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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.

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 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.


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 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

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.

Teaching math to children


rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts
rows of pennies demonstrate many math concepts

For anyone that is mentoring young(homescholling, parenting, grandparenting) children the finest inexpensive math tool to use is pennies. Now if you have children that puts things in your mouth be warned that it is very much considered dangerous to swallow pennies. I do not know for sure if this is accurate but the make up of the penny with stomach acid is supposedly more likely to cause problems than when the pennies were all copper.
So we coined the phrase penny math with my children and used the pennies as math manipulatives. Thirty years ago a penny had more purchasing power but in lieu of that one can still let the child keep the pennies and as they add up they can roll them and see the act of saving a little at a time and how it grows. The pennies are laid out in patterns to see adding properties and subtracting properties. The most helpful I think is the relationship of the multiplying and dividing methods and to see pattern that will train the brain to see math patterns in many different things.
My children could do drills with pennies at 7 or eight and had the basic math skills in their head with little effort and their own banks of change. As they rolled the coins and got to spend the money on their own they had a great sense of the concept of how “far” money would go. Studies have shown that spending money is a different emotional experience than using cards or checks. I believe that the connection between earning and spending may be important to help minimize living beyond ones means. I still remember the feeling of my first credit card that I gave in exchange for goods. It was surreal and too easy to disconnect from money in and money out. Dave Ramsey (a financial consultant trainer) has a lot to say about the marketing of credit and the effort to disconnect the individual. The marketing makes using credit a subtle temptation that can get someone into trouble financially. Our economy claims we must live on credit and I think we are going in the wrong direction with that one.
Pennies are great math manipulative and I hope we never get “rid” of them. One day we probably will. Then it would be more expensive but dimes would work to teach the decimal type system and multiples of ten. So have fun with coins and kids.+

legos displayed in pieces
any blocks that have sizes that are fractions are a go here.

Here is an update for using common household toys to teach math to kids. Have fun Math is everywhere.penny math

How to, without a recipe. Granola

How to cook without a cookbook .. Breakfasts.
Granola without a recipe.

To eat grains or not, so many questions about food these days. I will discuss some of these things in the non recipes that I create for you.
Set yourself free and realize food is chemistry of patterns. There are many things you can put together and your preference is like culture, everyone has different tastes. Most people have several basic family foods they are used to and modifying them is the key to better health. There is a lot of different information to get into about food and digestion today but that will be another discussion. I eat granola . I love to eat certain ways so I cook. I eat oatmeal in a lightly cooked homemade granola. The food industry puts too much sweetener and preservatives and salt in our foods so they subtly keep us addicted and coming back for more. If you are gluten sensitive you can buy gluten free oats. I believe that just means that the oatmeal is not prepared on equipment that other gluten products contain.
Basic ingredients is oats but any grain can be rolled like oats are and flattened so you could use other grain flakes. I also add flax seeds often and sometimes quinoa or millet. I do not have digestive issues since I have been on protandim (more information on that on my website.)
I usually use some kind of chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans and almonds are my favorites. I keep raw nuts in my freezer because if they are good they will spoil rather quickly.
So we have grains(oatmeal, quinoa , millet or any choice you like.) and nuts. Then I wet the ingredients before I roast them. I use one part water, one part oil and one part honey, or half honey and maple syrup. You can replace any sweetener that you prefer. I may make a syrup with raw sugar, or brown sugar, for variety, or molasses I use in the winter for a more hearty flavor and some extra vitamins. Oil choices can be part coconut, I use light olive oil, can be any other oil you prefer. I would try for cold pressed oils.
For a container of rolled oats, I usually have three- four cups of liquid. I mix and wet everything in the bowl then spread on cookie sheets to roast. 300. degrees is good. I watch it carefully and stir at least one time. I prefer almost raw so I barely brown the ingredients. I usually buy plain yogurt, add a bit of granola and lightly sweeten with maple syrup or natural fruit jam, or fresh fruit.
This is nothing like what you buy in the store. It requires good teeth, lots of chewing and someone who has begun to train themselves to not eat such sweet food all the time. Happy granola.

