those things He wants me to see!  How much more would I know and understand!
     Oh, that I would get my priorities straight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joseph Prince

     I receive these meditations, entitled "Daily Grace Inspirations" from Joseph Prince Ministries, delivered daily to my email.  Joseph's books Destined to Reign, and Unmerited Favor open up an entirely new understanding of grace and what Jesus achieved for us on the cross.  I highly recommend them.  If you are interested in reading the daily devotionals online, or want to have them sent to your email box, you can sign up at click here.

Blessed Is Everything That Comes Forth From You
Deuteronomy 28:4
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body…

      The Bible records that Jesus’ spit healed a blind man (Mark 8:23–25), Peter’s shadow healed the sick (Acts 5:15), and handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body drove out evil spirits and diseases. (Acts 19:11–12) This tells us that what comes forth from our bodies can be so blessed that it brings about blessings and miracles to others.
       Indeed, God said, “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body…” He was not just referring to your children, or He would have simply said, “Blessed shall be your children.” No, God meant that everything that proceeds from your body will be blessed. All that is of and from your body will be of top-notch quality!
        This includes your health. So even if your doctor has said that you have a particular medical condition in your body, just believe that God calls your health, the fruit of your body, blessed. And expect to walk continuously in divine health!
        God calls your thinking ability, the fruit of your body, blessed too. You will impress your teachers and schoolmates in school with your mental prowess, or your superiors and colleagues at work with your innovative ideas and solutions. Your mental faculties will be of quality par excellence!
       If you are married, you will enjoy a truly blessed marriage and a fulfilling sex life with your spouse. A secular song that laments, “I can’t get no satisfaction…” will never be true for you because God calls your marital relationship (both the emotional and physical parts of it), the fruit of your body, blessed!
        If you are a parent, God calls your children, the fruit of your body, blessed. This means that they are special, having exceptional qualities. So the child you are taking care of is not just a child. You are holding a champion in your hands. He will grow up to be a general in God’s kingdom!
        Beloved, because Jesus has paid the price — His body was beaten, scourged and pierced for you, all these blessings are yours. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body!

Monday, February 14, 2011

At Elevate 2011

This group, Gungor, will be at Elevate 2011 along with JJ Heller and Sanctus Real, June 25, at the Martinsville, Illinois Fairgrounds.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Playing the Piano

    Are you one of those, like me, who has always wished they could play the piano well?  Every so often the desire overtakes me enough that I decide to try practicing again.  Before Christmas I was looking at "Fake" worship music books as a gift for our daughter.  If you're not familiar with these books, the melody is printed on the music staff for the right hand and then only notation for chords is added for the left.  One of the reviews happened to mention that if you liked Fake books you might want to look at the website called Piano for Life.  (I have posted the link under the Links page).
    The man, Mark Almond, who developed this website and the DVD teaching series, Piano for Quitters, and Piano for Life says "About 98% of all piano students quit within the first two years of lessons. Months of workbooks, scales, drills, and most of all confusion, are the culprits that kill their enthusiasm before they ever learn to make music."  That would be me!
      He also states: "This series begins by developing a solid network of insights into the core structures at the heart of all music. By understanding the two simple building blocks for all of the basic chords, even the first few sessions will teach you to make enjoyable music." 
     I learned more about chords watching the promotional videos on the site than I had learned over all the years in my various pursuits of learning to play the piano and guitar.  So I decided, "What can it hurt?" and ordered Piano for Quitters.  Although I have only worked through the first 2 lessons, I am extremely enthusiastic about the concept and Mark's teaching method.                 
      Now I'm working on getting Country Guy to figure out how to bring my piano from the basement to the living room so that I can more easily practice during lulls in my otherwise busy routine. :o)
   Any ideas?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Organization, additional posts and inviting input

