A Quiet Place With God- Part 11

Outside my window tonight the rain is coming down sideways.

A night storm with a morning dove perched her nest.

Protecting her eggs

My stomach lurches.

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I’m involved.

Asking God to hold her steady.

Gazing any chance I can to see if she is at her post.

The challenges and opportunities our children face, develop the gleam in their eye.

A confident step.

They often have circumstances with wind and rain pelting sideways and days the clear blue sky smiles and kisses their lives.

They’ve had to struggle through many surprises and challenges, just like the baby doves will to fight out of the shell.

If we’ve done our job we’ve been close by at our post praying, encouraging, and standing guard, but breaking off that shell is their job.

The shell breaking and the flight that follows is all theirs.

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A Quiet Place with God – Part 10

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Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected. Mark 16: 14 HCSB

Rebuke.

While hiking I was struck by the tree on the left and how lush and green and full of life.

The tree on the right was dead.

We grow and flourish as we listen to Gods word and take action to change when He convicts us and rebukes us with His Word.

Listen and receive the rebuke.

Most of our family has given up coffee, but I still make it for one.

As the coffee drinker woke late to find no coffee, I simply said “Wake five minutes early and make it yourself.”

 

God immediately rebuked me quietly in my heart and I made the coffee and ran it to my beloved coffee drinker and handed a to go cup through the window.

My day had begun in the Word and contemplation just an hour before, but I had chosen a harsh response.

Conviction comes as we clear our minds and focus on the Word

The Lord will give us the self-control and  Holy Spirit to do His will and be His vessel.
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The rebuke put me back onto His path.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:6

IMG_5125Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

Mark 16:15 HCSB

 

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A Quiet Place With God – Part 9

My fingers snuggle into my fuzzy gloves.

His perfect peace settles my soul.

Crisp, cool morning air and the still darkness calm me. IMG_4930

Bluebonnets patiently await my notice.

A quiet where silence is unsettled only by the wind and bird songs.

Nature is deliberate and impatient.

I called to you Lord in my distress and you answered me and put me in a spacious place.

The Lord is with me I will not be afraid!
Psalm 118 v 5

Driving through a neighborhood near our home we noticed a young, pony-tailed mom plunked down on the sidewalk happily pulling weeds.

My husband  joked that she looks like she’s settled in for the long haul.

What led to her weed pulling?  Why on this cold, wet and dreary afternoon?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s as a good friend’s very active young son regularly tells her, in his moments of exasperation,

“I’m going outside to explode!”

We all need a little fresh air.

 

Quiet waiting before the Lord in prayer will give Him a chance to change your mood.

The situation may not change, but you will have changed for the better in spite of the situation.

Robert A. Cook

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Words That Heal – Part 11

During the teenage years, your presence is terribly important. It’s difficult for you to pass on wisdom in words. I think if you’re going to pass anything on, it’ll be by example, through your behavior- and not just one bit of behavior but consistent behavior over many years.

Emma Thompson

Everyone needs a safe place to share, someone who will hear them, someone who as my husband Todd says, is a faithful presence in their life.

Sharing their story.

Thinking out loud and dreaming.

Knowing you care and you are listening to them with all your attention and with all your heart.

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Some of the most healing words are the ones you speak quietly to Lord.

Pray for His wisdom in their life not yours.

The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding, but only a fool wants to show off his opinions.  Proverbs 18:2 HCSB

*More Magazine Interview with Emma Thompson by Leah Rozen, Freelance Writer from NYC,

December 2013/January 2014 page 118

* Artistic Cookies by Colleen Lienhard

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A Quiet Place with God – Part 8

The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of the Spirit of God.  

Blaise Pascal

Do you ever feel a bit unglued?

I do.

I teach sunday school, and  we made a project with glitter, rocks and massive amounts of glue.

We even added glue with glitter. The lid fell off and a river of sparkly navy glue flowed over the paper.

A beautiful river of deep blue glue.

All the children wanted on their papers was lots of sticky sparkly glue.

The kind of project that parents never take home.

It just stays in the craft closet at church.

Don’t take your unglued self out.

Kneel down.

Photo by Kelly Bryant

Photo by Kelly Bryant

A few call it child’s pose.

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.     Abraham Lincoln

Now that you are down there, say a simple prayer.

You are my strength, I wait for you to rescue me, for you O God, are my place of safety.

Psalm 59  v.9

Stay there and focus on Him.

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A Quiet Place With God – Part 7

I arrived home from a long day at work to find a strange, small, white dog staring at me in my foyer with a prison orange scarf tied around her neck.

I called my husband “The mobile groomers dropped the wrong dog at our home, it’s a Shitzu, but it’s not ours.”

It was 6pm, our groomers. closed.

All I could do was sit and think of our dog at someone else’s home.

The sun began to set into an array of pinks, lavender, and even orange.

Sighing in the dark the two big eyes stared up at me.

The prison escapee was ours!

What seemed like a disaster to me was great joy to her.

She ran around the house like batman on steroids, or a man freed from jail.

The groomers had completely shaved the hair on our dog, even the tail, face and whiskers were not spared the clippers. Pink skin was peeking out everywhere.  Our dogs hair was normally 6-8 inches over its whole body much like a miniature sheep dog.

Cutting things out of your life gives you instant space and freedom.

More Quiet.

Remove enough encumbrances, not just hair, and it changes who you are.

Throw back the prison doors you’ve closed on yourself.

Sit in Gods glory.

Soak  in His Word in the psalms praising Him.

Let Him transform you as you contemplate His wonders.

Thank Him for all He has done for you.

Space moved into your day allows time for God to cast his vision into your life.

His greater purpose for your day.

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Words That Heal – Part 10

I arrived at her home having received her distressed call.  We really don’t have much in common except that we both  worked as shop girls at some point in our lives and have great stories we share about our customers.  Despite our differences we get along.

