Friday, October 12, 2012

The Theme of the Bible is Jesus

"The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme, of God’s original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found."

Taken from Education, p. 190

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Veggie Smoothies - Recipe 6

This is a smoothie from a few days ago, featuring prized ingredients:


I do not know very much about the health benefits of figs; but I love them! I enjoy black mission figs fresh, while I prefer Turkish figs dried. Either way, they are spectacular. I am aware that they contain substantial amounts of calcium (considering that they are fruits). Three dried mission figs provides approximately eighty milligrams (80 mg) of calcium. That's pretty good!

Recipe 6 - makes 5.5 cups

  • 2 cups of beet greens, stems, and beets
  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 1/2 of a lemon with some skin and all seeds
  • 1 cup of figs
Personal Take: Pretty good smoothie. It definitely tasted like vegetables, though the figs gave a slight sweetness. The carrots impacted the color again, but it did not bother anyone. I left more of the zest this time, and you could taste it. Again, not bothersome to me or anyone else (I think). My mom did mention the thickness; I am going to have to use more water. =)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Veggie Smoothie - Recipe 5

Each day brings more and more benefits. Do it for yourself, and you will see. ;)

Here is the smoothie we had today:


Recipe 5 - makes 7.5 cups (why I made so much, I am not certain...)

  • 2.5 cups of spinach with stems
  • 1/2 lemon with some skin
  • 2 large carrots (about two cups worth)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of mango
  • Lots of water
Personal Take: This smoothie tasted more like fruits -- it would be a great introduction to the realm of vegetable smoothies. However, I've already been introduced. Also, we have been on a nearly-no-sugar diet, so this tasted rather sweet to us (it is amazing how one's taste buds adjust).

Other than that, it was a great smoothie. The color was different because there were more carrots in this batch (it is usually only one cup). I still thought that it looked pretty though.

This required more blending (hence the suggestion for "lots of water"). I was able to manage though, because  I used part frozen mango; and that kept the smoothie cool enough to blend thoroughly. I believe that the nutrients need to live to be effective; so I would rather that heat did not kill them off.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Veggie Smoothie - Recipe 4

These smoothies are amazing! They really rejuvenate you and give you a good clean out. Just make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day -- at least five cup for children, and at least eight to nine for adults.



Recipe 4 - makes 6 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups of turnip greens / stems
  • 1 1/2 cups of spinach  / stems
  • 1 cup of purple carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 lemon, with some skin
  • 1/4 cup of leftover cereal
  • about 4-5 cups of water (whatever it takes to blend it smoothly)
Personal Take: Pretty good. Turnip greens are pretty strong, but their taste was in the background. I think that it is the avocado that neutralizes it. The taste was mild -- it did not pull in any particular direction. It was thick, but not of a consistency that would choke you. =) I should have blended it a little longer, but it was relatively smooth. My favorite part was the green color! It is just a beautiful shade of green. It definitely looks appetizing.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Veggie Smoothies - Recipes 2 and 3

Note: This post was written 26 September 2012.

With each day comes another smoothie. I almost did not make one this morning, due to time constraints; but we forged ahead anyway. =)

This week, we are working on eating out the beet greens; so that is why they come up so often (besides, it's only the third recipe).

Recipe 2 - makes  6 cups (Yes, I am now saying the amount rather than the servings.)

  • 4 cups of chopped beet greens, with their stems
  • 1 cup of raw beets, chopped, and with their skin
  • 1 cup of chopped purple carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango, peeled, and pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, partially peeled (keep the seeds, though)
  • 4-5 cups of water
Blend for at least two minutes -- three is probably better. Don't let the smoothie get hot! Heat will kill the nutrients. If you feel it getting warm, and you still need to blend, add some ice (and possibly some water).

Personal Take: If you noticed, I was a bit more specific about the water. The reason for this is the smoothie was thicker with that amount of water. I love thick smoothies. 

Anyway, it tasted pretty good. Presumably, the vegetable taste was stronger -- that is because there were less fruits in this batch. However, I must admit that it tasted good. I really enjoyed this smoothie. But all of my family said that it was filling, so having seconds is not likely. =)

Recipe 3 - makes 4 cups
  • 3 cups of beet greens, with their stems
  • 4 baby beets (I did not measure it this time around)
  • 1 cup of chopped purple carrots
  • 1 starfruit, with seeds
  • 1 banana
  • Not certain of how much water...
Personal Take: Rule number one says, "Do not forget the lemon." Oops. It did not change the taste, but the color was slightly more burgundy than usual. Lemon is a natural preservative. It slows the process of oxidation, which occurs when the food is open to the air -- when it is cut, pureed, torn, broken, etc. Lemon is important.

