October 29, 2009

Mark 12:28-40

Mark 12:28-40
28) And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" 29) Jesus answered, " The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30) and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31) The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32) And the scribe said to him, "You ar e right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33) and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34) And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, " You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question. 35) And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, " How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36) David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet.' 37) David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son? " And the great throng heard him gladly. 38) And in his teaching he said, " Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places 39) and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40) who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."

Creamy Coleslaw With Tofu Mayonnaise

Creamy Coleslaw With Tofu Mayonnaise
2 Servings
This healthy version of an American classic is good with sandwiches. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable providing indoles which may be related to a reduced risk of breast cancer.

4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup tofu mayonnaise (recipe follows)
1 tsp celery seed (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix together the cabbage and carrot. Add the tofu mayonnaise and celery seed, if you use it, and stir gently to mix well.

Tofu Mayonnaise

1 cup tofu, regular or silken, drained
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey (or sugar)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil preferably
1 tsp herb blend

Mix all ingredients together until creamy. Refrigerate.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
99 calories
3 g total fat (0 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
16 g carbohydrate
5 g protein
5 g fiber
71 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com.

Tomorrow's Recipe: Hot Cocoa

Build It Right

Build It Right This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation. But if people build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw, their work will be clearly seen, because the Day of Judgment will make it visible. That Day will appear with fire, and the fire will test everyone's work to show what sort of work it was. --1 Corinthians 3:11-14 (NCV)
A parable has been told of a carpenter, who on the verge of retirement, was coaxed into building one last home by a wealthy client. The carpenter was pressed by his own thoughts to put his working days behind him, so he made decisions to cut corners on the project. He used inferior materials and his workmanship was suspect, at best. Clearly his heart was not in the work. Eventually, the carpenter finished the home. It looked good from the outside, yet the carpenter felt guilty, as he knew the quality of the home was not up to his old standards.
On the day that the wealthy client was to take possession of the home, the carpenter received word from the client, saying, "I'm aware of your reputation as a builder. I know how hard you've worked for your clients throughout your career. So, I wanted to reward you at your retirement. I'm giving you the house you've just built." The carpenter was shocked! If he had only known beforehand that this was to be his home, he would have built it with the finest materials and workmanship. But, now it was too late.
This parable reminds me that we all build our lives, much like a carpenter builds a house. Our home-building materials are "what" we build our lives with and include characteristics such as faith, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and kindness (or their opposites). And our workmanship looks at the "how" we build our lives. Are we living purposefully, pursuing excellence, working with all our hearts, in the name of Jesus and for His glory? Or, has shoddy workmanship been the story of our lives? My own confession: Too often I forget that I'm building my own house. How about you?
One day, the house-building project that is our life, will be completed. And, each of us will stand before the Lord and give an account for our workmanship. Don't be like the carpenter in the parable. Be prepared. Build intentionally. Build it right. Our motivation ought to be to hear the Savior say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
What does the parable remind you of about your own life?
Is your life in need of some re-modeling? What needs to be fixed?
FURTHER READING:?1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Matthew 25:14-30; Colossians 3:17; Romans 14:12

Fresh Kosher Dill Pickles

Fresh Kosher Dill Pickles

Created by The MDM Team, Thursday, November 22, 2007
Why settle for store-bought pickles when you can make the real deal all by yourself? This original recipe offers a crunch and munch that will send the Vlasic stork flying south.

1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 quarts water
2 1/2 lbs. cucumbers

Wash 2 1/2 lb. pickling cucumbers and cut into spears. Peel and flatten 1 clove garlic and wash 6 to 8 sprigs fresh dill. Place the cucumbers, garlic, dill and 1 tsp. pickling spices into a scalded ceramic bowl. Bring to a boil: Boil for 2 minutes. Pour over cucumbers. Weight with a scalded plate and a scalded jar of water. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Pack into scalded jars. Refrigerate

October 28, 2009

Pink Lentil Curry

Pink Lentil Curry
6 Servings
Lentils are a wonderful source of protein, calcium, and iron. They are a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, and combine well with many different seasonings. You may be most familiar with brown or green lentils, but there are lentils out there in black, yellow, red and pink. Look for these more exotic varieties in Indian and specialty food stores. Similarly, not all curry powders are the same, ranging from quite mild to very hot. In making this side dish, start with a small amount and taste it to be sure your dish meets the comfort and taste level of your guests!

1 pound pink lentils
1 tablespoon canola oil
2-3 cups chopped vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, cabbage and whatever vegetables you like)
Curry powder to taste
2-4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon chopped gingerroot
Salt or soy sauce to taste
Hot cooked rice

1. Pick over lentils, removing any stones or foreign matter. Place in a bowl or colander and rinse thoroughly. Place lentils in pot with enough cold water to cover well. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook, partially covered, until lentils become a thick mush (about one hour).

2. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in skillet, add vegetables and a little water, stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are barely tender.

3. Add curry powder, garlic, ginger and salt or soy sauce. Stir, then replace cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.

4. Add vegetables to lentil mixture. Toss together, correct seasonings, and simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors.

5. Serve with rice.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
483 calories
4 g total fat (0 g sat)
90 g carbohydrate
24 g protein
18 g fiber
350 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another
Today's Scripture
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Many scriptures exhort believers to encourage one another. And yet, sometimes we get so busy in our own lives that we neglect thinking about others. We may become insensitive to the concerns of those around us.
So how can we be a better encourager? The first step may be to ask God to help us be less self-focused and to be more sensitive to the needs of others. And then we need to ask his wisdom in knowing how to encourage our brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes it takes a listening ear--just showing we care by really listening to what they have to say. They might have a problem ... or an idea they are hesitant to move ahead with ... or some special challenge. Just knowing that someone values them enough to listen can be an encouragement.
Perhaps they need words of encouragement. Nothing can be more encouraging than God's Word, shared from a loving heart.
Maybe they need us to show our faith in them with an action. As we prayerfully approach them, God will guide.
Consider this...
As you consider these thoughts, does someone come to your mind? Someone who may need encouragement? Pray ... and take action. Call ... or meet for coffee or dinner ... or just sit down and have a heart to heart. Find out what is on his or her mind ... listen ... share God's Word ... demonstrate your confidence in him (or her).
And day by day ask God to help you get out of the box of your own world and find ways to encourage others.
Father, I know that sometimes I get so caught up in my own life that I don't even notice others who may need encouragement. Help me to be less self-focused and more sensitive to the needs around me. Help me to be an encourager. In Jesus' name ...
These thoughts were drawn from...
Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
How to pray for healing and what to expect
Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
Would you like to have these devotions appear daily on your church or ministry website? Learn More

PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to info@LivingFree.org.

