Wednesday, September 26, 2012


We began our Monday night Ladies Bible Study on the book of Malachi a few weeks ago. Having never studied the book, I thought it might be interesting. Little did I know what I was in for. Now, something you might not know about me is that I am an avid reader… I read everything. My husband says I always have my nose in a book, usually two. Books are my friends. Really. I read as an escape when I was young, and it just stuck with me. I love to read!!!! The hardest part in reading a book is not turning to the back and seeing how it ends before I even begin to read it. Ok, so I am not the only person who does that, am I?

Back to Malachi…I decided to read the book, just to be ready. I mean it’s only four chapters. But something in chapter three caught my attention. So I thought I would share it with you.  

Malachi 3:16 & 17 – Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name. “They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son …”

First of all, isn’t it a comfort to us all that the Lord listens and hears us? Sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded. In this fast paced, rushed life, God still considers us important when we talk to each other and to Him. He is blessed when we fellowship with one another in His name and minister to each other. He listens … He hears.

Second, I don’t know about you, but I sure want my name on that scroll of remembrance. During those times when you think that the Lord has forgotten you, as the Israelites did, Malachi reminded them that not only will the Lord remember, but He will write it down. Even though it may look like the wicked are winning, they are not. God is watching and He is keeping a record of everything.

Third, then the Lord declares we will be His. Now that’s a statement to cling to in desperate times, during the hard times when life is tough. He’s our rock, our foundation, and an unmovable anchor to cling to. That’s a comfort to me. Then He goes on to say that He will make up His treasured possession. Strong’s Concordance states that as “chosen ones” or “jewels.” Think about the one thing in your life that is the most precious to you, just that one thing or person. That’s how the Father thinks about each one of us, as precious jewels, chosen people, treasures.  

Fourth, then He will spare us, and have compassion on us as a man spares or shows compassion for his own son. How many times has your child disobeyed or disappointed you? How many times have you shown compassion on them? That’s what the Lord will show on us, many times over. And I am very thankful for that!

I must confess, I did not know much about Malachi before this study, but I am so looking forward to getting to know him, and getting to know the ladies that attend each week. Even though I have already read the end of the story, I know I have so much more to learn. And I’m very thankful for that!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Here's a recipe that can be thrown together very quickly. Put 3-4 chicken breasts in the slow cooker during the day if you like, or make it even easier by using a store bought rotisserie chicken. Then come home and assemble in very little time. 


6  cups tortilla chips

3  cups diced or shredded cooked chicken

2  cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend

2  tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Rub, divided

1  small yellow or red bell pepper, or combination

1  lime

2  tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup sour cream and 1 tsp. additional Jamaican Jerk Rub (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange tortilla chips in a slightly overlapping layer on Large Round Stone with Handles (or a large pizza stone or oblong jelly roll pan).

2.  In Classic Batter Bowl, combine chicken, cheese and 1 tbsp of the rub; mix gently using Small Mix 'N Scraper(R). Sprinkle chicken mixture evenly over tortilla chips. Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted; remove from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

3.  Meanwhile, dice bell pepper with Santoku Knife. Cut lime in half crosswise. Juice half of the lime using Citrus Press into Small Batter Bowl; add bell pepper and remaining rub and mix well.

4.  Snip cilantro in mincing cup of Herb Keeper using Kitchen Shears. Slice remaining lime half using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with v-shaped blade; cut slices in half using Utility Knife.

5.  Spoon bell pepper mixture over nachos; sprinkle evenly with cilantro. If desired, combine sour cream and additional rub in resealable plastic bag; trim corner to allow sour cream to flow through. Pipe sour cream mixture over nachos. Garnish with lime slices.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 200, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Carbohydrate 10 g, Protein 16 g, Sodium 300 mg, Fiber 1 g

Cook's Tip: Use the Classic Batter Bowl to measure tortilla chips easily. Discard broken chips.

This recipe can also be prepared on the Large Bar Pan, if desired.

Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant

Monday, September 24, 2012


"I have loved you," says the Lord.
"But you ask, 'How have you loved us?'"
Malachi 1:2

The Israelites were returning from Babylon to find a city and temple in ruins. Can you imagine their disappointment? Are you in a spot right now where God says to you, "I have loved you," but all you can see are your current disappointments and lost dreams?

