Monday, June 30, 2014

Breaking the Bondage

You've had this “sin habit” forever.  You know it’s against God and what He teaches but you just can’t seem to beat it. Maybe it’s your mouth. You hear a good/bad story and you have to pass it on... or maybe it’s lying.  Maybe your problem is being involved in sexual sin outside of marriage or maybe your anger has control over you.  Whatever the problem is, you’re in bondage and you can’t seem to free yourself.

So, you’ve finally given up.  You’ve chalked it up to, “It’s just me.”  “It’s how I was born, so I guess I’ll just live with it.”  You may even make excuses or not even see it as sin. “It’s not gossip, it’s the truth” Or “I was just joking, I wasn’t really lying.”

It’s time to face the facts. It’s a sin. Agree with God that you have a problem and then let Him help you to face it. So can He? Can the same God who gave you an escape from Hell, help you escape from the bondage or sin? The short answer is YES!

Romans 6:11-14 says” Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Titus 2:11-12 says  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

So we must yield ourselves  to God and be His instrument. Let Him use us for good not evil, denying anything that is anti-God and promoting the world and its lusts.  If we are so absorbed in His agenda, and His Word, and what He wants for us, living with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we can and will break it.

The WILDS camp in North Carolina has a saying. “There are two choices on the shelf, pleasing God OR pleasing self. That is what it will come down to.  Either you will be a servant to God or a servant to your sin.

Romans 6:16-17 says “ Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

When Jesus conquered death, he freed you. You DON’T have to sin. You can choose not to.

So what are some practical ways that can help you to be reminded of God’s grace and relying on the Holy Spirit to RESIST your temptation?
1.    Prayer – Have a mindset of prayer. Talk to God, about EVERYTHING. Make him a vital part of your life.
2.    Scripture memorization. Meditate on and memorize scripture that has to do with your sin habit/ problem.
3.    Daily Walk – Have a time every day where you study and learn about and lean on God through His Word.
4.    Cut out – This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but cut out the people, places and things that help lead you to that temptation. This might just be temporary while you are fighting that temptation or it might be permanent.

Friend, THROUGH JESUS you have power over your sin. You don’t have to sin. You CAN break free. – Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, June 27, 2014

Crock Pot - Mac N Cheese

Sundays are a bit stressful.  When we get home from church, I need a meal that I can serve immediately, so that I can feed the family and put everyone to bed. This is a can-do and a yummy option. This crockpot Mac and Cheese is from Courtney @ Woman Living Well. Enjoy - Rejoicing in the Present

I’m enjoying the cozy winter weather of Ohio – we have 6+ inches of snow covering the ground and the temps are in the teens. The crock pot macaroni cheese is the perfect comfort food – but warning it could ruin your new year’s diet if you are on one lol!!! But Mmmm…it’s so good.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese:8 oz. dry elbow macaroni, cooked
3-4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
13 oz. can evaporated milk
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Chopped onion to taste
Combine all ingredients except 1 cup cheese, in greased slow cooker. Sprinkle reserved cup of cheese over top.
Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Do not remove the lid or stir until the mixture has finished cooking.
Wasn’t that easy? Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gut Repair

"House of Death" - That's what my hubby called it.  Our whole household was sick, and momma was worst of all. I  felt like we tried EVERY natural immune booster and natural antibiotic, but nothing seemed to work.  Even the doctors were scared to give me any type of drug due to the fact that I was due to give birth at any moment.  Finally after MUCH frustration my midwife saved the day and found an antibiotic that I could take.  I don't like drugs but I knew that if I didn't take it, my condition, which was bad, could have very easily turned into a bigger monster.  I also realized that I had to repair the damage that the antibiotic did to my gut.
This article from is helpful and informative on the after effects of antibiotics and what to do.

Antibiotics are truly a wonder of modern medicine.

Beginning with the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, the pure magic of antibiotics with their rapid resolution of bacterial infections of all kinds caused many in the medical profession to become completely enamored with the drug based approach to illness. By 1940, antibiotics had come into widespread use causing both doctors and people to gradually forget about tried and true techniques for preventing illness such as the age old remedy cod liver oil.

This change in the medical paradigm has led in recent decades to abuse of these magical meds and the growing threat of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. It has also caused in an epidemic of people with compromised gut function due to an imbalanced intestinal environment resulting from excessive exposure to antibiotics via industrially produced foods, medicine, and more recently, groundwater contamination.
While antibiotics clearly have their place in treating life threatening bacterial infections, their overuse has led to a plethora of modern day health challenges and autoimmune disease.