Gwen and I sat on her crisp, white slip covered sofa, , her pearl-colored cat slipping in right beside me.  The air was filled with tension, and the fragrance the sweet smell of roses.photo (14)

Her angular, modern home on Chicago’s North Shore was, as always, pristine.  Like her home, Gwen,  with her chiseled coal-black bob haircut and perfect makeup, was as equally and impeccably appointed in her dress and in her speech. The new gun-metal gray BMW she rarely drove sat quietly in the garage atop the white, oil free enameled floor.  Her car was the same combination of outward beauty that hides the power below the surface. Snow fell outside, breathtaking from her large glass windows.

Chad had gone ballistic on her in the middle of a large home building supply store earlier in the day. He had previously degraded her privately, using words and calling her names that ought not be repeated, but she had previously overlooked them, quietly giving permission to use them again.  For her, today was different as his profane put downs had an audience of store associates and contractors picking up supplies.

He always apologized and she always forgave him after the red long-stemmed roses would arrive.  And he always returned to the same behavior after a brief period of being on his best behavior.

The man she loved and lived with belittled her.

We opened to Colossians 1:9-14

I asked her to read aloud from the Bible.  This was a new thing for her, and God;s Words  seemed like a foreign language to her.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints inheritance in the light.
He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

She looked at me with tears in her eyes “I’m not worthy of a real relationship with God till I let go of Chad”
“I’m just not good enough”
“I love him, I can’t give him up”
We repeated the pattern of meeting, praying and seeing what God’s Word had to say to her.
She stepped out in faith.
She learned that Jesus will take us right where we are at.

She was imprisoned in her beautiful home, believing she was in a life she could not escape, chained to a man who was not her husband, but on this day the power of God’s Word healed her.

*Minor details altered to conceal Gwen’s identity

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Words That Heal – Part 9

Long holiday conversations give opportunity to affirm others for all the traits you love and respect about them.photo (23)

Some take the dance of a verbal self-indulgence.

A well placed put down lifts their ego.

But at whose expense?

“Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on high ground where you can point your fingers at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. ” (Romans 2:1, The Message)

Give yourself and others a gift this Christmas.       IMG_4481

Bite your tongue.

Choose to give life with your words.

Listen

Let God instruct your words

That which I know not, Teach thou me, O Lord, my God.     Amy Carmichael

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Gluten Free Sweet Potato Latkes

1 very large sweet potato shredded in food processorIMG_4440

1/2 c Gluten Free All Purpose Baking FlourIMG_4441
1/2 ts salt
2 eggs

Toss flour around shredded sweet potatoes until coated. Add 1/2 chopped onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set in the refrigerator until ready to fry and add two eggs to coat all before frying in coconut oil or similar high heat frying oil.

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The guide for my recipe came from Amy Sherman‘s recipe from  Tablet,

A New Read on Jewish Life.

Check it out! http://www.tabletmag.com/

*There are many sweet potato latke recipes, but hers seem to be the best with gluten-free flour.

Serve with roast chicken.

 

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Words That Heal – Part 8

I forgive you.   GOD

Nehemiah 9 verses 1- 5 the people of Israel confess their sin and worshipped for a quarter of their day.

For another quarter of the day they read the Book  of the Lord our God.

They made confession and worshipped.

Moving into a week of Thanksgiving join me in fasting, confession, and worship of the Lord God.

Bless Him, exalt Him and Praise His Name above all names.

Forgive others.

You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it,

the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve all of them, and the host of heaven worships you.   Nehemiah 9: 6

Praise Him.                     IMG_3657

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Gluten Free Honey Pie

Eat honey, my son (daughter), for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; realize that wisdom is the same for you.

If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade.  Proverbs 24:13,14 HCSBIMG_4409

1 Gillian’s unbaked pie shell                1 stick unsalted butter

3 eggs slightly beaten                            1 c coconut milk eggnog

1 c locally grown honey                         (or plain coconut milk)

1/2 c sugar                                                 2 T All Purpose Gluten Free FlourIMG_4413

Mix together the eggs, honey, sugar, gluten-free flour, melted butter, and coconut milk.

Pour into unbaked Gillian’s Pie Shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Carefully remove from oven and let pie set up for two hours in a cold place or overnight in the refrigerator.

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Words That Heal – Part 7

Tempted to say “I’m sorry you feel that way”

Don’t

Two words

I’m sorry

Stripped away from any encumbrance

Healing happens as the one you’ve wounded hears your heart

Photo by Kelly Bryant

Photo by Kelly Bryant

Defending yourself seems relevant

It’s not

The extra words are an impediment to your freedom

Their forgiveness

Just I’m sorry

Photo by Kelly Bryant

Kelly.bryant@mchsi.com

kelly-bryant.artistwebsites.com/index.html

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Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

3 cups of uncooked macaroni                                      1 tsp salt

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6 T butter    IMG_4334                                                                          Dash pepper

6 T gluten-free all-purpose baking mix

1/3 of a large Velveeta Cheese, cubed (or full package of Daiya Cheese)
IMG_39124 c milk or 1 c sour cream and 3 c whole milk (I use 4 c of almond milk)

Cook macaroni in salted water and drain. Melt butter, blend in flour, and add milk very slowly.  Cook until thick. Add salt pepper and cheese. Stir until cheese is melts. Mix sauce and macaroni. Pour into large pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes add up to 10 minutes till edges are golden.

IMG_4328Recipe note: Todd’s Mom served this recipe often. With four sons, they could eat the entire pan.  My alterations are only to use gluten-free noodles and a couple of alterations to avoid milk. When making for company if possible use milk and Velveeta.  Keep an eye on the casserole and let the edges get brown and the top bubbly! Great recipe to prepare on friday afternoon and enjoy all weekend.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Chicken

Pumpkins

Photo by Rebecca Price

1 can of pumpkin                                             Dash of Worcestershire

1 cup chicken broth                                         3- 6 T sugar

Chicken, boneless, skinless                          Salt and Pepper to taste

1 onion chopped

1 red pepper chopped

Saute‘ red pepper and onion in chicken broth, add pumpkin, Worcestershire, 3-6 Tablespoons of sugar, salt and pepper.   Spray casserole dish with Spectrum Coconut spray or similar, place chicken in the pan and pour wet ingredients over the top and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.IMG_4317

The guide for my recipe came from a family favorite. Mrs. Patti Battram of St. Louis and her delicious Orange Chicken recipe. I’ll  post her recipe this week sometime. The Battram family and the Southard family have been the closest of friends for almost 50 years. My husband Todd and their son Rick met when they were four.

