Gluten Free & God Seeking

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What's the Spiritual Picture Seen in the Book of Ruth?

     The Book of Ruth is more than a love story. It's actually a detailed picture of our salvation.  I never would have seen that without reading through the Life-Study of Ruth.  It only has eight chapters, so it's a quick read.  I'm going to try to do justice to what I read.

    When a famine hits Israel  Elimelech gives up and leaves Bethlehem  with his wife Naomi and goes to Moab to make a living with his sons Mahlon and Chilion.  Their seemingly peaceful life in Moab comes to a screeching half when tragedy strikes and Naomi loses first her husband and later her sons. 
     Sadly she packs up her belongings and encourages her daughters-in-law to stay and get other husbands.  But Ruth loves Naomi and refuses to leave her. When they return to Bethlehem, Naomi tells Ruth 
she can glean in the fields to gather grain for their food. Sovereignly Ruth ends up gleaning in Boaz's fields.  Boaz has already heard of Ruth's kindness to return with Naomi, and instructs her to stick with his servants throughout the harvest. When Naomi hears of this she is filled with joy because Boaz is one of their kinsmen. 

   According to one of the ordinances God gave to Moses, if someone died leaving a widow, a kinsman had the right to redeem both the land and the widow (Lev. 25:25; Deut. 25:5-10).  One evening Naomi gives Ruth instructions on how to entreat Boaz to redeem her. Boaz tells her that another family member is  closer, and that in the morning he will check with him.  

  The other man tells Boaz that he can't mar his own inheritance by performing the duty of a kinsman.   This leaves Boaz free to marry Ruth.  This story touches me because even through she was a Moabite and not allowed to enter the congregation of Jehovah, God gave her a kinsman as a redeemer.  This is a beautiful picture of what the Lord has done for all of us!  Through Ruth's love for God and His people she was not only brought into the congregation, but she also became a great-grandmother of King David!!  

      In chapter 5 on pages 23-24, and 25 Witness Lee explains how Ruth is an important link in Christ's genealogy:   

In the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, there were not many on earth who had linked themselves to God. At the time of Ruth the line between God and man was very thin. It was thin to such an extent that it consisted mainly of two persons, a couple--Boaz and Ruth. This couple was brought together in a marvelous and sovereign way. Although Boaz was born an Israelite and Ruth was born in Moab, an incestuous country, Ruth was brought to the good land, even to Bethlehem, the city of David....Another aspect of Ruth's reward is that she became a crucial ancestor in the genealogy to bring in the royal house of David for the producing of Christ (Ruth 4:13b-22; Matt. 1:5-16)....She is thus a great link in the chain that is bringing Christ to every corner of the earth. We all are indebted to Ruth, for without her Christ could not have reached us (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth. Living Stream Ministry: Anaheim, 1993, Print).
 

 You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges & Ruth and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.

Other Posts on Joshua, Judges, & Ruth:

What's the Background of the Book of Joshua?
Seeing that the Account of the Battle of Joshua & the Battle of Jericho
  Shows God's Move with Man
What Happened in the Book of Judges?







Authentic Creamy Refried Beans

I've been making up pots of refried beans for almost 20 years.  Today I had a Hispanic family for lunch, and  she made tostados, beans, and Spanish rice while I made chimichangas and corn. 

.Her beans were creamy and delicious and different from the ones I usually make with chili powder, cumin, and a bit of salsa.  Her rice was also different from the way I've made it, and I'll post that soon.  So of course I asked her how she made them.  I laughed when she told me that she puts milk into her beans!  I was like that's why they taste so creamy, there's actually milk in them!!

These beans are so simple, and you can have fun adding your own twists to this yummy recipe for refried beans.

 
Authentic Creamy Refried Beans
 
 
1.  Soak 2 cups of pinto beans in water about 2" above the beans overnight.
 
2.  Drain the water.  Put the beans into a crockpot or soup pot with water that's about 1" above the beans and cook until tender.  I put mine into a crockpot this morning and cooked them on high for about 6 hours. 
 
3.  Mash beans:  When the beans are tender, check your liquid and take out any excess.  I like to mash them with a bit of the bean juice until they're the consistency you like.  You can always add a little more bean juice later or use more of the milk in step 5.
 
