The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg – Every Time

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The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg – Every Time

I’m giving Ken all the credit for my pretty hard-boiled eggs! I was so tired of ending up with crater-filled blobs when making ‘Angeled Eggs’ or hard-boiled eggs for a chef salad. Ugh!

I’ve had a chance to experiment with Ken’s directions for ‘perfect-every-time hard-boiled eggs’ using both older eggs and fresh eggs which I marked with an ‘O’ or an ‘N’.

In my Home Ec class in the 60s, I was taught to only use older eggs (7-10 days old) when making hard-boiled eggs. They said ‘the fresher the egg, the more difficult it is to peel cleanly’, but not so with Ken’s method. It WORKS beautifully for both older eggs and fresh eggs*, and it’s consistent every time so far!

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*My egg source is Costco (Kirkland brand- organic, cage-free, GMO-free feed) which has a turn-over rate of 2-3 times a week in our area. I have not proven this method with eggs straight from the hen.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 8-14 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup white or AC vinegar
  • 6 – 7 cups water in a quart pan, no lid
  • ice

Here’s what you do:

1. Combine the salt, vinegar, and water in a quart pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Add the eggs one at a time into the boiling water, being careful not to crack them. I use a spoon to set them into the water gently.
3. Reduce the heat to a gentler boil and cook for 13-14 minutes depending on how well done you like your yolks. I promise they will NOT be tough, dry, or rubbery!
4. Once your timer goes off, pour out the hot water, and replace with very cold running water. Top with ice and set aside for about 15 minutes.
5. Easily peel off the shell under running water and enjoy, or you may refrigerate your eggs for up to a week.

I had the camera in my right hand and found I could actually peel the hard-boiled eggs with one hand (my thumb) once I got the shell cracked! They are that easy!

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A Bit On Why We Eat Eggs

I believe we have been given bad (erroneous, poor, faulty) information about eggs!

“Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, good fat, and other nutrients, including choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. They are so good for you that you can easily eat one dozen eggs per week, which is actually a simple and cost-effective way to add valuable nutrition to your diet,” according to Dr. Joe Mercola.

Mercola also states: “There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs, which are high in saturated fat, to protect your heart. But I believe eggs are a nearly ideal fuel source for most of us. The evidence clearly shows that eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and can actually help prevent disease, including heart disease. Studies have found that:

  • Consumption of more than six eggs per week does not increase the risk of stroke and ischemic stroke.5
  • Eating two eggs a day does not adversely affect endothelial function (an aggregate measure of cardiac risk) in healthy adults, supporting the view that dietary cholesterol may be less detrimental to cardiovascular health than previously thought.6
  • Proteins in cooked eggs are converted by gastrointestinal enzymes, producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure). 7

So Mamas, please don’t overlook this inexpensive, highly nutritious, original portable food. Bon Appétit!

If you found this post helpful, please Pin it! Thanks!

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Step-by-Step: Traditional Basic Sauerkraut In A Crock

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Step-by-Step: Traditional Basic Sauerkraut In A Crock

As a society we have gone outside the home for most of what we need and want in our lives. Food, music, health care, clothing. It’s all acquired from outside of our family and our community. So what happens when we jam on the dulcimer in the evening, sew some of our own clothes,  and make our own medicine? On so many levels, it awakens us.  Sure, some of our clothing comes from the cute little consignment shop in town, but we also use iTouch/iPhone technology. To mix homemade and homegrown into as much of our lives as possible – even in the littlest things – can change so much. In my humble opinion, fermented basic sauerkraut is one of those little things.

Basic sauerkraut is the gateway of fermented foods. It’s straightforward and simple, the ingredients are inexpensive, and the reward is fairly quick. It is wonderfully sour, slightly crunchy, and fantastic loaded onto a big sandwich for a burst of flavor or eating right out of the jar as a daily probiotic. (Basic sauerkraut is the stuff of warm Reuben sandwiches!) We love it so much we sometimes make it in large batches. If you are even slightly adventuresome, you will find it enjoyable, too.

Please do not be intimidated in the least; maybe I can take some of the mystery out of it for you.

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Last post, I shared the ins and outs of how fermentation takes place in making a high quality sauerkraut ferment.

Today, I want to show the actual process of making basic sauerkraut from start to finish.

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<–Shredding cabbages for ‘choucroute’ the traditional way in the Alsace region of France~from A Taste of Alsace by Sue Style. Home of my father’s ancestors. (source)

“When you make sauerkrauts you are in fact concocting a vessel full of enzymes, lactobacilli and an alkaline reactive food source… a powerhouse of nutrition for your stomach, intestines, organs and entire body.” ~Sandor Katz

What Is Needed To Make A Traditional Basic Sauerkraut

Simply, all you need is cabbage, salt, and some sort of container to store it while it’s fermenting. A small kitchen/postal scale would be helpful, too. While this post mainly focuses on fermenting basic sauerkraut in a covered crock, it is applicable to all types of containers.

Basic Sauerkraut Recipe

1.) Remove damaged or wilted outer leaves and core out a bit of the center stalk from the cabbage.

2.) Weigh your trimmed cabbages for a total weight and write it down for accuracy in measuring in the salt later.

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3.) Using a food processor or a large knife, shred or chop the cabbage into a large pan(s), either finely or coarsely, according to your preference.

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My son helps me with shredding the cabbages. I add the salt and pack it in.

 

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I like to think of this as 2 teaspoons per pound as many of my ferments are smaller than 5 pounds, and it’s easier to figure.

*Optional: stir in 3-4 tsp. of caraway seed if you like it really traditional. It is the flavor that compliments the rye bread in a Reuben sandwich! Caraway alone can stimulate digestion.

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Here I used my big lidded crock. I had just over 10 pounds of cabbage, so I used 6 tablespoons of sea salt. I am partial to both French Grey salt or Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan costs less, but both are very good for you. Himalayan pink salt contains all of the 84 elements found in your body, and is especially beautiful to the eye.

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3.) Pack all the salted cabbage into your vessel; simply pack down firmly to remove all air pockets (no need to pound!), and the salt will begin to draw liquid our of the shredded mass. Depending on the age of the cabbage that you are using, it may take some time for the salt to draw out the juice. Don’t fill your container too much more than 4/5 of the way to the top.

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 Loading the crock with salted, shredded cabbage

4.) Next, submerge the cabbage one of several ways:

  • If using a Fermenting crock like mine, place the two weights into the crock, pressing them down slightly so that the juice begins to rise.
  • If using an open crock with straight sides, you usually place a weighted plate over the cabbage to pack it down and keep it submerged. As the salt draws the liquid out of the cabbage leaves, the liquid level should rise to cover the plate.
  • Step-by-Step Process Of Making Sauerkraut In a Crock, DIY, homemade, homemaking, keeper at home, choucroute, Eastern Europe, barrels, kitchen/postal scale, Sandor Katz, quote, books, French Grey salt, Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, minerals, shredded cabbage, chopped cabbage, independence, open crock, Boss Pickler, Fido jar, canning jars, mason jars, Ball jars, salt ratio, bon appetit, Alsace Lorraine, France, cellar, food storage, fermentation, big batches, crunchy, sour, kahm yeast, Holland, caraway seeds, lidded crock, Harsch crock, Gartopf, Germany, grandmothers, probiotic, Reuben sandwiches, flavor, crunchy, beneficial bacteria, bad bacteria, lactobacillus, lactic acid, Swabian village, brine, salt solution, lacto-fermentation, sustainable living, living off the grid, the old ways, thermometer, heated garage, food storage, pantry, kraut, fermentWhen fermenting in a wide-mouth canning jar, placing a smaller jelly jar filled with rocks or marbles into the mouth of the larger jar serves the same purpose. The liquid will rise with the displacement, yet hold the cabbage under the brine. You can also make a similar arrangement as you see here. The idea is to keep the cabbage submerged………………>
  • When fermenting in a Boss Pickler Fido jar, you don’t have to do any of these things! I love the ‘Boss’ and wrote a post on making basic kimchi here.
                                                                                                                                                       (The Original Probiotic – source)

*In every case above, if there is not at least 1 inch of the liquid/brine covering the weights, pour some boiled and cooled salt water (make it at a concentration of about 1 tablespoon per 2 cups of water) into the crock so that the stones are submerged.

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 I usually have to add extra brine to cover the stones

5.) Place the lid securely onto the crock and fill the surrounding water trough. This creates an incredible airtight seal that allows the lactic acid to work to its maximum capacity without the formation of undesirable film-forming yeast.

