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SOAP ~ Giving

Giving ~ SOAP ~ God sees your giving as acceptable as long as your heart is in the right place! foreverinthekitchen.blogspot.com


Scripture~
  • 2 Corinthians 8:12 and 9:6~ For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Observation~
  • As long as I am willing to give then my gift is acceptable. If I sow generously, according to what I have, I will reap generously.
Application~
  • The size of the gift doesn't matter to God. The "price tag" on something doesn't determine the size of my gift in Gods eyes. He looks at what it cost me to give and if my heart was happy to give it. I need to always give with willingness and as much as I can because I know God is truth and I will reap whatever I sow.
Prayer~
  • Thank you for the reminder that it's not all about money, it's about giving generously out of what I have. Thank you for supplying things I can give that aren't money. Please help me be a wise steward of my time and talents and show me where and when to give. Convict my heart if I start to give grudgingly or sparingly. I want to keep my heart in right standing with you. I love you so much!


8 Ways to Give For Free!



With the way the economy is these days it can be hard to give.  I think a lot of people, myself included, automatically think of financial giving. My first thoughts go to money or a gift that I have to purchase.  However, there are so many other ways that you can give. And remember, you don't live in America's economy, you live in God's economy, and He never runs out of ways to bless you!

Here is a short list of ways you can give that don't cost a dime. (or a nickel or even a penny for that matter.)

1. Participate in click thru sites. These sites are possible because of generous sponsors. Your clicks are tracked then the sponsor makes a donation to that particular charity based on the number of clicks the website generates per day. I use these two but I'm sure there are many more. If you know of others please let me know and I will add them to the list.


  • www.care2.com~ This site allows you to earn credits for sharing causes on social media.  Once you earn enough, you can redeem them to support causes that are important to you.  They have things like helping to save a green turtle hatchling, a day of safe drinking water for a child, and planting a tree, just to name a few.
  • www.thehungersite.com ~ I love this site!  I literally supported 10 causes in less than a minute!  I clicked to donate food to people and animals, helped pay for mammograms, and preserve rain forests.  Bookmark this site for sure!!


2. This next one comes with a warning. It can be very addicting. It's called freerice.com. Basically it's a trivia game that lets you earn grains of rice for every answer you get right. There are several different categories to choose from. Yesterday I donated 1600 grains learning Spanish. It's fun and really adds up quickly.  The categories include ~

  • Humanities
  • Math
  • English
  • Language Learning
  • Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • Test Preparation


3. Do something physical for a family member. This could include back scratches, back rubs, foot massages, fingernail painting, hair brushing, an extra hug, or extra cuddle time before bed.

4. Give things away on Facebook! This is a great way to de-clutter your own house while blessing someone else.

5. Spend extra, purposeful time in prayer for a specific person. Maybe you know someone with a pressing need. Designate some of your prayer time for that person. Remember them through your day and lift them up whenever they come to your mind.

6. Babysit. What mom wouldn't want an afternoon to herself? Or maybe you know a married couple that could really use a date night. (that is so me right now!) If you have kids you know what a blessing this can be.

7. Play coupon fairy. This is so fun. If you have extra coupons for something that you know will be a great deal then leave some on the shelf next to that product. Or offer them to the person standing there beside you. How good would you feel if someone offered to give you a coupon for a product you were going to buy anyway?

8. While this one isn't technically free, it almost is.  Feed someone.  Yes, you have to buy the food but I'm willing to bet that you would have enough leftovers from your regular meal to feed another person anyway.  Plan to pack up a hot meal and deliver it to your single neighbor or the elderly couple that goes to your church.  Now you have blessed someone and kept yourself from having a science experiment in the back of your fridge in 2 weeks!

Let's discuss!  What ways can you think of to give for free?  With Thanksgiving just days away and Christmas coming up, now is the best time of the year to develop a giving attitude!!

Be Blessed!!


