..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mintade

Mintade

Wash and trim mint stalks. Pack into a 2-quart saucepan and add water to 3/4-full. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash leaves with a potato masher; remove from liquid and discard. Add a drop or two of green food color. Stir 1 +/- cup of sugar into the hot liquid and stir until disssolved. Strain liquid into a pitcher; add water to make 1 1/2 - 2 quarts. Cover and chill until serving time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?

What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? by Dr. D. James Kennedy (1994)

I've been reading through this book and have been really blessed. Today's society makes being a Christian a challenge because of negative connotations. Dr. Kennedy goes through the positive contributions that Christians have made to civilization. It is refreshing!

Today I was reading about "Free Enterprise And the Work Ethic", Chapter 8.

"If Jesus had never been born, it is unlikely that capitalism and the free enterprise system - which has brought unparalleled prosperity to billions of people - would ever have developed."

Dr. Kennedy, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7). So many other religions teach principles that are devastating for a society's economy. He gives an example of Islam and it's fatalism which "has kept the Muslims from progress because human initiative can accomplish absolutely nothing, and all that is, Allah has fated; therefore they are left in perpetual stagnation." If you look at Muslim countries you see the super rich and then the majority of their people. It's this majority of people who live in abject poverty with women and children treated as chattel. But countries with a majority of Christians have a better standard of living for the majority of the population. You still have the super rich and the poor but the majority have a good standard of living.

In the Ten Commandments are God's views on private property (Thou shalt not steal -and- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house or anything that is thy neighbor's, Ex 20: 15-17) Private property is the foundation of capitalism and it is the means of production and the motivation for production.

In Acts 5 Ananias and his wife sold some land and gave some of the money to the Apostles. They lied and said they were giving it all when actually they conspired to withhold some. God struck them dead for lying about it. The Apostle Paul said, "While it remained, was it not your own?" This is an implication that their property was their own. It was not wrong to own it. I think it was wrong to lie about the price. It showed pride in their desire for the congregation to think they were giving all in order to recieve appreciation and status. The fact that they hoard away a portion and lie about it shows a greedy heart. They weren't trusting God but were trusting their little hoard, their little secret savings.

Dr. Kennedy reminds us God gave Adam a job BEFORE the Fall. Work was not a curse. God commanded Adam to tend the Garden of Eden. This shows work is an important part of man's life and can be satisfying, fulfilling, can exercise mankind's creativity and initiative. It was AFTER the Fall that work was affected by sin in the world and the results of a Fallen Earth. Jesus brought dignity back to work. He was raised in a carpenter's family and he helped Joseph many times. He probably took over Joseph's carpentry business after Joseph's death until Jesus turned 30. Then He could leave it in His brother's hands and commit Himself to ministry. If work wasn't too good for God's Son, the Messiah, then it's not too good for us.

He gives a good summary of the roots of free enterprise. Christians, who practise Christian principles, have a better foundation for prosperity. We all know that Christians are still human beings and still sin, but if we are living as Christ admonishes us...

1) We aren't consumed with anxiety and worry which frustrates a limits a person's ability.
2) We have the supernatural aid of God, who gives us the strength, ability and opportunity.
3) We have wisdom and creativity that comes from God.
4) We are given the power to persevere when others might give up.
5) We have a purpose, other than ourselves.

He says this is called the Christian Work Ethic.

"(Christians) produce more than they even want of this world's goods. Therefore, they are enabled to give far more. They are enabled to save far more. They are able to invest more...They no longer drink or gamble away their money, and often for the first time they begin to save for the future."

I don't spend my money on liquor, beer, cigarettes, pornography, gambling, prostitution, drugs, clubbing, etc. But I do give to my church and others. God blesses this giving and trusts us with more.

He looks back in history and made some interesting observations.

"Even as recently as 1780 in Germany, fewer than 1,000 people earned $1,000 a year or more...The greatest growth, therefore, dates beyond 1776. From 1800 to 1850, with inflation out of the picture, real wages quadrupled. From 1850 to 1900 real wages, after inflation, quadrupled again so that in the nineteenth century actual wealth and income increased 16 times over. The world had never seen anything like that before! This was true in England; it was even more true in America, where free enterprise had its freest reign."

