Monday, January 25, 2010

Why We Haven't Talked Much Lately....

I haven't been able to talk with you much lately, because I've been:

1. fighting some MS stuff

2. stressed out about moving (duh, remembered today that I am to walk by, I'm back at that)

3. homeschooling - love it! We're learning about Creation vs. Darwinism; Harriet Tubman - who by the way, Darwin would have not credited as having any value whatsoever - did you know he had his own black slave?! All part of his skewed survival of the fittest theory.)

4. sharing my faith with 3 precious Jehovah's Witnesses that keep coming to my door...we're having quite the Bible study out there on the front porch...please pray that I may show them the truth of Who Jesus is...they believe that He was an angel created by God, and that He is actually Michael the archangel - they also believe that they have to work to earn their salvation, yet they won't tell me this...

Each week finds a new person at my door...they leave the person from the week prior, who was "newer" in the religion, and they bring a more "mature" member. It's quite deceptive, in my honest tell me that they'll see me next week, when they full well know that one of them won't be returning. 

There's a lot of deception with them, actually. It's quite sad, because I truly believe that these are sweet women who just want to please God. They've too have been deceived, by the false teachers in authority over them. 

Please pray that God's Word will prevail, and that His Spirit will minister to these sweet ladies (whomever they turn out to be this week) and that they'll coming to salvation in Christ Jesus, and be set free from this false religion. 

I mean this....please, please pray for them and for me....pray me up, friends! 

5. cooking ....and I love you so much that I'm sharing my recipes with you! I forgot how much I love to create in my kitchen! Oh, I hope my new house has a cook's kitchen!

Love ya'll today!

Jes’ Homemade Pot Roast

1 beef tip roast, approx 3 pounds
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
3 or more cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
Better Than Beef Boullion
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
Fresh rosemary
Fresh thyme
A few teaspoons of water

Place 1 tablespoon of Better Than Beef Boullion in the bottom of the crockpot. Add water and mix the two together. Add enough water to coat the bottom of the crockpot, so that there will be liquid enough to well coat the vegetables you’ll put in next, but not so much as to cover them with liquid. (You want the veggies’ natural flavors and the flavor of the meat to create most of the liquid.)

 Place the onion pieces and the cloves of garlic, along with the carrots into the bottom of the crockpot and cover the bottom.

Put some rosemary and thyme on top of the vegetables.

Place the roast on top of the vegetables.

Coat the top of the roast with about a teaspoon of Better Than Boullion, and add a little water to it, so it makes a smooth paste to easily cover the top of the roast.

Cook on high for 12 hours, if cooking the roast from frozen.

If cooking it from fresh, I’d guess 6 hours on high, or 10 hours on low…but I haven’t tested this theory.

Additions: Yummy Mashed Potatoes; Easy Steamed Asparagus…

Yummy Mashed Potatoes
10 Idaho potatoes – not russets
Sour Cream
Coarse Ground Sea Salt
Coarse Ground Pepper
These are not designed to enhance your figure, so you gotta get past that!
Once past it, enjoy! (Or just take some of the mashed potatoes and rub them on your tush....there, the damage has been done, now you can eat with abandon!)

Peel potatoes, dice into small pieces and then soak in a cold water bath.

Fill a soup pan with water and bring to a boil.

Put potato pieces into boiling water, and let ‘em alone….let them boil until they’re super soft!

Drain the potatoes and transfer to the mixing bowl of your Kitchen Aide mixer. 

Put the wire whipping attachment on, not the paddle…but the one used to whip egg whites.

Pour some milk on top of the potatoes….maybe ¼ c or so.

Start the machine and as the potatoes start getting blended, turn the power up to high.

Stop the machine and add ½ stick of butter, cut into thinner pieces, into the heart of the mound.

Add about 4 tablespoons full of sour cream on top too.

Grind the sea salt into the mix, to taste.

Grind the pepper the same way.

Mix on high.

Transfer bowl, covered with foil, to the oven beside the Sister Schubert’s Dinner Rolls that you’re about to put in to cook for 10 minutes. This will keep the potatoes warm while the rolls are cooking and you get your asparagus steaming.

Then all will be ready for the dinner plates at the same time….hot and yummy! J

1. Use Tex Joy Seasoning instead of salt & pepper….delicious!
 2. Add grated sharp cheddar cheese to the mixing bowl….and some garlic. Ahh!                            3. When boiling the potatoes, add fresh rosemary, then blend it in when whipping. Ooh!
4. When boiling the potatoes, add a few bay leaves for taste, remove before whipping. Mmmmm!

