Monday, January 28, 2013

A Woman of Faith: Why Faith is Important

I'm back!! Due to illness I was not able to post any blogs last week. I apologize and hope that you will join me again.

Now that we know what faith is let’s discuss why we need to have faith. Our first clue to why faith is important is actually in its definition. Our faith is the foundation upon which we build lives full of meaning and purpose. We can’t learn to be a woman like the woman in Proverbs 31 without first having a solid foundation of faith.

Our lives are a lot like trees, and faith is our roots. It is what keeps us anchored in the storm and in times of peace. God tills the heart preparing it for planting that seed of faith. Then when the time is right He plants that seed of faith in our hearts, He nurtures and cares for the seed and then a tree of life starts to grow. Have you ever noticed that when a tree first sprouts it doesn’t have full strong branches, but instead the seedling just bears a couple of leaves. Those leaves are hope and righteousness or salvation. God keeps tending the seedling, watering it with love and feeding it with fertilizer (see a previous post). He nurtures the seedling and it continues to grow. It grows strong and begins to branch out. As He continues to nurture it, it eventually bears fruit. More seed of faith that He can plant in the hearts that He has prepared.

Faith produces many effects in our life.

1.         It provides justification and righteousness which in turn produces salvation.
a.        “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)‘

2.        It produces hope.
a.        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

3.        It conquers and provides protection and strength in times of trouble.
a.        In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

4.        It produces action or works.
a.        With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
b.        We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

5.        It provides healing.
a.        And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up, If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. (James 5:15)

6.         It also produces thanksgiving and joy in our lives.
a.        Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this—those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, (Psalm 107:1-2)

A life without faith is like a tree without roots. When the storms of life come, then our lives topple. We feel depressed and hopeless. Faith is important because it is what gives life hope and meaning. It is what gives us a lasting character makeover.

Questions for reflection:
1.         Read Proverbs 31 again. Can you see how faith made a difference in her life?
2.        Can you see the fruit that faith produced in her life?
3.        Has faith made a difference in your life? Why or why not?
4.        What has faith produced in your life?
5.        Share an example of how it has produced hope in your life, protection, action, healing, and thanksgiving.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book of the Week: The As If Principle

The AS IF Principle is not your typical self-help book. The AS IF Principle presents the idea that if we change our behavior then we can change the way that we feel. Richard Wiseman uses examples from psychological research to show that by changing our behavior we can increase motivation, overcome depression, lose weight, stop smoking, fall in love and even slow aging.  He presents the idea that it is actually action that is what controls your emotions, not what you are thinking.

Common sense suggests that the chain of causation is:
·         You feel happy—you smile.
·         You feel afraid—you run.
·         You have willpower—you clench your fist.
·         You feel compassionate—you give.

The As If Principle suggests that the chain of causation is:
·         You smile—you feel happy.
·         You run—you feel afraid.
·         You clench your fist—you have willpower.
·         You give—you feel compassionate.

Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Or in this instance the action or the thought?
Richard Wiseman presents a very clear argument for the idea that is our actions that influence our thoughts and our feelings and while I agree with him, I also found myself questioning it some too. Our habits are important and many things we do throughout the day come from habit, but at the same time how is a new habit developed? So I ended the book with the question running through my mind, “Which comes first the action or the thought?” To be honest, my personal opinion is that is a combination of the two is actually needed. I think that our thoughts can influence our actions, but also that our actions can influence our thoughts.

As I said earlier, this book is not your typical self-help book. While most authors present a lot of anecdotes from their lives or from the lives of people who have followed their advice, Richard Wiseman uses scientific research to back up his arguments for the As If principle. I will have to say that unless you are like me and enjoy reading psychological texts that this makes reading this book a little dry. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Woman of Faith: Defining Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
The evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

I love that verse…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is frequently defined as a confidence or trust in something or someone, a belief that is not based on proof, or a belief in anything. Today I want to present the idea that faith is more than all of those things.