Other than that mistake, the smoothie was delicious. My brother said that he could definitely taste the banana, and that made it taste good. Frankly, I agree. It helped to mute the strong flavor of the greens. Which, by the way, was pretty strong.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Veggie Smoothies - Recipe 1

The title sounds funny; but honestly, this is a good idea. Everyone should do it.

The basic premise is this: create a smoothie that is primarily made up of fresh vegetables, add a few pieces of fruit to make it palatable, and consume for the best health. In effectiveness, juicing is the champion (pun intended). But smoothies are next in line.

For my family, this begins the third week of smoothies. We have been drinking them every morning, about thirty to forty-five minutes before breakfast. I decided to share our ideas with the general public so that everyone can have the opportunity to try something new.

Veggie Smoothie - Recipe 1 (makes five servings)

  • 2 bunches of beet greens, with stems and baby beets (about 4 loose cups when chopped)
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 4 small purple carrots (about 1.5 cups chopped)
  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1/2 of a lemon, peeled half-way (do include seeds)
  • Enough water to just cover the contents of the blender
Blend for three to five minutes, or until smooth. Drink up! (It will come out to be a burgundy color, because of the beets and stems).

Personal Take: 
I liked this one. I was a little concerned that it would not take sweet or at least pleasant. But I was surprised; everything neutralized everybody out. You could taste the lemon zest though (if that is something that bothers you). I did not blend for long enough though, so we were chewing the lemon pith (and a few carrot pieces). But when my mom does it, it comes out fine. =P Oh well...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apologies.

This quarter -- July to September, 2012 -- PlugIn2God put the focus on prophecy. "History Revealed" covers that end which has been revealed by God before it has even taken place. When John writes it, hardly any of the events of Revelation had taken place. Sure, five emperors of Rome had reigned (Revelation 17:9-11); but that is only one of the few key aspects of the book that had already occurred. Now, to us readers in the twenty-first century, many of the events have taken place; and we await very little of the conclusion of the fulfillment of the prophecy.

I would, however, like to apologize. Unlike the first two quarters, the third quarter did not provide a study booklet. It did not provide supplementary material. The web page was not even updated.

There were many factors that caused this. But ultimately, Satan stepped to ensure that the correct material was given.

But God is faithful. "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalms 100:5).

THE REMEDY

I was able to publish (online) an in-depth Bible study in the form of note cards. each note card covers a different topic, going through the book of Revelation in chapter order. I pray that this will be a means to spread light.

Each card has a suggested number of devotional periods needed to cover the card.Each card also features the topic title in a blank design. This is so that you can design it yourself! Use whatever reminds you of the topic the most.

These cards present you with approximately one hundred (100) devotional periods (the maximum being one hundred and five [105]). They can be used for personal devotions, family worship, Sabbath School, Bible study classes, or small groups. They are versatile and should be used to the utmost capacity.

Please: before studying the Word of God in any context -- whether for school assignments, devotions, or church -- please pray. The Bible is self-explanatory, yes; but we still have a duty to ask God to enlighten us. God is ever willing to give us what we ask for, so long as it is in His will. And believe me: He wants to give us light. The seven-headed candlestick in the tabernacle was never to go out. It was to burn continually, ever shining its light over the shewbread (representing the Word of God).

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). 
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).


The light from the candlestick represents the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth (Leviticus 24:1-4; John 16:13). Pray for enlightenment and guidance before you begin to study the Word of God. "Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given" (Steps to Christ, p. 90).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In-Depth... in Revelation (PDF)
 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Power of a Testimony

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everyone says that exercise is good for me. I mean me. Whenever I complain about exercising, people tell me, "Nope, you are wrong. It would do you well." It leaves me chagrined most of the time. 

Today, however, I actually tried. I went and took the time to willingly take a simple walk on our hill. Do you know what the best part was? I can testify to the usefulness and value of exercise. Because I experienced it, it now has meaning for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The principle of Christianity is the having of an experience. It is growing in grace. It is coming to a knowledge of our Lord and Savior. It is my experience.
"He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true" (John 3:33).
Testimonies are a significant form of witnesses because they are based on the facts of one's experience. No one can argue with your testimony because, at the end of the day, they did not experience it -- only you did. God invites us to have an experience for ourselves so that we can see whether or not He is who He claims to be.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
The word testimony is translated in several ways, including the following: witness, evidence, report, and precept. Isaiah 8:16-20 utilizes the precept definition. Most other Old Testament verses using the word testimony are saying "as a witness" or "as evidence" or, essentially, "as a reminder". Setting up the law in Israel was a testament to God's authority as a lawgiver (Psalm 78:5). The tabernacle of the testimony was called such because it held the ark of the testimony -- the continual symbol of God's stationary presence in Israel (Exodus 25:8; Numbers 17:4; Numbers 7:89). A testimony is something that stands as an indicator. It is "firsthand authentication of a fact" (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2012). 

