Friday, September 19, 2008

Firstborns and Birth Order

Today's Focus on the Family was really good. Kevin Leman talks about his book "The Firstborn Advantage". Since I am a firstborn and I am raising a firstborn what he said made so much sense and challenged me in my parenting. Go to and click on today's broadcast, which was part 2 of the talk so listen to yesterday's also if you can.

Easy granola

I don't know about you but I've been feeling the money crunch (ha ha) at the grocery store lately and I've been wanting to make more things from scratch. I love oat meal and so do the kids and its especially delicious now that the weather is getting chilly, but I also would like somewhat of a variety in what I feed my family. So, I looked for granola recipes and ended up making my own simple recipe from what I had. So here is it...

Preheat the oven to 300. Spray 2 9x13 pans with nonstick spray.

Mix together in a big bowl:
5 cups of rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped pecans (or whichever nuts you like)
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp salt

Pour dry ingredients into the 2 pans. On each pan pour 1/8 - 1/4 cup honey, 4 Tbsp syrup and 1 Tbsp canola oil. Mix well and spread evenly throughout pans. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. Let cool for 10 minutes and then put in gallon size zip lock bags or Tupperware containers and store in fridge. (After it was cooled off I also added in chopped dried cherries, but you could add raisens or dried cranberries. I also thought about adding chopped dark chocolate...mmmm).

It smells delicious while baking and my girls loved the warm healthy snack. This morning we made yogurt parfaits, layering vanilla yogurt, jam and granola and they loved those too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dunga Orphanage Project

Click here to learn more about The Dunga Orphanage Project in Kenya and consider sponsoring one of its beautiful children.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is for a bible study that I'm leading on Monday nights at my church. I think the women in the bible have remarkable stories. We're studying the women in the Gospels and we're starting with the women of Matthew's annotated geneology.

Tamar and Rahab, Righteous Women

Looking for the similarities in the stories of Tamar and Rahab, the most surprising I found is that they are referred to as “righteous women”. Tamar and Rahab would probably not be high on my list or there at all if I were asked name some righteous women in the bible. I don’t think I’m alone there either. Matthew Henry’s commentary says about Tamar, “And let that state of humbleness to which Jesus submitted, when he came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, in appointing such characters as those here recorded, to be his ancestors, endear the Redeemer to our hearts.” He is right to point out that although Christ lived a sinless life, his ancestors definitely did not, but in his commentary he misses something and that is the redemption of Tamar. In Genesis 38:26 Judah declares that Tamar “is more righteous than I…” After reading a story filled with deception, Judah’s declaration baffled my mind. Tamar took things into her own hands. Tamar tricked and seduced her Father In Law. Then not only did Judah declare that she was more righteous than him, generations remembered their blessed family and used their story in wedding ceremonies (read about the marriage between Boaz and Ruth).

Likewise, Matthew Henry had an interesting commentary on Rahab. He, like many preachers believed Rahab to be, not a prostitute, but an innkeeper. He is firm about her having no known sin in her life at the time in which her story takes place. I have to disagree though; the word used for Rahab is definitely the word for harlot, not innkeeper. So, where is Rahab’s redemption? What about her encourages the spies to keep their promise and spare not only her life, but the lives of her family as well? What about Rahab allows her to be grafted into the blood tight Israelite family? What about her legacy has her remembered in the book of Hebrews in the “hall of faith”?

In Tamar’s story she had watched two husbands die and I think that in our reading we don’t really consider what that must have been like for her. Not only did they die but they were considered wicked. What could they have done to incur the wrath of God? What of that did Tamar see and how did they die? There are some pretty horrific ways to die when you displease the Lord in Old Testament times. You could be swallowed whole by the earth, rained on by fire and brimstone or possibly be turned into a pillar of salt. Whatever happened had Judah afraid of Tamar and Tamar, knowing herself better, afraid of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” says Proverbs 1:7.

Likewise, Rahab exclaimed that she fears the Lord because they have heard of the terrible things that the Israelites have done with the help of their God.

Neither Tamar or Rahab stops at the point of fear. They each take action. Tamar takes it into her own hands to conceive an heir for her husband and tries on her own to put the bloodline of Judah back on track. Rahab lies to the king and protects the spies and then she pleads for her life and the lives of her family.

To fear the Lord means to be afraid, have reverence for or stand in awe of. Do we fear the Lord? I know there are definite points where I stand in awe, usually after I've witnessed something that's bigger than myself, unexpectedly good or unexpectedly terrible, but what about on a day to day basis?

Lord, let me always remember your marvelous works. Let me stand in awe of you today and forever.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

With a Love

This morning I went to a Proverbs 31 meeting. My friend Becky and I walked in to find gifts at every place setting. Since I love gifts, (that's my love language by the way;) I was highly curious and quickly tore open the brown paper wrapping to find a book that I thought I'd lost. "With A Love" by Heather Ware, is the true story about Milly Ware, her husband Ted and her five children as they travel to Cuba as missionaries during the revolution which brought Castro to power. I read the book a long time ago and lent it to someone, forgot who, and haven't seen it again. Also, when I read the book I really wanted to someday meet the amazing woman in the story and I was ecstatic to find out that she was this morning's featured speaker.

At 89 years old she is one of the most inspirational women I have seen in my life and I left feeling so encouraged and refreshed.

Her website, where you can order the book, is

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I really enjoy most of Focus on the Family's broadcasts but on Monday night I was flipping through the set radio stations in my car and clicked it away from Focus because the broadcast was already half over, but I heard a still small voice say "Turn it back and listen to that". I had to be obedient and I heard the most amazing testamony. Click on and find the broadcast from September 1, 2008 called "Rescued by the Hand of God". David and Barbara Anderson have an amazing story about how they were rescued from a plane crash.

The part that really spoke to me was when Barbara talked about her own experience. She talked about how she had to let go of her lifesaving floatation device in order to be rescued. She didn't talk about the spiritual symbolism in that but I thought 'what "lifesaving devices" keep me from reaching up to God?'. Then she talked about how after several rescue attempts she slipped from the helicopter and found herself in the water once again. She completely gave up and accepted her death but while she floated on her back the word "Jesus" was on her lips. At that moment the rescue worker came to right above her and yelled out "I am here!"


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