Gluten Free & God Seeking

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What is the Birthright About in Hebrews 12:16?

The story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew in Genesis 25:22-26, 29-34 may just look like an unusual account of sibling rivalry gone too far.   

Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright. Hebrews 12:16
Obviously Esau didn't value the birthright as much as Jacob did, but why?  Take a look at what the birthright included:  This is  on page 584 in chapter 52 of the Life-Studies of Hebrews:  

Esau's birthright as the firstborn  son of Isaac was the double portion of the land,  the priesthood, and the kingship.   Due to his profaneness in giving up his birthright, the double portion of the land went to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1-2), the priesthood went to Levi (Deut. 33:8-10), and the kingship was assigned to Judah (Gen. 49:10; 1 Chron. 5:2) (Lee. Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).

What spoke to me the most as I was reading this chapter was that we each have this birthright, and if we practice using our birthright in this age, it will become a reward to us in the next age!  

You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?
Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?
How Do You Run the Christian Race in Hebrews 12?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Vietnamese Cooking Lesson - Lien's Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup (Canh Ngot)

While  one of our student's aunt was  visiting in September, I asked her to teach me how to make something Vietnamese. She bought over a large salmon and some vegetables and showed me how to make sweet and sour soup. As she worked, I asked questions and took notes.  


 This soup was for 10 people and so we used 2 cups of water for the broth and she said she buys 1 tomato for each person. That makes this soup easy to scale down. And of course you buy as much fish as you need.  She commented that besides salmon you can use any firm white fish for this soup.

Next time I will put about half a bunch of celery as one bunch  makes a lot of celery!  

This was my first time having a sweet & sour soup, and it was delicious!  


1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Chop up 1 tomato per person (or a bit less if you want to reduce it!)
(2)  Chop 1 bunch of celery on the diagonal in 1" pieces
(3)  Slice 1 bunch of green onions (Slice the bottoms a little smaller, and the stems 1")
(4)  Chop up 1 package of dill


2.  Prepare the fish:  Have your butcher slice 1 whole salmon or other fish into steaks, she had her salmon cut into 10 pieces)

2.  Prepare soup:
(1)  Put 15 cups of water into a soup pot.  Add 1 T of salt.
(2)  When water boils, add the fish steaks
(3)  Let the water come to a boil again--about 5 minutes.
(4)  Then add 2 T of fish sauce and 1/2 T of brown sugar.
(5)  Add the sliced celery and bring to a boil again.
(6)  Then add the tomato wedges -- do not put the lid on the pot because she said it will change the color of the tomatoes.
(7)  Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons and add that to the pot.
(8)  Then put in the green onions and the dill about 1/2-3/4 cup depending on your taste

.



List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

Beef 
Grandma's Favorite Beef Stew  (My mother-in-law's delicious recipe!)
Just Like Home Ukrainian Borscht  ( a Polish student  said this tasted like his mom's!)

Poultry
This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)
Mexican Fiesta Chicken Soup   (A recipe I got years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
My Thanksgiving Turkey Soup  (My very own special concoction!)
Gary's Incredible Gluten Free Arkansas Gumbo  (Given to me by a Bible study friend)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A mom friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Fish
Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)

Bean & Legumes
Vi's Best Chili  (A  Bible study friend's great recipe)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (One of my daughter's friends special soup)
Country-Style Lentil Soup   (From my Heritage School cookbook)
Kathy's Texas Chili & Chips (From my Come & Dine cookbook)

Vegetable
Creamy Pumpkin Soup  (from Food Network)
My Favorite Gluten Free Pumpkin Curry Soup  (Combo from Food & All Recipes)
Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

Asian
Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (From a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Adapted from our students)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Do You Run the Christian Race in Hebrews 12:1?

Throughout his epistles Paul likens the Christian life to a race.  

Galatians 2:2  …lest perhaps I had should be running, or had run, in vain.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 I therefore run in this way, not as though without a clear aim;…

Philippians 3:12-14  Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  
   Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before.
  I pursue toward the goal for he prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.

2 Timothy 4:7   I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2A Therefore let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us, 
     Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith,….

    As I was reading chapter 50 of the Hebrews Life-Study where these verses are brought out, I thought a lot about racing. Over the years I've learned a few things about running from my younger son who worked for a running shop for about six years and led a Tuesday night run. In college he studied industrial design, and his passion is to one day design running shoes. Currently  he works as a rep for a major shoe company.  A few years ago he was asked to be the runner for a team that was competing in the Open Recreational Division of our annual Ski to Sea Race. This race begins on Mt. Baker and is followed by running, biking, canoeing, and finally kayaking across the bay to the finish line.  For his stint he had to run from where he met the downhill skier eight miles down Mt. Baker Highway to where all the bikers were waiting.  He told me this week he ran it in 56 minutes, and that his team got second place in their division.  


      With all of this in mind I texted him a question about what he had learned about running from all his years of experience. And here is his reply: "A good runner in my opinion is someone who is consistent.  Who gets after it every day and doesn't set too lofty of goals so that they fail.  It is a lifestyle of incorporating it into your routine that makes you good.  Of course, endurance, speed, and pacing don't hurt either." 