For me, the ‘waiting time’ of fermentation requires patience to leave the developing sauerkraut alone and do its thing unseen. When I use the big covered Fermenting crock, I will not open it and break the water seal which keeps dust, molds or other undesirables out.

Some who use other types of vessels will peek at their sauerkraut from time to time and skim off occasional kahm yeast. I have never had kahm yeast with a covered, water-sealed crock.

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Your work is nearly done. Kick back and relax – let those busy, friendly microbial organisms do their work.

Sauerkraut is safe to eat at every stage along the way, so there is no real minimum or maximum fermentation time. But a rule of thumb for the highest quality fermentation in bigger batches is 15-20 days. For a smaller quart-sized batch, the minimum time is 3-8 days, though the kraut will continue to ferment and become tastier for many days after that.

  • For the first 2-3 days, just leave the crock at room temperature (about 68-72° F). During this time, you may begin to notice a barely audible gurgling or bubbling sound…fermentation is moving right along. If it is more than 75 degrees, it will go soft and mushy.
  • Day 4, move the crock into a cool place in your home or heated garage, somewhere that stays between about 64°-68° F.  65º is ideal. Less than 60 degrees, it may not ferment at all. I put ours on the floor near an outside (N) wall in our back hall where it is cool. I keep a little thermometer there.
  • Be sure to monitor the level of the water seal as it may evaporate during this time. Take care to add water as needed so that the seal remains intact.

6.) Lastly, just spoon your wonderful finished fermented sauerkraut (aka:: the original probiotic) into clean jars with tight-fitting lids. Pack them tightly so the juices rise and the air pockets are out. This is my favorite part as I see the many filled jars!

FYI, the finished fermented sauerkraut can be kept at cellar temperature (around 55°F) for months, though those of us without cellars must make do with storing the kraut on an enclosed back porch, a unheated garage, or in the refrigerator.

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So go ahead and be bold! I guarantee if you learn to make this gateway fermented food, you will be encouraged to do other things to lessen some of your dependence on outside sources.

Bon Appétit!

What’s the Salt Ratio For Making Sauerkraut?

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Step-by-Step Process Of Making Sauerkraut In a Crock, DIY, homemade, homemaking, keeper at home, choucroute, Eastern Europe, barrels, kitchen/postal scale, Sandor Katz, quote, books, French Grey salt, Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, minerals, shredded cabbage, chopped cabbage, independence, open crock, Boss Pickler, Fido jar, canning jars, mason jars, Ball jars, salt ratio, bon appetit, Alsace Lorraine, France, cellar, food storage, fermentation, big batches, crunchy, sour, kahm yeast, Holland, caraway seeds, lidded crock, Harsch crock, Gartopf, Germany, grandmothers, probiotic, Reuben sandwiches, flavor, crunchy, beneficial bacteria, bad bacteria, lactobacillus, lactic acid, Swabian village, brine, salt solution, lacto-fermentation, sustainable living, living off the grid, the old ways, thermometer, heated garage, food storage, pantry, kraut,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

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High Quality Sauerkraut Fermentation

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High Quality Sauerkraut Fermentation

Note: I do not pound my sauerkraut!

In his book, Wild Fermentaion, Sandor Katz refers to Captain James Cook, when on his second round-the-world voyage in the 1770s, as saying,”sixty barrels of kraut lasted for twenty-seven months, and not a single crew member developed scurvy, which previously had killed huge numbers of the crews of long sea voyages.”

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Our great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers understood this. One of the last reminiscences my father shared with me was of helping his Oma (grandmother) make sauerkraut in pre-WWII Holland. All this kraut-making stuff must be forever in my genes.

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(source) Sauerkraut making in a Swabian village, Germany, 1949.

Sauerkraut Fermentation (source)

Sauerkraut fermentation requires almost no work on the part of the operator. Cabbage contains enough lactic acid bacteria in order to ferment and produce sauerkraut with salt alone. In order to obtain product of the highest quality all those bacteria strains must ferment in a certain sequence. This happens naturally as long as sauerkraut is fermented around 65° (18° C).

1. Leuconostoc mesenteroides - they are the smallest and start the fermentation first producing around 0.25 to 0.3% lactic acid. They are heterofermenters, this means that they produce different compounds such as lactic acid, acetic acid (vinegar), ethyl alcohol, carbon dioxide (soda gas) and mannitol. The last one is a bitter flavored compound which is metabolized later by Lactobacillus plantarum. All those acids, in combination with alcohol from aromatic esters, contribute to the characteristic flavor of the high quality sauerkraut. If the temperature is higher than 72° F (22° C) they might not grow and that would be detrimental to the flavor of sauerkraut. In about 2 days Leuconostoc mesenteroides will produce 0.3% lactic acid and this increased acidity will restrict its growth. Nevertheless, the enzymes it produced will continue to develop flavor.

2. Lactobacillus plantarum - this strain takes over the production of lactic acid from Leuconostoc mesenteroides and continues fermenting until an acidity level of 1.5 to 2% is achieved. L. plantarum will ferment at temperatures higher than 72° F (22° C) and it can grow at higher acidity levels. It will ferment at lower temperatures as well, albeit at much slower rate. Lactobacillus plantarum is the most popular lactic acid bacteria strain and it ferments sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and even meat. This bacteria is a homofermenter what means that it produces one compound only. It consumes sugar and produces lactic acid which imparts acidic taste to fermented food. At the end of this stage sauerkraut has an acceptable quality and can be served or canned. If there is enough sugar left, the fermentation will continue until all sugar supply is exhausted.

3. Lactobacillus pentoaceticus ( L.brevis) - continue fermenting until an acidity level of 2.5 – 3% is obtained. As there is no more sugar left in the cabbage the fermentation comes to the end.

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Sauerkraut fermentation

Any change to the above cycles of lactic acid production will alter the taste and quality of sauerkraut. As long as the proper amount of salt is added and the recommended temperatures are observed, the three bacteria strains will ferment cabbage in the proper sequence.

The Effect of Fermentation Temperature

The best quality sauerkraut is produced at 65-72° F (18-22° C) temperatures. Temperatures 45.5° F (7.5° C) to 65° F (18° C) favor the growth and metabolism of L.mesenteroides. Temperatures higher than 72° F (22° C) favor the growth of Lactobacillus species. Generally, lower temperatures produce higher quality sauerkraut, although at 45.5° F (7.5° C) bacteria are growing so slow that the cabbage might need 6 months to complete fermentation. Higher temperatures produce sauerkraut in 7-10 days but of the lesser quality. This creates such a fast fermentation that some types of lactic acid bacteria don’t grow at all and less reaction take place inside what results in a less complex flavor.

  • Below 45.5° F (7.5° C) fermentation time is up to 6 months.

  • At 65° F (18° C) fermentation time is 20 days.

  • At 90-96° F (32-36° C) fermentation time is 10 days.

Bacteria Control

Sauerkraut is made by lactic acid bacteria that break sugar into lactic acid, carbon dioxide (CO2, soda gas) and a little amount of alcohol. Because cabbage contains water, sugar and many nutrients it is a perfect media for all types of bacteria to grow, some of them we try to avoid. Heat treatment will surely kill undesirable bacteria, but it also will kill lactic acid bacteria that we need, so this method does not apply here.

pH acidity of fresh cabbage is at around pH 7.0 which is at neutral point of acidity scale. This makes cabbage an ideal food for microorganisms as it contains water, sugar, proteins, minerals and all nutrients. We control bacterial growth using the following steps:

  • Washing.
  • Applying salt.
  • Elimination of oxygen.

Washing. Cabbage is in a direct contact with soil which is loaded with all types of microorganisms.

Most microorganisms are present on outside green leaves which are usually discarded. One gram of fresh cabbage may contain 250,000 bacteria and this number may grow to 1,000,000 during storage. So, the first step is to wash the cabbage well as this action removes plenty of microorganisms. If ingredients such as apples or carrots will be added, thy must be thoroughly washed as well.

Salt. Salt is needed for two reasons:

  • To remove the cabbage juice and nutrients from each cell and make it available as food to lactic acid bacteria. Bacteria will not eat dry cabbage leaves, however, they will absorb liquid filled with nutrients and juice. Bacteria are like sponges – they don’t pick up dry matter, but will suck up anything wet.
  • To keep other bacteria away. A moderate amount of salt does not bother sauerkraut bacteria (lactic acid), however, other bacteria types find salt intolerable.

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To make high quality sauerkraut Salt is applied at 2 – 2.5% in relation to the weight of the sliced cabbage. Decreasing salt levels will create quality problems, going below 1.5% will rot the cabbage. Spoilage bacteria will survive such a low salt level and will take over the process and will spoil the product.

