Rising Out of Spiritual Poverty – By Mark Worth

photo by kymmie_xox

This is a guest post by my husband, Mark.
Wess Stafford the founder of Compassion International developed an analogy to help define the causes of poverty that he shares in his book Too Small to Ignore. The analogy is of a wagon wheel where the hub is abject poverty. The six spokes are economics, health, learning, environment, social or sociopolitical, and spiritual. The outer rim of the wheel represents ‘enough’. Without each spoke being addressed people will eventually settle back into abject poverty.
I recently heard a sermon that got me thinking about this analogy as it applies to our spiritual walk. I think this draws a good picture of the difference between walking in defeat and walking in victory.
Economics
YHWH-Jireh – The Lord our Provider
As Christians we need to have a fundamental understanding that G-d owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:9-12) and He will provide the resources that we need to do what He is calling us to do no matter what the scale.
The Church often operates in a physical mindset when it comes to resources. We do not trust G-d to provide what is needed when He gives us a vision. We allow the search for and management of resources to direct our actions. We let the scarcity of resources limit what we try to do for G-d.
Our G-d can open any door and provide any level of funding required to do what He calls us to do. If we are walking in His will we can ask and He WILL PROVIDE.
Trust Him and ask Him for resources without reserve.
Health
YHWH-Rophi – The Lord our Healer
G-d can and does heal any disease or injury that exists. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional; it does not matter. He does it. His desire is to have a whole bride. An unblemished and healthy Church.
We have freedom from our past because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection (Luke 4:18-19). If we are held down by shackles from our sin and our past it is only because we have failed to step out of them because they are open. We have the freedom in Christ NOW.
We have healing in G-d. There is no reason for us to be brought low by sin or disease. This does not mean that He will always heal everything. However, if you seek Him He WILL respond. It may not be in the way you expect or hoped, but He will respond.
Seek Him for healing, restoration, and freedom. 
Learning
YHWH-Elohim – The Eternal Creator
G-d created everything that exists. He is the master of all creation. He desires us to search Him out directly and through His creation. The Bible says that “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2). G-d told Adam to “subdue”  the earth (Genesis 1:28-30).
As Christians we should have a passion for learning. In my adventures on the internet I frequently come across atheists making fun of Christians for our poor knowledge of what the Bible says. We have no excuse to be ignorant of G-d’s word. We should continually seek to deepen our relationship with Him through His word. We should seek to learn about the world around us that He made. He has laid out the secrets of creation for us to find.
We are privileged in this country to have overflowing educational resources at our disposal from biblical commentaries and sermons on iTunes to free online physics classes from MIT.
Become knowledgeable! Use the resources available to you.
Environment
YHWH-Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts
As Christians we frequently overlook the spiritual climate we live in. G-d commands “legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53), and the devil does too (REF). There are principalities and powers over geographical areas that work against the move of G-d and His saints (Daniel 10:12-13).
If there is persistent resistance or failure in the advancement of G-d’s kingdom in a certain area it is probably because there is a demonic stronghold actively resisting. The devil and his demons want to see G-d’s plans fail and fight unceasingly to see them frustrated.
We need to be aware of this reality so we can recognize it and fight it. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Intercession, worship, and spiritual discernment are the primary weapons that we have for fighting spiritual strongholds.
This is a WAR. We need to treat it as such.
Social or Sociopolitical
El-Elyon – The Lord Most High
We are currently blessed in the country in that we are not experiencing political persecution. However, our light can be dimmed on our own account because we are afraid of what people around us might think about our faith. We are SONS and DAUGHTERS of El-Elyon, the Lord Most High. We are princes and princesses in His kingdom. We should walk in our faith with the same brazen audacity that earthly royalty walk in the physical.
Romans 8:14-16

 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 

Matthew 5:10-11

 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute         you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Mark 16:17-18

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Step out in the authority of your position as a child of G-d.

Spiritual
YHWH-Eloheenu – The Lord our G-d
Relationship. Relationship. Relationship. That is what it is ALL about. Jesus should not just be our focus, but our LIFE. Every decision we make should be based on what will bring us closer to G-d.
In conclusion: WE DO NOT NEED TO BE SPIRITUALLY IMPOVERISHED. If we are walking the straight and narrow as beggars it is because we are FOOLISHLY passing up the untold wealth and power that our Father passionately desires to give us. If any one of these spokes is broken we risk spiraling into a state of spiritual poverty. We are the CHILDREN OF G-D! It is about time that we started acting like it.

