Tuesday, December 24, 2013

GYC 2013 and PlugIn2God 2014: "Before Men and Angels"

In one week, my mom and I will be attending the 2013 convention for Generation of Youth for Christ.

Do you know what a miracle that is?

God is doing and will continue to do marvelous things. I praise Him for His faithfulness in spite of my neglecting His work (like this ministry).

The focus of GYC 2013 is "Before Men and Angels." It is based on 1 Corinthians 4:9, which describes the universal impact of the Great Controversy between God and Satan.
1 Corinthians 4:9  For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
That is going to be the PlugIn2God theme for 2014. Our role in the Great Controversy is bigger than accepting Jesus' death on the cross. It goes beyond the cross. Only when we recognize this will we be fit to bear the cross and appeal to other to take up their cross and follow their Savior.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:  (15)  And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.  (16)  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.  (17)  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (18)  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  (19)  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  (20)  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (21)  For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Do You Know God?

Is it not peculiar to ask a Christian if he knows God? So why am I asking that on this a Christian blog?

I want to present a challenge to you, and I hope that you will take it. 

One day in the very near future, all will see God in all of His glory. Those who have beheld Him by faith will soon behold Him face to face. Those who have rejected Him will be slain by the brightness of His coming, as they are unaccustomed to His glory.

Now here's the challenge: Prove God. Some of you have decided that you don't need to take God seriously. That's okay. That comes with age - choosing which concepts stay and which go. But there is a responsibility that comes with this brain sorting. You have an obligation to seriously evaluate everything that stays and everything that goes.

I will not promise you that you will accept or reject Christianity; I can only promise you that you will be able to make an informed decision. And you will certainly come to know God.

Just try it. It's only six months. It won't hurt you to see who God really is. And there is no excusing for not knowing for sure. I don't care if you grew up in church or if you're an atheist. Is it really so hard to confirm your position? Is there really too much to know about what you believe?

Try it. Prove God.

Visions of Glory: Ezekiel by Gabrielle Baker

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Embracing the Cross: It's Not Fair...

Embracing the Cross: It's Not Fair...: Wait a minute. Christians aren’t supposed to be worried about their lives being fair. Or are they? Often when we think about something ...

Friday, May 10, 2013

O Taste, and See: Pure Simplicity

One of the beauties of the gospel is found in its simplicity. I tend to be a very complicated and convoluted person. But I am easily frustrated when things are not simple. If I cannot understand it; if there are too many definitions; if it must be twisted and turned in order to fit, I deem it to complicated and either challenge it or leave it alone.

But the gospel - God's good news, His true message - is true round about. Among the various writers of the Bible; among the different readers of the Bible; all those who are searching for truth and sharing the truth will have the same truth.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
(2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV)
God's Book is simple, and it reflects the simplicity of His character. We may not understand how He operates; but we can know Who He is, for He revealed it in His Word. He wants all of us to come to a saving knowledge of the truth. The gospel has to be simple if an atheist cannot rule it out by logic and child cannot discard it by reason of difficulty. It can be understood, and by everyone of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Those of every time, of every era, of every socio-economic background, those of every culture and situation can learn and know Who God is. It is the everlasting gospel. No one is left out.
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 
(Romans 10:14-17 KJV)
We, being made in the image of God, are obliged to turn back to that simplicity, back to Eden. What we put into our bodies should be in accordance with God's will. He Who fashioned us knows best how we should live. He wants us to be simpler in our diets so that when we read His word, our consciences will be alive and ready to receive His word as good soil.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 
(1 Corinthians 2:12-14 KJV)
Tropical Carrot Smoothie - makes 5 cups
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 banana
1 cup frozen mango
2.5 cups chopped carrots
5-6 cups of water (this smoothie swells)

Wash and cut the carrots; break the banana into bite-sized pieces; add the chia and the mango. Blend for at least 2 minutes, but do not let it overheat. (The chia needs to break up, or else you'll have unpleasant bits. You should only see small specks.) Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

"And Begin At My Sanctuary..."