While complete avoidance of all antibiotic exposure would be the ideal, it is simply not practical in the majority of cases. Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary and when such a situation arises, it is imperative to protect the gastrointestinal tract from fungal or yeast overgrowth during treatment and to replenish beneficial gut bacteria when the course of antibiotics is complete.

While antibiotics effectively kill both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria with the exception of antibiotic-resistant species of streptococcus and other strains, they do not affect the many forms of yeast such as Candida albicans naturally found in the body in a nondominant role.

As beneficial bacteria lining the gut wall are eliminated, yeasts like Candida albicans have the opportunity to overgrow and become dominant by attaching to the gut wall. Once attached to the gut wall, yeast has the ability to create lesions in the cell membranes. This can lead to the syndrome referred to as “leaky gut”, which increases the likelihood of foreign proteins entering the bloodstream resulting in inflammation, food intolerances, a myriad of digestive problems, autoimmune disease, and other associated imbalances.
If you or a loved one find yourself in a situation where antibiotics are critically necessary and cannot be avoided with holistic therapies, the following recommendations for support during and after antibiotic treatment can help minimize the damage to the gut environment and quickly rebuild gut flora at the conclusion of treatment.

These recommendations are provided to patients of the clinic Biodynamic Wellness which specializes in helping people recover and maintain optimal balance of the intestinal environment to encourage vibrant health free of chronic disease stemming from a compromised gut. The owner of Biodynamic Wellness, Kim Schuette CN, generously gave permission to share the recommendations listed below.

Please note that these recommendations are helpful whether the antibiotic treatment came from oral medication or IV treatment. Even IV antibiotics damage gut flora despite the fact that the medication does not make its way directly through the intestinal environment like oral meds do.

Diet During and After Antibiotics

  • Include generous servings of lacto-fermented dairy and cultured vegetables during and after antibiotics whether oral or from an IV treatment. One tablespoon to half a cup of yogurt, kefir, kim-chi, sauerkraut, beet kvaas, etc. two to three times daily is advisable.
  • Include gelatin rich foods such as homemade meat stocks and bone broths daily along with abundant vegetables, animal fats, coconut oil and skate or cod liver oil after antibiotics are complete. A gelatin supplement can also be used to add further gelatin to homemade soups and sauces.
  •  Avoid all refined carbohydrates and fruit juices.

Supplemental Support During Antibiotics

  • Saccharomyces boulardii: one capsule twice daily to discourage yeast overgrowth during antibiotic treatment when beneficial gut flora are being compromised.

Supplemental Support After Antibiotics

  • Saccharomyces boulardii: one capsule twice daily to discourage yeast overgrowth during the gut flora recovery phase after antibiotics – be sure to continue for 30 days.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thank You God...

Dear Father, boy, are you ever my Father and Protector! Thank you for NOT giving me what I asked for!  Please ignore all the requests that will be detrimental to me and please continue to give me things that will grow me and help me! - JT

Have you ever felt like that?  Have you ever prayed like that?  So many times in my life, I see how wise God was for not giving me what I asked for.  In high school, I asked God to take away my health problems, to give me a miracle, and make me perfect.  He didn't; instead He just made me stronger. There are a total of 4 men, that I thought I really cared about and could have been potential husbands.  These boys I met between ages 16 and 23.  The last one, whom, at one time, I would have felt to be the least likely,  I married. He is the man of my dreams, my lover, my friend, the best daddy and husband and PERFECT for me. Thank you, Jesus. Let me tell you about the other three. 

All three of these guys acted like they loved God and had personal walks with Him, while I was with them.  One just got out of prison for the 2nd time, another was unfaithful to me, and the other doesn't even have anything to do with God anymore.  I see these men and I say, THANK YOU, GOD for protecting me, my heart, and my future.  You gave me a man of God. You gave me a treasure. You took that shiny temptation out of my life and opened my eyes to the truth.

There are still things I've asked for that I have not received and I'm OK with that, because I know, in the end, I didn't need them or they might have really hurt me. 

