Aug 5, 2014

Guilty

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  Romans 1:20


Consider this word:  Guilty... We all know what that word FEELS like.  Some only feel guilty after they have been caught, some feel guilty when they shouldn't but we are all have been guilty.  Remember what it was like to stand before your parents, trembling with the knowledge that you were guilty of something or other.  The flush to the face, the quiver inside your wame, and the shame you feel.  Think of standing in front of a perfect, omnipotent, and holy God - guilty.  

For God's justice demands perfection and because mankind was unable to achieve that perfection he did it for us through the death and resurrection of his Son.  He pursues you, He reveals Himself to you, He loves you, He gives you every chance.

If you have no desire for God, you are indeed in a desperate place.  If you scoff at the notion, it may already be too late because you "have no excuse for not knowing God".

Jul 29, 2014

Outlander - Episode 1

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been a serious fan of two series in my life:  Harry Potter and Outlander.  Both are extraordinary works that invite the reader to reside within the pages and are full of  nuggets that the author assumes their readers are intelligent enough to understand, research, or just skim over in pure enjoyment of the work.  By trusting the reader, these talented authors both built worlds with fleshed out characters, plot lines, and  rich detailed worlds that invite you in and surprise you with the vividness of the experience.   So if you haven't read the books, do yourself a favor and start.  Don't blame me if you stay up too late!


This blog is dedicated to the fans who have waited 20 plus years to see Outlander come to the screen.  I was privileged to see an advanced screening of episode one tonight and here are some of my observations.

  • Faithful adaptation - You will not watch the show and wonder what they have done to you beloved novel.  Pelican Brief and the Firm by John Grisham comes to mind, they bore no resemblance to the books and suffered greatly for their divergence from the source material.  Outlander is faithful.
  • Stunning Production - the light, the score, the filming, the acting, the editing, the authenticity - beyond my expectations!  
  • Characterization - spot on, true magic.
I find myself envious of the legions of fans who will experience Outlander for the first time and get to discover the series.  For the devotee, you will not be disappointed!

Jul 2, 2014

The Occult in Plain Sight

The Occult Forest
What comes to mind when I say, "The Occult".... visions of Satanists dressed in black robes, chanting in the deep woods, around a human sacrifice?  Perhaps you see a fortune teller or a voodoo witch doctor performing some spell in a basement around a bubbling cauldron?  These are the obvious and overt images that make up the idea of what the occult is, but what if it is more than that?

What if the occult is in the music that you listen to or the neighbor you are BBQing with this weekend?  What if that sorority/fraternity or social club you are involved with actually has its roots in the occult?  What if your friend has decided to join a secret society?
If you are like me, you simply shrug a shoulder, raise an eyebrow, and shake your head because really, the occult IS that witch doctor not your neighbor.

Ouija Board
"Yeah, sure, they do these hokey ceremonies at the fraternity but it's just part of the tradition and we laugh while we are doing it, nobody takes that stuff seriously, right?"
"I love that band and raise my hand in the sign of the I love Rock and Roll while I am banging my head, big deal, it's just a song."
"My neighbor has invited me down to the lodge, those are some really great fellows down there, I'm going to join to make friends."
"It's a Milton Bradley game for Christ's sake, what harm can a Ouija board do?"

Satanic Symbol
You, my friend, have now had a run in with the occult.  So what, you might ask, and given the seeming innocence of the scenarios I have described above, I don't blame you for that opinion.

Follow me for just a second, if you do an act, say punch somebody in the face but you do it while having fun, have you still punched that person in the face?  If you are singing a prayer to Satan but don't mean it, haven't you still said the prayer?  If your lodge has a ceremony that has it's roots in Dark Magic but you make a farce out of it, haven't you still done the ritual?

In a country that denies or minimizes the Supernatural the answer is still Ho Hum.  We have become conditioned by the Humanist point of view that truth is what we believe it to be.  If we don't believe these things have supernatural significance then they don't, but what if you are wrong?  What if, as the Bible tells us, that the unseen is greater than the seen? (2 Cor 4:18)  What if while you are joking around in your ceremony there are those hidden in another room who take what you are doing very seriously and are invoking curses and demons on your life?
Sorority Ritual

There are rules and laws in the Supernatural and if you give the enemy permission to move into your life, he is going to accept the invitation and once he's in, don't expect him to behave.  Don't expect because this was a joke in your eyes that it is a joke in his.  Are you angry now for no reason?  Has your baby daughter gotten sick?  Has pornography begun to take hold in your life?  Does Scripture make you cringe?  These could all be signs you have an unwelcome visitor in your life.  The Lord does nothing in secret, there should be no secret societies who serve the Risen Christ, yet Satan will always scheme in secrecy.
High Priest Apron
The good news is that there is a way free of this bondage.  Cry out to the Lord for salvation and deliverance.  Repent and stop doing the things that have brought the enemy into your life and you will be free by the Power of the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to find a local evangelical ministry to help you break free of the bondage of the enemy and find salvation and freedom in the Lord.

Jun 24, 2014

Parable of the Ten Virgins - Who are the Bridesmaids?

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been contemplating the parable of the Ten Virgins as outlined in Matthew 25 1:13 which reads, 1 "The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. 6 At midnight they were roused by the shout, 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!' 7 "All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, 'Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.' 9 But the others replied, 'We don't have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, 'Sir, open the door for us!' 12 But he called back, 'I don't know you!' 13 "So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.

For the purpose of this blog, I'd like to examine who the bridesmaids are in the parable.  For many years, I heard that the bridesmaids are the church at the time of the Rapture but it is interesting to note that the church is the Bride, not the Bridesmaid. So then, who are the Bridesmaids and what can we learn from that distinction?  Gene Lawley has written a fantastic commentary on this subject and encourage you to read his words, for much of this blog is based upon his work and insight.
The Bridesmaids
The Bridesmaids served several purposes in ancient Jewish marriages. They were to help prepare the bride for the return of the groom.  Once the groom arrived to consummate the marriage they would serve as witnesses to the bride's virginity.  Finally, they would walk by night with the wedding party to the home of the groom where the celebration would occur.  Thus, completing their support and service to the bride.

So who is supposed to support the church?  Ephesians 4:11-16, 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro , and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness *, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part *, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Thus, we have five folks who are supposed to serve as bridesmaids:

Apostles or Apostolos (Greek) - a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders
specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ
in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers

Prophets or Prophetes (Greek) - in the religious assemblies of the Christians, they were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak, having power to instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, and stimulate, their hearers

Evangelists or Euaggelistes (Greek) - a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist, the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

Pastors or Poimen (Greek) - shepherd who were to watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep - to defend the sheep from attackers - to heal the wounded and sick sheep - to find and save lost or trapped sheep - to love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust.

