Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Christian’s Low-Carb Diet

Matthew 16:5-2

"And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

Then Jesus said unto them, 'Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.'

And they reasoned among themselves saying, 'It is because we have taken no bread.'

Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, "O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?

How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?'

Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."


Bread has been a long time no-no in the low-carb diet world, and it appears here that the disciples thought Jesus was warning against bread, too. However, historically, leaven has been synonymous with sin, which is the context in which Jesus was using it.


I find it a little humorous when I read these verses. Jesus had just lambasted the religious leaders for being hypocrites, and then he and his disciples sailed over to the other shore where Jesus admonished them not to be like the Pharisees and Sadducees. However, not understanding the Lord's lesson (this is the part that makes me chuckle J) , their thoughts centered on the provision of food, or lack of.


Can't you see them? Jesus, in his concern for the spiritual lives of his friends and disciples, lovingly warns them not to allow sin to taint their beliefs, as the religious leaders were doing. And here may be where the problem originated…"they reasoned among themselves". Well, that is always a danger, but maybe they were hungry and food was the only thing on their minds at the time?

However, we know that's not what Jesus was talking about. The Lord was warning against leaven, or sin in their lives. He was cautioning his followers not to be like the religious leaders of that time, who knew the law, but didn't recognize the Truth. He did not want them to allow sin, hypocrisy, complacency, and self-righteousness to hinder them and to influence what he had taught them.


Aren't we like that, too? How much time do we spend considering the spiritual world? How often do we meditate on the temporal (our physical needs) instead of the eternal (our spiritual needs)? We Christians are always fussing over the food. Some would not even have a prayer time if they didn't say "grace" before a meal. Then of course, all of our church programs revolve around food. We have a birthday dinner for the preacher, an outdoor BBQ to celebrate the founding of the church, an ice cream social on the 4th of July, VBS snacks, fall festivals, Thanksgiving dinners, and Christmas cookie parties. Sometimes our priorities get so mixed up, like the disciples, we allow our physical needs to take priority over our spiritual needs, or like the Pharisees and Sadducees, we allow some leavening to infiltrate the truth we have learned in God's word.


Jesus reminded his disciples that they had no need to think about what or when they were going to eat…ever, because he was more than able to provide. He cited the two occasions when he miraculously provided food for thousands of people out of a few loaves of bread—and had leftovers!


Heeding the warning taught by our Lord, we should think less on what is provided for our temporal existence and be careful not to allow leaven in our lives that hinder our spiritual walk.


"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…"

Matthew 6:31-33

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Have We Cancelled Thanksgiving?

Why Should We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

With Black Friday starting on Thursday, and Cyber Monday turning into Cyber Week, the time to celebrate Thanksgiving has almost been lost. Christmas decorations go up before Halloween and Christmas music begins to play shortly after.


Why should we celebrate Thanksgiving, anyway? If we got rid of that day, then the holidays wouldn't be so crunched. We could go to Halloween parties, pumpkin patches, and trick or treating in October, in store shopping, online shopping and office parties in November, and squeeze in a plethora of gift exchanges in December, without the crunch of a Thanksgiving gathering.


Too Busy to Be Thankful

Well of course, I'm being facetious. Like others, autumn is my favorite time of year. The trees turning shades of yellow, red, and orange; the smells of drying leaves and wood-burning stoves; the sounds of leaves crunching under foot and acorns dropping to the ground; there's even something about the cool bite of the autumn air early in the morning that brings a feeling of nostalgia. I must have had a wonderful childhood (Thanks Mom and Dad!).


But why must we rush through the celebration of Thanksgiving? Is it because we don't care anymore about America's history? Are we too busy to sit down with family and friends to enjoy a feast? It seems that all the holiday rush is overshadowing Thanksgiving.


Abundantly Blessed

Taking time to remember where America started and the hardships that our ancestors faced is important, and we should be teaching it to our children always. Taking time to gather as a family and remembering all the great things we have been blessed with is equally important. But Thanksgiving Day should be just that—a day of giving thanks.