Deluxe Veggie on Skewers

Deluxe Veggie on Skewers

Makes: 8 servings

Created by The MDM Team, Friday, February 15, 2008
A mixture of oil and vinegar combined with fresh rosemary creates a dynamic dressing for this potato and vegetable medley. Prepared on a skewer, it's just right for your grilling repertoire.

8 tiny new potatoes, quartered

2 tbsp. water

8 baby sunburst squash

4 miniature sweet peppers and/or 1 red sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 tiny red onions, halved, or 2 small red onions, each cut into 8 wedges

8 baby zucchini or 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

1/4 cup bottled oil-and-vinegar salad dressing

2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

Fresh rosemary

In a 2-quart microwave-safe casserole combine potatoes and water. Micro-cook, covered, on 100% power for 5 minutes. Gently stir in sunburst squash, sweet peppers, and onions. Cook, covered, on high for 4 to 6 minutes or until nearly tender. Drain. Cool slightly.
On eight 10-inch skewers alternately thread the sunburst squash, sweet peppers, onions, and zucchini. In a small bowl combine dressing and the 2 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary; brush over vegetables.
Grill kabobs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, turning and brushing occasionally with dressing mixture. Garnish with additional fresh rosemary.
Additional Tips
Ready in 40 min

October 27, 2009

John 6:4-20

John 6:4-20
4) Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5) Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" 6) This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7) Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." 8) One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9) "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?" 10) Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11) Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12) And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost." 13) So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14) When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!" 15) Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 16) When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17) got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caper'na-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18) The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. 19) When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, 20) but he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."

Chinese Green Bean Salad

Chinese Green Bean Salad
4 Servings
This bright green, crunchy salad is bursting with Asian flavors and is so easy to prepare. Look for fresh, plump organic green beans if you can find them. Cook them until they are bright green and still crunchy-tender. At this point you can keep the green beans refrigerated. Toss them with the dressing just before serving or the acid in the dressing will dull the bright green color.

Ginger root, one of the main flavors in this salad, is actually a rhizome, an underground stem of a tropical plant, Zingiber officinale, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and as a treatment for nausea. You can use ginger in many forms and reap its benefits. Look for other recipes that use crystallized ginger, the dried powder, the fresh form (used here) or even ginger tea.

1 pound fresh green beans, organic if possible
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 cup slivered red onion

4 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dark-roasted sesame oil


1. Trim and cut the green beans into 1-inch lengths. Cook in rapidly boiling water, about 5 minutes or until crunchy-tender.

2. Drain beans, immerse in cold water to stop the cooking until they are cool, then drain well.

3. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk until well blended.

4. Toss the green beans with the ginger root, red onion and dressing. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
67.4 calories
2.4 g total fat (0.4 g sat)
0.0 mg cholesterol
10.9 g carbohydrate
2.7 g protein
4.2 g fiber

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Beef in Curry & Coconut Milk

Beef in Curry & Coconut Milk

Makes: 6 servings

Created by The MDM Team, Monday, January 21, 2008
It's Thai time you gave this beef dish a try. Get your curry in a hurry with a few simple ingredients that bring home the great taste. To complete the dish, serve over jasmine rice.

1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
2 lb. beef sirloin steaks
2 tbsp. nam pla*
1 bunch fresh basil
2 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp. sugar

Slice beef thinly. In big pot, stir and cook coconut milk until it separates, about 5 minutes. Stir in red curry paste; add sliced beef, cooking until done. Add remaining ingredients and serve.
Additional Tips
Ready in 25 min

*Fish Sauce, or "Nam Pla" in Thai, is one of the basic ingredients in Thai cooking. It has a rich translucent reddish-golden brown color, and is used liberally in nearly all Thai dishes. It is often used as a marinade for fish and meat, as well as a condiment (usually mixed with fresh-cut chilies and lime juice) - you may have come across this "sauce" on tables in Thai restaurants. In fact, Thais would add a little fish sauce to their meal the same way we would use salt and pepper.

October 26, 2009

Grace, Faith, Invitation and Salvation

Grace, Faith, Invitation and Salvation

Dear Friends in Christ,
We often think of the idea of Grace as a New Testament idea that was first expounded by the Apostle Paul in passages like:

Eph 2:8-9 (KJV)
{8} For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
{9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The truth is, though, that grace rightly understood is the basis for all creation by God, and is the key operating principle by which God has dealt with us since He first created Adam. What then is the meaning of the word "grace" ?

In the Hebrew language, the language of the Old Testament manuscripts, the root word for grace means, " to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior"; "to show mercy or have pity upon another". This then is a beautiful description of how God has always dealt with His creation, by stooping low or humbling Himself so that He can show kindness to us. We as the recipients of this act of God's kindness have done nothing to deserve the kindness, because Grace is an inherent quality of God's character. When He displays grace, He is just acting according to Who He is.

Here is a Bible passage that clearly displays God's grace as personified by Jesus Christ. Notice that Jesus didn't have to do this, nobody forced Him to do it, He just of His own volition did it:
Phil 2:5-8 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
{6} Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery{Grk=someting to be eagerly grasped}
to be equal with God:
{7} But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
{8} And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.

Compare the act of Jesus putting aside His Heavenly Glory to humble Himself to become a man, and allow Himself to be put to death on the Cross, with Satan's attitude of pride and self-exaltation which caused him to fall and be cursed by God.

Isa 14:12-15 (KJV)
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
{13} For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
{14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High.
{15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

So Satan, who was an annointed Angel, aspired to exalt himself and to be God, while Jesus Christ, Who already was "in the form of God", ie, the visible expression of the invisible God, agreed to put off the glories of Heaven to humble Himself to become the sacrifice for sin. Halleluia! What a Savior !

