Monday, February 22, 2010

What Does the Future Hold for Our Young Ones?

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I have a ten year old son. He is a beautiful, precious little guy, he's smart as a whip, he's onery as can be and when he was a real tiny little thing -- about three -- he used to tell me that he was going to grow up and be a "righteous man of God". My soul was thrilled.

I also have a beautiful, smart, lovely grown-up daughter who is the ripe old age of 25 (almost 26).

In some ways, I suppose, I spoiled both of my kids ... like I tried to buy them nice things, we lived in nice homes and they were always (at least as far was able to make them tow the line) well dressed and well fed. They were always provided with nice trips and fun things to do in off school times.

One thing always kind of bothered me, though. I have never been a parent that provided my children with every available, fad-of-the-moment toy. We didn't go see every kid's movie and buy every accompanying figurine/toy, or other propaganda from said movies. I always thought I deprived my children of something. My daughter always preferred to play with her basketball and dog and my son has always preferred sticks and tree limbs that he pretends are weapons or whatever depending on what he is playing, and/or he would rather do something physical.

Reflecting now on things that have come to light about the subversive, subliminal, not-so-good-for-you messages that have been and are being fed to our children every day of their lives in movies, toys, and music, I am glad that I deprived my children of many of the toys, movies or CDs that they might have wanted. (Believe me, being a Realtor for the past 20 years, I have been in many homes where sometimes it was difficult to see the room for the toys, so I know parents are doing it!)

I would like to direct you to a couple of web sites where you can read about the things being fed to children subliminally in order to indoctrinate them and prepare them for the evil that is being plotted in the future. With so much mind control, transhumanism, singularity, RFIDs which I believe will lead to the mark of the beast, the "feel good" gospel that does not lead to repentance and salvation, dependence on the government and programs to make their lives easier, and liberalism being programmed into them in government schools and college and in movies and music,how can they avoid being won over to satan's evil world system that is quickly over taking the globe?

As you may know, I have been listing countries where Christians are persecuted and martyred and where our prayers are greatly needed, but I would suggest to you that our children need our prayers NOW, everyday! And, they need our protection and active involvement in what they are playing, watching, listening to, and they need us to be day-after-day examples of people who are working out our salvation with fear and trembling. They need to see us reading our Bible, they need to hear us praying, and most of all they need to see us seeking to follow Jesus' example in living our lives (they also need to hear the word "no").

I repeat, it's going to take parental vigilance, involvement, oversight and PRAYER, much prayer. Won't you join me, please?

Here are a couple of web sites with useful information:

The Vigilant Citizen
John McTernan's Insights
(read his posts on singularity and transhumanism)

Lift Up the People of Nepal

Nepal adopted a constitution in 1990 that guaranteed each person the freedom to to profess and practice their own religion. however, Hinduism is recognized as the national religion.

Hindu 75.82% Buddhist 16% Christian 1.89%

Proselytizing is banned and carries a three year jail penalty, but no one thus far has been prosecuted. Most persecution comes from militant Hindus who aim to drive all Christians from the country. Despite this, Nepal's church has grown. Some estimate there are 500,000 Christians in 3,000 or more congregations. For more information on this country, visit The Voice of the Martyrs web site.

RFIDs

The Bible tells us that (at some point in the future) in order to buy and sell, people will have to have some sort of governmental mark either on their forehead or on the right hand.

There is a lot in the news these days about RFIDs or Radio Frequency Identification systems. It is my humble opinion that RFIDs in some way play into this economic marking system.

It is the desire of the people in control of this world to take control of our lives in every possible way, and I believe, too, that they are flying well below the average person's radar in getting this system in place.

If you are a person who wants to be informed and know as much as you can in order to protect yourself, your loved ones and acquaintences from this evil and intrusive system, please go to this site for in depth information which will bring you up to speed on what is happening with this agenda.

May God open your eyes today to what is transpiring in the world around you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Who Needs Our Prayers Today?

Pray with me today for the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico. Evangelical Christians there are persecuted by local religious and political leaders, particularly in smaller communities.

Stats are not available as to the religious make up there, but it is said to be a mixture of pagan, revolutionary and liberation theology.