In John Piper’s sermon titled “What Faith Knows and Hopes For”, he defines faith as “a spiritual apprehending or perceiving or tasting or sensing of the beauty and sweetness, and preciousness, and goodness of what God promises—especially his own fellowship, and the enjoyment of it.” Faith is simply more than placing your trust in somebody or your belief in something. Faith is the reason you can place your trust in somebody or your belief in something.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for. The Greek word for substance is hupostatis and it literally means a setting under or a support or foundation. Think about that…Faith is the support for things hoped for. The Greek word for hoped for is elpizo which means to expect or confide but the root word of elpizo is elpis which means to anticipate. Faith is the support for things anticipated. You know that they are coming, but you haven’t seen them yet. It is the evidence that they are coming. It is the evidence or proof that they do exist. Faith is the foundation.

The Bible describes faith in so many different ways. Just look at some of these:
Ø  A  way of walking:
o   “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Ø  A means of protection:
o    “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16)
o   “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
Ø  A purifier or cleanser:
o   “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:8-9)
Ø  A door:
o   “On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” (Acts 14:27)
Ø  A way of life:
o   “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘the righteous will live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17)
o   “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because “The righteous will by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)
Ø  A mystery:
o   “Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.” (1 Timothy 3:9)
Ø  A fruit
o   “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a)
Ø  A gift
o   “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—“ (Romans 2:8)
Ø  An assurance
o   “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

Faith is so much more than simply trusting or having confidence in someone or something or even believing in something without evidence. Faith is what supports those things. It is the foundation. Faith provides the evidence. It is the reason we are able to trust. It is the reason we are able to believe. Without faith, we can’t believe, we can’t trust, and we can’t hope.

“Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.” –John MacArthur

“Faith makes all things possible…
Love makes all things easy.”
~D L Moody


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!

I love chocolate! I don’t know many people who don’t, and this time of year I really love to drink hot chocolate in the mornings. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do like to occasionally have a cup of hot tea. Yet my early morning preference is for a tall cup of hot chocolate. I just recently downloaded a recipe book called Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes and Homemade Candy Recipes by Janet McKenzie Hill. This book was written in 1908 and can be downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle ebook store (see my Amazon store below).
Here are two of the chocolate recipes that are shared in the book:

Plain Chocolate

For six people:
1 quart milk
2 ounces premium chocolate
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
Mix the cornstarch with one gill (see below) of the milk. Put the remainder of the milk on to heat in the double –boiler. Bring the milk to the boiling point. Stir in the cornstarch and cook for 10 minutes. Cut the chocolate up into fine bits, and put in a double-boiler; add the sugar and water. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add this to the hot milk, and beat the mixture with a whisk until it is frothy. Or, the chocolate may be poured back and forth from the boiler to a pitcher, holding high the vessel from which you pour. This will give a thick frock. Serve at once.
Omit the cornstarch if you prefer not to have the chocolate thick.
*gill = 1/4th of one pint

Chocolate, Vienna Style

4 ounces Vanilla chocolate
1 quart milk
3 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
Cut the chocolate in fine bits. Put the milk on the stove in the double-boiler, and when it has been heated to the boiling point, melt the chocolate with the sugar and water, stirring until smooth and glossy. Stir the mixture into the hot milk, and beat well with a whisk. Serve at once, putting a tablespoon of whipped cream in each cup and then filling up with the chocolate.
Plain chocolate may be used instead of vanilla. If you use plain chocolate instead of vanilla chocolate, add a teaspoonful of vanilla extract and three generous tablespoons of sugar instead of one.

