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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

old news but still Good News

The Lord has been teaching me things!  Or I could say He has been clearing up my mind.  I've been suspicious that the Christian life--my life--should look very different than it does.  The lives of those who love God who are in His Scripture are depicted so differently.
As I have been reading (not recently) The Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford, it became my suspicion that the Christian life (the eternal life) begins (after salvation) by changing the mind to what the Lord wills.  Then after the mind is changed the life is changed.  For example, "fixing your eyes on Jesus, setting your mind on things above, have this mind in you...."
The other day I read in Ephesians about "don't walk as the Gentiles walk" and I realized this was the Bible addressing my very concern.  And it goes on to say don't walk as they do "in the futility of their mind, in their ignorance, and with their hard hearts."  Gentiles are walking according to their physical senses or even their gut responses or instincts but Christians walk according to faith.  My faith may be ignorant if all I know is that I'm going to heaven and then I won't know how to live before that.  That was my problem and now I have been trying to learn about what is true about this abundant life Christ has given me.  It's not enough that His life is true after I die, I want to see how it is true while I am here for this short time.  So I need to walk with an eternal mindset which isn't natural but I rely on faith and facts in God's Word.  And I need to keep learning or I won't grow.  Finally, I need to keep a soft heart which isn't pride.
Then in church on Sunday, the Lord addressed my heart again about the issue of struggling in the world. 
I had felt like America is just so difficult as a Christian because it's so materialistic, wealthy, and easy.  What shall we be thankful for--ease and wealth?  No, because those things don't bring us closer to the Lord.  Blessings are what we should be thankful for and those are things that are eternal.  They are things that Christ was living for.  All over in the New Testament, it is clear and obvious that TRIBULATIONS, TRIALS, and suffering are what we should expect and be thankful for.  They unite us with the way Christ lived.  But am I supposed to move to another country so it's easier for me to be a Christian?  At this point, I am convinced I am to live in America where I am and be a set apart believer here. 

Now it gets kind of hard to tie everything together, so I'll make it more bullet-pointly.

Lies easy for me to believe and live if I am not reading and trusting the Bible:
  • the meaning of life is that things are easy
  • Jesus who is God didn't really and truly suffer everything
  • Scripture doesn't really show us exactly how to live
  • I haven't sinned enough to explain the world's or other Christians' present anguish
  • Sin is small and so is the weight of the Garden
-Paul is content in every circumstance, which means even the wealthy and comfortable circumstances.  I just need to repent of trusting in the ease rather than finding my identity with Christ.  And how do I know if I am trusting in comfort or trusting in Christ?  When the smallest of upsets occur how do I act--with a proud heart or anger which is evidence of a futile mind or with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control which are evidence of an eternal mindset? 
-I need to take responsibility for the suffering in the world if I am conceited, wicked, self-entitled, or proud.  
There hasn't been ANY suffering that I have PRAISED GOD FOR.  But those who walk with an eternal mindset praise God for their trials.  For example, Corrie and Betsy Ten-boom who learned to thank God for fleas in concentration camps that hosted them.  They didn't know why they should thank God for fleas but did and found out later that the Gospel was spread because the soldiers didn't want to come into the fleas' quarters.  
-God uses ALL CIRCUMSTANCES to bless us (to make us more like Jesus/comform us to the image of His Son).  If this is the true meaning of life, it is going to be hard.
-I repent of the wealth, ease, and comfort and take up Christ's identity as my own so that when things crumble as I see it, others will see the fruit of the Spirit instead of the evidence of a futile mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some recipes that have been rocking our world:
Happy Herbivore's Everyday Mushroom Gravy (apparently a video recipe by Lindsey here http://happyherbivore.com/2013/11/vegan-plant-based-thanksgiving-recipes/)
We have put this on rice or vegetables or both (like on potatoes or green beans or broccoli and rice). 
It is water-based and only has a little bit of alternative milk (since we're "watching our weight") and uses almost a POUND OF MUSHROOMS....