From Voice of the Martyrs:

Persecution in Chiapas comes from traditionalist Catholics who resent any threat to their control in the state. Christians face harrassment from town leaders and neighbors. They are often forcibly relocated out of traditionalist communities. In 2009, six Christian radio stations were dismantles in four Chiapan cities, and Christians fear that more may be closed down....

May God give those who are persecuted for His sake an extra measure of His Holy Spirit today so that they may endure and persevere. Amen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Christians Who Need Our Prayers

I hope to give you some information each day about Christianity in various nations.

Our country for today is Afghanistan. Take a few minutes and offer up a prayer for believers there. This country is 97.89% Muslim, .02% Christian.

Anyone who acknowledges faith in Christ experiences intense persecution including death. Persecution normally comes from family members and neighbors, while police and government officials turn a blind eye.

For specific information, go to The Voice of the Martyrs web site and search for Afghanistan.

Does It Matter to You?

The world around us is becoming de-sensitized. Can you tell? Satan is so subtle. It starts with with something innocuous and builds. I can't say exactly where it started, but here's where we are:

I just read the following story in a newsletter that I subscribe to:

On Tuesday afternoon, a man crawled out of an apartment window. He stood on the ledge above the Forever 21 store at Powell St. near the cable car turnaround and, eventually, he jumped. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

But this is only part of the story. According to the SF Examiner, a large crowd watched as the man contemplated his demise. Some people tweeted about it. Even more horrifying, others encouraged him to jump, said passerby Terence Prasad, of San Francisco. (**The Chronicle and SFGate elected not to report on the suicide)

Online commenters who say they witnessed the incident paint a similarly disturbing picture. They describe the callous reaction and behavior of bystanders. At the same time, posters expressed with startling honesty the trauma of seeing the suicide while offering an outpouring of empathy, perhaps making up for the sickening lack of humanity yesterday and reminding us there are still many good, decent people out there.

Below are excerpts of posts from the Examiner, Flickr, Yelp and Facebook:

Wilfred Galila (SF Examiner)

I watched this man standing on the ledge a few moments before he jumped. He was thinking and hesistating (sic). I exclaimed that I hope that man is not going to jump and a lady replied that if he really wants to do it, he should already have done it. It is very disturbing then to learn that there were people who did encourage him to jump. Society has become so desensitized and human life reduced to an amusement and a spectacle.

jchuckp (SF Examiner)

... I was so disgusted at the severe lack of respect shown by so many in the crowd. All of the people who were encouraging him to jump.....may your souls burn for all eternity.

Jon Barnhardt (SF Examiner)

The fact that I saw people in the crowd laughing less than 10 seconds after the man's death may be more disturbing than actually watching him die. May he rest in peace.

Robert Kolbe (SF Examiner)

I walked by just as the police were covering him up. I asked a couple what had happened and the man responded yes -- laughingly. I asked him if he thought it was funny. He then gave me a kind of funny look and didn't say anything. How very sad this man died this way. People, please be nice to each other.

c. (SF Examiner)

i was there and im traumatized. the guys next to me were laughing telling him to jump and videotaping the whole thing. i'm still young and in high school and this is gunna stick with me for the rest of my life. there was a total lack of respect for the poor man and people were laughing when he jumped.

Kittie K. (Yelp)

Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for the victim/his family, tons of people were snapping pics and video and blocked me from seeing it despite being just a few feet from the body as I exited the store.

Mooncricket Films (Flickr):
This person claims to have filmed the incident and wants to use the footage for a larger project on suicide and suicide prevention.

I'm teaming up with @andresra to present this story in an ethical and educational way. Andres and I are researching the incident, from speaking with other witnesses like myself to interviewing the victims neighbors. We're also requesting an interview with the SF Suicide Prevention Clinic to participate in this journalism project. This is necessary, the statistics are a morbid reality, suicide can be prevented and as a filmmaker I must do my part.

Nick.Fisher (Flickr)

I debated for the rest of the day on whether to post this at all. But I feel that it shouldn't go unnoticed. It should be reminder to everyone, including myself, that we need to be more considerate and aware of the suffering of our fellow humans. That maybe, if one person had screamed "don't do it!" this man would be alive right now.

