04 May

Duck, duck, duck…Goose!

Afternoon trips to the barn often result in playful behavior from this 46 year old student of life. Yes, it is true, the discipline of living with illness and balancing it with a sustainable life requires sustenance and hearty laughs are a gift from God. The soul bouncing about in mirth. When was the last time you employed reckless abandon and just followed your heart for 20 minutes? What began as chores evolved into a pail of corn and a “let’s see” attitude and the happiest 20 minutes of my day.
Since Stella died Fred the duck is lost, he doesn’t know who to hang with, turkeys too big, the chickens only care about the next piece of food and cannot commit to anything and the guinea hens are neurotic and loud.
I was luring him kernel by kernel to see if he’d dip his webby toes but instead the brave ones are the guineas, only one or two bold hens wanted to get close. They pecked the rest of the corn and I was left to sit in the grass in the spotty sun peeking through the trees and whisper, “Father,today is busy and hard but my heart is heavy, I need you.
Palms turning open I breathe, my Abba Father, I belong to you, my Abba, my Father I belong to you and breathe in the warm, sweet air, feeling such love all around me, inside of me, consuming me. I take for granted I am sure how beneficial my letters to the Father are, I began to write to Him every day and it became a relationship that has consumed all of me.

That is today, but I have been in Fred’s spot, I get it. ..the misfit, the outcast, the one left out.
What about humans, when we reach the place where society fails you, there is none speaking your language and you can’t find a friend. Where do you go? Churches and bars have codes, Wal Mart is scary and counseling is expensive.

Me, I  dug deep,  I asked the hard questions and today I’d love to share my perspective, thank you all readers, my freinds, for taking the time to read it.
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We need a call to rouse the collective conscience about what is a human and why are we here. Humans have forgotten that the “Common Good” is the same as the Will of God. God wants what is best for all of us and for the universe as a whole. There was no conflict between what Jesus wanted and what God wanted, that is true freedom. As human beings in nature we belong to the greater community of all living beings, what if we all got along?
Science cannot tell us everything and the mystery of our universe is one of a mind boggling unity or oneness; yet for as smart as we are we miss it by a mile.
We’ve never been more connected yet we are all Fred the duck isolated by our differences and  individualities, we all hold things we are ashamed of that lead us to belief systems about God and ourselves.
Reading about the Civil Rights movement this morning really was eye opening to me about where we are as people. Martin Luther King was a preacher man, when he spoke it rumbled from his gut, he was a man convicted about humanity in God’s eyes. He spoke of things like content of character and emotional acceptance and those words are echoing today in my ears. Racism is a horrible human crime and we won’t solve it by becoming racists, which I see today.
I scroll facebook and watch the same hate spinning as there was back them then, only now the entire planet of humans is involved. We have lost touch with our spirits and one can see by the behavior that it is so. You cannot replace the One True God with anything and expect to find results, every single religion out there has a some means to an end, Jesus Christ doesn’t harp on that though, he is all about Love.
The greatest commandment was to love, combining the love of God with love of neighbor. See Matthew 22: 35-40 There is an indissoluble unity here. We cannot ever play God against man, backpedal to Matthew 5: 23-24, that goes farther to say before we approach the Lord we must be reconciled with our brothers. This creates the law of Humankind.

Because of this every encounter with another is and encounter with the Lord. We are given time in our lives to grow and the success of our lives will be measured by how delicately and sensitively we have loved. Yet, as human we are often narrow in mind, cold, haughty, unforgiving and judgmental are we not booting God off of the throne?  Me-thinks yes.
Motives are unseen and none can read them, but suspicions are the biggest problem we have and on most of them we are wrong. How many times have we seen this in recent news?

We are told not to judge in Matthew 7:1;  then we are told if we do judge others the same measure used on them is used on us in Matthew 7:23. God has blessed us with speech, do we bless or do we curse others? Build it up or tear it down, the spirit is hard thing to repair, please be kind, be colorblind.

It is a compete tragedy that our attention is on what people are not rather than what they are and what they can become, as families dissolve this is so crippling.

We are surrounded by need, it sleeps in our streets, it is in daycares, orphanages, nursing homes, schools and in our daily lives, the people we interact with at home, work and play.
The truest test of our faith is how we interact with each other every day.
I leave you with 2 things, St Francis of Assisi’s prayer for us all to say, let’s ask the Father to create our hearts as His.
And lastly the wisdom of Sesame Street, it is okay to be different actually it is cool. Ask Fred, he is learning one day at a time like the rest of us. You are it…go!

Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon;Lord
Where there is doubt, true faith in you;
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life,let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light;
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master grant that I never seek
So much to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace
It’s in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving to all men that we receive;
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Blessings to you and prayers that you find peace, each of you.

