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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rambling Thursdays




The Frozen Diet

Need to lose some weight? I recently read about a new way to lose those extra unwanted pounds. It sounds much easier than Zumba, starving, lifting dumbbells, and anything else that would require strenuous activity. 

Just freeze the weight off. Yes, you heard correctly. Scientist Ray Cronise deducted that regularly exposing yourself to cold temperatures burns calories quickly. He conducted an experiment on himself, doing a regimen of cold showers, shirtless walks in winter, sleeping without blankets or sheets, and keeping the indoor temperature in the 50 degree range. 

He lost 26 pounds in six weeks. Wow, and to think all this time all I had to do was go outside in the winter in a bathing suit, (I do have close neighbors, shirtless would not do), and sleep without a blanket! 

I’ve lost about 30 pounds in the last year or so, but I also changed jobs and am on my feet now. I eat more veggies and fruit. I’ve always been an active person. But this intrigues me. 

Could I do this regimen? I don’t know. My brother is part of a beard club and every winter they do a polar plunge into a lake. They cut a portion of ice open and in they go. Now I would be tempted to try that. I think I could do it. It’s just a quick shock to the system and then you’re wrapped in a towel and whisked off for a scalding cup of coffee. 

Cold showers?? I don’t know about that. After all it isn’t a quick deal is it? I have to wash my hair. And then there is the shaving issue. No I don’t think I could do that one. Perhaps a couple of quick glacial showers a week? Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that. 

Sleeping without blankets or sheets? Ohh that’s a blog in itself! That has been a continuous battle of our marriage. My husband is always cold. He piles blankets on top of himself. I don’t mind a blanket and comforter, but the fan better be pointed on me. And believe me, there is a fine line I cannot cross with the direction of the blowing air. It’s a tense situation every night. But we are doing fine after 25+ years.

Even when I have night sweats, yes I just dated myself, still I need a sheet over myself. It makes me feel secure to be covered up. So no I don’t see that working for me. 

The walking outside shirtless we’ve already covered. (I just made a funny!) Here in Indiana, we have had three brutal winters. I’m not a fan of winter. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to never see a flake of snow ever again. I especially get weary of putting on coats, boots, trying to find gloves and ear muffs. Do without all these? Go outside in frigid temps without a coat or hat? 

Perhaps I could do it for a few minutes a day. Go stand in the middle of the driveway with just my t-shirt and shorts. My husband would probably be okay with it, just as long as I don’t cross the fine line with the fan. But the neighbors would gaze out the window and think I’ve lost my marbles. Next day over the mailbox, they would look at me with pity and ask those probing questions. No I wouldn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. 

That leaves keeping the house in the 50’s. I’ve already talked about the issue with the fan right? If I suggested turning the heat down, my fan privileges could be in jeopardy.  I wouldn’t mind sitting around in a sweater and maybe a blanket, I do this anyway in the winter, but my husband is a firm shorts and t-shirts guy. Rarely have I ever seen him in sweatpants.  I foresee trouble in the kingdom here. 

So there you have it. This just would not work for me. I’ll continue on with my normal lifestyle and hope for the best, thank you. If you feel so inclined, I wish you luck. Just don’t tell anyone where you got the info. I’m not going to be the bad influence here! 

Have a good weekend. I hope you all are staying cool in the August heat! 



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Monday, July 20, 2015

It's all about the approach, Pt 2



Two men, two desperate needs, two approaches to God. 

Proud Naaman with leprosy. His preconceived ideas how he should be healed. Humbled in the end as he went down to the Jordan to wash. Transformed, a different man, God rocked his world. 

The Centurion, his servant dying, didn’t feel worthy to even approach Jesus. Instead sent the Jewish elders to plead on his behalf. They told Jesus this Centurion deserved to have you do this. After all he has given money to the church. He is a powerful, influential man. 

Jesus comes. Not far from the house, the Centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

Jesus marvels at his faith, turns to the crowd, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 

There is only one other place where He marvels. It was in His hometown when He tried to work miracles among them and was unable to because of their lack of faith. The Word says He marveled at their unbelief. 

Does he marvel at my unbelief or faith? Will I trust Him? Lord help my unbelief. 

The Centurion said, “Just say the word and it will be done”. Naaman questioned God, fussed, argued and finally rode off in a rage. In the end he was humbled and healed.

The Centurion was already a humble man who didn’t feel worthy to even have Jesus step in His house. 

His sweet heart stirs me. Just say the Word, and it will be done.