"To decapitalize any nation would be to reduce it to the plight of India, where people eke out a living pushing a plow just as in the Middle Ages."

"It is incredible to me that we - who have achieved the greatest materialist, economic civilization the world has ever known that, even in the midst of a depression, we are so vastly better off than most of the nations on the face of this earth - are willing to trade this in and to adopt the system of socialism, which over and over again has reduced the level of living of the average person greatly."

"In this century, we've seen government eat away some of our prosperity by trying to carry out by force the Christian ideal of helping the poor. We believe this has been a misguided effort that has hampered prosperity and has actually hurt the poor by hurting productivity. Because state-sponsored welfare has not considered what the Bibe says about human nature and what it says about economics, these programs have overall been an abysmal failure. We have more poor per capita than when we started. Because of it's messiah complex, today the government preempts the work of the church and tries to meet the problems of poverty by government-subsidized programs."

"Should we not be concerned for the poor? Absolutely. Local churches, private charities, families being concerned about people, community charities helping people - these have been the ways that America solved this problem for almost 300 years...We have decided to help the poor through the socialistic method of government intervention, which has never worked anywhere else."

"For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

"The apostle knew that people incline toward evil and so we incline idleness and laziness. Some will avoid all opportunities to work if they can, but the apostle makes it clear if one will not work, he or she is not to eat...This verse does not refer to a person who is not able to work. The Scripture has a great deal to say about caring for (the disabled)."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Conversations between 4 dogs and a Mommy


The Vet asked Mommy to get a urine sample from Miss MoneyPenny (Miniature Pinscher). Mommy thought and thought about how she was going to do that. She came up with an idea...

"Hey Mommy, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" -MoneyPenny as she notices a bowl taped to a backscratcher coming up under her.

"I'm trying to catch a urine sample for the Vet." -Mommy

"What's a urine?" -MoneyPenny

"Your pee pee." -Mommy

"What's so special about my pee pee?" -MoneyPenny - "I know I'm famous and beautiful but?"

"Not because you are famous and beautiful, MoneyPenny. It's in case you were sick." -Mommy

"Whas goin' on?" -Spunky Monkey as he comes out of his den. Spunky Monkey is the littlest of all 4 dogs and he's special. He was hit by a car as a puppy and his brain swelled. He is blind, deaf, can't taste or smell and whirls. He's very brave and is only 3 yrs old.

"Mommy was trying to catch urine!" -MoneyPenny

"Oh boy, can I chase it? I wanna catch a urine too!" -Spunky Monkey

"I say, what is all the racket?" -Dresden as he comes up from under the covers. Dresden is the biggest of Mommy's Italian Greyhounds (the miniature Greyhounds).

"We're going to chase a urine!" -says Spunky Monkey as he whirls around in excitement.

"There is no such thing as a 'urine'. I was trying to catch MoneyPenny's pee pee." -Mommy

"You said you were going to catch a urine! You didn't say nuffin about catching pee pee. You can't chase pee pee so how can you catch it?" -Spunky Monkey, looking worried.

"Oh dear, Mother, let me explain to this little ignoramus. You see, old man, urine is pee pee. Now why were you trying to capture MoneyPenny's pee pee, Mother?" -Dresden

"I was trying to see if I could capture some pee pee to take to the Vet." -Mommy

"This conversation is getting a little personal." -MoneyPenny

"Is Pee Pee the nickname for Urine? Let's pretend that Pee Pee is an Indian. Chief Pee Pee Urine is captured by General Spunky Monkey and taken to the Fort to smoke a peace pipe...." -Spunky as he yawns and drifts back to his "den".

"He still doesn't get it!" -says Dresden as he rolls his eyes.

"You can forget about this cup on a stick idea! That's crude. I'm a beautiful dog and can't be humiliated that way. Even though I'm famous and beautiful, I can't imagine someone paying for my pee pee. That's a little too personal. I've heard of people ripping the clothes off celebrities but this takes the cake!" -MoneyPenny, as she stalks into the den, up on the couch and on her favorite pillow to watch out the picture window behind the couch.