Also, something's magical about this green salad:
Sliced romaine hearts (2)
1/2 bag (~6?oz) spring mix
any vegetables. we like a small head of broccoli, one pepper, tomatoes
optional: dried cranberries, chopped nuts
Anyway, then you dust it heavily with nutritional yeast, give it a good sprinkle of seasoned rice vinegar, salt and pepper it and it's SO good.  Oh and some onion and garlic powder. Magical, like I said.

When I'm just cooking for me and the boy, I often just make a humongous batch of rice (3 C. dry to 3.5 C water, soak it first) and prepare some frozen vegetables to go with it.  We love peas.  And corn, my goodness.  I sprinkle a small amount of rice vinegar on my corn before microwaving it and add salt and pepper.  It tastes delicious and I have no idea why.

Corn on the cob is in season too, so that's a great idea.

Small red potatoes and squash and zucchini are great.  That was inspired by my SILster, Nicole.

Stuffed squash is on the docket.  It's my "Mom"s recipe.  Take out the squash insides and replace with rice, whole wheat bread crumbs, diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powder....I think that's about it.  You can really put in anything you want--mushrooms.  Then bake it at about 350 until the squashes are ever so tender.

Tonight, I'm going to make rice and cauliflower with corn and serve it with the mushroom sauce.

Here's some things I really want to make once we can afford to eat it:
Spaghetti Squash with thai peanut sauce
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Pasta with Butternut "Parmesan" Sauce
slow-cooked Stuffed Bell Peppers (minus the cheese)
peanut butter chocolate chip Cookie Dough bites
I found these ideas at www.takethemameal.com and I'm going to copy them but not use any oil or dairy and instead use Happy Herbivore's recipes.....so I'll be changing them quite a bit and hopefully post my results.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Facebook Status and Other

I've dumped all my friends on facebook and am just using it for a larger networking tool.  It's great for pictures and finding people or feeling in touch with people who I haven't seen in a long time.  But it's better for getting all dramatic, for arguing, and for wasting time.  So I'm choosing to spend my time on a blog.  I mostly just want a place to go and say things.  I actually do better if I don't think anyone's going to read them like with a blog. The point of that is saying that I'll probably be doing a lot more posting on here again.
Anyway, our boy is 16 months now.  I cannot believe it.  He communicates really well and uses lots of words and signs to do so.  I'm actually impressed with how many words he knows and am sure that social interaction is his strongest skill.  He recognizes letters and numbers, saying "oo, ah, ee, ii" when he sees them.  He also does somersaults.  And he's potty trained!  That was awesome.  It's amazing to hardly wash any diapers anymore.  For a day or so I was wiping a lot off the floor, but was sooo surprised when that ended so soon.  I am thankful for my supporting family who all hold to the more old-fashioned way of diapering and potty training.  I'm also very happy that he is still nursing.  He is sick the past few days and doesn't want to do anything but nurse.  It is a praise worthy thing that God gave me something that is still so perfect for his nutrition, hydration, and comfort.  For that support, I thank the La Leche League and my friends here in Erie.  Before coming here, I was shy about breastfeeding but now I realize its vitality. 
I'm leading a table for MOPS this school year.  That's really brave of me because it takes a lot of scheduling and therefore organization.  It's weird because I crave organization but I think I typically just put it off and barely keep my nose out of the water.  I have 7 people at my table.  1/2 of us are steerers which means that we are part of the MOPS leadership and then the other 1/2 are regular moms coming for support.  The theme this year is 'Be You, Bravely.' 
I don't know what Bible study I will choose to be a part of this year.
Erie is great.  I liked it a lot more when I was more social and getting friends and going places.  Since about last fall, I just was so busy outside the home and felt like I needed to do more inside and be more routine with parenting.  I got to that point and then this summer hit.  It was a hard summer for whatever reason.  Now Jonathan is back in school and I think we'll fit right back in the saddle again. 
I'm pretty sure we are going to be on the faster track through medical school, which means 2 years of classes, only 1 year of clinical, and then residency.
E-mail me at auntelcia@gmail.com to let me know how you are doing!  I would love to hear.