4.  Mince 1 clove of garlic and add that plus 3 teaspoons of salt. 
 
5.  Then stir in  1/2-1  cup of milk and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
 
6.  Taste and make any flavor adjustments. 

Other Mexican recipes on this blog:

Mexican Casseroles
Texas Style Gluten Free Stacked Enchiladas  (From my Come & Dine cookbook)
Acapulco Delight - A great Mexican Enchilada (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Kathy's Baked Chili & Chips Casserole  (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Fiesta Gluten Free Tamale Pie   (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Authentic Chicken Enchiladas Verde  (a church friend's mother-in-law's recipe)
Rebecca's Favorite Chicken & Chile Enchiladas  (From a church friend)
Delores's Chicken & Tortilla Casserole (Made Gluten Free)  (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Great Beef Enchiladas - (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
El Dorada Beef & Cheese Casserole  (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Mexican Beef & Bean Pie (From my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook)

Tacos, Chimichangas  & Etc.
The Best Fish Tacos   (Modified from Food Network)
Fantastic Baked Chimichangas  (From my Syre School Cookbook)
Authentic Chicken Flautas  (My hispanic friend Abbie taught me how to make these!)
Delicious Chicken Fajitas  (A mix of many recipes)
Easy Gluten Free Baked Taquitos  (From a newspaper clip over 10 years ago)
My Son's Egg & Sausage Burritos
 
Mexican Chicken & Beef Recipes

Anna's Pollo Guisado (Mexican Braised Chicken)  (From a church friend in Phoenix)
Fantastic Gluten Free Carne Asada!  (From an Internet search--a combination of sites)
Belizean Chicken, Black Beans & Rice, and Belizean Coleslaw  (From my daughter's family)
Make Your Own Chicken Burrito Bowls  - A combo of my favorite recipes for beans &chicken

Mexican Beans
The Best Homemade Refried Beans  (Modified from an Internet search)
Sara's Grandpa's Recipe for Mexican Beans (from my nephew's wife--a yummy side dish that is thick like a stew)

Soups
Mexican Chicken Soup- A Great Remedy for Colds & Flu  (I got this over 25 years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (From a friend in California)
Southwest Turkey Soup   (From my Syre School Cookbook)

Salads
Baja Salad with Black Beans & Quinoa  (My own version of something I ate in Seattle)
 
 
 
 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

What Happened in the Book of Judges?

   To understand the book of Judges Witness Lee says you have to first understand the whole scope of the Scriptures. I'm really glad that he didn't leave me hanging with that but gave an overview showing that the Bible is really a divine romance between God and His people.  Here's a classic verse in the Old Testament showing God's heart towards His people:

Not according to the covenant [at Sinai when God gave them the ten commandments] that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke; although I was a husband to them says the Lord.  Jeremiah 31:32

And I will betroth you to me forever, yea, I will betroth you unto Me in righteousness and judgment, and in lovingkindness and in mercies.  Hosea 2:19

     This overview reminded me of what I read in the Life-Study of Exodus  that the 10 commandments were actually an engagement covenant.   Have you ever thought of the commandments like that before?  I know I hadn't.  Actually the Old Testament law and ordinances separated the children of Israel from all the surrounding nations. 

     But after settling in the land of Canaan, the children of Israel's chaste state didn't last very long because as the book of Judges shows, they didn't drive out all the land's inhabitants.  All of the surrounding nations worshipped different kinds of idols.  Satan used these nations to ensnare the Israelites into idol worship. 

    Could you believe it?  The children of Israel forsook the God who had done miracles in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, rained down manna from heaven to sustain them, and helped them fight against the inhabitants and settle in Canaan. Hello, was anyone home?  I guess not.

    I saw something when I read in the Life-Study of Joshua (see the posts below) that Satan was working through the idols of the surrounding nations to destroy God's testimony on earth.  As I was thinking about this, I could see God's enemy saying to God, "So what if all of Your people are in Canaan, none of them are worshipping You anymore!"  Can you see it?  Satan is always trying to destroy God's worship! 

