Gluten Free & God Seeking

Friday, June 24, 2016

What is the Meaning of the Bitter Waters at Marah in Exodus 15:23?

     I've learned that Exodus is a  book that pictures both our redemption and salvation.  A lot of the pictures are easy to spot like the Passover being a picture of both God’s judgment on Satan and our redemption. It’s also pretty clear that the crossing of the Red Sea is a picture of our baptism.  

Walking with my grandkids on Whidbey Island
      But the scene at Marah in Exodus 15 may not make much sense.  I didn't know that  Marah wasn’t on the usual northern route that people took from Egypt to Canaan until I read chapter 30  of the Life-Study of Exodus.  Witness Lee points out it was on a southern route that didn’t have any water, so why would God lead them by that way?  Besides that when they came to the body of water at Marah, it was bitter. By reading these verses in Exodus 15 you can see they were pretty crabby by then:
And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.  -----  If you will diligently hearken to the voice of Jehovah your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am Jehovah your Healer (Heb. Jehovah Ropheka). Exodus 15:23, 26
But God always has a plan, and I was touched to see that God purposely led them southward  so that they would have to go  through the Red Sea, an awesome picture of our baptism, and go on to Marah. These excerpts on pages 350-352 helped me understand the significance of Marah for my spiritual experience:
When Moses cast the tree into the waters, the waters were made sweet.  First Peter 2:24 indicates that the tree signifies the cross of Christ. The cross of Christ, the unique cross, is the healing cross. This picture corresponds to our spiritual experience.  After we are baptized and begin to walk in newness of life, we are troubled because we have no natural water….When we cry out to the Lord in prayer, He shows us the vision of the crucified Christ. We need to see the vision of the cross.  Seeing this vision, we apply the cross of Christ to our situation, and immediately the bitter waters become sweet …..The experience of the children of Israel at Marah portrays a principle, not merely an incident...If we consider this in light of experience, we shall realize that the cross of Christ heals not only our bitter situation, but it also heals us. Not only are the waters of our circumstances bitter; we ourselves are also bitter and in need of healing.  Our very self is bitter.  In other words, the self is sick.  We are sick physically, psychologically, and also spiritually….When I have been in bitter circumstances, often the Lord has pointed me to the cross of Christ. I realized that I needed to take the cross and live a crucified life. This saved me from my bitter situation, and my bitter circumstances were healed (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Exodus. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979, Print).

    A few times the Lord has brought me to my own Marah, and this word has  come back to me.  At the end of this chapter brother Lee underscores that God considered His people sick and that’s why in Exodus 15:26 He tells them that He is their healer.  What I got from this chapter is when my situation is bitter, it's another opportunity for me to tell God where I'm at and let Him change my bitter waters into sweet.  

You can listen to excerpts of this life training and some outstanding commentary by listening to Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee on Exodus.

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Exodus:

Why Did God Use So Many Women in Exodus 1 & 2?
Taking a Closer Look at the Conflict Between God and Pharaoh in Exodus 5
What Does the Name Jehovah Mean in Exodus 6:2?

Why Did God Really Send the Manna in Exodus 6?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Another Way to Eat more Antioxidant Rich Kale: Curried Lentil Medley Soup

    Don't turn up your nose at the title of this recipe. Because if you do, you'll miss out on an amazing soup.  Not only does it have protein rich lentils, but it has squash and kale!  And this unique blend of ingredients makes a sumptuous soup!  The curry powder is just enough to add a nice kick to the broth.  This recipe comes from my church Come & Dine cookbook, which like church cookbooks is an amazing resource of tried and true recipes.  

    RIght now my lettuce, spinach, and kale are growing like crazy because of the warm weather.  

Curried Lentil Medley

1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Chop 1/2 cup of onion
(2)  Mince 1 clove of garlic
(3)  Cut and cube up 1 1/2 cups of butternut squash (I used sweet potatoes today)
(4)  Coarsely chop medium size bunch of kale (chop up the stems, too!)

