Top Ten Money Saving, Time Saving Kitchen Hacks ~ at Satisfaction Through Christ

kitchen-hacks

I’m a stay at home, home schooling mom with a large family, so we’ve had to make some -completely worth it- financial sacrifices to make that happen. We rarely eat out, and lots of convenience and froo froo foods are crazy expensive. Consequently, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which I happen to love. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun finding creative ways to “beat the system” of spending too much money and wasting too much time. Here are my top ten favorite kitchen hacks:

Come on over to Satisfaction Through Christ and check out my new article, Top Ten Money Saving, Time Saving Kitchen Hacks. I had so much fun writing this article, and now I’d like to hear from you!

What are some of your favorite shortcuts in the kitchen?

Posted in Recipes, Satisfaction Through Christ, Top 10, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday ~ How Should Christians Vote?

Originally published October 6, 2008

10730205_864190773621858_7293920273710529598_n

Election day, November 4, is right around the corner. How should Christians vote?

First things first. Christians, especially Christian women, should vote. Not voting would not only be an insult to the sacrifice of the dedicated men and women who have given their lives in the cause of freedom and suffrage over the years that we might have the luxury of having a voice in our governance, but voting is a gift from God. Should we treat this gift lightly by failing to exercise it?

If you have never had the opportunity to visit a country, such as those in the Middle East, in which basic freedoms and women’s rights are limited if in existence at all, I urge you to do so if at all possible. After I returned to the U.S. from a visit to the Middle East a few years ago, I realized just how much we take for granted what an enormous blessing it is that God has seen fit to place us in a land of liberty, abundance, and opportunity. When I vote, I see it as a way of returning thanks to God for the gift of freedom, and honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our liberties.

For whom should Christians vote? The Bible says in I Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do, we should do all things for the glory of God. “Whatever” and “all things” includes voting. Christians should vote for the person they believe will bring the most glory to God. Considering the candidate options with which we’re often presented, this, at times, seems an impossible task.

How do we know which candidate to vote for? Like all other decisions in a Christian’s life, this one should be governed by God’s leading through prayer and Biblical principles. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) to make a Godly decision.

Study the candidate’s platform and where he stands on each issue. Is he a proponent of anything that clearly conflicts with Scripture? Would he push to legalize or undergird things God calls sin? Can we, as Christians– whose goal in life is supposed to be turning from sin and pursuing holiness –knowingly and intentionally disregard the fact that a candidate would stand in favor of sin rather than fighting against it, and give him our support?

Sometimes we lean towards voting for the candidate who would benefit us the most personally. Perhaps he has promised a tax cut for our particular bracket, or said he would improve the roads we use for traveling to work. In and of themselves, those are good things, but does his platform also include favoring things which would hurt others or be detrimental to the fabric of our society in general? In other words, should a Christian vote for something or someone who will benefit herself at the expense of harming others?

I don’t believe we can do that and remain true to Biblical principles such as:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; Romans 15:1-3a

As is frequently the case these days, the person we vote for, believing he will make the most Christ-like decisions, loses the election. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually pretty disappointed when this happens.

I try to keep it in perspective, though. It’s within the realm of possibility that the person who won the election will get radically saved after taking office and make even more Godly decisions than the other candidate would have made. It’s also possible that he will unintentionally make the decisions God wants him to make for other reasons, such as political expediency or pleasing a particular special interest group. The Bible says in Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Not only should we pray before we vote, but we have a Biblical mandate to pray for the winner after the election is over:

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I Timothy 2:1-4

Above all, we must remember that, while the upcoming elections may determine who will sit in the White House, the Congress, or the State House, they do not, nor will they ever, determine who sits on the throne of the universe as King.

Posted in Christian women, Politics, Throwback Thursday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Cancer, Christmas Shopping, and Worthy Causes

2425115_1414089743.8219

This is the Paul family. They are new friends of ours that we met through our sons’ school. It is a small Christian school that’s really more like a big family. Holly is the kindergarten teacher there, and our boys are friends with the Paul children.

Chris Paul (the husband/father) was recently diagnosed with lymphoma:

Chris was diagnosed with cancer on October 22, 2014. He has a form of Lymphoma. It is in his lymph nodes, bone marrow, lungs, spleen, groin, and may be more places.