God's people are strong because they have a testimony. They have something that they stand for and believe in; they have an experience which they have lived; they have something that sets them apart, that shows them to be a testimony to others. They are different, and they know why. They have a story, and they are willing to share. Lives have been changed, habits have been overcome, styles of life have been altered to meet with and fit in Christ. They have a story: and it is His story. They make something of their life.
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" 
(Heb 11:5). 
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" 
(Rev 12:17).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Judgment is Set.


The judgment has set, the books have been opened;
How shall we stand in that great day,
When every thought, and word, and action,
God, the righteous Judge, shall weigh?

Refrain

How shall we stand in that great day?
How shall we stand in that great day?
Shall we be found before Him wanting?
Or with our sins all washed away?

The work is begun with those who are sleeping,
Soon will the living here be tried,
Out of the books of God’s remembrance,
His decision to abide.

Refrain

O, how shall we stand that moment of searching,
When all our sins those books reveal?
When from that court, each case decided,
Shall be granted no appeal?

Refrain


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Great Controversy: Whose Side Are You On?

Note: The following article is appropriate for all ages, and should be read with family and friends.

Before our earth was created, a war began and is still going on in our world today. This war is called  the Great Controversy. The word controversy (pronounced "khan-tro-verse-ee") is taken from the Latin word controversus (pronounced "khan-tro-were-sus") meaning disputable or, more literally, turned against.

Between whom is this controversy? It is between Jesus Christ and His enemy, the Devil.

So who is turned against whom? The Devil is turned against Jesus and is opposing Him.

And what exactly is being disputed? The Devil thinks that Jesus is not as powerful as He claims to be.
"And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread" (Luke 4:3 KJV).
"And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?' Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, 'Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face' " (Job 1:8-11 KJV).
Why does Satan assert this? He believes that he can be like the Most High. 
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High' " (Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV).

What was the result of this dispute? There was war in heaven.
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:7-9 KJV).
How does their disagreement affect me? The Devil wants to coax everyone to sin and eternal separation from God; and he wants to oppose and oppress all who follow Jesus.

"...'Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.' And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [the pure church] which brought forth the man child [Jesus]" (Revelation 12:12-13 KJV).
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17 KJV).
 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23 KJV).
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8 KJV).

Will the dispute be solved? Yes; because Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect and pure life, and willingly died, He overcame the Devil and disproved his lies.
" 'Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.' This he said, signifying what death he should die" (John 12:31-33 KJV).
"The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death--- his death on the cross. For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name" (Philippians 2:5-9 GNB).

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16 KJV).

How will the dispute be solved? At the last judgment, Jesus will be proven to be just and innocent of the charges by the testimony of His life and actions.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John 8:12-18 KJV).

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night' " (Revelation 12:10 KJV).

Which side should I choose? The side of victory and life is the side God would like us to choose -- Jesus' side.
" 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them' " (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 KJV).
" 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne' "
(Revelation 3:20-21 KJV).
What will I gain by choosing God's side? I will gain life everlasting, and treasures of heaven.
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14 KJV).
" 'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also' " (John 14:1-3 KJV).
" 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you' " (Matthew 6:33 KJV).
How do I choose God's side? I must reject the Devil by confessing my sins show the world my commitment by being baptized; and confess Christ by living the life of purity and perfection.
"And [the jailer] brought them out, and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.' And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway" (Acts 16:30-33 KJV). 
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 10:9-11 KJV). 
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" 
(Galatians 5:1 KJV).
 
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do" (Galatians 5:13-17 ESV).
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15 ESV).
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12 KJV).
Whose side will you choose to be on?
[_] Jesus Christ
[_] The Devil

Monday, September 03, 2012

7: The Number of Perfection

Why seven? The number is obviously important, or else God would not have employed it so often. Seven churches in Revelation; seven pairs of clean animals into the ark; seven days of Passover. Seven years for love. Seven lamps of light. Seven days for cleansing. Seven years in Hebron. Seven seals of the end time.

The Creation week, too, follows the rule of seven. Notice the following verses:
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 
(Genesis 1:31-2:3 KJV) 
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 
(Exodus 20:11 KJV)

Of that seven-day week, God chose the seventh day as the day of rest - His Sabbath day.

The word "sabbath", as a common noun, really means "rest". The "sabbaths" as outlined in Leviticus -- those for agriculture, those for feasting, and those for solemnity -- were all days when the children of Israel did no work. These were later done away with at the cross (Colossians 2:14-17) because had fulfilled the shadow.
The Passover was followed by the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread. On the second day of the feast, the first fruits of the year’s harvest, a sheaf of barley, was presented before the Lord. All the ceremonies of the feast were types of the work of Christ. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was an object lesson of redemption, which the Passover was intended to keep in memory. The slain lamb, the unleavened bread, the sheaf of first fruits, represented the Saviour.
(Desire of Ages, p. 77) 
But the Sabbath -- the proper noun -- is everlasting. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD (Isaiah 66:23 KJV)." The Sabbath is the day when we specifically put aside earthly things, and really commune with God. We rest from earthly cares, and focus on God.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 
(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)
 God wants us to be perfect. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48 KJV)." Thus He made the Sabbath: a day where we may spend time with Him, and learn and know His will for our lives and for the world.