Aaron Anderson (Facebook) posted an aerial shot of the crowd and the building on his Facebook page and included this poignant message:

Dear friends - literally, this just happened outside my office building. Promise me - you will come and have a cup of coffee or gelato with me before you do something this drastic. There's no need for tragedy in a world filed with grief. We can get you help.

Read more: HERE

If you read this story, and it didn't bother you, I pray that you'll stop for just a moment and ask the creator to give you back a sense of the sanctity of life, because this is truly a sad commentary about our society today. I partially believe this is occurring as a result of television, movies and video games. The amount of violence and death that children and young people watch (and in the case of video games, take part in) is astounding. When I was growing up, well, and really, even now, I had a serious case of getting ill whenever I saw blood, gore, death or anything similar to that.

What has happened to us as a people that we have lost our ability to feel bad about another human being's misery, loss, pain, or suffering unless it's someone close to us? Well, in addition to violence, gore and death on tv, in movies and video games, I think that Darwin's theory of evolution, the abortion movement and people's lack of knowledge about the one true God are the other elements contributing to this.

Evolution de-values human life to the point that we came from a big bang out in space. Do you really believe that the organization, intricacy, complexity and beauty of life around you came out of chaos?

There have been approximately 52 million abortions performed in the US since Roe v. Wade legalized it. Having gotten pregnant at age 42 with an unwanted pregnancy (and to my shame, I admit that I considered having an abortion) I am not unaware of what a woman goes through when she finds herself expecting a baby when it's the last thing she expects, wants or needs. I think mankind is being very deceptive when it is perpetuated that life does not begin at conception. From experience, I know it's a way to cover your deeds or make things easier and I actually believe, for some, it's become a method of birth control.

God created the world, and everything in it, with love and a purpose...especially mankind, who are made in His image and were made to walk with Him, talk with Him and be loved by Him. We are loved by God so much and were paid for at a very high price ... we cost Him His son's life. Because we did not have the ability to keep the laws that God gave us, He had to provide another way to reconcile us to himself. Reconcile, you ask, what is that? Have you ever been at odds with a person, for any reason or an unknown reason, unable to communicate with them, unable to get past whatever you did or they did, or whatever was "perceived" to have been done? Maybe you or they just couldn't get past the hurt, or pride or (who knows what keeps us from being able to reach out and make things right and restore our relationships with others) whatever. That's where we were with God. Our failure to keep the law had separated us so far from Him that something had to be done to bring us back into relationship with Him. We had to be reconciled to Him. So, God, in His mercy and unfailing love, came to us, lived among us, loved us and died for us. Praise God for His grace and forgiveness.

I am thankful today that I hate blood and gore, that I can't stand the sight of blood and that I hate movies and tv that are filled with killing and I am so thankful that I have my ten year old son and that I don't have to wake up every morning thinking of how I ended his life.

I pray that today, as I leave my home, God will open my eyes to the pain and suffering around me and lead me in the way He wants me to go in showing His love, forgiveness and redemption that is available to all to those I meet today. I pray that for you, too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pancakes, Oysters and Man vs. Food

Gluttony is a word that you don't hear much about these days. I can remember my mom using that word as I grew up fairly often. It seemed like whenever I just wanted a little more, or maybe a lot more, of something that she would admonish me not to "be a glutton".

Recently, my ten year old son and my husband watched a program on the Travel Channel call "Man Verses Food". This is a program where the host tries to eat an enormous amount of food just to see if he can break a record. I forget how many POUNDS of pancakes he tried to conquer and how many dozens of oysters but they were profane amounts, amounts that no person should ever try to eat, if not for health reasons, then just because it seems like a huge waste of food in a time when so many people are starving.

MAN V. FOOD - HAWAII

So, my son and I were driving down the road yesterday and he tells me he wants to enter a food eating contest just to see if he can win. His little face lit up and he was all excited, "you know I could do it, Mom; I can eat a ton of pancakes"! My reply was a staid, calm, "well, you probably could, but I don't think the Lord would approve of your being a glutton". "What's a glutton, Mom?" he asked.

