Thursday, February 23, 2012

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 6:12-19

Today as we read from Windows to Wisdom by Stephen Olford we take a look at Proverbs 6:12-19.

Proverbs 6:12-19 (ESV) 

12  A worthless person, a wicked man,
    goes about with crooked speech,
13  winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
    points with his finger,
14 with perverted heart devises evil,
    continually sowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
     in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
     seven that are an abomination to him:
17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
18  a heart that devises wicked plans,
     feet that make haste to run to evil,
19  a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.
 Verses 12-15 talk about what a worthless person is
- wicked
- saying things with his body: eyes, feet, hands
- his heart is perverted and he figures out ways to do bad 
- continually finds ways to help people to not trust each other
To such a person will calamity come suddenly.  This person will end up broken, beyond healing.

Verses 16-19 speak to things that the Lord hates
- haughty eyes
- a lying tongue
- hands that shed innocent blood
- heart that devises wicked plans
- feet that make haste to run to evil
- a false witness that breathes out lies
- a person who sows discord among believers

I was wondering what these sections had to do with each other until I read the sixth and seventh thing that the Lord hates.   A false witness and a discord sower.  These things are part of what make a worthless person.   Even the heart that thinks up evil plans, this too is part of a worthless person.   I see that list and I want to do all I can to make sure I'm not a worthless person.   Who wants to be worthless?   Who wants to end up being broken beyond repair?
Not something I want for my life or for my child and family.

God tells us "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths".    

If I truly believe this to be true... then I won't be a worthless person because I will have my thoughts and actions directed by him.  I won't be lying, I won't be saying wrong things with my mouth or with my body, I won't be like those who want to stir up drama, who will encourage folks to do wrong, and so forth.   My trust will be in the Lord the one who HATES such things.    If I let him direct my paths then I won't do the very things he hates (at least I'll be well on my way to that anyways). :)   

What does Olford have to say about this passage?
Olford points out that 
1. There are things that we must hate 
  • first God describes what he hates (in the worthless man)
  • then God defines what he hates (his list of seven) 
    • vanity, falsity, cruelty, subtlety, villiany, perjury, and enmity
2. There are times that we must hate

A quote that I like "This means that when God hates, he does so with due regards to His nature as life, light and love.  .....  If you and I are to identified with the Lord of life, light and love, we also will have to hate evil and love good".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lemon Trout

So I had lemon trout and rice for supper tonight.
the trout was on sale for 2.99/lb so.. I was happy about that.

Here's the link: Lemon Trout.

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup grated lemon zest, divided
4 (6 ounce) fillets rainbow trout
1 lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, lemon pepper, salt, thyme, cayenne and half of the lemon zest. Combine the lemon juice and remaining lemon zest in a shallow dish and soak fish fillets for about 1 minute. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the trout fillets in the flour mixture so that both sides are coated. Shake off the excess and place fillets in the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and fish can be flaked with a fork. Discard the leftover lemon juice. 3. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels briefly before serving. Garnish each serving with a wedge of lemon.

SHOULD mention I made some changes

I did 1.5 cups of flour.
I used about 3/4 cup oil
I use dried lemon peel instead of fresh lemon zest.
I substituted paprika for cayenne powder.

It turned out okay.   I'd have no problem making this again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The church as family, day by day - Mark 3

Using as a base for devotions, Day by Day by Charles Swindoll.
today's scripture is based on Mark 3.

In this chapter we read about a man with a withered hand, a great crowd that follows Jesus, the 12 apostles that follow Jesus about Jesus using the words of the Jewish Leaders to defend himself and about Jesus stating where his first allegiance lies.

It's an awfully varied chapter and it's hard to pick where to focus, and reading through what Charles Swindoll had to say on it wasn't particularly helpful...and I'm really not sure how this passage pertains to memories and how the church becomes family... didn't make any sense to me, so... I'm back to reading it over again and seeing how God will speak to me today.  :)

I read through this passage again and what jumped out at me where two things

1. Jesus is making a new way - he challenged what could be done on the Sabbath by healing a man, he chose apostles, he taught people, he forbade the evil spirits to talk about him, he went without food in order to teach, he challenged the religious leaders and he chose his ministry and his love of God before his physical family.
2.20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21  And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” I read that and thought HUH?  What is this all about?  I do not understand why this would cause his family to think he'd lost his mind.   It still doesn't make sense to me.

And when they came to get him, he refused to go with them saying that those who do the will of God are his family.  
31  And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
ah... and thus I see where Charles gets his family thing. :)   Family ..... do we truly consider the people that we worship with, who are part of the visible and invisible church of God.. do we truly consider them to be family? Jesus did.    In fact he left his family who wanted to pull him away from his ministry to teach and lead and guide his spiritual family. 