My new favorite statement. It is so powerful, and fills me with awe and wonder that God would be so serious about His people. What does it mean to be so close to God? It means that we will be the first ones who He examines before taking us to glory. And should we not be ready? Should we not afflict our souls that we may be found worthy of the bounties of heaven?

This little graphic depiction of Scriptures helped outline for me all of the parables that were going through my head. "And begin at my sanctuary..." My mind was flooded with different portions of Scripture; and here they all are for YOU. I believe that no Scripture is of any private interpretation. Is my parallel accurate? Are there any discrepancies? Does it match all the way across the Bible?

I pray that this work will be a result of God's Holy Spirit; and I also pray that this work will reach and touch your heart, and guide you into all truth.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taste, and See: Two Smoothies!

Our smoothies are back! Take a glass from the life-giving springs!
"Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water' " (John 4:10).
"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
Okay, maybe that does not convince you. Perhaps this will:
"In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22:2, emphasis added).
"Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine" (Ezekiel 47:12, emphasis added.)
Whether you believe it or not, green smoothies, green juices, and leafy salads are really good for your body - just as important and water, in a way. You see, water gives life; chlorophyll holds it. Water refreshes and revives; food heals and sustains. This is why eating the wrong food reduces optimum health.

Unfortunately, the greens are not back in season; but we are getting a high dose of beta-carotene. Now beta-carotene does not directly translate into vitamin A; it must be assimilated by the body, and your body is smart enough know how much it needs and only convert just that much. This conversion happens in the colon: so whatever is not converted it excreted as waste. In my opinion, plant-based beta-carotene is the best source of vitamin A for this very reason - there is no to get  hypervitaminosis A. The most that will occur is orange pigmentation of the skin (called carotenosis).

Almost-like-Banana Smoothie (yields nearly 6 cups)

  • 1 cup of roughly chopped celery (about 2-3 celery stalks)
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped apples (about 1.5 medium-small apples)
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped carrots (we had small carrots, so I cannot tell you how many carrots to use)
  • 4 generous tablespoons ( or 1/4 cup) of raw hemp seeds
  • 1/4 of a lime (with skin - although mine had been zested a bit before hand)
  • As much water as you could like (I think I did 4-5 cups)
Blend in a high-powered blender until smooth (if your blender is a weaker model, cut the foods into smaller pieces). Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Basic Carrots Smoothie (yields 5.25 cups)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 4-5 large carrots (about 3 cups, roughly chopped)
  • 1 small apple
  • About 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1-6oz yogurt (I used WholeSoy's lemon flavor)
  • 1 cup of leftover smoothie (If you don't have this, then just add more water or another yogurt carton.)
Cut foods into pieces that the blender can handle. Add as much water as you need to, and blend till smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Taste, and See: Restoration

This blog has not been very active of late: my sincere apologies are extended. Sites like these are important in these last days; and we need to focused and ready.

The PlugIn2God theme for 2013 is "Restored!". I have been focusing a lot on Daniel, Revelation, and health. (I also want to cover Genesis, the Ten Commandments, and Christian character.)

God wants our bodies to be "living sacrifices", holy and acceptable to God: and Paul calls this "reasonable service". For all of the wonderful things that God has given us, we could at least give Him our health!
 " 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.' God calls for a living sacrifice, not a dead or dying one. When we realize the requirements of God, we shall see that He requires us to be temperate in all things. The end of our creation is to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are His. How can we do this when we indulge the appetite to the injury of the physical and moral powers? God requires that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. Then the duty is enjoined on us to preserve that body in the very best condition of health, that we may comply with His requirements. 'Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' " 
(Taken from Testimonies for the Church, volume 2, p. 65)
John wished upon his fellow churches that, above all things, they would "prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." Through this letter in Scripture, God is telling us that Heaven values our physical health just as much as our spiritual well-being.

This year, we are focusing on both. To be in full and vibrant health is to have the capacity to know the Lord better. But our motives should not be of this world. "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight... : but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36). If our motives were of earth, we would fight for animal rights; we would fight for non-GMO foods; we would fight for veganism. There are things that we would fight for. 

Now are these things wrong? Absolutely not. They are all valid purposes in and of themselves. But we need to be peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). One good work for us to do is to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Taste, and See: Iron Banana Milk

Usually I share smoothies because they are simple, creative, and they can standalone as a meal.