Pre-sin, the communion of Sabbath was a time for Adam and Eve to come to a fuller knowledge of their Lord -- to spend time with Him, and learn and know His will for their lives and for the world. "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:" (Mark 2:27 KJV).

The idea was perfection. Learning more of God and His will by focusing fully on Him was why the Lord rested. He was giving us an example of attitude and behavior.

Would you like to acknowledge God's day of perfection and rest as the seventh day, and follow His example by keeping it holy? God wants to spend time with YOU.


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Attitude of Righteousness

For my devotions last week, I read Isaiah 32. The first verse starts like this:
"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall reign in judgment."
The chapter goes on to list all of the types of things that occur when righteousness is the key foundation:

  • Provisions are made for hard times (v. 2)
  • Spiritual attentiveness is maintained (v. 3)
  • People change (v. 4)
  • The exceeding sinfulness of sin is understood, and excuses stop being made (v. 5-7)
  • Those who are generous ("liberal") receive generosities (v. 8)

Then, a curse is pronounced upon the land: trouble and failure will exist until the Spirit is poured out.

At that time, the land is returned to its fruitfulness and prosperity. Judgment -- or, the execution of justice -- the dwells in that land. The righteous people dwell in that land.

What happens when righteousness dwells in that land?
"The work of righteousness shall be peace: the effect of righteousness [is] quietness and assurance for ever."
"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."
I thought about Fanny Crosby's "Blessed Assurance":

"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. 
"Perfect submission, all is at rest: I, in my Savior, am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MIX IT UP! - Granola

About one month ago, I endeavored to make granola on my own. My family loves granola so much that sometimes I wonder how many boxes we go through in a week...

The two basic ingredients of this cereal -- oats and honey -- have medicinal properties. Because oats are high in fiber, you do not need a large serving to feel satisfied and stay full. Also, the fiber keeps the walls of your intestine squeaky clean, allowing your body to absorb the antioxidants (oat-unique avenanthramides) contained in this awesome grain. In order to receive these benefits in their fullness, the grain should be cooked thoroughly for prime digestion.

Accompanying this immune-booster is honey. A natural sweetener, honey is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and moisturizing. It generally has a glycemic index of fifty-five (55), and is even better when raw and largely unprocessed. 
My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
~ Proverbs 24:13~

However, it is important to note that honey contains certain bacteria which can cause botulism. These are not fully removed even in highly processed honey; but it is not toxic to us in small amounts, nor does eating it result in botulism most of the time because our bodies become immune to it. Infants (typically those under the age of twelve months) are susceptible to botulism from honey, and therefore need to wait until their system develops properly before consuming it (again, around the age of twelve months).
Have you found honey?
Eat only as much as you need,
Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
~ Proverbs 25:16~

For those who do not particularly enjoy a steaming bowl of hot oatmeal (as I), granola is your next stop. Use it for cereal, parfaits, apple crumbles, yogurts, or snacks. If you are not a cereal fan period (me again), try it with smoothie! I mixed up a smoothie with banana, pineapple, strawberries, and soy milk and put my granola into it, just as you would regular milk. My mom had it, too; and we both loved it! Definitely something to try.

The following recipe has some options for you to mix it up and develop a unique and delicious granola. The first option given in the one in the picture below (that is, oats; pumpkin seeds; and sesame seeds). Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 5 cups of flaked cereal (oats, barley, rye, kamut, etc.)
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds or hemp seeds
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
  • ¼ cup of oil (I used light olive oil)
  • ¼ cup of honey

Directions: 

Measure and mix up the first five ingredients. Then, add the oil and combine until all is coated. Add the honey; take time to stir and break up clusters of honey.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally if desired (the granola will brown and dry more easily). Let cool, and place in an air-tight container until ready to eat.


Friday, August 10, 2012

"...And I Will Give You Rest..."

God has designed our bodies to take a break. Engaging in one activity for long periods of time without a change of pace would kill us -- sinful world or not. During the French Revolution, one of the "amendments" made was a ten-day week. In other words, the people would have their normal routine of work and studies for nine days, and then a grand celebration with feasting and drunkenness would have its commencement on the tenth day. Just think of it: nine days. Naturally, they wore out. The fact is, our bodies need a more frequent and consistent resting time. That is why we should go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. Our body has a clock, and it needs to be heeded.