"They are so silly and dumb, Mother. How do you put up with them?" -Dresden as he leaps up in my lap and lays his head on my shoulder.

"It's called love, l-o-v-e!" -Sharon as she tosses the cup on a backscratcher into the trashcan.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Psalm 73

Doubting Thomas, an altar piece by Carl Bloch

Psalms 73

A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, to the pure of heart. And I, my foot had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was jealous of the proud, when I saw the peace of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death; but their strength is fat. They are not in trouble like other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride enchains them; violence covers them like a robe. Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than the heart could imagine. They scoff and speak in malice of cruelty; from on high they speak. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore His people return here, and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who are at ease in the world; they increase in riches. Surely I have made my heart pure in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I would deceive a generation of Your sons. When I thought deeply in order to understand this, it was painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down into ruin. How have they been brought into grief, as in a moment! They are fully eaten up with terrors, like a dream when one awakens; so, O Jehovah, when You awake, You shall despise their image. For my heart was grieved and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and I did not know; I was like a beast before You. But I am always with You; You have held me by my right hand. You shall lead me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in Heaven? And besides You I desire none on earth. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my part forever. For lo, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all who go lusting away from You. And I, it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in Jehovah God, to declare all Your works.

The abrupt start to this Psalm indicates it is the conclusion of his perplexing thoughts. The Psalmist is expressing his feelings, his wavering faith, his weakness. Why do the wicked seem to prosper? Is God really in control? Does He not see? Is God a righteous judge after all? Their prosperity seems to be at the expense of God's people. Though they try to live a holy life, they still find themselves in trials.

But the Psalmist took his questions to God in prayer. He got alone (in the sanctuary) with God and poured out his feelings and his questions. He did not turn his back on God and use his questions as a reason. So many people ask the questions but they don't really want to know the answers. They are just looking for excuses to turn their back on God and live their own way. "I don't believe in God because a good God wouldn't let evil happen to good people." Their mind is set and they aren't really seeking an answer and definitely don't want to seek God for the answer. They think they are justified just because they have questions. Their questions are really statements.

But the Psalmist goes to God with his questions. He doesn't go to God with pre-conceived ideas. He goes to God with honesty. Openly desiring only God's answers no matter what they are. Who are we to think we have the answers? Are we higher than God to suppose that we already know the answers? And who are we to even THINK God doesn't have an answer? Wouldn't we be saying God is confused, God is not all knowing, God is not all powerful, God is not in control? If God is not in control and all powerful, then He is not God and there is no meaning to this world.

When God begins to reveal Himself to the Psalmist, he begins to see from a godly perspective, the bigger picture and it humbles him. He realizes God is being merciful to the wicked to allow them time to turn to Him but His mercy is only for so long. If a person does not turn to God, then their judgement does come upon them and it comes swiftly. They may enjoy prosperity for a time but it all comes to an end whether here on this earth or in eternity. And the Psalmist, with his new perspective, turns to praise and his faith is renewed. He realizes that a godly person with little is still in a much better place than a wicked person with much. God's people have God on their side and, in eternity, they will live in Heaven with God and live in eternal glory. He is not only satisfied with God's answer but rejoices in it!

As I said, at the beginning, this Psalm is the result of spending time with God so this is a summary poem. Sometimes we go to God and ask questions and we don't immediately receive an answer. The answer comes with seeking. I remember praying and asking God to explain to me the difference between "mercy" and "grace" and what did those terms mean. I prayed this for a long time. I didn't just sit on my hands and wait. I went to church, read my Bible, went to Bible studies, read Christian books, etc. And, sure enough, one day I happened to watch a Christian TV preacher teaching on this very thing and I learned what the terms meant. And God didn't stop there! I heard teaching on it from several different sources and my mind was opened to God's mercy and grace and how it applies to my life. I learned about grace and mercy but I also learned God hears my prayers to learn more about Him and He makes sure, at the right time and in the right way, I get the answers that I seek. Now, if something bumfuzzles me, I ask God and I know He will attend to it. I mean, I want to learn about God and He wants me to learn about Him...so it will happen!

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