Absence of Oxygen. When container as packed with cabbage all microorganisms start to compete for food. Salt inhibits some of them, but many others need oxygen to survive, for example molds. Eliminating oxygen is accomplished by a few methods:

  • Packing container hard with shredded cabbage.
  • Slicing cabbage thinner, this allows to pack more cabbage and disperse more air.
  • Keeping cabbage submerged in brine (using weights).
  • Using water channel fermented crocks or air lock glass jars.

Eliminating oxygen prevents Vitamin C from oxidizing and losing its strength.

Fermented sauerkraut exhibits pH at around 3.5 and will keep in cool conditions for a very long time, as long as this pH level is maintained.

Tips

Cabbage should contain up to 3.5% sugar. The sweeter raw cabbage is the better sauerkraut will be obtained.

Adding less than 2% salt might produce soft or even slimy sauerkraut. Adding less than 1% will produce sauerkraut that would be soft and unacceptable commercially. Adding more than 3.5% salt might inhibit growth of lactic acid bacteria.

The more lactic acid is produced the more acidic sauerkraut becomes. There is a limit how much lactic acid can be produced. Once the sugar supply is exhausted, lactic acid bacteria stop growing. White scum on the surface of the sauerkraut is due to yeasts and should be removed daily. There is no reason to discard the sauerkraut.

It is possible to use the brine from the previous sauerkraut fermentation as a starter culture for a new production. This is a common method used in production of bread or even salami (back slopping), where a part of fermented product is saved for a new production. In theory at least, it should produce a new batch with the same characteristics as the old one.

If more sugar were added the fermentation will continue longer and more lactic acid will be produced. That would result in increased acidity and very sour cabbage which is not desirable. Eventually the acidity level will be so high that lactic acid bacteria will not survive.

During fermentation glucose (sugar) is converted to about 50% lactic acid, 25% acetic acid and ethyl alcohol, and 25% carbon dioxide.

Keep the fermentation temperature below 80° F (27° C). For best quality sauerkraut, maintain fermentation temperature at around 65° F (18° C).

Bubbles are the sign of ongoing fermentation. In a glass jar they can be seen raising to the top.

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Sauerkraut fermentation bubbles.
Excerpts taken from archives of the Food Preservation Methods Knowledge Center.

Like our ancestors, I am sold on lacto-fermenting food. Dr. Mercola states that it can help with everything from diabetes to indigestion to arthritis to lowering our risk of cancer. It also is supposed to boost metabolism and improve our mood and mental health. I am not sure about all the claims, but I do know the good it has done for us and how easy it is to make and have as a part of your daily diet.

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Bottling up finished sauerkraut from my big old 10L. Harsch crock.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”  ~Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, pg 89

Making Basic Kimchi
Lacto-Fermented Pickles, No Canning
Boss Pickler Fermenting Review

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Dreams and Visions Of Jesus That Can’t Be Dismissed

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(source)

Dreams and Visions Of Jesus That Can’t Be Dismissed

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’”~Isaiah 65:1

I don’t think I’ve cried so hard for a very long time. I was electrified, envious, and encouraged. Nearly impossible to put down, this book I hold on my lap robbed me of sleep.

Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? - the personal stories of men and women – went deep into my heart, and I had to ask myself very hard questions. Would I be strong enough to stand in the face of such circumstances? We in the West cannot imagine how powerful these dreams would be for those who live in such fear and oppression. It would be difficult to understand how knowing Jesus would not only bring spiritual freedom but also potentially physical dangers.

In a second, I want to introduce you to several brothers and sisters of ours in Christ in the Muslim world [Kamal, Aisha, and Reem].

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(See Elizeh’s story - source)

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When Muslims have dreams and visions about Jesus, they realize a something of vast importance is before them. They
grasp that Jesus loves them and welcomes them. They begin a search to know Jesus personally. Once they discover Him in all His glory, many of these Muslims have no trouble repenting and committing to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives, often at great personal sacrifice and danger. Once they sense Jesus’ love, they are drawn to Him just like Cornelius was drawn to the God of Israel (Acts 10).

Jesus is making visits to Muslims all over the face of the earth. Especially from the shores of Marrakesh, Morocco, to Cairo, Egypt, and all across the Middle East and into Indo-Malaysia, those studying this phenomenon say stories of dreams and visions of Jesus, especially in the last 20 years, are without precedent. 

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There are Nine Rooms in the ‘House of Islam’ (Dar al-Islam), as Muslims call their world.  After traveling 250,000 miles throughout Dar al-Islam, missiologist David Garrison came to a fascinating conclusion:

Muslim-background believers are leading Muslims to Christ in staggering numbers, but not in the West. Muslims are becoming the best evangelists and are doing this primarily in Muslim-majority nations almost completely under the radar – of everyone. 

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I believe the real story about Muslims is not the global terrorism we are hearing about almost daily, but that Jesus is reaching out to them in Islamic countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and in the Gaza Strip. Muslims are coming to Jesus; their faith is vibrant and bold, and everywhere, they are passionate and ready to die for Christ Jesus who shows Himself -putting out all doubt.

“To us, these dreams and visions are supernatural experiences, but to Jesus, I suspect He’s just doing business here on earth the way He always has. The stories in this book are about real people I know personally or are known by my family’s closet friends in the Middle East. If we couldn’t verify the experience, we left it out.” ~Dreams and Visions author, Tom Doyle

The Lord is using what some might think are unusual methods to draw people to Himself, but nothing is impossible with God. The dreams open the door for Muslims to hear about Jesus in countries where spreading the Gospel is forbidden. These testimonies cannot be dismissed. Here are a few snippets from Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?:

“You’re the one!” A woman’s shout broke above the pandemonium of Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili Friday Market. “You’re the one!”
Kamal Assam spun toward the voice. His eyes fixed on the black hijab walking toward him. A female hand protruded from the full-body covering, pointing in his direction.
“Yes! You!”
Instincts begged him to ignore this culturally dangerous assault and dissolve into the crowd. If the woman’s husband were anywhere near and saw her approach, she -and likely Kamal – would pay a steep price for this outburst. Kamal couldn’t fathom why an observant Muslim woman would choose today to potentially ruin his life. Then a calmer voice inside suggested this might be the very reason Kamal had made his unusual trip to the marketplace.
“You’re the one in my dream last night.” The woman, now close enough to be heard without shouting, breathed heavily from the effort of pushing through the mob and from her own shock at the unfolding mystery of her circumstances.
“Those clothes. You were wearing those clothes. For sure, it is you.”
Kamal instantly recognized why this person had so passionately invaded his life. “Was I with Jesus?” he asked.
“Yes,” the woman whispered, “Jesus was with us!”
What had begun as an atypical visit for him to the Friday Market had just taken an even more uncanny and exciting turn. That morning while reading his Bible, Kamal felt a compelling urge to leave the house where he was staying and venture to the Friday Market.
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A Man in a gleaming white robe – something other than a dishdasha – stood over her. She glanced behind Him at the tent and saw that He had not cut an opening to get in. He raised a hand, as if in greeting but also to calm her. No one else stirred.
Light from the Man’s clothing seemed to flow into her body. Her first thought had been that some cleric had sought out her family – or more frightening, perhaps just her. Yet an unearthly warmth emanated form this Man. She instantly knew that He loved her deeply. And in that instant, she also knew who He was. Jesus stood in her tent.
He stepped backward and ducked as if stooping to exit the tent’s low doorway. As He faded through the side, the girl glimpsed His eyes. Come with Me, they seemed to say.
 Aisha sat staring, open-mouthed, at the tent wall. Perhaps sounds continued in the night around her, but Aisha did not hear them. For an hour, she neither moved nor spoke a word. what could be more dangerous than to have a vision about Jesus in Mecca during the hajj?
A month later, Aisha and her family took their next trip, this time out of the country. Far less monotonous but vastly more enjoyable than a pilgrimage to Mecca: they visited Aisha’s favorite relatives in Jordan.
One night at her cousin’s home while channel surfing before bed, Aisha froze at the words from a Christian station in Egypt.
“Some of you have had a vision from Jesus”, the preacher called – to her? “Be thankful. He has selected you for this high honor. Jesus doesn’t waste time with these visits. he is calling you to follow Him. he has a purpose for your life.”  
…Aisha sensed something different about her cousin Reem, in fact, Reem had been the first to mention ‘spiritual encounters’. So alone one evening she took advantage of the opening. “Are you having dreams about Muhammad?” Aisha tested the waters.
Reem’s eyes roamed the floor, choosing the words for her answer. “No, Aisha. Actually, it hasn’t been Muhammad.” Head still angled toward the floor, she raised only her eyes and peered steadily from under her brow at Aisha. “They are about Jesus.” She gauged her cousin’s reaction and then went on. “I have had several now. I can’t describe the incredible peace I’ve had when He was sspeaking with me.” Reem held her breath, hoping she had correctly assessed her cousin and friend’s willingness to hear the truth without reproach.
To explore questions that had dominated their private thoughts, they spent the remaining days in as much seclusion as they could come by without raising potentially dangerous questions form the family. 
Why was Jesus appearing to them? Why was Jesus giving the two of them such similar experiences? One question, though, was more urgent than any of the others: How was the Injil – the New Testament – hidden in Reem’s dresser any different from any other book?
 Dreams and Visions Of Jesus That Can't Be Dismissed

All are welcome to the blessings of salvation, to whom those blessings are welcome. In Christ there is enough for all, and enough for each. Those satisfied with the world, that see no need of Christ, do not thirst.

