Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pursuit of Discernment via Tammy

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With permission from Tammy I am posting her latest post in it's entirety today, for it is good and mirrors my passion for being in the word. Why remake when you can just cut and paste? If you'd like to see where I got it from, or read it on her blog, you can find that here, on Tammy Is Blessed.

Pursuit of Discernment
The year before last I read through the entire Bible in a year for the first time in my life. Which was really rather pathetic considering I've been a Christian as long as I can remember.

Last year in December I posted about how I was feeling convicted to dig deeper in the Bible and to pursue discernment. Yes, I had read through the Bible, but many days it was simply to be able to say that I had done it. And I wanted to change that. So I started a new blog called The Bible in a Year...and Beyond! because the title captured my vision perfectly - reading through the Bible, yes, but going beyond simply reading it, to studying it, to questioning, to researching, to digging deeper, to pursuing discernment.

I was joined by several other ladies who had felt similarly convicted and together we experienced a year of tremendous growth and insight unlike any year previously. This also was a year where I needed discernment in order to walk through a dark valley alongside a very close friend. Coincidence? I think not!

Because this was such a rich and rewarding experience, and because our need for accountability and motivation has not waned (still human, after all!), we are starting up again and are inviting you to join us!

Last year we did the One Year Chronological Reading Plan. Some parts of the plan I really enjoyed: I loved reading the Psalms as they coincided with the lives of King David and the other Psalmists; it helped to understand some of the books of prophecy better as well to have things in their proper historical perspective. The part of the plan I did not like as much was that it was extremely chronological to the point of flipping between several different books numerous times on certain days.

This year we have decided to do a Chronological plan again. But this one has very little jumping around, and starts in both the Old Testament and the New Testament at the same time - which can be a big pro for those who have found the OT hard to get through. This past year was the first time I, and some other blog participants, have really appreciated the OT and found that we learned so incredibly much - I am very interested to see what new insights we glean this year as we do it again!

So, we decided on this Chronological OT/NT plan. Unfortunately, it still had the 2010 dates it in, so I created a PDF file with the corrected dates and uploaded it to the internet - you can access it here. It contains all the links to the Bible passages, and is printable if you download the file to your computer.

One thing I'd like to mention...
So often we (especially first-borns, perfectionists, etc) tend to have an all or nothing mentality. If I can't do it perfectly, if I can't succeed 100%, if I can't be the best, then I'm just not going to even try. Ladies (or any men that read this!), that's not from the Lord. If you didn't have a regular Bible reading/devotional habit before - then any commitment is better than nothing. You have to start somewhere, and who cares if you start small? So long as you start! Your efforts will be rewarded. You will draw closer to Him. You will reflect Him to those around you. And you will be able to be more discerning. There is no downside here!

So, if you choose to read along with us (or choose a different plan to follow on your own, or whatever you decide to do), and if you fall behind - do not quit! You have a few options: you can read a ton to catch up; you can circle the passages you missed and skip them for now and catch up throughout the year as you have time; you can circle the passages you missed and catch up on them after the year is over; or you can simply miss them; or you can pick a different reading plan that goes through the Bible more slowly. Any of those options are entirely acceptable, the only option that is not a good one is quitting entirely. Do not quit!!

So, why read through the Bible in a year?

Well, it doesn't have to be in a year. But the need to be in the Word daily as a Christian, is really not something that we should consider to be optional.

This website answers the question so much better than I ever could.

Why Is It So Important to Do Devotions Every Day?

What would the people in your church look like if they snacked on meager food morsels during the week and ate only one good meal on the weekend? You know the answer, don't you? You'd find yourself surrounded by emaciated, gaunt people in desperate need of nutrition.

And how would these undernourished believers fare against a demonic adversary? Can you imagine how this army would look? You'd see threadbare skeletons with hollow cheeks and sunken eye-sockets, lined up like phantoms. Weakened by famine, that shriveled militia could barely stand at attention; each would struggle to find the strength to keep his or her bony frame upright.

Could this "army" conquer an opposing force?

No way. No earthly general would send them out to fight.

