God's Word for Today

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project 365: A Double Header………I’m Back:)

First I have to say that with the Thanksgiving break being all but over I am finally actually feeling like Thanksgiving. I just sat down to a wonderful plate of leftovers and am feeling very satisfied. I’m coming to the party a bit late today but at last we have all our files back in place on the new desktop and I have my new birthday laptop up and running. I am comfortable blogging with my feet up in my favorite recliner watching Americas Funnies Videos. Thank You Jesus and my thoughtful husband that I am no longer chained to the desktop, nor do I have to fight the DD for computer time either……for that I am very thankful indeed!

So this edition will be a culmination of the last two weeks. I did not get each day but I did get a few good shots….so let's get at it!

Week 47

Monday, November 14

Things have changed around the Be Still and Know household as I am now watching Muffinhead four days a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays. I will keep this schedule up for the reminder of the school year. Prayers for stamina would be greatly appreciated……

Apples are a good thing!


Tuesday, November 15

Unfortunately Muffinhead did not stay stationary for very long…but it was sweet watching her put her babies to bed and then grab her own blankie and joining them for a bit……it did not last for very long.


I love my crock pot, especially when it all comes together . Sometimes it just all works out just right. The seasonings, the cut of meat the veggies, it all came together and this was the end result. We really enjoyed this pot roast with potatoes, carrotss, onion, mushrooms with a creamy brown gravy with a cheesy polenta….my all time favorite combination. It was good y’all!


Thursday, November 17

The HOA recently installed our long awaited playground. We moved in this subdivision almost five years ago and at last we now have a playground. Muffinhead and I seized the day and the beautiful weather and made a trip up to the new playground.

Great fall color!


A big stick is always fun!



story time…love a good snuggle!


Friday, November 18

My grandma used to make pancake men, well I had some leftover pancake batter from the night before. Love breakfast for dinner, but then that’s another post entirely. Well this guy needs a bit of work but I hope with practice to be able to make a good pancake man just like my grandma did when I was a little girl. And y’all Muffinhead put away three whole pancakes for breakfast that morning!


Week 48

Sunday, November 20

I was pretending that I was not getting a cold earlier in the week, well by Sunday there was no ignoring the facts. I was feeling really crappy and stayed home from church with my Alka Seltzer Plus, my hot tea and blanket!


Tuesday, November 22

The DD had a friend over for a few days. When she left and I was feeling better I found this note on our marker board in the kitchen. I love it when the girlchild’s friends feel at home here…like a home away from home. It was sweet that she left me a little love note of appreciation!


Thursday, November 24

On Thanksgiving we drove out to my SIL. I did absolutely no cooking, I did bring a sweet potato pie, which as pie’s go I am not sure I will make it again. Over many years of pie eating I have determined that pumpkin and sweet potato pie is just not one of my all time fav’s. I’ll be sticking to apple and peach from now on.

Muffinhead got a bit restless a few times during the day so she and I would grab a cookie and head down the street for a bit of a walk. The house across form my SIL had two large lawn statuary that she was so intrigued with. She petted them, sat on the gave their sweet little heads a pat.


Every seven year my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. It was problematic as a little girl and made party planning a real bummer. Now I am a bit more accepting of the fact that Thanksgiving trumps birthdays sometimes. The DD surprised me some metal measuring cups and measuring spoons. No more plastic for me. I shared with you the other day about my new birthday laptop so I will stop gushing about it and move on.


Friday, November 25

I did a little bit of pantry organization on Friday. All my canning was stored on the very bottom of my pantry back in a dark hole. I finally moved it out into the light. I don’t think this is where it will permanently stay but I figured that if I can not see what I have then it never gets used.

From left to right we have peach jam (thanks Sara), pepper jelly, apple butter, apple sauce, orange marmalade, pickle relish, cranberry sauce and then more pepper jelly…….


Well that’s it for me for the last few days!

I hop you all had a wonderful thanksgiving…..now it’s time to get the house decorated and finish up the last bit of Christmas shopping.

Blessings Y’all!

