Wednesday, May 29, 2013

If Sickness Doesn't Kill You, Modern Medicine Will

Note: I have excerpts from Mary Lu Tyndall's and Deb Mitchell's new devotional for you (and a giveaway!) below, but first, pardon my rant. I have something to get off my chest--or out of, you might say!

OK, so I have high cholesterol, which, in case you haven't been following the latest science, is not shown to cause heart disease, especially in women. Read this carefully: CHOLESTEROL IS GOOD FOR YOU. Nevertheless, mine is VERY high, and so I agreed, at my doctor's suggestion, to get a cardiac calcium score. Somehow I was thinking it was an echocardiogram type of test. He assured me it wasn't in the least invasive.

Today I went for the test, only to find out it's a CT Scan. So I just filled my chest with radiation to check a score due to high cholesterol which isn't dangerous.  Aargh! I spend more to buy organic food, raw milk, free-range eggs, and so on, all in an effort to ensure good health. Then in one fell swoop I am dosed with countless radioactive particles--on doctor's orders. If it turns out that my cardiac arteries are in fact loaded with calcium clinging to their sides, then I suppose this may have been worth the toxicity. IF it turns out that way. I'll let you know. In the meantime, take a lesson from me and learn to ask more questions than you think you need to when your doctor orders a test.

(Oh, and I had to pay $100 bucks to get a chest full of radiation. I found out when I got there that my insurance won't cover it--which in itself raises questions. If a test is necessary and helpful, shouldn't it be covered?) 

Well--onto something much more edifying.  I have great excerpts for you from

 Pearls from the Sea: 180 Days Sailing the High Seas with Jesus at the Helm.  

    

Read the excerpts and you'll see this is a book that will enrich your devotional time with the Lord. I love the theme of oceans and sailing as we all know that wind and bad weather accost us from many sides in life. Mary Lu Tyndall, in case you're not already acquainted with her, writes wonderful historical swashbuckling adventures, and so she is on very familiar territory. Deb Mitchell is new to authorship, but is an avid reader and Christian.

Ryan Smith, an Amazon reader, says, "This devotional is awesome, and easy to read and understand. It has humor too. I highly recommend it. I love it!!"

Excerpt #1: (Mary Lu Tyndall)

A Stuck Rudder

Jumbo, one of the largest elephants in captivity, was part of the Barnum and Bailey circus for a number of years. He was a gentle giant who used to give rides to children on his back. When Jumbo was captured as a baby, his owners would tie him to a stake to keep him from escaping. Since he couldn’t pull himself from the stake, he learned to remain where he was. As he grew, he became so strong and mighty that he was known to pick up massive trees with his trunk and uproot them from the ground. Yet, still, every night, his owners would tie him to this simple, tiny stake in the ground, and he never tried to escape. Why, when it would have been no problem at all for him to yank that stake from the ground and gain his freedom? Because he had learned when he was little that he couldn’t pull up the stake, and he continued in that belief well into adulthood.
Now, think of yourself as that tiny elephant. That’s you before you met Christ. That’s you when you were young in the faith, or when you didn’t really know God or understand His power, when your spiritual muscles were weak. Problems easily overwhelmed you, and your rudder got stuck in the mud. You couldn’t move. You couldn’t live the life God had for you because you didn’t know how to pull your rudder from the mud and sail away. You thought you were helpless. You didn’t know who God made you to be.
Do you realize that as a committed Christian, you are the child of the King of the Universe? Do you realize who your Daddy is? Do you realize the power He’s given you at your fingertips, the strength? the wisdom?
Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37 NLT).
If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31NIV)?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)!
Why are you standing there next to that tiny stake? Why are you allowing that same problem to keep your rudder stuck? Change your thinking. Seek God. Study His Word. Mature in your walk with God. You are a child of the King! Call upon the God of the universe, your Daddy, and flex your faith muscles, and then wait and see what He will do.
One of the biggest problems many Christians struggle with is unbelief. They simply don’t believe who they are in Christ. They are still encumbered with problems they’ve had since childhood, not realizing that God not only wants to set them free, but can set them free.
Don’t be like Jumbo. Wise up and free your rudder.

Walt, another reader on Amazon, says:  "If you are tired of the same old devotionals that all feel and look the same this is bit of fresh air. Well worth the time very well priced."

Excerpt #2: (Debbie Mitchell)

Shake the Sand out of Your Shorts

I love going to the ocean and walking along the shoreline, allowing the waves to caress my feet. During the course of the day, the tides can change how the waves come and go. Sometimes, the waves are small and gentle, and you can walk along the shoreline without any fear of being pushed into the water. Then there are times when the crash of waves is so strong, you have to be careful your feet don’t fly out from under you.
Years ago, when I used to go to the ocean quite often, I saw a small child playing along the shoreline, and a wave came in and knocked him down. When he got back up, his shorts were filled with so much sand that it weighed him down as he waddled back to his parents.
Life can hit us as hard as a wave crashing onto the shore.
In our spiritual walk, when things weigh heavy on our minds, we can be like that child. Our shorts get so full of sand (worry, fear, illness, etc.) that our steps begin to slow down. At times like this, we need to call upon our Savior to lighten our load.
In Matthew 11:28–30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus doesn’t want us to be burdened by this life. He wants us to be strong so that we can face anything that comes our way. And when we occasionally fall in the sand and water, through Christ we are able to stand up and shake the sand from our shorts and continue on without delay.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10–11 NIV).
Be prepared for what’s ahead. Plant your feet firmly in the sand so that you can stand against any waves that may come your way.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Amos 1:24–25 NLT).
 Click here to see the book on Amazon.com, and leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free download of the ebook.  Do you use devotionals? Tell us why or why not, and you'll be entered in the drawing! I'll choose a winner next week, using random.com.  Thanks, and may you be blessed with that free copy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pearls from the Sea Giveaway!

I have a recommendation for you today for a unique devotional by two Christian women, one of whom (Mary Lu Tyndall) is multi-published in historical fiction. I've really enjoyed the novels by her that I've read. Co-author Debbie Mitchell is a woman much like you: an avid follower of Jesus, a reader, a learner. These ladies got together and, using the motif of taking a "journey with Jesus at the helm of your ship," they've produced this sweet little book that I hope to read soon, myself:
Pearls from the Sea: 180 Days Sailing the High Seas with Jesus at the Helm
From what I know of these two women, this book has got to be a treasure. 

And thanks to their generosity, one of my commenters can win a free ebook copy! Leave a comment to enter the drawing. But first, read more about the book, below.     



 All aboard! From the shores of salvation to eternity's horizon, embark on a 180 day journey with Jesus at the helm of your ship. You'll encounter storms, ship wrecks, and battles but you'll also enjoy days of smooth sailing, glorious sunsets, and rainbows that span the skies. In short:  Life with Jesus is an adventure. But He will never steer you wrong. Is your compass broken? Need some wind in your sails? Lost your anchor? Or maybe you've spotted an enemy ship on the horizon--they come all too often. If any of the above sound like you, come aboard! Join us as we help you trust in the Captain of your souls. (And hang on. You're in for the voyage of your life!)

MaryLu Tyndall Bio

MaryLu Tyndall is a Christy Award Nominee and author of eleven Inspirational Historical Romance Novels.  Her books are not only known for their romance and adventure but for their strong spiritual themes. MaryLu has been walking with God for fifteen years, but prior to that, her experience as an agnostic has given her a unique perspective on things both spiritual and carnal. Her life mission is to encourage believers to not take for granted the love and power of God and to live their lives fully for Him!  MaryLu lives in California with her husband, six children, and three cats.


