Gluten Free & God Seeking

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How James Connects Spiritual Growth to the Lord's Coming in James 5:7-8

I'll never forget the first time I saw my grandparent's 110 acre farm that is nestled in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania.  I was eight years old at the time, and had grown up in a suburb of Los Angeles with no clue how food got to the grocery store. Thinking back on that experience I would say I was fascinated by everything I saw and did from slopping the pigs, feeling a cow's sandpaper tongue on my hand, and gathering chicken eggs to watching my grandfather milk the cows and  spend hours each day cultivating, planting, or harvesting the fields of wheat, corn, and oats. 


So farmers have a special place in my heart, and it was heart warming for me to learn years ago when I read 1 Corinthians 3:9 that the Lord is also a farmer. (Here's  the post on that.).  Last week I read chapter 11 in the Life-Study of James  that links the Lord's coming to His being a farmer.  First here's the verse that this chapter expounds:



Therefore be long-suffering, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer eagerly awaits the precious fruit of the earth, exercising long-suffering over it until it receives the early and late rain. You also be long-suffering, establish your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. James 5:7-8

I really like the dialogue that's in this excerpt: 
We have seen that the Lord Jesus is actually the real farmer, the unique farmer.  As we are awaiting His coming, He, as the real Farmer, is awaiting our maturity.  We may pray, 'Lord, come back quickly.' However, He may say, 'My children, mature quicker. While you are waiting My coming back, I am awaiting your maturity. Do you know why it has been nearly 2,000 years and I have not yet come back?  The reason is that my people are not yet matured.  Only your maturity can hasten My coming back.'….It is a great help for us to realize that if we are serious about awaiting the Lord's coming back, we need to grow in life….The illustration of a farmer in 5:7 implies that the farmer is waiting for the crop growing in the field to ripen….According to Revelation 1, the Lord is also waiting for the harvest to be ripe. When the harvest is ripe, He will come back ( Lee. Witness. "Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection" Life-Study of James. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry. <http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?cid=0D >)
In the past years I have heard a lot of sharing on Living Stream Ministry's website on the subject of spiritual maturity.  Without this sharing I would not realize that the Lord's coming hinges on my growing and reaching maturity.  My grandfather never harvested a crop that wasn't ripe, and so I get this parallel and  it touches my heart.  And like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth.  I love this verse because it emphatically states that God is the only one that can cause us to grow. Only He can give us the experiences that we need that will make us grow all the way to maturity.  And I love hearing that we can ask Him to do that!  


I like to listen as much as I can to the Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee that goes along with the Life-Study that I am reading.  Both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the commentary are enlightening. 

What's the Way to Resist Temptation in James 1:21?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Make Amazing Thai Food - Why Not Try Gluten Free Pad See Ew?

  This is one of my daughter's favorite Thai dishes, but she likes it served with a side of peanut sauce.  I've eaten this dish out, and  the recipe below is a modification of two recipes (one from a Thai cookbook) plus some suggestions from my daughter.  


The original recipe calls for oyster sauce, which contains wheat, and so I had to tweak the marinade. That probably changes the taste a bit, but that's nothing unusual for someone who's gluten free.  My daughter also suggested added some more vegetables besides making it with just broccoli because when she ate it out, it also had carrots and cabbage. Last of all I  altered the stir-fry sauce because that also normally contains oyster sauce!  

Our Thai student gave me a great compliment tonight when he told me that it tastes like what his mother makes!  Also two other students even asked me for this recipe!  


Gluten Free Pad See Ew - for 8

1.  Marinate the meat:  
(1)  Rinse 1 pound of chicken/sirloin and cut into thin bite sized pieces. 
(2)  Marinate the meat with 2 T gluten free tamari, 2 t sesame oil and 1 T brown sugar. 
Put in frig for at least 30 minutes. 

2.  Prepare vegetables: 
(1)   Wash and then cut 3-4 cups of broccoli florets.  Blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute and then run cold water on them; strain and put aside.
(2)  Thinly slice  2-3  medium carrots or use that fancy kitchen tool that peels carrots in multiple strips.
(3)  Thinly Slice a quarter of a cabbage.
(4)  Mince 6-8 cloves of garlic.