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Note: Our children found great encouragement in their faith from reading wholesome books like this.
Please pre-read, but I’m thinking for a mature 12 y.o. and up. No sexual content, but persecution…this is the reality facing Christians.

“More Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus today than ever before. In fact, we believe more Muslims have become followers of Jesus in the last ten years than in the last 14 centuries of Islam.” ~Tom Doyle

In Iran, 7-9 million Persians watch satellite broadcasts of Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran.” That constitutes 10 percent of viewers in Iran. 

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Could Islamic terrorism be one of the ways Satan hopes to keep the gospel message from Muslims… by making us afraid of them or hate them? The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people with families and joys and sorrows just like you or like me.

Will you join me in interceding for them in these most dangerous and interesting of times?

Invitation to the Needy

“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.” ~Isaiah 55: 4-6

Have you had a dream about Jesus? Visit Dreams About Jesus. Understand your dream about Jesus and meet others who have also dreamt about Jesus.

Other books:::

I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter with God, Bilquis Sheikh

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity,  Nabeel Qureshi (recommended by Ravi Zacharias)

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

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~ Jacqueline

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Complete Guide To A No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet

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Complete Guide To A No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet

As a young child I had one ear ache after another – and like so many moms in the 50s – mine frequently took me to the doctor where I was prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic. If one didn’t work, they tried another.

My senior year of nursing school, age 21, I was hospitalized with acute glomerulo-nephritis from strep and which could not be halted with antibiotics. I simply broke out in hives, got far sicker, and ultimately lost much of my kidney function (over 50% both R and L sides) until God totally and completely healed me. The last IVPs amazed us all, especially the doctors.

We now know I had developed antibiotic resistance; this occurs when bacteria in your body change so that antibiotics don’t work from overuseToday, antibiotics aren’t an option for me under any but the most dire of circumstances. True story.

As a Mom, I used conventional medications only as a last resort. My goal was to find safe alternatives to the usual antibiotics, Tylenol, Benadryl and over-the-counter products containing unpronounceable ingredients. I was a bit obsessed for a few years trying to keep us out of the doctor’s office with all of the negatives that go with the medical system. Continue reading

Since several readers have asked me to share what I keep in my medicine cabinet, I have been thinking how to save you time, money, and make your way more sure and enjoyable.

What I would like to show is that there are many, many safe and logical natural alternatives that do a fabulous job of helping our body to heal itself – all with no side effects. I believe we save money and potentially untold grief by staying out of the health care system as we know it today.

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A word of warning: It would be very expensive to pull all this together overnight. If you can afford it, go ahead. Instead, if you’re on tighter budget like us, you can begin replacing conventional medications with more natural alternatives – little by little – as so many others are doing. 

How To Build A Natural Medicine Chest

I began by purchasing only what I needed when I needed it. I was hooked on finding more natural things to avoid going to the doctor for every little thing and consider it a challenge! Today with the internet, we can research so much.

Some remedies you can make yourself, and some you will want to buy. I shop all over the place to find the best value for our needs. I don’t necessarily get the least expensive product, but look at the quality and especially look at ingredients.

Places I Shop

Amazon

The Bulk Herb Store

Radiant Life

Your Local Health Food Store

Vitacost.com (carries MANY brands, great prices). If you are a first time purchaser, you can get $10 off your first order by following my referral link here. You can also build up credits on your own by sharing your link with friends. Shpg. never exceeds $4.99 no matter how much it weighs, and some deals are free.

Mountain Rose Herbs and Plant Therapy on Amazon- both high quality and more reasonably priced.

There are affiliate links in this post. All the links on this website are for products that I feel are wholesome and helpful. I would share these links for purposes of encouraging families even if not an affiliate. It would be a blessing if you used the links in support of the time it takes to run this free resource. Thank you :)

What Brands?

I use a wide variety of brands as you notice in the photos, and that includes essential oils. Many of my oils I’ve had in stock for a number of years (they keep very well) and am still pleased with their potency. I am not loyal to any one brand of essential oils, but I’m partial to Mountain Rose Herbs.

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Storage That Works For YouComplete Guide To A No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet, car diffuser, EO diffuser, leg cramps, arnica, bruising, sore muscles, probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, sinus infection, Grapefruit seed extract, Nutribiotic, poisoning, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, upset stomach, ginseng, turmeric, astaxanthin, trace minerals, PMS, Smooth Move Tea, constipation, bio-identical hormones, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl L-Carnitine, menopause, feminine products, Brazil nuts, neti pot, saline rinse, homemade, DIY, homemaking, mothering, healthy living, herbal remedies, tincture, syrup, extracts, foot bath, soak, elderberry, sambucus nigra, essential oils, diffuser, sick room, cold and flu, headaches, bentonite clay, activated charcoal, food poisoning, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, anti-aging, antiviral, antibacterial, antibiotic resistance, allergy, allergic, raw honey, wound care, pink eye, dairy allergy, ear aches, mullein, elderberry syrup,  DSCN8756

I keep my main Medicine Cabinet stash split between 2 places: 2 deep kitchen drawers for vitamins, supplements, and first aid and an old kitchen hutch in the hall for herbs and finished tinctures where it is cool and out of direct sunlight.

For those things in the deep drawers, I write the name of the product on the cap so I can spot them.

Besides frequent hand washing, chugging glasses of pure water, slurping up bowls of bone broth, here is my arsenal.

What Ails You?

Colds/Flu/Coughs

Vitamin D3 This power vitamin can often reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place when taken properly. It is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of any healthcare budget could be saved with adequate vitamin D serum levels. The best way to get Vitamin D is outdoor sun, but in winter that is often impossible. For most adults, the daily Vitamin D maintenance dose is above 5,000 IU per day, and for children it is 35 IU per pound of body weight per day.

We keep powdered Vitamin C or Advan-C Capsules around at all times. At first sign of illness, we take 1000 mg. every hour until stools are slightly loose (bowel tolerance) and then continue taking but reduce dose to half. Often, the cold or flu never develops, especially when in combination with elderberry.

Elderberry - Antiviral elderberry has gained significant attention lately as an effective preventative and treatment for flu. You can MYO elderberry tincture or elderberry syrup with dried elderberriescinnamon, and raw honey. A good brand if buying is Nature’s Answer. Both taste great. If flu does strike, large doses of this syrup can chase away the flu in a day or two or noticeably lessen the severity with no side effects.

Chelated Zinc - we take extra zinc first thing when our immune system needs a boost, we are under stress, or on a deadline.

Defense Plus Tablets (grapefruit seed extract)- we use this when a cold or cough goes into the chest and shows signs of becoming entrenched. Defense Plus and Oreganol Oil-P73 (between 3-4 drops in an empty capsule, 3x/day) are my go-tos for anything more serious than a cold since I can’t use traditional antibiotics. We have been fortunate and have had to use antibiotics only once for one of our children, so that is saying something about these products!

Give Fermented Cod Liver Oil to build the immune system and overall robustness like my grandmother used to give. We give up the old ways too easily!

I wrote a post on Honey and Cinnamon ~Powerful Duo Knocks Colds and More.

Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic. Odorless Garlic softgels are easily taken by children or adults, but fresh is best. When not going out, take 1 big fresh clove, 3 times a day (crush and expose to air for ten minutes before consuming in V8 juice, etc).

In this post, I write about making my own cost-effective, immune-boosting blend of Thieves® Oil. Diffuse it or take it orally.

