All posts by admin

Grandmother of eight. Mother of four. Wife. certified prayer minister counselor, business owner LIfevantage.com/irenepbell writer painter

Good Friday, review the movie Risen

Today is Good Friday. This is a Western calendar anomaly. Those of you know anything about Easter, that needs to occur after Passover. Passover in 2016 is at the end of April. Without getting into a long conversation about calendars let me assure you that the early church in the original Easter happened after Passover. This is one thing that the Orthodox Church has correct, Greek included. The story of the communion is about the last supper with Jesus and the disciples so if you cannot get them together on the calendar it is a bit off.

But I digress my purpose today is to review the movie Risen. What a good visual to celebrate Good Friday on 2016.
The stark terrain and the brutal life that Jesus chose to appear in was a backdrop for the impact of the culture on the Story of Jesus.
The brutality of the times and the continuation of such in our world today is a motivator of looking into what this Man that Rose is all about. He came and He touched so many, then He died and before He returned to his father He touched many still. He had so much power in His love that the followers of Him continued to do miracles and we see that the true followers are still part of the signs and wonders and miracles of Jesus.
The part of the movie that spoke to me the most was the way they portrayed a personal savior, one of real relationship. He hugged and comforted the men and the truth was that He knew their needs before they asked including the newest believer. The human politic aside and the details of how we get most things off is that God’s son came to proclaim His love and take on the retribution for our lives to become righteous through Christ. A simple yet complex idea. In the movie they said you have seen Him but what faith of those that have not seen Him. I tell you today if you ask and wait and pray you can see Him today. He is really there. If you want more information contact me. bellbecker55@yahoo.com
Good movie Risen.
Celebrate Easter two times this year to get the idea of the Gift of Jesus.

Woodlawn the Movie, Review and Happy Thanksgiving

There are many new movies right now with some very profound support with a Christian worldview. It is good that the movie industry is finally listening, but there is a particular group that is producing most of the great movies. Woodlawn is one of them. I was hesitant to go to another football movie. I do not mind football but I consider it a very violent sport and sometimes I hate to think of the reality of how much suffering it causes later in others. I personally feel like the intense sports cause people to sell their bodies, that is my humble opinion.
The movie does some really cool special effects regarding being on the field and having a perspective more like the one on the field. Definitely a great cinema technique.
Two things I noticed. The hero has a very supportive family. The movement at the time swept through the students in spite of the government trying to stop the faith movement. I did not really want to tell about the story many websites will give you the trailer and the basics. I want to tell you what God spoke to me while I watched.
God said there is hope and the only way you all can love one another is through me. Those kids had to have me, to end the hate and doubt. Now fear and the dangers are all around us, the government is more out to stop the citizens and you cannot trust anyone. Jesus went where there was tension. Jesus went where the people were sinners, and truth be told many but a remnant that claim Christ, are living in the sin camp. We are all at different levels of sin habits being broken. The level of sin being broken comes with the level with which we surrender our hearts to the living, talking Holy Spirit and when God tells us to do something we act on it even if we complain a little on the way.

I was angry with my husband the other day and the Lord heard me out. My command was to tell my husband how much I was grateful for his hard work as a provider. I argued, no God you didn’t hear me. I am complaining that he is providing in an incorrect way, not in a way that helps us. He is gone all the time so he doesn’t have to have relationship with me. Then I heard, go tell him what I said., I did it and I shut up.

Recently the Lord has directed me to pray for our neighborhood. When I began to do that I had an angry neighbor two doors down get in my face to tell me he wanted nothing to do with me.
I began to pray blessing over him and he moved in thirty days. I am still blessing him, something cruel in his life made him that angry.

Only through experience with Christ can we live in obedience to that still small voice. But when I obey God is always giving me an adventure.
Only when we are obedient can we love one another as Christ directed so that others may see we are His disciples and that is different.
Happy Thanksgiving.

War Room Movie Review

War Room , the movies

hands clasped in prayer
praying

Yesterday , we went to the 11:30 movie on a Monday morning. At the AMC theatre in Kennesaw, GA are cheaper before noon, I did not know that, so for the great price of $5.65 we got to go see an amazing movie.