God bless you,

Marla

 

 

23 Apr

The Division Bell

division bell

 

The Division Bell, the Pink Floyd Tour I actually made it to. A fan since the “Wall” which so many of us in the 80’s educational system identified with. The machine that put kids on the assembly line and ran them into a chopper, grotesque but think of it as our spirits, not far off.  It was resistance with an awesome soundtrack.

The bigger bell of division has rung, the one I ring daily. The separation of being a Follower of Jesus or being Religious. In Biblical times there were the Pharisees and Sadducees, I did my homework, I won’t bore you with the details of these past groups but know that we are odd hybrids of them both. Spiritually they were divided, one belived the spiritual realm and one did not, one was the religious group and the other the self sufficency group.  They were on opposite sides up until this Nazarene preaching love and peace showed up and his teachings threatened their heirarchy of power with major social repercussions.

Jesus challenged human beings to be more, to live uprightly, be beyond reproach, to be alert, self controlled (that would go very far), to love and share and care, so why was he such a big threat that they had to crucify him? Oh wait, he was suggesting a humble, peaceful, loving culture and that stops the big money racket that feed the hierarchy, okay, I get it. Jesus taught us love, he sought harmony and hearts that believed and loved the Father as he did. He revealed the Father time and time again, in 3 years he and his message were supposedly dead, but evil will never wins, God does so the story continues with each of us.

Since the inception of religion in the 17th century that separated religion from science terrible  damage has been done to the development of the human spirit. A narrow view was adopted that named mysticism a psychological phenomena, now classifying any non-rational world views into a catch all of religious weirdness. I see this many times directed at those involved in the street preaching and spiritual events they bring others into.
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Initally I too was skeptical, I watched the documentary Holy Spirit a few times, I had to really pray before I wrote  about it. The undeniable factor in this is the love for Jesus in these men and the desire to reveal His love to the needy and the lost. It is seen in their faces yet I see churches attacking them. At least they are trying, not sitting in pews thinking, “thank you God I am not one of them” To the general non believing public this is a joke, if we cannot all agree on God then what?

At some point man being driven by the spirit of religion began to speak for Jesus. If the Bible tells us not to rely on the word of man and the spirit of religion then why do we seek reconciliation and fulfillment there?  God has become something else in todays world, not the Just Father with Unlimited Love and Patience. Ephesians 3:12 says “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

That does not require other human beings to go with you. I can tell you when I retreat to be alone with God I find vitality and power that is not of this world, I don’t want people, I want to hear His voice. God’s word is called a mirror in the book of James, it is called soap and water to  wash with in Ephesians and the Psalms call God’s word spiritual milk and honey. It is true we must reflect, be washed and fed, God loves us so much.

The spirit of religion lives in church, and  by their fruit you will know them. There is no rule, regulation, fee or dress code with God. Churches should be hospitals for the spiritually sick yet they remain socially divided, rendering them unable to administer care. I fear that many in the world do not even know the call of the Father’s voice. We go about feeling bad about ourselves and feeling unforgiven under the mask of “church” with smiles. I only know because I lived this defeating ritual, it made me run in the other direction.

I feel that we forget all good things come from God. We lose our gratefulness to Him and when this occures our attitude changes. Life becomes boring drudgery and management of problems, one struggle after another, we become negative and cynical under the abuses heaped upon us. We no longer realize God’s love for us, our belief is gone. We then harden, becoming cynical to suffering killing the spirit of humble gratitude that God wants us to posess.

Religion is beating the human spirit to death, the book of Colossions frees us from the divisions of religious festivals and religious rules saying that they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence or better said, our desires. The New Testement is chock full of instruction to live as Jesus instructed, all require reflection and discipline but that can be a good thing, right?  The disciples risked everything to continue His message.

The message that Satan is using the spirit of religion to silence  and diminish.

John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Courageous soul, seek your truth today, I can breadcrumb the path but I cannot lead you. This world is Satans playground and he delights in tempting and confusing humans. Pick up a Bible and read Psalm 139, it is my centering verse.

It gets clearer day by day, the road opens before me and my life has become a living prayer.  I pray for all who find this message today. What you see on the news is not our reality. Please stay with me. I awoke this morning and heard it clearly, “explain me” that was all, thank you Jesus.

“Father, I seek no gain, only to prepare hearts to revieve you.” Amen

He stands at the door and knocks, but he cannot touch the doorknob, that is your job.

Much love,

Marla

 

21 Apr

I Scream, You Scream…Ice Cream

The man I married can eat ice cream like nobody’s business. He fondly recollects entire pails of chocolate marshmallow and shared spoons with Pop and his brothers. So when I lost my job, I could no longer afford 3 half gallons of Breyers a week in my budget so I recreated it, it lacked, he suffered in silence. But now that things have evened out and I have grocery money I have perfected it, at least for our tastes.