At the Creation, God instituted measurements for time -- since, until then, there was no need for time; for "the earth was without form, and void." He made day: from one sunset to next one. He made the month: from one new moon to the next one. He made seasons: based on the seed-time and harvest, and the weather. He also made the week: made up of seven sunset-to-sunset days. (See Genesis 1:13-15; Psalm 104:19-23; Isaiah 66:23; Genesis 8:20-22; Psalm 74:16-17; Genesis 2:1-3.)

All nature follows the pattern which God set up. In Psalm 104:19-23 (see above), even the beasts respond to the changes in time -- from day to night, from summer to winter. Why shouldn't we?

God loves us; and so He set up a time for us to come apart and and rest. He understands us: He both made us and became like us. Therefore, He knows that we need a break from our worldly care and labor. So He created the Sabbath. He wants us to take the time to get to know Him so that we may know to better reflect Him throughout the week. And each week, as we come closer to Him, we take on more of that "Sabbath attitude" throughout our daily interactions during the week. We become perfect in Christ. Always with room to grow, of course; but we would be constantly, consistently, and continually acting upon what we learn from the Master.

We may reach this perfection if we just take the time to sit at the feet of the Savior. God has for us a weekly appointment; and if we will accept it, and put it into our own calenders, what peace and joy will result!

"And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."
(Mark 6:31 KJV)


"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
(Luke 10:41-42 KJV)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
(John 14:27 KJV)

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
(Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)

Friday, August 03, 2012

To The Heirs of the Kingdom of God


Heir of the kingdom, O why dost thou slumber? 
Why art thou sleeping so near thy blest home? 
Wake thee, arouse thee, and gird on thine armor, 
Speed, for the moments are hurrying on.

Heir of the kingdom, say, why dost thou linger? 
How canst thou tarry in sight of the prize? 
Up, and adorn thee, the Savior is coming; 
Haste to receive Him descending the skies.

Earth's mighty nations, in strife and commotion, 
Tremble with terror, and sink in dismay; 
Listen, 'tis nought but the chariot's loud rumbling; 
Heir of the kingdom, no longer delay.

Stay not, O stay not for earth's vain allurements! 
See how its glory is passing away; 
Break the strong fetters the foe hath bound o'er thee; 
Heir of the kingdom, turn, turn thee away.

Keep the eye single, the head upward lifted; 
Watch for the glory of earth's coming King; 
Lo! o'er the mountaintops light is now breaking; 
Heirs of the kingdom, rejoice ye and sing.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pink Lemonade Popsicles!

With the heat wave passing through the Eastern United States, everyone is looking for ways to cool off. So I came up with this homemade popsicle that is great for anytime of the day!

My family is working on being careful with food combinations so that we can have prime digestion after each meal. One of the things we look out for is combining fruits with vegetables. It is alright to have citrus fruits with veggie meals (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kumquats, etc.); but eating other fruits with vegetables can cause fermentation and prolonged digestion. This is because fruits digest rather quickly, compared to vegetables; and the broken down sugars will begin to ferment if it sits in the stomach acid for too long.

Enough with the yucky A&P stuff (anatomy and physiology). 

For the stated reasons, this recipe uses... BEETS! Hint to the chef: don't tell anyone until after they are done and they want to know. My brothers loved it when they ate it; but when I was informing them of how I intended to make it, they asked me to keep the recipe to myself. =)

Beets strengthen  and purify the blood -- which explains their deep red color. Most people cook them because it tastes better. The sugar in the beets is more pronounced when you bake the beets in their skins, and then peel after cooking. It is delicious; but the nutritional content is higher when you eat them raw. 

As for me, I have bad memories of my mom juicing beets. The taste is okay; but it has a strong flavor. But blend it raw with lemons -- and yippee! Nutrition you can swallow.




Pink Lemonade Popsicle

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest (optional and adjustable)
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of raw beet
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon kuzu powder
  • Sliver of ginger (optional)
  • 2 cups of ice


Directions:

  1. Zest the lemon, then cut, and squeeze juice into measuring cup; place in blender.
  2. Peel and chop the beet(s); place in blender.
  3. Add the other ingredients, excluding the ice. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add ice, and blend on high for about two minutes.
  5. Pour into molds, and freeze for a full twenty-four hours.
  6. Enjoy!


Friday, July 27, 2012

God is Not Exclusive.

As I was doing my devotion, I came across this passage:
"In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 
And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."
I was amazed as I read and watched God engendering Himself to a "foreign people". After all, was not Israel His chosen generation and royal priesthood? (Exodus 19.) Yet God desires to take unto Himself all people.

When a group of Greeks came to the disciples with the great desire to see the Master, Jesus took the opportunity to explain the great plan of salvation -- that He must die, and be raised; that He must regain possession of this earth; and that by doing all this, He would gain the victory for Himself and for humanity. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32, emphasis added).

So here are some facts about Christ's true church:
God has made the way -- He has paved the path -- for all people to be His people. Will you accept the mercy of God, and enter the city of refuge?

