God Divides

In our present times, there is much call to unite. But I present the truth of God Who does not unite, but Who divides.

One of God’s first tasks was to divide the light from the darkness (Genesis 1.4). He divides the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25.31-33); the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13.24-30).

God still divides the light from the darkness. He will forever divide the light from the darkness.

In the Old Testament, God separated His people Israel from the rest of the people of the world. Israel was to be an example, a beacon of light to invite all others to come worship the Lord God; but Israel was not to unite with others of the world.

Jesus, Himself, said that He came not to give peace, but to divide: Luke 12.51-53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

We who follow God, who are His chosen and called, who have God’s very Holy Spirit living within, are not called to unite with the rest of the world. Yes, we are called to be peacemakers. However, that does not mean to unite ourselves with them, does not mean to compromise our Biblical values to fit with their values, thinking that we can live in peace. No. The only way to peace is to fall on our faces and obey God Almighty. We invite others to join us in worshiping the only true God. But we do not unite by stepping out of our own faith.

Come November, do not cast a vote for someone because of a promise to unite our country. No man can unite people. No man can promise peace. The only unity that exists is unity in the Spirit of God.

If you are a child of the Most High, if you have His Holy Spirit within you, fall on your knees and worship Him by your obedience in heart, soul, mind, attitude, words, and strength.

Jesus’ words in Luke 12. 51-53 reflect what God told us in Micah 7.5, 6 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

But look! Micah continues with God’s promises (vs 7-9) Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

Do you catch your breath and get goosebumps at the power in God’s Word??

Go forth with the understanding that you are not called to unite people together in peace. You are called to worship God, to call others to Him, and to let God decide who will join Him in peace and unity; and who will be cast into outer darkness.

1 John 3.1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Those whom God calls will know us, will unite the Spirit within them with His Spirit within us. For those who do not know us, it is because they do not know God. We must not unite with them. As we bow to God’s will, leave them to God’s will.

Recipe Friday: Small Spice Cake with Apple

This recipe produces a dense, deliciously moist, one-layer 8” or 9” cake.

For the topping, other fruits may also be used. If the alternate fruit is very juicy, you may want to drain first. This cake is already very moist, and added fruit juice might result in more of a pudding than a cake.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup sucanat

1/3 cup molasses

2 eggs

1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/3 cup dairy or non-dairy milk

1 cup oat flour

3/4 cup barley flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Apple Topping:

1 large, or 2 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon choice of natural sugar or other sweetener

1 teaspoon cinnamon

dash salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil and flour an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan.
Beat the butter, applesauce, sucanat and molasses together in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time until the batter is fluffy. Thin the yogurt with the milk (whisk together), and beat into the applesauce mixture.
In a separate bowl, stir the flours, leavenings, spices, and salt together. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are well blended.
Spoon the batter into the pan.

For the topping:
Mix together chopped apples, spices, and salt; sprinkle on top of batter.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Top with ice cream or whipped cream.

Kathy’s Banana Oatmeal Bread

RecipeFridayKathysBananaBread

This is the best recipe I’ve found for banana bread. It’s moist and tasty, and the rolled oats give it a delectable chewy texture. It’s flexible enough that you can add nuts if you like (I don’t like), you can go up or down on the spices, and you can add whatever kind of dried fruit you prefer (craisins, chopped dates, dried chopped apricots, etc.; I suppose you could even sub in chocolate chips); and I think you could change the butter to 1/3 cup, and add ¼ cup peanut butter, if that interests you.

Note the larger size loaf pan (9 5/8 x 5 1/2-inch): it really did use the whole pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened butter

3 tablespoons unflavored, unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 cup sucanat (can also use coconut palm sugar, or a combination)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (anywhere from 3-5 bananas, depending on size)

1/4 cup milk (I used rice milk)

1/2 cup raisins (add a full cup if you like raisins)

Directions:

Yield: a 9 5/8″ x 5 1/2″ loaf pan

Cream shortening, yogurt and sucanat. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients and add to first mixture alternately with bananas and milk. Mix well and fold in raisins.
Bake in greased 9 5/8 x 5 1/2-inch loaf pan 50-60 minutes in 350° oven.
Cover for 5 minutes after being removed from oven to keep the moisture in the bread.

My First Bubble Refresher

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Okay, time for something completely frivolous and unimportant:

I rode my bike to the Post Office this afternoon to mail a birthday card to my big brother. On the way back home, I passed this little shop called Crazy About Cupcakes. Turns out, they sell a lot more than cupcakes.

I had heard of bubble refreshers, but had never tried one, or even seen a picture of one. I asked a lot of questions. I learned that you order for three preferences:

  1. base drink
  2. drink flavoring
  3. bubble flavor

I ordered unsweetened tea for my base drink (I can’t tolerate very sweet drinks any more). Passionfruit was my drink flavoring; and mango was my choice for the bubbles.

The bubbles are constructed of gelatin balls filled with flavoring. They hang out at the bottom of the cup. The straw has a large enough opening to lift one bubble at a time, if you suck on it.

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So you can drink the drink, or you can draw up a bubble.

When you get a bubble, a gentle pressure with your tongue is enough to burst it. The bubbles were quite tasty, with deep flavor.

Because I was on a bike ride, I ended up drinking the drink all up, and had lots of bubbles (and a little ice) left at the bottom of my cup. It wasn’t convenient to use the straw to get at all those bubbles, so off with the top, and I got a spoon to finish the job.

