Pumpkin Soup

P10206632  14 oz.cans pumpkin puree
1 T coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large sweet apple, cored and cut into chunks
1 clove garlic
2 T shredded or shaved coconut
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t nutmeg
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in coconut oil. Puree broth, onion, apple, garlic, coconut until smooth.

Place puree and other ingredients in a stock pot and simmer for 20 min.
option: for a sweeter soup add a tablespoon or two of sugar.

Garnish with parsley leaf, pumpkin seeds or coconut shavings.

Harvest Minestrone

Saute:
2 T. olive oil
2 large onions (large dice)
4 celery stalks (large dice)
4 carrots (sliced)
Add:
1 lb. Italian sausage (cooked and sliced) (pork, turkey, or chicken)
3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
4 chopped tomatoes or (1) 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 quart chicken stock
1 quart of water
3 small zucchini (medium dice)
1 15 oz. can Cannellini beans or kidney beans
handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped)
1 T. fresh parsley (chopped)
Simmer for 30 min.
Add 5 minutes before you are ready to serve:
2 cups of fresh baby spinach (chopped)
2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for 5 minutes
Top with:
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Serve with salad and an artisan bread or garlic bread.

Serves 8

Psalm 91 Verse 1

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I used to read this scripture and wonder, “How do you get in the secret place?” “Do you have to be good enough?” “Am I in the secret place?” “Where is this secret place?”

Oh my, have you ever had any of these thoughts? Do you include yourself or disqualify yourself when you read this? As we go through this Psalm verse by verse, we will be looking at correlating scriptures to increase our understanding and answer these questions.

There are two words in Psalm 91 verse 1 that indicate this is a permanent place of residence, abide and dwell. This is not some place where we move in and out of. This is where we reside, where we live, where our home is.

To truly understand scripture we must get a clear picture of what we are hearing or reading. Many people think the things of God are so abstract; they don’t have a clear picture in their heart or mind of what they are hearing or reading. They don’t SEE it, worse yet, they don’t see themselves in the scriptures. To truly meditate on God’s Word, we must get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Understanding comes from the Spirit of God, He is our teacher. Revelation does not come from mental reasoning; it comes to us in our spirit.

Let’s pray together, Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask you to open our hearts to see and understand your Word by the power of the Holy Spirit as we go through this teaching. Amen.

As we start our journey and discover where the secret place is; we will see where God Himself has placed us. We will get a bigger picture from the word of God of the secret place.

Psalm 31:20 tells us, “You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence; From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion; From the strife of tongues.” This psalm describes the secret place as the presence of God, a secret shelter, a place where the spirit of strife can’t find me.

Song of Solomon 2:14 tells us it is a place of fellowship.

Sos 2:14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”

In this verse, God is asking us to come into the secret place where He can hear our voice and see our face. It is a place of intimate fellowship. Mat 6:6 also speaks of a place of intimate fellowship in the secret place. It is the place where we talk with God.

Mat 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Isa 45:3 tells us there are riches in the secret place.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places
That you may know that I, the LORD,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.”

Isaiah 49:2 tells us God causes us to be mighty warriors in the secret place.

Isa 49:2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

When I speak His Word, it is a sharp and polished weapon against the enemy. It is a weapon of accuracy that hits its target like a lightning strike. The secret place of the Most High is truly a glorious place to be, the devil cannot even find you in the secret place of the Most High God. He doesn’t know our strategy. He doesn’t know where we are.

There are even more scriptures we could go over but I will close today’s entry with Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

One of the reasons the enemy cannot find us in the secret place is this is where by faith we have been crucified with Christ and our life is hidden in Him!

By faith we are living In Him; living in the finished work of the cross; abiding in Christ is the secret place. It is a place where we completely trust in God and receive freely His grace and salvation.

Praise the Lord for His goodness!

Psalm 91 Verse 2

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

In Psalm 91, verse 2, we enter the secret place  by declaring, “Lord, You are my refuge, You are my fortress, You are my God, I put my trust in You.”

