Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#shereadstruth Day 13

Wise Women.

I have a few women I confide in, a few older women I will go to for sage advice. I don't exactly have parents, so I've adopted and been adopted by a sweet older couple who I go to often, particularly about parenting decisions.  They've been in my shoes, I consider them wise.

I have a few friends who say I'm the wisest person they know.... I think they need to get out more! Surely there are others wiser than me. 

I try to obtain knowledge on a variety of topics, only because I have enough life going on that I need to depend on those who are wiser.  I read books.  The Bible, Blogs, Books.  Mostly on relationships.  Improving mine.  My Parenting, My Marriage, The Voice in my Head that tells me I'm doing it all wrong. 

So I read.  I'm not that good at reading. I'm dyslexic and it makes reading challenging.  Which is why I use a dictionary, several dictionaries, all the time.  I like lexicons and old English dictionaries.  I like to get to the root of the matter.

Speaking of Roots.  Let's lay some down.

Wise                                                               Jealousy
Understanding                                                Strife
Good Conduct                                                Disorder
Meekness of Wisdom
Open to Reason

Just gonna focus on a few of these today.

Understanding: epistemon - Intelligent, Experienced

Root: epistamai -
To put ones attention
To fix ones thoughts on
to understand, to know.

Meekness: prayles - noun  Mildness of disposition

Root: prays
Stems from the trust of Gods goodness and control over the situation

The gentle person who is not occupied with self.  This is a work of the Holy Spirit and not of human will.  This is actually in the definition notes.
Comments on jealousy and envy.  The ESV uses jealousy, but the word in greek is envy.  Lets look at this for a moment.

Jealousy:  This is a fear based emotion.  A fear of rejection.  I "fear" you because of who you are, I feel displaced.

Webster 1828: A passion of a peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love.   Nearly allied to envy, for jealousy, is before "a good" is lost, is converted to envy after being obtained by others.

Envy:  Also fear based emotion.  A comparison fear.  I "fear" you because of what you have.  Better relationships, possession, skills. 

Webster 1828:  A feeling of uneasiness at the (supposed) superior condition, prosperity and happiness of another.

Zelos - Noun Zeal on behalf of a person or a thing.  Fierce indignation, contentious rivalry.
Root: Zeo  Boiling Anger.

Disorder: akatastasia - noun  Instability, A state of disorder, Disturbance, Confusion
Root: akatastatos - adj. Unstable.  Inconstant.  Restless.
used once.  James 1:8 a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

This makes me chuckle just a tad, as it reminds me of my kiddo in his younger days of Thomas the Train obsession!  "you are causing confusion and delay"  And in searching that comment I came upon some interesting info about Autism Spectrum and Thomas the Train.  Get to know my kiddo a little better while I study James.  Hmmmm... Ask God for wisdom... He doesn't fail to respond!

I also thing it's interesting that the last verse places righteousness before peace.... God is indeed a God of order.

There's a little nugget tucked into Romans 14:17 .... the kingdom of God is not...
but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

There is no peace without right standing.  Right Standing isn't a fruit.  It's your position.  It's who you are, through who's you are.  The righteousness of God through Christ Jesus (Rom 3:22 & 2 Cor 5:21)

Without righteousness there is no peace.  If you don't understand your position, you will not live in peace. 

I don't have to hope for wisdom or understanding.  I need in meekness (trust in God's goodness)to ask for wisdom. Don't live in fear and disorder.   I don't bear fruit without being in position.  Right Standing.  Trusting in God's goodness is wise. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#shereadstruth Day 12

My thoughts before I get into defining the words that stuck out for me today:

The only way to resist is by submitting to God.  Drawing near.   Humble yourself before God. Get in your appointed place, the wing, the cleft of the rock, hemmed in, in the shadow of the Almighty.   Withstand, continue on safe and sound.  Draw near, join together (have the mind of Christ 1 Cor 2:16)  with God in your place and position, Likewise God will position Himself to you.
This is how you have "clean hands" "purified heart" This is not a work of our own but of the Holy Spirit.

Submit: hypotasso - Verb Arrange Under (yea, that's helpful)  I generally defer "all things submission to Rachel Evans.

I find it interesting that in the verse prior the greek uses the word Humble: Tapeinos Adj. Lowly in Spirit

Then in verse 10 uses Humble again.  But in Verse 7 "Submit yourself to God"

Root 1: hypos - by or under
Root 2: tasso - to put in order, to appoint.

