Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's Been Two Years...

I remember the day vividly…my brother called in the morning, but I missed his call. I knew what he was going to tell me. I decided I would call him back when I had a chance to be alone. When I finally did, I heard him say, "Mom died this morning." I don't know what pain was harder at the moment; the fact that my mom was gone or that my brother had the difficult job of telling me the news. Either way, it was a pain I will never forget. Although the hurt of losing a loved one is not the work of God Himself, the healing sure is. I suppose I cling to that pain a little by choice. It reminds me of how far I have come. It marks a major milestone in my life, my faith, and my need for the Savior.

Even though my mom has been gone for two years now, I can honestly say that God has blessed me like never before. It wasn't His choice to bless me more because of that painful event, but rather my choice to turn to Him and trust Him. As a result, I have seen His grace and mercy over my life in such a new and wonderful way.

How has God blessed me in the past two years? Well, take a look at the journal entry I wrote on the day my mom passed away:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You took my mother home today. I prayed that you wouldn't, I prayed that you would give me more time with her. I prayed that we would have another chance to start over. You knew how my heart ached to hug her and tell her I loved her. You knew how much I wanted to bless her with knowing her grandson. But you still took her and all I can hope for now is that you will come for all the rest of us. I pray, Lord, that you will take my whole family home. I spent the past 3 1/2 years praying for her, now what do I do with that? That was a prayer that feels very unanswered to me right now. I'm sorry, Lord, but I just don't know why you had to take her so soon. What do I know? Not much, I don't know much of anything about her life in Mexico. I want so much to believe it was a happy one for her, but if she was so happy, why couldn't she share that with me? Jesus, all I can pray for now is that you bless her soul in Heaven. I want to be with her there some day.

Wow! I really did not know God as well as I thought I did. I accused Him of my mother's death! He didn't kill her. Glory to God, He was her Savior! In the past two years I have learn how the enemy, Satan, comes to "steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10), but we who believe in Christ will overcome the world, just as Christ did Himself (John 16:33). God is GOOD, and His Word is true, and He keeps His promises of eternal life. That alone gives me the encouragement to seek and know the Lord even more...daily. His Word has come alive in my life!

One thing I will never understand is how a person can go through the trial of losing a loved one without relying on Jesus. I know I couldn't. He makes all the difference. Scripture tells us we will have hardships here on earth, but if we believe in Him, we will overcome them…and walk in Paradise WITH Him someday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad

2 roma tomatoes - diced
1 cucumber - peeled and diced
1/2 medium red onion - diced
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 cups cooked brown rice - cooled
1/4 cup light Italian dressing
Dash of garlic salt

Combine all ingredients and chill for 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken, shrimp, or fish to make it a main dish.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vanilla-Orange Smoothie

The wonderful thing about smoothies is that it is a way to sneak fruits and veggies into ones diet, particularly children. For instance, the child who is not a fan of bananas will slurp this one down while getting a needed dose of potassium, as well as other vitamins. hits the spot on a hot summer day!

2 C. Ice
2 bananas cut in chunks (I keep frozen ones on hand - just peel them with a knife and cut…they work like ice cubes)
1 C. Vanilla Ice Cream
1-2 C. of Orange Juice (depends on the amount of thickness you prefer)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, starting with the ice and bananas. Blend on High until it reaches the desired consistency.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Baby Rice Cereal

Rice Cereal using "powder"
1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food   processor)
1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while   stirring constantly.

2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in   formula or breast milk and fruits if desired.

3. Serve warm.

Taken from

The Friends List

Facebook has really become an opportunity for ministry. If you happen to see me logged in, chances are, I'm praying for one or more of my friends. I read through the status updates and see a snapshot of that person's life. Sometimes, I'm blessed and encouraged by what I read because the person is truly being used by God and I pray that He will continue to use them and bless them. Most of the time, however, I read the updates with a sense of urgency to pray for an individual who is hurting, lonely, searching, depressed, desperate, or just plan lost.

There is more to life than "woohoo, it's Friday" or "great dinner…now off to bed"**. There can be joy when Monday hits. We don't have to start the week with "where did the weekend go". We can live with fulfillment everyday. It grieves me to see that joy is so many times associated with the temporary experiences in life. Yes, it's great to enjoy a good meal or have fun on the weekend. But the problem with that thinking is that it is just that…temporary. If we allow ourselves to focus so much on those temporary things then we just find ourselves living from one short-term fulfillment to the next, never totally feeling lasting joy.

