how to be frugal

Frugal Times

Frugal Times

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

During the Great Depression of the 1930s and the WWII rationing of the 1940s, our grandparents experienced a shortage of food and other basic goods unknown to most of us living today. Frugality was an accepted way of life, not just a passing fad. The generations born after 1946 have experienced a level of material prosperity inconceivable to our ancestors. As the level of wealth rose, so did the pro­pensity to waste. The pendulum is now swinging in the opposite direction and “the times, they are a changin.” Frugality is becoming a necessity once again.

The kitchen is a good place to start learning the art of frugality. So much of what we throw in the garbage, down the disposal or out in the trash bin can be put to other beneficial uses. Coffee grounds make a great fertilizer sprinkled on the garden. Strawberries, in particular, crave the java jolt. Egg shells also add beneficial nutrients to the soil, but be sure to crush them first since they don’t break down quickly and your garden may end up looking like a hatchery. Egg shell halves can be filled with peat or potting soil for start­ing tomato plants from seeds. Place the “peat pots” into an empty egg carton and set in a sunny window until planting time. Once in the garden, the decomposing eggshell will add calcium to the growiFood Frugalityng tomatoes.

Whenever I cook a whole chicken, the skins go to the dogs, the liv­er, gizzard and heart go to the cats, and the bones go into the stock pot for homemade chicken broth to be used in soups and stews. Beef bones may be done the same way for beef broth. Freeze raw vegetable scraps – celery ends, potato and carrot peelings, onion skins, cabbage stems, shriveled garlic cloves, you name it – and when you have a gallon bag full, cover with water and boil for vegetable stock.

Water in which potatoes have been cooked is also a great soup starter, or, if you prefer, cool it and use as a power drink for your houseplants. Those little dabs of leftover vegetables from dinner can be thrown into a gallon freezer bag to be used later in vegetable soup. If you just haven’t the time for simmer­ing or freezing, throw the vegetable scraps on the garden compost pile and the meat scraps to the birds. The extra fat and protein will keep our feathered friends happy and healthy.

After a shopping trip, instead of throwing out all of those plastic bags, take them to a local charity. Our Clothes Cupboard is always in need of bags for their used clothing sales. Line small trash cans, like those in a bathroom, with plastic bags and they will seldom need scrubbing. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, plastic coated juice cartons, nestled between the logs, make great fire starters. Use newspapers for cleaning mirrors, glass tops and windows – you’ll have no streaks or lint to mar the finish.

There are so many more ways in which we can live more simply and frugally. We must conserve and wisely use that which our Father has given us if we are to be His stewards.

by: Debbie Reed

Manna – What is it?

Manna — What is it?

Manna is what Yahweh fed the Israelites in the wilder­ness for 40 years. In Hebrew manna means “what is it?”. Join us as we take a look at gelatin and learn “what is it?”

What is Kosher?

The word “kosher” is Hebrew for “fit” or “proper”. When applied to food, kosher means the food is acceptable to eat by the biblical standard set in the Torah — the law, or first five books of the Bible — specifically, Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Foods that are kosher rated have not been made with any unclean animal prod­ucts, and kosher meats have been prepared properly (killed and bled correctly).

Kosher rated foods are also subject to the Jewish oral law (the Mishnah and the Talmud), which include some added laws such as mixing milk and meat. Even though the added Jewish oral laws do not concern us as true worshipers of Yahweh we can still benefit from the kosher standard.

Common Kosher symbols-

Some Kosher symbols may be followed by the following words or letters: K, U, P

Passover indicates it is kosher for Passover. It is sometimes shortened to a P.

Parve refers to food that contains neither meat nor dairy.

Fish indicates it contains fish.

M indicates it contains meat.

And D indicates it contains dairy, or milk product.

What is gelatin?

Gelatin is an ingredient used to make things gel or congeal. Gelatin is derived from collagen that is obtained from horns, hooves, bones and skin of pork, cattle or fish.

