Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cookies and tea – a good combination on a cold day!

vegan cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup applesauce or pear sauce

2/3 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup raisins (or any desired dried fruit)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl use a fork to mix together the applesauce, vanilla extract and the sugar. Add the oil and mix well.
  2. Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Fold in oatmeal and raisins.
  3. Drop dough balls onto a paper-lined or greased baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten the dough with a fork.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven at 350F/180C.
  5. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and enjoy.

Simple, delicious, and nutritious!

500 Years of Protestant Reformation 1517 – 2017

What prompted Luther and the other reformers to protest? What were they protesting against and why were so many persecuted and burned at the stake?

Few movements have altered the course of world history more than the Protestant Reformation. Though it began long before Luther came on the scene, historians mark its beginnings with the life and ministry of Martin Luther.

In 1517, in response to the prevailing spiritual abuses of the church Luther wrote his Ninety-Five Theses in hopes to reform the church by pointing to the forgotten and neglected truths of the Holy Scriptures. He championed two major issues: the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice, and Christ as the only way to salvation.

Luther also taught that:

  • Christ is the true head of the church, not the pope;
  • Scripture is the ultimate authority, not the traditions of the Church of Rome;
  • Scripture is not reserved for leaders, clergy, and theologians, it is meant to be read and understood by everyone;
  • Prayerful study of the Bible, guided by the Holy Spirit, will lead the believer to an understanding of God’s will for his life.

The 95 propositions were rejected by the Roman church. Luther was condemned as heretic and excommunicated by the pope himself. And if it weren’t for his friends who kidnapped him and took him to a secure place he would have been put to death as many reformers before and after him have. What was their crime? They took a stand for the truth of the Holy Scriptures while exposing the errors of the church.

Truth is never popular because it rebukes sin. It has never been accepted by the majority because it calls to repentance. It is not convenient because it demands obedience, yet it is worth living and even dying for.

5 Distinctive Teachings of the Protestant Reformation

  1. Sola Scriptura – “The Bible alone.” Scripture alone is the authority and the standard of truth to every believer.

  2. Sola Gratia – “Grace alone.” God’s undeserved grace has alone the power to draw people to Himself.

  3. Sola Fide – “Faith alone. Man is justified by faith alone in the finished work of Christ, not by any works or merits of his own. Obedience is the response of the believer.

  4. Sola Christus – “Christ alone.” Salvation is accomplished by Christ alone. He is the only mediator between man and God. We are to pray and confess our sins directly to Him.

  5. Soli Deo Gloria – “To God alone be the glory.” Praise, and honor, and glory belong to Him, undivided.

Many today cling to the traditions of their ancestors. When the Lord sends additional light, they refuse to accept it because their fathers had not received it. God will not approve us  if we look to our fathers to decide our duty instead of searching the Word of Truth for ourselves. We are accountable for the additional light that now shines on us from the Word of God.

Some say the protest is over. This must mean one of two things, either that the church has reformed and abides completely by the Holy Scriptures or that the counter-reformation launched by the Jesuits accomplished its goal of silencing the protest.

You don’t need a PhD in order to conclude that the teachings of the Universal church have not changed and that it has not reformed. The practice of confessing the sins to a priest, prayers addressed to dead saints, the 10 commandments altered (second commandment removed and the 10th divided to keep the 10 count), biblical Sabbath replaced by the pagan Sunday, and other non biblical practices are issues that should prompt us to keep the protest going.

But be prepared, for everyone whom God uses to present truths that apply especially to their time will face opposition. There was a present truth in the days of Luther and before him in the days of Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, and Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, and many others. There is present truth for the church today. But the majority today as in the days of old want truth no more than Luther’s opponents did. Those who present the truth for this time should not expect to be received more favorably than the earlier Reformers were. The great controversy between truth and error, between Christ and Satan, is expected to increase towards the close of this world’s history. May God helps us take our stand with the truth!