Teachers or Didaskolos (Greek) - teachers of the word of God.

Thus, it can be extrapolated that the Bridesmaids in the parable are the true and the false apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  For all those who corrupt the word of God and teach false gospels that tickle men's ears are the unfaithful bridesmaids and will not make it into the kingdom of Heaven.  Look around, these false bridesmaids are everywhere.

Jun 1, 2014

Conservatives Will be the First to Go

Revelation Chapter 13 chronicles the rise of the False Prophet and the Antichrist, who are given their power by the great Dragon, Satan.  We read that this evil trinity will impose a mark on the world.  No one will be able to buy or sell anything lest they carry this mark.  Such a worldwide system of control was not technologically possible until now.  Make no mistake friend, the time is short, and the Tribulation is at the door.

The machinations of the US government in terms of spying are unprecedented.  They have built massive data collection sites,  where the NSA is storing trillions of kilobytes of Data.  They are monitoring and cataloging every key stroke you make, every word you say on social media, even conversations that you hold in your home can be recorded via microphones in computers, smart TVs and smartphones.  They have the ability to watch you via your laptop camera.  Your phone calls home to your wife are being recorded.  They are cataloging your web photos for facial recognition.  They are determining which businesses are approved and starving the ones who don't fall in line with their master plan by pressuring banks to drop the accounts.  US Police are no longer required to protect and serve but instead must enforce the law.  The National Guard has had helicopters confiscated and put into federal control.  Free speech is under worldwide attack and men no longer tolerate biblical and moral teachings.  We could go on for hundreds of pages, all sited and documented, but the stage is set.

The last kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar's dream has not yet come to pass, the feet of clay and iron with ten toes.  We see these ten kingdoms in Revelation 12 and Revelation 13.  The great harlot of Revelation 17 is the last great false religion and is represented by a woman riding on the beast.  This image currently resides outside of the EU Parliament Building in Strasbourg, FR.


The blind public will read the above with a ho hum.  This is obvious, as all of the above are not a blip on the radar.  The enemy is before you but the game is on and the wife just came in with KFC, so who cares?  These blind dupes will cheer with joy at the ascension of the Man of Perdition, who has come to save the World.  They will gladly line up to take their microchip, they are as like lemmings over a cliff.

The church will be gone.  The Great Restrainer will be caught up in the air with Christ and the man of lawlessness shall be revealed.  Those who have heard the Gospel and rejected it will be given a powerful delusion and believe the Antichrist.

What of my conservative friends, my Tea Party Patriots, who love what the US used to be and have worked tirelessly and futility to put things right?  You have already been demonized.  The Left calls you all sorts of vile names designed to marginalize you and they have succeeded brilliantly. Make no mistake, if you are a conservative that is not a Christian, you will be the first to go.  They have your name, they have your face, they have your bank account, they know you friends, they monitor your car by its GPS, the listen to your calls, they will control your job and you will be an enemy of the state.  The independent patriotic fervor that you hold may prevent you from accepting the new world order but your life here on this Earth will be in immediate peril and you will be hunted and killed like an animal.

I do not write these words lightly but I write them in obedience for it is clearly written what is coming, it is clearly demonstrated in the signs of the times.  I weep for you if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, it is written that God wishes all to be saved and has provided a way for you to avoid the trial to come and to not be present at the Final Judgement.  For there will be no where for you to hide on that terrible day but know this that every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  You can do it now or you will do it later, your choice.

May 30, 2014

Where Are the Political Posts?

Some of my long term readers will recognize that the Abigail and Dolley of today bears little resemblance to the blog of 2009/2010.  Born out of the Tea Party, Dolley was actually launched on a collaborative site founded by several conservative friends.  That blog was literally stolen and this site was born.  So you may wonder, "Why don't you write political posts any longer?"

The short answer is that I no longer believe that it makes a difference.  I began to cool off considerably after the rally of 2010 failed to produce a halt to the destruction of the country.  2011 was an extremely trying and difficult time for me personally and I had enough ageda of my own without rallying around the flag.  I engaged for the 2012 election and fought hard for my candidate, Newt Gingrich.  Toward the end, I even got on board the Romney train and supported his candidacy.

Two major occurrences soured me on politics forever.  The first was about a week before the election when I posed the question to my fb friends if anyone was actually still undecided.  The answers were amazing... I realized that all of my writing, all of my persuading, all of my educated had been for naught.  I had dozens of friends who had not been positively influenced by my four years of crusading.  The second occurred about 2 am on election morning, I wept for my lost country but have never looked back.

You see, I believe that the only hope for this lost world is found in the salvation of Jesus Christ.  The 24 hour news cycle is not going to save us, the turning of the tides is not going to happen because we are simply too close to the end of the church age for that to occur.  Daily we are seeing the fulfillment of prophecy and the foundations and systems for the last kingdom are being laid before our eyes.

I now view world events through the lens of a Watcher.  I stand on the wall and call warnings but even these are now quieter.  My prophetic zeal changed no one's minds either, it was simply just more noise to my friends and family.  So I simply write about my journey, about our business, about my life walking with the Lord.  At the end, it is Christ and Him crucified that has the power to save, I am merely a humble servant trying to make it through the day.

May 28, 2014

Partnering With God in the Garden

The Bible uses agriculture to teach dozens of lessons to mankind.  Allegories and stories swirl though my mind, add to that my love of gardening, and the stage is set   Yesterday I was gazing at the Back to Eden Garden whilst sipping coffee and felt the Lord's sweet presence.  I realized that my life, like my B2E Garden, is a partnership with the Lord.  That might not seem Earth shattering but walk this path with me, perhaps the Lord will bless you in the journey.

Several years ago, my original perennial garden was absolutely full.  To continue to add plants would have moved it from a garden to a collection of plants.  I turned my attention to a sun baked spot in the back yard where even the grass and weeds struggled to grow and determined it was the perfect spot for a vegetable garden.  I trudged out there one February morning and began the arduous process of double digging the patch.  Holy Cow, this soil was a mess.  Silt on top where a stream has once run, light yellow compaction full of every tree root that had been left in the clearing of the lot, and underneath saturated red clay that weighed 20 lbs a shovelful.  It was brutal work.  This plot represents our lives before Christ, our flesh.  There is no good thing in it.  We have been baked by the sun where even weeds struggle to thrive.  Our sin runs like dead tree roots and we are weighed down in our spirits like the soaked red clay.

