Thursday, December 13, 2007

Munching Peanut Brittle

This recipe makes a good peanut brittle. Plus it is super easy to make using the microwave. I never trust those candy thermometers anyway!


1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. white corn syrup
In 1 1/2 qt. casserole stir together sugar and syrup.
Microwave at High (10) 4 minutes.

1 c. roasted, salted peanuts
Stir in peanuts.
Microwave at High (10) 3 to 5 minutes, until light brown.

1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well.
Microwave at High (10) 1 to 2 minutes more.
Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup very hot.

1 tsp. baking soda
Add baking soday and gently stir until light and foamy.

Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet.
Let cool 1/2 to 1 hour. When cool break into small pieces and store in air -tight container.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Begging for Myrrh

Christmas has become very stressful. We're as busy as usual, only now there's the added pressure of decorating, shopping, cooking, wrapping. We have a tradition that I'm guilty of starting. Almost every year we have cut down our own tree. This year, I'm not sure if any of the farms are open when we're free to go. Plus the weather has been bad. Really wet and/or icy. I'm not sure what we're going to do.

I heard about an idea for presents the other day and searched for it in between chauffeuring today. It's about giving the kids three presents each to represent the three gifts of the magi. Each gift has a tie-in to the original gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It's titled "Begging for Myrrh".

Instead of another thing to do, it seems like something that will fit in with what we already do, with the terrific bonus of pointing our eyes toward Christ as we celebrate His birthday.

Read it. I think you'll like it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Blew It!

Last night I was very critical. I made a lot of snide comments, at least to myself if not to too many others. I apologized to God and vowed to do better today.

This morning I read and wrote down Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. "

Then promptly went to church and got irritated that something that should have been taken care of wasn't. And I let that irritation turn to criticism.

I did feel convicted, however, and apologized, and spoke about this verse.

A few hours later I was yelling at someone I love very, very dearly.

I think that among other things, I was trying to be "good" on my own. And honestly, I can't be what I'm not. I needed to take more time to really surrender my self to the power of the Holy Spirit, so that He would be working through me. In the busyness of the day, I hadn't taken the time on my knees that I so desperately need.

I could tell you the whole story and then some. And you probably would really sympathize with me. But honestly, I'm just feeling sick.

I know the Lord forgives me. My family still loves me. But I feel so rotten that I didn't stay on the right path. So I'm hoping that I can turn this into a lesson of how much I have to stay on my knees. Guard against trying to do it myself. And hopefully God will give me some grace tonight, because right now it feels too hard.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Really Wanted to Complain

I had the phone in my hand. I was ready to call a friend and dump my hurt feelings. Then I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit telling me to stop! Talk to God about it instead.

So I put the phone down and said a brief prayer. I really felt better, and I was kind of disappointed, because I really wanted to complain. I know I could have gotten some sympathy. Someone would have told me I was right to be hurt and angry.

But as God has been working on my heart, I really see how arrogant it is to complain that someone didn't live up to my expectations. I wasn't hurt intentionally. I wasn't sinned against. I was just disappointed.

And without thinking it through, I could've really injured someone's reputation, just because I was hurt. Really, when you think about it, telling anyone how someone hurt, or injured, or disappointed you is damaging to their reputation.

And that's not really love.

If I had disappointed someone, would I want them telling others how I didn't live up to their expectations? Or would I want them to give me some grace? Or give me a little allowance in my behavior, realizing that my priorities might not match theirs?

So the Holy Spirit spoke, and I listened. That's a good day. No complaints.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Update on Spirit Guided Weight Loss

I've been looking in the mirror, thinking I've lost some weight, but I really don't have a giant urge to get on the scale. In fact, I don't plan on getting on the scale until...? I don't even have a plan for that. I'm trying to let God be the focus of my life, particularly in what I eat, so I don't want to let the scale be my judge.

As I've been seeking God instead of hiding out in the snack department, I've noticed a few things. I'm a lot more critical than I realized. It's easier to hide my feelings in food than to be honest about things I'm not proud of feeling. I'm taking these to the Lord.

As I've let God know how powerless I am to do this on my own, I've also noticed a few helps. For the first week, ice cream lost all of its appeal to me. I have however perservered to like it again. But a half cup or so suits me just fine.

I have had a greater thirst for plain old water. We have a new refrigerator with water in the door, and the filter makes our otherwise nasty water very tasty. In the past, I've tried to limit my intake of soda to one Diet Rite a day, but now sometimes I go without one for the whole day. And there are other days I have more than one. I'm trying to let the Holy Spirit be my guide, not some hard and fast rule.

Hunger has not been a problem. Also, the sugar cravings I usually have disappeared after I started reading my Bible daily and praying the Armor of God.

None of this to say I feel victorious. This is a big battle for me. The only way I can win it is not in my own power. I really, truly have to pray each day and ask God to fight this battle for me. And guess what? He does!!♥

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Starting the Day Right

Ever since I said I was going to try to not complain, I've been sick with a head cold. Not a complaint, just a fact. It's been one of those weeks, where I'm not sure I'm thinking straight.

That said, I wanted to say more about the Spirit-guided life.

This Fall, I participated in a women's Bible study, where our small group of ladies studied Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival . It was a terrific book that really spoke to me. In the last chapter, Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "Your relationship with Christ will never be any greater than your relationship with His Word."

I have been getting daily devotionals in my inbox from The Purpose Driven Life and a daily Bible verse from Christ Notes, but for too long I've allowed that along with my Bible study to be my time in God's word.

So for the past three weeks, I've spent most days reading my Bible. Most days I read one or more chapters before I do anything else. Sometimes I look words up in The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible/New International Version. Then I get on my knees and pray over my day. Often that prayer has to do with what I've just read. Always, I pray to release my control over my life and ask God to work in me, through me.

Lately. I've been reading both Philippians and Romans 12 over and over again. I'm trying to meditate on it and really apply it to my life.

I've seen a difference in how much more powered by the Holy Spirit I feel after I've spent time in God's word that way. It seems to be a real key for me. As long as I do it everyday, it's easy. I want to open the Bible first thing. But if I miss a day, the next day is hard for me to open His word. Keeping the pull of the flesh at bay begins with seeking God first. We all know it, I'm just saying it's been working for me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

No Complaints

I'm planning to spend the next several days updating my progress with walking by the Spirit.

For the past few days, God has been showing me and reminding me of the Scripture, Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, ". In fact my daughter Rachel and I have been having a conversation about it. How we like to "complain". And I put it into quotes because we don't look at it as complaining. We're explaining how someone, or something happened to mess with our plans, feelings, or opinions. We're women, and we need to talk it out to understand what's going on with us. Right?

Lately, I'll apologize for complaining mid-rant, and invariably the person I'm speaking to says that it's okay. We all need to vent, and they understand.

But as God kept teaching me about complaining, I saw that it is the opposite of something else he has commanded us. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". I thought about the Israelites complaining in the desert about how tired they were of God's provision of manna.

And wow, isn't that just like me? My pride, my selfish desires, even my righteous indignation gives way to complaining, instead of remembering all of God's provision. Nothing comes to me without first going through God's hands.

Maybe the very thing I complain about was sent to grow me. "He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you." Deuteronomy 6:18

I must admit I feel pretty humbled. Lately I think I've been failing the test. This walking in the Spirit is eye-opening.

There may still be something to talking it out, but first I need to talk it out with Jesus, instead of the person from whom I'm going to get the desired response. Because this is God's will for me in Christ Jesus.