Friday, October 22, 2010

Today is going to be a great day! I believe it!

Does it FEEL like it will be a good day?  or Do I BELIEVE it will be a good day?

That is how I woke up the other day.  I grabbed hold of a good principle yesterday and I have been really blessed so I will share it with you all.  If you are follower of Jesus, this will make more sense but if you are not it will still make an impact in your daily life if you let the principle work in you. 

So, the situation was that awoke on a normal day before school and started my day as I always do.  I didn't wake up feeling especially empowered or excited about the day.  The day before I felt much more energized and excited about the day, but this time it wasn't the same.  I didn't feel like it was going to be an amazing day filled with joy and laughter and good things encountering me and good people loving on me and God filling me with His affections.  It just felt like an average, maybe even a below average morning.  I ended up reading part of a book by Smith Wigglesworth (preacher in the late 1800's) and getting hold of the revelation that we are not supposed to live out of feelings alone.  I was then reminded that if we lived our lives by our feelings we would be called "feelers", instead we are called "believers"!  I immediately thought about how I was feeling that morning and realized that I needed to fix my mind on what I knew to be true based on what God says in the Bible.  I know that God has told me that He is always with me, and He always wants to bless me, to give me joy and love every day!  Never is there a day that is not designed to make me a happy son, filled with His love and acceptance.  WoW!!!  If that is the case, is there ever a place to have a bad day?  Even if things appear to go bad, God promises to make great and wonderful things out of the crappy things that happen to and around us, even if WE are the one's that cause it!  After that, I decided to change the way I thought about that coming day.  I went and worshiped God and gave Him thanks for the promises that I believed in (even though I wasn't feeling them).  In less than 10 minutes I was laughing and rejoicing that I was going to have an amazing day!!!!! 

So with that being said, here is a quick video that Jessica and I made that morning!  Be filled with joy and hopeful expectation in the day!  (tomorrow is looking better by the second!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Money Money MONEY!

So Jess and I would like to talk about money.  Let's just get to the point.  Like many of you, I have often been the recipient of letters asking for money.  We, the proverbial "we", like to tip-toe around talking about money.  What I am attempting to do here is to crumple up all tension and uneasiness associated with this topic and  toss it in the trash.  Hopefully I'll be bringing to light some unique and rather freeing paradigms in the process. 

We have dreams and these dreams are not cheap.  Our dreams are getting bigger every day, dreams from God.  Dreams that require money and resources and people.  Jess and I have realized that God is really big and that He has a ton of resources available to us.  For example: Jess and I stayed in a 1.5 million dollar house 4 blocks from the beach in La Jolla, CA for the first year and a half of our marriage for $1500 a month (normally rent would be $3800)!  We didn't even need to ask for it, God knew how to love us and had my friend offer it to us!  We have learned to have zero fear of lack and even more that God provides for ALL our needs and even provides for our wants (that's a good word)!  But there is something I have learned along the way, we can't do life alone.  Even though we feel it's good not to burden our friends with a need, God has made it so that we are dependent on each other in different ways so that we don't become isolated and do our own thing apart from family and community.  We need each other, and although it may feel good doing it all on our own, that is not how to build a close family. 

I'm going to be straight with you on this subject, Jessica and I will receive everything we need to complete and fulfill our dreams.  We will because we know our God loves us and wants to give the world to us.  Our faith in His goodness unlocks all of heavens finances.  So why are we asking for money?  We are asking, but it is also an offer to partner with us.  What we want to get very clear to all of our family and friends is that we will accomplish all of our dreams.  Whether you give financially or not, God will provide a way for us to get the finances we need.  Do not feel obligated or fear that we will fail if you don't do your part.  If you are thinking about partnering with us financially, it needs to be from a place of complete freedom.  If you are feeling guilty and that you "need" or "should" give, then we would ask for you to not give and be free in doing so.  We would rather have support from people that are excited about what God will do with their gift in our lives.  If you aren't totally excited about blessing us with your gift then save it for another time or another purpose in the future.  Let me say again, we will not fail in what we are called to do.  I hope that takes any burden off of you in reading this letter.  Our love for each of you has nothing to do with whether you help financially or not.  Jess and I are free enough in ourselves that we don't base our friendships off of who can give us the most money or any at all.  We only write this letter so that you know how to give and partner with us. 

We want to thank those of you that have already given so generously to us.  We are also thankful for those of you who have helped us out in other ways with other resources.  We cannot fulfill all the mighty and powerful dreams that God has given us without your help, whether it's money, time, resources, or just encouragement and love.  All these are necessary to for us to succeed.  I know you will all reap what your have sown into our lives and MORE!  

We of course need more than just money, but I wanted to cover this topic thoroughly as it can be a tough one to talk about at times.  We thank you, and covet your prayers and love that you so freely give us and shower us with. 

How to give:

Right now our need is for a 9 day trip to Guatemala, spring next year (I'll write more later on that).  The trip is $3700 for both of us.  We will do our best to keep you all updated on this need and future needs. 
1.  Give tax deductible through our school/church via Credit Card.  click here: Jesse or here for Jessica.   If you have any trouble, call us or the church: (530) 246-6000
2.  Send us a check, made out to "Bethel Church" and we'll make sure it get's to the right place.  Be sure to give us your address for the tax information.
Our address:
5216 Mica Ct.
Redding CA 96003

3.  If you aren't concerned about your gift being tax deductible, you can make the check out to Jesse Skinner and send it to our address above.  