So let's be grateful to God. Thank Him for not answering "Yes" to your requests; ask Him to only give you things that will grow you and help you. The next time you don't get what you asked for, thank Him. It might have saved your life. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY Mesh Wreath

I love the new mesh wreaths that everyone is making now. I decided that I wanted one of the baby's room. I used pink burlap, white mesh and lime green ties. Because this project was a little more difficult then most, I had my friend Rebekah show me how to make it. She works at a florist shop and does an awesome job with her wreaths, so I knew she would be the perfect person to show me.
Now you can add flowers, ribbon, pearls and whatever to your wreath but I decided to leave it simply as it was. It turned out GREAT! 

Because these wreaths are a little more difficult, I am going to show a video instead of giving exact directions. I couldn't find the method that I used making mine, but I found an easy and great tutorial to make mesh wreaths. Here it is from DeesCrafts

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lessons from the Beach

We have a little beach boy.  I don't know where he got it because neither my husband nor I are huge fans of the beach. I think it just developed from a love of splashing and playing in dirt.  :-) 

A few weekends ago, we decided to have some family time.  So off we went to the beach.  I sat on our towel and watched the boys play and then, after a bit, went to join them.  The tide was high, so the boys had a blast getting splashed and knocked over the water. 

As a mom, I get nervous seeing my little guy fall in.  I imagine the worse, thinking that my baby is going to get pulled into the ocean.  So, when I saw him fall, the first instinct was to rush and pull him up.  My husband who was next to him, stopped me from doing this.  He stood above and was a ready hand for if Bubby couldn't get up.  I really didn't like it. The first couple times, Bubby seemed a little scared, but he learned how to get up and face his fear.  I saw how wise my husband had been. 

It was hard to get him out of the water that day, he was having so much fun and loved every moment of it.  If I had had my way, I would have "protected him" but in the end, it would have just built a fear in him that could have endangered him someday. 

This is another good illustration of our Heavenly Father. Sometimes, when we fall down physically, financially, or emotionally, we cry out to God and then don't understand why He doesn't pick us up immediately.  We have to first know that He is right there, ready to help us.  Sometimes, the best thing that He can do for us is let us fight our own battle. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Intentionally Teaching the Bible To Your Kids

"It is only by God’s grace that our children turn out at all, and only His grace saves our children, not our best intentions or methods." - This from Ruth @ We can only pray that our children's hearts will be tender to the calling of the Lord and freedom He brings. 

While we are praying, we can also be intentionally be teaching them the Bible, so that they have the opportunity to know the One who is calling them. If you don't have children in your home, I would encourage you to still read the ideas below as they are great tools for Sunday School workers and aunts, uncles and anyone who has any contact with kids.

Here is  a list of 4 ideas from Ruth @ for incorporating the Bible into your kid's lives... - Rejoicing
1.  Bible Ball – My kids loooove this and it is amazing what they can learn!  You can use this game to learn the books of the Bible, Kings of Israel, etc.  Have your kids sit in a circle with you. One person starts with the ball.  If you were doing the books of the Bible they would say, “Genesis”, and then pass it to whoever they wanted to, and that person would have to say “Exodus”, and they would pass it and so on.
2.  Scripture Scavenger Hunt – My kids loooove this too!! :)  Take notecards, write a different scripture reference on each one and hide them in strategic places.  The children go searching together, and take turns finding a card.  When they find a card they get one point for finding it, and two points if they can recite the scripture that is written on the card.  At the end each child’s points are tallied, and we usually give everyone a sweet treat as a prize :).
3.  Sundae Sunday and The Story of God -We have a tradition that we do on Sundays called Sundae Sunday!  Before bedtime we gather together as a family and sing worship songs, and read through a lesson of The Story of God.  You can download it here.  We then pray together and have Ice Cream Sundaes!!
4.  Nightly Devotional Time -  Two great books we have found to read with small children are Goodnight Warrior and Jesus Storybook Bible.  With our oldest son, we just had him start reading through the Bible when he was 8. A really great family devotional is 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson.

One side note--don't forget to pray with your child.  When you have any opportunity to take them to the throne of God, do it!  Be intentional about leading them in prayer and helping them build their own prayer life. - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Building Confidence in Your Child

It's so easy to get frustrated with a toddler, especially a boy toddler.  I catch myself getting annoyed and letting out another UHHHH!  So recently, when my son spilled something again, I heard him mutter the same sound.  It stopped me in my tracks.  It was cute, but it also broke my heart because I don't want him to fall down and pout.  Instead I want to encourage him to see the mess, clean it up, apologize and move on.  I want to build his confidence, not break his spirit.  When a friend posted this, I read it and had to share.  I haven't read anything by her before, but I really like her blog post. Thanks to Rachel for this encouraging post.