   And Satan actually caused the nation of Israel to spend about 300 years going through cycles of  trusting God,  forsaking God and worshipping idols, followed by being defeated by their enemies, then repenting, and God delivering them through a judge.  How sad all these cycles must have made God!  I learned on page 2 of the first chapter of the Life-Study of Judges that they had rejected God from being their king:  

In the book of Judges, a particular saying is repeated a number of times: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did that which was right in his own eyes" (17:6; 18:1; 19:1, 21:25).  But God was the king!...When Israel said that there was no king among them, this meant that they had annulled God and His status. In the book of 1 Samuel, the children of Israel asked God to appoint a king for them (8:5). This was a great offense to God (v. 7). Even though Israel was a wife to God, she became a harlot. She did not recognize God's kingship, and she did not recognize God as her husband. Therefore, the children of Israel did what was right in their own eyes, and as a result they became rotten and corrupted. This is what we see in the book of Judges (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruth. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1993, Print). 

    After reading the Life-Study of Judges I could see how much God just wants His people  to love and worship only Him.  This love produces  a sweet relationship between God and His believers like the one portrayed in the Book of Ruth!

 You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges & Ruth and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.

Other Posts on Joshua, Judges, & Ruth:

What's the Background of the Book of Joshua?
Seeing that the Account of Joshua & the Battle of Jericho
  Shows God's Move with Man

Monday, October 9, 2017

Seeing That the Account of Joshua & the Battle of Jericho Shows the Principle of God's Move with Man

  Even kids know the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho.  It's a classic.  More than just an incredible account of God's power, this account shows the principle that often God moves with man's cooperation.  After God spoke with Joshua, he realized that in order to take the land of Canaan they had to enter into full cooperation with God.  This principal is seen in this verse:

October walk with my grandkids
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads I have given to you, as I promised Moses.  Joshua 1: 3

    God couldn't defeat Jericho alone--He chose to use the army of the Israelites to march around the city walls.  I appreciated Witness Lee's explanation on page 8 of chapter 2 of Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruth: about how important their cooperation was to God accomplishing His intention on earth:  

   One day, as the people were ready and waiting for God's instruction, God came in to call Joshua and to tell him to take the lead so that he and the children of Israel could enter into the good land and possess it.  Joshua took the word from Jehovah and charged the children of Israel to perform God's commission (vv. 1-15). The land-takers had to prepare themselves to move with God in His move.  In order to take the good land, they had to enter into a full coordination with God in His move.  If the children of Israel had looked at themselves, they would have said that there was no possibility. But their possibility was the unique God, who needed His elect to cooperate with Him in His move to carry out His economy, in His desire to move in His economy as the great wheel [as seen in Ezekiel 1:15-21] (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruth. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1993, Print).


     God didn't leave anything up to Joshua. He gave out instructions for all seven days, down to even how they were to be organized. If Joshua would have changed any of these directions, I don't really think the walls of Jericho would have collapsed, do you?

     This principle of God needing man's cooperation has really helped me to understand the Bible better. Now I can see it in many other places like with Noah building the ark and Moses getting the instructions for building the tabernacle. It  amazes me that  the omnipotent God who called not being as being in Genesis 1 chooses to let man cooperate with Him to accomplish His purpose!

 You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges & Ruth and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.

Other Posts on Joshua, Judges, & Ruth:

What's the Background of the Book of Joshua?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What's the Background of the Book of Joshua?


The Book of Joshua gives us a window into God's move on the earth. I wouldn't have seen this at all if it weren't for the Life-Study of Joshua. Witness Lee says in the first chapter that God's move began in Genesis and it continued throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. 

     In Deuteronomy before Moses left the people, he warned them that if they worshipped idols God would judge them. The book of Joshua opens with the people on the plains of Moab ready to take possession of the land of Canaan.  I appreciate Witness Lee's explanation on page 8 in chapter two of the Life-Study of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth concerning how critical the situation was at this time: 
 
In chapter one of Joshua, God's move had reached a certain situation. At that time the entire earth was full of idols and demons. In a sense, God had been chased away from the earth, which He had created for Himself, and did not have a way to be Lord of the earth as well as of the heavens. However, among all the nations and peoples, God had separated Israel, His elect, for the carrying out of His economy. They had nothing to do with idols or demons. On the contrary, they were occupied with the God of the heavens and the earth (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Joshua.  Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1993, Print).
 