2.  Prepare soup:
(1)  Put 2 T of oil into the bottom of a Dutch oven or soup pot and sauté onion until tender.  Then add garlic, 1 T Indian curry powder, 1/2 t ground cumin, 1/4 t cayenne pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
(2)  Add 2 cartons (about 27 3/4 oz.) of chicken broth (You can use packaged or make it yourself like I do with about 5 cups of water and  4-5 t of  Organic Better than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken Base), 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and 1 cup of dried lentils and cook for 20 minutes.
(3)  Stir in 1 t of salt, 3/4 t of black pepper, and the squash. Simmer about 10 more minutes.
(4)  Then add the kale and cook until tender about 10-15 minutes.
(5)  Simmer until ready to serve.

List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

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!)
Mouth Watering Italian  Sausage Soup   (This is my friend Debbie's recipe)

This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
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 from Arkansas)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)
Almost Like Ivar's Clam Chowder (From my Come & Dine 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 church Come & Dine cookbook)
Spicy Cuban Black Bean Soup (From a store recipe card)
Marilyn's Make It From Scratch Chili  (From my mother-in-law)
Lisa's Red Lentil Soup (From my friend Lisa)

Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)
A Great Fall Soup - Make it From Scratch Corn Potato Chowder  (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
French Pumpkin Soup  (From my Heritage School Cookbook)

Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage (Modified from Internet search by our Chinese students)
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (Modified from a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Modified  from a student's recipe)
Vegetarian & Gluten Free Tom Yum Soup (A delicious Thai soup) 
Deluxe Miso Soup (Kenchinjiru)   (Adapted from Internet search)
A Thai Mom Teaches Me How to Make Tom Yum Kung  (A student's mom's recipe)
A Vietnamese Cooking Lesson - Lien's Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup  (An International student's aunt's recipe)
Cooking Beef Pho for Vietnamese Students  (Modified Recipe)
Asian Curried Chicken Soup  (From my Come & Dine church cookbook)
Rose's Chinese Beef Bone Soup    (From my Chinese friend Rose) 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Did God Really Send the Manna in Exodus 16?

Family walk in Arizona
Food raining down from heaven might seem a bit out there.  But it happened and not just for a day, a week, or a month.  God sent enough manna to feed about 2 million people for 40 long years.  
When I read this chapter many years ago, I got that it was a picture of the Lord being our heavenly supply. Especially since the Lord in John 6 makes this point really clear.  But I saw in my reading that there's something more here. And Witness Lee brings out that it's about God using manna to reconstitute the Israelites for His dwelling place.  Before you go huh, keep reading because the excerpts below will explain this.
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel; I speak unto them, saying, At evening you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread, and you shall know that I am Jehovah your God.  Exodus 6:12

After God spoke this, He sent quail to their camp, but it’s not like that was a good thing.  I learned from reading chapters 33 and 34 of the Life-Study of Exodus that it was to show the Israelites that what they were hungering for was actually what they were constituted with.  Here's some excerpts on pages 401, 405, 407, and 409 that helped me to understand why being reconstituted was such a big thing:

God's desire is to use His people as material for the building of His habitation on earth. However, although the people were no longer in Egypt, they were still Egyptian in their constitution.Their tissue was Egyptian….His aim is to eliminate every trace of the Egyptian constitution. Students of medicine know that a new diet causes our cells and fibers to be gradually changed….The point here is that whatever we desire, hunger, and thirst after is the diet according to which our being has been constituted….We need a change in our inward constitution, not merely a change in our outward behavior. If we would have such an inward change, we need to have a change of food supply, for the food we eat is the source of our constitution….By feeding on manna,  God's people eventually became manna….This picture shows that only those who have been
reconstituted with Christ are qualified to build up the church as God's dwelling place today….In order for God's purpose to be accomplished, His people had to to be reconstituted with manna. This reveals that our constitution must be rearranged through the  eating of Christ. Christ must replace the Egyptian diet.… Remember that those who built the tabernacle had experienced a change of diet and had begun to be reconstituted with the element of manna….In fact, after being reconstituted, they themselves are the dwelling place of God.   (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Exodus.  Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1980, Print).  
There's about five chapters in this book on Exodus 16, and they are full of light and practical fellowship.  In chapter 34 he says that eating manna actually caused the Israelites to correspond with God. And the same thing happens to us when we read the Bible, talk to the Lord, sing, or pray!!   