I then try to explain to a child who lives in a time when it seems like we never say "Enough" (I've had enough, I've got enough, I've done enough, etc.) how much is too much. When have we eaten so much food that God looks at us like a glutton? This has been eating at me ever since he and I had that conversation, and now I've taken it to God. (Hey, this is a woman who can eat a whole bag of M&M's, or red licorice, or a dozen chocolate chip cookies or 1/2 dozen of my sister and my home made doughnuts!)

I believe the spirit is telling me that anytime we eat without thought of what we are eating or how much we are eating, we are being a glutton.

Proverbs 23:21 has this to say about being a glutton.

Glutton comes from the Hebrew/Greek word zalal which means to "flow down" or "riotous eater".

Doesn't riotous eater sound like someone who would eat "pounds" of pancakes or "dozens" of oysters (ewww, that makes me shudder just thinking about it)?

I did try to explain to my son that God created us all with a measuring device inside of us, one to tell us when we're full, when we're past tired to exhaustion, when we're too sick to function, when we're doing something that doesn't please Him and we need to listen to our bodies and that voice inside telling us "Stop". "Enough". I told him that we should never just keep cramming food in because we want to beat a record or because we want to make a name for ourselves in the Eating Hall of Fame. There are consequences to unwise living and over-eating, and I mean over-eating to the point where you hear the word glutton running through your mind! That will get your name in a book somewhere, and I think it's title is "Gluttons, Lazybones and Others Who Failed to Achieve God's Purpose in Life".

As Bill O'Reilly would say, "...don't be a glutton" today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Child - My Sister, Gail

I grew up in a small town in southwest Ohio. When I say small, I mean small. There were probably no more than 300 people living there is my guess. In the early 60's, it was peaceful, quiet and for the most part, a clean and neat little town. I walked to school every morning, home for lunch and ran home every day after school, looking forward to having a quick snack, which might be some delectible little something my mom might have made that day, like, say, home made doughnuts or cinnamon rolls, or deep fried waffles covered with confectioner's sugar, or ... crackers and water! On warm days, I would play for a while either with my neighbors, Dennis and Denise Williams, or with one of my sisters, usually Nancy, but maybe Gail or Amy. In the winter I would snuggle up on the couch to watch tv but inevitably ended up taking a nap. To my mind, all was right with the world. I was safe and secure in that little house with my two blood-related parents and my five sisters (really four because the oldest departed about the time I was born) and my brother who in 1963 left as a result of being called to serve in the U.S. Army.

My little mind had trouble conceiving what went on in the big old world outside the boundaries of my home and town. I remember vaguely the period of time now referred to as the Cuban Missile Crisis. My mom kept making statements like, "It's the end of the world", and I would cry out, "but, Mom, I want to grow up, get married and have babies". Oh, my, how times have changed.

There were, of course, many times (because of the size of my family) when the house was in an uproar. It seemed to me that my mom (notice how I didn't include my dad?) was always in a snit with one of us, and she had an unusual amount of skill at being dramatic in order to bring about our compliance and make us become adequately repentant about whatever it was we had done to bring on her wrath. My dad was a hunter and a fisherman, a hard worker and so it seems, when he wasn't doing one of those things had a desire to spend a bit of time in the Madison Inn having a beer or three.

In today's world, it's unheard of for parents to pair siblings in one bed at night, but I slept with my sister Gail for many years in our dormered attic bedroom with very little heat in the winter and no air circulation in the summer. It seemed like whenever one of us was hurt or crying, we found consolation in the other there in that bed with our arms around each other (sometimes blowing garlicky breath in the other's face!). We can laugh about it now, but I seem to remember it now as being no laughing matter.

Gail met the love of her life when she still in her teens. They took me (it seemed) everywhere with them, the drive-in movie, the precursor of the drive-throughs today was the the drive-in restaurant, and they took with them there, you know, ... like The Red Barn, and they played cards with me an untold number of times at our kitchen table. When they got married, I spent the greater part of my junior high and early high school summers with them. Later, as I grew older, they came to all my softball games and drove me back and forth to college until I got my own car. I loved them both like a second set of parents.

