Who’s on the Lord’s side…come on…

Dispensations, Divisions, and The Kingdom of God I

I’m asking you, “Ever wanted to understand Lucifer better? In understanding Lucifer better, do you think you could possibly understand yourself better?”

“Lucifer,” you sputter in outrage back at me. “I’m nothing like Lucifer, that terrible creature. How could you ask such a thing?”

“Well…” I answer back a little hesitantly, not wanting to offend you. “This is something the Lord has been giving me over time, about the ‘DIVIDES’ of the ‘DISPENSATIONS’ and how it relates to us, the church, and who’s side are you on. So, would you like to know how these dispensations and divides halo the love and power of God, and how The Kingdom of God works?”

“You would?!” I exclaim, after you give me the nod to go on! “Well okay then, this might seem a little long but well worth it in the end! So let us begin by exploring the first of these dispensations and its divides, and what caused it. This first dispensation of time and it’s division was before earth and man, yet at the same time it leads to me, us–you and me, and every person ever created for life on planet earth.

“To understand this first dispensation of time and divide, we–you and me–have to get Biblical, go way back before the time-spin of the earth later on. We have to loosen our minds from the boundaries of our flesh and think spiritual since God is a spirit and so are His angels, neither of which are confined, have to bow down to, or are limited by our earth-bound minds.

“So now that we are thinking spiritual, seeing spiritual, let’s imagine that time of God and his angels. Everything was just as God created. Everybody was in their places, perfectly carrying out God’s plans by each and every angelic being for the betterment of his kingdom, The Kingdom of God. Then… what?  God, for the first time, felt a schism in  the kingdom. And He instantly knew where it was coming from as he felt that fracture, the beginnings of that first divide. ‘Lucifer,’ he thought, deep in his heart, ‘Lucifer, what are you doing? I created you in love, in beauty, in wisdom…what are you doing?’ But he knew, and it was breaking his heart. Lucifer had set himself against his father…God, and was sinning, committing crimes against God’s Kingdom.

“Yes, the first divide was created by…none other than…drum rolls…the archangel Lucifer, or ‘light bringer,’ which is what Lucifer means. In the Greek, ‘dawn bringer.’ Lucifer walked up and down among the fiery, precious stones; different Bible translations call them different names. So I will ‘loosely’ define them: red carnelian (sardius, or could be a ruby,) pale-green peridot (KJV topaz,) white moonstones (KJV diamonds,) emeralds, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli (KJV sapphire,) turquoise (KJV carbuncle.)

Ezekiel 28:13-15 (KJV)
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

“It appears he was beautiful, perfect in all his ways, until iniquity was found in him.”

“What iniquity…sin…crimes against The Kingdom of God did he do?” you ask.

Ezekiel 28:16-17 (KJV)

16: By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

“Can you explain Lucifer’s iniquity a little better?” you ask.

“Pride, he puffed himself up with pride that lead to a lust for power, not the power he had already been given by God, but to sit in power over the congregation of God. In other words, he wanted to replace God. But first, Lucifer divided himself.

“How could he do that?” you ask.

“Let’s explore that thought and I will try to explain it to you to the best of my ability.”

Read More


Fresh, Homemade, Probiotic, Kefir Thousand Island Dressing

Who Loves Homemade, Fresh Dressing for Their Salad and Dip?

Well, out here at Romance & the Homestead, (the Jake & Jewel, named after my parents) we adamantly do! We love fresh, wholesome, nutrient dense food. We customarily use these kinds of nutritious food for “our medicine,” along with other nutritious things.

I always heard growing up, “You are what you eat!”

And this is so true. Most of the “food” in our supermarkets are processed to “death,” packaged in a box, and then shipped. I mean, literally, it is mostly dead food. And our live food, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, are not nutrient dense anymore as they were fifty or more years ago. So we are losing important, live giving nutrients at every turn.