Resist: anthistemi - Verb  Withstand. Resist. Oppose (or benadryl, sounds like antihistamine)

Root 1: anti  Over, Against, Opposite
Root 2: histemi   To cause, to make to stand. To make firm, fix, established.

I like definition #3 To continue safe and sound.  To stand unharmed.

For me, many times I get all heebee jeebee'd out when I read these tests… resist the devil, stand against the schemes, withstand in the evil days…  I feel powerless and a little scared.

Draw Near:  eggizo - Verb  To bring near.  To join one thing to another, to approach

Root: eggys Near of place and position.

Those who are near access to God.

Cleanse: Katharizo - Verb  To make clean.
In a moral sense:
1. free from defilement
2. to purify from wickedness
3. to free from guilt of sin

All things I'm incapable of.

Purify: hagnizo Verb  1. Ceremonially.  To make pure, purify, cleanse. 2. Morally

Root: hagnos adj.   Definition 2. Pure:
1. Pure from carnality, chaste, modest
2. Pure from every fault, immaculate
3. Clean

All things that I am not able to do.  Pure from carnality? Pure from every fault? Immaculate? Please, even my house isn't immaculate.  Let alone my mind, my heart, my soul, my spiritual life.

But when I am humble, our good friend Noah describes it as:

A deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God.

That I am, have, can be.   When I'm in my appointed place, in the wing, cleft, shadow; resisting is okay, not scary.  I can withstand, continue on safe and sound.  Draw near, approach.  It's ok because I'm clean and pure through grace.   Yes I have a sin nature.  I am not the sin.  I mess up, every day, every hour, minute.   But I know I can approach the throne of grace with confidence. (Heb 4:16)  Receive wisdom without judgment.  Speak life (if only for a moment), before I mess up again, starting the process all over again.  And that's life.  The journey. The lessons learned.

Grace and Peace to you (and me)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipes for Fall

Ahhhhhh the it's here!! It's really here!! Cooler temperatures. Falling Leaves. Football Sundays. Fall Festivals. Pumpkin Carving. Early Evenings. Transition. Life gets into this transitional place where we nestle in. We slow down a bit. Linger under the covers. Snuggle under quilts. Cheer for our favorite team. Pull out those tried and true comfort foods of fall. Seasonal eating at it's finest because it's pumpkin! And that's just how I like it!! {Big Grin}
 Pumpkin Bread I'll begin with a classic. It's an old Weight Watcher Recipe that I've Spiced up!
Box of Spice Cake Mix - I've tried others, this one works the best. 1 Can of Pumpkin Puree - or make your own, I do this a lot and freeze it when Libby's isn't available anymore 1/2 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 1 teaspoon cinnamon - I use Roasted Saigon Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon all spice - this kicks it up a notch You can add nutmeg if you'd like, but I've found this mixture works well. 2 Tablespoons Vanilla. (add nuts or chocolate chips or raisins too!)
Preheat oven to 325, unless you have a convection oven (350). In a medium bowl blend cake mix and spices. Mix in the entire can of pumpkin. It will be thick and not all the cake mix will incorporate. So here's where you add the vanilla or milk or pumpkin spice creamer or ya know Dark Rum. Whatever floats your boat! Put the pumpkin glob into a well greased loaf pan. Smooth out. Bake for 35 minutes, check for doneness. This mixture is so thick and so moist it takes it a while to bake. After 35 minutes add 5 minute increments until a toothpick is clean. Let sit in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn it out onto a dish and let it sit until cool. Slice. Serve and Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee. About 12-14 servings.
If you're me........ that means Pumpkin Spice Latte.
So I saw this in Instagram I follow a food blogger who posted a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte. I was intrigued, as I've tried nearly every recipe out there. Including making my own "syrup". I love PSL. There is a contest each year between me and my friend over who gets the first one, we call each other and gloat. Here is her Recipe. I of course in true Shelly Fashion (and because I just know from past experience these ingredients weren't gonna do it for me) tweaked hers a bit.
1 Can Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/3 C Milk 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix 1 pinch all spice 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoon instant coffee (I would normally use brewed coffee but I value sleep so I used Decaf granules)
Directions: Pour Evaporated milk into a 2 cup or larger measuring cup, add approximately 1/3 cup milk or to the 2 cup fill line. Add Vanilla and spices. Mix well. Pour into a sauce pan. Add Pumpkin (I'll be honest, I added too much, because of my love of pumpkin so maybe go with 1/2 Tablespoon). Scald The Milk. (but do not cool) Add to (double strength) coffee or espresso or use the granules. You're not exactly using this as creamer. If using granules you want to use 1-2 teaspoons in the bottom of your cup and add the scalded milk to the granules. If using brewed coffee you'll want to pour the coffee and the milk at the same time into the cup. I don't know why, but I can tell you that it's not the same as pouring one and then the other. 4 servings. (using an 8 oz. cup) I didn't use sugar in the milk mixture but I added a bit a sweet n low in my cup. Starbucks....I have your recipe down now, I'll be saving my $5! Well except for that first one!
Next is one of my favorite fall comfort food, filling yet low calorie {because I have to have pumpkin bread and lattes} one skillet meal. Serve with garlic bread and a fine wine! It's a recipe I adapted, ya know, tweaked a bit from the original recipe from Eating Well. If you haven't heard of this site.... run to it!! Sign up for the weekly newsletter! Tons of yummy and healthy recipes for all seasons, for all levels of skill, for even my picky eaters!