 Super Easy Steamed Asparagus

The key to delicious asparagus is that you get the baby ones. They are so light and wonderful, you could even pick them up with your fingers and eat them like French fries…but you wouldn’t do that, as it’s bad manners….unless you’re at the Womack’s house….then we’d simply forbid you to eat them any other way. J

Baby Asparagus

Use my triple pot…the one that has the shallow steamer insert.

In fact, I think this must be some kind of spaghetti pot, as it has those two baskets…anyway, it’s cool and I dig it, and think everyone should have one.

Fill the pot to about ¾ full of water.

Cut the woody ends off of the asparagus.

Lay the shallow steamer basket into the pot.

Lay the asparagus into the steamer basket, lay them out like little sleeping soldiers.
Steam for approx. 10 minutes…the length of time it will take to cook the Sister Schubert’s Rolls that you now have cooking in the oven…that is, if you’re making the asparagus to go along with my Pot Roast Recipe.

Add asparagus to plate. Once seated, pick them up and eat them like the healthy little soldiers they are.

Thank God for yummy food like asparagus.

J Life is good.

I love you, Laura. Only a true friend like you would tell me about the Sister's Rolls!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Testimonies Like This One DRIVE Me....

Precious Friends,

This note was written by Mary Alice, a dear woman I don't think I've ever met face to face, but through whose letters I am DRIVEN to know the Word better, and to carry it deeper, that others may be set free from their prisons, just like I was set free from the one of my own making.

Free Indeed! Thank God Almighty, I know the Truth, and the Truth has set me free!

May you be blessed, convicted if need be, and DRIVEN into the Word of God.

Get the tissue box. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Love you today,

Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25

Dear Praying Friends,

        The afternoon class was so excited to get started, they crowded around me like little hungry children as they came in with stories of how they made it to class and "do you have a pencil I can borrow' and "I couldn't bring anything through work exchange, do you have any paper I can use?"  "Can we keep the books?"    "Do I get one?"
         "Please sit down, and we will get started," I chuckled.

        As eager eyes watched me pull out the books, I explained they had to earn the books by perfect attendance and participating in class for a few weeks.  "I do not have enough books for everyone, but if we all have a Bible, we will be fine, I encouraged. 

        I informed the students that this was primarily a Spanish study, but the English students could join us.  I had underestimated the response to this class.  I have 30 books in English and 40 translated copies in Spanish.  I have over 100 students....oops!   This class is 90 percent new to studying God's word!  The old-timers (student that have been with me before) will gladly give up their books because they realize the book is not all important; it's what is learned and applied that is important! (But when in prison, there are few possessions, and these lovely books are a treasure.)

        As the ladies learned how to study inductively and investigate the Scriptures, the excitement grew even greater.  We are studying forgiveness.  At the end of class, two eager students in the front row were amazed how awful and dysfunctional Joseph's family was.  "What?  Are you kidding me?  They threw Joseph in a pit?  They sold him?  Well, that dad should never have showed favoritism...He was just wrong for doing that!"

On the way out I heard one of them say, "I'm gonna read ahead in Genesis 37 and get the rest of this story!...Hey Miss MaryAlice, is it ok if we read ahead?!"

I held back my burst of laughter until they left the room, "Well, if you wanna cheat, ok," I teased. "Of course you may read ahead in the Bible anytime!  You don't need my permission!"

How precious they are and how humbling this service is He has given us.  That's why it's so important you know what's going on, so you know your prayers are necessary.  New believers and malnourished believers (those who have studied little) and seekers are easy prey for the enemy.

        Now for the night class...They too were excited and most were well prepared!  The old-timers in this class were like horses at the starting gate...raring to go!  I had to hold them back so the newcomers could join in!  And that's hard to do in a class of over a 100 students!  We are studying Deuteronomy, as you recall, and in the first lesson I brought in a little review of the previous studies.  I could have leaped off the stage with excitement as they recalled and fitted together past studies.  It was just downright excitin'!

Vanessa was there, front row center.  Still looking downcast, but no cuts.  We had so much territory to cover I did not have time to speak with her.  Please continue praying for her.

Melvenia is harboring unforgiveness, we discovered.  She is wrestling with it along with menopause.  Please pray she humbles herself this week.

All yards were released this week.  Last week, C yard, was not released and the ladies were very discouraged.  Please pray all yards get released.  Many times the inmates stand out in the cold for half an hour to get released and the guards turn them back due to a short amount of staff or a fight or something!  Many have told me they want to cry.  (Of course, in prison you learn to suck back the's a sign of weakness to cry.  You will get picked on or beat up if you do.  It's only safe to cry in the Chapel.  And they hide it when they do.)

