Month: March 2017

Forgiveness is Freedom

Forgiveness is Freedom

Forgiveness is something we are called to do by God Himself. Tat doesn’t make it easy or doesn’t tell us how we should begin to forgive someone.  The Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:12 says to forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  But that can be the hardest thing we do.  It’s not easy to forgive someone when they’ve caused so much pain and hurt to us.  In fact, you might even think it’s impossible.  There may be something that someone has done to you that is just so unspeakable and you feel that you could never forgive that person.  But what does that do to you?  It causes you to hang on to that pain and constantly be reminded how much you were hurt.

The Unthinkable

In the book, Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, A Mother’s Love and a Story of Remarkable Grace, by Terri Roberts.  She was the mother of the man who went into an Amish school in Nickel Mine Pennsylvania with a shot gun, sent all the boys out, locked the door, and tied up all the girls and one by one shot them all.  This is unspeakable but somehow the Amish community forgave him for what he did to these children. This Amish community was heart broken beyond words. But, because of their faith in God and their trust for Him, they forgave this man that took their daughters away.

Forgiveness is a choice and we must choose it.  Think of it this way.  When we are angry at someone because they’ve hurt us, we can hold onto to that anger until it makes our blood boil, to the point that it’s all we think about.  We think about how we will get even, or never speak to that person again.  We might even try to retaliate instantly.  After all, they hurt you, why not hurt them back?  You might even think that it would make you feel better.  But it won’t.  It will only perpetuate the anger.  You will never be able to move on and no matter how much you think you are over it, you will never be over it.

In Charles Stanley’s book, Landmines in the Path of the Believer, he writes: “We are to forgive so that we may enjoy God’s goodness without feeling the weight of anger burning deep within our hearts. Forgiveness does not mean we recant the fact that what happened to us was wrong. Instead, we roll our burdens onto the Lord and allow Him to carry them for us.”

Let’s look at what the Bible says about forgiveness

In Matthew 6:14-15 it says: For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (NASB).   We all want to be forgiven by our Father (or maybe you don’t, in which case, you should keep reading). And Jesus says we MUST forgive often in Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (NASB)

This is were a lot of us get stuck.  Seventy times seven, lets do the math, that’s 490 times!!  Are we really supposed to keep count?  I believe what Jesus meant was that we need to forgive with the grace that God forgives us over and over and over again.  We’re talking 1000’s of times!  I don’t think anyone is going to say “ok, you sinned against me 491 times and now I’m done…I don’t have to forgive you anymore”.  What Jesus is really saying is that it doesn’t matter how many times someone has hurt you, you should always forgive them.

Now, does that mean they always deserve our forgiveness?  No, but that’s what grace is all about.  God gives us grace each and every day of our lives.  He gives me grace when I say, “Lord, I’m not going to talk about people in a negative manner today”, and then BAM, someone makes me mad and I express my anger to another friend, and guess what that is?  Sin.  UN-forgiveness.  But, I am so grateful that God gives me grace.

Forgiveness is a choice and it can be so freeing, but it is not easy.  I urge you today to ask God to forgive you for your sins and ask him to show you who you need to forgive. And then let Him carry the burden for you.

Sweater Pillow

Sweater Pillow

I saw this on Pinterest.com and absolutely loved it.  I immediately searched through my drawers to find an old sweater (and trust me, I have many clothes that I don’t wear anymore for whatever reason, but just have trouble getting rid of…who’s with me?).

The first one I found was this very lovely cream one.  The only problem was (according to the pattern) it had buttons at the top and I was afraid it wouldn’t work.  But you know me, or maybe you don’t quite yet, but I gave it a whirl.  Worse case scenario is I would have to throw the sweater away…darn.

I laid out my pillow on top of the sweater and just got an idea of how big I needed.  I cut the sweater to 1 inch bigger than the pillow to allow for seams.  I wanted it to fit tight though, so no more than an inch.

I then turned it inside out to sew along the three sides (using a half inch seam allowance).  Turn it right side out and insert your pillow.  Now is the tricky part.  I didn’t fuss about my seam, but you experts out there could put a zipper in.  that would make it easy to wash and change out if you like.  I’m not a seamstress and believe it or not, I have never sewed a zipper in ANYTHING!