Here are a few of the common products that may contain gelatin:

        Gummy candies



        Sour cream and dips

        Nail polish remover

        Medication & Vitamin supplement capsules


Is “kosher” gelatin always acceptable?

Jello-O brand gelatin is labeled with a “K” kosher rating. However according to Kraft, the source of their gelatin can be pork or beef.

According to –

“Since ‘real’ gelatin is derived from animal sources, it has been the focus of debate for nearly 100 years among leading rabbis. The question is: Can gelatin from non-kosher sources be permit­ted? Although cows that were not ritually slaughtered, and, of course, pigs, are certainly not kosher, some rabbis were lenient in allowing products that had very small amounts of gelatin added. This is because they felt that the gelatin extraction process caused the skins and bones to be sufficiently denatured, to the point that they are no longer considered food.”

Since the “K” rating is not as strict as the OU rating, gelatin de­rived from pork will sometimes receive this “kosher” rating.

While gelatin derived from pork may be acceptable to some Rab­bis, it is not acceptable to Yahweh.

“And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are un­clean to you.” – Leviticus 11:7-8.

“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.” – Deuteronomy 14:8.

What are sources for acceptable gelatin?

Beef and kosher fish. Many kosher marshmallows are made with gelatin derived from kosher fish.

Non-animal sources such as agar-agar and carrageenan, are derived from seaweed and pectin.

Clean Cuisine – Wild Spring Greens

Birds are singing …. the sun is shining …. a glimpse of warmth creeps in after a long winter. Looks like it’s time to go outside and gather in some greens. “Gather in greens?!” you might ask

incredulously. You look around, it’s early spring, nothing is growing out there …. or is it?

For many today the thought of gathering in food in preparation for a meal means driving to the grocery store or the local vegetable stand or orchard. For some, a vegetable garden in their backyard helps to provide them with sustenance. But did you know that Yahweh has provided us with physical nourishment that we neither need to plant nor have to go to the corner market to purchase?

This “free” food is in the form of wild greens, herbs, and even flowers—and in the early spring when nothing else is growing, finding these wild “treasures” can be exciting.

One of these greens we’re going to consider here is wild watercress. While watercress can be found in the gourmet sections of some supermarkets, this vegetable also grows in the wild along running streams and creeks. Growing abundantly from mid-Feb­ruary onwards, watercress is best as soon as it appears until it starts to flower sometime in April. High in vitamin K (a vitamin known to help maintain healthy blood clotting), watercress can be cooked as a green or pureed into watercress soup. While cultivated water­cress can be eaten raw in such appetizers as cucumber and water­cress sandwiches, it is generally recommended that this fresh-water vegetable that is found growing in the wild be cooked before being consumed. As we all know, this earth is not as pure and pristine as it once was, and unless you are 100% certain as to the source of the watercourse, wild watercress should not be eaten raw. The water quality of the spring or creek in which it grows is very important since Fasciola Hepatica, also called the “common liver fluke,” is a parasite that can wreak havoc with the liver. Questionable habitats such as irrigation canals, roadside ditches, or city park streams should be avoided. A more ideal place to find wild watercress is in small, running mountain streams.

Another early vegetable to consider is the wild onion. Members of the wild alium family, these spring greens can be found in lawns, fields, and along roadsides. These green onion tops have a mild flavor similar to fresh chives, and can be used in much the same way as you would use cultivated onion tops or chives. There were quite a few occasions that these early greens flavored some scrambled eggs or enhanced a beef kielbasa entree after I discov­ered there were no onions in the pantry and it was too early for the chives to be cut. Early spring is the best time to cut these greens, as they tend to get stringy by summer.


Interestingly, this last wild spring green we are going to consider is regarded by many to be a weed. In fact, some people painstakingly attempt to eradicate this green—the seemingly ubiquitous dan­delion. But for some, this lowly plant offers much in the way of nourishment—from its tender leaves used in a salad, to its yellow flowers used for making wine or sautéed and dipped in batter and fried for fritters, to its gnarled root used as a medicinal tonic.

field of dandelions

The leaves should be picked as early as possible, since by the time the flowers start to appear, these tender greens have already begun to get bitter. These leaves are extremely nutritious, providing more beta-carotene than carrots, as well as a phenomenal content of iron and calcium.

