REMINDING MYSELF OF MANY THINGS

Holding my thoughts captive. Working on that today.

Feeling the peace that transcends all understanding. Praying for that today.

Guarding my heart in Christ Jesus. Focusing on that today.

Giving it up to the Lord. Reminding myself of that today.

Some moments I feel that overwhelming sense of helplessness. Like I am struggling to stay above water. Like I want to curl up in a ball and hide away. It is in these times that I must remember the Father and His love. How He can make all grace abound towards me. I must seek His kingdom. I must go to His Word. It is in these times I must remember to lay my troubles at His feet. Some problems are just world problems. A world problem meant to deter me from my path, a mere distraction. It is in these times I must refocus, incline my ears to His sayings and tune in to His peace.

I believe I am heir to Abraham and his blessing. I believe I am a daughter of the most High God. I believe I am loved unconditionally.

Follow Jesus. Focus on that today.

Put my eyes on Jesus and do as He would. Follow His steps and He will lead me out of the valley of the shadow of death. His Word is life, and health to those who find them: physical health, mental health, spiritual health.

Above all else, guard my heart. For everything I do flows from it.

Thank you Lord for your goodness. Your forgiveness. Your strength. Your never-ending love. You are an ever-fixed mark. I follow you Jesus, I do as you do, I love as you love. I seek first your Kingdom and I know you will supply me with all my needs. You will bless the work of my hands, as my hands work for your kingdom God. Show me how to grow my gifts to better your Kingdom God. Help me spread the light, your oh so beautiful, comforting, and ever pure light. Grant me the opportunity to help more names get written in the Book of Life God. Grant me the opportunity to build people up, and not bring them down. Grant me the opportunity to put my selfish desires aside and show you that I am all in God. I am all in. I am here to be led and then to lead. I am here to be loved and then to love. I am here to be taught, and to teach. I am here to glorify you God, and to encourage others to glorify. I am here to receive your blessing God, so that I may bless others, and in turn they will give Thanksgiving to you Lord.

Focus on the Forest. Remembering this today.

Love,
A Daughter of the Most High King.

2 Cor 10:5, Phil 4:7, 2 Cor 9:8, Prov 4:20, Gal 3:29, Psalm 23, Prov 4:20-23

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FORGETTING THE FOREST

Slow down.

Sometimes I hear my spirit man quietly remind me to rein in, remember to breathe, to seek wisdom, to see the forest for the trees.

When I get an idea I can go all in. A good trait, unless you forget what it’s all for, what the bigger picture is. There’s a difference between pursuing excellence and pursuing perfection. There’s a difference between stepping blindly in faith and flailing blindly. There’s a big difference between putting God first and putting God last.

Sometimes when I step forward in faith my flesh decides to leap, desiring the end result more then the path it takes to get there. But it’s the path that teaches us. It’s the path that refines us. It’s the path that guides us. Otherwise we are just trying to smash our way through the woods, thinking we are taking the shortcut… only to find out we are incredibly absolutely lost. Even in those moments, God calls us. He is an ever-forgiving, ever-loving God, who will never leave us nor forsake us. You will know it is Him, when you feel His love. When you sense His grace, His mercy, calling you Home.

Seek first His Kingdom, the Word says. All these things will be added unto you, It speaks.

Slow down. Rein in. Smell the flowers. Focus the eyes and the path stops being blurry. He will make our path straight, It reminds.

That gentle yet strong, completely calm and ever-fixed mark… It leads me to still waters. It makes me to lie down in green pastures. It reminds me to love the ride, to have joy through my growth, to soak in the Father’s Grace and see everything He does. Acknowledge Him in all things and give Thanksgiving. Allow Him to work His grace and mercy into our lives and run the race He sets before us. Blindly, but not without guidance. In faith, but not without wisdom. With confidence, but not alone. Full of courage, but not of arrogance.

Let us not forget that we need Him. Let us not forget what He has done for us.

Let us not forget the forest.

