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Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices

We recently left a cruise ship. It’s a long, but very organized process. Each room is assigned to a group number when the passengers arrive. When the ship has docked the final time, each group is to gather in the theatre area until your number is called. You may wait an hour or two, depending on how the disembarking is flowing.

As I sat there I watched people. A certain TV station blared on the large screens. Most watched mindlessly, as the talking heads blathered on about a certain subject. Everyone in listening distance was being spoon-fed that station’s dose of propaganda.

Our country is so divided at this point. A lot of the opinions are formed by what we see and hear on TV. Jesus was right. We are like sheep, following the voice we hear.

I wonder how things would be different if people spoke only after listening to Jesus’ voice first.


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Predicting Winter Weather

Predicting Winter Weather


Ever wonder what the weather will be this winter? Check the inside of a persimmon seed, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.






Cut open a persimmon seed. (The fruit should be locally-grown to reflect your weather. A ripe seed works best.)

Image from

Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

  • If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
  • If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
  • If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be “cut” by icy, cutting winds. It will be bitterly cold.

Here’s a close-up of a spoon. Get out the shovel!

Persimmon Seed Split Open
Photo credit: Tammie Dooley/

That’s it! Now, cut open a persimmon and tell us what you see. (The answer depends on where you live.)

Another favorite tradition for predicting winter weather is to use a woolly bear caterpillar.

Or, check out how The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the weather!


Persimmons have a unique fall flavor that is similar to pumpkin. Most persimmons are the “hachiya” variety. The fruit is very tart so it’s often considered a baking fruit, adding its sweet flavor and moistness to pudding, bread, and pie. Persimmons can also be made into dried fruit, jam, ice cream, and even alcohol.

A ripe persimmon has a “squishy” body and a creamy texture. Ripen persimmons at room temperature. Place in a paper bag to speed up ripening.

Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon pudding is a baked dessert with the taste of pumpkin and the texture of gingerbread.  This persimmon pudding recipe is from the “Indiana Nut Growers Cookbook” (1995), courtesy of the Indiana Nutgrowers Association.


2 Cups persimmon pulp
2 Cups sugar
3 small eggs
½ stick (4 Tablespoons) margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ Cup buttermilk
1-¾ Cups sweet cream (or milk)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons additional persimmon pulp
1-¾ Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Mix together the persimmon pulp, sugar and eggs.
  2. Mix baking soda with buttermilk and add to mixture in bowl.
  3. Melt margarine in baking pan and add to mixture.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together and add alternately with cream or milk.  Add cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Fold in the additional 2 Tablespoons persimmon pulp.
  6. Pour into 13 x 9-inch metal pan and bake at 350 °F for 55-60 minutes.  Be careful not to over bake.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!


Every September, the city of Mitchell, Indiana, hosts the Persimmon Festival. Their persimmon pudding is famous!


This Persimmon Bread recipe comes courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Readers’ Best Recipes cookbook!

Have you ever used this prediction to forecast weather? What are some other means of prediction you have heard of?

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God’s Little Surprises

God’s Little Surprises

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had as my summer goal, to find a reader to read my God’s Little Miracle Book ( I, II, & III). I hadn’t done anything toward attaining that goal. It was like I was in a holding pattern.

On a Friday night I was up half the night unable to go to sleep. When this happens, I often get up to write my prayers. This night I felt the Lord telling me to lay down my plans. I didn’t know what those plans were, but I obeyed.

The next morning I hauled out of bed to get to the 9:00 a.m. prayer meeting at church. After the prayer meeting, a girl I had only met a couple of times at that meeting said to me, “I just love to listen to you read.”

No one had ever said that to be before. I don’t feel I read well. Was I to read my own books?

She said with a laugh, “You look like you’ve just seen a mountain.”

“I have,” I replied. The thought of recording those books myself was overwhelming.

Quickly I said, “A recording studio is very expensive. Sixty-five dollars an hour, at least.”