As I dug, the neighbors dogs barked... and barked... and barked.  I became madder by the minute.  Garden time was supposed to be peaceful and full of life and relaxation - this was filthy, muddy, stumbling work punctuated by yapping.  Finally, after two hours, I threw down my shovel and stormed up the street.  The clueless neighbor was no doubt shocked at my appearance at her door, sweaty in the February brisk air, liberally smeared with dirt, hair gone wild in the wind.  She gave me a rather confused look and mumbled, "I wondered what they were barking at..."  This did little to calm my ire but I stomped away to relative quiet.  The dogs in the story, well they are the demons and naysayers who like to condemn, gossip, and torment us.  They were sounding the alarm that good work was being done in my backyard.  Barred from the property, they could do nothing but make noise and aggravate.

The job I assumed to be a day or two, turned into three full weekends.  Having read that turning the clay and letting it sit in the weather would help to turn it into good soil.  I waited.  Weeds began to thrive, clods of clay baked in the winter sun and turned into terra cotta pottery.  I spayed weed killer all over the pile of dirt and waited a little longer.  April came and I brought in 20 bags of top soil, compost, and manure.   I sprayed the weeds again.  This phase is like the person who thinks if they dig down and unearth all the bad things in their lives that the airing out of everything will turn them into good soil, instead they are exposed, grow weeds, and certain parts of them harden like pottery.  They bring in pretty dressing that they buy and haul it in arduously spreading and augmenting the soil.  This temporarily covers the mess and for a little while it looks like mission accomplished.  To the outside world, hard work and money have accomplished the desired results.  Until the weeds start to emerge.  

Finally the time came to plant.  Most of the plants were purchased at the nursery but a few seeds were sown.  A few weeks later, a light dusting of pine straw covered the soil and the result was glorious.  I was so excited.  This was prior to my Abigail and Dolley days but I wrote extensively about how excited I was.  I companion planted everything and eagerly awaited the results, which were fantastic... at first.  This represents what we can do on our own, through hard work and money.  We can try and force what we want in our lives.  We sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor and investment.

Then, the last blog written that year is titled, "The Dog Days of Summer".  The unrelenting sun beat down, the rain did not fall, the weeds took over, the pests moved in, and everything fell apart.  I vowed that I would hold back the forces through hard work and recounted a five hour day in the sun pulling back the mulch and fighting the weeds, to no avail. This is where we vow to keep it together, that our hard work WILL pay off through sheer force of will but in the end the forces beyond our control beat down upon us and devour what we have tried to do.  These are the businessmen you see at dinner who can not put down their blackberry long enough to have a conversation with their colleague sitting across the table.  When it is up to you to keep your head above the waves.

In the end, the garden baked to stalks.  I took no picture of this desolation, we do not show off our failures.  We don't document and share pictures, we hide them and hope no one will ask.   My hard work, my money, my time was for naught but toil.  This represents a life lived our way, by our own efforts, and minus the blessings of the Lord.  I doubled down the next year.  I hired a man with a big tiller and had 40 bags brought in.  The results were the same.  Sadly, I repeated this process for two more years before abandoning the entire enterprise as a money pit of toil.  This is the epitome of just working harder, just try harder, just pour more money into it - if it fails it is because YOU have failed.

Years passed and I began to once again speak of my desire for a vegetable garden.  My husband suggested that he would build me one as my Christmas present.  I was as excited as ever but this excitement was tempered by my previous bad experiences.  I determined that this time would be different and I began researching what was new in vegetable gardens.  The Lord led me to the Back To Eden Garden Film and I was enthralled.  This is gardening done God's way, with His methods, and is blessings - without the toil and the hard work I always associated with vegetable gardening and with a blessed return on my investment which would get better with age.
Back To Eden Garden the First Spring
The difference is day and night.  We did not garden in the same spot, which was still sun baked and barren.  This new garden is huge, triple the original plot, and full of periods of shade from the unrelenting Carolina sun.  Yes, it still took time, hard work, and money but there is a partnership in this endeavor that was missing before.  Most of the plants thriving in the garden were grown from seeds instead of purchased transplants.  The weeds are few and can be plucked with a small pinch and a tug.  The wood chips hold the water from the rain and the plants are thriving.  I look upon the creation and I realize that there is a harmony in this garden as there needs to be in our lives.  I am doing my part and God is blessing the efforts.  I do not know if the harvest will be as magnificent as the young plants signal, after all it is up to God to continue to protect and to grow the plants.  We are a small family and it will be more than we can possibly consume or store, so we plan to bless others with the bounty.  I rest in the assurance that past experience don't always dictate future results, especially when you do it God's way.

May 25, 2014

Cool Down Now

Cool Down Now is my invention but the company and the creation, which is the recipe moving from the kitchen table to an actual product, well that's all my husband's doing.  One day we will write the story, I am sure it will be one of struggle and triumph.  After all, we love a good underdog, American Dream narrative.  We love the melodrama of the tale as it unfolds before our eyes, knowing at the end there is a happy ending.   We are not particularly interested in the first chapters of the story without the last but Cool Down Now has all the makings of such a story!  If realized to it's full potential, it boggles the mind to contemplate.   1 Corinthians 2:9 "Eye has not seen, nor ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, The things that God has prepared for those who love Him."

One of the many obstacles to overcome is exactly who to market the product to... at the end of the day, how to you market to "People who get hot"?  Seriously, ponder this, how do you market a product that every human on the planet has the potential to use?  It is a unique problem but one you have to solve because if you try to market to everyone, you end up marketing to no one.  

Think about it for a minute, when was the last time you got hot?  What were you doing?  How did you feel?  How long were you hot?  Did you stop doing whatever that was and go get cooled off or did you suffer through it?  Were you grumpy in the heat, did you snap at those around you? 

Cool Down Now makes you feel better.  Cool Down Now can last for hours so you can enjoy your activities or be more comfortable doing your hard work.  Cool Down Now has the secondary effect of improving your mood because if you are not sweltering in the heat you are happier.

So who is going to be the first group to embrace this revolutionary product?

  • Will it be athletes?  Imagine some Texas High School Football Coach discovering Cool Down Now.  Picture Friday Night Lights and Cool Down Now... what a great potential episode, right? 
  • What about Roofers - the ultimate hot job, will they be the ones who recognize the value of the product and buy it by the caseload?
  • How about Hot Flash Relief - will the female over 40 crowd get some relief from the internal volcanic eruptions that are so innocuously called a Hot Flash? 
  • Maybe it will be my fellow Gardeners who read my invention story and buy the product from their sister in dirt....
  • What if it's some obscure group or niche market like car salesmen who have to be on the black top in the sweltering heat and stay unruffled and pleasant?  Perhaps I will ask them to sit at my desk while I go talk to the sales manager...:)
I have never written Abigail and Dolley to become famous or sell product.  Until this month, I have never even mentioned Cool Down Now.  Google Analytics tell me that this little humble blog has been hit over 100,000 times, so perhaps faithful Abigail and Dolley readers, you will be the tipping point!

