Monday, October 29, 2012

Devotion: There is No Room for Fear

"Where God's love is, there is no fear, because God's perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears." 1 John 4:18

It was 1 am when my bedroom door burst open, and my oldest child comes running into the room, tears streaming down his face. He can hardly breathe as fear gripped his little heart. I woke up in a daze trying to figure out the best way to handle a hysterical, scared 7 year old boy.

Let's rewind a few hours.

I love Ernest. As in Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Goes to Jail. So when I saw the box set at Wal-Mart for 5 bucks, I grabbed it up fast. And there was an Ernest movie on there I had never seen, Ernest Scared Stupid. I figured it was an Ernest movie, so there's no way it's scary, and it is Halloween, so why not, right?  And as a whole it wasn't all that scary, but there was something about seeing this face....
Photo Credit
....that freaked my oldest child out. Not only did he wake us up at 1 am, but again at 4 am, and at 6 am. And then all day he was in tears, eventually having a panic attack. He didn't sleep for 2 days and barely ate anything during that time. He was seriously scared.

So when he refused to go to bed the second night in fear that a troll was trying to get him, I sat him down next to me on the couch, pulled out my Bible, and opened to 1 John. 

I read to him 1 John 4:7-18. Those verses remind us that God is love {verse 16}, and if you are a believer, you have God in you, being filled with His love. If you are filled with something, there is no room for other things...including fear. I had him repeat verse 16 "God is love" and verse 18 "God's perfect love drives out fear" over and over again, encouraging him to remember that if he is filled with God's love, then he should not allow fear to try to push its way in. I then directed him to one of my favorite verses that I have always repeated to myself when I was afraid, "God is [my] protection and [my] strength. He always helps in times of trouble" {Psalm 46:1}. With those versed tucked in his heart, my boy finally got some sleep.

Now let me address the 1 John verses on a different level for 2 seconds. 

I used those words to help my son get through his fear of being attacked by trolls, but the true treasure of those words is nestled salvation. John was encouraging the church. There were SO MANY false teachers trying to discourage believers, telling them they can lose their salvation, causing the church to question the authority of Christ. But John encourages believers here. He says in verses 7-8 "we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God's child and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" and then in verse 10 "This is what real love is: it is NOT OUR LOVE for God; it is GOD'S LOVE FOR US in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins." If we trust in God's love and the salvation He gives us in sending his Son to take the punishment we so deserve, we should have no fear. Our salvation is firm. The believer's name is written in the Book of Life, and there is no erasing it. 

What a great reminder for all of us believers. There is nothing like knowing that God "has our back" and that He will take care of us. There is no need to be afraid of losing salvation. There is no need to be afraid of the future. There is no need to be afraid of all the little things we encounter each day...even trolls. 

Have no fear, fellow believers, for God's perfect love is greater than any fear, and we can have faith that He can cast it out far from us. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

100 Calorie Brownie with Coconut Whipped Topping {a review}

Chocolate....mmm....comfort food for my woman's soul. As much as I love chocolate, I know that more than just a piece of dark chocolate a day is not necessarily going to help me lose/maintain my weight. But because I have such a sweet tooth, and I'm normally craving chocolate like it's my life support, I have been trying to find acceptable, healthier options that meet my sweet tooth craving, but won't sabotage my efforts to live a healthier life.

My secret to success? Coconut. Yeah, yeah. I know I'm pretty sure I jumped on this band wagon, but experimenting with coconut the past few weeks has been interesting. I started adding coconut water to my smoothies. I bought up a bunch of cans of coconut milk at Big Lots and have been using the milk in my coffee, oatmeal, and other desserts. Here's the kicker: I don't really like coconut. Well, "imitation" coconut. It always smells like suntan lotion, and it's normally a turn off for me. I do know, though, that I'm coming to like this stuff, adding it here and there. Check the links below for other recipes where coconut is a factor. 

NOW back to chocolate {and really the reason why so many of you are reading this}. 