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Gluten Free UT Burnt Orange Cornbread Cake (egg, wheat and milk free)

IMG_4218Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1/2 c Gluten Free Bisquick

1 c pumpkin

1 c cornmeal

1/4 c unsweetened HEB applesauceIMG_4217

5 tablespoons of sugar

1 cup HEB Almond milk

4 ts. baking powder

1/4 c oil (vegetable or coconut)

Spray pan generously with Spectrum Coconut oil

Mix all ingredients and pour into a Texas or 9/13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees.

Allow cake to cool for an hour in the pan before flipping!

Perfect for picky tailgaters! The cake is most and delicious!

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Gluten Free Sweet Potato Biscuits

Our favorite Christmas gift is a Smithfield Ham and sweet potato biscuits.

Todd’s Mom mailed the box full of Virginia’s finest delicacies from she and Dad.

The sun touching our backs

Awakened up the steep hill by the scent of anguish

Crisp blue skies scented with smoky fall

Natures vivid colors celebrating her

A sea of stark black dress

Bowed low and silent

One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches is this:

Do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call.

Tryon Edwards

Marilyn Southard did her work extraordinarily well.

The Lord called her home three years ago this week.

In Texas for speaking engagements, my dear friend Ann Kroeker was with me when I received the call.

IMG_41251 cup of Gluten Free Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix

3 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup mashed and cooked sweet potatoes ( if you are using wheat flour you can push it up to a full cup of sweet potatoes)

2 T. butter

1-2 tablespoons milk or enough to make a soft dough( I used coconut milk and it worked just fine)

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees ( I use my toaster oven )

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork. Stir in sweet potatoes. Add milk a little at a time and form a round.  Cover with Saran Wrap or place in a sealed container to chill for 30 minutes.  Turn dough out onto gluten-free Bisquick floured surface. Form a small round with the dough.

Cut out biscuits with a small juice glass or biscuit cutter.photo (73)

Place on greased pan. I like the spray coconut by Spectrum. It works great for higher temperatures.

Bake for 15-2o minutes, but keep an eye on the biscuits through the glass. If they are browning to lower the temp slightly.

Recipe courtesy Marilyn Southard
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A Quiet Place With God – Part 5

Then He will send rain for your seed that you have sown in the ground, and the food, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful.  Isaiah 30:23

IMG_4135A year ago a shuffle of steps came up my walk and a gushy splat followed, our door cracked to illuminate a trail of pony-tailed girls running and hiding behind a Fiat across the street.

Facebook revealed smashed pumpkins in our neighborhood around ten pm.

We were not alone.

I live with a couple of artists and the previous year we had a watermelon carved like Larry the Cucumber.

Quite popular for photo ops with the under five crowd.

This past year the creativity continued …IMG_2159

A Fiat is not the best place to hide and as I  ran off our porch and heard my family say, “Stop, turn around and get back inside… now!”

How often in conflict, when pressed by a foe, I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;

How often, when trials like sea billows roll, Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.

In Cynthia Healds,  Intimacy With Godshe teaches us to take refuge in God.

Our Moms Class spent the last week under her teaching and she emphasizes the Almighty offers the ultimate refuge for any need.

The Lord pulled me into a quiet place with Him.

One year later, the planter next to the crushed pumpkin is producing fruit.

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Cynthia Heald, Intimacy With God, NavPress, P.O. Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO 80935

Hymn quoted from Cynthia Heald. Intimacy with God, Chapter 5 – God Is a Refuge “Hiding in Thee,” lyrics by William O. Cushing, in Hymns for the Family of God, (Nashville: Paragon,1976), #70

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A Quiet Place With God – Part 4

Longing for escape?

Recapture quiet

Space with God

Restores

A meditative minute

Kneel before the Almighty

A place Holy

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Kelly Bryant Photography           kelly-bryant.artistwebsites.com/index.html

For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care. Psalm 95 v 7 HCSB

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A Quiet Place With God – Part 3

How comfortable are you with silence?

It is easier to look wise than to talk wisely.   Saint Ambrose

Create a quiet place for your family to meet God.

Begin by simply softening your heart and being present for them.

Creating a refuge for our families to rest and be refreshed illustrates Christ‘s love.IMG_1029

Dr. Henry Cloud coaches leaders and as parents we are leading by who we are in all circumstances.

http://www.dr.cloud.com/videos-training/tips-from-boundaries-for-leaders

Our homes celebrate who we are by the feel one gets as they enter.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19

A willingness to change, and the respect you show your family happens by submission to the Creator in all aspects.

A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows. Proverbs 10:14

Mom and I  often sit quietly in her courtyard.

Her life-style uncluttered is a restful environment.

A quiet place with God.

 

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Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Chased home
Lush humid drops pounding
Path blown cool
Sweet rain sting
Crimson green fluff
Oven warms
Biscuits weep
Breaking autumn

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October 3, 2013 · 3:52 pm

Crazy for Tamarind

This month our book club read Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg.  The book will be released as a movie and everyone enjoyed the harrowing trip into the amazon with Yossi.  Apparently it is a guys book and a great gift for the men in your life, but our club gave it an excellent rating and we are exclusively a women’s book club in our neighborhood.

Our hostess Clara (the one with the loquat tree in her yard) served a sensory delight of foods and one of his survival foods Tamarind.