Remember, "Everybody Gets Hot, So Everybody Needs Cool Down Now!  It's Air Conditioning In Your Pocket!"

May 23, 2014

Lessons on Waiting From Sarah

Abigail and Dolley readers in the first grade, my teacher wrote on my report card that I was a bright student and a sweet girl but that I needed to learn patience with others.  It was a Christian School and I have no doubt that those words were given to her by the Holy Spirit.  God loves and disciplines His children and apparently this was an area He felt I needed to work on the most!  From that moment on, He began to put people and situations in my life that would develop patience.

Four decades later, I am still learning.  My idea of a patient person is one who is patient in all things, who waits in serenity and peace, and who casts cares upon the Lord with nonchalance.  The question becomes does such a person really exist or are we patient by degrees or in certain situations?  If utter paragons of patience are at one end of the spectrum and toddlers (both physical and spiritual) are at the other, where might you fall?  Further, are there some situations/people where your patience is inexhaustible but others where you fly off the handle at the least little thing?

What about long term desires and unfulfilled dreams?  I like to use Sarah as my model for patience in the Bible.  I identify with her.  We always focus on the fact that she waited 25 years for the promise of the Lord to come true but we do not consider that she had always been childless, that the longing and wishing for a child went well beyond 25 years.  I am sure there were many months she cried with every show of blood and then for years she dealt with the pain of an unfulfilled dream and desire.
Sarah Laughed
On a certain level, it seems harsh for the Lord to reveal to such a woman that she would bear a child and then ask her to wait.  Would we speak less of the miracle of Isaac if it had occurred when she was 75?  Or was the Lord making doubly sure that He got the credit and was He using Sarah to show us that if He promises something, He will eventually do it?  Did she suffer so 4000 years later we would still be talking about it and looking to her as an example of how to abide but also how not to abide? Is she also a model of what not to do when your long awaited dream comes true?  For by the Biblical accounts, she did not behave very well after Isaac was born.

It can be a scary place, out here in the deep with the Lord.  I am certain that people scoffed at her, laughed at her dream, and caused her to question that she had really heard from the Lord.  Sarah laughed herself when the Lord told Abraham she would give him a son.  I do not judge her too harshly, as someone who has had to wait upon the Lord for decades, I understand.


May 22, 2014

What I Learned From Being Unemployed

Abigail and Dolley readers one of the hardest things I have ever experienced was unemployment.  The emotions, the fear, the anger, the embarrassment, the financial implications, the isolation, and the sheer upheaval can be overwhelming.  The subject is so broad, dozens of blogs could be written addressing any number of subjects from finances to finding a new job to dealing with the stress; consider this blog a strong arm around your shoulders, a warm cup of coffee, and some advise from somebody who has been through it.

Have a plan everyday, something you are going to accomplish and only focus on your goal for the day.  It could be something like this:  Prayer and Scripture of the Day, Exercise, Clean the Bathroom, and Grocery Shop.

Another day may focus on a job search item so it could be:    Prayer and Scripture of the Day, Exercise, Fill out Unemployment Application, and Update Resume.

Batch your job related days and do not look for a job everyday.

Insure that your plans fill the "work day".   The work day was brutal.  I seemed to relax after 5:00 because I was used to being home and the "work day" was over.  My tough times were in the day.

When some well meaning soul asks you "What are you going to do?", you can reply, "Well, all I know is that today I am cleaning out the garage and that's about all I've got right now.  I will figure out tomorrow, tomorrow."

This method of focusing on today works very well to keep down the anxiety of next week, next month, and three months from now.

Help others - use your time to volunteer, to help a friend or a relative, plant flowers at the church.  I am a great organizer and cleaner.  I helped folks clear out clutter and get organized.

Pray, Journal, and Read the Word - God is never closer than when we are on our knees.  Use this time to move into a deeper relationship with Him.  He'll meet you right where you are.

Exercise, Walk, Run, and Get Outside in Nature - not only for the stress relief, for the health and well being, but getting outside is just therapeutic.

Find a Hobby - now funds are usually tight so inexpensive hobbies could be drawing, acrylic painting, knitting, cooking, gardening, singing.  You might even have the supplies around the house and you've just never gotten around to it, well take advantage of this time, it won't last forever!

Forgive those who hurt you.  Do it everyday if that's what it takes.

Do some serious self examination - are you a jerk?  If so, stop it.

Recognize where things with your job went off the tracks and don't repeat the same mistakes again.

Use your support system - I had a couple of folks who let me come clean their houses... literally, I would go stir crazy bouncing around my house and my Mom and good friend were always willing to let me come over.

Finish projects around the house, refinish that table, paint the den, power wash the deck.

It's okay to not be okay.  It's okay to regroup.  I did not want to lunch with former colleagues, I just didn't want to put on a smile and act like it was okay when I wasn't.  People understand.

Binge watch a great show - my unemployment great escapes were Veronica Mars, Friday Night Lights, and Eureka.  Downton Abbey is glorious.

Read a great book - try Diana Gabaldon's Outlander.

Recognize that this is a season, it won't last forever and you are going to be okay.  I promise.

May 20, 2014

Spontaneous Moment of Praise, Singing 'Jesus Messiah' at Atlanta Airport

Abigail and Dolley readers there is a video that has gone viral on Facebook of a group of gospel singers that break out in praise in the Atlanta Airport.

It's a moving moment; not because it is perfect and not because it is polished, it's moving because it is genuine.  The music touches the believer's heart with thanksgiving and praise.

I cried when I watched it, not simply because I was moved but because one day this will be outlawed and anyone who would dare to perform such a song will be executed.  One day soon, the church will be Raptured and this music will disappear.

May 13, 2014

Thou Hast Left Thy First Love

Abigail and Dolley readers sometimes the Lord brings things we thought were lost back to life.  I am gardener and have been for about 15 years.  During the course of time, I have planted hundreds of specimens and seeds.  Some have thrived and others have never sprouted. In my early years, roses were the predominant fixture in the landscape but seasons change and I determined that I no longer wanted to deal with prickers and the never ending battle of black spot.

