Clean Cuisine – Pumpkin Toffee Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Toffee Crunch Cake
1 (29 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

3 eggs, beaten

1 (12oz) can evaporated milk

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking dish. In prepared dish, mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice until well blended. Scrape down sides and spread batter in pan.

Sprinkle yellow cake mix evenly over top. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs followed by toffee bits over top. Drizzle melted butter evenly over cake.

Bake 55 minutes until the cake is lightly brown, testing with a toothpick until it comes out clean. Cool before serving and refrigerate leftovers.

Serves 15

by: Jennifer Folliard


Going Bananas

When shopping for something healthy to eat, is it the color, taste, or texture that first crosses your mind? What actually makes you pick up the item and put it in your cart?  Surprisingly enough, all three characteristics play a role in the final decision. I consume at least 365 bananas a year, one daily, and it has not turned me yellow in color, mushy in texture, nor am I “bananas” yet. This yellow crescent-shaped fruit which we know as a banana offers us great benefits such as fiber, potassium, vitamin B-6 and much more for our daily health.

Even though the peeling is not edible, before just throwing it in the trash you can rub the inside of a banana peeling on your dry crackly elbows, heels, and knees. This is an awesome home remedy moisturizer that really works.

Also, I have discovered that there is nothing like a mustard, banana, and cucumber (fresh from the garden is the best) sandwich.  Do not knock it until you have tried it at least once.  If you’re looking for a quick, tasty snack just mash a banana, stir in a little cinnamon (to taste) and spread on a plain rice cake. Last but not least, after the bananas have begun to ripen with the brown spots, they also make delicious popsicles.  Just peel, cut in half, place a popsicle stick in the center, wrap in aluminum foil, and freeze. You can take the popsicles out and eat immediately or let them set out for about 5 minutes first. They freeze well for 3 to 4 months. I hope you now see bananas in a new light when passing by them in the produce department

by: Lisa O’Neal

Clean Cuisine – Easy Corn Soufflé

Easy Corn Soufflé

1 (15oz) can corn, drained

1 (14-3/4 oz) can creamed corn

1 (8-1/2 oz) pouch corn bread mix

1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded cheddar cheese

(Sharp if desired)

1/4 cup melted butter

Pre-heat oven to 350˚ & grease a 13×9 pan. Mix all ingredients together (except for the cheese). Cover pan with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove pan and sprinkle cheese on top.  Return to oven uncovered and bake approx. 15 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

by: Jennifer Folliard


The Power of Confession

The most important confession that I have ever made was when I asked the Father to forgive me of my sins. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Master Yahshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Yahweh hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The result of this very and most important confession is that it has brought much deliverance to my life. Every ugly, nasty, disgusting sin that I have ever entertained had to be confessed.

During my journey I also came across a passage of Scripture that taught me how to correctly confess my sins: James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Before I understood this verse of Scripture, I used to get on my knees to Yahweh to confess my faults and ask for His forgiveness, then just go about my business.

Before and after the Feast of Tabernacles, I struggled with a fault. When I arrived home and after getting settled in, I was led to confess my fault to two of Yahweh’s called out ones. I requested prayer for deliverance and healing. The brethren were willing to support me in any way that they could. One joined me in a 30-day, 6:00 a.m. prayer and the other extended the availability for me to call every time that I got the urge to entertain this fault.

Confession of this fault exposed the enemy that was controlling my life and gave me power to resist the devil. As I submitted to the Word of Yahweh I was able to resist the devil and that devil had to flee from me.

I am a witness that there is power in confession and prayer. As we confess our sins Yahshua has made a promise to us. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I praise Yahweh for Yahshua and for His Holy Spirit that leads and guides me to all truth. The Word is truth & life. I have been encouraged by Yahweh’s Word on how to confess my faults and I encourage all of my sisters to be heartened on their journey through Yahweh’s Word. Don’t ever be afraid to shine the light on the darkness in your life because, when you do, the devil loses his power in your life and you will have the power to walk in victory. Remember, with Yahweh all things are possible. Walk in the newness of your life In Yahweh. The power of confession has been very real in my life.  Try it.  It will free you.