So I call this Gnocchi Goulash
1 Onion - Diced 1 Bell Pepper - Diced 1 Box Gnocchi 1/2 C Water 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1 Can Diced Tomatoes I use the Basil Garlic Oregano Blend 1 Can Tomato Sauce 1 Bag Spinach Parmesan Cheese
Directions: In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add diced veggies, sauté until translucent. Add gnocchi and coat it with oil, veggies. Add water and let the gnocchi plump. Add tomatoes. Lower the heat add spinach, as much as will fit. Stir or what I call flip the spinach into the dish so that it's evenly incorporated. Cover and wilt. Takes about 5 minutes. Plate up, add cheese and Enjoy! About 6 servings depending on how plump your gnocchi is and how much spinach you want.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

She Reads Truth Day 11

Taming The Tongue.

I relate to this post.  It's a struggle.  Some days I'm better than others at staying positive, being kind, tenderhearted.  I get the sentiment: Something has to change, worse yet, I'm powerless to change.

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways….

Stumble: ptaio - verb
To err, to make a mistake, to sin
Root: pipto - verb
To fall down

James 3:9-10 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers (sisters), these things ought not be so.

Indeed. *sigh*

Bless - not the same as blessing on Day 4 Markarios (happy) but similar as in the opposite isn't unhappy, but curse.

Eulogeo - verb  (as in eulogize)
To praise, celebrate with praise, invoke blessing
Root 1) eu - to be well off, fare well, prosper
Root 2) logos - speech

Good Speech

Curse: katara - noun.
an execration, imprecation, curse

hmmm I need more than that so I go to the 1828 Noah Websters Dictionary:

Curse: To utter a wish of evil against one, to call for mischief or injury to fall upon.

These things ought not to be so.

Ephesians 4:29-32 let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

But before that Paul says…. put off your old self an be renewed in the spirit of your mind….

Renew ananeoo - verb
to renew (in the mind)
This is the only verse this word is used.

In Thayers Lexicon the notes state:
Denotes from a lower place to a higher place.
Corresponds to the Latin and German indicating the goal
Denotes repetition, renewal, anew, over again

Be Kind - chrestos - adj
fit, fit for use, useful
    virtuous, good
    mild, pleasant (as opp to hard, harsh, sharp, bitter)

Matt 11:30 Amp
For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good.  Not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing. but comfortable, gracious and pleasant) and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

Tenderhearted - eusplagchnos - adj
we're gonna go to definition 2.  compassionate, tender hearted (as opposed to 1. having strong bowels)

Root 1.  eu - to be well off, fare well, prosper
Root 2. splagchnon - kindness, benevolence, compassion, tender mercies.  a heart in which mercy resides.

Noah Webster:

Very susceptible of the softer passion of love, pity or kindness.  As in Be ye king to one another, tender hearted.

Forgiving - charizomai - verb
To do something pleasant or agreeable, to do a favor
To grant forgiveness
To give graciously

Root: charis

As I'm reading through this and thinking of all the grace I need… grace I need to give…

I thought of a few verses.

Luke 6:45 ….out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right (steadfast) spirit (mind) within me.

David uses the word Bara the same word used in Genesis for create…

Create something from nothing….