1 Peter 1:7; Deut 31:6; Matt 6:33; Prov 3:6; Psalms 23:2-3; Prov 3:6; Eph 5:20; Heb 12:1-2

I HAVE FOUND YOU

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me as a vital necessity and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 29:11-14

Due to my baby boys biological clock, I woke up before sunrise this morning, started making my coffee and the Holy Spirit put this verse on my heart: Jeremiah 29:11. Things started coming together this week for something I’ve been working on for a while and will require some future humbling and stepping forward in faith if I decide to continue to nourish this dream. I know that if I follow the Will of my Father, and I meditate on His Word and give thanksgiving in all things that have blessed me – I know that if I do these things He will bless the work of my hands. The Lord says not to listen to false prophets, not to listen to others negative talk, talk that brings me down and not builds me up. He didn’t send those people. The Lord directs us, loves us, carries us on His wings. He does not condemn us but encourages us, He sets our path straight. He knows when we follow Him with a grateful and serving heart and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Sometimes I think the person I must listen to the least… is me. I have been the queen of self-doubt and negative talk.. I’ve held myself back more than anyone else in this world. I’ve prophesied failure in my own heart. But none of those thoughts are good thoughts. I have not guarded my heart as I should. I have not settled into my Fathers wings and listened to, really listened to, His thoughts and plans for my life. His plans to prosper me. His plans to bless the work of my hands. His plans to guide me.

So when that verse came to my heart this morning, I felt joy. I felt peace. I felt hope. I felt my Fathers love.

I have found Him.

So now I’ve buckled up my belt of truth, I’ve curled up in His wings, gazing admiringly at His face and inclining my ears to His sayings. I have hope in the Lord, my strength is renewed, I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint.

Tell me, dear Father, the thoughts and plans you have for me. Tell me Your Perfect Plan.

Jeremiah 29:11-14; Joshua 1:8; Jeremiah 29:8-9; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 91; Ephesians 6:14; Proverbs 4:20; Philippians 4:7-8

WHY THE DANIEL FAST

I’m often asked why I partake in fasting, more specifically the Daniel Fast. It can be seen as an old tradition, as a religious thing, even as another “crash diet”. They ask perhaps because it’s foreign to them, or because there should be a special purpose for it, or because they think I’m doing it purely for the weight loss benefit of eating strict sugar-free vegan for 3 weeks, having only water to drink and food from seed to eat. Perhaps they ask because their Spirit also yearns for clarity, for an answer to bondage, for a greater relationship with their Lord, or for a greater purpose for their life.

It all comes down to the fact that I fast because I am meant to. I fast because I feel it deep down in my spirit. Not just because of a specific holiday or tradition, for cleansing, or for weight loss, but for even a greater purpose. I feel this deep-seeded desire to know my Savior more than anything else in this world. I have felt a call to fast, to deny my flesh, to conquer burdens and bondage that I have suffered unnecessarily for so long. The bible says “when” we fast not “if” we fast… it is meant to be a way of life.

Thus, 2-3 times a year since 2009, with prayer and fasting, I dedicate a few weeks to the Lord. I deny my flesh, I sharpen my focus on Him. I spend time with my Father who yearns to spend time with me. I cleanse my body, and experience a great awakening in my heart and mind.

Many fasts will have the same benefit… but out of personal choice, I choose the Daniel Fast. I choose the Daniel Fast because it suggests a great length of time… because it encourages me to deny my flesh and eat no pleasure food… because of its health benefits, and how it raises my awareness of healthy eating… and because Daniel was an amazing man of God.

For those interested in partaking in a Daniel Fast and would like more info or encouragement, please contact me, or check out the Daniel Fast Blogger. Susan Gregory wrote an amazing book that helped me during my first couple of Daniel Fasts – it has an amazing 21 day devotional along with great recipes to help get you through the 3 weeks. I have since passed this book on to a few friends, and it has benefited them the same as it benefited me.

Be Blessed, Fast often, Love much, 
A Daughter’s Prayer

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isaiah 58:6

DANIEL FAST FRIENDLY VEGAN PIZZA

Well, I splurged on my final fast meal with a Vegan Pizza using a recipe I found on the internet. Very yummy, healthy, and light! Would definitely make this again, even perhaps as a non-fasting healthier choice pizza.

Daniel Fast pizzaPIZZA SAUCE

1 6 oz can tomato paste
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 pinch salt

Mix all the ingredients together, and let it sit for 30 minutes minimum. The pizza sauce is best made a day or two ahead of time, and can stay up to a week in the fridge. The longer the flavors have to meld together, the better it is!