Inspired by Signs of The Times, Special Edition 500 Years of Reformation and The Great Controversy by E. G. White

Raising Obedient Kids

The Formula

by John Rosemond

Obedient kids are happy kids. Therefore, whereas an obedient child is certainly a blessing to a parent, the greatest benefit of obedience accrues to the child.

Getting a child to obey is a matter of six features of parent communication that I call The Formula:

1. Speak from an upright position. I know that some “experts” say to kneel in front of the child, but they’re wrong.

2. Use as few words as possible to convey the instruction.

3. Precede the instruction with an authoritative phrase such as, “I want you to . . . ,” “It’s time for you to . . . ,” or “I expect you to . . .”

4. Do not explain why you’re giving the instruction. That results in the question, “Why?”

5. If the child asks why, respond with, “Because I said so.” Again, I know that some disagree; but, again, they’re wrong.

6. If possible, walk away. Don’t stand there giving the child someone to push back against.

In September 2016, a couple in Richmond, Virginia, heard me describe The Formula. Their three-year-old has been obedient ever since. Mind you, prior to the fateful speaking engagement in question, this child ignored, complained, cried, and otherwise refused to obey instructions from her parents. The child’s oppositional defiant disorder was cured in one day.

A couple who attended a small-group retreat in Atlanta in February 2017 began using The Formula with their four-year-old. The first day, the little fellow cleaned up his toys by himself, dressed himself, and when straightforwardly told to stop interrupting conversations between his parents, he stopped and remained quiet. All three were firsts. When his dreaded nap time came, his parents used The Formula, and he took his nap without a fight, whereas prior to this, there had always been a nap-time scene. He also had a habit of following his mother around the house. She told him to stop and leave the room. He left the room.

The parents, amazed at how much progress they’d made in such a short time, applied a similar recommendation of mine to their son’s refusal to eat vegetables. At dinner they gave him one green bean cut into pieces, one half teaspoon of fried chicken, and one half teaspoon of mashed potatoes and gravy. They informed him that when he ate everything, he could have seconds of anything. He ate everything. Over subsequent nights they increased the veggie but not the meat or starch. A week later, he was eating a regular helping of broccoli without complaint. In addition, his teacher reported that he was also eating veggies at school.

The proper discipline of a child is a matter of presentation, folks. It isn’t a matter of using correct consequences, although there will be times when consequences are necessary. The Formula keeps the use of consequences to a minimum, meaning everyone is happier.

Your great-grandmother could have told you this. Despite what people in my profession have been saying for 50 years, there is nothing new under the sun concerning children.

 

Kale for Good Health

Kale is a popular vegetable these days for its outstanding health benefits and rightly so. It is a superfood packed with nutrients  and an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, and copper; a very good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin B2. It is a good source of iron, magnesium vitamin B1, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, folate, and vitamin B3.

At this time of the year when the first frost had already swept through the garden kale is actually doing very well. It thrives in cooler weather and has a better taste than when grown in warmer weather. I love kale for its health benefits and I also enjoy growing it.

There are many ways to incorporate kale into the diet but today I just lightly sautéed it, poured some of my vegan cheese sauce over it and served it over rice noodles.

20171029_134228

Vegan Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp oil

1 big onion chopped

1 big potato chopped

1 medium yellow squash chopped

3 medium tomatoes chopped

2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp onion powder (optional)

1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Instructions:

Saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add chopped potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add chopped squash and cook for 5 minutes. Add turmeric and salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir and cook until potatoes are done. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Simple, delicious, and nutritious!

 

Raising Financially Responsible Kids

Many of us discover a little too late that when it comes to money and finances we are ill-equipped and lack the education we need. In important matters as these the earlier you start teaching your kids the better. Children should be taught responsibility, remuneration, and resourcefulness at an early age. So what we want to do is teach them these simple but valuable lessons:

1. You Have to Work to Earn Money

Teach them that in order to have spending money they have to spend time working. Work teaches them to be responsible individuals and helps them build self-worth.

