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.

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          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).


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"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! =)