For more P365 y’all head over to Sara’s and link up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My house is quiet…

The DD had a sleepover last night so even the dog is sacked out upstairs, the hubs is off to his Men’s Small Group that meets every Saturday and I am sitting on the sofa listening to the oven pre-heat.
My insulated thermal coffee carafe mysteriously has water sloshing around in it and for the life of me I can not figure out how it got in here, life is full of the unexplainable.
My day is full of my favorite things, I am having and after thanksgiving Thanksgiving, only abbreviated. Since I did no cooking beyond tossing a pie in the oven to take to my SIL for the actual day ofTthanksgiving I am suffering the aftereffect of Thanksgiving withdraw….no leftovers! We feasted on imaginary turkey peanut butter and jelly sandwiches yesterday. I have an abbreviated menu planned for this evening.
Pork Roast with Apricot Glaze
Sausage & Cranberry Dressing
Honey & Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Applesauce
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Steamed Asparagus
I will get the pork roast on to marinate in a few minutes, and then I get to cook in my own kitchen to my hearts content………but since I have been san computer for that last few days I wanted to at least take advantage of the peace and quite with a bit of blogindulgance…..
The hubs gets a gold star this year, last week I told y’all that he brought home a new desktop, they had upgraded all the computers at his office and then they let the employees purchase the use equipment for a steal….well…not only did he take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade our desktop but I am now able to blog and surf to my heart content and not have to fight the DD for PC time…….I have new laptop! It was a really good Birthday present!!!!!!!!!!!
I was so missing my old laptop and thankfully my thoughtful husband snagged one of the office laptops for me. Gotta love it when they upgrade cause I reap the leftovers, and this leftover is way better than even a cheaper models that are offered in the stores right now. I have to admit that I was coveting a new one but knew that we simply could not afford one. Yea for a company upgrade.
It will take me a few days to get used to the smaller keyboard. My fingers are lying all over the places hitting all the wrong keys but then that is what spell check is for.
Lastly, do y’all have your files backed up online? I recently purchased an online backup service called Carbonite. It was only $59.00 for unlimited back up of all our files. While I enjoy the peace of mind of know that all my pictures are protected in case of a fire, flood or other unexpected digital disaster. However, I have been less than impressed with the proceed of restring your files to the new PC. Not to mention that it took nearly a month to get all the files backed up the first time. It is going on one full week and all my files still have not completely retransferred to the new PC. It is a bit cumbersome. Not to mention that there have been several instances where it gets accidentally closed out and then I have to start over. It has been a pain…….
All things considered I think $59.00 is a decent price to pay to protect your documents but right now I have the old PC hooked up and  am manually transferring all the files and so far it has taken less than an hour…….
Well I’m off the enjoy my kitchen!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
PS: I hope to have all my pictures restored today so I can get my P365 post up tomorrow………..

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Made in the USA…..a challenge for us all

Having just retuned from my normal trip to the Wal-Mart for the necessary personal care products such as toothpaste and toothbrushes and etc, I returned home feeling a bit overwhelmed but also a bit encouraged.

Out of the 24 products on my receipt there were only four or five that were manufactured out side of the United States.

There were a few product that failed to state where they were manufactured so I will have to do some additional research to follow up to see how I did. My deodorant did not state where it was manufactured nor did the toothpaste I purchased. Most to the shampoos and conditions were all made in the USA as well as the other hair care products.

I was shocked at how many products I purchased that did not list any where on the label where they were manufactured.

In a few click on the www I was able to determine that the Sensodyne toothpaste was probably made into Malaysia, I tried to email the company that manufactured the deodorant but was unsuccessful due to there poor website.

I have to say that initially I felt like I had done a fairly good job of shopping AMERICAN, but after further research I am not so sure.

Plus after several minutes of web searching found that if I want to brush my teeth with something other than my finger  OR if i want to pay $2.00 plus shipping and handling for ONE toothbrush then made in China or India is my only option. NONE OF THE TOOTHBRUSHED AT WAL-MART WERE MADE IN THE USA!

The sad thing is that I am not sure that I have the stamina to maintain a strictly made in he USA policy, I can not see my budget allowing nor my willingness to devote the added time to research all the products I use to ensure that they are all made in America. It’s a good concept, I am just not so sure how it will all play out.

I did find one website where you could get a toothbrush subscription for $15.00, yea a bit pricy but they send you the toothbrushes in the mail and then you can send them back and they will recycle then again. Kind of a cool idea but I don't think I am ready to fork out the $15.00 for a new toothbrush every three months in the mail.

Here is the link Preserve should you want to investigate for yourself.

I did purchase one Christmas gift today and it was manufactured in the United States. And just an FYI all Nordic Ware bake ware and other products are all manufactured in the United States.  Plus following Robynn’s suggestion I picked up several gift cards to our favorite coffee spot for stocking stuffers….more money going back into the local economy.

