Joseph Herrin (05-05-2012)
I am combining two posts together here. The first is related to a news item on the National Christmas Tree dying and what it symbolizes. The second is a personal account of my foray into bread-making. There is a sense in which these two stories are related as the book of Genesis recounts the story of Joseph storing up grain to provide bread for the people in a time of world crisis and famine. Although Joseph fed multitudes, the chief focus of his God appointed ministry was to preserve a “remnant” alive.
“God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.”
I will save a further telling of Yahweh’s directions for me to store up grain at this time for an upcoming blog. I am sensing that the time is near at hand for a remnant portion of the body of Christ to pass through a wilderness experience for their perfecting and refining. The sign spoken of here is one more testimony of the hour in which we live.
National Christmas Tree, Washington D.C.
This morning, Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, 2012, the National Christmas Tree is being removed from the Ellipse near the White House. This tree is being uprooted from the earth because it has died due to what is termed as “Transplant Shock.” Transplant shock is a term to describe the trauma associated with uprooting a tree from one location and planting it at another. The tree that died had been in place for only a year, having replaced the National Christmas Tree that died on 2011. That tree had stood for 33 years until high winds associated with a winter storm toppled the tree on February 19th, 2011.
There is significance to this event. Consider how unusual it is for the National Christmas Tree to die. The tree planted in 1978 stood until 2011 when a great wind blew it over. This tree was carefully replaced. The selection of a replacement was done carefully, looking for a very healthy tree, and the transplanting performed with great attention to detail. Yet, for a second year in a row the National Christmas Tree has died.
To understand what this symbolizes one needs to look at the celebration with which this tree is associated. The following is a quotation from the National Park Service’s website.
In 1954 a group of Washington businessmen and interested citizens organized to oversee the production of the Christmas Pageant of Peace, a celebration conceived by the Washington Board of Trade and the Washington Citizen’s Committee… The Pageant was conceived as an event devoted to the “desire to maintain peace around the world through the spirit and meaning of Christmas…”
A non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian organization, the Christmas Pageant of Peace, Inc., was created in 1955 to oversee the annual administration of the program…
The Pathway to Peace, leading to the National Community Christmas Tree, was bordered by smaller Christmas trees decorated by embassies, states and U.S. territories. However, by the 1960s the Pathway of Peace was representing only U.S. states and territories.
In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the emphasis on the local nature of the event was de-emphasized. In 1972 the Christmas Pageant of Peace began a concerted effort to focus on the national nature of the event. It was around this time that the name of the tree changed from the National Community Christmas Tree to the National Christmas Tree.
As you can see in the picture above, the National Christmas Tree is surrounded by 56 smaller trees representing the states and territories of the United States. The tree lighting ceremony held in December of each year begins a three week Pageant of Peace and the trees themselves are located on grounds designated as the Pathway to Peace. The entire focus is on peace, particularly the peace of America as a Nation signified by the large central tree, and the individual states and territories which surround it.
I have mentioned recently the significance of events occurring in pairs. In 2007 and 2008 Miss USA fell on stage during the Miss Universe Pageant. Last month Don Cornelius, founder and longtime host of Soul Train, and Dick Clark, perennial host of American Bandstand both died within weeks of one another. When a sign is repeated it indicates that the matter is settled in the eyes of God and it will come to pass quickly.
“Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.”
When Crystal Stewart and Rachel Smith fell in two consecutive years at the Miss Universe pageants this was followed by a rapid collapse of the American financial system. Now we have the National tree representing peace being uprooted two years in a row. I believe this signifies a removal of peace from the earth, particularly from America as a nation. The removal of peace will not delay. It has been determined by Yahweh and will occur soon.
The manner in which the death of this tree has been reported may shed some light on what lies ahead for the people of America. Consider the following article headline and statements.
National Christmas Tree Shocked to Death
New Tree Already Picked
Saturday, May 5, 2012 | Updated 9:10 AM EDT (Note that the time this article was updated was one minute before 9:11.)
The National Christmas Tree, located on the Ellipse south of the White House, has died due to complications resulting from transplant shock according to the National Park Service.