Thank you again dear friends for joining me in this fertile ministry God has given us.

Your Fellow Servant,
Mary Alice
A bondservant of Jesus Christ
Set apart for the gospel of God

Friday, January 08, 2010

When Was The Last Time?

I really am going to be quick tonight.

I just wanted to pop in and ask you a few questions, while we're on this roll of marriage posts...

When is the last time that you asked your husband to flex for you?

I'm being dead serious!

Do you do that?

Ever ask him to flex his muscles for you?

Ever compliment him on his legs?

Ever tell him what a brilliant brick layer/engineer/ditch digger/pastor he is?

When is the last time that you told him how thankful you are for the father that he is?

Ever share with him how much you love his butt tush?

When is the last time that you asked him to make love to you, after telling him that you just couldn't stand 
one more minute without being close to him?

Ever call him at work and tell him what your "plans" are for him when you get him home?

If you're blushing, or balking, I'd challenge you with this.... 

Don't you love it when he says these things to you?!

Remember how it was when you were young and in love?

Is it still that way?

If Janan said...let it begin with you.

MMM....we gotta feed these marriages of ours, and cherish them like the precious gifts from God that they are!

We have an adversary, ladies....and we're foolish if we forget that! He's an enemy...and he desires to rip our families apart....

Are we going to just hand them over on a silver platter, or are we going to fight to the death for them?

If you can't fight for your own anymore, then share your heart in an email to me, and let me fight for you in prayer...

Allow me to share your story (but change your name) here on the blog, and you'll quickly have a whole host of women fighting for you in prayer!

I've been totally amazed by how many people have responded to the past few posts on marriage, both to the posts themselves and to their subsequent comments. Most of those responses have been in the form of phone calls or private emails...thus my promise that if you do decide to ask for prayer, your name will not be shared.

Marriage in this country is under full-on attack. We gotta get into the bunkers with each other, ladies!

I'm not spell checking or proof-reading tonight, as my head feels like it's going to I'm off to bed.

But, I do seriously love ya'll tonight!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Marriage - Let The Younger Women Learn from the Older...

Sweet Friends,

This is from my precious friend Janan, whom you've heard a lot about if you've read much on my blog. She is my spiritual momma, and I love her dearly.

I trust that her words will bless your life, or the life of someone you know. If you find that they do, or that the previous message on marriage did, you can just click the button that looks like an envelope, and forward it to anyone whom you know that may need to "hear" these words of encouragement today.

I've been blown away by how many phone calls I've had regarding the post on marriage that I wrote a few days ago...and by the work that the Spirit of God has seen fit to do in several womens' lives already.

Praise Him!

I love you today,

Dear Jesica:

I read your post the other night after getting home from a long week of travel. It has pestered me all night and all day, so I decided to tell my story in hopes in can help someone.

First of all, I pray in the Name of Jesus for any and all of you that are dealing with thoughts of separation or divorce. I understand it, as I have been in your situation, and it is only through God's saving grace that my husband of 31 years and I were able to keep our marriage together. And since it was truly a work of God and not our own, our love and committment have grown deeper with each passing day. God not only saves - but also heals.

After about 5 years of marriage, I began thinking about leaving my husband. I had left my first husband, so when things started getting hard in this marriage, I thought maybe leaving was the thing to do. He told me matter-of-factly that, "Kashes don't get divorced."

He began receiving treatment for depression, which helped for awhile, but eventually our lives began spinning out of control. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to put things in order. I would think and pray until my head hurt - if I could just get a vision of what needed to be done, I was sure I could pull it through. This went on for almost 20 years.

I should mention that in our situation, neither one of us was a Born Again Christian. We both grew up in the church, and we knew the concept of Jesus as Savior, but we had never made Jesus our Lord. So it was about this time - after 20 years of marriage - that God was gracious. Within a one-year period of time, all four members of our family gave our lives to Christ. This was after a precious lady, who worked for me in my home 3 days a week for 3 years, prayed for me and my family for those three solid years as she worked in my home. She prayed over our beds, over my children's video games, over our entire home. (We were totally unaware of this.) And after three years, when God started moving in our family, He moved with POWER.

That was close to 12 years ago. What happened was that we allowed GOD to put our lives in order - it was never something we could do on our own. He gave us the vision we needed, the power through His Holy Spirit to hold our tongues with one another, and when we began to attend church regularly and study His word individually, His word never came back void (Isaiah 55).