I moved several roses out of the main flower bed and relegated them to an abandoned spot in the back where they languished for years without being tended.  They were puny and sick.  I dug up and disposed of several and when the time came to put in my Back to Eden Garden, on a whim I moved the three surviving things back up to the perennial garden.  I thought they were all a Freedom Hedge Rose but alas, I was wrong.  There was one special rose that survived, one I purchased 15 years ago and moved from one house to the other.

Coral Floribunda Rose
It is so old that I have forgotten it, name and all.  This morning as I was having my devotion in the garden, I noticed it there.  At first glance, it was just another Freedom but upon closer inspection I was shocked.  She had a heady scent that brought me back to a time of hope, grand dreams, and excitement.  Before I knew about fungus and black spot and Japanese Beetles - to a time when all things were possible to those who believed and were willing to put in the work.  To a time before rose gardening had become toil without reward.

Jesus told the church at Ephesus that he saw their hard work, he saw their faithfulness and endurance - but they had forgotten their first love.  As seasoned believers we can get so caught up in the work of being a Christ Follower, that we forget the joy of our first love.  We lose the faith of a child.  So God used a rose today to remind me that He can do much more than I expect and he reminded me of that first love.

May 9, 2014

Find the Balance

Abigail and Dolley readers the last few years have taught me that there is is a fine balancing act in this life and there is a path that we all walk.  I wrote pretty extensively about this last summer, I highly suggest that you read The Narrow Path to fully flesh this out.    So here we go... as I sit here contemplated the next words to write, it occurs to me that even in this there is a balance to be struck.  A balance between a full exposition of The Narrow Path for the reader who will not click through and for the other reader who has now returned to this post ready for more.  So let it suffice to say that the balanced, fruitful, and faithful Christian walk can be a tight rope in places and we must seek the Lord to help keep us on the right path.

As I've prayed this week, this balance has come back to the forefront of my mind.  Perhaps because someone recently chastised me for false modesty.  An honest compliment was given and I deferred.  In times past, proud as a peacock, I would have snatched that compliment up and devoured it like a chicken on a worm and then been pecking around for more.  Oh how times have changed!  I began to wonder, in my journey from pride to modesty have I again swung too far?

The extremes between two poles are easy to recognize but I am contemplating the nuance.  The line between realizing that no good thing lies in my flesh and assurance that I am living a life that is pleasing to the Lord.  Then immediately upon contemplating that I am doing well, realize all of the ways that I fall short and contemplating that I am a worm.  The swings between confidence and dependence; the false modesty where I put myself on the same level of the most debauched reprobate and then swing back to the full understanding that there go I except for the grace of God.

I have dissected my past mistakes ad-nauseum and as I contemplate moving forward I am loathe to repeat these mistakes of pride and self confidence.  I realize that I do not trust myself not to fall into the same trap again.  As the Lord answers prayer, can I pray in faith in confidence or will I become arrogant that the Lord is answering my prayers...I do not like being double minded nor can I put away a question that I have been gnawing at me, so I sought the Lord.

He gave me a Scripture that surprised me with it's simplicity and I have NEVER contemplated it in this light... this is a Scripture we use in times of suffering and trial, it is not one I've used to find grounding and balance but alas the Lord gave me, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Thus, in the nuance, in the gray areas, in the deep, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

The Beauty of the Lord
The Lord does not want us to stay the same, He delights in our growth.  He loves to show us new revelation, to give us glimpses of His character, His beauty, His power, and His magnificence.  To touch our hearts and flow through us like fire, wind, and water; to open our eyes to the deeper things of Him and invite us into the wildness of Him.  For I would rather spend one day in the presence of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere and I yearn with all that is within me when I shall finally be in His presence forever.

Apr 14, 2014

Blood Moon Tetrad

I am totally geeked out in a prophecy buff kind of way that the Blood Moon Tetrads start tomorrow, April 15, 2014.  Below is an excerpt from a blog I wrote last July when I first got interested in the phenomenon.
Blood Moon
A Blood Moon Tetrad is an occurrence of 4 Lunar Eclipses on the Jewish Feast days of Passover and the Tabernacles.  They call it a total lunar eclipse a blood moon because the diffused rays of the sun through the Earth's atmosphere can make it appear red, historically this scared the crap out of everybody.  A BMT (as they are called) has occurred 7 times since Jesus ascended into Heaven and each time it was a sign to Israel.  BMT's herald a terrible period of trouble for Israel followed up in deliverance.  When you add in the solar eclipse calendar to the lunar eclipse calendar, you get an even deeper picture.  When you add in the Elul 29 Shemittah, you get something else all together.

We had a Blood Moon Tetrad that coincided with the rebirth of Israel in 1948.  So Holacaust, then birth of the nation, then BMT1949-1950.  19 years later, 1967-1968 we have the Yom Kippur war or the 6 day war and Israel regains their capital, Jerusalem.  48 years later, we have another BMT 2014 - 2015.

Coincidentally this is the second time the spacing between triple occurrences has been 19-48, the year Israel was born again.  If you play with that number you see that by adding 1948 years to  the destruction of the temple in 70 AD you get 2018.  Folks in 2009 and 2010 were using this figure to predict a 2011 Rapture... we see where that got them... still here.  I am not trying to set dates, what I am trying to do is to get you to THINK.

There are youtube videos and charts everywhere but I couldn't find one that had everything I wanted to publish.  My handwritten notes and charts won't cut it, I may not be a professional, but I do have my standards...  I encourage you to watch the video and check out some of the charts, do your own research.  A number of charts have great info but some enterprising soul determined we were going to be Raptured in 2011 or 2012 and they may have false information on them.  Others are pdf formatted only and blogger won't let me embed a pdf file, so for all you visual folks check out the below:
Lunar and Solar Chart 2014-2015
The above chart fails to note the two solar eclipses that occur on 4/29/14 (Yom Hashoah/Holocaust Memorial Day) and 10/23/14 (Rosh Chodesh Chesvan).  Whether they are significant or not, I can not say but felt the above was not inclusive and they warranted mention.

It is also noteworthy that in the 7 weeks model of Daniel, the number of days in a 7 week period is 17640.  Using the Biblical calendar we see that  9/23/2015 is exactly 17640 days from the recapture of Jerusalem on 6/7/1967.  Which happens to be on Yom Kippur.

Feb 11, 2014

A Big Picture View of the Sustainability Movement

Abigail and Dolley readers have you heard about the Sustainability Movement?  It's a "back to the land" way of life.  I call it beyond organic.  Ordinary folks are starting little farms, growing or making all their own food, building solar panel ovens, collecting rain water, and checking out from everyday American life.  Back in the 1980's and 90's this type of isolated life was unthinkable and was reserved for the likes of militia and cults.  Something changed and a significant number of people are living off the grid.  They have been doing it for so long they are weary.  How is it possible that this has been happening for many years and I've just now "discovered it"?  I have a theory - follow me through the steps.