3. Preparing the egg strips:   Cook 2 eggs like an omelet and then cut into strips.  Then Set aside: 

4  Soak noodles:  Put 1 pound of wide rice noodles into a glass dish with boiling water to soften.  I usually put a piece of foil over the top to keep the heat in.  Add additional water as necessary.  This can take about 20 minutes, give or take.  Watch them, drain them when they are ready.

5.  Prepare stir fry sauce:  Mix together in a glass dish -  10 T gluten free tamari, 4 1/2 T brown sugar, 2 T fish sauce, 1 t salt, and 1 1/2 t pepper.  Set aside.


6.  Prepare the Pad See Ew:
(1)  Put 2 T oil into a large skillet and let warm up, add the garlic and 1 T bean sauce.  Stir fry for 30 seconds.  
(2)  Increase the heat and add the meat and stir-fry until done, remove and put in covered dish.
(3)  Add 1 T more oil and add the vegetables; stir fry for 2-3 minutes until crisp tender.
(4)  Then add the noodles slowly while you drizzle the stir-fry sauce over them and combine all the ingredients.  Note:  I couldn't use all my noodles, so gauge how much you can put it.
(5)  Stir the chicken back in and  the egg strips.  Combine all ingredients with the sauce.  
(6)  Taste and make any flavor adjustments.  Put the lid on until ready to serve.

Put tamari on the table and a small bowl of chopped peanuts so people can add what they like  to their plates.  One of our Vietnamese students also put out the Sriracha sauce. He uses it like Americans use ketchup!

Check out some of the other curries on this blog!

Tasty Thai Red Curry   (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Fantastic Thai Green Curry (Modified a recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Rose's Authentic Chinese Yellow Curry  (From a Taiwanese friend who brought this to a potluck)
Thai Salmon & Vegetables in Green Curry  ( Modified recipe from Internet search)
Massaman Chicken Curry with Yams & Pineapple (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Spectacular Chicken Panang Curry (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste &  recipe)
Amazing Vegetable Panang Curry (Modified recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Vietnamese Saigon Style Tofu Curry  (Idea from Internet search; curry sauce recipe from Rose)

Other Thai Recipes on This Blog 

Making Gluten Free Pad Thai With a Thai Student (A combination of recipes & student's know how!)
Gluten Free Thai Basil Beef    (From Internet search)
How to Make Your Own Thai Fresh Rolls   (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's the Way to Resist Temptation in James 1:21?

   How do you resist temptation?  How do you endure in trials?  We all have them, and last week I felt like I had my fair share.  Some news came that just broke me up inside. And whenever that happens, I know I have a choice--I'll let this sink me or I'll let the Lord's word anchor me. Somehow even in the face of some doubts and fears, I kept speaking words of promise. But I also know that God and some others were praying for me!



It was right in the middle of this psychological deluge when I read chapter 4 of the Life-Study of James.  That chapter was like a giant buoy bolstering my faith in God's word.  I was like wow, God you know exactly where I am right now and what I need to read.  This chapter centered on James 1:21B which says,   

… receive in meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.


In our spiritual life we need a good spiritual "breakfast" every day….As God plants His word into us every morning, this word becomes nourishment to our inward man, and it strengthens our spirit.  Once our spirit has been strengthened, it will sustain our soul. We will have the strength to withstand sufferings and to resist temptations....This means that through the nourishment of the implanted word we experience the salvation of our soul…..We know from experience that if our spirit is not strengthened and soul is not sustained by a strong spirit, we are easily defeated by trials or temptations. The result is failure.  This means that although we have been saved in our spirit, we are not being saved daily in our soul….Day by day we need to receive in meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our soul. The implanted word is full of energy to save our soul (Lee, Witness. "Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection" Life-Study of James. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry 
 <http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?cid=0D >)      
  It touched me that the answer to how we resist temptation and endure trials is quite simple. It's all about getting the proper spiritual nourishment each day--so don't skip your spiritual breakfast!  

I like to listen as much as I can to the Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee that goes along with the Life-Study that I am reading.  Both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the commentary are enlightening. 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vietnamese Saigon Style Tofu Curry

This fall we've had two Vietnamese students boarding with us. So in the past few months I've been trying out some Vietnamese recipes from my ow files, from one of the students, and from my Internet searches.  When I made this recipe  for the first time, I realized the curry sauce tasted a lot like one my Taiwanese friend Rose gave me several years ago for Chinese chicken curry.  So I'm  using that one for this recipe.