I did find a website that is like a clearing house for products made in the United states. You can click here to visit it. I found it to be very helpful.

My goal is to be an informed consumer. Will I achieve a completely MADE IN AMERCAI Christmas, probably not. However if I do not at least try then I become part of the problem.

My challenge to you today is to flip your package over and look for where it is manufactured. There may not be an alternative like buying a toothbrush, but there might be a comparable product that is made in the USA!

My second challenge is a bit more of a time commitment. In my opinion the only way we as consumers can affect a change is with our voices and with our dollars. I need to be willing to send off an email to the corporations requesting that the products I purchase be manufactured in the United Stares. Will it work, will they listen….who knows. But if enough of us all let out voices be heard then just maybe we will all be brushing our teeth with good old Made In The USA toothbrushes…….

Every little bit helps.

My third suggestion is to spread the word, if you find a product that is made in he United States toss it up on your FB page, blog about it, let folks know where to get it, if you have a great idea for a homemade gift then toss that one out there as well. I know my stash of homemade gifts will be big this year.

Let’s all have a MADE IN THE USA Christmas…….

What do y’all think……



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out of Pocket....well sorta but not really

We are in the middle of some major computer upgrades. I am currently in the process of restoring all my files and the time table is looking like it will be a few days before all my necessary files have been re-established.

The old desk top was on it's last legs and the hubs acquired a newer (slightly used) one from the abandoned pile that accumulated at his office. We now have a much faster model however it will take several day to get everything loaded back on and all my files back in place. The joys of a new computer.

I am thankful for the increased speed additional space om the HD.

So I will see all of y'all in a few days once I have all my digital ducks in a row........


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Letting go….

For some time now I have been avoiding something. It was not a huge life altering decision, it was more a nagging you need to do this only you just to chicken to do it kind of thing.

It is so odd how God works out certain things and God being God and all His timing is always perfect. There are times when you have to wonder why certain things work out and other things do not. Mine is not to question why, mine is only to try to be obedient to what God is leading me to, or more to the point leading me away from.

I finally stepped away from an area of ministry today that I should have stepped away from several years ago. My failure to heed my inner prompting in favor of what other people wanted me to do spoke louder than my desire to be obedient to what God had been telling me to do. Today I finally had the courage to actually say the words out loud, as well as have those words be well received.

Isn't that the rub. We hesitate to do what we know we need to do because of fear that we will disappoint someone or that our choice or decision will make someone upset. Thankfully God is so much wiser than I am and He paved the way for me to step away from this ministry position. Now I am feeling the weight, or more actually describe as a ball and chain being freed from my life. I was serving because no one else wanted to do it, or more to the point because I was to hesitant to actually listen to what my heart was telling me to do…which was to let it GO!

The wonderful thing about begin called into any ministry is that some times it is a life long calling, however there are other times when it is only for a season. Our lives change as we grow in our faith and what I was called into many years ago may not fit the specific areas that are taking shape in my life right now.

As I breath a great sigh of relief, I also received a huge confirmation tonight that I had in fact done the right thing. I love it when God works so swiftly in matters. It was a very small confirmation, but it was defiantly a sign that I had made the right decision.

I also have to remember the words of one of my spiritual mentors. She often counsels that when we are constantly saying yes without really thinking or with misguided motives we may be in fact blocking a blessing that God is trying to work in someone one else life.

As I said to my dear friend and pastor tonight. I will always keep this ministry in my prayers. I feel certain that now that I have stepped way that might be just the needed push to allow someone else to step up and really light a fire for God.

Y’all I feel so much relieved…..I know that I did the right thing and I know that God is at work.

I sleep tonight knowing that a very small burden has been lifted. For that I am eternally grateful to God for being faithful to my service but also giving me the courage to step away when the time was right.




ISA 55 :8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project 365 ~ Week 46: An Unwanted Surprise, Sweet Vitamin C and a visit from Muffinhead

Well almost….I got four out of seven days this week.

I will make a disclaimer ahead of time. Due to the particularly unpleasant nature of certain female bodily function this weeks P365 post is decidedly hormonally driven. In an attempt to be completely real and transparent to all aspect of the peri-menopausal process I have decided to adapt a full discloser policy…….those with weak constitutions may want to jump straight to Thursday where my selections are of a more acceptable topic and not hormonally motivated!

Monday, November 7

Just call me Gomer….SUPRISE, SUPRISE, SUPRISE…….


I woke up Monday morning feeling awful.