We should be giving thanks to God our Creator, who provides all things in abundance to every one of us. If you are an American, you should be thankful for the blessings that you have received merely by your presence in this country. If you are a Christian, you should walk in a thankful spirit always, remembering the grace of God that has separated you from death to life everlasting.



Be Thankful—Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Friday, November 16, 2012

36 Years And Counting

Recently my husband (the farmer) and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. Thirty-six years—can that be right? Surely, we haven't been married for 36 years!


It just reminds me how quickly time is racing by, and so in retrospect, I just thought I would reflect on things I would have missed if I had not married a farmer.


I would never have known the pleasure of watching an unplanted field go through the process of fruition: seeing the hard, dry ground cut deep with sharp plows and then the rich smell of the damp, dark soil wafting up as it was being turned over and over, making clods of dirt that would soon be drilled with kernels of corn; waiting and watching for that first sign of life, that first green leaf to pop through the dry, crusted ground; and later, as the plants grew to be over six feet tall, looking across the field which would have been mistaken for a green ocean, had each row of plants not been so meticulously straight; and finally, experiencing the smells and sounds of the harvest—crisp cool air, dry crunching leaves, and corn being picked, plucked or shelled.

I would never have known the delight of seeing a calf born in the green grass of spring, of seeing a baby calf nurse for the first time, or hearing him "maaawl" when he wakes from a nap and he can't find his mama. I would never have sensed the fear of a mama protecting her baby from us when we were just trying to help them out. I would never have been able to sit on the back of a four-wheeler and look across the great span of our pasture and watch our herd of cattle happily graze on a lush paddock of sweet, green grasses.

I would never have known the joy that comes from being called "Mom", not once but nine times. Each child brought a new enjoyment, but all were pleasantly the same, too. The pleasure of that tiny, warm bundle of softness placed in my arms made my heart melt. I never went anywhere that I didn't wrap up each child so they looked like a little papoose. And it was a joy to watch them grow; we worked so hard to get them to talk, and without fail their first word was always, "da, da". Then we taught them to walk, and they began to run on their own. They all went through the terrible twos, the terrifying threes, and the turbulent teens, but (thankfully) have now seemed to emerge as reasonably normal adults.

But most importantly, if I would never have married Ron, I would never have known the gratification of being who I have become. Through our shared experiences, both good and bad, we have both learned many things. The most important lesson is that we should honor God with our lives as individuals, with our marriage as a couple, and with our family as a whole. I have learned the principle that it's greater to give than to receive, to rejoice with those who rejoice and to cry with those who are sad, and that things go better if we work towards the same goal…making me happy! J

Happy Anniversary, Honey! Here's to 36 more years, which should be all downhill from here…right?!

Fifty Years In One Night

Now that the dust has settled a little on the past election,

I thought I would just say this one thing. America has definitely changed. We have changed from a nation of "makers" to a nation of "takers". We've gained a sense of entitlement, in which we believe that everyone should have everything, without working for it. We've swallowed the lie that it is the government's responsibility to provide for us. Our nation was designed to grow by the strengths of individuals, by the individual's right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. The government's job is to protect us from foreign threats – it really was not instituted to oversee or administer in the realm of business, education, or healthcare – see Constitution.


Fifty years ago,

Americans could go to their local grocery store, clothing store, and hardware store, which were owned by local people who hired local residents. Every family had one dad and one mom and the kids belonged to both of them. Killing someone was illegal—in and out of the womb. Obscenity was illegal, dope was illegal, and both were shunned from public display. Americans went to school and then maybe to college, if they could afford it. You got a job, and then a better job, and if you couldn't get a job, you started a business and gave others a job.


But what about the next 50 years?

I'm afraid that we have swallowed the lie produced by the government. The lie that tells us that Uncle Sam will take care of us from the cradle to the grave. The government began to take care of us, and now we expect it. Most Americans (as proven in the last election) expect the government to pay for education, support everyone who loses their job, and subsidize families that aren't making as much money as they think they need. Unfortunately, the government does not make their own money. Either they have to get it from taxes, which we all end up paying, or they borrow it from a foreign country, which our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren will end up paying for.