Well, then, how about the army of the Lord? What of those who gather on Sunday mornings? Are they spiritually nourished to fight the battles ahead? Considering what most members of God's army subsist on—an occasional tidy snack from a devotional book and perhaps an average-sized meal on Sundays to satiate conscience—you'd have to conclude that God's fighting force has some serious training to do.

Have you ever wondered why marriages seemingly crumble overnight, and—out of the blue—Christians leaders fall to luring temptations?

The truth is, no marriage instantly disintegrates, and no one suddenly falls away from Christ. For that matter, no one dies from an eating disorder after missing a day or two of meals.

It could better be described as a slow decline—gradual spiritual starvation, barely even discernible to the outside observer. The malnourishment of God's sons and daughters happens over time, as they eat less and less. Then, in their weakness, they do something that shocks everyone, finally revealing what was really going on in their spiritual lives.

Did you know that more than 80 percent of those who call themselves Christians read their Bibles only once a week? And that's usually on Sundays, at church. They come to church to get their spiritual fill, and then snack on devotional tidbits for the rest of the week (if even that).

I wish for just one day God would change the way our eyes work, so we would see ourselves spiritually. We'd see most American churches filled with skeletal, hollow-eyed saints, looking as if a gust of wind would blow them away like tumbleweeds.

Which is why, when some new trend floods America and pushes our nation further away from God, further away from our spiritual roots, the church is unable to withstand the tide. We simply don't have the strength.

So what's the solution? ....

If we eat only once a week, it's no wonder the church is weak and struggling. But daily fresh bread can change all of that. Regularly dining on fresh bread makes for a stalwart, strong, developed army—the only kind of force that will always make a difference in this world.

So, will you join us? We already have several new people joining in, and all but one member is returning again this year. You can participate as much or as little as you are able to commit to. You can read along with us, read the daily posts and comment as you have time. Or you can commit to writing some of the posts as well. It's up to you!

It doesn't have to be my blog.

But choose something.

Choose a plan to get into the Word. Daily. And see what God will do!

I am one of those new people.  I am so excited to be a part of this.  I have one more day left of 2010 to read and I'm going to finally, for the first time in my life, completed reading through the entire bible in a year.  I have gained so much!  I thank the Lord for His word and it's change in my life.  And I'm going to do it again this coming year.  I figure with all I've learned this year, how much more will I learn in the next year?  I've been telling people I've learned more in this year of just simply reading the word than in the 4 years of seminary.  It's that important.

Please join us.  Your Christian walk cannot survive without it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Excuse me, I'm having a crappy day. I'd like to return this one and get a new one.

That is all.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Goals for 2011 - Preview

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This, obviously, is a work in progress. I've decided to not do resolutions this year, but rather, goals. A resolution, as defined by, is:
1.  a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2.  a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3.  the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4.  the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

All of that makes New Years Resolutions sound like something comes into effect, like a law, Jan 1 12am.  And I've realized with many things that change does not happen over night.  

Now goals are defined as "the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end."  Ah ha! You see, resolutions never work anyway.  You never hear anyone saying at the end of the year 'I kept my new years resolutions!'  No, but goals?  Goals yes.  Goals are something we can work towards through the year.  They are something which I can look at at the end of the year and say, 'Did I meet my goal?  How close did I get?'  It gives me room to make the change and room to fail.  It's not an all or nothing, which is hard for me.  Goals we can make steps towards, whereas resolutions demand that we are already there.  Semantics?  Maybe, but for this gal, it gives me some room to breathe.  

Now, onto the goals.  I want my goals to be potentially life changing.  Not just 'I want to plant a garden this year.'  But rather, 'I want to can all the spaghetti sauce I'll use in the coming year.' Or something like that.  I want my goals to be substantial.  So I'm sitting here, what are the areas of my life that are substantial to me?  The areas that God has blessed me with, so that I can be a blessing?  And even that is a struggle against self.  You know I love to run and one of my goals is to be able to run a 12 min mile, but how does that bless others?  How does that bless God?  Hmmm.  So those areas would be:

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with Andrew
  3. Relationship with our children
  4. Relationships with others
  5. Relationship with self
I'm noticing a theme here, but I think it works.  We are blessed so that we may bless others.  I recently heard a writer say that we were created for relationships.  I also had a book in seminary that stated we were created for community.  Hmmmm.  Which is true.  God created Adam and what did He do with him?  He walked and talked with him in the garden.  What did God say about Adam's situation pre-Eve?  That it wasn't good.  That was the only thing in the whole of God's creation that wasn't good, the fact that Adam was alone. So God created Eve and stated that it was VERY good.  We are created to be with others and for others.  