So here's the simple recipe to pure, unending happiness…Jesus! That's all there is to it! Giving our life to Him and allowing Him to control us frees us from relying on the temporary pleasures of this world. It gives us that eternal HOPE; a future to live for, and also a supernatural strength to endure the hurts and challenges of life. It turns the mundane into opportunity to grow in faith. When HE leads us through life, we see it through a whole new lens.

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation. Psalm 35:9

**These are not actual status updates! ;-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How My Life Has Changed...For The Better...

My prayer is that I never stop growing in faith; never stop moving closer to God each day. In the past year I have made some changes to my life that have greatly impacted my relationship with the Lord and drawn me closer to Him. In return, I feel more blessed and loved than ever before. In the natural realm, I still have struggles and challenges. Life's not perfect by any means. But in the spiritual...amazing things are happening! I would like to share with you the steps I've taken that have brought me to this precious place...

1. About a year ago I made a commitment to read the Bible all the way through, word for word. The prideful part of me hesitates to share that with you, because I can't help but think to myself how behind I am in this area. Here I am, almost 40, spent most of my life in church and as a Christian, and I am just now able to say, "yes, I have read the Bible." But now I know just how important of a step that was. God has shown me some wonderful things in His Word that I would never have understood by reading a scripture here or there, or listening to a Sunday sermon. For instance, He truly is a God of Love! People who don't know the Bible want to believe that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath. Not true at all! He's patient, forgiving, and His love never ends.

2. Another thing that I've done is taken advantage of the Christian programming on t.v. There are some wonderful Bible teachers out there and they are sharing their knowledge with me right through the t.v. I'm not likely to sit down and watch too many of them, but I will have them on in the background while I'm doing other things. It's so much more enjoyable than the evening news, which is nothing but negativity these days. In fact, the news can be down right depressing. Not only that, but many times I've had to change the channel QUICK if my kids were in the room and some report about someone being murdered or something came on.

3. The next thing I've started doing is listening to the Bible. I feel so blessed to be able to have an audio version of the Bible on my phone! We live in a wonderful time in history where modern technology allows for this. Scripture says, "faith comes by hearing" (Romans 10:17), and boy, do I believe it! At any given time during the day, when I'm doing mindless activities (like laundry, making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, etc) I can just plug in my headphones and "turn on" the Word. This has brought changes into my life that I didn't expect. I now crave filling my mind with edifying thoughts. It's helped me better control negative thoughts. It gives me a deeper discernment towards things that want to pull me away from an ever growing faith. Which leads me to the next step...

4. Here's a big one for me...I no longer watch t.v. programs or movies that aren't edifying and don't bring me into a closer relationship with the Lord. At one time this would have been a struggle for me. I'll be honest...I really liked my t.v. But since I've truly starting seeking God whole-heartily I don't desire it anymore. You know the old saying, "garbage in, garbage out"? Well, I believe it's true. In fact, the Bible says something similar in Matthew 6:21-24, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" What possible benefit can we get from being entertained by all those crime dramas and medical dramas on t.v.? I used to enjoy watching those movies on the Lifetime Channel (you know, the channel for women). But those movies torment the mind with wrong thoughts...thoughts about husbands cheating, wives fighting addiction, children being abused. It's easy to believe it's just a story, it could never happen to me. But the truth is, anything that doesn't draw us closer to God, pulls us away from Him and it opens up a door for the devil. He is a master at deception. Not only that, but seeing those images on t.v. desensitizes us and that can cause us to lower our guard. If we let our guard down we make ourselves vulnerable to attack. I'm human, and I know that no amount of "faith" is going to be worth it's salt if I feed my mind with negativity. My basic rule of thumb is this...would I want my children seeing and hearing what is on the t.v.? If it's not good enough for their tender minds, it's not good enough for me! And that goes for music. What a difference it has made to be listening to music that praises God, rather than something that is about "cheatin' hearts" or "it's all about me". To some, I might sound like I've become a bit of a "bore". I don't care really. I've never felt more full and content with life than I do now. My joy comes from what the Lord gives me...Hollywood could never come up with a script so good!

5. Prayer life, and the study of it, has really helped me. One of my favorite Bible teachers, Andrew Wommack, has said that 95% of his prayers are just about praising God. I agree with him whole-heartily! It wasn't until recently that I started praying that way and it has made such a difference. It has helped me learn that God wants to give us what we ask for, but when we feel we have to ask over and over again, it reflects a lack of faith. Now, I simply come to the Lord with my request and BELIEVE that it will be given to me. And while I am waiting for that prayer to manifest in my life, I spend my prayer time praising Him for how good He is and thanking Him for all that He has blessed me with. And I do so in an audible voice. Speak it LOUD! The devil hates that! I also believe the single greatest weapon in defeating depression is praise to God. It's so simple. Satan is the author of depression, but when we audibly praise the Lord, it weakens his power over us. I have seen it first hand. No man made drug can have that kind of healing power.