Comments

  1. …and this is supposed to be 15 minute date night cakes.

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Giving New Life to an Old Bag

When Christopher was born I was given this super cute diaper bag. It served me well, and I used it well…

The handle fabric was shredded in places and the handles were pulling out of the bag. The bottom corners of the bag were rubbed away and in several places the top of the bag had holes in the fabric and missing stitches.
I had switched to a different bag for Natalia, and was going to be passing this on, but first I needed to give it some new life. There was so much life left in that adorable bag, I could not just let it be worn out. I love to get things that are worth the time to repair! In fact when we get new things, that is one of the things we look for. When this is slightly worn, will it be nice enough to be repaired? This bag definitely was. Here’s instruction on how I did it.
The Bottom Corners

I decided to just take in the bottom corners. They will wear out again, but it went through two babies to get where it had been (it was passed on to me second hand). So, that was fully sufficient for now.

  • Using a seam ripper separate the out and inner layer. 
Even the inside of this bag is super cute!
  • Take in the corners sufficiently enough to have the worn out edges not showing, and also to make sure the seam does not go through the worn out fabric. Do it on both the outer later, and inner layer of the bag.
  • That is it for the corners, it is not time to re-assemble the bag.

The inside of the corner, pinned and marked.

The handles

The handles were the saddest part. They had nearly pulled out of the bag and the fabric was tattered. My first thought was to add edging, but it soon became clear the that they needed more then that. As adorable of a fabric as it was, I needed to fully recover them.

  • Remove the handles from the bag. The handles on this bag was sewn on between the inner and outer layer, so when I separated the two earlier this job was complete. 
  • Choose a sturdy fabric that matches the bag. Try not to chose a light solid color because that will show dirt. I used denim, which is admittedly not as cute as the original stripe fabric, but I wanted it dark, sturdy, and I needed to use something I had on hand. Cut a strip of this that is as long as the handles you are recovering and 2 1/2 -3 times as wide as the handle. (You want it to wrap around about 1 1/4 times and have 1/4″ to press down.
  • Press down one edge by 1/4″. I did not have to do this because I was using upcycled fabric from a skirt, and I was using the hemline.
  • Pin the folded down edge about 1/8″ from the edge of the handle. 
  • Starting at one end remove a pin and stuff the raw edge under the folded edge. By doing this you help make sure the folded edge is nice and a straight line running along the handle. 
About to remove the pin to put the raw edge under the folded edge.
  • Top stitch as close to the edge of the folded edge as you can. Top stitch running along the other edge of the handle to, this will not only make it look better but will help assure that the original handle does not clump up.
  • In this photo, the top handle has already been sewn on each edge of the handle and the bottom handle has had the recovering fabric pinned on and is ready to be sewn.

The top edge, and putting re-assembling the bag.


The top edge also had some holes in the fabric, so I decided to take in the edge a little bit. 
  • Trim the top edge of both the outer layer and inner layer by about 1/4-1/2 inch. You will need to cut so that there is less then 1/4″ of the frayed fabric left at the top. 
  • To reassemble everything, first you need to pin the handles to the outside of the outer layer, pointing downward. (see photo)
  • Next, pin the inside layer so that the right sides of both layers our facing each other. 
  • Sew the bag together, making sure the frayed edge of the fabric is on the inside of the bag (since you trimmed it you should only need to sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. The bag will be shorter, but it will have a longer life. Make sure you leave a hole to turn the bag out outside out.
  • Turn the bag outside out. Pin the two layers of fabric together a few inches below the top to keep it nice and sturdy while top stitching. Top stitch around the edge of the bag 1/4″ down. 
  • Handstich the together the hole where you turned the bag.

Goodbye frayed fabric!

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Nourishing Traditions- Review and Giveaway

Why yes, I did read that book.

If I had a $100 for every time I said I would NEVER do something, then did it. I’d be filthy rich. If I had a nickle, I’d have a decent amount saved up and would buy that ice cream machine I’ve been wanting.

I said I would NEVER read Nourishing Traditions. It’s a book that says weird things like “don’t eat grains”, “eat pork”, and “eat butter rolled in cheese and topped with bacon, it’s good for you!” Or, so I thought.
Well, a few months ago I bought Nourishing Traditions to read. Instead of getting $0.05 or $100 I spent $16, and it was well worth it. I’m loving that book. It’s a nice lesson in humility, as I realized once again I had made a strong assumption, and was wrong. But, it was an even nicer lesson in nutrition. Time-honored nutrition.



What’s the Deal with this Book?

 In the 1930’s this dude called Weston A. Price went to study diets of those not “civilised” by western culture. Diets that had been the same for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, with practices passed down from one generation to the next. He had a point to prove, that a plant based diet was the best for you. He, like me, also had a lesson in that he was not always right, because he did NOT find what he was expecting to. All those “uncivilized” “unwesternized” tribes and villages did not eat a plant based diet, far from it. It turns out that they ate a diet very heavy in animal products, saturated fat, AND sodium. It was a diet refined over many generations that kept amazing health. But, when people from these civilizations started eating a more westernized diet, heart disease, and cancer became an issue. Just like a place you might be familiar with.

This book is based on his findings. I love the intro so much. In it I learned fascinating things such as….

  • All those studies that say saturated fat is bad for you, did not distinguish between TRANS fat and SATURATED fat. Is it just me or is there a difference between natural fats and man made ones? So, why was the difference not distinguished? There is WAY more evidence that saturated fat is good for you, then bad.
  • Generation to generation in traditional cultures were taught to ferment grains, AND they did not feed grains to little babies. Which is good because until at least age  one, babies do not have the digestive enzyme needed to digest grains. That’s right, instant baby rice cereal, fortified with synthetic vitamins, is a rather newfangled food. The first foods most Americans give their babies, is one of the worst for them. They did not have science behind much of what they did, just experience, but Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions, was able to give the science behind many traditional food preparation methods. 
  • It is possible to store food in a raw, or living, state instead of canning. That means people were able to eat raw, and fresh, fruits and vegetables through out the winter WITHOUT having to ship it from across the world. This was something that had been really bothered me, because I knew enzymes were VERY important but I could not see how eating cucumbers from Guatemala in the middle of February was doing me much good. Ever heard of lacto-fermentation? It is a live way of storing food without refrigeration. Sauerkraut, when traditionally prepared, is actually lacto-fermented but most LF treasures (such as traditional ketchup, orange marmalade, and true kosher pickles) are lost to us. 
  • Salt is very important to eat, and from a high quality source does not really rise blood pressure. Ultra refined salt with iodine added in dangerously high amounts, that is then bleached, and has GM glucose keeping the iodine and salt together, and then with chemical caking agents added… is bad for you. 
  • Margarine (which I already would not touch with a 10 foot pole) is actually GREY before it is bleached and recolored. YUMMY!
  • Western civilizations are the only one who drink milk that has not been cultured. I actually can handle raw cultured dairy (and it has done wonders for me, but more on that later) but not regular dairy.
  • Conventional dairy cows have pretty much continual mastitis, stand in filth, and get puss in YOUR milk (unless the milk you have is not from a conventional dairy farm). 
  • Much of what I have been told about nutrition my whole life is unfounded and more political then scientific.
That barely even scratches the surface of what I learned, but it would be silly to say everything I learned here, because no one would read a 50,000 word blogpost. It was a very informative book and I have been implementing many of the things I have learned. 
Noticeable Differences in Health
Since doing so:
  • I have said goodbye to my frequent yeast infections (thanks to cultured dairy and less sugar).
  • My energy level has gone dramatically up.
  • My muscle mass has significantly increased, and my fat mass decreased, by diet not exercise. (Not that I don’t need to do better about exercising). I thought for sure I had lost 10 pounds because while I had been 130, clothes that had not fit me since I was 120 or lower, fit again. Turns out (I do not own a scale due to struggling with an obsession about weight) I was actually 5 pounds heavier. I was talking to other Real Food bloggers and Justyn from Creative Christian Mama thought it might have been due to an insufficient amount of protein. I’ll fly with that. I am even smaller now, so I figure I might be a good 140…
  • Goodbye chocolate cravings! I still enjoy it, but I do not crave it like I used to. Mark got me chocolate for Christmas and I was excited, but did not tear into it like I would have in the past. *blush*
  • Goodbye sugar cravings! Same thing as with the chocolate, I enjoy sweets, but I do not crave them like I used to!
  • I am occasionally actually satiated and not hungry ALL! THE! TIME!
Since we were already doing many of the things they suggested (quality fruits and vegetables, little to no GM foods, less sugar, foods made from scratch, grass-fed and pastured animal products, ect.) I thought I would list the things that we have not had issues with since eating a much healthier “Real food” diet.
  • frequent headaches (for both Mark and me)
  • “bad” knees that were always sore
  • shoulder, wrist, and ankle that had never fully healed from sprains getting hurt every few weeks. I am finally no longer have trouble with those after years!
  • heartburn during pregnancy (I was not able to eat conventional meat, but could eat grass fed beef)
  • acne 
  • frequently sore legs
  • I do not get sick like I used to. I still get sick, but it’s part of a predictable “I’m not taking care of myself like I should” pattern instead of, “something was going around”.
  • An allergy related cough that would visit me for months at a time that would only be suppressed through taking Mucinex every 8 hours.
The book is also a golden resource of healthy recipes. I have not tried as many of them as I’d like (I  rarely follow recipes), but I am excited to try more of them. Especially traditional drinks such as REAL Ginger Beer.

GIVEAWAY

Don’t worry. I’m not going to sing the praise of this book, I am giving one away!!!! You can enter that below. The giveaway runs until next Thursday at midnight. 

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Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are 100% completely honest and fully my own. I received no other compensation for this post or giveaway.

Linked to:

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Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade

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$2 Date and 15 Minute Cake

Discount sparking juice and 15 Minute Cake with Sour Cream Drizzle
The other day, after spending forever putting pictures of our room on the blog. (BTW NEVER say “It’s a picture post, it shouldn’t take too long”) I was ready to spend some time taking advantage of that quiet, peaceful place.
Thankfully, Natalia went to bed well the other night, and Christopher started going down at 9. That sounds late, but we have had a rough time getting them to bed the last couple weeks. They have been been settling down at around 10 or later after a long wrestle getting them to bed.
Finding a bottle of sparking juice, which had been sweetened with regular sugar, for half-off sealed the deal. We were going to spend an evening in our room having a date. That is where the $2 came in. Technically it cost more then that including the cake I made, but that is how much I spent.
While Mark was putting Christopher to bed, I spent a few minutes getting everything ready.
Our room was already nice and clean, as I try to keep it so we have a nice relaxing place to go. No, it is not always clean, but it is usually at least within a couple minutes of being there. I gathered one of our favorite games and some soothing music. We have a cool CD player which will play the music for about an hour then turn off automatically. It’s called a laptop on battery mode. My brilliant husband came up with that one.

I rearranged our sitting area to accommodate our game and special dessert. We keep our house slightly chilly so to make the room even cozier I put the space heater in the room for a few minutes on high.

As for our special dessert, I made 15 Minute Cake. I wanted a special dessert but I needed something easy and quick that would not have leftovers. That was perfect. It is a recipe I converted into a whole food cake from this microwave cake. It was so delicious, and I do not even care for cake that much!
It was such a simple thing. A game, a special dessert, and a relaxing atmosphere. It didn’t even take long to set up, 15 minutes, but, it was priceless. Dates do not have to complicated or expensive to be special.
15 Minute Cake w/ Sour Cream Drizzle
What you need:
  • 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons sucanat
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • A heavy pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon EVO oil, or if it is summer coconut oil (I’m not about to melt that little bit of coconut oil

optional

  • a sweet spread of choice (ex. jelly or fruit butter)
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 1/2 – 2 T honey or powdered sucanat*
  • toppings (mint leave, chocolate shavings, ect.)
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil two 1/2 pint mason jars with coconut oil.
In a measuring cup mix the flour, sucanat, cocoa powder, and salt. Pour the milk, oil, and extract over the dry goods and mix together.
Fill each mason jar to the 2 oz mark (that is half of the batter in each one).
Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
To make the drizzle simply mix together the sour cream and honey or powdered sucanat.
 Break the cakes in half and spread with a jelly or butter, or any other sweet spread of choice. Drizzle with the sour cream mix.
To make extra special put it in a wine glass and possibly top it with a mint leaf or chocolate shavings.

*to powder the sucanat simply blend it in a blender, or coffee grinder, until it becomes a powder.

Enjoy!

What are some ways you and your husband have dates, without having to get a babysitter or even leave the house?



Frugal Friday @ Life as Mom 
Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade

Comments

  1. Thank you for this encouragement! Where there’s a will there’s a way. ;)

    • Yes, indeed! Another date we do is going driving. Our kids fall asleep (or at least usually enjoy it enough to be quiet if the are tired). We get to talk without distractions and it costs less then $5 in gas for a decent drive.

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