Faith is released when we speak it, see 2 Corinthians 4:13 “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;” Pray it, Declare it, Speak it aloud. Allow the Word to do the work.

To experience the benefits God has provided, we must receive them by faith. Let’s look at faith. What is your picture of faith? Have you ever thought, “I must not have enough faith?” That is an enemy trick to disqualify you. It’s really not about having enough faith, it’s about using the faith that God has given you already. We are not the source of our faith, it is not something we muster up, we do not manufacture our own faith.

Rom 12:3 tells us, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

By declaring, “The Lord is my refuge and my fortress; my secret place”, you are exercising the faith that God has given you. You are making a decision to believe the Word of God.

It is only by faith can we enter the secret place of the Most High. There is no amount of our goodness or good works that will open the door to the secret place; Jesus is the door. He is our righteousness.

Phil 3:9 tells us our righteousness comes from God, “..not having mine own righteousness, which is of the works of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

When Jesus was getting ready to ascend to heaven He told His disciples that He would not leave them orphaned but that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to be with us, to empower us to do the same things that He did on earth and more. One of the missions of the Holy Spirit is to be our teacher, our guide, He is to lead us into all truth.

1 Cor 2:12 tells us, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

In Psalm 91, the Spirit of God is revealing to us that the secret place has been freely given to us. “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” We choose to be in the secret place when we release our faith in what Jesus has done for us, when we declare that the Lord is our hiding place, our strong tower, our fortress, a refuge of safety.

Psalm 91 Verse 3

Psalm 91:3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

I love the first word in this verse, surely. Praise God, we can rely on the Word of God. God cannot lie. Surely He will deliver you. We can speak with confidence, “Surely He will deliver me.”

I have heard Christians say the devil told them something and they seem afraid or concerned about it. The devil is incapable of the truth; he is the father of lies and the truth is not in him. We are to silence him the same way Jesus did, with the truth, “Surely He will deliver me.”

Now let’s look at the phrase, the snare of the fowler, this is a picture of a person who catches birds in a baited trap. How does that relate to us? Again, let’s use scripture to develop this.

When Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 17:1, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” The Greek word here for offenses is skandalon. A skandalon is the trigger of a trap (the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim); it is used in scripture figuratively for an offense, a means of stumbling, a method of entrapment, an uneven ground which trips the traveler, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion. Unforgiveness* is one of the most common snares of the devil. He baits his trap with an offense and when the unsuspecting person takes the bait, he closes the trap.

Jesus is not saying it is impossible for us to not be offended, He is saying, in this life, opportunities to become offended will come your way. We do not have to take the bait, we do not have to enter the trap. Why? Because of our trust in the grace of God, surely He will deliver me. Every time the Holy Spirit guides you to forgive someone, He is delivering you from the snare of the fowler. He is showing us the way of escape.

With every temptation that comes our way, God has made a way of escape. Generally the way of escape comes through the Word of God. Jesus is our way of escape. Trust Him, ask Him for wisdom. Surely He will deliver you.

He has also delivered us from the perilous pestilence. The perilous pestilence is a destructive deadly disease or plague. We do not need to fear any disease. Jesus provided healing for us in every way.

1 Peter 2: 24 tells us [Jesus] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. In this passage Peter is quoting Isaiah 53.

Isa 53:5 But He [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Don’t listen to the news and drug commercials telling you how many people will get sick or die, answer back, “It will not come near me, by Jesus stripes I was healed. Surely He will deliver me. He is my fortress, He is my refuge.”

 

*If you are interested in reading more on unforgiveness, download the pdf, “Could I Have Unforgiveness.”

Psalm 91 Verse 4

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

The first half or this verse is truly a picture of compassion and nurturing, did you ever think of Father God as one who wants to nurture you?

Jesus said, “..How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings..

God longs to gather us, to nurture us, to protect us under His wings. He wants to draw you in close and hold you tight.