And as a further comparison between Jesus willingness to humble Himself and Satan's aspirations to glorifiy himself to be like God, while Satan's destiny will be to be brought down to the pit of hell, Jesus will be glorified for all eternity:

Phil 2:9-11 (KJV)
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him{Jesus Christ},
and given him a name which is above every name:
{10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
{11} And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

This then gives us a clearer picture of our salvation by "grace" through "faith". The fact that we can even be saved is an undeserved gift from God as a demonstration of Who He Is, and His inherant Generousity. And so we are back to the first verses we looked at about Grace and Faith:

Eph 2:8-9 (KJV)
{8} For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
{9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The fact that we can even be saved in our fallen state of sin starts with the inherent Goodness and merciful character of God. If God were not this way, we would be forever doomed, because God is also a Holy God, and He can not look upon sin or for that matter, sinful people.

Psa 34:15-18 (KJV)
{16} The face of the LORD is against them that do evil,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psa 7:11b (KJV)
...God is angry with the wicked every day.

And yet we all start out as "wicked", sinful people.

Rom 3:23 (KJV)
For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;

So how do we go from being someone that God is angry with everyday, to someone who is forgiven and is a recipient of the Grace of God? Paul answers this question in Romans:

Rom 3:24 (KJV)
Being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

What is it that we are to do in response to the Grace and mercy of God?

Rom 3:28 (KJV)
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law.

Heb 11:6 (KJV)
But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

What is then the proper attitude we are to have when we come to God?

Psa 34:18 (KJV)
{18} The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Isa 66:2b (KJV)
but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor{Heb=humbled} and of a contrite{Heb=smitten, depressed} spirit,
and trembleth{Heb=fearful, reverential} at my word.

Isa 57:15 (KJV)
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,
whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place,
with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Psa 25:15-18 (KJV)
Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
{16} Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
for I am desolate and afflicted.
{17} The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
{18} Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)
If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
{9} If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
{10} If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John 3:14-18 (KJV)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
{15} That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life.
{16} For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
{17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.
{18} He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

(Rev 3:19-20 KJV)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
{20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.


Dear Jesus, have mercy on me, I am a sinner.
I have failed you and myself throughout my whole life.
and I know that there is nothing I can do to undo the things I did wrong,
or make my life right now either.
I ask you to forgive my sinfulness, and my sins.
Give me a new heart on the inside.
take away all the filth and failure of my old life,
and let me start over with your Holy Spirit in my life.

I know that you died on the cross to save me,
and then rose from the dead so that I could one day be with you in heaven,
and so that you could always live inside me.
Please come into my heart and let me know that you are there.
I want to give you the rest of my life,
so that you can do with it what You want to do.

I thank you that you have heard me,
and I thank you that you have come into my heart, and will never leave me..

I promise that I will read and study the Bible,
so that I can renew my mind with your thoughts and attitudes.
I am also willing to tell others about you, and what you have done for me
with my friends and family,
and all who will listen...

Lord, I know that you created everything that there is,
and that you are high and lifted up,
and that you are the Lord of the universe.
I praise you for hearing me and answering my prayer...
I know that now I am on my way to Heaven when I die....
Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me.
I am praying in your name and for your sake....
God Bless you in your walk with Jesus.
In Christ......brother bob......<><
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A Dose of Daily Inspiration 26th October

Monday 26th October
Genesis 2:18
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Build friendships that will help you live a godly life!
We were made for relationships. We need one another. It is a terrible mistake to try and face temptation and grow spiritually without the support, encouragement and accountability of spiritually-minded people around us. As AW Tozer put it, "God knows nothing of solitary Christianity". Or as our passage says, "It is not good for the man to be alone".
We need to be building meaningful relationships in two directions. On the one hand, we need to be spending time with people who do not have God in their lives so we can be walking with them towards Christ. But our spiritual lives will always be in danger of falling into temptation if we're not also building spiritual relationships with people who love the Lord.
If you want to stand firm in your spiritual life, beware of lonely moments. Loneliness leaves you open to temptation. Rather, work hard at your spiritual relationships. Talk to your Christian friends about taking your relationship to the next level.
Pray together and hold one another accountable for your responses to temptation and for your responses to God's purposes in your life. Discuss what God is teaching you. Listen and learn. You won't be sorry!
For more from John North and Ambassadors for Christ International, please click here.

Luke 8:4-15

Luke 8:4-15
4) And when a great crowd came together and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5) "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6) And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8) And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." As he said this, he called o ut, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 9) And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10) he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. 11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12) The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. 13) And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14) And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15) And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience."

Simple Beef Empanadas

Simple Beef Empanadas

Makes: 4-6 servings

Created by The MDM Team, Friday, December 21, 2007
It doesn't matter if you don't habla Espanol. You can still enjoy these beef empanadas prepared in the comfort of your own kitchen. A little effort goes a long way with this exotic treat.

1 lb. ground beef
1 (10 oz.) can crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with garlic
2 eggs, boiled and sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. cumin
2 eggs, beaten
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or recommended temperature stated on your crescent roll pkg. and coat bottom of a baking pan with cooking spray. In a medium skillet, heat oil and add the diced bell pepper. Cook until tender, and then add the diced onion. Cook another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan when done and set aside. Season ground beef with salt, pepper, and cumin. Using the same skillet, brown the beef. When it's almost done, toss in the tomatoes and bell pepper/onion mixture. Mix together and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until beef is done. On a floured cutting board, roll out crescent roll dough. Take special care to make sure they do not separate. Dip your fingers in a little flour and pinch all of the serrations closed. Roll out dough to desired thickness. lightly flour the top of the dough and cut out rounds from it using a biscuit cutter or open can dipped in flour. Add beef mixture into the center of each round and top with a slice of egg. Fold the crust so the top and bottom edges meet. Crimp edges together using a fork dipped in flour. Coat the tops of the empanadas with an egg wash and place on baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes or until golden. For a Peruvian touch, drizzle with limejuice and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Additional Tips
Ready in 35 min

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup
4 Servings
This delicious, vegetable-filled broth can be served by itself or used as a base for other soups. The vegetables used in this soup are often just added to soup liquids for cooking. This recipe oven-roasts them first, enhancing their flavor. Your kitchen will fill with the aromas of the roasting vegetables evoking old-fashioned, home-style meals. Comfort food at its finest.

3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon quality extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups water
1/4 cup dried mushroom pieces (Italian porcini, if possible)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and black or red pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 500° F. Place the carrots, celery, and onion in a small (8 x 8 inch) nonstick pan or dish with the olive oil. Toss to coat the vegetables. Bake for 10 minutes.

2. Remove pan from oven, add the garlic, and toss again. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are browned.