       Now that I have gotten the layout of the blog more organized, I am going to start posting directly to the pages represented by the tabs across the top, if the material is relevant there, instead of in the main post body.  So be sure to check the other pages.
      A friend emailed me a cookie recipe this morning which she thought was very good, so I have posted it in the Recipes section.  I think it would be a great idea to post recipes, and helpful information from others here, also.   So if you have tried a new recipe, or discovered something you think would benefit the rest of us, send it to me and I will post it somewhere, even if I have to create another page.  (I will only use your first name--or post it anonymously--unless you say otherwise.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Loving God

     Our home fellowship group is working through the DVD series and workbook, 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice, by Mark Virkler. It is an excellent study! Mark is encouraging us to find a time and place to be still, envision ourselves in God's presence, fix our eyes on Jesus, listen to what He wants to say to us, and then journal our thoughts. He says it is often helpful to start by asking a question.
      A few weeks ago when we began the course, I was meditating on “What does it mean to be a bride?” Since Jesus calls us His bride, I thought it would be good to ask Him about what that relationship would look like if we really understood.
      I began thinking about how a bride and bridegroom relate in the natural. They treasure each other. They can hardly wait for the consummation of their marriage. They have chosen to spend their life loving each other, treasuring each other. They long to spend time together, getting to know each other intimately, speaking words of love to one another. Their every thought is of the other. Every available moment is spent together. They look for ways to let each other know of their love. I asked myself, "Do I feel this way about Jesus?"
      I began to write the thoughts that came to me as if God were speaking directly to me. Mark calls this ‘tuning to flow’ and says to write--not questioning what you are writing until you are through writing. (Of course, the prerequisite is that you have your eyes fixed on Jesus.)
      The thoughts began to flow. “A bride is not complete without her bridegroom. She desires to pour out her love upon her beloved. Because I know how much you desire to do this, I have given you physical representatives of Myself in your spouse, and others I bring into your life, so that you will have someone to physically pour your love for Me upon. Remember how I have said that what you do to the least of these you’ve done to Me?
      You have forgotten and not understood. You have looked for response and have been disappointed. You have made decisions and judgments based on response. I have not said to love if someone returns that love the way you want. I have said to love because in loving you are showing Me how much you love Me.
       You have had glimpses of this before—that each person is gift—but you haven’t understood how each person is an opportunity for you to pour your love back to Me—that you express your love for Me through expressing it on others. Each person is a little piece of Me to love and to cherish. As you ask to love Me more, I send more difficult people for you to love so that you can practice loving with more of My love.
        As you’ve done it to the least of these you’ve done it to Me. That works in everything. As you have scorned and rejected those around you, so, too, you’ve done it to Me. See Me in all that you meet. Love Me in each of them. As you do, you are lavishing your love on Me. I am receiving the love you have for Me through them. Do you really want to express your love for Me? Then feed My sheep. My sheep are starving for My love.”

As I look back over what I have written I believe it had to be God speaking because it was a new revelation to me of how He receives love and the way He sees how I love. His words to Peter in John 21:16-18, came to life in my heart.

I have posted the link to Mark Virkler’s website, Communion With God Ministries, in the Links tab at the top.   He has some interesting material in the “Free Books and Articles” listed along the side of the site.  I especially have enjoyed taking (and getting my family to take) the Brain Indicator Test.  Try it and see what you think.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I tried this new recipe from for lunch. My country guy loved it even though I omitted the mushrooms and sesame oil because I didn't have any, and substituted a regular onion for the green onions and 1/2 c. chicken broth for the bouillon.  I also only had whole wheat linguine which was delicious with it.

Chicken Lo Mein

recipe image
Submitted By: Jennifer Suster
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry or chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium chicken
bouillon granules
1/2 cup hot water
6 ounces uncooked linguine
1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms,
1/4 pound fresh snow peas
1 large sweet red pepper, julienned
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1.In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and sherry or broth until smooth. Add chicken and stir to coat; set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon granules in hot water; set aside. Cook linguine according to package directions.
2.In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper and green onions in 1 tablespoon canola oil for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same skillet, stir-fry chicken mixture in remaining canola oil for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in dissolved bouillon. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Return vegetables to skillet. Drain linguine; add sesame oil and linguine to skillet. Toss to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes longer or until heated through.
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