Christians have been asking for better movies that appeal to them and their families. We need to support movies like this and am happy to say that this movie beat out some other less noble over two weekends. Maybe the movie makers will get the message. There has been prophecies spoken about God infiltrating all the areas of culture including entertainment, His message will remain. At least the growth of Christian themed movies has begun. Today film is a major way to influence culture.
The story was good. The subject was valid and timely. We need to know how to pray. The great good news of Prayer is that we get results. Much of the doom and gloom in the news and even in the eschatology circles have only one solution to the noise. In the book of Acts they asked in chapter 2 what must we do? Why do I know this (God is allowing me to be aware) and what does God want me to do with this knowledge. This is a valid question for a follower of Jesus today. In relationship with Jesus it requires a deep connection to believe you can hear instructions. The Bible says we need to be obedient but if we don’t have assignments what are we obeying. The scriptures have measures for success in this but the true daily walk requires Him to be a lamp unto your feet. (Psalm 119:105 , John1:14 ) showing you the next step. Most frequently my instructions include prayer.
I read voraciously about what others are hearing and understanding from God and in this day of great sharing we can learn from others. It is confirming to me when the Lord is speaking similar things to other people. Not that our assignments should be the same but it seems He does have many in the army working toward the same goal and many different operatives doing similar things.
Prayer is a weapon in our warfare and if you don’t know we are in a war I will address that later in another post. The story is told through the eyes of a small family. Not only do they capture your interest because they are not perfect., but we see that there is an answer to their struggles. It is good that the expectation of the individual was not always what God was doing and we need to ask for a hint at Gods vies. Graham Cook teaches that understanding how Jesus is interceding (Romans 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. NIV)
for us helps us know how to pray within God will.
In two hours they touch on many common Christian issues and give some beginning direction to start.

The Bible is full of instructions on prayer. This movie brings to a new generation the concept that success is more likely with a strategy.
The story is realistic and the point of many things are well made with shallow but humorous jokes. The acting has improved from earlier films by the same group as some of the Christian movie makers are getting better.

The slip of the husband is shown with spiritual adultery where he almost touches the friends hand, and then he gets sick. Meanwhile back “at the ranch” His wife is praying. Maybe that would happen. Sometimes when we need it we are allowed to sin and consequences help correct. The point was that a praying spouse (praying the way Jesus is praying) can make an impact. The wife did not pray for God to fix her husband, but support him and help him be more like Jesus. She repents and learns to fight in prayer the real enemy that we have. It also about praying blessing and extending grace. The movie focused on the message that Jesus came for the world. He is about love and grace when it is not deserved. As we are called to walk after Him we need to have prayer to even come close.
I do know that a room for the act of prayer can be a great way to be sure that prayer is happening. I know distractions are so many that this closet concept is a great one for us to separate ourselves and have that intense connection. For me prayer is that but also an ongoing conversations with my best friend and complete counselor. I find He will correct me when I temper my emotions enough to listen. The other day I was a bit angry at my husband for not fixing my Sunday breakfast. For a while my husband made a tradition to fix Sunday breakfast meal and we went to church at night. When we switched to am services on Sunday the breakfast thing quit and my husband in our busyness quit fixing any meal. Talking with Jesus as I entertained self pity, I heard Him say for me to fix toast for my husband that morning (what he prefers when in a hurray). So my prayer was not for my husband, but I got an assignment. I have learned the hard way that it is much easier long term obey. So I did. My rebellious spirit though had to tell my husband that he would not have toast if Jesus hadn’t told me to do it and that I was angry not having him cook anymore. Pretty sure that was not part of my assignment from Jesus but I added my own idea. God is a redeemer and I think He will use my blessing my husband and my stupidity both to work His plans. So I repent a lot, and Jesus keeps giving me assignments . Sometimes I see great results with them and other times He stays hidden and builds my faith that I know He is working and answering prayers.
Open up to the best connection in this life, and that is making prayer a real part of your life. You will not be sorry. Let Jesus guide you in how and what to pray, and the ride will not stop satisfying .