Do a Google search on the Sustainability Movement or Revolution or Lifestyle.  Go on Facebook and rabbit trail around, there are thousands of sites and bloggers.  From a secular perspective, the origins of the movement are laid out very well in this article.  Reading through it, we see it was founded out of the Environmentalist Movement which is in its essence a hard core ideology that has combined nature lovers with anarchists.  Before you shut me down, I am not saying all these modern pioneers are anarchists and environmental zealots, I am simply stating that the beginning of sustainability was born out of this movement.
Modern Homestead
Logically then, the first, second, and third wave adopters are decidedly left of center.  The first being radical, the second probably being more spiritual, and the third probably more idealistic.  The fourth wave? I'd surmise the Homeschooling Parent and that is where it crossed the political boundary.  As the numbers grew, ordinary folks began to pick up on some of what they were saying and eventually the organic movement seeped into mainstream America.  Newt Gingrich was the first conservative I ever heard talk about the environment as an issue where the right and the left can find common ground.  Throw in the hard core right who, under the influence of World Net Daily and Glenn Beck, are stockpiling supplies and preparing for the end and you have a very unique mix of seemingly unrelated groups.

Today, folks from all walks of life are modern day homesteaders.  They are bartering with their neighbors, raising chickens and goats, growing their own food, making their own cleaning and hygiene products, and weaning their dependence on Big Food.  We find common ground in The Food Babe Army who is pressuring corporations to remove harmful chemicals from their products.  The gardening community is afire with the Back to Eden Film and this is where I had my "Aha" moment.

I view everything through my worldview filter.  I believe that we are living in the last days and that the Rapture of the Church is imminent.  But what of those left behind?  What of the Tribulation Saints?  How are they going to survive when the Antichrist rules this world?  How will they eat, where will they hide?
 I believe that God has been making provision for these people for years.  Without their knowledge, without their understanding, He has called them out and taught them what they will need to know.  He has provided a place for them to hide, a way for them to feed themselves, and an environment where they can be safe.

Since the earliest adopters of this movement are decidedly anti-christian they will be the most well versed and the best established.  They know how to harvest rain, build solar ovens, dehydrate food, raise livestock, and build houses from bags of dirt and shipping containers!  They even feel that we are on the precipice and are frantically calling on their spiritual leaders to promote sustainability.

As for me and mine, I figure some of my unsaved neighbors will use my garden. Unsaved friends will remember the couple who has been preparing for years and will eat the stashes of survival food stored in bunkers, basements, and modern fall out shelters.  God in His mercy knows they will need it.

Feb 8, 2014

Recovering From Word of Faith

Abigail and Dolley readers as a new believer I was starving for all things of God.  If you have followed this blog or are friends with me on facebook you know that I always have something I am passionate about.  I am almost always researching something and I try to find out as much as I can about a subject.  My Mom teased me about this trait this Summer and I realized that there are a couple major themes I usually adopt:  Faith, Gardening, Health/Weight Loss/Cooking, and some times Politics.  Thus, it is no surprise that when I recommitted my life to the Lord that I would dig in deep and I did!  Unfortunately, in my hunger to learn everything about this wonderful life in Christ I began watching Word of Faith preachers on INSP (pre-internet world!).

I was enthralled!  I could pray for healing and be healed.  I could invest in God's kingdom and reap exponential awards.  I could confess and speak things into existence because God promises in His Word and He HAS to do it because that is who God is!  I read books, I taped shows, I confessed the Word, I prayed, I gave, I believed, I made terrible financial decisions based on "faith".... I was sold out and so on fire for the Lord I was tough to be around.

Then, I got sick.  I prayed.  I believed God for healing.  I did not receive that sickness into my body.  I exercised incredible faith.  I did not get better.  Sitting in the Emergency Room one night about 6 weeks into this mysterious illness, I looked at my husband and complained that I was doing everything I was supposed to do and I was still sick!  Something was very wrong with this picture and I gave up on the Word of Faith movement in that moment.

What I did not realize was that I was now very spiritually damaged.  As a new believer, I indoctrinated my soul with lies.  I set up ways of thought, beliefs, and actions based on the words of greedy liars disguised as preachers.  In many ways, I had black highways paved through my soul.  My thoughts and prayers raced across the false roads.  When I abandoned the Word of Faith movement, I abandoned the Word and Faith and the Hope that comes with being a true believer.  Subconsciously, I embarked on the rest of my faith life where God's promises were tainted.  Having Hope seemed like a Mountain Top Proclamations.  Expending my Faith was ruined.

It was 15 years after the fact that I realized that I still carried the damage.  Reciting scriptures of God's promises ran over those dark highways in my soul and reached my heart with unbelief and no power.  I did not even realize it.  As I began to dig into it, I realized that only God can heal me of these spiritual scars.

How many walking wounded are there right now?  How many new believers are sucked into this false doctrine and scarred forever?  How many huge houses went into foreclosure because vulnerable Christians were believing God for the money to pay for their mortgages?  How many sick people are not seeking medical treatment because they are believing God for divine healing?  How many people completely fall away from the faith as seeds sown in shallow ground?

I have been a vehement critic of the Name it and Claim it movement.  I left a church home over a dispute about it and never looked back.  I hate the doctrine and what it does and there is a special place in Hell for the wolves in sheep's clothing that deceive God's people and line their pockets with the proceeds.  Beware.

Jan 5, 2014

Our Year Without Food Waste

Abigail and Dolley readers this year I have set a goal to eliminate food waste in our home.  From a financial perspective, it is estimated that Americans are wasting 40% of the food we buy.  That is astounding when you contemplate the staggering costs to the family.  I recognize that we won't be perfect but we are going to give it a good try, and if I do have something go bad as long as it's fruit or veg, it will go to the compost bin.  There are tons of blogs about repurposing your left overs and I am sure in the coming year, I'll be consulting them for inspiration.

On New Year's Eve, I used my turkey roasting pan made a huge Bottom Round Roast with potatoes, celery, onions, mushrooms, and carrots.  I'd never made a Bottom Round Roast; always been a Chuck Roast kid of gal.  My son isn't a fan of chuck roast and it doesn't make good lunch meat, so I rolled the dice and bought a Bottom Round Roast.  All the recipes say to brown it off and then braise in the oven fully submerged in liquid.  Well, a turkey roaster holds A LOT of water.  I cooked it to medium temperature and it was hard as a rock, so I put it back in the 250 degree oven for a couple more hours.  I'd seasoned the water but this roast did not release a ton of juice so the au jus was just plain watery.