                                     Debbie Mitchell Bio


A Sunday school teacher for over 20 years, Debbie Mitchell is a firm believer in reading through the Bible annually; she is working on her 13th time through. Keeping in the Word and teaching Sunday School has helped her to recognize and face the enemy. She lives in California with her husband Jack and their two dogs. She has one son, two daughters, two sons-in-law and has been blessed with grandchildren that truly make her days.


Note From the Authors:

It is our prayer that readers will be blessed by this devotional, that these messages God has given us will bring them closer to Him and empower them to keep sailing strong for His glory! Especially when the storms hit.

We all need strength behind our sails during storms. Has God helped you through a storm, recently? He can do so through so many different means, but often simply by the taking to heart of his Word. OR by a good devotional that helps us do so! Leave a comment for your chance to win this one. :) Thanks. And thank you to Mary Lu and Debbie for supplying that copy for one reader.   

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Productive Days & Recipe

What do you consider a productive day?

Getting errands done?
Grocery shopping?
Cleaning a few rooms?

For me, productive days fall into categories (and probably for you, too), such as, Homeschooling,
Writing, Editing, Shopping, or Baking or Cooking, to name a few.  Today I had a productive Kitchen day. (Don't you just love a productive kitchen day?)

For me, it looked like this: I got the kids started on their respective homeschooling lessons, made fermented oatmeal, started a batch of yogurt, picked up our week's supply of raw milk and cage-free eggs from a local farm, AND I started a fermented granola recipe (which takes 24 hours to ferment so you can't finish it all at once) and made my first-ever loaf of Paleo bread. (I'm really proud of that bread! It's sitting on my counter cooling right now and smells great.)

Here. I took a picture for the curious. :)  It didn't rise as high as the picture on the recipe looked. I used a different bread pan, which I suppose could account for that.

 It came out more as a quick bread style loaf, rather than sandwich style, so I'll keep trying new recipes until I get one that works for sandwiches. BUT I just tasted a slice and it's really good! (recipe below)

I also finished up my May recipes for the month, and have almost finished the accompanying shopping lists. When I get a month's worth of recipes in place, that means I have a plan and I don't have to worry about last-minute "what's for dinner" panic moments.  I also feel that I've accomplished something worthwhile.

My youngest is done with school for the day and my high schooler is almost there, so I'm just about ready to take an iced drink outside to the deck to enjoy this beautiful spring sunshine before starting dinner.

How about you? Did you get any good gardening done today? Or baking? Writing?
Tell me what makes you feel like you've accomplished something worthwhile by leaving a comment and you'll be entered into the current drawing for ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE MURDERS, book on the right.
("More Tea, Vicar?" is unfortunately no longer available--I'm substituting it with another English and/or Jane Austen themed CD. Details to follow. Sorry for the change!) But the book and a similar CD will be awarded to one commenter by the 15th of the month.) So leave your comment today!  
:     And here's the Paleo Bread recipe I followed, originally from Elana's Pantry. (Click the link and you'll see her bread looks much more like a sandwich bread than mine. I'll have to look into getting that "Magic Line Loaf Pan," that she used.) Anyway, the bread has no flour, no sugar (a small amount of honey) and practically no carbs at all. I wouldn't go crazy eating half a loaf, however, since it does have a lot of nutrient-dense nut flours and healthy fats. Enjoy!

Paleo Bread
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
5 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1. Place almond flour, coconut  flour, flax, salt and baking soda in a food processor. (I just whisked my ingredients. This could be another reason my bread turned out differently. When I saw that it only called for "pulsing," I figured I could get the same results without the processor. Apparently, I was wrong!)

2. Pulse ingredients together.

3. Pulse in eggs, oil, honey and vinegar

4. Pour batter into a greased 7.5" x 3.5 " Magic Line Loaf Pan

5. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

6. Cool and serve. 

Happy Baking! And don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing. When you comment on more than one post, you get more than one entry. (One entry per comment)
Thank you and Good luck!