May you learn the gift pray will become to your existence forever. God bless you with the connection that is real and enjoyable and funny and ever satisfying.

How to get a beautiful, wonderful gift, a word loving grandchild

I finally Got One

I asked my eight year old grandson what his favorite book was and he said my student dictionary. He showed me how well he reads by reading the first word a. Interesting that the word is an article. Hmm that sounds rather archaic.

In this land of such fast changes technology and massive amounts of information, it is hard to imagine teaching English with all the archaic words used to describe words. The language changes so much, so quickly. Where he lives, in apartments, the languages in colloquial southern Ebonics are frequently not familiar to me his older grandmother.
I am a writer and was born to write, so I am thrilled to have a word lover around. It is hard to understan the best way tohep these children learn”proper” English.
The exciting thing is that he loves words. We played a game with letters and he actually worked hard to do the game and enjoyed it.. His brother was not at all interested. He is number 6 grandson but have to say I do have a granddaughter that is a great storyteller and at age 11 is able to read prolifically. She said she wanted to read about the women that slayed the dragon not the same old, knight rescues princess after he slays the dragon. I think she may have to write those stories.
I am very grateful that all my children have taught their children to be avid readers. In this age of technology communication much takes place with reading and writing. Even in many video games in order to play with someone online you must be able to type and read.
I prefer the written word to most audio. I can read a script of the video by skimming it and take half the time that it would take to watch or listen to process the information. I can skim paragraphs lead sentences and decide whether the information is worth spending more time or processing auditorily. It is easy to get addicted to information and on the Internet it’s easy to go down many roads unintentional and distracting.
I read a research project http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/read-paying-kids-excel-school-work-article- Some were paid for attendance, some were paid for performance, and some were paid to just read and read a lot with comprehension. I have seen others that suggest we should just teach reading up to third grade and then excellent readers can comprehend math in new ways with applications for problem solving not just routines that have rules.
It seems so constant that if we teach youngsters good reading skills then they will be able to access information that they need.
I believe they should learn good research techniques rather young and be able to evaluate who has created the information so they can have validity for what they are listening to.

My own children were not great readers until they had things to read that they were interested in.
I am grateful to watch my own children, who are good readers, pass that on to the next generation.

L

Grandchildren and the Word of God

Psalm 119:15Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 I will meditate on your precepts and have respect to your ways [the paths of life marked out by your law].

Meditate is a word for ponder. It means to think about. There are several scriptures referring to meditate and almost synonymous with prayer. Gen 24:62-64, Joshua 1:8, 1chronicles 16:9,, psalm 1:2, 2:1, 27:4 , lots of other words about studying or thinking, pondering the word of God. As a child I learned the 23rd psalm so young that I do not remember not knowing it. Memorization sometimes seems like works and often takes scriptures to drudgery. I was praying about a way to make learning and meditating on the word of God in a new way for my grandchildren. (two boys 9 and 7) Our pastor had taught us to learn one verse at a time and ponder it long enough that you are truly ready for more. He actually referred to each verse as an adopted child. That each one became as special as one of your children in the way you “know” the verse. Graham Cooke (prophetic teacher brilliantperspectives.com) had an experience where the Lord wanted him to spend six months on one psalm until he truly had understood the words. Early Christians meditated on words from the Bible differently than we do in our fast paced world of digital and instant everything.(see lectio divina)
The Lord gave me an idea through one of my prayer minister friends. We were meeting with Jesus and we both had the revelation to write each verse on a card and we made the verses into a scavenger hunt by hiding them all through the house. Then they had to trade and swap until each have the six verses they needed. I started with the new living translation because I felt like it was easy to understand in common language. learning the psalm So each day during Christmas break the boys learn one more verse. I also let them have a dollar for each verse learned that way they could have holiday money for buying presents for others. I heard a teaching about us giving ways to earn money to our children or just giving them money to buy presents for others and it suggested that God gave those inclinations to us because that is how He is to us. He gives us gifts that we cultivate and give back to Him. One is the gift of worship or dance , music and singing. What ever gifts he has given us he allows us to have them to give back to Him in serving others. I find that as I do what we do in prayer ministry, when God heals someone, being present in that moment He always gives me a revelation about who He is that is a gift for me as well as what He is doing for someone else.
Another really exciting thing that I have learned is how to teach kids how to pray for their enemies. My husband had a coworker that had such anger issues at work that people were trying to avoid him. As we prayed for him God somehow made a teaching on the tongue sink into that man’s head and as he became aware of how he sounded he started to change. Only God can do that.
That is the way He is. Continue reading Grandchildren and the Word of God