Tamarind is the healthy equal to sour gummy worms. I could not stop eating them last night.  They would replace popcorn during a movie with all the tactile work involved. You crack them open and a delicious fruit waits inside. The consistency is a little like a fig. The taste is both sour and sweet.

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A Quiet Place With God

Packing lunch in the motionless morning

Spreading  seedy jam out to the edges

Bread always frozen and free of gluten

Cut by sharpest knife

Feet rooted to my kitchen spot

Sweet hush of fur waits for a walkIMG_3997
Snuggling with the neighborhood cats

Greeting Daisy as we sniff and stroll

Riding my heavy bike in the rain

The plump tires displace the puddles

Black water submits under the seam

Rubbery tire clenching to still muddy rain.

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Gluten Free Baked Beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 package of dry navy beans

1/4 c brown sugar

4 pieces of  turkey bacon ( I’ve found some excellent nitrate free at Natural Grocers)

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. molasses

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Rinse and sort out the strange beans from the bag. Boil beans in 6 cups of water for two minutes.  Set for one hour.

Place beans in a crock pot and add 1/4- 1/2 pound of cooked turkey bacon, 1/4 c brown sugar, 1 tsp. salt and 3 tablespoons of molasses.

Fill up crock pot with water covering beans with at least several inches of water and cook on low overnight for 6-8 hours.

Seems like a lot of work, but I was bringing dinner over to a friend who comes down with migraines after consuming pork and she is restricting salt.  The recipe is from HEB a food market in Texas near our home. The only changes I made to the recipe was to increase the bacon and use a crock pot instead of boiling on the stove for several hours. Canned beans contain trigger items for my sweet friend, but I love HEB Borracho Beans with Shiner Bock Beer.

The beans are just lightly sweet and perfect with eggs topped with basil leaves cut “chiffonade style” or thin strips with a scissors( a full leaf is too much for breakfast faire) and salsa in lieu of toast.

The meal I made for her had baked chicken and rice with a little chicken broth for flavor. The beans placed in a couple of mason jars.

This also is a perfect way to serve for a tailgate. I’ve transported beans unsuccessfully in my trunk, even placing the crock pot in box.

Pour beans into the jars, seal the tops and place in a pot with a hot brick (wrap in foil) and snuggle the glass with napkins.  The beans are easily consumed with a fork, standing at your tailgate.

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Gluten Free Fried Chicken

IMG_3872Our family has missed enjoying fried chicken together and we have been unsuccessful creating a mix that tastes like Mee Maws recipe.

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We made fried chicken following directions on the package precisely and the chicken was scrumptious, making that wonderful crunch sensation as you bite into it.

The recipe I’m sharing takes the chicken to the level  served in Virginia down in the country.  Ready a bowl with two eggs and a little milk to coat the chicken in before dipping in the batter as per the box. We then rested the batter dipped chicken on a plate for 5 minutes, rolled it on a plate of the dry ingredients that come in the box, and re dipped it in the batter before frying.

Frying chicken is an art form in the south and I’ve found the key is not taking your eyes off it for a second or it gets too brown. Crispy fried chicken cannot be timed, it just has to look right and depending on how hot your oil becomes(most set the fryer to 375 degrees) my fryer broke so it was tricky to gauge the temp and fry.

We drain the excess grease off with old newspapers and serve hot or cold.

The five guys that have developed Choice Batter  have a website http://www.ChoiceBatter.com

We found Choice Batter at Target.

On the top of the box it states it is USDA patented batter.

Five guys with a fryer founded Crisp Tek in response to consumer demand for reducing fat in their diets, as well as the need for gluten-free and allergen-friendly cooking alternatives.

Well done men.

This Mom is very grateful, teen choice winner of the week!

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Tex-Asian Chicken Bowl

Chop 3 celery stalks                                                2 red potatoes

Saute in coconut oil till potatoes are golden brown.

Set aside and pour 1 cup of chicken broth on the veggie mix as it cools and one tablespoon of peanut butter,(Natural Grocers has fresh ground nuts that the guys and gals there have sold me, it’s nutty good).

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Shred 2 leg and thigh combinations of baked chicken

(Todd grilled a chicken with rosemary on monday to enjoy all week)
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Todd garnished with limes, cilantro, and Sriracha sauce.

IMG_3850Perfect saturday night dish to chow down while watching a movie.

The teens picked this as our top dish of the week!

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Pop’s Gluten Free Yucatan Shrimp

IMG_38501 large clove of garlic, minced

1/4 of jalapeno or chili pepper

Juice of 7  key limes                                

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 tablespoon of Sriracha (HEB carries this in the Asian food aisle)

1 pound of shrimp                                                        2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on low heat adding garlic and stirring for two minutes.

Add more butter and stir in lime juice, Sriracha, salt and pepper.IMG_0607

Boil shrimp in well salted water and remove as soon as they are pink. This happens quickly…stay at the stove and drain well in a colander.

Toss everything into a lovely serving dish adding jalapeno and cilantro as your family arrives for dinner.  IMG_3851

*See the original recipe under Yucatan Shrimp – NYTimes.com by Sam Sifton

Published May 13, 2010 on page MM28 of the Sunday Magazine

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/magazine/16food-t-oo1.html

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Mom’s Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

IMG_38521/2 c Crisco                                                           1 c peanut butter

1/2 sugar                                                                1 1/2 c rice flour

1/2 c brown sugar                                               1 tsp soda

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla                                                        1/4 tsp salt

Chill & ladle batter from the mixing bowl using an ice cream scoop onto cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Leave on the baking sheet a few minutes and remove cookies carefully onto a plate with two spatulas.

To prepare as Marilyn did, use white sifted flour and double the recipe!

She also like to place a chocolate kiss on each before baking.

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Words That Heal- Part 6

lThe rain was heavy in Texas and everyone pitched in to shovel stinky fly covered manure.

Who knew mucking stalls could be such a cathartic experience. It was perfect timing after being on the receiving end of a hateful verbal assault.

The words stung and smelled and brought a bitter taste to my mouth as I breathed in the fumes of vitriol thoughts of another.