I don’t feel worthy Lord, but I’m reaching out to You. Just like the woman with the issue of blood, who crawled through the crowd to touch the hem of Your garment. Like blind Bartemanes yelling to You through the taunting crowd who told him to shut up. Like the lepers reaching out to touch You with scarred, scaled hands. 

They reached out with a simple faith. Not a long elaborate prayer. Not posturing. No fancy formulas. No referring to “5 steps to get your prayer answered.” Just say the Word Lord, and it will be done. 

This is what makes you marvel. Not who we are, or our social status, how gifted we are.

It’s our faith, our trust in You even in our deepest need, our rawest pain. 

So how do we approach God? 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

The word confidence in the Greek means freedom to say all. Can you speak freely to just anyone about your deepest needs, hurts, weaknesses, and struggles? Probably not!

You and I have an audience with the King of Kings. An invitation into the Holy of Holies. We don’t have to creep in, fearful, hoping that we will be heard. 

Oh no! He implores us to come to Him. He is acquainted with our weaknesses. He not only hears us as we share our hearts. He cares and He will give us the Grace we need. 

Dear Sister, do you have a deep need? Are you hurting, struggling? Step confidently into the throne room. Tell it to Jesus. 

Here is the hymn. Sing and enjoy. 



Monday, July 13, 2015

It's all about the approach. Pt 1



Two men. Each with a desperate need. Each reaching out to God, but each with a different approach. 

Naaman of 2nd Kings 5 was a military commander, proud, wealthy, accomplished, high up on the social ring. Yet he was a leper. 

That could be a serious problem when your life is all about keeping up appearances. 

He approached God with preconceived ideas on how the healing would happen. The Syrian celebrity shows up at Elisha’s house with his entourage, hoping to impress. 

His pride was wounded when Elisha sent out his servant with God’s instructions to wash in the Jordan river seven times. He argued and fussed,  "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" He finally rode off in a rage. 

Don’t we do this sometimes? We have our own ideas on how God is going to answer. Surely He’ll do it this way?  You can make a list of all the ways you believe He will answer, but you might as well tear that list up and throw it away. Because He won’t answer in any of those ways. 

He’ll blow up that list and do it in a way beyond what you can ask or imagine. Just to show He is God! He has more in mind than just answering your prayer. Something more deeper.

One of Naaman’s groupies finally talked sense into him and Naaman went down to the river, washed and he was completely healed. 

Naaman was all about getting his prayer answered. Nothing less, nothing more. Just heal me and let me be. But God was all about, “I’m going to rock your world!” Yes, his prayer was answered, but he was humbled. His life was transformed. He left the Jordan completely different. 

You know, there have been times in my life when I was desperate for a prayer to be answered. It was all about getting the prayer answered. I was there a year ago January. I was informed that I was being transferred out of the office and in fact would be cleaning the offices. 

I was really angry, my pride was wounded and I prayed desperately for God to intervene. Please Lord, change their hearts, let me stay in my position, change my situation. It became the center of my life. It was all I thought about. 

I kept praying and seeking His face. In time, I began to change. My anger lessened, I surrendered to His will, and I even forgave. I don’t like my job so much, I wouldn’t say I’m completely happy. But I am content. Does that make any sense? I don’t know how to explain it better to you. 

In the past year, I have changed for the better. I have a new passion for Jesus. I’ve mined deeper in the Word. In fact I’ve had new doors of ministry open to me. Blogging is one of those doors. I’ve had opportunities to preach. It’s been more than I expected for sure. 

Bottom line....He has my heart like He didn’t have it before. I needed to change, to surrender. That is ultimately what He wants. He loves us way too much to answer our pleas and leave us the way we are. 

Beloved sister are you questioning Him? Are you fighting against His hands? Do you trust Him to know what is best? Tough questions I know. 

Know this....you are cherished and loved so much by your Heavenly Father. In the end whatever the outcome, you will see His faithfulness in your life. You will end up a beautiful vessel. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rambling Thursdays



It’s fruit picking time here in my neck of the woods. And boy are they fruitful right now! 

Even as a kid, I always enjoyed picking fruit. There was a blueberry patch not far from the old home place and Mom would enlist us as her helpers every year. There would be an assortment of belts to choose from. All sizes and shapes. These would be our harnesses for our buckets. We would range up and down the blueberry isles picking the blue beauties. 

Of course tasting a few, (or more) is required. You could hear the voices of unseen fellow pickers a few isles over. I just loved it! Still do. 