“Oh, that’s no problem. I have some friends who have a recording studio.”

Was this some kind of conspiracy? Did God really intend me to read? I gave her my card so she could give it to her friends.

I didn’t hear from anyone by the next Thursday when I was at the library. I checked out their new MakerSpace that has a sound-proof recording booth for–free! All I had to do was make a reservation online as if I was reserving a study room and I was in.

On Friday, a blog I read regularly had an article about recording your own book.  Just in case I missed it, a good friend sent the same article to me. Everywhere I turned His will kept popping up.

It’s a new learning curve for an old dog, but given enough time and the help of the Lord, I’ll get these tracks down. Then I can upload them to Amazon ACX and those books will be available for those too sick or blind to read. Hopefully, this work will strengthen and encourage them.

I never cease to be amazed at God’s plans that are far above and beyond anything I could dream up or imagine!

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Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

Our family always likes ice cream, but few want to crank the gallon and a half until it’s frozen. Some want strawberry, others desire blueberry. The purists want plain vanilla.

With this recipe, each person can make their own flavor. and it only takes about five minutes.

I must warn you–it’s habit forming! This and other recipes are found in my book Family Favorites from the Heartland, available on Amazon at the link below.

½ cup milk (for richer version use half &  half)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons table or rock salt*
4 cups crushed ice
1 quart sized bag
1 gallon sized freezer bag

Add milk, vanilla, and sugar to the small bag. Seal it and put it in the other gallon size bag. Add the ice and rock salt to the large freezer bag.
Mix and shake for 5 minutes or until the milk mixture becomes ice cream.
Wipe off the bag and enjoy.

Replace the regular milk, vanilla, and sugar with chocolate, strawberry or root beer milk.

*Kosher or rock salt works best. If using table salt, bigger granules work better.

This recipe makes a single serving so take that into account when measuring.


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In Matthew chapter 18:21-35, Jesus speaks of the necessity of forgiveness. In essence, He says if we don’t forgive those who have wronged us, we will be handed over to the torturers (verse 34) in the New American Standard Version. In the King James Version, they used the word jailers instead of torturers.

In the Greek according to that word means:
“one who elicits the truth by the use of the rack, an inquisitor, torturer also used of a jailer doubtless because the business of torturing was also assigned to him.”

We need to forgive others in the same measure we have been forgiven. If we don’t, we’re not only putting ourselves in jail when we refuse to forgive, we are actually turning ourselves over to the rack! Since Jesus forgives us all our guilt when we come to Him, we are to follow His lead and do likewise.

Is there a person you need to forgive so you can avoid the rack?


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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Author: The Seasoned Mom
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  35 mins
Total time:  45 mins

Serves: 8


  • 4 cups “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) (I used about 3 small zucchinis)*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 15 slices turkey pepperoni


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this will help draw out some of the water from the zucchini). After 10 minutes, squeeze out moisture from the zucchini.
  3. In the prepared dish, combine zucchini, eggs, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. I like to use my hands to make sure that it’s all completely combined, and then press the mixture into the baking dish like a crust.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Top cooked zucchini with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.


*If you don’t have a spiralizer, or if you want a shortcut, you can purchase zucchini noodles in the produce section at a lot of grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use about 4 cups of grated zucchini.

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Today’s Bitterness

Today’s Bitterness

The Spirit of Marah (Bitterness)

On the third day when the Israelites journeyed back to Israel after their Exodus from Egypt, they found themselves at Marah, thirsty and out of water. There was a well there, but it was bitter. The Biblical account tells us in Exodus 15:23 (NASV):

“When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah.”

So we learn that Marah means bitter in Hebrew. There is another time the word translated marah is used. It’s in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (NASB).

“If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear.”

The Hebrew word rebellious in this passage is the same word as the one used in the above scripture. Marah. (Ma-ra)

Stubborn in the Deuteronomy scripture above in Hebrew is sa-rar which means “to rebel; be stubborn, be refractory.”

