Verse To Live By

Make it your ambition
to lead a quiet life
to mind your own business
and to work with your hands...

So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders

And so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

I Thessalonians 4:11-12

Friday, August 21, 2015

Finishing Well Can Be Confrontive...

I sat at a campfire and initiated a conversation about houses for sale on the campgrounds (since I have one), and who was selling and buying.  A camp board member was there, and I was basically asking him about activity in the real estate realm.  I did not sense there was anything wrong with our conversation, but all of a sudden I was pounced upon and told how inappropriate the conversation was.  I immediately shut up...had nothing more to say.

I felt like I had been slapped, and everything within me wanted to get up and leave, and never go back to the campfire again.  But I tried to regain my composure and just listen to conversation for a while.  About 20 minutes later I did excuse myself and continued on with my evening walk.  By the time I got home, I was ready to unload to someone, so I wrote an email to my husband (who was out of town at the time), and then I went to bed.

I couldn't sleep, so a couple of hours later I got up and found an email response from my husband.  He didn't feel I had said anything inappropriate, and that I should just trust God to see my way through this hurt.  I then decided to read my devotions for the next day.  How appropriate that my reading was focused on Matthew 5:23-24:

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Well...what could I say.  It was one of those times that Jesus knew exactly what was bothering me, and what it would take to cure the hurt.  I went back to bed and fell asleep.

The next morning I headed over to this neighbor's home and asked to speak to both the husband and the wife.  Both had been present at the campfire.  God had given me the words to say, and so I had confidence in having this conversation that morning.  I thanked the person who had brought it to my attention that I was speaking out of turn at the campfire.  I said even though I didn't see anything wrong with it, if that person did, then it was wrong for me to speak on that topic.  Since it is my desire to "Finish Well", I wanted to keep everything above board with everyone, and not have any unfinished business.  I did not want to hurt anyone.

I shared the verses God had given me, made my apology, very sincerely, and then asked if there was anything else I needed to correct.  I was assured there was nothing else.  My whole goal is to finish well, so I told them if in the future they heard me speaking out of turn, or saying or doing something inappropriate, would they please bring it to my attention so I could halt it right then and there.  They asked me to do the same for them.  We parted in Christian love.  

Mission accomplished.  I felt I had honored God by being reconciled to that couple instead of holding bitterness and hurt inside and letting it fester.  I was pleased with the outcome.  I do believe that it only happened because of my desire to "Finish Well" by living a life pleasing to God in my words, my actions, and my attitudes.  That is His desire for me as well, so He is faithful to give me His Holy Spirit to guide me.  Thank you, Father!

Do you, my friend, have someone you need to be reconciled to?  There is peace in doing so.  And we definitely don't want to get to the Great Judgement and realize something so minor stood in the way of our peace and our destination!  Go take care of it...NOW!!  God will help you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Some Steps to Finishing Well

Today I will address the "Finishing Well" portion of my blog.  I've been asking God, in my "retirement", what I should do.  He informs me that I should take life one day at a time, and as each day unfolds simply be obedient.  Well, today's scripture reading from Ephesians 5 gave some pretty specific instructions from Him.  Thought I would share some of that passage and how it spoke to me.

Follow God's example in everything you do because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loves you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sin.  (vs 1-2)
Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.  (vs 10)
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.  Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.  (vs 15-17)
...let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.   (vs 18b)

So here is my summary of what God expects of me each day:

  1. be an example of Christ's love
  2. please the Lord by living wisely
  3. do good to others, being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit
A three-step plan for Finishing Well.  Think I'll try about you?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spray Pam to Save Staining

Here's a simple way to keep your plastic containers (such as Tupperware and Rubbermaid) from getting stained by tomato based foods:  Spray the container with Pam first!

I did not know this.  My son taught me this when I was living with him this past winter.  Today I shared reasons why it was a pleasure to spend a few months with our son, and one was because of the things I learned from him.  My friends did not know this trick on how to keep containers from staining either.  Always remain teachable!!  