The pungent odor assaulted my nose and eyes as the scene flashed before my mind.

What happened to bring this upon myself?

Verbal offenses usually bounce off me, but this one stung.

The delivery was akin to vomit all over me.

In other words poor delivery, but yes I got the message.

How can I remove this branding from my brain?

What actually works to remove filth from your mind?

Unwholesome images and words the Lord does not want you to own.

Walking out the door before heading off to the barn, a dear friend

Linda Z. called and prayed over the phone with me.

I could hear the whipping pages of her bible as she spoke these words over me to our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Silence the ugliness…God your blood has set us apart. This is an opportunity. I surrender. Vengeance is yours. May truth knock them over. The words will not hinder nor rob Trish anymore. She is the daughter of a King and you dance over her. (Referencing Zephaniah 3:17) Trish has things to do for the Lord and she will not carry this with her. This is not for her she is in service to the King (Galatians 5) this thing before her is a horror movie and she will set no vile thing before her eyes. “

Thank you Jesus.

We worked hard for about three hours filling wheelbarrows and tossing the contents over a cliff.

My back was not sore at all the next day.

It was exhilarating and my strength renewed.

 

 

*Today‘s blog is in honor of my dear friend Linda Znachko.

Linda ministers and touches lives all over the globe speaking and serving the Lord.

God illumines all she touches.

Her work exists to help make sure that every child receives a name in life.  Isaiah 43

heknowsyourname.org

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Chicken Run

On my morning run

I ran into two chickens

and a rooster.IMG_3848They were at a new construction site, and the rooster did not like me getting close enough to photograph him.  I was concerned the deep wholes close by could trap him and his pretty fowl ladies out for a stroll.

A little farther down the lane one lone white Leghorn chicken stood patiently beside the road.  After flagging down two trucks and a local officer patrolling the area, no one recognized the group.  The young officer was so kind. ” Don’t worry Mam I’ll help them find their way  home.”

God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble…

reading down through Psalm 46 verse 5, a promise appears…

God is within her; she will not be toppled.

God will help her when the morning dawns.

My friend Ann Kroeker posted about running and finding breakfast, a patch of purslane. See AnnKroeker.com in my right sidebar of many great recipes.

Our help comes in various ways. I’m not suggesting the chicken has Jesus in her little feathered body.  It was reminder to open my eyes and look around and see where I’m going to become a encourager to the discouraged.

The rooster was a bit feisty, but he was lost and scared.

Who do I have in my life that may need a lift?

Hoping the chickens on the run rode in the patrol car safely to their home.

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Gluten-free Peanut Soup

1 onion diced                                                    4 c chicken broth

1/4 c butter                                                       1 c peanut butter

3 tablespoons rice flour                               3/4 c heavy cream (optional)

In a heavy saucepan sauté the onion and butter.  Blend in rice flour. Add chicken-broth, bring to boil stirring constantly. Blend in peanut butter.

Reduce heat.  Blend in cream(not necessary) but great if company is coming, and enjoy!

This is Marilyn Southard’s recipe and the only change is the rice flour.

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We garnished with red pepper, red onion and parsley with a dash of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.  IMG_3839

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Gluten-free Quick Snack

I’m surprised to find a gluten-free granola at Walgreens.
IMG_3837If you don’t have any homemade on hand, it is delicious. I pared it with Bulgarian Yogurt.

Certified Gluten-free rolled oats, non gmo

Certified Gluten-free rolled oats, non gmo

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Meemaw’s Coconut Pie (Gluten-free)

Every summer one of the highlights of the beach was Meemaw’s pie.

Dolphin's Watch

Dolphin’s Watch

Sometime during her stay (usually 2-3 weeks) she would come up to me and say. “Could you carry me uptown?” I knew she was ready to pick up the ingredients for her mouth-watering coconut pie.

Leether Southard and our sweet daughter.

Leether Southard and our sweet daughter.

Meemaw worked as a seamstress sewing parachutes during World War II and continued sewing clothing in a factory in Richmond, Virginia until her retirement.  She continued making beautiful clothes and knitting wool blankets well into her 80′s.
She had a lovely home on Rosedale Avenue, filled with antique furniture handed down from generation to generation, and other pieces she had bought and paid for with her hard earned money.  Exquisite gardens including roses,                                    berries, vegetables and an intoxicating array of native Virginian flowers like the Coral honeysuckle and gardenia adorned her property. When I think of her home, the fragrances are the first to come to my senses as I slept on her teal Federal style sofa and listened to she and Todd laugh and gab in the kitchen.   And oh could she cook like only a southern Virginia lady knows how.  Among her special treats was a coconut pie.  Aside from the gluten free pie crust and a tablespoon of rice flour, below is her recipe for the pie filling.

3 eggs                                                2 c flaked coconut

1 1/2 c sugar                                    1/4 ts. salt

1/4  stick of butter                        1 ts. lemon juice or vanilla

1 T rice flour                                    2 baked Gillian’s Wheat & Gluten Free Quiché

2 c milk                                                and Pie Crust

Beat eggs, butter, add sugar, flour & salt. Beat again and add coconut mix well.

Add milk, and flavoring. Pour into baked pie shell (if you are using a wheat crust with this recipe use an unbaked pie shell.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Memaw's Coconut Pie

Memaw’s Coconut Pie

Her son, my Father-in-law Lee is in the photo below working on the beach. His hard work provided for the dreamy summers on the Outer Banks.

Our daughter and her grandfather Pop.

Our daughter and her grandfather Pop.

Meemaw was a savvy, frugal, hard-working lady who succeeded by the sweat of her brow, and passed on her work ethic to her son and grandchildren.  She was warm, honest, had a great sense of humor, and continually reached out to help others making us all feel so loved and special.

I think of her everyday as I drink yesterdays coffee as my first cup and reuse my aluminum foil (I learned this from her), and as I set my table with some of her good silver.

Meemaw went to be with Jesus on Christmas Day.

