Friday’s Fave Five

FFF fall flowersIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

September is going by so fast. Here are some highlights of the last week:

1. Youngest son Jesse’s birthday.

2. A successful gluten-free lemon bundt birthday cake. I had two different recipes but not all the ingredients for either one, couldn’t find what I needed at the store I was in, but had no time to go to another. I improvised and hoped for the best, and it turned out great! (Sigh of relief!)

3. Restful days. I don’t usually have the TV on in the daytime except for when Jesse and I watch something while eating lunch together. But I gave myself permission to catch a program I had missed one afternoon and then spent the rest of the afternoon doing relaxing things. Nice to do that every now and then!

4. Messages from my grandson Timothy. Every now and then his parents will help him send a voice text over the phone. I love having his little voice on record. One day he told his mom he wanted to text, but when she recorded it, he said, “I want to Face Time please” in such a sweet little voice. So we did! Another time he wanted to FaceTime, but I was in the store: I am not coordinated enough to shop and FaceTime at the same time, and there’s no good place to pull over in the grocery store to do that. Jason sent a voice text with Timothy repeating in a disappointed voice, “Want to say hi.” So we sent a few voice texts back and forth, saying Hi that way. 🙂

5. The first day of fall is today! We’ve slipped back into more of a summer feel the last few days, but here’s hoping those crisp, cool days will return soon. I’m hoping to get out my fall decorations in the next day or two!

Happy Friday!

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Looking to Jesus’ example in discipling our children

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(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Some folks think of Christ only as “a good example.” We know better, of course. We know He is the Son of God, the “brightness of His glory and express image of His Person,” our Lord and Savior. But sometimes we forget that He is also our example in all things, that He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.

One day when my kids were much younger I was reading about Jesus’ disciples bickering and was amused to think how like my own children they were. Then I began to think through that concept a little further. Of course, Jesus relationship to His disciples was not exactly that of a parent and child, but there are ways ways Jesus interacted with His disciples that I could apply to my interactions with my own children, who were also my disciples.

We’re told that we’re changed to be more like Him by beholding Him, so let’s look at, mediate on, and glean from His example.

1) Do your children ever bicker?

Are there any children who don’t bicker? Mine used to fuss about everything from who got the front seat to who got the most meatballs. The disciples certainly argued, fussed, and jockeyed for position as well. Jesus dealt patiently with them, correcting whatever it was they were arguing over, pointing them to truth.

2) Do your children ever interrupt your devotions?

Jesus made provision for a quiet time alone with His Father, rising up a great while before day, going out alone, staying up at night. When the disciples would seek Him out and interrupt Him, He did not seem to get frustrated or angry; He didn’t rebuke them: He just dealt with the matter at hand.

Finding time, solitude, and quietness to spend time with the Lord is one of the hardest things for mothers, especially when children are young. Rosalind Goforth, wife of Jonathan Goforth of China, wrote in her book, Climbing, that if she tried to get up early to have devotions, it only started “the circus” that much earlier as the children would hear her and get up.

Though it is frustrating to be interrupted, we need to look at the situation through our children’s eyes, and picture them looking for Mommy and being met with scowlings and scoldings when they find her with her Bible. What is their reaction going to be toward their mother and toward the Bible she is reading?

A friend of mine once told me of a childhood memory in which she was looking for her mother and walked into her mother’s bedroom. She found her on her knees, weeping, at her bedside. She felt she had walked into something sacred, and the memory never left her. That incident got me to thinking that perhaps I could look on my children’s interruptions of my devotional time as beneficial to them, that perhaps they needed to see their mother reading her Bible and praying in the ordinary course of the day. So, instead of getting frustrated at the pitter-patter of little feet when I got up early to have devotions, I began to include my children, either reading out loud to them or praying with them, or just allowing them to cuddle up beside me quietly. If I really needed to be alone, I could give them quiet instructions or get them involved with a different activity. I don’t know if they will have specific memories of those times, but I trust their own attitudes toward having devotions were influenced favorably, and I hope that seeing their mother in the Word was and will be a blessing to them.

