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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blind Side



I absolutely LOVE this movie.

I think you should watch it.

XOXO
Joce

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I think it means...the world

1 John 2:15-17 (New International Version)
Do Not Love the World
15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

So the side note in my Bible says..."John uses the word WORLD to mean...we dare not love the sinful ways of the world." I think they pulled that right out of their world-loving butts.
It says very clearly to me "everything in the world...comes not from the Father but from the world." This means everything. This is a reminder that this world is not our home, and we should set our hearts on God, not on that which will decay.
I think that we (humankind) have a tendency to cling to our possessions and positions- and it does not come from the Father. I had a conversation yesterday in which the other person said, "Well, I don't think God calls us to give up our lives." And good grief! That's EXACTLY what God says.

Matthew 10:39-40 37
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

And again, in Matthew 16:24-26
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

I am not advocating abandoning your children or shunning your inlaws (even though you may wish I was saying that) or quitting your job. I am saying that your HEART should be set on things above. Do your work here- raise your children, provide for your family. But, do not let those tasks overtake your love for God and His work. This world is not your home. Your house and job are not the point. Do not forget that.

I would like to ask that you consider how tightly you cling to the things of this world. Your house, your job, your family. Does it outweigh how often you take up your cross? Do your actions show that your heart is set on the things of earth or on things that are eternal? What is the ratio of how much time and energy you spend building barns and harvesting crops on this earth to how much time and energy you spend following Christ's admonition to love your neighbor as yourself and storing up treasures in heaven? Which home do you spend more time decorating- the one made of sticks and mud, or the mansion Christ is preparing for you?

Just think about it.

I need to go make cheese and change a poopy diaper, but I didn't want this scripture to get away from me. I do not want to be "like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. " I want to hear the Word and be changed. Trasnformed. Different than when I started.

More like Jesus.

XOXO
Joce

Friday, March 26, 2010

Po diddy

So, the time has come to bling my baby. Jessup is the HAPPIEST person I have ever met. And, quite possibly, the nicest.
Despite his amazingly chillin' nature, he still has to get teeth. And, the process has begun. Grumping and drooling. Drooling and grumping. Biting.
My babies start teething about three years before they actually get a tooth. (That is an exaggeration, obviously.)
It's a long process. So, last time I had a baby cutting teeth, Hanna let me borrow an amber necklace. Cade loved it- the way it looked, the way it WORKED. He was po diddy and apparently pain free.
So, when Jessup started in with the grumping/drooling cycle I asked Hanna where I should buy one. She told me to go to Inspired by Finn. And, while I was there, I saw this little deal where if I linked to their site, they will give me 15% off my order! So Linky Linky I did. Here it is again in case you missed it.

Jessup is grumping RIGHT NOW, and so, I need to go. But check out the pain-relieving benefits of baltic amber at Inspired by Finn. And I will be able to write more when Jessup gets his amber necklace and STOPS CRYING.

XOXO
Joce

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loving Life

1 Peter 3:

10For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

I would love life- so I will pursue peace and strive for what is good. I am comforted to know that God's ears are attentive to the prayers of the righteous. I am currently forming some new opinions about prayer. I will expound on that when I have my thoughts in order.

Today I am going to make grilled cheese for lunch- with pureed squash hidden in the cheese. I will let you know how those come out.

UPDATE: The grilled cheese was delicious!
Here's the recipe:

1/2 C butternut squash puree
1/2 C shredded cheddar
1 T butter
1/4 t salt

Combine room temperature ingredients with a spoon, and spread on bread in place of sliced cheese to make toasted cheese sandwiches.

And, here is a fun idea I got from Kara- build a fort in your dining room (or kitchen, wherever you keep your table) with blankets. I put a spin on that idea by playing "Northwoods Night" CD and helping the kids imagine they were camping in the Adirondacks. It was a blast.


XOXO
Joce

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where is God?

Cade asked me yesterday, "Where is God, mommy?"
I answered with, "Where do you think He is?"
Cade said, "God's at work."

That He is, Cade, that He is.

XOXO
Joce

Monday, March 22, 2010

I walk a stranger

1 Peter 2: 11-12
11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

I read this passage this morning. It registered in my soul as this:

"Dear Jocelyn, I urge you, since you are a citizen of heaven living as a foreigner in America, to abstain from sinful desires like self-centeredness and consumerism, which war against your soul. Live such a good life among those who do not know Me that, though they accuse Christians of being hypocrites, they may see your good deeds, come to believe in Christ through your actions, and glorify God on the day he visits us."

It was another dose of "Do GOOD."