You can listen to excerpts of this life training and some outstanding commentary by listening to Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee on Exodus.

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Exodus:

Why Did God Use So Many Women in Exodus 1 & 2?
Taking a Closer Look at the Conflict Between God and Pharaoh in Exodus 5
What Does the Name Jehovah Mean in Exodus 6:2?

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Great Gluten Free Spring Salad - Salmon Salad With Quinoa & Black Beans

I like salmon, but who doesn't who lives in the Northwest?  You can do a lot with salmon besides just throwing it on the BBQ.  Whenever spring comes I start thinking of the different types of main dish salads I know about. I was visiting my father in April, and he is pretty health conscious and likes to make a green salad every day.  He had some  salmon in his pantry and that gave me an idea for lunch one day.  I thought about all the delicious things l like to put on a salad like quinoa and beans and thought I'm going to put it all together.   

Like many salads you can decide what types of vegetables you want to scatter across the top, but I'm listing the ones I like to use.  And, of course,  how much you need depends on how many you're feeding so I'm not giving you any amounts here.  We chopped up the vegetables and then arranged them into individual salad bowls.

Salmon Salad with Quinoa & Black Beans

1.  Vegetable Prep:
(1)  Wash an assortment of greens:  I like to use red lettuce, kale, and spinach.
(2)  Scrub and grate 1 carrot.
(3)  Slice green onions.
(4)  Sliced or chopped cucumber.
(5)  Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half.
(6)  Cube avocado(s)
(6)  Drain a can of black beans.

2.  Prepare quinoa according to package directions. 

3.  Assemble salads - in individual salad bowls put:
(1)  Greens
(2)  Some spoonfuls of quinoa
(3)  Scatter vegetables across the top.
(4)  Spoon over a few tablespoons of black beans.
(5)  Then scatter canned salmon across the top.

4.  Balsamic Salad Dressing (This is my Italian son-in-law's own dressing):
(1)  Pour 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive into a dressing bottle.
(2)  Add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.
(3)  Then add 1/2 of salt, pepper, and oregano.
(4)  Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
(5)  Taste and make any adjustments.  This dressing is everyone's favorite!!

List of Other Salads on this Blog:

Make it Yourself Thai Peanut Dressing for Mandarin Salad  (My friend Judi's recipe)
KFC Copycat Cole Slaw   (A friend shared this with me)
Belizean Coleslaw    (From Internet search)
Antioxidant Rich Kale Super Salad  (A copycat from a deli, dressing from Syre School Cookbook)

Main Dish Salads
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)
Mexican Grilled Salmon & Mango Salad   (From a Betty Crocker summer cookbook)
Jackson Square Shrimp Salad   (From my Syre School cookbook)

Pasta & Quinoa:
Tasty Gluten Free Pasta Salad  (Something I picked up over 20 years ago!)
Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad Bowls   (From an Internet search)
Michelle's Greek Quinoa Salad   (My foodie daughter's own delicious creation!) Another Great Salad with Quinoa - Janah's  Original Quinoa, Cranberry & Feta Salad  (a recipe my daughter came up with)

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)
Dot's Easy Bean Salad  (Recipe from an  83 yr old friend of my father's)

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What Does the Name Jehovah Mean in Exodus 6:2?

