Gluten Free & God Seeking

Saturday, August 17, 2019

What Lessons Can We Learn From the Book of Lamentations?

     God keeps His Word.  When the Israelites would not repent of their idolatry, God had no choice but to send Nebuchadnezzar to burn their temple and take thousands of them captive.  I read in chapter 1 of the Life-Study of Lamentations that historians say that this book was written while the prophet Jeremiah looked down from a hill at the smoldering ruins of Jerusalem. 

I captured an eagle flying over a nearby bay
    Even in the midst of desolation Jeremiah speaks a word that has comforted me and I'm sure countless other people:

It is Jehovah's lovingkindness that we are not consumed, For His compassions do not fail; They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; Therefore I hope in Him. Jehovah is good to those who wait on Him, to the soul that seeks Him.  Lamentations 3:22-25

     In chapter 2 of this study Witness Lee says that Jeremiah realized that even though thousands had been exiled, some were still left and that this was because of God's lovingkindness.  I found these excerpts on page 7 encouraging:

The people of Israel had failed, but God's compassions did not fail. His compassions had preserved the remnant of Israel....'They are new every morning' (v. 23a). This indicates that Jeremiah contacted the Lord as the compassionate One every morning. It was through his contact with the Lord that he received this word regarding His lovingkindness, compassions, and faithfulness....The faithfulness of God refers to His word. His faithfulness is also related to His covenant. Because He had made a covenant with Abraham and confirmed it with Isaac and Jacob, God had to be faithful to keep His word (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Lamentations. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1992, Print)

.    After this section he says in our lives sometimes it doesn't look like God is being kind, compassionate, or faithful. And when that happens, what will we do?  That's when we have to put our hope in Him and wait on Him in the face of difficulties and painful situations, and often that's more than a week.  And then he shares that 's when we get to experience Lamentations 3:55 which says, I called upon Your name, O Jehovah, From the lowest pit.  Our waiting and our calling out to him will prove one again that God is compassionate and faithful!!  And this week I've been praying about something very close to my heart, and this word gives me renewed strength to believe in God's faithfulness.

Life-Study of Jeremiah & Lamentations:

You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Study of Jeremiah & Lamentations on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.

Insights from Jeremiah - What Does God Consider Evil in Jeremiah 2:13?
Insights from Jeremiah - Taking A Closer Look at the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Another Hey Ma No Butter Recipe - Easy Weekday GF Brownies

    A few weeks ago I was looking through my cookbooks for an easy brownie recipe.  And what do you know in my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook there was a recipe called Easy Brownies!  I made these on a Thursday and was hoping to have something for a fun dessert.

I was also interested because like the ranger cookies I posted several weeks ago they use salad oil or mayonnaise instead of butter.  And guess what you couldn't even tell the difference between these and ones I've made with butter! .

Easy Weekday GF Brownies

1.  Prepare dry ingredients - in a small mix bowl put:
(1)  1 cup of gluten free flour - I used 1/3 cup of white rice flour, 1/3 cup of fava/garbanzo flour, and  1/3 cup of coconut flour.
(2)  Stir in 1/2 cup of cocoa, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

2.  Cream oil & sugar - In a medium-sized mixing bowl put:
(1)  1 cup of salad oil or mayonnaise
(2)  1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar and cream together until well combined.
(3)  Add 4 eggs and 2 tsp. of vanilla and mix together.

3.  Chop 1 cup of walnuts or pecans.

4.  Combine ingredients:  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  At the end stir in 1 cup of chopped walnuts.

5.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan and make sure the batter is evenly poured.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6.  If you like a frosting, this one came with the recipe:
 Beat together 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1/2 cup of cocoa, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 3 T of hot water. 
Other GF Cookies On This Blog:
The Ultimate Gluten Free Cowboy Oatmeal Cookies   (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Mom's Go To For Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
The Best Gluten Free Recipe for Snickerdoodles    (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Gluten Free Rocky Road Brownies    (From a church friend)
Mark's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies - Made Gluten Free!   (From my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook)
Judi's Gluten Free Oatmeal Craisin & Coconut Cookies (From a church friend)
Marie's Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies (Also Great Gluten Free!)   (My friend Marie's recipe)
GF Nordy Bars  (From my Syre School Cookbook)
Bebe's Gluten Free Whoopie Pies  (From my friend Debbie)
Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons  - (Recipe on Baker's bag of coconut)
Dale's Gingersnaps Made Gluten Free  (From my Come & Dine cookbook)
Chewy Gluten Free Molasses Cookies (From my daughter-in-law's Family Reunion Cookbook)
Those Famous Neiman Marcus Cookies Made Gluten Free   (From my daughter-in-law)
Janah's Oatmeal Cookies with a GF Spin  (My daughter's recipe)
Homemade Gluten Free Butter Cookies   (From My Heritage School Cookbook)
An Old Fashioned Favorite Made GF - Hermit Cookies- Hermit Cookies  (From my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook)
A New Twist on Holiday Peppermint Cookies (You can make them Gluten Free) (From my daughter-in-law's family reunion cookbook)
Who Wouldn't Love a Cookie that Tastes Like a Brownie? GF Cocoa White Chocolate Chip Cookies - (From my daughter-in-laws family reunion cookbook)
Look Ma No Butter!  GF Chocolate Chip Ranger Cookies (From my Come & Dine Cookbook)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Insights From Jeremiah - Taking a Closer Look At the Two Covenants In Jeremiah 31:31-34