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Lee’s Baked Grouper (Gluten-free)

Grouper is an especially tasty fish. It has a great deal of action as you try to reel one in.

IMG_3572Todd caught this beauty above.

Everyone caught Grouper except me. I caught a lovely french snapper and Captain Joey sent it back to the sea.IMG_3579

Cooking fish is very intimidating and Todd takes over on those nights.

While visiting Todd’s Dad, Lee and Nancy in Florida,  Lee showed me his simple fish preparation technique.

It was a relaxing and enjoyable week getting to know Lee’s beautiful bride.

Nancy is elegant, warm and kind and baits her own hook!

As you can see from the photo we all had a wonderful time together.

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IMG_0667

We caught grouper about 5 miles from Cayo Costa Island.

Grouper have become the most popular food fish in the United States.IMG_3683

Captain Joe’s the family favorite for fishing, shelling and sightseeing in general.        www.captainjoescharters.com

We are so grateful for phenomenal Captain Joe Burnsed.

Thank you so much for an extraordinary day at sea fishing, Dad!

A remarkable day with an amazing catch!

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Lee’s recipe is very simple.

IMG_3609

Preheat 400 degree oven.

Place fish or grouper on a cookie sheet with foil.

Drizzle melted butter and sprinkle Old Bay Seasoning.  Bake 10 minutes.

Serve with sweet corn and asparagus.

IMG_3612IMG_3611

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Gluten-Free Egg and Cheese Strata

After 12 years of trying various gluten-free breads, we are hooked on Udi’s bread.photo I’m using gluten-free bread in Gale Gand’s recipe. Everyone has their own take on the traditional Egg and cheese strata, and Gale’s is a little different because it is a bit lighter without any meat.

I searched all my cookbooks for what seemed hours, and google searched strata recipes and my only substitute is Udi’s  instead of french bread. Begin with a large Pyrex baking dish. Gale is a famous pastry chef from Chicago. She is taking a group to Lyon this fall and it would be a dream to join her. For now we will just join her in cooking her delicious strata.

Gale Gand’s wonderful Egg Strata Recipe

http://www.housebeautiful.com/_mobile/kitchen/recipes/strata-recipe

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Grandmother Evelyn’s German Potato Salad

Fry two pieces of uncured bacon & set aside
Saute 5 bratwurst in the leftover bacon drippings & set brats aside

photo
Saute cubed red potatoes in bacon drippings
Slice & Saute one Vidalia onion in bacon drippings till translucent
Pat oil off with a clean tea towel and combine onions, potatoes and top with bacon broken into small pieces,
Serve with brats and sauerkraut with bacon drippings.
(Dictated from my Mom)
My Mom speaks of her parents often so I’m recording cooking tips anytime she is willing to share them!

God Bless you!

Live with integrity;

God bless you and redeem you, and be gracious to you!

May your feet be on level ground;

Praise the Lord in the assemblies!

Psalm 26:11,12

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Bone Broth

Last week I attempted my first bone broth using neck bones. It was very unsuccessful and I boiled the bones from thursday night to monday day off and on. I even switched to a crock pot in desperation. photobone broth

The broth was delicious, but the bones never softened.

photo

Today I’m trying knuckle bones on the advice of the HEB butcher.

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 40 minutes. Place into a large pan of water, add 1/4 c of apple cider vinegar, and simmer for 8 hours. I’m not sure I will be able to hang out till midnight, but I’m going to give it a shot.

The best part of this cooking adventure was to hear my husband say, “Making bone broth?…I feel like I’m married to a french chef”.

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Squirrels

My backyard in Texas is a wonderland for two particularly playful squirrels that cause us to laugh hysterically from time to time.

The male squirrel is all guy, and you can tell that spring is in full bloom where he as day after day he seeks to swoon his lady, putting on his best little Fred Astaire dance for Little Miss Lady, the Ginger Rodgers of the backyard ballroom.

Forget Dancing With The Stars, we have Dancing photoWith The Squirrels, only their’s is a three-dimensional dance floor that extends into the trees and from roof top to roof top.

Fred lays around all day on our oak tree as if depressed, his arms and legs dangle from the branches of his perch unless he gets hungry, at which point he gets off his wooden couch at goes foraging for something to eat (Ladies know what I’m talking about).

Its funny, when his lady friend shows up its as if someone cued the lights and said “action!” Then, wow, what a performance: leaping and chirping loudly at our dog Daisy from his tree perch as if saying “beat it dog, my lady just arrived.” On one particular day he stood up on two legs and began to shake his booty from side to side, tail flickering in the wind and swaying from side to side.

I could almost hear Luther Vandrose and Lou Rawls singing backup for the little guy. It didn’t take a squirrel expert to help me realize that romance was in the air. Our ill informed desert dog Daisy, who never saw a squirrel until our recent move, has no idea what to think, nor did she care, Fred and Ginger were about ready to start dancing…

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Loquat Salad

photo (93)My neighbor Clara sent an email to everyone to bring baskets and pick loquats.  I was not sure what to expect, but found this newfound fruit spectacularly juicy with the consistency of a plum. As it turns out, logquats are also called Japanese Plum.  We chatted while we picked,  and she shared stories from her childhood. and how her mother came to visit, bringing with her one seed from an old neighbor’s loquat tree.  Clara planted the seed and our whole neighborhood is enjoying the fruit from the tree.

 May we be kind and generous with what the Lord has shared with us!   

A perfect salad for a graduation party with Japanese lanterns!

20 loquats peeled and pitted

1 c cooked Quinoa

Juice of 6 limes

1 shaved carrot

1 chopped tomato

1 chopped red pepper                                       photo (94)

1 chopped orange pepper

1 chopped green pepper

Handful of spinach!!!