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We take a hot 30-minute detox baths (or foot bath) using mineral salts and bentonite clay and add 10-14 drops of essential oils such as lavender, lemon, peppermint, or eucalyptus. A detox bath is the only detoxing you should do if pregnant or nursing.

On car trips, we always pack Echinacea Plus tea or Echinacea Elder tea for a quick immune boost in case we catch a bug away from home

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Sore Throat

Colloidal Silver - gargle for sore throats and more. UCLA School of Medicine demonstrated how colloidal silver was highly effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungal organisms, even those that had become resistant to antibiotics (MRSA). (source)

Throat Coat Tea – one of our favorite teas ever, and it works! Gargle with salt water or lemon juice

Digestive/Gastro-Intestinal Tract

Probiotics for healthy gut flora, to fight candida and leaky gut. We use Primal Defense (powder most economical) for adults and children. Very healing. And for a one, two punch with difficult gut issues, also use FCLO (next).

Fermented Cod Liver Oil to heal a leaky gut or poor absorption of food w/ wonderfully high levels of Vitamins A&D and Omega-3s.

Smooth Move Herbal Tea - for occasional constipation.

A few sips of Ginger Aid Tea is always the first remedy to try for nausea, tummy upset, or morning sickness. It usually works wonders – and quickly.

Peppermint Essential Oil or DigestZen- 4-5 drops mixed with virgin coconut oil and rubbed on the tummy.

For upset stomach/food poisoning: Bentonite Clay or Activated Charcoal will often absorb the offending toxin. It has kept us from full-blown food poisoning before.

Parasites are becoming epidemic, so we routinely do a parasite cleanse once a year. Paragone and Paragone for Kids

Emergency/First Aid/Pain

I always keep Activated Charcoal on hand for spider bites, food poisoning, accidental ingestion of a poison, or a stomach bug. See my post on how to use. Also Bentonite Clay.

1-2 drops of non-diluted Lavender Essential Oil heals/soothes many things: cuts, burns, scrapes and splinters…a wonderful topical pain reliever.

Naturally antibacterial and antiviral virgin Coconut Oil does the same thing.

Instead of a topical antibiotic that will be absorbed and increase the potential for developing antibiotic resistance, we use Nutribiotic Ointment or Spray with Grapefruit Seed Extract. 5 Star! Raw local honey for wounds.

Arnica Gel helps to relieve muscle pain and stiffness and to reduce pain, swelling and discoloration from bruises.

For pain of body aches and pains, many people find relief with White Willow Bark. White willow bark contains salicin, a gylcoside used in the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin).

Leg Cramps. These are often a symptom of underlying mineral deficiency.

Upper Respiratory/Chest/Sinus/Allergies

We use many of the same things I’ve listed under Colds/Flu/Coughs above: Vitamin D3 and Advan-C Capsules, Zinc, Garlic, Defense Plus, Oreganol Oil-P73Fermented Cod Liver Oil, my Thieves® Oil blend.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil is my favorite decongestant and expectorant. I like to dilute it in a carrier oil or coconut oil to use as a chest decongestant. Mix it with other essential oils (peppermint, cloves, cinnamon, lemon, tea tree, lavender) if you have them on hand to make a great vapor rub.

Elderberry syrup or tincture (see Cold/Flu) isn’t only for colds and flu. It addresses viral upper respiratory infections and builds immune system all winter.

Mullein is an awesome herb to help get mucous up and out of the chest. Drink lots of water with this to loosen phlegm. I love gathering mullein to make my own dried herb.

Allergies are often fought successfully with raw local honey! If you can’t find a truly raw, local source, this is next best value (both price and quality, IMHO): YS Bee Farm, 32 oz.

Hay Fever/Allergy additional help: Sabadil homeopathic tablets. Also BHI Allergy Homeopathic Tablets(sublinguals).

Neti Pot and Saline Solution - what we go to when a sinus infection rears its ugly head.

Essential Oil Diffuser – Add your own blend or single oil in the sick room, bathroom, and kitchen to prevent germs from spreading. This is a wonderful method to help clean-up after the flu, as well. I LOVE my diffuser!

Car Diffuser with peppermint or lavender (or Thieves blend if there is a flu outbreak).

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My mom gave us a Kaz (now Vicks) personal steam inhaler a long time ago to use with essential oils, and we have used it multiple times every winter!

Ears and Eyes

We had so many ear infections when our children were young. My favorite store-bought remedy is the Willow/Garlic Ear Drops.

You can also  make your own mullein ear drops using Dried Mullein Herb. Mullein is awesome and works to draw out pressure and congestion relieving pain! I use a dark amber bottle for storage.

Consider looking into a possible dairy allergy if there are many ear infections.

For Pink Eye, this is indispensable: Similasan Eye Drops. In this post, I wrote about 19 essential oils that are safe for children and babies.

PMS/Headaches

MoonMaid Botanicals: Pro-Meno Wild Yam Cream – my herbal alternative to bio-identical hormone creams for menopausal symptoms. Very calming, balancing, and I have seen good changes in my body. 

Magnesium - Blue Ocean Minerals maintains the highest potency and pharmaceutical-grade natural magnesium available on the market today.

PMS Caffeine-free Tea

In this post, I wrote about 18 No-Side-Effect Headache Remedies.

Anti-Aging Supplements I Use: * my favorites

*Turmeric - this one helps so much keep my inflammation in check

Selenium or eat 2 Brazil nuts a day - anti-cancer, due to selenium deficient soils

Magnesium - Blue Ocean Minerals maintains the highest potency and pharmaceutical-grade natural magnesium available on the market today.

“Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression, including muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.”~ Carolyn DeanThe Magnesium Miracle

Ginseng - safe energy powerhouse used in Chinese medicine for millenia 

CoQ10 – strengthens heart, lungs, immune system. I learned about CoQ10 in the OR. It reduced our open heart patient post-op stay from 8-10 days to 4 days back in the early 80s!

*Niacinamide (Vitamin B-3) - anti-aging, chronic Lyme’s, MRSA, Staph, Candida yeast overgrowth, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and learning disabilities.

*Alpha Lipoic Acid & Acetyl L-Carnitine - strong anti-aging and cognitive function. I’ve taken this one for about 7 years.

I must need some ginseng…I’m tired of this loooong post…lol  but I am so glad to help and encourage Mamas in this important endeavor. It is so satisfying to see families getting well and also learning these things to take with them for their own households one day :)

So, what’s in your natural medicine cabinet?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional nor a doctor. I am a mother. I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use. Using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is intended to treat or prevent disease. Consult your doctor.

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Complete Guide To A No-Side-Effect Medicine Cabinet, car diffuser, EO diffuser, leg cramps, arnica, bruising, sore muscles, probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, sinus infection, Grapefruit seed extract, Nutribiotic, poisoning, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, upset stomach, ginseng, turmeric, astaxanthin, trace minerals, PMS, Smooth Move Tea, constipation, bio-identical hormones, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl L-Carnitine, menopause, feminine products, Brazil nuts, neti pot, saline rinse, homemade, DIY, homemaking, mothering, healthy living, herbal remedies, tincture, syrup, extracts, foot bath, soak, elderberry, sambucus nigra, essential oils, diffuser, sick room, cold and flu, headaches, bentonite clay, activated charcoal, food poisoning, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, anti-aging, antiviral, antibacterial, antibiotic resistance, allergy, allergic, raw honey, wound care, pink eye, dairy allergy, ear aches, mullein, elderberry syrup,

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Bulk Herb Store, Essential Oils, Health, Herbal Remedies, Herbs, Tinctures | 38 Comments

The Best Gift For Any Husband

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(photo credit: Kristi Michelle Photography)

The Best Gift For Any Husband

From the time I awoke that morning, I knew my focus was off. The ‘Liar’s Committee’ in my head was reminding me of past hurts, little perceived snubs, the mundane routine, fewer dates, that particular warmth that was missing, and it overwhelmed anything good that was out there. I had doubts about my salvation (how could I really feel these things if I loved Jesus?), doubts about my marriage relationship, doubts about my parenting, missing my mother…doubts, doubts, doubts.

Continue reading

The last 2 years had been by far the most difficult we had ever experienced. In the demands of busy, my husband constantly driving hours to care for Papa, difficult extended-family tensions, illness, the constant work, the undone work, the lack of quality-time, I began to pay more attention to what wasn’t happening right with my husband rather than what was happening right. 