That Leftover Cereal

My family has been eating a lot of hot cereals lately. Barley, oats, kamut, rye, millet, amaranth -- you name it, we had it. When you top a bowl with molasses and homemade hazelnut-maple cream, hot cereals make a delicious and nutritious breakfast!

The trouble comes when there are leftovers. It is never enough for the whole family again; and no one person remembers (or wants) to eat it. Sometimes, we use leftovers to make creamy grain milk for smoothies; one time, I even put the leftovers in the blender with some milk, and made pancakes!

Today, I tried a new thing: cake. It actually came out really well.





I took the leftover nut cream from breakfast (this time, it was almond sweetened with agave), and I added to it a dash of cardamon, a dash or so of pumpkin spice, and a few anise seeds. I also added some more agave for sweetness. We no longer use a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg because of their medicinal properties. That would be like taking antibiotics for pain: after a while, you need a higher dosage to meet a real need. The pumpkin spice has some nutmeg and cinnamon, though.

I heated about two cups of milk (Westsoy, in this case) and placed a 1-inch piece of vanilla bean. I put the cereal and the milk in the blender, and whizzed it on high for two to three minutes until it was smooth. Then I poured it into a bowl, added some oil and baking powder, and mixed in some all-purpose flour. Usually, we would use whole wheat pastry flour; but it was a new pack, and I did not want to open it. =)

As you can see, I did not follow a recipe; I did not even measure. =P So sharing is a bit awkward. Try to follow the ratio and hope for the best.

A word on baking time: it varies. Depending on the cereal you use and the temperament (not temperature) of your oven, you will need to adjust the time; so have your cake tester handy! In my case, I used leftover stovetop oatmeal, about one cup, and leftover crockpot millet-amaranth cereal, about one cup. We baked the cake in the toaster oven (long story); and it took approximately fifty minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cereal will cause the texture to be moist; but fear not, because it was precooked. I would say that forty-five minutes on 350 degrees will bake it well.

Leftover Cereal Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of very warm milk
  • 2 cups of cooked cereal
  • 1/4 cup of agave (or 1/3 cup of other sweeteners)
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • Spices of choice
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
Directions:
  1. Blend the first five ingredients, working up to high, for 2-3 minutes, or until very smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a large mixing bowl. With a whisk or large fork, quickly stir in baking powder. 
  3. Using a spatula or a large, flat spoon, stir in enough flour to make a cake batter.
  4. Oil and flour a baking pan. Pour in batter, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool thoroughly before serving or storing.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Search the Scriptures: The Importance of Daniel and the Revelation


     "In the past teachers have declared Daniel and the Revelation to be sealed books, and the people have turned from them. The veil whose apparent mystery has kept many from lifting it, God’s own hand has withdrawn from these portions of His Word. The very name “Revelation” contradicts the statement that it is a sealed book. Revelation means that something of importance is revealed. The truths of this book are addressed to those living in these last days. We are standing with the veil removed in the holy place of sacred things. We are not to stand without, we are to enter; not with careless, irreverent thoughts, not with impetuous footsteps, but with reverence and godly fear. We are nearing the time when the prophecies of the book of Revelation are to be fulfilled.

     "This book opens with the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.”

     "This book demands close, prayerful study, lest it be interpreted according to the ideas of men, and false construction be given to the sacred word of the Lord, which in its symbols and figures means so much to us. There is so much that we positively must understand in order that we may shape our course of action so that we shall not receive the plagues which are coming upon the world. In the Revelation the deep things of God are portrayed. Those whose hearts are wholly sanctified to God will be brought nigh to see priceless gems through the telescope of faith. And as they apply the truth to practice, the still deeper mysteries are stamped on the soul. Those thus honored are to communicate to others that which they have received. And as they do this, angels make the impression on hearts. ...

     "Let none think, because they cannot explain the meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is of no use for them to search this book with deep, earnest longing and intense desire to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The One who revealed these mysteries to John can and will give the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of heavenly things, hereafter to be realized. Rich blessings will come to him who reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written therein.

     "We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the Word of God. Those who search this Word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating and drinking. If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history.

     "When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed in regard to the character all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those 'that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.' "

This quote is taken from a letter written January 27, 1900 to F. E. Belden. Read the full passage in Manuscript Releases, volume 18, pp. 22-24: https://egwwritings.org/?ref=18MR.22.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Health! - Water

I am starting a new series on my blog entitled "Health!". Catchy, right?

This particular entry is...

Water: The Fountain of Life
Most people know and understand that we need water to live. We know that our bodies are made of sixty to seventy percent water. Doctors tell us to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Some health professionals even suggest that any beverage counts so long as it is not high in fat.

I am going to give a new spin on the subject. A multi-functional view. What if, in drinking the right amount of liquids, you could skip the colonoscopy? Or ward off that annoying cough? Or kiss flu season goodbye? What if using water was easy because you were doing it to help YOU, and not simply on "doctor's orders"?