Believe me, I know, because twenty-five years ago, I went on a journey with food to save my life. I had a husband, two small children, and a life in front of me I wanted to live out. To make a long, painful story short, I began to use fresh food, the best plant-based, organic vitamins I could find and afford. And I learned about something called “probiotics.”

I am now a passionate promoter of taking your health into your own hands and creating and keeping a healthy gut. It saved my life, along with prayer and faith. That is why here at the homestead you will find my blog, and life, is about all wholesome things: food, faith, family, and growing in love. In my love walk as an author, I passionately underscore love in all my books: children, faith, and romantic love stories, which are more than just romance, but fulfilling stories that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love with unique characters. You can find them all on my Shop-For-Love page. And go over to my Contact page and sign up for my twice-a-month news letters. Hit the follow button. Find more about me (us) on my About page.

Okay, I don’t usually put a monologue in front of my recipe posts, but I did this time to bring you into why I have fallen in love with “Kefir,” a probiotic made with milk: cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and even coconut milk kefir. I’ve been using kefir for several months now and already experiencing great benefits. Here I could put down all the research for kefir’s benefits, but instead, we’ll just go to the recipe so you can get started on your healthy, fresh, homemade, Kefir Thousand Island Dressing. I bet here you just thought, “Whew! I’m glad, I thought she was gonna talk me to death! I only clicked on for the kefir recipe!” (Go ahead and laugh!!)

Homemade Fresh Kefir Thousand Island Dressing

I researched lots of homemade Thousand Island Dressing recipes, not just with kefir, with lots of different ingredients. I took the things I thought we would like and melded them into my own recipe for a wholesome, kefir Thousand Island Dressing. Here is what I wrote down!kefir ranch dressing recipe

The hardest part of this delicious kefir Thousand Island Dressing recipe is gathering your stuff and measuring it out. Then it’s a snap.

What you will need at a glance:At a glance

  • 1 TBLS finely minced onion. (I used yellow, because I had it. But white or purple is fine.”
  • 2 TBLS finely minced bread & butter pickles. (Here I used some Homie and I had “put up” as the old folks always said; pickled ourselves.)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise. ( I used Dukes. I live in the south. If you’re from the south, you’ll understand. lol)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup. (I used organic.)
  •  1/4 cup sour cream. (I used the sour cream I made with my kefir. But a good store brand will do.”
  • 1/4 cup kefir cream. (I made with my kefir beads and raw/organic cows’ milk. But you can find kefir in your supermarket.”
  • 1 TLBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 TSP sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP black pepper

When you get all this measured out, wah-la!! Now just transfer all your ingredients into a bowl and whisk them until they are all blended! Now pour fresh kefir Thousand Island Dressing into your clean, clear jar. I used a pint canning jar. They are so great for everything! This recipe will almost fill a pint jar.

Make sure to your scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula so you don’t lose any of that great goodness of your homemade, kefir, and probiotic, Thousand Island Dressing.scrape the bowl

Place it in the fridge for a few hours to thicken, and you have delicious fresh, probiotic, kefir Thousand Island Dressing for your salads. When it thickens, you can also use it as a delicious dip for your chips, corn chips, and vegetables.

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I hope you enjoy!

Don’t forget to follow, and go to my Contact page to sign up for my twice-a-month newsletter about love: food, faith, family and all good happenings on our homestead, The Jake & Jewel Homestead. Go to my Shop-For-Love page where you will find my labors of love, writing wonderful, faith filled stories for children, families, and readers who love wholesome, romantic love stories that will make you laugh and cry.

With love,

From Romance & the Homestead,

Della

bench, pot and flowers

The Jake & Jewel Homestead

Romance & The Homestead

Come learn more about us here!


Are You a Prepper for LIFE? I Mean, the REAL LIFE?

I’m a prepper, she’s a prepper, they a prepper, we a prepper, you can be a prepper too!! 

But really, I’m a virgin “Prepper!”

