Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Here's a great recipe for the Super Bowl party. Serve with your favorite taco chips.

1 can (9 oz.) bean dip
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
1 T. taco seasoning mix
1 garlic clove, pressed
¼ cup (1 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
½ medium tomato, seeded and diced (about ½ cup)
2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
¼ cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Additional sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Using Small Mix 'N Scraper®, spread bean dip over bottom of Mini-Baker

In Classic Batter Bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning mix and garlic pressed with Garlic Press; mix well.

 Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bean dip. Grate cheddar cheese over top using Rotary Grater. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 Dice tomato and thinly slice green onions using Utility Knife. Slice olives using Egg Slicer Plus®. Finely chop cilantro using Pizza Cutter. Sprinkle tomato, onions, olives and cilantro over dip. Garnish with additional sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: (1/4 cup dip): Calories 140, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 330 mg, Fiber 0 g

Cook's Tips: Pantry Southwestern Seasoning Mix can be substituted for the taco seasoning mix, if desired.

Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant


Please read this very short post on why you should read your Bible more and more...even when you don't feel like it.


Monday, January 30, 2012


Give all your worries and cares to God, 
for he cares about you.  
1 Peter 5:7

Can all your worries 
add a single moment 
to your life?
Luke 12:25

Don't worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, 
and thank him for all he has done.
Phil. 4:6

"Whatever occupies your mind the most 
becomes your god. 
Worries, if indulged, 
develop into idols." 
Jesus Calling

Friday, January 27, 2012

A CALL TO BE DIFFERENT by Beth Ann Lampley

(Beth Ann, a senior at Mississippi College, is writing a series of articles geared towards middle school through college age girls, but the words God is giving her will speak to women of any age.  Her heart is that she will encourage and challenge us with Biblical truth.)

My fear for this generation and myself is that we have become products of cultural Christianity. We prayed a prayer of salvation, attend church regularly, go on retreats, get emotional at camp and Dnow, but we don't live daily like new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). The truth is, the church today, as a whole, looks very similar to the world.  If we’re not careful, church can become a game we play.  Following Jesus is not a joke and is not something we take lightly.  Following Jesus is serious and costly.

I write from the perspective of my own life. I'm guilty of living life but not really living. Real living is not following the trends of this world, caring more about our outward appearance than the condition of our hearts, wanting more and more material possessions, nor gaining titles, awards or accolades from the world. Life begins when we recognize that before Christ we were dead--worthless and useless--but because of His grace we have life.   Life begins when we understand the cost of our salvation; we are saved because God the Father crushed His own son for us. It's not enough to go to church, have a quiet time, go on a mission trip, and try really hard to be good--it's not enough. We are called to give everything. Romans 12:1-2 tells us it is our spiritual worship to present our bodies as living sacrifices. God desires devotion from our whole heart, not just sections.  We must give more of “our” time to studying God’s Word, memorizing the Word, praying, pouring into others, and showing God’s love to a lost, dark, and dying world.

Sisters, it's time to stand, to set our lives apart from this world, and to truly live.  We need to loosen our grip on desires of the world and let God completely grip our hearts.  Time is precious and His return is near; commit your ways to the Lord--surrender all to Him.  Would you be ready if Jesus came back today? Are we watching for Jesus’ return? Are we waiting with anticipation for Him? Do we want Jesus? Are we continuing to work, doing good works until His return? 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TIME FOR WHAT? by Stacy McSpadden

Time to decorate for Christmas...Wait!  Didn't we just do that?

So I know you are all thinking that I have lost my mind, but I said last week that I was going to take you on a Market tour with me. And I know that you are thinking, "What does Christmas have to do with anything?" What you may not know is that January is the prime time for most retailers to do their Christmas shopping for the next season.  Since we didn't have much time over the course of three days and we had a lot of ground to cover, I decided to start with the Christmas shopping.  

As we looked at the selected showrooms, we found that "bling is the thing" for Christmas 2012!  I loved the looks with lots of traditional greens and reds, but everything was mixed with glittery golds and silvers.  Angels and reindeer were everywhere.  They were in trees, on tabletops, and oversized pieces were used on hearths and at the base of Christmas trees.  