Original directions:

Both recipes recommend placing the chocolate, sugar, and water in a small iron or granite-ware pan and stirring over a hot fire until smooth and glossy. Since we no longer cook over hot fire (unless camping) I left out these directions. I also do not recommend melting the chocolate in a small iron or granite-ware pan, but instead I recommend using a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. There is less chance of the chocolate burning than melting it directly over the heating element whether electric or gas. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can easily make one using a glass mixing bowl and a 2-quart sauce pan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Woman of Faith

Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by faith.
Habakkuk 2:4

The woman in Proverbs 31 has many virtues as we saw in my last post on her, and I plan to visit all of those virtues or characteristics in the coming weeks. Today I want to focus on the faith of the woman in Proverbs 31. To many people who read these verses it probably seems like very little is said about her faith, but as I have been reading these verses, I see that these verses are about her living her faith.

The woman is Proverbs 31 lives her life by faith…but how do we know this? What do we see in her life that points to her being a woman of faith?

Everything she does is an action of faith…In the book of James, James says that faith without deeds is dead (Jas. 2:14-26). She shows her faith by her deeds. It is her faith though that produces her deeds. In his book Unstoppable: the Incredible Power of Faith in Action, Nick Vujicic describes it this way:

“I’ve heard it said that our actions are to our faith and beliefs as our bodies are to our spirits. Your body is the housing of your spirit, the evidence of its existence. In the same way, your actions are the evidence of your faith and beliefs.”(p. 10)

Do you see it now? Everything that the Proverbs 31 woman does comes from her faith. It is how she shares her faith with the world.

So I have to ask…what do your actions say about you? Are they pointing to you as a woman of faith or do you they show that you still have a way to go? It is alright if you do. I know that I have a long way to go, but I also know that when I come to the end of my life I want people to say that I was a woman who lived my faith. I want my faith to be a living, breathing feature in my life so that when all look to me they see less of me and see more of Christ.

Would you join me? For the next whoever knows how long, I am going to focus on faith, what it is, why it is important, where does it come from, how much faith do we need, and how we can increase our faith.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book of the Week: Trusting God

Trusting God

I admit it! I struggle with trusting God. He is the only one who will never let me down, but I still struggle with it. That is why I loved this devotional. It is an honest and open look at what it means to trust God and to walk in faith. Written by the women of Girlfriends in God, they share stories from their lives and talk openly about what trusting God looks like in their lives and even about their own struggles with trusting God.

The devotional is a twelve week long study. There are devotionals for five days of the week and then on the sixth day it is your turn to reflect on what trusting God looks like in your own life. They ask you some questions to get you to thinking, give you some actions to take, and some Bible verses to reflect upon. They give you practical suggestions to help you build your own faith. They take a look at many different aspects of trusting God, from why should we trust Him to what to do when discouragement hits to stepping out in faith and being obedient to Him.

I can’t wait to go through this devotional again and hopefully with some friends!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Reading List for 2013

Since I made a list of my top 50 favorite books that I read in 2012, I thought that I should make a list of the books that I want to read in 2013.

1)      One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
2)      The Girl’s Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs
3)      Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith
4)      A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb
5)      War of Words: Getting into the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp
6)      What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms by Angie Smith
7)      Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
8)      Gone with the Wind
9)      Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner
10)   How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
11)   Fearless by Max Lucado
12)   Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
13)   Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
14)   The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
15)   A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett
16)   Beauty and the Beast by Marie le Prince de Beaumont
17)   The As If Principle by Richard Wiseman
18)   Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, et al.
19)   Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic
20)   Relentless: The Power You Need to Never Give Up by John Bevere
21)   A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs
22)   The Pursuit of God  by A W Tozer
23)   The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands
24)   In My Dreams by Sarah Addison Allen
25)   The Firefly Dance by Sarah Addison Allen
26)   Undaunted  by Christine Caine
27)   Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
28)   The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
29)   The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper
30)   Desiring God by John Piper
31)   Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
32)   Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
33)   Three Good Things by Wendy Francis
34)   Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
35)   Petals on the Wind by VC Andrews
36)   If There Be Thorns by VC Andrews
37)   Seeds of Yesterday by VC Andrews
38)   A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes
39)   Greater by Steven Furtick
40)   The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer
41)   Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
42)   Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
43)   Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
44)   Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
45)   Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
46)   Love’s Reckoning  by Laura Frantz
47)   Never Going Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle for Good  by Al Roker
48)   Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
49)   Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass
50)   Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
51)   Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
52)   Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
53)   Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
54)   Persuasion by Jane Austen
55)   Emma by Jane Austen
56)   Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
57)   The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter
58)   I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know by Kate White
59)   Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst
60)   The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

I’m stopping here for now, but I haven’t exactly finished my list for the year. I’m positive that I will find something new as the year goes on.

