Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Did You Forget You Are Wanted?



This morning as I was reading Ephesians chapter 1 I remembered with sadness that not everyone in life believes they are loved or wanted. When you read words like these until they are running through your head, it gets harder and harder to believe you're at the bottom of the pile:

God has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing... (every, not some)

He CHOSE us! - BEFORE the creation of the world... (Chosen!!! Picked out and carefully selected)

In LOVE He predestined us... (predestined means decided upon in advance and settled on)

It was His PLEASURE to adopt us... (He didn't do it because He had to to; pleasure is something you enjoy and seek)

He GIVES us grace... (He makes us earn grace... not. He gives it because He knows we need lots of it)

He BUYS us back from inescapable badness... (that's called REDEMPTION from sin)

We are forgiven according to His RICH grace... (it's more than enough! Not puny or lacking)

He LAVISHES grace us on with ALL wisdom and understanding... (lavish = 'sumptuously rich and elaborate')

He CONFIDES in us His perfect will... (v9... being taken into a confidence is a privileged position)

This is just one teency portion of what is said about you.

Conclusion: You are not only WANTED, you are PLANNED and PLANNED FOR. Nothing you do or have ever done is enough to separate you from God and His love. Don't even try and get your head around it :) Well ok, try.

I don't understand how people can argue with this. Maybe it's just too simple :) Either way, it's profound.


Are these the words of someone who is not into you?
Do people who hate you lavish you with love and forgiveness?
Do people who have it in for you tell you their good plans for your life or adopt you into their heart and family with pleasure?

Are these words associated with someone who has no interest in you?

Seriously.

Don't just glance over what God says about you, REMIND YOURSELF, and as often as you need to. No matter what you've done or where you've been, God is not far off. He wants you with Him even before Heaven.

Look no further. It starts with Him.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Accidentally Amish ~ Olivia Newport

~ 5 Star Reading ~

Let's get one thing straight. I don't do Amish novels. I read a handful a number of years ago and figured out pretty quickly there is one of two ways these things are going to head. One party either converts or departs. It's quite simple. So it's perhaps a little bizarre how I am only too happy to amuse myself with countless novels on topics such as the Titanic (where other folks would be gagging and crying, "We know how it ends! The ship sinks!").

There are only so many storylines you can do, right?

Wrong.

And this is why we read!! Isn't it exciting? It's like music. Just when you think every tune has been discovered, a new one gets you moving to the beat and suddenly you can't wait for more from the same artist. That was this book for me. It got my mind moving and I wanted more (you mean it has to end?).



Please read the back page blurb here or view the trailer here.

Olivia Newport's expert handling of a thoroughly tried and tested topic - the Amish - is beyond proof there's more than one way to skin a cat - or in this case an executive software creator. And if you're thinking you already know who's going to convert/depart their current life for the new/old kind, you're wrong already.

This book is full of surprises. Just when you might find yourself agreeing with what a character might be doing, the coin flips and the situation gets turned on its head. You'll find a new perspective suddenly staring you down and daring you to step out and find out. The what if's are filled with potential, and yes I was turning pages like lightning to find out what happens next. Yet I fully devoured this. Word for word, I did not rush one bit.

Annie and Rufus are really interesting to get to know, to learn how they think, and delving into their backgrounds with the parallel story of their 'past' was the loveliest part of all. If you're into history, you can't go past this. No matter what path we are on, God has something new for each of us to learn and thinking outside our usual square is just the start.

Often I have a favourite scene and this one all but brought me to tears because it was so evocative, so easy to envision. Something has gone wrong on Rufus' job site and the masses gather to pitch in. Annie's response was my response: "It's beautiful..."
Our modern 'connected' world is far too isolating.

"Knowing you're missing something
is the first step toward filling the hole."

Don't keep wondering what you're missing. Find out and lay hold of it with both hands. How far we think we need to go and what we think we need to do is often the direct opposite of where we need to be.

In Accidentally Amish, I truly think Olivia Newport has outdone herself. Pay close attention to whatever comes next for this is just the beginning from this author of surprises. I'm excited.


"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12v2

Ne vous conformez pas au monde actuel, mais soyez transformés par le renouvellement de l’intelligence afin de discerner quelle est la volonté de Dieu, ce qui est bon, agréable et parfait.


Monday, 14 January 2013

My Secret Foodie Ingredient

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art.
It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.
~Marcel Boulestin~

If you've got kids who won't eat their dinner, you've got to try this...

One of my secret ingredients is a herb most people will know, and if you've never heard of it, you're about to learn something interesting. It's dill. About three hours from my home it grows abundant and wild in the closely related form of fennel.


Health, nutrition, and naturopathic research has shown how burning fennel oil in an oil burner for short lengths of time will decrease appetite. Burn it for a long time and it will make you ravenous.

Meals with dill in them, lightly sprinkled over the top, will entice diners to eat and eat well. Few people can resist a dish possessing dill's curious sweetness, and that's why I sprinkle it on the meals I'm not sure whether or not my little Valleys will enjoy. They devour it and even ask for it again.


So how much is too much to put in or on the meal?

If you feel a cloying grossness at the first mouthful, that's too much. If you're curious and want another mouthful, that's probably a good indication of having 'just enough'. Remember, you can always add more if you don't start with a heavy hand.

Dill weed (domestic), c/s

Once it's cooked the flavour also softens, and if you add it at the end (as in a mayo) the taste will be stronger (not cooked out). Fresh or dried, try it and see. Herbs can be used to dietary advantage, so check your nutritional information, and the kids won't even guess :)

Dill - What is it good for?
Related to fennel and chervil
Flavourings
Herbal teas
Relief for intestinal gas and ailments
Contains flavonoids (powerful anti-oxidants to fight aging)
Contains xanthones (believed to reduce cholesterol and fight cancer)
Contains many essential vitamins such as iron, magnesium, calcium and B6
(Only God could fit all that in, and more!)



I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.
~Martha Harrison~



Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Year, New Gear

Happy New Year and I hope you're living a life aimed toward God and His glory more and more!



An encouraging word I read this morning can be found in the February 2013 WD Magazine. Jenny Milchman is now in print, but naturally it took a while. This is what she had to say about what she did while she waited (and worked):

"Cover of Snow is my debut novel, but it's the eighth one I wrote. At a certain point when the rejections were flying so fast and furious that I didn't even see them anymore (that's a lie), I realised that published writers wrote roughly a book a year, so I might as well do the same. I wrote eight books in 11 years, slowing down some when I had two babies."

 

Sister, I feel it. And I've done 11 books in 14 years (and two babies). This year I'll still be aimed in the direction of the winning query that baits an agent and suddenly we are hooked together til the victorious end, but while I wait there's work to be done. The writing and the perfecting will not stop, and I know I'll be up for every moment of it. That's life!

Maybe you have a plan for the year ahead, maybe you don't. Either way, your work will not stop. Make it count and push on. Can you drop your 3 and help your 6 become a 9?

And go with God.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6v9
Ne négligeons pas de faire le bien, car nous moissonnerons au moment convenable, si nous ne nous relâchons pas.