A few years ago, there was this television series called “Preppers”.  Cool show, right? People in the USA, and even other places in the world, felt impending doom. As a result, they began to prepare for the worst possible scenarios. Many dropped out of the “grid,” municipalities, as in, electricity, water, social media, or any place where they thought the government could trace them out; find them. You talkin’ ’bout incognito, some were so determined to become self-sufficient, they even made their own gas! HOW DARE THEY!! Really, I was impressed with that feat.

ME? That kind of prepper? No way! I want my electricity. I need it!

In 1989, when Hugo, one of the worst hurricanes to hit our coast, we were without electricity for nine, count it, 9…whole…days…and nights. I never want that to happen again! Now, don’t get me wrong, I like grilled stuff, sandwiches, and can food, but enough is enough already!

person grilling sausage and meat

Enough of the grilled food!

In that same year, we had moved back to the “farm,” my parents’ farm. I became sick soon after. (What I had is another story.) As I prayed, I felt lead to delve into  food. Now this was before the internet became big. And what I learned about our food is also another story. But, I began to slowly garner the truth that in order to heal, get better, become healthier, I needed to doctor myself with nutrient dense food. So, my husband, Homie and I went back to our roots of growing up on a small farm with a huge garden next to the yard; step out of the yard and into the garden.IMG_0466

We didn’t consider ourselves preppers or hippies, as some people now refer to gardeners as, or even farmers. But we began to grow backyard fowls, vegetables, and I began to research what was wrong with our food. 

So you may be wondering why I’m writing an inspirational, spiritual blog about prepping, food, virgins, and sickness, well, here goes…

One day, in the garden, after watching many of the “preppers” programs on television, I wondered if we were considered preppers. I laughed, knowing my need for electricity, air conditioning, heat, and my electric stove. However, that thought took my thoughts into a spiritual direction, a Biblical direction, in point, to the scriptures Read More


Opie’s Last Stand

This is a hard one to write. It’s so fresh, it feels like last night, but was months ago when it happened… My heart hurts.

Anno Domini, 2019, March 12. It was a good day, like most on the homestead. Evening had waned; dark had set in; the stars so bright they cast cool shadows everywhere. Homie and I were resting; tired but good. Homie was watching some guy on YouTube going through the contents of a storage unit he had purchased. I was napping on the sofa. I awoke with a start and thought, “Opie’s not laying on the sofa with me as he always does.” But then I looked over to the love-seat where Homie sat. And there he was. I relaxed. He was okay.

It was a strange ominous warning that I didn’t know was one.

Opie is our little blonde, deer-head Chihuahua we have loved for 12 years, and still do…always will.

You see before all this, Homie and I had never had a house dog; plenty of outside ones over the years. After my momma died, I was so grief stricken for such a long time, I knew I had to do something; I wanted a house dog, for the first time ever. We bought a Blue Sable Chihuahua; Sage. We loved him but he had an accident and passed away. We cried for days.

So about a year later, along comes Opie, whom we sort of rescued. His owner/momma was sick and she couldn’t take care of him; he was still mostly puppy then. He was so much fun, our little ice cream eater. He helped me overcome my grief for my momma and for Sage.

Opie was fun, but fierce. He never backed down from any fight, no matter how big the opposition was: human, dog, cat, or whatever. And he loved the homestead; it was his home and territory.

Last night was one night I wish he had backed down. Opie was showing his age; he had arthritis in his back hips and sometimes had muscle spasms too. We treated him for these things. But he would still follow me everywhere. If you ever got a hug from Opie, it would melt your heart.

Opie Stalking

Last night, about time for bed, Opie slipped out the dogie door for one more “anointed” walk around the house, as he did most nights, since he considered himself the pack leader. He barked, as he always did. Homie took the spotlight and checked. There was a deer in the field next to the edge of the yard, who sprinted away. That was normal too.

Later, Homie went to put the dogs to bed, but could not find Opie. We both began searching. Opie had a knack for hiding in the house to keep from going to bed, but never in the yard at night. We searched inside and then with spotlights searched every where outside. We drove up and down the road, even though we knew Opie never strayed that far. Hours and hours later, still no Opie.