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The whole thing was altogether refreshing. While I endorse the drink, I should add that this is not a frugal treat. If you are looking for a bargain, stick to water or homemade smoothies. But if you’re out and about and you have an opportunity to try one of these, I recommend it.

Have you had a bubble refresher?

Natural Health Info and Options

Ty and Charlene Bollinger have produced several excellent documentaries. They are offering some “binge watching,” for free at this site:

https://shop.thetruthaboutcancer.com/pages/summer-replay-last-chance.

Dr Josh Axe does a nice job of explaining what it is about modern wheat that makes us sick; and how sourdough, even though it’s wheat, is a healthier option. Read about that here:

https://draxe.com/nutrition/why-is-sourdough-bread-good-for-you/.

Along with that, you should know that Wardee Harmon is the Queen of Sourdough (my own title for her), and she has a gazillion articles and recipes for sourdough here:

https://traditionalcookingschool.com/.

 

Recipe Friday: Peanut Butter Crispy Scotchies

RecipeFridayPeanutButterCrispyScotchies

Yield: 8×8 pan

I have always had a weakness for Rice Krispie Scotchies. But I wanted my treat to be a bit more healthy.

So, I came up with this yummy recipe that uses no sugar. The sweetness comes from dates. If you add the optional frosting (I DO 🙋‍♀️) then there’s the sugar; but you can find chips with natural sugars, too.

An alternate for the chopped dates is to use date sugar (dried and powdered dates).  Just stir 2/3 cup date sugar in with the melting butter, and omit the water. (Note: while I enjoy date sugar for baking, it is powdered dates, and it doesn’t dissolve. At all. Not so good for stirring into coffee.)

date sugar

Also, I found an organic, brown rice crispy cereal to use in these.

These treats don’t have the corn syrup “glue” to hold them together, so they are a bit more crumbly than the regular ones. But yum, they taste good!

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup water

8 ounces chopped dates

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups crispy rice cereal

Optional Frosting

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Butter an 8-inch-square pan, OR line the pan with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, stir together and mash gently the water and chopped dates until the dates are smooth. Simmer two minutes or until most of the moisture evaporates.

Add the butter, stir until melted.
Add the peanut butter. Cook and stir until peanut butter is melted (CAREFUL – this burns easily!).

Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat.

Pour rice cereal into the pan and mix well.
Press mixture into prepared pan.

For optional frosting:

In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, and 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.
Pour melted mixture over peanut butter mixture; spread evenly.
Refrigerate at least one hour, uncovered. Cover for additional refrigeration.

Taking Receiving Giving Part III of III

TakingReceivingGiving III

Giving

Acts 20.35 (the apostle Paul speaking) I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Experience that blessing.

Others have eyes: dress to bless. Avoid eye traps that grab their eyes to anything other than your beaming, blessing face. Practice body language that expresses unconditional love.

Others have noses: be sure to practice personal hygiene and be a sweet aroma for them. Be sure your sweet aroma is from the Lord (He provides many herbs and spices for this), and not from overpowering perfumes and chemicals.

Others have ears: sweeten your words with honey. Speak the truth in love. Season your words with salt. Let the Lord speak through you. Bless them with a musical, uplifting voice and laughter. Speak wisdom and solace and peace.

Others have skin: Bless them with respectful touch, hugs, and the softness of you.

Others have tongues for tasting: provide nourishing food when needed. Offer a cup of cool water.

Others have needs: Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to help meet those needs, be they material items, encouraging words, hugs, time, money, or whatever else God has given you for the giving to others.

We can only give according to what we already have (what we have already taken or received). Be sure to take abundantly from God so that you’re not transferring stolen goods to others.

God loves a cheerful giver. He Himself gives to us abundantly and cheerfully. May we, in turn, give His blessing to others.

Taking Receiving Giving Part II of III

TakingReceivingGiving II*

Receiving

Romans 15.7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Assist in blessing others as they offer to you. Gracious receiving blesses everyone.

When others offer to give, don’t turn it down out-of-hand. Don’t let pride hinder the blessing. Come before God with a humble heart, and use the wisdom that He provides for correct discernment.

2 Corinthians 4.6, 7 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Beware: We should not always receive what others give. Don’t receive bad advice (King Solomon’s son, for example). Don’t receive any wooden nickels. Don’t receive stolen goods. Don’t receive others who intend evil (as Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and Nehemiah wisely declined evil offers).

*picture from google

Taking Receiving Giving Part I of III

TakingReceivingGiving I

Taking

Proverbs 1.19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Are you a taker? Do you often take from others? Being a taker is different from receiving. Being a taker involves a decision on your part, and puts your needs at the top. (Receiving involves giving on the part of another.)

Beware: We can take lives, time, money, and other resources from others.

One from Whom you can always take is God. As you take from God, you have more to give.

Proverbs 2.6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

When you take, take according to God’s wisdom. “Take a young bull…” “Take words with you and return to the Lord…” “Take my yoke upon you…” “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…”

Take God’s Wisdom. Wisdom is seeing things from God’s perspective. It is rightly dividing the Word of God.

Wisdom cries in the streets and at the gates to take freely from her. Proverbs 1. 20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Wisdom begs you to take, and to take freely. Wisdom is enduring, everlasting, and forever appropriate.