To Build (or Break) a Child’s Spirit

If you needed to lose weight, what would be most motivating?
You are fat. I’m not buying you any more clothes until you lose weight!
Let’s take a walk after dinner.
I’ll let you make the salad.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
If you needed to learn how to swim, what would be most motivating?
I don’t want to hear your crying. Get in the water and swim! Don’t be a baby!
I’ll be right by your side.
You can do this. If not today, we’ll try again tomorrow.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
If you needed to practice better hygiene, what would be most motivating?
What is that awful smell? It’s a wonder you have any friends.
Let’s go to the store and pick out some deodorant.
Your hair smells so good when you wash it. I think you should wash it every day.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
If your table manners needed improvement, what would be most motivating?
You eat like a pig. I cannot stand to watch you eat. You are disgusting.
I am trying to put down my fork after each bite, I’d like you to join me.
Thank you for chewing with your mouth closed.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
If you are a bit clumsy and disorganized, what would motivate you to be more responsible?
Can’t you do anything right? You are either losing things or making a mess!
Everyone makes mistakes. That’s how we learn.
It’s no big deal—just get a rag and clean it up.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
At times in my life I have been overweight, scared to swim, smelly, ill-mannered, and disorganized. During those times, I could have used some encouragement. So when I saw the young boy ordered to get out of the pool because he was scared to swim, I cried with him from behind my sunglasses. I saw the disappointment in the man’s eyes as he looked at his shivering son hugging his knees to his chest. The man really wanted his boy to learn to swim. He thought reprimanding him and ignoring the boy’s cries would motivate him to try harder next time.
At times in my life, I thought this too …
About a little girl and her ukulele,
About a little girl and her frequent messes,
About a little girl and her perpetually slow self,
About a little girl and her inability to ride a bike.
“Play the song again; you’re not trying hard enough.”
“Another spill? Are you serious?”
“How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up?”
“All the other kids have learned to ride their bike. It’s high time you did too.”
With every sharply delivered word, with each disapproving glare, with every disappointed shake of the head, that girl got smaller. Less confident. Less capable. Less shiny. And one day she spoke the words of a defeated soul.
“I just want to be good, Mama,” cried the little girl who once loved to strum her beloved instrument. And now she was placing the instrument at her feet, wondering if she should even be strumming at all.
Over time, my constant critiques and exasperated breaths led her to believe she was no good.
Over time, I’d broken her beautiful spirit—the one that gave her a unique and radiant light.
Motivating? Not so much.
There was a fine line between helpful adult guidance and using my authority to shame and belittle (under the guise of good intentions). As I crossed that line again and again, my child experienced a harsh reality: No matter what she did, it would never be good enough for me; I could never be pleased.
Motivating? Not so much.
The thought of my child growing up with a parent whose love was based on what she did rather than who she was caused an immediate change in me. I stopped being her rigid taskmaster and instead became her loving encourager …
Rather than harping on every single thing my child did wrong, I saved my guidance for serious issues—issues that could be potentially dangerous or life-altering.
Rather than forcing her to master a skill at the same rate as her peers, I assured myself that she would be ready in her own time.
I stopped overreacting to kid mishaps and minor incidents and realized she was better at cleaning up after herself without someone breathing down her neck.
If there was a bad habit that needed changing, I led by example. I invited her to join me in healthy habits. I provided tools (like timers and check-off lists) to empower her to become more prompt and responsible without my assistance.
I celebrated her efforts rather than the outcome and strived to speak three times as many positive words than negative ones.
Under the wing of Loving Encourager for the past several years, I’ve watched my child blossom. Her confidence and self-assurance have grown. She takes risks and when she fails, it’s not the end of the world because she knows she can try again. She knows I will love her regardless of what she does or doesn’t do. She confides in me when she does something wrong. She loves herself “as is” even though she does things a little differently than most.