Strawberry Slushy



This is my first attempt at an actual slushy.  We usually just do some form of smoothie with milk and/or yogurt.  However, I was tired of the heaviness of a smoothie but still wanted something cold and refreshing so I made a slushy.  Strawberry slushy to be exact as I found them on sale for $0.99/lb!!!  I bought 4 pounds! ;)

Strawberry Slushy

1 tray of ice
1 cup of water
1 cup of fruit juice (I used black cherry)
1 lb. of strawberries, sliced
sugar* (amount depends on the sweetness of your berries and juice)

Place all ingredients in the blender in the order listed.  I actually have two Ninja Blenders and LOVE them!!  Blend until desired consistency.  Garnish with a big fat juicy strawberry and a smile! :)

Happy Cooking!!

Strawberry Slushy
*I used white sugar but thought afterward how brown sugar would have given it a nice depth of flavor.  If you try it that way and like it let me know!

This post is linked to~

*This post contains affiliate links.

SOAP ~ God Has Chosen Me

Scripture ~ But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham, my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you.  I said, "You are my servant."; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.  So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:8-10

Observation ~ The Amplified Version says that the Israelites were in exile.  I imagine they were scared and crying out to God.  They could have been being oppressed like they were in Egypt or afraid of giants like they were in the desert.  Whatever the situation, God let them know that they were his.  He called them chosen and friend.  He assured them that he was with them and would help them.

Application ~ Just like the Israelites, God has chosen me.  Just like the Israelites, I am a descendant of Abraham.  God has chosen me and called me and brought me out of the farthest corners of sin.  Because of this promise, I have absolutely no reason to fear!  God is with me!  He is my God!  He strengthens me and helps me!  He upholds me with his righteous right hand!

Prayer ~ Dear Sweet Jesus, Thank you so much for all the promises in your Word!  Today I am reassured and strengthened.  My hope is in you as you lift me up.  I can feel you with me today, giving me the strength I need to NOT FEAR!  I WILL NOT FEAR!  Thank you for always giving me exactly the Word I need at the exact moment I need it!  I love you too!  In Jesus Name, Amen!

Lets chat!  Leave a comment telling me how it feels to know that God has chosen you!


SOAP ~ Do Good

Do Good | SOAP | James 4:17 | We can't just not sin, we must also do what we know is right! | foreverinthekitchen.blogspot.com


James 4:17

Scripture 

  • Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. ~James 4:17
Observation

  • Sinning isn't just doing something wrong.  It is also NOT doing something that is right.
Application

  • I need to pay closer attention to God when He tells me to do something.  i.e. Pray for someone, bless someone, tip generously, give an encouraging word, compliment a stranger, offer help.
Prayer

  • Lord, please teach me what Your Word says are the good things I ought to do.  I don't want to be living in sin simply by NOT doing good.  Thank you for your help!  I love you, too.  In Jesus Name, Amen!














The Joy of Early Morning Bible Time





Ahhhhh sleep!  It's a glorious thing!  I love it!  I want more of it!  There's nothing like the sleep that comes after hitting snooze.  But here's the thing, Psalm 5:3 says,

"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly."

I guess everyone's "in the morning" time is different.  For some it's 5:30.  For others it's not until 10:00.  The point is, God wants to spend time with you in the morning.  And when you go to Him and lay your requests before Him, you can wait EXPECTANTLY for an answer.  Not just hoping or wishing but EXPECTING!

But sleep...oh soft, glorious, warm, cozy bed...how I love thee...let me count the ways!

Well here's a beautiful thing God told me just last week: "Thirty extra minutes in The Word is going to do so much more for you than thirty extra minutes in bed ever could!" 




WOW!

That was truly one of those times where I knew it was God.  I mean, the devil certainly isn't going to tell me to read the Bible, and honestly I don't think my flesh is going to tell me to get out of bed any earlier, so it HAD to be God.

So I have been trying to get up earlier.  I will not lie to you...it has been hard!  Most days I hit the snooze button but I have still been consistently getting up about 15-20 minutes earlier.  I'm a work in progress.  The point here is not to be perfect but to look to The One who is.