pumpkin cooking

painted pumpkin
painted pumpkin so we can cook it later
One of my daughters-in-law that grew up on the farm went to make a pumpkin pie. She wanted to do it “from scratch”. She had only seen canned pumpkin so she thought when you cut up the pumpkin it would be soft inside. I thought maybe some others do not know and I am not sure where I learned so I will post some pictures of the pumpkin. First is the picture of the pumpkin we painted a face on (left from fall holidays) so we could roast it and mash it into cooking pumpkin for pies and baked goods. The pumpkin did not sit in a warm place too long. Here in North Georgia cool nights and warm days can rot a vegetable pretty quickly. The pumpkin was sliced and roasted and then I used my Ninja blender to make puree.*
Of course you can cook and eat a pumpkin as a roasted squash such as acorn, cut and roasted you can add oil or butter and seasonings that you prefer. Then we scooped out the string in the center and separated the seeds. I had some bacon grease in the baking pan from earlier so I stirred the seeds in the grease before roasting with a little sea salt.
roasted oumpkin seeds
roasted pumpkin seeds using bacon grease for oil
That was a hit but I should have set them on paper towels at the end because they did come out a bit too greasy. I tried to warm them a second time to wipe off some the grease and I think that would have worked but I let them burn, they were already pretty toasted. Sometimes my switching multitasking gets the better of me and I have too many things going at once. I really hate to spoil food.
So we made puree and I froze it. It seemed a little wet but when I began to thaw the first to use I found the plastic freezer bags leaked. I put two cups per quart bag so that I could either double the recipe or make two things for each bunch of thawed pumpkin.
pureed pumpkin
baked pumpkin run through food processor

What worked is to put it in a bowl as it thawed and since the puree lost some of the water, the pumpkin puree was actually more the texture of canned so I used it like that. It was almost good to have less water. Haven’t made cookies yet but I am thinking about that. I have been experimenting with no gluten or decreased (for many reasons, see health posts) The cobbler I made had blueberries and apples with the pumpkin. Not sure I liked that combination. The apple and pumpkin muffins worked well and the apples helped the gluten free flours not be so dry and crumbly. I finally broke down and used more tapioca flour and that also helped.*1

*I recently acquired the least expensive Ninja food blender, after seeing and using one my son had. I would like the more expensive model because we had to hold the lid to keep it grinding. It worked and I am not a huge food processor theses days. Might like the bigger food processor, if I was producing the food for a large family. It worked great for chopping zucchini for zucchini burgers, but this one is great for most of our ordinary needs.

food processor that is cheap and works
inexpensive processor for pumpkin puree

Healthy Apple Butter Chat

crockpot apple butter
apple butter on gluten free biscuit

I love apples. In October in Georgia the apple are often prolific and wonderful.
Apples are full of vitamins (A, C, K) calcium, iron, trace of b vitamins, potassium and phosphorus and phytosterols, which the research shows they are wonderful cholesterol balancing chemicals. Science has been finding the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away to be full of sound science in that apples are good for you.
There are many varieties and I have heard some nutritionist caution people that are watching sugar for health(diabetics) to payu attention to the type of apple because of the different sugar contents. The most recent research I have read suggests that gycemi numbers may not play that much role in the exact response to food. Number one rule about health also is that every person is unique and every person has a unique response so it can only be predicted in generalities.