Chris had a biopsy today and is awaiting the results, which will take a few days.

As you might imagine, Chris’ medical expenses will be pretty high. So, I come to you, my readers, with two requests. First, would you please pray for Chris’ healing? Second, would you consider contributing to the Paul family’s financial needs through their Go Fund Me page?

widget

As I make this request, I am reminded of Acts 2:44-45:

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

God has given us the marvelous gift of technology enabling us in the body of Christ to be “together” and have “all things in common” on a global scale. If you have the means, would you prayerfully consider meeting this need of your brother in Christ?

Now what’s all this about Christmas shopping?

iusa_75x75.28190008_b9mvThis is Nadege. She is also on faculty at our school and teaches my boys French and science. In addition to being a wonderful teacher, Nadege is also a very talented jewelry artisan. She is helping raise money for the Paul family by donating most of the profits from her Etsy shop to defray Chris’ medical expenses:

“…from now until the end of November, I will be donating 90% of the profits from any sales that I get from my Etsy shop: www.labellegem.etsy.com
Please leave me a note upon checking out that your purchase is to help the Pauls. If you live locally [in the Denham Springs, LA, area] and would like to pick up your package, email me and I will delete the shipping cost and will arrange delivery. This shop keeps my family and I afloat but if I have nothing else, it’s faith! I know that God will provide for me in another way….. PLEASE Share this post on your Facebook.
P.S. The other 10% of course goes back to God.”

Take a look at some of Nadege’s beautiful (and very reasonably priced) work:

il_570xN.251513583il_570xN.291042025il_570xN.235455061If beautiful jewelry for a special lady is on your Christmas list, how about a purchase with a purpose? You can give two great gifts, one for Christmas and one to the Pauls, all at the same time.

I know this article is a little out of the ordinary from what I usually write, but I wanted to do what I could to help our friends by getting the word out. Thanks so much for reading, sharing this post on your Facebook page if you can, and for any financial contribution you might be able to make. It’s most certainly a worthy cause.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Word ~ Matthew 28

10671419_771108452935926_7529311326555323822_n

Matthew 28

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!”And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

Posted in Wednesday's Word | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 10-28-14

picsart_14054313255013

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Reformed Theology- If you think you’ve got us Calvinists pegged, read this.

21ways-300x22021 Ways to Enjoy a Break from Home Schooling- For my fellow home schoolers. Here are some great suggestions with the holidays coming up.

 

Practical Helps for Bible Reading- from Desiring God

Captioned-Stock-Photos-of-Parenting-02Sarcastic Moms Hilariously Caption Ridiculous Stock Photos of Motherhood- Ok, moms, who can relate? Wouldn’t it be more realistic to have mud and Spaghettios smeared all over those white couches?

Mean-Girls-Promote-False-ChristsMean Girls and the False Jesus of the Word of Faith Movement- Do you follow Joyce Meyer, Gloria Copeland, or any other false teachers of the Word of Faith Movement? Check this out.

 

The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music: Eight Reasons- He indicated that he thought the zenith of CWM had already happened, and that the movement was already in the direction of traditional hymnody.

“Livin’ on a Prayer” Dance at the Celtics Game- This dude’s awesome.

 

Posted in Lesley's Lagniappe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Missions Monday ~ 10-27-14

10428034_10153319572759199_1821106030939069120_n

Missions Monday is designed to expose you to some awesome missions and evangelism stories, resources, and information in the shameless hope that you will be moved to get more involved in supporting and participating in missions and develop a greater burden for sharing the gospel with those around you.

come-lets-reach-a_spot

 

Come, Let’s Reach the World- Are the unreached, in fact, hearing the Gospel? Download this free resource from Gospel for Asia.

 

IMG_5433_LR6400 Books for Theological Famine Relief- Through this one event, we sent 180 cases of books to 20 countries around the world- 6400 in total. Find out how you can get involved! 

 

Let It Start with Me- A little magnificent Missions Monday music for you:

 

gc2012-relevant-chickenGFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog- Are chickens on your list this year? Goats? Wells? Why not add one of Gospel for Asia’s missions gifts to your Christmas list and make a global impact with the gospel this holiay season?

