Jesus & Hollywood

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I think God loves to fill our lives with tensions. It requires us to push past our intellect and into an actual relationship with the highly controversial Jesus. I recently read a blog post by a fellow Christian about how evil Hollywood is, and my heart sank.

Wow, what a bummer.

Jesus instructed us to go into ALL the world. Did He leave out “evil” Hollywood because He didn’t know one day it would exist? Was Jesus oblivious to debauchery and sin? Was that just an innocent Jesus making that statement? Did the Son of God not know about “evil” people?

From what I have studied about culture in His day, I am going to go with a BIG FAT NO on all of the above.

I am not sure if that lines up with Ephesians 2:4-5-

“But God still loved us with such great love! He is so rich in compassion and mercy! Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, He united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by His wonderful grace!”

How often we forget the way we have been loved, even in our messiness!

I think Jesus was letting believers know we have been empowered to make a difference! I think He was reminding us that He lives in us and He has overcome this world. Even more than that Jesus was being vulnerable with us. The Son of God was sharing His heart with us, His followers. His heart breaks for those who don’t know Him.

I am pretty sure He came with the hope that none would parish. NONE. (2 Peter 3:9)

He laid down His life for Hollywood.

Who are we to say that doesn’t include a particular people group or region?

What a shame that we let our religious judgements become more important that our ultimate call of loving people into His arms. We are His reward. They are His reward! How can we withhold from the One who saved us?

Back to tensions… The same week that I read that blog, a pastor from LA, Shawn Bolz came to speak at my church. He told the story of how a prime time TV star of a show you would know recently came to the Lord. A child actors father was on set and led her into the loving arms of her Heavenly Father.

Wow! How cool is that?

He talked about how love is the only way we get access to people’s hearts. When we have judgement, it removes our influence.

We cannot expect the unsaved to live like saints.

We need to have our hearts postured with love and compassion to allow God to move through us. They are His beloved children. He won’t allow us to have access with our bitterness, slander, and judgements. He will however open doors we never could when we chose to love.

This requires intimacy with God. We have to ask Him for his heart, compassion, perspective, and wisdom.

You don’t need God to judge. You can do that on your own, and there in lies the problem.

Hollywood isn’t evil, it’s lost. Whose going to show them the Way if Christians don’t?

People aren’t evil, they just don’t know who they are and Whose they are yet. We cannot expect them to unless we are willing to help. We act out of who we believe we are.

Do we believe that light is more powerful than dark? Then, we have to be willing to penetrate those places until there isn’t a shadow left. The odds of darkness walking into your church are slim, but the possibilities are endless when we are willing to be a light in the dark places.

Church, we need to learn to love! We need to recognize that kindness leads people to repentance.

I think we can all agree that Hollywood has incredible influence. Let’s choose to love and seek Gods heart rather than judge the lost. Imagine what the world would look like if Hollywood began to use its influence for the kingdom. I cannot think of a quicker way for the world would be changed!

So please be kind. Judgement doesn’t bear fruit, and it’s not our job anyhow. Let’s press into His presence and be a body who prays into revival in Hollywood. Put down the swords and ask what your role is in seeing Hollywood transformed!

Blessings and grace,
Anna

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DIY thieves hand sanitizer

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Homemade healthy hand sanitizer!

Supplies:

Aloe vera gel

Thieves essential oil (visit my young living link to purchase)

Vitamin E oil

filtered water

Put 2 ounces of aloe Vera in container, add 15 drops of Thieves essential oil, 1/8 t of vitamin E oil, and 1/8 t of filtered water. Shake well and done!

3 uses of hippie soap (I mean dr bronners)

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One of my first roommates was from Southern California. She had one soap in the shower, and it was dr bronners. I would line up my bath and body soaps next to hers and marvel at the fact that she used just ONE soap! Sometimes in the bath I would attempt to read the bottle, but it usually led to a headache due to the excessive amount of text!

Honestly, I just kinda wrote it off as hippie soap. Little did I know that one day I’d move to California and start wearing patchouli.

Nowadays I LOVE dr bronners soap! And our Costco just started selling it. This big bottle of peppermint is only $10!

Here are three easy ways I use it everyday-

1. Healthy hand soap- Fill foaming bottle 1/4 with the soap and the rest of the way with water. During cold and flu season I often add a few drops of thieves, but you don’t have to.