I am going to present a number of ways water can be an active member of your life and living.

Squeaky Clean - Inside and Out

Back in the days when running hot water was a luxury of the upper class, people typically bathed approximately once per week -- usually on Saturday night in preparation for church (though Adventists may have down it on Friday night =] ).

Most people would not willingly do that today -- or, at least would not admit to it. But the fact is, bathing regularly (as in, at least once per day) is a hygienic practice that should not be neglected.

Everyday, in work and play, billions of skins cells all over our body die. The process of running water over your skin, lathering soap, and scrubbing gets rid of those skin cells, allowing the new ones to shine forth in radiance. In other words, bathing gives you a youthful appearance.


The life cycle of cells -- death and regeneration -- also occurs internally. The liver, the colon, the kidneys, and the bladder all help to be rid the body of both toxins and waste. Obviously, drinking pure soft water is beneficial. My formula is to drink  half of your body weight in ounces. Example: I am about 110 pounds. Half of my body weight is 55lbs. Fifty-five ounces is about seven cups of water, shy of one ounce. Here are some other tips:
  • Lemon Water: An easy way to ensure water intake, and a great way to start your day. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a 16 oz. glass; or a quarter of a lemon to and 8 oz. glass. Lemon is a natural cleansing agent, and is alkaline forming. Cleans you out, and even helps you to lose weight.
  • Charcoal Water: Great for when you have a bacteria or virus, but also works as a great immune booster. Charcoal comes in tablets or in loose, bulk form. Combine two tablets or one to two teaspoons of charcoal with at least eight ounces of water. The charcoal acts as a magnet to anything (so do not have it right before or right after meals). Drink plenty of water through out the day.
  • Herbal Tea: For those who need to become accustomed to water-consumption, lightly brewed, unsweetened tea. Herbal is best, since black, green, and white teas contain caffeine.
  • Water (or any liquid really) is most beneficial when it is consumed no later than thirty minutes before a meal and no earlier than ninety minutes after a meal. Drinking with meals or close to meal time inhibits digestion by diluting the stomach acids. If you find that your water intake is low, you may need to space out your eating time.

Fight The Cough: Hydrotherapy

Externally, water can also be used to fight pathogens that threaten to weaken our immune system and ruin our day. The science of healing with water is referred to as hydrotherapy.
  • When my brothers and I have a sore throat, my mom "wraps our neck". You take a light hand towel and run it under cold (not cool) water until it is saturated. (When we were younger and smaller, we used washcloths). Fold, and wrap the cloth around the neck. Then, you take a bulkier hand towel, leave it dry, and wrap it around the neck over the wet towel, using pins to secure. Sleep with it overnight. Remove in the morning. Repeat each day until cold as passed (for us, no more that three days).
  • Sometimes, we get serious congestion in the chest area (we all used to have asthma). Stuff just builds up in there. In that case, get a clean rag or washcloth of sorts, secure a bowl of hot water, and sit next to the "patient". They should be lying in a bed with easy access to the covers. Dip the rag in the hot water, ring it out, and place the tolerably hot rag on the patient's chest. Do not let the rag get cold on him. Repeat three to four times; immediately following each application, cover the patient with the covers (regardless of the weather). Let the patient rest under the covers for at least thirty minutes.
  • A steam bath is particularly helpful in all scenarios. My mom turns on the hot water in the shower, adds a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil, and closes the door. My brothers and I just sit there, practically sweating to death -- but it really clears the chest and the sinuses. Then, after about ten to fifteen minutes, she comes back, quickly bundles us in a blanket, and leads us to our bed, where we must stay -- under the covers -- for thirty minutes. I recommend taking a robe into the bathroom with you so you can walk to your bed without tripping on yourself. =)
  • The Neti pot is the new thing in town, but the principle is very simple: rinse out your sinuses. More info here.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Power of Music - Part 2

Music is powerful.

     I am not certain of how much this fact is realized by the population, but it ought to be recognized. Else we end up putting ourselves in places that we do not want to be.

     Music influences behavior in ways that cannot be comprehended. The hearer begins to move almost beyond his own control or realization. My brother encounters this a lot. As soon as music with a rhythm of any sort -- whether bass guitar, bass or snare drum, or simply a synthetic beat -- his head begins to move in time. And if the music is long enough, he will soon be dancing to it (for some definition of dancing, as he has never been exposed to the true meaning). This happens with all types of music: the typical jazz, Broadway, pop, and R&B; even hymns sometimes, if there is a beat or rhythm of some sort.

     It's sad, because this is true of a lot of people. I have heard stories of people who, especially in their youth, have been badly influenced by wrong types or poor executions of music. And, as I both heard AND know, it is not the easiest thing to be weaned off of.

-----------------------------------

     God never gave specific directives for what music should be, except when He was discussing very specific ordinances. Other than that, we have to work with principles.