VEGAN PIZZA CRUST

2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix flour, salt and seasonings in a large bowl. Add oil and work into the flour well (I used my hands). Add water and work into the dough. Knead the dough until smooth. If it is too sticky, add 1 tbsp flour at a time. If it is too dry, and 1 tbsp of water at a time. Press onto a cookie sheet (greased with olive oil and sprinkled with cornmeal) or make 6-8 smaller pizzas.

Add desired toppings. I went with whatever I had in my fridge. I roasted a whole organic artichoke the day before, then put the artichoke heart on the pizza, along with sliced onions, a sweet yellow bell pepper, and some garden tomatoes.

Bake at 375 deg until the crust is crispy. I took mine out at 25 minutes and it was perfect!

Note: I also made a sauce for my family’s pizza the night before using fresh garden tomatoes. I tossed diced tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and roasted them for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Using a hand blender, I blended them in a pot, added Italian seasoning and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Simple and delicious!

DANIEL FAST FRIENDLY VEGAN COCONUT CHICKPEA CURRY

One of my go-to recipes while fasting. Simple and sweet. I adapted it from a non-fasting recipe that we use found here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/curried-coconut-chicken/.

The bell pepper and the carrots are optional – but add a nice sweetness to the dish, since sugar or sweetener is not fast-approved. Usually I’ll just use what I have in my cupboard, so sometimes if I don’t have tomato sauce I’ll just put in more canned tomatoes. Not as creamy, but just as yummy. Using fresh tomatoes is always a great alternative if you have time to roast before hand – for that I would suggest using the same process for the tomatoes, garlic and onions that I used for the Daniel Fast Friendly Vegan Roasted Fresh Tomato Soup that I posted the last week.

I love this recipe as it’s tasty, light, filling, enjoyed by the whole family (well maybe not my 8-yr old son) and makes great leftovers!

VEGAN COCONUT CHICKPEA CURRY

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp organic curry powder (I use mild)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sweet bell pepper chopped and/or 1-2 carrots chopped (optional)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes (diced or whole – I usually buy whole and then dice them up)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Stir in onions and garlic (and the carrot and bell pepper if you are using them), and cook until onions are soft (roughly 5-10 mins). Add chickpeas, tossing lightly to coat with the curry and the oil.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until bell pepper, carrots and chickpeas are soft [or to desired tenderness if you prefer al dente!].
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve on top of rice. We use basmati rice for it’s flavour, but brown rice is another good option.
  5. Enjoy!

If you know of any good alternatives to add to the recipe, please comment below! I’m always looking for something new to try!

A CHILD OF THE LIGHT

I heard that ever-knowing, still, small voice today urging me towards an open door. So small in fact I wondered if it really was Him at all.

This door was open for a while… and it was closed only because I closed it. Sometimes the flesh wants what the flesh wants… when in truth, it’s not really about what I want. It’s about spreading God’s word… at home, to family and friends, to strangers, in the workplace. It’s about advancing His Kingdom. It’s about being a child of the light: knowing the light, spreading the light, being the light. It’s about being a true follower of Christ and not just a fair-weather fan.

Now I’m standing at that closed but unlocked door. I’m knocking on the other side to seek God’s will. I know that if I walk away from this opportunity, God will happily present another one in due time. However, the closer and more earnestly I follow my shepherd, the more found I will be, for He knows me better than I know myself. I deny my flesh, put on the new man.. the new man I received when I became righteous through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. His precious sacrifice. I arm myself with His Truth, His grace, His mercy. I pray for the peace that transcends all understanding, holding my thoughts captive, guarding my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. I will focus only on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. I will focus only on whatever is excellent or praiseworthy.

I will approach this opportunity with a heart of servanthood. A heart desiring excellence, but not perfection. A heart humble and meek, but not weak. I will walk through this door and praise God for the opportunity, knowing He will be right there with me.

I will know the light. I will spread the light. I will be the light.

Father God,

Help me be your light in this world. Help my spirit attract others to me. Help me leave behind my ideas of what I think I want, what I think I need… and grant me courage to trust you God. Thank you for your wisdom, your discernment, your peace. Help me serve where a servant is needed, to be a leader where they need leading. To love where there is love needed, and most of all God, help me bring people to you. Help me bless others so that they glorify you God.