Sometimes dandelion greens are cooked in a small amount of salted water, then drained and added to sautéed onions and garlic and seasoned with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. At other times they are fried with garlic in olive oil until wilted and tender-crisp, and then combined with dried fruit or toasted nuts. And yet at other times, these dandelion greens are eaten raw, tossed in a salad with sliced apples, sharp cheese, and toasted walnuts, or with a dressing poured over them.

The dandelion dressing below is much like the one my mother made almost every spring when I was growing up. The sweet/sour dressing helps to overcome the slightly bitter flavor of the dande­lion greens.

Remember to gather any of these greens as early as possible, as they all start developing a bitter flavor the further along in the sea­son that they are harvested. Also remember when picking any wild food, to be absolutely certain they are harvested from areas where pesticides or fertilizers have not been sprayed, or anywhere they could be contaminated with any form of pollutant.  Joyous eating!

Dandelion Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

8 slices turkey bacon

2 eggs – beaten

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup water

2 hard boiled eggs

2 tsp. cornstarch

fresh dandelion greens

Preparation –

Wash the dandelion greens and spin dry. Place the greens in a large serving bowl. Slice the hard boiled eggs. Lay the egg slices on top of the greens. Set aside. Fry the turkey bacon until tender crisp, then break or cut into bits. Set aside. Mix the 2 beaten eggs, vin­egar, salt, sugar, and cornstarch together in a saucepan. Whisk and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Stir in the turkey bacon bits. Pour the warm dressing over the salad and serve im­mediately.

by: Debbie Wirl

Natural Wonders -Hedgeapples

The land produced vegetation:  plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And Elohim saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:12

Long, long ago, when children were still allowed, no, made, to walk home from school, my friends and I saw what looked like a round, green brain lying on the sidewalk.  It was very hard, about the size of a softball and smelled like a lime.  Since computers, cell phones, and iPods hadn’t been invented yet, we did what most children would have done at that time – we kicked it down the sidewalk until we tired of the game and left it to rot on someone’s front yard.  Had I known then that it was a hedgeapple, comes from the Osage Orange tree, and is a natural insecticide…I probably still would have used it for a soccer ball.

Named after a regional Indian tribe, the wood of the Osage Orange tree is hard, heavy, tough, and durable.  A small to medium sized tree, displaying some very formidable thorns, it tolerates poor soils, extreme heat, and strong winds.  It’s no wonder, then, that pioneers in the midwest region of our country planted the trees in rows, or hedges, as a natural fence in which to keep their livestock – hence, the name of the tree’s fruit, “hedgeapple.”   Today we have barbed wire, but wood from the Osage Orange is still used in making strong, sturdy fence posts that are known to outlast the barbed wire attached to them.   Archery bows and furniture are but a few of the many other products made from this prized wood.

It is the fruit of this tree, however, that I search out and gather each year in late September or early October.   With the onset of autumn, spiders, crickets, waterbugs, and a whole host of creepy crawly critters decide to winter over in my house.  They come en masse down the chimney, up the water pipes, under the doors, and through the window screens.  I have found that these “round, green brains,” or hedgeapples, are a natural and effective household insecticide.  I place one in each room and two or three in the basement, out of the reach of children, setting them in coffee filter-lined cereal bowls – they do ooze sticky stuff which is a known skin irritant.   A day or so later finds me vacuuming, sweeping, and wiping up dead bugs everywhere.  The hedgeapples rot away in about a month or two (another reason to use coffee filters), but, by then, we’ve had our first frost and bugs are no longer a problem.   