Hence the photograph of the Homemade Whole Wheat toast with a drizzle of honey.

It hit the spot as well as putting something in my tummy so I could take the necessary meds to help with the awful I woke up with. In addition to feeling awful I was also really really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY ticked. The reason for my awfulness had not reared it’s ugly head since July. I was blissfully month after month enjoying the concept of bidding farewell to certain annoying monthly aspects of my life….if ya know what I mean!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 8

I felt better on Tuesday but I had to make a trip to the store. Having not required this particular product for over four months. My regular stash under the bathroom sink having been depleted long ago…alas all the emergency supplies from the bottom of purses and makeup up bags having been pressed into service I was out of options. I had to actually make a special trip out to remedy my situation……DRAT!


Thursday, November 10

I have been enjoying these wonderful sweet treats! Love me some Clementine's! I just wish they weren't so expensive!


Friday, November 11

We had a sweet surprise visit from Muffinhead and mom. They had some car maintenance that the Hubs had offered to help with so they popped over and then stayed for super.

Muffinhead was intrigued with Buster’s rawhide. He was totally ignoring her and completely focused on his raw hides. We explained to her that she could not have Buster’s rawhide, that it was first Buster’s, and secondly nasty. She quickly remedied the situation by going in the kitchen opening the pantry door and retrieving a brand new clean raw hide that she pronounced to be MINE!


and YES we did take it away from her…but it was really cute!

OK that was my week. At least it ended a whole lot better than it started!

For more P365 y’all head over to Sara’s and link up!



Friday, November 11, 2011

Random Thoughts: In a perfect world what would you do all day?

I could be shredding the ten pounds of junk mail that I said I would not let pile up AGAIN!

I could be sorting laundry.

I could be getting a head start on my bible study for next week.

I could be working on some more handmade Christmas gift’s.

What am I doing?

Drinking coffee, wasting time on the internet, dreaming about how to better organize my kitchen pots and pans, thinking about what I will cook for thanksgiving, begin irritated that I am out of cinnamon and have to go back to the store. I was there yesterday and forgot to pick some up. I need cinnamon for the new sweet potato pie recipe I want to try.

I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie so I thought I would give sweet potato pie a try. They had a five pound bag on sale at the grocery store so I bought a bag.

In a perfect world what would you do all day?

I think I would just bake bread, make homemade jams and jellies, bake pies and cookies and formulate new recipes.

Baking and cooking just makes me happy!

So in a perfect would what would you do all day?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What am I thinking today…..

I am thinking that all I want to do is make a hasty retreat to Walnut Grove and I don’t want to come home until January. I know life was hard during the pioneer days, however my longing for things to just be simple is palpable. I think that is what attracts me about baking bread. It’s a simple process, uncomplicated by the passing of time. Caroline Ingalls made her bread about the same way I make my bread today. I like that!

Filling out health insurance applications and having someone else tell me what they will and will not pay for when I am paying for the premiums sends my blood pressure over the edge. Then that in turn renders me ineligible for health insurance. Not that I have high blood pressure but the process of getting health insurance is enough to send it though the roof. Caroline Ingalls didn’t worry about taking Half Pint to see Doc Baker or how she was going to pay for it! She traded him a basket of eggs or a quart of jam or invited him to Sunday supper.

The fact that my husband makes a good living and still we struggle financially make me crazy. I can guarantee that Caroline Ingalls never had to pay a billion dollars for a gallon of milk, she just went out to the barn and set her bucket down. I want a cow y’all only then I would have to fill out a Architectural Modification Form with the Home Owners Association as well as submit a form over at City Hall requesting a variance for farm animals with in the city limits.

As the holidays approach it is inevitable that there are times when my desire is just do what I want to do. NOT what everyone else what's to do. Now I am pouting like a small child who has just been told that they can not have dessert until all my vegetable are eaten off my dinner plate.

I watch the news and wonder how it is that the entire world is NUTS!

I exhale at the endless reporting of a 72 day marriage, not to mention the millions of dollars wasted. Watching the reaction to the crowd when the guilty verdict was announced, jubilation! I watched and had to wonder what causes that kind of reaction, yet knowing that when priorities are misplaced and you begin to worship things of the world then I am not surprised.

I spend so much time shaking my head over the things of this world. How to live in the world and not be of the world. How to stay focused on Jesus and not let the minutia of the ridiculousness that surround me send me over the edge.

There are times when weeping seems the only response to the frustration I feel at what has become of the world.