What books are on your list to read this year?

The poster at top was found at

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Woman of Noble Character, Part II

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10 (NIV)

In the last blog we discussed the key to becoming a woman of noble character. Today I want to take a look at who the woman of noble character is.

Let us focus on the phrase “noble character” for a while. What exactly does it mean to have a noble character? How would you define a noble character? Visualize a person that you see as having a noble character. What traits do you see in them? Why would you say that he or she is a noble person?

The Hebrew word used to describe this woman is chayil (pronounce khahˊ-yil). This word means a force, valor, strength, substance, might, power, or valiant. A woman of noble character is in essence a force to be reckoned with. She is strong and confident. She is a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it, but she does so with grace and dignity. She is woman who embodies the fruit of the Spirit.

When I read through the verses describing a wife of noble character, I see 12 different traits that make her noble.

1)       She is a woman of faith. She trusts God. (Proverbs 31:21, 25, 30)
2)       She is a woman of love. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
3)       She is a woman of worth. (Proverbs 31:10)
4)       She is a woman of integrity. (Proverbs 31:11)
5)       She is a woman of compassion. (Proverbs 31:15, 20)
6)       She is a woman of purpose and industry. (Proverbs 31: 13-19, 22, 24, 27)
7)       She is a woman of wisdom. (Proverbs 31:26)
8)       She is a woman of wellness. (Proverbs 31:17 & 25)
9)       She is a woman of resilience. (Proverbs 31:21, 25)
10)   She is a woman of knowledge. (Proverbs 31:26)
11)   She is a woman of self-control and discipline. (Proverbs 31:15-16, 21)
12)   She is a woman of dignity. (Proverbs 31:25)
13)   She is a woman of humility. (Proverbs 31:10-31)

Aren’t all of these traits that we should all be striving to have? Whether we are married or single, being a woman of noble character isn’t as much about what we do as it is about who we are or whose we are. I don’t know about you, but I know that I can’t be all these things on my own. I know who can create these traits in me though and He wants to create them in you also.

As we are developing these traits in ourselves, we need to be acting them out. If you don’t see a trait in yourself that you want to develop, then act as if you are already have that trait. If you want to be a more compassionate person, then act like a compassionate person, i.e. doing random acts of kindness in the community, helping someone who needs help.

We are going to explore these traits in depth in the weeks to come. I am looking forward to it and I hope that you are too.

God bless and I’m praying for you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Fear of God

After yesterday’s post on the key to becoming a woman of noble character, I realized late last night that I needed to talk a little bit more on fearing God.

I don’t want you to misunderstand or be confused, but  I want to share with you fearing God  as I described yesterday…that awe & reverence & clinging to Him…that comes from having a relationship with God. Having a relationship with God comes from believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He bled and died on the cross and that He rose again to cover the costs of our sins. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If we say that there is any other way to a relationship with God, then we call Jesus a liar.

But if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, if you don’t have a relationship with Him, then you do need to FEAR God and by that I do mean be afraid of Him. Be terrified of Him because there is one day coming when you  will stand before and you will be judged. And on that day it will not matter how good that you think you have been because salvation and eternal life cannot be earned. Not a single person that has lived on this earth before Christ or since Christ has lived a life without sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us have sinned and it doesn't matter what the sin is if we don’t believe in Jesus Christ, if we don’t have a relationship with Him, then we have every reason to be afraid of God.  Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death—a final and complete death that will separate us from God and our loved ones eternally—but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do you get it now?