I found a recipe for 200 Calorie Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae on Pinterest {as I was looking for a way to make coconut whipped topping}, and since it was one of my favorite librarian's birthday, what better way to celebrate than to make brownies that won't make you feel like you have to hit the treadmill for 2 hours? 

We didn't make the hot fudge, the banana soft serve ice cream, or add the cherries, but check the link above for all those recipes. 

Here's the recipe for the brownie and the whipped topping: 

The brownie was in the shape of a rose. I have this nifty muffin tin from Williams-Sonoma...but I don't think they sell them anymore. :{ 
100 Calorie Brownie with Coconut Whipped Topping {all credit is due to Back to Her Roots}


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce {I made my own since I didn't have any at the house}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites {about 4}
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cups sugar
Whipped Topping: 
  • *1 can whipped topping, not lite {see NOTE below}
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar 

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. 
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together applesauce, vanilla, and egg whites until well combined. 
  3. Add flour, cocoa, salt, and sugar until just combined. 
  4. Pour in muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. 
Whipped Topping: 
  1. Carefully open the cold can of coconut milk {say that 3x fast} without shaking or stirring. Spoon out the top white portion, leaving the coconut water on the bottom. 
  2. Whip coconut cream on high in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes
  3. Add in confectioner's sugar and mix for another 2 minutes. 
Assembly: {Uh...duh? But I'll add this anyway}

Once the muffins have cooled, add the coconut whipped topping on top. Eat. Each brownie is roughly 100 calories. 

The recipe called for a closed can of cold coconut milk which you open when you are ready to mix. After trying out a few "whipped coconut" recipes, I have found the best way to utilize this is to gently open the can of coconut milk the night before and then place in the fridge. For some reason, this helps solidify the milk faster. The can I used for this recipe didn't have the milk and water separate, but I whipped it up anyway. I had to add a little more powdered sugar to thicken the topping enough that it would actually stay on the brownie. 

Other "Coconut" recipes I have tried: 
  1. Chocolate Frosting Shots
  2. Make Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies
  3. Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal {I must say I have made this with and without coconut milk. The coconut milk made this SUPER thick, and I'm not sure I really like it too much.}
  4. Crockpot Pumpkin Oatmeal {I had to actually add a little more honey to it, and then it tasted like pumpkin pie oatmeal. These were super thick and froze well for smaller individual servings}
  5. Muffin Tin Smoothies
  6. Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

White Bean and Collards Soup

Collards. I love them. Really, really love them. Anytime I make a batch of collards, whether I buy the leaves from the store {which is almost never} or I get them fresh from my garden or my dad's, I normally end up eating the leftovers in a bowl. By themselves. For real. I love collards. 

So this past Sunday, I made a roast with vegetables for Sunday lunch, and I had to have collards with it. I had an extra ham hock in the freezer as well as a few bags of collards from last year's garden. Saturday afternoon, I covered the collards with water and let them soak on low, with the ham hock, until Sunday afternoon lunch. YUM-O


I had a ton of collards leftover. And as much as I love them, it was really almost too much for me to finish off on my own. So I Googled and Pinterested around, looking for some ideas. I could have made my Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes, but we already had stuffed potatoes earlier in the week. I was looking for something different, something I had never tried before. What I found was quite a few variations of a collards soup. So I picked a little here and there, and came up with my own Meatless Monday {that could easily have meat in it} soup. Check below for my family's reviews. 

This is really with what to do with leftover collards. So if you don't already have some made, do it. Then come back. You are going to need those collards soaking in ham hock juice for a while. {I guess that doesn't necessarily make it vegetarian, but whatever} 

White Bean and Collards Soup  {If you see *, please see below for further details or information}


  • About 4 cups of cooked collards, in juices it was cooked in. 
  • *1 pound of white, dried, beans 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp of dried Thyme or 2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • {OPTIONAL} 1.5-2 cups cooked country ham, chopped
  • Parmesan and Feta Cheese 
  1. **Prepare the dried white beans in the "fast soak" style.
  2. Pour soaked white beans into a large crockpot. Add leftover collards, onion, thyme, and seasonings. If needed, add some more water. We like our soup chunky, so I didn't add but maybe a half a cup more of water.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours, or until beans are soft. 
  4. If you choose to add the ham, add in the last 30 minutes. Also, at this point, taste. Add more seasoning, if needed. 
  5. Serve with Parmesan and Feta cheese on top. 
I served mine with some Homemade Biscuits Like Grandma Made, but I'm willing to bet the soup would go just as well with some Made from "Scratch" Cornbread Muffins