Today, however, I would like to share another power punch habit: nut and seed milk.

We have a three-course breakfast every morning at our house. First we have fruit; next, hot or cold cereal, or chia pudding; and lastly we have some variation of a "bread" and "stew".

Typically, we will have a "milk" on our cereal. My mom and I get pretty fancy when it comes to these milks. We just throw together some combination of nuts, seeds, and sometimes grains; blend them together; and serve. We sometimes add cardamon, ginger, anise, or vanilla, lemon zest / extract, and almond essence.

Nut milks provide protein, iron, and calcium (though in minimal amounts). And it is much easier for your to digest and assimilate these goods because the nuts and seeds are ground and, in essence, taken with water.

The following recipe is made completely from seeds, which means that those with nut allergies can partake, too. It is also naturally sweet: the ripe banana adds a gentle sweetness that is low glycemic. But do not fear -the banana flavor is faint.

Iron Banana Milk (Yields 2.5 cups of milk)
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of flaxseed
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
4 heaping tablespoons of hemp seeds
1.5 cups of water
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 of lemon extract (may also use lemon zest, to taste)

Blend the seeds with 1 cup of water until smooth. Break the banana into about five chunks; add them to the blender with the lemon juice, the extract or zest, and the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Blend till smooth. Serve same day.

A neat thing to do if you have leftover seed milk is to make a sweet cracker! For example, if you have 1 cup or so of leftover milk:

Scrape the one cup of milk into a clean mixing bowl. Optionally, 1/4 cup of liquid sweetener. Add two cups of whole wheat pastry flour and combine well; but do not over mix. Press onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Or an oiled one. Parchment is just easier to clean up.) If you would like, sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds, or raw sliced almonds, and sprinkled two tablespoons of sugar on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about twenty minutes. Let cool and set before eating. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Taste and See Smoothies" - The Showcase

Every now and again, it is good to post some vivid colors and remind the world that veggies smoothies really are great.

There is a critic for every cure, as I like to say. (Disclaimer: Absolutely no guarantee is provided, by this blog or anywhere else, that supports veggie smoothies as a cure or remedy for any disease.)

In any case, I just thought that I would share some of the delightful smoothies that we have made over the past few months...


 


 







Friday, February 22, 2013

True Sacrifice


          Our lives are like a mirror: what we do reflects who we are. Our actions reveal our character. The first brothers of this earth’s history, for example, thought about obedience very differently from each other, and this is best seen in their different ways of sacrificing.

          God required that each person kill a lamb upon an altar as a sacrifice for sin; for the wages (or cost) of sin is death, according to Romans 6:23. God would then accept the sacrifice as payment for the wrong that was done throughout the day. You see, God had a pattern: The lamb represented Jesus, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Jesus came to earth and lived and died because He wanted to – he wanted to save us from sin. Hebrews 12 tells us that Jesus consider it a joy to die on the cross for us. He paid for our sins: he died so that we can live. We can see that in Romans 5:11 and Isaiah 53:4.

          Now let’s look at those brothers. The first thing to notice is that Abel paid attention to and respected God’s pattern; he recognized the significance of offering a lamb and he believed that God’s plan was best. On the other hand, Cain treated the divine instructions as optional and unbinding. In other words, he felt that he did not have to listen to God, that he could do whatever he wanted.

          The second thing to notice about the two brothers is this: Abel not only respected God’s requirements about sacrifice, but also obeyed them precisely and exactly; while Cain, feeling confident and self-assured, believed that his own, sinful way would be enough. Abel obeyed God completely, never missing one step. Cain thought that it did not matter so much, and that as long as he did his best, he would be fine. After all, did Abel grow such fine fruit as he did? Surely, this harvest was his best offering. But did God accept it? No, because it was not what God required.

          Finally, Cain did not come to God with a spirit of cheerful giving and reverence like Abel did: Cain came to compete with his brother, to show that his way was better, even though he was disobeying God. But God loves a cheerful giver, like the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7. When we give to God, we must do it in a spirit of love and worship, and we must do it as God asks. Just as Jesus gave His life willingly and joyfully and obeyed God in everything, so should we. Abel obeyed God and gave cheerfully: and did God accept his offering? Yes, for it was according to God’s pattern.

          Jesus is our pattern. When God asks us to do something, it is because He wants us to be like Jesus. God wants us to have the mind of Christ. You can read about that in Philippians 2:5-11. Ultimately, Abel’s showed that he had the mind of Christ by his obedience, respect, and worship to God; his brother, though older and supposedly wiser, showed through his actions a character of pride, disrespect, and disobedience – Cain had the mind of Satan, which is very sad. What choice will you make? Will you be like Jesus or Satan? God will give you the mind of Christ if you ask Him. Ask Him today!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

What is the fear of the Lord? 

It is the beginning of wisdom.

What does that look like?

It looks like awe.

          When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, we will realize just how wonderful He really is. We will be unable to fathom His greatness; and as we stand in complete silence, with no words to utter, we will feel the sheer awe of the Beauty of Holiness.

Let's look at Job.

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

          Yet there was a missing link in Job's connection with God. Does Job know who God really is? Nope, not yet. By the time we reach chapter forty-two, he does know; but not before. 

          You see, Job's view of God was along the same thought process as Jonathan Edwards. God was someone to be feared, too big to mess around with -- too big to mess up with. God was -- and is -- the judge of the earth. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

          Because Job knew that he was perfect before God and that he did not deserve the misfortune that had come upon him, he assumed that God just did things because. But he did not lose his faith. He trusted in the God of his understanding.

"...'the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:21-22). 
 "If I had called, and he had answered me...[I would] not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice" (Job 9:16).
 "Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me" (Job 9:34-35).
          But this was not God's plan: God wants us to love Him because He loves us (1 John 4:19). He wants us to worship Him because He is wonderful -- because He made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water (Revelation 14:7).

          Job's fear came from a lack of a knowledge of God -- from a lack of wisdom. Throughout the book of Job, his constant prayer is "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10). Before God blesses him, He grants Job his wish. Chapters thirty-eight through forty-one are God's answer to Job.

          Interestingly, God shares who He is by sharing His creation. He points to His creative power and says, "I am He." "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God..." (Revelation 3:14).

          Did you catch that? God is both judge and creator. Job was not entirely wrong in his perspective of God; he was simply misinformed. He could not see the whole picture. In fact, when God first presented Himself to Job, the servant of God cowered in fear: "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further" (Job 40:4-5).

          But as God reveals Himself further, Job recognizes just how big the Creator really is really is. He sees God as a prism -- a multifaceted Person.
"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee."
(Job 42:1-5 KJV, emphasis added)
          Job is in awe. He realizes that he had only viewed God from one perspective from what he had heard others say and teach. But now, he has seen God for himself. He has been taught of the Lord (Isaiah 54:13).


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

"Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
(Proverbs 2:5-6)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Taste and See Smoothie" - Spinach Banana Cradle

Long time no see. =)

Because I have neglected this blog for so long, I decided I should treat you with something special. Green smoothie, anyone? I would argue that this smoothie is more of an introductory one: -- the flavor is pleasant and sweet, which is perfect for a child being introduced to this for the first time. The baby spinach does not assert its own flavor, so the banana is dominant. Diabetics will probably want to cut back on the amount of fruit that is in here. 


The Verdict: Delightfully mild and gently sweet. Easily assimilated and digested.

(To assimilate is "to take in; to absorb and integrate".)

Spinach Banana Cradle (Makes 5 twelve-ounce glasses)

1 cup of baby spinach
1 large carrot (at least half of a cup when chopped)
1.5 bananas (they were frozen -- they could be fresh or both)
1 small apple (about half of a cup when chopped)
1 six-ounce container of soy yogurt (we used WholeSoy's Mixed Berry Yogurt)
1/4 pumpkin seeds
Water to your liking (about 3-4 cups were used for the consistency above, which resembled a SlimFast smoothie).

Wash the vegetables and cut off the ends. Chop the carrot and apple for easier blending (optional). Blend till smooth (be sure to take the time to blend properly). Pour into glasses. Enjoy! =)