Monday, May 30, 2016

Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

I made the above recipe (tripled) recently for my family. I used corn starch instead of arrowroot powder and added seasonings until it suited me. I also added an extra container of mushrooms.The family RAVED over it. Clint said it was better than Carrabbas. Everyone had seconds! Tip: For the Marsala wine, I used the next to the cheapest after learning this is what a lot of chefs use. It made the difference!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Article: My Friend Honored God and His Parents — Why Did He Die Young?

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

While attending a Christian school, the teachers used the Biblical phrase "that your days may be long" as a way to threaten stress the importance to obedience to not just parents but all authority. "God says right here, that if you honor and obey your parents, you will live a long time. So, if you want a long life, then you have to honor and obey your parents and those in authority over you." 

It was very confusing to many of us when a classmate died. He was a good person and loved his parents, so why did God not keep His promise to let him live long? Why didn't that promise apply to him? What about parents who weren't so honorable? They were sexually, physically, and emotionally abusing their child. Are children suppose to honor and obey their parents who are abusive so they could have a long life? How was the child suppose to do that? I have several friends whose children have died who have really struggled over the teaching they received in church on this matter. "Did my child have some secret sin I didn't know about?" I have friends whose parents have died young but had been very dutiful children. "Why didn't God keep His promise? If this promise does not apply to this person, then what ones do not apply to me? How can we rest on God's promises if they may or may not apply? " they asked.

God's Word is not in error. It's our interpretation! John Piper solves that problem in the article I've shared below. I feel there needs to be a clearer teaching on this in the church so that it does not cause people to question God's goodness and faithfulness. If you have wondered about these passages and the life happening around you, I encourage you to read the article in its entirety and see what God is really saying.

My Friend Honored God and His Parents — Why Did He Die Young?
"So, if we have been trained to see these patterns, if children have been shown this, we won’t be as likely to give Ephesians 6:3 a meaning Paul surely did not intend for it to have. In the Old Testament, this promise was made to the people of Israel as a whole that they would endure from generation to generation in the land of promise if they were the kind of people who kept the law and honored their parents. It is not a promise to each individual Israelite who honors his parents that he will live out his full three score and ten. You can read it. You will remain in the land, meaning you, the people of Israel, won’t be swept away into Babylon if you are law-keeping people. And they weren’t, and so they were swept away. ...

Here is my suggestion: If you put the two halves together, “it will go well with you and you will live long,” I would suggest in view of all we have seen is that it means it will go well with you and you will live as long as it going well with you implies. In other words, “it will go well with you” defines “you will live long,” not the other way around. Living long doesn’t define how it will go well with you. Going well with you defines how long you will live. And that is exactly the way, I think, we should say it to a child who is dying or who has lost a friend or a parent — though we don’t speak glibly or say it without tears — but we do say, “In God’s mind and God’s good heart, it is going well. It is going to go well with you.” ...
If God takes a child — he gives and he takes, he gives and he takes — blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21). If God takes a child in the most ultimate sense, it has gone well with them and that is what he promised. It will go well for you and you will live as long as is good for you on this earth and then forever in heaven."

Please note what I feel is a most crucial point. I know firsthand that truth without love is very harmful to tender hearts. 

"And that is exactly the way, I think, we should say it to a child who is dying or who has lost a friend or a parent — though we don’t speak glibly or say it without tears — but we do say, “In God’s mind and God’s good heart, it is going well. It is going to go well with you.”

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Teaching Our Children: It's War!

There is an unseen war on to corrupt our children's hearts, minds, and bodies. As a parent very aware of the battle, it can be overwhelming! Clint and I are constantly looking for ways to drive home the seriousness of making wise choices. We have a lot of conversations about how thinking wrong leads to doing and doing wrong which then leads to negative consequences. 

I've been asking my children this week how does this quote apply to real life and what foundations can we apply to keep our footing in a world where temptations and evil are everywhere: 

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

For our family, a firm foundation is found in knowing and applying God's Word, especially His commandments. 

Beside our front door, I have a handwritten sign which says: 

Before you go out this door
WHO you are... __________ Asbell
WHERE you come from.... your family
WHO you represent...--->A HOLY GOD <--- b="">

Let your speech and behavior reflect these facts.

This sign is not pretty. It was hastily handwritten by a tired mother who has more to do than hours in the day. The neon yellow arrow does not match my decor. Sometimes I cringe inwardly when others seeing these signs, wondering what they think. However, my decor isn't here to serve my desires for perfection or color coordination others will envy. Those things would fulfill my prideful flesh. I am not here to please others by seeking their approval. My home is here to glorify my God, and I can do that by teaching/reminding my children of Truth. 

I can say the same about my blog posts. They aren't eloquently written. They have spelling and grammatical errors. I want perfection, but I can't achieve it and still fulfill my many other duties. I know there are other Christians, parents, women, wives, mothers who are also engaged in this battle. I hear from many of you often. I want to give encouragement and share ideas because I know how battle weary we can become especially when the godly older women the Bible talks about in Titus 2:4 are so absent in our lives. Don't worry about your decor or other frivolous matters. Keep your eyes on the goal. Fight for your children's hearts and minds because if you don't the consequences can last longer than a lifetime. They could be an eternity. Fight, mamas! Fight hard and don't forget to fill your tank (take care of you spiritually, emotionally/mentally, and physcially) so you can keep going.

Don't expect perfection as you raise and launch your children. I know my efforts don't guarantee anything. Life is messy, and human beings are fallible. "Perfect little angels" don't exist. There will be trying times. There will be sin. There will be hurts and disappointments. However, I do know God will bless my efforts and help us through the trials. I know giving them Him is the best thing I can give them, so I labor on. I am praying for you. Please pray for me too.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Article: For Christian Singles

"Asking God to help you find a mate is a good thing. Here are a few tips for how to pray boldly for marriage. ...

She talked differently about marriage than what I was used to. She said it was a good thing, that God created it for our benefit, and that He still wants Christians to marry and have families. But she didn't stop there. "Be open about your desire to marry," she said. "Talk about it with your friends, just like you talk about all the other things you hope to do." She even went so far to say, "In our anti-marriage culture you have to be strategic."
I was embarrassed to admit my desire, and here she was encouraging me to not only acknowledge my hopes, but also pursue them.

Suddenly I felt free to really pray. My requests looked totally different than before." read the rest here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Free Summer Activities

Kids Bowl Free Registered Kids Receive 2 FREE GAMES Of Bowling Every Day All Summer Long, Valued At Over $500 Per Child!

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse Prepurchase movie tickets 10 for $5 (50 cents per movie)

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program Step 1. Fill out the Summer Reading Triathlon Reading Journal (PDF). En EspaƱol (PDF).Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store. Find a Store.Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store... Enjoy reading!

Be sure to also check out your local libraries, community offerings, hardware, and craft stores for other ideas.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Article: Influence in Childhood

"The heavenly Father wants to free you from any negative trends that took root early in life. He can break any unhealthy pattern and replace it with hope and deep satisfaction in Him.

As you explore the effects of childhood experiences, pray to see through a lens of truth. When you recognize ways that others negatively influenced you, pray for strength to forgive and God's help in mending areas of brokenness--whether spiritual, emotional, relational, or mental." Read the rest here

Friday, May 20, 2016

Show Me That From Over There

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Ever since Brandon shoved a snake in my face 17 years ago, I've always found an excited child running towards me with an outstretched fist saying, "MOM! LOOK WHAT I'VE FOUND!!!!" a bit alarming. Thankfully, this time, it was only a green tree frog Amanda found.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Multi-tasking on the Farm

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We are clearing out the next area for our pasture. This was one of my favorite areas to walk, and I already miss the view of the beautiful trees. As we clear it, we are getting firewood and building up an area to get our hogs on higher ground in case of flood. We are also building up a natural barrier to help keep our livestock in should they get out of the fence. The woodsplitter makes a pile of bark which will be used in the garden and to build up mud puddles in the yard. Nothing goes to waste. We will be planting twice as many trees to replace the ones we cut so there will be firewood in 15-20 years. Some of the tree stumps will coppice next year which will also let us have firewood later. We kept the children's favorite trees because this is their farm too and happy memories are important. All six of the children living at home have climbed on the felled trees. The music of their laughter as they explore and play with one another has been delightful!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why Look Forward to the Rapture

How can we encourage each other about the rapture if there’s a big judgment coming right after it? Read the answer here.

We are still alive because
    the Lord’s faithful love never ends.
Every morning he shows it in new ways!
    You are so very true and loyal!

Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Make the Change

When someone is pregnant, she is not “expecting a child” – she already has one. She is not “going to be a mother” – she already is a mother. The baby is not “onthe way,” the baby has already arrived. If we are going to change the way society treats unborn children, we have to change the way we talk about them. -Frank Pavone, 7/7/12

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Are You Worried You Will Miss God's Leading?

Psalm 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll--are they not in your record.

Psalm 139:3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When my children were infants, people would start to guess what was wrong when they cried. "She's hungry! He wants a blanket! He has to be teething!" They were usually wrong. However, as fallible as I am, I often KNEW exactly what my babies wanted because I watched over them all of the time. I knew if they had slept well the night before, or if they had not eaten well at the last meal. I knew if they had a favorite toy that was missing or if they disliked bright flourescent lights in stores. I knew what my babies needed because I paid attention to the things in their day to day life.

I love the verses I shared above because they show us how very intimate God's love for us it. He cares about the details in our lives even something seemingly insignificant and ever changing as the number of hairs on our head. 

I use to worry that I'd miss God's leading until I realized that He knows exactly how to speak to my heart and lead me in the right direction because He not only made me but watches over me so closely. I am not going to miss His leading or misunderstand which way to turn because He will make sure I won't. He knows me. He knows what I need. Fear and confusion might be around me, but it isn't around the One Who loves me and is leading me. All I have to do is keep my mind soaking in His Word so I will recognize Him and His ways while I keep my heart willing to obey. Because I know He pays attention to the details of my life, I trust in His ability to lead me to what is best for me.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Psalms 143:8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Today I Choose

Sarah, Rebecca, Josiah, Angel Noel, Abigail, Benjamin, Mary, Isaac, and Jonathan

Faith is not a magic pill that removes our pain. Faith is what helps us bear it. Today, I choose to be thankful for the babies God made known to me and my family. I choose to rejoice as a person who truly believes God's promises will come to fruition. Choosing to honor God with my attitude, thoughts, and words does not mean I have stopped loving or love less. It means I've taken God at His Word. I believe He has a plan and what He allows is for my good and His glory. I believe there is life and a future for the babies who died in my womb. It means He has given me, and I have readily grasped ahold of, some of His strength so I can keep doing the job He has called me to do.  

Today is the day I remember my precious nine, celebrate their short lives, and thank my Father that this is not how the story ends. 

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Unless He Himself Give Me the Song

"Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest… The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from the heart… Lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip… Then, since our Maker gives 'songs in the night,' let us wait upon Him for the music" – Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Quote on Family Planning

"Family planning is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular. We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, & rightly so. But THE REASON WE HAVE TO FIGHT THOSE BATTLES TODAY IS BECAUSE WE LOST THEM 30 YEARS AGO. Once couples began to look upon children as creatures of their own making, who they could plan into their lives as they chose or not, all reverence for human life was lost. Children as God's gifts whom we humbly receive are one thing; children as articles of our own manufacturing are another. You can do anything you like with what you yourself have made." ~Mary Pride

There is a tremendous difference between stewardship of "God's" and "mine."