I've written a lot here and I was going to just write out my goals, like I usually do, just sort of sneeze on the computer and click publish post, but not tonight.  I want these goals to be something I can tell others in a statement.  A nutshell.  And I want them to mean something to me.  I want to grow.  I want to change.  And I want the Lord to lead me in this.  So I'll be back, post later on about these goals.  Before the New Year, of course.  :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Things That Go Bump In the Night

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In case you ever stay at my house, the kinds of noises you might encounter:

  • a cat with allergies
  • a husband with a cold
  • a son desperately trying to share his version of the same virus in a most unique way, ie - hacking up a lung
  • compound all of that with the dark and then you have a daughter terrified of them all.  
Explain why I'm up at 4am?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Runs

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This is awesome! I found this on another runners blog Impossible Is Nothing and I thought you might enjoy this on the day before Christmas. If Santa can run, I can!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Todays Thoughts

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In Bullet form!

  • No, no, I'm not in the study, you cannot find me in here!
  • Crap, what do you mean we can't find a quality car for less than a grand?
  • Eh, I'll run longer tomorrow.
  • I wonder if I'm burning more calories now that I'm running more often and further?
  • It's Christmas now, I've had my candy cane.
  • Cat, you've got it made in the shade.
  • I think I want to cry.
  • Wait, bread's done.
  • Bread's not done.  
  • I hate baking bread in this stupid roaster.  
  • I think I can cry now.  
  • Ahhhh, I've got coffee.  
  • Things will settle down after Christmas.  Right?  
  • Is it wrong to go to bed at 7:30?  
  • How many times must I call that girls name before she answers me??  
  • GRRRR.
That is all.

Monday, December 20, 2010


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I ran 1.5 miles straight this morning, without walk breaks!!

Woot for me!!

That is all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Running Tips

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This blog post from 125 is great advice on wanting to run. She, too, is a former fat girl and is running. And is running marathons. I totally second her advice.

Check it out!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Hat and.....

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the worlds cutest boy (at least I think so, feel free to disagree, but do that somewhere else. I want to remain in my bubble.) Anyway. I made another hat. Actually I made three this morning. They are so easy!! Here is a super cute pic, because even though it's too big, he's a better model than I.

Yes, he is wearing duckie slippers.  Aint he just cute?  Ok, so the pics aren't the most flattering for him, but that's the best I can do with a 2 yr old, aright?!  But you get the picture.  Hah hah.

Here are some links for easy fleece hats, perfect for last minute gift giving.  Seriously people, I put together three in an hour this morning, including cutting them out!

Free hat Patterns

Fleece Stocking Hat  This the pattern I used for above hat.

Fleece Hats

Fleece Hat Tutorial

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Running Gear

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Ok, so like a nut I am running a race the 31st of this month. I have all of the gear I need to do it. And this morning I made my last piece. It's super warm and super cute! The binding has been found wanting, but I can fix that this evening.

Ignore my rough looking face and enjoy the hat!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why I Run

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I run because...

  • when I run, I'm not fat
  • I am free
  • I am strong
  • I am reminded that I can do more than I thought
  • I have removed labels and broken molds others placed on me (thank you High School gym class)
  • I can reach for more than just beauty and thinness
  • I don't have to wait for 145lbs for life to begin
  • It's free
  • I enjoy it
  • And most importantly, I run because I can.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Few New Fave Recipes

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I have been enjoying a few new recipes lately and I thought I'd share.

I realize there is an abundance of yogurt recipes on the net, eh, but what's one more? Here's how I do it.