6. Resist Satan! All of the things listed above contribute to this, but sometimes I just come out and say, "Satan, I resist you!" Oh, there is such power in audibly knocking him off his block! God has given us the power to do so, and praise the Lord, I'm gonna use it! The more we do it, the less power he has, and the more he knows he can't mess with us. I know I'm starting to sound redundant here, but I believe that it can't be stressed enough. James 4:7 says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." He does not have any authority over us, we have it over him! 1 Peter 5:8-10 warns about how important it is to resist him. "Be self‑controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

7. Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many times our battles are spiritual ones. We NEED the Holy Spirit to get through them, just as the disciples did after Jesus ascended to Heaven. They were about to go into the world and face severe condemnation and persecution. Had they not had the power of the Holy Spirit in them...there would be no Christianity today.

So how exactly have these steps changed my life. Well, first and foremost, I'm closer to God than ever. I'm in constant communion with my Heavenly Father and He loves that! I don't have guilt over things like, "oh I should really read my Bible", or "I need to spend time in prayer". I don't believe the lies and deception that Satan is always trying to throw at me, such as, "this happened to you because you didn't pray to God" or "You're not going to get this prayer answered because you sinned and God doesn't think you deserve it. He's going to punish you for it." I also have less of a desire for worldly things or things that pull me from God. I'm more aware of the things in my life that were causing strife and allowing an opening for the enemy to come into my family and cause damage. I live with more peace in knowing that God truly wants good things for me AND I don't have to "do" anything to earn them. I'm more aware of how I have cast doubt on His promises. Doubt equals lack of faith! As a believer...that is my greatest sin!

Jesus is the author and the finisher of my faith. Every difficult thing that Satan tries to throw at me I can endure because of my CHOICE to seek God first. There's a saying that comes to mind..."build your house before the storm." The key word is "BEFORE". How effective is my faith if when I'm in the midst of a storm and pray to God, "oh, please help me God" without taking the steps before hand to endure it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Crumb crust:
1 cup of butter - softened (do not substitute margarine)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 package of whole strawberries
6 large stalks of rhubarb - cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1-2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup water - 1/4 cup of water
3 Tbs. corn starch

Mix butter, flour, sugars with a mixer until crumbly. Pour half of mixture into cake pan and press down. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a large pot add strawberries, rhubarb, 1 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil and add more sugar depending on amount of desired sweetness. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes until strawberries and rhubarb are soft. Add cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water. Bring to boil until thickens.

Pour mixture into cake pan and top with remaining crumb topping. Spread the crumbs to the edges of the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Resurrection Rolls*

This recipe offers a great object lesson to use in teaching children about the death and resurrection of Jesus.


1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 large marshmallows
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons white sugar

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles. (The dough represents the linen cloth use to wrap the body of Jesus in.)
- In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. (The sugar and cinnamon represents the spices used in burial.)
- Dip a marshmallow into melted butter. (The melted butter represents the oils used in anointing the dead body.)
- Roll marshmallows in sugar mixture.
- Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle. (The marshmallow, of course, represents the body of Jesus.)
- Carefully wrap the dough around the marshmallow.
- Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
- Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. (The oven represents the tomb.)

When children bite into them they will see that the "body" is gone! And they are yummy, of course!

*Recipe taken from

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Lessons Sometimes Come In Small Packages

My Lydia, who's eight, has always said she doesn't want to have babies because she doesn't want to go through the pain of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I'm not sure where she could have EVER learned that pregnancy involves suffering (I say that with a sheepish wink). ;-) For now, she has decided to adopt. I will support her fully if she continues with that decision. The Lord knows that there are plenty of babies world wide that need loving homes. However, if it's a decision she makes because of selfish reasons, like not wanting to experience a little pain, I think God is already starting to set her straight.

I see how much she adores her new baby brother. I've explained to her that if I didn't want to feel the discomfort or pain, then we wouldn't have little Adrian. Perish the thought! He is such a blessing to the whole family. God is using him to teach his siblings lessons about love and selflessness.

May we never get so wrapped up in our own feelings that we miss out on what God wants to bless us with.

