Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sword of the Spirit

To often we believe that God is a "good God."  Which He is, of course, but He is not all bunny rabbits and sweetness as some want to think of Him ~  He is often fierce and mighty, sharp and straight forward.  What He says He means.

C. H. Spurgeon said, “People are disturbed and troubled by the real gospel:  under the false gospel they can sleep into destruction.  Bring out the sword:  it is made to wound; let it exercise its salutary sharpness.”

The sword of God’s word cuts at sin to the very depths of the soul.  "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle Recipe


  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional


Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What Weekend?

So tired today.  It's been one of those packed-busy-since-Friday-all-the-way-through-Sunday weekends.

Friday I had the bright idea to prune the tomatoe plants of all their dead branches and leaves.  It was a great idea, but my lower back didn't think so.  The past couple of days my back has worsened enough that I am trying to either stay up or stay down.. the transition is too painful!

My mother-in-law gave me several canning jars, mainly 1/2 pints for jelly, a couple of pints, a quart and a quart and a half.  I was so excited to get the quarter and a half.. now, to find something to can in it!

I just returned back from lunch with a few minutes to spare before going back to work. 

I hope that everyone is doing well!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ode to an Old Mason Jar

I have been on a canning craze the past couple of weeks.  I have canned straight necked yellow squash, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and okra.  I get a huge satisfaction of "putting up" food for a later time.  It makes me feel thrifty.. and besides that, it's just plain fun.  My canner pot and a lot of my supplies come to me from my grandma on my mom's side.  She canned all her life until her later years.  My mom herself helped can a lot growing up at home.

Tuesday night I was packing okra into a quart mason jar.  Not just any jar, but a jar like the picture to the left.  It was an old Kerr jar that had been one of my grandmothers. I thought about my grandmother and how back in those days they canned to be able to eat and survive. After I packed the okra stalks in I carefully poured the hot brine slowly into the jar and the other various jars that were on the table.  I retrieved the boiling lids and rims from the hot water and put them on tightly.  I lifted the lid on the canner which was at a rolling boil at that point and took the tongs and grabbed the neck of the Kerr jar to put it in.  When the jar was about a quarter of the way submerged it busted.  I didn't shatter or explode.. just a gentle *pop* and it fell into 3 big pieces and my okra all floated to the top of the canner water.  For a moment I was surprised and then sad... because that old Kerr jar was a jar that had been through many a canning with my grandma.  I pulled all the big pieces of glass out and threw them away, salvaged the lid and rim and then picked all the okra out of the pot.  As I threw the jar pieces in the trash I realized I really didn't need to be upset... the jar had come full circle.  My grandmother had used it, my mom had used it and now I was going to use it.. but it broke.  If it were to break, why not at a granddaughters house?

The four other quart canning jars that I used, which were a mixture of Ball's and Kerr's did fine in the boiling canner pot......

2 Cor 4:
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where Am I Going Carl? :-)

I promise, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... Will be back in the next day or two to resume things as normal!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

113 Degrees in Oklahoma Today

We have had record temperatures this week here in Oklahoma and we are going into our fourth week with triple digit weather.  Right now we are showing 113 degrees... and it just seems to be getting hotter and hotter.

Tonight Aug 3 Thu 4 Fri 5 Sat 6 Sun 7 Mon 8 Tue 9 Wed 10 Thu 11 Fri 12
Partly Cloudy Mostly Sunny Partly Cloudy Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny Isolated T-Storms Scattered T-Storms Scattered T-Storms
Partly Cloudy Mostly Sunny Partly Cloudy Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny Isolated T-Storms Scattered T-Storms Scattered T-Storms
-- High 110° 109° 108° 107° 106° 106° 104° 103° 102°
80° Low 79° 78° 78° 77° 76° 76° 76° 76° 74°

Monday, August 1, 2011

How Can I Know God's Will?

“I am convinced that nothing in this world happens outside the will of God—literally nothing. There are no failures, and there are no loose ends in the ultimate plan of God.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why? 

Someone correctly said, “God is too kind to do anything cruel . . . Too wise to make a mistake, . . . too deep to explain Himself. When we know the Who we can stop asking, 'Why?’” 

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:27-28, “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Those who “love God” are “those who are called according to His purposes.” God causes everything to work for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes. That is Paul’s deep personal conviction. Mere “things” do not work together for good or evil. “And we know” in all our suffering and pain God is working out His great eternal purpose. No matter what the circumstances in our lives that purpose will not be overthrown, and it culminates in final glory to God.

Paul’s focus is on our eternal sovereign God at work, not some “evolutionary optimism.”
Let’s be quite honest all things from our limited human perspective do not always seem in the moment of crisis to be turning out for our good. At least, we don’t in the pain and emotion feel that way. From our limited knowledge bad things do happen to Christians, and at times it seems that evil is winning. 

However, when we get God into the picture the “final good,” or “true good,” is “good” for those who “love God and are called according to His purposes.” 

Those who have responded to the “effectual call” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can look back over events leading to their putting their faith in Christ and see God’s hand in it all. 

Often we go into the presence of God to pay and we do not have the slightest idea what to pay for, but we do know that we will grow in His grace and the knowledge of Him as the Holy Spirit works in us to accomplish His will. The Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf that God's perfect will be done. 

In discovering and doing the will of God it is most important that we seek to become Christlike in all that we do. Our ultimate goal is to be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ. 

I am convinced that is the perfect will of God. We do not need to know all the details, but to walk by faith in Christ knowing the Holy Spirit is guiding and leading us that God's will is done. Is that not the thrust of what Paul is saying in the context of these verses? In the face of difficult circumstances ask God for wisdom (Jas. 1:5) because “God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” We have the assurance, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation, or shifting of shadow” (v. 17). 

The Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” He knows what the will of God is, and “He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (v. 26-28).
The Holy Spirit is praying for you and me right now in these areas according to the sovereign and efficacious will of God. I can be quite confident of that, and even quite bold, knowing that His sovereign will and purposes will be accomplished in my life. “And we know” says the apostle. 

He gives us wisdom and He is praying for us that we will obey Him. We need to make wise decisions based on His leading. Make yourself available to Him. 

God orders the events in our lives according to His sovereign plan to conform us to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Every choice we make in life should be around that central purpose in our lives. Is the person you are dating causing you to become more like Jesus Christ in your thinking, behavior and attitudes? Does your vocation or profession open doors for you to share Jesus Christ with lost sinners? 

I am often asked, “Does God want me to marry this person?” My response is will that person be used of God to conform you to the likeness of Jesus Christ? God does have a perfect plan for your life, and He will keep bringing people and circumstances into your life to knock off the rough edges of your personality and fashion and shape you into His likeness. I am convinced that in the sovereign love and wisdom of God He causes all things to “converge upon and contribute to that goal.” Even many of the evil things that come into our lives He uses in His wisdom and grace to work for our good and His glory. God will not allow even one single thing to work evil to the people of God (Romans 8:28-37). Do I have my mind and heart set on God’s determinate and eternal purpose? Then I can not go wrong because I am involved in something that will still be worthwhile a million years from now.

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006