Love,
Your Daughter

Eph 5:8-10; Eph 6:10-18; Phil 4:7-8

DANIEL FAST FRIENDLY VEGAN QUINOA SWEET POTATO CHILI

Another great recipe found online for the Daniel Fast. Vegan Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili. My hubby loved it, and we both found it very filling. A hearty chili that will go in the dinner cycle even when not fasting! Perfect for fall and winter. The cilantro garnish is a must – I put tonnes in my recipe and it tasted amazing… I do love my cilantro. I’m sure it would be okay without it though for those that hate it’s mouth-watering, flavor-bursting taste.

Found the recipe from milkfreemom.com. Here’s the link:
http://www.milkfreemom.com/vegan-quinoa-sweet-potato-chili/

[picture from milkfreemom.com]

DANIEL FAST FRIENDLY VEGAN ROASTED FRESH TOMATO SOUP

Well that title is a mouthful – but just wanted to make sure you understood the reason for this post. I may post recipes from time to time that I come across while fasting. I am not a natural cook – meaning I often use a recipe once or twice before I am comfortable with it and can start adjusting the flavours (my husband is a natural and am super impressed with people that can make something without a step-by-step!). Google is my friend and has helped me find many a recipe, especially while fasting. The Daniel Fast is a strict fast where Daniel ate only food from seed and water to drink for 3 weeks. I have completed this fast 2-3 times a year since 2009, so I’ve had some experience with it. Now I’ve done variations of this fast, but mostly stick to the basics. Since he ate “no pleasure food” I try not to focus too much on extravagent fast-friendly recipes [because they are out there] and try mostly to stick to simple food… not saying it’s wrong, just a personal choice. That being said, when i’m also cooking dinner for my family I try to make it more interesting then just roasted yam and zucchini… [one of my favorites!] that way it encourages participation. Of course, their’s usually includes a side of meat…

Anyways, on to the recipe….

20130921-133201.jpg

Just made my first daniel-fast-friendly tomato soup from scratch. Found a super easy recipe online from Vegangela.com. Instead of using cilantro as a garnish (which was super yummy), basil and oregano would also work! Didn’t take long, the house smelled awesome, and was filling. Completely vegan with no added sugar/sweetener.

Should freeze well so would be great to make a huge batch and freeze for those cold winter months!

You can find the recipe here:
http://www.vegangela.com/2011/04/15/roasted-fresh-tomato-soup/

GETTING INTIMATE WITH GOD

Getting intimate with God. Some days it’s a challenge. You’d think that something your spirit desires and needs so much couldn’t so easily be overturned by the flesh. Sometimes I find disappointment in myself for letting the day go by without spending a lot of time with Him. And then of course the Holy Spirit reminds me that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ – and tomorrows a new day.

So new day it is.

In Matthew 6, it says that when you pray, you should go into your room, close the door, and pray to the Father in secret. Secret prayer reaps open reward. Basically spend my alone time with him. And don’t repeatedly ask Him for the same thing – as He knows what we need even before we ask Him. Repetition does not make the answer come faster, but makes us dwell on the problem and fear lack. Pray for it, claim it, and believe that God will answer. Because He always does. Not necessarily in the way we desire – but usually its more amazing than we ever could have imagined..

There is also strength in numbers. Where there are two or three gathered in His name, He will be right there with us. Thus I pray now, and later my husband and I will praise God and put our petition before Him. We will share communion in memory of Him. Honor Him as our Father, Honor Jesus for His sacrifice, Honor the Holy Spirit for His Truth. God the Father loves us so much, that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. There is no greater love then this. The Holy Spirit is my Helper, the Spirit of Truth. I cannot see Him but I know Him. He dwells with me and will be in me.

I was reading a blog post recently, and wish I could remember who wrote it… but they talked about how Jesus says to come, and follow Him. That means He thought we were righteous enough to be with Him. But it also means… that He thought we were amazing enough, worthy enough, righteous enough, LOVED us enough, to want to walk WITH US.

Praise you Father God for your goodness. For your grace and your mercy.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

Love,
Your Daughter

Romans 8:1; Matthew 6:6; Matthew 18:19-20; John 3:16; John 15:13; John 14:16-17; Mark 1:17