The next step, I took my fingers and pressed the seam together so that I could just sew a straight line.  This wasn’t too hard and I made sure that the seam was on the bottom of my pillow so it would hide it when on the couch or chair.

Viola!  Finished!  It took me maybe 20 minutes to make this adorable pillow from start to finish.  I absolutely love it and I WILL be making more!  There’s just something about pillows that make my home feel comfy and cozy.

Fruit Infused Water with Essential Oils

Fruit Infused Water with Essential Oils

This drink is so delicious that I drank a few pitchers of it in just a couple of days!  And it’s so easy to make.

Ingredients:

Strawberries (about 3)

1 lemon

1 lime

3 drops of Orange essential oils

3 drops of Lemon essential oils

3 drops of Grapefruit essential oils

1 drop of Peppermint essential oils

filtered water

Cut up your strawberries in half and slice the lemon and lime into thin slices.

 

Add your Essential Oils.

Then fill the pitcher with filtered water.

and enjoy!

Don’t throw the fruit away when the water is gone, simply fill it up again and enjoy another pitcher.

This is a great refreshing drink that has essential oils to boost your body systems.  Orange essential oil is good for your digestive and immune system, emotional balance and skin.  Lemon essential oil is good for digestive and immune and respiratory systems.  Grapefruit essential oil is good for the cardiovascular system.  Peppermint essential oil is good for your digestive system, nervous system and respiratory systems.

 

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

This week, I’ve been sick.  Sick with a cold and sinus junk.  I can’t complain though because it was just that…a cold…stuffy nose, headache, chills and a very slight cough.  I was extremely lucky however, because my husband had the same thing (he was so kind to share it with me), only his lasted weeks.  He ended up going to the doctor and getting a prescription for an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  Mine was very mild.  However, I did not feel like doing anything that involved activity.  Watching TV and movies  all day was just perfect!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I am recovering from an illness, I get this strong urge to bake and cook!  It may be the only time I have these urges.  Other times I have to force myself.  Now, I’m not the greatest cook and I don’t claim to be, but I still love it just the same.

This morning I woke up feeling so much better with nothing to do, so I dug out my cookbook and opened my fridge to see what I’ve got to work with.

Blueberries!

I had bought a container of blueberries at the market last week and because I have not been feeling well, I did not eat much of them.  What a shame because I hear blueberries are extremely good for you.

One of my pet peeves (and there are so many) is throwing away food because it spoiled.  I CAN’T STAND IT!  When you work hard for your money and buy food that is getting so expensive (especially healthy food), the last thing I want to do is throw it away!  It’s such a waste!  And I hate waste!

I dig out my blueberries, flour, sugar, oil, butter, baking soda and eggs and get started.

Here is the recipe

1 egg

3/4 cup milk (I used fat free organic)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups flour (again, organic)

1/3 cup sugar (organic)

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup frozen (drained)

 

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease bottom of muffin pans.  (another one of my pet peeves is PAM – I use real butter).   If you like PAM, that’s great!  I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of it.  As long as my hands are clean, I don’t mind getting them dirty, so lather up that butter and wipe it on the muffin tins.

Stir all ingredients in order of listed until flour is moist (batter will be lumpy) Fill muffin pans 3/4 full.  Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  This recipe makes about 1 dozen.

The beauty of this recipe is you can add any fruit to it!

If you add apples, stir in 1 medium apple, pared and chopped and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.  Substitute packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Who doesn’t have brown bananas laying around?  Don’t throw them away!  EVER! Decrease milk to 1/3 cup; stir in 1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3 medium).  Substitute packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Cranberry Orange would be great too!  Although, I have to admit, I usually don’t have cranberries laying around because I don’t particular like them.  I do like them in recipes though so I would just have to go out and buy them.

Try other things and just have fun with it and enjoy!

Here’s another great idea once you muffins are made and you want to enjoy them hot.

Cut your muffin in half (top to bottom) with a fork (like an English muffin).

Add some butter to a small frying pan.

Place your muffin in the frying pan (on medium heat) and fry for several minutes.

 

And enjoy!!  So yummy!!

Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite way of eating your muffin!  I’d love to hear more ideas!

Radically Devoted to eating delicious food.