 Whimsy was still around also. The bright, apple greens and reds were in every showroom.  Lots of fun pillows and soft textiles added a lot of color and texture to upholstered pieces and table tops.  We bought this little pillow again which has been a great seller over the past few years, and I love the simple message.


The last hot item that was in every showroom was the painted platter.  We sold these this season and they were hot.  We found all kinds of styles all over the place.  These make great gifts, but I really like the way they look on a stand in the kitchen. Or you can gather a collection to put in your china cabinet for fun and color. They are great because they are really fun and not really expensive.  

I know that if you are like me, you are tired of Christmas, but I wanted to take you on a step by step recap of my Market trip.  I can't wait until next week because textiles are the word!!!  Until then, Merry Christmas in January!

In Him,


Stacy McSpadden
Manager of Interior Design Services
Chestnut Hall Interiors
3075 Forest Hill Irene Road
Germantown, Tennessee 38138

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


God is developing a model, or a picture, in my head of what the perfect relationship looks like!  As one who pursues any and all help in the areas of forgiveness and healthy relationships, I am so excited that God knows exactly how to bring understanding to my heart (light bulb moments)!!! He is using the Trinity as my model!  You may have grasped this so long ago in the context of healthy relationships, but humor me and let me share!

The Trinity has three very distinct personalities and roles in our lives. We are not complete without God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.  Scripture is full of all three and beautifully defines and glorifies each person of the Godhead.  But what the Holy Spirit is using the Trinity to show me is the “equalness,” the unity, and the sameness of each toward each other. (Quite a mouthful!)

In a healthy relationship, each person knows their role and the role of another.  Whether it is friendship, employment, membership, marriage, parent, child, sibling, neighbor…you add your own word! When I am in a healthy relationship, there is no competition (the Trinity doesn’t pout or retaliate when One is praised or exalted over the Other).  I will be “for” my other in relationship.  I will all the way to the corner of my heart rejoice for them and grieve with them.  I will look for opportunity to “showcase” their strengths and go out of my way to restore and heal wrongs.  I love the principle of “all for one and one for all!”

Another wonderful compliment of the relationship of the Trinity is the way each talks about and to each other.  Whenever God speaks of His Son, it is with love and respect.  Whenever Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, His heart was one of respect and honor.  I can tell in my thoughts and speech how healthy my relationship is by the way I talk about/refer to and even how I speak to the person!  Isn’t that a great example!? 

I know as the model unfolds, God is going to show me more fruit from the Trinity in the area of relationships, but for now, I am grateful for these truths!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We still have a lot of winter left so another pot of stew sounds really good.  This recipe is super easy and makes a large pot, 14 cups worth!

1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen sliced okra, thawed
4 cups frozen cubed hash browns
3/4 lb. Bar-B-Que (or Boston Butt), chopped
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (15 oz) can lima beans, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a 5 qt slow cooker.
Cook covered on HIGH for 6 1/2 hours.

Yes, the cook time is correct :) :) :)

Monday, January 23, 2012


Our January Refreshment was a laid-back, come and go dinner at McAlister's in Olive Branch.  We talked and laughed...

We caught up on each other's lives....

our jobs...

our church activities...

our husbands...

our children...

and we laughed some more. We laughed at ourselves and each other.  We experienced Proverbs 17:22 and found it to be true - "A cheerful heart is good medicine."


So often, we find ourselves focusing on the last part of this verse. Sometimes, we even use this verse to bargain with God.  We expect Him to give us what we want.  But think about it.  Would it be good for our own children if we gave them everything they wanted? Of course not!  So rather than focusing on only the end of this verse, this week, let's concentrate on delighting in the Lord. Let's spend time with Him, listen to Him, talk to Him, ask His opinion about everything we do, aim to please Him, find out what pleases Him by reading His Word.  Chances are...the desires of our heart will then line up with the desires He has for us.  