* You could use canned beans, if you like, but make sure you rinse them off first. Adjust cooking time. You want the beans soft, not mushy. 
** "Fast Soak" basically is boil 1 pound of dried beans in 6-8 cups of water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 1 hour. 


Okay, so my oldest child is my best food critic. He will honestly tell me if something is good or not. He gave this soup a 6. He said, "I would eat it again, if you made it, but it's not something I would ask you to make." 

My husband, after hearing this response said, "No. It was good. I would say it was better than what he said. More like an 8." 

When made this, I did not add the country ham. I just didn't have any. But we all talked about what was good or not so good about the soup, and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of adding country ham to the soup. It was almost like getting a Sunday Dinner Soup {hmmm....new name? Maybe.} without the meat. So next time I'm for real putting the ham in it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Books and Banana Bread

Do I have a special for you today. I stumbled across a book series that I absolutely love on my weekly trip to the library. Lately, I have steered away from the romance novels that are more about the "canoodling" and less about developing relationships. Lucky for me, my local library makes "good, clean" love stories easy to find, with a special sticker on the side. So when I picked up Sweet Caroline, a Lowcountry novel, by Rachel Hauck, I was immediately wrapped up in this world based out of one of my favorite places to visit, Beaufort, SC. I quickly ran back to the library and picked up the rest of the series, Love Starts with Elle and Dining with Joy.


All three of these ladies, Caroline, Elle, and Joy, are pushed into a situation where they suddenly have to discover who they are, what their purposes are. Caroline, a people-pleaser, was unexpectantly given ownership of a failing restaurant and has to decide whether to keep it or to drop it and go to Barcelona for an incredible job opportunity. Elle, a free spirit, closes her art gallery with the expectation of moving away to marry the man of her dreams, only to be faced with no man, no job, and no gallery. Joy, the humorous and the local tv show cooking host, can't cook. Now that her show has been moved to a prime time national spot, her secret of not being able to cook is threatened, and she could chance losing everything. 

Each of these ladies not only struggle with discovering their purpose, but they are each faced with unexpectantly developing a relationship with a man...and more importantly, they are faced with their relationship with their Creator. 

These stories were quirky, good stories where I had to put a bookmark at the end of the chapter so I wouldn't keep reading. I was completely engrossed in their lives and the outcomes weren't always 100 percent predictable. 

This is a good beach read or a great coffee, blanket, fireplace read. And I recommend both. 

And now, for a recipe. 

At the end of Dining with Joy, I found a wonderful surprise: a recipe for Banana Bread. Throughout the novel, Joy was constantly reminded of her father's infamous Banana Bread, something he made on a regular basis and was the source of so many memories. I was pleased to find the recipe at the end of the book. I didn't have all of the ingredients, but I sure did have most of it. I tried it, and it was GOOD. So I'm going to share my variation here for you. 

Almost Dining with Joy Banana Bread Muffins Original Recipe Found On Rachel Hauck's site here

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe, mashed bananas 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus 1 Tbsp white vinegar, mixed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325. 
  2. In a large bowl mix flours, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 
  3. In another bowl, mix eggs, bananas, oil, milk mixture, and vanilla. 
  4. Add the wet to the dry mixture and blend. 
  5. Slowly stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter
  6. Pour into a greased muffin tin. 
  7. Bake for 40 minutes. 
This is slightly different, but came out great. And it's a good thing I was paying attention to the muffins. The original recipe, which is for bread not muffins, had you cooking for twice as long. I almost went outside for an hour on my hammock while I waited for it to be finished. Thank goodness that didn't happen. :} 

