Thursday, January 14, 2016

Am I in need of an Abigail?

Well hello peoples! Yes, it has been a little while since my last post. Today I want to get you to think a little bit about atonement. I read this book not too long ago and it made me view the atonement a little differently. The name of the book was The Peacegiver.
Now, when I say atonement what comes to your mind? Jesus? The cross? Payment for sins? Sinner? Well, lets take a different look at atonement.
I know we all grew up learning the story of David slaying the giant with a sling shot and a stone. But, do you know what happened after that story? You know the time in-between him slaying Goliath and becoming king. Well, after he killed Goliath his fame went throughout the land. This made Saul very upset. You know he was the King of Israel at the time.

Well, Saul set out to kill David. So, David fled into the wilderness and was literally living the life of a vagabond. His companions were thieves and outlaws. They got through by guarding a rich man's sheep and shepards from neighboring people who would want to take or kill them. In return this rich man, Nabal would give David and his men provisions. So, it came to pass that David and his men were getting low on provisions. David sent a group of men to Carmel to see Nabal and ask for provisions. The men went and met with Nabal. Nabal did not give them what they needed, in fact, he mocked them. The men went to David and told him what happened. David got angry. He told the men to strap on their swords. They all started marching to Carmel to slay all of Nabal's household. Now, Nabal had a wife named Abigail. One of the servants came to Abigail and told her what her husband had done. So, she got together all sorts of provisions and loaded them on asses and went out to meet David and his men. When she saw David, she got off her ass and fell down at his feet and asked for forgiveness. WHAT?!?!
Why you ask was she asking for forgiveness. She didn't do anything. Well that is exactly what David told her. She said that she was taking all the sin on her. Hmmmmm ... sound familiar. Then she basically told David that she was taking his sin too. That he did not want to do this cause God had a future for him. WAIT... David was the one being sinned against. Right???? Well, you see as soon as David and his men sought revenge in their hearts they too sinned. Abigail was offering him a way out of his sin before he sinned more and acted on his revenge. David forgave her and her household.
Now, why did I tell you that story? Let me ask you a question. Are you in the wilderness marching to Carmel? Are you in need of an Abigail in your life?

Are you a Nabal and creating difficulty for others that someone else had to make up for? You see, Christ didn't just die for the sinner. He died for the sinned against too. Let me tell you another story.

We all have heard the story of Jonah.

God sent him to Ninevah to tell the people to repent or be destroyed. Jonah doesn't listen and tries to run from God. He eventually is swallowed by a whale. While in the belly of the whale, he prays for forgiveness. God forgives him and the whale puts him at Ninevah. Jonah tells the people and they repent. Story over! NO! Jonah was upset. You see he wanted the people to be destroyed. He thought they should not be forgiven. They were too bad. He even goes up a hill to watch God destroy them

 When he doesn't he is upset. God makes this plant grow by him. then he makes it die. Jonah is upset. God pretty much tells him you would show mercy to a plant but not for these people? So, I ask you are you on a ship trying to run from God? Are you willing to extend Mercy? Are you trying to find happiness without giving up your sins? Do you know the extent of your Savior's Love?
You see he died for everyone! When we don't forgive or hold grudges we are saying that they are not worthy of mercy or grace. But, really NONE of us are!! You have to let go and forgive. Because you have been forgiven! It also causes us to miss blessings that God has in store for us! We have been forgiven and we have to forgive those who wrong us! It is just that simple. Okay well it is simple but, I didn't say it was easy! I hope I have gotten you to look at the atonement in a different light. By the Way, the story of David can be found in 1 Samuel 25 and the story of Jonah can be found in the book of Jonah! Now, I leave you with this: Are you in need of an Abigail?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Hope everyone's week has been good. We talked last week about being a warrior and about bringing everything to God. We also talked about honest assessment of where our relationship was with our Heavenly Father. This week I am going to talk about accountability.