     In Hebrews 12:1 Paul brings out that the most important thing in running is building up endurance.  He reminds us that the spiritual race parallels a physical race. He was probably envisioning the Olympic races when he said that. And he brings it home when he talks about running without being weighed down. His attitude is like throw it off because you are in a race, and you need to run with all you've got!!
On page 566  Witness Lee gives a great connection between looking away to Jesus and running this spiritual race:
If we look unto Him.as such a wonderful and all-inclusive One,..He, ministering heaven, life, and strength to us will transfuse us and infuse us with all that He is to enable us to run the heavenly race and to live the heavenly life on earth, carrying us through all the lifelong pathway and leading and bringing us into glory (2:10). The wonderful Jesus who is enthroned in heaven and "crowned with glory and honor" (2:9) is the greatest attraction in the universe, like an immense magnet drawing all His seekers unto Him.  It is by being attracted by His charming beauty that we look away from all things other than Him.  Without such a charming object, how could we look away from so many distracting things on this earth? (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).
I love that this looking infuses us with the Lord's grace that  keeps us running the race!  You can listen to Program #50  on the Life Study of the Bible link below which give excerpts from his live presentation on this chapter.
You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  
Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?
Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Making Thai Soup with a Thai Family! How to Make Tom Yum Kung

This summer one of the Thai students that used to live with us brought his parents over for dinner.  Last time they visited I told her next time she had to teach me how to make some Thai dishes.  

When they arrived, they walked in with two bags full of groceries.  First off, we all worked together chopping the vegetables for the tom yum kung soup, a very flavorful soup with chicken and shrimp.  So many complex flavors make this soup so good!

Once the soup was simmering on the stove, we helped her cut peppers for a Thai stir-fry.  I'll share that recipe in another post.




How To Make Tom Yum Kung

1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Cut 1 onion in thin slices.
(2)  Seed and chop 3 tomatoes.
(3)  Chop up 1 cup of cilantro (1/2 cup for the soup and the rest for garnishing)
(4)  Slice 4-5 green onions--slice the white bottoms and then slice the stems into 1" pieces.

2.  Prepare shrimp & chicken:  Rinse 2 chicken breasts and slice into thin bite size pieces and rinse 1 pound of shrimp.

3.  Prepare soup:
(1)  Put 10 cups of water into a soup pot.
(2)  Add in 1 1/2 T of salt and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice.
(3)  Then chicken pieces and shrimp and bring to a boil.
(4)  Then reduce the temperature and add 2-3 T of  brown sugar, 3 T of fish sauce, and 1-2 T of tom yum paste.
(5)  Finally add the onions, green onions, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of cilantro and cook for about 5 minutes.
(6)  Taste and make any adjustments to the flavor.


List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

Beef 
Grandma's Favorite Beef Stew  (My mother-in-law's delicious recipe!)
Just Like Home Ukrainian Borscht  ( a Polish student  said this tasted like his mom's!)

Poultry
This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)
Mexican Fiesta Chicken Soup   (A recipe I got years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
My Thanksgiving Turkey Soup  (My very own special concoction!)
Gary's Incredible Gluten Free Arkansas Gumbo  (Given to me by a Bible study friend)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A mom friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Fish
Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)

Bean & Legumes
Vi's Best Chili  (A  Bible study friend's great recipe)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (One of my daughter's friends special soup)
Country-Style Lentil Soup   (From my heritage School cookbook)
Kathy's Texas Chili & Chips

Vegetable
Creamy Pumpkin Soup  (from Food Network)
My Favorite Gluten Free Pumpkin Curry Soup  (Combo from Food & All Recipes)
Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

Asian
Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (From a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Adapted from our students)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?

Hebrews 11 is inspiring.  Almost every verse begins with "By faith…"  Whenever I've read this chapter, I've been touched by how powerful faith is.    For some of the people listed, it's evident that God did something humanly impossible--like Sarah having a son after the age of 90, the walls of Jericho falling because of the Israelite's shouting, or Samson's pulling down a stadium with his bare hands. 

But what about the prophets that were sawn in two or stoned to death (verse 37)? Did they not have enough faith?  Or did they do something that made them undeserving of God's deliverance?  In chapter 48 of the Life-Study of Hebrews Witness Lee explores a topic you don't hear very much about and that is the silence of God. 

And still others underwent the trial of mockings and scourgings, even, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they died by the murder of the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, ill treated…and these all, having obtained a good testimony through their faith, did not obtain the promise.  Hebrews 11:36-37, 39.