My daughter-in-law and I went on Monday to Southwest Michigan to pick blueberries, (her first time) and bought sweet cherries and raspberries. There’s just something about Michigan fruit. Not sure what it is. Perhaps the “lake effect” from Lake Michigan. 



If you aren’t familiar with the “Lake effect” and what that means, believe me it has quite the effect! Especially in the grips of winter. Lake effect means snow. It’s a snow machine that generates the stuff and throws it all over Southwest Michigan and down into Indiana. 

So it has to contribute to the fruit that just grows in abundance there. I know it contributes to the humidity that does a frizzy number on my hair every summer. 

Right now it’s the season for blueberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, and raspberries. I put some blueberries in the freezer. I love them in pancakes, on my yogurt and by the handful. I have a recipe for Blueberry Buckle that I love to make. It’s like a coffee cake. I put the required three cups in a freezer bag so I can make it through the winter. Here’s the recipe:

Blueberry Buckle
2 cups flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 stick Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Milk
2 cups Blueberries

Topping
1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the topping until it’s crumbly, set aside.

Blend the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl cream the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. Alternately add the milk and flour mixture to the creamed mixture ending with flour. Stir in the berries. Pour in cake pan. Sprinkle topping on top and bake 40-45 minutes. 


Soon the peaches will be ready. There’s nothing like a fuzzy, sweet, juicy peach. Not sure how many more adjectives I can add here. It’s just plain heavenly. 

But it can be dicey every spring to see what survives the winters here. Or any late frosts that damages the crops. Last year there was a late frost that destroyed the peaches. The only peaches we could get was from Illinois. They were very pricy. Which bummed me out because I so wanted to can some. Perhaps later I’ll give you my recipe for canned peaches. There’s nothing like opening a can of peaches that you labored over in the middle of winter. Believe me it doesn’t even compare to a store bought. 

In a few weeks I’ll be very busy canning peaches. Yes, it is work, but satisfying. 

So what fruit is ready in your part of the country? Do you put it up for the winter? 

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rambling Thursdays



                                               The Attack of the Skinny Jeans!!


So I have a theory, an observation I came across last week. You don’t wear skinny jeans to help move or to do any physical activity of any kind. I mean come on girls! 

I’m sure many of you heard about unfortunate girl from Australia who was helping a friend move and ended up in a hospital getting those skinny jeans cut off. Her legs and feet were so numb she could not walk properly.
The woman said she was unable to stand up after falling because of the temporary paralysis and swelling. 

It took four days of bed rest and IV fluids in the hospital before she was mobile again. Doctors say she was fortunate that she had emergency intervention before the condition damaged her kidneys.

Now shouldn’t this be a no brainer? If I wore skinny jeans, I would probably traumatize those who unfortunately laid their eyes on me. I just won’t go there. 

I don’t wear skinny jeans, because well, I’m not skinny! I probably couldn’t get them much past my knees much less my expansive hips. And if miraculously I did get them on, I would probably end up in a clinic getting them cut off! 

Shopping for new jeans will probably be in the near future for me. I’ve lost some weight and my current ones are rather loose. I really don’t relish trying on new ones. I’m tall, long waisted and big hipped. It can be a challenge. All of my friends have unique challenges when it comes to jeans. I used to bemoan my body issues, until I went shopping with some of them. After seeing what they go through, I don’t complain anymore.

One of my friends has a daughter-in-law who wears a zero.  Yes, you read right and yes I did a double take as well. I never wore a zero in my entire life! This same girl though one day forgot to eat. Forgot to eat! Who does that??? 

For you younger gals, way back in the day jeans used to fit far above your waist. Now they sit at your waist, or below. I don’t mind the “sit at the waist” jeans at all. But the problem is finding one that sits at my waist. What inevitably happens is they sit too low, (long waist issue) then a muffin top ensues.  

I feel like I need to hike them up all the time. And Lord help me when I sit down. Yes, it’s a challenge. This is the reason I never buy jeans online. 

It’s crazy isn’t it? You can line up 10 pairs of jeans, all the same size and they will all fit differently. Then it involves pulling them up, zipping them up, and peering in the wrap-around mirrors. That way you get the effect of what people see behind you. After all the back end view is so important! I just don’t relish the experience. 

Then if you do find a pair, better enjoy them because you’ll never find that same pair ever again! As soon as you leave the store, Bam, it’s out of style and will never be made again. 

Anyway, I’m sure you all can relate. I wish you all well on your endeavor to find the perfect jeans. 

So are you searching for any new jeans? 


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