3. Remove pan from oven, add 1 cup of water and stir to loosen any vegetables that may be stuck. Pour this into a pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Season to taste with salt and black or red pepper, and serve or use as the base for other soups, stews, or pasta dishes.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
92 calories
5 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
12 g carbohydrate
2 g protein
3 g fiber
150 mg sodium

Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

October 25, 2009

Mark 11:15-25

Mark 11:15-25
15) And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons; 16) and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple. 17) And he taught, and said to them, "Is it not written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." 18) And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. 19) And when evening came they went out of the city. 20) As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21) And Peter remembered and said to him, "Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered." 22) And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. 23) Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25) And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry

Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry
4 Servings
If tofu is prepared right, it's delicious. If not, it can taste like rubber. Tofu is curdled soy milk that's been pressed in a process similar to making cheese. You'll find tofu in natural food stores and many supermarkets these days. Several brands are available with varying texture from extra firm to soft (tofu's firmness depends on the amount of liquid that's been pressed out of it. In large cities with oriental markets you can often find tofu sold in bulk, usually stored in open barrels. Tofu sold this way has been found to occasionally be infected with E. coli bacteria, so be cautious.

You might also try the delicious varieties of baked, pressed tofu you'll find in refrigerator cases at natural food stores. These are already flavored and ready to eat without additional cooking. The idea behind stir-frying is to produce a mixture in which all the items are crunchy-tender and retain their colors and individual character.

1 pound firm tofu
8 cups sliced vegetables (we suggest yellow onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, asparagus, mung-bean sprouts, bamboo shoots)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup natural soy sauce (low sodium if you prefer)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch

1. Slice the tofu in 1/2 inch slices. Press between layered paper towels or clean kitchen towels to dry well. Cut slices into 1 inch cubes. Arrange on a plate with prepared vegetables, separated by variety.

2. Combine sauce ingredients except for cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix cornstarch with just enough cold water to dissolve in a custard cup or teacup (you'll use less than 2 tsp water). Add to sauce, stir well and set aside.

3. Preheat a wok or large skillet. Add the canola oil and vegetables (add the sturdier vegetables first, adding the more tender ones like bean sprouts later) and cook over medium high heat until just crisp tender, stirring constantly.

4. Add the tofu and stir very carefully until the tofu is heated. Stir sauce and pour around edge of wok. Stir vegetables around in sauce as it thickens. Remove from heat as soon as sauce is thickened and serve over rice.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
351 calories
11 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
49 g carbohydrate
15 g protein
6 g fiber
750 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

The Tongue of the Wise, Part One

The Tongue of the Wise, Part Oneby Charles R. Swindoll
Proverbs 16:21, 23-24, 27
Wisely labeled "the saving virtue," tact graces a life like fragrance graces a rose. One whiff of those red petals erases any memory of the thorns.
Tact is like that. It's remarkable how peaceful and pleasant it can make us. Its major goal is avoiding unnecessary offense . . . and that alone ought to make uscrave it. Its basic function is a keen sense of what to say or do in order to maintain the truth and good relationships . . . and that alone ought to make uscultivate it. Tact is savoir faire on the horizontal plane. It is incessantly appropriate, invariably attractive, incurably appealing, but rare . . . oh, so rare!
Remember the teacher you had who lacked tact? Learning was sacrificed daily on the altar of fear. You wondered each session if that was the day you'd be singled out and embarrassed through some public put-down.
Remember the salesperson you encountered who lacked tact? Once you found out (and it usually doesn't take sixty seconds), you wanted only one thing---to getaway.
Remember the boss you worked for who lacked tact? You never knew if he everunderstood you or considered you to be a valuable person.
And who could forget that tactless physician? You weren't a human being, you were Case 36---a body with a blood pressure of 120/70 . . . height 5'7". . . weight 160 . . . a history of chronic diarrhea . . . stones in your gall bladder---"and you need radical surgery immediately!" All this was spoken in perfect monotone as he glared grimly at a folder stuffed with X-rays, charts, and long sheets of paper covered with advanced hieroglyphics. Brilliant, capable, experienced, dignified, respected . . . but no tact.
Perhaps you heard about the husband who lacked tact. Early one morning his wife left for a trip abroad . . . and that very day their poodle died. When she called home that evening, she asked how everything was---and he bluntly blurted out, "Well, the dog died!" Shocked, she chided him through tears for being so tactless, so strong.
"What should I have said?" he asked.
"You should have broken the news gently, perhaps in stages. When I called you from here in New York, you could have said, 'The dog is on the roof.' And the next day when I called you from London, 'He fell off the roof.' The following day from Paris, you could have told me, 'He is at the vet's . . . in the hospital.' And finally, from Rome, I could have then been informed, 'He died.'"
The husband paused and thought about the advice. His wife then asked, "By the way, how is mother?"
He responded, "She's on the roof!"
Ah, that's bad. But it isn't the worst. The classic example of tactless humanity, I'm disappointed to declare, is the abrasive Christian (so-called) who feels it is his or her calling to fight for the truth with little or no regard for the other fella's feelings. Of course, this is supposedly done in the name of the Lord. "To do anything less," this tactless individual intones with a pious expression, "would be compromise and counterfeit." So on he goes, plowing through people's feelings like a clumsy John Deere tractor, leaving everyone he encounters buried in the dirt and, worst of all, deeply offended.
He may speak the truth but nobody wants to listen---and nobody wants to draw nearer to the Savior. Tomorrow, we'll talk more about the essential virtue of tact.
Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

October 24, 2009

Saturday - Prayer of the Day

To Listen With Heart

Father, I'm praying for family and friends who need You to lead them through the decisions they're making...