Steadfast: Kuwn - verb
to be firm, stable, established

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Words and heart, they seem to go hand in hand.  Inward to outward.  What is in us comes spilling out. And for me particularly when I'm stressed.  When I'm squeezed the ugly comes out.  Nothing is right or Okay.   The House, Work, The Kids, The Husband, The Extended Family… it's all driving me crazy. And the words of my mouth aren't kind or tender hearted, towards myself or others.

I was reminded of something I read years ago in an old book.  Daily Strength for Daily Needs.  This is from February 10.

Do no be discouraged at your faults; bear with yourself in correcting them, as you would with your neighbor.  Lay aside this ardor of mind, which exhausts your body, and leads you to commit error.

Accustome yoursefl to gradually carry prayer into all your daily occupations.  Speak, move, work, in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be.

Do everything without excitement, by the spirit of grace.  As soon as you perceive your natural impetuosity gliding in, retire quietly within, where the kingdom of God is.  Listen to the leading of grace, then say and duo nothing but what the Holy Spirit shall put in your heart.

You will find that you will be come more tranquil, that your words will be fewer and more effectual and that with less effort you will accomplish more good.

Francois Fenelon (1651 - 1715)

April 17th

Every morning compose your soul for a tranquil day, and all throughout it be careful to often recall your resolution and bring yourself back to it, so to say.  If something discomposes you, do not be upset, or troubled; but having discovered the fact, humble yourself gently before God, and try to bring your mind into a quiet attitude.  Say to yourself, "Well, I have made a false step; now I must go more carefully and watchfully."

Do this each time, however frequently you fall.  When you are at peace use it profitably, making constancy acts of meekness, and seeking to be calm even in the most trifling things.  Above all, do not be discouraged, be patient, wait, strive to attain a calm, gentle spirit.

Francis De Sales (1567 - 1622)

Do Not Be Discouraged.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#shereadstruth Day 4-6

#shereadstruth Day 4:

Matthew 5.  I'm familiar with it.  I've read Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas, facilitated the study more than once.

It's easy to rush over the verses, we know them by heart.  But do we really know what it means?  Do we look at it like a laundry list of things to be.

Angela has a great theology on it. 

Angela Thomas thought of the Beatitudes as a list of "Gotta be's"... Gotta be meek. Gotta be merciful. But, when she compared her life to the standard the "gotta be's" set, she always felt that she came up short. Now, through God's great mercy, she has come to see this passage as a roster of "When You Are's." When you are meek, there is a spiritual inheritance. When you are merciful, you will be shown mercy.

This shift in thinking has led Angela to understand that God does not require perfection, but rather, our gracious obedience. In His eyes, our lives (complete with mistakes, blemishes, and imperfections) are a beautiful offering.

In other research on the word during this time I found a great commentary on the word Blessed.   There are a few things to point out in regard to this.

1. The beatitudes declare an objective reality as the result of a divine act, not subjective feelings, and thus should be translated with the objective "blessed" instead of the subjective "happy." The opposite of "blessed" is not "unhappy," but "cursed" (cf. Matt 25:31-46; Luke 6:24-26).

2. The beatitudes are written in unconditional performative language. They do not merely describe something that already is, but bring into being the reality they declare. ... As eschatological blessings, the beatitudes are not "entrance requirements" for outsiders, but a declaration about insiders.

3. The nine pronouncements are thus not statements about general human virtues -- most appear exactly the opposite to common wisdom. Rather, they pronounce blessing on authentic disciples in the Christian community All the beatitudes apply to one group of people, the real Christians of Matthew's community. They do not describe nine different kinds of good people who get to go to heaven, but are nine declarations about the blessedness, contrary to all appearances, of the eschatological community living in anticipation of God's reign. Like all else in Matthew, they are oriented to life together in the community of discipleship, not to individualistic ethics.
Therefore, "Blessed" is your position, not your attitude, or circumstances, or appearance.  It's your position.  Yes things are falling apart around you, your position is Blessed.  Start there. 

Because that is your starting point, remain steadfast!

Steadfast or Persevere.
Constancy.  Endurance.  The characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose.

Full Effect - brought to it's end.  Wanting nothing necessary to complete.

Greek: hypomeno - verb - to remain.
Hypo - by or under
Meno - to continue to be present. to be held up, kept, continually
             to remain as one, not to become another or different.