I wish I’d abandoned the role of demanding taskmaster sooner, but I will not dwell on yesterday. Today matters more.
My hope is that by sharing my own painful regrets and life-changing discoveries, I can help someone else see what I see:
Shame abandons, encouragement believes.
Condemnation paralyzes, compassion frees.
Exasperation quits, patience prevails.
Yelling silences, communication opens up.
Blame hurts, grace heals.
Faultfinding destroys, praise builds.
Rejection loses, unconditional love wins.
If you were a child trying to get through life the best way you know how, what would be most motivating?
I don’t think you’ll ever measure up.
I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Understand Your Man So That He Can Understand You

One of our friends named it the "verbal gun". When he gets home at night, he walks in the door and his wife shoots him with 1000 words. Now, she is a stay-at-home mom and so she talks to children all day. When her husband gets home all she wants is a little adult time.  I get this and so do most SAHMs.  However, we have to put on our blue glasses and see what the men see. This was a neat article from  It reminds us that sometimes, we just need to step back, let them take a breather, feed them and then talk. - Rejoicing in the Present

For many years I lived under the mistaken assumption that the best way to communicate one of my absolutely brilliant ideas was to pour it all out verbally. And that's what I did. Boy, howdy, I'd do it with anyone who would listen! I learned to process things out loud and desired all those near me to patiently walk through that process with me, smiling and nodding in agreement, of course.
And then I married my handsome, strong, and genius-of-a-man, Ray. Even before he asked me to build a new life together with him, I sensed a caution in my spirit about my habit of chattering.
  • I wanted to respect and esteem him.
  • I wanted to learn how to really listen to him.
  • And I wanted to know how to communicate my desires and needs in a way that he would welcome.
But I didn't know how. I was absolutely clueless! I figured if I just talked long enough—and with the appropriate emotional fervor—he'd eventually see the flawlessness of whatever I wanted. Wherever did I get that idea? Surely not from the One who created communication.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (Pro. 13:3).
My unguarded, self-indulgent chatter did eventually led me to ruin. I felt frustrated and muddleheaded when I couldn't convince Ray of my point. And I took it personally when he didn't agree with me, adding hurt to the emotional mix I now had to process. I didn't know how to communicate with this man who meant the world to me.
And so I sought the wise counsel of a woman whose marriage I deeply respected—my mother-in-law. "How can I best communicate with him?" I asked her.
She kindly clued me in. "Here's some cash. Freshen up a bit and invite him to meet you for a bite to eat at a restaurant that serves more than salads and sushi. Spend some time enjoying him. Then, once he has had a chance to eat and unwind, present your idea to him as clearly as possible."
I learned something that evening. I often met Ray at the door with all my needs spilling out as he put down his briefcase and tried to give me a kiss. But my tired and hungry husband wasn't able to absorb my cascade of words. That evening I learned that men hear with their eyes and listen with their stomachs. I saw that part of respecting my husband meant understanding how he could best hear me (cf. Est. 5:1–8).
First Peter 3:1–2 is written to wives who are married to unbelieving men. But surely, the principle could be applied in a Christian marriage. " . . . that they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct." A wise wife can soften her husband's heart before she ever opens her mouth—because men hear with their eyes and listen with their stomachs.
Of course, this is just one aspect of learning to communicate with the man you have given yourself to. But it is a good place to start! "When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent" (Pro. 10:32).
Have you found this principle true with your husband? How does he best hear you? What helps you win his heart?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homemade Starbucks Mocha

My husband loves frappuccinos so when I saw this recipe from Courtney from WomenLivingWell, I had to share it with you. I'm super-excited about making this! - Rejoicing in the Present

This is my FAVORITE Starbucks drink! There can be 10 inches of snow on the ground and I still crave this icy drink! But we all know that these little Starbucks drinks are $4 a pop! So I was DELIGHTED to find that my oldest sister, Kristen, has discovered how to make these at home – bless her heart! This is what older sisters are for right? lol!Last week, while the kids swam at her house – she whipped one up (actually two and she offered me thirds but who’s counting right?) and it was delicious!!! Here’s the recipe:
What you need...
3/4 cup double-strength coffee
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup low-fat milk
2 cups ice
3 Tbls. Hershey’s Chocolate
3 Tbs whipped cream
trade chocolate syrup for caramel copping to make a Caramel Frappuccino
What you do...
  1. Make double-strength coffee by brewing with twice the coffee required by your coffee maker(that should be 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per each cup of coffee). 
  2. Chill before using.
  3. Then combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until ice is crushed and drink is smooth. 
  4. Pour into two 16-ounce glasses, and serve with a straw.