A Voice from the Past

The prediction of Alexis de Tocqueville (a French historian from the 1800's) seems to have come true: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."


That handout you're getting from Uncle Sam comes with a price that will be too high to pay back.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Election 2012

Election 2012


Super Bowl for Political Junkies

What an exciting time in America’s history! We are about to vote for our next President of the United States of America! This is like the Super Bowl for political junkies like me. Does that describe you? As political junkies, we planned our whole summer around the Primaries, which led up to the opportunity to cast our vote for our Presidential candidate. Then came the back and forth between President Obama and Governor Romney. Daily we watched the political news, fast-forwarding through the day-to-day events just to catch a sound bite or an intelligent assessment given by some expert of the man we chose for our party’s nomination.


My husband and I planned “date” nights around the four final debates, and I recorded them so I could watch them a second (and sometimes a third) time. [This is where you insert “she is crazy!”] But I like to make up my own mind. I don’t want to be told that President Obama said this or that Governor Romney seemed this way or that way.


A Country Divided

Now there is only seven days left—seven days!—until we elect our next President. As expected tensions are high on both sides, political commercials are flooding our TV programs, junk mail is filling up our mailboxes, and unfortunately, most of our country is divided into two very intolerant groups of people.


I’ve been on social media and face-to-face with people who are adamant about not getting along with someone else because of their political association. And it’s on both sides. Republicans and Democrats are disrespectful, condescending, intolerant, and even vicious at times because someone will not be voting for their approved candidate.


Historical Facts

One of the things that have always made America strong is our freedom of speech. If you get up and say that the sky is yellow, you will be wrong, but you have the right to say it—and I have the right to disagree with you. But morally, I don’t have the right to hate you because you are a believer of “the yellow sky”.


I do however have a right to voice my opinion and try to convince others to be a “blue skyer” instead of a “yellow skyer”. Not by hating them, but by using the facts…facts that I have studied out and learned about, and am a witness to. There is another way to prove my point also, by history. Historically the sky has been blue. Sometimes pink when the sun is setting, sometimes gray when a storm blows in, and sometimes green when a tornado is about to pass, but historically, when the sky is clear it has always been blue.


The candidates and their respective minions continually spout off things that they are equipped to do for our country. Back and forth…going to raise taxes on the rich, going to decrease taxes on the poor, going to provide healthcare, going to fix Medicare, going to decrease the budget, going to balance the books..blah..blah..blah..yadda..yadda..yadda.


We can’t really believe everything they say, because a lot of it is hypothetical. And we need to realize that they are not running for “King” of the United States, so they will have to play nice with others (the Congress) in order to get anything done.


Now that we’ve heard all of the debates, all of the talking points, all of the commercials, and all of the spin, let’s look at the history of the candidates. As I’m writing this I have two editorials on either side of me, respectfully positioned: on my left a Democrat backed paper that we received from the union and on my right a Republican backed paper we received from our church. And although they both claim to be unbiased (they’re just reporting the truth…right…) I’m only going to use the points that each side believes is positive for their candidate.


Historically, President Obama has been a lawyer, a Senator, and a President.

  • As of July, he is averaging +0.84% annual job growth in his term

  • He passed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

  • He passed the Making Home Affordable program

  • He has doubled investments in Pell Grants

  • His stimulus package includes $100 billion for education

  • In May 2012, he said his belief is that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry

  • He is pro-choice


Historically, Governor Romney has been a missionary, a businessman, and a Governor.

  • He led Bain & Company out of financial crisis

  • He organized and led the 2002 Olympics to financial success

  • He reformed the state’s health care program when he was governor of Massachusetts

  • He presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2-1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and the closure of corporate tax loopholes

  • In 2006, he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment

  • He is pro-life

The United States of America

So…chose your president. And whichever man wins, we as Americans, should “unite” behind him. Don’t be a sore loser and take your ball and go home. We don’t have to support his policies, and if he doesn’t keep his promises, the next time we get the opportunity we’ll vote him out. Together we are The United States of America…oh sure we have different parties and different opinions, and different ways of doing things, but that’s what makes us unique. We need to discuss, debate, and argue our beliefs, but at the end, we need to unite. …Don’t allow race, religion, or some commercial to decide your vote, dig out the history of these men and make up your own mind. And play nice…


A Voice from the Past

Just to finish, I was reading a small article about the past Presidents and I found an endearing quote from John Adams. In 1800, President Adams, from the unfinished rooms of the nation’s Capitol City, wrote his wife, “Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May not but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

What Say You?