So whip up a batch of "Almost Dining with Joy Banana Bread Muffins", and curl up with one {or all} of these three books. You won't regret it. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Devotion: Feeling God's Joy

"As the deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you, God." Psalm 42:1

As I was driving home from dropping the boys off at school, I looked up at the sky to see an incredible array of colors. My breath catches and tears make the edges of my eyes tingle. The words to Building 429's song spoke to my soul, "All I know is I'm not home yet. This is not where I belong..." Before I left to take the boys to school, the words to the scripture from today's Bible study {Colossians 2:16-17} were pulsing in my heart as well. "So do not let anyone make rules for you about eating and drinking or about a religious feast, a New Moon Festival, or a Sabbath day. These things were like a shadow of what was to come. But what is true and real has come and is found in Christ." The Lord was revealing to me how important it is to make worship about HIM and not about all the little things that generally come with worship {getting dressed nicely, speaking nicely to others, singing praise songs, and taking some serious notes during the sermon...just to name a few}. He was reminding me that none of that means anything if my worship is not truly about focusing on Him.

So as I was gasping at the incredible sunrise, singing my heart out with the radio, and rejoicing at the refresher my heart had received, an incredible peace came over me, such a peace that it literally made my skin tingle. No kidding. My heart was filled with such JOY. It was almost as if I could smell the sweet fragrance of my Lord. Just as the scent of Old Spice reminds me of my husband, and my heart is filled with joy and excitement about seeing my husband again, there is just something about breathing in the scent of the Lord that fills my entire being with joy, with happiness...with peace. This does not always happen. And I don't think that it's because the Lord doesn't want me to enjoy that peace, but it's my own heart that blocks me from from such joy. I searched my memory of other times I got to feel God's joy with such intensity, and I realized that this normally happens when I let my heart AND mind be attuned to God. It's normally when I'm camping somewhere in the mountains, or when I am gazing at the stars near the ocean, or when I am at quiet time at a retreat. Those times my heart is just ready to embrace the Lord, to drink in His peace, to smell his fragrance.

But it doesn't always have to be during "mountaintop experiences" or "oceanside revealings". God wants us to experience that joy and peace in our every day lives. He wants us to acknowledge His presence, His ever-present presence. I cannot explain how incredibly special it is to experience Him. I cannot explain the immense love that comes with knowing you are snuggled right there in Jesus's arms. If you are missing out, man, you are truly missing out.

Find that joy today, unbeliever. And for you, believer, take a moment to make your heart attuned to His presence. Breath in deep, and feel God's joy today.

Be blessed, everyone!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Look at my attempt at food art...and don't tell me you don't have one of those delicious bottles of syrup. 

The first time I saw that one could make pancakes in a crockpot, I about flipped. What? No way. But Stephanie, from A Year of Slow Cooking, posted a recipe for Crockpot Pancakes. And it's a winner in our house.

Now, let me get this straight, first. It doesn't come out like flat circles. It's more of a scone-like dish. The reason why we call it "pancakes" is because you use pancake mix to make it. Also, this recipe can take anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to make or as long as 6 hours. So it's a good recipe to start right after school for brinner, or you can have it on while you are at work. The longer it is in, though, the more scone-like it is. So now that you've been warned, let's get to today's recipe.

Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
 Ingredients: note: the first 9 ingredients is a double amount of My Go-To Pancakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour {you can use just all purpose if you want, but I like to add wheat to my breads as much as possible} 
  • 7 tsp {or 2 1/3 Tbsp} baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon 

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
3. Combine the mixed dry and mixed wet ingredients.
4. In another small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. 
Pancake mix on the left, brown sugar and cinnamon mix on the right. 
5. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. DO THIS. 
6.  Pour about 1/3 of your pancake batter into your crock. 
7. Sprinkle about half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. 

8. Repeat once, but leave about 1 Tbsp of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. 
9. For the last step, add the rest of the pancake batter and then sprinkle the last Tbsp of cinnamon/sugar on top. 
10. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 6 hours. Just make sure that you stick a knife in it to make sure it's done in the middle. 