But it was also a good reminder that I do not belong here. My home is in heaven, eternal. I need not be upset by things that happen in this world (aka the atrocity that was passed by the House this weekend). This world is not my home. Say it with me, "This world is not my home."
My focus is Christ. I will keep my eyes turned toward heaven and keep my perspective straight.

I made Funfetti cake yesterday. I like Funfetti. It is, well....fun.

And God showed up at our Sunday night service. Again. His Spirit is at work and I am in awe.
How do I know He was there? Because I am different. He is cleaning house in my soul and I am changed.

Hallelujah.

Peace be with you.

XOXO
Joce

Friday, March 19, 2010

Eat your veggies

Okay. Yum.

Inspired by the Deceptively Delicious book, but majorly simplified.

Chicken Quesadillas

1/4 C butternut squash puree
some chicken nuggets, baked, and chopped
shredded cheddar
2 flour tortillas

In a fry pan, heat some oil, turn to medium heat. Then, spread the squash on one of the tortillas. Put it in the pan. Sprinkle the chopped chicken on it. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on it. Put the other tortilla on it. Put a cover on it. Wait till the cheese melts enough that you can flip it without spilling its guts everywhere. Flip it. Make sure both sides are browned. Serve it with this dip: 1/4 C plain yogurt mixed with 1/4 C salsa. This is delicious and nutritious. For even better-for-you results, substitute real chicken for the chicken nuggets.

XOXO
Joce

Quote of the Day- C.S. Lewis

"But suddenly, what had been an ideal had become a demand: total surrender to God, the absolute leap in the dark. The demand was not even 'all or nothing...' that stage had been passed. Now the demand was simply, 'All!'"

And that about sums it up. Which is good, because, I am sad to admit, I am 2/5 this week on my Block-a-Day. (Luckily, I was 5/4 last week, so I can use that as a buffer.)
And, I would also like to paint my upstairs bathroom today while my two big kids are at the Grandma's house. But first I have to wash the wallpaper paste residue off, and I have been procrastinating about that for, oh, a week. I was really hoping Joe would do it.

So, happy Friday to you. And have a blessed weekend.

XOXO
Joce

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Have a good beer, and say:

Here's to the land of the Shamrock so green,
Here's to each Lad and his darlin Colleen,
Here's to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless ole Ireland, that's an Irishman's toast.

Anyway, I got behind on my Block-A-Day for Haiti, and need to go do that instead of regaling you all with my excellent prose.

XOXO

Joce

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's like He's trying to tell me something...Or, Nancy Pelosi is a Goat

Honest to goodness, all I am doing is reading my Bible- and BAM! God speaks. Like, everyday.

James 5
Warning to Rich Oppressors

1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

I used to read right over this. "I am not rich," I said to myself. It didn't apply to me.

But then I read Crazy Love and Francis Chan has to go and tell me this: 52% of people in the world live on less than 2 dollars a day. 80% live on 10 dollars or less. FYI: That's 300 dollars a month. Total. We spend more than double that just for our house. Not to heat it or maintain it or have water or electricity. Just to have it.

I am loaded! Flush. Filthy stinking rich. I have never been hungry or cold.

I am rich. I am comfortably fat. My children are pink and chubby. And,

"according to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty."

If I am to love my neighbor as myself, my heart should break as if my own children are dying.

God, I pray You rip the callouses off my heart, and let me feel Your love for humanity.

I cannot help them all. But I could at least try to help one.

It's not that hard. Compassion International makes it easy. And rewarding in human terms- you get a picture and can write letters to your sponsored child.

At different Christian events I have attended in the past, Compassion International has always presented sponsoring a child as something nice to do. You know, it only costs what you spend on your latte, etc, etc.

I wish they had hit me over the head with "HEY! God says you better do it or go to hell! Your wealth will eat the flesh off your bones! You are fattening yourself for SLAUGHTER."

Yeah. I would like to hear a less complacent pitch from organizations that are helping the poverty-stricken people of the world. I am a little angry that I haven't heard this preached from a pulpit. When they talk about money it is about is tithing, which is important, but good gracious. God doesn't say "Depart from me you non-tither" He does say, "When I was hungry you did not feed me- go to the left." And by that, I am pretty sure he means hell. (Although some people might argue that He means "Go sit by Nancy Pelosi." Maybe it's the same thing.) I wish someone had pointed out that I am filthy rich and I need to FEED PEOPLE sometime prior to this.

I have been rich my WHOLE life. I have not been helping the poor my whole life. I am glad for God's grace, let me tell you.

Alright, I am not done, but my kids are ready for school, and my right babyfeeder is about to pop.

