Friday, September 27, 2013

How Do I Treat Others And Why?--A Meeting With The Longing King...

I vividly remember the day I was working in a United States hospital as usual.  I was asked to see a patient who had been brought in from home with significant debility.  I am often asked to work with the medical team when there is concern that someone is failing at home and needs more help than they have. 

I walked to the connected building where he was being treated.  When I got to the room, he was in contact isolation which means staff put gowns and gloves on to help prevent spreading infections to staff or other patients.  As I read the chart, I saw that he had lice and open sores on his skin.  I was surprised that the nurses were wearing masks and asked if he had a respiratory infection.  One nurse stepped out and explained that staff worse masks because of the smell; he had not been bathed and cared for in so long, and his sores were oozing. 

I came in ready to introduce myself.  As I entered the door and turned to the right to face him, I took the scene in visually in what felt like an instant.  There were two nurses cleaning him and caring for him.  He was clearly the most debilitated person I had seen at the hospital.  His arms and legs were contracted and he was unable to straighten his joints.  He had obviously been bedridden.  He was so thin.  I remember thinking "This is like a man Mother Teresa would take in from the streets." 

Just then I felt God at my right side whispering in my ear.  He said, "Theresa, do you see him."  "Yes God," I said. "I feel so sorry for him."  God said, "Isn't he wonderful!  I created him.  Isn't he wonderful.  I love him so much.  He's my favorite!"

That moment changed my life.  

I knew God was not closing His eyes to the suffering of this gentleman, but in that moment He was gazing on him as he created him.  His Father's gaze saw His son, His wonderful creation.  Just like the good Daddy He is, he saw this man as a child, running and jumping on His lap.  God said, "There you are!  I missed you!  Oh, I love you.  You are my favorite!"  and then he would jump off and a little girl would run up.  God would say, "Oh, there she is!  My favorite!  Oh, there's my girl."  And so on the dance continued, children coming and going.  All His creation, all His favorite.  

It hit home...Every person I interact with is God's wonderful creation.  All people were created for good.  They were created with identity in Him, with destiny, and purpose.  They were created to proclaim beauty for ashes, joy for despair, and resurrection to the dead.  Kings and Queens, paupers, plumbers, CEOs, soccer moms, divorced dads...those in prison, in shelters, in mansions, in stone cottages...those revered, those criticized, those seen and unseen, those claimed and unclaimed...the woman who stole from you, the man who betrayed you, the parent who let you down, the political figure you despise...all were created to be representatives of the King.  They were created to be filled with the Holy Spirit to speak peace, healing, and blessing everywhere they go.  When you interact with them, you are speaking to God's beloved, His creation.  He longs for them to be close to Him always, He chases after their heart so they be not deceived by the Deceiver, He invites them into his flock like a Shepherd, He longs to give them Life forever...God's longing for His people to be near to Him--Longing in the manger, Longing on the cross, Longing from His throne.  He is a God who longs for his people to be restored to Him.

Even when others don't know who they are in Christ, can we look at them and know that what the Psalmist said is true for them as well...

Psalm 139 v 6
It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out; the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.

Does this woman know that God shaped her?  Do we treat her with that knowing...

For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.  You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful;  I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.


When kings and princes rule the earth, can we pray they will know their Eternal King and Creator...the King who is the Longing King.

O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am; You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.  Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.  You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming, and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know. You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.  It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.

Can we live with the knowing that people who are different from ourselves are cherished by our King; He created them and has thoughts and plans for them...what treasure, what value, and joy!

Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them! How grand in scope! How many in number! If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!

If we could live with the glistening knowledge that everyone, everywhere has been created by and is important to our King, would we interact with others differently? 

If we could look beyond what we "know" of them now in this lifetime, and see how God created them to be, could we call out the gift and destiny and life God deposited in them?

How would the world be different?  

(all scripture from The Voice translation in this post)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

My 7 year old son follows a gluten free, casein (dairy protein) free diet.  This helps him manage his symptoms within the autistic spectrum.  We are always on the look out for healthy and yummy alternatives for favorite foods like ice cream. 