God has a lot of titles.  The title of God in Genesis 1:1 is actually Elohim which in Hebrew means the All Mighty.  Throughout Genesis you can see the title God's title of Jehovah which means the self-existing One, the I Am. When God promised Abraham in Genesis 12  that his children would be like the sand and the stars, His title was El Shaddai, which means God all-sufficient. When God made a covenant with Abraham about this promise in Genesis 15:13-14,  He told Abraham that his descendants would  be in captivity for 400 years,  
Just  as God foretold, the children of Israel ended up in Egypt because of a famine, and  another Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph enslaved them.   In chapter 14 of the Life-Study of Exodus I learned that these 400 years were up when Moses was 80 years old, and that was the very same year God charged him to tell Pharaoh  to let the Israelites go. But as everyone knows, Pharaoh always refused to let the Israelites go.  Moses was like, what's up  with this?  It actually  discouraged Moses, and that’s why God  spoke to him these words:
I am Jehovah; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God All-sufficient; but by My name JEHOVAH  was I not known to them.  And I have established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage wherein they were strangers.  Exodus 6:2-4
When I was reading this chapter, I learned that the name Jehovah actually has two meanings—the self-existing God and also  the fulfilling God.   So here God is telling Moses that the Israelites knew His name Jehovah just like today many people know the name of Jesus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they personally know Him as their Savior, and it was the same for them.  
I appreciated the exposition Witness Lee gives on the name Jehovah on pages 162-163, 166-167:
When God spoke to Moses in 6:1-8, He did not speak as El Shaddai, the promising God, but as Jehovah, the fulfilling God… If God were not the self-existing One and the ever-existing One, the promise made thousands of years ago could not be fulfilled.  However, because God is and always will be, He cannot fail to fulfill His promise.  In this universe there is One who is, and this One is the fulfilling God.  Whatever He says will come to pass.  Jehovah will fulfill His word….When you encounter tests, trials, and difficulties, you should say, ‘Lord, You are.  My problems will end, but You, Lord, will be forever’….Do you experience the Lord only as El Shaddai or do you also experience Him as Jehovah? …If we have received the revelation of the Lord as the I Am, we shall pray in a new way.  When trouble comes, we shall go to the Lord and say,’ Lord, here is a problem, but You are.  You are the I am, and I believe in You’ (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Exodus.  Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979, Print).
Many times what I’m reading goes along with where I’m at.  I was somewhat discouraged about a situation, and this word gave me the faith to say to God,”‘Lord, You are!”  
You can listen to excerpts of this life training and some outstanding commentary by listening to Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee on Exodus.

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Exodus:

Why Did God Use So Many Women in Exodus 1 & 2?
Taking a Closer Look at the Conflict Between God and Pharaoh in Exodus 5

Monday, April 18, 2016

Carmine's Authentic Italian Pasta Sauce

First off, I need to tell you that  this recipe was given to me by my son-in-law's father Carmine who was born in Italy.  This first time I had this pasta sauce was when our granddaughter was born, and they came to stay with us and wanted to make dinner for us.  

Of course I asked him for the recipe.  He made this Italian pasta sauce with lamb shanks.  It simmered most of the day and.  When we recently visited our daughter's family, her husband made this pasta sauce for dinner.  Since she could eat, Mikaela's all time favorite dinner has always been pasta!

Carmine's Authentic Italian Pasta Sauce

1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Chop 1 large onion.
(2)  Mince 5-8 cloves of garlic
(3)  Chop up 1 red bell pepper.
(4)  Chop 4-5 basil leaves.
(5)  Chop 2-3 sprigs of parsley.

2. Prepare the pasta sauce:
(1)  In a stainless steel skillet put 2 T of olive oil and sauté the onion, and red bell pepper.  Towards the end add the garlic, as Carmine told me it gets bitter if it cooks too hot or for too long.
(2)  Add to the pot 1 cup of red wine, and boil it out a bit.
(3)  Then add 2 large cans of Italian tomatoes (my son-in-law prefers using Delallo whole peeled tomatoes that are imported from Italy), and 1 large can of tomato paste.  This will make a thick, rich sauce.
(4)  In a separate pan brown the lamb shanks or ground beef if you don't want to use lamb.  Add meat to the pasta sauce.
(5) Stir in1 Tof salt and 1/2 t of black pepper.
(6)  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 1-3 hours.  You can always add this to a crock pots you don't have to worry about it scorching. Carmine told me the more it simmers, the more flavor it will have. 