The veggies sort of slowly boiled and the meat had a good flavor, so we ate pot roast the next night.  I tried to play it off, because holy cow there was a ton of this stuff, but in the end it just wasn't that good.  So I started out the New Year with a giant pan of not so good pot roast.

Here's what I did with it...

  • Drained about a quart of the au jus and froze it
  • Used another quart of the au jus and made a big batch of brown rice, which we then curried with coconut milk.
  • Pulled out the potatoes, ran them through a quick chop in the food processor and made hash browns.
  • Thinly shaved about a pound of the roast beef and made sandwiches
  • Cubed another pound of meat and made some brown gravy for beef gravy over toast
  • Made a cream of celery and carrot soup with goats milk
  • Sauteed the mushrooms with a little butter and wine and used them as a side dish

All in all, not a bad beginning to my repurposed life!  So friends, if you ever find yourself wondering what to do with left over pot roast, here are some ideas!

Dec 27, 2013

Finding God's Provision

This Christmas, I have learned, perhaps, the most valuable lesson of the year.  "What lesson?" You ask.  I have learned to recognize God's Provision.  We can do this by stopping, observing, and looking at what is in front of us instead of dwelling on what is not.  He meets our needs everyday but we miss it in the moment, only in hindsight do we see.  

My family determined this year, we were not going to make Christmas a consumption fest.  We were not going to run ourselves ragged or go broke buying gifts.  We kept that promise and the blessings of the Season were amazing.  By looking to the things He already had given us, we bagged all of our presents with last year's bags and tissue paper.  By praying for his provision, we had a bottle of wine when we needed to bring something to a friend's party, we had the ingredients for cookies and cake so we could bring some food.  When our son brought a friend home for dinner, unexpectedly, we cut the chicken breasts in half and shared the food we had on the table.  The next morning when there was four eggs and three slices of bacon, I made 5 omelets and toast and everyone went away full and satisfied.  As I am looking for wood chips, compost, and mulch for my new Back to Eden Garden, neighbors bag their leafs up and leave them on the side of the road, tree services deliver wood chips, and the neighbors who keep chickens say I can have as much manure as I want.  I've desired a compost bin for a while and I now have free pallets to use to make one.  Since the birth of my Sister's first baby in 2007, I have purchased special ornaments for each child.  This year, the $80 ornament was just not in the budget, I was sad about this and rationalized that I would buy it next year and he would never know the difference.  I got a promotional email and for a limited time the ornament was 50% off!  It was still the most expensive present I bought this year but I was so proud of it.  I was so thankful to the Lord that I was not embarrassed over my lack of funds and I was so blessed to be able to keep the tradition.  Looking back over this year, these are just a scant few examples, but I think you get the gist. 

In all of the above small situations, I could have looked at what I did not have, I could have bought what I wanted on credit, I could have tried to provide for myself but I would have failed.  Instead, I made a choice to appreciate what I did have and the experience was so much richer.  I felt blessed, I felt as if I was a good steward, and the excitement of Christmas has returned to my heart.

So dear friends, I implore you to make a paradigm shift in your thought life and learn to appreciate what God has given you.  It will take some creativity, it will take a humbleness, and it will give you back more than you can ever imagine.

Dec 23, 2013

Back To Eden Approach

Abigail and Dolley readers I have had a very interesting year, to be sure.  Personally and professionally, the ups and downs of 2013 have changed me, again.  I've learned to trust the Lord in a new way, it's an exercise, something I have to practice but it is there never the less.  As we approach Christmas, people will ask you what you want and in spite of three years of lack, I find that the Lord has supplied all of my needs.  When my husband asked me if I would like for him to build me a new vegetable garden, my eyes light up, well... like Christmas!

Some of my regular readers will know that I have seasons of "The Mad Gardener" in me.  Over the years, I have written often about the escapades in gardening and it is one of the activities I truly enjoy, sometimes....  I say sometimes because frankly it is often back breaking toil in the brutal heat.  I haven't been terribly healthy this year and I AM (horror) getting older.  Thus, I am looking for a simpler and less labor intensive method.

I am a beacon for mosquitoes.  This year, I could barely step outside without being attacked.  I would spray down with Deet for long afternoons in the garden but who wants to spray that stuff to take a simply mosey?  Merely stepping outside would bring a hoard of the blood suckers which result in painful fifty cent piece knots that itch for hours.

So, the garden, while weeded, trimmed, and freshly pine needled has not gotten my passionate attention or care.  It has been several years since the Kitchen Table Scholar in me set my mind to horticulture and in the intervening years I have come to embrace the organic lifestyle.  Hence, it was time to brush up and learn as much as I could about doing this chemical free.

Rabbit trailing around, I found the Back to Eden Garden Film which combines love of the Lord with gardening.  Hello!  You have my attention.  I was blessed beyond measure and have in the intervening weeks watched the film three times.  We are finishing another yard project in the coming days and after Christmas will begin the process of laying down our own Back to Eden Garden,  I promise to document the steps and the results along the way.  For your own enjoyment, please watch the film,



Dec 1, 2013

Peacock Christmas Tree

Abigail and Dolley readers I adore Christmas and look forward every year to creating a wonderful tree.  Here is this year's Peacock Inspired Tree.









Oct 27, 2013

Jesus Wept

Abigail and Dolley readers many of you know, John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the bible.  I have been contemplating this verse today and thought I might share a bit with you.  My pastor asked this morning, "Why did Jesus weep?"  I answered because He was fully man, he felt what we feel.  Someone else answered, "He had a family, too."  That got me to thinking.

Perhaps in those tears, were tears of pain for lost loved ones.  Jesus always submitted to the will of the Father and it stands to reason there were many whom he had lost to death.  Joseph immediately came to mind.  We know nothing of his teenage years or his twenties, there were certainly friends and family who died in those years.  It is entirely possible that Jesus himself had lost a brother to death.  We KNOW he had lost his Earthly father.

As they are walking to the grave, Jesus groaned.  In John 11:33 &38 the Greek word Embrimaomai is translated as groan but literally means to snort like a horse.  I think Jesus voice was cracking in pain as he listened to the sisters and the mourners cry.  Their mourning is described as klaio used 34 times in the New Testament.  It means bemoaning, wailing, weeping - klaio is loud and full of pain.  Then Jesus wept.  Literally, Jesus dakruo

If you look at the Greek, the word is Dakruo.  It is only used once in the Bible and it is here.  It means to begin to sob silently.  When the pain is so great, you can not even make a sound.  