     At the time of Israel's darkest hour, God told Jeremiah He's going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel.  The law that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai would then be considered the old covenant.  When I read the Life-Study of Exodus, I learned that God intended that the law would preserve fallen man,  but more importantly it would expose to him that he COULDN'T keep the law!! 

Camping with family at Deception Pass Park
     Even though Israel was stiff necked and idolatrous, God didn't give up on them.  Over and over God's people failed to keep the commandments given to them on Mt. Sinai. God knew there was no way they could obey the law, but I learned from my reading that they needed to know that. God's people then didn't have the New Testament so they didn't realize that the reason they couldn't keep the law was because Satan as sin dwells in man's flesh. 
      Paul clearly saw this when he was writing the letter to the church in Rome.  In Romans 7 he writes about how the commandment of God is holy, but he sees that there's sin in his body that frustrates him from keeping the law of God. God knew in eternity that His enemy would contaminate created man with his evil life. And throughout the Old Testament you can see throughout the history of God's people the battle between God and Satan.  

           So way back in the book of Jeremiah and In the midst of utter degradation, God proclaimed to this prophet that one day He would make a new covenant with His people:
    Indeed, days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
    Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by their hand to bring them out from the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, declares Jehovah.
    But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Jehovah: I will put My law within them and write it upon their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be My people,
    And they will no longer teach, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah, for all of them will know Me, from the little one among them even to the great one among them, declares Jehovah, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. Jeremiah 31:31-34

    The phrase "I will put My law within them" stands out to me, because as Witness Lee says this points to God's incarnation in the New Testament with the purpose of bringing us salvation. Did you notice how many times God says I will in this section in Jeremiah 31? This shows me that God has full trust in His divine life that's within each of us. Here are some excerpts from chapter 25 and on pages 178-182 that helped me to understand God's intention in making this new covenant:

What kind of law can be put into people and written upon their hearts? ....In the new covenant God will put Himself into His chosen people as their life, and this life is a law....and through our regeneration this life is now within us to function as a law to us....Because the eternal life within us is a law, it controls, governs, regulates, and restricts us in everything (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Jeremiah. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1992, Print).

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

Other posts on the Major Prophets

Life-Study of Isaiah:
Taking a Closer Look at Isaiah 53 - Christ's Resurrection &Ascension Foretold - Part 2 of 2

Life-Study of Jeremiah & Lamentations:

You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Study of Jeremiah & Lamentations on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.

What Does God Consider Evil in Jeremiah 2:13?


Monday, July 15, 2019

Make Your Own Home Made Remedies - What Can You Do With the Feverfew in Your Garden?

    For 12 years I lived next to a horticulturist who owned a flower shop in downtown Seattle. Whenever we were both in the yard, she would notice things in my flower beds and give me advice like putting soapy water in a spray bottle would kill all aphids on my lupines without having to use a pesticide.  I've used that one over and over on all kinds of plants.She also told me that if I would prune my roses, they would keep blooming. I've done that with my floribundas and sometimes I'll get three blooms! 

 Over time she transformed both her front and backyards into two different kinds of gardens--all I remember is that one of them was an English garden, ahhh it was so beautiful! This dear neighbor died from cancer, but before her death she asked me to take whatever plants I wanted in memory of her.  I chose many and feverfew was one of them. 

I found out years later that this beautiful herb which looks much like a dwarf daisy is full of medicinal properties.  So like I did with the peppermint and lemon balm that I had also dug up from her garden that day, I researched it. 

Here's what I found out:

1.  It's an energizing herb and  helps our body deal with inflammation.

2.  For the respiratory system - It helps with fever hence the name!  I also helps treat asthma, wheezing coughs, and sinusitis.

3.  For the stomach - It aids in digestion and alleviates stomach aches.

4.  For the circulatory system - It reduces blood pressure.

5.  For muscles & joints - It helps with muscle spasms, neuralgia, rheumatism, arthritis, and sciatica.  I found out that it contains allicin what aspirin is made of so it's great for all kinds of aches and pains. 