“If I’m ruthlessly honest, I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianity, but really, I have lived the no. Infected with that Eden mouthful, the retina of my soul develops macular holes of blackness.” ~Ann Voskamp

More of my husband’s time was spent with others than with me. Usually out of necessity. We had less time to process what was happening and just talk. Problems backed up.

I heard the wrong tone behind words and resided in the hurt. Triggers from my youth.

Not enough time together alone to deal with unforgiveness that had built up or for prayer. Silence in the bedroom.

You see, I’m prone to this melancholy, negative way when things get hard, and I could feel myself lock my heart away and let bitter roots pull me down. It was also clear that the current path wasn’t working. I needed to let it go – yet I found it selfishly satisfying to let each negative thought whoosh me higher and higher into martyrdom or self-righteousness.

I knew I had allowed myself to slip into a deep chasm, and I wanted out, but where to begin. I needed a catalyst like a chemist. I want to live my one life well, fully alive to the deep goodness of God and of life!

Then the thought came to me repeatedly over several weeks: If Satan attacks the children of God, and I believe he does, it is to steal, kill, and destroy what is ours, to blind us to lies, and make us lose our hope. The thought jarred my consciousness – I don’t want to let the evil one win! A strong woman will fight the enemy; I don’t just want to fold up and let him devour me and us. I must take my eyes off myself and circumstances and put them on Christ and the gift of the husband He has given me!

What does it mean to live full of grace?

“The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.” Elisabeth Elliot

I was in the Word of God most days, but I wasn’t taking the action of doing what is says!

“Finally, …sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  ~Philippians 4: 8

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives…” ~1 Peter 3: 1

A New Adventure

I had journaled things before, why not look for and focus upon the good things I knew were in my husband, the beautiful things – like a treasure hunt, knowing that if you look with eyes to see, you will find them. Away with the lies! Seek and you will find!

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So as Ann Voskamp of 1000 Gifts calls it, I began a ‘gratitude journal’ for my husband, and I am daring to live fully right where I am. It will be his anniversary present next this year. I entitled it ‘Eyes To See’.

For the whole year ahead, I have set my mind to actively look for and jot down the good, the better, and the best of his life – day by day – and it can’t help but impact our lives – a trickle down effect, even to our children. There is something about writing it on paper.

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Here are several entries:

December 14, 2014: I see a man who works hard to care for his family, the overwhelming needs of his father, our friends and neighbors…he worked outside in the cold – without complaining – to get ready for winter. We thought Papa was dying when the weather was warmer.

December 28, 2014: Our 41st anniversary was not forgotten in the busyness of this season! He made us reservations at the Istanbul Cafe for a delicious dinner of ground lamb in cabbage leaves filled with savory spices and a side of grilled to perfection veggies. He knows what I love.

January 4, 2015: Called to pick up groceries for me and let me know he was on his way back From Papa’s.

Finding what I wanted to write down for each day has become a kind of game for me. I am better able to look at my husband in a new way, to have compassion on him in this difficult time, and let the playful girl in me come out…I mustn’t lock my heart away. This is really a treasure hunt with my husband containing the hidden treasure. What man wouldn’t cherish and be lit up by a woman who looks at him like she used to when they were first married, despite his flaws, despite circumstances in our lives?

Take Up the Challenge with Me

I invite you to join me in making a ‘gratitude journal’ for your husband’s 2015 Christmas or anniversary gift (and your shopping is done!) starting just as soon as you can – today preferably (write it down and transfer it later). There is no time like the present to start giving the best gift(s). Thankfulness. Respect. Joy. Don’t let the ‘Liar’s Committee’ cheat you out of abundant life!

Look at the color of his eyes, notice the strength in his arms, stroke the warmth of his cheeks as he wakes up in the morning all sleepy. Look for something he does well, then jot it down. Begin creating his BEST GIFT. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but remember he will read it one day. Keep your journal close by, pray, and watch expectantly for something good even if your marriage is seriously in trouble. Coax out the protector in your husband using all the God-given feminine gifts you possess.

That man’s tone of voice may soften, the time of his lingering with you may increase. Little things might not matter so much even though the world feels so cruel.

It is the Best Gift I can give my husband, and I can’t wait to see my husband open the box in one year, God-willing. It will be a good year, and it will be recorded in my little book!

Will you join me in the treasure hunt? I hope and pray you will. You can start this anytime of the year or do it for even 3 weeks! That is up to you.

Please let me know in the comments if you’re going to do this! I’ll be praying for us all :)

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Just some of the books that have been a help in keeping my head screwed on somewhat straight (transforming my mind) through the years.

Juana M

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 7: 12

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

The Best Gift For Any Husband, DIY, little blank book, playful, quotes, scriptures, Elisabeth Elliot, Matthew 7: 12, women's issues, being a wife, Don't waste Your Life, John Piper, 1Peter 3:1, Phil. 4:8, compassion, woman, children, feminine gifts, femininity, pay attention, salvation, words, tone of voice, bedroom, focus, treasure hunt, life abundantly, Satan, believers, Christians, doubts, marriage relationship, David Platt, Radical, Matthew Henry, Quest for meekness quietness of spirit, gratitude journal, books, Bible, contentment, Corrie ten Boom, Darlene Rose, Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts, submission, transform minds, eyes to see, take action, The Hiding Place, Evidence Not Seen, encouragement for women, homemaking, housekeeping, daily life, husbands, men, respect, thankfulness, honor, family, communication, marriage, Christmas or anniversary gift, faith

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Books, Contentment, Homemaking, Marriage, Relationships, The Christian Walk | 86 Comments

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, quotes, storyteller, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

(Creative Commons)

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye

Author’s Caveat: This post is in no way a blanket endorsement of the the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Parents will need to determine the maturity level of their children. Since these fantasies include magic, violence, and extreme adventure, I strongly encourage parents to learn for themselves the content of each story before sharing with a child as each family has different convictions of what is acceptable. By 18 years, our young adults were ready for a full appreciation of the books and movies, but I have to say that when Hollywood takes hold of any great work, elements of darkness are added into it that were not intended in the original work. Some things are “meant to be read and to be at our own imagination”, so it is the books I primarily recommend, to be read and chewed upon for a while. First and foremost, we measure everything by the Word of God, using wisdom give to us by the Holy Spirit.

Though maybe not a widely held view (but a controversial one), I believe that J.R.R. Tolkien’s vastly popular creative lifework makes a significant contribution to today’s Christian theological discussion, most especially with regard to the purpose of the Christian life and our role in pointing others to faith in Jesus Christ. Continue reading

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a major scholar and professor of the Old and Middle English language at the University of Leeds and Oxford. More notably, he wrote a number of fantastical stories, including The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955). They were set in an ancient time of his own imagination – a reflection of our own world, called Middle-earth – and populated by Men (mankind), merry Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, and Orcs and Ents, as well as good and evil.

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

(source) Before WWII, British Intelligence chiefs singled out Tolkien and other intellectuals to work at Bletchley park, the code-breaking centre in Buckinghamshire.

Ronald, as he was called, was born in South Africa to English parents – his father developed rheumatic fever and died suddenly near his third birthday. His young mother relocated her two little sons back to England where they lived a poorly but refined life in the pastoral hamlet of Sarehole. The brothers adventured in the hill country at Sarehole MillMoseley Bog, and his Aunt Jane’s farm of Bag End which would later inform Tolkien’s books.

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

Tolkien’s young mum, Mabel, taught the children herself at home taking them to out to draw landscapes and maps, study botany, and awaken them to the rudiments of Greek, Latin, German, and French early on. Young Tolkien was quite an avid scholar reading widely and absorbing everything, but his dear Mother died when he was 12, a victim of diabetes before insulin.

(source) Mother and Ronald ~ (even as a very young child, aren’t their features so similar?)

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, The polarity between Tolkien’s cheerier childhood days at home in the lush landscapes of Sarehole and his adolescent years under the care of others in the grimy, dark industrial center of Birmingham would be reflected strongly in his later writings.

As a young college man, Ronald went to Exeter where he learned the Classics, Old and Middle English, Germanic languages, Finnish and Welsh, and soon began creating his own languages. This propensity for and love of philology blossomed. In 1913 Tolkien published his earliest poem, entitled ‘From the many-willow’d margin of the immemorial Thames.’ Do we see glimmers of the Shire?