Remember our January Refreshment is tonight at McAlister's in Olive Branch at 6:30-9:00. Come eat dinner and just enjoy being with other women for a little while! It's come and go.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


In his sermon this morning, our pastor mentioned this e-mail that has been circulating.  Please read it and go to the link to sign the petition.
Dear Friends: 
Asia Bibi is a Christian wife and mother awaiting execution in a Pakistani prison. She was accused by Muslim coworkers of blasphemy. More than 150,000 Christians in Pakistan signed a petition protesting the injustice against Asia and other Christians in their nation. Now there's a way for people around the world to add their voices to those Pakistani voices, through an online petition at http://www.CallForMercy.com/. 
I just signed the petition, and I hope that you'll click on the link and sign as well. As of today, 559,0951 people have signed. The goal is to have one million signatures to deliver to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC . 
Please add your name and speak out on behalf of Asia Bibi.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


                look for complaints and rewrite them as words of appreciation
                turn my unkind statements about others into words of praise
                replace my laziness with productivity
                instead of worrying, pray
                identify my temptations and remove them (or tame them)
                do what I said I would do
                don’t do what I said I wouldn’t do
                replace an old habit with a new experience
                turn bitterness into forgiveness

Excerpt taken from article by Heather Gemmen Wilson.
To see entire article go here.

Friday, January 20, 2012


My name is Beth Ann; I’m 21 on the verge of 22.  I’m currently finishing up my senior year of college at Mississippi College--I’m studying communication and public relations.  I work as an intern in the hood of West Jackson at a special place called Mission First.  The heart and drive of Mission First is to share the love of Jesus Christ by meeting tangible needs of people as an avenue for meeting their paramount spiritual need, a relationship with Christ (missionfirst.org).  I get to work with a team who meets needs and loves people all in the name of Jesus; basically, it’s awesome. 

I’m in a crazy season of life trying to balance school, work, friends, ministry, and trying to figure out what’s next for me.  In three months I’ll leave my home and best friends of the past four years and graduate.  I know the Lord has good plans for me ahead. I’ll work at K-West, a camp I’ve worked at every summer during college and start the Kanakuk Institute in the fall.  The Kanakuk Institute exists to equip men and women with Biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry regardless of occupation.  I’m excited to be challenged in my faith and grow in my walk.
There is much change and uncertainty ahead for me, but I know God is faithful and sovereign above all.  I’ll be writing regular articles on this blog geared towards younger girls and college girls, but I hope the words God allows me to say will encourage women of any age.  My heart behind my writing is to communicate Biblical truth, encouragement, and challenge.  I’ll probably write things that aren’t sugary and sweet all the time but share some challenging things the Lord has laid on my heart.  Everything I write, I preach to myself.  I’m a sinner, fallen, and struggling to live (really live) for the Lord in every area of my life everyday.  I’m no one special, I’m just a sinner saved by God’s grace and living to tell others of that grace.  


Peanuts and Mother Theresa have some good advice for us

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WHERE DO I BEGIN by Tony Manley

Happy New Year!  Yes, I know it is the middle of January, but it is still a new year!  Before Christmas, I shared that Christmas was going to have a different look this year for me.  Truly, it was! Christmas is not the type holiday one can just show up and insert oneself into a family…Thanksgiving tends to lend itself to come one and all, whereas Christmas is more intimate and family oriented.  I can truly say two weeks with the Lord and my husband was ordained for me!  Anytime you spend that much time with the Lord and your husband, a lot of good gets done!

In the days to come, I hope to share many of the truths and surgeries I experienced during the Christmas break (keep in mind both are good, yet sometimes painful). Today, I want to share one of my “lessons” with you. As you read and process, feel free to comment either on your side of the screen or to me!  I need all the help I can get with making truth a reality in my heart to the extent it overcomes the natural man and becomes the natural overflow of the new man!


I have had a wonderful time working this very elementary truth into my heart. Sometimes you have to go back to some basics before you can move forward.  As I looked around and thought about how many relationships and settings have been scarred or ruined, I thought about how often the response has been “But you don’t understand,” or “They don’t deserve or they do deserve______,” or “They started it.” Basically, all the reasons we give to encourage or entitle the “dis” of sin.  I became confronted that even in my heart, I will encourage and entitle myself to a broken or unhealed/unrestored hurt or wrong (a perfect example of a divided heart). Jesus said, a house divided cannot stand…a heart divided cannot be fruitful.  And basically, when I am in that place, the place of division or discord, I may not care who started it or why!  BUT, (I am so glad for the good buts - “But Christ died for us while we were yet sinners) the good news was I have been given the equipping presence of the Holy Spirit to unite, understand, and to undo any selfishness I have in me!  Freedom is the word for the “uns” and death is the word for the “dis.” 