I have to admit, I don't feel like I have family in this church, with the exception of a few.   Maybe that's my fault, maybe it isn't.   I don't know.   There are times when I long for closeness with those I worship with.   But I don't know how to gain that either.  Today I'm left with more questions than answers...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Windows of Wisdom - Proverbs 5

Today's Scripture reading from Windows of Wisdom by Stephen F. Olford is Proverbs 5:15-18
 15 Drink water from your own cistern,
   flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
   streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
   and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
   and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 

I have to admit to wondering why Olford doesn't take the entirety of this chapter to study as it is all about the same thing.   Don't commit adultery.  Stay true to the one that you married.

As the author says later in this Proverb
 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
   and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
   and he ponders all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
   and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
   and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Being committed to the one that you marry is a discipline.    There are all types of distractions out there for folks in life.   People will joke about being a golf window, a computer widow, a Whatever you want it to be widow, people will spend time with people who will lead them away from their families.  It's a choice.  We can choose to stay committed to that which GOD himself has called us.   

For me... I can spend HOURS on the computer...talking with others about rabbits, guinea pigs, reading up on the lives of others, playing games and what not...hubby was complaining so I made a choice...I will sit on the couch with him and watch TV.  Do I do this every night and all night?  NO.. but I do it more often.  I will play lego with my son, I will teach him, I'll drag the family out for a walk.  It's a choice.. I can take my 'me time' later, I can do "my thing" later.   God calls me to love that which he has given me.  I can do only what I want without thinking about it, or I can make choices that serve God better and my family more, and it's interesting, the more I exercise discipline in following the calling God has placed on my life...the better I do, and the better my family does as a family.  

Anyways, what does Olford have to say?   He makes two main points
1. Divine Love Condemns lustful marriage 
  • I had to read this section a few times to get what he was getting at.   A man should be the husband of one wife and should commanded of God to not touch another woman in a lustful manner.
2. Divine love Commends lawful marriage
  • But the contrast is that a man should desire his own wife and should want to spend time with her.  that drinking water from his own well should satisfy him.
other carnival posts can be found here: christian carnival.

Sweeter than Birdsong

Sweeter than Birdsong was an excellent read. I got this book from Booksneeze in order to review it. Booksneeze is Thomas Nelson's book blogging program which offers books in order to get reviews. They don't pay for them, they merely offer up books in exchange for the review.     Anyways, I picked this book thinking it would be a light read and I wouldn't have to think of anything, and it seemed the best of the options available for an actual book (they also do ebooks). 

BUT wow.. I was very pleasantly surprised.   It wasn't just a light read toss it away afterwards book.

Sweeter than Birdsong is an historical fiction novel that speaks of hope and faith that is inspired by real people and events. A good book to read. It speaks to hard life circumstances, of people making difficult choices, of young men and women maturing into their faith and God's calling upon their lives, and more.

The book was well written, I could quite well imagine what life was like in those days, from higher class society, to the poorer of society.  The working men and women of those days as well as the restraints placed upon them by who they were or wanted to be in life.   Be sure to reading the closing remarks as it explains what happened in real life and how characters were modified (or not modified) to fit the books storyline.    I always find it helpful when authors do that.

I would enjoy reading more novels written by the author Rosslyn Elliott. 

I review for BookSneeze®

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Weight of a Flame

A while back I joined a facebook group where a person could choose to do reviews for folks.  Could be an e-book or a actual book.

Weight of a Flame is an actual book.  Written by Simonetta Carr.

It is part of a series called "Chosen Daughters".  The subtitle is "the passion of Olympia Morata".   This lady was an actual figure in history.   From 16th century Europe.

Wow... I have to admit it took me a while to get into the book.   The writing style of the author was somewhat different than what I normally read.   But I found myself hooked.  I wanted to know what would happen, how would her life end, and how would she be influential in her world.     And that's what books are supposed to do right?   Draw you in, make you see things you hadn't seen before?

I am aware of how the reformation affected the lives of the people in those days.  The struggles, the death, the sure fire cling to the truth of God's word, the hardships, the murders in the name of religion and politics.  A fascinating book.  Olympia was a scholar, tutor, and a poet.   She was fluent in Latin and Greek.  She was an influential lady in her world.   It was good to get to know her.

This is indeed a book worth reading...not only for your personal reading pleasure, but also to learn more about church history.   It is good to know from what we came, as it helps us to stand stronger in what we believe and know.

just discovered the authors website.   On it she has a truth or fiction area for the book.  :)