                                                                                                                                                      (source) Tolkien, 1911

“There were imaginative flickers of Middle-earth in the precocious child, Ronald Tolkien. Enchanting English landscapes, a language invented with a young cousin for kicks, an awakening love of mythology, especially of the northern and Germanic variety, and a local doctor named Gamgee were all future literary fodder [for Tolkien].” ~ Jon Bloom

Edith and The Great War

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, But it was in the turbulent inferno of WWI, where Tolkien, commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers, experienced unutterable evils. The lives of all but one of his close friends of the “T.C.B.S.” (Tea Club and Barrovian Society) had met death in action. It was during this season that the mythology and epic tales that later gave birth to his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) were forged. He spent the rest of his life working on this fantasy. (source)

Before he shipped out in March, 1916, he married his longtime friend Edith Bratt. He later said of his feelings about leaving his new wife to go to the First World War; “Parting from my wife then … it was like a death”.  During the War they developed a code that they could use to write private letters to each other without them being read by the English censors.  Edith was then able to follow his movements on the map and know where he was fighting.

“In a hole in the ground…”

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, It was during his years teaching years at Oxford that Tolkien would scribble an curious note in an exam book: “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.” Curious as to what exactly a “Hobbit” was and why it should live in a hole, he began to build a story about a short creature who inhabited a world called Middle-earth. This grew into a story he told his children, and in 1936 a version of it came to the attention of the publishing firm of George, Allen, and Unwin (now part of HarperCollins), who published it as The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, in 1937. It became an instant and enduring classic. (source)

Lord of the Rings

Stanley Unwin, the publisher, stunned by the success of The Hobbit, asked for a sequel, which blossomed into a multi-volume epic. So determined was Tolkien to get every detail right that it took him more than a decade to complete it.
The Lord of the Rings appeared in 1954-1955 in three parts: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.

 J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

(click book covers for links)

Nearly 50 years after its publication, Tolkien’s epic tale The Lord of the Rings has sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into more than 25 languages. When J.R.R. Tolkien died in 1973, it fell to his son Christopher to work through boxes of writings to piece together and publish the mythic history of Middle-earth. Tolkien never envisioned those tales of Middle-earth would become a global phenomenon it has. (source)

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, (source) JRR and his wife Edith before his death in 1973. Many feel she was the
inspiration for his fictional characters Lúthien Tinúviel and Arwen Evenstar.

Fantasy with Purpose?

As a teaching parent of younger children, I tended to write off Tolkien’s fantasies (despite having read and loved them all in college). I reasoned that such outlandish stories were just a distraction to our ‘more serious’ work until we watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy DVDs over a series of nights as a family and had such insightful conversation. With our eyes wide open, we saw a much richer meaning and purpose. Tolkien (and Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia) is quite different than the run-of-the-mill fantasy, which perhaps twists our children’s minds

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, quotes, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

(Creative Commons)

Tolkien’s creative writings are, some say, a reflection upon the Gospel. His visionary world permits him a certain amount of creative license in wrestling with the Christian perspectives on creation, incarnation, and salvation, and allowing him to find new ways to think on old problems.

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, quotes, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI,

 (Creative Commons)

Jon Bloom (desiringGod.org) brings my musings full circle in his piece entitled ‘Did Tolkien Waste His Life?‘. He writes:

Tolkien never intended his tales of Middle-earth to be a desertion from reality, but a means of seeing beyond the confined walls of our perceptions to a much larger reality beyond. And he suffered no delusions that Middle-earth was that reality. But through the lenses of Middle-earth, Tolkien, an unashamed Christian, wanted to show us “a far-off gleam . . . of evangelium in the real world” (emphasis his, “On Fairy-stories”). His kind of fantasy was intended to help prisoners in the real world escape and go home.

There is a deep, profound reason why God created us to be story-makers and storytellers, and why, when the Word became flesh (John 1:14), he frequently spoke in stories. The best make-believe stories help us better understand the real world. And in our day, such stories are needed more than ever.

Professor Louis Markos writes,

We are, in many ways, a civilization adrift on the stormy seas of relativism and existentialism. The first ‘ism’ has robbed us of any transcendent standard against which we can measure our thoughts, our words, and our deeds; the second has emptied our lives of any higher meaning, purpose, or direction. Our compass is broken and the stars obliterated, and we are left with nothing to navigate by but a vague faith in the modern triad of progress, consumerism, and egalitarianism. They are not enough. . . . What we need, in short, are stories. (On the Shoulders of Hobbits, 10–11)

And, he says, the stories we need,

are precisely those that will beckon us to follow their heroes along the Road; that will embody for us the true nature of good and evil, virtue and vice, and then challenge us to engage in the struggle between the two; that will open our eyes and ears to that sacramental faerie magic that we so often miss. (187)

There Is More Faërie to Reality Than We See

It is a great, sad, tragic irony that we so often miss the true magic. This world pulses with the glory of God shining out in all that he has made (Romans 1:20) and the written Word contains “precious and very great promises” (2 Peter 1:4) of incredible magnitude, and we are often so dull to it all. The pervasiveness of our sinful depravity causes us to live so much of our days in a small jail cell of self-obsession.

But the great Hero of the true Epic has proclaimed liberty to all the captives who will follow him (Luke 4:18). The road is hard and the perils are many (Matthew 7:14). The enemies are otherworldly and far more powerful than ourselves (Ephesians 6:12). But the Hero is greater still (1 John 4:4) and he promises to be with us to the end (Matthew 28:20), even in the darkest places (Psalm 23:4) and deliver all in his fellowship safely into his heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).

No faërie story or myth or man-made religion in all of recorded history compares with the Great Story of Christianity. But we need all the help we can get to turn our eyes away from our confined corner of reality and see the Story with fresh eyes.

For many, looking through the faërie lenses of Middle-earth has helped them see again the real Epic we each are a small part of. They have been helped to see the gleam of the true evangelium and press on in the journeys to which they have been appointed with renewed hope and courage, knowing that at the end of the Road is Home.

Investing life in creating fantasy that results in pointing real people in the real world to true hope in the true evangelium is not a waste, but well done.

(Excerpt taken from ‘Did Tolkien Waste His Life?‘ by Jon Bloom)

Tolkien and ‘Eucatastrophe’

J.R.R. Tolkien: More Than Meets the Eye, stories, quotes, Christian theology, trilogy, creation, incarnation, salvation, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, creative license, “On Fairy-stories”, Jon Bloom, desiringGod.com, miraculous grace, mercy, happy ending, myth, Middle-earth, Bilbo, Louis markos, On Shoulders of Hobbits, evangelium, the gospel, eucatastrophe, joy, Edith Bratt, C.S. Lewis, fantasy, parenting, homeschool, reaching, children's books, read-aloud books, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, philology, Mabel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, LOTR,  Dyson, conversion story, birth of Christ, reality, fairy tales, languages, Exeter, Oxford, WWI, Tolkien’s own word for a happy ending that “all complete fairy-stories must have” is “Eucatastrophe,” which means “the good catastrophe.” It is…

 “…the sudden joyous “turn” . . . a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. : the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance: it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium [the gospel], giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world.

“The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. It has pre-eminently the ‘inner consistency of reality.’ There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many skeptical men have accepted as true on its own merits.”
~J.R.R. Tolkien

“I have just passed on from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ… My long night talk with Dyson and Tolkien had a great deal to do with it.” 
~C. S. Lewis, The Conversion Story of C. S. Lewis

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~ Jacqueline

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Comfort: Death at Christmas

Christmas reflections Comfort: Death at Christmas

A guest post by Jacqueline’s daughter

Not all Christmas and holiday celebrations are filled with cheer and peace. Often it is during this season that many hearts are broken, hurting, confused, and lonely. The commercialization surrounding us presents an image of what the holidays should look like, and we may develop expectations for our family gatherings or celebrations that often will fall far short of reality.

 “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” ~Proverbs 14:13

For many, Christmas is a time when families remember loved ones who aren’t with them to celebrate Christ’s birth. Others have difficult family situations and strife which can at times be even more painful than the loss of a loved one. This Christmas, our family has been realizing more fully the desperate need our world has for a Savior, Emmanuel (God with us). Continue reading

We need His peace, because this world is filled with tribulation. We need His joy, because this world is filled with sorrow. We need His hope, because He’s the only thing that lasts.

Just yesterday, two families we love very much lost loved ones, one of them a dear friend. We are hit with the reality that there will be death, even on Christmas. We celebrate Jesus’ birth and life on Christmas Day, but it is made even more special when we realize that His birth is the reason that there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more crying, and no more death someday. We do not grieve like those who have no hope.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”  ~1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14

Many families this year have experienced some of the grief our friends are experiencing. If you are also grieving, look to the reason for Christmas- Jesus and hope.