In the second lesson in the War Room, they talk about real accountability. When we talk about accountability it can get a little uncomfortable. Come on lets face it, we are still like children, we don't like to be told that we are doing something wrong. Sometimes, we can even throw a fit when confronted. On the flip side of accountability, sometimes we don't want to tell a friend or family member that what they are doing is wrong. For one, we don't want them to be mad at us or hurt their feelings. But, God wants us to help hold each other accountable and to hold each other up in Love. The study used Psalm 141:3-5a as a prayer:
"Lord, set up a guard for my mouth:
Keep watch at the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart turn to any evil thing
or perform wicked acts
with men who commit sin.
Do not let me feast on their delicacies.
Let the righteous one strike me-
It is an act of faithful love;
Let him rebuke me-
It is oil for my head;
Let me not refuse it."
My, my, my, that is powerful! Sometimes, even as a Christian community this can be abused. I have witnessed it first hand. When we go to a fellow believer we are to do it in Love! We don't want that person to think that we are trying to be their judge! We all have that, God! Also, we have to be careful not to spread gossip. Sometimes we don't even mean to do it. I think as Christians we do have to try harder and think harder about what we say and even who we say it to. People look at us more than non-christians. They want to know how we are going to act or react to a situation. Now, do we sometimes get it wrong? Why yes, we are just human! But, when we do get it wrong, we need to repent and ask for forgiveness. Another verse that I thought was powerful was Proverbs 27:5-6:
"Better is open rebuke, than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy." (NASB)
Wow! Faithful are the wounds of a friend, deceitful are the kisses of an enemy! I don't know about y'all but, I would much rather my friend come to me and rebuke me than my enemy give me a pat on my back!

I love how this verse just sort of spells it out. It is our duty as Christians to go to our breathen let them know what they are doing is wrong and try to help them and to carry their burden too. This helps to fulfill his law! Oh but wait!! It also gives a warning! Watch yourself, or you too may also be tempted!! We should always have on our full armor of God! 

So many times in the Bible does it talk about lifting each other up, carrying each others burdens, and Praying for one another. It so good that God did not want us to fight this battle or go through this journey alone! Praise God! I leave you this week with the following verse! I hope it speaks to you! Till next week...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


God uses warriors for his glory. when I am talking about warriors, I am talking about All of God's children. We are all called to fight spiritual battles daily. In Ephesians 6:11-12, We are told: "Put on the Full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For OUR struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." So, I ask you if God were counting spiritual warriors-ones who are prepared to fight for truth-would you be counted?

In the intro for the War Room it says Prayer is a Powerful Weapon. Oh how true this is. If we all made battle plans, searched our Bible for answers, and prayed to Our Heavenly Father, oh what battles would be won! You see God even told us to bring everything to him; Our lives, our families, our health, our marriages, our children, our jobs, everything. Just like a war needs a war plan so do we! It is called PRAYER!

In the first session of this study it asks questions and asks for an Honest Evaluation of our relationship with God. It is so easy for our everyday life to get in the way of our relationship with our creator. But, we should realize this, repent and pray to fix it. We should spend time daily with our creator. In his word and in prayer to him. It says, "But be doers of the word and not hearers only. Deceiving yourselves." James 1:22.
So, I ask you this....Are you a doer or just a hearer? My prayer for you is that you become a doer!! Till next time....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The War Room

Have you seen the new movie The War Room yet? My husband and I went and seen it last Sunday. All I can say is WOW! It is a real powerful movie. It is about fighting our battles in prayer! It so hit home for me. I hate to admit but my prayer life is not the best. Yes, I am a Christian, yes, I pray, yes, I read my bible! But, do I really take all my battles to God in prayer? NO!

It says in the Bible, "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:14. Hmmmm! I seem to fail in this time and time again. I always seem to try to fight on my own. That is something I am trying to fix. I am trying to take all to the Lord and let him fight for me. I am not saying this is easy. It is hard! Hey, I am human! We think we know what is best, what needs to be done. But, in reality our Lord has a plan for our lives that is bigger and better than we could even fathom. 
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I hope that you too will join with me in this journey in taking everything to the Lord in prayer. I am beginning a bible study starting next week on prayer. Each week I am going to blog about the things that I have learned. My hope in this is to help you as well. Who is with me? 
With that I leave you with this verse that was one of the many verses in the movie.
"But you, when you pray, Go into your inner room. Close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:6.
Till next week my sisters and brothers! :) 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lavender Scrub

It is hard to believe how time flies. It seems like only yesterday I was bringing my first born son home from the hospital. Now, he has been married almost 2 months now. He married his High School Sweetheart on August 29th. It was a simple ceremony but, oh so beautiful. I do have to admit I cried. I think I was good and hid it well! ;) Making the powerpoint for the beginning of the ceremony was so hard. Just looking at all those pictures of him growing up made me realize how fast time really does fly. I do wish them both a long and happy life together. My prayer for them is to always keep God first!!
For the bridal shower, she made little jars of honey for the guest to take home. The honey was from my son's beehive that he has. I made little jars of lavender scrub for the guests. I used dried lavender buds in this recipe but, you can omit them if you want to.