Of course, there are skeptics who call all of this “folklore,” if they’re being polite, and “baloney,” if they’re not.  I remember one such person, a coach who came from suburbia to work at our rural school.  It had been an especially abundant year, hedgeapple-wise, and I lugged two egg-crates full of them to school to give away.  Teachers, principals, secretaries and janitors all eagerly snapped up as many as they could carry.  Mr. Coach scoffed at our quaint, if not ridiculous, notions, but I convinced him to take a couple home.  A few days later, he called me aside and, with an incredulous whisper, told me that the closet in which he put both hedgeapples was now full of dead bugs!  HeHe.

by: Debbie Reed

Parenting from the Heart: A Lesson in Sacrifice (Part One)

Two years ago this month, my life changed with a single phone call, a call on a seemingly ordinary summer day that was anything but ordinary. I was outside near the garage throwing away trash. I remember the details of this day as vividly as if it just happened yesterday. I answered with a simple, “Hello?” The response I received was full of panic and desperation. The voice of a woman, whose request was barely audible as tears and sobs muffled her speech, cried out to me for help. As a mom, whenever I hear a cry for help, I am right there with a hand extended. But, this time was different. The risk was great and the sacrifice required was even more than I imagined.


In life, we are faced with trials and tribulations, and many times these challenges involve sacrifice. Sacrifice could be in the form of material possessions or money, or perhaps giving up a family outing or vacation because you’re needed elsewhere. I think we can all agree that this list could go on for quite a while from our own personal experiences.

On that life-changing summer day, the woman pleading for my help was Emma, the birth mother of my adopted daughter, Genna. What was her reason for sheer panic? Homelessness. She slowly shared, slowly because she could barely breathe between sobs, that she became homeless after having a falling out with her sister. So, here she was, in a crime-ridden city infamously known for violence and drug rings, sitting on a street corner with a mere few bags of possessions and her son, Genna’s biological brother, Rey. They had no place to go and no money in hand. She needed my help—they needed my help.

Now, just to back up a bit … the adoption was finalized 10 years prior as a closed adoption, meaning I was under no obligation to establish or maintain contact with Emma at any time. But, I did choose to communicate with her over the years for the occasional phone call or to mail her pictures of Genna. So, to hear her voice—a voice I recognized instantly—after many, many years filled me with uncertain fear. Thoughts of, can I trust her, should I help, should I say no, should I just hang up … swirled in my head. I didn’t know what to say to her other than to do my best to calm her down and encourage her. I told her I would pray for her. I also told her I would call Jason at work right away and call her back.

When I called Jason to fill him in on the news, he didn’t seem shocked. His response floored me. I was sure he’d say something like, “Well, she’s not coming here.” In a way, at the time, I was hoping that would be his response. But instead, he told me to put myself in their shoes of desperation and loneliness. He asked me what Yahshua would do. I replied, “He would take them in.” And so began a chapter in my life that would change me forever … opening my heart and home to Genna’s birth family.

They arrived within three days of the initial call for help. I was on pins and needles every second of every minute of every hour of those three days. Those three days felt like an eternity, but spun by so quickly I could hardly gather my thoughts or feelings. I can still see the minivan coming down the driveway; Jason went to pick them up in town, so he was driving the van. I told Genna to stay inside while I met them and made sure everything was okay.

Emma ran over to me, wrapped her arms around me and cried for several minutes. I remember hearing her say, “I love you,” amidst the shed tears. Then, out of the van appeared Rey. It was incredible. He looked just like Genna. I had never before seen him in person. He was sweet and shy. He came over to me and gave me a hesitant hug. I smiled and hugged him back. I sent Kaiti in the house to get Genna.

When Genna came outside, I turned on my camera and set it to movie mode. I hit record. I watched Genna and Emma reunite through the lens of my camera. I felt so removed from the situation… but so did my heart, so in a way it was fitting. I watched Emma run to Genna and hug her, hugging her with such emotion, unlike I had ever seen before. She was hugging “my” daughter in a way I never did. My heart sank, and at that moment I knew the coming months were going to be difficult.