2. All-purpose cleaner- Add soap to spray bottle with desired dilution and fill the rest of the way with water. Helpful hint- a little goes a long way!

3. Creamy body wash- use 2 parts soap, one part olive oil, and one part melted coconut oil. Combine and shake for a moisturizing, minty, refreshing body wash. (I personally find straight dr bronners way to dry to use, but this recipe is perfect for my skin.)

ENJOY! 🙂

finding “the one”

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Are you looking for “the one?”

Have you found “the one?”

Do you feel like you got married and your spouse perhaps isn’t “the one?”

These are common questions and thoughts in our modern day culture. The thinking behind these thought processes can easily become a dead end road! It makes me eager to learn about biblical (judeo-christian) marriage.

I believe thinking in terms of finding “the one” is dangerous because it can lead to a victim mentality. What I mean is we can think life doesn’t begin until we find “the one.” Even more scary, we can begin to believe that the person we have covenanted ourselves to before our loved ones is not “the one” we were supposed to marry, and that somehow we missed it!

I believe that God made us to be powerful people with free will. Marriage isn’t something you happens to you! It’s something you choose to commit yourself to for better or for worse.

Here’s what I am discovering…

The Jewish wedding customs were more about the celebration of the marriage covenant than finding “the one.” It was more about giving than getting, and that is where our society has gone terribly wrong. Thus, we have often missed the true beauty and ecstasy that is possible within marriage. It’s not that there wasn’t celebration and bliss, it’s that these things were the fruit and reward rather than the goal of a true covenant.

The meaning of the Old Testament word for covenant is bond. It’s used more than 300x’s in the Bible.

When we get all wrapped up in whether we have found “the one,” we stop taking responsibility for our choices. God gives us wisdom, discernment, wise counsel, and His Holy Spirit to lead us into making great choices, but He doesn’t make choices for us. That would be a strange twisted version of control and not love.

The moment you say “I do” is the moment that your spouse becomes your “one.” From that moment forth, you begin the journey of being bonded to one another. Did you know that couples actually exchange DNA when they consummate their marriage? We are literally becoming one with our spouse when we make love. That’s why sex is designed to be enjoyed within the marriage covenant. Science actually backs up Jesus’ teaching on becoming one flesh!

6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’a 7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh.’c So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

-Jesus

Mark 10:6-9

Intimacy within the covenant of marriage is what makes us “one” with our spouse, not marrying the one person created to marry you.

So whether you are wearing a ring or waiting on a ring, I bless you today. If you are single, I bless you with wisdom, grace, and honor in your journey towards choosing your one. If you are married, I bless you with wisdom, grace, and honor to love your one with passion and steadfastness.

The Easiest Way to Make Kombucha (14 steps with pictures!)

One of the most common things I get asked is how to make Kombucha. At first it can seem overwhelming, but it’s really so easy once you get the hang of it. I am not going to go into the health benefits, you can research that for yourself. I will say that it has cured my addiction to dr. pepper, but really boasts of health benefits way beyond that. In short, it helps heal and balance gut health. There are a lot of super smart, science loving people that would love to explain it to you via the world wide web.

Therefore, I’ll stick to practical and share how easy it is to make.  Here are pictures and my step by step process.

Enjoy!