When I had some not so crispy apples that were not that great to eat, I decided to make some crock pot apple butter. It is so easy. I usually peel the apples individually but I saw someone had boiled the apples in pieces and then mashed them through a sieve. That was so much easier and I froze the liquid that was left. The apple cores and skin and seeds are full of pectin so I saved the solution that I will use to make other jams and jellies.
I used sucranat* sugar. Half the recipe of sugar was all I needed and I added more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to make it the flavor I desired.

You just put the sieved applesauce in the crock pot with sugar and flavor and in about four hours on low you have a luscious butter. I freeze the butter in jars leaving room at the top for expansion in the freezer.
As long as I have a freezer I prefer this method but to can the apple butter you could use the water bath canning method. I would pressure the jars to make sure I got a tight seal if I was to do that. If your freezer fails or you do not have room you can always can the butters later.
This method could be used for any fruit but the left over juice would not necessarily have the pectin quality that apples do.

Just like my How to Cook without a Cookbook book, you can look for patterns in preserving foods and extrapolate.
Right now we live with seemingly unending information on the net for so many things. When I learned to can, it was not in my history, so we took books and studied them. For me the real help was when some experienced neighbors in Missouri took us under their tutoring and showed us. You can learn from books but one on one was so more about tips and confidence. Maybe it was my learning style because I find things on Utube also helpful if someone can show me.

*Sucranat comes in various stages of processing. I buy a brand that is very hearty large chunks of sugar cane that is just crushed and dried cane with all the molasses in it. This is twice as sweet as regular sugar so I usually halve the recipe and find it plenty sweet. I have bought various brands and they are often more processed than this one kind. You can use other sugars but I prefer one that has at least the minerals so that is slows the metabolizing of the sugar. For the most part all sugar in large quantities will raise blood sugar. I am working with coconut palm sugar right now and it is not as sweet. Supposedly slow to metabolize. I don’t think you would count it any differently if you are diabetic. Any time a product has more fiber in it then it slows the metabolism, except for popcorn, another discussion. Glycemic index is a term thrown around a lot but for carbohydrate counting diabetics this is not really shown in research to be very significant. This field of sugar and research and food is being studied a lot and there is a lot being discovered all the time. Hard to weed through all the most recent findings.

Stevia does not raise blood sugar but I wonder being sweet how it affects the body. All artificial sweeteners have negative affects, and I understand they are seeing that the body and insulin issues are still messed up by artificial sweeteners. I would not choose these from what I know about health.

This really works-mosquito control

This really works.

We  have a creek in the backyard and I have mosquitoes. This is one of the most difficult things to overcome here in Georgia in order to enjoy the outdoors.

I have tried a lot of things.   Bonfires help yet that is impractical every time I sit outside. My daughter has  torches and they do help a lot on the outside with citronella oil. It doesn’t kill any just discourages them.

I know the trap works because I find a lot of the bugs in them.(see photos). You can use a soda bottle, but I have cut up various plastic bottles for the same effect. You use a tsp of yeast and cup of sweetener. I use the cheapest thing I have but brown sugar, honey , white sugar all work, and I bet corn  syrup would work. You mix warm water and yeast and sugar and put at the bottom of the cut plastic bottle then place the cut top upside down in the bottle. The funnel effect allows the co2 to be created and the bugs are attracted to the co2. The bugs  get  in the trap and cannot get out and drown mostly. I had many other bugs get caught  in this as well so I  will continue to try it for the fall when the yellow jackets come out. I have rabbits outside and the bugs buzz their ears.  I make a trap for either side of the cages to keep them from being bitten. See the photos.

2016 update. I have put mosquito traps nest to my rabbit cages because they annoy their ears. I recharge every three days. I really notice when I am out and they have not bee reset so I know that my traps make my backyard safer now we have so many diseases to concern with in mosquitos.
I have found my traps on the back deck will take care of flys and the cockroaches from outside are drowning too. I live in georgia and we have lots of bugs and many die in the traps.