That first night, I couldn’t sleep. We put Emma and Rey upstairs in a spare bedroom. Their bedroom was just down the hall from Genna’s room. My room was downstairs. The distance killed me, even though it was mere steps. Not knowing what was going on at every moment tormented me. I could hear laughter, laughter shared between Emma and Genna. I heard hugs. Before this day, I didn’t know a hug could be heard, but a mother’s heart can hear one. I heard many. I couldn’t help but feel jealous. I was jealous of what they shared. No matter how good of a mom I was, I could never be Genna’s birth mom. I cried. I was scared, scared of losing my little girl. My repeating thought, spinning in my head like a broken record, “What have I done?” I fell asleep praying, asking, “Yahweh … what is your plan? Help me to understand.”

To be continued ….

by: Amy Pletz

Parenting from the Heart Part Two: The Rest of the Story

Yahweh did help me to understand His plan for me through this trying, refining experience. Through sacrifice, sacrifice of the heart, I felt His amazing love. You see, while I was crying and my heart was aching, He comforted me. He was there by my side.

 Anyone who has adopted can understand what I say when I describe what it’s like to wonder if your adopted children really see you as their “real” parent. “Real,” what an interesting word to use to describe motherhood. I can assure you, my being there for Genna over the years while she was sick or hurt, being there to comfort her when she had scary dreams, being there every evening to help with homework, never leaving her side no matter what … this was, and still is, very “real” to me.

Sacrifice. Yes, love blossoms in sacrifice. That summer, I loved Genna enough—I trusted Yahweh enough—to give her birth mother, Emma, the gift of loving her, too. I suffered watching them take walks together. I suffered watching them cook and bake together. Oh, to endure the sight and sound of them sharing in hugs and smiles, enjoying each other … in my house, on my motherhood watch. It was bittersweet, to say the least. I remember on this one occasion, looking out my bedroom window, Emma and Genna were hand in hand leaving for a walk down our peaceful gravel road. My heart just about crumbled in that moment. Have you ever experienced something traumatic, when time seems to stand still, and you feel your every heartbeat and become consciously aware of every breath? This was me on this day. You see … it was my birthday. Genna didn’t know, but I felt like she chose Emma over me, and for some reason, being my birthday, it felt a little more painful than it would have otherwise. I can look back and say with certainty that this was a growing moment for me. Yahweh showed me through His amazing love that it wasn’t about Genna choosing Emma over me, it was about me allowing Genna to love the way Yahweh created her heart to love. I could have yelled out the front door for her to come back, and she is so sweet, she would have in a split second. But, that wouldn’t have been fair of me. If you would have seen the joy on her face as she walked with Emma. It was so innocent and pure. To deny her of that moment would have been selfish of me.

There were many days experienced like the day they went on the walk together. But, the hardest of times were when Emma would come to me and ask for my help. She needed me to help her grow closer to Genna. When she first asked me to talk to Genna for her, I was like, “Are you kidding me? Why would I do that … and risk her actually growing closer to you!” But, the spirit inside was leading me to answer her with a gentle and sincere, “I will do my best to help you.” Honestly, as I would utter comforting words to her, my flesh wouldn’t always agree. A part of me didn’t want them to grow closer at all! But, still … I did my best to help them discover their renewed relationship, their rekindled love.

Day after day passed us by. Finally, the day came when Emma and Rey moved out of our home into an apartment of their own in a nearby town. I was initially relieved and happy to get my home back in order and get back to the way things were before their arrival. But, instead, something quite unexpected happened. I found myself sad about them leaving. My heart grieved over the loss of their presence in our family. Through the challenges, through the tears and sleepless nights I endured, somehow, somewhere along the way, I, too, developed a love for Emma. I didn’t expect to grow so close to her. But, I did. I grew to love her like a sister.