3) Do your children ever misunderstand you?

Jesus’ disciples did not understand why He “must needs go through Samaria,” why He was talking to the woman at the well, what He was talking about when He said He had bread to eat they knew not of, etc. Just so, our children do not always understand why they can’t have more candy, why they can’t go to that party or watch that movie, why they have to move away from their school and friends, why Grandpa died. Sometimes our Lord explained the situation further; sometimes He just went on with what He had to do. Sometimes we can explain things to our children: sometimes hours of repeated explaining still won’t satisfy them. All we can do is try to teach them to trust us and trust the Lord, to trust and obey.

Those lessons of faith provide building blocks for their future experiences with the Lord, as Romans 5:3-4 remind us: “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Once when we had to move due to my husband’s job, which was, of course, a trying situation for the whole family, we tried to keep the focus on what the Lord had for us around the bend. Our children found that they liked their new church and school situation much better and made good friends. Some years later we faced the possibility of another move, and once again they faced that possibility gloomily. Yet we could remind them of the outcome of their previous experience with moving, and, though they weren’t excited about the prospect, they could face it in faith.

4) Do your children ever try to distract you from God’s purposes for you?

One time Jesus had healed people all day. When His disciples sought Him out the next morning to tell Him that people were seeking Him, He told them He needed to go to other towns and preach: His primary purpose was to preach, not heal everyone at that time (Mark 1: 32-39). This kind of distraction seems to be an outgrowth of misunderstanding, and a simple explanation set things straight.

We, too, are faced with myriads of opportunities these days, both as individuals and as families, in the spiritual realm as well as the secular. Sometimes a family has to look at the bigger picture and eliminate things that are not wrong in themselves, but would be a drain of time and energy and a distraction from our main purposes. For instance, one of my teen-agers had an opportunity one summer to go on a mission trip, attend two different camps, and work at another camp for six weeks. He couldn’t possibly do all of that. In addition, we needed to paint his room and wanted him to be a part of that experience as training for when he became the head of a household with those responsibilities. Plus there were youth group activities scattered throughout the summer. And he really needed to get a part-time job and start saving for college. It isn’t easy to sort through all of the good opportunities, and there may be differences of opinion as to which ones to take advantage of and which to eliminate. But we trusted that as we sought the Lord’s wisdom and discussed all the possibilities, the best ones were chosen.

Sometimes, however, distraction from God’s purposes is a matter of unyieldedness. Peter went so far as to rebuke Jesus when He spoke of His coming death. He got a strong rebuke from Jesus in return.

5) Do your children ever not “get” what you are trying to teach them?

This happened so often with the disciples! Jesus just kept laying line upon line, precept upon precept, and went on with what He had to do, knowing they would understand in time. And we have to do that, too, as parents.

Sometimes He did question them (for example, when they were on the boat during the storm while Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up, saying, “Carest Thou not that we perish?” After He stilled the storm, He asked, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”) Sometimes He rebuked them (Mark 16:14: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”) Sometimes we need to be patient with our children’s immaturity (just as our Lord is patient with ours), but sometimes they, too, need a stern rebuke when they should “know better.”

6) Do you love your children, knowing full well they will fail you and disappoint you?

Jesus certainly does, with the disciples and also with us. The most poignant example, to me, was before His crucifixion, knowing the disciples would forsake Him and that Peter would deny Him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” We cherish the best expectations for our children: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Cor, 13:7). But just as “he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust,” so we know that our children are only human and will fail from time to time. Though there may be consequences to deal with, by God’s grace we always love them and offer to them the same forgiveness He offers us. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Ps 103:13).

I am sure that there are many more examples than this of our Lord’s example to us on earth that we could apply to parenting: His love for them, His instructing, illustrated by stories they could comprehend; His teaching them the work of the ministry by example and then by sending them out on their own, etc. How good to know that He knows exactly what we go through as parents and that He will give us the wisdom, compassion, and grace we need!

 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

(Postscript: This is revised from an article I wrote years ago that was published in a magazine which I cannot find now but which I think is no longer published. It would take too long and probably not be very interesting to relate the details, but something I read yesterday touched off a series of thoughts which eventually reminded me of this article, led to an unsuccessful search for my copy of the magazine, and then a successful find of a draft of it in an old computer file. I hope it is an encouragement to you.)

(Sharing with Wise Woman, Faith on Fire)

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Dealing With Disappointment and Discouragement

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Most parents thoroughly enjoy pleasing their children. There’s nothing like causing a child to smile or laugh in delight. But even the best and most well-meaning parents have to say no to their children sometimes.

We can’t have candy now because dinner is almost ready. If you eat candy now, you won’t want your dinner.

In a few minutes we need to put away toys and get ready for bed.

I’m sorry, we can’t go to the splashpad today. It’s too cold.

No matter how kindly these things are said, the disappointment still stings sometimes, and for the very young, diversion sometimes helps. But as children mature, parents expect them to handle some level of everyday disappointment with some maturity. Of course, the disappointments can escalate (a broken heart, not making the team or the cast, feeling left out of a group) and will need more counsel and comfort.

Like our pint-sized counterparts, we all have to face disappointments and the accompanying discouragement. A lot of it boils down to not getting what we want: The promotion went to someone else, the loan was denied, our love interest loves someone else. For me recently, I had gone to an appointment quite discouraged because it was six weeks post-op, and I thought everything was supposed to be healed and functioning well at that point, and it wasn’t. I thought I would have to face another procedure, which I had really wanted to avoid. But the doctor said everything was progressing like it should. Even so, I felt down for several days and couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I realized it was just the disappointment not being “done” with this issue by now as I had thought I would be.

Sometimes the disappointment is due to misinformation, as in my case. Sometimes it’s a mistaken impression of what we need. Like a child who needs to get ready for bed because his parents know he needs rest and can see he is dangerously close to a meltdown, our heavenly Father knows that the thing we want, while not wrong in itself, is not what we need right now. Sometimes disappointment comes when other people don’t live up to our expectations or want something different from what we want. Sometimes other people are blissfully unaware or downright cruel. Sometimes it’s getting something we don’t want – an illness or an annoying neighbor.

Whatever the cause of disappointment, we need to put it in perspective. We had the wrong information: ok, we factor in the new information and adjust. We didn’t get something we wanted: then that was not meant for us, and something else is. Perhaps God withheld it for that exact reason, because He has something better waiting for the right time. In a book I am reading, the author was disappointed at not being asked to minister in her new church in a particular way (music), but then an opportunity opened up to minister in a different way (teaching) that she found she loved and thrived in. If it involves an opportunity, job, or person, then we continue to grow and develop and seek out new opportunities while praying for guidance. If it involves a failure, we examine it to see where things broke down so we can learn and grow from it. Christina Rossetti said, “A fall is not a signal to lie wallowing, but to rise.” Conflict resolution could take a whole different post, but if our disappointment involves disagreement with another person, we seek to resolve it in the best way possible. We’re not doormats, never having an opinion or a will of our own, but we also realize the universe does not revolve around us, that there has to be some give and take in a relationship. If another has failed us, we seek God’s help to be gracious, remembering the times that we have failed as well, forgive as we have been forgiven. Sometimes we’re disappointed in what we did receive: When I got transverse myelitis, I sometimes lamented to the Lord that surely I could serve Him better without it. But he showed me that limitations don’t hinder ministry: they just define it. Some disappointments come just because we live in a fallen world: this isn’t heaven.

It might take a while for our feelings to catch up with the perspective we’re trying to gain and maintain. It’s not wrong to grieve over a disappointment, but we can “feed” it and hang onto it longer than necessary. As we take our thoughts captive and remind ourselves of truth, eventually the feelings will lessen. Maybe someday we’ll see why we were denied what we wanted; maybe we’ll even rejoice at the direction that disappointment led us, like the author we mentioned. Maybe we’ll never know this side of heaven.