 

For treating your body some people like the skin so soft spray and lavender oil mixed with various herbs will work. I just got a new spray with tea tree and lemon citrus plant, will see and report.

mosquito trap
this is a cut soda bottle
mosquito trap
mosquito trap
another bottle trap
mosquito trap

Recipe adaptations – Brownies as an example

brownies from adapted recipe
chewy almost good for you brownines

Adapted brownie recipe

Here is a good example of adapting a brownies recipe to your own healthy one.
This author wanted ½ cup of butter. Because the consistency of coconut oil is the same I just replaced item for item.
Pretty standard measure for any chewy type of substance cookie or bar.,.
There are all kinds of research about coconut fats.
If you use olive oil need a little less moisture somewhere else.
Want to try rice oil when I can find it at a good cost. Supposed to lower cholesterol.

We took the white flour and replaced it with whole wheat. You could use quinoa flour instead because we are not really need the rising power of the gluten in this item. Could cook them individually and ended up with a cookie type of dessert. I like the bars because they are quick but not as crunchy. Could use a muffin pan to cook the so they all have a crust. My family likes softer not crunchy. The outside edges are mine, and that is plenty for me that likes the crunchy.
1 cup of butter replace with coconut  oil.
1 cup flour – replace with wwflr
4 eggs instead of 6(I doubled the recipe
Used a little less sugar then called for because I think the raw sugar is very sweet, I wanted cocoa brownies and I added rich chocolate chips and they were sweet.
Vanilla was homemade .+
Leavening aluminum free. (this amount also changes texture could have used half as much.)
Sugar replace with raw sugar, could use honey, again may need a bit more dry ingredient for moisture change.
The sucranat (a very lightly processed cane sugar and raw sugar do not dissolve as well so I had to melt the coconut oil and so I stirred the sugar in to dissolve it better and cool the melted fat,
I use a few less eggs to help make more chewy and less cake like they called for three, I doubled the recipe and used four. This is a cooking pattern to know more eggs give a more cake like texture.
I used pecan pieces cause they were the cheapest nuts I could buy this month and I love pecans.
You know I thought living where they grow they would be cheaper but like a lobster in New England they can get more sending them away. Looking for a producer locally I can score from.

I bet I spent 10 more minutes making these from scratch putting things out and away. The time is to organize your pantry to have the ingredients on hand for all different combinations and you don’t need to run to the store for an expensive box mix full of chemicals.

+Homemade vanilla.
Pour vodka over vanilla beans and wait. I found them at whole foods. They are expensive buy $12 worth of beans lasted me two years. Much cheaper. I poured new vodka over the beans every time it got low and that seemed to do. I had a clear bottle in a dark cabinet but a dark bottle is probably better.

A parable about Bonnie

In a far away village a baby came.  She had peculiar trait. She had two bony growths on either side of her legs about the knees.  In this village they either thought that was very good luck or bad.
Because she wanted to find her family she had a very open heart. This made the people see her as very special. Then one day a man came to the village and he gave her the name of Bony. But after awhile everyone called her Bonnie. When she learned to talk she asked everyone if they were her mother. Then one day she knew the kind man was her special adopted father so she called him special.

He taught her that her Father in Heaven thought she was beautiful.  He was her true Father. Then one day she began to see Jesus walking with her and talking with her. She didn’t have a mother so she still asked everyone she met, if they were her mother. When they asked her about her parents she would tell them about her special father. Their hearts would open and then she taught them about her real Father in Heaven.  Then she would tell them about Jesus. She didn’t understand why everyone could not see Him. One day Jesus told her that only people that believed that He was real could see him.

One day Bonnie asked Jesus why she couldn’t see her mother because she believed that she was real, and she still didn’t see her. Jesus explained that when she was born her mother was real and then she went to stay with Jesus’ Father in Heaven. That one day they would all go there and be with her. She didn’t want to wait but,  then she quit asking people if they were her mother. Jesus wanted her to talk about Him to other people so He suggested that she ask people if they could see Him. Some could, so they would smile and nod when she bragged on Jesus and shared how much He loved her and she loved Him. Some would not and really didn’t have the time to hear about Jesus. That made Him sad. Then others wanted to hear but just couldn’t see Him. Bonnie kept telling people about Him because she could. Some people saw Him, some didn’t, but her heart was open so she kept asking.

 pink and red landscaping