MOCHA Version:
For this version, add 3 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the original recipe and prepare as described. Top each glass with whipped cream, if desired.
CARAMEL Version:
For this version, add 3 tablespoons of caramel topping to the original recipe and prepare as described. Top each glass with whipped cream and drizzle additional caramel over the whipped cream.
If you have one of these going in the blender you must invite me over – cause there’s enough for two you know? Enjoy!
Walk with the King!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Christ-Followers

My heart is so frustrated and horribly saddened by our attacks on each other.  Why can we not work together? We are supposed to be Christ-followers.  Our purpose is to shine HIS light.  We are to be in love with Him.  Our whole life is to revolve around HIM.  We are to be pointing others to HIM.  SO WHY, OH WHY, are we attacking each other?  The Bible says in Matthew 18:15   "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:..." 

Instead of confronting the issue, we leave churches, blow things up on social media and condemn our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am sick of posts that I read that say things like..."I am so thankful for what I have been set free from..." "I was in bondage to the system but now I see the light..." These comments do not help the cause of Christ. 

First and foremost, did you try to resolve the issue with your brother or with your church before you left them?  How did they respond?  Did you take a few more along if they didn't listen?  Are these not the same people that loved you, maybe even led you to Christ, disciplined you?  Yes, I agree, sometimes you grow and realize that what you were taught was not Bible, but man's perspective. Sometimes, it is best to move on to another church, but why ,in the meantime, if they really do love the Lord and are trying to bring souls to him, are you condemning them? Why not spend your time praising God for little lessons He has shown you? Why don't you show social media who Christ is to you? Why don't you be an example of Christ and shine His light?

There are and can be serious problems in the church, sexually, financially and so on. These issues must be taken care of.  I do see that, but when it's more of a matter of a personal conviction or the fact that you don't like something or what someone said, Pray for them. Go to them and discuss the issues and then MOVE ON. I t really only makes you look like a bitter, vindictive soul.  I can only imagine the impact we could have if we came together, forgot about each other's annoying opinions and loved God and loved others. 

Look, "well-meaning" people will come to you and discuss where they think you should be different.  Just point them to the Christ you serve.  Show them His love and leave it at that. 

To close, I will admit that my views on different convictions have changed over the years. They are not completely the same as the church I grew up in or the Bible college I attended but I am so very grateful to God for the influence that both of these institutes had.  I know that they both have a heart for God and that they are doing what they feel is best for their ministry and family. In fact, if I lived in that area I could go back and minister and worship in both, for years to come and still get along with everyone there. T hat's why it's called a PERSONAL conviction.  o instead of attacking each other, let's help each other grow to follow Christ and shine our light on HIM instead of on our wounds and disagreements. - Rejoicing in the Present

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dear Dad...

Dear Dad,

You are soooooo amazing! You have been my dad for over 28 years and I'm just so grateful to God that He picked you for that job. You do a GREAT job of being a father and are a wonderful picture of the heavenly Father loving the church. You have gotten all kinds of useless gifts over the years, from ties, to mugs to candy. I do have a present for you (which you will get when you get here. :-) ) but I wanted to do something a little more, so here are 28 reasons why you're absolutely my favorite daddy in the world! ...well also cause you're my dad. :-) LOVE YOU!

1. You love have a sincere interest in the Word and a personal relationship with God. It shows in your Bible teaching and personal devo time.

2. You Love ME :-)... I know because you show it as well as verbally telingl me almost every time I talk to you.

3. You pray for your kids (that's me). When I visit your house and I sit in on family devotions its wonderful to hear you praying for us. Also you tell me on the phone that you are praying for me. I love that!

4. You invest in your kids (verbally, financially and spiritually)

5. You're crazy and fun! ( I love you... your personality is AMAZING... don't ever change or lose it!)

6. You're never too busy to answer a weird, random or spiritual question I have for you.

7. You love MOM! You take care of her and are a GREAT example of a loving husband! It's an example to us all and helped me in choosing a good husband.

8. You love YOUR mom! You are currently taking care of her. It's a good example of how to love and respect your parents.

9. You're a fun Papa to your grandkids. :-) Everyone needs a fun and good grandpa.

10. You teach (You don't just help or fix something, you show us how to do it ourselves.)

11. Daddy-Daughter dates. As a little girl and teen you used to take me on dates. I remember one time when you told the waitress that I was your date (at Friendly's) I was so proud. :-)

12. Grizzly Bear.  I LOVED playing where you would get down on all fours and pretend to attack us and we would all scream and run and then you would grab us and tickle us. I see you still playing that with your grandkids.

13. Debt Free.  You taught us how and why to stay out of debt. This has REALLY helped me as an adult and in my marriage. Thank you!