But we can trust our kind, loving, and wise Father and bring all our concerns to Him.

One more thought: I’ve read a number of articles that seem to indicate that whatever we have a problem with, it’s due to our making an idol out of it. If I am disappointed that my children aren’t obeying, I have made an idol out of being a perfect parent; I am disappointed at not getting that item or opportunity because I had set it up as an idol in my heart. Now, that may be the case. We’re all too prone to idol-making of some kind. But disappointment does not necessarily indicate a lurking tendency to idolatry. Consider David’s words in Psalm 142, written when he was hiding in cave and dealing with disappointments on several fronts:

1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

As with so many of the psalms, David poured out his heart to God, reminded himself of the truth he knew, encouraged himself in the Lord, and renewed his hope in Him. Asaph and others did as well. And by God’s grace we can do the same.

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Glimpses, Soul Survival, Wise Woman, Tell His Story, Faith on Fire)

***Please note, I am not talking in this post about clinical depression. Though the principles discussed will help, depression is a bigger issue needing more than encouragement and perspective. If you feel you may be suffering from depression, please see your doctor. Likewise, deep grief, like the loss of a loved one, is a bigger issue than disappointment and discouragement, and though many of the truths here still apply, dealing with grief is more involved.

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF fall flowersIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been an up and down week, but I still have more than five things to share, so I’ll have to choose! Here are a few favorite things:

1. Grandparent’s Day was last Sunday, and Jason and Mittu brought over dinner and dessert on Saturday night and shared a special video they had made with photos of Timothy with us and recordings of some of our voice messages. Sweet!

2. A good post-op visit with my cardiologist. I had gone into it discouraged because I had still been having some irregularities, including a five-hour afib episode last Friday. They had told me to expect some irregularities as things healed, and that the surgery itself could cause them, but I had thought that by six weeks, everything would be healed and settled. I guess that was not the case. The doctor said everything was “just the way he liked to see it,” and I see him again in 2 months. It took me a couple of days to actually feel encouraged by the visit, but at least we’re going in the right direction.

3. Fall goodies. I made caramel corn and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie treats last weekend, and Choco-Peanut Butter Dreams on Thursday. I need to lay off the baking for a while, but we’re enjoying having these in the house!

4. Little Caesar’s is not my favorite pizza of all, but every now and then that $6 Hot and Ready pizza just hits the spot. Sunday afternoon Jason and Mittu had other plans for lunch, so Jim, Jesse and I just grabbed a couple of pizzas and Crazy Bread on the way home from church for a quick lunch. I used to do big Sunday dinners, but we get home so late, I’m pretty much looking for quick Sunday meals – more time for rest that way! 🙂

5. Cool weather. I love this time of year, and the relief from the heat of summer but not facing the cold of winter for a while yet. And we still have turning leaves to look forward to!

Happy Friday!

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More Stray Thoughts…

This is the first weekday in about a week and a half where I haven’t had to go somewhere during the morning. I thought that would provide for a busy day getting things done at home, but instead I’m tired and a little fuzzy-brained and fighting off a headache (due, I think, to the air pressure system). So It seems like it would be a good day for a ramble. 🙂

I had my post-op visit with the cardiologist yesterday. I had been discouraged because I’ve still felt a number of heartbeat irregularities, mostly minor, but some longer, one as long as 12 hours. The most recent long bout was five hours last Friday. They had told me to expect some irregularities, that the surgery itself could cause some. But in my mind there shouldn’t have been that much, and certainly not 5 1/2 weeks out from surgery. But the doctor was cheerful and said everything was “just the way we like to see it.” I see him again in 2 months. I’m still not feeling particularly cheerful about it myself, but I am a little more hopeful, especially as the last couple of bouts were considerably milder than usual. I’ve been told that occasionally people have to have an ablation for atrial fibrillation more than once, and if we have to do that, we’ll deal with it, but I sure hope the one I had will take care of it.