We will update the blog as the amount needed changes.  If you would like to give to us outside of this missions trip, either monthly or a one time amount, you can email me and we can figure out the best way to do this. 

Oh my!  We love you all!  Lot's of stuff has been going on and we will write more later! 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Latest Concoctions

Summer time is perfect for making Kombucha since it likes to grow at a temperature of about 80 degrees. Since summer stayed late here in Redding, I started making this about 2 weeks ago and already have my first batch! Tastes waaaay better than store bought, SUPER easy to make and each bottle comes out to about $0.20 as opposed to the 3.95 you pay at the store.

Here is my Kombucha Scoby on the left, growing and fermenting.
The right is a bottle from the last batch.

How is Kombucha made? Some fun facts for all you science nerds like me:

Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture which is often referred to as the "mushroom" or the "mother".

The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a
mother of vinegar, or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is scientifically classified as a zooglealmat. It takes on the shape of its container, but varies in thickness depending on how long it has been allowed to develop and the acidity of the tea medium during the development period. The culture is leathery and non-elastic, similar to a thick calamari (yum!).

Here’s how to make Kombucha:


1 Kombucha Scoby (either ordered online or from a friend as the mushroom reproduces about every 10 days and you'll have one to give away or start a second jar)

1/2 cup kombucha (I also got this from my friend's batch)

5 Organic black tea bags

1 gallon distilled water

1 cup organic white sugar (food for the mushroom...there won't be any left when the drink is ready)

1 gallon glass jar

1 stainless steal pot


Start with the Scoby in the 1 gallon glass jar (double rinsed with *DISTILLED water) with 1/2 cup kombucha

*see tips below to understand the importance of specific ingredients

1. Double rinse a large stainless steel pot with distilled water.

2. Pour 3 quarts of distilled water and 1 cup of sugar into pot and bring to a boil.

3. Once boiling, pull off the stove and steep 5 black tea bags in it for 10-15 minutes (or overnight when I forget!).

4. Let cool overnight or put in a large bowl of ice water if you want to finish it sooner.

5. In the morning, pour the tea-sugar mixture into the large jar, cover with a clean, thin, white cotton cloth and let sit for @12 days or to taste. Shorter if it’s hot indoors.

6. Bottle it and start again!

I keep our jars on top of the fridge because it keeps them out of direct sunlight and I think it may be warmer there.

15 tips for making it correctly

Benefits of Kombucha

Since the weather just turned here in Redding and people are sniffling all around me, I decided to whip up a nice tasty batch of Master Tonic!

This GNARLY stuff will scare any cold away in a heartbeat.

1 part fresh chopped garlic cloves (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitical)

1 part fresh chopped white onions, or the hottest onions available (similar properties to garlic)

1 part fresh grated ginger root (increases circulation to the extremities)

1 part fresh grated horseradish root (increases blood flow to the head)

1 part fresh chopped Cayenne peppers, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habeneros, African bird peppers....any combination of the hottest peppers available

1-2 bottles RAW unfiltered Organic apple cider vinegar


Chop up all the veggies (1 used 2 cups each) in a food processor

(wear gloves and goggles and open all the windows!!! The peppers BURN!)

Fill large jar 3/4 full of mixture. Fill jar to the top with apple cider vinegar.

Shake vigorously.

Leave on the counter for 2-3 weeks shaking at least 1X/day

Filter the mixture through a clean piece of cotton (like an old T-shirt or cheese cloth), bottle, and label (I bought an 8 oz dropper bottle to keep handy and the rest I'll store in a large mason jar).

How to cure an ailment with homemade master tonic


Homemade Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups

Blender or food processor (optional: you can use a whisk)

3 pastured egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 – 2 cups olive oil (from a grower you trust)
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice or wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard
2-3 tablespoons whey (from kefir or yogurt, instructions on how to make whey)

I added dill to mine.

1. Mix the egg yolks for 1-2 minutes. If using cold (not room temperature), mix a few minutes more. This is the key to mayonnaise that will set. If you use cold egg yolks, the mayo will not set unless they are warmed up in the blender (or whisked long enough in a warmed bowl).

2. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar), sea salt, and mustard. Mix for 30 seconds more.

3. With the blender running, add the olive oil drop by drop. When I say drop by drop, I mean drop by drop. Or at least a very thin, slow stream. This is the other very important element for making a mayo that will emulsify. If you go too fast, you’ll end up with runny mayonnaise.

4. Once you’ve added about 1/2 a cup of oil, the sauce should have thickened into a heavy cream, and now you can add the oil in a thicker stream. Not too fast, though (especially if you are a beginner). If the mayo becomes too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice or vinegar.

5. Blend in the whey. Spoon into a mason jar, cover with a lid, and leave it on the counter or in a cupboard (at room temperature) for several hours. Then transfer to the fridge.

That's it! Stayed tuned for for more Skinner Family Adventures comin up soon!