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Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas are a lovely addition to your garden and grow about 3 feet tall.photo (92)

Plant your seeds in the spring and in two months you will have delicious farm to table in 30 seconds as you walk your crop from the back yard.
The recipe is very simple. Snap off one end of the pea, toss in boiling water till it turns bright green and serve. This only takes 5-10 seconds so stay close and be attentive to your peas and q’s!

photo

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Words That Heal – Part 5

Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise in later life. Proverbs 19 v.20 HCSB

Providing expectations for your children and young adults that live in your home is tiring.

ITC - exhausting.

Is it worth it!

Margaret Thatcher  left a powerful legacy for young men and women throughout the world.

In the movie the Iron Lady,  Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher remembers

her father provided clear instructions for her as she was growing up.

He did not leave her in the dark on his expectations.

Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

Words wound when accusations are laid out. Words cut when punishment arrives in a  harsh sarcastic tone.

Instruction must heal and encourage.   Occasionally our children may come to us for advice. Hold your thought before answering and see what Gods Word says. When the answer is not present in scripture, pray and wait with them.

Watch as God reveals His good and wonderful things to your children.

NOTE – The Term ITC comes from Barbara Tompkins who has taught”The Moms Class” in Tucson,  Arizona for the past 31 years.

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Words That Heal – Part 4

Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and whan you get up.  Deuteronomy 6:7 NIVUK

On Good Friday we visited the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas with our daughter and a friend.
We have visited almost all the museums in Austin, and the expression – save the best for last – certainly fit here.
As our daughter grew we would always give her a clipboard with paper and pencil and eventually a sketch book. We pushed her in her stroller even as she was far too old and would visit for just as long as her interest held and left, making it a special memorable visit. Sometimes we would stay for an hour, but not much longer.
Museums give a great reference to see larger than life examples of Bible greats of the faith.
We were walking by the head of Goliath held by David and we overheard a little boy gasp in awe.

“What is that Mom?”
She and the grandmother dismissed him. “It’s just a myth”
Todd and I saw them walk away and everything in us wanted to shout “its true! “
God can step in the most challenging situations and give His strength and His power. David was just a boy when He slayed Goliath with a stone.photo (83) I will never forget that young man and I’m praying for people around him to speak truth into his life.
Never underestimate the hope you can share as you are interacting with your child, their friends, a neighborhood friend just as you walk along.
Gods Word heals, gives strength, imparts hope, it saves, it gives wisdom. Those are just a few that come to mind.
You are special to me. You are a child of the Most High God.

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Gluten Free Tabbouleh with Mango

Prep time 15 -20 minutes

1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained and cooked

1/4 c HEB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Juice of 6 Key Limes

1 c chopped fresh parsley                                   photo (61)

1/2 ts. salt

1 c of cucumber …diced

1/4 c diced red pepper

1 small diced Vidalia onion

1 c chopped cherry tomatoes

1/2 c chopped mango

Perfect company dish you can prepare the day before.  Great side dish with salmon or lamb. Excellent picnic dish.

PS I was not sure if this would turn out.  I wanted to serve it for Easter, and skip the bulgur wheat to help out all my gluten-free guests. They loved it!

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Words That Heal – Part 3

This weekend the world takes a breath, shops close early, and families spend time together in prayer, fasting and contemplation of Gods sacrifice of His Son Jesus.photo (81)Ecce Homo  circa 1623 Daniele Crespi    “Behold the Man”

Our family viewed at The Blanton yesterday on Good Friday. Notice Pilate touching Jesus arm.

The world becomes quiet.

 Quiet waiting before The Lord in prayer will give Him a chance to change your mood. The situation may not change, but you will have changed for the better in spite of the situation” Robert A. Cook

Psalm 88 v.1,2 is a cry of desperation  Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out before You day and night. May my prayer reach Your Presence;  listen to my cry.

There are times we must walk dark valleys and we can only get on our face before Him and plead.

Our hearts are so tainted we let sin bloom dark.
Jesus let the eyes of our hearts open to Your calling.
When words escape you let quiet rest in your soul and sing softly and praise His wonders.

Jesus took the penalty of our sin,  your sin, and my sin.
When Jesus died on the cross our sin was covered with His blood.
He died in our place.
“But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” Isaiah 53:5

His Words spoken out loud heal our wounds.
Praying for each of you!
2 Corinthians 5:21

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Words That Heal – Part 2

Have you ever been somewhere and watched a wife nag and berate her husband?

Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.

Proverbs 21:9

Have you felt the fear that creeps over her children as they cringe and attempt to hide as Dad gets verbally assaulted.
As a shop girl I saw a lovely woman become quite ugly as she lit into her husband nagging about his lack of something.
I shudder to think of her two daughters self-esteem.
 I wonder will they catch her hot temper and play it out someday on their co-workers, children, husbands?

Beware of criticizing or nagging others.

The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 21:23
Holy Week is stressful as we prepare for company.
Make a plan now and refuse to let unkind remarks be your legacy.
A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understanding; by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious treasure. Proverbs 24:3,4
This week gives yourself permission to unplug and fill your heart and home with Jesus.photo (23)
Wait and see the words that heal that come from your rested heart and mind.
Praying for you!

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Perfect Gluten-Free Biscuits

My family loves a delicious, moist and flaky biscuit.
The base for my recipe is Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix.

A friend found it for me at HEB in Texas.photo (73)
2 cups Bisquick Gluten Free Mix
1/3 cup of Smart Balance (Buttery Spread)
2/3 cup of milk
4 egg yolks
Heat oven to 400 degrees
Cut Smart Balance into mix with a fork.
Stir in remaining ingredients and measure batter with an ice cream scoop.
Bake 15 minutes or until the tops are very light brown.photo (76)

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Words that Heal

Today is the second day of Spring and I came across a great message to begin fresh in our families, a second chance to begin new with a promise from God.photo (69)

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.  The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive, but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness.  Proverbs 15:1,2

In other words… speak words that heal, encourage, and respect your child for who they are.

Think of the strong-willed child and catch them being persistent.

Strong-willed children will not easily give in to the demands of peers, and the blessing is watching them choose to stand alone and not follow the foolish behaviour of others.