Help them to live in dependence on You, as dependent sheep in the flock of their shepherd, willing to follow You and not be led astray. Help them to keep their eyes on Jesus, to listen for Him, to hear and recognize His voice. (Psalm 77:20; Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 12:2a; John 10:3–4)

May they listen with their hearts and hear You say, "This is the way, walk in it." Guide them in Your truth; teach, counsel, and watch over them. When it seems like they're walking in the darkness and have no light, help them trust in You and Your name, confident that You'll lead them along paths they haven't seen before. (Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 25:5a; 32:8; Isaiah 50:10b; 42:16)

Lead and guide them for the sake of Your name. May they know their lives are in Your hands. Direct their steps and clear the way for them. (Psalm 31:3, 14–15a; Proverbs 20:24a; Psalm 18:36)

May the Spirit of truth lead them and teach them all things. Guide them in the way of wisdom and lead them according to Your will. ( John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14; John 16:13; 1 John 2:27; Proverbs 4:11)

Keep them from wrong choices. In Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday - A Dose of Daily Inspiration

The Right Kind of Behavior
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 NASB
When we behave ourselves as godly men, we honor God. When we live righteously and according to God's commandments, He blesses us in ways that we cannot fully understand. When we seek righteousness in our own lives--and when we seek the ompanionship of those who do likewise--we reap the spiritual rewards that God intends for us to enjoy.
Today, as you fulfill your responsibilities, hold fast to that which is good, and associate yourself with believers who behave themselves in like fashion. When you do, your good works will serve as a powerful example for others and as a worthy offering to your Creator.
A pure theology and a loose morality will never mix. C. H. Spurgeon
Christians are the citizens of heaven, and while we are on earth, we ought to behave like heaven's citizens. Warren Wiersbe
Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise. Phillips Brooks
We should live in light of being called out of this world at any time into the presence of God, where we will receive our eternal reward. John MacArthur
Today's Prayer
Dear Lord, this world has countless temptations, distractions, interruptions, and frustrations. When I allow my focus to drift away from You and Your Word, I suffer. But, when I turn my thoughts and my prayers to You, Heavenly Father, You guide my path. Let me discover the right thing to do--and let me do it--this day and every day that I live. Amen

Saturday - The Sayings of Jesus

Matthew 11:2-15
2) Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3) and said to him, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" 4) And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6) And blessed is he who takes no offense at me." 7) As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concernin g John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? 8) Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings' houses. 9) Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10) This is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send a messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.' 11) Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12) From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. 13) For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; 14) and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15) He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Apple Oat-Bran Muffins

Apple Oat-Bran Muffins
12 Servings
Oat bran binds cholesterol in the gut and blocks its absorption. These muffins can help you move toward a healthy daily goal of 40 grams of fiber, which is about twice what most Americans consume.

Expeller-pressed canola oil for oiling the muffin pan
2 large green cooking apples
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/4 cups oat bran
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 12-ounce can apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup water

1. Heat oven to 325° F. Lightly oil muffin pan. Peel and core apples; chop them coarsely. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together pastry flour, white flour, oat bran, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. Add thawed apple-juice concentrate, chopped apples, and enough water to make a light batter.

4. Mix just enough to moisten all ingredients. Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake till lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

5. Remove muffins from cups while hot.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
Calories: 208.4
Protein: 5.6 grams
Fat: 1.4 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.3 grams
Monounsat Fat: 0.3 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.5 grams
Carbohydrate: 48.7 grams
Fiber: 5.3 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 19.5 IU
Vitamin E: 0.7 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 3.1 mg
Calcium: 25.1 mg
Magnesium: 58.3 mg

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Low Calorie Crock-Pot Rice Pudding

Low Calorie Crock-Pot Rice Pudding

Serves: 4

Created by The MDM Team, Sunday, October 28, 2007
You won't take this delicious dessert with a grain of rice. It's creamy, dreamy and prepared in a crockpot. One bite and you're sure to love every mouthwatering spoonful.

1/2 gallon milk
1 cup regular rice
1 cup Splenda
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 can evaporated milk
Pam cooking spray

Spray crock-pot with Pam. Pour milk and rice into pot, cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Cook until soft and stir often. Mix sugar, eggs and evaporated milk & vanilla with whisk. Pour into crock-pot. Cook 45 minutes or so, once again stirring occasionally. Feel free to add raisins and cinnamon just before it is finished cooking.

October 23, 2009

Baked Herbed Red Potatoes

Baked Herbed Red Potatoes

Makes: 4 servings

Created by The MDM Team, Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We've got a "new " approach to potatoes that will have you seeing red. Enjoy this starchy side with just about anything -- from chicken to steak to fish. It has plenty of appeal.

4 large red potatoes
½ cup olive oil
1 oz butter
Salt and pepper to taste

With red new potatoes, leaving scrubbed skin intact, cut potatoes into cubes of less than one inch. Into a shallow, open cooking vessel place cubed potatoes and equal portions of light olive oil and butter sufficient to liberally cover all surfaces of the potatoes. Generously sprinkle whole thyme over the potatoes. Turning the potatoes every five minutes, bake at 400 degrees until desired crispness and browning is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Additional Tips
Ready in 40 min

Cholesterol-Free Oat Bran Muffins

Cholesterol-Free Oat Bran Muffins

Makes: 12 servings

Created by The MDM Team, Thursday, November 22, 2007
These muffins are simplistic in preparation and excellent in taste. While they may be small in stature, they pack a palate-pleasing punch any time of the day.

3/4 cup flour
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. allspice
2 mashed bananas
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and allspice. In a medium-mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, milk, egg substitute, cooking oil and vanilla. Add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until moistened. Put into muffin pans you have sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. You can add raisins, nuts, shredded carrots, etc.

Confess Me Before Men

Confess Me Before Men
To confess {Eng= to acknowledge one's belief or faith in; declare adherence to.}
To confess {Grk= to say the same thing}
To confess {Heb= to extend the hand (so as to reveal its contents)}

Mat 10:32-33 (KJV)
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,
him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
{33} But whosoever shall deny me before men,
him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9 (KJV)
Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men,
him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
{9} But he that denieth me before men
shall be denied before the angels of God.

Psa 119:46-48 (KJV)
I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,
and will not be ashamed.
{47} And I will delight myself in thy commandments,
which I have loved.
{48} My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments,
which I have loved;
and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Rom 10:8-11 (KJV)
But what saith it (ie.the Law of God)?
The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
{9} That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
{10} For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
{11} For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 Tim 6:8-12 (KJV)
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
{9} But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition.
{10} For the love of money is the root of all evil:
which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
{11} But thou, O man of God, flee these things;
and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
{12} Fight the good fight of faith,
lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called,
and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Tim 1:7-10 (KJV)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
{8} Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,
nor of me his prisoner:
but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel
according to the power of God;
{9} Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
{10} But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who hath abolished death,
and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

1 John 4:12-19 (KJV)
No man hath seen God at any time.
If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
{13} Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit.
{14} And we have seen and do testify
that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
{15} Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
{16} And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
{17} Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world.
{18} There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
{19} We love him, because he first loved us.