6.  Headaches - Feverfew is commonly used for headaches and migraines.  It can also be used to treat vertigo. 

How to Dry Feverfew: 

(1)  You can simply cut the feverfew and put it in a vase without water and let it dry naturally.  It's good to let it sit out for about 2 weeks to ensure that there's no moisture left in the herb. 

(2)  Then just use your fingers to remove both the flowers and the leaves into a large bowl.

(3)  Put in a glass jar and label.

Brewing Up a Cup of Medicinal Tea:   Put 1-2 teaspoons of your dried tea into a metal tea holder or use a French press and place it into the hot water.  Put a plate over the top to keep the essential oils from evaporating, and let it steep for about 10 minutes.  

Other Blogs on Making Herbal or Flower Teas:
How to Dry Herbs to Make Your Own Herbal Teas
How to Brew  a Cup of Medicinal Herb Tea
How to Make Your Own Lavender Oil & Tea
How To Dry Roses & Make Your Own Rose Tea, Rose Oil & Rose Water
How to Make Calendula Tea, Calendula Oil & Salve
More on How to Make Your Own Herbal Teas & Peppermint Oil
How To Make Your Own Strawberry Leaf Tea
Did You Know That Salad Burnet Can be Made into Tea?

About Making Your Own Spices:
 How to Dry Herbs to Spice Up Your Cooking

Other Things You Can Do with Herbs:
 How To Dry Roses & Make Your Own Rose Tea, Rose Oil & Rose Water
How to Make Calendula Tea, Calendula Oil & Salve
More on How to Make Your Own Herbal Teas & Peppermint Oil
Grandma's Recipe for Dandelion Honey

Note:  I grow and dry herbs as a gardening project.  Be sure to check with a medical professional if you are pregnant, on medication or have any questions or concerns. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Insights From Jeremiah - What Does God Consider Evil in Jeremiah 2:13?

    By the time Jeremiah came along the Israelites had fallen so far into idolatry that God gave up on them.  Eventually He sent the nations (Jer. 32:28-36) to punish them.  Because of Israel's unfaithfulness, Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet.

    In the opening chapter of the Life-Study of Jeremiah Witness Lee says that Jeremiah's tears show God's compassion towards His people. He brings out in Jeremiah 2:2 that God viewed His people as His bride, and that their idolatry was spiritual adultery. And in Jeremiah 2:13 God tells them that their forsaking Him for idols was evil:

Jeremiah 2:13 My people have committed two evils.  They have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that held no water.

     I found it remarkable that in this verse God likens Himself to a fountain of living WATER. It might seem a bit unusual, but this verse shows us that God likens Himself to a source of satisfaction.  And we know that people can't live very long without water.  I enjoyed Witness Lee's comments on this verse on pages 18-19 of chapter 3 of the Life-Study of Jeremiah:

In Jeremiah 2:13 we see not only something positive--the fountain of living waters--but also something negative--the children of Israel's forsaking this fountain to hew out for themselves broken cisterns, which hold no water. This negative thing indicates that Israel, like Adam in Genesis 3, had become fallen. Adam fell by forsaking the tree of life and turning to another tree--the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Israel fell by forsaking God as the fountain of living waters and turning to a source other than God. This source is signified by cisterns, which Israel labored to hew out for themselves....This indicates that apart from God as the fountain of living waters, nothing can quench our thirst, nothing can satisfy us. Nothing apart from God Himself dispensed into us as living water can make us His increase for His expression.  Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Jeremiah. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1992, Print).

Reading this reminded me of the Lord's talk with the Samaritan woman in John 4.  He asked this immoral woman for a drink of water. In that particular Life-Study he shares that the Lord was a thirsty Savior seeking this thirsty sinner. And he showed her that He was the living water that would satisfy her longing soul. Don't think this doesn't relate to you--I've learned that no matter how long I've been a believer, I have to keep drinking from this fountain!

Other posts on the Major Prophets

Life-Study of Isaiah:
 You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Study of Isaiah on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.   You can also read the online Life-Studies of Isaiah and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.
Taking a Closer Look at Isaiah 53 - Christ's Resurrection &Ascension Foretold - Part 2 of 2

Life-Study of Jeremiah:
You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Study of Jeremiah & Lamentations on Life Study of the Bible  with Witness Lee.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Luscious GF Raspberry Bars

     For me summer means berry picking.  In my garden I have a small strawberry patch.  My daughter has more raspberry bushes than I do, and she had a bumper crop last year. Along with all the blackberries that line most of our trails and blueberry fields out in the county, we can make all kinds of delicious desserts that showcase our Northwest berries.

I saw this recipe for raspberry bars in my Syre School Cookbook and thought I'd see if I could use some real berries instead of the jam it called for.  I didn't use as much sugar as the jam probably had, but these were so full of flavor!  If you want to make it from scratch like I did, just let it cool down a bit and check it's consistency and level of sweetness.  I didn't have to add any more sugar than I listed here. 

