Be this woman ……
An older post that I brought forward today. Its a good reminder for all of us.
Thousands and thousands of women have passed through the message boards and web site of Christian HomeKeeper since 1996. Thousands of women have come here with difficulties and problems, issues and situations for which they have asked prayer and godly advice.
CHK isn’t a Church, but it is a ministry, run by Christians, devoted to teaching women as God has commanded the older women to do. Because we are walking in service to God, He has always provided an ample number of godly mentors to help the women He brings to us.
When a woman joins a Christian group which has as its stated purpose to teach and instruct women in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, she knows that when she asks for advice, the advice will be from scripture first and then from personal experience in light of those scriptures. That’s what we do at CHK. But not every woman is willing or able to accept scripture as the answer for her situation. You probably know women who will not or cannot accept hard scriptural advice.
Scripture is never wrong or sinful but as sinners we sometimes tend to apply scripture to our lives in a way that will exalt our selves or put our selves in the best light. We really do care about ourselves and most of the time we are perfectly satisfied to manipulate scripture to suit ourselves instead of prayerfully asking God to apply the scripture to our lives and situations. We just don’t like to be wrong or corrected.
That is what I mean by hard scriptural advice, not that what scripture tells us is hard, but the laying down of our self and our pride in order to be able to obey the Word is difficult. For some reason it is very easy for us to think that surely the Bible isn’t speaking to our situation, that surely God doesn’t mean me.
When a Christian woman does this, when she manipulates scripture in this way, she is neither honoring God nor being honest with herself. She is succumbing to the temptation to exalt self over God. And though a Christian woman would never speak these words aloud to her God, she is saying to God, “It doesn’t really matter what you want, you don’t understand my situation, I know what I need and it isn’t this.”
When a Christian woman rejects the Word of God, as God desires to apply it, she is sinning by putting her relationship with God aside and lifting up herself over Jesus. I have heard these words or similar ones too many time to count over the past years: “I know what the Bible says, but…….”. Our thoughts should instead be, “I know what the Bible says, so now I must apply it to myself and my situation”.
God gives us many ways to receive His Word and to receive correction and instruction. Most commonly Christian hear Him speak through the written Word, in the voice of the Holy Spirit, through circumstances and through other believers. In women’s ministries, it is usually through the wisdom and experience of older women mentors within the light of the Word that God makes His will known. God rarely offers correction to us Himself except through reading His Word, but He does offer it through other Christians and that is where most of us have a hard time accepting the correction.
Here is how godly correction should work:
A woman has a problem, a situation with a family member or friend that is causing grief, and needs some godly advice. So she asks, lays out the situation and gives her take on what is going on. Another godly woman takes that situation to God in prayer and then shows the first woman what God’s Word says specifically about her situation. Not only that, but God may also reveal some other dangers in attitude that are not God-honoring and that must be dealt with.
Now it’s up to that first woman to examine that instruction and correction in the light of scripture and see what God desires to accomplish in her life and situation or to reject it, and in rejecting it, reject God’s working in her life.
Yes, it’s hard to hear the truth sometimes, especially when it comes from another woman. But hearing and obeying correction is a mark of maturity and maturity in Christ comes both through the working of the Spirit in us and our willingness to be changed. Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us that we are not to despise correction. When we are not willing to bend and grow, our maturity is slowed and so is our ability to please God. God is pleased with obedience.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? ” Luke 6:46
There is consequence for not listening and obeying God’s Word. Look closely at these verses:
“How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction!”
~ Proverbs 5:12
“Correction is grievous to him who forsakes the way: he that hates reproof shall die.”
~ Proverbs 15:10
If you are feeling angry at godly instruction and correction, if you feel indignant at gentle and faithful reproofs, you are in the same court as the one in Proverbs who hated instruction and despised correction and you are in danger. Do you automatically assign bad motives to the one bringing the correction? Are you instantly defensive and angry? This is a very serious indicator that something is wrong in your spiritual life.