Lavender Scrub

1 Cup White Sugar

2 TBSP dried lavender buds

8 to 10 drops lavender essential oil

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

2-4 TBSP olive oil

If you are using lavender buds, grind them with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder. In a bowl, combine the sugar and ground lavender buds. Next, add the oils and stir to combine. Then, add the essential oil and stir. Place into a jar and label.
Lavender Buds
Mortar and Pestle
Put sugar in bowl

Grind the buds

Coconut oil
Melt coconut oil
All of it mixed together.

Lavender Essential Oil

The scrub in the tin.

Here are some of the finished products.
Viola' Lavender Scrub! See how easy!!! The guests loved it! I also used Pinterest a lot to get ideas for the shower and wedding! Below are some of the pictures from the shower.

The Wild Honey
The Scrub

A game I found on Pinterest.
An idea I found on Pinterest. 

Instead of Guest Book. Pinterest again!
Found idea on Pinterest. Then made it!

Pin the mustache on the groom.

Another game found on Pinterest!
The beautiful bride!

Hope you enjoyed the pics! Till next time hope everyone has a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's the Simple Things and Elderberry Tincture!!!

Hello my blog peeps! Hope everyone is having a blessed Tuesday! I got the sweetest surprise today from some of my sweet PreK children. On top of all the hugs and I Love You, Mrs. Smith that I get on a regular basis, a few of them sent me a carnation for Do Something for Someone Day.

Attached to the flowers was a note from the child. I even got from one of my sons and one of my students from last year. I thought it was so sweet! This is just our second day back from Fall Break. It is always hard to come back to reality when we have had a whole week off. :) 
During Fall Break, A few friends and I went camping in North Toledo. It was so pretty and quiet there. Here are some of the pics from our trip.

My sweet Friend and me!

Two more of my sweet friends and LuLu (aka Our Guard Dog)

LuLu aka Guard Dog

We had a blast! Can't wait to go back! I also canned over the break. I will be posting more canning recipes soon! 
I also started some Elderberry Tincture. I used 1/3 cup of dried Elderberries.

Then, pour vodka over the berries to about an inch from the top. You can use 80 proof or 100 proof. When making tinctures, I like to use 100 proof. I use 80 proof for my homemade vanilla. 

Next you want to put a piece of plastic over the top before you put the top of the jar on. This is just to keep the tincture away from the metal of the lid. 

Last, you date it, write what it is, and when it will be ready. For this one it needs to sit for 14 days. Just put it on a dark, cool, shelf and shake every now and again. Once the 14 days are up, you strain the tincture off the berries and bottle the tincture! I will show you mine once it is finished. There you have it Viola' Elderberry Tincture! Till next time, Have a blessed evening and week!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Canning Bacon

Hello from the homestead! I have been looking up new things to preserve by canning and dehydrate. I ran across several people canning bacon. Yes, you heard me right....BACON!!! I thought this was crazy when my oldest son told me about it. So, I did my research. You can can raw bacon to store. Huh! Learn something new everyday!! Well, I gave it a try and I have to say not too bad. Now, let me walk you through the process. But, first the wonderful disclosure! "By following the process of canning bacon You, the reader take all responsiblitly for your family and yourself. This blog is for entertainment only and The S Homestead takes no responsibility for misuse of information or sickness incurred." Okay now, for the cool part! lol! First you need to buy bacon. I bought 2.5 pounds and this made 2 quart jars. You can get 1 or a little over 1 pound in each quart jar. Also, you want to use wide-mouth quart jars because it is a lot easier.

Next, you want to get a large piece of parchment paper and lay 1 or a little over 1 pound of bacon on the paper leaving about an inch of paper on each side.

Next, you will take another piece of paper cut in half and lay it on top of the bacon. (I did this the first time I canned it. Now, I just fold the extra paper at the top over the bacon. Parchment paper be high!!! ;)' ) Now, fold the bacon in half. Then start rolling it as tight as you can.

You will then put the bacon in a sterilized quart jar. You might have to twist it in to get it in. Then, you will put a hot sterilized lid and ring on the jar. You will pressure can this for 90 minutes on 10 lbs. pressure. 

When you open the can you can use the grease to fry eggs and you still want to cook the bacon when you get it out. Plus, I like mine really crispy! ;) So, there you have it Voila' Canned Bacon!! Till next time!