Psalm 86:15 tells us our God is full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” The Hebrew word for compassion is even used to describe how the womb surrounds the unborn child to nurture and protect the child.

Jesus was often moved with compassion, Matthew 14:14 tells us when Jesus saw the great multitude; He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. This is just one of many such references.

The second part of this verse talks about the truth of God’s Word is our shield and our buckler. When we believe something other than the Word of God, we give place to the enemy in our life. So many teach and believe we give place to the enemy by sinning, Jesus has taken care of the sin problem. Psalm 103:10 tells us “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”  Sin is the result of giving place to the enemy; sin is the result, not the cause. The devil had to get Eve to believe the lie before he could get her to act on it. Knowing the truth is our defense, our shield and our buckler.

It’s not knowing truth of who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus that gives place to the fiery darts of the enemy. God does not punish us for sin by removing our shield, that punishment was put on Jesus. We put down our shield when we believe the lies of the devil. Paul shows his concern for the saints in 2 Co 11:3 when he states, “..I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

Sin causes trauma to our soul, it causes us to draw away from God, it causes our conscience to condemn us, it causes us to not pray, sin causes death and destruction to our relationships, our bodies, and every aspect of our life. It is no wonder why God hates sin, it produces death.

Eph 6:16 tells us, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Here Paul uses the phrase, “above all”, above all taking the shield of faith.

Let me share a personal story to illustrate. It is a simple everyday life story, but that is where we need to begin, in the little things.

The first time I put my newborn into the church nursery, all kinds of anxious thoughts flooded my soul. “What if he’s afraid?” “What if he won’t take his bottle?” “What if they’re too busy?” I thought as I walked from the education wing to the main sanctuary, then Word of God rose up on the inside of me by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I took up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit declaring, “All my children are taught of the LORD, and great is the peace of my children. (Is 54:13)” Over and over I recounted the scripture as I walked. By the time I was seated in the sanctuary, the fiery darts of anxiety had been quenched, my mind was in perfect peace and ready to receive the Word. I was so confident in God’s Word, I believed angels would take care of my baby if he needed it. Much to my delight, when I returned to the nursery, I was told, “If all the babies were like yours, we would have no trouble at all”.  Praise God!

How important is it to know the Word of God? It is our sword, our shield and our buckler.  When the devil came to tempt Jesus, He refuted his temptations with the Word of God and the devil left for another time because he could find no place in Jesus. The Word will fight for you. The Word will do the work. Speak the Word!

Psalm 91 Verse 5

Psalm 91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day

Terrorism was never mentioned in the news when I was growing up but today there is not a day that goes by without something in the news about it. I have to say they have named it correctly; the whole purpose of the enemy’s lies is to cause the people of this earth to live with terror in dread of a disaster. He wants to sow fear in our hearts, our speech and our actions. Fear is the enemy of our faith.

Psalm118:6 tells us, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” Of all the scriptures in the bible, I am sure I have said this one more than any other. Psalm 91:5 declares,”You shall not be afraid of terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.”

The Lord does not say, “try not to be afraid and when that does not work, try harder,” He says, “you will not be afraid.” When the Lord says, “You will not be afraid”, by the grace of God, I respond by saying, “I will not be afraid!” Fear is not something to be taken lightly. Some people think they are not in fear because they don’t feel afraid at the moment but yet their speech and their actions are full of fear.

Do you buckle your seat belt because you are afraid you will fly through the windshield, or do buckle your seat belt because it is a safety feature of the car and it’s the law? Fear can be very subtle.

The things of the spirit realm cannot enter the physical earth realm without the cooperation of man and the spoken word. If it were not so, the devil would appear and kill all the Jews and Christians right now; but he does not have the authority, he must work through man.

Likewise the blessing of the Lord must be brought into this realm through faith. If it were not so, God would force His will onto all mankind and we would all be healed, delivered, and instantly set free. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish. It is God’s will that none perish but not everyone cooperates with His will.

Think about, “What would you do if you had no fear?”

2 Tim1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.