 by: Donna Lambert


Women of the Bible: Esther – A Woman of Courage

“…there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7

My mother claimed that I started talking at a very young age – and never stopped.  This “gift of gab” has been a blessing and a curse.  It has blessed me with the ability to befriend strangers, question the unknown, and pass on information and ideas.  It has cursed me with vanity, foolishness and, sometimes, slander.  I have to constantly be on guard as to the words I use and the effect they have on others.  I have lost friends, distanced family members, created divisions, engendered hurt, and demeaned myself through the misuse of words.  This failing is always at the forefront of my prayers as I ask for wisdom to know when to speak, what to say, and when to remain silent.   Proverbs 21:23 states clearly that, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”

There are times when we should not be afraid to express our thoughts and there are times when it would engender irreparable damage to do so.  The story of Queen Esther and the challenge she faced provides a sound template for knowing when and how to speak out.  The book of Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after women, the book of Ruth being the other. A major Jewish holiday, called Purim, is based upon Esther’s courageous actions to save her people from destruction.

Esther was a Jewish woman whose family had been deported from Jerusalem to Babylon during the time of the Babylonian exile.  Her parents had died when she was very young and she had been raised by her kinsman, Mordecai.  Xerxes, king of the Persians, chose Esther to be his queen, not knowing that she was a Jew.  The king’s anti-Semitic advisor, Haman, wanted to destroy the Jewish community in the empire and tricked the king into going along with his plan.  Mordecai heard of the plan and asked Esther to intercede on behalf of her people.  This was a very dangerous thing to do as the law forbade anyone to approach the king without being summoned and anyone breaking this law would be put to death.  But, Esther sent word to her people and she, along with her maids, fasted for three days and nights.  “When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And, if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16.  As a result of her bravery, Haman was hanged, Mordecai was rewarded and the Jews survived and were protected from those who hated them.

In the past, it was hard for me to speak to others about our newfound beliefs as I usually encountered skepticism and ridicule.  So, I either kept silent, thereby seeming to acquiesce to erroneous ideas, or would speak out in irritation and anger, instead of passing on biblical insights in a knowledgeable, forthright and, yet, noninflammatory manner.

How do our words affect others?  Is what we are about to say conjecture, slander, or is it biblical?  What is the purpose of our speaking out?  Are the words only meant for contention or are they necessary to help others understand?  I often remember the story of Esther who fearlessly, but gently, spoke out in truth for a very important purpose.  Our purpose is to serve Yahweh – in our thoughts, in our words, and by our example.

by: Debbie Reed

Treasured Time

As with any relationship, making time for that special someone, one-on-one time, is so important. My husband and I need our time alone together to connect:  time without the kids surrounding and interrupting us; time that says, “You are important to me,” time that says, “I care enough about you to stop everything else I’m doing and listen to you because I love you.”

We have a fairly large family of five children and, since I homeschool, we’re usually all together.  Still, my children often come to me and ask if we can have one-on-one time, just them and me without anyone else. So, every once in a while we’ll sneak in a shopping trip and grab something to drink.  But, most of the time I will simply let a child stay up with me and watch a movie later than the others, or snuggle in bed with me, or bake something, just the two of us. These are such precious moments when we can talk about what they are interested in or what is going to be coming up in their lives.  My husband likes to take a child, one-on-one, when he goes on an errand and the kids love to just be with him, secretly hoping that they end up with a little toy or candy. These occasions create memories that will last a lifetime.

These are the special times that we all need to stay truly connected to one another and feel individually special. The same is true of our Father in Heaven. Yahweh wants us to seek him, to want to have a relationship with Him. One man, David, was known to have a heart after Yahweh (Acts 13:22). When one reads the Psalms it is apparent that he and Yahweh must have had a special love for each other.  Psalms 63:1 reads, “O Elohim, you are my El; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” As believers we need to ask ourselves if we are truly longing after our Father in Heaven.

In John 14:23 Yahshua told Judas, “If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” Our Father and Savior  both want us to love and follow them.  We are told that if we love Yahshua and hold fast to His teachings, we will have our Father’s love and that He and Yahshua will reside in us. In John 15: 14 one reads, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” It is so amazing that we have a Father and Savior who love and care so much for us.

In Psalms 53:3 David wrote, “My voice shall Thou hear in the morning, O Yahweh; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.” Notice how David starts his day. We see a similar pattern with Yahshua in Mark 1: 35, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” There are many ways to find alone time with our Maker.  One reads in Joshua 1:8 that Yahweh commanded Joshua to meditate day and night on the book of the Law. Nevertheless, I find the morning such an appropriate time to start my day out on the right foot.