More verses for you to contemplate:

(Mat 28:18-20 KJV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {
19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
{20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(Mark 16:15-16 KJV)
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
{16} He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(Psa 98:2-4 KJV)
The LORD hath made known his salvation:
his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
{3} He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel:
all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
{4} Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:
make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

(Luke 14:16-24 KJV)
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
{17} And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden,
Come; for all things are now ready. {18} And they all with one consent began to make excuse.
The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
{19} And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
{20} And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
{21} So that servant came, and showed his lord these things.
Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant,
Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,
and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
{22} And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
{23} And the lord said unto the servant,
Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
{24} For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

(Luke 24:45-49 KJV)
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
{46} And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
{47} And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
{48} And ye are witnesses of these things.
{49} And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

(Psa 96:2-5 KJV)
Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day.
{3} Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
{4} For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
{5} For all the gods of the nations are idols:
but the LORD made the heavens.


For further study, Check out these archives of past devotionals:
(Note: the devotionals may be under the headings of "discussions" "files" or "pages" )



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Friday - A Dose of Daily Inspiration

Week of October 23
Your Kindness Quotientby Max Lucado
How kind are you? What is your kindness quotient? When was the last time you did something kind for someone in your family--e.g., got a blanket, cleaned off the table, prepared the coffee--without being asked?
Think about your school or workplace. Which person is the most overlooked or avoided? A shy student? A grumpy employee? Maybe he doesn't speak the language. Maybe she doesn't fit in. Are you kind to this person?
Kind hearts are quietly kind. They let the car cut into traffic and the young mom with three kids move up in the checkout line. They pick up the neighbor's trash can that rolled into the street. And they are especially kind at church. They understand that perhaps the neediest person they'll meet all week is the one standing in the foyer or sitting on the row behind them in worship. Paul writes: "When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers" (Gal. 6:10).
And, here is a challenge--what about your enemies? With the boss who fired you or the wife who left you. Suppose you surprised them with kindness? Not easy? No, it's not. But mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. Paul equates the two. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Eph. 4:32 NKJV). Jesus said:
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you.... If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? ... [L]ove your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy. (Luke 6:27-28, 32, 35-36)
Kindness at home. Kindness in public. Kindness at church and kindness with your enemies. Pretty well covers the gamut, don't you think? Almost. Someone else needs your kindness. Who could that be? You.
Since he is so kind to us, can't we be a little kinder to ourselves? Oh, but you don't know me, Max. You don't know my faults and my thoughts. You don't know the gripes I grumble and the complaints I mumble. No, I don't, but he does. He knows everything about you, yet he doesn't hold back his kindness toward you. Has he, knowing all your secrets, retracted one promise or reclaimed one gift?
No, he is kind to you. Why don't you be kind to yourself? He forgives your faults. Why don't you do the same? He thinks tomorrow is worth living. Why don't you agree? He believes in you enough to call you his ambassador, his follower, even his child. Why not take his cue and believe in yourself?
Be kind to yourself. God thinks you're worth his kindness. And he's a good judge of character.
From A Love Worth GivingCopyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado

Friday - The Sayings of Jesus

Luke 20:9-18
9) And he began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country for a long while. 10) When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, that they should give him some of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 11) And he sent another servant; him also they beat and treated shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12) And he sent yet a third; this one they wounded and cast out. 13) Then the owner of the vineyard said, `What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will respect him.' 14) But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.' 15) And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16) He will come and destroy those tenants, and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "God forbid!" 17) But he looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner'? 18) Every one who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one it will crush him."

Red Potato Salad

Red Potato Salad
6 Servings
Potato salad isn't just for picnics — this sophisticated version can be used as a side dish for even the fanciest meal. Instead of mayonnaise, we use mustard and wine combined with vinegar and a moderate amount of olive oil. The result is a sharply flavored mix for the potatoes. Small red potatoes, or new potatoes, are better suited for this dish because they have a firmer texture after boiling than the commonly used russets or baking potatoes. They also have a lower glycemic index than russets. Remember to remove any sprouts before cooking. If you find very small red potatoes, you can leave the skin on and cut them in half.

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, organic if possible
1/4 cup Dijon or Dusseldorf mustard
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
2 tsp capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Chopped fresh dill to taste
1/2 lb. steamed green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces (optional)

1. Boil potatoes in their skins, covered, just until they can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.

2. Meanwhile, prepare dressing in a jar, combining mustard, vermouth, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; shake well.

3. Drain potatoes, let cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into thick slices. Place in a large bowl.

4. Pour dressing over the potatoes while they are warm, tossing well.

5. Add chopped onion, sliced celery, capers, finely chopped parsley, dill and, if you like, other chopped vegetables (red bell pepper, radish).

6. Correct seasoning. Chill until served.

7. If desired, you can toss in lightly cooked fresh green beans as a good last-minute addition.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
154 calories
5 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
24 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
3 g fiber
250 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Cucumber, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Cucumber, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
1 Serving
This simple salad is a version of an Italian standard. You'll find fresh, white mozzarella cheese in most delis or supermarkets — it's very different from the pale yellow, packaged mozzarella.

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 large Roma tomato, sliced
1 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
3 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. On a salad plate, layer slices of the cucumber, tomato and cheese. Drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh basil.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
137 calories
10 g total fat (1 g sat)
20 mg cholesterol
7 g carbohydrate
6 g protein
1 g fiber
27 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

October 21, 2009

Fried Meatballs

Fried Meatballs

Makes: 40 meatballs

Created by The MDM Team, Thursday, February 21, 2008
Get the best of both worlds with these fried meatballs. Pork, beef and a slew of other ingredients are blended together for a dish that will satisfy even the pickiest foodie.