3.  Add other spices 5 to 10 minutes before serving:   Stir in the basil and parsley.  Taste and make any flavor adjustments.  If it's too thick, add a bit of water.

Be sure to serve it with freshly grated Parmesan,  and, of course, garlic bread, and a green salad.  

Other Italian & Greek Pasta Recipes on This Blog:

Italian & Greek Chicken:
Incredible Gluten Free Chicken Souvlaki   (My son-in-law's marinade recipe)
You've Got to Try This Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan!  (From my church cook book, Come & Dine)

Pasta Cassroles:
Oh So Good Vegetarian Lasagna  (From Internet search)
Delicious Gluten Free Chicken Tetrazzini     (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

 Classic Pastas:
My Mom's Splendiferous Gluten Free Spaghetti  (My mother's amazing sauce!)
Gluten Free Pasta Aioli - Sausage & Vegetable Penne  (From my daughter and son-in-law)
Incredible Gluten Free Pasta Primavera     (Combination of two Internet searches)
Easy to Make Gluten Free Shrimp Linguini   (From my Syre School Cookbook)

Mac & Cheeses:
Fantastic Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese  (Modified from Heritage & Internet search)

Judi's Gluten Free Crazy Crust Pizza -  Spinach, Artichoke & Feta Pizza (From a friend)

This is the Best Minestrone Soup!  (From my son's Internet search and tweaking)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)

Tasty Gluten Free Pasta Salad   (I've been making this salad for over 20 years!)
Jeremy D's Sensational Greek Salad  (From my son-in-law who is half Italian)
Michelle's Greek Quinoa Salad   (My daughter came up with this way to use quinoa)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Taking a Closer Look at the Conflict Between God & Pharaoh in Exodus 5

In December I read something by Watchman Nee that really made me think.  He said that in the book of Revelation you can see chapter by chapter the battle between God and Satan is for worship.  As I thought about this, I realized you can trace this battle throughout the Bible.

First you have to take a look at Genesis 1:26-27 where it says that God made man in His image and likeness so that man might express and represent Him.  Don’t you think that Satan could see that, and that’s why he didn't waste amy time in enticing Eve to eat the fruit that God had commanded them not to? Satan was out to destroy man's ability to worship God.

Good thing God had already factored that into His eternal plan of salvation!  Ever since then it's obvious  Satan has been plotting ways to stop or at least hinder man’s worship to God. 

As I’ve been reading through the chapters on the conflict between Pharaoh and Moses in the Life-Study of Exodus, it’s made me think about this matter of worship because the first thing God told Moses to do was tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go to hold a feast to Him.

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, Thus  says Jehovah, God of Israel, let My people go that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness. Exodus 5:1

When this news hit Pharaoh he was like, who is Jehovah that I should listen to Him?  And thinking that the Israelites must have too much time on their hands, Pharaoh tells the taskmasters to demand that in addition to meeting the weekly quota of bricks the Israelites now have to get their own straw to make them.

On page 155-156 of chapter 13 Witness Lee shares his insights on these events:

To be idle in this sense means to feast unto the Lord and to sacrifice to Him.... 
Some are so industrious that they have no time to feast unto the Lord...We are not to be so busy with the things of this life that we disregard the word of God... The purpose ordained by God for our existence is to live Christ, to live God out, and to have God's testimony. But the people of this world have only their existence they have no purpose. Eventually they make their existence itself the purpose of their existence. They know nothing but existence. Satan picks up the existence of human beings or of human living and uses this existence to usurp people so that today the whole world cares only for existence, not for God's purpose in existence (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Exodus. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979, Print).