What I learned about Saigon style curry was it uses sweet potatoes instead of the potatoes in Rose's curry and it adds cauliflower to the carrots, onions, and peppers.  I was a bit hesitant when I first made it wondering what cauliflower would taste like in a curry. 

You can see that this curry is colorful, and the sauce is so yummy!  If you want more heat you can add more curry powder, chili sauce (Sriracha is what I use) or black pepper.   And all of our students liked it, but  the Vietnamese students appreciated that I would try to make a curry from their country.  


Vietnamese Tofu Curry  - Serves 8-10 

1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Slice 1 onion and then cut the slices in half.
(2)  Slice 1 green pepper and then cut the slices in half
(3)  Mince 4 cloves of garlic
(4)  Scrub 5 carrots and slice on the diagonal.
(5)  Scrub 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes and cut into circles or quarter it and cut into wedges.
(6)  Put carrots and sweet potatoes into a steamer and cook for about 12 minutes until almost tender. They will finish cooking in the sauce.
(7)  Cut up tabour 2 cups of cauliflower florets.   (Add more if you can!)
Garnishes:  Sprinkle these on the top of the curry before serving
(8)  Chop up 1/2 cup of cilantro.
(9)  Chop 1/2 - 1 cup of basil leaves.

2.  Mix spices in a pinch bowl:  Mix together in  a small dish 3 T Indian curry, 3 t chili sauce,  2 T fish sauce, 2 t lemon grass powder,  2" of ginger minced, 2 T brown sugar, 2 t salt, and 1/2 - 2 t black pepper.  

3.  Cube 1 package of tofu into 1" pieces.

4.  Stir-Fry vegetables:
(1)  Put 2 T of coconut oil into a large skillet and when it's warm sauté the onion, peppers and garlic.  
(2)  Add 2 T of  Indian curry and stir for 10 seconds until it's fragrant.
(3)  Pour  3 cups of chicken stock or water with  4 t of Better Than Bouillon into the pan and stir to mix.  
(4)  Then add the cauliflower and let it cook 2-3 minutes.
(5)  Stir in the spices and other seasonings.
6)  Add 3 cups of canned coconut milk.
(7)  Then add the tofu along with the steamed potatoes and carrots and gently stir to combine.
(8)  Let the curry simmer 3-5 minutes.  If the curry needs to be a bit thickened, mix 2 T of tapioca starch  with 1/4 cup of water and stir it into the sauce. 
(9)  Taste and make any adjustments.

Serve with rice.  

Check out some of the other curries on this blog!

Tasty Thai Red Curry   (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Fantastic Thai Green Curry (Modified a recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Rose's Authentic Chinese Yellow Curry  (From a Taiwanese friend who brought this to dinner)
Thai Salmon & Vegetables in Green Curry  ( Modified recipe from Internet search)
Massaman Chicken Curry with Yams & Pineapple (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Spectacular Chicken Panang Curry (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste &  recipe)
Amazing Vegetable Panang Curry (Modified recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why Does the Epistle of James Open Up With Trials?

     On Friday night my husband and I with a friend were reading the Bible with two college students. One of them had just gotten saved this summer, and was asking questions, which by the way is one of the best ways to study the Bible. 

 I could tell towards the end he was feeling a bit outnumbered because he had most of the questions, and the rest of us were doing the answering.  So I turned to him and
 told him I've been reading the Bible for many years, and I'm still learning. When I'm reading, I'm still asking God what is this saying? For years that's how I felt about the Epistle of James. I  felt like not James again.

  I have to say I was feeling that feeling again when I knew that the next Life-Study in my sequence would be James. I don't have the printed copy of this particular Life-Study, so I went online to Living Stream Ministry's website to read it.  In the first chapter Witness Lee shares that the book of James is about practical Christian perfection.  And the first thing James brings out is our need to endure trials by faith.

Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you fall into various trials, knowing that the proving of your faith works out endurance. And let endurance have its perfect work that you may be perfect and entire lacking in nothing.   James 1:2-4

 
  God spoke to my heart in this chapter and though there were a lot of other aspects to this,  I'm just going to focus on why God gives us trials: 

Perhaps after you believed in the Lord Jesus, you thought that in the Christian life there would be no sufferings or trials....Surely God loves me and He will not allow anything bad to happen to me. This is the concept of many believers. But eventually trials come.... A final exam serves the three-fold purpose of trying, testing, and proving a student. Likewise, the various trials through which we must pass as believers serve this purpose of trying, testing, and proving us. These trials are surely a  help in our practical Christian perfection, for God uses them to perfect us.....Trials...help us with our character and our behavior in our daily living (Lee, Witness. "Introduction and Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection" Life-Study of James.  Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry. <http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?cid=0D >).