Read Psalm 42 and apply David's words to your own life. Instead of being "downcast and disturbed within," put your hope in God. Praise Him and remember God's past blessings and deliverances. 

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Refresh Paint Party Revisited

Thursday night, our Refresh Women's Ministry hosted our 2nd annual paint party in fellowship hall. Last year, we asked a local business woman and artist to come teach us. We drew crosses on our canvases. This year, we asked our own Kristi Childs, crafty woman extraordinaire, to teach us, and most of us made a Christmas decoration on our canvas.  She made each of us feel that we could do any of the 3 examples she had brought. 

We first looked at her examples and thought long and hard about which one to paint. Then we all squeezed our paint colors on our paper plates. And just to be sure, we collaborated with those at our table about how to start.

Most of us penciled off our drawing first, but some just picked up a brush and started painting!

In between painting each color or letting parts of our painting dry, we snacked on the tasty treats we had brought.

Then we got back to work, creating our masterpieces, and getting instruction from Kristi.

And most of us left with a wonderful, Christmas decoration ready to put up as soon as the season arrives. Of course, there always has to be one who bucks the system. But isn't it the cutest thing?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'VE GOT THE JOY by Tony Manley

Lately, Our Care Group began a study of the book Laugh Again by Charles Swindoll. It is a study of the book of Philippians. We studied Lessons from San Quentin last year in Care Group (we have a thing for prison - Paul is writing from a prison/house arrest setting).  The book is about joy. The kind we sing with children when we ask  them “Where?” and they say, “Down in my heart!” Then we all sing together, “And I’m so happy, so VERY happy, I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart. And I’m so happy, so VERY happy, I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart.”  (I just started singing verse 2 “And if the devil doesn’t like it…)

Between the Laugh Again book and another one I recently read called War of Words, I got a double whammy in the heart! Philippians really addresses the fruit of joy and War addresses the heart – the residence of the fruit…which by the way, my heart is always revealed every time I speak! 

Habakkuk 3:17-19 is where the rubber meets the road place of joy -

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL BE JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR. THE SOVERIGN LORD IS MY STRENGTH.”

I have paraphrased those “thoughs” for my life and you will be glad to know, I am keeping them to myself!  I believe we all have a list of “thoughs” that can cause us to lose joy or at least misplace it. 

Paul truly lived joy in this life. This life is full of “But you don’t understand” and “You don’t know my situation, health, family, boss…,” yet the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul assures us/me we have joy as a resident fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I can tell you the fruit of fear can be more evident in this heart than joy from time to time, but the desire and intent for joy to fly over my life is fierce! 

Today, I am going to start the tune “Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart” all around me. I may move from humming to singing as my “thoughs” start crowding in around me! Hey, if you cross my path and I am humming, singing, or shouting  “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” promise me you won’t stare. Just join in and we can begin a revolution of joy!  “And if the devil doesn’t like it…”

“I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  John 15: 11

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PUMPKIN BARS by Brenda Riden

Doesn't this cooler weather make you just long for fall? And when I think of fall, I think of all things pumpkin! Get a head start with these delicious pumpkin bars.

#1 wet ingredients             2 c. sugar
                                          1 c. cooking oil        
                                          4 eggs (slightly beaten)
                                          1 – 15 oz can pumpkin

#2 dry ingredients              2 c. flour (all purpose)
                                           2 t. baking powder
                                           ½ t. salt          
                                           1 t. soda
                                           1 t. cinnamon (I use our          Pampered Chef cinnamon plus)
                                           1 c. nuts (I use pecans)

Mix by hand #1, then add #2.  Bake in stoneware bar pan (like a jelly roll pan) that has been lightly greased and floured at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (until light browned.)


Frosting ingredients             Cream 3 oz. cream cheese
                                                ¾ stick butter
                                                1 t. vanilla
                                                1 ½ c. powdered sugar

I have to confess that I double the cream cheese frosting!!!!!

Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Paint Party


to stop by the 

Women's Ministry Table 

this Sunday 

to get your 

Paint Party Tickets.

Kristi Childs will be taking us through each step of our Christmas 

project. Look at these cute samples. We can do this!