It was then that Homie heard a coyote barking near…

Our heart sinking in fear and dread, we realized what may have occurred. In a sequence of strange, heartbreaking, simultaneous events in the star-lit night at the edge of our field: 1. Opie went outside for one more walk. 2. The deer came to the edge of our yard, unknowingly stalked by a coyote. 3. Opie, Chihuahua barker and fearless protector that never backed down, stood his ground, but lost to the coyote.

Fearless Opie

In tears, I write of his bravery, staunch protector of his territory, and a little heart that was always full of joy and love. I will never hear his little toenails clicking across the floor to come to me; never see him sneak a lollipop from the candy dish again, with the stick sticking out of his mouth; or find candy wrappers where he had stolen chocolate candy from the bag; or beg for a treat with the cutest of faces. He was the little paws (heels) behind my heels.

This is a tribute to our special, little friend. We are forever thankful he was a part of our family and our homestead. He was a one-of-a-kind.

Opie

Now he is over that rainbow bridge with Pretty Girl Pearl, who also was attacked and crossed over; and I cry. To read Pearl’s story: Heartbreak on the Homestead.

With sorry in my heart, I miss my little, furry friends.

Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. Hit the follow button, go to my contact page and send me an email, and share your thoughts, or tell me about your great pets you love. I still miss Sage, Pearl, and Opie today, and I know I will never forget them, and the special place they had in my life, and now the memories of them imprinted on my heart.

If you like romance, hop over to my Shop-for-Love page and check out my romance series of family saga, faith, and twists and turns in a plot that will keep you going to the very end of each love story. You can read a preview of my latest, In Loving Katie Marie, here: https://dellastrickland.org/shop-for-love/ .

From happenings on the homestead,

Della


The night I tripped over my own throw-down-gauntlet, and fell into an ocean of power I never knew existed!

It was a cool night; mosquitoes gone for the season, the stars were shining brightly from an ebony sky I could only partially see through the darkened pine needles, like sketchy, thin lines, from the plethora of sapling pines caging my home into a mini-forest. As I gazed upward, a swirling cauldron of discontent, pain, confusion, and drama queen me-ism, I yelled out to God. That was where I was told He lived, so I hurled my quivering voice out and up to Him because I meant He would hear me. I was strong. I was powerful. I had controlled my destiny…until I tried to become a church go-er, that is.

You see, I wasn’t raised in a family that attended Church on Sundays. Moreover, the only times I had been in a church building was at the funerals of the deceased on either one, or the other sides, of my parents’ large families; twelve children on my daddy’s side, and ten on my momma’s side. Yeah, they were that big, so somebody was dying all the time.

As a junior in high school, I went with a friend to my first “real” church service. Not impressed, I felt no need to return for more. Needless to say, I was horribly ignorant about “church,” what it was, and was about.

two person standing near white church

country church

Not to bore you with details, let’s fast forward to me as a young wife and mother who began to cautiously attend church with my mother in law—mostly to please her, ignorant that I was entering into a new, bizarre, world where I would encounter beliefs, characters, and a way of life that would upend my way of thinking, more times than one.

On this occasion, when I threw my gauntlet down, I had tried and failed to blend in with the “Godly” crowd, you know, wanting to be one of them, yet, mostly ignorant on how to “act” like one of them. I knew I was a sinner and actually didn’t mind sinning. Go figure. However, this testament,

man sitting facing fire in pot during night

Into the fire!

is not about those church members, whom I still dearly love, or my sin.

It’s about the night I threw my gauntlet down before an Almighty God. Ignorant…all the way through! You can smile here, I do.

That night, the stars shinning, at my wits end, struggling to comprehend why my life was falling apart, I became impertinent with Jehovah God. I wholeheartedly flung His word back at Him. I had previously read this, which started it all: And if you worship God, you must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What?? Whew! That kept me up at night. You see, I was terribly vulnerable, out of my fishbowl and falling into a world I knew nothing of. It was sort of the old adage, “out of the frying pan and into the fire” thing; my life, the frying pan, and God, being the fire.