XOXO,
Joce

Monday, March 15, 2010

The least of these...

I am noticing that my recent posts are full of scripture and spiritual topics lately. God is working on my life and I am excited about it. If you find yourself rolling your eyes when you visit my blog, "Oh my goodness, another Bible verse?" I suggest that you pray for God to open your heart to what He has for your life.
God has been telling me over and over, beating me over the head, really, that true faith will show itself in caring for those less fortunate. Today, I read in James 4:17 "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
Yeah. So, I really need to get my butt in gear. It is of no use for me to have an epiphany (a piffy-what?) of what God wants from me and then be immobilized by whatever it is that keeps me from action. I think my upbringing of "don't pry" keeps me from hearing about what people need, and my cushy life keeps me away from places where I would see what people need.
So, my prayer is that God would show me the need, and give me the courage to mention it and offer my help.
I want to hear how others are living out their faith by giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and shelter to homeless. Please comment on how you are doing it, or how you are going to do it.
XOXO
Joce

Friday, March 12, 2010

James and the Giant Peach

James 3

"Just as a giant peach can roll down a hill and cause great destruction, so a woman's tongue can flap wildly out of control and cause devastation to her neighbors."

That's not really how it goes. But you can imagine if did.

Here's the real one:

Taming the Tongue

1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and saltwater flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Want to gossip? Count me out. I am not into spewing salt water onto those around me. I'd like to be more of a refreshing fountain.

XOXO
Joce

Thursday, March 11, 2010

True Religion

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and I do not exemplify true religion in all areas of my life. I am writing this because I was struck by the difference between what is described here and how we, Christ's followers in America, live.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

Honest to goodness, I do not see too many Christians I know doing either of these things.

We do not bother ourselves over the abandoned children in our foster care system or over the truly orphaned children in places like Russia, Rwaanda, Haiti, etc. We look at single moms and do not see Christ in her. That would be too overwhelming.
How could we ever begin to care for these women with no husbands?
Isn't their own fault anyway?
God doesn't call us to care for people who are just reaping what they sowed, does He?

I think we need to consider what He meant when he told us to love our neighbors. He didn't say "Love your neighbors who through no fault of their own have fallen on a bit of bad luck and through your involvement will immediately turn to me and change their ways." He said "What you have done to these least of these, you have done unto me." What do you think He meant be "least of these?"

He was serious about helping those less fortunate. I think we should be, too.

And the second part- to keep oneself from being polluted by the world? We are so polluted we can't even distinguish the garbage from the good stuff. We stink of consumerism, greed, selfishness, and superficiality so badly that we can't smell how awful it is. We are desensitized. We are so immersed in the sludge of this world, we have started to believe it to be a GIFT OF GOD. "Oh, thank you Lord for my minivan and my house and my new clothes and my white teeth and my new ability to assert myself and thank you for sending your Son to make this all possible." We have church-sponsored self-ism. Like 'spiritual' retreats at 4 star hotels, and financial planning worshops that illustrate how to make more money for yourSELF so your kids can go to college and you won't be a burden to anyone in your old age. There is no talk of giving it away and trusting God and His infinite riches to supply all your need.

We have adopted the attitudes of this world so fully we think it is what God wants for us. That making money and having our kids play soccer is His WILL FOR OUR LIVES. That's not it folks. He has been pounding me over the head lately at how much this is NOT what He wants for us. He has SO. MUCH. MORE.

But to find out what that is, we are going to need to surrender the garbage we have stuffed up our noses and allow God fill our lives with His sweet fragrance. I have only pulled a tiny bit of the garbage out of my nose and I have already started to notice that the treasures of this world stink. Let us stop jumping head first into the garbage heap of this world, and begin to pull ourselves and our brothers and sisters out. Then let us allow Christ to wash us, put on some clean clothes, and avoid being polluted by this world with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

When you meet your Father in heaven, do you think he will say, "Hey nice job having your kid play travel soccer, and, you always looked so nice with your hair highlighted like that." I don't think that is what God is proud of. That is not what He would have us live for.

I am looking forward to great things that God has for me to do.

I am looking forward to hearing God say, "Well done, you good little servant."

Make a change. Get some true religion.