Thursday night, September 20

6:30 in Fellowship Hall at church

Tickets cost $20.00 and include all supplies

Friday, September 14, 2012

BITTERNESS by Vicki Taylor

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up in you. I actually know a lot about bitterness. I grew up in a house full of it. It’s a root that grows deep in my family tree. I’ve seen the scars left behind by bitterness and the hate too. It’s not pretty, and it’s not easy to leave behind. But we do have a choice, and I choose to leave it at the Cross.  It is a battle I still struggle with and will always struggle with because it is my heritage. 

I decided to look up the word bitterness in Strong’s Concordance, and it means poison. And that is exactly what it is. It is poison to the one who is bitter, and it poisons any relationship they try to establish. The only antidote for poison/bitterness is forgiveness…

Forgiveness frees. Forgiveness heals. Holding unforgiveness in one’s heart holds her captive to the people who offended. Chuck Swindoll calls them “the torturers.” I like that description. Because that’s what they do; they torture our minds, our souls, and our spirits. We become helpless in their brutal and relentless assault and captive to their torture. And most often, they don’t even know they are doing it. Can you tell I’ve been there?

But, forgiveness can release us from the torturers’ chains.  Forgiveness can heal the gaping wounds left by loved ones who you would not think could hurt you like that. It’s almost always loved ones. It’s always the people you would never expect to hurt or “torture” you. It’s always people you love and trust, always.  And that makes it harder to forgive them. 

But remember, God’s grace is sufficient; it’s enough. He gives us that grace, enough grace, to forgive them. Only He can understand that. Only He can give us the ability to forgive. He becomes the antidote to the poison. He is our only hope when it comes to forgiveness; it cannot be done on our own.  I know I have tried and failed many times. It’s not until I finally give that person over to the Lord completely - mentally, physically, and spiritually - can I be free from the bitterness. All of it! Sometimes it is a continual battle, as you well know. That is how the enemy works.  He is always throwing it up in our minds, torturing us the same way they do, reminding, reliving, and relentless. 

First Peter 5:7 comes to mind, “Cast all your cares/anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” Verse 6 goes on to say, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” And he does it very well. Be ready, stand guard, watch out for him.

Just so you know, I am speaking to myself as I write this. Sometimes I feel as though the enemy pursues me mentally and spiritually trying to keep that root well-watered and fed. Forgiving those who wrong me, or even worse, wrong my loved ones can be a daily struggle, if I allow it. But as I told my husband on the day I married him, I choose from this day forward to be different. I will not bring my heritage with me into our marriage. And I can honestly say I have done that. Now, has it been easy?  Has the enemy tricked me into thinking others don’t offend me and “hurt my feelings,” even my loved ones?  Yes, but after time spent with my Father, He is the one who heals and comforts me. Remember, He is the only one who truly understands forgiveness. He is the one I turn to, first asking Him to forgive me, then seeking the forgiveness of others.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HOW I GET INSPIRED by Stacy McSpadden

On an almost daily basis, I am asked what my style is or what inspires me concerning interior design. When you work in this field, you are almost burdened by not really finding your true style because you are constantly seeing what's new or what the trends are for the upcoming season. The International Home Furnishings Market takes place twice a year, and after each show, our reps come in showing us the latest fabrics and trends from that Market. It is always an exciting time because you never know when that one fabric is really going to stand out and either be a great seller or simply just one of your favorites. As my taste has changed, I have come to be inspired by different designers. Lately, my appreciation is for the textile and furniture designer, Madeline Weinrib.  

Recently, I saw this ad for Madeline's textiles in a magazine.  

I love everything in this ad. From the variety of patterns, to the chartreuse color theme, to the pop of blue in the floral fabric, everything about this makes me smile. When I saw this ad, I decided to do a little more research about Madeline.  She is the granddaughter of Max Weinrib, who began the famed ABC Carpet and Home in NYC. Textile design is in her blood, and I think she really has the upper hand on the mix of contemporary colors with traditional patterns. 

When you are beginning to put your thoughts together about a re-decorating project, look for something that truly makes you smile. If I were re-decorating a room from scratch right now, this would be my inspiration piece. Here are some more of her designs using different fabrics and carpets.



What inspires you in your home? What makes you comfortable and happy?  These are the things to consider when designing your next room. Find an inspiration picture and go for it!

Happy Decorating!


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