Many have asked me if I would do it again, or if I could go back in time, would I instead say no to her call for help. My answer is always, yes, I would do it again, and no, I wouldn’t change a thing. It wasn’t me just helping Emma and Rey. It was me serving Yahshua! For we are told that what we do unto the “least” of them (those in need), we do unto him. I lived this Scripture, and it was beautiful! Because I loved enough to let go of my little girl for just a little, not only did she love me more, but I felt a greater blessing, a great portion of the Spirit within me! Yahweh’s love is indescribable. His love is perfect. His love is amazing!

P.S. One day, soon after Emma and Rey left our home, Genna came to me and gave me a hug. I asked what the hug was for, because it was out of the blue. She said it was because I let her meet and know her mom and brother. Her “mom” … yes, Emma was and always will be her mom, and I am okay with that. I looked at Genna and smiled. My reply was short and sweet: “Genna, you are so blessed. To think, when some kids have no mom, you have two!” She smiled and walked away. And, that tender moment closed this chapter in our lives. And, if you’re wondering, we still have contact with Emma and Rey. And, we continue to be blessed because they’re in our lives. Yahweh is so good!

by: Amy Pletz

Why We Choose to Homeschool

I always knew I wanted to Home-school.  I love spending time with my children and watching them learn.  Many days, I learn along with them.  But, even more than that, I feel I am called to teach my children at home.

In today’s world, women are made to feel as if they are somehow less important if they stay home and do not have a career.  But staying home with your children is a sacrifice to Yah that will reap many blessings in future years.

We read in Yahweh’s Word scriptures like Titus 2: 4-5 that say older women should teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, and obedient to their husbands so that the word of Yahweh will not be blasphemed.  Deuteronomy 6:7 reads, “And thou shall teach them (Yahweh’s laws) diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the ways and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  After reading these Scriptures and others like them, I know that the decision to homeschool our children is the right choice.

There are many benefits in homeschooling.  One is that you can pick your own curriculum from a faith-based viewpoint.  You can start your day in Yahweh’s Word and proceed with books that continue to ground your child’s faith.  Another advantage is that you can also work at your child’s own pace.  My favorite homeschooling benefit is that you can surround your child with peers who have good morals.  If you see a behavior that is not kind or uplifting you can deal with it immediately.

I am not a perfect homeschool mom.  Some days I have to ask my children’s forgiveness for not being patient enough.  Last year I even broke down crying to my husband, telling him that it was just too hard.

But, despite these challenges, I really do love homeschooling and am looking forward to this next year.  There will be days when we feel overwhelmed, but there will be so many more days that I will see my children build a science project they are proud of, read their first book, memorize scriptures, help at a food shelter, write a poem, the list goes on and on…

In closing I would like to add that, for our family homeschooling is best, but it may not be for everyone.  Whether you send your children to public or private schools or homeschool, nothing will influence your children’s desire to follow Yahshua more than a family who studies together and lives their daily lives according to the Bible.

So whatever your choice is…have a blessed school year.

by: Jessica Mansager

Got Water?

From the beginning the Scriptures say a lot about water. In Gen. 6:17 Yahweh is washing the evil off the earth with water!  Jeremiah 12:13 says Yahweh is the fountain of living waters.  And, of course, we must be immersed in the water of baptism in order to be adopted into the Body of Messiah.
It is absolutely crucial to provide all the parts of the body with a lot of this basic component.  Chances are that you’re among the 75% of Americans who are chronically dehydrated.

In the beginning all water was alkaline. Pollution from so called civilization is still corrupting Yahweh’s creation. It turns out that the single measurement most important to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues; how acidic or alkaline it is.  Just as your body temperature is rigidly regulated, the blood and tissues must be kept in a very narrow pH range. The human body is designed to be alkaline, and will go to great lengths to preserve that.  A body insufficient in alkalizing minerals will seek these vital components elsewhere. Sodium or potassium will be leached from the blood, calcium from bone and cartilage, and magnesium from muscles.  If the acid overload gets too great for the blood to balance, excess acid is dumped into the tissues for storage. Then the lymphatic (immune) system must neutralize what it can and try to get rid of everything else.  Unfortunately, ‘getting rid of’ acid from the tissues means dumping it right back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle of drawing still more basic minerals away from their ordinary functions and stressing the liver and kidneys. The body creates fat cells to try to protect the vital organs.  When you eat and drink to make your body alkaline, the body won’t need to keep that fat around anymore.