Part of the longer healing process is due to the fact that what they’re trying to accomplish with the ablation (as I understand it) is creating little teeny spots of scar tissue along the nerve that’s causing the irregular beats, either by heat or freezing – not so much as to impair heart function, but enough to disrupt that particular nerve’s signals. So not only does all of that need to heal and settle down after surgery, but then it takes time for the scar tissue to develop – longer than I had thought, evidently. I had thought everything would be “done” by this visit, which led to my discouragement at still having issues.

So we’ll see where we are in a couple of months. I also got some much-needed clarification about what to do if I do have a longer bout of afib at home – how long to just rest at home and when to see a doctor.

Well, enough of that.

Other thoughts that have been accumulating recently:

  • My own little corner of the Internet has been on the quiet side recently. Some blog friends have taken a hiatus for the summer, or for a longer spell, for various reasons, and some are only posting sporadically.
  • Is anyone thinking of doing Write31Days in October? The idea is to choose a topic, any topic, that you’ll blog about every day of October. I’ve done it a few times before with 31 Days of Missionary Stories, 31 Days of Inspirational Biographies, and 31 Days with Elisabeth Elliot. I enjoyed doing them, and they were well-received. But so far I don’t have anything in mind to write about this year, and I don’t know if I have the “umph” to do it. We’re coming off of a busy time between the surgery, the eclipse, the family stay-cation, and “birthday season” (several family birthdays July-September). I was just thinking today that it was nice to look forward to nothing major on the schedule in October. But I am praying about it. Let me know if you’re planning to participate.
  • Recently I’ve seen a few comments on social media judging people for not commenting on particular issues. Seriously, people. Not everyone wants to participate in every online debate or wants to strew their thoughts on every topic, particularly divisive ones, all over the Internet. Plus, some issues are too big for the 140 characters of a tweet. I’d rather have a serious, in-depth, informed, and thoughtful discussion on a issue than trade snarky sound bytes. So don’t take media silence as indifference or lack of caring. I’m not saying it’s wrong to discuss divisive issues on social media, but, honestly, a lot of those discussion that I see are more about scoring points for one’s own side and portraying the other side as stupid or dangerous or uncaring than they are about shedding any light.
  • I never saw or heard of leaving two spaces between typed sentences until fairly recently, and I’ve wondered where that came from. I never had a typing or keyboarding class, so I have wondered if it’s taught there, or if it is a regional thing. I just looked it up, and this article delves into the history and tells why it is considered wrong. This one says it’s especially a no-no in writing proposals.
  • Do you ever go back and edit old posts? I’ve discovered some of mine have some photos missing or broken links. I used to use sources like Photobucket to upload and share photos so I didn’t use too much of my free storage space provided by my blog. Though Photobucket is still in business, I think some of the others must have gone out of business over time, because I’ve discovered some old posts with a place for a photo, but no photo there, and nothing happens when I click on the icon that is there. Plus there are some broken links here are there, where the post or site I linked to is no longer online. It would be a lot of work to go back through 11 years worth of posts to fix that kind of thing, yet I hate to leave posts like that, especially the ones with missing photos. So I’ll probably correct them as I come across them and have time. I know for some of you, whenever I do anything with an old post, it shows up in your feed as a new one. I apologize for that. I don’t know how to avoid it. If I start fixing old posts on a larger scale, I’ll try to let you know.
  • Do you find yourself living back in the “dark ages” in some respect? For me, it’s the price of clothing. I can accept that the price of gas and food changes, even though sometimes I am horrified by it. But I still find myself not wanting to pay more for clothes than I did back in college – almost 40 years ago. A lot of times I can still find clothes at those prices, or close to it, but it’s getting increasingly harder to do so. I recently upped the price range I consider acceptable, but there are some clothes catalogs I immediately toss because they are so ridiculously high.
  • ‘Tis the season…for corn mazes. Have you ever done one? They do not sound like fun to me. 🙂

Well, that’s probably more than enough rambling for one day.