This past summer, my sister lost the love of her life, after 40 years of marriage. I think she hides how deep her grief is very well. It's not too often that she lets it out (at least whenever I'm around), and she keeps trusting God and giving love wherever it's needed - whether it's to her children, grandchildren, her friends, customers at work or to Amy and to me. The Lord closed that door, but He re-opened the one to the friendship and love we shared as girls through this unwanted loss. Today I am posting a recipe for home made doughnuts in her honor. You see, we got together a few weeks ago in her home and made about three dozen "pretty good" doughnuts. (We ate quite a few as we made them, too, let me tell you!) Then she tried another recipe without me, and I tried (without success) a couple of times without her. But, we both decided that this recipe from Williams-Sonoma is one of the best. We're planning a doughnut making party soon with Amy and whoever wants to show up, and this will be our recipe of the day.

I hope you enjoy it. We certainly have. Here's to my sister and friend, Gail. She is still (somehow, sometimes) like a mother to me, but she is most definitely a good friend, and also my beloved sister.


Glazed Doughnuts
Topped with a chocolate or vanilla glaze, these doughnuts make a comforting breakfast or afternoon snack. Be sure the oil reaches 350ºF before you begin frying the doughnuts.

Ingredients:
For the doughnuts:
3/4 cup warm milk (about 110ºF)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 egg yolks
Nonstick cooking spray
Vegetable oil for frying
For the chocolate glaze:
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
Directions:
Pour the warm milk into a small bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and yeast until dissolved. Let stand until the yeast activates and thick foam appears, about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and put the butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture in the well. Using a hand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat the dough on medium speed until it comes together and forms a ball, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Lightly grease a baking sheet. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out 3/8 inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts. Transfer the doughnuts and doughnut holes to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Reroll the dough and cut out more doughnuts. Spray the tops of the doughnuts and holes with nonstick cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the doughnuts and holes have almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350ºF according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack.

Working in batches of about 6, fry the doughnuts and doughnut holes until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to the wire rack-lined baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

To make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the top pan of the double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips. Remove from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and hot water until combined. Set the top pan over the simmering water and keep the glaze warm until ready to use.

Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, into the warm glaze, covering the top half of each doughnut with glaze. Place the doughnuts, glazed side up, on the wire rack and let the glaze set for 10 minutes. Repeat to glaze the doughnut holes. Serve immediately. Makes about 14 doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Variation: To make a vanilla glaze, follow the instructions for preparing the chocolate glaze, omitting the chocolate chips and decreasing the hot water to 3 Tbs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Prayer for Today

Lord,

Because you have blessed me, I am rich in so many things, including material items. Thank you for these blessings. According to your Word, you bless those who are poor in spirit. When you're rich, Lord, it's hard to be poor in spirit, and today's generation see no merit in a poor spirit. Please help me, Lord, to be as you have said, and open up my hand so that I am generous with my material wealth. I am nothing without you and everything I have is a gift from your hand and really belongs to you. Plant a desire in me to share and be generous to those in need. Please bring the ones you want me to share with into my circle of influence.
What's more, Lord, I ask that you would break my heart over the things that break your heart. I've become hard to the evil of the world. Please take off my blinders to the pain and suffering around me and let me anguish over the sin that surrounds me.
Fill me up daily with a hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Let me say with the psalmist: my soul thirsts for you and my flesh yearns for you in a dry and weary land that has no water.
I pray, Lord, God, that you would lead me in being merciful to all others as you have been SO merciful to me.
And wrapped around all of this, Father, is my obedience to you. Instill in me a desire to obey you. When I hear your voice, don't let there be any hesitation or questionning. Let me run to do what you ask, and not just run to do it; let me run with joy to do your bidding.
You have offered your gift of salvation to me, and I have accepted it. Now, please work that complete miracle in me, Lord and make me into a reflection of your perfect, holy, wonderful image so that you can be glorified and honored in my life.
I ask all this in the precious, sinless name of Jesus Christ.
Amen