Moms advice re Diapers today

When my kids were babies the disposable diaper just came out(30 years ago.)
In talking to ladies that I know new moms and mothers looking for changes in cost and environmental issues I asked my daughter –in – law, now working with her fifth child what the latest on using non disposable diapers was. It is apparent that they have improved and the savings are enormous to use non disposable. There are many choices. She kindly outlines her experiences and so I thought I would share the wealth of her knowledge. Her email is as follows:


My favorites…

Fuzzi Bunz….I personally prefer the perfect size, but I did like the one size also. This is what I have the most of because I love them. These are pocket diapers meaning the outside is made of PUL(a plastic material), then there is a really soft layer of material inside that stays by babies bottom. You stuff an “insert” in the back of the diaper between these two layers(in the “pocket”). This is great in helping baby sleep all night and preventing rashes because the wetness isn’t on the skin. The downside is you can’t use creams or powders with pocket diapers or it will ruin them.

Happy Hineys (These are great for new borns! I haven’t had any for bigger babies yet.) These are also pockets.
Rumparoos….I have used the covers of this brand and love them. They are a little snug fitting so keep that in mind for chubby babies. Great about not leaking!
Charlie Banana is a brand that a I have heard nothing but good about. They are like a fuzzi bun but more expensive. They also have disposable inserts that can be used if you need them.
Kawaii are very cheap and work great. Not a lot of prints to choose from and a little bulkier but I have had no problems with them and love the price. They run a little small.
Thirsties…I really like this wrap. I have not used there diapers.
I have one Bum Genius pocket diaper. It works fine but I personally prefer my Fuzzi Bunz.
Mommy’s Touch is my favorite wrap. Fits great to any baby and doesn’t leak. I only have one because I felt it was expensive, but I have to say it was worth it and I wish I had more. It is a little overwhelming when you see all those snaps but as soon as you realize how to fit it to your baby it is actually very easy.
Places I like to order from….

Mom’s Milk Boutique is my favorite! Super nice people and they are fast.
Fuzzi Bunz store.
Kelly’s Closet….you can rack up points here.
Green Mountain diapers. They have a lot of diaper info on this site. Their work horse diapers are wonderful. If you want cotton this is the place to get it! This is also where you can get the Mommy’s Touch covers.
On all the diapers and covers you have an option of snaps or velcro. They can both wear out and/or break and the velcro is easier, but I personally like the snaps much better. You can get a more customized fit with the snaps and I had a Bummis velcro cover that for some reason kept folding down and rubbed a horrible raw spot on my baby’s belly. (My others didn’t do this but now they make me nervous). But if you want quick and easy velcro is great.
Hemp and Bamboo inserts are more expensive but they are also more absorbent so keep that in mind if you have heavy wetters. If you are concerned about nighttime leaking buy a wool cover. I don’t have one because they are expensive but everyone I’ve heard of that uses them says you will have NO leaks. Most people just get one or two to have for nighttime. I am considering it myself.
Be sure to order by baby size, not age. I have huge babies and ended up with tight diapers at first. My son actually wore large from 4-12 months and then he fit into his mediums when he started to slim down.
Many of the stores sell seconds. They are often unused returned items from when mom’s buy sample packs and send back what they don’t want.
You can spend lots of money for certain brands and patterns and they are super cute ( like daddy’s diapers) but it is just for looks. They do not function any better.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions. I would be glad to help.

new Movie and Mercy guest post

Posted by Rusty Wright on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

By Rusty Wright

Could receiving a healthy dose of kindness and mercy help transform a person’s life?

Victor Hugo thought so. The 19th Century French social reformer wove his classic novel Les Misérables around the theme of grace trumping legalism. A new film based on the successful musical opens Christmas Day across the US and Canada, soon in many other nations.

Until recently, I was one of the few in the western world unfamiliar with this powerful saga, somehow having missed it through formal education and beyond. I now understand why it continues to attract audiences 150 years after it was written.

Kindness and Mercy Shine

Spoiler alert for Les Mis novices: this article encapsulates the essential story. But understanding the plot and characters can help you appreciate the film.

A kindly bishop provides dinner and lodging for paroled convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). In return, while the priest sleeps, Valjean steals his silver.