Ravi-baptism-300x231

Transformed- On the train, the Lord provided a stranger beside me for a short period of the journey. He was a Christian. He presented me his Bible, which was from The Gideons International, and explained the Gospel to me.

 

10351754_10152862523294715_564033724377915312_n-1

 

holding-bible-lr

Hope for Timid Evangelists- God’s Word offers much hope for timid evangelists like me, especially in the gospel of Luke. Here are five truths we can embrace.

 

066119ad-cf68-407d-b252-dc216bc4ad29-Engage24Collegiates Embrace Evangelism Challenge- Instead of only concentrating on how many people came to Christ on one particular day, we wanted to see how many college students would share their faith on that particular day.

 

Posted in Missions | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sin-opsis ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 10-26-14

Sinopsis

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 43 ~ Oct. 19-25
Matthew 15-18, Mark 7-9, Luke 9:18-11:54, John 7-10
Sin-opsis

Sin. That word can cause us to think of a lot of different things, from our sin, to people who have sinned against us, to forgiveness. Today, we’re going to hear what Jesus has to say about five different aspects of sin.

Matthew 18

Causing Another Believer to Sin (1-5, Matthew 20:20-24)
Have you ever noticed that the disciples asked a lot of interesting questions? Why do you think they wanted to know who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Pride? A desire for clout or recognition? The disciples and Jesus lived in a society in which people were acutely aware of who had rank, recognition, and power (the Pharisees, scribes, Saducees, lawyers, priests, and Levites), and who did not (everybody else, including Jesus and them), when it came to the way Judaism was structured. We talked last week about what people, even the disciples, expected the Messiah to be: a conquering king who would overthrow Rome and restore Israel to prominence and prosperity. Here, as in the case of Mrs. Sons of Thunder asking if her boys could sit on either side of Jesus’ throne (Matt. 20), they were likely thinking of their offices in the new government they imagined Jesus would head up once He reestablished the kingdom.

Once again, Jesus had to set them straight. “It’s not about how high on the power ladder you can climb, Boys. It’s about how humble you can be, as humble as a little child.” And why did Jesus have to set them straight? Because they had been, skandalizo, “entrapped” or “tripped up” as verse 6 puts it, by faulty teaching from those who were responsible to rightly handle God’s word. The disciples would soon be in the position of teacher and preacher themselves. It was imperative they had a correct understanding of God’s word and God’s ways so they could accurately teach the new “little children” coming into the church.

When we share the gospel with others, teach the Bible, offer others advice or counsel, etc., we must make absolutely certain we have a correct understanding of what God’s word says. Otherwise, we might be tripping others up by leading them to believe things that are in conflict with the Bible. Jesus takes that very seriously saying (7) “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Pretty strong words.

Recreation of a millstone used for pressing olives in Nazareth, Israel.

Recreation of a millstone used for pressing olives in Nazareth, Israel.

When I Am Tempted (7-9)
What about when someone else tempts me to sin? Again, Jesus has strong words for anyone who entices someone into any kind of sin: “woe.” What are some ways we can cause people to sin or be drawn into someone else’s sin, even in the church? Gossip, adultery, inciting other church members against the pastor or other leaders, playing “politics”, etc.

But whether tempted by a church member or the world, Jesus paints a serious picture of how we should respond to that temptation. Now, Jesus isn’t suggesting we literally maim ourselves, because, if you think about it, even a blind person can lust. Sin is an issue of the heart. Jesus is saying that we are to get away from temptation to guard our hearts, whatever the cost. Your relationship with Christ is worth it.

What might “gouging your eye out” or “cutting your hand off” look like for someone facing a certain temptation? For a person tempted to drunkenness, it might mean not drinking at all or not going to certain social events where they know the booze will be flowing freely. A person tempted to lust and adultery might need to make certain she is never alone with a man she’s not married to. She may even have to avoid spending any time with certain men she’s attracted to. Sin is serious, and we sometimes have to take big, inconvenient steps to stay out of it, but our relationship with Christ is completely worth it.

When Another Christian Sins (10-14, Romans 8:1)
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are going to sin. There’s just no way around it. How should we respond to a fellow Christian who has wandered off into sin? Ignore it and hope she’ll stop? Stop speaking to to her? Castigate her? No. We are to respond to her the same way Jesus does with the lost sheep:

10- We are not to treat any of our brothers or sisters unkindly; we are to treat all with kindness and love.