We put ourselves in the midst of tragedy.  I do not think of death without feeling pain for my Father. I do not hear of anyone grieving without thinking of his passing. I have become well acquainted with dakruo and klaio in the 22 months since he went home.  I miss him.




Oct 9, 2013

"Chili-less" Cheeseburger

Abigail and Dolley readers I have previously written about Wednesday Night Cooking with my son.  These are always the best dinners of the week and the more we do it the more fun we have.  He has a great sense of flavor and I have let him get creative with several sauces that have knocked our socks off!  Tonight, we did something easy and I wanted to share the recipe with you.

He named it the Godzilla Burger, but since it was neither huge nor spicy, I thought the Chili-less Cheeseburger was a better title since the Cumin really is the star!  It tasted like a chili cheese burger without all the mess!

Chili-less Cheeseburger

Shredded Mexican Cheese
Soft Potato Rolls
Sliced Tomato

Burger:

1 lb of 80/20 Ground Beef (room temperature)
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all burger ingredients in a bowl and form into 4 x 4oz patties.


Sauce:

1/3 c mayo
1 tsp Taco Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cumin
About 5 Jalapenos minced + a little juice
Salt

Mix all in a bowl and spread on the top and bottom of a soft potato roll.

We love our George Foreman Grill - 5 minutes total cook time.  Take burgers off and top with cheese, let them rest a minute or two.  Add the burger to the bun with a tomato and enjoy!

Aug 26, 2013

Forgiveness

One of the hardest thing Scripture tells us to do is forgive people who have harmed us.  This is especially true when the grievance is fresh and the wound deep.  Walking in the Kingdom of God calls on believers to go against our natures:  pray for our enemies, bless those who curse us, and forgive our brothers who sin against us.  These are tough things to do.  The difficulty of forgiveness in the human heart is governed by several factors:  who sinned against you, how much time has elapsed, and the trespass itself.  Alas, all of these are influenced by the degree to which we forgive ourselves.  A human heart that holds grudges against itself will have an even harder time forgiving others. 

Fogiveness for deep wounds is often a daily activity.  I have experienced that lately.  I come to peace about something and find it rears it's ugly head days or weeks later and I have to forgive again.  Forgiving someone does not tell the person that what they did was okay, it just takes away that persons power over you to keep hurting you with their betrayal.  

We, as Christians, are forgiven everything we confess, we must not withhold from others that which is freely give to us.

Aug 24, 2013

Warning Signs

About 6 months after we moved into our neighborhood, the city put speed humps on the main drag.  I voted against them, but when my side lost I had to admit that in spite of careful intentions I did find myself going a lot faster than I should.  Since it was a familiar stretch of road, my mind would go on autopilot.  After a long day at work and a hellish commute, I would fly through the neighborhood in a hurry to get home.

The first day the road humps were there, it was a shock.  Had I not been paying attention I might have done some serious damage to my car.  The jet black humps stood out from the faded gray asphalt but the city crew did not paint the white arrows on the humps for several days.  Thankfully, there was a warning sign posted in the neighborhood and later that week the white arrows were painted.
Missing the Warning Signs
As the years have gone by, I don't notice the road humps any more.  The warning signs are obscured by tree branches and the dark black of the new asphalt has faded to nearly match the gray of the original road.  We putz through the neighborhood, going the speed limit and slowing for the obstacles automatically.  In many ways, I am thankful for the speed humps, they slow me down and have kept my neighborhood safe.

There is a lesson in these speed humps for every Christian.  Before the speed bumps and warning signs, we fly through life in a hurry to get home.  We know we should be slowing down and obeying the laws but we forget, get distracted, and end up going way too fast.  We don't want laws or rules to make us do those things but once they are there we realize they were for our own good.


When we first see the signs, we have to look carefully - they appear to be part of the road but we know there is something up ahead.  We cautiously approach them, testing their impact and slowly make our way along the path, recognizing the signs that God has put in our midst.  Preachers may begin to teach on these humps and the white lines of warning are painted on them.  In the beginning, we note the signs and the evidence of the obstacles.  We discuss them with our neighbors.  While they may appear to some as part of the road we recognize them for what they are.

After years though, the signs and the evidence become part of the journey.  The black asphalt fades to almost the same color of the road and we no longer pay attention to the signs.  As a body, we in the Church are used to the signs.  They are part of the road, part of the world, and we don't even notice them anymore.

The shame of this is that while the Body of Christ lies sleeping, the King is approaching.  Instead of shouting an alarm to the lost, we hunker down with false prophets and teach about "health and wealth", we condemn the lost instead of reaching out, or worse yet, we blaspheme and fall away in an apostasy that is astounding.

The vacuum left by the Body of Christ will be filled with something!  The world is lost and confused.  The believers in aliens see the imminent return.  The environmentalist believe the Earth is trying to tell us something because of climate change.  The fringe chemtrail, Nibiru, Lizard People believe the End is Near!  Even the folks that don't prescribe to any of these theories see what is going on around us and shake their head because something is going on....

The World sees these signs and they are trying to interpret them, all great lies from the Devil have grains of truth in them!  "Aliens" are showing themselves, but they are not what they claim to be.  The Earth IS groaning but not because of Global Warming.  There ARE strange things in the sky and many ARE controlled by "lizard people", but they aren't lizard people, they are ancient evil.

Everyone believes and sees the world through their own filter, everyone believes they are right.  Empirically, the Church has it right.  Not because we are smarter, or better, but because we base our worldview on the Bible, a 4000 year old book that has NEVER been wrong, it doesn't change, and it is a solid foundation for which man has governed himself and the world since Creation.  The Bible gives us the clear signs, it is up to us to point them out to each other and to explain them to the world and THAT my friends is what I have been trying to do.  Blessings to you and yours, In Christ! "Dolley".

Aug 21, 2013

Garden Patties

Abigail and Dolley readers every year my Sister puts in a wonderful organic garden, this year the squash and zucchini were abundant and we were looking for ways to cook the end of the season bounty.  I came up with this simple gem and thought I would share it. 

Squash
Zucchini
Potato
Egg
Bread Crumbs
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Onion Powder

For this recipe I shredded 2 yellow neck squash, 1 medium zucchini, and 1 Yukon Gold potato.  I salted the veggies and let them sit in a fine mesh strainer so most of the water would leach out.  This takes about 20 minutes.  In a large bowl, I seasoned the veggies with salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  Stir in two eggs and enough bread crumbs to soak up the egg. 

Heat a large pan over medium high heat with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan and up the side 1/4 inch.  Once the oil is hot, form the veggie mixture into patties, drop in the oil, flip when golden brown and crispy.

These were delightful and a great way to use up that squash and zucchini that was starting to "show a little age".