Desperate, confused, gazing up into the starry night sky, I said, “God, your word—I had learned at church that the Bible was God’s word—says that if I worship you, I have to do it in spirit and in truth. What in the world does that mean? I don’t know what “the spirit” means. And I certainly don’t know what truth you’re talking about. All these denominations, Christian sayings, do this, do that, and, the implied one, you’ll get there by becoming more like me. Yeah… Okay…

And then…that starry, cool night…I heard something. It startled me. Now, I don’t know which side of the “hearing from God” thing you fall on, but all I can tell you is what happened that night as I gazed through the pines needles at the blinking stars, and let you make your own assessment. A voice spoke in my left ear. It very cordially, but succinctly, said this: “You don’t know what you are asking.”

Oh yeah, God? So you want to have a conversation, huh? Then, my bold, ridiculous self said, “Maybe I don’t, but YOUR word, YOU said I have to worship you. And not just worship you, but worship you in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. So how can I worship you if I don’t even begin to understand what that means?”

There! I think I’ve gotcha, God!

No! I did not.

The conversation ended. Or, so I thought. But the ocean was calling naive me. Over the coming weeks, months, and even years, as I continued to read the Bible, I was lead to the life of one man. He was quite the character; a man of many talents; unique in his soulful, dynamic, and urgent belief, faith in God. He was a man of anointing, power from God; a man men followed, women loved; a man terrible, fierce in battle, yet gentle enough to swoon people, make demons flee with his music and prose.

As I learned of him, I began to know him as a man my own heart could love, follow. Apparently, God felt the same, as He said this man was a man after His own heart. Yes, you know whom I’m talking about; King David. I bet you thought it was Jesus? Well, Jesus is for another story. Ummm, maybe God was warming up my heart?

Let me say this: Becoming immersed in King David’s life, I became immersed in a power I never knew existed. I feel this same power as I write this. God was with King David, and so were His Word and His Power. David loved God and worshiped God from his heart. He danced out of his clothes before the Ark of the Covenant. He stood up for God, and God empowered David for the people of Israel, even though David was not always perfect. The psalms he wrote, the battles he fought, his life’s endeavor to serve God by serving His people, were all King David’s way of worshiping his God, whom he loved from his heart. His truth, which kept him in God’s destiny for him…? King David wholeheartedly knew and believed that God was the only God, the eternal God who created heaven and earth; the only God who should be revered, feared, loved, and believed in…God…Jehovah. Jehovah, the multifaceted one, the multiplier, many breasted, supplier, peace creating, one. I could go on and on here.

ancient antique armor armour

Challenging God

I threw down MY gauntlet of truth on Jehovah God that cool, starry night. But, in stepping forward that night, tripping over my gauntlet, I fell into an ocean called the Bible, the Word of Almighty God, Jehovah Jireh our Provider.

God, Jehovah, my heavenly Father, that night did not get angry with me. He waded me into His ocean of truth, His ocean of power, and taught me the meaning of worshiping Him in spirit and in truth by the example of a man that lived thousands of years earlier. When I think of King David, I still feel the power that surrounded him because of his worship, love of God, and living out his life as God’s servant.

Want to feel that power? Then begin to, in your heart, acknowledge Him as Jehovah God. Tell God you love Him. Now worship Him, our heavenly Father, in your spirit and in the truth that He is Jehovah God and besides Him there is no other God. When you do, you will begin to feel the power of His love. You see, He loved King David. He loved me that starry, cool night when I threw down the gauntlet of my truth. He taught me His truth and true nature of love. Now I know. And so do you. So my friends, let us worship Him in spirit and truth.

Hope you enjoyed my “test”amony!

You can follow me, leave me a comment, or email me with your thoughts. I would love to hear from you. Follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Amazon. Go to my Shop For Love Page here at Romance & the Homestead and check out my faith based books: children, inspirational non-fiction, and fictional drama, faith, family, love, and romance novels.

With love and inspiration from the Homestead,

Della