I know that when I make a conscience choice to wake up early and have that alone time with my Father, my whole day just goes better. My husband would confess to you that I like my sleep. For me, to wake up early before the kids get up is hard. However putting forth the effort is always rewarding and I always feel so refreshed and ready to start the day out right when I do.   It is easy to get caught up in the daily distractions of life: phones ringing, children needing attention, preparations for supper, etc.  The Spirit can lead better before everyone else is up.

I have to admit I struggle with patience. Yet, when I read Yahweh’s word, I find so many Scriptures encouraging us to be patient, longsuffering and kind, and to think of others more than ourselves. It is almost as if I can feel the spirit filling me with strength to make it through the day showing love to my family and to others. When I start to waver I can remember a Scripture I read earlier that day and I quickly try to redirect my attitude.

I have a friend who lives 10 hours away. We have managed to stay close even though at times we have gone through years without seeing each other. Both being super busy moms we simply call when we can. Every once in a while we will talk for almost an hour, but most of the time our calls are short and, sometimes, only a couple of minutes long. Still, on those days I always feel a bit more cheerful. Someday, when we are old women, we will call and be able to reminisce for hours. For now, on most days I am happy for an encouraging word or two.

Admittedly, my prayer time sometimes reflects this friendship. Not always do I get to my morning devotion. Sometimes the responsibilities of daily life –  sick children, staying up too late to finish chores, or simply feeling overly exhausted – cause me to stay in bed, trying to squeeze in every last ounce of sleep I can until a little one comes in asking for breakfast. But if I purpose to get up early every day, chances are most mornings I will get to my treasured time in prayer and reading.

Let us make a goal to work on the most precious relationship we will ever have in this lifetime and make sure we are setting apart time to let His spirit abide in us.

by: Jessica Mansager


Scripture Numerics

Numbers play a large role in Scripture here are some meanings of some of those numbers.

One – Unity

Two – Difference

Three –Completeness

Four – Creative Works

Five – Divine Grace

Six – Human Number

Seven –Spiritual Perfection

Eight – Resurrection, regeneration

Nine – Finality of Judgment

Ten – Ordinal Perfection

Eleven – Disorder, Disorganization

Twelve – Government Perfection

Thirteen – Rebellion, Apostasy, Defection, Disintegration, Revolution

Seventeen –Denotes a combination of Spirit and Order

Twenty-Five – Grace Intensified

Twenty-Seven – Divinity Intensified

Twenty-Eight – Spiritual Perfection (in connection with the earth)

Twenty-Nine – Intensifying of Divine Judgment

Thirty – Divine Perfection (applied to order)

Forty – Divine Order (applied to earthly things)

Fifty – Jubilee or Deliverance

Seventy – Signifies Perfect Spiritual Order


Slip-Sliding Away

“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4

It is a gorgeous day in late May. My parents are here from Florida for a week, school is out and summer vacation has begun, freeing me from my teaching duties. My son is mowing the lawn and my daughter is playing with our two dogs, Chestnut and Annie. I, as usual, am in the kitchen adjusting the herbs and spices in the large amount of potato salad that I’m preparing for the barbecue we have for family and friends each year. My mother has been undergoing treatment for a rare autoimmune disease, but is responding well and we are hopeful that she will be cured. Basking in the love, smiles and sunshine, I savor these moments and imagine that life will continue on this way forever.

That was fifteen years ago… This afternoon, among the falling leaves of autumn, I walked down to the pond to visit my parents’ graves under the large hickory tree. Gazing at their gravestones, I remember my mom’s happy chatter as we washed the dishes together and my dad’s dry humor as he chided me for missing a crumb while wiping off the dinner table. I also recall their last days and wish I had been able to ease their suffering. I miss them so much.  

Earlier this morning I talked to my daughter in upstate New York. Both she and our son are now married and living in other cities. We see them occasionally and speak to them over the phone often. On this overcast October day, as I walk alone from the pond through the pasture, I can still hear children laughingly calling the dogs to come play. It isn’t the same now. Those days are gone forever.  

As we see the progression of and changes in our lives, we all at some point question the purpose of our existence. In the short term, purpose can be found in our relationships with friends, family, community or work. But, friends leave, children grow up, parents die, communities change, and careers end. All that is left is the same question that has haunted and driven mankind since the beginning of time: What is the meaning of it all?