According to, refractory means “hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient. Difficult to fuse, reduce, or work as an ore or metal. A refractory is a place for making bricks of various shapes used in lining furnaces.”

In case we don’t get the flavor of the meaning, synonyms for refractory are “obstinate, perverse, mulish, headstrong, intractable, disobedient, recalcitrant, ungovernable, unruly.”

As I have observed the elections of 2016 and the days following the inauguration of President Trump, it seems to me this description of rebellious and stubborn seem to fit a lot of people in our nation.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not out to stone anyone but I do believe the Bible when it tells us in I Timothy 2:1-2 (NASB), “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Perhaps we have neglected our first priority to pray for all people and for those who are in authority. I wonder how things would change in our nation and around the world if we obeyed God’s priorities in prayer. Could this spirit of Marah (bitterness and stubbornness) be rendered ineffective in our nation through prayer? Then we could work together as a nation with one mind and heart. It’s worth a try, what do you think?

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Failing to Stand with Israel

Failing to Stand with Israel

judgment day.2

I wonder what consequences our nation will suffer for failing to stand with Israel in the U.N. last week.

God doesn’t take kindly to those trying to divide the land He has given to Israel. In Joel 3:2 He promises to bring all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat (which is the Kidron Valley outside of Jerusalem) because they have divided the land.

In Zechariah 14:2 He promises to gather all nations against Jerusalem. In the end-time discourse in Luke 21 He speak of that time.

I don’t pretend to know the day and the hour of Jesus’ return, but I do know this. With each passing day, we are one day closer to the day of Jesus’ return.

The day before Christmas the Lord gave me this poem:

Signs of the Times


At this time
so many look back to Jerusalem
to His first arrival—
forgetting His promise
to come again.

Receive His forgiveness;
forgive as freely as you’ve received.
Make yourself ready
to stand blameless before Him.

Just after I wrote this blog someone sent me this link if you are interested in reading about Israel further.


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Nothing is Impossible

Nothing is Impossible

Galatians 1:1

Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

Paul is a unique apostle. He was not one of the twelve original apostles who walked with Jesus while He was on earth. Instead, Paul met Jesus after His resurrection while he traveled to Damascus to arrest and do harm to Christians.

That was no problem to Jesus. He took this opportunity to appear to Paul (called Saul at this point). Paul fell to the ground in a flash of light from heaven and a voice asked him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Saul asked who He was. Jesus answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but rise and enter the city, and it shall be told to you what you must do” (Acts chapter 9).

This encounter left Paul blind for three days. Later he traveled far and wide to proclaim the living Lord Jesus who was crucified and rose from the dead. Paul wrote most of the New Testament.

We must never think God is not big enough to handle even the most impossible thing. Nothing is too hard for God. Just ask.

Lord Jesus, I lay before You a list of all the things
which to me, seem impossible.
I pray to see You do what You will with each one,
to Your glory, honor, and praise.

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God’s Compassion

God’s Compassion


Psalm 40:11-12
Thou, O Lord, wilt not withhold Thy compassion from me; Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me. For evils beyond number have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; they are more numerous than the hairs on my head; and my heart has failed me.

Left to our own devices and walking in our own strength, we will fail every time. If it were not for God’s goodness, His kindness and faithfulness, we would be doomed.

When we sin we lose our vision, our ability to perceive. Our understanding deserts us. But praise God! He continually watches us. He waits for us to cry out to Him for His mercy and deliverance. To come back to Him where we belong. To receive His forgiveness, even though our guilt has grown to the heavens (Ezra 9:6).

It is His gentle wooing which brings us back. His grace causes us to admit our sin against Him. His mercy allows us to ask for and receive His forgiveness.

Lord Jesus, forgive my sin that separates You and me.
Strengthen me, deliver me, set me free from the things
grieving Your heart, so I may walk a blameless path
to please You in all things.

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