      A few years ago I read an eye-opening chapter called Worship in Volume 46 of Watchman Nee's Collected Works Through Scripture he shows how the battle  between God and Satan in this universe is over worship. Satan didn't want God to have all the worship.  So he instigates man to make idols of wood and stone and worship them. We can see this happening even in Genesis.   

      Like most believers I love the story of Abraham,  in Halley's Bible Handbook it says that Ur of Chaldea where God appeared to Abraham was a land full of idols.  It's almost astonishing that at this time there was no one on the earth that loved and served God.  It was so bad that God had to actually call Abraham out and tell him to go to another country so God could have another start.

     When Abraham finally got to the land of Canaan, Genesis 12 tells us that God made a covenant with him and promised to make him a great nation. We know from the accounts in Genesis that this is about the children of Israel. Later in Exodus after God brought His people out of Egypt after 400+years of slavery, and gave them the ten commandments. The first three  center on man worshipping God and not making and worshipping any idols (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:12-17). 
 
    On the mountain God also gave Moses instructions for building the tabernacle. For 40 years they worshipped God by caring for the tabernacle and offering sacrifices. All of these activities separated and sanctified the Israelites from all the other nations. In the book of Leviticus God gives Moses further details about offering sacrifices because God cares about how His people worship Him. And we see in the book of Joshua that our worship matters because through it God regains the earth! 

 You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges & Ruth and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.
 

My Son's Egg & Sausage Burritos

When I get tired of oatmeal, gluten free waffles, and frittata, it's fun to try something new.  When we stayed with our son's family earlier this year, he made for us some amazing egg, potato and sausage burritos!  These would also make a great breakfast for dinner option.  Totally yummy!
 

Egg & Sausage Burritos

 
1.  Prepare potatoes:  Scrub 2 medium sized potatoes and cube.  Either parboil or fry them up in 2 - 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.   Put  in a covered bowl when done.
 
2.  Prepare sausage:  Slice up some chicken sausage links or Trader Joe's chorizo and cook until almost done.
 
3.  Prepare eggs:  Whisk up 8-12 eggs depending on how many you're serving, with 1/4 cup water/milk.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
 
4.  Combine & cook eggs:  Add the potatoes back to the pan and then add the eggs and cook until done.   Serve on warmed corn tortillas and top with desirable toppings.
 
5.  Condiments to serve with:
(1)   Grate 1 to 2 cups of cheese
(2)   Chop up 1 - 2 avocados
(3)   Chop up 1 - 2 tomatoes
(4)   Slice up 2 -3 green onions
(5)   Chop up 1 cup of cilantro
(6)   Salsa
(7)   Sour cream

Other Mexican recipes on this blog:

Mexican Casseroles
Texas Style Gluten Free Stacked Enchiladas  (From my Come & Dine cookbook)
Acapulco Delight - A great Mexican Enchilada (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Michelle's Favorite Vegetarian Enchiladas   (From my daughter)
Kathy's Baked Chili & Chips Casserole  (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Fiesta Gluten Free Tamale Pie   (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Authentic Chicken Enchiladas Verde  (From a church friend)
Rebecca's Favorite Chicken & Chile Enchiladas  (From a church friend)
Delores's Chicken & Tortilla Casserole (Made Gluten Free)  (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)
Great Beef Enchiladas - From my church cookbook, Come & Dine
El Dorada Beef & Cheese Casserole  - From my Heritage School cookbook
Mexican Beef & Bean Pie - From my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook

Tacos, Chimichangas  & Etc.
The Best Fish Tacos   (Modified from Food Network)
Fantastic Baked Chimichangas  (From my Syre School Cookbook)
Authentic Chicken Flautas  (My hispanic friend Abbie taught me how to make these!)
Delicious Chicken Fajitas  (A mix of many recipes)
Easy Gluten Free Baked Taquitos  (From a newspaper clip)
The Best Homemade Refried Beans  (From an Internet search)
Sara's Grandpa's Recipe for Mexican Beans (from my nephew's wife-a yummy side dish that is thick like a stew)

Mexican Chicken & Beef
Anna's Pollo Guisado (Mexican Braised Chicken)  (From a church friend in Phoenix)
Fantastic Gluten Free Carne Asada!  (From an Internet search--a combination of sites)
Belizean Chicken, Black Beans & Rice, and Belizean Coleslaw  (From my daughter's family)
Make Your Own Chicken Burrito Bowls  - A combo of my favorite recipes for beans &chicken