Feeling Happy

A friend gave me a "Woman's World" magazine to browse through.  I read this article about five ways to feel happier every day, so since they are simple things, I thought I would post them.  I'm hoping fuscia is a happy color for you (obviously this is something females will better relate with).  Here are the steps:

  1. Relieve stress by watching funny shows, videos, and competitions.  Inspiring shows can lift your mood.
  2. When you are feeling moody, drinking some water may hydrate you and relieve fatigue that you don't know you have.  Your body may be saying "give me more liquid!"  Make it a healthy liquid!
  3. Healthy foods, rather than fast foods, can help chase away the blues.  Nutrients found in salads, vegetables, fruits, and nuts help produce serotonin and dopamine, relaxation hormones.
  4. To relieve work stress, take up a hobby, do things you enjoy.  Research has found that creative hobbies can help you make good decisions on the job.
  5. Save your "issues that might cause to tension" until after you have dinner because low blood sugar can cause impatience.  After eating you may be more able to compromise and be more loving.  A 20 second hug triggers a bonding hormone, making a person more likely to want to please you.
Okay, there you have it.  I will need to keep these things in mind! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Simply Walking

There are many benefits to taking an evening walk.  They are:

  1. walking helps lower blood sugar
  2. walking aids digestion by speeding foods through the gastrointestinal tract
  3. walking can help calm you down and give you a new perspective by triggering brain nerve cells that help relax the senses
  4. walking in the evening helps one to sleep more soundly
  5. walking can increase bladder capacity overnight, reducing the number of trips to the bathroom in the night

You should wait 30-60 minutes after eating before walking, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

I have been walking twice a day on a regular basis for four months now.  I walk two miles in the morning and two miles in the evening.  I have definitely noticed the effects of the above benefits.  I hope to make this a life-long habit, as long as I am able.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An Apple a Day....

Food Inspiration

I have tried to make it a life time habit to eat an apple every evening, although I slipped for a couple of years.  Now I'm back on that kick, just because I know my constitution needs it.  I reread an article this week that reminds me of the benefits of eating an apple a day.  Let me share them...

  •  Apples are packed with fiber...about 20% of your daily nutritional value.
  • Apples require that you chew them, which gives your body time to register that you are getting full.
  • Apples have natural sweeteners in them to keep blood sugar and insulin levels satisfied, instead of getting the quick rush of sugary snacks which quickly crash.
  • Apples help protect the lungs, helping to lower the risk of developing asthma, cancer, and other diseases.
  • Apples have pectin and poly phenols which help lower cholesterol, helping to lower the risk of artery-clogging plaque.  Eating the peel enhances that benefit by 2-6 times.
  • Apples have been known to curb the growth of cancer cells, especially when the peel is also eaten.
  • Apples make you smarter, it is claimed, because of a chemical (acetylcholine) that is produced that transmits messages between the nerve cells.  This is good to keep the aging brain sharper, and lessen the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.
Wow, with all of these benefits on top of the good taste of an apple, why wouldn't I want to eat one a day, if not more??  I wonder how apple pie rates?  Apple crisp?  Apple tarts/turnovers?  Just kidding....keep it simple.  Just eat an apple.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Better Baking and Easy Clean-up

Around the House

Parchment Paper is a new discovery for me.  Where have I been all these years?  This amazing paper, I have the Reynolds brand, makes life in the kitchen so much easier!  Plus, it enhances the outcome of the food being baked.

Last week I baked a batch of cookies using the parchment paper, just laying it on the cookie sheet before placing the cookies on it, and there was a much better consistency to the cookies.  The bottoms were not dark and crunchy but tasted just like the rest of the cookie, soft and moist.  This morning I baked biscuits on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and they rose so much higher, soft and fluffy.  That's how we like them with our strawberries!  (One simple meal per week is my strawberries and biscuits meal...that's all we have at that setting.  It's one of my husband's favorite meals!)

Here's some basic instructions for the parchment paper baking:

  1. It is oven safe to 420 degrees.
  2. Sticky and delicate foods lift with ease when transferring the parchment paper from the pan to the cooling area.
  3. Line the cookie sheet/pan with either side of the parchment paper.  When done baking, lift the sheet off, and the pan remains clean!  No need to wash.
  4. No additional oils or spray are needed when using parchment paper.  It's clean, it's easy, just do it!