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

My faith is the most important aspect of my life. At age twenty-one, I accepted God’s provision for my sin debt and made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of my life and soul. From that point on, I have never looked back nor have I ever regretted my decision. Jesus is my Redeemer.


One of my favorite episodes in the Bible is found in Mark 8. Jesus asked his disciples a very important question--“Who do men say that I am?”


The disciples gave various answers, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and some say you are one of the prophets”.


Jesus then asked the most important question, “But who do you say that I am?”


What a great question! What a great way to make it personal. Jesus is not interested in hearing our theology of –anything--, he wants to know what you think, what you believe.


Who do you say Jesus is?

That’s a personal question; one that is answered in your heart—in the deepest part of your being. It’s an answer that, no matter what your words say to others, your answer will be known at the end of time (at the end of your time here on earth).


Who do you say Jesus is?

Peter answered the Lord rightly when he said, “Thou art the Christ”. The Bible says he is the Son of God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, The Bright and Morning Star, The Lion of Judah and The Lamb of God; He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He has been given a name above all names, and that all will eventually bow before him. His name is Jesus, the only begotten of the Heavenly Father. He is our Mediator, the Rock of our Salvation, and the propitiation for our sins.


Who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


Who do you say Jesus is?


Mark 8:34 says that Jesus called his disciples and the people who were with them together, and said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”


So what say you? Who do you say Jesus is?

Save Money


Back in January 2012, I started a coupon blog to help people save money by using coupons. On that site I have free online printable coupons from RedPlum, SmartSource, and Coupon Network. I also have some of the local matchup deals for the local stores like Schnucks, Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Visit my coupon blog and if you like what you see, please share it with your friends.



There are other ways to save money, too:


You can save money by stocking up every week. When you find items that are on sale, buy two or three instead of just one. I know this can be difficult if your budget is already maxed out, but if you stock up on products that you use all the time when the price is low, you will begin to start a reserve pile.

Make Your Own

Instead of buying pre-packaged, make your own. Make homemade cookies instead of buying boxes of snack cakes. Make pancakes instead of buying the frozen waffles or Pop Tarts. My daughter makes her own cereal instead of buying pre-sweetened cereal for her kids. When you buy pre-packaged you are paying for the package. If you need convenience, then make things ahead of time and freeze them or store them in air-tight containers.

Make Fewer Trips

Make fewer trips to the grocery store. Instead of going shopping every day on the way home from work or extracurricular activities, make a grocery list and get everything at once. Try going shopping every two weeks or longer. You will save time, gas and money.

Make a List

Make a list. I make a list every time I go shopping—sometimes I leave it lying on the counter, but I do make a list. So make a list of everything you need, take it with you to the store, and try to only buy what’s on the list. *leave the kids at home so there are no “extras” placed in the shopping cart.


These are just a few of the things that you can do to save money with grocery shopping. Do you have any other ideas you would like to share? Leave your comment below.

Where's The Beef?

Where’s the Beef?

Well, I’m glad you asked. As you can probably guess by the name on my blog, we are a farming family. We live on the same farm where my husband grew up. Raising cattle and kids has been a full time job around here for the past 36 years, in fact today is our wedding anniversary! ♥

For the past four years, we have been marketing our cattle to local customers. If you would like to know more about that aspect of our farm, you can visit our other website >>Enloe Farms Beef<<

Although I didn’t actually grow up in a town, I surely wasn’t a farm girl, but I would say after 36 years I can proudly wear that title. :)

Here are just a few pics of our cattle and our farm.