In Ecclesiates 9:9 Solomon said, “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which He hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity”. We are commanded to live joyfully. This excludes living with guilt, fear, avarice, jealousy, and hate. These emotions are all expressions of the ego, the self, and do not lead to joy. Are all of the desires and conflicts we experience worth the regrets and losses that we must later suffer? Is there a way we can change our attitudes, and ourselves in the process, to live joyfully and give joy to others?

This same verse also reminds us that our days are “vanity.. Life passes quickly for each of us and nothing we can do of ourselves will insure that we, and those we love, will live on forever. To think otherwise is prideful delusion. King Solomon, in his great wisdom, concluded that the whole duty of man is to fear (love and respect) Yahweh and keep His commandments. When we do this, we will live with gratitude, gladness and hope – despite our troubles – and, by our example, encourage those around us. We will also inherit His promise which is engraved upon my mother’s headstone; a promise we can hold onto: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:4

by: Debbie Reed


My Ark-House

I’m the keeper of my ark-house

The place that we call home.

It sits among the world,

But here we are not alone.

Within its walls we sing and pray,

And praise our Abba Yah.

Sometimes we cry, but He dries our tears,

And then we carry on.

Our Loving El told wise wives

To build their houses upright,

And not to ever tear them down,

With haughtiness or strife.

He also tells us ladies gray

To teach the younger wives,

To love their husbands with respect –

Being examples with our lives.

So, upon the Rock may we build our homes,

And more of the Way may we learn.

Loving and serving one another,

As we await Yahshua’s return!

by: Melodie Illgen


Clean Cuisine – Traditional Pulse Preparation

Legumes, also known as pulses, are a family of plants that include beans, lentils and peas, and are generally considered healthy. They provide the body with an inexpensive protein replacement for animal meat.  Legumes are lauded by nutritionists for their high fiber content, low glycemic index and richness in protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

No doubt you avoid legumes, however, if you experience miserable bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea after consuming, but there is a simple solution. A vital step you may not have been aware of when it comes to preparing beans, lentils, peas, grains, nuts, seeds, and flours is to give them a long careful soaking, preferably in warm acidulated pure water.

All traditional cultures soaked their legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, and flours before cooking. It seems like an unnecessary waste of time nowadays as we hit the floor running when the alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m., and run full speed ahead to accomplish a list of requirements by the end of the day.  But, there is a good reason for this seemingly time-consuming practice, and your divinely engineered body will appreciate it from head to toe!  Rather than picking up fast food on the way home, or nuking some factory-frozen package to serve your family, try soaking legumes ahead of time to easily cook and serve instead. It really is not labor-intensive to “purify” these tasty dishes to benefit everyone that you nourish with delicious, nutritious food.

All legumes, seeds and, especially, grains contain phytic acid, saponins and goitrogens, all which can make one sick. Phytic acid interferes with the bioavailability and absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the digestive tract. There are also tannins, enzyme inhibitors, gluten and other nasty substances in unhydrated seeds.   When phytic acid is bound to an enzyme, minerals cannot be properly absorbed in the body and can lead to mineral deficiencies which cause a long list of compromised health realities. Beans also contain oligosaccharides which, unless you soak them, cause carbon dioxide and methane gases that can torture your gut until painfully and totally eliminated from the body. Soaking mimics the germination process which breaks down and neutralizes these toxins.

So, place the washed pulses in a stainless steel pot or glass bowl and add pure acidified water.  Acidify pure water by adding yogurt whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar.  Cover the pot or bowl with a breathable cloth (if you have just made Greek-style yogurt, use the whey soaked draining cloth for both acidifying and covering).  Soaking for 7 or 8 hours is usually long enough, but increasing the soak time eliminates even more of the bad stuff.  This can be applied to cracked or rolled grains as well.  Oddly, flours require longer soaking.  Even better, consider fermenting your seeds after soaking. How long should seeds be soaked is different for every species.

Ÿ  Lentils and peas: less than 8 hours

Ÿ  Beans and other legumes: 12 hours

Ÿ  Wheat berries: 8 to 24 hours

Ÿ  Bean or nut flours: 12 to 24 hours

It’s always best to discard the water bath once or twice during the soaking process.  When the water is clear it is time to cook.  Drain and rinse the beans, return to the pot and cover with water again. Bring to a boil and be sure to discard any foam that floats to the surface.  Supper will be ready soon in only 1 to 1 ½ hours.

So try to eat/drink like the Hebrew children Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. I pray that your health will be ten times better!  Your body will appreciate it!

by: Lora Wilson