14. Integrity. This and hard work is what advanced you at the Pentagon. You showed this at home as well!

15. Sensitivity.  You have a real heart for people (like working at KARM) and mom helped a LOT of people over the years. It taught us love and to help people as well!

16. HARD WORKING.  You worked long hard hours to provide for your family.

17. The Mule :-) You're great at heavy lifting...hard mule work :-)

18.'ve been faithful to mom, your family and God. What an example to us all!

19. Vacations.  You always made sure we had fun yet educational vacations over the years. We are still getting together as a family and I LOVE THAT.

20. Sociable.  You're sooooo friendly and outgoing. You put people at ease.

21. Your never forgot where you came from. You're not proud, just hardworking. Also you lived in the city for years but the small town life is still in your blood.

22. You have a GREAT relationship with my husband. Jer can call you for wisdom or just to chat. You father him as well as me. ...and you don't mind when he beats you at golf. ...but we all know that you just let him win. :-)

23. Laughter - You have the biggest bestest laugh ever!

24. Knowledge.  You are always learning and reading.

25.Why do ducks have flat feet? To make my dad laugh :-)

26. Encyclopedia: You know a little bit about everything. If you have a question, ask dad, He's an encyclopedia.

27. Personally providing for me...Thank you for putting me through college, paying for my wedding, surgeries and all the other many ways you provided for me!

28. The last reason I love you is for no other reason then God gave me you. You're super super special to me and I love that God gifted you to me.

I love you daddy! JWT

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birth and Probiotics

I'm due any day, in fact, by the time, I post this article, I should be holding our new baby girl. So when I was given this article, it was really enlightening. I didn't even know about the importance of probiotics and birth. So, for all you baby-momma's out there. Take a minute and read this post from

May the (probiotic) force be with you
Today I want to talk about a “force” that is so important to our bodies that we need to ingest it before we even take our first sip of mama’s milk.

What is this force?

Beneficial microbes, i.e. probiotics. Bacterial cells outnumber our own 10 to 1, with over 1,000 different species being known so far.

Probiotics, and foods with probiotics (ferments) are one of the Top Ten Influences on Immunity, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, creator of the GAPS Protocol for digestive and brain healing.

Probiotic Supplementation and Fermented Foods
Our very first introduction to beneficial microbes (or not-so-beneficial) happens as we pass through the birth canal, the so-called the vaginal “gulp”.

It is to be hoped that in this vaginal passage there are more beneficial microbes than non-beneficial, as a large amount of our first inoculation comes from this passing through the birth canal. This starts our intestinal population, that mainly develops in the first 20 or so days of life.

Babies born via C-section develop completely different gut flora than vaginally birthed babies with potentially lifelong negative health consequences such as increased risk for allergies, asthma and other autoimmune disorders.

One way to compensate for this is take a vaginal swab immediately after the baby is born and put it in the mouth of the baby. It is extra important to supplement with probiotics in the early days of infancy for a C-section baby. Also, even in a vaginal birth, if a mother has an imbalanced microbiota (too common) she will pass that on to her baby at birth. (Stay tuned and I’ll describe how to prepare the vaginal canal for the healthiest start possible for your baby.)

“…it is essential to human health that a probiotic gastrointestinal environment be established and maintained” Dr. Khem Shahani, Phd

Today we have a three-fold probiotic problem:
  1. Destruction and low numbers of beneficial flora
  2. Overpopulation of pathogenic flora
  3. New and resistant pathogenic flora

What damages our gut flora?
  • Antibiotics – Penicillins, tetracyclines, antifungal antibiotics
  • Processed carbs & sugar (feeds pathogens, changes pH)
  • High grain fiber diet
  • Prescription drugs (such as pain killers, steroids, etc…drug induced gut dysbiosis can be especially difficult to treat)
  • Birth control pill
  • Bottle feeding
  • Prolonged fasting or starvation or overeating
  • Disease
  • Stress
  • And much more

Why are probiotic foods and supplements so important?
They help with:
  • Gastrointestinal disorders of all kinds
  • Anxiety
  • Digestion
  • Allergies
  • Autism
  • Bacterial infections
  • Chronic viral infections
  • Urogenital infections
  • Hepatitis, liver cirrhosis & biliary disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Meningitis
  • Malignancy
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Lower cholesterol & prevent arterial disease
  • Weight issues
  • Osteoporosis (enhance calcium assimilation & metabolism)
  • Burns of various degrees
  • Perioperative care and intensive care in surgical patients and patients with massive blood loss
  • Clinical infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Moods
  • Produce B vitamins
  • Synthesize Vitamin K
  • Integrity of our intestinal wall
  • More that are being studied, or haven’t been studied yet