Faith Like Abraham

Genesis 22
Abraham Tested

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,

7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

It used to be that when I read this passage I couldn't help but think about if I were in Abraham's position and how I don't know if I could be so obedient. In fact, the thought is unfathomable. But what made Abraham so obedient? How could he give up his son like that? It wasn't until recently that I was taught the full meaning of that message. There's a lot more to the story...

Abraham never thought for a second that God would take his son away. Let's not forget the promise that God had made to him for many, many years before hand. Genesis 17:4 says, “As for Me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations." God continues with His promise in verse 19 and gets even more specific, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."

Abraham was told by God that he was going to be the father of many nations through Isaac! He never doubted God for a second! He didn't hesitate because he had complete faith in God's promise.

Just as Abraham had a promise from God, we too, have one. And even better...we have it in writing! I still struggle with having the kind of faith that Abraham did, but at least I have the knowledge of how faithful God is to ALL His children. I want that FAITH!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Judi's Clam Chowder

I remember my mom making this every Christmas eve, along with her homemade cinnamon rolls. However, it's so easy it could even be whipped up on any week night and it makes great leftovers.

1 bottle of clam juice
2 cans chopped clams
1 onion - diced
1 c. diced celery
3 strips bacon - cut in small pieces
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. thyme
Bear Creek Creamy Potato Mix - enough for 8 servings
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock

Brown bacon bits in a large pot. Remove bacon and most of grease. Sauté onions and celery in drippings until tender. Mix in garlic powder and thyme and stir for about 30 seconds. Add clam juice and clams (do not drain juice from clams). Bring to boil, then add remaining liquid (water, milk, and chicken stock). Bring the soup base to a boil, then add potato soup mix. Let simmer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a sour dough bread bowl with a little melted butter and some fresh cracked pepper for some extra yummy flavor!

In memory of my mother, Judi Parker...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Looking Forward To That Ring Around The Tub!

I used to detest the sight of a ring in the bathtub, but in recent years I have grown to appreciate it for what it represents. Two things: A) The fact that I have children and what a blessing they are and B) the fact that they are getting outside in the fresh air. Never mind the fact that they are getting good and dirty. The point is they are getting outside...something that hasn't happened too much lately. But now that the weather has changed it's time to head back out there to climb trees, dig in the dirt, and enjoy the beauty God has given to us in nature. For instance, Robbie just came running inside yelling, "I saw a butterfly!" That warms my heart.

Yes, I'm constantly cleaning up mud on the floor (hey, it's spring) and yes, my son's fingernails almost always look filthy. But, that's just part of the package and I've chosen to love it all. Besides, they're outside getting exercise and burning off energy and that also makes me happy. It's a win-win, if I choose to overlook the little annoyances.

How wonderful it is when God shows us the beauty in what might normally seem...gross.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Making Prayer Simple

When you go to God in prayer what is your purpose? Is it to ask Him for something? Is it for healing or deliverance? Is it for financial needs or wisdom? Isn't that what prayer is for? Well...that's what I used to think prayer was all about, but lately I've been doing a deeper study of what it really is.

Scripture says to "pray without ceasing". How can that be? We can't be on our knees, locked in a closet all the time! We have responsibilities, God! We have families to take care of. Remember, Lord, YOU gave them to me! We have work! Do You want me to stop paying my bills and just spend all my time praying to You? Of course not!

Prayer doesn't have to be the complicated thing we tend to make it. According to Andrew Wommack, Bible teacher and author of "Better Way to Pray", 95% of our prayers should just be praising God. "I love You, Lord", "You are so good", "Thank You, Lord, for the blessings that You have given to me and have planned for me". This form of prayer can be done anytime, anywhere and throughout the day. We can sing praises to Him. We can shift from wasting out time watching garbage on T.V. (sorry, but the majority of stuff on T.V. is just a big waste of time), and we can fill our living rooms and cars with sounds of edification. This is all forms of being in communion with God and it blesses Him.

When we shift our focus off of asking for things all the time and just focus on praising God, we will naturally see His blessings unfold. He already knows our needs and desires. He intends to bless us. We just have to let go of the pleading form of prayer.

Picture a child coming to a father and begging for something. Most parents know that begging is not an effective way of asking for something. As parents, we want to give to our children and we intend to, sometimes even more than our children ever expect. In fact, as a parent, we delight in giving to our children. That's how I see my Heavenly Father. He loves me so much already. I don't have to beg for something, I just have to believe He wants good things for me.