The next day, approached by constables who’ve apprehended Valjean, the bishop tells them that the silver was a gift. He then privately counsels Valjean to see this as part of God’s plan for him and to use the silver to become honest. The priest’s heartwarming mercy evokes a biblical admonition: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Rescuing the Needy

The bishop’s benevolence cascades through time. Actor Jackman notes: “Valjean is the recipient of one of the most beautiful and touching moments of grace from the bishop…. He decides to mend his ways and dedicate his life and his soul to God and to being of service to the community. He is constantly striving to be a better person, to live up to what he thinks God wants from him.”

Using an alias, Valjean becomes a generous factory owner whose grateful townspeople elect him mayor. He inspires us by rescuing the needy.

Valjean rescues Fantine (Anne Hathaway), an ailing single mother turned prostitute to support her daughter, Cosette. Before Fantine dies, Valjean promises to care for Cosette.

Freeing the Innocent

When an innocent man nearly is convicted of being parole-violator Jean Valjean, the real Valjean agonizes: Should he retain his comfortable anonymity or reveal his true identity and risk prosecution? He comes clean, thereby rescuing the wrongly charged. Valjean’s altruism is stirring. He credits God with giving him hope and strength for life’s challenges.

True to his promise, Valjean rescues the now-orphaned Cosette from cruel foster parents, raising her as his own daughter. As a young woman, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) becomes enamored of Marius (Eddie Redmayne), a youthful revolutionary in the 1832 anti-governmental French student uprising.

Driven by love for Cosette, Valjean rescues Marius from death during a harrowing excursion through the Paris sewers.

Most Gripping Rescue

Perhaps Valjean’s most gripping rescue involves Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), a policeman dedicated to the law and obsessed with tracking and bringing Valjean to justice. Remember The Fugitive? Think Tommy Lee Jones’ relentless US Marshall character on steroids.

When students discover Javert has infiltrated their rebellion, Valjean volunteers as executioner, then surreptitiously releases Javert, who is stunned. Mercy has no place in his law, and he cannot fathom Valjean’s compassion.

When Javert later reciprocates, releasing Valjean, the inner turmoil is more than Javert can bear; he kills himself. In Victor Hugo’s world, mercy indeed trumps legalism (unhealthy devotion to or emphasis on law), a lesson Valjean exemplifies but which evades poor Javert.

Tempering Justice with Mercy

Of course, any properly functioning society needs justice. Knowing when to temper it with mercy can be a challenge for societies and individuals. The proper balance helps make civilizations civilized. Which world would you rather inhabit: one tilting toward Valjean’s mercy or Javert’s legalism?

Les Misérables touches other important themes: romance, unrequited love, care for orphans and the poor, even prison reform. Bring a handkerchief, and someone you love.

Rated PG-13 for “Suggestive and Sexual Material, Violence and Thematic Elements.”

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.

Copyright © 2012 Rusty Wright


New beginnings so important

Jan 7th

So we begin to see a new year. Soon it will be time for Chinese New Year. It is always mentally refreshing to have a do over or start over. The cool thing about The Lord that His mercies are new every morning, so we can have a new day or new year every day. With the internet we can have a very world view of all the different cultural holidays. When I had a grand child ask about culture we were trying to understand how to explain difference. Over and over again talking to others that around the world no matter what cultural difference there is a big difference in lives based on rural versus city. The more civilized and the more heat, hot water available the more the world changes in what one is able to do. Staying in a big old cold house in the Ohio river valley on Jan 6 it is clear that if it is a lot of work to keep warm and clean. The basics are taken care of instead of the extras of mental acuity and creative endeavors. Who had time to read and write when major time and effort are about shelter, and keeping warm. I so understand how a pioneer may not want to bathe all winter, the thought of taking off your clothes and climbing into water when the ambient temperature is 45 degrees inside. So why would I get wet when it is all about staying warm. A modern shower with hot running water is such a delight under these conditions.

Most people don’t know that in the middle of rural America is a third world country.

I am most grateful for conveniences that most take for granted and I love that I live in the south east where there are often breaks in the long cold winter.