How to choose a probiotic supplement
While specific strains have been studied for certain therapeutic applications, generally it is best to have a variety of species from each of the three main probiotic types:
  1. Lactobacillus
  2. Bifidobacterium
  3. Soil based

The best probiotic supplement companies have this in common:
Their products list the genus (i.e. Lactobacillus) species (i.e. acidophilus) and strain (i.e. DDS-1)
Like this: Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1 (or L. Acidophilus DDS-1)
If they are not listed on the bottle, then the company should at least be able to tell you what strains are in their probiotic…if they don’t know, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing from them.

Therapeutic doses
When working on a health issue it is important to work up to a therapeutic dose.
This looks like:
  • Infant up to 12 months – 1-2 billion of bacterial cells per day
  • Toddler from 1 to 2 years – 2-4 billion of bacterial cells per day
  • Child from 2 to 4 years – 4-8 billion of bacterial cells per day
  • Child from 4 to 10 years – 8-12 billion of bacterial cells per day
  • Child from 12 to 16 years – 12-15 billion per day
  • Adults should have around 15-20 billion of bacterial cells per day

A therapeutic dose should be maintained for an average of 6 months to overtake harmful microbes and reestablish beneficial microbes. Following a clean, whole foods diet is essential during this time.  If you continue feeding your pathogens in the gut with sugar and processed carbohydrates then the probiotics will not have much chance of helping you.
After six months it’s beneficial to reduce to a maintenance dose of probiotics (usually half of the therapeutic amount) and/or consume fermented foods daily.

“Die-off” symptoms
Whenever you introduce a healing food or supplement it is possible to experience a die-off reaction. Pathogens are dying off and releasing their toxins, which can make you feel miserable if it happens to too quickly. Here is what die-off looks like:
  • Feeling “off”
  • Lacking energy
  • More difficulty dealing with stress than usual
  • Mood swings & difficulty concentrating
  • Any other symptoms typical for you
  • For children this can also show up as bedwetting, moodiness, tiredness, restlessness and any other symptoms typical to your child

Reducing Die-Off
  • First, it’s a good sign, it means your probiotics are working
  • Introduce probiotics slowly…this may mean as little as an 1/8 of a capsule or less
  • Increase incrementally to a therapeutic dose,  every 3 – 5 days for example

Recommended brands
Here are a handful of good brands, but the list is NOT all inclusive:

How to give your baby the best possible start
Lastly, let’s talk about preparing your vaginal canal for birth.
It is optimal of course to start nourishing your body and microbiota 4 – 5 months before you even conceive, but if you are already expecting I’ve got some steps you can take to populate your vaginal canal pre-birth, so that you give your baby the best start.
In traditional societies women knew how to prepare for birth, and one of the most important measures in the last few weeks of pregnancy was to prepare the birth canal for delivery. A woman’s vaginal canal has a very rich microbial flora, which needs to be dominated by beneficial microbes.
Antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, and other environmental influences can damage the delicate balance in the vaginal flora, predisposing a woman to thrush, vaginosis and other problems. Pregnancy is also a state of natural immune suppression, because it is dominated by the immune-suppressing hormone progesterone. As a result, during pregnancy, pathogens in the vagina can get out of control. The best way to handle them is to populate that area with beneficial flora.
To do this:
Apply homemade yogurt or kefir all over your groin daily after a bath or a shower. If you have thrush or other problems in the groin area, insert 1-2 capsules of a good quality probiotic into your vaginal tract at bedtime and leave it there to dissolve overnight; repeating this procedure for 2-3 nights, and the problem should go away.
Vaginal flora comes from the bowel, so it is essential to keep your gut flora healthy. A clean diet (GAPS for example), probiotics & fermented foods will accomplish this.

The takeaway, and an offer
We cannot live without beneficial bacteria. Probiotic supplementation is a good way to ensure that we have enough of the beneficial species. These coexisting life forms take care of us, and it is our privilege and duty to take care of them as well.
To learn more about taking care of them, as well as healing the gut with GAPS, and giving your children the best start, please visit where I host the GAPS Class several times a year. You’ll also get a Free 30 Day Prep Guide for GAPS to get you started.