Chronic over-acidity corrodes body tissue and, if left unchecked, willinterrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain.  An imbalance in the blood and tissue pH leads to irritation and inflammation and sets the stage for sickness and disease.  So many of our diseases start with inflammation, that I cannot help but think of the curse in Deuteronomy 28:22,

“Yahweh will smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew, and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.”
The nastiest consequences of an overly acidic body, however, are the presence of bacteria, yeasts (or fungi), and molds.  These microforms take advantage of the body’s weaker areas, poisoning and overworking them.  In an acidic environment, they basically get free rein to break down tissues and bodily processes. They live on our body’s energy, or electrons, and use our fats and proteins (even our genetic matter, nucleic acids) for development and growth.  Bacteria, yeast, fungus, and mold do not themselves produce symptoms in the body, their toxic wastes do.  Nor do they initiate disease.  They only show up because of a compromised internal environment that causes body cells to transform into bacteria, then yeast, and finally mold.
It is just as important to maintain an alkaline body as it is to monitor your fish tank water or swimming pool water. And, any gardener knows to adjust the soil pH in order to grow strong healthy veggies.
The small intestine must be alkaline in order for the food to be transformed into red blood cells.  So the quality of the food you eat determines the quality of the red blood cells that determine the quality of your bones, muscles, or organs, etc. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, is noted as saying:  “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”  You are, quite literally, what you eat!

The number one over-the-counter remedy sold in the United States is antacids!  Recurrent and chronic acid indigestion and heartburn are urgent messages our bodies are sending us.

The chaos of acid imbalance and microform transformation and then overgrowth is an entirely natural and orderly process when life is ending.  The body automatically becomes acidic upon death. Once a body stops breathing, microforms thrive in the acid they love. They are the “undertakers” when we die; they decompose our dead bodies.  Biologists call it the carbon cycle.  It’s the literal meaning of “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”  Acid is what makes our corpses rot and it does the same thing to us when we are living!  (A good book to read on this subject is The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD.)

So drink up! For best results drink two liters of purified alkaline water every day and the water of the Word. HalleluYah!

by: Lora Wilson

Clean Cuisine – Summers Vanity

Last February, I pined away for the taste of a fresh tomato, tender green beans, or a basketful of sweet lettuce leaves – all freshly picked from the garden.  But, each year in late summer I am reminded of the old saying, “Be careful of what you wish for.”  The branches on the peach trees droop in an attempt to carry their load and birds swarm the blackberry canes in frenzied efforts to get their fair share of the bounty.  The springtime lettuce has bolted in the Midwestern heat, the green tomatoes have changed into their brilliant red attire, screaming, “It’s now or never,” while the zucchini…I won’t even go there.  I gaze upon the beauty and abundance of the garden  and realize that in a few short months all will be gone in the colder months to come.  Yes, harvest is here and it’s time to enjoy the colors, smells and tastes of our labors.

BABA GANOUSH – Growing up, I absolutely hated eggplant.  Now, however, I can’t get enough of the stuff: eggplant parmesan, eggplant pizza, eggplant and tomato pasta, marinated eggplant, fried eggplant, pickled eggplant and, especially, this wonderful Mediterranean dish that is served spread on bread or crackers, or eaten as a side dish all by itself.