Eternal life is a gift, a present. There is nothing we can do to earn it. All we can do is accept it. Accept that Jesus Christ is who He said He is. Accept that He died for you and for me so that we would not have to pay that final price.

I’m pleading with you now. If you don’t know Christ, be afraid because of the consequences of choosing unbelief. Like every other choice we make there are consequences. Are you prepared to face the consequences of your unbelief?

If you don’t know Christ, if you don’t have a relationship with Him and want to know more about how to have one, message me or find someone you know that has one and let us show you  the path to Him. He loves you and He wants to have a relationship with you. I love you. I wouldn't have shared this message otherwise.

God Bless and I’m praying for you.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Woman of Noble Character (Part I)

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31:10 (NIV)

This verse is the key to why I have come to believe that this passage of Scripture belongs to all women--young or old, married or unmarried. I used the NIV because I like how it states “a wife of noble character.” The ESV says an excellent wife. The KJV says a virtuous wife, and the Message says a good wife. They make it about the quality of the wife when Proverbs 31 is truly about the character of the woman. Proverbs 31 isn’t about what she does, but it is about who she is or even more importantly whose she is.

What type of character do you have? Do you have a noble character? Are you honest and trustworthy? Or are you a thief and a liar?

The key to becoming a woman of noble character lies in verse 30:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Did you catch that? A woman who fears the Lord is a woman of noble character. Do you fear the Lord? What does the Bible mean when it tells us to fear the Lord?

A woman who fears the Lord is a woman who focuses on her relationship with God. She is striving to live her life for the Lord. She seeks to do His will. She wants to live a life that brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ. She seeks His heart. She wants to know Him.

Fearing the Lord is not being afraid that He is going to punish you for doing the wrong thing or making a mistake. Fearing the Lord is not thinking of Him as some great and distant god who is waiting to dispense judgment or punishments. Fearing the Lord is not hating people or calling down His wrath. Fearing God is not being afraid of Him.

Fearing God is keeping God as our focus. Fearing God is keeping in a place of awe and reverence. It is realizing that His ways are not our ways. Fearing God is taking the time to build a relationship with Him. It is walking in a manner that He deems worthy and following the commandments that He has given to us because we love Him and want to please Him, not because we are afraid of punishment. Fearing God is recognizing His majesty and His holiness. It is coming to Him on bended knee and asking for forgiveness. Fearing God is recognizing that there is nothing that we might do to earn our way to heaven.
Fearing God is recognizing that the Father sent the Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we might live eternally with Him. Fearing God is praising Him for all the gifts that He has given us. Fearing God is serving Him and trusting Him in good times and in bad times. Fearing God is loving Him and loving other people. Fearing God is living a lifestyle of worship.

So do you? Do you fear the Lord? Do you know Him? Do you know His Son? If you don’t I encourage you to learn about Him. Find out what Jesus Christ did for you. Then learn how He can turn you into a woman of noble character.

If you do know Him, is He your focus? Or are you focused on the circumstances that are surrounding you? Make Him your focus. Spend time with the Word every day. Ask Him to send you the strength you need and to work on your heart to create in you a new woman, a woman of noble character. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, married or unmarried, all you have to do is ask and He will help you. He is waiting. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Top 50 Booklist of 2012

I read a lot. What can I say? I love books so when I thinking about ideas for the blog I couldn't ignore that in the past year I have probably read around 200 books or more. Some of them were books that I have read again and again. Now this list isn’t a countdown list. These books are in no particular order. They are just some of my favorites.

