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 Allrecipes.com

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.