I share my recipe because I worry for people over what is in food, I learned this the hard way,  and my job as God’s steward is to care for others. The Grocery manufacturers association in combination with brands that began as household staples our moms used have become GMO loaded toxic products that resemble food but do not nourish the body. There is much said on social media and news about becoming a watchdog for your family, living in this world requires an education. They changed things and did not educate us, but farther down the road we can see it was not a good idea, I feel betrayed.

The elimination diet that I underwent recently proved to me that we are driven by desire. The Bible says not to become a slave to it and even speaks of needing to be controlled by bit and bridle, we were given discerning minds and strong spirits, seek the truth, even in your food. I orayed that God would help me seek what noursihes me and am staying focused on the pijnt of decision, my choices are mine, I own them, I can stand firm and resist tempation too. My call, I live with my consequences, I felt I can change this. Nuff said.

We are consumers, via ear, eye and mouth, we become what we consume, think about it.

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That said I have re-created my kitchen out of necessity, I was not willing to do without so I figured it out. That is what we courageous souls do isn’t it? Well I’ve found this ice cream is soul food. Yum, it makes me happy, hence, I share with you my loves.
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Be happy consumers and go in peace, love and sprinkles.

Much love and many hugs,

Marla

The attachment for Kitchenaid is what I use, I cannot guarantee same results in another. I also use basic ingredients, this should not be hard.

Consumer alert* Also I use raw eggs, I have never had an issue, use your own discretion. 

Find one here: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KICA0WH-Quart-Cream-Attachment/dp/B0002IES80/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1429627250&sr=1-1&keywords=ice+cream+maker

Homestead Essentials Ice Cream

In KitchenAid stainless bowl, crack 4 fresh eggs, use whisk and whip for 5 minutes until egg becomes foamy, add 4 tsp. pure vanilla,  1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup organic sugar

note*  I limit sugar so I use 1/4 cup in mine but you can increase to your liking up to 1/2 cup.

Allow this to blend well and continue to thicken, one more minute.

To make chocolate add 1/4 cup of chocolate paste (recipe below)- to make vanilla just carry on without. If you make chocolate, make paste 1st to allow it time to cool.

I get Stonyfield Heavy Cream, about $3.60 at the grocery store for 1 pint.

http://www.stonyfield.com/products/milk-cream/cream/heavy-whipping-cream

 

I use 2 well shaken pints in this recipe which I add to the bowl on slower speed to incorporate the cream. The cream always is thick and stuck on the bottom  so I add a splash of milk to each cream container and shake again then pour into bowl. note * not too much or it will get too thin, it should be foamy like the eggs were.

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Remove the bowl and place the freezer and attachments on the base. note * for best results  freezer should be kept in deep freeze for 72 hours prior to use.

Start the mixer so that the paddle turns in the empty bowl. Slowly pour the cream mix into the moving paddle in the bowl, be deliberate and careful, then just allow it to go round and round…depending on the seasons and temperature of the kitchen this time varies. I allow at least 1/2 hour and stay close, it clicks and makes noise when it thickens.

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Remove promptly when thick and freeze. Enjoy!

Chocolate Paste for ice cream

1/3 cup filtered water

1/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder

1/4 tsp real salt

1/3 cup sugar (I use 2 tbsp in mine but I reduce all my sugar, and have sucessfully used honey in this)

In small pan on medium heat, stir well to incorporate, bring to slow boil for only 1 minute and whisk, it will thicken up nicely. note *Do not over thicken. Allow to cool before using in recipe.

 

 

 

