Monday, November 21, 2011

By the fruit....

Psalm 19:7

English Standard Version (ESV)
 7 The law of the LORD is perfect,[a]
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
    making wise the simple; 

Matthew 7:18-20

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn't produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you'll recognize them by their fruit.

Psalm 19 tells us that the Bible (i.e. law and testimony of the Lord) revives and makes wise those who believe it. Matthew 7:18-20 tells us that we will know who true Christians are (did you know the term "Christian" means "little Christ"?) by the fruit they bear (meaning their actions/lifestyle).  One cannot know what the fruit of a Christian should be without reading the Bible and studying what God has given us to help us live like Christ. 

So many take the term Christian upon themselves simply because they live in a "Christian nation." Sadly, last time I checked, America is not a nation acting as Christian. Others take the term because they "grew up in the church," or "are a good person," or "read the Bible once in a while," or their "parents are Christians." However, the truth is anyone can call themselves a Christian, but that is not what makes you a Christian. What makes you a Christian is believing what the Bible teaches. All of it. Not just the easy parts or the parts you want. ALL of it. Christianity is realizing that you are not good enough on your own. That you can never live a life worthy of heaven without help. Jesus Christ is that help. He made a way for us to live eternally in heaven worshiping the one true God. We must take all of His word, study it, and live it no matter the cost. This life is short compared to eternity's reward for true Christians!

This holiday season take time to examine your heart. Take time to listen to truth. Take time to study God's Word to you.

I love you all so much!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clearly, I love oatmeal...

So I have ANOTHER oatmeal recipe for you. I just LOVE oats. Seriously, in college, I ate oats at pretty much every meal:) This recipe is baked oatmeal. The inspiration came from this recipe at allrecipes.com. Of course, I had to modify it because it's so much fun to change things up! Here are my tweaks (denoted by an asterisk*):


Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/ unsweetened applesauce*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir in raisins. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. 
 I made this while listening to Christmas music and burning a holiday candle:) Nice.

This turned out so yummy! It's best when you pour some warm milk on top (I did use dairy milk on top since I used coconut milk in the recipe, I figured I could get away with a little dairy right? Hopefully my baby boy won't notice it later, hehe:) Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not your grandma's cookie....

We all know that one of the reasons we love visiting grandma's is because you can eat whatever you want and she makes some pretty awesome cookies (ok, to be honest, neither of my grandmothers ever made homemade cookies that I can remember, but go with me here....:). This recipe I just made and it is wonderfully hearty and mostly (semi?) healthy! These cookies are cake-like in texture and are not very sweet. The chocolate chips lend a nice balance to the overall flavor. I like them because they are not SO sweet that you feel like you have to stop at two....(hehe:)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(now there's a mouthful of goodness)
(makes approx 40 cookies - I used HEAPING teaspoonfuls:)

1/2 cup of butter, softend
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream butter. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
3. Stir in vanilla, 2 eggs, and applesauce.
4. Stir in little by little flour, oats, and chocolate chips.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto nonstick or greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
7. Enjoy some deliciously, fall-ish, mostly guilt free, pleasurable, cookies:)


*I came up with this recipe by playing around with ingredients:) Next time, I'm going to try substituting pumpkin for the applesauce....mmmmm!!!

Paul, Timothy, and the Philippians oh my!

I've been studying Philippians recently. I've studied it many times in the past, but this time is particularly rich! My goal is to memorize the entire book (so far I have the first eight verses down....it's a start:) because it is such an edifying and encouraging book. My husband and I live on a very tight budget and in an even tighter apartment. Although I have my moments where I struggle with contentment, I have been so blessed during our time here. God has always provided exactly what we need and has given us no doubt that He will continue to do so.

As this Christmas season is approaching, I am reminded (although, it's not like I forgot!) that our culture is so consumed with consumerism! Everywhere you look there are ads for the latest, greatest gadget promising you joy upon purchase. I don't have a television, but even still I am bombarded with ads on the internet, at stores, in the newspaper, etc. It grieves me to see so many get caught up in the race to attain "stuff" thinking it will make them happy or fulfill their emptiness. All "stuff" breaks, burns, gets stolen, is lost. There is only one thing that can be all yours and cannot be stolen, cannot break, cannot burn, and can fulfill - Jesus Christ. This may be cliche, but where is Christ in Christmas in our society? So many forget (or simply choose to deny) that HE is the reason for the season. Not christmas trees, or gifts, or pretty lights. Jesus Christ.

The Philippians knew this, as did Paul and Timothy. Do you?

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