 I know I've thought too many times why is God allowing this to happen?  Not always do I see right away that God has the loving purpose of perfecting me through the various trials that He has ordained just for me. 

I like to listen as much as I can to the Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee that goes along with the Life-Study that I am reading.  Both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the commentary are enlightening. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gluten Free Comfort Food - Downright Delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole

Gluten free comfort food.  I knew it was good because there was hardly a bite left. And that's saying a lot because most of it was eaten up by our international students  who never had tuna noodle casserole before. 

 I was a bit nervous as I was making it wondering if they would like it or not. I knew they loved noodles and fish, but in a cheese sauce?  I've found out from our students over the years that  most Chinese don't eat much cheese in China, but when they come here they begin to love it.  

This recipe comes from my Heritage School Cookbook; it's a new take on an old stand by. 





Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole

1.  Make a  sauce - In a mixing bowl put:  
(1) 2 eggs and beat them till fluffy. 
(2)  Then gradually stir in 1 can of evaporated milk and an equal amount of milk/water, 2 t of salt, and 1 t of black pepper. 
(3) Add 2 to 3 cups of colby-jack cheese and 1(or 2 depending on how much fish you like) can of drained albacore tuna. 
(4)  Saute 3 T of diced onion and stir it into the sauce.

2.  Prepare noodles:  Cook 1 12 oz package off Tinkyada brown rice elbow pasta for about 14 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and put in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  

3.  Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir to combine.  Add any additional cheese on the top.  Sprinkle with paprika. 

4.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.



Other Italian & Greek Pasta Recipes on This Blog:

Italian & Greek Chicken:
Incredible Gluten Free Chicken Souvlaki   (My son-in-law's marinade recipe)
Chicken Cacciatore with Peppers & Mushrooms  (My mother-in-law)
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!)
Ginger's Family Favorite Gluten Free Beef Stroganof   (From my friend Ginger)
Gluten Free Pasta Aioli - Sausage & Vegetable Penne  (From my daughter and son-in-law)
Incredible Gluten Free Pasta Primavera     (Combination of two Internet searches)
Fantastic Gluten Free Salmon Fettucine 
Easy to Make Gluten Free Shrimp Linguini   (From my Syre School Cookbook)

Mac & Cheeses
Fantastic Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese  (Modified from Internet search)
Gluten Free Comfort Food - Downright Delicious Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole  (From my Heritage School Cookbook)

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

Soups:
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)

Salads:
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)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What's the Focus of the Book of Hebrews?

Did you ever wonder what the crucial point of the book of Hebrews is?  I started the Life-Study of Hebrews in July, and a lot of things came up that slowed down my reading a bit. I have to say I was a bit surprised when I read this on page 772, the second to the last page:
Hebrews is deep in the unveiling of the fact that this wonderful Christ is now joined to our spirit, which is the very Holy of Holies of God's dwelling place today, to be our life with the law of life functioning and working to conform us to His image.  This is the most crucial point of the whole book of Hebrews.  It is the vital focus of the experience of the Christ revealed in this book (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print). 

I love hearing about this, and I am very thankful for the ministry of Witness Lee that has made this truth so clear!  In the previous chapter he talked about how the Lord as the only begotten Son became the Firstborn Son because God wants millions of sons.  And as the Firstborn, Christ is the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10) .  He's the One who knows how to fully transform us and conform us so that we eventually express Him! 

The sentence about how the law of life is working to conform us to the Lord's image has got me thinking.  Every life has a law, that's the way God made it God's life is higher than the plant, animal, and human life, and so it has the highest law.  Encoded into the divine life within us is a divine DNA that knows exactly how to conform us to the Lord's image! This makes me realize that all I need to do is keep coming  forward with boldness to the throne of grace and touch God's life! 

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?
What is the Birthright About in Hebrews 12:16?
From the Life-Study of Hebrews - What is the Central Concept of the Bible?