XOXO
Joce

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A block a day, and The Quote of the Day

Free Methodist International Child Care Ministries is coordinating a project called "Blankets for Haiti."
A lady from Northgate is the point person for the Rochester/Batavia area and I heard about this through Northgate's MOPS.
The vision is to have folks who knit or crochet make blocks measuring 7"X9", and put them together to make quilt-style blankets.
So, I have decided to crochet a block a day until Easter. I am giving up the reading of novels for Lent, and in its place I will be crocheting. (You should know that I am in the middle of the Twilight series.)
I would like to ask you, my friends who can knit or crochet, to see if there is any way you could make a few blocks, or even commit to the "Block a Day" challenge. You don't have time. I know. But perhaps by giving up something frivolous (like Facebook, or Grey's Anatomy) you could make time for this work of love. If you would like to participate long-distance, you could certainly mail the blocks to me.
And, then, over Easter break, I will be hosting a "Blanket Bee" to put some of these blocks together. Joe has even offered to provide childcare.
The only stipulations are: 1. Use polyester/acrylic yarn (to avoid uneven shrinkage) and 2. use a 7"X9" cardboard template to use as a measuring tool instead of a ruler or measuring tape (it is a more accurate tool, and we really need the blocks to be as uniform as possible.)
What a simple way to comfort and send love to the children of Haiti- with a warm, handmade blanket.

And now for the quote of the day. I just this morning finished reading the book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. I will post about how this book has changed my life in another post, but here is just one quote that made its mark on my heart today.

"The greatest thought that has ever entered my mind is that one day I will have to stand before a holy God and give an account of my life." ~Daniel Webster

Please think about showing some love by making some blocks, and take some time to meditate on the thought presented in the above quote.

XOXO,
Joce

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sic em on a chicken

Please play the above song, and read along with the lyrics, if you need it.

NOTE: The link sucks. When you click on it, wait for the page to load and then select song number 12.


Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken and watch them feathers fly


Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken. Bring out the butter and the flour we're ready to fry.


My dog Pete is the smallest dog of all the dogs in my yard

He's a mean so'm bitch

Drinks Beam and water from a broken mason jar


Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken and watch them feathers fly


Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Bring out the butter and the flour we're ready to fry.


I heard this awful noise coming from the woods

I heard chicken screams

Know it ain't gonna be good


Well I think we lost the chicken

Think we lost the chicken

Think we lost the chicken because I just heard a cry


Think we lost the chicken

Think we lost the chicken

Think we lost the chicken but you can get another one for a dollar 79


In a couple of years his spurs have grown

He wasn't safe to keep around the home

When he almost took an eyeball from Lonny's son

And I was sitting at home making fig preserves

And I'd seen where that kid got kicked in the face

And I knew that that was the day that chicken was going to get what he deserved


So I chased the chicken

I chased the chicken

I chased the chicken and Pete hit 'em from the side


I chased the chicken

I chased the chicken

I chased the chicken and me and Pete suppered on a home made chicken pot pie


Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken.

Sic 'em on a chicken and watch them feathers fly


Sic 'em on a chicken

Get that chicken

I can smell the kitchen and it's almost supper time.


Yeah. We killed the old red rooster. He was mean, and I wanted some pot pie. He attacked me on Saturday morning. He made me cry. And Joe? He shot his bloody head off. The end.
XOXO
Joce

Monday, March 01, 2010

Wow.

So, I like to cook. I like to think of myself as having made lots of yummy things in my lifetime. I may have reached my apex with a recipe that has been within arm's reach MY WHOLE LIFE. In the Red and White Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which I have been using MY WHOLE LIFE (I honestly do not know how I overlooked this recipe for so many years), I may have found God's intention for the use of chocolate.

Chocolate Revel Bars
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 14-ounce can (1-1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions
1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter or margarine. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; stir in oats. Gradually stir dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan combine the reserved butter or margarine, the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate pieces. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and the 2 teaspoons vanilla.

3. Press two-thirds (about 3-1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.

4, Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars. Makes about 75 bars.

Make-Ahead Tip: Line the baking pan with foil, extending the foil over edges of pan. Prepare and bake bars in foil-lined pan as above. Cool; lift bars out of pan on the foil. Place uncut bars in freezer bag or container. Seal, label, date, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw bars at room temperature about 15 minutes. Once thawed, cut into bars.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe about 75 bars Calories 117, Total Fat (g) 6, Saturated Fat (g) 2, Cholesterol (mg) 14, Sodium (mg) 52, Carbohydrate (g) 16, Protein (g) 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet



Yeah, I pretty much followed the recipe except I added 1/2 C peanut butter to the chocolate filling.

And, I made it in a 9X13 pan, so I had some of the oat stuff left over. I just added some peanut butter to that and some chocolate chips, rolled it into little balls and, voila- cookies. Good cookies, at that.

So, be good to yourself and your loved ones and make these. Today.

XOXO
Joce

About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.