A child of God must learn to love correction for correction brings about a realization that a change in character or thought processes is in order. Correction awakens us to our need for God to work in us and make us like Jesus. Correction is not meant by God to belittle us or to embarrass us, it is meant for our good. Those who resent correction the most are the ones who think more highly of themselves and less of God’s desire to work in their life.
If you are not guilty as charged, then there is no reason for you to be defensive. If the correction is just then this is an opportunity for you to move forward in sanctification and growth in Christ.
Correction and reproof offend our pride. It is double-minded for us to see the faults and needs in others and not be open to receiving correction in our own life. The meek and gentle Christian woman will pray that God will keep her still and help her to listen to the whole story. Then she will examine herself and situation in light of scripture to see what God says to her and allow Him to work in her.
Do you remember Gilligan’s Island? I couldn’t wait to get home in the afternoons so I could watch that TV show, back in the day. One of the shows featured an actor named Hans Conried, a marvelous character actor. In this particular episode, a pilot named Wrong Way Feldman came to the island and eventually flew away in a hastily repaired plane promising to send help to the castaways.
But Feldman, true to his name, flew away in the wrong direction and once he finally made it to civilization, he couldn’t remember how to get back to the castaways. We even say, “Wrong way, Feldman” around here and none of the children knows what it means.
Feldman was so earnest, so honest and so wrong. He really believed he was He doing the right things. He thought because something looked right and seemed right to him, that it was absolutely right. But he never stopped and thought about what he was doing what he did or questioned himself. He just did it because it seemed right. He didn’t compare what he thought was right to any standard except his feelings.
He was just like people who believe things about God and the Bible that have no truth to them. Those folks are earnestly and sincerely going the wrong way. Continue reading
I’ve never been a person who minded change too much. Moving to new places, finding new hobbies, changing the furniture around and painting the walls a new color have never been a problem. Even looking for a new Church in those times when we moved wasn’t a bother to me, I like meeting people. New scenery is always welcome and new places to explore is a favorite of mine.
I’ve found some changes I don’t like. In fact, these are changes I hate. That’s a strong word, I know. But I do hate some changes. When a change entails people leaving your life, I hate that. I guess if these people were people I didn’t like or people who were mean to me, that wouldn’t be so bad. The changes I’ve experienced in the last 4 years though – have been about people I love, leaving.
The sun is shining. Its not warm yet but its getting there. The birds are singing. I’ve gotten three loads of laundry done, breakfast smoothies and bacon made, Nana’s needs attended to and dishes done. Those breakfast smoothies were delicious. I used frozen strawberries, blueberries, a lime and coconut water. Its more sugar than my body is used to but a small glass really hit the spot this morning.
So, I’m just resting a moment til time to get back at it. On the weekends the whole family gathers here and it leaves my house sort of upside down no matter how much they all pick up and straighten up after themselves. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love these days and I know that they can’t be replaced. I treasure every moment with these people because someday, one day, they will go their own ways and have things to do that don’t include me.
When that day comes, I will have these precious times in my memory, these good relationships built and strengthened by the Lord and all the times we spend together now will bless me and my children in the days to come.
Have you ever wondered if a ministry or just a group of Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit really is a work of the Spirit? Ever get that little niggle at the back of your mind regarding a group of people who say one thing but don’t seem to follow through? Or if someone who tells you they are led by the Spirit really is led by Him? Here is a short check list that you can use to quickly measure that group or even your own ministry.
Every one of these characteristics must be met, not just one or two or even all but one. That ministry or person must….
- Exalt the true Christ (Jesus!)
- Oppose Satan’s interests
- Point people to the Scriptures
- Elevate truth
- Result in love for God and others
These ideas come from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards’ The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God.
Be sure that any ministry you endorse in any way fulfills all of these. Its not enough to be a good person and love people. We must teach truth. Don’t be taken in by someone who speaks pretty words or appeals to your self esteem.
A New Day.
I love those words. I am not a morning person but I do have to get up and get moving like everyone else. When I lie down at night I feel hopeful and thankful.