I am tired of having to pay for mistakes that I had nothing to do with.

I am tired of…..just fill in the blank with whatever is going on in our community, county, state, country or the world!

Over the last few weeks I have pondered about the Old Testament prophets. God spoke to them and sent them out to proclaim truth and righteousness.

Jeremiah 7:24

But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.

There are still people out there who refuse to see the relevance of God’s word for us in today’s world!

How much truth and righteousness is there in our backward world today.

MY list of programmed shows that was stored in my DVR is getting smaller and smaller. More times than not I am just turning it off because there are so may evil influences on the air waves it seems there is no suitable alternative.

Politics……just breathing through that one. If there was EVER a situation that needed the hand of God to sweep things clean then now is the time!

Is there a moral compass in secular society?

Will I do what I want to do for Thanksgiving or will we yield to the demands of family?

Will the world come to and end in 2012?

Will gas prices hit $5.00 a gallon forcing us all to switch to a horse and buggy?

Will my HOA allow us to park a Horse and Buggy in the driveway?

Will my application for Health Insurance be approved and what will it cost?

Are Will and Kate expecting and what does this speculation really have to do with anything?

Just breathing out y’all………

If you need me I will be in Walnut Grove baking bread with Caroline……



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project 365 ~ Week 45: Wonder Woman, Pie, Scrambled Egg’s and Stupidity…..

Again I am still searching for my P365 mojo, Hopefully with the fall weather and the holiday season approaching I may get further inspired to attempt to be a bit more photo-active through out my week!

My new favorite saying….It Is What It Is!

So here is my week…….such as it is.

Monday, October 31

Why yes, she is Wonder Woman!


Tuesday, November 1

I made good use of some of the apples we got in the mountains. They made for a really good pie!


Saturday, November 5

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread, thick cut bacon and scrambled egg’s. We rarely get to have Saturday breakfast together. The hubs usually has his men’s small group on Saturday morning but this Saturday morning he found himself at home. It was good y’all, the breakfast and all being together on Saturday morning.


I have to share with you all y’all my latest senior moment. I was in the midst of getting a batch of cinnamon bread as well as Honey Whole Wheat done. I have learned that it is just as easy to get two batches going one right after the other. Well I had gotten everything finished and both batches were set to proof. The best place to proof in my house is on top of my stove.

What I did was beyond STUPID! Earlier in the morning I had been simmering up a batch of candied orange peel. I had made a small fruit salad and had peeled about four oranges and not wanting to let the peel go to waist and having a hankering for some homemade orange peel well……what I did was I took my small sauce pan off the heat to allow the peel to cool….

I forgot to turn the burner off.

The setting was so low that you could not see the flame and I got so involved in getting my dough mixed up and working on the first proof that I did not realize that the burner was still on.

Later  when I went back to check on my dough I thought it was a bit odd that the raisin bread was so much further along than the whole wheat. It was nearly tripled in size. I picked up the bowl and se it over onto the counter and then there was a very loud POP!

The bottom of the bowl was so hot that it just split the whole bowl right in two……..CRACK!


The bread was baking right in the bowl, well at least is was baking on the very bottom, burned is more to the point. I was able to dump the dough out of the cracked bowl and use my kitchen scissors to cut away the baked part. I salvaged enough dough to make two smaller loaves so aside from forfeiting one of my nice large ceramic serving bowls to stupidity all was not lost!

Plus the bread was really good!

Well such as it is that was my week!

For more P365 y’all head over to Sara’s and link up!



Friday, November 4, 2011

Way to go Robynn…..it has really got me to thinking

I read a post this morning that really got me to thinking.

We all know that our economy is in a bad way. I’ve been watching the ongoing news stories on ABC about Made in America, and how almost all of the products we purchase are manufactured in China or in some other country. As I sit and type this I look around my house and know that almost all the items in it have been manufactured in a different part of the world. As consumers for decades we have been shopping arbitrarily without thought to the origins of the products we purchase.

I will admit that the thought of perusing a complete boycott on all foreign manufacturing seems overwhelming. It would possibly render me and my whole family in the position of having to rid ourselves of every article of clothing and render us housebound were we to take the goal seriously. However as a consumer thinking of the small things I can accomplish within my realm of influence, well that is a bit different.

What can I do to personally make a commitment to change?

I can decide to do a bit of research before I randomly hit the add to cart button in my online shopping. Can I find an alternate product that is manufactured in the united states? Is there an alternative that I can start to think about?

I am a huge fan of handmade gifts. Being the lover of all things homemade I try to do at least some of my gift giving with things I have made in the kitchen. Ball mason jars are in fact manufactured in the United States and so are a lot of brands of yarns. Making a scarf or putting up a batch of home made applesauce for gift giving is a very small start to retraining my thinking as far as trying to reach the goal of supporting our nations economy.

Here’s what I’m pondering….is is possible to have a completely made in the USA Christmas?

What am I willing to do to make that happen?

What would happen if everyone used their spending dollar this holiday season to say YES to Made in the USA and a BIG FAT NO to Made in China…


Hmmmmmm is there such a thing as a laptop that is made in America?????? cause I really want one of those for Christmas……

I think I just shot myself in the foot!

However, making the change in my thinking and making a change in my spending habits are all real tangible things that I can defiantly begin to do.

What can I make?

What can I do?

Where is it made?

Can I get a comparable substitute that is made right here in the good Ol’ USA?

Y’all head over to Robynn’s Ravings and check out her post. She outlined lots of really great ideas for this seasons of gift giving and holiday spending.

It got me to thinking……..





Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hard Questions…Difficult Answers…

Over the last two weeks the focus of my bible study as been a very difficult topic. Innocent Blood. We are deep in the Old Testament, studying the wavering Israelites and how easily they were lead astray by the culture that surrounded them.

It is very easy to gloss over the reality of how far the Israelites strayed from God’s commandments and from His protection. His directives are very clear in numerous places throughout the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 18:9

9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.

2 Kings 17:15

15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.

These are just two instances where God lays down His expectation for their behavior. I am not a learned biblical scholar with a P.H.D. however I can find no subterfuge or double entendre in these passages.

The author of this study layed out for us in graphic detail the practices of infant sacrifice as well as the practices of sexual relations with temple prostitutes, practice in full view of everyone on the alter during a worship service.

Over the last two weeks the question placed before me as well as the group for discussion have been difficult and extremely thought provoking.

Here is a direct quote from last weeks study:

“It’s easy for us to be critical of how the Israelites wavered in their faithfulness to worship God and God alone. We’re shocked by the sins of child sacrifice and temple prostitution. Yet each of us participates in the same battle for total commitment to God. We may not sacrifice our children in order to have a good harvest, yet in every area of life we still struggle to serve God completely.”

The questions that followed set aside the behavior of the Israelites a thousand years ago and challenged us to look at our own hearts and our own lives.

1. What might you be sacrificing today in order to gain personal security and success?

2. To what extent do we Christians (and you personally) tend to be sloppy about living blamelessly before God and put ourselves at risk for being drawn into practices that are detestable to God?

3. To what degree do you see your culture assuming pagan values, much as ancient Israel did, and what impact does that have on you?

4. What practices or attitudes on your life may provoke God to anger?

5. What must God do to get your attention so that you will turn your heart completely toward him?

6. In what ways do we as Christians  today waiver between two opinions (1 Kings 18:20-24) when it comes to our daily life and worship of God?

7. What are some of the specific compromises we make with evil in our world, and how do these compromises affect our walk with God, our relationship with our family, our influence at work and in our communities?

These were some very difficult questions this week. If I am honest then I have to share that more times than not I had to set the book aside to think for an hour or two before answering them. I think for me the greatest take away I get for any bible study is when the relevance of God’s words just leaps off the page and I see my own behaviors so very clearly. They are not just ancient words that only applied to ancient people that are long since dead. They are words that impact me and challenge me every day.

No matter how often I delve into God's words I am always stuck by how similar we are to our forefathers from biblical times. From a purely secular point of view take a look at the world around you. We may not be physically bowing down to carved images or sacrificing innocent blood to ensure a good harvest, but…..you can fill in the blanks for you own life.

What it did for me was to clarify a few things for me. It let me know that there are still areas of my life that God needs to prune away.

Thankfully walking with Jesus is a life long process and my forgiveness and my salvation are not dependant on my ability to maintain perfection. I know I will stumble more times than I succeed. However for me the goal is once I recognize a sinful area in my life to take the steps to remove it and than not return to it. What I realized is that I do not want to waiver in my lifestyle. What I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that living in the world which is so thoroughly rooted in evil there will always be an endless assault on those core Christian values at every turn.

Here is my final question for the day:

If we as a Christian community stopped supporting practices, entertainments, sporting events, business, politicians or public figures that do not glorify God or line up with what we know to be true to God’s word what would happen?

Just saying…….



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