There is so much more to this topic. But my promise was to keep my posts short and simple. So here's the basic rule, taken straight from the Word of God, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Potato Beef Casserole

2 lb. package of frozen southern style hash browns (the cubed potatoes)
1 lb. hamburger
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 can of cream of mushroom
1 tsp. of garlic salt
2 c. of sharp cheddar cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown hamburger in skillet, drain, and set aside.

Mix together potatoes, sour cream, soup, garlic salt, cheddar cheese, and green onions. Add hamburger and pour into a casserole dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until top in golden brown and bubbly.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's So Great About Married Love Anyway?

The other day my husband said to me that he likes it when I admit my faults. If you don't understand what Christian married love is about, you might think that statement is meant as something negative. But we need to realize that we ALL have faults and that none of us is perfect. A spouse knows this better than anyone because they see who we truly are. There's no fooling that person and the harder we try, the harder we make life with them. So when he said that to me, I understood that he was merely reflecting the love that Christ has for us. He loves us no matter what. He also knows our faults, but when we confess them to Him, we are opening up to that love even more. It is a completely unconditional and no earthly love can compare to it. However, the committed love of two married people who have also committed their life to Christ is something that mirrors it. In fact, there is a reason why Christ is referred to as the Bridegroom and His people (the church) are the bride.

Ephesians 5 explains the marriage relationship and how it is to mirror the relationship we have with Christ.

So back to what my husband was saying...because I understand what he meant, I know that what he was telling was that he loves me even MORE if I admit my faults to him. I don't have to pretend! There is such freedom in knowing he has that kind love for me.

This kind of love can ONLY happen between two people who have made that marriage commitment in front of God. Two people simply living under the same roof cannot know or understand it because their relationship does not mirror His love, therefore it is not blessed by Him.

So, yes, married love is the closest thing to the perfect love of God and God IS love. What could be greater?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes Life Can Be Just Plain...HARD!

Maybe it was the fact that is was Monday...or maybe it was that I woke up to a house that was 50 degrees...or maybe it was the moment my husband told me that he needed to extend his business trip and would not be coming home on Tuesday. What ever is was, I ended the day feeling nearly defeated. How does the song go? "Momma said there'd be days like this..."

We all have those days; when it seems like everything happens at once. We feel so small, so out of control. Those moments when we open the mailbox and pull out a letter from the insurance company that tells us our last visit to the doctor will not be covered. Or the moment we turn on the washing machine and see water seeping out from underneath. Or that moment when the dog looks up at us in complete misery and we find he has a mysterious limp. And it seems that these "moments" have an uncanny way of heaping themselves if to gang up on us and hit us all at once. The thought might cross our minds that maybe we are being tested, to see what our breaking point might be.

With Christ, there doesn't have to be a breaking point. I had a choice. I could either give up and give in to the pressure...or I could give it to Him.

Many are the affilctions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19

Sunday, March 27, 2011

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple)

You may have noticed me posting more these days and I intend to do it even more regularly. Most of my postings will be geared towards my faith (hence the title) since it is the most important part of my life. In fact, I have dedicated this blog to the Lord as a way of blessing Him by sharing how He has blessed me. Call it a form of ministry, if you will; I believe all Christians should strive to share God's Word and His love in any way they can.

So, in writing this blog, if I want to be successful I have to remind myself to just keep it simple. I'm not a theologian discussing deep interpretations of the Bible. I am just a student, ever learning, and as I learn and grow I feel a desire to share. I love what God is showing me so much that I can't keep it to myself...and I want to be obedient to Him.

But the word of God grew and multiplied. Acts 12:24

One way I plan to keep it simple (and to keep the attention of the reader) is to just make the posts short. I realize people are busy and my posts should only take about 2-3 minutes to read. I know when I read a post on another person's blog, if it takes more than a few minutes to read I tend to skim down to the end or just quit reading all together. I just don't have the kind of time to read lengthy (and sometimes drawn out) writings.

I shall make my point, share the Word, and we can all go about our other business of the day! :)

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Fluffiest Pancakes Ever

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour (optional to use regular white flour)
2 Tbs. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form and then set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together egg yolks, milk, sugar, vanilla, and oil. Add flour, baking power, and salt. Mix just until blended then gently fold in egg whites.

Heat an electric griddle to 250 degrees and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter onto griddle with a 1/4 c. scoop. Check underside and flip when golden brown. Check to see if pancakes are cooked through by gently pressing on the center to see if they spring back up.