From Noah Webster:

From Latin Persevero or Severo:
the radical sense of set, fixed, continued. to stand. constant and continued.

In light of your position, stand up, fight the good fight.  God "brought you forth by the word of truth".

Be reminded that what is birthed of the flesh is physical, maintained by the flesh, but what is birthed by the Spirit is maintained by the Spirit.  (John 3)

By Him all things (whosoever) were created.... in Him all things (whosoever) are held together. (Colossians 1:16-18)

Continue where you are, be present, you are held up, kept, in your position.... blessed.  Regardless of todays trials, the season you're in. Yes they look terrible, unbearable.  But God.... is holding you together.  Rest in that today!  Take a deep breath.  Be Blessed. Claim it.  Your Position. 

Day 5

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Noah Webster:
1. One who does; one who performs or executes; an actor; an agent.

2. One who performs what is required; one who observes, keeps or obeys, in practice.

Doer: poietes  Noun.
I find it interesting this word is a noun.  It's who you are.  Your Position.
It comes from a root word meaning "to make" "to act rightly" "to carry out, to execute"

Deceive: paralogizomai. Verb.  To Reckon wrong, to miscount.

This particular word for deceive is used twice in the bible.
This verse and Col 2:4.
James gets straight to the point.  Be A Does.  Don't be wrong in kidding yourself.

Day 6:

The Gap is the distance between the Word we read and the Word we live.
        we can't skim passages
        it has to be planted in us
        we can't forget who we are in Him
        we forget who are in the Word
        who we are in Him
        the Gap gets wider and wider.

But It Doesn't Have To!

Close The Gap!

Quick to hear (akous): attend to, consider, understand
Slow to speak (laleo):  Not ready, not prompt, or quick.  utter a voice, to speak, to use the tongue, to use words to declare one's mind.
Slow to anger (orge):  Anger.  A natural disposition, temper, character, agitation of the soul.

Orego: To stretch ones self out in order to grasp something. to reach after, to desire something.

Airo:  To take upon one's self & carry what has been raised up.  To bear.

Noah Webster:
From Latin:  To Choke, to strain, to press, to squeeze, to make narrow.

A violent passion of the mind excited by real or supposed injury.

Wow.... I love to drill down into the meanings from the greek and to look back at what our ancestors knew about the bible. 

It's interesting to me that the Greek describes anger as our natural disposition, our character.  Even more so that it's stretching one's self out.  I know when I am over committed, stressed and busy, when I'm stretched out thin.... I'm angry.   I'm taken too much upon myself.  Bearing burdens that aren't my own.... and are they really?

Excited by real or supposed injury... isn't it mostly supposed.  A misunderstanding?  A failure to "attend to, consider, understand"

Implated: (emphytos) a word whose property it is to root itself like a seed in the heart.

Phyo: to beget. to spring up, to shoot forth.
used in Luke regarding the seed (word) and the soil (heart)

Noah Webster: Fixed in the mind. 

It all starts there, right? 

Romans 12: 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Transformed:  Present, Passive, Imperative.
Present.... happening now
Passive... happening to you, you are receiving the action.
Imperative... not an invitation and absolute.

Metamorphoo - sound familiar?  Brings thoughts of butterflies?
The transformation is an action happening to the caterpillar the result is a butterfly.  The caterpillar is present.  The caterpillar is passive.  The caterpillar absolutely will become a butterfly.

Onto the vs 26:

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Religious: Fear or Worshipping God.

Bridle: (chalinagōgeō)  Verb.  To lead by a bridle.

Chalivos - Noun - A Bridle
Chalao - Verb - to loosen, slack, relax
Chasma - Noun - a gaping opening, a chasm  (to gape, to yawn)

Talk about Closing the Gap! 

Deceived: (apataō) Verb.  to cheat.
A different word from vs. 22. 
The take away for me is. 

Faith comes by hearing the Word.  In order to stand, and continue in my position which is Blessed, and be steadfast under trail.  I have to be transformed, a process that is happening, by the renewing of my mind.  The only way to Close The Gap is to Fill The Gap with the Word.
Matthew 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 

I have to ask myself... what is the abundance of my heart?  Am I really living as Blessed, a declaration?  Embracing that "when I am meek.... I receive.."  "when I am hungry and thirsty.... I receive...." "when I am merciful.... I receive...."

Yes Lord.... Transform me.... I receive....