Sunday, March 1, 2015

Currently listening to: "How Can It Be" by Lauren Daigle

I have excitedly discovered a new favorite artist! Lauren Daigle has a beautiful, strong voice and, most importantly, sings the Gospel message so clearly and powerfully in her lyrics. She is a new artist with her debut album being released soon. I encourage you to check out her music further!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The blood of the martyrs is a powerful blood.



This sobering, yet inspiring video was produced by 21martyrs.com (it does not show the beheadings).

"And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Revelation 20:4

Did you know that 80% of worldwide religious persecution is directed at Christians? We are the most hated of peoples. And yet, our faith continues to live and thrive even in the most dangerous of places.

And lest you believe otherwise, the terrible beheading of 21 Christian men was not in vain. Thanks to ISIS, the world has been forced to see what it means to be a true person of the cross, praying to Jesus in the face of death. These men were unafraid of martyrdom, they refused to deny Jesus and did not shrink from death.

The blood of the martyrs is a powerful blood, and thanks to ISIS, it has filled up many people's hearts and minds. I pray and truly believe this proud, murderous act from an evil empire will cause revival among the church and lead many sinners to repentance.

Evil will continue to increase towards "the nation of the Cross" as time goes on, yet our Savior has told us these things before:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. " John 15:18-19

"You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." Matthew 10:22

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me."  Matthew 24:9

"Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you." 1 John 3:13

"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed." John 3:20

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28

"'Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.'" Matthew 24:12-13

Do not fear men, they cannot touch your soul. Fear the Lord. Wear the cross around your necks, not as a pretty religious symbol, but as a symbol of the death that led to life. All men who will accept the Light of the world will be saved. The world's hatred towards us just confirms our Savior's words and truth.

Pray earnestly for an enduring faith, for a Spirit of boldness, not shrinking back from the roaring lion. His time is running short. We've already won the war, Christian. Keep your eyes on the Lord, love your enemies, and pray for the Spirit to grant you the fearless heart and powerful blood of a martyr.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Voice of the Martyrs Action Packs: One tangible way to bless the persecuted church


With the recent news of unbelievable persecution happening to Christians in Libya and throughout the Middle East, I thought I'd highlight the Voice of the Martyrs Action Pack ministry.

Through this ministry, families of martyrs and those severely persecuted receive a pack filled with items such as blankets, socks, and soap. This pack not only meets some of their physical needs, but most importantly, shows these believers that we in the West have not forgotten about their suffering and we're praying for them. It's one tangible way to show Christ's love to our persecuted brothers and sisters!

Each pack costs $7 to order, plus you pay the shipping to send the filled packs back to Voice of the Martyrs headquarters. Items can be new or gently used. Currently, the packs are being distributed in either Iraq, Pakistan, or Sudan.

This would be a great project to include your family in or to do in a small group/Bible study you belong to. We're filling up four of these packs in my local moms' group!

For more information on this incredible ministry and how you can help, please see the Voice of the Martyrs' website.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Public Service Announcement: there are not fifty shades of grey, but black and white.


I've never read the book, thankfully, but I've gotten the gist of the plot through other blog posts and, most recently, through the Super Bowl trailer commercial, which also annoyingly plays on YouTube while my preschoolers are watching kid shows.

Well, the commercial worked against itself, as I've had a growing impulse to share this Public Service Announcement after being subjected to the marketing of such a moronic book that has attracted so many people and is now opening as a movie on Valentine's Day (because that's romantic). It's probably good for my readers' sake that I don't normally watch cable.

So here's my PSA: the real world does not consist of fifty shades of grey, but black and white. People can pretend to not live in the real world, but that doesn't make it less true. We're either for God or against God, forgiven or condemned, righteous or unholy, covered with grace or wrath. The more I understand the Gospel of Jesus, this amazing news makes it clear to me, you're either working in your flesh or in the Spirit, you're a zero or a one. 

Our just God will not tolerate grey, it's either him or not. His kingdom or this world. So please, do not go see such a perverted, immoral movie to celebrate love. Let's call it like it is: This is not love, it is not grey, it is wrong. Just like so much in our society that people proclaim as grey, or worse yet, white.

Also, I prefer to spell grey as gray.

"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." Romans 1:24-25

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!



If you're gluten-free, you must try this recipe! We've made it multiple times over the past month, probably too many times. It can also be dairy, nut, soy, and egg free (that's how we roll at least). Thanks to my husband's tweaking with some different gluten-free flours, we have come up with a really delicious tri-ingredient flour mix. We use 1 part rice flour, 1 part potato starch, and 1 part millet flour mixed together. SO good! Here's the recipe:

Ingredients
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs (or we use the flax seed substitute)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour (we use the tri-ingredient gluten-free flour mix mentioned above)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (we use the Enjoy Life dairy-free brand)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
3. Stir together oil and sugars
4. Turn mixer on low. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until starting to lightly brown on top. Let cool for five minutes before removing from pan.

(Recipe adapted from InKatrinasKitchen.com)