The Wolf

His minion came running in excitedly “Master, Master! I have something you must see!”

Irritated the Wolf looked at him “This better be good, for you to bother me!” The minion shoved an article under Wolf’s nose. Quickly he scanned what was on the page

Pay attention*** Mary had a little lamb. His fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went. The Lamb was sure to go. He followed her to school each day. It was not even the rule. He made the children laugh and play, to have a lamb at school. And then the rules all changed one day, illegal it became; to bring the Lamb of God to school or even say his name. Every day got worse and worse. And days turned into years. Instead of hearing children laugh we heard gun shots and tears. What must we do to stop the crime that’s in our schools today? Lets let the Lamb come back to school and teach our kids to PRAY!!!

The Wolf just chuckled, wadded up the paper, and threw it to the floor.

“But Master, shouldn’t we be afraid?” asked the minion.

Wolf gave him a tolerant look, and started putting on his suit. Then he began patiently explaining his plan.

” This battle is as old as time, but I finally came up with a plan not so long ago. You see these people seem to have forgotten that it is written in their law that church and state should not be mixed at all! So what did I do? I whispered in some people’s ears that wouldn’t it be grand, to offer free education across the land? The thought spread like wildfire even though some resisted. For those I allowed the lamb in, to wave away their fears. It was my plan all along, and the Shepherd knew this too. I slowly began to exclude the lamb from everyday. The people didn’t notice as I was ever so subtle….”

“But Master they are noticing now!” cried his underling!

“I’m getting to that!” growled the wolf as he sat down at his dressing table. Picking up a brush he continued, “It was so subtle that by the time they realized it, it was too late. To stop my plan that I had put into place! There were more who followed me, than believers in the school. Oh they protest, complain, and sometimes pray. However they don’t understand I have them just where I want them!”

“Where is that Master?!?!” asked the minion excitedly!

“Why it is simple! They are completely dependent on me to teach their children! So much so that they are blind to what the Shepherd has warned! They don’t worry me in the least! There’s another group that has me concerned!” murmured the Wolf.

Eyes wide with concern the minion questioned “Who are they Master?”

“They are the ones, that have allowed their eyes to be open….and are no longer content to send their children into my training camp. They’ve seen through me and know me for who I am. They take the charge to teach their child seriously and heed the Shepherd’s call not to be unequally yoked. They know that I am who I am and refuse to partner with me in the upbringing of their children. I’m concerned that they will sound the alarm for others to see.” With that the wolf rose and turned his transformation complete. Before the minion’s very eyes his Master suddenly looked like a sheep!

Advertisements

Household Purging

Ok so I could list all the Bible verses about material things. I could expound upon Jesus speaking to the rich young man….but I’m not. Who would I be kidding? I like stuff just as much as the next person! I’m not going to act all holier than thou because I’ve purged our basement and have enough stuff to fill up the back of my mini-van with the seats down. Why? Well to be honest purging things that I may need in the future or are sentimental is hard for me. So how did I manage to get rid of that much stuff? It’s no secret….my nesting instincts kicked in full force! So here are some tips that I figured out while I was working on it.

1. Is it stained or broken? If it is stained, can it be treated and removed? If not and you won’t wear it, consider if it can be repurposed. If it is a large piece of clothing, can you cut it down to make something else out of it? Blocks for a quilt, clothes for a small child or doll? If the answer is no, then look to see if it is a good type of material to work as rags. I found a lot of stained t-shirts in my stash that I cut up into much-needed rags. I did this last year, but as messy as my kids are, we were still always running out. Now our drawer is crammed full, and it is getting a lot of use. If your item is broken, examine if it can be repaired or repurposed. If it can’t then it needs to be pitched.

2. When is the last time I used this? If you haven’t used it in the last 6-12 months, chances are you won’t. Now there obviously exceptions to this like…baby gear and sentimental items. I saved my baby gear after having our daughter because I knew I wanted to have another baby….but it happened in God’s timing and our son was born 4 years later. I also saved it after him because again I wanted another baby. Had I been a little more vigilant I would have known that our car seat system (which was taking up a lot of space) would expire before baby #3 was born. Sigh, live and learn…we discovered this a couple of weeks before it expired…so out it went! We also had a play gym that was stored and the batteries corroded all over it, couldn’t be washed (because of the electrical parts) so out it went too. Lesson learned: make sure to store all items properly and remove all batteries. I’ll cover sentimental items in the next point.

3. Really examine all sentimental items This I believe is the hardest thing for most people. I know it is for me. I had over 20 porcelain dolls stored in our basement that I had collected as a child. I held onto them because not only were they pretty, but because of the people who gave them to me. Finally I had to decide…do I really want to keep all of these? I picked out a few of the prettiest to put in my daughter’s room and then donated the rest to goodwill. They aren’t doing anything for me sitting the basement. I only remember them when I go to move something and find them. So take pictures, put them in a scrap-book, and find them a new home. Most of the other items that are sentimental to me, I purpose to use at least 1 time a year. Like the Royal Dalton Tea set that I gave my mother. She loved it very much and was so excited to own something made by Royal Dalton. Last year in her remembrance I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch and used that tea set to help serve 🙂 It was a great way to honor her on that day and I am so glad that I kept it.

