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!

  • 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


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.