1)   Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2)      The Next Always by Nora Roberts
3)      The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
4)      A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
5)      You’re Already Amazing by Holly Gerth
6)      Breaking Free by Beth Moore
7)      Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
8)      Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
9)      Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure
10)   The Daring Female’s Guide to Ecstatic Living by Natasha Kogan
11)   So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore
12)   ME: The Me I want to Be by John Ortberg
13)   Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
14)   Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
15)   Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
16)   Argosy Junction by Chautona Havig
17)   Discovering Hope by Chautona Havig
18)   For Keeps by Chautona Havig
19)   Here We Come by Chautona Havig
20)   Ready or Not by Chautona Havig
21)   A Year and a Day by Virginia Henley
22)   The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
23)   God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh
24)   Crazy Love by Francis Chan
25)   Forgotten God by Francis Chan
26)   Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic
27)   God Will Make a Way by Cloud & Townsend
28)   Unplanned by Abby Johnson
29)   Vision in White by Nora Roberts
30)   Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
31)   Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
32)   Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
33)   The Success Principles  by Jack Canfield
34)   How to Succeed at Being Yourself  by Joyce Meyer
35)   Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich
36)   Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey
37)   Henry’s Sisters by Cathy Lamb
38)   Julia’s Chocolate  by Cathy Lamb
39)   The First Day of the Rest of  My Life by Cathy Lamb
40)   Such a Pretty Face  by Cathy Lamb
41)   The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb
42)   The Complete Works of Plato (Ok, I will admit to only having read parts of this. Not the book in its entirety.)
43)   The Perfect Wife by Lynsay Sands
44)   The Hellion and the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
45)   The Devil of the Highlands  by Lynsay Sands
46)   Taming the Highland Bride by Lynsay Sands
47)   10 Smart Things Women Can Do to Build a Better Life by Donna Carter
48)   Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands
49)   Hawk and the Dove by Virginia Henley
50)   The Marriage Prize by Virginia Henley

Okay, I realize that there are a lot of romances on this list. What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart.
I’m compiling a list of must reads for 2013 if you have any recommendations let me know.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weights & Measures

One of the things I have noticed by reading older cookbooks is that they use units of measurements that I have either heard very infrequently or don’t remember ever hearing. Well, I have found one book called The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes by Helen Campbell. It is a really interesting book in that while it can be used for household use it was primarily written as a textbook for teaching young women how to run a household.

(Now, I know, I know that I just posted a blog on the Proverbs 31 woman and I know (eyes are rolling here) that I have stated that it isn’t so much what she does as it is her character. But you will have to forgive me here because I found this information as something worth sharing.)

I am not a person who typically weighs or measures things when cooking. If I am baking something I will, but even then I won’t always measure. I have some things that I have baked for so long that I know the feel of the dough well enough to know when I have it right. But I found this information and found some terms that I don’t remember hearing before like gill? What is a gill? Have you ever heard the word used as a measurement? I hadn’t until recently and then I had to google the word in order to find out what it was, but that was before I found this book.


“As many families have no scales for weighing, a table of measures is given which can be used instead. Weighing is always best, but not always convenient. The cup used is the ordinary coffee or kitchen cup, holding half a pint. A set of tin measures, from a gill up to a quart, is very useful in all cooking operations.”—Helen Campbell

1 pound equivalents
1 quart of sifted flour
1 pint of granulated sugar
2 cups of butter packed
10 eggs
5 cups of sifted flour
454 grams (approximately)
Half a gill
A wine-glassful
4 even tablespoons
8 even tablespoons
1 cup
8 ounces (liquid)
3 even teaspoonfuls
1 ounce (liquid)
4 even saltspoonfuls
½ cup
4 tablespoonfuls
4 ounces
1 pint
2 cups
1 quart
2 pints
1 gallon
4 quarts (liquid)
1 peck
8 quarts (dry)
4 pecks (dry)
1 ounce
28 grams (approximately)
1 kilo
2 1/10 pounds
1 liter
1 quart (approximately)
1 cup
8 tablespoons
8 ounces (liquid)

I’m going to be honest and admit that I’m still at a loss as to what a gill is because I have also been told that it is a quarter of a pint which would make it equivalent to half a cup measurements instead of 1 cup measurements. So if you look it up, let me know what you find out.