Like many of you, we’re still praying for those still dealing with the effects of the hurricanes on the east coast and the wildfires in the west and for the help they need, financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

Word Studies in the Bible

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Generally it’s better to read a book of the Bible from start to finish, in one or consecutive sittings. You get the whole context then, the way the passage fits within the rest of the book, etc., and you get it the way it was originally intended to be read. But sometimes a topical or word or phrase study can be beneficial, too, either as a break from just reading, or because you have found something you want to study out a bit further.

We have to be careful with word or topical studies that we don’t string together a bunch of unrelated verses out of context. But if we take context into account, sometimes these studies can be real eye-openers. I’ll share a few of my own later.

The place to begin is a concordance. You probably have a small concordance in the back of your Bible, and that can be a good starting place. But you’re probably going to want to invest in a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, or, if you have a computer, learn to work with some online programs. There are several Bible computer programs you could buy, but for just a basic study like this, free online resources like BibleGateway.com, BibleStudyTools.com, or blueletterbible.org are all fine.

Say you wanted to look up verses about God’s love. You look up “love” in the concordance, and there are tons of verses with that word in it. You go through them and find the ones that deal with God’s love rather than the love of people for each other, and either write them out, or, with a computer you can just “copy and paste” them into your word processing program. As you do this, you’ll find characteristics of God’s love (it is eternal, merciful, etc.), and you might want to organize the verses into categories. Even doing this you won’t find all the verses about God’s love, because some verses that may talk about it may not have the word “love” in the verse, and so won’t show up in that category in the concordance. So if you want to be really thorough, as you study those verses you can look up the cross references or look up the verses just before and after the ones you find in the concordance (that is a good practice anyway to make sure you are taking the verses in context).

If you wanted to take it a step further, you could look up the original Greek or Hebrew words. The Strong’s Concordance will have a number assigned to each word, and you can then look up words by that number. I believe Strong’s numbers are only available for the KJV and NIV. In BibleStudyTools.com, for instance, if you look up John 3:16, then you can click on the “Settings” icon and click on the Strong’s numbers. All the words with a Strong’s number will turn blue, and you can click on any of them to see the definition. If you click on “loved,” you’d be taken to a page which shows you the Greek word there is “agapao,” and you’ll also see the word origin, part of speech, definition, other places in the Bible where this word is used, and other ways the word is translated. You can even listen to what the pronunciation sounds like.

Once in a Child Care class in college, we had to do a study on what the Bible says about child discipline. For that kind of a study, you might go to verses you are already familiar with first, then look up the cross references listed beside them, then look up pertinent words in the concordance, like “rod,” “discipline,” “train,”, “child,” “son,” etc. Then you might go from the actual verses telling about child discipline to examples in Scripture of parents disciplining their children in good or bad ways or examples of how God disciplines us.

When you go back to your regular reading, you’ll likely find other verses that would fit in to your study, and your study will likely heighten what you get out of that passage as you read it again.

I’ve done studies on particular problem areas I’ve wrestled with, like anger, pride, anxiety, gluttony, that have been very helpful.  One pitfall is that it be can be very easy to look these verses up and get them all neatly categorized and organized….and then file them away without really going back to read and study them to see what they teach. But they can be a handy and helpful study guide.

Once I did a study on the words “in Christ” or “in Him.” I had noticed a few verses that detailed some things that we have in Christ and wanted to study it out further. It was a very rich study! Here are just a few of those verses:

Romans 3:24   Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:38– 98   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 1 Corinthians 1:30   But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

 1 Corinthians 15:22   For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 2 Corinthians 2:14   Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

John 1:4   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

 Colossians 2:10   And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.

