He Has Overcome the World

Over the years, I have seen much pain.  It has been physical, mental and emotional.  Many of my closest friends have experienced excruciating circumstances.  I have witnessed the tears of mothers who have lost their young children.  I have seen wives lose husbands and husbands watch their wives deteriorate right before their eyes. I have watched as children get those looks on their faces as they lose their parent.  The child knows that was her primary advocate and protector in this life.  My heart has broken so many times for the pain so many have had to endure.  I have had my own share of pain and its disconcerting to say the least.  Many preach about physical and emotional victory,  and prosperity for those who will believe or trust enough.  I have seen that is not true.

The most obvious reason I know it is not true is because of the life of Jesus.  The one who had the most intimate and faithful relationship with our God was not born into a prosperous family but probably to one of the poorest in Israel.  He watched as His parents barely scraped enough money together to pay taxes.  During His ministry, He was homeless.  He had friends that betrayed Him, strained relationships in His family, and enemies that plotted against Him.

He had to deal with mental torture as He was tempted by Satan and prepared to meet His fate in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Physically?  Do we need to ponder the thorns that were pushed into His brow, the beating that tore into His back and legs, or the cross that killed Him in the most horrible way?

No, this life is not going to be victorious and wonderful all of the time.  It is not what Christ called us to.  He called us to glorify, worship and trust Him in every circumstance that comes our way.  We are called to bless Him in the good and bad.  We are told to be courageous and not to fear anyone or anything but Him.  We are asked to love, support and be encouragers.  He has purpose in everything.  Sometimes we will not understand His reasoning until we meet Him face to face.  Hosea says, “The ways of the Lord are right…”  In Isaiah we hear the Lord say, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

This brief time we have on earth is the chance we have to do what God has clearly called each of us to do.  We have to surrender all of it to Him.   When we wrestle with His ways and circumstances that we think are going to be our demise, we must remember, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We do not walk through this life alone.  God is with us every step of the way in victory, rejection, happiness or grief.  He is our refuge and our strength.

Where we can take comfort, what gives us courage, hope and peace is found in John 16:33.  “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

DIY Laundry Detergent (Laundry Whip)

I enjoy doing things for myself.  I enjoy saving a bunch of money and making my own detergent.  I have tried powder, detergent and now….the whip!  Whip that laundry into shape.  I just had to say that.   I love this, it cleans my clothes, it makes me feel like I contribute to our family and it’s CHEAP!!

This is what you will need besides a little time…

IMG_4319   1 cup Borax

1 cup washing soda

1 Bar Fels-Naptha

4 1/2 cups water

I found all of these things in the detergent department at Wal-Mart.

You also need Mason jars, a funnel (optional) and a blender.

The first thing you need to do is grate the bar of soap.  Ebay has grated soap for sale.  Believe me, I checked.

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During the process of grating, you need to get your water HOT in a large pan.  It’s ok for it to reach a boil, but don’t let it stay there too long.  When you are finished grating the soap put it in your hot water and stir.  You need to stay pretty close and make sure you are stirring frequently.  While the soap is melting melting, mix the 1 cup borax and the 1 cup washing soda in a bowl.  When the soap has completely melted, slowly stir in the borax/washing soda mixture.

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You will need to stir and make certain that all of the granules get dissolved.  You will be able to feel the bottom of your pan with your spoon to make sure there are no granules left behind.  We leave no granule left behind.

Make sure that the white film is not climbing the sides of the pan.  This means you are a good stirrer.

Take it off of the heat and  get ready to divide your mixture between two mason jars.  I use a funnel because I desperately need one.  I also make my own paint in mason jars, so I just happened to have one.

The mixture will not go to the top as you divide evenly.   IMG_4326

 

Seal those suckers up and turn them upside down.  They will need to sit for 4-5 hours.  Go get something else productive done, or not.

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Then, this is the crazy fun part.  You need to get your blender out and take the bottom off.  I had no idea this unscrewed!  You can imagine my blender might just be a little nasty.  This is magical!  Screw the blender bottom onto the mason jar and then put it into the blender.

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This will take about 1 minute to whip up. I had to push the spoon in to unclump it a little bit.

Now, you have the finished product!  It looks like mayonnaise.  Make sure you get it labeled and out of the kitchen so it doesn’t end up in deviled eggs.

You only need to use 1 TBSP per load!  For an extra great scent I use they crystals at Wal-Mart.  They are on the same aisle with the other ingredients.

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God’s Direction

Coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.

Acts 16:17

Sometimes we need direction.  We don’t know which way to go or what step to take.  It is confusing and chaotic inside trying to discern.  What I need to do is trust and rely on God to show me.  He knows our hearts.  He knows our motives.  When my true desire is to surrender, He will guide with open or closed doors.  He will show with conviction or give peace.  I will move forward until it is clear He wants me to go in a different direction.  My only responsibility is to have the close relationship with Him that He requires.  When I lift everything up to Him in prayer I can be assured He is answering with His usual and famous grace and faithfulness.

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