1 1/2 lb. ground beef

1 1/2 lb. ground pork

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain dried breadcrumbs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup water

2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with juice

3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce

4 tsp. vegetable oil

2 small onions, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, 1 tsp. of salt, pepper, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and water using your hands. Form into 1-inch meatballs, and set aside on a piece of waxed paper.
Pour the diced tomatoes into the container of a blender along with the chipotle peppers. Blend until smooth, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the remaining garlic and cumin, and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas. Pour in the tomato mixture and chicken broth. Season with the remaining tsp. of salt, and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over low heat.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs, but do not crowd them. Fry them in two batches if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned on the outside. Remove from the skillet, and place into the pot of simmering sauce. Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for about 30 minutes.
For special occasions, serve the meatballs in a chafing dish with the sauce, and garnish with cilantro.
Additional Tips
Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes

Daily Bible Verse

Daily Bible Verse
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Provided by Christ Notes

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105 (New International Version)

Mediterranean Tuna Steaks

Mediterranean Tuna Steaks
2 Servings
The Mediterranean flavors of the colorful topping in this recipe are a perfect complement to the flavor and firm texture of the fish. A cast-iron grill pan is best for this dish. Be sure to season a new cast iron pan well before using it for the first time and preheat it each time you use it. Spinach sautéed with garlic is an excellent side dish for this recipe.

2 tuna steaks, 6 ounces each, about 1 inch thick
2 teaspoons quality extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium ripe tomato, finely diced
6 green olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons capers
1 clove garlic, mashed
Pinch of dried whole oregano

1. Rinse the tuna steaks under cold water and pat dry. Brush them with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat grill or broiler. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Grill or broil the steaks on high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side or until desired doneness.

4. Top the tuna steaks with the tomato-olive mixture.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
262 calories
9 g total fat (1 g sat)
76 mg cholesterol
4 g carbohydrate
40 g protein
1 g fiber
450 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Wednesday - The Sayings of Jesus

Mark 8:1-10 (220 words)
1) In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him, and said to them, 2) "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; 3) and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way." 4) And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?" 5) And he asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven." 6) And he commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7) And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, he commanded that these also should be set before them. 8) And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9) And there were about four thousand people. 10) And he sent them away; and immediately he got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanu'tha.

Wednesday - A Dose of Daily Inspiration

Loving by Anticipating

When you travel a lot, you eat in restaurants a lot. And so I've seen my share of waiters and waitresses - some who do a good job, some whose service leaves something to be desired, and a few who are outstanding at what they do. You try to say a special thank you with a special tip for that kind of server, right? One example of stellar service: those servers who check regularly to see if you need more water, without being asked for it; who automatically check to see if you want ketchup or steak sauce or more bread or more anything. It just feels good when someone cares enough to anticipate what you need.

If anticipating your needs means something in a restaurant, imagine how much it means in a marriage! Actually I saw some married friends in a local restaurant recently, friends who have been married a long time. Based on some things he had said, I made this observation, "These sound like the best years you've ever had together." He smiled broadly and he said, "Yes, because after forty years, I'm learning not just to meet her needs, but to anticipate her needs!"

That's husbanding in keeping with what Jesus called the second greatest commandment of all - what James calls the "royal law" in James 2:8, our word for today from the Word of God. He writes, "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right." We know how we love ourselves. We're really good at that. We think ahead about our needs and we make sure we have a plan for taking care of those needs. Jesus teaches us to think that way about others.

In the great marriage passage in Ephesians 5, God applies this kind of selflessness directly to how a man treats the woman he's married to. He says, "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the Church" (Ephesians 5:28-29). Again, look after her needs as much as you look after your own.

Some years ago, the Lord really spoke to me about coming home all full of my day, my concerns, my agenda, my needs. So I learned to sort of, well I called it, "close my briefcase" mentally on the way home so I could think through what was going on that day in the lives of my wife and my children. I did my best to anticipate what they might need from me when I got in the house. To the extent I did that, and to the extent I do it now, I am loving with anticipating love. By the way, I know the Second Commandment is for wives, too. We're each supposed to be anticipating the needs of the other.

Anticipate the times that they're going to need you to physically just be there. Anticipate when your spouse will need help, or comfort, or intimacy, or reassurance, maybe extended debriefing time, or tenderness, they need prayer together, or just some encouragement like praising small progress in an area where they've really been struggling. Usually, the love that really makes the other person feel loved means sacrifice on our part. But then, what did the cross teach us if it didn't teach it that real love almost always involves sacrifice.

Love is really at its best when it's thinking about the other person; thinking about them enough to anticipate their need and do all you can to meet that need. Actually, that's loving like Jesus loves.

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
Learn how to begin a personal, love-relationship with the God who made you.


How to Love Your Job No Matter What

Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.

October 20, 2009

Bridal Shower Punch

Bridal Shower Punch

Serves: 8-10

Created by The MDM Team, Saturday, November 10, 2007
Shower the people you love with this bridal punch. This non-alcoholic beverage is also perfect for baby showers. One sip and it's sure to bowl over you and your guests.

2 liters Sprite
12 oz. frozen cranberry juice
12 oz. frozen lemonade

Just pour sprite or 7-up into punch bowl.
Scoop out frozen cranberry juice and lemonade.
Mix well. Can add an ice ring or ice cubes to keep in nice a cold.

Miso Soup

Miso Soup
4 Servings
Miso soup is the Japanese version of chicken soup, a combination soul food and comfort food. It is traditionally eaten at breakfast in Japan as a daily staple. Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, and is full of antioxidants like vitamin E, as well as protective fatty acids. It's healthful and delicious, and the Japanese say that the linoleic acid in miso promotes soft skin. The soybeans miso is made from also contain isoflavones and other elements that provide protection against some forms of cancer. To preserve these properties, miso should not be boiled. Add it to a soup after it has been removed from direct heat.

2 teaspoons canola oil
3 slices fresh ginger root
1 large onion
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
5 cups water
4 tablespoons miso (dark or light, available at natural-food stores)
Sesame oil (optional)

1. Heat canola oil in large pot. Add ginger and onion, thinly sliced. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes and add carrots, celery, and cabbage. Stir well.

2. Add water, bring rapidly to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered till carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place miso in a bowl, add a little of the vegetable broth, and stir well into a smooth paste. Add more broth to thin the mixture, then add to the pot of soup. Let rest for a few minutes.

4. Serve in bowls with chopped raw scallions. You may wish to remove the sliced ginger before serving, and you can add a few drops of roasted (dark) sesame oil to each bowl, if desired, for a smoother nutty flavor.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
108 calories
6 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
13 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
3 g fiber
675 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com

Tuesday - The Sayings of Jesus

Matthew 5:27-37
27) "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' 28) But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29) If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31 ) It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32) But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33) Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34) But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35) or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36) And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37) Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil."

