How to come separate from this world

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

 I want to take some time to talk about coming separate from this world because recently I had to come to terms with the fact that I was lukewarm. And a lot of us are lukewarm— claiming to be Christians when our lifestyles are no different from those who blatantly reject God. But before I get into coming separate from this world, I want briefly explain what I am referring to as “The world”.

When I mention the world, I am talking about the society’s system of resources, values, priorities and philosophies that are influenced by the devil. Since satan is the god of this world (according to scriptures like Matthew 4:8-10), he is the one orchestrating the ideas and moves of the people. Whether they know (or believe) it or not, those who aren’t in Christ (and Christians who aren’t abiding in the Spirit!) are being deceived (and employed!) by the devil.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:18-19, NLT)

Therefore, being a friend or in agreement with the ways of living AND THINKING like the world (or the cultures around us) puts us in direct opposition to God and His standards (which are clear in the bible).

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

So what am I saying? Am I saying that we have to live like the Amish? No, because Jesus sends his disciples out into the world (John 17:6-26, Matthew 28:16-20). What I’m saying is, is that we have to repent, and stop living like we don’t know what the bible teaches!

Like I mentioned above, this is how a lot of us have deceived ourselves into believing that we are Christians when in reality we are enemies of God.

 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)

Since we know that coming separate isn’t literal (because again, Jesus sends us out into the world), we know that it means forsaking fellowship with unbelievers (fake Christians!) and being delivered from evil.

 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11, NLT)

It’s a sanctification process. This is what being holy and set apart (or separate!) is all about!

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

Just think of how many commands and directives (like women wearing head coverings to church) have been tossed out the window because we’re evolving with the culture. When we’re of the world, we think like the world. God is the same God of Israel. He’s still holy and His desires haven’t changed. If we truly want to be followers of His son Jesus Christ then we have to DENY OURSELVES and walk in righteousness. We can’t be worried about our own opinions or interpretations and social rankings.

 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:31-32, NLT)

So basically it all boils down to this, if you want to come separate from this world, just read your bible and with the power of the holy ghost start DOING what it says. The results are inevitable.

Much love, Brandi

When staying home becomes boring and/or stressful

Homemaking is a blessing but it can be challenging so I want to briefly share 5 things that I believe can help combat that burnout.

#1 Staying connected

Community is everything! Even if it’s just chatting online with bloggers and YouTubers. Surrounding ourselves with other homemakers keeps us focused on what it true and important. You are not alone. We are each other’s motivation and inspiration.

#2 Getting rest

Whatever that looks like for you. It could be reading, working on a hobby or literally taking naps.  The point is, we have to rest on the regular and being at home gives us the liberty to do so.

#3 Eating well

To piggy back on #2, whole foods and good sleep are necessary. They go hand in hand. Try meal prepping the things you like (so all you have to do is grab and go).  We can not afford to skip out on what gives us energy.

#4 Getting dressed

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Hanging out in my pajamas!

To be honest,  this is something that I am still working on. Sometimes I don’t even get dressed at all especially if I don’t have any errands to run. But we all know that we feel better when we look better. So perhaps we’re only feeling as crazy as we look. For some, getting dressed is a must. And I’m sure that they’re much more productive (and attractive to their husbands).

#5 Having an agenda

Speaking of being productive, we all know that a day started without a plan will most likely be wasted. So if you are an inconsistent person, start by writing down the tasks that you would like to accomplish within that week. As long as you’re getting stuff done you don’t need an overwhelming detailed daily planner or calendar.

So, I hope that these tips help. I’m praying for you all because I know that everyone’s situations and families are different.

With much love,

Brandi

Strawberry Chia Jam recipe

As I transition into a more “homesteadish” lifestyle, there are some things including fruit preserves that I have decided to stop buying. This recipe is not only good (and easy!) but it’s guilt free! So I hope that you try it and if you do let me know what you think.

 

Ingredients

2 cups chopped strawberries (or mixed berries)
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions

Heat the berries in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the berries begin to caramelize and get all syrupy (about 10 minutes). Mash the strawberries with a potato masher to your desired consistency (I like chunks of fruit in mine).

Turn the heat off and move the saucepan to another burner then pour in the lemon juice and the honey (feel free to add more honey to your liking). Now, stir in the chia seeds and allow the mixture to cool down completely before canning.

This recipe makes about 10 ounces (a little over a cup) which will last my family about a week but you can definitely store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. Also, this jam will not thicken as much as those with pectin (and loads of refined sugars!) would but the chia seeds will swell and thicken it up good enough. Yum (just thinking about it). Don’t believe me just ask my son!

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(My son)

When desires become idols

(Featured image provided by Pexels.com)

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6:21)

Writing this is bittersweet because I feel like I’m constantly dethroning idols that have infiltrated my heart. And publicly sharing my understanding of this will not only hold me accountable but leave me with no more  excuses.

See we can not seek (or love) God with all of our hearts, when part of it is seeking other things (including someone else). We have to beware of what we set our hearts on because even good and godly desires can become idols.

An idol is anything more important to us than delighting in or serving God (alone). They are our deepest longings. Whatever we are lusting after. Some common idols that I have personally worshiped were things like Control and perfectionism, Prestige (recognition and validation from this world), Beauty, Natural health and wellness, organic food etc. Beautiful homes, My children, My husband (and marriage in general), Entrepreneurship, Ministry, Happiness.. Just to name a few.  And what I’ve learned is that through convictions and restlessness, God frustrates my ideas making it nearly impossible for me to pursue my idols. This is how we know that (or when) a desire has become an idol.

If you (or I!) want something (or some things!) so bad that we begin to sin when we don’t get it (or to attain it), then we have a MAJOR problem and it’s called an idol.  Even if what you want is good! Because I’ve learned that in reality, what I personally desire is only as good as my patience and trust in God for it. If I can’t continue to love and to EXALT God in the meantime, and I become discontent and miserable then I  am not committed to (or delighting in) the Lord. In fact,  I am sinning because my affections, and appetite or cravings shouldn’t be on anything but Him, His Son and their coming kingdom.

Everything (and everybody!) will always be competing for our affections. Especially in this era of technology and consumerism. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with genuinely wanting a house or a child. It’s not the end of the world, but will it be to you if you never get them? Becoming angry (especially toward the things of God ), frustrated, manipulative, covetous or full of self pity are all results of idolizing our desires. So is rebellion. I was notorious for seeking temporary comfort and relief from God’s chastising. In my pride I would turn to things like food, sleep, shopping, TV,  Social media etc. And I don’t know if it’s just me but it’s like I can not worship anything other than God. Of course it’s sin but it’s also tormenting spending all of my time, energy and money daydreaming about, planning for and longing after idols. And the worst part is that they don’t even truly satisfy! Once conquered, we’re always wanting MORE—Bigger or better!

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. (Proverbs  27:20)

So, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you . May we all just delight solely in the Lord in obedience and in hopes that He’ll find our hearts “empty” enough to start storing up His own perfect desires♥♥

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Your sister,
Brandi