17 Apr

No Risk, No Faith

Winter always descends upon me like a lead blanket, this body doesn’t do cold anything happily. This winter was the winter of all winters and almost took my soul. It has been very painful for me so I ask you read tenderly, but listen please, I have to tell her story.
In my quest for fulfillment as an independent person, once I gained my career as a bank manager I accumulated money via a nice income. When I did I set out to fill every wish I had, my return to afarm life opened certain doors. I began to acquire things that were passions to me, a dog, a horse, big gardens, an active social life, but eventually when my body broke down the same things began to consume me, I could no longer perform the tasks assiciated. So along with the acquiring comes parting, and we did.
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Lady was everything I could have wanted, she was obedient and sweet, she sized me up and we decided before I would ride her we’d be friends. So mornings I would bridle her and grap the rope and we’d walk the farm road to patches of grass and we’d talk. This went on some time, I got on her but knew we were still getting to know each other and my body was failing.
In the years that I had her I got sicker and she became my friend, riding was off the table. She was still mine so I would drag myself to the barn to feed her and let her into the pasture. But many mornings we just stood and talked, I would tidy her pen as best I could and try to brush her even though it was physically hurting me. We shared so much, she kept secrets and was non judgemental and never denied me a hug. She even let me sing, bless her heart.
This past December my body descending, I made the decision to let Lady go. My son was riding her but she was not the right horse for him. No one wanted to assume my responsibilities and the guilt of responsibility shifting was heavy, it always is for the chronically ill.maglia juventus
The day I walked her into the trailer was the hardest day of my life. It broke me in a way I had not anticipated. The year prior I had to do the same letting go with my job, my friends, my career, my dog, my independence, I had practice. Christmas was on the way and I tried to get into the spirit despite the fact that mine was at it’s lowest. Each day I went to the barn and was met with quiet.
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I was not prepared to finally face the fact that my castle I built was crashing, there was one fortress remaining and I held on for too long. Facing the fact that all I lost I had acquired while I was in the biggest heart compromise of all time. If I am to be very honest, I remember the day I shelved my Bible in 2005 and said, “God, this is nice but I think I can do this alone, I am good for now” and in the cabinet it went. I though about God and even began going to church which left me emptier that before I walked in the door. I had been “on the wagon” since 1998 when my son was born and in 2004 began to consume to fit into a format. I felt I was a strong enough Christian to blend and be okay. I have never been more wrong in my life.
The declining health situation was a medical nightmare, I was so drugged by pharmaceuticals, working feverishly to achieve my insane work goals, managing an office and a home, and trying to save the world. Wine and weekend fun to the rescue or so I though, I bought a trip to deaths doorstep. My body so ill I was not longer tolerating the booze that kept me placid. I would be so sick with dry heaves for 2 days straight, refusing the ER and self loathing in my bed. I hated my body, it was betraying me. 2 years of pure hell following  this, I sobered up and began to realize that happiness had been hijacked my madmen leading the planet into greed driven destruction. I began to read my Bible and search for truth.
This December after Lady left, the truth showed up with a 2×4 to my head. There was no turning from the fact that I had done and undone myself, something I have been saying since childhood, “we will eventually all do ourselves in”, it was an inherent belief in my heart.
I had to admit there was noone else to blame for the roads I took and all I could think of was the one that changed me from curious kid to very aware.
I was 13, somehow I managed to get out the door with my older sister, we ended up at a party and I remember it well. The pretty, popular girls around the fire were singing Fat Bottomed Girls and dancing to the radio. I was handed a beer and drank it, and another, the evening ended with a senior at the time taking me into his car and innocence was gone in a flash. I did not tell my mother, instead fueled by soap operas and music videos I made a dangerous connection from me in my body to beinbg something men wanted. My body became a tool, I was desired, that meant something. It was my entire life up until very recently, I still believed that and resented it.
I believe that God send messengers and I married one. In the worst times of me 3 days unwashed, covered in hives and too sick to move this man said “You’re beautiful”. I began to want to punch him in the mouth, stop patronizing me!
But over time his relentless message backed by love began to sink in. So I got to the place where I realized deep down I am beautiful, the girl my momma raised was still there but I hate who I am today.
Rage is a frequent issue for Lymies and the day came when I cracked, the urge to destroy my mask came and I did. I began to scare my family with my words and actions. One particular day I left the house, in my truck, no phone, no purse or money, no coat. I drove to the field where the party was 33 years ago. I parked and prayed and somehow in the conversation I laid it down and let it go.
The months since that have been the best of my life. Rather than running from my truth, I embraced it. I began to forgive myself for being a naive kid who was so easily led, circumstances cannot be blamed, they are what they are and I love the people involved, I have to leave that alone.
Lady was a messenger too, just yesterday driving down the road I said to my son, “your dad asked me if I want to get a horse gain someday, that is funny so did you just last week”. We talked and I told him what I have learned.
Lady was trained, very well trained, in the hands of Debbie her new owner she was peaceful and obedient, Debbie has a peace about her. I had no peace at all, anywhere in my life, Lady knew that.
Fact: She may have been here but I was not ready for her, I was not the person she needs, Debbie was.
I had work to do, so daily I make deliberate and conscious fully present decisions and I move forward. No horse now but someday, maybe when I am fully healed but today I still am working toward that.
Today I am following my heart and I won’t ever sell it on short sale again. I get my cue from God and have learned to wait. Do I beleive in God to the point of risk, to the comfort of giving it all up and only having Him? Yes. That is what He is building in me, every time I hand it over and trust him. Faith.
If you build it, they will come. I am patient.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Much love friends.
Marla
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