It took time for me to re-learn how to be kind and respectful to my husband. I pretty much quit asking God to change him, and started begging God instead to change ME.

I realized that the things we do become habitual. Over the years, I had developed terrible habits of disrespecting my husband, talking back, feeling superior, feeling self-sufficient,etc. And for me the change to rid of those things came one day at a time. In an argument or discussion, I would pray for God to hold my tongue, and He did. After awhile of this, my husband quit the arguing because I was not arguing back. Cycles were broken.

I heard something on the radio once, and I decided to try this and friends - it really worked. This is how it went. They were interviewing a lady who had written a book or Bible study - I can't remember which, and I never knew who she was. But she said that in her daily quiet time, she would pray fervently for her husband. She kept a running list of all of his faults and daily she would go down the list and pray for God to rid him of these things. She did this for YEARS. She said that one morning, she heard God very clearly telling her to throw the list away. Instead she was to make a new list of good things about him and focus instead on those. What she came up with is what she called the 30-day challenge - 30 days because this was a period of time when bad habits can be replaced with good habits.

The 30-day challenge works like this. Every day for 30 days, you are not allowed to say ONE - NOT ONE - bad thing to your huband. No matter what - no way. You must instead compliment him in some way. This could be in the form of saying one nice thing about him or his character or appearance, making one nice comment about something he did for you or someone else, leaving him one nice note - you get the picture - one nice thing a day. She even emphasized if you could only find one nice thing to say, you could say it over and over for 30 days.

I tried this myself and it worked. What happened is I quit focusing on my husbands faults and instead began looking at things that were good about him. Many of those things were things that I originally loved about him when we met. God allowed me to see much deeper into him than I had ever seen him before.

It was probably close to 30 days into the challenge when I remember my husband and I were on a trip - we were driving somewhere in Colorado I think. I remember looking over at him and saying, "Can you tell "I" have changed in the way I treat you?" His reply shocked me. He said, "Yes, and I think you really mean it." My point in all of this is that God helped "me" to change and in the process "my husband" changed as well. But it had to start with one of us, and I knew it had to be me.

I have a Bible story I want to remind you all of. It is told in two of the gospels - Luke 9:37-45 and Mark 9:14-32. This story followed Christ's transfiguration. Jesus walked into the scene and some of his disciples were trying, unsuccessfully, to cast an evil spirit out of a boy. Jesus said to them, "Oh unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." The boy's father told Jesus he had been like that since childhood and he said to Jesus, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

Jesus replied, "If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes". The father replied, "I believe, help my unbelief," and Jesus drove out the evil spirit and the boy was healed. Later the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon and Jesus told them that "This kind can come out only by prayer."

As believers we have been given power to overcome the enemy, but that power is not of ourselves, it is from God. And the way we activate that power is through prayer. We must be deligent to pray!

I know this is lengthy, but I have one more story I want to share which I am sure everyone is familiar with. And this story will, in fact, be my prayer for anyone who is struggling in their marriage. This story speaks to me in a mighty way of what Jesus did to my own marriage.

It is found in in John 2:1-11 and reads: On the third day a wedding took place at Cannan in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jeus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding fom twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridgroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

I think of my marriage as the wine at the wedding. Somewhere over the years, we ran out of wine. But then Jesus showed up and performed a miracle in our marriage. He told the servants to "fill the jars with water." The jars were empty, but Christ had them filled. The part that I love the most about this story is this - he turned the water into wine - but not just any kind of wine - but CHOICE WINE - FINE WINE! And this is what Christ can do with any marriage. He can take an empty marriage - dry - and fill it up and then turn it into fine wine!

I pray that if this message is for you today, that you will 1) Turn your eyes upon Jesus - make sure He is your Savior AND your Lord; 2) PRAY! Don't ever quit praying! 3) Quit asking God to change your husband and ask him to change YOU! 4) Take it one day at a time - pray to God "Give us this day our daily bread."

I hope these words will be a blessing to someone. I love you in the Name of Jesus!

Janan Kash

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Forgot to Tell You....or at least, I think I forgot to...

The Lord answered our prayers, and I was able to have a benchmark MRI done on Christmas Eve.

It was a wierd Christmas here...we were out of town until about Dec. 6th, and didn't get our home set up or decorated until just about 10 days before Christmas. Then, the MRI and much-awaited appointment at Barrow Neuro on Dec. 23rd (this had been a 5 month wait!), all just kind of made the season feel rushed, and unfocused.