The strong-willed, filled with God’s Holy Spirit is a thing of beauty as they persevere and choose the way of honor.

When others are quickly swayed, they are sensible, watching their steps.

Verse 4 of Proverbs 15 states another promise.

A tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.photo (72)

We spent time on will and spirit this spring in my Mom’s Class, todays lesson from the bible is a great reminder to speak words of healing.

May our Lord Jesus anoint you as you give life to your families with your words.

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Corned Beef

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

It’s not too late to buy a Corned Beef and prepare a very simple and easy dish for friends and family.

 

                                                       photo (54)   

Step One:   

Wash carrots, potatoes, cabbage and rinse the beef thoroughly.

Step Two:

Cook beef with pickling spices in a large pot on a low simmer for two hours.

Step Three:                                                                Corned Beef

Place cabbage, carrots, potatoes,and a little salt and pepper into the pot after two hours and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and your dinner is ready and waiting

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow

May the soft winds freshen your spirit

May the sunshine brighten your heart

May the burdens of the day rest light upon you

And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again my friend

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand

May God be with you and bless you

May you see your children’s children

May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings

May you know nothing but happiness

from this day forward

But rich or poor, quick or slow,

May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward

May the joys of today be those of tomorrow.

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The Carrot

We have been growing this carrot all winter in a pot.

photo (50)

Its sautéing in butter with about five cloves of garlic.photo (52)

 

Tonight it will be a lovely accompaniment to baked chicken and rice and a little broccoli, it will be the smallest part of our dinner but it will be the star of the night.

photo (51)

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Black-eyed Peas on New Years Day

Looking for a recipe for prosperity and happiness in the New Year?

Psalm 1 is a place to start.

The Hebrew word ashrei, or blessedness comes from living out your life in accordance with God‘s will.

How do you know God’s will?

Everyday wake and immediately meditate on God’s word.  Praise Him!  Begin your day in adoration of  God the Creator of all.

Pray about it, pray the verse for anyone your Father has placed on your mind.

This morning I prayed for you and my family and friends.

Here’s how it sounded…. Happy are the friends who follow my blog, my family, my friends they who do not follow the advice of the wicked or take the paths of sinners.

Prosperity and happiness depends on your willingness to live in obedience to scripture.

But the humble will inherit the land and enjoy abundant prosperity.  Psalm 37:11 HSB

Humble in the Greek is translated poor in spirit – to be impoverished of self and concerned for the things of God.

What is God concerned about?

The world will tell you prosperity comes from a  cooked pot of black-eyed peas on New Years Day.  Our tradition in families differ, but cooking up a pot of these lovely legumes are a non-negotiable in southern families, ours is no different.  I’ve misplaced my cookbook so this is my twist on the tradition.

1 pound of black-eyed peas

Soak and cook a couple of days earlier tossing off the dirt (your old self) and discard any particles(regrets) in the water.

1 large can of chopped tomatoes

1 small onion finely chopped and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil.

1 large garlic clove finely chopped and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil.

Pepper to taste

Add a few small pieces of the leftover Smithfield Ham (Salt cured) before placing bowls on the table for your New Years Day Dinner.

Serve the simple dish with Udi’s gluten-free dinner rolls, and a salad.

Pull out all the stops with linens, candles, crystal and setting.

A humble dish and a table set for a King.

May you be favored and prosper in the New Year! May the Lord bless you in 2014 exceedingly and abundantly beyond your wildest imaginations!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith.  Ephesians 3:14-16 HCSB

Thank you very much for taking the time to follow my blog in 2013. You have been a great blessing to me and I look forward to praying for you and  writing more in 2014!

Trish

 

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A Christmas Devotion

My family was leaving a Chinese restaurant after lunch on Christmas Eve in 2006.  A little boy about 9 years old asked his Mom if he was Jewish?  She said “No!” and the boy shouted back “RATS!”
He then asked “What I am?”  Mom’s reply was too soft to hear.  It was a teachable moment as we backed our car out of the parking lot. I asked our daughter the same question – “Who are you?”
I knew even before she answered she would say “Child of God,” because over the years we have sought to share our Christian faith and heritage with her, so that she may know she is fearfully and wonderfully created by God.  The map to who we are, where we are and come from,  must be communicated to our children, our neighbors, and our coworkers, those in our spheres of relationships as well as others who are not.

The Christmas season the world offers is a Retail Christmas.  Though exchanging gifts brings great joy, without Christ at the center it will not lead us anywhere closer to the true essence of Christ and His message, but become a distraction at the very time of the year we set a day aside to celebrate Immanuel – God with us.  Bumbling along in a haphazard existence will give our children a life with no identity, no sense of who they are, and open them up to other’s values and beliefs, man’s way and not God’s way.  They will not have a map of life.

In Barbara Tompkins Mom’s Class last year we made Jesse Tree‘s ornaments.   Our family systematically read through the story of Christ and hung ornaments on a small pink feather tree as our Christmas decorations were all packed and ready for our move the Texas the next week.  It was a comical tree with a serious message in those Jesse Tree ornaments, the story of God found in the Bible, a message of

God’s love and provision of redemption found in Jesus Christ.   

We are all unpacked this Christmas, and instead of the pink feathered tree, we are back to our home-grown artificial tree as we again tell the story of who we are in Christ by telling the story of God and his redemptive plan of salvation.  Each ornament symbolizes an accompanying Bible story that, with the help of the book The Advent Jesse Tree, Devotions for Children and Adults Preparing for the Coming of Christ Child at Christmas (Nashville: Abington Press) directs us to a daily story from the Bible and provides songs of praise to sing as a family.

As Christmas arrives our anticipation is toward the greatest gift God has given the world — the birth of Jesus the Christ, God’s own Son, Immanuel — God with us.  The Scriptures read throughout the month show us The Way, providing a clear and concise map of who we are, the identity we have in our Lord Jesus, the hope of glory.

Resting in Him,

Trish

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