Food Stuff:
2 quarts milk
.5 c powdered milk
3 tbs bought yogurt

Rice heating pads
2 quart and 1 pint jars
Kitchen thermometer

  1. Mix the milk and the powdered milk together.  (The powdered milk helps to make a thicker yogurt.)  Heat milk in the microwave.  I can get it to temp (180) in 30 mins on 90% power.  Take it out of the microwave and cover with a kitchen towel (this keeps a skin from forming, which is nasty.)  Let it sit on the counter till it gets to 110 or less, about 2 hours.
  2. While this is happening I take my three jars and place a yogurt cube in each one and let it thaw (I buy Stonyfield yogurt and freeze it in ice cube trays.  When it's frozen I store all the cubes in a sealed baggie.  You can keep using your homemade yogurt for culture, but I'm not that bold yet.  I like more firm yogurt.)  
  3. When the cubes are thawed and the milk is cooled, pour about a cup into each jar and mix with a long spoon or fork till the yogurt is combined.  Then fill the jars the rest of the way up.  Lid each jar, give each jar a little shake and then take them to the cooler.
  4. Place jars in cooler along with one or two heated rice heating bags.  Check the bags in about 4 hours, reheat if necessary.  
  5. Yogurt should be ready in about 8 hours total.  Refrigerate.  
I have found that yogurt made this way turns out so nice, not sour at all.  It is so easy!!  

My All Time Fave Granola
I should preface this with I got this recipe from Tammy's Recipes.   And this is the best granola I've had.  But I wanted to make it better, so here is my recipe:

10 cups
6 c rolled oats (I prefer thick rolled, gives it more chew)
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c wheat germ
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/4 c sesame seeds
1 c chopped walnuts, almonds,  pecans, golden flax seeds, or raw sunflower seeds
1/2 c nonfat dry milk
1/2 c honey
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T water (if I don't have the dry milk, I just use milk instead of water here)
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 tbs cinnamon

1. In a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and nonfat dry milk.
2. Combine honey, oil, water, and vanilla in a saucepan on the stove till liquid. Add to oat mixture and mix thoroughly.  Mix in cinnamon last.  
3. Turn into two large shallow greased baking pans or cookie sheets. Heat in 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir twice during heating.  Or you can make it in your roaster, which I did and it turned out great!  
4. Let cool for 15 minutes after removing from the oven and then stir again. Store in tightly sealed container in refrigerator.  

One tablespoon of this granola is 36 cals.  I like this on top of my yogurt!

Energy Cookie Balls
I've upped my running recently, due to having signed up for a crazy race on the 31st of this month.  Who in their right mind runs outside in the winter?  Apparently me.  

Anyway, I usually run early in the AM, when everyone else is sleeping.  And usually I don't eat a thing before I run.  I take hot lemon water with me, but that's it.  Well I've been feeling very faint and just about ready to hit the deck after I'm done with my runs.  Not good.  Now this morning I didn't get up in time and had to run after breakfast.  I felt great!  I figured I needed to eat something, but I usually don't want to make something big, and I'm afraid I'll puke if I eat too much.  So I looked around at some recipes and found an energy bar recipe on my Miserly Mom's Cookbook.  But the calories were like 400 and some for one bar!!  No way!  I had to change the recipe.  The result was delicious!  

1/2 honey
1/2 peanut butter
1/2 sesame seeds
1/2 finely diced dried fruit
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (thin rolled is best)
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

Mix all that together, you'll probably need to use your hands, then form into 32 little balls.  Place the balls on a plate and freeze.  When frozen put all in a container and store in freezer.  Each ball is about 100 cals.  Not too bad for a morning run.  

Let me know if you like them!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Ben Davis Does Life

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I have been following this man's journey of 120lbs weight loss recently.  This video is truly inspiring.  I love the words at the end.  May it inspire you.

You can follow his blog at Ben Davis.


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I just signed up for another race. It'll be Dec 31. And if that day is anything like today I'll be a human Popsicle. Guess it will be incentive to run faster.

I figured out drinking hot tap water mixed with lemon helps my gunky throat. I'm going to try putting some honey in too to see if that helps. We'll see.

The race is at a stadium park around a lake. Every year they decorate the park with lights and such for Christmas. It'll be a nice distraction from the running. I'm so excited I could pop!