I kept having this great stuggle to keep the focus on Jesus, until I realized....we do that daily! here's the big news:

The MRI showed NO new lesions on my brain!

That's huge! It means that the medicine I take each night is working!

Praise God!

Thank you so much for your prayers!

OK...going to bed now!

Love you,

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm Struggling in My Head Today...

I'm just going to share my heart with you all today...oh how I pray that you'll give me wisdom...that you'll help me with the answers to questions that are plaguing me.

I want to live as Christ. I so do. I feel I've been doing quite a miserable job of it lately, as I haven't been very faithful in much of anything.

I've faithfully attended my doctor's appointments, given my daily injections, tried not to accidentally overdose myself with all the stuff I'm taking, and have spent much time loving on my family.

Other than that, I question whether I'm truly living as Christ.

Here are my quandaries, I welcome your insight/reproof in the Lord, etc.

This question is what is stealing my sleep...night after night....oh, how I want to fix this...

 What is the church's role in the marriage of other believers?

God forbid someone should get sick as I have, the church is fantastic about that. They bring meals, love on my kids, offer their hearts across the board...anything we've needed, one of God's own has offered to do.

But where are we when we see our brothers and sisters about to throw in the marriage towel? What do we, as the American church, truly do for these families?

Several years ago, there was a woman in my town who was living through much of the same heartache that my own marriage endured, yet survived (only because of Jesus) early on.

A whole hen group of Christian women knew about what she was living through, but because her heart was hardened, no one thought it their place to go and reach out to her...everyone just resigned themselves to the fact that her marriage was over, thus we were to keep our mouths shut.

It seemed to me that they either didn't want to act "out of line" (UGH! Give me a BREAK!) or they were scared of her. She, like myself, was quite the strong personality.

You all know me too well....I couldn't do it. I had to call her....not to condemn her, but to tell her I'd been right where she was, and that God's grace sustained us, and healed our marriage.

In the days since, there have been several couples, and many wives, who have opened up to us about their own marriage struggles. It's been a miracle and a blessing from the Lord to be able to encourage them in the hope of Jesus Christ. question tonight is, WHY don't we do this more? WHY don't we show up on their doorsteps with food and love and just dig in and get muddy with them?

I mean think about it...if your marriage is in the dumps, and you see no other way for your life to ever improve, but to separate or divorce, and the very night that you're ready to roll, all of your Christian friends with whom you've shared your life (or not), show up on your doorstep to stage a prayer intervention.....wouldn't that at least make you stop for a moment!?

What if those friends were willing to pray over you, and your spouse, and with your kiddos.

What if they fixed you dinner and washed your sheets and held you while you cried, or held up a garbage can lid so you could throw softballs at them....

What if they got real honest, if their walls came down and if one by one, you could hear the amazing ways that God had worked in each of their marriages, thus keeping their families together, and teaching each of them what their God given rolls in marriage were, and how to live them out?

What if they:
cried with you
ate with you
sat silent with you
prayed over you
read the word over you
took your children for a weekend so the 2 of you could get away
took your children for the day, so you could sleep and pray

What if those of them who were victims of divorce, took a few minutes to share with you how hard:
each birthday had been
each Thanksgiving
each Christmas
each ball game
each play
each time they just needed their Mom to hold them or their Dad to roughhouse with them
each night that held for them a bad dream, without the softness of a Momma to help them through it
how hard it when they grew up, trying to parent, yet not feeling that they had their own parent they could call upon for help

the list goes on and on....

Funny little things are hard for the child of a divorced family...and that "hard" starts the minute that the family splits.

What if those children of divorce took the time, during this Christian intervention, to share with you how much their lives had the minute that they found out one of their parents was leaving, a switch in their head went off, and life was never the same again?

These are the things we don't talk about....we're not open and honest about....yet, if you are a believer who is thinking about walking away from your marriage, instead of trusting God to work THROUGH your issues, you have no idea how great the ramifications will be....

SO again my question.....

WHY DON'T we as believers do this for those whom we know and love?

In essence, what if we did whatever they needed so that they could focus on forgiveness, or on making a true apology and what if we as their friends took their kiddos for them so that the two of them could work out a game plan for how they were going to keep their family together?


I mean, aren't we being naive if we think it has to be the church proper, when the true church, the Body of Christ extends well beyond the roll call of our given denominations and specific church fellowships? question to you today, my sweet blog readers, is WHAT are we as the Body of Christ, to do in these situations?

Please give me practical ideas....practical steps, and Scripture would be superb!

Your comments are deeply requested.

In the interim, please pray like front line soldiers!

Love Ya'll,