The deceased tree was scheduled to be removed Saturday morning.
The Colorado blue spruce came from a tree farm in New Jersey and was planted on the Ellipse on March 19, 2011 and was decorated and lit nightly during the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting event…
As a standing practice, NPS always has a successor tree identified in order to ensure that a suitable National Christmas Tree will be in place for the National Christmas Tree Lighting event held each December. The National Park Service has already identified a Colorado blue spruce tree as the future National Christmas Tree.
The NPS will plant the new National Christmas Tree in late October 2012, which will allow time for the tree to be decorated for the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting event.
This article was posted on NBC (NATIONAL Broadcasting Company), which itself is symbolic, serving as an announcement for America as a nation. Just yesterday I received a phone call from Joe Boes, a brother in Christ, and he made mention to the lateness of the hour and the seriousness of the events coming to this nation. He stated that some people will die of shock due to what will occur. I believe his comments were prescient.
Yesterday in my blog I spoke of an hour approaching when the population will experience great “dislocation.” When the economy collapses, the dollar is worthless, grocery stores run out of food, civil unrest is rampant, martial law is declared, and many more such things, it is quite fitting to say that Americans will experience shock at the dislocation they experience even as this tree died of transplant shock. The word “dislocate” means “to throw out of order, to upset, to put out of place.” How will you respond when the normality of your daily life is disrupted severely with no expectation of a return to the former state of things?
I would remind the reader of the highly symbolic end of the halftime show for the most recent Super Bowl. It ended with the following image being depicted on the floor of the stadium.
World Peace and Phoenix Rising
It is Satan’s plan to bring forth a New World Order out of the ashes of the old order. Does not the image above give an appearance of glowing cinders and ash out of which a Phoenix is arising? The Phoenix is a symbol of Satan who was cast down to the earth and consumed in fire, but who has risen from the ashes to become ruler of this fallen world system. He is building his visible kingdom in the earth, but it will only arise through a time of great world upheaval, calamity, famine, war, pestilence and death.
I believe the Father is giving His people many witnesses that the hour is at hand for peace to be removed from the earth. It is a time for the people of God to put away all sin, to walk humbly in the fear of God, and to practice daily walking in the Spirit and trusting God in faith.
To conclude this portion of today’s blog post, let me ask you to
consider the falseness of any nation proclaiming that they know the
“pathway to peace” while they have turned aside from Yahweh and have
trampled His Son underfoot. The nations do not follow the path of peace,
therefore their end must be destruction. This is the testimony of the
following passage of Scripture. It is significant that it was written to
the Romans and Washington D.C. was built on a plot of land formerly
called Rome and was sold to the government by a man by the name of Pope.
“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have
together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not
one.” “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have
practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose
mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed
blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the path of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
What’s in a Loaf?
Joseph Herrin (05-05-2012)
“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?”
My First Loaf of Home Baked Bread
I have been studying grains and beans lately and will be sharing about these remarkable foods that Yahweh has created in forthcoming blogs. There are parables and insights to be gleaned in all of creation.
I recently shared about the Father disciplining me in the area of ruling over my appetites. I have been led of the Spirit to consider carefully what I put into my body and how to make life changing alterations to my eating habits. My study of grains and legumes has been quite interesting, and rewarding. We suffer much from a lack of thoughtfulness. The practice of meditating on a subject has been lost to many people in this age of hurry and rush. So much is done on impulse.
A sister in Christ had given me a book some months back titled Grains of Truth by Donna Spann. It provided a good introduction to the nutritional value of whole grains freshly milled. The nutritional information in the book lacked citations, and some of the statements are suspect, such as claiming that the majority of the vitamins within the bread are lost within three days of milling. The overall point that fresh milled flour has a greater nutritional value than flour that has sat on the store shelf for weeks, or even months is most likely true, however.
We have probably all heard about the woes of highly refined food products. The white bread sold in the stores, or the bleached white flour sold there, has been stripped of most of the naturally occurring nutrients in the grain.