4. Kids toys This is another hard one for people….but I am going to tell you the unvarnished truth. Your kids will be as happy with a card board box, crayons, and scissors as they would be if you never gave them that DS or leapstart for Christmas! I think that the marketplace is over loaded with so many cool toys that adults just love to buy for kids. The marketing of those cool toys is also done very well, with well-timed ads so your kids see it when they are watching their favorite tv shows. Remember the more stuff you have, the more stuff to get broken, and the more stuff to clean up. I don’t know about you, but I hate spending 30+ minute cleaning up after the kids, or harping on them to keep cleaning. They hate cleaning up as much as I do. If there was less to clean, there is less to fight over! Kids have wonderful imaginations and over running them with toys, games, and movies is doing them a disservice. The more stuff they have, the less they have to use their imaginations, or invent things. I use to spend hours outside playing with nothing more than a swing, a bike, and a wagon. I had a wonderful time, because I used my imagination!

The jist of the whole post is, more is generally just that more. It will take up more of your time, not save you time. So prayerfully ask God what you have in your home and your life that is unnecessary, I think you might just be surprised!

Greek inspired quinoa salad

“More! More!”…”Me too! Me too!” Those words are music to a mother’s ears….especially when heard at the dinner table! I’ve put off making quinoa because the last time I made it the kids wouldn’t eat it. I decided to give it another go this time using the white quinoa instead of the red. The white is more mild in flavor, which seems to be a hit 🙂

Ingredients:
2 cups of quinoa soaked overnight and rinsed until water is clear*
3 cups of water
olive oil
1 cup of cucumber de-seeeded and diced
1 Tbsp of minced red onion
1/2 c of diced & de-seeded tomato
10 olives (your favorite) cut in half or quartered
1 1/2 cups of baby spinach sliced into ribbons

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c olive oil
1 Tbsp of greek seasoning
salt & pepper

*Make sure you rinse your soaked quinoa until the water runs clear….if this step is skipped your quinoa will be BITTER! For more information on soaking your quinoa visit http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/basic-quinoa-soaked.html

1. Place quinoa in a pot on medium heat with the 3 cups of water. Cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, and drizzle with olive oil to prevent clumping.

2. In a bowl add the quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredients. (Other optional veggies could be colored bell peppers, artichokes, or even capers.)

3. In a separate bowl prepare dressing. Squeeze in lemon juice, add greek seasoning, and SLOWLY pour in olive oil, whisking until emulsified. It should take about 1/3 c of olive oil, but watch carefully! Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

4. Pour dressing over salad, toss, then taste to adjust salt & pepper to taste. **tip the more salty the olive you use, the less salt you will need to add in, the same goes with the capers 🙂 Enjoy!

This post was shared as a part of the Pennywise Platter. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/pennywise-platter-thursday-119.html

Asian Noodle Soup

So my church is currently on the Daniel fast and everyone is trying to find recipes. I don’t typically do meatless meals as my body personally does not function well on that type of diet. I’ve been wracking my brain to figure out recipes that I can share. I don’t like recommending things that I have never tried, so now my goal is to adapt recipes that taste great to fit the need. Here is a take on my Asian Noodle soup that is Daniel Fast friendly 🙂 As you can tell the only changes that have been made is substituting the chicken stock for vegetable and omitting the chicken all together. You still get the great flavor, just slightly different 🙂

Ingredients:
1 Tb sesame oil
1 medium onion,diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
6 c vegetable broth
1/2 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
16 oz frozen bag of asian vegetable medley (defrosted)
8 oz soba noodles (make sure they are made of wheat or rice)
3 green onions sliced thinly both white and green parts.

1. In a stock pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onion garlic cloves, cook until soft. About 5 minutes, stir as necessary.

2. Add the following : broth, hoisin, soy sauce, pinch of pepper flakes, coriander, mustard, ginger, pepper, and salt. Allow this to heat to a simmer.

3. Add vegetables, cooking until soft. About 8-10 minutes.

4. Allow soup to simmer until you are about 15 minutes away from serving. Bring soup to a boil, then add the soba noodles and cook for about 6-8 minutes or according to the package’s directions. Throw in green onions a few minutes before the noodles are cooked through.

* Salt and pepper can be adjusted to taste. If you desire more heat, just add more red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

** If you are allowing fish on the diet, you can add 1-2 TBSP of fish sauce to the recipe for more flavor, just taste before adding in the tsp of salt so that the soup doesn’t become too salty!

Quiet

This time of year encourages reflection and study. God is on the move among His people, and Heaven has never felt so close before. Dear one this is a time of equipping and showing God’s love. Dig in deeper to His truths. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In a time when the world is in an upheaval God hasn’t changed. He loves all of us, we are all His creation. Don’t forget that when you see the sinner on the street. Christ came in ultimate love, what right do you have to look down your nose at someone else? Remember you are a sinner as well, saved only by His grace! Instead seek the Holy Spirit at all times, ask Him to allow you to see people the way God does, to love them the way God does. Ask God what plans He has for your life, and ask Him for His will to be done. Take all thoughts captive and remember:

Philippians 4:8- The Message (MSG)
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
http://www.biblegateway.com