Life is too short to hide any “dis” in my heart.  People are too instrumental in the molding process to ignore them.  Opportunities are too valuable to criticize or reject as uncomfortable or unfair.  Today, this minute, is the time to reveal and promote the power and presence of Christ. I am learning to ask myself in my thoughts, words, and actions, “Is this negating or promoting the person of Christ?”

Father, give me the courage to be an “un” for you today.  Amen

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Travel with me to Americasmart!  

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel with the CFO of Chestnut Hall to Market in Atlanta.  Our travels began on Saturday morning, and after 3 full days of shopping, we felt excited and well-informed about the trends we will be seeing in 2012.  If you have never attended Market in Atlanta, let me just say that you are missing an adventure.  Imagine three buildings in the heart of downtown Atlanta that are each 18 floors!  Yes, you're right - it's a shopper's paradise.  The good thing for me is that you cannot just walk into the showroom and make purchases for yourself.  

After walking around all day Saturday, I managed to have a Market injury.  I came back to the hotel Saturday night after walking literally close to 10 miles in one day, and I had the biggest blister on my foot, but business is business and sometimes you have to work through the pain!  Most people think, "Hey, it's just a huge shopping spree," but in reality, it is a lot of work.  You have to plan every detail.  You have to remember what you have already bought so that you don't buy too much of one category. Check your inventory reports to make sure you aren't duplicating items that you already have in stock back home.  Make sure you are buying items that will sell as far as price is concerned.  And make sure that you don't hurt the annoying woman who is somehow able to get into Market because her husband owns some business that has a tax number and she needs to find the perfect lamp for her entry!  Yes, this happens, but I digress....

Color was everywhere, and over the next few weeks, I will take you through some of these showrooms to show you the trends for 2012.  I am really excited for the things that are coming in to my store, and I hope that I practice some self-discipline when UPS starts bringing those boxes in through the doors of Chestnut Hall! Stay tuned.  We have some fun ahead of us!!!

Happy Decorating!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is an easy soup to put together.  It's even kid friendly.  It's my grandson Jackson’s favorite soup.

Fresh broccoli                                      
2 fresh carrots                                  
1 small onion                                       
1 small red bell pepper
1 clove of garlic
2 cans (14-14 ½ oz) of chicken broth
1 package cooked grilled chicken strips
1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo Sauce
1 teaspoon basil                                             
1 small block fresh parmesan cheese

1 Can Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits
1 clove of garlic
2 T. butter or margarine

Chop broccoli, carrots, onion, and bell pepper with Food Chopper. (I like to sauté slightly before adding the garlic.)  Place in Executive Cookware (4 quart). Press garlic clove and put in with vegetables.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile chop chicken with Food Chopper or dice with Santuko knife. Add chicken, Alfredo Sauce and basil to broth, simmer for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Add some shredded parmesan cheese for extra creaminess!

Makes about 7 ½ cups.      

Serve with Cheesy Garlic Bread – Melt butter in non-stick skillet – press garlic – put parmesan in 
on top of garlic. Then top with quartered biscuits – bake at 350 until golden brown.

Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant

Monday, January 16, 2012


Charles Spurgeon said:

Many prayers fail of their errand because there is no faith in them. Prayers which are filled with doubt are requests for refusal. Imagine that you wrote to a friend and said, “Dear Friend, I am in great trouble and I, therefore, tell you, and ask for your help because it seems right to do so. But though I thus write, I have no belief that you will send me any help. Indeed, I should be mightily surprised if you did and should speak of it as a great wonder.”

Will you get the help, do you think? I should say your friend would be sensible enough to observe the little confidence which you have in him and he would reply that, as you did not expect anything, he would not astonish you. Your opinion of his generosity is so low that he does not feel called upon to put himself out of the way on your account.

When prayers are of that kind you cannot wonder if we “have not, because we ask amiss.”

Friday, January 13, 2012


Have you counted your blessings today?  Are you making a list of 1000 gifts (Ann Voskamp's book 1000 Gifts)?

Remember to sign up this coming Sunday in the Welcome Center on the ministry table for a Bible Study.  See upper right-hand side of this blog for choices.
Remember to save the date for our January Refreshment. Look to the right for details.