A few years ago, I played around with recipes for making homemade ice cream.  We use a Cuisinart ice cream maker (I don't think the model is even being sold now) and probably make about 5 batches a week. We have been doing this for about 4 years, and the machine is holding up well. 

The milk base I use for the ice cream is a mixture of hemp milk and coconut milk.

Hemp milk is an alternative to cow's milk made from hemp seeds. 
One 8-Ounce glass generally contains the following nutrients:
900 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 2800 mg Omega-6 Fatty Acids, All 10 Essential Amino Acids, 4 Grams of Digestible Protein, over 40% of RDA of Calcium, Vitamin D, and many other nutrients.

Coconut milk is produced when water and coconut "meat" are mixed together and then pressed so the milk is harvested.  

Some sources I read said the water used is coconut water and others just said "water." Coconut milk contains medium chain fatty acids, the fatty acid type most easily recognized and used by your body.  Because coconut milk is not a cow's milk product, it is free of lactose and the large milk proteins that can be associated with intolerances and allergies.  It is also vegan.  It is versatile and can be used in smoothies, rice dishes, soups,and curries.  Coconut milk is found in cans, sometimes in the international food section of your grocery store.  

Basic recipe:

In a blender, I put one can of coconut milk (you can use either full fat or lite depending on how creamy you like it and how much you want to cut calories) and then top it off with hemp milk until I reach about 4 cups on the total blender content line.  Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Agave nectar and blend.  

You can make flavors by adding elements to this basic recipe (our ice cream maker holds about 5 cups, so I watch the blender content line when I am adding ingredients. 

1. Add cocoa powder for chocolate
2. Add frozen organic fruit for a fruity ice cream
3. Add pumpkin puree to make a nice autumn ice cream
4. Add organic peanut butter and chocolate chips

We store our ice cream in a glass container in the freezer.  The ice cream will need to be warmed to scoop out, so it either needs to be taken out ahead of time or put in microwave for a minute or two to soften up.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest of Our Prayers

I love autumn.  Maybe its because I was born during the fall.  Maybe its because my name means Reaper. Maybe its because my husband proposed to me at a cider mill.  Of course, the pumpkin spice lattes, cool crisp air, and colored leaves don't hurt either.

And in our prayers, we all wait for the harvest don't we?  The fruit of the seeds we have planted in intercession.  The glorious outcome of all the sowing...the seeds sown in tears.  We wait to harvest them in joy.  

Here are some of my favorite harvest scriptures (The Message):

Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.

John 15:5 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.

Galations 6:9 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. 

Hosea 10:11 Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God, Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.

Psalm 126:4-6  And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gluten Free Frozen Pizza

I have recently been recovering from surgery, and having some food we can unwrap and throw in the oven is very nice!  That is sometimes a tall order when you are trying to eat natural food, and in addition, we eat gluten free, soy free, and dairy free. 

We recently discovered Ian's gluten free dairy free pizza at our local grocery store.  

We have tried other frozen pizzas but didn't care for the "cheese."  Ian's is now our favorite 
frozen pizza...nice crunchy crust, smooth cheesy topping, and delicious uncured pepperoni.  The makers describe it as "all nature allergy friendly."  

For those of you that like gluten free but can eat some dairy, you may want to check out Bella Monica's Gluten-Free Spinach and Feta pizza.  It has a subtle spinach taste and the feta adds a nice unusual twist to the usual cheesy topping.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Civilized Caveman Cooking: Lemon Pound Cake (Paleo)

Interested in Paleo cooking?  You might want to check out,  I personally LOVE this recipe on the site for lemon pound cake.  I use agave nectar rather than honey and I leave the glaze off.  The cake is very moist and not too sweet.  I have noticed that the center often seems too soft when I take it out, which I think is a function of the coconut oil which melts easily even at near room temps.  I put it in the fridge for cooling and it firms up nicely.  

Serves: 12
Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Pound Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a 9×9 baking pan by coating the interior lightly with coconut
  3. oil.
  4. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place it
  5. over the coconut oil.
  6. Sift dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to
  7. combine.
  8. Place oil and honey in the bowl of a food processor and process for 2 minutes.
  9. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  10. Add coconut milk, lemon extract, and lemon zest, and continue to process until well combined.
  11. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine using a wooden spoon until smooth
  12. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test
  13. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes
  14. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely
  1. While cake is in the oven, cut vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the beans into a small saucepan.
  2. Add the vanilla bean pod, lemon juice, zest, and honey to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool to room temperature. Remove pod and discard.
  5. Using a fork, poke several holes in the top of the cake
  6. Pour glaze over the cake, using a spatula to evenly distribute over the entire cake. Let the cake rest for an hour to fully absorb the glaze.
  7. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.

Friday, September 13, 2013

If God Loves Me, Should My Life Look Different?

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional copyright Regan 2012

*2013 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist*

Luke 23:39 (The Message)

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

When I think of the cross, I remember Mary grieving, John at the foot of the cross, and Peter denying Jesus. I think about who wasn't there, the scattering of the disciples. And I think of the thief who said, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” This was as if to say, “Fix your situation to show me that God is really with you. If God were really with you, your situation would look better.” What a subtle invitation to believe a lie. “If God is really with you, prove it.” It reminds me of the temptation of Jesus in the desert, when the Adversary came and said, “If you are the son of God, command these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3; NIV). He challenged Jesus to fix His situation in order to demonstrate that He is God’s Son.

It is certainly not bad to try to problem-solve and fix situations. However, the lie is in the implication that your situation must be resolved in order to demonstrate that you are God’s beloved son or daughter. The lie is the suggestion that your circumstance speaks to whether you are loved by the God of the universe. We cannot look to our circumstances to make conclusions about God. We must start with what we know about God, and then make conclusions about our circumstances. God is good all the time. God is faithful all the time. God brings good out of every situation. God loves you and desires you all the time.

1. What do you believe about God? If you are uncertain, start here. Ask God to reveal His basic and unchanging nature to you. Then start with what you know about God to decide what you know about your circumstances.

2. Have you been invited to believe the lie that your circumstances somehow demonstrate God’s feelings toward you? Do you see the lie? How can you change your belief system to focus on the truth of God’s desire and love for you?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spaceheadz: Children's Book Review

We have been trying to find chapter books that my 7 year old is interested in.  He loves stories although doesn't like reading.  I have tried adventure books, but I am learning that he seems to like humorous books better.  We really enjoyed book #1 of Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka. 

The book is written for ages 7-10.  It features Michael K, a fifth grader starting a new school, only to realize that some of the students are aliens.  The book is humorous and engaging.  The chapters are short, so he feels he is making some progress quickly in the book.  He isn't able to read all the words, and essentially we read it together.  But, he often wants to read the next chapter rather than stopping, so that is progress!  The book is 1 in a series of 4 (the fourth book comes out Oct 1, 2013).  

We recommend the book for kids who like humor and books about what funny things can happen in school.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I love history and love photography.  I guess it's no surprise that one of my favorite things to follow on twitter is ClassicPics@History_Pics.  

Check these photos out:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Psalm 119: A Lamp and a Light

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional 
copyright 2012 Regan
*2013 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist*

God’s Word

Psalm 119:105 (New International Version)

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Everything that God is doing in your life and in the life of your child is for freedom, for good, and for life. However, sometimes the journey is confusing and takes you beyond the known into the unexpected and unplanned. It is likely that God has led you into territory with no map and only His voice for guidance. His Word lights your way. His voice is your light and your direction.

This scripture speaks to me about the journey. As I meditate on this verse, I realize that sometimes I find that I have been given a lamp only on my feet to guide me moment by moment. At other times, God’s Word enlightens my whole path. I can see more of the big picture. I can see some direction ahead, the winding of the road, the horizon. I have been in both places, both seasons. I am learning to dwell in either reality. Each involves God’s voice, light, steps, direction, and listening.

1. Think about your journey with God and with your children. Can you recognize the different seasons? Which are you in today?

2. What is your comfort level with your journey? Do you prefer light on your feet or your path? Can you learn to feel grounded in either season with God?