 I was greatly helped  by these excerpts on pages 554-545:  
God performed miracles for some of them, but He did not do such things for all of them.  Do not think that if you have faith God will always do something for you.  Many times he exercise of our faith will only bring us the enjoyment of God's silence…..When Stephen was being martyred, he Lord did not rescue him but gave---such a sweet silence (Acts 7:54-60).  To suffer persecution without any reduce coming from the Lord requires great faith. God's silence is greater than His miracles. Which do you prefer to have--God's miracles or His silence?  If we would be honest, most of us would say that we prefer God's miracles….God will remain silence much more often than He will perform miracles.  At times, we all must enjoy God's silence by faith….As we read the history of faith recorded in this chapter, we see that it is not just a record of miracle, but also a record of God's silence (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).
God's silence tests us.  Sometimes when I'm complaining about God's silence my husband will sometimes say back, "When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?"  He says that because we heard a brother share once that the parable of the widow in Luke 18 illustrates the silence of God. But we have to realize when we're there that He won't always be silent.  No matter what's going on we have to pray in faith.   

You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?

Antioxidant Rich Kale Super Salad

First off this is a copycat salad.  When we went on a weekend trip in September, we stopped off and picked up some chicken and salads in a deli.  The kale salad was so yummy. I've never had blueberries in a salad before, and all the ingredients were fantastic together. Who would have thought we all said to each other. But it was definitely the citrus dressing that brought everything together.


  I knew I could make this salad myself.
 So when I returned home, I went through my cookbooks to see if there were any with an orange vinaigrette.  I found this one in my Syre School Cookbook, and it tasted almost like the one from the deli.








Kale Super Salad

1. Prepare vegetables & fruit:
(1)  Wash 1 bunch of kale, spin, and then tear into bite size pieces.
(2)  Wash, peel, and grate 1 carrot.
(3)  Dice 1/4 of a red onion.
(4)  Thaw 2/3 cup of blueberries
(5)  Measure out 1/2 cup of craisins

2.  Prepare salad: 
(1)  Put kale in the salad bowl and toss with grated carrot.
(2)  Then sprinkle the red onion, blueberries, craisins, and 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds over the top of the salad.

3. Prepare orange vinaigrette - In a glass salad bottle put:
(1)  1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
(2)  1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
(3)  1/2 cup of orange juice and 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
(4)  1/4 cup of sugar
(5)  1/2 t of salt and 1/2 t of dry mustard.
(6)  Shake until combined.  And let everyone pour over the salad as much as they would like!

List of Other Salads on this Blog:

Greens/cabbage:
Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad   (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Baja Salad with Black Beans & Quinoa  (A remake from something I ate at a restaurant)
Make it Yourself Thai Peanut Dressing for Mandarin Salad  (My friend Judi's recipe)
KFC Copycat Cole Slaw   (A friend shared this with me)
Mexican Grilled Salmon & Mango Salad   (From a Betty Crocker summer cookbook)
Belizean Coleslaw    (From Internet search)

Pasta:
Tasty Gluten Free Pasta Salad  (Something I picked up over 20 years ago!)
Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad Bowls   (From an Internet search)

Vegetable:
Jeremy D's Sensational Greek Salad   (My son-in-law's recipe)
Grandma's Perfect Potato Salad   (Family recipe)
Rose's Refreshing Cucumber Salad   (From a Chinese friend)
A Great BBQ side Salad - Curried Pea Salad  (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)

Fruit:
Grandma Marilyn's Frozen Fruit Salad  (My mother-in-law's recipe)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What Does It Mean to Gain Our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?

  Some phrases in the Bible are hard to get and "gaining  of the soul" in Hebrews 10:39 has been one of them for me.  Instead of glossing over it, I read  chapter 46 in the Life-Study of Hebrews very carefully.  Here's the verse in Hebrews 10 that talks about it:
 
But we are not of this who shrink back to ruin but of them who have faith to the gaining of the soul.  Hebrews 10:39
 
In this chapter Witness Lee shares that actually that in order to gain of the soul in the next age (which is the kingdom age of 1000 years), our soul needs to lose its worldly pleasures in this age.  In this chapter he quoted many passages in the Bible that talk about this--and the first one, of course, is what the Lord said in Matthew 16:25:  But whoever wants to save his soul-life shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul-life for My sake shall find it. 

One things I have appreciated in Witness Lee's sharing is his faithfulness to present the whole truth whenever he spoke on a truth in  the Bible. And some subjects in the Bible are not easy to talk about, and this is probably one of them.  I chose this excerpt on page 521 because it presents the point about how our living after our salvation relates to the the coming kingdom.
The gaining of the soul is for our whole being to enjoy the coming Sabbath rest, that is to share in Christ's joy and glory in the coming kingdom (4:9)....As to the saving or gaining of our soul, it depends upon how we deal with it in following the Lord after we are saved and regenerated. If we lose it now for the Lord's sake, we shall save it (Matthew 16:25; Luke 9:24; 17:33; John 12:25, Gk.; 1 Peter 1:9), and it shall be saved, or gained, at the Lord's coming back (Heb.10:37). This will be the reward (10:35) of the kingdom to the overcoming followers of the Lord (Matthew 16:22-28 (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).
So from this I saw again that my salvation is not a ticket to an instant reward.  It was so clear--it matters how we live after our salvation!   At the end of the chapter he brought it all down to our allowing the Lord to transform us day by day is a way for us gain our soul in the coming age. I love it when he brings everything down to something so tangible and here it is--2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.  This is how we allow the Lord to gain our soul a little bit each day.

You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?