1 large eggplant

¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

1-2 Tablespoons  olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Kalamata olives

Grill the eggplant for approximately 10-15 minutes until the skin starts to turn black and the flesh starts to soften.  Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until very soft.  After cooling, peel the eggplant and transfer the flesh to a mixing bowl.  Mash the eggplant into a paste.   Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and cumin and mix well.  Add salt to taste and adjust other ingredients, as needed (you may want to add more tahini or lemon juice).  Mound the mixture in a serving dish and, using the back of a large spoon, form a shallow well in the center.  Spoon some of the olive oil in the well and drizzle the rest over the mixture.  Sprinkle parsley over the top and arrange olives around the outside. Serves 6.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS – This is an updated form of potato pancakes using zucchini instead of potatoes.  Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but who isn’t looking for more recipes when the green things mount their invasion of the garden?

3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini, skins on and seeds removed

2 eggs, beaten

½ small onion, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

2 Tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1-2 Tablespoons milk, if needed

Mix all of the above ingredients together – I stir vigorously instead of using a mixer.  Add a tablespoon of milk or two only if mixture is too dry.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot, well-greased griddle or skillet.  Brown on both sides and serve immediately.  Makes 10-12 fritters.

RASPBERRY VINEGAR – More cooks are moving away from  prepared foods to more natural ingredients in the family meals.  Although there are a few bottled salad dressings I occasionally serve, we more often opt for olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice on our salads.  Flavored vinegars are easy to make and have a variety of uses.  Fresh blackberries, blueberries, or coarsely chopped cranberries may be substituted for the raspberries in this recipe.

3 cups red or white wine vinegar

1 cup fresh red raspberries

½ cup granulated sugar (optional)

½ cup red raspberries for decoration (optional)

Combine vinegar and sugar (if desired) in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not quite boiling.  Pour into a glass bowl and stir in the raspberries.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a cool place for about a week.  Strain through cheesecloth, coarse muslin, or a coffee filter a couple of times to remove all debris.

Pour into bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator – up to several months, if it lasts that long!

by: Debbie Reed

Proverbs 31- Far Above Rubies

Proverbs 31 Verse 20: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”

I always enjoy reading Proverbs 31. And, it seems no matter how many times I read it, I can always go back and find something new—a clearer, deeper understanding within this jewel of the Word. This week, when I returned to Proverbs 31, my heart was drawn to verse 20 where the virtuous woman is described as a woman of compassion and charity: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy.”

While this devotion in charitable service is heartwarming in general, let’s take this verse in context. This virtuous woman is not a woman with a whole lot of time on her hands. She is one busy lady! Her hands are busy working from the moment she awakes to after the household is still into the late hours of night, never eating of the bread of idleness. She not only cares for her husband and children, but tends to the needs of those within her gates as well. So, where does she find the time to help the poor?

When I read Proverbs 31, I am amazed by all this woman encompasses, from a gentle spirit full of wisdom, to a heart full of kindness … to an incredible work ethic that should set the standard (and not the exception) for us all. And, despite her daily duties, which she seems to thoroughly love, she is moved to stretch forth her hands to the poor, which means she is doing this herself. She is sacrificing valuable time away from her family and her daily chores to work some more … to give of herself … a sweet offering … to give in such a way that she cannot be repaid for her labor … giving to those who have so little. In this verse, verse 20, we can see the true colors of her heart, and they’re beautiful, like a rainbow set before a child for the first time.

What does it mean to help the poor and needy, to stretch forth your hands and reach them? I can share through personal experience that sacrificing time and money, to help those who are poor and needy, is an amazing experience. Not only are we told to do this in scripture, but there is a transformation of the heart that occurs every time you serve, and I think this is why we are directly encouraged to serve the poor and needy … it brings us closer to Yahweh! If you’ve never directly helped in this way, ask someone who has. They will likely tell you they received more than they gave, and it’s true! When I serve, I feel energized and humbled at the same time. You’d think that giving time and money would feel draining, but in fact, the exact opposite happens! Through service to the least of them, you become closer to the greatest of them … Yahweh.

May we all continually strive to be virtuous women pleasing to our Father and those we are blessed to serve, for serving is a gift and Yahweh is the Giver. May Yahweh bless you and guide your footsteps as you seek to serve Him and your household. HalleluYah!

by: Amy Pletz