12- We remember that Christ came to save the lost from their sin. Of course, He does not want those He has saved to wander off back into their sin. Jesus goes after the wandering sheep to bring it back into the safety of the fold. We are to do the same. If someone wanders off, we don’t just let her go. We go after her in love and concern to bring her back to where she needs to be.

13-14- “If he finds it…” If is kind of an interesting word to use here, since Jesus is the shepherd in the story. Will there ever be a case in which Jesus can’t find someone who has wandered off? No. God is sovereign over all things. He knows where we are, what we’re doing, and the state of our hearts at all times. These verses are referring to the lost sheep who is willing to be found and return to the fold with Jesus. When a Christian repents and returns to Christ, Christ rejoices over her. While there may be consequences of the sin to face, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom.) Isn’t that awesome? When that repentant sheep comes back to the fold, we are to have the same loving, embracing, and forgiving attitude towards her that Christ has. Christ’s desire is always restoration and reconciliation, and that should be our desire as well.

When Another Christian Sins Against Me (15-20)
One of the most important things we can focus on in this passage is the word “sins”. In the church body, there are going to be times when things happen to us that we don’t like. That doesn’t necessarily mean these things are SIN. Maybe we don’t like the style of music, or a particular mannerism of the pastor. Maybe somebody tells us a truth we need to hear that stings a little, or someone is annoying or inadvertently hurts our feelings. Our feelings don’t determine what sin is, the Bible does. When deciding whether to confront the person, we first need to determine if what she did is sin according to the Bible (not according to our opinion), or if it’s a non-sinful offense, and we can overlook it and extend grace, realizing that people have probably done the same for us on many occasions.

On the other hand, if the person IS sinning, we can’t shy away from an awkward conversation with her about it. Remember the wandering sheep? We need to have the same love for that wandering brother or sister and try to restore and reconcile him/her. First, we go to the person privately -not in front of a group, not on Facebook- one on one, and, remembering the way we would want someone to approach us, kindly and lovingly, yet firmly, talk to her about her sin. If she repents and returns, let the rejoicing and forgiving commence! If she persists, we take a couple of other Believers with us to kindly, lovingly, and firmly approach her again. If she still persists in her sin, the next appropriate and required step is to take the matter before the church body for disciplinary action. If the person still refuses to repent, we are to treat her as “a Gentile and a tax collector.”

What does that mean? Are we supposed to shun her? Hate her? No. Look how Jesus treated Gentiles and tax collectors (like Matthew and Zacchaeus). He loved them, shared the gospel with them, and called them to repent and believe in Him. In other words, He treated them like the unbelievers they were. People who persist in unrepentant sin show us that they are not Believers. When we have exhausted all attempts at restoration, we agree with their behavior that they are not Believers and treat them that way. We remove their names from church membership and remove them from any positions of leadership or responsibility in the church, but we keep loving them, keep sharing the gospel with them, and keep praying for their salvation.

Why We Forgive (21-35, Ephesians 4:32)
This parable can be summed up in the words of Ephesians 4:32:

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Who is the king in this parable? Jesus. Who is the first servant? Me. How big is our sin debt to Jesus? Verse 24 describes it as ten thousand talents. One talent was a unit of money equal to twenty years’ wages for a laborer. Therefore, ten thousand talents would have equaled 200,000 years’ worth of wages, an impossible amount to even begin to repay, just like our sin debt. But when we throw ourselves on the mercy of Christ and repent, He forgives us that enormous debt. Just wipes it right out. Any sin that anyone can commit against us, no matter how egregious, is peanuts (verse 28 calls it 100 denarii, or 100 days’ wages) compared to the grief and agony we put Christ through on the cross. How can we, knowing how hugely we have sinned against Christ, refuse to forgive others anything they might do to us?

The “Sin-Opsis”
There’s an old Carman song that contains the line

“Black is black, and white is white.
And Hell is hot, and sin ain’t right.”

It’s a pretty good “sin-opsis” of the what sin is. It is Christ’s desire that we stay out of sin ourselves, not lead others into sin, rescue others who have fallen into sin, and forgive those who have sinned against us.

Posted in Forgiveness, New Testament, Sin, Sunday School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment