This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You Can NEVER Out-Give God!

Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Matthew 7:11 " If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? "

You sure can't out-give the Lord! My husband and I have seen this truth so many times! Giving of yourself, your money, your time, etc. can be a challenge, but it is a command in Malachi 3:10. When we are faithful to give, God always gives back MORE! I was reminded of this fact even this week, and it caused me to stop and thank Him for his goodness to remain true to His Word! I love how the Bible says that the Lord will open the very windows of heaven, pouring out blessings upon us! What an encouraging thought, and I'm here to say that it is TRUE!! It has happened to me!

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

You can NEVER out-give God!

I could give you example after example of how we have seen the Lord work in this way, a result of us proving Him. It is humbling, amazing, and beyond words to watch the Lord work on your behalf. How humbling to know that the Creator of this Universe would care about me!

We live in a selfish society, one that lives for self for that is our world's philosophy -(humanistic -which is anti-God by the way). When you step out of your comfort zone and give of yourself, your time, your money, etc, looking beyond yourself - you WILL see the blessings, for as the Bible says -Acts 20:35b "....It is more blessed to give than to receive."

I want to challenge you to prove the Lord as He says in Malachi 3:10. Have a spirit of giving and watch and see what the Lord does for you!

One of my favorite verses:
Eph. 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."

You can NEVER out give God!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Does Your Facebook Status Say About YOU?

This is a topic that most can relate to since Facebook is the new and improved way to connect with friends, family, acquaintances, clients, co-workers, etc. I find that like most things, it can either be used for good or for evil. Like everything in life, it surely has its pros and cons.

Something that I've noticed a lot lately is the ever popular FB status. I don't think that many people really "think" about what they write in their status. I've found that FB never fails to truly reflect the individual, because as the Bible says in Matthew 12:34"...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.". It can be a sad thing to really be introduced to the real person through FB. Other times, it can be a true blessing and encouragement!

What does your Facebook status say about YOU? Are you encouraging and edifying? Are you a complainer? Do you use FB to vent your frustrations (not really thinking about the fact that you're venting to a whole lot more people than you intended?) Do you berate your spouse, not really caring that you're disrespecting him/her to the FB world? Or do you take the time to respect and praise your spouse, thanking the Lord for him/her? Do you use your FB status to send secret messages that really aren't that "secret"? Are your status updates hypocritical? Does your status say one thing and your life reflect another? What about those status updates that you regret? Why not think through it first?

Facebook can be used for good, it can be a true blessing to those around you. It's a forum that you can openly share your heart, faith, and life in. We have over 500 contacts on our FB, and there are SO many status updates that encourage us, glorify God, or give us a good laugh. The next time FB prompts the Q - "What's on your mind?" -why not think through it first and try to leave a FB status that you know you won't be ashamed of later. Think -Funny, witty, biblical, encouraging, edifying, loving, instead of disrespectful, spiteful, bitter, negative, and venting. (trust me, you'll make your friends that much happier being "friends" on FB)

With that in mind, see ya around the "FB world" :-D


Monday, September 27, 2010

"Why I Believe in Jesus"

John 6:66-69 "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.""

So here was the piercing question in our class yesterday: "Why do you believe in Jesus Christ?" And "What would you say to someone who was not a Christian about why they should believe in Him?"

I can't say that I have really delved much into these questions... At first thought, you would say "Because the Bible says so." But is that the only justification that God has given us to share with others about why we believe? Hardly. So here, I would like to share with you the four reasons extended to me yesterday that we can use to reach others who are in doubt...

As a quick side note before I begin--Are you one of those in doubt? Are you one of those looking to atheism? agnosticism? philosophy? materialism? or false religion? Where will these things leave you at the end of your life? If you don't believe in Jesus Christ, where are you going to go? I challenge you to think about these questions in depth, read the rest of this post,
and submerge yourself in prayer and the Bible. God is real... Amazingly real. You will see.

Reason #1: The Historical Fact.

Jesus Christ is a FACT of history. Do the research. He truly walked the face of this planet for 33 1/2 years and was crucified on a cross. Think about this: Even out dates revolve around the reality of Christ! (B.C.'"Before Christ", A.D. or Anno Domini translated is "In the year of our Lord")

"The impact of Christian religion in general, and in particular the behavior of the early church, is logically unexplainable without the reality of both Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection." Think the people who saw Jesus after His resurrection were just seeing things? Did you know that he was seen by over 500 people?!?!! That's an awful lot of hallucinatin'!! These people died for the cause of Christ. People may live for a lie--but they will not die for one.

Reason #2: The Biblical Fact.

2 Timothy 3:16-17a "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect"

The Bible is the steadfast, rock solid Word of God.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance..."

Here is where we can say "The Bible says so!" : )

And with that being settled, the Bible also says that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus had a miraculous birth, an astounding, miracle-filled life, and a sacrificial death.

Reason #3: The Spiritual Fact.

John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

"Your human mind will never, by itself, logically and coldly turn to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord"

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

The Holy Spirit shows us the Truth.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."

The Holy Spirit testifies to you.

1 John 5:10 "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."

The Holy Spirit testifies in you.

Reason #4: The Personal Fact.

Read the verses listed at the beginning again. Peter knew the Truth.

"Beyond all logical proof (and there is PLENTY), we know because we know--we know Him personally and experientially."

How can you explain the life change of a person after salvation? You can't! God does it, miraculously and wonderfully.

I can assure you, I have experienced it... That incredible, life-altering change that only comes from God. There are no doubts as to the reality and fact of Jesus Christ!!

Acts 26:17-18 "...now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

Jesus is real. It is the fact. It is indisputable and undeniable.

This is why I believe! : )


Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit...."

Ok, if the title didn't make you laugh then you're wayy too serious. ;-) I don't know where you live, but here in North Dakota, Autumn arrived EARLY. At first I was somewhat irritated, but now I'm embracing it completely! ;-) I'm ready for cozy warm fires, comfy sweaters, the aroma of baked goods, and everything else that this cozy season entails. The crisp Autumn air has definitely put us in the mood for warm food, I've made two types of chili in the past week if that tells ya anything! In fact, I'm about to share with you a delicious Bean chili recipe, that will make you learn to love beans (even though they might not love you in return) ha ha. It's our family friend's recipe and I want to thank him for allowing me to share it on the blog. I'm going to give you the recipe that will feed an army, no really. Feel free to half the recipe if need be. Otherwise, plan to invite a lot of people over for supper! (or freeze in batches). It's the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, I hope you'll enjoy!

~{Coachman's Scrumdiliumptious Bean Chili}~

2 cans Bush's Baked Beans
2 cans Great Northern beans (no juice)
2 cans Lima beans (or I substituted Canellini beans - no juice)
2 cans Butter beans (no juice)
2 cans Kidney beans -with juice
4 cans Pinto beans with jalepeno (I used pinto beans and sauteed 10 fresh jalepenos)
1 can Hot Chili beans
1 12oz can Tomato Paste
1 lg Onion, diced
2lbs hamburger, or ground turkey (venison works too)
1 pkg Kielbasa sausage, chopped
2 cups brown sugar, to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp Chili Powder, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Cayenne pepper (optional)
*Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce - special ingredient, use it to your liking.

* Brown meat & onions in a LARGE pot. Add all the beans. Stir in tomato paste and spices. Mix well. Slow cook for 4 hours or more, stirring occasionally (at least every hour). Better if allowed to set overnight, as the flavors will unite for an even better chili!

Now that you have the recipe for an amazing chili, you MUST have the perfect cornbread muffin to accompany it. I mean, you can't have peanut butter without jelly, nor can you have salt without pepper. As is with chili, you cannot have it without an amazing cornbread muffin! Thanks to Page for this authentic Southern recipe! You. Will. LOVE!

~{Fabulous Southern Corn Bread Muffins}~

1 1/2 cup- Corn Meal (yellow is best)
1 cup- white flour (unbleached, do not use self-rising)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Buttermilk - the secret ingredient!!!
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs honey

Yields: 12 muffins (so....yeah, you'll wanna double batch this, if not triple ;-)

Mix wet ingredients, sift dry and add to wet mixture only until moistened. Let mixture sit for 5min. Heat oven to 400, grease muffin pan and bake muffins for 15min or until tops are golden brown.

*NOTE: I made a double batch and added chopped jalapenos and grated cheese to 12 of my muffins. It makes for a delicious twist to an already perfect muffin. Be creative and try adding chopped bacon, minced green onions, fresh herbs, etc.

P.S. I've heard that including a whole potato (peeled) in the chili can help to...ummm....eliminate the hilarious and oh so common side affect of beans. I did try this, and it worked for SOME, but not all. haha! FYI

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quilling. Is. Awesome.

My mother-in-law, Becky, is always into something new. She is interested in everything and anything! Every time I see her she introduces me to some new craft idea. A few years back, she told be about a long, lost art form known as quilling (or paper filigree). I instantly fell in love! Oh, the delicacy... the challenge... the possibilities!

Quilling involves rolling strips of paper into shapes and gluing them together to make a design. You can make anything from cards, christmas ornaments, Jewelry, scrapbook embellishments...the list goes on and on! Here are a few of my Quilled creations!


Quilling paper can be bought or made. You can purchase the paper at most craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael's. It comes in 1/8th inch wide and 1/4 inch wide and comes in a variety of colors. I personally like the 1/8th paper.

There are a few ways you can make your own paper if you don't want to purchase it. Make sure your paper is 'acid free'. Acid free paper will not yellow with time. The first way to make quilling paper is with a precision paper trimmer. My trimmer is measured out in 1/8 inch increments, so I just move the paper along 1/8th inches at a time and cut.

The second way is with a paper shredder. I found this little shredder at Dick Blick's for a few bucks.

Besides your paper, there are a few other tools That come in handy while quilling. These tools aren't necessary for a beginner, but are really useful and worth the money if you intend to make this a regular hobby. The first thing you need is the actual quilling tool. It is a stick with a slotted end. The end of the paper is threaded through the slot which helps to keep it in place as you twist. If you do not want to purchase one you can just use a toothpick to twist the paper on. The second tool is a quilling board.

A quilling board is made of thick foam or cork and has a plastic template on the top in which there are different sized holes. After twisting your paper into a tight coil, remove it from your quilling tool and place it in the desired size circle. Let go of the coil and the paper will open up and fill the hole you put it in.

The quilling board helps your shapes stay consistent and uniform. If you don't have a quilling board, let the coil slowly open up in your fingers until the desired size is achieved. Other than the Quilling tool and the quilling board, you will also need clear drying glue, tweezers, and a pins.

Quilling may sound intimidating, but I promise it can be really easy and fun! One of the easiest things to make is a flower. Here's the how-to : )

For this flower you will need 2 colors of quilling paper. One color for the petals and one color for the center.

1.) With your petal color, cut 5 12inch pieces.

2.) With your second color, cut 1 6inch piece.

3.) Grab a 12 inch piece and twirl into a tight coil.

4.) If you have a quilling board, place the coil into a 1/2 hole and let it open up and fill the hole. If you don't have a board, slowly let the coil expand in your fingers until it is about 1/2 inch wide.

5.) With your tweezers, grab the outside of the expanded coil.

6.) With a pin, place a small amount of glue onto the outside flap of the coil.

7.) Glue the flap onto the coil and place the coil back into the hole it came from. Repeat this step 4 more times until you have 5 circles total.

8.) After the glue dries for a few minutes, you can handle the circles. Grab a circle and pinch one end between your fingers so that the shape resembles a petal.

8.) Do this with all of your circles.

9.) Place a small amount of glue on both sides of the pinched end of the petals and glue together to form a flower.

10.) Twist your 6 inch piece of quilling paper into a coil and release the coil slowly in your flingers letting it only get slightly bigger. Glue the end of the paper onto the coil and add glue to the bottom. Place inthe center of your petals.

And this is just the beginning! There are so many fun and interesting designs you can try!

If you want to know how to make other flowers, shapes or objects, let me know in the comment section and I will gladly show you how : )

I hope you enjoyed this "Crafty Creation"! Don't be intimidated--you can do this!! Just give it try!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm SO very thankful....

Isaiah 53:5 "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I've been practicing the song "The Holy Heart" on the piano, preparing to accompany my husband for a church special. I wanted to share the words with you, because it's a song with such a powerful message in addition to the wistful melody.

~The Holy Heart~

The Holy Heart was broken, sent from the Father's side.
The Son of God forsaken, the holy Sacrifice.

For me He was forsaken; for me He died a lone, my sin forever taken that I might be His own.

The Holy Lamb was stricken, abandoned and alone.
He bore the world's affliction; He bore it as His own.

For me He was forsaken; for me He died a lone, my sin forever taken that I might be His own.

And when my heart is broken, torn by my sin and pride,
The Son of God now risen will draw me to His side.

For me He was forsaken; for me He died a lone, my sin forever taken that I might be His own.

I'm SO very thankful for Christ sending his ONLY Son to die on the cross for MY sins.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I'm reflecting upon that day 9 years ago, when I bowed my knee, repenting of my sin, putting my faith and trust in Christ alone to save me from my sins. When I saw myself as a wicked sinner, before a Holy and Righteous God, I realized the depth of my depravity.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

My heart was broken over my sin, and my pride was replaced with humility before the Lord.

2 Chronicles 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

I've never been the same since, He truly wrought a work in my life! I'm so thankful for His saving grace, there is such a peace in knowing that my sins are under the blood of Jesus Christ, never to be remembered again!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Have YOU experienced this so great salvation? The salvation that ONLY Christ can give? There is nothing in and of ourselves that we can do, it is ALL through Jesus Christ, for He is the only way!

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

He has given me SO much to be thankful for, first and foremost the gift of salvation.
My friend, I pray that you have had a time in your life when you repented of your sins and asked Christ to save you. If not, we'd be more than happy to show you from God's Word this so great salvation!

"Thank you Lord for saving my soul, thank you Lord for making me whole, thank you Lord for giving to me your great salvation, so rich and free!"

*The Holy Heart - words and music by Anne Barbour and Marsha Skidmore

Monday, September 20, 2010

Time to think about time... : )

Ephesians 5:15-17 "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."

How many of us are truly "redeeming the time"?

In our sunday school class, our teacher really brought conviction to me through these verses listed above. Sometimes, I am SO busy!! I've only got a million things to do every day: time with the Lord, time with my family, time spent on photography, time spent on the house, time spent at church... OH, THE LIST! On and on it goes... I know you all are following me here...

So, let's take some time to think about time. : )

First, I would like to point out one obvious thing about time that is so often forgotten: No one has any more time than you do. We all are so wonderfully given 24 hours each day--time that God has allotted each of us to accomplish His divine will on this earth. Each moment you are given is a precious gift from God which we are to be good stewards of. What are you doing with this gift? Are you "press(ing) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians 3:14 or are you living in the world for the temporal things, and living for yourself or others, 1 John 2:15-17? Also remember, the busier you are--the less you think about God!

Another thought to consider: It does no good to dwell on the past--whether it be guilt, glory, sorrows, or resentment. Paul said, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before" Philippians 3:13 He essentially considered the past a "dead issue" whether good or bad, because it did him no good. Another way to think of this might be that, "Worry does not take the sorrow out of tomorrow--but it does take the strength out of today." Two more verses to bring home this point: Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Most definitely easier said than done--but still what we are called to do. God will help us if we ask Him to! And, Psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." God gave us this day, this moment, this second--be happy! It's His gift to us! What a great God!

Last thought, based on these verses: Proverbs 27:1 "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." And James 4:13-15 "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

WE ARE NOT PROMISED TOMORROW. Period. Think of it this way: "Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is all the cash you have." You all know the old saying "Don't put off till tomorrow what could (or should) be done today"!!

I know this is a lot... But I was deeply convicted of my usage of time. God has so graciously bestowed this gift of time to me. I don't want to waste it! I want it to be for Him!!

So here is a quick recap:

1) Be careful about getting too busy. We will one day give an account for all of our actions--including what we did, or did not, do with our time.

2) Cut yourself loose from yesterday, and "Tomorrow" is a time that is nowhere "but on the fool's calendar".

3) We all have time. Use it wisely and efficiently for God! Accomplish His will with your gift of time!

My last and final thought:

2 Corinthians 6:2 "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."