One of our friends who passed away yesterday was an energetic and beautiful young woman. Rebekah’s excitement for life, passion to share about Jesus, and service to others is a testimony that will not be forgotten. She had been ill for many weeks, undergone several surgeries, and the true cause of her passing is yet unknown. Please pray for Rebekah’s family in this time of grief.

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May you be encouraged by these hope-filled words. This following quote was published on Facebook by the brother of my friend Rebekah, who is now spending her Christmas in heaven:

“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadowlands – dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.

~ C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

May the sorrow this time of year serve as a reminder to those of us who remain, to love others well and to look to Jesus as our only hope. Remember, if you are suffering, that you are not alone. Not only have you been given a Comforter, but you will someday be able to comfort others with the comfort you receive.

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
~2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Death is not the end. Praise the Lord that while we may lose the companionship of family and friends in this life, if we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we will be reunited. Even now, I weep, mourning the loss of my friend Rebekah, yet looking forward to the time when, as she wrote in our last message between each other, “we get to see each other again”.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” ~Isaiah 40:1

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~ Jacqueline

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Christmas Quotations To Ponder

Christmas Quotations To Ponder, vintage Christmas artwork, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther, Augustine, shepherds, an angel, Gabriel, Luke 2, Mary of Nazareth, Luke 1, Samuel Johnson, George Whitefield, Corrie Ten Boom, Frederick Buechner, Charles Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, J.I. Packer, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Stuart Briscoe, John MacArthur, quotes, sayings, contemporary, history, bible, angels, singing, shepherds in the fields, sheep, donkeys, heavenly hosts, praising God,

Christmas Quotations To Ponder

Re-posted from 12-22-2011.

I have always loved great quotes. May I share a few with you? 

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“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men.  He came to die.  This is the heart of Christmas.” ~Rev. Billy Graham

“The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.”  ~Stuart Briscoe

“There is no connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations. Rather, we should be focused on the Christ of Christmas and giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season.” ~ John MacArthur 

“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.” ~Mother Teresa

“Were earth a thousand times as fair Beset with gold and jewels rare She yet were far too poor to be A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.” ~Martin Luther

Christmas Quotations To Ponder, vintage Christmas artwork, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther, Augustine, shepherds, an angel, Gabriel, Luke 2, Mary of Nazareth, Luke 1, Samuel Johnson, George Whitefield, Corrie Ten Boom, Frederick Buechner, Charles Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, J.I. Packer, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Stuart Briscoe, John MacArthur, quotes, sayings, contemporary, history, bible, angels, singing, shepherds in the fields, sheep, donkeys, heavenly hosts, praising God, Bethlehem star, Mary and Joseph, baby in a manger, “The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~J.I. Packer 

“The greatest and most momentous fact which the history of the world records is the fact of Christ’s birth.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon 

“Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born king.” Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! ~Charles Wesley 

“It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did … for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.” ~Frederick Buechner  

“You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.” ~John R. Rice 

Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life. ~Corrie Ten Boom 

“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” ~George Whitefield

“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”  ~Ronald Reagan 

“He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.” ~Augustine 

“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected.” ~Samuel Johnson

Christmas Quotes from the Bible:

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“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” … Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  ~ Angel Gabriel, Luke 1:28-33 

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” ~Mary of Nazareth, Luke 1:46-55 (ESV)

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“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” ~An Angel, Luke 2:10-12 (ESV) “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  ~Some Shepherds, Luke 2:15 (ESV)

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Christmas Quotations To Ponder, vintage Christmas artwork, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther, Augustine, shepherds, an angel, Gabriel, Luke 2, Mary of Nazareth, Luke 1, Samuel Johnson, George Whitefield, Corrie Ten Boom, Frederick Buechner, Charles Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, J.I. Packer, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Stuart Briscoe, John MacArthur, quotes, sayings, contemporary, history, bible, angels, singing, shepherds in the fields, sheep, donkeys, heavenly hosts, praising God, Bethlehem star, Mary and Joseph, baby in a manger,

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Christmas, History, Spiritual Growth | 8 Comments

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,

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Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage

Some mainline medical centers and researchers from all over the globe are intimating that pomegranate juice may be a safe and effective answer to reversing the #1 cause of death in the industrialized world: heart disease. I’m pretty sure that most will still resort to drugs (the big pharma solution) or surgical intervention, but in the meantime, this old heart nurse will rely on safer, more natural means to achieve that end.

What I read as I pulled together last week’s post on pomegranates is pretty amazing stuff!

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I’m heading to Costco for a case of pomegranates while they are in high season, de-seeding them this quick and easy way, and freezing the juicy seeds. Besides that, I will be getting my husband several bottles of the juice for Christmas. The scare we had with his heart has made me think pro-actively. 

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Making pomegranate juice at a vendor stall in Turkey

The ‘superfruit’ pomegranate (technically a berry) has a remarkable astringency, giving your mouth and gums that dry, puckery-mouth feeling. This cleansing sensation is technically caused, as with all astringents, by shrinking and disinfecting your mucous membranes.

Anyone who drinks pomegranate juice, or is lucky enough to eat one fresh, can understand why it is so effective at cleansing the circulatory system. Indeed, your mouth and your arteries are lined with the same cell type: epithelial cells. Together, they make up the epithelium, one of four basic tissue types, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue, and which comprises the interior walls of the entire circulatory system.

The pretty red pomegranate fruit recently made its way back into the news after some spectacular clinical results. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman writes:

A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockage (atherosclerosis) melts away.

Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given one ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque (heart blockage). Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.

To an old heart surgery nurse, this is real news. Just 1 oz. of fresh pomegranate juice a day for a year and plaque is reduced by 30%!! Such a small amount of juice for such fabulous results. Read on…

In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals. Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect.  

Mayo Clinic agrees as does Dr. Joe Mercola in an 2014 article.

Reverse Heart Blockage

Another study in Life Extension Magazine:

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,  Nineteen patients from the Vascular Surgery Clinic in Haifa, Israel, were selected to participate in this three-year trial. All were non-smokers between the ages of 65 and 75, with asymptomatic severe carotid artery narrowing (stenosis) ranging from 70% to 90%. In other words, their arteries were so occluded by plaque buildup that only 10-30% of the original artery volume was available to permit blood flow. Ten of the 19 patients consumed 50 mL (1.7 ounces) of pomegranate juice daily, while the other nine received a placebo beverage. 

Despite the patients’ advanced atherosclerosis, ingesting pomegranate juice produced statistically significant reductions in the thickness of their carotid artery walls, which is correlated with decreased risk for heart attack and stroke. After only three months, the average thickness declined by 13%, and after 12 months, the thickness dropped 35% compared to baseline. During this same 12-month period, the average carotid artery thickness of the placebo group increased by 9%. This study also measured various other parameters of cardiovascular health. One year of pomegranate supplementation reduced the systolic blood pressure itself dropped by 21%.

If you do decide to drink pomegranate juice for medicinal purposes, make sure it contains no added sugar or flavors and is preferably organic. Heart blockages don’t form overnight, and as this thorough 3-year study showed, it took at least one year to show a 30% reversal. The most interesting thing is that the control group that did not consume pomegranate juice, common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) increased by 9% during 1 year. For more medical studies and research papers, see here.

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am a wife, mother, and a retired RN. I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use. Using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is intended to prevent or treat disease. Please do your own research and consult your doctor.

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,

“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey… ~Deuteronomy 8: 7-8

Caveat: I know diligent healthy eating and living (and now pomegranate juice) sounds like a panacea to all our problems, bringing happiness and success and ease, but that is not true. I almost hesitate to share all the really good things we can do for our health and well-being lest we begin to place all our hope on ‘things’ and they become an idol. Our only true hope is in the Lord God Who created us. Though we want to be wise and do good things for our bodies, the best thing I know of for real lasting (forever) health is to believe on the name of Jesus: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” ~Acts 4: 12

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,

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Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,

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If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

Research Shows Pomegranate May Reverse Heart Blockage, inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, vitro studies, anti-cancer effect, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mercola, blood vessels, potent antioxidant compounds, platelet aggregation, naturally lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, strokes, severe carotid artery blockage, REVERSAL in atherosclerotic plaque, cardiac arrest, health benefits, research, studies, #1 cause of heart disease, super fruit, superfood, berry, juice, big pharma, juicy seeds, astringent, epithelial cells, mucous membrane, astringent, cleaning the mouth, arteries, veins, drinking pomegranate juice, circulatory system, our true hope, Dr. Fuhrman, sweet tart taste,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in DIY, Favorite Products, Food & Recipes, Health, Healthy Living, Superfoods | 3 Comments