When it is time to serve, each piece should have a few layers of pancake mix and gooey cinnamon/sugar. It almost tastes like those friendship breads people always have going around at Christmas. Check out the layers in the pic below: 

I'm telling you, my sons were all "mmmm"ing and "Oh man"ing while eating this. And we actually had enough to serve for breakfast the next morning. JUST AS GOOD. 

You MUST try this. Super easy, and super yummy. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Food: Meat Rub for Fish

Hello. I'm from Charleston, South Carolina...and I don't like fish. ::GASP:: For yyeeeaaarrrsss my family has always joked that my dislike for "anything that comes from the water" means more food for them. And for the most part, they are right. There are a few times that it has to be good enough for me to eat it. 1. It's covered in some kind of sauce, vinegar, or whatever so much that you can barely taste the fish or 2. It's being thrown at me by some Japanese Steakhouse chef. 

Until recently. 

I know that it's good for you, and I don't want my tastes to deter my children from something they may actually enjoy. So every once in a while I try out a recipe. SEE BELOW for the other fish recipes I have tried. My goal is to serve some fish something once every two weeks for my family.

So, during my last BOGO shopping trip, I took a gander at the fresh fish section. You know, just to see what they had. And lo' and behold, they had SHARK!!! And for only about 4 bucks. I was like, "Sure! I'll try that." And then I was stuck with about a pound of shark steaks, and wasn't sure what to do with it. 

Now, I love a good meat rub {I promise one day I'm going to do a "Meat Rub" post}. My pantry is FULL of homemade meat rubs, but nothing that is specific for fish. So I did a little research and found a site that may be my new reference page for meat rubs. Check out Rubs.com. This is where I got the Basic Fish Cure {BBQ Rub} recipe. I needed to adapt it just a bit. So see below my version of this recipe. 

Sweet BBQ Fish Meat Rub {Please remember I only changed it slightly}
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt
  • 1 Tbps black pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsp dried dill
  • 1.5 Tbsp mustard powder
  1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients. 
  2. TASTE the mixture. I tried this with the recipe and thought immediately it was WAY TOO SALTY. I should have trusted my instincts. Adjust as you need it. 
  3. With a spoon, sprinkle the rub over the fish. With the other hand, rub the mixture in. Don't put the hand, or spoon if it touches the meat, back into the rub. You don't want to contaminate it. 
  4. LET SIT for a minimum of 30 minutes in a cool place. 
  5. Cook as desired. {I put a little olive oil on a griddle and grilled them}
My sons, who are super honest about their food, and my BEST food critics, told me it was just waaaay too salty. And I agree. I made some adjustments to the rest of the rub, tried it, and it's much better. I honestly think I could use this for chicken, pork, or even grilled corn, zucchini, or eggplant, and it would be real good.

I would LOVE to hear your recipes, for fish or for what you put on fish. Again, I am trying out new stuff all the time. I'll take any suggestions you have {although I try to keep it as healthy as I can...fried fish generally is going to be a no for us} 

Here's a picture of our dinner. The sugar made a nice crunchy crust, and it went well with steamed carrots and steamed garlic cauliflower. And I must say....I actually kind of liked this fish. Maybe my palette is turning a corner. 

  1. Starkist Bolder Burger This honestly is one of the few fish meals I will eat over and over again. 
  2. Pesto Fish A very easy crockpot recipe for fish.
  3. Lemon and Dill Fish and Spinach A recipe where I got to use one of my hard ciders. YUM

Devotion: Do You Really Love Other Believers?

"This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other." 1 John 3:11

Photo Credit

Arguments. Hateful words. Church splits. 

All of those words go against what God has planned for His people. As I have been going through 1 John with the Young People at our church, we have been studying John's words about believers and nonbelievers. It is so easy to be like the world. To expect things to go your way; to lash out when others hurt you. To speak about a "common enemy" behind that person's back. To only give what you think is acceptable.

But God has clear expectations for us. And one of the most important things he calls us to do is to love each other. When you become a believer, God's love is poured into you. Romans 5:5 says, "And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us." Note, the scripture says God's love has been POURED into us FILLING our hearts. If our hearts are filled with God's love, there should be no room for hate, anger, and resentment.