Here are 3 things I have learned about spending early morning time with The Father:

1. The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

Some days are harder than others, there's no way around that.  I have found that even on the harder days, if I will start off with extra time in the Word then my attitude about the hardships is so much better.  Soaking in God's word gives me the strength I need to face whatever the devil throws my way.  A lot of times the situation is only as bad as my attitude so having that extra dose of Jesus really helps!

2. I Can Do All Thing Through Christ Who Strengthens Me (Philippians 4:13)

My days are full!  I homeschool 3 girls and have one in public school high school (who's not yet driving herself around).  That takes a lot of time.  Add in all the normal housework, meal planning and grocery shopping, laundry, bill paying, self-care...the list is long.   On days when I feel like I. JUST. CAN'T. I am reminded that I actually CAN do ALL things as long as I do them through Christ who gives me the strength I need.

3. God Is For Me (Romans 8:31)

Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you?  Like everything you say and do that day is wrong and you just want to crawl back in bed?  I find that when I consistently spend time with Jesus in His Word that I have those kinds of days a lot less.  If a day like that happens to sneak up on me, I can look to the One who is for me.  It is comforting to know that the One who created the heavens and the earth is on my side.  It's also nice to know that His mercies are new every morning so if today was hard then I can start over tomorrow.

Dear one, the Lord loves you so!  He wants to be your friend!  Run to Him early and often!  Your life will never be the same!!

Let's chat!  What are some of the ways you spend time in the Word?






Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween


When I was little I didn't celebrate Halloween.  I was allowed to dress up for school but that's about as far as it went.  I did not feel cheated.  I did not feel left out.  I did not feel like I was missing out.  I knew in my heart that Jesus didn't want me to celebrate this holiday.  From as far back as I can remember I was ok with that.

I have four girls now ages 13-6.  We still don't celebrate Halloween.  They know why and they agree.

I recently read an article about Kirk Cameron in which he told why Christians SHOULD celebrate Halloween.  I think that Christians that agree with this article are looking for a way to justify this holiday.  Having a pretty prominent member of the Christian community condoning Halloween might sway many people.

Instead of going into the history of Halloween (of which we may never know the exact origin) or going into detail of why I think Kirk Cameron is wrong, I am simply going to explain FROM THE BIBLE why I believe Halloween should NOT be celebrated by Christians. 

Please know that there is no condemnation in this post.  There may be conviction, if that's what the Lord lays on your heart, but I am not judging you if you have decided that Halloween is ok for your family.

Why My Family Doesn't Celebrate Halloween

1. Trick or Treat
  • Words are very powerful.  God created EVERYTHING with words.  Genesis 1:3-26 has the words, "And God Said," eight times as he was speaking things into life. 
  • John 1:1-2, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning."  Jesus is powerful.  Jesus is called the Word.  Words are powerful.
  • Matthew 12:36, "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken."  I feel like having children say that they will play a trick on someone if they don't get a treat is very careless.  People think that it means nothing but we have already established that words are powerful and important.  When you get to Heaven you will have to explain the careless phrase, "Trick or Treat!"
2. Your Attitude
  • Philippians 2:5, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."  Going back to the old W.W.J.D~What Would Jesus Do?  Would he dress up as a devil or a monster and go around asking people for a treat but saying he would give them a trick if they didn't pay up?  Maybe your little one dresses up as something cute and innocent.  I bet they still say trick or treat.
3. Evil
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (KJV)  This is probably the biggest one for me.  Maybe you dress your child up as an angel, take them to the sweet grandma across the street, and she just smiles sweetly and sticks her bucket out without a word.  Halloween is still mostly about evil.  Walk down any costume aisle and you will see monsters, blood, gore, and evil.  People put ghosts and mummies as decorations in their yards.  People dress up as vampires and zombies.  That my friends is the appearance of evil and my Bible, the absolute true Word of God, told me to stay away from it!
So there you have it.  That's why I don't celebrate Halloween.  Not because of where it started, but because of what the Bible says about what Halloween is today. 

If you choose not to celebrate Halloween but are afraid of what people will think or say just tell them this, "We don't celebrate Halloween because Jesus told us not to."  If they ask why you can give them any of the reasons above.  When you take a stand for Christ he will make sure you have the right words when you need them.

Ashley <><