And when I rise, I open my eyes with thanks and I look forward to the day. This is why:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
I say “Boston Baked Beans” with a bit of hesitation because they’re really not true Boston baked beans but they are in close proximity. I know how I say, “Pshhh…” when someone says a recipe is Southern Cornbread and its not. Ha!
The recipe I started with was Tasha Tudor’s Boston Baked Beans. I make them pretty often and serve them with some brown bread, a salad and maybe an apple cobbler. They contain meat so they are a complete meal with a salad and bread. They take long cooking, 8 hours, at low temperature. I have never been quite satisfied at how they turn out in a crockpot so I thought I’d can some. I wanted to have some already cooked and on hand for this Autumn and Winter so it seemed like a good idea to try.
I am canning this batch in pints because there are only 4 of us here right now and sometimes only 2 of us. This recipe must be pressure canned. This is a recipe for experienced canners, not for the novice. This recipe makes about 9 pints of beans, 7 to can and two that I bake in the oven for a couple of hours and have for supper.
6 cups Navy Beans with water to cover
2 – 6 ounce cans tomato paste
2 large onions, diced finely
6 cups water for the sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
8 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking water from the beans
About 3 ounces of a combination of bacon and smoked sausage or your preferred sausage, I think you could use Turkey sausage in this but the Turkey bacon might lose its flavor. 3 ounces is about what a person with a small hand could hold in their palm.
There are three preparatory steps to making and canning these beans.
- 1. Soak the beans
- 2. Cut up the meat
- 3. Make the sauce
1. Soak the beans – Use Navy Beans in this recipe. You will need about 6 cups of beans. Wash the beans, pick through them for rocks and such. Put the beans in a large pot or bowl, cover them with clean water and allow them to sit on the counter top over night. Next day, drain them, put them in a big cooking pot, add 1 pinch of baking soda, bring to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Once they have cooked for 10 minutes, keep them hot, don’t drain them or throw away the cooking water.
2. Cut up the meat – The sausage and bacon should be cut up into small bits, a little smaller than a bite. Once you start putting ingredients in the jars it will be easier if you have the meat already divided up into small portions, one portion of meat for each jar. You don’t need to cook the meat before putting it in the jars with the beans, the canning process will cook it.
3. Make the Sauce – in a medium sauce pan add the tomato paste, onions, water, brown sugar, molasses, dry mustard and salt. Bring to a boil, stir well, lower temperature but keep hot.
Now you’re ready to can!
Bring the water in your pressure canner to a boil per the manufacturer’s instructions. Heat the lids and rings. Bring some water to a boil and heat your jars.
1. Add a portion of the sausage and bacon to the hot jar
2. Add about 1 and one half cups of pre-cooked beans to the jar with the meat. It should fill the jar about half way with beans and meat. This recipe makes a saucy dish, there is a good amount of liquid, if you want less sauce, add a few more beans to the jar, only 1 or 2 tablespoons of beans though. That sauce is good over mashed potatoes!
3. Now add sauce up to the shoulder of the jar
4. Add cooking water to fill the jar, leaving a one inch head space, add the lid and ring, tighten hand tight, put the jar in the prepared canner.
Once all the jars are filled and in the canner, you can put the canner lid on and begin venting the steam. I vent for 10 minutes then add the weight. You should follow your canner’s manufacturer’s instructions. Also, I add some clean white dish cloths to the canner, I weave them around and between the jars to keep the jars from banging in to one another and breaking.
Pressure the PINTS of baked beans for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
Once they are finished, allow the canner to lose its pressure naturally. This means you will remove the canner from the heat, but leave the weight on and allow the canner to cool and release pressure over time. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour for a full canner to release all its pressure.
Take the jars out and sit them on a towel to cool. Listen for the “ping”!
If you were to can these beans in quarts, you would:
- Use enough beans and meat to fill the quart jars half way
- Use enough sauce to fill the jar to the shoulder
- Use enough cooking water to fill the jars and leave a one inch head space.
- Pressure can the jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes
You can add one inch pieces of hot dogs to the beans INSTEAD of the sausage and bacon and can it all together for homemade Beanie Weenies!