     Here are some of my personal principles regarding music selection:

  1. Simplicity - Regardless of the words, the physical composition should be simple ad easy to catch. While it does not have to be "childish" in the societal sense, people should be able to learn and hum the tune after hearing it only a few times. Simplicity also means that the elaboration in the accompaniment should be limited.
  2. Structure - In order to be simple, the song needs to be flowing and formatted. There should be obvious musical phrases. Haphazard placement of notes and intervals can be frustrating to learn and disturbing to listen to.
  3. Meaning - This specifically refers to the words itself. They should express strong values, doctrines, and character traits rather than sentiments and emotions. In connection with music, words have a strong impact on the brain without necessarily passing through reasoning. So make sure the words make sense so that they can have a good influence.
  4. Specific - For me personally, I dislike songs that are ambiguous. The words are such that they can be spoken to a boyfriend or spouse just as much as they are supposedly addressed to God. That can cause the mind to wander and have the listener (or singer) inadvertently thinking on another subject entirely. Specific also means that when I am listening to secular music, it is obviously secular; and when I am listening to religious music, it is obviously and wholeheartedly religious. And this is without concern for who the artist is in either direction.
  5. Choice - I know and understand the dangers of music in all of its forms. I need to make the decision to avoid all such music on a personal level. For me, that means not listening to secular music so that my hyperactive memory does not store all of that sentimental junk. It means singing a hymn when I feel like singing something else. It means standing in a different part of a store when I hear music that I do not like. It is hard: but it's a choice. Yesterday, during a church event, I did not attend a concert simply because I did not like the music. Choice. We need to make one.

For more on this topic, read the October / December 2007 issue of Elder's Digest, pp. 18 - 20, 
"Worship: Sacred and Secular".

Also, check out the video below:


Friday, May 25, 2012

The True Meaning of the Law

     "The first four of the Ten Commandments are summed up in the one great precept, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” The last six are included in the other, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Both these commandments are an expression of the principle of love. The first cannot be kept and the second broken, nor can the second be kept while the first is broken. When God has His rightful place on the throne of the heart, the right place will be given to our neighbor. We shall love him as ourselves. And only as we love God supremely is it possible to love our neighbor impartially.

     "And since all the commandments are summed up in love to God and man, it follows that not one precept can be broken without violating this principle. Thus Christ taught His hearers that the law of God is not so many separate precepts, some of which are of great importance, while others are of small importance and may with impunity be ignored. Our Lord presents the first four and the last six commandments as a divine whole, and teaches that love to God will be shown by obedience to all His commandments.

     "The scribe who had questioned Jesus was well read in the law, and he was astonished at His words. He did not expect Him to manifest so deep and thorough a knowledge of the Scriptures. He had gained a broader view of the principles underlying the sacred precepts. Before the assembled priests and rulers he honestly acknowledged that Christ had given the right interpretation to the law, saying:
     'Well, Master, Thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He: and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.' "

Taken from Desire of Ages, pp. 607-608. 




For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


~Galatians 5:13-14~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Simplicity of Witnessing

Based on Luke 8:27-34; Mark 5:15-20; John 4


          "And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 

          "(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 

          "And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 

          "Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country."
(Luke 8:27-34 KJV)

          "And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 

          "And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 

          "And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."
(Mark 5:15-20 KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          In this story of the demoniac, we see the basis of true witnessing: it is the sharing of one's personal testimony or experience. Just as in the legislative system, witnesses tell the story from their point of view, in their own words -- as they saw it, heard it, felt it. It's their experience altogether.

         The the best thing about such a testimony is that no one can argue about it. No audience can say that the witness has falsified their message to their own advantage, because they were not there and did not experience it; only the witness himself can say, "I lied." And, on the other hand, the speaker can not say that all must have his experience in order to have any real experience at all; each person endures different circumstances and has different stories.

          A true witness cannot be countered. No one can tell me that I am wrong about my experience. But if my my witness is true and penetrating, then others might be led to search for themselves.You can only experience something for yourself. "O taste and see that the Lord is good..." (Psalm 34:8).

          We see this very thing illustrated in John 4, with the woman of Samaria. After her encounter with Jesus, she ran back to the city with this testimony: "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

          "Come see what I saw! You evaluate it for yourself." She had met someone who read her life story like an open book; and by that she came to a conclusion. Now she says, "Come meet this guy, and find out what experience you have!" 

          As it turned out, the people did have an experience with Jesus; so much so that they said to the woman who had led them there, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." We have heard Him for ourselves. We now have our own experience with Him. 

Now that's a true witness!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          As witnesses for Christ, our personal testimonies build on each other. One person's testimony confirms another person's testimony. We form this collection or scrapbook of experiences in advocate of Christ and Him crucified. 

          "And they overcame him [the "accuser of our brethren"] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).