1.  Make crust - In a medium-sized mixing bowl put:
(1)  2 1/4 cups of gluten free flours - I used 1  1/2 cups of white rice flour, 1/2 cup of tapioca flour, 1/2 cup of fava and garbanzo flour.
(2)  Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar (recipe called for 1 cup, but I always cut it down) and 1 cup of oatmeal.
(3)   Cut in 1/2 cup of  butter (recipe calls for 1 cup, but like the sugar I usually cut that down, too)
(4)  Stir in 1 egg.
(5)  Put 1 1 /2 cups of the flour mixture in a small bowl for the topping.

2.  Prepare filling:  The recipe calls for 10 oz. of raspberry preserves, but because I had some raspberries  in the freezer, I thought I'd try to use them for the bars.  If you want to use frozen raspberries here's how I did it:
(1)  Put 2 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries with their juice into a saucepan.
(2)  Stir in 2 packs of unflavored gelatin and 1/4 cup of sugar.
(3)  If the mixture doesn't thicken up which mine didn't, add 2 tsp. of tapioca starch mixed with a tablespoon of water.  I let this sit for a few hours and when I spread it, it had the consistency of jam!

3. Do the bars:
(1)  Press the rest of the flour ;mixture into the bottom of a greased 8 x 8 pan.
(2)  Spread the raspberry filling or 10 oz. of raspberry preserves evenly over the top of the crust. (I wonder since I had about 2 cups of raspberry filling if 10 oz. of jam will be enough.)
(3)  Crumbled the reserved 1 1/2 cups of the flour mixture over the top of the raspberry filling.

4.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  Cool and cut.  It says it makes 2 dozen.

Desserts with Fruit:
Sensational Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake   (From the back of Costco's organic sugar)
Terrific Gluten Free Strawberry & Peach Trifle  (Modified from an Internet search)
My Favorite Gluten Free Strawberry Cheesecake (From my Heritage School Cookbook)
Just Like Grandma's (But Only Gluten Free) Berry Cobbler (My husband's grandma's recipe)
Gluten Free Lemony Rhubarb Bars (From my Syre School Cookbook)
Old Fashioned Strawberry Buckle (Made Gluten Free)   (A recipe I picked up from a berry farm)
From New Zealand - Triple Berry Pavlova  (A friend's recipe - Heritage School Cookbook)
A Northeast Classic - Blueberry Grunt  (From a student)

Monday, June 24, 2019

Taking a Closer Look at Isaiah 53 - Seeing Christ's Resurrection & Ascension Foretold - Part 2 of 2

Isaiah 53 gives not only an incredible prophecy about the Lord's crucifixion, it also mentions His burial, resurrection, and ascension.  Over all of these details God exercised His sovereign control to match all the Old Testament prophecies.
View from a friend's cabin
Without the help of chapter 49 in the Life-Study of Isaiah, I wouldn't have seen how this chapter also contains prophecies concerning both the Lord's resurrection and ascension.  Isaiah 53:10-11 says, "When He makes Himself an offering for sin, He will see a seed, He will extend His days, and the pleasure of Jehovah will prosper in His hand. He will see the issue of the travail of His soul, and He will be satisfied; by the knowledge of Him, the righteous One, My Servant, will make the many righteous; and He will bear their iniquities."  .  

Without this chapter I wouldn't have picked up that the word seed here implies all the believers in John 12 that would come forth when Christ as the grain of wheat fell into the earth and died. Nor would I have joined the Lord seeing the issue of His travail to the Lord selling all in His death to gain the church as the pearl of great price. I was impressed again and again with the light in these chapters!

These excerpts on pages 382-383 of  chapter 49 help explain what's being unveiled in these verses in Isaiah:  

Third, the prophets' report and Jehovah's revelation unveil Christ as the resurrected life-giver....Although the term life-giver is not used in these verses, the thought of a life-giver is implied in the seed mentioned in verse 10. That seed surely is produced by life....The seed produced by Christ in His resurrection is His believers for the building up of His Body as His continuation....The pleasure of Jehovah is to reveal Himself into us, to make us the seed of Christ, to make us a part of Christ, to make us the sons of God. This is God's pleasure (Lee. Witness. Life-Study of Isaiah. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1994, Print).

In Isaiah 53:12 the Lord's ascension is unveiled where it speaks of dividing the spoil with the strong. In this section Witness Lee ties this verse to what Pau's talking about Christ leading a train of captives in Ephesians 4:8.  We're the spoil the Lord took from Satan.

At the end of this chapter he says we have to believe Isaiah's report that this Christ who through His incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension fulfilled God's eternal desire!!  I hope you will take the time to read these chapters online.

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

Other posts on the Major Prophets

Life-Study of Isaiah: