April 30, 2010

Forgiveness ~ "Impossible" Miracle

Do we follow what the Word of God tells us to do with this one?

Forgiveness...easy or difficult?

Well, I would have to say IMPOSSIBLE...unless the Holy Spirit is working it in us!
How do we forgive unless we have God's enabling power?
Not too long ago we heard a wonderful sermon on this topic in our church ~
there is always room for improvement in my life in this area!

When do we forgive?
How often should we forgive?
And how do we go about doing it??


Only when we are asked?
Or, do we extend forgiveness to those who don't acknowlege any wrongdoing?
This is very very challenging to put into practice, but it is so powerful and freeing! When we forgive even those who haven't asked us to, we become liberated from the weight of it all...
such an amazing and wonderful truth!


One of the disciples came to the Lord Jesus with this question and suggested that seven was a reasonable number of times to extend forgiveness to someone.
But the Lord raised the bar on that one...

"Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times:
but, Until seventy times seven."
Matthew 18:22

HOW? ~

Only with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We must soak our minds in His Word and prayer.
It cannot be done unless we have God's help...
it is entirely spiritual in nature!
We are incapable of extending true forgiveness without the
enabling power of The Holy Spirit...
really, God does it through us!

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind,
meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,
if any man have a quarrel against any:
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Colossians 3:12-13

I like the illustration our pastor used.
If you give someone something, it is no longer yours ~
you do not get it back, you cannot control what is done with it...
it is gone.

This is a picture of true forgiveness ~
we have no right to hold a grudge or remind the person of their
faults and failings...
when it is forgiven it is gone!

We must let it go!!

If we do not forgive in this way, we will become bitter and miserable...
ever met anyone like that?
Am I ever like that?
Are you?

Very often it will be discovered that there are things
these unfortunate people are holding onto.
They won't let go...and they want you to know why they are right and
why they are justified in holding onto those ugly things.
Have you noticed that very often these are some of the most
difficult people to be around?
We all need the Lord to enable us to forgive,
and He is wonderfully able to work this miracle in each one of our hearts.

We must look to HIM for the strength and grace.
It requires much prayer and sacrifice on our part, but again,
it is completely do-able with His help.
And it is absolutely necessary for peace of mind and heart.

No earthly counsellor will be able to give lasting relief...
nothing apart from the power of God alone will be able to conquer this.
The Devil would have you to be in bondage to it forever,
but the Lord is about freeing us from these "weights".
If we look to the Lord He will equip us to do the impossible!

Oh, and I do speak from experience ~
how wonderful that my testimony is...

Is it easy?

Do I struggle?

Is it worth it?

Satan will seek to tear down and destroy our marriages and our families.
We must guard against this and see Him as the enemy...
not our spouse or our children!

When we were Newlyweds we were given the Best Marriage Advice ~
and it has held us in good stead these past 19 years (nearly).
The Lord is the ONE that knits us together and it is HE that keeps us together.
Again, it is the most difficult thing to do in the heat of the moment,
but it is wonderfully powerful and effective.
I implore you to discuss with your husband this solution to conflict
(before there is any conflict) and pledge to implement it together as the need arises.
You will be amazed at the results!

"Dying to Self" is a beautiful poem that helps us keep perspective when we are thinking we deserve better.
It is a great reminder that we are not the centre of the universe
and the Lord suffered much more than we ever will.
After all, are we not here to serve Him and bring Glory to His name?
Don't forget that the Lord will give the enabling to do all these things if we are truly His people ~
He gives the grace needed day by day.

Hebrews 12:1-3
is a wonderful passage of Scripture that helps us all to
refocus on those things that really matter in this life.

Don't forget ~ there are times when we must ask forgiveness of others.
We often will offend our children and
must humble ourselves before them.
The most wonderful and amazing thing is,
they are so forgiving and willing to put things behind them.
How beautiful it is that God created children to be this way!
Ask their forgiveness and then ask them to pray with you.
Confess your sin to the Lord before them in prayer and ask for His help to do what is right.
You will be amazed how this will knit you together with your young ones.
It also demonstrates before them that Mum is not
perfect and recognizes her need of the Saviour too.
This may just be the tool the Lord will use to bring them to Himself.

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour,
and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:31-32

True and complete forgiveness begins at the Cross.
We must repent of our own sins before the Holy God of Heaven
and first be made right with Him.
How? Click on this link to find out more.

Many Blessings,

April 29, 2010

Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup

Is it still a bit chilly where you live?
If so, this is an easy and yummy soup to make ~ full of goodness and flavour!
Even if warmer weather is upon you, this soup
will not heat up your kitchen too much as it is quickly made and does not require all-day simmering.
You could even whip it up on the side burner of your BBQ and eat out of doors.
Whatever the case, I am sure you will enjoy it as much as we do!

13 cups Water
2 cups cut Green Beans (frozen)
2 cups kernel Corn (frozen)
4 small Red Potatoes, chopped
6 stalks Celery, diced
1 bunch Asparagus, diced
1 yellow Pepper, chopped
2 large Yellow Onions, diced
4 Carrots, thinly sliced
1 head of Broccoli, chopped
3 Tbsp. Oil (I use Olive)
2 Tbsp. Soya Sauce
6 cubes Vegetable Stock (I use organic, no MSG)
2 tsp. Salt (I omit ~ check to see if it's needed)
1 tsp. Dried Oregano leaves
4 dashes Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Heat oil in large pot and saute onion until softened.
Add all remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.
(I usually keep the broccoli and asparagus out of the pot
until the last 5 minutes of cooking so they don't get overcooked).
Reduce heat and simmmer 20 minutes.
Remove 3 cups of the soup and puree ~
return to pot, stir and serve.
(I just stick my hand blender right in the pot and
blend until it looks about "right")

~ ENJOY! ~

April 27, 2010

Short Track Speed Skating ~ Improvised!

Our boys, along with some neighbourhood friends, have put together their own version of the Olympic Short Track. Pinecones mark the edges of the corners and instead of ice skates they use roller blades. Oh the inspiration that can come out of hosting the Winter Olympics! It has been a joy to see them use their imaginations in such creative (and active) pursuits. :)

April 26, 2010

The "Extras"

Giving thanks once again for the "ordinary"
and sometimes the "extraordinary".

This week I was pondering the question ~
What is it that we really need?
What does the Bible say?

I was teaching my two youngest from this passage of Scripture
and sought to apply the principles found within it.

The following verses also came to mind ~

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world,
and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us therewith be content."
I Timothy 6:6-8

It seems to me that ANYTHING over and
above the basic necessities are
"extra" and a blessing!

Countinuously numbering the blessings ~
these really are the "extras"!

401. Unexpected flowers from my Howie! :)

402. A little girl who is winning the battle with nailbiting.
The reward? ~ A touch of pink on her nails. :)

403. Old Betsy entered the next phase of her existence and "clicked over" 200,000 kms (approx. 125,000 miles) and continues to take us places!

404. Calvin's first pair of glasses and the exclamations of joy they brought ~
"WOW! Look how clear that is!"
As if he was seeing things for the first time...
awe and wonder! :)

405. A place to order glasses online
with relative ease and HUGE savings!

406. Mercy extended to me by my Loving Heavenly Father

407. Illness and trials to make me realize what it is that really matters

408. We still have both sets of parents ~ at this moment

409. Slowing down and taking notice

410. God's Wonderful provision for my failings

Many Blessings,

April 23, 2010

Wonderful Bible Story Books for Kids

One of my friends recently asked about some of the story books
we have in our home and I proceeded to tell her about these.

We have MANY MANY books, but these are unique.
Bible Stories are taught in an accurate and
respectful way ~ our children have enjoyed them
and so have we.

Over the years we have used these books for devotional times
with our children, but they would be appropriate at any time of day.
One book focuses on all the events surrounding the Birth of Christ
and two books are dedicated to the Easter stories.

We have enjoyed reading through this series and would recommend them to
anyone desiring to teach the Bible to children in a God honouring way.
They would be a wonderful Sunday School tool or a
great gift idea for any children on your list.

You will find the website for ordering by clicking on this link ~
just scroll a little way down the page you arrive at and you will see
individual listings for each of the books shown above.

Please be aware that these are not your "typical" cartoon-type Bible story books ~ we felt increasingly uncomfortable with how many of those types of books handled the Bible...it is, after all,
the Word of the Living God.

**Disclaimer ~ I am in no way compensated for this opinion.

**If you live locally (BC Lower Mainland) there is a little home-run bookstore that has fabulous resources. These books are available in their store for a great price. Their phone number is 604-792-5411 ~ they have limited hours and methods of payment. Call to get their address and details.

April 21, 2010

Homemade Flour Tortillas ~ Yum!

I have always used store-bought flour tortillas.
I had no idea that they were so easy to make!

S.O. E.A.S.Y.

We were having refried beans for dinner and I decided to serve them with
Jennifer Jo's recipe for homemade tortillas.
I ventured into the unknown and made them and they were a hit!
I made a double batch and had NO leftovers ~
not actually surprising around here!
Next time you go Mexican, try these...you won't be disappointed.
I followed the recipe to a "T" and they worked ~
do I sound surprised?  I was.

One thing to note ~ I do not have a comal or a cast iron skillet...
I used the electric frying pan I own (which is stainless with no non-stick coating)
and they still worked.  I just greased the pan for each tortilla with coconut oil.

They were F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.!

Next time I will have to multiply the recipe by four to have leftovers. :)

April 19, 2010

Balm for the Soul

The chronicling of the ordinary becomes a balm for the soul.
The giving of thanks in the midst of the daily challenges
of life is spirit-lifting and self-encouraging.
What a blessing to continue on this journey...
step by step ~ with HIM!

The list continues to grow and the "everyday" and
the "mundane" become the "wonderful"!

376. Fluffy white clouds in a glorious sky ~
"The heavens declare the glory of God..." Psalm 19:1a

377. Discovery of a bee on a fake flower ~
why would the REAL ones be ignored?

378. Quiet bedtime reading...

379. Amazon ~ Reasonable prices and FREE shipping!

380. Pop*pop*pop of packing bubbles ~ free fun! :)

381. Freshness of the Spring air

382. Broken Dishwasher ~
Makes me appreciate the many times it worked for me!

383. The lack of dishwasher has made me more diligent about
keeping up with all the dishes ~ funny enough! :)

384. A little helper who asks with pleading eyes if
SHE can do the dishes ~ please? :)

385. Radio Theatre to listen to ~ a welcome Video break for two weeks

386. Creative toys to ingnite the imagination

387. Birthdays to celebrate

388. Restful sleep to rejuvenate

389. Sundays ~ refreshing for the soul

390. Crookedly hung towels ~
young men (and not so young) live here :)

391. Dust ~ the important things are getting done...

392. Hard working Husband who cares for our physical needs ~
such a blessing!

393. New experiences

394. Grace ~ where would we be without it?

395. Short notice visits from family

396. Soren moments (cousin's 5 month old baby boy)

397. The yummy smell of a baby

398. Snuggling a little one after many years of having "big" kids!

399. New recipes

400. Cooking day ~
stocking up the freezer for the busy days ahead

Many Blessings,

April 16, 2010

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

**My Dad (Camille's) is an artist ~
he used pencil to draw these praying hands while a Bible School student in 1964 ~
It was a gift to us from my Dad a few years ago and it is very precious to us both.

This is one of my favourite hymns ~
might it be a blessing to your heart as it is to mine!

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged:
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness:
Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge ~
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph Scriven (1819-1886)

April 15, 2010

Banana Muffins ~ Healthy Version

These were for breakfast this morning.
"Biscuits, Muffins and Loaves" by Jean Pare
is one of my most used cookbooks.
I have altered the original recipe to make it healthier.
I hope you like them as much as we do! :)

**Updated April 20, 2010 ~ You may find that they burn easily...just reduce the heat to 375* ~ if you keep the temp at 400*, begin checking them at the 15 minute mark.**

~ Banana Muffins ~

1 & 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour (I use organic)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt (I use sea salt)
1/2 cup Butter, softened (I actually melt it!)
3/4 cup Sucanat (alternative to refined sugar)
2 large Eggs ~ free range and organic (if possible)
1/4 cup Plain Yogurt (organic)
1 cup mashed ripened Bananas (organic)

Measure flour, baking soda and salt into large bowl.
Stir together and make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl ~

Cream together butter, sucanat, and eggs.
Mix in yogurt and banana.
Pour into well in flour mixture.
Stir just until moistened.
Batter will be lumpy.
Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill 3/4 full with batter
(I fill mine a little more than that)

Bake at 400* F for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove to wire cooling racks.

~ ENJOY! ~

April 14, 2010

Our Two Teenagers!

Calvin and Austin ~
Photos from the late 1990's

Our first two boys were born two years and six days apart.
Their due dates were two years and six days apart.
They were buddies from the very beginning.
Oh the fun memories we have of these two ~
they sure got up to some mischief!
On one occasion they emptied out the contents
of the fireplace in the basement of my hubby's parents home!


What a M.E.S.S.!!

What posessed them to do it??
My Dad and Mum-in-Love were very V.E.R.Y. gracious!! :)

Times have changed ~
the boys have become a bit more civilized! :)

Last week Austin turned 15 ~


And Now...

FYI ~ Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Dear Austin ~

You changed our status from "couple" to "family" and we couldn't have been more thrilled ~
how precious you are!
We pray that the LORD would lead you in TRUTH and give you wisdom as you become a young man.
Might HE be your focus and the ONE you turn to throughout life!
We love you with all our hearts and thank the LORD that HE put you in our family!

With our love,
Dad and Mum

This week Calvin turned 13 ~


And Now...

FYI ~ Flourless Chocolate Cake

Dear Calvin ~

What would our family be like if the LORD hadn't put you in it?
Oh how precious you are!
We pray that the LORD would be your sure foundation all throughout your life and that you would be steady in your walk with HIM.
Keep your eyes on the LORD and follow HIM and you will never be led astray.
We love you so very much!

With our love,
Daddy and Mummy

April 12, 2010

Little Girl's Tea Party

The invitations were sent.

The table was set.

The guests arrived.


Joining the Gratitude Community today with my list of thanks.
Want to know the reason for the numbering?  Click here.

361. Tea parties with happy little girls

362. A little girl of our own to do these things with!

363. Little girl laughter ~ in abundance!

364. Beads to string into pretty necklaces and bracelets

365. Twister ~ games to play

366. Patience extended to me by a little guest when I drop her beads ~
T.H.R.E.E. times! :)

367. Little girls in dresses

368. British traditions that can be passed on

370. Mummy friendships that flourish with the knowledge
that we are in this together!

371. Eleven little voices around the table

372. Boys that kept themselves occupied while the party was on
and Dad was out (at a funeral) ~ Mum had a *few* things to keep busy with! :)

373. Imaginations put into action

374. Joy in the small things ~ they really are the B.I.G.

375. Sunny days

Many Blessings, Camille

April 9, 2010

Our Plum Tree ~ Thoughts...

In our back yard we have an old growth fruit bearing plum tree ~
it's glorious at this time of the year with all it's lovely blooms.
It reminds me of a favourite passage of Scripture.
I have quoted it below ~
I pray that it might encourage your heart as it does mine!

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so:
but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

~ Holy Bible ~

April 6, 2010

Lesley's Gingersnaps

As promised (to a couple of friends) ~
the recipe for Lesley's Gingersnaps!
Be forewarned ~ these go quickly...
But they do freeze well (if you can get them there) ~
I dare you to try! :)

Lesley's Gingersnaps

1 & 1/2 cup softened Butter
1 & 1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Fancy Molasses
1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream the above five ingredients together.
Stir together the following ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.

4 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 & 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
3/4 tsp. Ground Ginger

Refrigerate dough for a few hours to make it easier to handle.
Form into one inch balls and roll in sugar.

Place on baking sheet and bake at 350* F for about 15 minutes.

The length of baking time will vary according to the size of the cookies.
Cookies will flatten as they bake ~ so be sure to leave room.

This recipe makes over 100 cookies ~
you might like to cut the recipe in half
if you don't want to fight off the temptation to eat and eat and eat! :)

~ ENJOY! ~

April 5, 2010


Thankfulness is contagious and very liberating! How wonderful to stop and think of HIS everyday provisions for us ~ blessings upon blessings! Joining with the Gratitude Community this week with my list of a few of the things HE has recently provided ~ oh how much longer the list could be!!

One thing we seem to ALWAYS need is new shoes!
We are an active family.

The boys play street hockey, we walk/jog at the beach frequently,
there are dog walks and the paper route to do.

Many miles get logged on the runners and they are ready for the garbage when the children are done with them! It has not been unusual for there to be HOLES in the soles (and other parts of the shoe) at the point of their dismissal from this home.
Runners cannot even be passed on from one child to the next ~
consequently, this is where much of our clothing budget goes.


Sunday shoes get passed on.
Sandals get passed on.
Boots get passed on.
But runners, well, they say a picture speaks a thousand words ~
so here are some pictures to explain...

Notice the tread (or lack thereof)?
These were only worn for four months!

The Lord provides.
How wonderful to see this in action!

Over the years HIS provision has come in a variety of forms ~
Second Hand stores.

Well, this past week it came via a sports store
South of the Border that we visited on our shoe-finding mission.

All the necessary sizes were available.
And all the shoes (above) were on sale ~


We were in and out of that store within about 30 minutes.
The LORD not only provided the shoes, but HE did it all in ONE store and in very little time! Time is money (or so the saying goes) and it felt wonderful that the time was well spent. When we got back to the van after our purchases, we prayed and thanked HIM from Whom all blessings flow.

356. Runners and more runners and the money to buy them with!

357. God's provisions the large and the "small"

358. That HE knows how much time we have and that time is precious,
so HE provides in a timely manner ~ never too late, always on time!

359. Knowing that if we don't find what we were looking for,
maybe we didn't need it after all!

360. Resting in the fact that HE knows BEST!

Want to know the reason for the numbering?
Click on this link.

Would you like to share how the Lord has recently provided for you?
It would be a blessing and an encouragement to hear ~
feel free to tell us in the comments! :)

Many Blessings,

April 3, 2010

Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today!

Christ the Lord, is risen today;
Sons of men and angels say
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens and earth reply:

Love's redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won.
Death in vain forbids Him rise;
Christ hath opened Paradise.

Lives again our glorious King;
"Where, O death, is now thy sting?"
Once He died our souls to save:
Where's thy victory, O grave?

Soar we now where Christ hath led,
Following our exhalted Head;
Made in Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

April 2, 2010

Easter Thoughts...

Just some thoughts this Easter about the LORD Jesus Christ
and what He came to this earth to accomplish...

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

The Lord Jesus was not just a good man...He is God incarnate ~ God in the flesh.
He came that HE would free HIS people from their sins and the required punishment for them and eternal separation from God.

Are you following Him? Is He your Saviour and LORD?

As long as you are still alive on this earth it is not too late! Come to Him and be saved!
What a blessing to repent and turn to the Saviour at Easter time!

Want to know how?
Read this article
and pray that God would help you to understand the Truths proclaimed in it ~
how wonderful that HE answers those types of prayers!

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;
yet we did esteeem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Isaiah 53:3-6

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

Isaiah 55:6-7