STEP ONE- Make your sweet tea. Boil 8 cups of water, turn the burner off, add 8 tea bags (do not use flavored teas), and add one cup of sugar. The kombucha needs sugar to ferment, skipping or substituting other sweeteners won't work for brewing kombucha.
STEP ONE- Make your sweet tea. Boil 8 cups of water, turn the burner off, add 8 tea bags (do not use flavored teas), and add one cup of sugar. The kombucha needs sugar to ferment, skipping or substituting other sweeteners won’t work for brewing kombucha.
STEP TWO- Get ready for the flavoring stage. This will only apply if you have a brew that is ready to flavor. If you don't You can skip this part of the process. :) Add fresh fruit and/or herbs. I used frozen strawberries, fresh mint, and ginger for this batch. You can flavor however you want, our personal favorite is strawberry/mint.
STEP TWO- Get ready for the flavoring stage. This will only apply if you have a brew that is ready to flavor. If you don’t You can skip this part of the process. 🙂
Add fresh fruit and/or herbs and 1/4 t sugar to smaller bottles or mason jars. I like to save store kombucha bottles, but you can do whatever works best for you. I used frozen strawberries, fresh mint, and ginger for this batch. You can flavor however you want, our personal favorite is strawberry/mint.
STEP THREE- Wash your hands, and gently lift the scoby out of your brewed kombucha.
STEP THREE- Wash your hands, and gently lift the scoby out of your brewed kombucha. You can do it I promise!!
STEP FOUR- Place your scoby in a bowl or separate container for later.
STEP FOUR- Place your scoby in a bowl or separate container for later.
STEP FIVE- Gently stir your brew.
STEP FIVE- Gently stir your brew.
STEP SIX- Using a funnel distribute kombucha into your smaller bottles for the flavor ferment. Leave 1-2 cups of kombucha at the bottom of your jar for your next batch. This is called starter liquid.
STEP SIX- Using a funnel distribute kombucha into your smaller bottles for the flavor ferment. Leave 1-2 cups of kombucha at the bottom of your jar for your next batch. This is called starter liquid. Side note: Do you see that fizz? I get slightly excited when I see that. Former soda addict confession OVER.
STEP SEVEN- Wipe down your bottles with a washcloth before securing the cap to prevent sticky buildup.
STEP SEVEN- Wipe down your bottles with a washcloth before securing the cap to prevent sticky buildup. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
STEP EIGHT- Store for 1-5 days. I usually put mine in my cabinet above the stove. You can leave it on the counter, too much stuff on my counters kinda drives me crazy, so I stick it in a cabinet. :) Once you have achieved desired taste place them in the refrigerator. We strain them before drinking, but that's up to you. We don't do chunky kombucha over here, but to each his/her own.
STEP EIGHT- Store for 1-5 days. I usually put mine in my cabinet above the stove. You can leave it on the counter, too much stuff on my counters kinda drives me crazy, so I stick it in a cabinet. 🙂
Once you have achieved desired taste place them in the refrigerator. We strain them before drinking, but that’s up to you. We don’t do chunky kombucha over here, but to each his/her own.
STEP NINE- Pour your cooled sweet tea in the jar. *make sure it has cooled. If it's too warm it can kill the scoby!
STEP NINE- Pour your cooled sweet tea in the jar.
*make sure it has cooled. If it’s too warm it can kill the scoby!
STEP TEN- Add filtered water to about one inch under where the jar starts to curve.
STEP TEN- Add filtered water to about one inch under where the jar starts to curve.
STEP ELEVEN- Gently stir.
STEP ELEVEN- Gently stir.
STEP TWELVE- Wash your hands again, and place your scoby on top.
STEP TWELVE- Wash your hands again, and place your scoby on top.
STEP THIRTEEN- Place a thin cloth or cheese cloth over the top and secure with a rubber band.
STEP THIRTEEN- Place a thin cloth or cheese cloth over the top and secure with a rubber band. Don’t covet my colorful kombucha cover. 🙂
STEP Wipe the jar down.
STEP THIRTEEN- Wipe the jar down. We don’t want to tempt the ants now do we?
STEP THIRTEEN- Wrap a towel around the jar and secure (I use a clothespin.)
STEP FOURTEEN- Wrap a towel around the jar and secure (I use a clothespin.) Find a home for your new brew, and leave it alone for 10-14 days!

After day 10, you can place a straw in (under the scoby) and see if it’s reached your desired level of fermenting. If not, just let it sit until it has. We like ours at around 10-12 days. This can depend on the temperature in your house. If it’s warm the fermenting with go faster, so ours can vary based on the season.

AND THAT’S IT! You start back at step one to make your next brew. It’s really quite easy and we are totally addicted over here. We feel great when we have our daily kombucha. We usually have 1/2 to 1 bottle a day.

liquid GOLD: the easiest bone broth EVER (with pictures)

You know how mom’s tend to make chicken noodle soup when their kids are sick. Turns out mom really does know best. Okay, maybe not the canned soup with purplish chicken, BUT bone broth is really healing for the body. It coats our gut with healthy vitamins and minerals, helps heal it, and helps our bones absorb the nutrition they need.

It’s also delicious, and super easy to make!

