Sunday, August 3, 2014

God Does Not Give Me Anything That I Can't Handle Is a Lie

How many times have you said or heard the statement "God does not give you anything that you can't handle" ?  I have said it and I have heard it.  I see it all the time on friends Facebook pages.  How many of you realize that is a false statement?  My guess is not many since it is widely used.  This statement is usually spoken when someone's circumstances are trying and difficult.  But no where in God's Word is this statement found.  "Oh yes it is", you might say.  "1 Corinthians 10:13 says 'No temptations has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.'  See there it is; God will not give me anything that I can't handle."  Read that again.  This scripture is talking about temptations not circumstances, burdens, trials.  He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.  Circumstances such as financial hardship, broken relationships, sickness, being hurt by others, and even death are all more than we can bear.  Ask any parent who has had to bury a child and I'm sure that they will tell you that that statement is false.
So what is that truth?  It is found in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9.  "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."
The truth is that God does allow unbearable circumstances in our lives so that we will rely on Him and not ourselves, our own ability or strength.  Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control and sometimes they are a direct result of our own sin or the sin of others.  Regardless of how our circumstances came to be, we still need the power of God to overcome.  Let me interject this one thing; this only applies to those who are believers.  Who are true believers?  Those who have put their trust in Christ.  Those who have seen their sinful state in light of God's law and know that they are in great need of forgiveness.  Those who accept the truth about themselves apart from Christ and accept the free gift of forgiveness and redemption that is only found at the foot of the Cross.
Some may ask "if God is so loving, why would he allow painful circumstances to enter our lives?"  The answer is found in 2 Cor. 1:8-9, "that we might not rely on ourselves but on God".  I know that this may sound strange but when has anyone called out to God when things were going their way?  If we never encounter unpleasant or painful circumstances would we see our need of depending on God?  No, we would not.  Here is that simplest definition of sin:  living independently from God.  So adverse circumstances, things that are beyond our ability to bear push us toward the only God who is able to do all things, even raise the dead.  He wants us to live wholly dependent on Him.  Daily dependence is an impossible feat for us.  So we also depend on Him to give us the ability to live in dependence.  Our human nature screams "I want it my way and I want it now".  Learning to live dependent on God is a miracle.  It is learning what grace truly is. 
So my charge to you is this:  Stop saying God does not give you anything you can't handle.  He does give you many things that you can't handle apart from Him.  It is only to drive us to Him.  It is specifically to show us our need of Him and His grace and mercy.

Friday, June 20, 2014

From Scratch Cooking for Busy People

If you have read any of my food posts you know that I stress cooking from scratch and not buying the boxed, processed food that most Americans readily ingest simply because they "don't have time to cook".  I certainly know what that feels like.  Yes, I'm a stay-a-home mom and you might think that I have more time than a mom who leaves home to work but you would be mistaken.  See I'm not just at home doing nothing.  I am also the teacher.  I have to research curriculum, plan lessons, teach lessons, grade papers, report grades, and all other teacher activities.  In addition to that, both of my boys play sports so I am chauffeur and co-team mom.  I am the wife of the football coach so I do whatever I can to help him.  Then I am the cook, the maid, part time nurse, bookkeeper, main shopper for household things, and I'm sure that I could come up with more if I had time.  So you see, I know busy and what I have found is that I don't have time to cook when I don't plan ahead.  But who has time to plan, you might say.  You have to make time to plan.  You make time for what's important to you.  And not eating processed, fast food is important to me.
So let's start with Sweet and Sour Chicken.  I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and made a few changes to the original recipe because that's what I usually do.  But for the most part, this recipe was a good "from-scratch" recipe.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 green bell pepper, cubed
2 carrots, sliced thin
2 onions, cut in wedges
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce ( I use Bragg's Liquid Amino)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 can (8oz) pineapple chunks in juice
3 cups cooked rice

Stir-fry chicken in olive oil coated wok until done.  Remove and stir-fry veggies about 2-3 min.  Add back the cooked chicken.  Mix cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar.  Add to pan with pineapple and juice.  Stir until thickened.  Serve over rice.

This is how planning ahead can help.  You can cut up your chicken before you freeze it or you can buy the chicken tenders that are already cut small.  You can also buy the fresh frozen veggies and you have no chopping to do.  How is this healthy?  Well you are making the sauce from scratch and we all know that the secret is in the sauce (ha ha).  But seriously, there is no unpronounceable ingredients and if you use Bragg's Liquid Amino, your sodium content is cut by more than half.  Also using brown rice instead of white rice is a huge step in healthier eating.
So start planning ahead and eat better.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar.....It does a body good

In a previous post, I briefly mentioned Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  Today I want to devote an entire post to this wonderful stuff.  It's been almost two years since hubs and I first tried ACV.  I remember it well.  We mixed two tsp. in a bottle of water with some stevia to sweeten it.  OH! MY! GOSH!  It was horrible!  Neither of us could get past the smell and that stevia did nothing to sweeten it.  But we were determined to press on and find a way to take this stuff.  I visited Bragg's website and found that they have fruit juice with ACV in it.  But before I ordered a lot of it, I wanted to try it to see if it tasted any better than what we had already tried.  So off I went to our local health food store; low and behold they had it.  I asked the owner had she ever tried the fruit juice with ACV and how did it taste.  "Yes I have tried it",she said.  " It tastes like fruit juice with vinegar in it."  As you can imagine, I was disappointed because vinegar is at best an acquired taste.  But then this wonderful lady told me that ACV can be purchased in capsule form.  Oh joy!
Now let me say this, if you can stomach the taste and get past the smell, the liquid stuff is the best form because it works faster and better.  But for those of you who are like me, a wimp, the capsule is a God send.
As I said in a previous post, we began taking this because of the benefits associated with BP and blood sugar, but there are so many other benefits.  Did you know it helps with heartburn, acne, and bug bites.  Bragg's has an entire book devoted to the benefits of ACV and I highly recommend that you get this book.
If you are interested here's a couple of websites that has more info on ACV and it's benefits.
If you are looking for a remedy other than medication, do yourself a favor and try ACV.  It is truly wonderful.

                                           This is the brand of capsules we take.
                                           Here's the liquid form if you are brave.  You can cook
                                            with this, too.
Please do visit Bragg's website because they have many wonderful products.

*This is not medical advice and should not be used in lieu of a doctor's guidance.
*I am not being compensated by Bragg's.