Soups
Mexican Chicken Soup- A Great Remedy for Colds & Flu  (I got this over 25 years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (From a friend in California)
Southwest Turkey Soup   (From my Syre School Cookbook)

Salads
Baja Salad with Black Beans & Quinoa  (My own version of something I ate in Seattle)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Importance of the Place of Worship in Deuteronomy 12

    In the Bible how God's people worship is not left up to their own opinion or preference.  This is seen clearly for the first time in Deuteronomy 12, then later in chapters 16, and 26. The Israelites were a great nation of around two million people.  For the previous 40 years the 12 tribes of Israel had camped in array around the tabernacle. And this had kept the Israelites in oneness. 

Ebey Prairie
    So now that they're about to enter Canaan what's going to happen to the Israelites?  According to the Israeli embassy their country today is 290 miles long and 85 miles wide at the widest point.  There's a big distance between the tribes in the  north and the tribes in the south. How will God maintain the oneness of His people in this new land? 

    Deuteronomy 12 opens with God telling Moses that He wanted the Israelites  to destroy all of the Canaanites' idols and places of worship.  Then in Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 21, and 26 God goes on to tell His people that He is going to be the one to choose both the place and way for them to worship Him in the land of Canaan.

But to the place which Jehovah your God will choose out of all your tribes to put His name, to His habitation, shall you seek, and there shall you go.  Deuteronomy 12:5

And you shall sacrifice the Passover to Jehovah your God, from the flock and from the herd, in the place where Jehovah will choose to cause His name to dwell. Deuteronomy 16:2

And you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground which you shall bring from your land...and you shall put it in a basket, and go to the place where Jehovah your God will choose to cause His name to dwell.  Deuteronomy 26:2

Why did God care about this so much?  I like Witness Lee's explanation on page 77 in chapter 11  because it parallels God's desire for  how His believers meet today:

Why was Moses so definite in chapter 12 abut the requirement to come to the place of God's choice?  Moses was definite in this matter because it was related to the keeping of the oneness of God's people.  If there had not been such a definite ground for the worship of God, the children of Israel would have been divided.  Suppose each of the twelve tribes had had the freedom to choose a place of worship.  Surely each tribe would have chosen a place within its own territory, and spontaneously there would have been twelve divisions.  This was the reason that the children of Israel were strictly forbidden from making their own choice concerning the place for the worship of God.  Moses told them repeatedly that they had to come to the place which God had chosen and worship Him there (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Deuteronomy. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991, Print).
      It's really important to see that God picked the place, and we know from the Bible this place was Jerusalem. Witness Lee has shared many times that we can see this same principle in the New Testament. In Matthew 16:18 the Lord told His disciples that He would build His church. And then later in the book of Acts  soon after Pentecost we read in chapter 8 that all the believers in Jerusalem were simply called the church in Jerusalem. 

      After Paul's conversion, he and Barnabas traveled to many different countries, and when believers were saved they were simply called the church in their city. Once again we can see God' making the choice for how His believers worship. Him. Just like in the Old Testament God has chosen this way in order to maintain the oneness of His people.

    The Epistles are written to church in a certain city like Romans is to  the church in Rome, and Ephesians is to the church in Ephesus.  To them I guess it was a no brainer. The church in Jerusalem actually had thousands of believers, and we can see from Acts 2:46 that they mostly met in their homes. But they were still called the church in Jerusalem, not the churches in Jerusalem.

   The New Testament is very consistent with this principle, you'll only find the word churches if it's referring to churches in a region like the churches in Asia. Check out Revelation 1:11--The Lord tells John to write a letter and send it to seven churches, and then He goes on to give the names of seven cities!!  I think there's something here.   Pretty incredible, and I'm so thankful that Watchman Nee and Witness Lee made this matter so clear in their writings.  In our personal library we have the following books that are a complete study on this matter:  The Glorious Church, The Orthodoxy of the Church, The Normal Christian Church Life,  The Practical Expression of the Church,  and The Vision of the Church.

You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Study of Deuteronomy on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Deuteronomy and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.

Other Posts on Deuteronomy:

What's the book of Deuteronomy about?