2. It Is Wise to Be Resourceful

Point out the difference between spending their money on what they think they should and what they actually could do with it instead. For example when my 7-year-old would want to buy and expensive zoo set I would point out that we have all the animal toys we need and we could use the Lincoln logs we already have to build the set ourselves. This would give us something to do and would prove more rewarding than just taking something out of a package. The money could be used for going on a desirable trip or be donated to an important cause that the child is passionate about.

3. Learn from Small Disappointments

Teach them the value of money and let them make their own decisions with their hard-earned dollars. Even though they will be making mistakes we need to allow this to happen.  Learning from the small mistakes when they are young will help them avoid the big ones when they are grown. The small disappointment from wasting their money as a result of a poor choice could save them from a bigger disappointment in the future.

In the long run it is less painful to learn these principles earlier than later. Teaching our kids to be  financially responsible prepares them in a practical way to face the realities of life.

 

Macaroni & Cheese Garden Style

My kids love this vegan recipe. Cashews are expensive and I don’t always have them on hand. Since I came up with this recipe not having the exotic ingredients is not a problem for our family.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp oil

1 big onion chopped

1 big potato chopped

1 medium yellow squash chopped

3 medium tomatoes chopped

2 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp onion powder (optional)

1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1 16 oz. box elbow macaroni pasta

Instructions:

Saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add chopped potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add chopped squash and cook for 5 minutes. Add turmeric and salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir and cook until potatoes are done. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Cook elbow macaroni pasta according to the package and then pour cheese sauce over the pasta and mix well. Enjoy!

Simple, delicious, and nutritious!

20171023_172415

 

 

 

A Healthy Attitude

The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, and distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death.

Courage, hope. faith, sympathy, and love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul. “A merry [rejoicing] heart doeth good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22).

Dwell on the positive
The effect of mental influence should not be overlooked. By the exercise of the will power in placing themselves in right relation to life, patients can do much to cooperate with the physician’s efforts for their recovery. Often invalids can resist disease simply by refusing to yield to ailments and settle down in a state of inactivity. Rising above their aches and pains, they should engage in useful activity suited to their strength. By such exercise and the free use of air and sunlight, many an invalid might recover health and strength.

We are in a world of suffering. Difficulty, trial, and sorrow await us all along the way to the heavenly home. But there are many who make life’s burdens doubly heavy by continually anticipating trouble. Thus they bring wretchedness upon themselves and cast a shadow upon all around them. Let them look away from the dark picture to the benefits which God has strewn in their pathway, and beyond these to the unseen and eternal.

When the sunlight of God’s love illuminates the darkened chambers of the soul, restless weariness and dissatisfaction will cease, and satisfying joys will give vigor to the mind and health and energy to the body.

Overcoming discouragement
We are not to let the future, with its hard problems its unsatisfying prospects, discourage us. Those who surrender their lives to His guidance and to His service will never be placed in a position for which He has not made provision. Whatever our situation, if we are doers of His word, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever, our perplexity, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend.

If in our ignorance we make missteps, the Savior does not forsake us. We need never feel that we are alone. Angels are our companions. The Comforter that Christ promised to send in His name abides with us. In the way that leads to the City of God there are no difficulties which those who trust in Him may not overcome. There are no dangers which they may not escape. There is not a sorrow, not a grievance, not a human weakness, for which He has not provided a remedy.

None need abandon themselves to discouragement and despair. God does not bid us overcome in our own strength. He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there.

Often your mind may be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think. You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms.

When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ’s love and under His protecting care. Entering into communion with the Savior, we enter the region of peace.

A spirit of gratitude and praise
Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven.

Encouraging the sorrowful
Often prayer is solicited for the afflicted, the sorrowful, the discouraged; and this is right. We should pray that God will shed light into the darkened mind and comfort the sorrowful heart. But while we offer prayer for these sorrowful ones, we should encourage them to try to help those more needy than themselves. The darkness will be dispelled from their own hearts as they try to help others.

Let the invalid, instead of constantly requiring sympathy, seek to impart it. Let the burden of your own weakness and sorrow and pain be cast upon the compassionate Savior. Open your heart to His love, and let it flow out to others.

The consciousness of right doing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.—E. G. White

Radiant Living by Project Restore