Here’s how I do it. I usually buy a rotisserie chicken. After we have finished eating the meat, I set the remainder into the crockpot.

step one: add bones and veggies, and filtered water to crockpot
step one: add bones and veggies, and filtered water to crockpot
step two: add two capfuls or 1 T of apple cider vinegar
step two: add two capfuls or 1 T of apple cider vinegar
step two: set on low for 20 hours
step three: Set on low for 20 hours.

You might wake up in the morning to a house that smells like Thanksgiving. It’s kinda funny, but there are worse smells people.

if you notice it boiling, turn it down to the warm option. allow the bone broth to simmer for 24 hours
if you notice it boiling, turn it down to the warm option. allow the bone broth to simmer for 24 hours.

My strainer has seen better days…

step four: strain the broth into a pourable pyrex.
step four: After the broth has been simmering for 24 hours, allow it to cool enough to pour. Strain the broth into a pourable glass container. 
step five: use a funnel to pour into glass containers.
step five: Use a funnel to pour into glass containers.
money saving tip- I save glass jars from things like spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc. I just run them through the dishwasher, and remove the labels. Once the broth is in these, I place the lid on. Then, I often freeze what we don't drink to make soup or have another time.
money saving tip- I save glass jars from things like spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc. I just run them through the dishwasher, and remove the labels. Once the broth is in these, I place the lid on. Then, I often freeze what we don’t drink to make soup or have another time.
step six: enjoy the liquid gold. *you can wait until it cools and skim the fat off the top, or you can consume the fat. this just depends on your preference. some sources suggest the animal fat is helpful.
step six: Enjoy the liquid gold! *you can wait until it cools and skim the fat off the top, or you can consume the fat. this just depends on your preference. Some sources suggest the animal fat is good for us.

Simple, Homemade, and Healthy Chicken Pad Thai (gluten and dairy free)

@mrsannamaher’s Chicken Pad Thai

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIf you aren’t interested in my story time, just scroll straight on down to the recipe. 🙂 It easy and makes a typical take out dinner achievable at home. It’s a bit healthier that what you buy in the restaurants, and will save you some cash. #winning

After Christmas, Chuck and I flew into San Francisco and rented a car to drive home.  It was a strange flight from Dallas to SFO, because we diverted to Phoenix, due to a medical emergency. In all our travels, that was the first time we were on a plane that took a detour.

Once we got off the plane and walked past the food court I saw a man eating Asian food and thought that looks so good.  We got our rental car and pulled off on University Blvd. in Berkley.  Soon after we saw a sign for “Bangkok Thai” and a restaurant that looked fairly full for 9:30PM.  Minutes after we started eating 6 cop cars flew by the restaurants with lights on! We ate a really yummy dinner, and later found out that gunshots were fired a couple blocks away. Needless to say, we had an adventurous night, and thus begun our recent Thai kick…

Tonight I made Pad Thai for the 3rd time and decided to write down my own recipe, because I have adapted the original recipe so much that there are really only a few similarities left!

There are some things in regular Pad Thai that make me a little nervous.  We are pretty cautious with soy products around here. Bragg’s is better for us and so good. We use organic whenever possible, and wash vegetables thoroughly with vinegar/water when not.

@mrsannamaher’s Chicken Pad Thai

1 package of Pad Thai rice noodles (you can sub linguine if you desire)

1/4 c bragg’s liquid aminos

1/4 c organic peanut butter or cashew butter

2 T arrowroot starch flour

2 T packed brown sugar

1 t minced fresh ginger

2 cloves minced garlic

2 t red chili paste (use 1 teaspoon if you prefer a less spicy option)

1 lime, halved

2 organic chicken breasts cut into thin strips

4 T organic coconut oil

1 organic medium bell pepper

1 medium onion

1/4 c organic shredded carrots

fresh organic basil or cilantro for a garnish (optional)

1. Prepare noodles according to package.

2. Mix together the ingredients listed before chicken.

3. Pour 1/3 of the liquid mixture over the chicken and set aside.

4. Saute the onion lightly in 2 T of coconut oil, adding the bell pepper and carrots after about a minute.

5. Once the vegetables are slightly tender, remove from pan and set aside.

6. Add the additional coconut oil, and fully cook the chicken.

7. Add the vegetables back in, the remaining sauce, and add your noodles, allow this to lightly simmer for a few minutes.

8. Add garnish and enjoy!