How do we know how to love each other? Well, God taught us. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 says, "We do not need to write you about having love for your Christian family, because God has already taught you to love each other." God reveals to us that we need to love our fellow believers, and he shows this example through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Peter says in 1 Peter 1:22 "Now that you have made your souls pure by obeying the truth, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters."

So before Sunday School this week, Joe and I talked about this particular commandment to love other believers. We both examined our own lives. Do we really love all other believers? And I have to admit, there are some believers I have had a hard time loving in the past. How, then, does that make me any better, set apart, from nonbelievers? On paper, not different at all. But one thing I can say is different is believers and nonbelievers tend to approach this differently. As a believer, the Holy Spirit that has filled your heart with love is the same Holy Spirit that has filled another believer...even the ones you don't necessarily get along with. And if you are at ends with another believer, it should hurt your heart. And you should work at making it right with that other believer.

Nonbelievers tend to respond to others they don't like in 3 different ways:

  1. Indifference. They brush off the other person, making that person nonexistent or unimportant in their lives. They chalk it up to "Well, we just don't get along." or "We have nothing in common, and they are not worth my time." John mentions this aspect in 1 John 3:17 "Suppose someone has enough to  live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God's love is not living in that person." IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER: are you showing indifference to others, especially other believers? Does it bother you when you see someone sitting alone during the church service? Does it bother you when someone has a baby and no one brought her food? If so, what are you doing to change that? 
  2. Anger. They either create a reason to dislike a person, or they focus on a person's behaviors, actions, words. Nonbelievers tend to get upset that person's personality is rubbing them the wrong way. Their response to that annoyance is to talk about that person, to say unkind things to that person, or constantly look for ways to speak out against that person. For example, "Oh, here comes so and so. Look at what she's wearing! Who does that?" Or something along those lines. IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER: Are you participating in that kind of behavior? Are you talking about other believers behind their backs? Are you getting angry at something another believer does that just "drives you crazy"? If so, it's so important to remember you need to make amends with that in your heart and with that person. Johns says, in verse 13, "...do not be surprised when the people of the world hate you." Notice that says "people of the world" and "hate". Not believers. Believers should NEVER hate other believers. 
  3. Hatred. This is where we see Hate Crimes. It's when someone lets that "anger" mentioned above simmer to the point of hatred. And when you are consumed with hatred for someone, your mind can easily justify hateful actions towards that person. And although many people don't go this far, there are various forms of this: pushing someone around, getting in their face, fighting, and even murder. John mentions in verse 12 Cain. "Do not be like Cain who belonged to the Evil One and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because the things Cain did were evil, and the things his brother did were good."  This is a classic example of jealously leading to anger and then eventually to hatred. In Genesis 4, God warned Cain that he needed get control of his actions and just do the right thing. God told Cain in verse 7, "...sin wants you, but you must rule over it." But Cain was already consumed with anger and hatred, and he lashed out at his brother in a fit of rage, killing his brother. IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER, you need to examine your anger towards others. If you are so angry at someone that it makes you want to spit, then you really, really need to get a hold of yourself before you let sin rule over you. 
So when it comes to other believers, 
are you truly loving that other person? 

Is your love emotional, as 1 John 3:14 calls us to be "We know we have left death and have come into life because we love each other. Whoever does not love is still dead." 

Is your love Physical, as verse 16 describes, "This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters." Although our actual lives may not be called to be sacrificed for the sake of love, are you laboring for your fellow brothers and sisters? Are you building houses for the less fortunate? Are you lifting children in the nursery? Are you playing a game of flag football with the youth? 

Is your love True Caring, as verse 18 says, "...we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring." Don't just tell that new mom you will help her out, but bring her freezer meals and a pack of diapers. Don't just tell someone you are praying for them, but do it right then with them. Don't just give your money for missions, but go on a mission trip. 

Remember: if you are a believer, you must be set aside from the world. Don't let the world convince you to behave like them. Set an example. Love others. ESPECIALLY other believers.