The Wheat Berry
The diagram above shows a whole wheat berry. The white part labeled endosperm is the only part used in white flour and white bread. It does contain protein, carbohydrates and some essential vitamins and minerals, but lacks the dietary fiber found and additional proteins and vitamins contained in the bran and germ. The germ is generally stripped away from white flour because of the fat it contains which diminishes shelf life. All fat in grains is good fat, not the harmful type found in animal products. The bran is also removed as it causes the flour to be darker in appearance. Some people equate white flour and bread with prosperity and dark flour and bread with poverty. The inclusion of bran in the wheat also works against the gluten in the flour causing it to not rise as well when mixed with yeast. This results in a denser, heavier loaf, rather than the light airy loaves typical of white bread. The truth is, whole wheat flour that incorporates the bran and germ is much more nutritious, and as I am finding out, it is far more delicious.
After considering the matter for a short time I was prompted to purchase a bread maker and begin cooking my own loaves that I might have the healthiest bread possible. Of course, taste and cost were also considerations. I know from experience that home made breads taste wonderful, and they can be less expensive than loaves bought at the store.
I did some research, primarily on Amazon’s website, reading dozens of reviews on bread makers and settled on the Zojirushi BB-PAC20.
The Zojirushi brand was highly rated by many users who had been using their products for years. This particular bread maker makes traditionally shaped long loaves, rather than the upright bullet-shaped loaves of some of the smaller bread makers. It also features two kneading paddles which users rated exceptional. This particular model also features a heating element in the lid so that the top of the loaf will brown properly. I have now made more than half a dozen loaves of bread and the unit works exceptionally well. I have had no complaints. When done cooking the bread slides right out of the non-stick cook pan while the paddles remain in the machine, not lost in the loaf of bread.
Some of my first loaves of bread used a mixture of mostly baking flour (white) with some whole wheat flour added. The loaf below is a cranberry/honey loaf. It was very good, but having cooked my last couple loaves entirely with whole wheat flour I have concluded that I much prefer the denser loaf and richer taste of whole wheat.
While I was on Jekyll Island, and had an additional five people to share bread with, I cooked a couple of loaves of chocolate chip bread. I had purchased a bag of special dark chocolate chips and found a recipe for chocolate bread in the book that came with my bread maker. Both nights I made this I timed it so the loaf finished cooking just as supper was ending. Slices of warm chocolate chip bread at the campground made a wonderful dessert at the end of our meals. The family I was camping with begged me for the leftovers which I was very happy to let them take for their breakfast the next morning.
Today, I took another step toward better nutrition. I ground my own whole wheat flour from wheat berries and then baked bread from the fresh flour.
Country Living Grain Mill
I installed a grain mill in the cargo trailer that I pull behind my bus. Space is limited inside the bus, so this seemed to be the ideal place to put it.
Wider Angle View of Grain Mill in Trailer
The grain mill has an electric motor attached to it, but it will also operate by hand crank should I ever be without access to electricity. In about 5 minutes the mill had turned about one pound of wheat berries into 4 – ½ cups of finely ground whole wheat flour. The ingredients then went into the Zojirushi.
All Ingredients in the Pan
Some water, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, sea salt, molasses, powdered milk, olive oil in the place of butter, and some yeast are all added in the right order. Then I select the bread cycle for wheat bread and press “Start.” Approximately three and a half hours later (allowing time for the dough to be kneaded and rise) a fresh loaf of bread is ready to be enjoyed and the bus smells wonderful.
It amazes me that this bread machine can mix and knead the dough so well. There is never any dough stuck to the sides of the pan. The loaves are well shaped and the ingredients are always well blended. The machine will also pause and beep at you at the ideal time to add fruit, nuts, or other ingredients to the bread dough before cooking it.
Here it is two days before my 51st birthday and I am enjoying my first truly fresh loaf of wheat bread that I baked myself. By truly fresh, I mean the wheat was ground into flour just moments before it was baked into a loaf of whole wheat bread. Lord willing, I may never buy another loaf of bread. This is basic, nutritious, economical, and delicious food with minimal processing. Yahweh has given to mankind all that is necessary to sustain life and keep the body operating properly. It is sad that the first fifty years of my life I gave so little thought to something as basic as nutrition. May my next fifty years be a different story.
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