Tuesday - A Dose of Daily Inspiration

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Words That Don't Go Together

"No, Lord," Peter declared. "I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean." But the voice spoke again: "Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean." --Acts 10:14-15
There are certain words that don't go together and certain words that do. "Yes, Lord"--that works nicely. "How, Lord?"--that is fine. "When, Lord?" or even "Why, Lord?" work too. But if you are a Christian, you should never say, "No, Lord" or "Never, Lord."
It was time for the apostle Peter to leave his comfort zone and go to certain people who needed to hear the gospel. So one day as Peter was praying at about noon, he saw the sky open and a sheet being lowered down with all kinds of animals on it--basically, all the animals that were unclean according to Jewish law. God told him, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat them."
But Peter responded, "No, Lord." Now Peter was in Joppa, the same place where Jonah caught a ship going in the opposite direction of where God told him to go. Jonah didn't want to preach in Ninevah, which was the enemy of Israel, so he tried to get as far away from God as he could. But the Lord has a way of getting things the way He wants them, and Jonah eventually said, "Yes, Lord."
Sometimes we don't want to reach out to the enemy with the gospel because, if we were really honest, we are kind of glad they eventually will get theirs. But we need to share the Good News with everyone, even our enemies.
Peter had a choice. Either he could run from God or he could obey God. And he did the latter. When the Lord said go, he went. Peter shared the gospel with Cornelius, who came to faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit was poured out on Cornelius' home, and the gospel was brought to the Gentile world. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

October 19, 2009

The Holiness of God Challenges Our Conduct

The Holiness of God Challenges Our Conduct

Lev 19:1-2 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
{2} Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say unto them,
Ye shall be holy:
for I the LORD your God am holy.

1 Pet 2:9-10 (KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people{God's own possession};
that ye should show forth the praises of Him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

(Exo 15:11 KJV)
Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?
who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

The Holiness of God is a characteristic unique to God's nature which becomes the goal for human moral character. The understanding of what it means to be "holy" is important for an understanding of God, of worship, and of the people of God in the Bible.

(Lev 20:7-8 KJV)
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
{8} And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them:
I am the LORD which sanctify you.

(Lev 20:26 KJV)
And ye shall be holy unto me:
for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people,
that ye should be mine.

Holiness has four distinct meanings:

This applies to places where God is present, like the Temple and the tabernacle, and to things and persons related to those holy places or to God Himself. For example, Moses at the Burning bush:

Exo 3:4-6 (KJV)
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see,
God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.
And he said, Here am I.
{5} And he said, Draw not nigh hither{Heb=do not approach here}:
put off thy shoes from off thy feet,
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
{6} Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
And Moses hid his face;
for he was afraid to look upon God.

In the case of God primarily this evokes adoration and reverence."

(Psa 29:1-4 KJV) A Psalm of David.
Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
{2} Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
{3} The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth:
the LORD is upon many waters. {4} The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

(Psa 47:6-8 KJV)
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
{7} For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
{8} God reigneth over the heathen:
God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

(Isa 57:15 KJV)
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

This also can apply to believers or godly people. We are not holy in our of ourselves, but God imparts His holiness to us as we repent, submit ourselves to Christ, and He fills us with His Holy Spirit.

(Psa 97:9-12 KJV)
For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
{10} Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:
he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
{11} Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
{12} Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous;
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

1 Pet 1:15-16 (KJV)
But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation{Grk=behavior};
{16} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

This is clearly the application to God and is the primary meaning of "holy."

(Psa 96:2-10 KJV)
Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day.
{3} Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
{4} For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
{5} For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
{6} Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
{7} Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
{8} Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
{9} O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
{10} Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth:
the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved:
he shall judge the people righteously.

Rev 4:8-11 (KJV)
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;
and they were full of eyes within:
and they rest not day and night, saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
{9} And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne,
who liveth for ever and ever,
{10} The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne,
and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,
and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
{11} Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:
for thou hast created all things,
and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

This speaks of God, but also of places or things or persons which have been set apart by God's presence. A saint is a holy person. To be sanctified is to be made holy.

Exo 19:18-23 (KJV)
And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke,
because the LORD descended upon it in fire:
and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace,
and the whole mount quaked greatly.
{19} And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long,
and waxed louder and louder,
Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
{20} And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount:
and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount;
and Moses went up.
{21} And the LORD said unto Moses,
Go down, charge the people,
lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze{Heb=stare},
and many of them perish.
{22} And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD,
sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

{23} And Moses said unto the LORD,
The people cannot come up to mount Sinai:
for thou chargedst us, saying,
Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
{24} And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down,
and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee:
but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD,
lest he break forth upon them.....

Exo 20:18-20 (KJV)
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings,
and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking:
and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
{19} And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear:
but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
{20} And Moses said unto the people,
Fear not: for God is come to prove you,
and that his fear may be before your faces,
that ye sin not.

God is holy.
In the Bible, fire is the symbol of holy power. Jealousy, wrath, remoteness, cleanliness, glory, and majesty are related to it. He is unsearchable, incomprehensible, incomparable, great, wonderful, and exalted. His name is Holy.
It is a unique and inscrutible characteristic of God that He is both Holy and set apart and yet humble and willing to have a relationship with us, all at the same time. This is most confusing to those who have not studied the Bible enough or focussed on the attributes of God. We seem to have the tendency to focus on either His Holiness or His Humbleness, while ignoring the other. Or on His Wrath or on His Mercy, while finding it difficult to integrate both characteristics at the same time. But God is all these things and more, all at the same time. We need to pray for wisdom to understand all this. Perhaps this is why Jesus made a point of this statement:

Mat 11:28-29 (KJV)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
{29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

And this one also:

John 14:9(KJV)
.... he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;

And also when God says:

Isa 1:18 (KJV)
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

The Holiness of God co-exists with His nature as a personal God who desires to have a personal relationship with man. Holiness tends toward separation and uniqueness. Personhood determines relations and close communion. Holiness inspires awe and fear. Personhood inspires love and the wish to be near. Both are expressed in the Bible as necessary ways to think of and experience God. Both are necessary if one is to avoid shallow, one-sided thinking about God. Neither holiness nor personhood alone can do justice to the Biblical revelation of Who God is. Both taken together help us more accurtely understand and experience God. As Jesus says in Revelation:

Rev 3:18-22 (KJV)
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich;
and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,
and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
{19} As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent.
{20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
{21} To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne.
{22} He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God Bless you as you meditate on these things.
In Christ...brother bob...<><
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