Spiritual Static

Have you ever had to put together or replace components of your “home entertainment system” ?  If so you know how challenging this can be.  I remember when it was referred to as A/V equipment-audio/visual.

When I did this, my biggest challenge was sound.  I could get the sound from the t.v. speakers but not from the external ones.  I was able to get sound with static, static only and sound with static.   The static was so bad that it was not worth it to turn the speakers on.   Turns out the amplifier needed to be replaced.  Once that was done, the sound worked the way it was supposed to.

Our walks with God can be like that too.  Sometimes there is static interfering with our ability to her or worship Him.  This static can be from many things: a busy season in life, sin, people  who are around us, the place we worship.

Some of us are good at being able to stay focused on Him despite the static.  Others of us find that we are putting so much energy reminding ourselves to stay focused on Him, that there is little left over for worship or hearing Him.

If you are someone experiencing static from where you worship, a good test to use is this:

Can you honestly say you would feel comfortable with bringing a friend/acquaintance there and would you feel comfortable recommending it to people inquiring about Shabbat and the Feast Days?  If the answer is no and remains that way over a few months time, that is a good indicator that you are experiencing spiritual static.

Shabbat and His Feasts are supposed to be times of rest, joy, delight, and worship of Him.  Static interferes with our ability to do that.

This post is part of Shabbat Shalom Link Up.

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Preparation Day Linky #14

 

 

 

 

I know I have not done this in a while and on Friday there will be an explanation of why I stopped for a while. I have been trying to cook ahead a bit and this can work well for nay Shabbat meal. Instead of spending a weekend or one day a month doing marathon cooking, I take a simpler approach. I cook two meals at a time-one for that night or the next night and one to freeze. This way I am not taking a whole weekend or day to do it which for me is not practical.

Here is a tip from Values Driven Family that I have tried and it works well. After the meal is frozen in the pan, put a 2-3 inches of hot water in your sink and let your pan sit in it for a few moments. Take a knife and go around the edges of the pan and lift it out-it will come out in one solid piece. Then wrap in a double layer of foil and stick in the freezer-this frees up space and lets you use the pan again.

She suggests using wax paper but I suggest using parchment paper to line your pan. When I wrap, I wrap the meal in the parchment paper first, then, double wrap in foil. This way there is no aluminum sticking to the food.

More tips are here.

He Will Reign

This week is Shabbat Shalom Link up #18.

Here is my offering this week “He will Reign”

A Word on Traditions

This is my post for Preparation Day Link up #2.  Click here to join us.

There are a lot of traditions regarding Sabbath and how one should prepare for it.   Traditions are not necessarily all bad, but we need to be careful in how we approach them.

For instance, Sabbath traditions would be lighting two candles, making challah, having a challah cover, using a pure white tablecloth, making cholent so you have food for the next day, saying the traditional prayers.  (Cholent is a type of stew that uses beans and meat and served on Shabbat afternoon).

I know we have people fairly new to keeping Shabbat and I want to say that you do not need nor have to do any of these traditions.  Do them if you like,  but you do not have to.  And we should not feel guilty or let others make us feel guilty because of which traditions we follow and which we don’t.

I do light candles because I like it, but it is not a command.  My challah cover is a flour sack towel that has designs on it.  I have never used an all white tablecloth…sometimes I don’t use one at all.  Other times I use place mats, or a table runner, or leave the table bare.  Whatever floats my boat or what I have time for that day.

In the summer I don’t bake challah or anything else in the oven for that matter-it’s too hot.  That’s what the bread machine and slow cooker are for!

I do not get special Shabbat candles, nor do I care if they burn for one hour after lighting.  I use what I have on hand whether it be tapers or votives or tea lights.  The point is this-do not let the fact that you may or may not have all the accouterments tradition says you need.  If you want some of those things, great…if not great.  Do what you want to make Shabbat for you.

Usually my Shabbat meal is lasagna-becuase it is quick and my blessing likes it.  Works for me! It is supposed to be a joy for us-that means all of us, women included.  Tradition should never carry the same weight as “Thus the Lord said” even though many people treat it that way.  Don’t let that stop you from doing, preparing, enjoying Shabbat.

Judgment House

Some of you may know this by another name-h*ll house.  There is one in our area and some of the youth went last year and this year.   Both years we received reports that several people accepted Yeshua and this year the report was that several of them realized they needed to choose God now.

I know that the people running the youth group are sincere.  It is a small group, so I do wonder  how we could  have had several people both years come to Him.    I wonder about the “counselors” as I know one of them was spoken to and was asked what happens now with the people who made professions and what if they backslide, etc.?  Her response was that once they “that prayer”, they’re saved and God has them forever more.

Let’s look at them say 6 months to a year from now.  Are they showing good fruit?  Are the things they are posting on the social networking sites and their own blogs showing the good fruit?  I have looked at some of these and I can tell you they are not.  When they say they are into astrology, when they say what element they are, when you look on their information pages and read the conversations with some of their friends,  nothing has changed for them.

And that is the problem…they get caught up in an emotional experience that has no substance.  They go back the next year and repeat the same experience-get caught up in the emotion and conditioned response they are supposed to give, or do it because they know they will be in trouble if they don’t, or because their friends did it so they will too.  So now we have unregenerate people who think and are told by others that they are saved-which in turn makes it harder for them to do the true work of salvation and sanctification.

They have been given a false promise that can very well lead to their destruction.

 

 

Organization

I am on an organizing kick for my school room.  Usually I do this in August, but this it did not happen before school due to illnesses, then traveling, then holidays.  Now things have settled down and we are back in the swing of things with school and now I can finally tackle the organization aspect of the room.

I started with clearing things that had been pulled off of shelves and left there and I worked hard on two shelves specifically to move things.  Now the workboxes have a shelf to live on instead of being on the floor.  One other shelf looks great if the books would just stay upright, but for some reason they don’t want to do that.

My husband said it looks good too.  I still have a few more shelves to go and the pile on the desk , but it is so much better than it was.  Yes we do have space to work on the desk-there is one section that needs work.

Canning Without a Canner

Preserved food in Mason jars

Image via Wikipedia

I successfully canned turkey broth (I think :)) the other day-without a pressure cooker.  I searched and found that as long as you keep the broth boiling while ladling it into the jars, you don’t need a canner-which is good as I don’t have one and getting one is not in the budget right now.

It is sealed when you hear the pop or as I describe it, the light thwock! sound of the jars sealing.  I went to bed while they sealed and heard a couple of them seal before falling asleep.  When I got up I pressed on the tops to be sure they sealed.  If you can feel the top move while pressing on the lid, it did not seal properly.  At that point you can store it in the fridge for quick use, reboil and put it back in a jar or pitch it.  Supposedly they can last for a year this way, but I don’t see mine lasting that long as I will use them in soups and stews.  I will have to see if this method works for other things too as it would make my life easier.

I must say I was so excited to see that this worked-I had one jar I had to reseal out of the 24 I did.  Not bad for a first timer!

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