Another time, to try to fight against my desire for my own way so much of the time, I did a study looking up verses like “own way,” “own understanding,” “own thoughts,” “own sight,” “own eyes,” etc. I ended up with four pages of very convicting notes! Here are just a few:

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Proverbs 14:14a The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways

Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Romans 10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Proverbs  3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs  3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Philippians 3:9   And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

One of the most impactful word studies I did was on the phrase “God is able.” I saw a few verses with that phrase in the March 8 evening reading of Daily Light on the Daily Path, and decided to look up more.  Some of those:

II Chronicles 25:9: And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this. (See II Chronicles 25:1-9 for the bigger picture.)

Daniel 3:17: If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Daniel 4:37: Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Matthew 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Acts 20:32: And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Romans 4:21: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Romans 14:4: Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

2 Corinthians 9:8: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…

Ephesians 3:20-21: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Philippians 3:21: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

2 Timothy 1:12: For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Hebrews 2:18: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 7:25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

James 4:12: There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Jude 1:24: Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy….

Matthew 9: 28, 29: Believe ye that I am able to do this? . . . Yea Lord. . . . According to your faith be it unto you.

What a great boost to faith, and how much we have to praise our God for!

Have you ever done a word or topical study in the Bible that impacted you? If not, I hope you’ll give a word or topical study a try!

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Glimpses, Soul Survival)

Fall Treats

I don’t share recipes much, having exhausted my repertoire some years ago. 🙂 But this lovely fall afternoon I wanted to make some Caramel Corn, and I thought I’d share the recipe here. This is one of my husband’s favorite snacks, especially when warm from the oven, and seems especially fallish.

I’ve been using this particular recipe for years. I don’t remember who I got it from, but I do remember asking someone for it after we had it at a ladies’ meeting at church. I stuck it over the Caramel Corn recipe in my cookbook, and it has been there ever since, some 30+ years now!

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Speaking of cookbooks, this is my Betty Crocker cookbook that I have had since college. It’s in sad shape, with the spine and back having come off a while back.

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I’ve thought about getting a new one, but I am sure the recipes would be different. I’ve thought about taking it apart and putting the recipes I use in the recipe books I compiled a few years ago. But – I know this one well and can find things by instinct at this point. So I’ll probably just use it as is until it falls apart.

By the way, I have a theory that the most stained recipes in a cookbook are the most used and therefore the best ones. Unless the cook is extremely neat – which I am not.

Anyway, back to the Caramel Corn. Here is the recipe:

Caramel Corn

Ingredients:

22 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 sticks margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup Karo (corn) syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread the popped corn in two ungreased baking sheets. Boil the margarine, brown sugar, and syrup in a saucepan on low to medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring very frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt and soda. Mixture will get foamy. Pour over the popped corn and stir to coat evenly. Place baking sheets in oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove sheets from oven and let cool just until you can handle the popcorn, maybe 10 minutes. It hardens quickly. By hand or using a spoon put the popcorn in a container and cover.

Optional: Use 20 cups popcorn and 2 cups unsalted or lightly salted peanuts.

Unfortunately, as I was putting supplies away while the corn was in the oven, I noticed the corn syrup said it “might” contain trace elements of wheat. I had been looking forward to sharing these with my daughter-in-law, who is sensitive to gluten. That’s one of those items you would never suspect had gluten. The way it was worded makes my husband think it was just processed in a room with wheat or the corn grew in a field next to wheat. I’ll leave it to my daughter-in-law to decide whether it’s worth the risk. This was a store-brand corn syrup – I don’t know if the name brand would be the same.

I also made some Rice Krispie treats, only using the gluten-free off-brand and the recipe on the package. I always add peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture and melt chocolate chips (sometimes adding peanut butter chips if I have them) and spread them on top.

I like to eat the first serving while the chocolate is still gooey. 🙂

Of course, the Rice Krispie treats aren’t particularly fallish, but I’ve had a hankering for them recently. 🙂

I have another cookie recipe I especially like to make in the fall, but that will have to wait. What are your favorite fall treats?