This batter is very versatile. You can add a smashed banana and walnuts, or grated apple and cinnamon for a different twist.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beauty Of The Storm

At our home in Wisconsin we have the pleasure of experiencing true country living. It's wonderfully peaceful, but there are a few things we're learning along the way. For instance we have a driveway that's about 400 feet long and the last couple of days have brought tremendous amounts of snow to it. Seventeen inches was the last count. So that means we are now officially snowed in. I'm learning to prepare for times like this and enjoy them to the fullest. In fact, it is possible to turn it into a special memory, rather than a dreaded experience. Here's my list of rules to make that happen:

Rule 1. When you hear that first weather alert head straight to the grocery store and STOCK UP, making sure you have plenty of eggs, milk, and toilet paper. It might even be a good time to get a few special treats that your family that sugary cereal they're always eyeing and you're always saying "no" to.

Rule 2. Plan ahead by mailing out any up coming bills and take care any bank deposits.

Rule 3. If you have library books or movie rentals due back, get 'em back! Or prepare to pay a little extra to have them longer.

Rule 4. Make sure the kids pick up any toys laying around outside. Once the snow hits...they're gone for a while.

Rule 5. This one is most important! ENJOY! Realize that God has given you a special opportunity to slow down a bit and be together as a family. Play games, bake cookies, make a big bowl of popcorn and watch a movie together, and PLAY OUT IN THAT SNOW!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. soy sauce
1 Tbs. minced garlic

1/2 lb. of whole wheat linguine - cooked according to package directions
1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. of corn starch
soy sauce - to toss on noodles
seasame oil - to toss on noodles
red peper flakes (optional)
cashews (optional)

Mix ingredients for marinade and poor over chicken. Let marinade for 2-3 hours in fridge. Remove chicken from fridge and cut into bite size pieces. Saute on med-high heat in about a tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan. Turn heat down to medium and add veggies to pan along with marinade and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix corn starch into water and then add to simmering veggies and allow to thicken. Add chicken back to pan.

Add about a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of seasame oil to linguine noodles and toss.

Spoon stir-fry over noodles and serve. Top with a pinch of red peper flakes and some cashews for extra flavor if desired.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Not Who I Am...It's Who He Can Make Me...

I am the kind of person who thrives on a schedule. My world is in synch when I know what to expect from one hour to the next. I guess it might have something to do with the fact that my father was a Boy Scout and always likes to be prepared. I like things planned out. I don’t do well with interruptions or unexpected events. Or at least, I tend to…when I let my human nature come forth, but lately I've been much more accepting of the unexpected. So when these times do occur (and with a newborn in the house, it’s daily) I know it must be the Holy Spirit working in me, rather than myself. That is what the power of God can do; give us the ability to do what is not typical of us.

If I didn’t know better, I would be amazed by it. But I do know, because I have learned how great my God is. Yes, I’m still learning and will continue to learn about Him until the glorious day that I meet Him face to face.

Until then…I get to see His work in me. Of course, that work will not come to fruition unless I give Him the control over my life daily.

“Heavenly Father, I do not want to do things my way. I can’t do things my way. I want You to have the control. I want the Holy Spirit to work in me.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beneath The Dirty White Snow...

Here in Wisconsin, Spring is somewhat resistant. In fact, as I write this, my weather app is flashing out of the corner of my screen, indicating that there is yet another winter storm warning in effect. It prompts me to say, "make up your mind." Is it going to be spring or winter today? And as I ask that question, it's good for me to ask the same of myself, am I going to be like the harshness of winter or the hopefulness of spring? Spring offers newness and a tender rebirth of things. Hidden beneath that dirty layer of snow out there are fresh shoots of life waiting to break through the ground. In some areas of our yard where the snow has melted, they have already shown themselves, giving hope to a ravaged ground that has seen such bitter cold for so many months.

God gives us such wonderful object lessons! No matter what storms I go through, He is there, steady and constant and ready to renew my soul. So with that...I choose...

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth. Psalm 104:30

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Swept Away

Yesterday, I swept my kitchen floor four times through out the day. And then this morning, as my tired eyes began to focus, I noticed all those crumbs seemed to have reappeared over night. It got me thinking about the troubles and challenges of life that we face. They never stay away. That could be a very depressing thought if we let it be, but there is a profound scripture that was given to us just for that reason.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

So, yes, we will deal with crumbs, but God is always there to give us strength, comfort, and a hope for a future with Him. He provides a peace that will "sweep" away the anxieties of life. The key is to always seek Him and to rely on the promises in His Word.

And one last note (to self): Serve less corn bread at dinnertime!